Review: 21316 The Flintstones

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View image at flickr

Andrew Clark's original idea proposing a set based on the 1960s cartoon The Flintstones was posted on LEGO Ideas at the beginning of 2017. It achieved 10,000 supporters in May 2018 and passed review in October that year. Now, just 4 months later, the 24th Ideas set, 21316 The Flintstones, is set to hit the shelves next week.

Let's take a detailed look, and see how it compares to the original submission.


Original Ideas submission

Andrew's initial submission included Fred and Wilma Flintstone's house, their car on a section of driveway, along with Barney and Betty Rubble and the iconic Welcome to Bedrock sign.

The couples' kids, Pebbles Flintstone and Bamm Bamm Rubble, were also present. Later updates suggested including Dino, the Flintstones' pet snorkasaurus.

The house had a removable roof to reveal a detailed interior which included a TV, sofa, coffee table and other furniture.


Box and contents

The box is an odd size for a Ideas set, and at 11cm is much deeper than usual. Thankfully, it's flip-top box that isn't destroyed on opening, unlike the last Ideas set, 21315 Pop-Up Book. Its wide rectangular format was presumably chosen to enable it to showcase the model on the front effectively.

We can see straight away that several things have been omitted: the Bedrock sign, the driveway, the kids, and Dino. The rest, however, looks pretty faithful to the original submission.

View image at flickr

The box looks to be larger than is needed as there's a lot of empty space inside.

View image at flickr

Parts are packed in 6 numbered bags which I always appreciate.

View image at flickr

The manual includes information about Andrew; the designers, Ricardo Silva and Crystal Fontan; and the cartoon.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr


Minifigures

Fred and Wilma Flintstone are attired exactly as they appear in the majority of the cartoons and look splendid. The legs are dual-moulded and have been printed on the front to form the rough edges of their clothes. Andrew's figures had cloth skirts, but they limit poseability and prevent sitting so this is a much better solution.

View image at flickr

Both torsos are printed on the reverse and Wilma has a dual-sided head. I guess Fred couldn't have one because his stubble would have shown beneath the back of this hair.

View image at flickr

Barney and Betty Rubble look equally excellent with many of the same features as the other pair. Barney is significantly shorter than Fred in the cartoons so it's a shame that the new 3/4-length leg was not used for him.

View image at flickr

Betty has a double-sided head, with a yawn on the reverse.

View image at flickr

On seeing leaked images of the figures a few weeks ago, many people expressed disappointment that the men's distinctive noses were not printed. I think the 'implied nose', above their stubble, looks just fine.


Construction

Car

Fred's car is a robust Technic construction but which still manages to convey the look of something fashioned from wood and animal parts.

A 2x2 round tile with a log-end print has been used for the axles, but I think it looks a bit too big. A 1x1 round tile, as used in Andrew's original, would have worked better.

View image at flickr

The new cloth piece for the roof, however, is far superior to the brick-built solution in the Ideas proposal.

View image at flickr

The roof hinges backwards to enable minifigures to be seated. The seats are wide enough for them to do so without arms clashing.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

A gigantic rack of ribs, fresh from 'Ed's Mammoth Ribs', is provided and can be attached to the side of the car. The lavender plate used to hold them on looks a bit out of place but it's easily replaced.

View image at flickr

House

The Flinstsones' house is constructed on green baseplates upon which tan ones are applied for the interior. Two hinged sections at the back will allow easy access to the inside

View image at flickr

To start with the dwelling is built in time-honoured LEGO fashion with flat walls and right angles. The window and door openings are bordered with slopes and arches to give them an organic look.

View image at flickr

The right-hand side has a chimney which has been clad in various shapes and sizes of round and curved tiles to give it a rock-built look. On both sides of the house long curved slopes are applied to give the building a rounded appearance.

The palm tree extends out of the ground at an angle and gracefully curves towards the house.

View image at flickr

The interior is furnished with a sofa, TV, sink (by the window), coffee table (a Unikitty collectable figure stand), standard lamp and telephone. The picture on the TV and the painting on the wall are printed.

Bowling is a popular pastime in Bedrock so a crate of 3 pins and a ball has been provided.

