When LEGO announced that they would be releasing a bunch of Scooby-Doo related sets, I immediately dismissed the idea as something that wouldn't interest me. Sure, I was a kid of the late 80s / early 90s and I watched plenty of Scooby-Doo reruns on TV but I didn't think I'd have much interest in the actual LEGO sets twenty-five years later.
In a word, I was very much WRONG!
Obviously LEGO knows how to market to my generation!
I was actually at my first official LEGO store when I decided to take the plunge and purchase set 75902: The Mystery Machine. It ended up being a wise decision, as you'll see!
First, the bad part. The Mystery Machine set has an obnoxious number of stickers (and I hate stickers)!
In fact, the set has 301 pieces and a whopping 23 different stickers! That is the worst piece to sticker ratio that I'm aware of. I will say that the stickers do add a lot to the finished model though - you need them in order to capture the true look of the Mystery Machine!
Eight stickers on each side of the van should be a sign of just how many stickers get used in this model, though as I said, the stickers are a necessary evil here as look how great that van looks when stickered up!
Amazingly, the model actually does have some printed pieces including the flower hubcaps. The newspaper is also a printed piece (and cleverly references the spooky tree that is also included in the set).
The set comes with three minifigures (Shaggy, Fred, and Zombie), plus a Scooby figure.
Both Shaggy and Fred have alternate faces while the zombie had two buttons on the back of his head which alludes to the fact that the zombie is nothing more than a man in a mask. I think that's a great little touch which fits in with the Scooby-Doo theme perfectly. Those meddling kids!
Speaking of the zombie, you get a haunted tree that the zombie is controlling (both the arms are movable). The back of the tree shows how the zombie controls the beast...and somehow I guess the crystal powers the contraption? I'm assuming that the tree and zombie were actually featured in a specific episode of Scooby-Doo but it's not an episode that I can remember all these years later.
Moving back to the Mystery Machine, I was actually surprised by the fact that Machine opens up in the back to reveal a whole slew of equipment.
The gang has a camera and a flashlight for solving mysteries. You also get a big 'ol sandwich for Scooby and Shaggy to fight over. There is also a small sink and oven in the van (which seems a bit unsafe). Finally, there is a variety of computer stuff including radar and an old-fashioned video tape for recording things.
And for those that care about this sort of thing, there are a handful of extra pieces as well.
The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Play Value: 8
Kid Value: 9
Adult Value: 6
The Mystery Machine is definitely a set where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts (I give the set a 9 overall despite none of the individual rankings being a 9 or higher). The actual parts used in the Mystery Machine don't offer a lot (especially when you consider how many of those parts are plastered with stickers). However, the finished model is a perfect representation of the cartoon's source material - and it looks instantly recognizable when sitting on a shelf! For kids, I would say the play value of all the Scooby-Doo set is quite high since you get both heroes and villains (though I think the tree and zombie combo is one of the lamer villains in the set). For adults, the set is all about notalgia. If you are my age and watched Scooby-Doo, buy the set. If you never watched the show and/or have no connection to the source material, well, your $30 can probably be better spent elsewhere.
LEGO Star Wars UCS Snowspeeder coming!
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