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Weekly Set Review: Dragon Defender

Discussion of official LEGO Castle Theme sets and products

Weekly Set Review: Dragon Defender

Postby architect » Sun Jul 30, 2006 1:59 pm

Join the weekly Classic Castle set review discussion. Please post your opinions on the set play ability, piece selection, design, etc. Which sets stand up to our catapult of critique and which ones crumble in shame!

This week’s set is 6043 Dragon Defender.

Dragon Defender was released in 1993 for the Dragon Masters. This dual arm catapult has a fierce fire spouting dragon head on it's front. One siege worker, one knight, stone shot, and various accessories are included.

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Last edited by architect on Sun Aug 06, 2006 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Sir Kohran » Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:50 pm

Rather ridiculous, to be honest.

The brick built dragon head on the top looks silly, and chunky. It's a shame, as it was a good idea on paper - a weapon shaped like a monster to intimidate the enemy (think Grond). Also the colours are far too bright and messy - which look odd when compared to the yellow/red ruggedness of the landscape displayed on the box, and the flat grey missiles.

Really, the only good thing is the figs. The contrast between the tough, heavy, elaborate Dragon Master knight and the little-armoured, simple-looking worker that the knight probably bullies into doing the dirty work for him is very good. Also, I like that you get two Dragon shields instead of one.

What makes me feel sad is that just the year before, there were catapults like this available, with good colours and construction.

Overall, 5.5/10. It's easy to see why people think of the Dragon Masters as a downwards point for Castle.

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Postby jamtf » Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:07 pm

I do not have the set so I can not say too much about it. I do have some minifigs and some of the weaponry and cart wheels that match this set. That's about it.

Perhaps it is OK for parts but the design of this thing is rather ugly.
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Postby E of Alshire » Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:33 pm

I'm slightly biased as I love the Dragon Masters, but I'll take a stab at it.

I like this set. The parallel levers were a good way to effect the catapault, and the dragon head, while perhaps overly large, works well in this context - like Grond, as Matt said.

Two good figs.

The only thing I don't like here is the flimsy frame and equally flimsy wheels- though, back then, there wasn't much of an alternative.
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Postby Robin Hood » Sun Jul 30, 2006 6:41 pm

I too am biased. I love DM's and this set meant a lot to me because before I had it I only had two wizards and one soldier. But, bias aside, I have to admit that this isn't too great a set. I kinda like the trebuchetishness about the catapult, but I think it could be better executed. Let me tell all you people who don't have this, the catapult doesn't throw far. So yeah, fairly bad design and not a a particularily great amount of pieces. Still, I love for nostalgic reasons.

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Postby kelderic » Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:53 pm

I am normally not a big Dragon Masters fan, but this set I like. Sure, it is not extremely functionable, but no Lego castle sets are. They are built for aesthetics. I do like the look of the dragon, and the fact that there is a regular soldier.
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Postby Fenneke-Jose » Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:56 pm

Well I think it is a fabulous set! I do not own the set myself, but I perhaps will buy it this year on Ebay or somewhere else (if it's a nice price).
I think the idea is good, a battering ram that looks like a Dragon, though the colours might have been a little overdone. I ratter prefer black, grey and maybe a little red.
The two minifigures are nice. The only problem with the Dragonmaster sets is that if you own them all, you have almost more knight's, then ordinairy soldiers! This was better aranged with the older sets, when you had one knight on four footsoldiers.
I really like the Dragonmaster theme. But I first want to complete my collection of the good old days (1984-1992).

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Postby Remyth » Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:27 pm

Hey, Hey, Hey! My first ever LEGO castle set!!! It is not my favorite...but it was my first one... so I can't complain too much :wink: .

I also think that the colors are too bright, but it's good compared to the KK2 Knights :D .

It is overall a nice set, and I think that they built the dragon head was cool, rather than just using a horse helmet peice or something...

I also like that I has someone to accually opperate the catapult, instead of just a couple of heavily armed knights...or none at all. I think that the peice/minifig ratio is good.