View image at flickr

Finally, the roof is built. It's a hefty construction with interesting curves that looks much better than the roof on Andrew's original model. It fits securely but can be removed with ease to provide access to the interior.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Overall it has a nice rounded and uneven look and the animal-skin print on the orange curtains looks fantastic. The flowers and milk bottles outside the front door make it look very homely!

View image at flickr

We're not done with building yet, though: there's still the mailbox to do. It sits on a small green plate. The round brick at the top is printed. Personally I don't like separate subassemblies like this; I would have preferred it to have been attached to the house.

View image at flickr


The completed model

Inside and out, it's packed with cool details, nice parts and interesting building techniques.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Playability is limited to sitting Fred and Wilma down on the sofa and perhaps a spot of bowling, but I'm sure that's not much of a problem for most of us.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr


Verdict

I think it's an excellent set that fans of the cartoon in particular will appreciate, and 750 pieces for £55 / $60 doesn't sound too extortionate.

View image at flickr

However, Ideas sets give us an opportunity to consider what's been changed or is missing -- or, what could have been -- when comparing the boxed set to the original submission. Often the finished article exceeds expectations but in this case I don't think it does.

Many features I was hoping to see have been omitted: the Welcome to Bedrock sign, the children and the pet dinosaur. The driveway is no great loss given it adds little to aesthetics or playability, but I think the Bedrock sign in particular is.

Conversely, many aspects have been improved: the roof in particular, the fold-out aspect of the house, and the car looks much better with its cloth roof.

What we are given is great, there's no disputing that, and if you were not aware of the original proposal, there would be nothing much to complain about. But if you are, you can't help feeling that it could have been better.

I also think it's a shame that Barney is a regular height minifigure given he is noticeably shorter than Fred, but perhaps LEGO felt that because he's an adult his minifig should have regular adult-sized legs like all the others.

Overall, then, it's an excellent set but one that could perhaps have been just a little better.

It will be available from 20th February from shop.LEGO.com priced at US $59.99 / CA $79.99 / €59.99 / UK £54.99 / AU $99.99.

We'll be publishing an exclusive interview with Andrew Clark, in which he gives his opinions of the set, tomorrow.


Thanks to LEGO for providing the set for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

68 comments on this article

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By in Netherlands,

Great review, thanks. Printed pieces is a plus. But it should have at least included Dino...

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By in Canada,

Looks like a great set! Slightly disappointed that the kids and Dino were not included. Dino was totally my favorite character & toy growing up and I would have been over the moon to finally get a LEGO version of Dino in my adulthood. Oh well!

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By in Canada,

I'm pretty sure Betty's alternate expression is meant to represent her infamous giggling expression when she laughs and isn't a 'yawning' expression as you noted. Other than that, excellent review.

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By in United States,

I was really looking forward to buying Andrew Clark's version. I might pick up what got released, but only at a big discount. Other than the cloth top on the car it seems to me every change Lego made was to the detriment of the submitted design - especially the faces on the minifigures. Congratulations to Andrew, sorry about what Lego did to your set.

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By in Guatemala,

That is a shame about the sign, I was also really excited to see the Dino given that it would have introduced a new color of Mixel ball joint.

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By in United States,

It was kind of surprising to me seeing complaints about the cartoon-styled faces being replaced with more minifigure-styled ones. After all, I remember a lot of criticism in the past of minifigures with cartoonish faces that defy the standard minifigure design language, whether it's in licensed themes (NBA, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Super Heroes Mighty Micros, Teen Titans GO!, etc) or non-licensed (like Time Cruisers and Exo-Force).

I had gotten the sense that the transition to using regular minifig design standards for human or human-like characters in most cartoon-based themes (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars: Rebels, Disney/Pixar movies, Marvel cartoon series, etc) had been fairly well received among AFOLs. And I feel like LEGO did a really impressive job here translating the Flintstones to the usual minifigure look with simplified eyes and no noses while keeping their iconic features and personalities intact.

Overall, while some things here are simplified from the original proposal, I do feel like this helps it to offer a really good value for a really reasonable price. Some of the omitted content would have almost certainly driven the price up. I also think that it's quite possible that if this sells well enough, it could get another tie-in set with other characters like Bam-Bam, Pebbles, and Dino, and in that case it might be nice to save some of the other iconic imagery of the series like the "Welcome to Bedrock" sign for then.

