THE PEANUTS MOVIE was one of the highlights of 2015, in our household ranking in the Top Five of the year, right alongside STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, INSIDE OUT and JURASSIC WORLD. With the film coming home on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD (pre-order) this March, families will no doubt be taking another look at some of the tie-in merchandise that started hitting retailers during the theatrical run. Among THE PEANUTS MOVIE toys that were released is a full line of PEANUTS Lite Brix by Cra-Z-Art, including the Flying Ace Snoopy set, which we received for review. This 89-piece building set includes mini figures of Charlie Brown, Snoopy & Woodstock, and allows kids to build a light-up replica of Snoopy’s famous doghouse, complete with a miniature backyard setting.
Right out of the box, The Rock Daughters™ were certainly into this – intrigued by the light system and transparent bricks, though they did need a little bit of a parental assist. Whenever I post about a set of “bricks” or “blocks” that are “Compatible with other Brick Systems!” (as Lite Brix touts on the front of their boxes), the number one question that always comes up is: do they fit together as well as LEGO? The answer here is clearly, no – and when it comes to similarly “compatible” brands, Lite Brix ranks among the worst in terms of matching what the folks at LEGO are doing. The pieces don’t fit as well (sometimes they’re actually hard to get just right – even for mom and dad), the plastic has a different consistency and feel, and in the case of this Flying Ace Snoopy set, the design is more “inspired-by” as opposed to accurate. After all, Snoopy’s house is red, though we often see it in toy form with the red roof and white sides, as we do here.
Requiring 3 AAA batteries for operation of the lights, what you have is just a transparent battery and light box that attaches beneath the roof – and there’s a little weight to it, so if you don’t have it just right, it can fall off. The only other real point of criticism is that Woodstock lacks a place on his feet to properly attach to anything (it’s just flat on the bottom).
Overall, the Lite Brix Flying Ace Snoopy set is a cute set that’s quickly-built but lacks the replay value of similarly-sized sets from other brands. Our girls love the figures, but the light-up action of Snoopy’s house is just a short-lived novelty, with the color-changing LED’s not illuminating very much.