Review: Playmobil Novelmore Fortress (70222)

Playmobil Novelmore Fortress 70222
214 pieces, $89.99 USD

Playmobil’s sets are environmental sets – they set up a place to play and let kids make up stories and adventures. Most of their sets are based on the real world, but there has always been a place for magic and the fantastic. Their newest place is Novelmore, a place where magic is perhaps making way toward science, but knights and kings still rule.

The name of the theme is also the name of the hero’s kingdom. The main characters of the story are the heroes. Fortunately, when you open the large box holding this playset, the instructions will give some information about them. The set itself has two heroes included: Prince Arwynn – heir to the throne, and Dario Da Vanci, an inventor that has helped with the design of fortresses. You’ll get to know these characters later, but first, let’s do some building.

Building the Fortress

The first thing that you will need is a bit of space. The box is big, and the set parts fills it.

The instructions are in a bag and have a multilingual writeup on Novelmore and the friends and enemies of the kingdom.

After that, you turn the book and start building!

The instructions are pretty clear, and the parts are way to find because of their size. The smallest parts are the most important: the connectors, which are color-coded.

The connectors are red for attaching catwalks on the walls, yellow for doing walls, and black for attaching doors. There’s also a tool that can be used to push the parts in – you’re not encouraged to press them in with your fingers. It can be done, but only for the first dozen or so.

Removing the connectors requires pliers, but this won’t happen unless you take the fortress apart.

Here are some assembly pics:

The corners are simple and look nice, thanks to the differently colored parts.  The flags add color to the fortress.

The next wall to do is the catapult wall. Built into the wall, the catapult is prepared by opening the catwalk behind it. A rock is placed in, and the catapult  works by pushing the end outside the wall. It’s strictly manual.

The main gate comes in, and is easily built and put in place. A couple of stickers are used, but overall, the set uses very few of them.

The last wall has a rock dropper – well, a multiple rock dropper. As with all the other walls, this is easy to build. It takes a little force to push the turret top on, but after that, it’s smooth sailing.

And there it is!

One thing that is really cool is that the fortress can be expanded. The connectors snap the parts together, so you can order more wall and corners to make larger castles and fortresses. By itself, the fortress is a nice set, but if you want to get serious…

Figures and Accessories

With the set comes four figures, which I find odd since two of them are not mentioned in the instruction book. Here there are with their accessories (more or less – the weapons can be interchanged)

Prince Arwyn, with shield, sword, dagger, and gauntlets. His belt can hold the dagger.

Dario Da Vinci, young inventor, with blueprint, hat, measuring divider pen, inkwell, gloves, and pouch.

And here are the other two figures:

King John – Arwynn’s father, who is resistant to change. Very resistant. He has his cape, scepter, gauntlets, shoulder armor and crown.

Lord Francis Forthwind – First of the Order of Knights, with shield, gauntlets, sword, and helmet with visor.

The instructions show you how to make the accessories and arm the characters, but don’t give names or show who gets what sword. With four figures, I would have wished to have a girl character for balance – Lord Francis could have been switched out.

The rest of the accessories can be seen here:

And here’s some pics of the castle and its functions:

and some last pics of the figures and the accessories:

Final Review:

The Novelmore Fortress is a nice starter set. For the price, you get a setting and characters to start an adventure. The adventure is as open as one’s imagination, and that’s a good place to go to these days.

There are a few pieces of information that can be gathered by going the Novelmore website, which isn’t linked directly to the Playmobil site. If you want to see the Novelmore theme at Playmobil.com, go here. There are two small things that I find unsatisfying in the set:

1. No girl figures. Four figures, no girls. Where’s the Queen? (after looking at the website, where IS the Queen?) There is a girl character, but she’s not here – she’s in the Wolf Team set.

2. No bad guys. It’s nice to have a fortress staffed up. But you need an enemy, even if that figure stays in the dungeon. (A skeleton in the dungeon would have been just as cool)

These are not deal breakers, as the layout has a lot of fun features and accessories. And the passes one of my big toy tests:

it fits back in the box when you’re done!

You can buy the Nevermore Fortress (with free shipping) from Playmobil.com here.

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