Review: 60193 Arctic Air Transport

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View image at flickr

The Arctic subtheme from 2014 proved to be extraordinarily popular and LEGO CITY has since explored the deep ocean, a volcanic field and the jungle. We are now returning to the frozen Arctic with 60193 Arctic Air Transport, a medium-sized set from the new subtheme which contains 277 pieces and looks rather interesting.

Helicopters are ubiquitous across the entire CITY range but this unusual quadcopter design is very distinctive so appeals to me a great deal. Moreover, the set includes a brand new sabre-toothed cat which looks absolutely fantastic and its UK price of £24.99 seems reasonable.

Minifigures

Two minifigures are included, both of whom are appropriately dressed for the Arctic environment. The first appears to be a mountaineer so wears a medium azure helmet which is new in this colour as well as a matching jacket and a dark orange jumpsuit. I like the white guy ropes wrapped around his chest and the climber's dark blue face mask looks realistic, combined with a pair of blue-tinted goggles.

View image at flickr

A pilot for the quadcopter accompanies the climber, sporting a medium azure crash helmet and a flame yellowish orange safety harness over her flight suit. Dark orange is one of my favourite LEGO colours and it looks marvellous here. However, the same colour dominated last year's Jungle sets so it might have been nice to see something different. The figures are equipped with ice picks and a circular saw for slicing through ice formations.

View image at flickr

These Arctic sets are focused upon the recovery of prehistoric animal specimens, including the sabre-toothed cat. The three big cats produced for the Jungle subtheme in 2017 were excellent but this figure is even more impressive, featuring a medium nougat coat with reddish brown stripes on each flank. It is almost impossible to accurately identify the likely patterning of real sabre-toothed cats but I think the stripes work nicely in this instance.

View image at flickr

Sabre-toothed cats are best known for their elongated canine teeth and that characteristic attribute has been captured beautifully. I absolutely love the moulded fur on the sides of the creature's head and the texturing along its neck looks brilliant too. A pair of pale yellow eyes complete the figure, presenting an appropriately intimidating visage.

View image at flickr

While the head sculpt is new, the sabre-toothed cat shares its body and legs with the jungle animals introduced last year. The same points of articulation are therefore present, allowing you to raise and lower the head or change the angle of the hind legs. This is very useful for creating dynamic displays, although I am not convinced that a cat which has been frozen for at least 10,000 years would exhibit a great deal of movement after thawing!

View image at flickr

The Completed Model

ATVs can be deployed in a broad range of different environments and have appeared in most of the explorative subthemes released in recent years. This model features a lovely orange colour scheme and enormous balloon tyres which look a lot better than the more common tyres with a deep tread in my opinion. The ground clearance is considerable so the vehicle can traverse rough terrain, as one would expect.

View image at flickr

There is room to seat a single minifigure behind the steering wheel and clips for the accessories are included at the back which is always welcome. The 2x2 curved slope towards the front of the ATV is printed with a new Arctic emblem that presumably takes inspiration from the 2014 design. The two symbols share a similar colour scheme and round shape, although this version shows a mountain rather than the whole Arctic circle.
View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Numerous different kinds of helicopters have been manufactured over the last century, ranging from conventional single-rotor craft to those with tandem, transverse or coaxial designs. The quadcopter configuration is most often used for unmanned drones but concepts do exist for quadcopters which would be deployed as cargo vehicles. This model measures 25cm long and 30cm wide so is quite substantial and I think it looks reasonably realistic, despite taking inspiration from concept aircraft.
View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The nose is very sleek and makes use of a canopy element which was introduced in 2010, although it has not appeared in orange before. I like the split windscreen design and the arctic emblem sticker on top of the cockpit looks good too. A couple more stickers are applied on either side of the quadcopter. These line up with some brick-built dark blue and medium azure stripes, creating an attractive pattern that differentiates these Arctic sets from their 2014 forerunners.

View image at flickr

Removing the canopy reveals a seat for the pilot along with a printed control console. CITY vehicles frequently lack detail inside but I think this example looks alright and I appreciate the easy access to the cable spool behind the pilot. However, there is not enough space for the second minifigure inside the cockpit which is somewhat disappointing.

View image at flickr

Each of the four rotors are fixed to the fuselage using orange 'A-frame' plates which have been cast in this colour for the first time. The resultant structure is absolutely rigid and the model is therefore easy to play with as you can grip it from almost anywhere. The helicopter blades rotate smoothly and the trans-red and trans-green lights at the ends of the stanchions, denoting the port and starboard sides, look superb.

