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Showing posts with label City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label City. Show all posts

Set Review - Camper Van 60057

For my birthday I only had one request.  That was for set 60057.  Nothing more.  As an added bonus I got a LEGO shaped cake.  A 3022 to be exact.  It looked nice until the kids (6 & 7) decided that the studs needed X marks sunk in them as part of the decoration.  It kind of looked like someone had bitten it up.  But it's the thought that counts.

For a previous birthday I had requested set 4435, Car and Caravan.  I passed on the Friends' Adventure Camper 3184 but I've been eyeballing the Friends' Summer Caravan Set 41034, waiting eagerly for it to be released.  I am fascinated with campers, travel trailers, and other small living spaces.  I have been spending the last few years hopelessly building my own teardrop trailer.

This set is a rehash of 2009's Camper 7639.  But bigger and better.  And now with a real bed.  But about that.  This beautiful camper has a big bulbous overcab section yet the bed is on the floor in the back.  That place where you would expect a bed to be is just empty storage.  Well, not completely empty.  They did manage to just barely squeeze a couple of life vests up in there.  From a residential designer perspective, the use of the inside space could be better.  A bed over the cab and a kitchenette below would have been a better layout.  But unlike it's predecessor, at least this one has a bed!  Though, it's not like they can both lay down at once unless you remove the arms or something.  But the thought is nice.

My other gripe is the canoe.  I am not a big fan of canoes.  And when I say not a big fan, I mean that I would rather go down with a sinking ship than to have to escape on a canoe.  But that was from some trauma 20 some years ago.  I should be over that by now, right?  RIGHT?  Maybe I would have preferred any other sort of outdoor adventure equipment.  Maybe the rubber raft?  Then again, I'm not a big fan of white water rafting either.  What's the matter with a nice croquet set?

The idea of brickonomics or whatever you call it is very apparent.  There were several places where a white 1x4 plate would have been perfect.  But the 1x4 plate with 2 end studs was more appropriate where the roof attaches to the body.  The less studs, the easier it is to remove the roof.  Rather than include both the 2x4 plate and it's partially studded cousin, all the white 2x4 plates were the 2 stud variety.  This makes sense from an economics standpoint.  Just not something that I'm used to.

The swing open wall is a nice way to allow play on the inside.  This is not a new feature as it has appeared in other vehicular sets but it is a good trick to keep using.  But perhaps my favorite feature was the way the nose of the vehicle went together.  The previous Camper had a 2x6 45° slope for the nose.  Fine, perfectly acceptable.   On this set the designer (E.R.?) did some wonderful sculpting with some newer parts.  The mini vehicle nose 98835, used extensively in Cars sets, was put to use.  In several other City vehicles, there is a 1x2 45° slope on either side of it.  Looks alright.  On this set, it was used with the new baby bow and a cheese slope turned sideways for a headlight.  It looks very sharp and reminds me of a Freightliner/Dodge/Mercedes Sprinter Van.

Overall I enjoy this set and give it two bricks up.  You can grab this set direct from LEGO.  Don't forget, shipping is free on all orders of $75 or more.

More leisure time:

Set Review - Repair Lift 30229

In what has now been billed as an unachievable trifecta, I've been to Toys'No it's not a typo'Us three weeks in a row.  The problem (problem he says) is that they have a feature that will email you when a specific item is available.  I signed up for three email alerts on three polybags and one arrived last week.  So I moseyed on in and found nothing on the shelf.  Not even a shelf tag.  Cue the help desk.  The associate could see that the box entered the store, but didn't know where it was.  He finally found it out on the floor and handed me a polybag.  Done and done.

As I've mentioned before, I'm not really into the City theme but I'm a sucker for small cars, etc.  Having four wheels, this little set would qualify.  I had wanted to build it with my soon to be 3 year old son but the timing never worked.  So my daughters and I built this on Father's day afternoon along with 4201 which had been sitting in our backlog (side note, mining theme now complete!)

From the start, I could see the hilarity potential in the polybag set.  The lifting arm does not have a gear at each end connected by a chain.  Therefore Bill (as he shall now be called) is subject to all sorts of angles for repair, some of which may or may not be advantageous.  I spent some time running him across the table in various positions pretending like he was screaming atop an out of control lift.  Of course the girls were laughing hard enough to wake their sleeping brother which would have gotten me in trouble with their sleeping mother.  So we meandered on to other play ideas.

The set is a nice solid build and a cute addition to a city scene.  My only complaints are the connection of click hinges.  When manipulating the lift, the upper portion tends to disconnect from the hinge base.  But it's otherwise well balanced and the bucket and man can be in any position without the platform tipping.

