2 Review: 9461 The Swamp Creature

Cligra Ought | 17:03 |
The Monster Fighters theme, introduced this summer, has really divided opinion. It's either loved or hated, and there's no swaying people's view on it, whatever that may be. Today, we have to review 9461 The Swamp Creature, the theme's intro-sized set. Does the theme deserve the love fans heap on it, or is it just another Time Cruisers? Read on, and we shall see...

First off, the box. I love the default design for the theme, with the MF logo against a swarm of bats, and the background is beautiful and creepy. The action shot of Frank Rock and the Swamp Creature is certainly dynamic, and shows the swamp boat from its best side (more on that later).

Opening the box- there are two, unnumbered bags, which is what you'd expect in a set this size. Of course, there's also the usual folded instructions.

Shot of a random page of the instructions, showing construction of the swamp boat.
Every other page has the full moon from the box printed on the background, a nice effect.

The most interesting (non-minifigure) parts in the set. Nothing much, but, let's face it, this isn't a set you're getting for the parts. ;) Even the nice sand green Modified 1 x 2 Plate with Clip on Top appears in four other sets. The lovely Moonstone, of course, is exclusive to this set and 9468 The Vampyre Castle.

The set contains two minifigures, The Swamp Creature, and Frank Rock. They were the reason I got the set in the first place, and probably for everyone else who bought it.
Really, I can't praise them enough. They're both extremely detailed (but not TOO detailed), and are quite possibly my favorite figs of the year- which is saying something, in a year featuring both Super Heroes and LoTR.
Frank Rock works very well- his torso has an ''Adventurers'' feel to it, and his grin is incredibly goofy. However, if you turn his head around, he becomes a perfectly reasonably monster hunter, even with that hair. It's interesting that two completely different expressions both work very well on the same minifigure.
The Swamp Creature, however, steals the show. Very silly, and yet menacing at the same time (those eyes); he really has a Creature From the Black Lagoon look.

As you can see, both feature back printing, and the Creature even has some scales back there- great attention to detail, seeing as they're covered by his mask under most circumstances.
We build the set in two parts- the Creature's little island (nest? treasure store? mud wallow?), and Frank's boat.

Building the island... It seems that frog is trying to escape.

The island, completed. That frog must be stuck in something. The little isle is certainly simple, but very effective- nothing's there that doesn't add something (except maybe that frog....).

Building the boat: It looks fine at the moment, doesn't it?

However, satisfaction is fleeting. I don't really have anything against this thing's design... Just what it's used for. Remove the minifigure-related objects, and you'd have a perfectly serviceable microscale vehicle. With Frank Rock perched on top, the thing's unoptimized design really stands out; it just looks ridiculous. Of course, since this is Monster Fighters, that could be the point.

Put all these bits together, and what have you got? Well, it all come together quite nicely into a satisfactory whole.. Even the swamp boat somehow looks almost credible with insane-faced Frank Rock sitting astride it chasing the Swamp Creature.
In my opinion (which I assume you're at least moderately interested in, or you wouldn't be here), this ends up as a very nice little value-size set, and an ideal introduction to the wacky world of Monster Fighters. It's got all the thing's that appeal to me about MF- wonderful minifigures, wacky design, and, actually, that's probably about it.

PRICE: Actually, $6.99 USD feels like a bit much. I can understand the rationale behind this pricing (two minifigures, after all), and can't really complain. Still, it could be better. 6/10
PARTS: Nice but nothing special (except the Moonstone, of course) 6/10
MINIFIGURES: Amazing. 10/10
THE BUILD: Simple, but enjoyable enough. Nothing unusual here, just what you'd expect in a small set. 6/10
DESIGN: Well, the island works out, but the swamp boat.. Doesn't. 5/10
PLAYABILITY: Two sides, some weapons, a vehicle, and some cover. Nothing to complain about here. 8/10
FINISHED SET: In the end, the various elements of the set add up very well, to create a satisfying whole. 8/10
'''Overall: 43 out of 70.'''

The set is, really, just above average, but I can't recommend it enough- if only for the minifigures.

And finally, a bonus image!
"Well, I found the Moonstone, but where'd my boat go?"



  1. Excellent review Cligra, and I love the end picture! :D


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