LEGO Castle Review: Trolls’ Mountain Fortress #7097

without comments

Once I realized I had missed out on the Castle LEGO theme, I began scouring eBay for sets and quickly realized that it was out of my price range. Then after Christmas, I was wandering through Target and found this set just on a random clearance shelf! No idea how they still had it, but I didn’t waste any time and brought it home!

The trolls have captured the King and imprisoned him in their huge fortress hidden high in the mountains! Guarded by mighty giant trolls and protected by a powerful sorceress and secret traps, the evil Troll King has sworn that his prisoner will never escape. It’s up to the bravest knights in the kingdom to defeat the trolls and rescue their king!

The massive set includes two armies to fight it out: four orcs with two trolls and four humans and a horse! Ten figures in all definitely make this an amazing set for those who want some fantasy battles.

The orcs (because there’s no way their the same species as the trolls) are standard sized LEGO figures but have sand green skin tones to set them apart from the humans. The two grunts are standard fair with identical heads, arms, and legs. They even share the same accessories, speckled helmets and roughly hewn scimitars. The only differences are their torsos. One is identical to the orc in the Dwarves’ Mine Defender, while the other one has slightly more bronze armor over chainmail. Maybe one is a sergeant and the other is just a drone.

The Sorceress is the only female orc to have been released, but not much about her screams “female.” He brown dress is much like that of the Witch, covered in stains and rough stitching. Teeth and bronze rings decorate her attire as well. Amazingly, her back is painted as well. Her cape is brown and tattered, filled with holes and most of her fact is covered by a brown hood.

Her face is terrifying with green lips, two fangs jutting out in opposite directions and crazy eyes. Her right eye is massive; it looks like part of her face was burned off. For a weapon, she comes with a black staff that shoots lightning. The blast brick is two-toned in green and yellow-green and looks fantastic.

The Orc King is similar to his soldiers from the neck down. His armor is slightly nicer with fur trim and decorative chains. His chest has the stylized skull emblem proudly displayed too but his arms are bare. His face is much like other orcs with one major change: he only has one eye! A scarred, empty socket is where his right eye should be and it looks awesome.

The King’s cape is identical to the Sorceress’s and his sword is just a slightly darker shade of plastic when compared to his underlings. To show he’s the king, he wears a bronze crown.

Defending the Crown Kingdom are the king and three soldiers. The King looks stoic and reserved in his golden armor. His strawberry blonde beard is well trimmed, and his outfit is largely ceremonial. Once the armor is off, the King looks to be wearing pajamas. The various shades of blue decorated with golden stars look rather odd in this desolate fortress as a prisoner.

The King’s crown is identical to the Orc King’s but cast in gold. His chest armor is gold as well with the front painted blue.

The first crown soldier isn’t anything new. He’s wearing a navy blue vest over chainmail. His head is the dual sided “confident/screaming” one that works great to increase his playability. For weaponry, he comes with a broadsword, a small Crown shield and a helmet.

The Crown Pikeman is similar in look to the soldier, but has a different paint application on his chest. The checkered blue pattern with the crown centered sets him apart and looks good. His face is shaggy and covered in stubble. His head is covered by a wide brimmed helmet and for a weapon he gets a long pike.

The last subject of the Crown Kingdom is the knight. I love that LEGO included all different kinds of figures in this set. The Knight’s torso is identical to the soldiers, but you wouldn’t really know since he’s covered in additional armor. The armor is like the King’s but in silver and less ornate. His face is smug and looks vaguely Spaniard. The cage helmet allows his cocky face to bee seen through as well.

For weaponry, the Knight comes with a flail and a large Crown crested shield. As a mount, a white horse is included with a gray saddle and navy blue headgear. Two extra bricks are also included to fill the saddle if no one is riding.

The two trolls are identical sculpts but different colors. Massive figures that are three inches tall to the top of the horns, the trolls look amazing. Their articulation is minimal with them only moving at the shoulders and wrists, but the fact that the joints are standard Technic joints means customizers could make some awesome additions.

Long lumbering arms and short, squat legs, the trolls are unique. They’re covered in armor like a belt and skirt, wristbands, and spiked armor down the back.

One being tan and the other is green, the two trolls look imposing beyond belief. Their paint applications are minimal with just painted eyes and teeth and skull markings on their shoulders, buckle and helmet. For weaponry, they both come with massive spiked clubs that are the larger than a LEGO figure! The club design is identical to the one the Caveman has, just a lot bigger.

The smallest builds in the set are barely worth mentioning, just two barrels and two weapon racks. The extra accessories include a chicken leg, two keys, two spears and a spare sword.

What’s most disappointing about the fortress though is the fact that the gate is the most interesting aspect of it visually and it’s the first part assembled! So once you build it stuff starts getting kind of dull. The massive gate is illuminated by twin torches, but these aren’t the regular LEGO flames or even the newer ones, they’re massive pieces taller than a LEGO figure! The shading is beautiful with them going from red to orange.

The gates themselves are two hinged doors made to look like wood that was just hammered together. Planks cover up large holes, but the symmetrical design of them doesn’t feel very orc or trollish. The brick red spikes at the top are a nice touch though. The top of the gate is a skull carved in stone with pointy spires jutting out from behind it. The overall look is ominous and works fantastically for setting an atmosphere. Around back are two massive axes that can be dropped on unsuspecting heroes trying to breach the gate.

The twin high towers are mirror images of each other which while looks kind of nice, symmetry isn’t something I think trolls would be thinking about when making a fortress. The front bottom level is a large cave for the massive trolls to wait in.  Above it is a simple room that makes excellent use of angled bricks to make a diamond window. But there isn’t anything in the room!

The top level of the tower contains vines hanging down from the turrets and large spikes on display. Both towers contain identical catapults that actually work and can rotate to allow for better aiming. They work well enough, but LEGO seems to really be pushing catapults with their Castle line.

A hinge connects the tower to the stone wall. Just the lower rocky base with a railing above it, there isn’t much to it as a whole but it adds some extra space to the fortress. The other side of it is left empty as well. No little Easter eggs or anything!

The two lower wall sections are hinged as well and proved an expansion of the fortress. The bricks make it look like the fortress was building around the existing rocks which is a great design idea. But the execution makes the set feel a little too perfect. The small guard tower with a ladder is just sitting there while the upper mountain wall doesn’t do a whole lot either. The back side is empty as well.

The keep of the fortress is a towering four story behemoth. The ground floor is empty with a large cave – no hidden treasures or anything! The brown staircase leads up to the second level which is the shaman’s lair. A crystal ball is in the center of the room while a small table has two potions on it. Other than that, just a spider and bat hang out there.

The third floor is the jail cell where the king is kept. The cell is absolutely massive and looks great.  The back wall breaks out easily too allowing for exciting escapes. The top story of the keep is open with twin torches and twin spires pointing towards the sky. The skull shield is displayed prominently showing who exactly owns this fortress.

All six of the pieces have connectors on the sides allowing the fortress to be combined in a multitude of different combinations which is a really neat idea.  The packaging shows off several different ones, but I prefer the design where the keep is in the middle, surrounded by walls.

I never expected to stumble across this set in Target after Christmas – three years after it was released! But I absolutely love the LEGO Fantasy Castle line. While there are aspects of the fortress I don’t like from a design standpoint, it’s an excellent fortress with high playability. The collection of minifigures are amazing, but I wish LEGO had just put a little bit more effort into the nooks and crannies of the set to really make it excellent.

Written by jestergoblin

April 25th, 2011 at 12:00 am

In addition to commenting, be sure to stay up to date by visiting the Hasbro Heroes Forum!