Review: 60191 Arctic Exploration Team

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View image at flickr

60191 Arctic Exploration Team contains only 70 pieces and is among the smallest of the Arctic sets being released this summer. Nevertheless, it features three superb minifigures as well as a couple of interesting new elements which have been created for the subtheme.

The price of £9.99 in the UK or $9.99 in the US therefore seems reasonable to me, although the majority of CITY Starter Sets come with four minifigures and it is somewhat disappointing to see fewer on this occasion. Even so, I remain optimistic about the quality of this set based upon previous examples of a comparable size.

Minifigures

Each of the three minifigures occupies a different role within this set. The first drives the snowmobile included so wears a medium azure motocross helmet which has not appeared in this colour before. I think it looks fantastic and the large goggles feel quite realistic. This character wears a dark blue and flame yellowish orange uniform with some pockets on the front and a hood at the back, both of which look great.

View image at flickr

A female explorer accompanies the driver, sporting a medium azure beanie hat and a corresponding jacket. The flame yellowish orange belt around her waist is impressively detailed and features a white device which might monitor oxygen and temperature levels or simply serve as a GPS locator. I like the explorer's blue-tinted goggles as well and this element only appears elsewhere in the two largest Arctic sets.

View image at flickr

This figure comes with a pair of flame yellowish orange snowshoes that match the accent colour of her jacket. The shoes feature an attractive embossed pattern and can fit underneath a minifigure's feet or be held in their hand, as demonstrated below. A dark bluish grey circular saw and a camera are also included.

View image at flickr

The photographer is perhaps the most appealing of these minifigures. He wears a brand new ushanka hat which looks absolutely magnificent, featuring a textured fur lining and ear flaps on either side. I like the dual-moulded combination of red and tan plastic, particularly since this version of the hat is only available elsewhere in 60194 Arctic Scout Truck.

60191 Arctic Exploration Team

Medium azure dominates most of the 2018 Arctic explorers but this character only wears gloves of that colour. I like the design of his padded coat but printed pockets on the legs would have been a welcome addition to the figure as they appear rather plain at the moment. Nevertheless, this is an excellent minifigure on the whole.

60191 Arctic Exploration Team

View image at flickr

Siberian Huskies were introduced in the 2014 Arctic range and have subsequently appeared in several more sets. I love the mixture of white and dark bluish grey plastic which creates a wonderful finish and the printed face is similarly impressive. The husky also includes a distinctive curled tail, much like the real dog.

View image at flickr

The Completed Model

Snowmobiles are a perennial feature of LEGO sets based around Arctic and Antarctic expeditions but there is considerable variation between designs. This example is most similar to 2014's 60032 Arctic Snowmobile but seems a little more skeletal, replacing the single large track towards the rear of the model with two smaller ones. These are represented by black Technic liftarms which look alright, although modern twin track snowmobiles are rare.

View image at flickr

However, this configuration permits a second minifigure to sit behind the driver which is useful. The trans-light blue windscreen looks marvellous and is consistent with other vehicles in this range, much like the medium azure and orange colour scheme of the bodywork. A 2x2 curved slope printed with the Arctic expedition emblem completes the model.

A separate trailer can be connected to the rear of the snowmobile via a ball joint. This simple structure includes two clips for accessories and a dark bluish grey crate to store any frozen specimens that the explorers might recover. It could also be adapted to seat the third minifigure if you wish.

View image at flickr

The explorers are searching for frozen specimens of prehistoric animals and this simple ice formation includes one such creature. It consists of just twelve pieces but looks good, featuring a combination of white and light bluish grey slopes as well as a trans-light blue panel. This can be removed with ease to reveal a frozen insect inside.

While the rodent, sabre-toothed cat and mammoth are probably the most appealing of the new animals in these Arctic sets, I am also very pleased with this insect. It is printed on a trans-light blue 1x1 round brick and resembles a modern dragonfly so I wonder whether this creature is based upon the ancient Meganeura monyi, an extinct species of insect which had a wingspan of over 70cm!

View image at flickr

Overall

I have developed high expectations for CITY Starter Sets over the last several years and 60191 Arctic Exploration Team is definitely a worthy addition to the range. The individual minifigures are all excellent and I think the snowmobile and ice formation epitomise the entire subtheme remarkably effectively, even featuring a tiny insect frozen in the ice.

