Monday, August 26, 2019

LEGO 75917: Raptor Rampage - REVIEW

I've been on a bit of a Jurassic World LEGO kick lately with both of my last two builds being Jurassic World sets.  The previous build was from the last wave of Jurassic World sets while this build goes back further in time to the first Jurassic World wave when the first movie of the trilogy was released.  This is my review of LEGO 75917:  Raptor Rampage.

The set comes with three minifigures (Claire, Owen, and an unnamed ACU soldier) as well as two raptors:  Blue and Delta.  Of course, people that saw the first Jurassic World movie will know that Blue plays a pivotal role in the movie so getting a LEGO version of him (and Owen) is always appreciated. 

Owen is both the star of the movie and also of this particular LEGO kit, but the two raptors aren't far behind.  Personally, I think I'll probably remove the two head pieces from each raptor, though I do know why they are included in the set.  Each raptor has distinct coloring, though Blue is more green than blue colored overall.  Still, I love the dinos!  I should also add that Owen's motorcycle is a lovely forest green color and is instantly one of my favorite bikes in my collection. 

The other two figures included in the set aren't nearly as interesting but I do like the ACU member's vest (and "ACU" is printed on the vest I might add).  Claire has her cell phone which is good but without her high heels it simply doesn't feel like the Claire of the first movie!  Also, you'll notice the printing isn't perfect on her figure which is a bit of a shame as well.

With 324 pieces and an original retail price of $49.99, you'd expect more than a couple of dinos and a trio of figures - and while there is one more thing to build it'll become immediately apparent that the value isn't all there...

That's the Vet Unit truck combined with a turret machine gun on top.  I mean, nothing says "let me help you out, poor dinos" like a machine gun, am I right? 

Much like in the previous Jurassic World set that I build (which also had a very similar truck), this truck sits up much too high and, in doing so, looks like a prime candidate to roll over when trying to go around any sort of curve.  The coloring on the model is alright but I prefer the darker blue and grays used in the newer Jurassic World sets as compared to the whites and bright blues used here.  I should also mention that this set employs a very liberal use of stickers:  18 in all for only 324 parts.  That's way too many if you ask me.

The back of the truck has a couple of different features worth mentioning.  As you would expect, there are doors that open up so you can see what's in the back and the upper turret can swivel 360 degrees. 

You can also pop the turret off of the roof of the truck (and remove the truck's roof) and then place the turret on an included helicopter blade piece and slide the turret into the truck for safe keeping.  In this view, you can also see two included computer monitors (more stickers), though I do like the sticker that shows two different raptors on the screen (which fits with the set since you get two different raptors to keep track of here)!

Finally, you can pull the entire back of the truck off it's base and use the blocky bit as a standalone base if you want.  The turret can then be either mounted someplace else or back on top of the base.  That's some decent play flexibility but if you remove the back of the truck then the truck itself doesn't have much else to offer!

Overall, I give the LEGO 75917:  Raptor Rampage set the following rating:
The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Fun:  10
Play Value:  10
Kid Value:  8
Adult Value:  4
Overall:  7

As with many of the Jurassic World sets, this set suffers from too high of a price point as compared to what you get.  Yes, getting two raptors is awesome (as is the green bike) but it's still not enough to justify the original's $50 price tag.  At the time of the sets release, I believe both Owen and Claire were unique to this set which probably explains part of the price but still, looking back on it now the set simply isn't worth the original price tag.  That said, if you can get it on sale - even $10 off - then it becomes a much better deal.  Ignoring price for a moment, this set is a great set for kids in particular.  Two dinos, two vehicles, a machine gun, three minifigures.  There's a lot to like for kids - and even the inclusion of the brick separator was nice (and a bit of a surprise to me since the set only has 324 total pieces).

In the end, it definitely seems like for most of the Jurassic World sets you are basically paying for some sweet dinosaurs and almost everything else is an afterthought.  I think it's definitely best to bite the bullet and buy the sets which contain the dinos you most want, but if it's a kid's gift you are looking for then this set is definitely recommended!

