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Cobi Blocks World of Tanks "Panzer VIII Maus" Product Review
I've only been waiting on this kit for 3 months... I totally didn't jump for joy when it finally showed up...
About this creation
My other reviews...






I put the forward German cross where the clan icon would go on the Maus in World of Tanks...









Action shots showcasing elevation and depression angles as well as the opening hatches and rotating turret...




Below is a front/top comparison to my previously reviewed Tiger 131 and M24 Chaffee both by Cobi.




Below is comparison to a 32oz Gatorade bottle...




Tank Lore (The Back of the Box Info)

Produced - 1944*
Place of Origin - Germany
Type - Super-Heavy Tank
Weight- 188t (414,469lb)
Armor - 220mm (8.66") Maximum
Main Armament - 128mm (5") Kwk 44 L/55 Gun
Secondary Coaxial Armament - 75mm (2.95") Kwk 44 L/36.5 Gun
Anti-Infantry Armament - 7.92mm (.311") MG 34 Machine Gun
Engine - MB 517 V12 Diesel Engine (V2), 1200 HP
Speed - 20Km/H (12Mph)
Crew - 6

(This isn't on the back of the box)

* Two Produced, a V1 hull, and V2 hull with turret. Upon it's capture the V2 hull was destroyed by charges set by the Germans to destroy the vehicle. When the Russians took it the V1 hull was still intact and the V2 turret was more or less fine, so they mated the two together, and that is the Maus we know of today. It should be noted that the V2 turret actually had a Serial Number of 1, as it was the first turret made for the Maus, so Serial Number 1 Hull was mated to Serial Number 1 turret, so in the end it all fits...

The Kit Itself

At 900 pieces I believe this is one of, if not the largest tank kit Cobi has produced thus far, and rightfully so. This thing is massive for a brick tank, easily outclassing their own Tiger kits, and Tiger II kits, and dwarfing anything smaller. This tanks size is more like one that should be motorized, and indeed you probably could with some structural tweaks (The chassis is 75% solid brick) but sadly it is not motorized.

Before we get into the kit and I fanboy all over it, I feel like I should say some things that I didn't like about it... Just to be fair...

- The tracks.

Cobi made a brand new 4 wide track link for this kit (Tiger's used 3 wide) and while it is a needed step up, it isn't exactly right. You see the Maus' lower hull is dominated by the tracks which take up about 2/3 or the entire tanks width. With a 16 stud wide hull (And allowing for a 1 stud buffer zone to keep the build from becoming riddled with jumper plates) Cobi should have made 5 wide tracks instead of 4 wide. Technically they needed 5 1/2 stud tracks but again, for simplification I could live with 5 wide.

- The running gear.

This tank has the same issue as their first Panther kit in that the drive sprocket and idler use the same toothed sprocket wheel which causes the already hard to push tank to catch on it's tracks and stall them even further. (The tank is hard to roll because it's just so heavy) This problem is fixed by taking the "Idler" sprocket and turning the toothed part around so the teeth of the sprocket are on the outside, and not actually contacting the track links center guides. This wheel is hidden behind the skirts so you can't readily see this mod which is good.

- The front and rear turret faces.

The front turret face on this tank is arguably the area that if any part of the tank needs to be right it's this... And it isn't... The Maus' turret face is a semi-circular curve. It does not have a massive flat spot which dominates the turret face. I can deal with the fact that the turret side's don't meet flush like the real tank does, but I feel like Cobi should have custom molded a turret face cheek on a piece that 2x5x1. The turret cheeks are just ugly.

The rear turret face does not have that weird slope that goes straight down, and then suddenly angles outward. This is just ugly, This face could have used a larger version of the bottom left and right corner pieces used on the rear turret face that could have made up the difference and fit the rear turret face in a realistic fashion. This would mimic the way the rear turret face is one slab of armor in the shape of a trapezoid and angled forward slightly...

Okay now that that is out of they way time to fanboy all over it...

This thing is heavy, and I don't mean that as a pun, I mean that because it's 900 pieces of solid brick. This tank is easy to roll because of that, but still hard to turn a bit. This is why I think Cobi went with 4 wide tracks because 5 wide tracks would be even harder to turn.

The sideskirts of the tank are connected solidly uses one row of 1x4 SNOT bricks and using pieces jutting out from the chassis created a nice wall to press the side armor into. You don't have to worry about it falling off, or folding inside the tank.

The turret uses a new type of connection for the turret, one made out of more than the two older hull top/turret bottom pieces, this connection is very solid. And because of this type of connection the turret and spin very freely so watch out as it is a little forward heavy.

All the things I pointed out that I didn't like are things you either see up close, or while building it. From a few feet away the tank is certainly Maus, no mistaking it for anything else. And the is what matters, the tank looks the part, it has some functions, and it is fun to build, and can withstand some play.

Unlike other Cobi sets this kit comes with a sticker sheet for you to apply the German Crosses how you please, and name the tank how you please as well. Because of this I have to say they did an outstanding job on the turret sides. The turret side faces are made out of 20+ pieces, yet when you run your fingers over it it feels smooth, almost like it was one molded piece. This allows the stickers to stick very well on the sides of the turret.

But here is what matters

The Price:

To put this into perspective I am going to use the price I paid for this before shipping, and the price that the Brickmania Maus kit was before shipping...

Cobi World of Tanks Panzer VIII Maus: 40 USD
Lego Brickmania Panzer VIII Maus: 520 USD

I'm not even joking, and the Brickmania model only has about 150 more pieces than this, and is technically a smaller tank because while they are both to scale with the respective minifigures, Cobi minifigures are bigger, but Brickmania costs over 10x as much...

