Monday, 25 February 2013

60003 Fire Emergency micro review

Next on my review list is 60003 Fire Emergency. This is a small / medium size set of 301 pieces including 3 minifigures coming with a price tag of 24.99 GBP / 39.99 US$. It's a pretty good buy as far as price per piece is concerned, it actually works out better than some of the bigger sets. As far as I can see there's no rare pieces or colors here, all have been used many times before.
    The three minifigures are identical in body, legs and helmet, only the heads are different. There are two males with dirtied faces and tired expressions and (at last!) a female fire fighter, with perfect make up and a big smile. Obviously Lego don't think a female fire fighter actually fights fires!
   The ladder truck is a nice design, nothing over-the-top about it, just a cool, functional shape. As with pretty much all the City sets construction is straightforward with nothing to confuse an old AFOL like me. The only very slightly dodgy bit is the 1x1 cone on the end of the hose nozzle. It's there to attach a 'water' piece to the nozzle but it comes off quite easily when you don't want it to. 
   The building is a small, simple design looking suitably derelict with boarded up windows and door. I like the black roof pieces to denote the burnt area, nice idea and effective. The flames consists of four pieces of two different sizes which looks the part, especially when back-lit. A neat design feature is the flames can be flipped down to represent the fire being put out, the only little problem then is it then looks like the inside of the roof is burning upside down... I'm just being picky!
   There is a fairly heavy use of stickers, five on the fire truck and three on the boards across the windows of the building. I'm not a fan of stickers. 
   In all it's a good set. Plenty of pieces, a fun little build and good playability. My son played with it for a long time, until I wrenched it off him and put everything back AS IT SHOULD BE!! Ahem... Worth buying even if it's just to increase your stock of fire vehicles and personnel.

The box.
The set.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Should I? Shouldn't I?

I collect Lego City. Sometimes I get Creator sets because some of them fit nicely with City stuff. Sometimes I get special sets or series like the winter sets because they can, at a push, still fit in, even though the time period is a bit out. Now Lego have started adding minifigures to their other seasonal sets. Only the Spring set has been released so for but there is a Summer set not too far away, probably to be followed by an Autumn (or Fall) set. All fine and good, they fit in with the City theme so I want them. I ordered the Spring set from Lego and it turned up a couple of weeks ago. My problem is that it is packaged in a poly bag. At 88 pieces this is one of the biggest poly bags Lego have done. I don't like opening poly bagged sets because they rip so easily, even if you're careful. I've had poly bagged sets years ago that I opened and played with (I was much younger then.....) but the bag always ended up getting destroyed and I'm one of those collectors that likes to have all the original packaging. So my silly little dilemma is: Do I open it, build it and enjoy it as is it's purpose in life but risk mangling the bag or do I leave it closed and in pristine condition but never enjoy the contents? I suppose a third option is buy another one to build and keep one sealed, but I just can't justify the extra expense. Every poly bag set I've bought in the last 5 years remain sealed. Am I being silly or with one eye on the not-so-distant future when I'm old and falling apart, am I thinking of resale value?
    If I ever find the answer, I'll let you know!

40052 - Springtime Scene.

Monday, 18 February 2013

60006 Police ATV micro review.

Continuing my reviews of the latest City sets we have 60006 - Police ATV. This is the smallest Police set, coming in at 51 pieces for 4.99 GBP / US$6.99 which, as usual for the smallest sets, doesn't give very good value for money.
  The set comes with two minifigures, a policeman (obviously) and a bad guy. There's nothing unique about the component parts for these guys, they are all used elsewhere, though both heads, torso's and the police guy's legs are new prints/colors for this year.
  The bad guy has a wheelbarrow to carry his ill-gotten gains, as well as his crowbar.
  The ATV is a weird looking thing, kind of wide and stumpy and decidedly Cyclopsy at the front! There are clips at the back to carry his radio and handcuffs. The mudguards give a tiny bit of styling to the vehicle and are unique to this set in the dark 'Earth Blue' color.
  It's not a bad little set but it's nothing special. I'm not a fan of the weird little vehicles Lego sometimes come up with and this is no exception. I don't know how many police forces around the world have a little All-Terrain Vehicle like this but I bet it's not many! My only other complaint, more with Lego in general than this set, is the newer baseball cap doesn't fit on the figures head very well, it's way too easy to pull off, usually  when you don't want to! 

The box.
The set.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

60002 Fire Truck micro review.

The last set I bought a couple of weeks back was the fire engine set 60002. It contains 209 pieces and of the first three sets in the fire brigade range it is undoubtedly the best value for money.

  There are two minifigs in the set and both are featured in at least one other set out this year, so nothing too special there. The fire engine is very nicely designed and it's proportions are closer to the real thing than a lot of vehicles in Lego! It's a nice straightforward build and I like the new ladder which I believe features in at least three sets this year. With a great design it's always a pity that so much stuff is stored outside the vehicle. I know Lego has done this for decades now, but with all the internal space available a few less things cluttering up the outside would have been nice. My only other moan is the perennial one of stickers, there's a fair few with this set and I hate getting them wrong!
  There is also a little fire hydrant with the set and this can be connected to the fire engine via a hose. I don't remember Lego doing that before unless it was during my dark ages when I didn't take any notice!
  Lego are being very generous with the spares again, along with the usual tiny pieces I got a complete hose nozzle and string along with a 1x1 tap. 
  I really do like this set, there's plenty of little things to do with the fire engine, plenty of bits and pieces to make a story last a while and it's more worth the price you're paying in terms of pieces. A definite thumbs up from me!

The crew
Side view

My wife gave me a nice early Valentines day treat, she bought me sets 60006 and 60007. I'll build and micro-review them over the next week.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Lego City 60001 - Fire Chief Car micro review.

Another recent purchase was 60001 Fire Chief Car. Weighing in at 80 pieces the price per piece is much better than 60000 but is still quite high. 
  There are two minifigures, the Fire Chief (the latest of very many..!) and a woman who obviously isn't in distress that her cat is stuck up a tree. Neither figure is special part-wise, but both are unique in their combinations. This year the fire helmet is in gold for the first time, and there is a new car bonnet piece that adds an extra dimension to vehicle styling. 
  The 'tree' is probably the weediest looking thing I've seen! Consisting of 3 pieces, a base, a trunk and what passes for it's branches and leaves. It's a shame this looks like it does because time and effort have obviously been spent on the car and the tree was an afterthought, the very minimum needed for a cat to get stuck up! 
  The car is a nice model. Modern looking and functional, though I still wish Lego would use the car doors more often! Nice little details like the wing mirrors which are virtually universal for vehicles now and the styling details that were always pretty much overlooked a decade ago. Only four stickers with this set, for some reason there's no front registration plate...
  There's not a huge amount of playability with this set by itself, but the inclusion of a fire extinguisher could give some entertainment value if the fish does't coax the cat down!

Box front.

The set with the dodgy 'tree'. There is a radio and fire
extinguisher in the back of the car.