View image at flickr

However, the presence of only three minifigures feels disappointing, particularly in relation to previous Starter Sets such as 60171 Mountain Fugitives. The husky is a wonderful alternative to a fourth human character but an additional explorer, perhaps dressed for mountaineering, could probably have been included too. Nevertheless, I would undoubtedly recommend this set to those looking for a flavour of the new Arctic collection.

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.

24 comments on this article

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By in Belgium,

I like the new colourscheme for the figures, it's nice to have a bit of different outfits on the Arctic plains, the photographer is my favourite too. Thanks for reviewing one of the smaller sets as well!

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By in United Kingdom,

The 2014 Arctic theme was probably the last (only?) theme that I picked up every set. This year's looks just as good - and has the added benefit of some great looking prehistoric animals included as well. That ushanka is pretty awesome too.

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By in United Kingdom,

Does the Husky count as a minifigure? You review it as if it is. If so, there are 4 minifigures in the set. :)

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By in United States,

Great to see some new minifigures. I have to agree the colors are nice. Nice to have another dog. Now to find room in my layout. Thanks for the good review.

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By in United States,

I'd like to point out that the Starter Packs have had three minifigures for a little while now. The Coast Guard had 3 and a shark, jungle had three and a croc. Only the police and fire Starter Packs / Sets have four figures.

They are three great figures so at least that is something.

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By in United Kingdom,

@HugeYellowBrick - No, but it felt most appropriate to discuss the husky in the minifigure section of the review.

@David1985 - The Starter Sets containing a large animal feature only three minifigures but most have four. 60184 Mining Team, for instance, includes four minifigures but is not from the Police or Fire subthemes.

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By in Ireland,

That hat belongs in my winter village!

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By in United States,

Minifigs and Husky are great, but the builds are bad.

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By in Poland,

One of the best Starter sets for sure.

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By in Netherlands,

I appreciate the fact there are no large the logo's on the torsos. This makes the usable for other settings. For instance the vest that the driver wears could easily double as street/sportswear

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By in United States,

I am so getting that bug piece.

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By in Australia,

I do like the bug piece ... but I really want that hat for some of my Winter Village characters.

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By in United Kingdom,

Nice affordable set with a husky.. Im sold and i might even buy two.

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By in United States,

I love the husky, and that beautiful turquoise for the minifigures

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By in United States,

Any one misses the 2000 arctic like I do?

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By in United Kingdom,

Haven't liked a city subtheme in ages, but this one really tickles my tastebuds, I must say.

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By in Russian Federation,

I really like husky and ushanka-guy. Though I think brownish gloves would fit him better.

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By in United Kingdom,

Some great minifigs but that version of a snowmobile is pretty poor. Will still be buying one (and probably more) so TLC still wins in the end!

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By in Australia,

Minifigs are definitely the highlight here.
The use of those Technic pieces at the snowmobiles rear is so lazy and ugly.

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By in Germany,

As some others said, it’s much easier to buy these when the figs don’t have big logos on them, I’m always happy when Lego make more generic figs that can be mixed and matched and used in other scenarios, it’s part of what makes Lego great, using your imagination to create new ideas, not so easy if the figs have a big emblem slapped on their back

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By in United Kingdom,

This set has great play value and awesome torsos - I need a million ushankas! :D
I like the colour scheme and those snow shoes are really appealing for a miniature scale build.

As I'm underwhelmed by the majority of the vehicle designs I'm happy to pick up a few of these packs for the figs themselves.

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By in United States,

The 2014 Arctic series was the only series that I collected all of in recent years. The only ever theme I had previously done that with was the Western/Indian theme. The one annoyance with the 2014 series though was the standard and constant outfits. Meaning, all of the figures were in an orange outfit of some kind it seemed like. But here, this is nice. All 3 mini-figures fit into the new Arctic theme, but are different enough that it doesn't just feel like 3 of the same. That is very nice :)

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By in United States,

Man, almost have to get this just for the minifigures! As far as the snowmobile, it looks a lot like the 2014 version which I have. I guess that's the problem with the relaunch of subthemes.

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