This set review will be more focused on analyzing the set in terms of using it as a starting point / parts pack for LEGO mecha building.
Unlike other set reviews, I’ll be focusing more on the parts selection and if the set is worth it to be used for LEGO mecha building (specifically in the style I build in). I won’t be focusing too much on the minifigs, the overall build, poseability, stability, play features, etc.
I've had my eyes on the Monkie Kid sets for a while now due to the potential of the newer parts for LEGO mecha building. The Demon Bull King set is one of the 2 large mech* sets that came out in 2020 for this new theme.
Disclaimer: I actually haven’t watched any of the Monkie Kid episodes as it’s not available in my country. From my understanding, this belongs to the bad guys that Monkie Kid and allies fight.
Technically, this isn’t a mech set as there’s no pilot and cockpit in it. Instead, it is more of a large opponent Monkie Kid has to deal with. It’s built like a mech though with the set’s part selection and level of articulation.
Main considerations for getting this set (in my opinion)
- You need the joints for mech building (this set comes with a good amount of different sized joints)
- You like the color palette (dark purple, magenta, titanium metallic, black, transparent neon orange)
- You want/need the new/unique/rare parts in the set like the trans. n.orange windscreens, gold horns, titanium metallic ingots and wedges, gold bars with studs on the Monkie Kid minifig
Table of Contents
- Set Overview
- Build Progression Per Bag
- Highlighted Mech Building Parts Per Bag
- Interesting Build Techniques
- Conclusions and Recommendations
Brickset Key Set Details
- Designers: Chris Perron & Xiaodong Wen
- Parts count: 1051 (3 Minifigs)
- Set SRP (on release): USD $89.99
- Price Per Piece: 7.1p / 8.6c / 7.6c / 3.6 Php
I. Set Overview
The Demon Bull King set is divided into 9 bags and each bag corresponds to a build section or body part. There’s also one unnumbered bag containing the boat mast piece (used as the axe weapon handle/shaft) and the two rubber hoses.
There’s actually only 2 printed pieces for the entire set (excluding minifigs) and the rest are stickers. The shiny foil red flag is used by the Princess Iron Fan minifig. I actually didn’t use the sticker sheet for this set as I’ll be breaking down the set into parts.
II. Build Progression Per Bag
Pictures here show the progress at the end of each bag. I actually liked how the steps were separated and paced. It didn’t feel too overwhelming to finish 1 bag and you could see how everything was coming together slowly.
III. Highlighted Mech Building Parts Per Bag
Looking at the selected parts from the pictures above, you’ll see quite a ton of the 1×2 ingot tiles in Pearl Dark Silver / Titanium Metallic (x46). There’s also quite a lot of the Plate W Bows 2×3 1/2 (x21). I actually use both of these pieces a lot so it was nice seeing such a huge quantity of them here although I’d only want 8-10 of the 2×3 Plate W Bows 1/2.
I intentionally didn’t include a lot of the 1×2 1/2 (top and bottom) and 1×2 / 2×2 brackets in these parts selections as they’re fairly common with sets with a lot of SNOT connections. There are a ton though in black, light blueish gray, and dark blueish gray.
I also didn’t add all the plating options due to the quantity but you’ll find a lot of dark purple and magenta plating pieces. There’s also quite a number of black plating pieces but tend to come in larger sizes (like that 2×4 curved slope).
You’ll also see quite a few joint pieces in the images above as this is an articulated model. Bag 2 has the 3×3 turntable gears while bag 4 has the bigger Technic click joints that are being common hip joints in mech models this size.
Pearl Dark Grey / Titanium Metallic
This set actually contains quite a lot of pieces in varying workable sizes in this color. These pieces can be easily mixed with black / dark blueish gray as an in-between color or accent color for metallic areas (like inner structure / details).
IV. Interesting Build Techniques
Glowing chest of a Demon Bull
I actually really liked how they did the lighting play feature for this model and is something that can easily be applied to any mech build. The lighting brick is actually projected first unto a smaller transparent orange 4×4 wedge to add texture to the lighting. This gives the light a more organic and alive look rather than just a focused light glow.
Sturdy shoulder socket joint
I was surprised to find this shoulder assembly that I first saw in the Voltron set. I actually covered it in detail over in my Voltron set review but basically this shoulder joint allows for a sturdy shoulder socket with forward/backward rotation. The sideways raising of the shoulder will come from the click joints on the shoulder assembly.
Reinforced system to technic structure
I normally encounter this setup of reinforcing a stack of System-based pieces with Technic beams / pins with spaceship builds and actually rarely use it for my scale of mech building but its nice to remember.
Basically, Technic beam holes will align to System-based Technic bricks by stacking 2 plates between Technic bricks.
