Monkie Kid’s Dronecopter (80023) Review

Recently, True North Bricks received the third wave of Monkie Kid sets ahead of the official release. Consequently, this week we have done a review marathon that is nearing its end. The second to last entry is Monkie Kid’s Team Dronecopter (80023). The LEGO® Group announced Dronecopter in November 2020. Subsequent details about the set emerged in January 2021. It is the second largest kit in the third wave of Monkie Kid sets released on March 1, 2021. It is an interesting set featuring a few noteworthy details.

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 DRONECOPTER SUMMARY

  • NAME: Monkie Kid’s Team Dronecopter
  • SET #: 80023
  • THEME: Monkie Kid
  • COST: $199.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 1462
  • MINIFIGURES: 8 + 1 bigfig
  • RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2021
Monkie Kid's Team Dronecopter (80023)

MONKIE KID’S DRONECOPTER QUICK REVIEW

  • VALUE: 76% (Average cost-per-brick, barely satisfactory build-time for the price.)
  • BUILD: 95% (This is a nice build with interesting details.)
  • MINIFIGURES: 92% (Good enough number of well-designed characters.)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 88% (Good AFOL parts kit, great KFOL playset.)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 88%
Monkie Kid's Team Dronecopter villains

MONKIE KID’S DRONECOPTER REVIEW

VALUE: 76%

Dronecopter costs $199.99 in Canada and consists of 1462 pieces. Consequently, the cost-per-brick is $0.137. For the Monkie Kid theme, that is right on my current average, earning 80%. Compared to all LEGO® sets I have collected over the years it fares marginally better. My average cost-per-brick across all themes is $0.14. As such, Dronecopter earns 81%. This is an average set concerning value-per-brick.

Mei from Monkie Kid's Team Dronecopter

Despite being the second largest set in the third wave of Monkie Kid sets, Dronecopter did not provide as much build time as expected. I assembled this set in three hours and fifteen minutes (195 minutes total). By comparison, Spider Queen’s Arachnoid Base contains 487 less pieces, but it took 55 minutes longer to build. Therefore, at full price, Dronecopter offers a cost-per-minute of $1.03. That is expensive. By comparison, my average cost-per-minute is currently $0.83 across all themes. Dronecopter earns a build-time score of 70%. When averaged with the cost-per-brick score, this set lands a value grade of 76%.

Sandy from Monkie Kid's Team Dronecopter

BUILD: 95%

The Dronecopter name likely derives its drone-like look. However, I think the name “drone” is a misnomer in this case. Drones are unmanned robots, and this ship clearly has a cockpit. I suppose you could argue that the cockpit detaches and perhaps controls the ship remotely. Which brings me to my first build-related discussion point. The cockpit appears to double as a submarine. It is a sleek design with a nice interior featuring a good array of control panels. Additionally, the propellers swing into rear-facing position once the module detaches from the main Dronecopter body. It is a neat play feature.

Monkie Kid's Team Dronecopter detached cockpit.

Otherwise, the main body of the ship features four propeller arms. Under each, the ship has landing struts. These serve to support the ship when sitting on a table. Consequently, the weight of the toy is not stressing the helicopter arms and the shipping containers can remain attached to the sides. The landing struts are nothing special in terms of design. However, they fit more naturally with the overall set than the supports under Spider Queen’s Arachnoid Base did. Atop the main body of the Dronecopter is a rotating gun turret. A handle off the back of the Dronecopter allows you to rotate the turret and fire missiles from it during play. Again, nice play features.

Monkie Kid’s Team Dronecopter (80023) has a handle with built in play functions.

Other than the main ship, you also assemble three shipping containers. Two come in teal and fold open to reveal Monkie Kid’s team’s living quarters. These go well with the concept from Monkie Kid’s Team Secret HQ.  The third shipping container contains a lab and firing cannon for the Spider Queen and her minions. The firing mechanism built into the crate is clever. Of the three containers, I like this one the most based on exterior design. The round grate on the top looks great. Additionally, is an interesting build technique that I can use in MOCs in the future. I wish the interior of Arachnoid Base featured more little builds like what you see in this shipping crate. While that is my favorite crate, all of them are nice. Each has its own little details that made me marvel at the clever uses designers found for bricks.

