• Balloon Cart

    Overall rating
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    Value for money

    Fun carnival related kit

    Written by (AFOL) in United States,

    This kit goes great with the Fairground Mixer (http://shop.lego.com/en-US/Fairground-Mixer-10244)! It came free from the Lego Store with a qualifying purchase during the month of June 2014.

    Box/Instructions: Polybag with folded instructions; no surprises

    Parts: 66

    Minifigures: 2 - The boy has two faces: happy and sad. The vendor has one face, but has a beautfully printed torso front and back.

    The build: simple

    The completed model: elegant with a low parts count. A good static display in a carnival/fairground setting.

    Overall opinion: I really like this little kit. Thanks for the gift, Lego! It's the perfect complement to the Fairground Mixer.

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  • Backhoe

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    Best backhoe I had!

    Written by (Parent) in Belgium,

    Well, it was also the only backhoe I had. This was one of the last sets I received before my interest in lego waned so I don't have a lot of memories of playing with this set. I did remember I had it though, and with the children's interest in everything construction-related in mind I decided to rebuild this one.

    Box/Instructions

    At least I still had the instructions, finally a set I found the instructions of! A sheet which guides you through the uncomplicated construction in 13 steps, of which the last one is just adding the road signs and tools, basically. Did anyone know what to do with those points that could be found in a corner of the instructions from that era? I have found several coupons like this but never found any information included on what to do with these points so they all remained nicely attached to the instructions...

    Parts

    Where to begin? Two excavator buckets, two minifig tools, two printed road signs, a straight windscreen, big wheels, the only yellow hinged roof with sunroof in my possession, small turntables and hinges... try and find something in here you can't use!

    Minifigures

    Just one, and that is all that is needed here: the ever present coverall and hard hat (though I never had enough hard hats). He comes with a broom and shovel, and two signs to mark the spot where he's doing his digging.

    The build

    It's just ~80 pieces, so don't expect anything mindblowing. But it's nice to build anyway, the way the small digger is connected so it can rotate is still clever, the wheels are suitably big and the cabin sufficiently roomy, though controls for the digger at the back seem to be lacking.

    The completed model

    Everything you need to dig your way around is right here in this set. I never had another one but now being able to compare with images from for example #6686 it is clear what a tremendous leap forward this one is over its older counterpart. It looks suitably impressive for being only four studs wide and is overall very functional.

    Overall opinion

    Another favourite of my children now, though they are fascinated with construction equipment so it's hardly a fair race :)

    A very good-looking and playable construction machine, sold! And for less then €5 on Bricklink you can have (another) one!

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  • Refuse Collection Truck

    Overall rating
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    Value for money

    'New Favourite' together with #6668

    Written by (Parent) in Belgium,

    Another oldie from the attic, this one instantly received the status 'absolutely necessary' from my children together with #6668 Recycle Truck, so much so that when I disassembled it the first thing I was asked (over and over again) to do was to rebuild it.

    Box/Instructions

    Not found, again. Peeron scans will have to suffice until the manual (hopefully) turns up again. Which is less then ideal, the manual is actually a folded sheet instead of a booklet and the steps go back and forth on the scanned images. A while ago, when reviewing #383, I commented on the amount of steps needed to complete a model. Checking back, #383 needs 15 steps in total, this one needs 13 steps and #6668 needs 18 steps (but the last two also include some submodels) while #60023 needs about 40 steps for each of the two vans. All these models are ~100 pieces, when did that instructions inflation begin? And where will it end?

    Parts

    One red space chair (I have only two of these, the other one comes from #6811 Pulsar Charger. In fact, as I just found out, they only come in these two sets). One red train window (my only one), and four yellow panels; two of which have a recycle icon but unfortunately I had to replace those now with more blank yellow panels. And then mostly plates, bricks, hinges, wheels and slopes that can be used for anything, very few specialized bricks in this one.

    Minifigures

    Two generic workers, one with the ever functional blue workman's shirt with white print and the other with the ever present white shirt under a blue coverall. In my collection both are about equally present but when I include the coveralls in black and red they outnumber the workman's shirt about two to one, so they seem to have been used more often. Best part are of course their accessories: a black shovel (which was unique in my collection until I got #6668, incidentally) and a broom but especially the garbage cans, of which there never were enough to go around.

    The build

    It's a short build but it's very nice to do, nothing hard or especially noteworthy but the way the trash collector is built is still impressive in its simplicity and functionality. And the longest part is a 2 x 10 plate but the truck is about double that length so it's all made out of smaller parts. The colour scheme is also very nice, I've never seen a yellow garbage truck but it looks very good with the red details.

    The completed model

    This one must be for four-stud-wide trucks what #6624 Delivery Van is for four-stud-wide mini vans: perfection! The only improvement could be to have a small gap between the cab and the garbage compartment, maybe I'll try that one day. Other than that, however, absolutely nothing needs to be changed here.

