Gary brought a copy of the 2010 Cobi Brick Catalog to the comic con a couple of weekends ago. I had heard of the line before but hadn't picked any up. Here's the 2011 catalog over at Cobi's site. Some of the sets are kind of interesting. I liked the Knights theme and the Romans & Barbarians were pretty entertaining. Gary said he had seen some sets at the Hub Hobby store in Richfield. I popped over there during my lunch hour one day last week and picked up a cheap set. 27050 Catapult set was $9.99 for 50 pieces. Twenty cents a piece isn't a very good price per part. The Cobi shop lists them for 9.99 Euros. Some of the pieces are larger but a LEGO set with that many pieces would be in the 5-7 dollar range.
The top pic in the post is the set I got at Hub Hobby. It says Grunwald 1410 on one side and Tannenberg 1410 on the other side. Grunwald is a real battle in Poland. The battle took place July 15, 1410 in the fields between the towns of Grunwald and Tannenberg; here's a longer description of the battle. Poland and Lithuania kick the ass of the Teutonic Knights. Those guys suck, coming around causing trouble. I am guessing that the Grunwald sets are mostly for the Poland market and the rest of the world gets the more generic Knights label.
There's a nice bunch of parts that you won't find in a LEGO set. I like that 1x3 slope and the 1x2 curved slope. The brown color might be a little light for my tastes. There's a green plant thing that's got nice detail in the stems. That piece turns up in white in another set, being worn by a minifig as a crown. There's a 2x4 plate attached 90 degrees to a 1x4 plate. That little gray piece straight below the axe is a handle for the shield. It's a handle with a stud. I can see that being useful. Same for the 1x1 round plate with the stud on each side. That's how they make the round rocks for the catapult. The two halves go together and they form a really nice round textured boulder. The individual halves of the boulder can be used for decoration or who knows what.
The sets got one guy and a catapult with some logs as protection for his knees and feet. There's a flag on a spear and the bottom of a chest. That minifig guy has a nose that sticks up from the face. His skin color is a sort of tan. The knight has a nicely printed torso and I like the simplistic white design on the red flag. It's printed both sides. The shields got a label, in fact, they put in a whole sheet of colorful labels depicting the banners of the participants of the battle. They have some great symbols, don't they? The instructions are pretty good, clear and easy to read. That's the last page of the booklet. It shows a top down and side view of the finished set, as well as a nice illustration of the handle piece and the 1x1 round plate with the stud on each side and how it fits the boulder pieces. I built the set and took it along to the TCLUG meeting. Brian's 5 year old daughter Lindsey had a great time catapulting the boulder at the soldier. I'm not sure that I will rush right out and buy any more sets, that would cut into the LEGO budget, but I can look at them online. Glad I got one for now.