Thursday, 27 December 2012

10229 Winter Village Cottage mini review

Whoever you are, wherever you are and whatever your beliefs, warm greetings from Hairy Caveman!!

I finally managed to get my hands on the Winter Village Cottage and it is now built and ready for a mini review!
Firstly I have to say this is an excellent set, lots of pieces (1490), lots of minifigures (8) and some interesting building techniques. At 90 GBP / US$100 it is pretty good value, especially compared to Lego's licensed products. That gives it a price of just over 6 pence / 6.7 cents per piece. Bearing in mind that the kitchen floor alone has around 70 1x1 tiles, this isn't quite as great as it might sound. Having said that you do get a new kitchen tap I haven't seen before, a light brick and a lot of nice light blue pieces. 

You get three children minifigures (you can't move their legs) and five adults. There are some nice torso and face prints with this lot, some of which I haven't seen before. The fact that every hat and hairpiece is different from each other and in a wide variety of colours is a nice little touch.

Oops! I missed the old guy on his armchair. I think he was
too busy reading his newspaper!
There are a lot of accessories to this set that adds a lot to the playability instead of just a building by itself.
Firstly there's a child's sled with a novel way of using shovels! A lovely little igloo (another first for Lego?) This has a removable top for internal access and a stove inside. The owl is more than just decoration here, it acts as a handle to lift the roof off! The last structure in the set is a well stocked tool shed with a neat pile of logs outside ready for the fire.
Top: Sled and Igloo (with owl!)
Bottom: Outside and inside of the tool shed.

The snowplow is a bit of an ungainly looking beast but suits the era of the winter sets well, though having a radio attached outside seems a bit odd! Some nice little building techniques to get the shape of the engine cover, cab and doors add to it's charm. I think the dark blue / tan colour scheme fits it perfectly. 

Now to the cottage itself. This has a few small challenges and I went wrong a couple of times. (maybe that was to do with a festive hangover...) The end result is excellent. I like the shape and interior of this set more than the other winter ones, it just ticks all the right boxes for me. Internally this is probably the best fitted-out house I've seen. Loads of little features cram the three rooms. The kitchen has plenty of cupboards (not many of them actually open but what the heck!) The living room fits in a tree, armchair and fire grate with a picture on the wall and christmas socks by the fire. The light brick illuminates different coloured transparent bricks and plates giving off a really nice warm glow. The kid's bedroom has a nice bed and is rammed with toys. 

Ah, there's the old timer, keeping warm by the fire. I don't blame him!
Great looking and fun to build, hopefully the winter sets keep to this standard in the future. Definitely worth having!

Monday, 17 December 2012

6522 and 6634 micro reviews!

Heck! Over a week since my last post! I blame the festive season. Not laziness at all. Noooo.
A couple of my recent acquisitions are spotlighted here, 6634 'Stock Car' from 1986 and 6522 'Highway Patrol' from 1987. I managed to get both sets complete with box and instructions and all in pretty good condition too. The only slightly annoying thing is both the instructions have been hole-punched.

Firstly the Stock Car. It consists of 47 pieces including one minifigure. Nothing special part or figure-wise, the shape of the car was pretty standard for the time, with a raised rear to give it that 'sporty-always-going-downhill' look. The figure's torso had a standard print applied to it that was used for several sets and the faces were still the standard smile that had existed since the first faces were printed in 1978. The Shell logos on the car and the number 16 were all stickers, luckily these have remained clean and mostly intact over the years.

The Highway Patrol set only consisted of about 30 pieces but contained two police minifigs, which was very welcome for a small set like this. Also included were two police motorcycles and a bit of a crude police phone box. One big plus for this set was all the pieces were printed, no stickers! Again there's nothing special about the set but it was a good way to build up your police personnel. 

As these were sets I once owned many years ago, I'm more than happy to get them back. The nostalgia value alone is worth the price!


Friday, 7 December 2012

10222 Winter Village Post Office mini review.

Okay this was supposed to be for Christmas but I just couldn't wait that long...! Produced for Christmas 2011 I finally managed to buy this set from Lego online along with the new Winter Village Cottage that WILL be opened on Christmas Day. Luckily, due to the deal Lego had on at the time, I got free shipping and a Limited Edition Set 3300014 '2012 Christmas Set'. I really am in two minds whether to build the latter or leave it pristine in it's box....I'll make my mind up after a few drinks on Christmas day!

Right, down to the review!

Winter village sets are becoming a bit of a tradition with Lego and one thing they all have in common, (apart from lots of white pieces), is all the sets are minifig-rich. 10222 Post office is no exception boasting 7 figures and a dog for good measure. These include two post office workers, two musicians, two members of the general public and a boy. There are some new pieces here, or at least they're new to me. The green hood accessory is one I haven't seen before and I have to say it looks a bit odd against a different colored torso. The musicians are great and their instruments are an inspired use of standard pieces. 

 My favorite part of this set is the truck. Very well designed and  packed full of aesthetic features I think this has to be one of the best looking vintage vehicles Lego has ever produced. Everything from the running boards, the headlights, the split windscreen, the parcel rack on the roof and the registration plate on the fender, this just ticks all the right boxes.

The buildings consist of the Post Office and a bandstand. The bandstand, although a bit on the small side, is a lovely piece of architecture with three seats, an ornate roof and nice decorations. 
The Post Office, again rather small, has pretty much everything you need. Two post boxes, a clock, a nice gas lamp and even several icicles hanging by the windows add interest and a touch of atmosphere to the scene. Internally it is pretty well stocked with a fireplace, counter and parcel storage areas downstairs and a small table upstairs. The biggest part of the building's top layer is taken up with a movable light brick which can be swung up or down creating different light effects through the window panes at the front of the building. 
I love this set, it is full of features, some new parts and masses of playability. Combined with the other winter sets there is hours of fun to be had whether you're nine or ninety. My only niggle with this is that the roof of this set seems to have been able to shrug off most of it's snow whereas the Winter Cottage from 2012 is mightily thick with it. A little more consistency would have been appreciated. 
On the whole I can't fail to recommend this. A great set, full of people, nice features and an excellent truck all for 49.99 GBP or $69.99 at full price. Well worth it and a worthy continuance of an excellent sub-series of Lego City.  

Top: Front view of  Post Office.
Bottom Left: Inside detail. Bottom Right: Let there be light!

Monday, 3 December 2012

eBay links for Series 1 Minifigures

Here are the latest links for my eBay auctions, just click on the name! CowboyNinja and Tribal Hunter.
As usual I'll post anywhere in the world but I always add insurance to the postage for anywhere outside the UK due to items disappearing into the postal void!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

6604 Formula -1 Racer.

I bought this on eBay not too long ago. I always try to buy complete sets with box and instructions though some people's idea of complete seems to be totally and utterly wrong! Thankfully this set was fine, my only little complaint was that the instructions had been hole-punched.
   There's nothing special about this set, it's small (31 pieces) and had nothing to give it a wow factor. The minifig didn't even have a printed torso. I always considered these small sets as kind of gap fillers, if you wanted an extra fireman, policeman, general figure then these were the sets to get. Having said that I had pretty much all of them from 1978 to the mid 1990's when I entered my 'dark age' and got rid of most of them. So although even when it came out there was not much to recommend this set, I still had to have it and I'm happy with the memories it brings back now I've got it again!