Good review!

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By in United Kingdom,

Decent review, the minifigs are quite good i own Betty's hair piece already in 3 colours and wilmas in medium dark flesh..

The car is abit to chunky though, and the set is missing DINO, pebbles & Bam-bam..

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks Huw, having read this/looked at your pictures I like it more than I did yesterday when looking through the reveal!

Definitely think the sign should have been included though, too iconic to miss out in my opinion... and Dino. Not too fussed either way about the kids.

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By in United States,

While it has a good part/price ratio, it seems a little on the small side. If I were more of a fan of the series I’d consider it. Great review though! I appreciate the comparison between this and the fan designer’s model

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By in Canada,

It’s a shame that Dino, Pebbles and Bam-Bam weren’t included. I thought they would essential part given their popularity.

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By in United States,

That was quick

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By in France,

Disappointing for me.
Fred & Barney face and hair poor likeness.
Barney too tall.
No sign.
No Dino.....

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By in United Kingdom,

Another great review! I’m personally just disappointed that the characters can’t stand up in the car, which I’d think would be a must, especially given as a design like that would use fewer pieces...

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By in Netherlands,

I voted for this set on ideas but I won't buy it. A Flintstone set should have had Pebbles, BamBam and off course Dino in it. Add those 3 things and I would have bought one no questions asked.

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By in United States,

The figures don’t really look like the cartoon, but I guess this is as good as they could get. great job to the designer for this though!

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By in United States,

the figures just don't look right, they should've used mini dolls for Betty and Wilma

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By in United States,

I think this was a really creative idea, and the finished set is quite cute. The only thing I miss from the original is the pet dinosaur - that was an important character in the cartoon, so a shame they couldn't include that. The sign is not a loss IMHO. I love the way the house hinges out, and the redesign of the car and plant is great - much less busy and clunky than the original, while still keeping the fun character of the idea. The tiger print curtains are a great touch.

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By in United States,

I am still scratching my head about this set as someone who really didn't watch the cartoon that much. Yes, everything in the set are things I remember from the few times I had seen the show (and the Fruity Pebbles commercials), but its not quite striking the nostalgic chord other sets do. Maybe I am just a generation off from who this set is meant to appeal to, and I am sure the people who supported the project are delighted to see it happening. But I have to wonder if I am struggling to recognize the appeal, what will kids who are even younger than I and a another full generation removed from the base IP than I am see in this?

I dunno, maybe its just a generation gap. The other day in conversation with my dad I mentioned that I never went and saw The Lego Ninjago Movie because Ninjago came out several years to late to catch my interest as a kid, but if they had made The Lego Bionicle Movie instead I would have bought a ticket for a first day screening... So my feelings to the Flintstones are like that in reverse, its older than my time and really associated in my memories with crappy reruns on Boomerang.

Of course it can't be age entirely, I would kill for a Lego Looney Tunes release, even though that is a full generation older than The Flintstones is!

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By in Sweden,

At least Dino is on TV, right?

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By in United Kingdom,

Like most people I’m disappointed in this set, still like it but most of the changes from the original were my favourite bits. If as others had said it would’ve been more expensive staying closer to the original then fair enough I would’ve personally preferred that than what feels like half a set. Glad they changed the minifigure faces though just have to hope to find it 50% off or it’s a pass for me.

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By in United States,

How about the bird-beak-needle phonograph, the dinosaur lawnmower and the wooly mammoth shower?

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By in Canada,

I have waited so long foe this set. I loved the idea the minute i saw it on IDEAS. i will be getting it the day it releases for VIP members.

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By in Canada,

Agree with all comments, also prefer the original car roof in real bricks so that you can add stuff on top, that's certainly something I'll change if I get this set.

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By in Canada,

I'd agree with the above comments I think they missed a few key things from the original submission. To bad they didn't stay truer to the proposed design.

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By in United States,

I supported the set on Ideas, and probably would have purchased it on release, which I rarely do. I might consider buying the final product for parts if I find it heavily discounted.

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By in United States,

Growing up with the original cartoons this was really going to be a must have for me. However, I am SO disappointed - too much is missing; the 'phonograph', the kids, Dino, the 'luggage', the sign. I would have gladly paid more for a more inclusive set. Probably still get one copy but not as excited. Oh well.

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By in Denmark,

Where do people expect to find Ideas sets heavily discounted?

Would like to know.

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By in United Kingdom,

They really need to sort out the opacity of some of their printing - Betty’s top is another example of a need for improvement.
That said the set looks good - I would never have expected something like this based on an ancient cartoon, and despite it’s flaws its nice to see variety added to Lego’s range. I’m just bummed that Scooby doo didn’t get a second wave!

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By in Canada,

I have to say I couldn't wait for this set to be released based on the original Ideas submission. Upon reviewing the Lego release I can't see myself making the purchase. The Ideas original submission was what I voted for and I am disappointed with so many things that have been omitted or altered.

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm very glad they didn't give us stylised heads, these are much better.

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By in United Kingdom,

@iriz We can quite often find some Ideas sets discounted in the UK. Some like the Yellow Submarine got very wide release and were sold in supermarkets and high street stores which regularly discount Lego or do 3-for-2 on toys. 'Hard to Find' sets are also sold in our Smyths toy shop and John Lewis, both regularly do good discounts during seasonal sales and often have 20% off events. Also if they don't sell well Lego will discount them in the online shop like Adventure Time is at the moment.

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By in United States,

In my opinion, for this particular subject matter it would have been better executed by including the originally submitted cartoon faces to convey the essence of the characters in absence of using specialized molded heads.

I have to disagree with you @Huw regarding the cloth replacement for the car roof - using that instead of a brick built roof and in combination with increasing the vehicle's size to accommodate 4 minifigs instead of two has thrown the proportions all off. The vehicle build is oversimplified and loses flexibility in the different ways that could be available to display and play without the inclusion of the luggage and a design to hold it.

Omission of the drive way build (or reducing it to just the mailbox) leaves the set without any good way to display the car in the act of tipping when the dinosaur ribs are attached like in the original submission (unless that's something missed in the review).

I think what's making the official set look so bland over the proposed submission is the house interior changes - omission of the bone curtain rods, tan wall treatment around the fireplace, missing rugs, and color change for the floor lamp - have left it with an insufficient amount of warm colors and organic feel so it looks very cold and plain.

I also preferred several of the small details on the house exterior in the original submission over the official model, particularly the violet bananas and white milk bottles. Was looking forward to getting those elements in new colors. There's not enough bones laying around! And the front of the house is too flat - the original submission did a better job conveying the rounded boulder look more convincingly.

Disappointed with the final production choices on this one. Looks like I'll be challenging myself with some modifications to this set when I get round to purchasing it.

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By in United States,

I loved the Flinstones as a kid but this set is disappointing to me. The minifigures, especially Fred, ruin it for me. Fred looks like he was recast to be played by someone else like they did in soap operas..."The role of Fred is now being played by Zack Garifalakis" And Barney looks more like Rick Moranis than Barney. I had hoped they would do molded heads like they did for the Simpsons. And I agree there should have been a Dino. He was a staple of the TV show. Given the other sets on my wish list right now, this is probably going to be another disappointing pass for me.

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By in Australia,

Dissapointed “the children and the pet dinosaur” are not included but will probably still get it.

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By in United States,

Simply put, not the set I supported. Missed opportunity.

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By in United States,

Great review, I appreciate the compare / contrast to the original model, it's interesting to see how the designs changed. Looks like a decent representation of the show in Lego format.

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By in United Kingdom,

Where’s Dino? Or “Deeno”?

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By in Australia,

The house is SO much better in the official set, I prefer the car as well. The cartoon faces looked cooler on the original set.
Dino would have been a great addition!
I actually really like this set.

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By in Belgium,

I voted for the original one but won't be buying it. The finished model looks bland and flat and lacks the great look and feel of the ideas entry; and half of it has been scrapped. Ideas has been on quite a downhill slide for a while now already.

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By in United States,

The lavender plate actually matches the tray the ribs are served on in the shows opening pretty well.