View image at flickr

Additional stickers are applied to the pontoons and to the curved component at the rear of the aircraft. These are decorated with the set number that represents an identification code, a round fuel cap and the rearmost section of the medium azure stripe. I like the combination of orange, medium azure and dark blue across the vehicle, although the stripe along its centre appears to taper off rather abruptly.

View image at flickr

Most helicopters with transverse rotors feature twin vertical stabilisers, increasing the total surface area of the rudders. This model does include two stabiliser fins but they are attached using hinges so rest at an unusual angle, as demonstrated below. The stabilisers can be knocked out of position during flight but this is only a minor issue and can be avoided by gripping the quadcopter from somewhere other than the tail.

View image at flickr

This section of the fuselage is almost entirely hollow so there is a great deal of unused space inside. A couple of seats would have been welcome but it can be modified quite easily, allowing the mountaineer minifigure to ride as a passenger. Unfortunately, there is not quite enough room to slot the ATV in here as the storage space is too narrow.

View image at flickr

The quadcopter includes four skis which are designed for landing on snow. They are each mounted on a Technic pin so their orientation will adapt to suit the terrain and the twin landing skis beneath the nose rotate too. The winch line hanging underneath the helicopter can be extended or retracted by rotating a black gear on top and it stretches to an impressive length of nearly 50cm.

View image at flickr

Almost all of the new Arctic sets include a block of ice for investigation. This example is comparatively simple, consisting of some trans-light blue panels and a rock component as well as a few white pieces. A black ring allows you to capture the ice block with the hook and carry it back to base for analysis. I am satisfied with how this works but the ice block itself could certainly have included greater detail.

View image at flickr

The sabre-toothed cat fits into the block of ice fairly neatly, standing on a smooth tiled surface. A small gap behind the animal allows you to push it forward, causing the rock panel to break off and release the sabre-toothed cat. This function works effectively but I do not like the narrow gaps between the textured rock piece and the 1x6x5 wall elements.

View image at flickr

Overall

The 2014 Arctic range set a high standard for LEGO CITY subthemes so a great deal of expectation has been placed upon the new models. Fortunately, 60193 Arctic Air Transport is an excellent set on the whole. I like the unusual design of the quadcopter which makes a welcome change from conventional helicopter designs and the sabre-toothed cat is tremendous, as we have come to expect of LEGO animals.View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Furthermore, this set costs £24.99 in the UK so offers great value in relation to its content. The US price of $39.99 is less appealing, although even that does not feel too expensive in my view so I would recommend this set, especially to those who are not intending to purchase 60196 Arctic Supply Plane which also includes a sabre-toothed cat.

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.

 

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34 comments on this article

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By in United States,

This one is a great set, with really good minifigs. To my the chopper is sorta reminiscent of a Quinjet. Likely gonna but.

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By in United States,

I never got any of the old Arctic sets, but I may have to get a few of these if I can find the money for it. They're all pretty neat.

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By in United States,

The only thing good about these arctic sets are the animals.

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By in Jordan,

Nice set, not so nice price (in the US at least).

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By in United States,

I'm not so into the exploration sub-themes of City since I can't really include them in my city layout. That's not to say that they aren't cool themes, but my kids love them (which is the whole idea, isn't it?) I would have loved to see the explorers go to a new environment this time around since they've done space, deep sea, and arctic multiple times already. The volcano and jungle ones were somewhat more exciting for their novelty. I'd love to see the explorers go to the desert for some archaeology.
The animals are pretty cool, but not worth the cost of the sets. It would be cool to set them up in a museum with some cavemen.

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By in United States,

I figure most kids who get these will soon be playing games of, "thawed out prehistoric animals come back to life and start eating people" ;)

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By in United Kingdom,

I bought all the previous Arctic sets, several times over in fact, so this new wave is a must for me. I’ll have to see if I can swap out all the dark blue for orange though so that my collection maintains a uniform appearance.

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By in United States,

I like all of the exploration subthemes of City, especially the ones with exotic animals. Really looking forward to the mammoth!

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By in United States,

I like the set, I like how it's different but not crazy. The minifigures are nice, cool animal, but the price. A few sets every year are so 20-25 pounds yet $40-$50 un the USA. You can get a great vehicle set for $20-25 that has more pieces. LEGO is very weird at times.

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By in United Kingdom,

Those in US: feel privileged. You get good deals on licensed sets.

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By in United Kingdom,

I particularly like the sabertooth cat in this set and the quad is cute too..

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By in United States,

I am only getting the cats and woolly mammoth plus the mouse.