Monday, August 19, 2019

LEGO 75929: Carnotaurus Gyrosphere Escape - REVIEW

If you ask anyone that has bought my in the way of LEGO kits (whether for themselves or for other people), one of the first things that person will probably say is that LEGO is expensive.  While that's undoubtedly true compared to many other toys, LEGO fans will point to the hours of creativity that each kit provides, not to mention that each kit is compatible with every other LEGO kit ever made.  From that angle, LEGO is definitely worth the money - but again, that's a big picture view.  When you start looking at individual sets on a store shelf, you generally are comparing apples to apples and not thinking long-term.  Instead, you are holding two boxes in hand and wondering which one should you get...or at least that's what I did any number of times when thinking about buying LEGO 75929:  Carnotaurus Gyrosphere Escape versus some other set.  And you know what?  Every single time the "other" set won out and I put the Gyrosphere Escape set back on the shelf.  For me, the value didn't seem to be there...but lo and behold, I hit my local Wal-Mart just right a couple of weeks ago and found this set on the super clearance shelf.  At only $30, the set became an instant buy - and so with that great find, let's take a closer look at the set and see whether or not my initial off-the-shelf assessment of value was correct.

The Carnotaurus Gyrosphere Escape set comes with 577 pieces including three minifigures and one large dinosaur (the aforementioned Carnotaurus).  The set originally retailed for about $80.00 USD which is definitely high in terms of price-per-piece but less expensive when you consider the fact that the set is both licensed and includes a large plastic dinosaur.  For that money, you get a large vehicle with trailer as well as a fairly large Gyrosphere launch center that's overgrown with lots of vegetation.  The real star, however, is of course the giant Carnosaurus so let's begin with him.

Right off the bat, I have to say that the Carnosaurus was immediately my favorite LEGO dinosaur that I owned as soon as I built him.  The level of articulation is incredible and I love the color scheme of the dino.

He's also quite large - easily towering above a minifigure like Claire Dearing and I'm sure scaring them silly!  You'll notice the little stubby arms, those are actually fairly accurate as to how the Carnotaurus was believed to have looked, his arms apparently were even more comically useless than T-Rex's were.

Moving on from the dino, the first part of the actual build consists of the truck and trailer.

For me, the truck looks kind of silly - it sits up way too high for my liking.  I do think that the back end of the truck looks pretty good - I believe LEGO was going for a black tarp-like covering...at least if I remember the movie correctly they were.  I do wish LEGO didn't feel the need to put a stud shooter on everything, but I guess kids must like them so I won't hold it against the set too much.

On the other hand, the trailer is pretty much a waste of parts if you ask me.  Yes, it does hold the Gyrosphere nicely - and yes, there is a slight action mechanism on the trailer where you can "launch" the Gyrosphere by pushing in the gray pin...but that doesn't make any sort of sense thematically.  The Gyropshere was part of a ride - and this set comes with the ride's launching spot no less.

At least when the Gyrosphere ball is on the trailer the entire truck looks alright.  You can see poor Franklin Webb scared out of his mind inside the Gyrosphere.  Somehow he looks more terrified than did Clair despite her standing directly under the Carnotaurus a moment ago!

The final part of the build is the fairly large Gyrosphere launching spot, complete with a volcanic dumping ground?!

My initial first view of the Gyrosphere launching area was that it looked satisfactorily overgrown to me.  I love all the vegetation and LEGO was much more generous with vegetation here than they often are (I think you get more greenery here than you did in any similarly sized LEGO City Jungle set, for example)!  The only downside to all that vegetation is that the build is surprisingly brittle for what is ostensibly a play set.