    Overall opinion

    As mentioned before: if the children find this set missing their top priority is to get it back, which should say enough about how well liked it is. Trying to cram as much 'garbage' in as possible is a recurring event, if there had been included some more garbage cans and some garbage to fill them with this would have been even better. And they can be found on Bricklink for less then €10! Maybe I should get them some more of these?

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  • Battle for Ninjago City

    Overall rating
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    One of the BEST sets i own!

    Written by (TFOL) in Australia,

    Box/Instructions

    The box art on this set is fantastic it really does the set justice and i give the Lego Company kudos on their box art on all sets they make these days. The size of the box is just the normal size of a set with over 1000 pieces which is quite large. The instructions came in a plastic sleeve with a cardboard backing like all large sets now and they were up to Lego standards.

    Parts

    The parts in this set I was blown away by, their are great pieces and i believe all 1223 pieces can be used for MOCs if needed for that. Their are large rock pieces, windows, doors and many other great parts.

    Minifigures

    The amount of minifigures included in this set is fantastic you get 8 of them and none of them are bad minifigs at all. You get the much anticipated Overlord which is a brilliant minifig, you get Lloyd, Zane, Jay, Samurai X, and 3 Nindroids. Another note is that you get tons of weapons in the set, there are at least five Katanas in the spare pieces alone, and at least 8 in the set itself, and there are many other great weapons too.

    The build

    The build of the set was really fun and i would recommend it could be built by any age over 7 but kids under that age could build it with help from their parents.

    The completed model

    The completed model of this set is just brilliant, it looks fantastic from any side you look at it, the details on the outside are just fantastic and there are many features which are all great, they're all fantastic and do something which is can go well with any set in the Ninjago theme, there are disc shooters, a spring loaded shooter, a bomb, cannons and more, you also get a really nicely built tripod walker which the Overlord sits on and it is really nice.

    Overall opinion

    Overall this set is absolutely fantastic and I'm not just saying that as a massive fan of Ninjago, but because of all the features in the set, 8 minifigures, 1223 pieces and a retail price of $119.99 USD, 89.99 pounds, and $169.99 AU, this set is definitely worth the money. All those stats speak for themselves, you get a very beautifully constructed temple which looks fantastic on any display shelf.

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  • Ghostbusters Ecto-1

    Overall rating
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    Value for money

    "Generally, you don't see that kind of excellence in a major Cuusoo set..."

    Written by (AFOL , gold-rated reviewer) in United Kingdom,

    After a very mixed reception to the Delorean, this set, the first of the Cuusoo set to be released under the new Ideas branding (though still regarded as set #006 in the series) is an absolute triumph. The feeling of Cuusoo was somewhat muted, subjects that weren't so universally appealing, or popular culture that wasn't realised all that well. I can see why this set was released under the new brand (though it got all the way to production under the old label), it sets off Lego Ideas with quite some oomph!

    Box/Instructions

    From the moment you pick this set up in its box you know you're holding something special. The flap design where you only have to snip two sticker seals to be able to get in, and that you know this box will survive the experience make the whole set feel special. The hazard tape printing on the edges are a nice touch, and I haven't even mentioned how good the cover picture is yet! The back of the box has an alternate view and a couple of shots in film strip down the side; in all you get to see just about everything the car has to offer, and you get a good view of the figures, though not with their display stand.
    I did quite like having just the five bags sorted according to part size (roughly speaking!) rather than numbered bags. For a build this size it was no drawback at all and I think adds to the overall feeling of coherence, that this is a special and self-contained set.

    The instructions are in a lovely booklet as the presentation so far would lead you to expect. It's bound and has the cover photo and hazard tape pattern along the bottom. It starts with a few pages on the Ghostbusters film and on the Ecto-1 vehicle, and at the end before the part list there's a double page on the designers, Cuusoo and Lego, and a page on Ideas after the part list. The instructions themselves are good, clear, and well paced.
    The presentation is spiced up with a black background throughout, adding to that quality feel, and there are quotes from the film sporadically throughout, though more frequently at the start it has to be said.

    And one thing conspicuously absent is a sticker sheet. Whoop! All the pieces are printed! You get four 2x2 white curves with the Ghostbusters logo printed on, four black boat studs with printing (a new technique this year?) for the proton packs, and two presumably Chima-lion-yellow 1x2 tiles with the license plate number on. All very nice to have, especially given how TLG so often seems to avoid printing.
    Oh, there's a 2x2 sloped brick with a computer screen on too, but that's a very old piece.
    And that's a nice segue into the next section...

    Parts

    Though just about every part of this set is good and strong I'm tempted to say this is where it is strongest.
    There are a plethora of SNOT pieces, including many I regard as rare because they're still fairly new - 12 of the light grey 1x2 angular plate (bracket) with 2x2 studs coming upwards and 13 of them in white with just the 1x2 studs on the side, and a load more besides.
    The chromed pieces are great too, lots of grilles, 1x1 cheese wedge slopes, and most excitingly four 1x1 round bricks and two 1x2 sloped grille "roof tile" pieces.
    The 1x1 dark red round plates with a hole in the middle will be of interest to many an MOCer I'm sure, as will all the white slopes, and I always like having trans window panels of any kind.

