Today, those of us in the U.S. are celebrating Independence Day. It's a day where we traditionally celebrate with barbecues, fireworks and enjoying the summer weather. What better day to take a look at the Summer Celebration Minifigure Pack?
I was recently in a LEGO Brand Store to pick up something for a friend (yes....a friend.....) and happened to wander about the store a bit to see if there was anything new. I noticed a few minifigure packs near the register which I hadn't been expecting, so picked one of them up. I chose 40344 Summer Celebration Minifigure Pack, largely because I often have a small LEGO build in my office. During the summer I have a little beach party and I thought this pack would complement it nicely. Read on to see if it's worth the investment or not.
The packaging is quite eye-catching. I like that the parts are in a plastic mould shaped like a minifigure. The front shows that there are four minifigures included along with some accessories and a couple of smaller builds. The back shows the minifigures as well as highlights the fact that one of the minifigures is exclusive to the set. A parrot is included in the new coral colour that's also exclusive.
The overall scene shows an ice cream vendor along with other beach goers. To that end, the ice cream vendor needs a cart, which is one of the small builds. The cart has everything an ice cream cart would need, complete with a parasol and a couple of popsicles in transparent blue and yellow pieces. What I call the popsicle pieces are actually described as ice pops at [email protected], and the database calls them ice lollies. Whatever you call them, there are two included in the cart, and they're certainly not ice cream.
The other build is a perch for the parrot - I'm assuming he belongs to the ice cream vendor? As mentioned previously the parrot is new to this set and is in that new lovely coral colour accented with blue, especially on the chest and tail. Another animal included in the set is a crab, which is shown also enjoying one of the frozen treats from the ice cream vendor.
The ice cream vendor is the exclusive minifigure in this set. It's the torso that's exclusive, the head has been seen several times before. The vendor is wearing a sleeveless shirt wth a print very suitable for the beach, it's of a sail boat outlined in a setting sun. There's minimal detailing on the back. He's sensibly wearing sunglasses in the sun, and is either proffering or about to enjoy one of the wares from the cart.
The other minifigures have been seen before, but not very often. Next we have a sunbathing beauty who is ready for the day in a lovely red and white bathing suit. The printing on the front of the torso is terrific and I'm very pleased to see that the stripes continue around to the back, though you can't see as much on the back because of her cascading yellow hair. Having the bottom half for a bathing suit is still relatively rare and I'm happy to see that we have the whole figure for the bathing suit here. I like the choice of the yellow hair for this minifigure which is yet another relatively rare piece. She has a double sided head, the primary showing an appropriate amount of joy with having ice cream, and the other expression being a sleeping one which may be the case after she has that absolutely enormous ice cream cone. I'll also note that considering there's an ice cream vendor, this is the only actual ice cream in the set.
The other two minifigures are those partaking in more athletic pursuits - diving and surfing. I rather think the diver's mask looks more like a snorkeling mask, but in either case, it looks like this snorkeler has had a rather fruitful venture in the water, having discovered a jewel. He also has a black helmet and bright yellowish green swim fins, which matches the colouring on his wetsuit. I really like the detail showing the zipper in the back. This minifigure comes with a double sided head, with the alternate showing a rather nauseated expression, which could be the result of a little too much diving.
The surfer has a very similar outfit to the diver, albeit with different colours - she has turquoise accents on the front of the wetsuit, but unfortunately no colourful sleeves like the diver. The details on the back of the torso are the same as the surfer, and her only accessory is her surfboard. She has a very determined look on her face as she faces those killer waves. Her alternate expression is one of a wink - or perhaps she's just gotten sea water in her eye.
This was admittedly an impulse buy on my part when I saw it in the store. The packaging caught my eye, and I saw that there were four minifigures included. When I saw that one of the minifigures was exclusive and there was a lovely looking coral/pink parrot included, it justified spending the $12.99 a pretty easy task.
I really like that all the minifigures included in the set have not been seen many times before. Many times we hear complaints about rare or exclusive minifigures only being included in large, expensive sets. This minifigure pack offers the opportunity for some rarer and exclusive pieces at a reasonable price.
The brand store where I made my purchase had 40344, as well as 40345 Mars Exploration Minifigure Pack and 40342 Ninjago Minifigure Pack. However, when I went to another brand store a few days later the only one they had was 40344. Based on that experience, your best bet to get these minifigure packs may be through [email protected] as brand store availability may vary.
Do you like the smaller minifigure packs? Let us know in the comments.