Some people have speculated that octopuses might be aliens on Earth. As I’m not a marine biologist, I can’t confirm the truth of this theory, but China’s Top Toy may be onto something intriguing with its latest addition to the Fantastic Idea lineup.

JMBricklayer Fantastic Idea Mechanical Octopus (70123) Review

Meet the Top Toy Fantastic Idea Mechanical Octopus (70123), brought to you by JMBricklayer. Much like the Mechanical Chameleon, the Mechanical Octopus is part of the fictional “Mechanical Creator Project,” born out of mankind’s advancements in bionic technology. While its backstory may not directly address the alien octopus theory, it doesn’t matter when the set looks as fantastic as it does.

This set features a Mechanical Octopus split into two halves. One half showcases its mechanical brilliance, while the other half exudes an air of mystery with its translucent red shell. It appears to reside on the floor of a space sea (or was it meant to be the ocean surface?), where it has discovered a UFO of unknown origin. It’s a captivating sci-fi fantasy set that we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing. So, join us as we delve into this unique set.

The Set

The JMBricklayer Fantastic Idea Mechanical Octopus (70123) is part of the same series as the Mechanical Chameleon. It’s a LEGO-compatible brick-built set that incorporates some Technic elements, and it hails from China’s brick-building toy manufacturer, Top Toy. For those unfamiliar, JMBricklayer acts as the publisher, allowing enthusiasts outside of China to access these LEGO-style products. This is a medium-sized set, containing over 806 pieces, including a variety of translucent bricks that contribute to the lovely Crystal Ocean diorama, representing the sea floor (or surface). The set comes with a sticker sheet that adds mechanical detailing to the UFO and the creature itself.

The Package

As before, the set comes with a 78-page instruction manual, a brick separator, and some non-brick-built/Technic elements, including hollow rubber tubes. It also includes the sticker sheet and not one but two round light bricks.

The Contents

JMBricklayer Fantastic Idea Mechanical Octopus (70123) Review

The set’s elements are divided into five numbered bags and three other non-numbered bags. These contain the primary octopus shell, tubes, and some painted elements.

The Instructions

The instructions are well-designed and detailed. The elements in the current step are colored, while the previous steps are somewhat dimmed to help you locate the right elements. This makes it much easier to assemble the set without having to play a game of spot-the-difference if you know what I mean.

The Build Time

The build process was smooth and hassle-free. It took me a little over four hours (4 hours and 6 minutes, to be precise) to complete it at a leisurely pace. Like any brick-built toy, it’s a very therapeutic process.

The Overview

The build process is logical and well-supported. Top Toy has skillfully combined traditional bricks with Technic elements to achieve the desired mechanical look. While I’m not a fan of stickers, they play a crucial role in bringing the set to life, in addition to the built-in lights.

The Lights

JMBricklayer Fantastic Idea Mechanical Octopus (70123) Review

There are two light-up features in this set. One, located on the base, is activated by a discreet mechanism. This light is white, but thanks to the red translucent shell, it takes on an orange hue, which kind of looks like the main artery running through the octopus’s head. The second light-up feature, in blue, is situated at the “brain” area on the flip side. It gives off a futuristic vibe as if some energy is being generated within the mysterious core. The switch for this one is even more discreet. You probably will not know if you don’t know where to look.

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The Design

The design of this set is truly captivating. Instead of confining itself to the diorama base, the octopus extends its tentacles beyond the base as it reaches out to catch the partially protruding UFO. This overflow design adds an extra layer of immersion and realism to the model. I’ve had this display in my dining area since September 10, and I never tire of admiring it. The color palette complements this majestic mechanical creature perfectly. The use of dark gray elements for the core and skeleton provides an excellent contrast to the colorful mechanical parts. The green tube surrounding the UFO adds to the vibrant atmosphere. The color isn’t just visual; it breathes life into this model.

The Challenge

As I mentioned, there were no significant challenges with the build, apart from the stickers.

The Thoughts

JMBricklayer Fantastic Idea Mechanical Octopus (70123) Review

This set is currently a favorite of mine. I may be biased because I have a deep appreciation for translucent red and all things mechanical, including creatures. It’s also hard not to respect these sea creatures, considering they could have surpassed humans as the planet’s masters if they could transmit knowledge to the next generation. Nevertheless, this set is truly remarkable, although it may not appeal to everyone due to its thematic nature. It’s likely to captivate fans of futuristic and sci-fi concepts. One suggestion for Top Toy is to consider using fiber optics for light transfer. While the current lighting solution is good, it tends to fade over time and isn’t suitable for long-distance applications.

JMBricklayer Fantastic Idea Mechanical Octopus (70123) Review

The Verdict

Pros:

  • Smooth and logical build process
  • Enjoyable to build
  • Dual light-up features
  • Captivating Crystal Ocean diorama (or is it the ocean surface?) 🤔

Cons:

  • Too many stickers for a medium-sized set
  • Longer tentacles might have been a plus
JMBricklayer Fantastic Idea Mechanical Octopus (70123) Review

If you are sold, you may pick up the Top Toy Fantastic Idea Mechanical Octopus (70123) from the JMBricklayer store on Amazon as well as JMBricklayer’s online store for US$59.99. The set should be available on Amazon.com since October 25 but strangely, it is listed as “currently not available”. But you can still pick it up from www.jmbricklayer.com anyways.

If you do buy from www.jmbricklayer.com, you can use the following code: VIPMIKE15 to score 15% off. This discount applies to all non-discounted products, not just the 70123, and it is valid until December 31, 2023. If the listing on Amazon is available, you can also secure 15% off the Top Toy Fantastic Idea Mechanical Octopus (70123) by using the code VIPSHOUT15.

Disclaimer: The set is provided by JMBricklayer for our evaluation but this does not affect our review of the product.

JMBricklayer Fantastic Idea Mechanical Octopus (70123) Review

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All images by Mike for Mikeshouts.com.

Published by Mike

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.