I’d like to think of myself as a pretty big gamer. I have been for a while now, but predominantly PC. Now that I’m able to incorporate gaming into my career, consoles have been added to the mix. One game I’ve been curious about is Horizon Forbidden West. It looks like a lot of fun, but I didn’t realise it was the sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn, a massively popular game.
I was pleasantly surprised when the announcement for 76989 Horizon Forbidden West Tallneck dropped, and even more surprised when I received a review offer for the set! I eagerly snapped it up and the set was opened and built not long after I received it.
The game is set in post-apocalyptic United States, 6 months after Zero Dawn. Aloy (also seen in minifigure form) is sent on a quest to find the source of a plague that is killing everything it touches. There are loads of machines in the game, with the Tallneck being one of the ones making a return from Zero Dawn. The Tallneck is a communications machine, and it’s the only one in the game that’s not hostile to humans. The goal for Alloy is to climb to the top of the disc and override it, to get a map of the area. It’s a really interesting game mechanic, and the machine itself just looks incredible – a huge giraffe with a disc for a head. On to the LEGO set.
I’ve seen a lot of great minifigures over the years, but Aloy is another level again. With impeccable printing all over and a phenomenal hairpiece, this is easily the best minifigure I’ve come across. The printing on the legs also includes printing on the hip element and the toes, and it flows nicely into the torso print, which has beautiful detail on the front and back, as well as up and down both arms. The colours, while not a wide range, are excellent and are definitely unique to Aloy’s character.
The build starts with the Watcher, a small reconnaissance machine that often appear in groups. It has a big sensor array on it’s head, like an eye. They can attack and do damage, but they’re not considered strong. One well aimed shot to the eye and they’re down. It’s a simple build but works well to offset the massive height of the Tallneck.
The next part of the build focuses on the oval base. With obvious SNOT galore, this is a great way to display the set in all it’s glory. Across the baseplate are offset studs and Technic pins on plates to secure the Tallneck and other design features. These features include a small birch tree, some flowers and reeds, and a broken and overgrown traffic light. Something interesting I noticed with the traffic light is the vine that winds around the pole has a tendency to twist the traffic light out of position. The best way to combat this is to twist the vine itself a few times before attaching it to the traffic light.
Lastly, there’s the eponymous Tallneck. It’s a unique mech build, so there’s a lot of repetition with the set, but it’s worth it for the final result. The colours are quite muted – black, white, tan, light bluish grey and sand blue, with the gold highlights along the neck. There’s more SNOT to be seen in the mech, with slopes and different detailed elements coming together to make a unique shape. Throughout the build it keeps the mech feel but also has an organic nature to it, flowing lines, just the right angles in the joints that regardless of whether you’ve seen footage of these massive machines walking or not, you can imagine the slow and graceful gait that they have as they calmly stroll through the world. The toes provide a bit more realism, although the game version has 10 toes on the front and three on the back – understandably it’s a bit harder to represent that in LEGO.
The long, slender neck with the gold fins looks great – the gold fins are how Aloy gets to the head in the game. I’m also really happy with the head – there’s plenty of texture and detail, and the fins on both the back of the head (using large vehicle skis) and on the back (using light bluish grey snowboards) add some more detail to the set. It balances it out. The golden hues of the birch and green turf add a much needed pop of colour. A final fun detail is a couple of other coloured eyes for the Watcher, so it can be angry.
If you are a fan of the Horizon series, this is a must have set. It’s been executed really well, and includes an unreal quality mini figure. If only LEGO could keep up with this high quality of minifigure in all future sets.
A special thank you to LEGO for sending me a copy to review. All thoughts on this set are my own and are not influenced in any way, shape or form. The provision of sets for review does not guarantee a favourable review.