80032 Chang’e Moon Cake Factory [Hands-On Review]

The 2022 Monkie Kid sets continue to delight and surprise me with the diversity of their content. Having looked already at the the Staff Creations, City of Lanterns, and Mei’s Dragon racer, this set takes us off world, and brings us a different type of playset.

In Chinese legend, Chang’e is the goddess of the moon, accompanied in some versions of the story by a Jade Rabbit or hare – based on the shape of the shadows cast on the moon. The rabbit is said to be pounding herbs, or making mooncakes. And so in this set, we see s mashup, with Chang’e and her rabbits overseeing a Moon Cake Factory.

Moon Cakes are traditionaly part of the mid autumn festival, and wonder if we will see aspects of this festival appearing in another set later in the year, or next year.

In this version, imagine Chang’e as a streamer, livestreaming the goings on at her mooncake factory, while playing games in her spare time. Living on the moon, she is accompanied by her rabbits, who pilot a rabbit shaped mech, while she has a rabbit shaped robot taking care of security. In the mean time, she sends boxes of Moon cakes back to earth… in a carrot shaped rocket. I have not had the chance to see how the story plays out in the Monkie Kid series yet, but I am looking forward to seeing how it pans out.

Lets take a look at this set.

With a palette of primarily white and orange, with dark azure highlights, this set has a beautifully defined colour scheme. It becomes reminiscent of Space themes from the 1990’s but with transparent orange rather than fluorescent Transparent orange. The set comes with a number of small sub builds, as well as 3 minfigures.

Lets take a look at the minifigures, then a glance at the builds.

There are three primary minifigures in this set: Chang’e as we previously mentioned. she has a beautifully printed torso, with matching leg prints. The printing is primatily in white, with gold, and azur detail. A small image of a cresent moon on the fron, with a small rabbit printed on her back. She has a crescent shaped ornament in her hair, and a dual sided face print: a playful wink on one side, and a grumpy frown on the other. She wears a skirt: a plain which version of that seen with Minnie Mouse. I was a little disapointed that the print quality on her legs seemed to be a little second rate compared to her torso. It lines up nicely, but up close, it did not quite as clean.

Pigsy is the only member ofTeam Monkie Kid to be included in this set. I wonder if this is because, in the source Novel, Journey to the West, Pigsy and Chang’e have A Past, with Pigsy perhaps being banished to the mortal realm for harassing the aforementioned moon goddess. He is wearing a similar space suit to that worn by the rest of the team in 80037 Galactic Explorer, although he has shorter bending ‘teen’ legs, which are unprinted. Again, the printing is really on point, and I enjoyed the image on his back of the Monkey King’s cloud flying around the earth: a great riff on the classic space logo, and one that will be revisited again before the day is done. Pigsy is armed with his red pitchfork, carries a blue fire ring, and has a sack in close proximity. I suspect he is after the cookies.

Chang’e ‘s robot rabbit has a dual face print, light blue on one side, while black with red eyes graces the other side. There is an exposed midriff, loaded with wires in the manner we have previously seen with C-CPO. I love his gun, built around an Overwatch weapon, but enhanced to incorporate a carrot into the mechanism. The white panels on the front of the rabbit are edged with a gold trim, following Chinese design motifs, whilst on the reverse, there is a large printed round tail.

The first aspect of the build that we put together is Chang’e’s streaming station: a computer workstation with two screens. On one screen, we see her face, while the other is demonstrating either the game progress, or mooncake factory production stats. The small station has four ‘jet’ feet, as well as a control lever, and an additional control pad attached on the right. There is a control panel, created using a sticker on an azure 1x2x2/3 slope.

From here, we go on to work on the rabbit shaped mech. It is essentially barrel shaped, with a rounded tail on one end, while at the other, under the protection of a transparent orange dome, there is a small flyer, carrying two small rabbits. This flyer can easily leave the front of the mech, when the windscreen opens. Chang’e can also be attached to a bracket, in order to ride in side the front of the Mech. The Mech also has adjustable ears, as well as 2 arms shooting studs. I love the rear legs, shaped to resemble the rabbit’s hind legs – the over structure of these is terrific.

The stickers point to possible internal batteries, and we also see an updated version of classic space control print.

Rufus Rabbit AKA Bunny3708 always had his head in the skies.

After completing the mech, we build up the moon cake factory: a small oven, with ‘studs’ of dough going on one side, and coming out slightly darker, with a print on top on the other,

There is a clear window, giving us a view of process, but also showing us the logo on the front of the mooncake oven. I love the way that the graphic designer once again riffs off the classic space logo, to bring us the Chang’e Monncake delivery service variation. As well as a few stickers, representing the labels on the mooncake boxes, we have a number of printed elements, including a turbine intake, some fuel guages, and a pile of mooncakes. I love the detail in the printing, especially on the tiny mooncakes..

On top of the ‘factory’ is a small round landing platform, as well as a radar dish, again incorporating a carrot in ways not intended when the element was originally conceived.

As the move a little further out, we put together the carrot shaped rocket. The shape is terrific, and it looks like ‘just the thing’ for dispatching her mooncakes towards a planetary surface. I love the use of curved slopes on the 4 sides, as well.

Stick Around…

I would like to highlight the sticker sheet for this particular set: there are quite a few decorations that might be useful for fairly generic space ships. The stickers are printed on transparent plastic stock, which tends to be more versatile than those printed on white plastic: they can go on elements of any colour. Unless they are the same colour as the writing on the sticker. I love the use of the rabbit flying around the moon cake, but there are so many stickers here that are useful for defining vents and openings on the rocket, as well as the ‘safety lines’ used on the mech’s arms and legs.

In Conclusion…

Overall, I really enjoyed putting this set together, and find I am just enjoying playing around with its various components. The mech is original in design, and the multiple different pilot options was unexpected. I really enjoy all of its posability, as well as the general spirit of fun that it brings. The carrot-rocket is ingenious in the way that it opens and closes, and the streaming station is just good fun. The transformation on the assmbly/ baking line was enjoyable to build, and observe after the face. The minifigure selection is good, particularly given the rest of team MK can be found wearing space suits in the 800035 Galactic Explorer.

Perhaps my only disappointment with this set (and it is pretty trivial) is the absence of any of the rabbits featuring in this set that might be considered to be any colour that is vaguely Jade.

The printed Mooncakes are a great element, and I wonder if they might make their way into a ‘traditional’ festival set at some time in the next year or two.

I am really looking forward to getting the full context of this set in the context of the series, which is yet ro scrren in Australia. Fingers crossed for later in the year.

I have had a great time with this set, and give it 4/5 Arbitrary Praise Units. It’s got great play features, although the level of cuteness shown might reduce the appeal to the group that might be considered the ‘traditional ‘ audience for this type of set, although the theme is all about moving into the Chinese market, drawing on folk tales and traditions. I do feel a little frustrated for shoppers in our part of the world, as this latest series of Monkie Kid sets seems to be limited to the LEGO online channel. A shame – it is probably the strongest wave yet.

Set 80032 Chang’e Moon Cake Factory has 609 pieces, three minifigures and 2 rabbits, and is available now through LEGO.com. If you are interested in this set, please consider using our affiliate links – The Rambling Brick might receive a small commission, which in turn helps to cover the costs associated with running this site.

What do you think of this set? A bit of fun? Totally crazy? Or just what the kids a re looking for? Why not leave your comments below, and until next time,

Play Well!

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