Speaking of play, the launch pad has two main play functions.  The obvious function is the launch pad for the Gyrosphere.  By pressing a rod in the back, you can launch the ball to start it's tour of Jurassic Park.  The launching works well and is fun to do - even for an adult builder ;)

The other play feature is a little stranger - a tower of lava that you can drop down onto the space below.  The space below is where the Gyrosphere sign is as well as the dinosaur nest of eggs (and yes, you also get the adorable little "baby dino" as the set calls it).  Normally that mold is used for baby raptors but I think the idea here is that it can be thought of as a baby Carnotaurus as well (notice the similar color patterns).

Back to the lava though, I have to be honest.  I don't get why this is there.  It's not really a volcano since there is no volcano..it's simply a bunch of trans-orange lava rocks stuck up in the trees.  Weird to say the least.  Of course, as a kid it's probably a super fun thing to rain lava down on unsuspecting people (and dinos)...

In the end, the set ended up being almost exactly what I thought it would be when I first laid eyes on it.  An undoubtedly cool set with an awesome dino (better than I expected even) but also a set burdened by a high piece count and some questionable play features (i.e. piece wasters).  The truck design doesn't work for me, but it definitely does work for play - those high wheels may look stupid on display but they'll make playing in the backyard way easier and more fun for children.  The set also uses a fair number of stickers (ten total) but they are relatively easy to apply here - and personally, I think they are worth it as they add a lot of color and interest to the set (plus you need the stickers for the Gyrosphere sign)!

Overall, I give the LEGO 75929:  Carnotaurus Gyrosphere Escape set the following rating:
The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Fun:  10
Play Value:  10
Kid Value:  7
Adult Value:  3
Overall:  5

In a nutshell, this is an amazing set full of fun play potential but it's drastically hampered by an artificially high price point.  If you can find this set on discount (right now it's around $50 USD on Amazon), I think that's a perfectly reasonable price point...and at that price I'd bump the overall score up to a 9/10.  But at about $80 as originally retailed?  The value simply isn't there, no matter how cool the star dinosaur is!

Monday, August 12, 2019

LEGO 10264: Corner Garage - REVIEW

The last set I reviewed was a DUPLO set and now I'm going to the complete opposite end of the LEGO spectrum with a Creator Expert set review.  The LEGO 10264:  Corner Garage set contains 2,569 pieces and is part of the aforementioned Creator Expert line of modular buildings.  The set retailed originally for $199 which was about $30 more than the previous modular building (Downtown Diner which had 2,480 pieces). 

The big question that I had when I bought the set is why the price increase?  While I'm going to go into the full build in a moment, I think the price increase is the biggest question mark for the set - certainly an extra 89 pieces wouldn't justify a price increase of $30 in a single year.  Unfortunately, I cannot figure out why LEGO decided to up the price so substantially other than the fact that company probably figured that adult collectors will buy the set regardless (obviously that's what I did).  Truthfully, if price is your number one concern then I wouldn't recommend buying the Corner Garage.  That said, if you are willing to stomach the price increase then read on for my full review!

Before I get to the individual floors and mini builds within the model, I have to begin with the best part of the entire set which is the overall look of the model.  The set simply looks amazing from top to bottom.  I love the garage level with the dark green and white motif - and you'll notice a dark red stripe as well...a nice update to the classic Octan colors that LEGO uses for many of its City models.  The gas pump, the angled building front, and even the upper level color scheme all go together to create a great looking whole. 

For a model like this, having a gorgeous exterior is important since the vast majority of people will probably only view it from the outside.  That said, LEGO modular buildings are also known for their detailed interiors and that's where the Corner Garage begins to fall a bit short.

Before I get to the interiors, I should mention that the set does come with a nice tow truck to build as well.  Personally, I could do without the vehicles in the expert modular sets but I understand why LEGO sometimes includes them (the fire truck for the Fire Brigade set was probably necessary, for example)!

As with all of the other modular buildings, each level of the building pops off so that you can see (or play) with the interior of each floor.  As such, it's worth taking a look at each level beginning with the roof top.

