I had originally purchased jut one of this set. But after staring at the alternate build pics, I figured it would be worth while to have two more. So on one of my increasingly frequent visits to the inconvenient LEGO store, I grabbed two more. There were none on the shelf but there was a box of them behind the counter. Several were gone already. I inquired about and received two more. Apparently these little things are hot.
And then a strange coincidence occurred to me. I had three of these sets in hand and I have three children. Why not let each of them build one of models and we'll play test them?
What a great dad I am.
And so we commenced. The three chillens' easily picked different ones and started building. The 7 year old built the front end loader. The 5 year old built the power digger. And the 2 year old assembled the wheels to the dump truck and called it good. (Daddy got to build the rest of it). We then played construction site for a while. This consisted mostly of two year old backing up his truck and saying "beep, beep, beep!" Meanwhile the girls played "hi" wherein their construction vehicles talked to each other.
The power digger is the main model for this build and is a cute little representation. I was immediately reminded of the excavator from the mining series set 4203. There are some fairly common SNOT techniques but they are used well. One of my favorite is to use a clip and handle technique to attach the cab on top of a tile. Tiles are studless, mind you. Play is pretty good but little hands that are still learning fine fine motor skills keep popping the arm off.
Next was the dump truck. There's quite a bit if chubbyness (chibi?) in this guy. The bed itself is shallow and sits in a fat built up assembly to allow for a tipping mechanism. But it's very sturdy. Except when the 2 year old is allowed to vroom it throughout the house and separates it into its molecular elements. Then daddy's a little irritated. Since it is not the main build, I used the numerous extra parts to build something. Most of the parts were articulated in nature so I ended up with a stationary digger. Or a construction serpent.
The front end loader is the stoutest one of them all. The arms to the bucket are connected behind the cab allowing a large range of motion. The only drawback to this model is that arms can come down and rest on the tires. However it doesn't seem to hinder the tires from turning, even if you force the arm down. The 7 year old followed my lead with the extra parts and built a construction pelican. He carries concrete in his mouth.
(I should add too the the 5 year old got the raw end of the extra parts deal since she had the main model. But she still put together a construction doggie from her four extra parts.)
I'm much more amenable to this set than last week's helicopter. It's the wheels mostly. This set has a lovely assortment of yellow pieces, especially the new baby bow now available in near 100 sets. If price per part is what you're interested in then this comes out tops with 64 + 4 pieces for $5 which equals a paltry 7c each. But the parts are even smaller than the helicopter so is that fair? Perhaps we should be thinking price per ounce?
LEGO has hit an instant win with three dashing models that work well together. They've almost guaranteed that you will be spending the money on three copies just to have your own micro construction site. I would say it's money well spent.
Get more construction vehicles by clicking the image links below: