60222 Snow Groomer is probably the 2019 City set which I have been most anticipating, due in particular to the impressive standard of 60083 Snowplough Truck from 2015. Vehicles like this one are relatively uncommon across the range and I think it looks impressive when compared with real snow groomers.
The model does feature a rotating snow cannon which seems quite unrealistic, although such functions are enjoyable and I can imagine this being deployed to keep skiers at a safe distance! Furthermore, the price of £17.99 or $19.99 appears reasonable in my opinion so this should prove to be an appealing set.
Two minifigures are included, the first of whom is dressed for controlling the snow groomer. His orange uniform looks superb and both sides of the torso are decorated with reflective metallic silver strips. The bearded head was originally designed for 21310 Old Fishing Store but it seems equally appropriate for this character and I like the knitted cap too.
XTreme branding has appeared in several previous City sets and the second minifigure wears a dark azure jacket, featuring the XTreme logo. Her matching helmet looks good and I like the tinted goggles printed on the head as well. Naturally, the skier comes with a couple of medium azure skis which have only appeared in this colour once before while her ski poles are dark bluish grey so are new.
The Completed Model
Snow groomers are used to maintain winter sports trails by clearing or flattening snow and this vehicle looks very realistic, even sharing its red colour scheme with the most prominent manufacturer of snow grooming equipment, PistenBully. The model measures 18cm in length so is appropriately scaled with minifigures and its proportions are perfect too.
The dozer blade is fixed on two click hinges so it can be raised and lowered, as demonstrated in the images below. Moreover, you can adjust the angled side plates which is fun, although I think the gaps between the centre of the blade and the sides could probably have been narrowed or concealed using some additional hinges. Nevertheless, the yellow highlights are attractive and match the snow cannon towards the back.
Dark bluish grey caterpillar tracks provide traction and these look very wide in relation to the vehicle's cab, corresponding with real snow groomers. A rubber tyre is situated inside the chassis so the tracks will roll on smooth surfaces as well as carpet and snow! Similar features have appeared on many past sets and the central tyre sometimes extends beneath the tracks, causing the entire vehicle to rock, but this example lines up nicely.
There is room to place one minifigure inside the cab and a white mug is kept on the dashboard. I like the roof-mounted floodlights and the decorative XTreme stickers are brilliant. The same branding has appeared in 60085 4x4 with Powerboat and 60146 Stunt Truck, among other sets, so presumably this company manufactures heavy sporting machinery in LEGO City. I enjoy these details and am happy to see a familiar brand return.
Snow groomers are traditionally equipped with winches for ascending steep slopes or rollers to flatten snow. This model, however, includes a bright yellow snow cannon. Perhaps this takes inspiration from a snow blower but it looks odd and is only attached using a single Technic pin so can be removed with ease. In addition, the bland bricks between the tracks could have been improved with a simple hook or a radiator grille.
60222 Snow Groomer is an excellent set on the whole. Its enormous tracks work perfectly and I think the model looks great, balancing realistic design features and play functions. The snow cannon is unusual but offers some play value and can easily be removed if you prefer. An alternative winch or roller would have been welcome, although I can understand why those were not included.
I am pleased with the minifigures too, especially since City sets of a similar size often only include one figure. Of course, snow groomers are not an ordinary feature of most settlements so this vehicle might not appeal to everybody but it is an impressive model and its price of £17.99 or $19.99 seems fair so I would recommend this set.
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