Tuesday, February 19, 2013

REVIEW: Lego Minifigures Series 9 - Roman Emperor

Produced by Lego | Released February 2013

Lego Minifigures Series 9
We're slowly building a collection of Lego Minifigures at That Figures, picking up an assortment of the blind-bagged toys as and when we can. And as part of that today sees us taking a closer look at the newly-released Series 9 Roman Emperor.

Roman Emperor
The Roman Emperor is not one of the more complex figures in the range. Sculpt-wise he's pretty simple, sporting little in the way of additional pieces or augmentation, with his hairpiece being - as far as I can tell - the only new bit of sculpt work present on the figure.
Thankfully what could have been a pretty dull figure is saved by some really detailed tampo and paintwork. 

As you can see, his face sports a new tampo (including some deeply-ingrained worry lines and wrinkles) and the body transfer work is pretty detailed, with the Emperor featuring a cool toga-effect. The edge-work on his clothing, his sandals and the brooch are all neat little touches, topped-off with some very cleanly applied paintwork to his hairpiece and the gold laurel wreath that sits upon it.
It's strange then, when you turn him around to discover that he's sporting the latest in toga-thongs. I'm really not quite sure what's going on there...
Accessory-wise the Roman Emperor comes with a scroll, tampo transfered onto a single tile piece. I'd have preferred to see a custom piece here, which - given how little the Emperor has in the way of unique parts - I don't think would be asking too much. I've no idea how production costs are calculated for the Lego line, but maybe the extra paint/tampo detail is responsible for the quality of his accessories.
On the plus-side the scroll fits neatly into his hand and the tile's ''port'' can also be popped onto the hand's raised half should you wish to display him holding it in a different manner, as you can see in the above image.
As is the norm, the Roman Emperor sports the standard Lego Minifigure articulation set up, namely a swivel head, swivel arm joints, swivel wrists and swivel legs.

Final Thoughts
Whilst the Roman Emperor is a neat looking figure, he's really hampered by his lack of interesting accessories. I wish Lego had given him a ''proper'' scroll or a rod of office or other such accessory, as the flat tile - however nicely printed - looks, well, flat.

Still, let's not dwell on what should have been and instead consider what we have. And that's a figure with some really detailed tampo work, a neat color scheme and some very cleanly-applied paint. It's a shame about his exposed butt, but that aside it's this paintwork that really saves the figure from being a total write-off.

If you're a fan of historical Lego then you'll probably really like this little Roman Emperor, as he makes an ideal companion piece to the Series 6 Roman Soldier. I could also see him as a neat addition to any kind of theatrical set (such as the upcoming Palace Cinema) or even working with the upcoming Star Trek Kre-Os (Plato's Stepchildren, anyone?) But beyond that, he does seem a little out of place and not quite as adaptable as some of the other figures in the line (if such things bother you.)

Overall, a great-looking figure thanks to some excellent tampos/paintwork, let down by his accessories.

Final Score: B

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