One thing I have agianst it is that it doesn't have anything(like a horse) to pull it.
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Postby zac_schmitt » Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:39 pm

The brick built dragon head on the top looks silly, and chunky

almost all except the very best brick built beasts look chunky and silly to me. at least this one isn't supposed to be a real dragon but a man made (lego man, that is) approximation of one. so it works fine.

neat set if you ask me.
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Postby Slobey » Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:32 pm

I agree that this set is a bit clunky looking but I still like it. The figs are great, you get 2 sheilds and it is just something different that TLG just didn't quite pull off

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Postby dJOLe_sk8 » Sun Jul 30, 2006 11:04 pm

Well I think that silly-looking dragon head is actually great addition to this set.
That catapult should look really scary with it... :wink:

Figs are great (that dragon trainer/siege worker is one of my favourites),number of accesories is not bad for this size set.

My only complaint about this set is that the catapult of this size can be loaded with only one + one brick. I think throwing two in the same time is not very practic thing...

I give it 7/10 then (it's not one of the bests DMs), and 9/10 now (compare this to power rangers and it's a great classic catapult-set)...

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Postby Formendacil » Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:05 am

Top heavy- and looks more decorative than practical. Two figs wouldn't have quite made it worthwhile, but a decent set. Lots of non-grey-and-black colour for your castle world. :P

Parts: 6.5/10
Playability: 7/10
Figs/Accesories: 7.5/10
Design (then): 6.5/10
Design (now): 7/10
Nostalgia: 8/10

Overall Score: 7.42/10
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Postby JoshWedin » Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:16 am

What great comments this has generated! I've laughed several times already...anyway, on to my comments.

I have never been a big Dragon Masters fan, but I do have this set. I got it in a big lot of Lego that I bought off of Ebay. And, surprisingly, I loved it! What a fun little set. Sure, the dragon head is big and clunky, but it is a fun idea. The catapult works moderately well (though I was always afraid I'd break the wheels if I fired it hard) which is definitely a point in its favor. And you have to admit that this design stands out amid the plethora of mediocre Lego catapults!

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Postby Athos » Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:43 am

A fair set. The dragon-head is kind of cool... reminds me a bit of that wolf thing from RotK. Not the best catapult Lego has made, but still better than the silly KK2 stuff... or even the KK1 ones.

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Postby Damien » Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:56 am

Honestly, this set is mediocre. In a few ways I think it's really good. In others, really bad. So it nets out to being a 'pretty decent' set. I had it when I was young, and I'll probably get it again sometime just to have it, when I can drop 10 bucks on something I don't really need. Good enough for its price, I think is my real evaluation.

I admit that I do like the dragon-head design. It's chunky - but it's LEGO, what can ya do? I prefer that to single molded Bionicle pieces. Truly, I think this set has more appeal because of its 'chunky' head than newer sets with single-piece dragon heads stuck on them. I also like the overall shape and design of the set. Plus, two figures, one of which is a 'generic soldier.' Good stuff.

Now, the bad things. A few of them are so easily remedied that they don't make me truly think less of the set. But anyway. . .

The wings. They just look. . silly. The dragon head is enough to give it that wicked look. The wings, as I said, are silly. Easy fix - you just pop them off.

The fire. Unless it's -actually- breathing fire, I can't see fire coming out in a jet like that. And since I tend to think of the 'fire' more as a torch or something, I would either replace the fire pieces with torch pieces so the flames can go upward, or I'd just remove the fire altogether.

'Dual' action. Man, so dumb. I think I just got burned out on this because a couple of LEGO catapults from the 'golden' years had this silly design of having two arms, a stupid design that persists even today in the Viking line. Aweful. Not enough to ruin the set, but it's the major thing, for me, that makes this set not-so-great. And unfortunately, the only thing that isn't really easy to fix.

And the only other thing is the 'knight.' I really hate his torso design. Too cartoony looking compared to the other 'heraldric' ensignias in the Castle theme.


Anyway, overall it's a good set. Having it be a single-arm catapult would have made it better, in my opinion. But I'm sure the dual-arm design is attractive to some, and definitely to kids.
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