This set is a smaller version of many who have come before and are currently existing.  A simple search for "Repair" yields the current light repair truck, the previous light repair truck and a slightly older utility repair lift.  The previous two use the same lift type system as this.  The latter set is a pre-click hinge era set and takes advantage of scissor lift technology.  But as far as size goes this polybag fills a nice void of non-road legal equipment.

For $3.49 this has got to be the cheapest LEGO that the toy retailer sells.  The price for 40 pieces plus a minifig is fabulous.  The fun factor is fairly raging as well.  If you're not so much into the set, consider that price for the parts.  Lots of yellow wheels and other little bits.  Plus a big ol' 2x6 brick for the base.  All in all I'd give it a hearty yes and a complete worth it.

Set Review - Lawn Mower 30224

I'm not much of a City guy.  But I do like a few of the particular wheels.  When the Small Car came out a few years ago I had to get one.  I wish I'd gotten more.  Many of my favorite cars have, in fact, been small.  Big things are cool if you like lots of size.  I've got nothing to make up for so I'm cool with small.  My favorite genre is micro anyway so I'm happy.

As soon as I saw the Lawn Mower I was pretty thrilled about it.  Farming was another of my favorite City themes and a riding mower fits well into that idea.  This was a perfect mashup for me.  Small and farming.  Perfect.  Now I realize that anyone who lives on a proper farm will have a mower attachment for their Kubota or International or Massey Ferguson or what have you.  But as a city boy, I can at least stretch my dreams enough to keep me satiated, k?

Then one of my fellow luggers brought this little set to a meeting.  It's.  Got.  Action!  It doesn't just roll along, but the mower blades actually spin too.  And they'll take uneven terrain.  They sit at a slight angle to and rest on the ground.  The pins let the blades spin freely and the low amount of surface area on the ground translates to low drag.  Even on hard surfaces it works brilliantly.  As soon as our meeting was over I went straight away to pick one up.   I was so visibly excited about the set that the same member then later offered one to me in trade for some of my parts.  Of course I had to tell him that he was a month too late.

I found mine at Price Hikes R Us where I believe it is an exclusive.  Despite their usual markups, this set was only $3.99.  Not bad for a 42 + 3 piece set.  For a City set it also seems to have a large proportion of Technic pieces.  Almost 25% is in pins and connectors and gears.  If you're looking to stock up on 20 tooth gears and lime curved slopes then be my guest.

Even though the mowing action was hot stuff I was a little disappointed at the durability of the set.  That whole grass eating bit is held in place by a single 1x2 technic brick setting on a plate.  No top connections.  Furthermore there are several extra pieces sitting on top of the technic brick, thereby disrupting the already tenuous balance of the assembly.  Being refined as I am I could manage it alright but my 2 year old was continually breaking it.  I think he expected it to be Tonka tough or something.  Sorry little dude, not this set.  Even my 6 and 7 year old daughters were not always able to keep it in one piece.  Of course beefing up that front end may have required a few more pieces and then the novelty of spinning blades would be gone.

If you expect your kids to be able to rough this set around with their Star Wars rigs, they will be sorely disappointed.  If your kids are adept or this will be for your office desk then you DEFINITELY need to get at least one.  I'm tempted to buy a few more and swap out orange, red, and blue for the lime parts.  It's a mower parade!

Find more City sets at

Set Review - Fire Car 30221

Thank you Target for coming through again with some new stuff.  As a Star Wars and small vehicles fan this Fire Car was a welcome addition to kick off of my Fall reviews.  For $3.99 we get a nice little vehicle and a minifig.  Good deal!  Or is it?

This set comes with 32 pieces and a minifig.  The first thing that stood out to me was the wheels.  Those wheels look more like they belong on a low-rider.  Unless the LEGO City's Finest is using their tax payers' money to trick out their rides.  The wheels are the same as on the mini Creator set "Spiderman's Racer".

As with other polybag vehicles, this is a very stripped down build.  Compare, for instance, set 7595 with set 30071.  Or check out the strength of 3183 with the economy of 30103.  Similarly this Fire Car could be compared to the one in the Perfectly Safe Kitty, Hysterical Owner set (though the tree in that one is worthy of Charlie Brown).  The semi-modular design uses the classic 4x7 car base.  This is actually a pretty cool piece, my first exposure being on the Smart Car.  I wish I'd bought a few more of those.  But I was impressed that the instructions included upwards of four pieces per step.  This is more than most of the steps in Ravenous Dwarves.

Despite the Spartan nature of the car it provides a simple form of play.  Personally, I love overzealous firemen driving around in small cars with no fire to put out.  There's the one drawback of this set; not a flame in sight.  Not even a glowing cigarette butt.  So this poor guy rides around in his convertible looking for cats to save with his ABC fire extinguisher.  Much like the Fire Motorcycle he can't even take an injured person to the hospital.  Maybe he's got some basic first aid somewhere.  Still, how cool would it be to have someone in your town who just rode around all day with a fire extinguisher?  Add an officer on every block and I'd feel as snug as a bug in a rug.

