Live Science Verdict
The smallest - and cheapest - of three Lego Indiana Jones sets to release this spring, the Fighter Plane Chase is very much in playset territory. It’s reminiscent of older Indiana Jones sets from the last time Lego visited the franchise back in 2009. However, it doesn’t offer a whole lot of new features, despite the huge advances in the company’s innovations in the last 14 years.
Great minifigures - particularly Indy
Similar to old Indiana Jones sets
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Building Lego Indiana Jones Fighter Plane Chase as a follow-up to the Escape from the Lost Tomb set has been a little disappointing.
Despite only being $5/£5 more expensive, the Lego Indiana Jones Escape from the Lost Tomb has almost twice as many pieces, an extra minifigure, and is a much more elaborate set that’s both fun to play with and makes an excellent display.
Model number: 77012
Number of pieces: 387
Dimensions: 2 x 5 x 2.5 inches / 5 x 13 x 6cm
Recommended age: 8+
That’s not to say that this Fighter Plane Chase set is without its merits. It still offers good value for money and, for younger Indiana Jones fans, it's a fun set to push and swoosh around.
However, for adult collectors, it’s certainly the weakest of the three Lego Indiana Jones sets currently available.
Lego Indiana Jones Fighter Plane Chase: Build
Putting together the Lego Indiana Jones Fighter Plane Chase set will likely take you around 40 minutes, if not less. There’s nothing complex at all here, making it a good build for newcomers to Lego, or youngsters looking to put a model together unsupervised for the first time.
Being a set with an age rating of 8+, its instructions are kept very simple. You’ll never be dealing with more than three to five pieces on any stage, making the instructions super easy to follow.
The build process is split over three bags: the first sees you put together the car, and the second and third bags concern the plane. There’s also three minifigures and a Berlin road sign to accompany the vehicles.
The car is rather basic, but we appreciated it’s built from scratch – there’s no pre-molded base plate in sight! We encountered one slightly tricky part near the trunk of the vehicle, which could cause issues if you aren’t paying full attention to the instruction booklet and the orientation of certain pieces. But, it was a problem soon rectified and was the only real troublesome piece we encountered throughout the whole build.
Bag two of bricks sees you construct the fuselage of the plane. Like the car, it’s pretty basic, but there’s a nice shape thanks to a mixture of rounded and angled bricks being used. There are also a few stickers here to add some exterior detail, but thankfully they’re not too egregious.
The final bag has you building the wings and the plane’s cockpit. Despite its fairly small size, the plane feels rather sturdy when constructed, and it’ll withstand a fair bit of playing. The wings are well supported from both the top and bottom, and they’re decorated with shooters on each side. Slide in a single stud, and push down the clip to fire it out. An absolute disaster in the wrong hands, we’re sure.
Lego Indiana Jones Fighter Plane Chase: Design
Probably the most disappointing thing about the design of the Lego Indiana Jones Fighter Plane Chase is its similarity to older Indiana Jones sets. This year is Lego’s first return to the franchise in 14 years, and while there’s great innovation in the Temple of the Golden Idol, we can’t help but feel that older ideas have simply been recycled. The plane seems to be a slightly improved version of one seen in Fighter Plane Attack (7198), while only new wheel arches set the car apart from others seen in 2009’s Indiana Jones range.
Sure, the source material remains the same but we’d have expected to see some new, exciting flourishes. After all, the Lego brand has changed significantly since 2009, but it doesn’t seem to be reflected at all in Fighter Plane Chase which is a shame.
There’s nothing wrong with either the car or the plane, of course. They’re both fine: they’re functional and they look pretty good (considering there’s only 387 pieces in the whole set, anyway). We particularly like the neat slot for luggage at the rear of the car. There’s a big trunk, inside of which you’ll find an umbrella and a pistol (key equipment for an explorer, obviously), and a smaller suitcase which sits neatly in front.
The plane doesn’t have much internal space, unfortunately, as there is only just enough room in the cockpit for a minifigure to sit. In terms of interactivity, there’s the afore-mentioned shooters on the wings, as well as a turning propeller. It’s disappointing there isn’t a mechanism in place to turn the propeller as the plane moves forward, but given the price point of the set we feel that would be moving into more complex, pricey territory.
We can at least praise the three minifigures included here. There’s, of course, Indiana Jones, complete with his iconic whip and hat. Then he’s accompanied by his father, Henry Jones Sr. (they really nailed his facial hair and bow tie) and a fighter pilot. Indy stands out from the three as his body printing is particularly great, and he also comes with a two-sided head, showing two different emotions. Handily, his hat includes molded hair at the back so that the second face is hidden away.
Should you buy the Lego Indiana Jones Fighter Plane Chase?
Unless you really want all three current Lego Indiana Jones sets – and we wouldn’t blame you if you did – the Fighter Plane Chase set is the easiest to skip over of the three. If you’re an adult collector, it doesn’t offer the most exciting display piece. It’s a reasonable playset for younger builders though, and we’d imagine children will have a blast reconstructing their own high-speed plane chases.
While this certainly isn’t a must-own Lego Indiana Jones set, if there's a sale on with an extra 20% off or so, then it'd be hard to pass up.
Other Lego sets to consider
There are two other current Lego Indiana Jones sets that we’d recommend you consider before purchasing the Fighter Plane Chase set. The adult-focused Temple of the Golden Idol is undoubtedly the best of the three. It’s a little pricey at $149.99/£129.99, but it really is something special. There’s also Escape from the Lost Tomb which, for just $5/£5 more than the Fighter Plane Chase set, offers much better value for money – not to mention a much more fun, imaginative set.
If you’re after a Lego set that isn’t Indiana Jones, go visit our guide to the best Lego sets for adults. On there you’ll find the wonderful Lego Icons Bird of Paradise plant (one that doesn’t need watering!) and the excellent Lego Ideas The Globe, amongst others.
Kim is a UK-based freelancewriter who focuses on Lego, toys and video game-related content. She's the co-creator of GameSpew.com and ThatBrickSite.com, where you'll find most of her work. If she's not building with plastic bricks, playing a video game, or writing about doing either of those things, you should probably check she's still breathing. You can find her on Twitter at @ichangedmyname.