Normally, like most AFOLs I suspect, I have no interest whatsoever in emergency services sets, particularly police stations and cars, which have been done to death since I was a lad in the 1970s. However this year LEGO has managed to breathe some new life into the police theme by moving them from a city setting to the forest, complete with trees, bears, off-road vehicles and hidden booty.
4440 Forest Police Station is the largest set in the theme and, having just built it, I have to say that it is exceptional both in terms of playability and usefulness of parts. The fun starts as soon as you've built bag 1, which contains the tree, bear, quad-bike, robbers and a female police officer (not shown above). The bag would make an excellent mid-priced set on its own and is one you'd be likely to buy multiples of, for the tree parts and of course the bear.
I'm not normally one for applying stickers but a police car without police markings would look a bit daft. As they are printed on transparent backing plastic and not white (which is prone to peeling over time), I made an exception this time.
The fourth minifig, another police officer, is provided to drive the vehicle.
Although it adds to the set's playability it could be argued that it's a bit superfluous because, unlike recent police station sets, there is no helicopter landing pad on the police station itself.
The pilot is the fifth and final minifig, who has a dark blue torso and legs.
The set would make a great one for a family to build together because each sub-assembly has its own instruction book so they can be built concurrently.
The police station is a good looking structure featuring a small office with desk and coffee machine on one side and a cell on the other. The cell doesn't really need two doors as there's no dividing wall, and I'm not really sure what the red letter-box thing between the doors is for: it slides in and out.
It's built with plenty of useful parts including 27 'Medium Dark Flesh Brick, Modified 1 x 2 with Masonry Profile' and 33 'Medium Dark Flesh Brick, Modified 1 x 2 Log' bricks so once you're done playing with it, it will make a good parts pack for your own creations.
One thing I found unusual was that the set comes with a second tree that is not shown anywhere on the box (or in my photos for that matter). It's not often you get more in the box than you're expecting, is it!
So despite my initial apprehension and normal dislike of police sets, I will recommend this set particularly at the moment because it's 33% off at all of the European Amazons (except France), making it a much more reasonable £40, or €50. At Amazon.com the discount isn't so great but US$70 is still a good price.
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