LEGO usually goes to some effort to make the rooftop of each modular building look unique and have some sort of visually interesting element.  For the Corner Garage, there's a "can't miss" bright colored umbrella and lounge chair.  There's also a nice roof access entryway and a small flower garden with new (to me at least) red flower pieces.

Heading down to the top floor of the building, we see a person's apartment. 

While the owner of the apartment isn't totally clear, to me it would only make sense if the apartment belonged to the veterinarian who works on the second floor.  The reason being that the only way to get to the third floor is to go through the vet's office!  As you can see from the above photo, the apartment is very small - there's a red sofa with a television, a small kitchen, and an even smaller bathroom (that's what the blue door is hiding).  There's also a bed and a cute little mini build of a truck on sitting on a shelf on the wall. 

It's here that the first instance of a rather sparse interior shows up - you'll notice the kitchen has no fridge and I'll note that the small bathroom has no sink.  There's no wall separating the bedroom from the kitchen/living room and, perhaps worst of all, the entire apartment is left with gray studs rather than tiles.  Unfortunately, this isn't the only floor of the building that suffers from gray stud syndrome.

Moving down a floor, we find the veterinarian's office.  Much like the apartment above it, it's a cramped space with lots of gray studs but at least this does have some interesting mini builds.

My favorite mini build might be that desk light but also enjoyed the cute little frog habitat.  Again, the entire look of the floor is "ruined" somewhat by the gray studs - especially for a medical office, you'd expect it too be all white and sterile looking! 

I do have to give credit for the funny vet sign that is printed on the window.

Apparently the vet is either Indiana Jones or someone who really loves Indiana Jones!

That leads us to the final floor of the model which is the bottom floor of the building - the garage itself. 

The first thing you'll probably notice about the garage is that is way too clean for a working garage (you'll also notice all the uncovered studs I'm sure).  The garage has a few interesting builds (the mechanic's lift actually does go up and down thanks to a clever build in the back of the building and I like the red tool chest a lot).  That said, it's still way too sparse on the inside. 

It seems clear to me that LEGO took the majority of their "piece" budget for the set and applied it to the outside of the building - a smart move since that is the part that everyone will see first! 

The best part of the outside of the building is probably the rolling door (that actually rolls up if you spin the upper tire on the side of the wall).  That was a fun surprise when building the set!

I also really like the vet's office door - it opens directly to a stairwell but the outside of the building looks great (and the paw print piece is a nice touch for the door).

All the complaints of sparseness aside, what is present in the build is wonderfully done and the set itself was a lot of fun to build. 

Overall, I give the LEGO 10264:  Corner Garage set the following rating:
The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Fun:  8
Play Value:  5
Kid Value:  7
Adult Value:  7
Overall:  7

While I greatly enjoyed the building process of the set and I think the overall look of the building (from the outside) is incredible, it's impossible to not consider the $30 price increase when trying to objectively assess the Corner Garage set.  This is the first modular set since the Pet Shop was released where I felt like I ought to add a bunch of extra details to the interior of the set.  For a set as pricey as the Corner Garage is, that's obviously a disappointment.  However, all that said, I still recommend the set if you don't mind it not being a great deal from a money standpoint.  The build itself is as fun, interesting, and inventive as you'd expect from a modular set and ultimately that's what it's all about!

Friday, August 2, 2019

LEGO 10858: My First Puzzle Pets - REVIEW

I thought it'd be fun to do something a little bit different today - I'm going to review a Duplo LEGO set.

I bought the LEGO 10858:  My First Puzzle Pets set on clearance a couple of weeks ago and recently gave the set to my young son (who is 14 months old).  Like most Duplo sets, the box is much larger than a typical LEGO System box (City, Star Wars, etc.) but you get way fewer pieces.  Of course, that's because Duplo bricks are much, much chunkier than the average LEGO system brick (trust me, all any 14-month-old wants to do with anything is first stick it in its mouth)!  Obviously, the chunky Duplo blocks are great since they don't become a choking hazard for little ones. 

