The Coast Guard sub-theme of the LEGO City range is something I have always had a bit of a soft spot for, despite the limited sets released in the past, indeed it was not for nothing that I was originally known as LegoCoastGuard on Brickset.
2008 was the last time we saw any new releases from this sub-theme, so I was particularly pleased when five new sets were announced for Summer 2013 release. I'm pleased to say that I have acquired all five and I have them lined up for review over the next few days.
Today I'm going to crack open the very smallest set, 60011 Surfer Rescue.
To be honest, Surfer Rescue scarcely warrants the classification of a set at all in my opinion, it is not much more than a polybag with a surfer and a shark thrown in! It retails for £4.99 GBP / $6.99 USD and is packaged in a small but surprisingly deep box which results in this being one of the few sets which can fit back into the box once assembled. The front features the usual City branding and background image, though this time with a sandy shoreline visible. In pride of place (slightly larger than life), we have our surfer in peril (though oddly sporting a nervous half smile, not entirely appropriate to a situation where he is about to have his legs bitten off...). Over to the left we've got our shark, looking suitably ferocious, and in the background we've got our friendly local Coast Guard on his 'watercraft', to quote the set description.
Inside the box is a single bag of parts, the shark's body, a folded instruction booklet and a sticker sheet (pictured after spending some time being pressed under an encyclopedia...)!
Inside the parts bag we have 36 parts (the advertised quantity is 32). The price per piece is 15.594p/21.844c, which earns it a place on both the UK and US worst price per piece lists.
Although the 2013 Coast Guard sets are definitely more white than orange, which was the prominent colour last time around, the box still gives off the impression of a white and orange 'watercraft', so it came as something as a surprise to discover that there were in fact only three orange parts in the entire set! In terms of extra parts, I had five left over which isn't quite right, as there were 36 pieces in the box and the official part count is 32. My best explanation is that LEGO is including the second life jacket as part of the set, even though it isn't shown in the instructions anywhere.
Two minifigures are included, and as could be concluded from the set name, there is a surfer and a rescuer!
The surfer's torso is printed with a wetsuit with a logo showing a wave on the front and a zipper down the back (which is a nice detail but completely out of scale!). The torso is new for this year, and is exclusive to this set and the Coast Guard Helicopter (60013). He has plain black legs, and a head which has been in 47 sets and is incredibly common. The hairpiece is a nice one to have - it is only included in two other sets which are both considerably more expensive than 60011. Despite the surfboard being the version twice featured in the Collectable Minifigures series printed with two different patterns, this set relies on a sticker which is disappointing.
(Apologies for the minifigure photographs which are at an odd angle!).
The Coast Guard also features a new torso for 2013, a grey shirt with the Coast Guard logo. None of the other components are anything to shout about; the legs, head and helmet/visor have been featured in countless other sets. The life jacket is the new version from 2011 which while looking more realistic than the previous version, also results in a visible* unsightly gap between the head and the torso.
* This is the issue with this part versus it's predecessor.
There isn't much to say about the shark, it is the older version which is perfectly adequate, however I'm sure that using the 2008 version would have added much more play value (biting minifigure heads off)!
Finally, the watercraft. Perhaps LEGO was unable to decide what to call it, so just stuck with watercraft. Anyway, it does the job, the Coast Guard is able to cut through the waves to rescue the surfer in peril and there is just about room for the surfer to hop on the back while he is transported to land, but it's a tight squeeze! The watercraft uses three stickers, one for the front and one on each side. Despite my dislike of stickers I have to admit that the watercraft would not look half as good without them. They are a necessary evil as you are kidding yourself that LEGO will produce four printed parts for a £5 set.
So in summary, a nice little set to add fill-in to a City beach layout, and a teaser for the rest of the Coast Guard sub-theme. Is it worth the £5? Just about, for two new torsos, a shark and a (rather basic) watercraft. All the same, I would hold out for a discount, I'm sure it will go down on Amazon soon, and if the discount is great enough it may be a useful set to buy a few copies of for army building (although obviously up to a point - you only need so many coast guards!).
Will you be getting this set? Have you already got it? What do you think of it?
I hope to have the next review, 60012 4x4 and Diving Boat posted by tomorrow morning.
Commenting has ended on this article.