Each shipping container in the Monkie Kid’s Team Dronecopter (80023) set opens to reveal living and work spaces.

Speaking of bricks, Dronecopter includes a few I have not seen before. Mostly, those new bricks are printed tiles. Interestingly, the instruction manuals show traditional printed tile control panels. However, the actual pieces you get are all new prints. They are not markedly different from their predecessors. However, each one is a refreshing update all the same.

Finally, Dronecopter also includes two spider-drones for the Queen’s arsenal. Additionally, Mo the cat gets another useless flying machine. This one looks like a cat transport container with rocket boosters attached. Luckily, I do not feel like Dronecopter suffers from a lack of detail. Therefore, Mo’s box does not waste bricks per se. Interestingly, I must look for things I do not like about this set’s design. Normally, issues pop out. If nitpicking, the underside of the Dronecopter is not visually appealing and the handle is not as sturdy as I would like it to be. Overall, this is a nice build that earns 95%.

MINIFIGURES: 92%

Dronecopter includes eight Minifigures, as well as a Sandy bigfig. The minifigs are nicely detailed. All have front and back torso printing, while seven have double-sided faces and leg printing. Only the Spider Queen does not have all the standard Minifigure parts. Instead, she has a dress piece in lieu of legs. The Spider Queen and her minions are not unique to this set, nor is Mei. However, Monkie Kid has faces prints I have not seen before, and Red Son features new torso printing. Additionally, the set has two civilians, one of which has all new parts (Mr. Tang).

The set also comes with a lot of accessories. There are 12 minifig guns of varying design. However, you build most of them into the Dronecopter as exhaust pipes. The set also comes with a hotdog, Monkie Kid’s hood, Mei’s sword, should armor, and helmet, Spider Queen’s cape and sword, a fur neck piece, a scarf, a packet of flame bits, a surfboard, Mo the cat, several new printed tiles, a crate, and a guitar. On top of all of that, there is a Minifigure copy of Journey to the West, on which all Monkie Kid is based. The book features a printed cover and printed tile inside. The amazing designs and plethora of accessories easily earn Dronecopter a minifig design score of 100%.

Monkie Kid’s Team Dronecopter (80023) has nine characters and loads of accessories.

Dronecopter include nine characters. For a 1462-piece kit, that is a satisfactory ratio of 162:1. By comparison, my average ratio is 144:1 across all themes. Therefore, Dronecopter earns 76%. Compared to the Monkie Kid theme alone, it fares a little better. My foray into Monkie Kid is showing that these sets tend to include a lower-than-average number of Minifigures. My average ratio for the theme is 190:1. By that comparison, the set earns 84%. Averaging the two ratio scores yields 80%. Combining this with the design score results in an overall Minifigure grade of 92%.

ENTERTAINMENT: 88%

From an AFOL perspective, I enjoyed building this set. It includes nice techniques that entertained, and the process was not overly monotonous. Additionally, some of the techniques and side-builds inspired me for future MOCs. However, Dronecopter was always destined to be a recycle for me. I wanted this kit primarily for the parts and Minifigures. You get several of the corrugated wall elements that I am collecting for a future custom project. This is a great, inspirational parts box. I rate the AFOL score at 80%.

Where Dronecopter drones a bit for AFOLs, it shines for kids. This is a great playset. It has a lot of play features that work well. Additionally, it offers a vehicle and a mobile base in one set. The handle on the rear makes play even easier, making for great maneuverability. This ship also does not need explanation from the show to be fun. That is a potential issue for all sets in this theme since the show has yet to air in Canada. My only complaint is that flying machines are common in the theme. It is starting to go the way of Superheroes or Ninjago where vehicles are a dime a dozen. I want to see more playsets to build Monkie Kid’s city and surroundings. I rate the KFOL score at 95% for that reason. Averaging the AFOL and KFOL scores gives an entertainment rating of 88%.

OVERALL SCORE: 88%

Monkie Kid’s Team Dronecopter (80023) is large, pricey set. For that price, I had hoped for a better value. The value is not bad, but it is not good either. However, the build is enjoyable, as are the parts and Minifigures. As someone who enjoys custom building, the bricks in this set are of use to me. I think as a child, I would have enjoyed playing with this set as well. Dronecopter is a good set overall. What are your thoughts? Please comment below or reach out on social media.

Until next time,

-Tom

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