Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 (70423) Review

A few weeks ago, I reviewed my first set from the Hidden Side theme. It was the Newbury Juice Bar freebie set. With Halloween this week, I am taking a look at one of the larger sets that is actually available for purchase. This week’s review set made my wish list early on because of its MOC potential, but also because of its beat-up look. I am inclined to park it right next to Apocalypseburg in my LEGO® city. This week, we will take a closer look at the Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000.

Click here to read about the Newbury Juice Bar.

Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 box art.
Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 box art.

PARANORMAL INTERCEPT BUS SUMMARY

  • NAME: Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000
  • SET #: 70423
  • THEME: Hidden Side
  • COST: $79.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 689
  • MINIFIGURES: 5
  • OF INTEREST: 1 ghost dog
  • RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2019
Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 rear box art.
Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 rear box art.

PARANORMAL INTERCEPT BUS QUICK REVIEW

  • VALUE: 90% (Good cost per brick, great build-time value.)
  • BUILD: 85% (Solid build with a few customizable preference issues.)
  • MINIFIGURES: 91% (Great characters, good brick:fig.)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 95% (Fun set with the added bonus of AR.)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 90%
Paranormal Intercept Bus box contents.
Box contents

PARANORMAL INTERCEPT BUS REVIEW

VALUE: 90%

The Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 costs $79.99 in Canada. With 689 pieces, you get a cost-per-brick of $0.12, which is actually great. Based on my last few years of purchases, my current average cost-per-brick is $0.14. The value this sets provides reminds me of my early blogging days, when $0.12/brick was more the norm. I rate this set at 87% for this section of the review.

Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 front view.
Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 front view.

The total build time that I got out of the Paranormal Intercept Bus was 135 minutes (two hours and fifteen minutes). It actually took me longer to build than I anticipated based on the piece count. At $79.99, each minute of build time costs $0.59. My current average is $0.84/minute. This means that you are getting a good deal on build time, which I rate at 93%. Averaging this score with the cost-per-brick gives the Paranormal Intercept Bus an overall value rating of 90%.

Side view of the bus.
Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 side view.

BUILD: 85%

The main build in this set is its namesake, the Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000. It is a great looking modified school bus, decked out with ghost hunting gear. The customized interior is a mobile lab. I love the rundown look complete with barred windows, grates, and a side ladder to the roof.

Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 rear view.
Rear view of the Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000.

In terms of interior access, the cab roof is removable to allow Minifigure placement. However, there is a glass door on the side to give it a more realistic look. Also, the entire lab in the back slides out on a brick-built tray. There are no doors for Minifigures to use in play though. Each side of the center compartment has walls, blocking access to both the cab and the lab. Leaving it open would have been more realistic.

The rear section of the bus slides out.
The rear section slides out for interior access.

While we are on the topic of the central compartment, I do not really like the exterior blue panels. Additionally, I do not understand what the ghost hunting tools attached to them are either. While ghost hunting is a pseudoscience in the real world, there is none-the-less some interesting equipment used. I want to see their brick-build counterparts, not completely made up stuff.

The Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 contains a mobile ghost hunting lab.

The Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 mobile lab.
The Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 mobile lab.

The other small build included is the haunted portable toilet. This has the fun play feature of launching poo at unsuspecting Minifigures. For a ghost, this build is unimpressive. Nevertheless, little boys the world over will rejoice at flying discs of LEGO® poo.

The un-haunted toilet.
Beware this seemingly normal port-a-potty…

Overall, I like this bus. Apart from the blue side panels, it looks great. I am always a fan of science-inspired builds, and I like the idea of a mobile lab. The toilet, while not a very sophisticated build, is a funny touch. However, the set loses a point for the lack of interior realism/Minifigure access. While I will not be too fussy about the ghost hunting gear, I will still deduct half a point for it all the same. Subsequently, the Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 earns a build score of 8.5/10 (85%).

The haunted toilet.
The haunted toilet.

MINIFIGURES: 91%

There are five Minifigures included with the Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000. Each one comes with all of the standard parts, as well as front and back torso printing, and leg printing. Additionally, four of them have double-sided faces. I love that you get three new head/hair pieces with the characters. On top of that, there are also two supplemental ghost heads, one with hair, and the other with a beard. Based on these specifications, I rate the design of these Minifigures at 63/75 (84%).

There are also a number of accessories included in the set. There are three printed-tile cell phones, a shovel, a jackhammer, two hand-held drills, a pickaxe, a ghost dog, an extra beard, and a laptop computer. These bring the design score up to 74/75 (99%).

The final consideration in terms of Minifigures is the brick-to-fig ratio. With 689 pieces and five characters, you get a ratio of 138-to-1. My current average is 149-to-1. Therefore, you are getting a decent number of Minifigures for the brick count. I rate that at 82%. Averaging this with the design score gives the Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 an overall Minifigure rating of 91%.

Possessed road work crew.
Possessed road work crew.

ENTERTAINMENT: 95%

I like this set a lot. The size of the bus even surprised me. I expected it to be a little smaller, similar to the City Bus Station set. As an adult collector, I can see how this bus would fit into my city with slight modifications. Ultimately, it does not come ready out of the box for inclusion in my town though. For that reason, it loses a little in terms of points. Consequently, I rate this kit at 4.5/5 (90%) as an AFOL score.

Click here to read about the Bus Station set.

Ghost hunting app.
Ghost hunting? There’s an app for that.

I think kids will really get a kick out of this bus. There is a lot of play value to it, and the ghost hunter theme is fun. Additionally, there is the augmented reality component of Hidden Side. I downloaded the app and futzed around with it a bit. I do not really get the game yet, but you pound the cell phone screen a lot and see ghosts buzzing around your set. Perhaps if I took the time to acquaint myself more with it, it would be fun. I give it 5/5 (100%) for a KFOL score. Averaging the KFOL and AFOL scores gives the Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 and overall entertainment rating of 95%.

Ghost dog.
Who doesn’t want a ghost dog?

OVERALL SCORE: 90%

This was my second Hidden Side set, but the first one that I actually paid for. In the end, I am quite pleased with the purchase. The set was a great value, even at full price. While I will modify the build a little to suit my needs more, I think that kids will enjoy playing with it as is. Additionally, you get a nice selection of Minifigures, and the added bonus of an augmented reality game. The Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 is a worthwhile purchase, and I recommend it.

Until next time,

-Tom

What do others think?

Brick Insights is an awesome site that aggregates LEGO® set review scores from around the web. Based on their statistics, you can see what other reviewers think of the Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 set below.

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