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Set Review - Mini Speeder 31000

In the process of other building projects I realized it was necessary to obtain several (dozen) trans black 1x2 plates.  No problem, fire up the gerbils and get on Bricklink.  Oh, they're 60c from Germany or a solid $1 each in the states?  As someone who aims for 10c per part, this was a little steep.  I filled several voids with tiles instead but still needed a dozen plates to finish the structure.  Wasn't I surprised and relieved when LEGO released a little (not quite polybag) Creator car that came with not one, not two, but fiv- I mean, three of those little plates.  I cleared out the shelves at K-mart for $6 each holding back one in it's entirety for me to build.  But this feature is about set reviews not best sets to part out.

Many years ago I discovered building-in-the-bag.  This is a practice whereby you build the parts while they stay in the bag they came in.  Fun and challenging for smaller sets, next to impossible for larger sets.  Because they come in more then one bag and often have bags within bags.  Challenge: Build me Bag-End in the bag.

Once I discovered this challenge I built Tiny Turbos in the bag.  Two. sets. later. they stopped using the bags and just put the pieces loose into the hard case.  Very disappointing.  Excited I was when they started doing it again for the mini Creator vehicles.  I've got two under my belt now and decided to add this one to the mix.  The only issue to this end was that some of the connections are weak until several steps later when you get to strengthen them up.  Part of the idea of a Creator set I suppose, using smaller parts to allow for more flexibility in the creativity department.  Unlike, say, Jack Stone.

As far as parts go red and blue aren't necessarily part of my building palette.  But there are some good parts in basic colors here.  Red wedges and blue curved slopes seem to be new as do the white wheels.  When I first saw this set I thought of one thing.  What else would red and blue with white delicately spoked wheels remind you of but Spiderman?  Right?  Isn't this his sports car?  Maybe this set was originally a failed idea for the Super Heroes line so they turned it into a Creator set.  Dunno for sure, just saying.

I appreciate how LEGO designers have lately been more bold in the techniques they use for builds.  In this case headlight bricks backed onto brackets are a nice touch.  Maybe I don't build enough LEGO sets but this was new to me.  From LEGO, mind you.  I've seen the AFOL community do things like this for years.

With such a small set I didn't expect much in the way of extra parts.  But every 1x1 plate whether round or square as well as the cheese slopes were replicated once more per occurrence.   At the recent Bricks Cascade 2013 convention I was able to ask North American customer rep Kevin Hinkle about the generosity of TLG and their extra extra parts lately.  He said that a lot of it was based on calls from parents that junior had lost/ate/permanently jammed up their nose such and such a part.  Really?  Well I'll tell you what.  In my day we never got extra parts with sets.  You lost a part, you lost a part.  And we didn't have Bricklink or eBay back then either.  Maybe I'm getting old and crotchety or maybe parenting now is completely different than how I was taught to parent.

Not that I'm complaining.  I'll take extra extra parts any day.  Oh, and the build is fun too especially in the bag.  I recommend getting several for the new exclusive parts and building your own fleet of Spiderman vehicles.

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