With shipping, which was 30 USD due to international shipping, the total came out to 70 USD... And I am hard pressed to say what I could have done better with 70 USD...

Pros:

- "Cheap" "Lego" Maus
- Big
- Same features as typical Cobi kits
- New 4 wide tracks
- Side skirt constructions allows for easy access to tracks (Unlike real Maus)
- Much sturdier turret/hull connection
- Big enough that you could make it motorized, or have an interior with a MOD to it...
- Utilizes "Technical" building techniques rather than the typical simple Cobi style
- Nice German Tank CO Minifigure
- Sticker sheet with multiple names/emblems for customization
- Great source for light grey tiles (Big tiles) and Grill pieces, and slopes
- This thing is just solid, no worries about things bumping into it and messing it up

Cons:

- The rubber wheels are a pain to get the rubber onto
- Same sprocket issue as the original Panther kit
- Front/Rear Turret Faces
- Tracks should be 5 wide not 4 wide
- So big and heavy that you need to use two hands in order to play with it
- Takes up a lot of real estate on your shelf/dresser whatever
- Shipping (At least for me)
- Code only works on EU server
- Sticker sheet meaning "Decorations" aren't as tough as printed pieces
- "Tiger" is the only duplicate inscription sticker (I wanted two "Siegfried" stickers)

Overall I give it a solid 8/10...

If it wasn't for the bad way they did the front/rear turret faces, and the rehashed problem with the sprockets this could easily be a 8.5-9/10 set. Still worth the money in my book as it is a good base to mod the kit. It is just begging to be motorized, or have it's turret/hull structure redone to allow you to create an interior as it is big enough for that...


*Here's a tip for the inscriptions*

- I suggest placing your inscriptions how I placed them on the side of the sideskirts because if you do that, and then later decide you do not want inscriptions on your tank, rather than take off the stickers you can swap the grey side plate tiles out for the same type that is on top of the hull behind the turret connection. This will allow you to keep the stickers on the tiles in case you decide to revert your choice, but at the same time the inscriptions will be hidden under the turret, even during 360 rotation. This way you don't actually waste your stickers and you can have an inscribed tank, and an un-inscribed tank.


As you can see the inscriptions are centered to the hull, and right behind the turret connection, because of this and the large size of the turret you can hide these inscriptions under the turret when you want to display the tank without them rather than peeling the stickers off. And when you want inscriptions on your tanks sides, just swap out the 4x8 flat tile on the sides for these...

*A simple Modification*

- Under the tank there are various 2xXX plates that are placed right by the roadwheels the keep the track from folding inward. These plates limit the ground clearance of the tank in much the same way the big plates did on the Sherman Firefly. If you remove these plates you can slightly increase the ground clearance, reducing hull bottom drag. These plates seem to be of no real structural importance and are there simply to keep the track flat on the ground.

Be advised the code's are only valid on the EU server... *Tch*



Comments

 I made it 
  May 26, 2017
Quoting notsosureshot . but what about the other 5%? Is the other 5% about how they will never actually be real legos? that set looks really good plus i have always loved the MAUS because TANKS
The other 5% is how the axles are about 1/4mm smaller so Lego gears don't fit. And the fact of how their tracks are designed they can't really be used with Lego gears either. Lasty The tiles stick really well, to well, and they don't have that little lip on the bottom that allows you to get a fingernail under them to pop them off. The tiles, and all their bricks in general have really "sharp" edges to makr for very flush fits but this can hurt your fingers after a bit. Just bare this in mind with Cobi: You don't have to worry about clutch power, but you can't really mix the tracks into a Lego build. (I have done it with my Light Tank RU-16, but in order to do that I have to put the Cobi Gears mount on their 2x2 "Technic" blocks into the build as the tracks weren't able to mesh with Lego gears) This would also make it harder to motorize a cobi kit with Lego motors and gears because in order to keep the gears in place you'd have to fill the unused portion of the Cobi axles (Because Lego axles don't fit their gears at all) with tons of little bushings to keep the gears still and not slide around the length of the axles. Whether or not they are "Lego" isn't an issue for me, it's the quality of their bricks, and while they are mostly Lego quality, the fact the their tracks won't fit Lego gears, nor the Gears to Lego axles, and the fact the the fit of the bricks is intended to be so flush that they have "Sharp" edges means that these bricks are just slightly less than Lego quality in terms of user-friendliness. However with the different types are slopes and tiles, a small collection of these bricks, especially the tiles and plates, could seriously add to any Lego MOC you make. And if you have enough Cobi pieces you can make much sturdier tank builds than Lego, while still implementing more detail than a Cobi kit... Things like suspension might have to be let go though as I am not sure if Cobi makes suspension pieces, or pieces that can be combined to form suspension...
 I like it 
  May 24, 2017
but what about the other 5%? Is the other 5% about how they will never actually be real legos? that set looks really good plus i have always loved the MAUS because TANKS
 I made it 
  May 23, 2017
Quoting Bobby Hunter Nice review, but is that actually lego?
Cobi Blocks, not Lego... But of the Non-Lego brands these blocks are some of the best ones in terms of quality, I'd put them at 95% Lego quality.
 I like it 
  May 23, 2017
Nice review, but is that actually lego?
 I like it 
  May 23, 2017
Nice set! It looks like it's a BIG tank, just like the real one. Once again a solid review, you really go through the details, pros and cons of these sets thoroughly :-)
 
By killswitch95 (Last Name is Dank AF)
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