The prices of LEGO products are notoriously varied across the world but the majority conform to a broad pattern of comparative value between different countries and currencies. 60165 4 x 4 Response Unit inverts this trend entirely and is priced at a very reasonable £19.99 in the UK against $39.99 in the US!
I was therefore drawn to this set as a result of its excellent value and the satisfying selection of vehicles included, each of which is perfectly designed for play but would also be very suitable for a substantial city display in my opinion.
The set includes two Coast Guard minifigures wearing different uniforms. The male figure sports a sand blue jacket over an orange sweater and appears to be dressed for driving the truck while the female character is prepared for action at sea. Her orange suit will be visible even in inclement weather and a red life jacket is printed on top along with a metallic silver carabiner, some straps and the Coast Guard symbol.
It is a bit of a shame that the printed designs do not continue onto her legs but I think the figure looks great even without this extra detail. Two yellow life jackets are included along with a range of other accessories which are stored in the boat. Unfortunately, the design of the life jacket still creates a gap around the neck of a minifigure so hopefully the element will be redesigned in the near future.
This diver has found himself in peril and comes with a brand new frightened expression to match. The head only appears in one other set while the lime green and black diving suit is only available in two others and looks splendid. I like the wave symbol on the front and the colour scheme is very pleasing, particularly in conjunction with the black helmet and trans-light blue scuba mask.
The other side of the head is decorated with a smile for use once the diver has been rescued. He is equipped with a dark bluish grey oxygen tank, a pair of red flippers and a black camera, presumably intended for use underwater. I think this is an excellent figure on the whole, although these elements appear in several Coast Guard sets this year so the level of repetition is somewhat disappointing.
The Completed Model
The set consists of several models, the smallest of which is a light buoy. I like the red and white bands very much and the octagonal element is a useful inclusion, allowing a minifigure to cling on as sea creatures, such as a dark red octopus, swim below. The buoy cannot stand straight as a blue slider is fitted underneath but I think this works very well as the model rocks from side to side, just as it would out at sea. Small items of scenery are rarely useful but this example is superb as it actually offers some additional play value.
An olive green dinghy is included for the diver and features a simple engine with a tiller. This does not rotate which is a bit of a shame, although it is ideal for posing a minifigure as though they are steering. Flames can be attached to the orange clips on either side but without the flames these clips look slightly odd as they do not fit with the rest of the colour scheme. It is also worth noting that the boat will actually float.
The 4 x 4 truck is constructed from a combination of white, blue and orange parts so maintains the consistent Coast Guard colour scheme established in 2008. Its shape and structure is similar to many previous LEGO CITY models but I think it suits the beach environment, with a high ground clearance, some attractive stickered details and rugged tyres for driving across sand.
The view from the front is fairly typical of these trucks, with a large radiator and a number plate. However, the curved headlights on either side are unusual and look splendid, using Technic pins and round tiles to create an attractive shape. The lights above the windscreen are round as well while the Coast Guard symbol adorns the bonnet and the roof features the number three, denoting that this is the third vehicle in the Coast Guard fleet after the sea plane and water scooter found in 60164 Sea Rescue Plane.
There is room for a single minifigure inside the cab, although you could fit in a second quite easily if the steering wheel was offset to one side. This section of the roof is easily removable but the rear half is held in place using eight studs so is a little trickier to detach. Nevertheless, you can take it off to access the cargo area from above and a grey crate, currently placed on the deck of the coast guard boat, is just the right size to slot in here.
The doors open on either side of the cab and I like the windows which include trans-light blue glass to match the windscreen. An antenna is fitted to the right hand side and a radio is clipped on the left so you can communicate between the shore and the boat out at sea which contains a matching radio.
The boat is carried on a large trailer which is hitched to the back of the truck using a ball joint. Assemblies like this one often appear oversized but I think the truck and trailer look rather nice together, with a balanced scale and colour scheme. The boat is held in place by just four studs but remains secure even during tight turns as barriers ensure that it will not slide off.
There is no deployment mechanism for the boat but you can remove it by hand to reveal the detail of the light bluish grey trailer. Stabilisers lower at the front when the trailer is disconnected and a pair of stickers form white access hatches beside the hitch. The seat is primarily intended to hold the bow of the boat in position but you could also seat a minifigure as though they are in control as the vessel is lowered into the water.
The Coast Guard boat is constructed around an orange hull which is only available in this colour in two other sets. The single piece hull allows the craft to float, although it is decorated with stickers on each side which might become stained if submerged. However, the 2x2 curved slopes are printed with the Coast Guard insignia and the dark bluish grey controls are printed too. Its overall shape will probably not have been based on anything specific but to me it most closely resembles the RNLI's Atlantic 85.
The deck is laden with equipment and there is plenty of space for minifigures to stand. A light bluish grey box fits on deck towards the bow and contains a red fire extinguisher, a life jacket and two bottles of water. Life rings are placed alongside and even more accessories are clipped to either side of the console so the Coast Guard are fully equipped for every eventuality. The aft section houses an extensive sensor suite with communications antennas, a radar dome and navigation lights.
The outboard motors are rather large and each one includes a spinning propeller which will move when the boat is pushed along in water. They are attached using hinges so can be raised during transport, much like those found on 60147 Fishing Boat which was released in January. Unlike in that set, on the other hand, these engines look somewhat blocky in my opinion and a sleeker design would have been preferable. Otherwise, I think this vessel is absolutely perfect.
This is a very satisfying set in every respect. The range of minifigures and models is thoroughly impressive and there is plenty of potential for play as scenarios can transition between land and sea. In addition, the large rescue boat seems fairly realistic in relation to modern vessels as it includes two outboard motors and a substantial sensor array along with room for several minifigures.
However, the price is where this set really shines. The UK price of £19.99 is extraordinarily low and even the $39.99 price point in the US seems fair in relation to the other Coast Guard sets. On that basis I highly recommend this set, especially to younger CITY fans or those looking for a gift which is sure to prove popular.
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