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Cobi Block kits Jeep andHelicopter P-51 Mustang Sherman Tank  Model M4A1 The Jeep before the first build   I am ol...

Cobi Kits Reviewed Cobi Kits Reviewed

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

World of Tanks






The Jeep before the first build



 I am older; not old, just older. When I played with blocks they were made of solid wood. These were essentially the same kinds of blocks that had been around for over a hundred years. Now, I am not talking about the square colored ones that were supposed to teach you letters and numbers; they were pretty useless for building anything. No, I am talking about plain wooden blocks that came in many different shapes and sizes. You could use these to build a city or a fortress, or at least a part of one (I didn't have an extensive block set). These plain blocks were used to try and replicate Karnak and other places I had seen in pictures. My blocks represented the ultimate escape from the doldrums of where I was to where I wanted to be. Yeah I know, I was a strange child. Inevitably I moved on. The blocks were put away much like Puff and his ilk. 
At the ripe old age of eighteen I began working at a toy store. One of my myriad of jobs was stock clerk. This was a mom and pop toy store. This was before chain stores made their arrival. I was given a carton of new toys to set up on the shelf. I opened the box and was presented with a revelation. It was a ship, and it was built entirely of small click together blocks. As I recall, one part of me was in awe, while the other part was disgusted. How dare they manufacture a new kind of block. The old ones were good enough for me, and all the way back to my grandparents' time. On the other hand, the ship did look awesome. It didn't have guns, and I believe it was a Coast Guard cutter, or something similar. Still, the ship and how it was put together amazed me. I was sorely tempted each pay week to buy it, but never did. My money went to more earthly pleasures. I regret not buying it to this day.








 I would watch my children, and then grandchildren, play with their little click together blocks. I would see them build pretty much anything under the sun. You would think that I would feel sorry for them, for they had been cheated of flights of fancy. No, that is not it at all. I feel cheated and can only think of what my imagination could have done with these newfangled blocks.






 Now I am presented with three brand spanking new Cobi kits. The first is a double set with a helicopter and jeep. The second set is of a P-51 mustang, and the third is of a Sherman tank model M4A1. The first thing that went through my mind was these kids are not touching my Cobi block sets. The little urchins have their own; these are mine. Remember, he who has the most toys before he dies wins.



The P-51 pieces at the unveiling



 I started with the Jeep and helicopter set. I figured I would work my way through the kits to work on the Sherman last. Jeeps, helicopters, and mustangs are okay, but hey, this is a tank.


 I tackled the jeep first. The directions were pretty clear cut, and time seemed to fly by as I assembled it. I am a fairly large man, but I really had no problem fitting the blocks together. The only problem I did have was the blocks fit together like they had been built by Incas. If I made a mistake it was a bit of a bear to get some of the blocks back apart. This is not a knock on the blocks. It only means that your finished work will not fall to pieces on the mantel or shelf. It is also not the block's fault that I failed to follow the directions. A small flat jewelers screwdriver helped me immensely with my foibles. The Jeep was together in no time, and it looks excellent. I was wondering how I would feel while essentially playing with a child's toy. To be honest, the sense of accomplishment was pretty much like what I feel when putting a model together. I will add one caveat: I do not paint my models. I love putting them together, but I cannot paint them to save my life. So essentially this was just like building a model, without the glued together fingers. The helicopter was bit more intricate, and if you made a mistake, it was sometimes several pages later that you would realize it. 


The Sherman being built


 Now that these two are together, I feel more confident of my 'blocking' ability. Next up would be the Mustang. I am a 'Thunderbolt' kind of guy, so the 'Stang' has never really impressed me. That being said, I do have one model and two diecast of Mustangs in my collection.The P-51 looks from the box to be the most 'toy' looking, and not going to the realistic end of the bar.  After putting it together though, I was pleasantly surprised. Once completed it looks very good in the flesh. I thought I was saving the best for last with the Sherman, but I could be wrong.