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By in United States,

No Dino, no kids, and face prints that don’t match the source material very well (it looks like Fred and Barney are suffering some kind of skin rash). But the biggest gripe of all: IM SICK OF THE FALSE ADVERTISING BY LEGO WITH THE BODY PRINTING! I don’t know what cheapo is running production but the print quality on minifigures lately has been garbage. The flesh print on Betty would be laughable if everyone wasn’t getting hosed on pricing. The Overwatch sets have the same issue and so does Emmet around the collar (it looks like flesh but advertised as white). I wanted this set when it was gathering support, but Lego murdered the production version.

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By in United States,

I like it. I just don't know if I $60 like it. I'll definitely think about it and one good thing about licensed LEGO Ideas sets is you basically get one set for the theme so there's nothing else to get past the one set.

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By in New Zealand,

It’s just so flat.

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By in United States,

Appreciate the review! As always. I enjoyed it for sure. The Flintstones definitely has that nostalgia factor since I grew up in the 80’s.

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By in Singapore,

What a disappointed set! They really ruined the original design.

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By in United States,

i would rather to pay 20 bucks more and have the driveway and the city sign. i give the original an A- and the Lego Version and C.

I voted for the Original but the Lego outcome is more than just an small make over side by side compare looks like Awesome ( Original ) to just okay ( Final Lego Version )

Only the Car Roof is great on the Lego Version thats all.

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By in United States,

I'm so glad they improved the faces from the original submission! Printing a 2D face at an angle on a 3D cylinder would've looked horrible and it completely put me off the original submission.

It's a shame Dino was cut, but I could live without him. Also a shame Barney's got long legs but I suppose that's an easy fix.

Didn't have much interest in getting the original version (mainly do to the aforementioned faces) but this one's got a little more draw. Probably still won't get it. Call me when they make an Adventure Time Treehouse, Jetson's Car, or Steven Universe's Crystal Temple.

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By in Australia,

Great review huw. It is interesting to see the legs all dual moulded, with the serrated edge on the outer side. This implies that a new mould may have been made for these legs. In turn, this may explain the reason that Barney's legs are the standard length, rather than the 'teen legs' which have only ever been in black. They might also pose a special challenge for dual molding.

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By in Belgium,

Yeah.. I'll be getting it but it's a shame there's no pebbles and bambam. And dino, who at least is there in spirit.

But what is the propulsion method of the car? Children's hand I guess? Because I don't see a hole in the floor to run it on Fred power...

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By in Sweden,

The original fan creation looked inspired and had ”it”. The end result is meh. I may pick this up on a 50% discount in a year or two.

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By in Netherlands,

I'll either get it and heavily mod it, or I will not get it at all. As was said many times before: this is not the set we voted for. The house looks awfully flat, the kids and Dino are missing and for me the most important thing: No bird-record player. I always thought that device was the funniest thing in the show and they didn't put it in. So yeah, the end result is a big meh.

I love the review though!

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By in United Kingdom,

@gasdoc, the legs are partially printed to create the jagged edge.

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By in Turkey,

What minifig has that 3/4 legs?

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By in Canada,

It looks pretty good, and as close to the original as could realistically be expected. Though I do feel that not including Dino, Pebbles, and Bam-Bam represents a lost opportunity. Perhaps they'll see life in an accessory pack.

I am especially pleased to see the Fred Flintstone minifig as my father bears a striking resemblance (much to his chagrin) to the original character, and I believe the minifig maintains the resemblance enough that I can present it to him for his analysis/annoyance!

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By in United Kingdom,

To me the major deficiency of this set is Fred's car, a major miss in playability.

It should have 2 modes. 1 mode with two minifigure standing, their legs support the whole car. There should holes in the car floor! That's how the car is suppose to propel ... in the cartoon!

(For the 2nd mode, all minifigs are in sitting position, which then the two wheels support the car allowing the car to use the two wheels for kids to move it around like regular cars)

This can be achieved by making the car's body 1L instead of 2L in height (this will make the car smaller as it might be too top heavy, but hey it 'sworth the change)

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By in Canada,

I realize that Pebbles and Bambam came later in the show, but where is Dino? Dino would have been a must for me.

