The Lego 8031 MINI V-19 Torrent is an older set released back in 2009. I purchased mine at a local Target prior to Easter that year. It is set well worth the money; it’s sturdy and relatively close in looks to the Lego 7674 V-19 Torrent released in 2007. It’s not without its problems, but overall it is well-built and appropriately priced. This is probably one of the larger MINIs that I’ve purchased ever since Lego ended the main line in 2004.
This set was retailed for $3.99, a great price in my opinion. At first, I was a bit apprehensive for fear of how little I might get, but once I got home and opened it up, all of that doubt disappeared. It has 66 pieces, several of which are relatively large. I’ll get into more of that in the next section. Additionally, I compared the piece count of this $3.99 set to a couple of the sets released this year – the two battle packs. The Clone battle pack has 85 pieces whereas the Mandalorian battle pack has 68. I realize it’s not very accurate to compare the piece count of a MINI to that of a full-sized set, but I still find it interesting nonetheless.
Design and Build
Before anything else, I’d like to point out the fact that the MINI V-19 Torrent is one sturdy set. The body in particular is quite firm. You’d have do a bit more than just drop it on the floor to break the body apart. Even the underside (where the function that folds down the vertical wing is placed) is strong. It is very simple, yet works well with the overall design of the set. Several of the pieces used are larger than what you’d expect from a MINI, such as the wings. With this, however, comes some bulkiness. The vertical wing in particular is rather bulky; it’s made up of pieces that are one Lego peg wide. Flat pieces, like the ones used for the wings, turned sideways would have looked more pleasing to the eye. Both of the other wings seem to be lacking something as well – a one-by-two white plate that could have been placed between the hook pieces holding the blasters in place and the large two-by-four white plate on the underside of the wings. Leaving that gap there simply doesn’t look right and is a bit of an eyesore at times. The connectivity of the wings to the main body of the ship, on the other hand, is superb. The vertical wing is a bit flimsier, but overall it holds on well, too.
Now, a MINI with a play function isn’t something you see every day – the MINI V-19 Torrent manages to do this though. The wings on either side of the body can fold out and the vertical wing behind it can fold down, turning the ship from landing mode to flight mode. While all three wings may not fold down at the same time like they do in the 7674 V-19 Torrent, the fact of the matter is that it has the ability to change its appearance, so to speak. That, I think, is a great plus that adds to display and play possibilities.
In conclusion, the Lego 8031 MINI V-19 Torrent is a set well worth its price; it has a modest piece count, a nice variety of parts, and once built is structurally sound. The negative of this is that it appears more bulky than it should be, but I’d say the wing function easily outweighs that. If you can still find one of these today, I definitely recommend picking one up. So then, to wrap this up:
-wings move, allow for change from landing to flight mode
-modest piece count
-bulky rear wing
-empty spaces, appear as though pieces were forgotten