    You can see most of the interesting parts just looking at the vehicle, but the moments in building it that drive home just how many there are are the places where you're creating 12 stud long walls of studs on the side from brackets, and a few steps later you add another row on top!

    Minifigures

    These are of course fantastic, each character having his own initials printed on his torso too, and with great head printing and good choices of hairpiece to represent each one. They all have terrified faces on the reverse too, which should add to the playability if they're snagging ghosts (the glow in the dark sandwich board ones from old castle sets?).

    What makes them really special is their proton packs, made very cleverly with clips where you might expect a plain plate, adding not just greebles but also the way the packs are attached to the minifigures. The printed boat stud pieces are very nice, as are the dark red round 1x1 plates with a hole, and the whips used as the pipe/cable/whatever-it-is-that-carries-and-conducts-a-proton-stream.

    And because they are so special they get their own stand, complete with the hazard tape theme, and a very cleverly attached logo on the front. (I inwardly went "wow!" when I realised how the 2 wide short slope was attached in two places - a theme to be repeated later.)

    The build

    I can't say there were a great deal of clever techniques in the main build (beyond the very clever side windows), but the entire vehicle has plates mounted vertically on all four sides which keeps it constantly interesting.
    The back end is the least interesting of the 4 with just the one 1x4 brick with 4 studs along one side providing the side-mounted studs.
    The front has a nice mix of brackets projecting studs from the bottom on each end, and a bracket dropping studs downwards in the middle, so that when the front module is attached it creates a kind of clamp around the front end. Since the brackets that have the studs going upwards have come into sets I've always been pleased to see them used this way, adding something to the structure of the set instead of just being cosmetic.
    And the sides continue that theme, with what seems to me an opulent number of brackets attached to the underside of the central area, and the same number of shorter brackets added above them, creating that same kind of clamp. The sides are especially nice as they demonstrate very clearly the ratios needed to line up studs vertically relative to the heights of the bricks, and over the back wheels the depth of the bracket is used, demonstrating how one stud plus the depth of the bracket is the same as the height of one brick. Lots of little things that will teach some builders how to use SNOT brackets better, and all together achieve a very compact and coherent feel within this model.
    It almost feels more like a miniature model or action figure vehicle than a Lego model, in no small part because of this!

    The construction of the sides of the vehicle is worth mentioning in its own right too, with the nice combination of short wing plates and more brackets mounted on the side for the rear bumper and brake lights. The newish 1x2 short curve pieces, and the double width 2x2 pieces are a big part of how the side section goes together. The way the symmetrical 2x2/2x4 wing plates are used to create the wheel arches and the sloped sides you don't need are covered is nice. The whole section is a real joy to put together as you feel every part you place adds something significant to the structure, or adds a very nice finishing touch as the car begins to come together.

    The side windows are terrific too, almost a part of what I've been highlighting already with them resting on cheese wedge pieces to get the angle, and held in place cleverly with clips that are themselves cleverly mounted around where the seats would be.

    The final part of the model (predictably!) is the roof, and building up the greebles on top is fun! It's got lots of little pieces all round giving a wonderfully geeky and homemade feel, just like it should have. And the colours, trans blue lights, red and white too, bright green and yellow containers, all make it look great. and the way the blue hose from the side of the car tucks in and the ladder comes down over the side integrate it well so it doesn't really look like it just lifts off easily.

    The completed model

    As I said earlier the finished car looks far more like a model made from a kit or an action figure's vehicle than a Lego model, it's just superb with all its contours and details. I suppose a lot of the pieces are small, but it's also surprisingly small for a 500+ piece model, testament to how cleverly and compactly it's constructed.

    I don't imagine playability is all that high as there aren't really any features to the car, but there's plenty going on details-wise, and the inside is spacious enough to fit a couple of figures with their packs stored in the back, three if you squeeze them in with no regard for personal space. But then most of the action should happen around the figures not the car anyway, right?

    Overall opinion

    This is a really fantastic set! The presentation is fantastic, from the moment you open thee box and pull out the instruction manual it feels high quality, building the display stand for the figures first means you've got that display feel going throughout, and when you put the roof on the car you instantly think how great it will look displayed, possibly in front of the box!
    It's a great homage to Ghostbusters, works well as a collector's item, but all the while it remains a great Lego set.
    I'll admit that the price did seem a little steep to me, I was wandering the Lego store for quite a while before I decided to buy it, but having built it I can confidently say it's worth every penny, it actually seems quite good value!

    I'm so, so glad I bought it, if you're reading this unsure and still aren't sure now you've read it, I think my final words should be - buy it, you won't regret it!

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