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By in Brazil,

It's a shame Lego doesnt' adress the skin color problem. Betty's chest color is waaay off. As a minifig collector, this is really bothering me.

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By in Ireland,

Guys, it’s LEGO, if you really want the sign and Dino and the kids and everything else, you can just build them too to compliment the set (which you can also modify).

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By in United States,

I wish there was a bit more to the set, but I am still liking it a lot. I think the figures we got are very good, even despite the noises. Getting those hair pieces in that colour is great. The car is great and I think better then the original. I also think k the house is very good. I live location builds so this is right up my alley. Not perfect but I think the set is still great. 

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By in United States,

Something else of note… I think it's interesting to note how with the Saturn V (a $120 set with 11 new printed elements) a typical reaction was amazement at just how many new printed elements LEGO could introduce just for that set, even though a) that number is pretty unremarkable for a set that size, and b) the Big Bang Theory, Doctor Who, and Yellow Submarine sets had each included twice that number.

By comparison, with this set, even with 16 new set-specific printed elements, fans are clamoring for two more figures and a dinosaur that would probably require at least 6 more printed elements, and probably several other new elements like recolors.

Now, wishing those characters had been included isn't totally unreasonable, particularly if you'd be willing to pay more for this set if they had. After all, LEGO showed with Yellow Submarine that it's not beyond their means to include as many as 25 new set-specific printed elements in a set. But I still think this really illustrates something I think a lot of people don't take note of, which is how differently we often think of printed elements on minifigures compared to printed elements on other parts.

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By in United States,

For me, who watched the reruns as a kid so much, this set seems very lacking.
I know Lego has a budget set up and how much they can include but looking at this now, it probably shouldn't have been made. It's lacking too many iconic things that make it a complete Flintstones set. Now...if this is part of a Flintstones line then I stand corrected.

First off, I like the car, the new cloth rooftop for it, the big dino-rib (great to see that in Lego form), the house and mailbox (great print there).
But I'm not crazy about a bunch of stuff missing....
-I really want with these cartoon characters to mold the heads. That cartoon 'look' is what makes them, them.
-Barney...come on, why is he the same height as Fred?
-If they're not gonna' mold the heads, then have duel faces, one happy one angry for Fred, etc.
- No Dino? Again, c'mon, if you have the house, you NEED Dino!
Plus, where are the animal appliances? I loved those.

Maybe what Lego should do is offer these additional builds online, like have the instructions to add to various sets. So with this have instructions for the baby mammoth vacuum cleaner, the bird phonograph, pelican washing machine, etc.

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By in United States,

This show seems weird and boring so this set will not be one I own. That being said, I am VERY disappointed that Lego used Emmet’s (formerly) exclusive hair piece on these characters.

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By in United States,

^It's a classic long running cartoon from way back in the day. Has a big fan following to this day.
Lot's of funny jokes like a live action sitcom. Great voices. And the stoneage versions of modern stuff is hilarious.
The set, if it's just the one, is not a definitive set. Like Big-Bang Theory has ALL the characters, this one should've at least added in Dino. He's a major part of their family. The kids are ok to leave off but Dino was needed and one or two of the animal appliances added in, plus Barney should be short.
But, it's Lego so easy enough to mod and add. As a stand alone, not a complete Flintstones set.

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By in United States,

Without Bam Bam Pebbles and Dino the dinosaur at the Flintstone home, the set just looks like Barney and Betty went over for a swingers party. would have been better with at least Bam Bam and Dino to complete the nuclear household, which was the point in 1960

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By in United States,

My mother is happy something like tbis was made, shame about Dino, the cat and the kids.

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By in Germany,

Pity about the omissions, but at least the house and the car appear to have been improved quite a bit.

In general I believe figures with molded heads a la Simpsons would have been better, but that might be just me.

What I really miss is many of the subtle stone age details like the bones for curtain hangers etc.
As it is the interior feels far less stone-age than in the original submission.

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By in United States,

TIL Dino was a snorkasaurus.

Interesting ideas (well, Idea), but I'll pass over this one. The dimensions just look off too much in almost all regards. And Fred and Barney's faces--I know it's supposed to be a 5-o'clock shadow sort of thing, but it looks like they both got messy with a bag of Cheetos.

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