It is unlikely that I am the only AFOL who thinks that Power Miners (released 2009-2010) were one of the breakaway hit new themes that LEGO released in the past decade. A rehash of the 1999 Rockraider theme, complete with drills, transparent crystal bricks, and rockmonsters, it was a complete surprise when this gaudy new theme was released with sets colour-heavy in the orange and lime-green departments.
But a hit it was, and today I am going to look at one of the two sets that I managed to acquire. You may ask, "if Power Miners are so awesome, why do you only have two sets?" Well, the answer is that LEGO has been coming out with a number of really excellent sets the last few years, and a university student's LEGO budget is never equal to what is released.
For what it's worth, 8957 Mine Mech isn't even one of the Power Miners' better sets. It's on the smaller side, and if you consider it as a parts pack, I hope you like ball-and-socket joints.
On the other hand, however, it's a nice introduction for the timid to the Power Miners theme. It has one the new, minifig-sized rockmonsters, with trans-dark green to match the crystal that comes with the set, and it includes a dose of the "big mechanical toys" element that makes Power Miners a lot of fun. Set in a vague-almost present/maybe future, this particular mech is cute in a clunky, almost steampunk sort of way. The fig is completely composed of new elements (as of 2009): blue helm, new crazy genius professor type head, and Power Miner overalls torso/legs.
The result, I think, is a set that is far more cute than its constituent components should add up to.