Monkie Kid’s Lion Guardian (80021) Review

When I first saw the third wave of Monkie Kid sets, Monkie Kid’s Lion Guardian made my top picks. I greatly enjoyed the stone guardians outside of the Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon set, as well as the costumes from Lion Dance. Additionally, the arcade side build looks fun in this set. This is the fourth set in my Monkie Kid build marathon. Let us see if it lives up to my high expectations.

NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of products does not guarantee a favorable review. I will use my usual rating system (click here to learn more) and provide my honest opinion.

MONKIE KID’S LION GUARDIAN SUMMARY

  • NAME: Monkie Kid’s Lion Guardian
  • SET #: 80021
  • THEME: Monkie Kid
  • COST: $109.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 774
  • MINIFIGURES: 5
  • RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2021
Monkie Kid's Lion Guardian

MONKIE KID’S LION GUARDIAN QUICK REVIEW

  • VALUE: 82% (Average cost-per-brick and good amount of build time.)
  • BUILD: 75% (A useless side-build costs the main assembly in terms of detail.)
  • MINIFIGURES: 87% (Nice character designs, but the set needs one more minifig.)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 75% (It is not the display piece I was hoping for.)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 80%
Monkie Kid's Lion Guardian

MONKIE KID’S LION GUARDIAN REVIEW

VALUE: 82%

Lion Guardian costs $109.99 in Canada. Additionally, the set comes with 774 pieces. The resulting cost-per-brick works out to $0.142. Comparatively, my average cost-per-brick across all themes is $0.14.  As such, you are looking at an average set that earns 80%. If we look at the Monkie Kid theme alone, my average cost-per-brick is $0.137. In this case, the value is still close to average, but leaning towards the more expensive. Therefore, in this case, it earns 76%. Subsequently, the average cost-per-brick score for this set is 78%.

Lion Guardian took me two hours and 31 minutes to assemble (151 minutes total). As such, the cost-per-minute of build time is $0.73. That is close to average for the theme. However, as with other sets in my Monkie Kid review marathon, I do not have enough build-time data yet to make a good comparison. Looking at LEGO® sets in general, my average cost-per-minute is $0.832. Therefore, Lion Guardian gives a good amount of build time for the price. I rate that at 85%. Taken with the cost-per-brick score, this set earns a total value rating of 82%.

Monkie Kid's Lion Guardian

BUILD: 75%

The main build is the set’s namesake, the Lion Guardian. However, you also assemble a small spider-drone, the Spider Queen’s arachnid ride, and a small arcade. All the spider-drones in this wave of Monkie Kid sets are fun. Additionally, most of the sets include one. Therefore, if you collect all the sets in this wave, your Spider Queen commands quite an arsenal. However, her mount in this set leaves much to be desired. She is the Spider Queen. Spiders are arachnids with eight legs. Why then does her ride in this set only have six? Additionally, the design is weak. It cannot even support her weight. The build wastes bricks in my opinion. That allotment could have added detail to one of the other designs in the set.

The arcade build is fun. I enjoyed the inclusion of a Dance Dance Revolution-type game. The assembly also features a crane game that somewhat works. Turning a gear on the backside of the build causes the crane arm in the game to swing back and forth. It knocks micro-figurines inside the game through a dispenser opening. The design works some of the time. Other times, the micro-figurines get stuck.

Rather than including the Spider Queen’s ride, the lion needs more detail.

The Lion Guardian is the main feature in this kit. Additionally, it is the build I was most excited about. Overall, it is nice and features good articulation. I like the slider built into the back that causes the mouth to open and close. However, the Lion Guardian is not all that I hoped it would be. The positioning of the build on the box makes it look more formidable than it is. From the side, the back and rear legs look unfinished. Rather than including Spider Queen’s ride, the lion needs more details.

Monkie Kid's Lion Guardian

Otherwise, I enjoyed building the lion’s head. The design there is clever. Additionally, there is a new roofing piece used on the arcade. At least, it is new for me. The piece is a corner roof tile featuring a curved slope. Looking at pictures of the Monkie Kid third wave, the piece appears in other sets too. However, this set also suffers from loose pieces in places. They are all small details, but they fall off easily all the same. The poor design of the Spider Queen’s ride, the lion’s lack of rear detailing, and the loose pieces all cost the set a little. I rate this build at 75%.

MINIFIGURES: 87%

Lion Guardian comes with five Minifigures. All of them feature the standard parts, except for the Spider Queen who has a dress piece in lieu of legs. Additionally, all of them have front and back torso printing. However, only four of the five have double-sided faces, while three have leg printing. Interestingly, the civilian included in the set has the Poppy Starr torso design from Main Square. While Lion Guardian is a pricey set, it is still much cheaper than Main Square if you were hoping to get that torso in a different set. In terms of accessories, this set includes three micro-figures, two swords, a hood piece, a fur ruff, a gun, a harpoon, an axe blade, and a plastic cape. I rate the Minifigure design for Lion Guardian at 68/75 (91%).

Five Minifigures in a 774-piece kit is okay. However, had the LEGO® Group included just one more I would be happier. The brick-to-fig ratio works out to 155:1. Comparatively, my average is 144:1 across all LEGO® themes. Therefore, I rate the ratio score at 78%. For the Monkie Kid theme on its own, my average brick-to-fig ratio is 190:1. As such, Lion Guardian fares better compared only to other sets from its own theme. By that comparison, it earns 86%. Averaging the two percentages gives a final ratio score of 82%. When considered alongside the design score, the overall Minifigure rating for this set is 87%.

ENTERTAINMENT: 75%

Lion Guardian is a fun build. Additionally, the arcade gave me some MOC ideas. However, the lion fell short of my expectations. I was hoping for a nice display piece. Sadly, the sides and rear of the lion do not look great. The rear legs are probably the worst bit. The set showed so much promise in the box image. The head looks great, and even the front view is fine. I just cannot get past the rest though. I rate the AFOL score at 70%.

As a play set, Lion Guardian fares better. The set looks good enough as a toy and features a lot of articulation. Additionally, the shoulders boast hidden missile launchers. I wish I knew more about how this lion fits into the Monkie Kid story though. I am sure that information would make play more enjoyable as well. Is this a machine? Is it a mythical creature Monkie Kid can summon? We need the show to air in Canada for these characters and builds to make sense. I rate the KFOL score at 80%. Overall, that makes an entertainment score of 75%.

Monkie Kid's Lion Guardian

OVERALL SCORE: 80%

Ultimately, Monkie Kid’s Lion Guardian is an average set in terms of cost, build time, and the number of Minifigures included. Additionally, the characters feature nice designs. However, the set let me down in terms of build. The Spider Queen’s ride wastes bricks needed to up the detail on the lion. While the lion looks good from a forward-facing angle, it falls short from the sides, top, and back. Beefing up the design makes a fun MOC project, but I wanted a display piece right out of the box. What are your thoughts on the Lion Guardian set? Reach out below or comment on social media.

Until next time,

-Tom

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