As far as being a deal let's compare it to the magical dime a piece sweet spot.  On the one hand (counting the minifig as 4 pieces plus including the four extra pieces) it comes in at 10c per piece, right on.  But considering that the current average price of the fireman himself is $3.50 (ignore Bricklink's April price guide spoiler) I think it's safe to say that this is a very good deal.  From a business perspective.

And vrooming little cars around is good for your heart.  I saw it on the internet.

Of course little fire dude can't do it alone so get your fire fighting groove on with these other sets:

Set Review - 30152 Mining Quad

In a continuation of last week's review we'll look at the other polybag in the Mining series, the Mining Quad.  With the pre-existing inclusion of 4200 Mining 4x4 the designers must have been stretching to fill another polybag.  Maybe something tracked would have broken the monotony.

But I like little wheeled things so I was immediately drawn to this.  You get the vehicle, a miner with hardhat, and the obligatory dynamite.  My only eyebrow raise is that the wheels used on this are the same size as the ones used on the fire engine.  Next to each other they look silly.  Actually the fire engine looks silly in my opinion but that's not why we're here.

The miner is one of the four characters that are available from 4204 The Mine.  All other miners in the other sets are a replica of these four.  But at least there's some variety of clothes and heads to play mix and match and make more miners.  Four different pants x 4 different shirts x 4 different heads = 64 different possible hard working minifigs.  But every group of 16 will have the same face.  Might be a little creepy if you got that far.

Oh yeah, the Quad.  Yes, it is.  It's certainly more play hardy than the dozer.  It also has a few accessories as well so the kids no longer have to fight over who gets to play with the jackhammer.  And more dynamite is always good.

It was and still remains a Target $3.99 exclusive.  With 42 pieces (counting the extras and the minifig as pieces) it hits our happy little 10c per part price.  And it vrooms well without falling apart.  Strip away the tools and it's a decent all-purpose quad.  And of course being LEGO you could change it up in several different ways for a fleet of unique vehicles.  Get a few, why not?

Find the rest of the Mining line at

Set Review - 30151 Mining Dozer

When LEGO's Mining series was introduced last year I was rather excited about it.  I was finally running a self sustaining hobby that could pay for my own LEGO products instead of taking that money from the mortgage or diaper fund.  I planned to collect every single set within the series.  Thanks to the Wal*Mart gaffe I was able to pick up 4204 The Mine for a paltry $39.99.  I later found 4202 Mining Truck on sale (now retired) with a stacked coupon for around $22.  I am still waiting for a deal on 4203 Excavator Transporter.  I watched polybag release announcements like a hawk and finally found the little Mining Dozer for $3.99 at Target.

We drove by on the way home from elsewhere and I asked my wife to go in and buy it.  The RedCard is in her name anyway so it really cost me $3.79.  What next happened was one of the most stunning things of my life.  She opened the package and began to build it.  "What are you doing!?"  "I wanna build your set, is that okay?" "Um, uh, yeah, sure."  I couldn't care less whether or not I was the one to build it, I was just floored that she wanted to.  An AFOL she is not.

After we got home I looked it over (fixed her one misbuild) and vroomed it around a bit.  That's when the real disappointment set in.  This was less a functional dozer and more a poorly designed pile of parts.  My hands aren't fat and I'm fairly articulate so I won't blame it on me.

For starters the roll cage continue to pop off.  And not just the roll cage but the clips it is attached to.  Even though the clips are 1x2 for extra grip, it's still not enough to contain the bulky load of the cage.  Opening and closing it requires careful attention lest it pop right off.  I know it's intended to be a small impulse set but a few extra parts to clamp the clips down would have been good.  The bucket is a minor disappointment as it is difficult to actually scoop things up without the double articulation that is generally present.  Must be a pusher, not a lifter.  Still gotta get 4201 Loader and Tipper.

The biggest disappointment to me is the hat.  LEGO must have done something new with headgear.  I'm not sure if it's present on other helmets as well but the anti-stud on the bottom has too much of a relief gap in it.  If you sneeze at one of the mining minifigs their hat pops straight up off of their head Laurel and Hardy style.

But at least we get an extra trans clear round 1x1 tile.  Those are spiffy.

If you are an OCD collector like me, certainly pick up the set.  It looks good in a diorama or display.  If you plan on letting your kids zoom it around be prepared for the thing to fall to pieces.  I guess you can just pretend the dump truck ran over it.

Find the rest of the Mining line at