Knight Rider, a shadowy flight into the LEGO world of a brick who does not exist. Michael Knight, a young minifig on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a multiverse of Batmans and Gremlins who operate above the law.
Set Number: 71286
Minifigures: Michael Knight
LEGO Dimensions has returned once more to the decade that has been a dominant part of the ever growing roster, the 1980s. As an 80s kid myself, three TV shows really dominated my childhood, the A-Team, Thundercats, and Knight Rider. This second series of Dimensions has already seen the soldiers of fortune bricked-up, and now Hoff fans, Michael Knight has joined the team.
For those not familiar with Knight Rider, it has something of a cult following to this day. A prime time crime-fighting show which followed a similar template to the A-Team, though replaced a group of ex-soldiers with a man out to redeem himself and avenge his own attempted murder, helped by a nearly indestructible car with a mind of its own. Highly recommended and for the most part, it’s child-friendly.
Unsurprisingly coupled with one of the greatest cars in TV history, the Knight Industries Two Thousand, this new fun pack could turn out to be one that no 30-something LEGO would want to be without, but is it actually worth it?
If we start with the minifigure and the K.I.T.T. micro-build there is definitely a good argument for owning this set. Fans of the classic crime-fighting show will quickly recognise the LEGO version of the character which made David Hasselhoff the household name he is today (No not Baywatch’s Mitch Buchannon), Michael Knight.
Similar to the B.A. Baracus figure, Knight’s design is based on one of the character’s first appearances on-screen, in this case, the pilot episode where he meets his four-wheeled side-kick. It’s a remarkable recreation, take a look at the TV version.
Yes, that is his real hair, and yes he is wearing a red turtle neck, the 1980’s wasn’t the greatest decade for fashion. More importantly, though, it’s clear from this snapshot that time and effort has gone into creating an authentic recreation for the character.
The light blue legs, used on countless characters previously to recreate jeans, have once again surfaced on Michael Knight’s 80’s look. The torso is almost like-for-like what you see above, the prominent belt buckle, a staple of Knight’s wardrobe, the red top, with hint of turtleneck, and the black leather jacket. The detail is simple, yet impressive.
The jacket has a little more detail when compared to its TV counterpart, but that is more to add the parts of the jacket which are three-dimensional in the real-world. Overall, all great so far.
Moving up to the head and despite looking fairly generic, somehow it does look a little Hoff, must be the eyebrows because there is very little else on the character’s face other than cheekbone lines. The hair piece does the majority of the work in defining Knight’s iconic look, the Frodo look screams Knight Rider on this figure, and as a life-long fan, I love it.
If LEGO Dimensions has taught me anything, it’s that they can do amazing things when it comes to recreating iconic vehicles in micro form. K.I.T.T. is up there with Doc Brown’s time machine, so getting the look right is essential and with only 30 or so pieces to work with, that’s a challenge.
Thankfully, it’s a challenge that has been achieved, as this little LEGO build looks awesome. The car, originally a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with a few modifications, not including the AI, is impressively recreated here, the pointed front definitely working in LEGO’s favour.
Almost entirely black, with the exception of the windscreen and memorable red streaks front and rear, this model thrives because of its use of curved pieces to create something that simultaneously looks futuristic and retro. It’s a simple build, but a fine example of intelligent minimalist design – something that the LEGO Dimensions team have gotten rather good at over the last year.
So far, so good in my book, a great and accurate representation of the shows protagonist and a car to match, so what about in-game?
Much like the A-Team, the Knight Rider hub world is an amalgamation of the typical LA hot-spots that Michael may have found himself, with the primary inspiration being Las Vegas.
Surrounding the central location you’ll find car lots, junk yards and desert and mountainous roads, all littered with the usual side-missions and collectibles any LEGO Dimensions veteran would expect. There are a couple of hidden treats in there as well, including the Knight Industries mobile lab lorry, which can be driven into if you can find it.
Despite this, though, the environment doesn’t seem to match up with similar franchises, feeling a little uninspired given the multiple series’ of TV the designers could have trawled through for source material – though K.I.T.T.’s nemesis K.A.R.R. does make a welcomed appearance.
Ability wise, Michael has a fairly decent set, his impressive on-screen crime-fighting skills shining through thanks to the skill set he’s been handed here. Knight has the tracking ability, agility through the acrobat skill, and some high tech skills thanks to the gadgets at his disposal, no doubt, with hacking, tech access points and X-Ray vision also available. K.I.T.T. lets the side down a little bit, the car with a mind of its own and a huge range of skills on the show is only given a laser and accelerator switches in his default form.
There are, of course, two additional brick configurations on offer, the Goliath Armored Semi, and the K.I.T.T. Jet, both of which extend the available abilities considerably. The Goliath has many of the abilities I’d have expected normal K.I.T.T. to have if I’m being honest. In addition to the accelerator switches, you get electricity, tow bar, super strength and the all-important invulnerability (surely this one at least could have been on the default mode). As well as the standard flying abilities, the jet has a laser, can destroy silver bricks and use the tow bar.
Moving on to the audio and one of my biggest gripes with the Knight Rider world is the decision to not have the iconic theme tune as the default background music, I had to go and build the jukebox and select it, shocking choice there. Adding to the sound-based horror is the voice of Michael Knight. Getting the Hoff would have been a massive win, even using soundbites from the show, but instead we get the voice of Parks and Recreation legend Nick Offerman.
While I’m a massive fan of Offerman’s work, even his other LEGO Dimensions voice-overs, his portrayal of Michael Knight isn’t up there with his best work, the voice sounds nothing like the TV character, which is incredibly frustrating. Thankfully, K.I.T.T., the real star of the show, is once again voiced by William Daniels, a defining highlight in the whole pack.
Overall, the Knight Rider Fun Pack is a bit of a mixed bag, and I’m not entirely sure why. I loved the A-Team fun pack, it ticked every box and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, this fun pack is built on pretty much the same template and yet somehow doesn’t hit the same heights.
While the minifigure and vehicle model are superb, matching their TV counterparts brilliantly, the lack of a suitable Hoff voice-double doesn’t help the situation, nor does the fairly generic settings used in the open-world. With plenty of episodes to draw source material from, it just seems a bit lacking overall.
Maybe it’s the multi-character ensemble which makes the A-Team fun pack that much better.
This set was provided for review purposes. However, all reviews reflect the authors own personal views and are not influenced in any way.
- The figure and vehicle model are both superb
- William Daniels’ return to voice K.I.T.T.
- Michael Knight’s skill set will definitely come in handy
- Michael Knight’s voice isn’t great. Hoff replaced by Offerman just doesn’t work well
- There just isn’t enough unique challenges in the open world.