Satya's blog - Best-lock models
Since they were cheap, I bought a couple of "Best-lock" brand models. Neither of them had a name, but one is some sort of APC and the other is clearly an A-10 Warthog. I got them for about $5 each, and each has 210 pieces and is for ages 7+.
The APC is a piece of... something useless, but I got it because the inside box cover looked interesting. It's got movable tracks, after all.
The contents of the boxes are familiar: plastic baggies, instruction sheets (each with about 10-15 steps) and a label sheet which I didn't use. Note the big piece of warthog keel in the first link. The APC also has a big keel piece. That theme persists throughout -- big pieces that LEGO or Megabloks would have built out of smaller standard pieces. Makes my complaints about LEGO's non-standard parts pale in comparison.
The instructions were kinda nice. The usual parts list per step, and at each step the current build was in "real" colors and the rest of the model was faded out. Helps with the clarity.
The APC was a quick build because of those pieces. A LEGO model would have had the tracks go on at or near the end; this one, the tracks were the first thing on. Within minutes I had the basic deck, and the rest went quickly:
There's a small black platform inside -- built out of several plate-pieces, not one, on which the minifigs awkwardly stand. The constructions feels flimsy at first as there is no interlocking like you'd expect, but as we reach the top there is a little more interlocking. The pieces don't "snap" satisfactorily so there's little feedback of a good connection. But the connection, once made, is sturdy enough. The completed model is as strong as an equivalent other-brand model. That is, the guns and other greeblies tend to fall off but the basic shape is durable.
The APC's tracks move and the back opens. That's a bit sucky, as the hinges tend to disconnect. It's still a nice enough military playset thing.
The Warthog was a little more interesting, being an aircraft and not a box. The hull is one piece, and so are the fins, but that is to be expected. the rest is pretty nice. It has some shaped pieces for the nose but the cockpit body (behind the canopy) is built from individual "real" pieces.
The engines are very nice, not one-piece, and they're hinged to move up and down. Even the wheels are realistic -- Megabloks' F16 had worse landing gear (although the overall model was better).
My one complaint with the Warthog is that the wing connections are weak; the tip piece tends to fall off. A little reinforcement would help but would be bad for the look, so I can live with it. This model was worth the price. Pictures:
Oh, and the APC comes with 3 mini-figures and the Warthog comes with one.
Last updated: Feb 18 2006 09:57