I have built my second set from the LEGO® Avatar line! I am still working my way through the first wave of sets. Truthfully, the first movie remains my favorite and I am not in a rush to collect the Way of the Water sets. That is not to say that I didn’t like the second movie… but the first film speaks to me more. I have already reviewed Toruk Makto and the Tree of Souls. Today, we are looking at the Floating Mountains (75573): Site 26 & RDA Samson. It’s one heck of an unnecessarily long name, but it was the most anticipated set in this wave for me. I like location sets, and this fits the bill.
FLOATING MOUNTAINS SUMMARY
- NAME: Floating Mountains – Site 26 and RDA Samson
- SET #: 75573
- THEME: Avatar
- COST: $129.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 887
- MINIFIGURES: 5
- RELEASE DATE: October 1, 2022
FLOATING MOUNTAINS QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 74% (Satisfactory build time and cost/brick.)
- BUILD: 90% (Great builds that capture the source material well.)
- MINIFIGURES: 83% (Good minifig count, but more printing and accessories needed.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 85% (Niche interest set, but the lab build might inspire other uses.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 83% (Good set.)
|What I Liked||What Needs Improvement|
|-This is a location build.|
-The new wheelchair that fits through doors.
-Detailed builds that compliment each other.
-Trailer design might have appeal beyond Avatar fans.
|-Not the best value I have seen.|
-Few Minifigure Accessories.
-The link machine isn’t very movie-accurate.
-Will kids relate to a movie older than they are?
FLOATING MOUNTAINS (75573) FULL REVIEW
Of the first wave of LEGO® Avatar sets, the Floating Mountains is the second priciest. It retails for $129.99 in Canada. With 887 pieces, the cost/brick works out to $0.147. Given this is only the second Avatar set I have reviewed, I don’t have any theme specific metrics to share. However, compared the LEGO® sets in general, that is a satisfactory cost/brick. It is about one cent more expensive that my current average. I rate the cost/brick at 77%.
In terms of build time, I assembled the Floating Mountains set in two hours and six minutes. Consequently, the cost/minute of build time was $1.03. Again, that is satisfactory, but not great. Obviously, build time varies by the builder. However, I normally average around $0.85/minute. I rate the cost/minute at 71%. Averaging this score with the cost/brick gives an overall value rating of 74%. Floating Mountains (75573) is an okay value overall, but certainly not the best I’ve ever seen.
The Floating Mountains set includes three builds. The smallest consists of a rock “floating” over some Pandoran vegetation via a clear 2x4x13 brick/column. The plant structures are neat, but the floating rock is not very large. However, the structure serves as a support for the RDA Samson. Attaching the Samson to the rock makes it look like the ship is flying. It is a nice touch.
As for the Samson itself, the build is quite nice and true to the movie, down to the tilting rotor housing. Additionally, the windshield lifts off so you can place a Minifigure inside. However, the rear of the cockpit remains open to the passenger area behind for an authentic look. Of course, the pilot is the only Minifigure without a breather mask… but more on that later. As far as LEGO® flying machines go, this one looks great. While it is Avatar-themed, I am sure you can easily repurpose the design for other displays and scenes. It is certainly one of my favorite helicopter-style builds.
The exterior of the mobile lab captures the movie look, but the inside is a little cramped.
My main reason for wanting this set was the mobile lab. The exterior really captures the look of the movie location. However, the interior is a little lacking. I won’t complain too much about that because the inside space is small. Making it more movie accurate would increase the brick count and price considerably. With that said, you only get one link machine and one computer terminal. Diehard fans might consider buying two of these to authentically recreate the movie scene. I really like this build though. The exterior detailing is superb. I will probably use this design elsewhere in a custom scene someday.
I do not have many complaints regarding this build. Firstly, I do feel the link machine lacks substance. It does not resemble its movie counterpart very much. Secondly, Site 26 has two of these mobile units joined together in the film. I am not complaining that we didn’t get two in the set. You can buy two if you want two. However, I am complaining a little that designers left out a rear door and attachment point for a second mobile unit. You can modify the build easily enough if you buy two sets. But with the uninteresting interior, that extra touch of authenticity would make the set better. Since these are not major complaints, I rate this build at 90%.
