Shortly after my daughter turned three I introduced her to the original Scooby-Doo series. At first she was a bit frightened but it didn’t take long before she became obsessed with it, so much so that when asked what she wanted her birthday theme to be for her fourth birthday, she wanted Scooby-Doo. The problem we faced however was at the time, none of the bakeries happened to have the license to do a Scooby-Doo cake so instead we opted for another cake, minus the decorations, with the intention of transforming it to Scooby-Doo.
Initially it was a cake topper which was to adorn the cake but when it arrived from Amazon, the topper had been completely ruined, smashed beyond any repair. Amazon offered to send another however the replacement wouldn’t arrive until the day after the party so instead I opted for a refund and set out to find something, anything I could to provide my daughter with the Scooby-Doo theme she wanted. Most of the toys on the market were too big to fit on a cake and I soon was faced with but a single choice; LEGO’s.
It had been a long time since I had even held a set of LEGO’s in my hand but I knew that over the years, the brand had drastically changed. The days of making your own creations still existed but whereas I had to figure out how to make something like a Tie-Fighter or X-Wing from what I had at my disposal, there were now sets for just about anything you could think of. In fact there had been more than a time or two that I had looked at various sets, debating if it was something I really wanted to involve myself with and ultimately I decided it wasn’t something I wanted to spend too much time with. Now however, I had no choice.
The set of choice was the Mystery Machine. The others on the market seemed to be lacking as far as what I wanted on the cake, or there was simply too much to incorporate. Besides, this was one of the most iconic parts of the series and was the perfect solution. I quickly realized just how much LEGO had changed from when I was a child but it wasn’t something I was intimidated by but rather was intrigued with. My inner child quickly took over and I wanted to get the set built to see just how it looked once completed.
The Mystery Machine set is recommended for ages 6 – 12 and includes 301 pieces. It’s a bit more of an extensive build especially when you haven’t really put any LEGO’s together for years. There are four different mini-figures included with the set which features Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, and a zombie. This is one aspect of the LEGO Scooby-Doo sets that I have found a little disparaging. In order to have the entire Scooby gang you will have to purchase multiple sets. Scooby and Shaggy can be found in all of them and there are a few different variations of them. Fred is only included with the Mystery Machine and if you’re looking to add Daphne and Velma into things, you’ll need to pick up either the Haunted Lighthouse or Mystery Mansion, both of which are more expensive sets. On a side note, my wife and I did look at these several months after her birthday but never committed to purchasing them, something in retrospective I do regret.
The figures themselves very cool and there are a number of accessories that can be constructed to use with them. These include a flashlight and a camera, both of which are very easy to assemble, and there also is a magnifying glass and a set of clues. Fred of course has his trademark ascot (or mascot as my daughter used to call it, but this isn’t a separate LEGO piece but rather part of the printed part of the mini-fig. Scooby and Shaggy have a giant sandwich can be built and as anyone knows, these two do love their food especially when it’s on the enormous side. The zombie also looks great and works well with the set. They even added the option to have not one, but two different facial expressions to the fear can set in for Fred and Shaggy when they are confronted with a scary situation.
The LEGO version of the Mystery Machine does look fairly similar to what children (and adults) have enjoyed seeing in the series for nearly fifty years. Over the years things have changed with the gangs most common form of transportation and once you have the van assembled you’ll find that it can open up to reveal a number of mock computers and other things necessary to solve just about any mystery. There are a few stickers required to make the Mystery Machine complete but these aren’t anything overly complicated and most children really shouldn’t have much trouble putting these on themselves. Two mini-figs can easily sit in the front of the Mystery Machine although since the Scooy-Doo figure isn’t sitting (that once is included in the Haunted Lighthouse) the gang’s faithful yet easily frightened Great Dane will have to ride in the back of the van. The final part of the set is a haunted, robotic tree, the perfect thing to add into the scares when you have another mystery on your hands.
There are a few things overall about the LEGO Scooby-Doo line I would have liked to have seen however. The first is that the line itself was very short lived. There were only five different sets manufactured which included the Mummy Mystery Museum, the Mystery Plane Adventure (which came with one of the coolest mini-figs which was a headless horseman), the Mystery Machine, the Haunted Lighthouse and the Mystery Mansion. It would have been great to see sets created based on some of the actual episodes, particularly those from the original series. Personally, I would have enjoyed having LEGO versions of the green phantoms seen in “A Night of Fright is No Delight” or the Spooky Space Kook. Perhaps at some point in the future LEGO will revive the line.
Sadly, this LEGO set as well as all of the other Scooby-Doo LEGO’s are no longer in production. Looking back it was a great idea for my daughter’s cake and perhaps might be one of the things which eventually led her to becoming interested in bricks. However the negative side of this is that I do wish I wouldn’t have been nearly as reluctant about buying the others sets in the line especially with the prices they are currently going for online. While you may on occasion run into one of these in a retail outlet, the chances of this are becoming slimmer and for collector’s as well as Scooby-Doo fans, picking this up as soon as possible shouldn’t be an mystery.
Mike is the resident reviewer for Couponing to Disney and his own site Underland Online. He has a toddler daughter and is obsessed with Haunted Mansion and all things Disney. You can read Mike’s complete bio here.