The P-51 in all its glory




 It turns out I was not wrong. The Sherman is definitely the best of the pieces. There is nothing wrong with the others at all, but the heft and look of the Sherman really impresses. 


Heavy Metal


 All in all, I am tremendously impressed; not just with the kits themselves, although they are pretty amazing! I am even more impressed by my sense of accomplishment in building them. The kits are really nice, but so is the actual building. One major plus is that if you happen to have urchins around they can also join in the fun. It is not the easiest thing to try and build a model with small hands helping. Been there, done that.

I would like to say thank you to Cobi for these very affordable and great kits, although my wife may not be holding you in such high regard. I see so many excellent kits in Cobi's World of Tanks lineup. The Maus is listed as coming soon. Take a look at the pictures of it:
http://cobi.pl/en/toys/world-of-tanks/panzer-viii-maus,art,9266.html 



All of the figures are very well done


 The kits have been been given a bad rap at times because they are not sturdy enough for little people to play with. The very nature of any small block building is the same: rough handling will cause the build to start coming undone. It is the nature of the beast. If you are looking for toy tanks and army men to play with outside in the dirt, don't look here. If you are looking for something exciting to build and look at and also to play with more gently inside the house, then these are for you. You can also pass onto your own urchins your love of history and engines of war while you are at it.


Robert

Cobi : Three military sets reviewed. Before I start writing about the kits, I first must apologise to Cobi for the delayed re...

Cobi: Three military sets get reviewed. Cobi: Three military sets get reviewed.

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

World of Tanks

Cobi: Three military sets reviewed.
Before I start writing about the kits, I first must apologise to Cobi for the delayed review. This was due to illness.


Cobi are a Polish company who make LEGO compatible kits. Two major differences to your actual custom LEGO sets is that the MiniFigs look different (when Cobi started out their Minifigs looked the same as Lego's, but I believe they had to change them) and the other is a substantial difference in the price, with Cobi being much better for your wallet. Their range is very varied ranging from popular cartoons through to military sets, including a license to make Tank kits based on the very popular multi player game World of Tanks.

 
 
The first kit I actually gave to my 15 year old daughter to build, as she expressed an interest in having a go. The kit was the Small Army Willys MB Jeep . The front of the box tells you how many bricks are in the set and how many MiniFigs. This set has 90 bricks and 1 Minifig. Also, on the back of the box, you'll find info\stats on the particular vehicle, as well as the Jeeps Browning M2 gun and the Minifigs' side-arm, his Browning M1918A2- BAR. Inside the box were several clear bags, each one containing the kit's bricks. A full colour manual and a sheet of decals complete the contents.

Freja told me she really enjoyed building the Jeep and found the manual very easy to follow. Apart from one or two slightly awkward bits, trying to make sure the bricks didn't pop off when doing another bit, she had no real problems in finishing the build in around 45 minutes. The Decals she left for me to do. I found a very good selection and they brought the Jeep to life. I did find, though, that one or two might have been better if they'd been put on the brick before building; for instance the dashboard was more tricky than it needed to have been, if added pre-build. Freja gave the build instructions and fun factor top marks!

The finished Jeep looks very good indeed and I'd happily recommend it to someone who normally just sticks to Lego military sets. Taking the price into account compared to a Lego custom Jeep you really can't go wrong. I have heard dissent on the Net about the actual Minifig designs but you can easily swap them out for a Lego Minifig and you wouldn't be able to tell they weren't made for each other. The Cobi Minifigs have actually grown on me, though maybe I'd like to see less smiley and more serious facial expressions.