The front of the box is nice and bright and cheery.  You can clearly make out the three builds of the set as well the various printed pieces.

I had to show off the back of the box as well because I like the LEGO took the time to show that you could build other things besides the three main animals.  I'm not exactly sure what the little hybrid animal is supposed to be but you could probably convince someone that it's a penguin of sorts.

Once the box is ripped open, the contents were packed sort of curiously.  There were two plastic bags full of pieces and then there were two pieces left loose in the box (one a printed piece and the other not printed).  My best guess is that those are the two largest pieces in the set and so LEGO didn't want them in the small plastic bags.  You also get the "instruction" booklet which is really nothing more than a bunch of advertisements for other LEGO sets.

Before I started putting the set together, I had to take notice of the sheer volume of printed pieces in the set.  I guess it's kind of obvious when you look at the box front that there were lots of printed pieces but for someone who is so used to getting large sticker sheets in his LEGO sets the amount of printed parts here made me pause long enough to snap a photograph!

Now, on to the build.  The build is basically broken down into three sections - one for each of the three colors and animals beginning with the red dog.

Truth be told, I bought this set because of the dog.  We have a golden retriever as a pet but my son did not yet have a LEGO version of a dog and this was the closest I had seen from LEGO in Duplo form.  My son does have a molded Duplo cat but that definitely doesn't count since I'm a dog person, not a cat person!

The dog is also the most complicated build of the set - he even has a white tail piece (one of the few non-printed pieces in the set).  The dog bone brick is nice and you'll notice that each animal and its corresponding food share the same color palette.  Kudos to LEGO for that.

Next up, the weakest of the three builds which is the yellow chick.

The chick is made up of only four pieces, one of which is a large circular piece that is both yellow and orange.  It's a weird "paint" job and I don't think that I care for it much.  I also find that the chick's bird seed brick looks more like lemons (and rotten lemons I guess).

Finally, the last build of the box is the blue cat.

For me, the fish brick is the star of the cat build but the entire thing is quite nice.  Not nice enough to make me change from being a dog person to a cat person, but still a nice little build. 

Overall, this is a great little set that introduces youngsters to common animals and primary colors.  The included food bricks lends the set some play value and of course you can mix and match the pieces to your heart's content (as with any LEGO set).

I'll forgo my usual rating system since this is a Duplo set that's clearly marketed to the youngest possible members of LEGO's audience.  I will say, however, that I do recommend the set and that my little guy has enjoyed playing with the various animals. Of course, he's still at the age where "playing" mostly means ripping the pieces apart but hey, at least I'm getting pretty good at putting the animals back together again quickly!

Monday, July 15, 2019

LEGO 31058: Mighty Dinosaurs (3-in-1) - REVIEW

I was rather excited when I first discovered that LEGO had a 3-in-1 Creator set that featured three different dinosaur builds.  I was even more excited when I learned that the set retailed for under $15.

The LEGO 31058:  Mighty Dinosaurs set contains a total of 174 pieces and includes instructions for three different dinosaurs:  a Pterodactyl, a Triceratops, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex.  There is also a fourth dinosaur that LEGO provides directions for on their website, a Brontosaurus looking thing (check that out here). 

Of course, as with all 3-in-1 sets, you can only build one dinosaur at a time - I didn't actually build the online only dino but I did build each of the other three "terrible lizards" so let's take a look.


Before I get to the builds, a quick note on the box and packaging. 

The fact that this is a 3-in-1 set is clearly marked on the box (which is good) and you can quite easily see all three models that the set allows you to build.  Of course, T-Rex gets star billing (and he is most definitely the "main build" of the set as you'll see), but the other two dinos look alright on the box front as well.  I also have to mention that I dig the volcano in the background of the box art, pretty cool and it sets the tone well for imaginative play.