The Floating Mountains set includes five Minifigures. Three are traditional style, while two have longer legs and arms. Characters include Jake Sully in both his human and Avatar bodies, Grace Augustine, Trudy Chacon, and Norm Spellman in his Avatar body. Each of the human minifigs has a double-sided face, as well as front and back torso printing. However, only Grace has leg printing. In terms of the Avatars, they come with the new head featuring moulded ears. Each has front and back torso printing, but only Jake has leg printing. Despite little leg printing, these are wonderfully detailed and recognizable characters.
The set is a little scant on accessories though, with only a direhorse, bow, and wheelchair to speak of. With that said, the wheelchair is a new piece. Yes, we have seen Minifigure wheelchairs before. However, this one is a new model. The original wheelchair came out in 60134, the Fun in the Park people pack from the City theme. We’ve seen it a few times since as well, like in the Bus Station. However, that particular wheelchair drew some complaints from the AFOL community. It could not fit through LEGO® doorways. Jake Sully’s new wheelchair can. In any case, I rate these character design and accessories at 80%. A bit more printing and a few more accessories are needed to please me.
The Floating Mountains (75573) set includes a new wheelchair design that fits through doors!
In addition to the five minifigs, you also get a pa’li, or direhorse. It is a bit of an odd inclusion in this set. Direhorses would have a hard time getting up to Site 26. However, getting a second direhorse in an Avatar set is still great. It also represents another playable figurine in this set, bringing the count up to six. Consequently, we get 148 bricks/fig. Compared to LEGO® sets in general, that is a good figurine count for a set of this size. I rate that at 85%. Averaging this with the design score gives an overall Minifigure grade of 83%.
When the first wave of Avatar sets was revealed, this set made the top of my list. I admit I was on the fence about many of the creature builds in the series. With the exception of Toruk, the box art makes them look a little undetailed. I am still reserving final judgement until I build them though. The Floating Mountains set does not include a creature build. Instead, it offers the type of set I wish the LEGO® Group would focus on more: a building and location.
Yes, the Floating Mountains comes with the RDA Samson… a vehicle. And I’ve always thought the LEGO® Group focuses too much on vehicles. However, that vehicle was an integral part of the scene depicted in this set. Characters in the film could not reach Site 26 without the RDA Samson. So, this vehicle compliments the scene well. It also does not take away from the detail in mobile lab build. Additionally, the Samson is a superbly detailed build in and of itself. Designers did not sacrifice detail in one build to include another equally undetailed build in this case. That is part of the reason I like this set so much.
Site 26 also offers up a lot of play potential. You have full access to the mobile lab interior, and it is easy to place minifigs in the Samson. Additionally, the Samson is quite swooshable. I still question how many younger children will relate to the sets from first wave of Avatar. Afterall, many kids today were not even alive when the film came out. But perhaps the Way of the Water inspired many of them to see the first movie as well. So, with great play potential, Site 26 will likely appeal to younger Avatar fans too.
Many kids today were not even alive when Avatar came out… I question how much they’ll relate to Floating Mountains (75573).
I also think the mobile lab in this set offers a neat trailer-like design that fans outside of the Avatar franchise will enjoy. Modify the interior and you have a great office trailer for a construction site, or a shipping container-style home. I rated Toruk Makto and the Tree of Souls at 80% in this category because I felt it lacked broader appeal beyond older Avatar fans. Site 26 fares a little better in that regard, so I rate the entertainment score at 85%.
OVERALL SCORE: 83%
This was the set I wanted the most from the first wave of Avatar sets. Did it disappoint? Not at all. Should I have wait for a sale? Probably. While not a terrible value, the Floating Mountains (75573) isn’t cheap either. The builds are nice and compliment each other well. The RDA Samson is one of my favorite LEGO® flying vehicles, and the mobile lab looks great from the outside. The Minifigures are nicely done and easily recognizable too. However, I would have liked more leg printing and accessories. Ultimately, it is a good set, especially if you are an Avatar fan. What do you think of the Floating Mountains: Site 26 and RDA Samson set? Let me know in the comments or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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