The UK and Europe often enjoy relatively good prices where LEGO City sets are concerned and 60176 Wild River Escape is a notable example of this trend, costing £12.99 in the UK which seems very reasonable compared with $19.99 in the US.
I was therefore drawn to purchase this set, not only because it offers good value but also due to the inclusion of a new bearded crook as well as a skunk which has only previously appeared in series fifteen of the Collectable Minifigures. The inflatable raft is also somewhat unusual so interests me as this variety of whitewater craft with twin pontoons has not been featured in a LEGO set, other than a rare promotional item, since 1994's 6665 River Runners!
The set includes a police officer and a criminal, both of whom include a couple of elements which have been introduced for the Mountain Police subtheme in 2018. Unfortunately, the yellow life jacket still has yet to be updated and the policeman looks rather awkward when wearing it, as shown below. I remain hopeful that the mould will one day be revised to better fit around a minifigure's neck as the current design is poor.
However, in all other respects the figures are both excellent. I like the officer's sand blue jacket which includes zipped pockets beside a white police emblem and his legs are printed with two more pockets. These new components appear across the Mountain Police range while the crook features a few rarer parts, perhaps the most notable of which is the reddish brown hair piece which is new in this colour and includes some lovely texture.
This hair piece has often been used for Pirates of the Caribbean characters and I am surprised that it works so well in a modern setting, although this is partially attributable to the unkempt facial hair printed on both sides of the head alongside angry and worried expressions. The fringed shirt looks great too, particularly in combination with the strap across the torso and the prison uniform beneath, although that does limit the versatility of the design. The crook comes with a paddle while the police officer carries a pair of handcuffs.
The Completed Model
The police speedboat is fairly conventional in its design, using a 6x10 curved inverted slope to form the bow and a series of 6x4 double inverted slopes behind that. Nevertheless, it looks superb, with a sleek shape and a balanced colour scheme of blue, white and dark bluish grey. I particularly like the white sides of the craft and the stickers provide some attractive detail, although they are not vital to the model's appearance.
A ridge runs through the centre of the deck towards the bow which is slightly unusual but it looks quite aerodynamic and helps to break up the studded surface. The windscreen is equally streamlined and feels appropriately large in relation to a minifigure seated at the steering wheel. Unfortunately, the cockpit includes no other controls which is a shame as there is a 2x1 slope that could have been printed with some dials. I like the torch accessories clipped to either side though and the elevated blue lights are perfect. There is also room to place a second minifigure behind the seat.
The flowing shape continues all the way to the stern of the speedboat, terminating at a large outboard motor which is attached using hinges so can be raised up, just like many outboard motors in reality. I think the yellow 1x2 plate with bar looks out of place but the black radiator grilles are excellent and a light bluish grey 1x1 round plate works well in place of a rotating propellor given the lack of space for such a feature.
The more unusual and interesting of the two vehicles is definitely the raft. I like its bright colour scheme and the curved pontoons look superb, although I wish there was a little more floor space as the reddish brown crate leaves very little room for the minifigure. However, the studs on top of the pontoons are useful and I like the few dark bluish grey elements that form the frame of the vessel as well as the 2x2 sliders underneath.
Presumably the crook has recently escaped from prison and has come to the mountains outside LEGO City in the hope of recovering his loot which consists of three gems. These are stored beside a red crowbar in a crate and it would seem that some local wildlife has stowed away too, surprising the criminal as he attempts to escape! This skunk has not been seen since 2016 and looks marvellous, featuring the same black and white striped fur as in the Collectable Minifigures series along with a bushy tail.
Smaller CITY sets typically offer a great deal of play value in relation to their size and I think this set is reasonable successful in that regard, including two sturdy models and a couple of minifigures as well as the skunk which may prove pivotal to the pursuit. The two watercraft seem poorly matched as the raft will surely be much slower than the speedboat, although I can imagine the police having more trouble in rapid waters like those shown on the box.
However, the most appealing aspects of the set from my point of view are definitely the villainous figure and the skunk, both of which are brilliant. I like the hair in combination with the crook's bearded face and his new torso looks good too, although the same part appears in the cheaper 60170 Off-Road Chase. The skunk, on the other hand, is only available here at the moment and that alone might be a significant draw for collectors of LEGO animals who missed out on the Animal Control Officer Collectable Minifigure a couple of years ago.
I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your thoughts on the set in the comments below.