Semi-circle axe head and mast handle
This was an interesting assembly even if it looks a bit thin as a menacing axe. Still, the overall shape formed by the 4 different transparent orange blades is nicely curved.
I was surprised the large boat mast piece was used as the weapon’s shaft. Technic pins on the left hand (that has 3 fingers) connect to the two pins found in the middle of the mast. Ingenious part choice right there.
The Clip to Tile (previously known as Illegal) but apparently is a Legal Technique
This blew my mind so much that I have to write more about it than the other techniques.
Okay so first off, in the LEGO MOC (My Own Creation) scene, there’s what we call legal and illegal techniques. Basically, legal techniques are ways to attach pieces as intended and are often what official sets adhere to. Illegal techniques on the other hand are connections that weren’t intended or puts some amount of stress on parts.
This topic of legal / illegal techniques has been one of the biggest discussion topics for any LEGO community, with certain builders not wanting to do anything with illegal connections and others maximizing them to achieve unique connections.
My stance on it is as long as I’m using authentic LEGO pieces, it shouldn’t matter how I achieve a certain connection for a certain look in my builds. I’m not a LEGO designer. However, I dislike causing stress on pieces to the extent that they’ll break (or permanently deform) as I grew up with LEGO being an expensive toy and each part is a treasure. Thus I avoid certain illegal connections knowing they’ll eventually break a part.
This connection above is one of those illegal connections among MOC communities.. or so I thought. Apparently its been used in official sets such as the 76042 Shield Helicarrier (released in 2015) and the 76188 Batman Classic TV Series Batmobile.
I also had the pleasure of learning more about it from The Rambling Brick (Hi Richard!) who even wrote about it on his website. I’d highly recommend checking it out as it goes really in depth about the limitations and specifics of what makes this technique legal or illegal.
[TL;DR] This is legal if you use the newer tile modified with clip mold plus a tile with groove. Super helpful to know that this specific pairing won’t cause stress on the part and I’ll be utilizing it more for my mech builds.
V. Conclusions and Recommendations
From a functional parts perspective, this set actually has quite a bit of joint pieces for a medium-sized build. The quantity of the rounded 1×2 plates also allow for smaller single-direction joints or as a way to expand / secure areas. There’s also enough pieces to do a lot of SNOT connections to cover up limbs and attach armor plating. There’s also a few of the 1×1 1/2 brackets to make detailed SNOT connections. There’s also a decent amount of modified plates with bars and clips to allow angular / hinged connections.
As for armor plating, this could be a good set for a dark silver / grey colored mech with the abundance of those 1×2 ingot tiles, 4×4 wedges, and plate w bows 2×3 1/2. A magenta / dark purple colored mech would also be feasible with the different curved slopes and tiles. The transparent orange pieces are either too few or too large to use as a highlight color choice unless used the same way as the set does (shoulder / chest covering / backpack attachment). Usable but harder to work with.
There’s also very little parts wastage or parts I’d classify as parts I’ll forever have in storage or not / rarely use for my scale of mech building. These are usually big plates or long 2x* plates that I almost never use. Basically anything bigger than 4×4 in size is something I wouldn’t use due to it being too big and doesn’t allow me to add the right amount of detail for the space it occupies.
As a set, I actually quite like the look of this. The head and body sculpt are quite good from the front view. The lack of articulation for the legs is a bit of a downside but there’s plenty of ways to modify it to allow knee bending but allowing the leg to rotate outward might be tricky. Arm articulation is also quite limited with it only being able to swing forward and not outward.
What I dislike about this set is the bare rear view. It actually looks slightly unfinished to me and wish it had a beefier back but I know that would affect its overall stability. Looking at it from the side gives off the same impression.
Closing remarks on Demon Bull King LEGO Set 80010
If you can purchase this set at US SRP ($90 as of writing) or close to it, I’d recommend it 8/10 for parts.
It’s a good set to start LEGO mech building with a nice mix of functional and decorative parts in a decent color palette and isn’t too pricy compared to more licensed sets.
If you’re curious about getting a custom reFrame from me, simply check out my Commissions section here in my website. I’ve written all the details you might need to order your own custom LEGO reFrame mech build and what kind of customization options you can get.
Do take note though that I only do this in a very limited capacity.
I open up slots for commissions here on my site and also announce it over at my various social media pages. I’d suggest following me on any/all of my social media pages below to stay updated on my work and commission slots.
reFRAME v3 Instruction Manual
The reFrame System is a modular brick skeleton aimed to help both new and veternan brick mech builders create their own designs in a consistent size with modular capabilities. It was originally designed to be a basis for all my mechs in the Mech Wars universe. Having gone through a number of upgrades, the V3 reFrame can now house a minifigure pilot in the chest without sacrificing aesthetic or articulation.