Once you rip open the box, you find three individual instruction booklets (one for each of the three dinosaurs) plus the 174 pieces split into three different (non-numbered) bags.  No matter which dinosaur you choose to build first, you'll need to rip open all three bags and spread the pieces out prior to building!

I decided to build each dinosaur in order of my presumed interest beginning with the Pterodactyl.

The Pterodactyl has a movable head (but not a movable jaw which I feel like was a missed opportunity) along with wings that you can pose in a variety of ways.  Of course, all three dinosaurs in the set make use of the same selection of pieces so the green color scheme will be apparent throughout the review.  That said, the Pterodactyl makes decent use of tan as a secondary color to add a bit of variety to the look. 

The Pterodactyl also gets some crazy looking feet and claws, though that red technic pin and gray connector piece is definitely off-putting and ruins what could have been a decent enough back end of the dinosaur. 

It should also be noted that the Pterodactyl build leaves a whole lot of pieces from the set unused.  I guess that's par for the course in a 3-in-1 (especially for what is ostensibly the #3 build in the set).

Moving on to the second dino in the kit, the Triceratops.

Like most people, I think I prefer the land dinosaurs naturally - my favorite dinosaur as a kid, after all, was Ankylosaurus who definitely wasn't about to take to the air any time soon!  The Triceratops in this build is actually quite nice, especially when viewed from the front of the model.  The LEGO designers did a nice job capturing the Triceratops' crown and three horn look. 

From the side, once again we see the red technic pin (which is still off-putting to me) as well as the large grey ball joint.  In addition, the back of the Triceratops' head looks quite poor - the backside of a bunch of plates isn't usually a good look, especially for animals!  Finally, I should mention that the two different shades of green on the legs (the front legs being brighter than the hind legs) is kind of weird.  I get the limitations from the available parts but the look isn't great. 

Once again, the Triceratops doesn't use all of the available parts, but it does do a bit better job of part usage than the Pterodactyl.

That brings us to our final build of the model - and the main build:  the mighty Tyrannosaurs Rex.

Let me get this stated right away:  No matter what you think of either of the other two models this set is worthwhile simply for the T-Rex build.  No question about it.

The T-Rex is highly posable which makes him perfect for play (or for display).  His jaw opens and closes (and I love the many teeth in his mouth)!  His little tiny arms are adorable (and movable) and his strong hind legs can also be moved.  Finally, you can position his tail in a number of ways to help T-Red maintain his balance.  I even found the small included dino skeleton cute - and it works well since the designers needed the pair of large bones for the Triceratops' horns in the second build!

Overall, I didn't care much for the Pterodactyl build but I did kind of like the Triceratops.  However, the T-Rex is definitely a winner and it makes the entire set worth picking up.  Heck, for under $15, I'm tempted to buy another copy of the set and maybe make the Triceratops to have a couple of dinosaurs to display together!
You get a few extra pieces in the set but otherwise the T-Rex build uses up all the pieces in the box.

Overall, I give the LEGO 31058:  Mighty Dinosaurs set the following rating:
The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Fun:  10
Play Value:  10
Kid Value:  10
Adult Value:  5
Overall:  10

This set is clearly aimed at kids and not adults (there aren't any minifigures or overly interesting pieces included) but it's absolutely perfect for what it is.  In fact, I'm guessing any dinosaur loving adult will find plenty of value in the set (I know I did, for example)!  For kids, this one is a slam dunk.  Three different dinosaurs to build means lots of opportunities for play (and building) and each dino can be posed in different ways to complement play even more.  Even better, all three builds are fairly strong - only things like horns and claws are likely to pop off under normal play conditions which is important for a set designed to be played with!  I don't give a lot of 10/10 ratings on sets but this one undoubtedly deserves such a score based on fun, price point, and replayability. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

LEGO 2126: Train Cars - REVIEW

Last week, I placed a bid for LEGO 2126:  Train Cars on eBay and happened to win the auction.  I have been watching auctions for this particular set for about a year (maybe longer) now and was definitely happy to finally have the set in my possession.  The seller claimed the set was 100% complete (which was a big reason that I bid on it) and while that turned out to be not quite true, I'm still happy with the set as a whole.

First up, this was a used set and so all the pieces came packed up in a single Ziploc bag.  The original set came with 378 pieces, five minifigures, and retailed for about $70.  Today, you'll be lucky to get a used copy for about $40 more than the original retail price.  From what I could tell online, this set was a limited release which probably contributes to its fairly high markup (the set was actually released in 1997 despite it looking more in line with the early 90s LEGO Train sets).

Unlike in most newer LEGO sets, the Train Cars set begins with you assembling the five included minifigures.  As you might be able to tell from my set, the guy in the middle clearly had his sunglasses and smile drawn on (or at the very least, "touched up").  I particularly like the train conductor in the yellow jacket as well as the lady in the blue hoodie.  Getting a pair of train workers (complete with the LEGO trains logo on their work vests) is a nice touch as well.  In fact, getting five minifigures for a set like this is great all around!

The meat of the build begins with the red Christmas tree wagon.  The wagon hauls three trees in total (two small and one large tree) and each half of the train car has its own separate compartment.  There are a total of eight doors that swing down which allow for easy access to the trees (perhaps for a not-included LEGO forklift)? 

Next up, the blue tanker car.  My copy of the set was missing a long blue piece that was to connect the tops of the three barrels (you can sort of see the piece in question in the instructions that the car is sitting on in the above photo).  Other than that, I have to admit that I'm sort of confused as to what this car is meant to be hauling.  What do you store in wooden barrels besides whiskey?  I have no idea - but I can admit the car looks kind of cool nestled among the other cargo train cars.

After building a pair of train cars, we switch gears momentarily to build a truck.  This is a simple little dump truck with a working bucket - but at least for my copy the back bucket comes off way to easily when you actually try to play with truck.  Still, the dump truck is a nice inclusion because of the next train car you build...

That's an awesome rock (gravel?) carrying car complete with a pair of tipping hoppers.  The color scheme on the car looks great for a construction train car - and actually the set as a whole looks nice with a red car, blue car, yellow car, and a gray car. 

Three train cars down, one to go.  But before we get to the final car, we have some other builds to complete beginning with this little train repair car that is meant to travel on the train tracks.

The little car is mostly notable for the full complement of LEGO tools that it holds as well as the Octan oil drum in the back (complete with the iconic white, green, and red color scheme that LEGO still uses today). 

The repair vehicle isn't the only small car to build though - next up are a pair of small sports cars that will eventually go on a flatbed train car.

The two cars are built virtually identically other than the back spoilers.  My second missing piece was with the white car (a missing 1x2 plate in white but luckily those are super common pieces and I had a spare to use).  The two cars don't work in scale with the new LEGO City stuff but they do work with the current LEGO Creator sets (especially many of the 3-in-1 Creator sets).

Finally, we build the last train car which is the flatbed meant to hold the two convertibles.  This is by far the simplest train car (and in my opinion, the least interesting).  I suppose real trains have plenty of flatbed cars but they don't make for overly exciting models to build.

For me, the set build ended with a bit of a thud (two small cars and a flatbed) but otherwise it is a great set, even for today's inflated prices on the aftermarket.  I believe LEGO train cars are always in demand and this set offers up some truly unique cars (the blue barrel car and the dual hopper especially). 

Overall, I give the LEGO 2126:  Train Cars set the following rating:
The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Fun:  9
Play Value:  7
Kid Value:  7
Adult Value:  9
Overall:  9

The play value suffers slightly since you don't get a train engine but otherwise this is an awesome set.  The extra trucks are a nice touch and each train car is suitably different from the others to make for a much more varied cargo train.  If the set wasn't so expensive on the aftermarket, I could see myself going after another copy or two, that's how much I like this set!