lego: the mystery machine

With everything that has been going on since before Christmas, the Lego Scooby Doo set, The Mystery Machine, has been waiting for me to find the right time to put it together.

This afternoon, after I finally unpacked some other tchotchkes, I figured it was a good time... so I broke out the card table and got to work...

I was a big Scooby Doo fan when I was a kid (specifically of Scooby Doo Where Are You?)... even though every episode is essentially the exact same thing repeated over and over again... so I couldn't resist getting one of the Scooby sets when they came out.

And the Mystery Machine seemed the best set, as it was self contained and really, the Mystery Machine is just iconic.

The set comes with Freddy, Shaggy, Scooby Doo, the Mystery Machine and a haunted tree with a zombie. Given the plot of the old Scooby Doo episodes usually included something that glowed, I'm kind of surprised that they didn't make the zombie's head and hands and the trees eyes glow in the dark.

It comes in three numbered bags, two instructions books and a set of stickers which are responsible for most of the design on both the outside and inside of the Mystery Machine.

Weirdly, all four minifigures aren't in the first bag, the first bag just holds Shaggy, Scooby and the bottom half of the Mystery Machine.

The back of the van is actually more cramped than I expected it to be, and the floor has a line of 2x1 white jumper plates which didn't make any sense until I realised that they let Scooby stand in the back.

One of my favourite features of this half of the set is the way the front and rear bumpers are made... they just look really spot on, especially with the light placement.

Bag two hold Freddy and the top half of the Mystery Machine... I forgot to take a shot of the first bag knolled out... but here's my rough and ready version of knolling for the parts in the second bag.

One of the annoying things is that while there's space for other accessories (a flashlight and a camera) built into the design of the van, the newpaper and magnifying glass that come with Freddy don't have any specific place to go.

In the end I stuck the newspaper in the gap between the front and back of the van and gave Shaggy the magnifier to hold.

To increase the playability of the set, it's been designed so that the back folds out and shows off the stickers on the inside as well as allowing access to all the details.

As far as the outside is concerned, I was a little disappointed that the hubcaps don't actually spin along with the wheels... the axles are fixed and the hubcaps are attached to them, so the wheels spin independently. It's a small detail, but it would have been nice.

The back of the van contains the two pinboard stickers, a tape deck with speakers, two computer monitors, a sink and tap and a stove complete with glowing orange elements. Oh and a hamburger (without any meat, weirdly).

The final bag includes the roof on the van, the haunted tree and the zombie...

There's a small detail on the back of the zombie's head that I love (although I didn't get it in a photo), which is what looks like a flap of skin held in place with two buttons or rivets. I don't know if it's supposed to indicate that it's a mask, but it's just a really nice detail.

And here's the haunted tree... and the back, which shows that not everything is as it seems... also The MacGuffin Diamond, which I assume is what the real estate developer or fairground owner or hotel manager who's under the zombie mask was after all along.

The haunted tree also involves big claw arms and branches with some articulation... and a screen with a diagram of the Mystery Machine on it and a bunch of levers and switches.

I also took some beauty shots on a green background...

I like the shot on the left, it's a simple shot, but it just looks really cool... and the shot on the right shows the alternate faces on the backs of Shaggy and Freddy's heads. I do kind of feel that the expressions should be the other way around, with Shaggy more freaked out and Freddy just unhappy.

The roof of the Mystery Machine is only held in place with two studs, again to aid playability and access to the inside of the van.

And the overall shape of the van is pretty much spot on, so the whole thing would be instantly recognisable even without the stickers I think. 

Here's Shaggy and Freddy with the flashlight (made from a lightsaber handle), and the camera... plus the square lettuce, cheese and tomato hamburger.

The last shot is the Mystery Machine standing on it's end, showing off the details as seen from above. The beige square is the hamburger, and you can just see where I put the newspaper, and Shaggy holding the magnifying glass.

It's a cute set, and this is the only one that includes Freddy... whereas Shaggy and Scooby appear in all four sets in the range.

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