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By in Sweden,

It's quite frankly bizarre that they wasted the entire interior. At least let you fit both minifigures in there, for play that'd be great since you could also transport the quad with the winch. A nice-looking set but the wasted interior is such a shame.

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By in United States,

I sure hope they go to the safari next!

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By in United Kingdom,

I got most of the original arctic sets, right as my interest in lego was rekindled. I loved how they looked like things that would work in the real world. However, when we first saw images of these new sets, I was very annoyed that they looked more sci-fi than real life. This has grown on me, and I was always fond of the two smallest sets, but the bigger ones aren't worth it, and as for 60192, it wouldn't look out of place in star wars!

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By in United States,

@ cartwheeler and Librarian1976

The Adventurers theme characters went to the desert. If LEGO does do desert, I hope it is an Adventurers reboot

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By in United States,

When is the release date for this Arctic wave?

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By in United States,

Will this one or the airplane get retired in 6 months after launch like the last one. Still want to know what happened to the last one to get retired so soon.

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm not sure sabre-toothed cats have ever been known to have lived in the Arctic, or even in cold ice age conditions - maybe it got lost. I've no interest in these sets but I imagine a lot of kids will be really into this range. The out of the ordinary but cool vehicles and sets to play with, and it is a really great way of bringing some amazing prehistoric animals to LEGO, rather than just Jurassic Park dinosaurs.

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By in United States,

Awesome!

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By in Australia,

What a great set!

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By in New Zealand,

I can see these animals being combined with Jurassic World to recreate some scenes from Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - just need a Sid-the-Sloth character!

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By in United Kingdom,

@MiniFigFiend I think the official release date is 1 June 2018, but I saw all the sets on sale today (UK).

@caseyne I think all of the recent subthemes have a life of 6 months only. "Rush out and buy them fast" seems to be the LEGO thinking.

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By in Australia,

I actually find the helicopter really hideous, but OMG, I love that sabre-toothed tiger. That and the Woolly Mammoth, I'll be brick-linking as soon as I can.

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By in Canada,

At first I was disappointed with the cargo space not being able to hold the ATV, but when I think about it, the back of the copter is a single prefab piece, there's no ramp for the ATV to get out.
Overall, this looks like a great set; I was a huge fan of the previous CITY Arctic theme and I look forward to this edition.

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By in United Kingdom,

Nice set and a great price. A lifting hook on the ATV would have been better.

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By in United States,

I have several of the 2014 wave of Arctic sets, and this looks like a fairly cool sequel theme. Will definitely be buying this one!

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By in United States,

Some sets are exclusives to stores and the stores only request so many of them. Most themes have at least one set like this, though I think the recent jungle theme did not. Nice sets, only will be interested in getting the Cat, Mammoth, Bear, and that rodent/mouse critter out the line though

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By in United States,

Your review changed my mind and I might actually buy the set instead of just buying the sabretooth off BrickLink.

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By in Russian Federation,

It must be really derogatory to work at LEGO and design endless wave of copters and small vehicles.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Librarian1976, The Capital City set ( https://brickset.com/sets/60200-1/Capital-City ) contains a museum with what appears to be a prehistory exhibition including a caveman. I don't know if there is enough space for a smilodon, but it looks like there might be. The museum's sign shows what appears to be the silhouette of one.

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By in Germany,

I really dislike those big vehicles that can hold only one minifig. I don't know what's going on there. Is it just me who wants to go some place new and disembark with a whole exploration team? I always loved to play that way.

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By in Singapore,

Awesome set and it includes me. I always wanted to see myself in a Lego form.

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By in Australia,

The new animals are awesome and its great to see the Arctic explorers looking for something other then crystals. The new colour scheme is awesome too.

I hate the vehicles in this theme though. The 2014 theme had some great vehicles and finally a Lego icebreaker! But this theme's vehicles are way too futuristic.

I would love to see an early 20th century Arctic explorers set with Shackleton style minifigs, a 1930s cargo ship (like the Karabujan from Tintin), a 1930s plane and an interpretation of an Arctic truck built in 1939 which i forget the name of but it had huge tires and could carry a plane on it.

An archeology theme in the desert would be awesome, as would a return of Adventurers. Safari would be cool too, if Lego remade the elephant piece (for an African elephant).

These explorer subthemes are cool but they do take away from more useful things for a Lego City. One interesting thing is that the 2014 Arctic line didn't sell at all in Australia because "kids couldn't relate to the snow", which is a shame since Australia is so close to Antarctica and most Antarctic research is done by Australian teams.

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