Let's get one important thing out of the way first - How do you pronounce LEGO Chima?
Well, you say it Chima as in Chee-ma, NOT Chima as in rhymes with China. Got it? I am making these mistakes so you don't have to.
The Legends of Chima back story involves eight animal tribes battling it out for control of the CHI (say it chee as in cheese).
(Also, wouldn't it be great if they were battling for control of the cheese? As long as you had enough yellow pieces you'd be The Boss)
As I mentioned in a previous post, we were invited along to Chessington World of Adventures for the launch of the LEGO Chima roadshow, which is travelling around the UK until October.
Two things make this latest range from LEGO stand out - it's very animal-centric; and there's a lot more to it than simply building stuff with bricks.
The range includes tiny vehicles which come with a plastic rip cord which you use to rev them up and get them racing and leaping. The vehicles move pretty fast once they get going but need to be on a flat surface (not carpet). Watch out for them disappearing under the sofa.
After the Chessington event we were sent two of the LEGO Chima Speedorz sets to take a closer look at and review.
Over all we were impressed with how much you get in these sets, which retail at £10-15. They include a selection of Lego pieces to build, the little vehicles plus ripcord, one or two minifigues and collector cards.
First up, the CHI battles starter kit (code #70113 RRP £14.99). Containing lion and wolf minifigures plus vehicles, 10 game cards, more CHI than you could fit in a cheese box and plenty of obstacles and ramps.
The Ring of Fire set (code #70100, RRP £9.99) lets you build a flaming hoop for your Chima minifigure to soar through.
We think either of these sets would make a good birthday present if you have a party coming up. Out of the bigger Chima range we liked the look of Cragger's Command Ship, which is a boat that looks a lot like a crocodile.
My son is a huge LEGO fan but he wasn't sure about the Chima range when he first saw it - it didn't grab him immediately, which surprised me because he loves both animals and LEGO. However, these review sets have changed his mind and he's been playing with them a lot over the last few days. The various accessories mean there's masses of potential for imaginative, creative play. My only criticism would be is that there are a lot of little fiddly bits that don't fit together, so you do then have to think about how to store your Chi.
All in all we like this latest addition to the LEGO family. Now, say it after me: