Thursday, 20 June 2013

60010 Fire Helicopter mini review

This is the last of the fire themed sets for this year, not counting 60023 Lego City Starter Set which has a fire truck included alongside a police bike and ambulance. 
  225 pieces with two minifigures, the set costs 29.99 GBP / 39.99 US$ which doesn't give as much value for money as most of the City sets but still beats practically all of the licensed models. As far as I can tell there are no new parts unique to this set.
  Firstly the oil tank (I presume) that seems to be having a bad day. A very simple build that consists of 27 parts, including the three flames, the oil tank, a couple of barrels warning light tower.  It's a nice little accessory to tuck away in a remote corner of Legoland.

Firefighter, pilot and the oil tank.
The main component is of course the helicopter. This is a slightly more challenging build using some techniques rarely found on city sets to give some shape and style to the finished product. There is a cockpit with controls that can be accessed by a hinged roof and windscreen. The business part is the central section which has a swing-out water jet nozzle on each side, sadly neither can be aimed downwards, only sideways which I would imagine might be a handicap in certain situations! The bulk of the helicopter is taken up with the power function winch. The grappling hook can be pulled down  to lower the firefighter to the fire and at the press of a button it rewinds itself back up to the helicopter. It's a nice touch, but I would imagine excessive pulling on the string might eventually snap it at some point, especially in the hands of an over-enthusiastic 8-year-old!!
  Not too many stickers to spoil the set and for once I actually like some of them, the 'caution' signs by the engine intakes and the 'rescue' signs by the cockpit, just like the real thing!

For some reason the helicopter looks stubbier in this
picture than it actually is! The bulky stuff on the nose is a
radar (I believe)
  Overall it's a nice set although a bit overpriced. There is a lot of fun to be had with the winch, as long as the string holds out. It might not be the best looking fire helicopter Lego has ever produced but it's the most fun!

Monday, 10 June 2013

60018 Cement Mixer micro review.

It's June and that means the second wave of Lego City sets for this year are now hitting the shops! A recent purchase of mine, the Cement Mixer is one of the last of this year's first batch of sets for my collection. 
  221 pieces for 17.99 GBP / 19.99 US$, the usual price (this year) for a small/medium sized set. For your money you get two minifigures, the cement mixer and a couple of utensils including the ever useful wheelbarrow. 
 The minifigs are, as seems the rule for this year, unique in their composition but each separate part or print is used elsewhere in other sets. 

The people, and their tools.

  The cement truck is actually a fairly tricky little build and has more features than you find on other models of similar size. The most obvious part is the mixer itself. This is operated by a knob on one side of the truck and can turn both ways. The inner part of the mixer is 'rifled' so depending on which way it is turned will either carry the 'cement' ( 20 1x1 round plates) into the bottom of the tank or pull it up and disgorge it out of the open end. Once out, the cement drops onto a chute which can be positioned in any direction from the back of the truck. There is also a guard  that can move vertically to cover the chute whichever direction it is pointing and make sure the cement doesn't go where it's not wanted. The cab has opening doors (Yay!!) and can be tilted forwards to reveal the engine underneath. The tilting cab is also used to enable the mixer to be moved to an almost vertical position which helps when putting the 'cement' back in without it dropping everywhere and having bits get lost.
The truck.

The chute and guard with the 'cement'
Tilting cab showing the engine.

I really like this set, there's a lot of playability with all the little features that Lego have managed to cram into it.  There are a few too many stickers, the usual little pet hate of mine, but I can live with that. The best little truck this year!