 
 

The next set which I took on was the Supermarine Spitfire MK.VB. This is part of Cobi's Small Army WW2 range. The kit consists of 290 bricks and 1 Minifig.  The back of the box gives you the technical information on the Spitfire and also states the Minifig is an RAF pilot from No303 Squadron which was a squadron made up of Polish pilots who had managed to escape Poland during the German invasion. As Cobi is a Polish company it makes sense they chose this particular squadron. Inside you'll find several bags of bricks, a decal sheet and a full colour 25 page instruction booklet.
The Spitfire must be the first plane people think of when you mention aircraft from WWII, closely followed, I expect, by the P51 and the BF109. Not only did it look great and sound great with those merlin engines, it also helped win the Battle of Britain as it was a superb dogfighting plane. Taking on the German bomber escort of 109s whilst the Spitfire's fighting partner, the ever reliable Hurricane, took on the bombers. Who knows, things may have been very different if the marvellous Spitfire had never existed.  In fact, things might even be very different today, if that engineering marvel had never taken to the skies..

BF109 Cobi kit

The instructions were very easy to follow and I had no major issues with the build. I actually found it quite therapeutic. A benefit of the Cobi kits over custom Lego is that Cobi obviously can create what ever colour brick they need for a particular set, whereas the custom Lego builders are restricted to the colours Lego have produced over the years.  This means the Spitfire is resplendent in its camouflage colours. The Spitfire also has an undercarriage that can be raised and lowered and adjustable flaps. When finished, it sits upon a stand with name plate. Once the decals went on, like the Jeep, the plane gained its personality.



The finished Spitfire really does look good.  My only slight criticism is the frame below the propeller looks too box-like compared to the curve a Spitfire has on the underside of the front fuselage. Still, I'm very happy with the finished build and, like the Jeep, can easy recommend it to anyone into military Lego or military brick sets. Also, being Cobi, it comes with a very pleasing price tag, considering a custom Lego plane could set you back a couple of hundred pounds.




 


WW2 version
 

The final kit is from Cobi's World of Tanks tie-in range. The British Cromwell MK VII tank, which fought in WW2 and on through to 1955 when it was retired from British service.  This kit is the biggest of the three, consisting of 505 bricks and 1 Minifig. The back of the box as usual gives info on the tank as well as the Tank Commander's side arm, which is a Sten Gun. The tank is in its desert livery. As this is from the World of Tanks range it's not supposed to be a historical WWII tank. The decals that come with it aren't WWII themed. Which for myself was abit of a let down. However I understand why it doesn't have WW2II decals. Inside the box are several clear bags of bricks, a decal sheet and a 31 page, large format, full colour instruction booklet. On the back of the booklet you get two codes for the PC game World of Tanks; one gives you three days of a premium account and a couple of other WoT in-game goodies, the other code gives seven days of a Premium account and again in-game goodies.

I found the instruction booklet very easy to follow and like the Spitfire build an enjoyable experience with little to no frustrations. The tank looks great in its desert livery. The wheels and tracks move, the main gun will traverse up and down and the turret rotates. The two machine guns also move. The tank commander stands in his commander's hatch, all set to direct his tank through the battles ahead. Once the build was finished and the decals went on I was very happy with the end result. Though as mentioned I do wish there had been a couple of WWII specific decals to use.

I have to say the completed tank does look impressive. Also, for those who aren't keen on Cobi's Minifigs, I placed my Lego British Tank Commander in the hatch and he looked superb. So don't let that put you off. Cobi actually do a WWII specific Cromwell tank so if it's WW2 your after your best buying the WWII version, though this comes in green and not the desert colour scheme. The WoT version currently retails on Amazon for £27.90 and the WWII version £26.87. So what can't you love at that price! I will say, considering how much cheaper they are to actual Lego kits, you don't find a similar drop in quality. Far from it. They stand on their own against the custom Lego kits - yes the Lego kits will have that extra detail - but you honestly can't go wrong with Cobi either. So like the other two kits I have no qualms recommending this set. Get the WWII version if that's what your looking for:)

So that's it for Cobi for now. I hope I get to review more kits in the future. Cobi kits have a massive thumbs up from me! They have everything going for them, easy to follow instructions, great design and fantastic price plus compatible with Lego you really can't go wrong with their kits.