The Mystery Machine

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Suggested Age: 6-12
Pieces: 301
Casual Build Time: 1 hour
Dimensions: The Mystery Machine – over 3″ x 5″ x 2″ / Spooky Tree – over 3″ x 3″ x 1″
Brand: Scooby-Doo

Really, this kit needs no introduction. Ever since Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? first aired in 1969, the Mystery Machine has been one of the most recognisable animate vehicles of all time. I was really impressed when I saw this kit in Toys R Us and, as a huge fan of LEGO cars, I had to add it to my collection.

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The kit comes with the pieces to build The Mystery Machine and a creepy robotic tree. The Mystery Machine features a removable roof and sides that open out to enable easy play. It also includes several accessories: a magnifying glass, a flashlight, a camera, a newspaper, a gem and a giant sandwich. In addition to this there are three minifigures – Shaggy, Fred and a Zombie – as well as Scooby-Doo himself.

Read on for photos of what came inside the box:

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Despite the fact that the Mystery Machine set looked pretty straight forward, it was actually surprisingly fiddly to put together. The panelled sides caused me the most grief. This kit had a lot of stickers to place on and getting the images to line up was surprisingly tricky. The decals on the insides of the panels were also a little fiddly to put in place. People with big fingers might struggle here and children will certainly want help to ensure that everything is stuck down straight.

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The finished product does look spot on. It’s brightly coloured and instantly recognisable. The cabin has enough space for Shaggy and Fred to sit comfortably and its small size makes it very easy to play with. My only problem is the roof. This isn’t really clipped on very well and pops off rather easily. While it’s good that the insides are easy to get to, its a bit of a pain when it just slips off in your hand.

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I love the way that this set opens out as it makes it a great toy. The inside comes furnished with a little kitchen, slots to clip in some of the accessories and a little computer area. The details on the inside panels and computer screens are neat final touches, and I’m particularly in love with the giant sandwich. It’s a simple thing but it’s a brilliant addition to the set.

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No Scooby-Doo story would be complete without a villain. This time, we have the Spooky Tree. This figure is actually pretty awesome. Like all Scooby-Doo monsters, it looks convincing at a glance but its reverse reveals the fact that it’s actually a robot. It also conceals the hidden gem, ready for Shaggy and Fred to discover over the course of their investigation.

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The set has a good number of minifigures and Shaggy and Fred are instantly recognisable. However, I was disappointed by the lack of girls. It seems that I need to buy bigger sets to get Daphne or Velma, which is a bit frustrating. I also note that on some of the kits, the villains have rotating heads that allow them to be unmasked. This unfortunately isn’t the case with the zombie as the reverse side of his head just shows the buttons on the back of his mask.

The Scooby-Doo figure is very cool, yet I kind of wish he was sitting down. As it stands, he only really fits in the back of the Mystery Machine. It would have been nice if he could sit up front with the others. Disappointingly, the paint job on my Scooby wasn’t great, with his teeth and collar bleeding onto the brown. Hopefully this is just my kit and others look better.

All in all, it’s a bit of a varied kit and far fiddlier to construct than I was expecting. However, it does make a really nice toy and if you know a kid who’s a Scooby-Doo fan, you really can’t go wrong with this set.

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