Image courtesy of the LEGO Group
If you think I can’t possibly write a 350-word article about a 36-piece LEGO set, then boy am I about to make you look like a FOOL. In early 2019, the LEGO Group released a new addition to its line of sets based around the ubiquitous and appropriately block-based video game “Minecraft.” This set, titled the “Minecraft Steve and Creeper Set” has set number 30393, contains a mere 36 pieces, and sells for a bargain price of $3.99, exclusively at Walmart.
The set’s very low piece and price counts, along with its packaging consisting of a simple plastic bag instead of the more familiar cardboard boxes LEGO sets are typically sold in, all combine to comfortably define this set as a LEGO polybag. LEGO polybags are smaller promotional sets meant to primarily be sold as impulse purchases, sometimes not even sold in a retail store’s LEGO aisle but instead found near the checkout aisles or at the ends of an aisle. These polybags will typically contain highly sought-after LEGO minifigures and not much else, as is the case of this “Minecraft” set.
By far the largest appeal of this set, even to the most hardcore of LEGO collectors, is that it is an extremely cheap way to get two iconic “Minecraft” characters in LEGO form, the default main character Steve and the explosive Creeper. Unlike most LEGO minifigures, both of these characters pay homage to their blocky roots by substituting the usual cylindrical shape of a LEGO head with perfectly cubic ones instead, just like in their original game.
The Steve minifigure otherwise resembles a typical LEGO person, with his simple purple pants and light blue tunic not having much of anything in terms of accent or ornamentation. He does, however, also come with a molded sword piece designed to have the same pixelated appearance as the digital “Minecraft” sword (this one is likely a cobblestone sword, based on its dull, grey color).
The Creeper figure, however, is notable for having its own unique mold, along with two 1x2 plate pieces on either side and a cube head. The Creeper’s body is a single, unique mold piece, with two legs able to clip onto any LEGO brick and two other legs in the middle of a walking animation. Unfortunately, unlike a real Creeper, this minifigure has no built-in way of exploding and destroying most of your house or to produce its terrifying “ssssssssss BOOM” sound effects.
Along with the two minifigures, the set also contains a simple environment consisting of what appears to be a block of trinitrotoluene (TNT), a few rocks, some grass, a flower, a lit torch, some sand, and a few pieces of sugar cane. The set’s designers even bothered to include a little bit of play functionality by designing part of the rock formation to be able to be launched into the air by pressing down on a plate piece in the grass.
Overall, I will concede that this set is an absolute bargain for just four dollars. That price alone is worth it just to get the Steve and Creeper minifigures, but the addition of the small environment and all of the subtle nods to the “Minecraft” series make this set one of my least-regretted impulse buys ever.