Meccano New Video Game Themed Ranges – Review

Video Games are a big part of family life here at Toybuzz. Whether that’s on our Tablets, iPod’s or consoles, Theres nearly always someone playing a game somewhere. Plus it’s not only video games nowadays, as so many games now have a range of toys and figures to complement them. So if they boys aren’t playing Lego Star Wars on the Playstation, they are probably playing the same games with their toy Lego Star Wars sets.

Meccano’s latest range of sets fit in with our video game loving household nicely, and we were lucky enough to try them out for ourselves.

Meccano’s newest sets are based around some of the biggest video game franchises around, ‘Gears of War’ ‘Rabbids’ and ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’

The sets we tested out were:

Gears Of War – C.O.G Centaur Tank

There are Four Meccano Gears of War sets to collect, the Armadillo, King Raven, Locust vs Delta Squad Battle Playset, and the Centaur which we tried out.

Being very much a boys boy Jacob loved this set. It’s basically a HUGE tank, with a swivelling turret and massive gun. It comes with 4 figures which Jacob instantly told me were 2 good guys,2 bad guys. I’ve since found out they are Marcus Fenix, and Augustus Cole of the Delta Squad, and 2 Locust drones.

Although the big instruction manual and 120 pieces when you open the box initially was daunting, it wasn’t that bad a build really. Took me just over an hour, but that was on my own. The boys wouldn’t have been able to build this on their own. I think a teenager would be able to manage it, but not any younger.

Being an avid gamer Gears of War is a franchise I’m familiar with, but I’ve never actually played. My uncle however is a massive Gears of War player, so we took it around to show him to see his reaction. He was impressed by how true to the game the Centaur looked, and was down on the floor quick as a shot playing soldiers with the boys. So it’s a hit with the big kids too!

You can see from the size of the figures to the tank in the picture how impressive the tank looks. As the figures are quite small (2 inches) it makes the tank seem all the more impressive.

Thomas’s verdict on the Centaur was Sick! I don’t think there’s any higher praise than that from a 7-year-old.

Rabbids – Crazy Toilet

Depending on how much of a gamer you are, you may or may not know the Rabbids. If you’re a Wii owner you probably do, as some of the best Wii games have been The various Raving Rabbids ones.

Rabbids are very well-known characters in their homeland of France, and as Meccano are also a french company they go together very well.

There are 4 different sets in the Meccano Rabbids range, The Racing Trolley, Time Washing Machine, Infernal Catapult, and the Crazy Toilet.

As you can see just from the names, Rabbids are a bit nutty and crazy, and the sets totally embrace their zany sense of humour.

We were sent the Crazy Toilet to build, which being typical boys who are very amused by toilet humour my sons thought was hilarious.

For me unfortunately this was my least favourite set. It was really hard to put together. As you can see from the picture I didn’t end up doing a very good job of it. Lots of parts I couldn’t get to fit, and had to leave off all together. Plus the main component of the pull back motor didn’t work as the wheels wont turn around.

Despite this Jacob was really happy with it anyway, and has been playing with it lots regardless. For me with all the work I put into building it, the toilet not moving was a disappointment.

I blame myself as I know in hindsight for certain pieces I used the wrong sized bolts. However I don’t think this set was as simple as the others, and the instructions were not as clear.  This was especially surprising considering that the difficulty level on this set was actually the lowest of all the sets we received.

Sonic The Hedgehog – Sonic & Green Hill Ramp

I’m a huge huge Sonic fan, ever since I first played Sonic 2 for the whole of Christmas 1992! So I was particularly thrilled to be getting my hands on this new set.

I’m so glad to report that I wasn’t disappointed. it’s my new favourite toy, never mind the kids!

The build was incredibly easy, and even the boys could help with this one. It was a family effort, and only took about 20 minutes from start to finish. And that includes about 10 minutes of decal sticking. Not because there was that many really, just because I was being extra careful as I wanted my Green Hill Zone to look perfect.

The finished results are excellent, and I’m so pleased it looks just like the game.

First of all we had a bit of trouble getting Sonic’s car to jump through the ring, but with practice we’ve now perfected it to a fine art. We found that rolling it back from the ring to the end of the flat track will make the car always fly through the ring correctly. There is a ramp part included but we actually found it much more difficult using this. If you simply roll it back over the flat track it’ll go through just fine.

There are 5 different Meccano Sonic the Hedgehog toys and sets to collect:

Sonic & Speed Star – Which is a Sonic and his Meccano racing car to construct

Knuckles & Land Breaker – Which is Sonic’s sometimes friend sometimes nemesis Knuckles and his Quad type racer to build

Sonic & Green Hill Ramp, Sonic and Casino Night Playset, and Sonic and Knuckles Chemical Plant Playset. All based on classic Sonic levels from the early Sonic the Hedgehog games.

All of the racing track playsets can actually be added together to create a mega racing track through all of your favourite Sonic memories. So cool!

The most impressive part of the Green Hill Zone set for me is the attention to detail. Although going by my uncle’s opinion the Gears of War has the same attention to detail, because I’m such a Sonic nut I can totally appreciate all the little touches. I love the checkpoint at the beginning of the track. The ring looks amazing, and seeing the car flying through it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I especially love the palm trees and flowers, and the fact that they are decals you place onto plastic stands. Most sets like this would have flimsy cardboard trees which would collapse and look ragged after a few plays. These will always look pristine, and really add that classic Sonic feel to the set.

Very Highly recommended. Great play value to be had, and an easy build that all the kids could even manage on their own if they wanted too.

For a Sonic fan like me I’d love to have all the sets and make the whole track, but if your choosing just one to go for I would probably pick this one.

Thanks so much to Meccano for sending me these sets to review. We had great fun.

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