Tuesday, May 28, 2013

LEGO 60007: High Speed Chase - REVIEW

I recently purchased the LEGO set High Speed Chase (set # 60007) because:
1.  It looked cool.
2.  It had a code for the LEGO WiiU game (which I've been playing quite a bit lately).

As a kid, I always had a thing for LEGO Police sets (even though I didn't actually own very many as a youngster).  I guess you could say I'm living out my childhood still.

As for the set, it's pretty cool.  The set consists of 283 pieces (plus a few extras which you'll see as the review unfolds).

There is also a special code for the WiiU LEGO City Undercover game.

As a side note, the WiiU game is awesome fun.  I highly recommend it, it's made my purchase of the WiiU worthwhile (at least for now).

The back of the box shows a bunch of different "play scenes" designed to get kids excited.  I guess I thought a "cops 'n robbers" set would sell itself!

Once you open the box, you are greeted with three numbered plastic bags plus three individual instruction manuals and a sheet of stickers.  As an adult collector, I'm still getting used to how thick the new instructions are - when I was a kid I feel like there were a lot more pieces used per step...and a set like this would have had a single instruction manual.  Even so, there's nothing wrong with LEGO trying to simplify things to keep kids interested.

The first instruction booklet is used for the police motorcycle plus the barrier and traffic cone.
I like the minifigures in the set quite a bit - and I like the traffic cone and barrier too.  I don't like all the stickers - my fat fingers struggle to line things up correctly.  As for the motorcycle, it's alright - though I don't think was necessary to have three stickers on the small little bike!

As I mentioned before, the set comes with some extra pieces.  In bag #1, you get an extra visor, an extra pair of handcuffs (which I appreciate), and a few other odds and ends.

Moving on to the second bag, we get to build the police car (more of a SUV actually).

The SUV is pretty awesome, I have to admit.
The back of the police vehicle opens up to allow for some storage (in this case, a pair of handcuffs and a walkie-talkie).
As with the first bag, you also get a few extras in this bag - though nothing overly exciting (except for another extra pair of handcuffs).  You actually get FOUR pairs of handcuffs in the set...more than the total number of figures (police or otherwise).  That's some serious stopping power for the police force.
The final bag is used to build the high speed car plus the spike strip.  The robber comes with three $100 bills plus a single gold bar (which is a new piece for my collection).

The car is a convertible - bright red of course.  However, when you start building the car you have no idea what to expect...so many colors at first!

Luckily, things get covered up and the end result is ok.
I really like the spike strip - you even get an extra spike to add to it (along with a few other extra pieces).
Overall, the set is pretty cool.  Here's the full thing:
The two police vehicles are nice and the high speed car certainly looks like it should be speedy.  There is enough traffic pieces to make the chase portion of play fun - and I'm sure the spike strip will be a favorite with kids.  My only complaint is that the set is supposed to be a direct tie to the video game...but where are spike strips in the video game?  To the best of my knowledge (and I've already beaten the main story - I'm now working on the hundreds of collectibles), there are no spike strips in the game.

One last shot of the pile of extra pieces for those who like to know such things.

I like that LEGO includes a second lever piece in case you want to do an alternate build with the set where two levers are necessary.  They do the same thing with the light pieces, another nice (though completely unnecessary) touch.

The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Fun:  8
Play Value:  10
Kid Value:  9
Adult Value:  6
Overall:  8

It's a good little set - three vehicles plus three minifigures is a decent price for $30.00 (typical retail price).  I haven't actually used the code in the game yet, but I do know it will unlock a couple of vehicles (which match the vehicles in the set) plus a special bonus level.  The SUV is the highlight of the set for me though getting a generic sports car is nice for any City layout.  I also like the various traffic pieces and the gold bar & cash pieces.  That said, there isn't as much here for the adult collector - only the windshield of the SUV is overly unique and I doubt most adults will be playing cops and robbers with the set!  For kids though (which is the primary focus of the set), this one is a pure winner and comes highly recommended!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

LEGO Series 10 Minifigures: Pack Rip #5

This is the fifth (and final) Series 10 pack that I purchased from Target.

Pack 5:

It's the grandfather minifig!  That means I went six-for-six on packs having new figures for me (which was the ultimate goal).  This figure is kind of cool - the balding hair piece is a nice touch for an old guy.  I could have done without the "old times" newspaper though - and why is it showing an antique car?  Are we really so dumb so as to not know that the grandpa is an old guy?

With this figure in my hands, I'm now missing only 9 figures (or 10 if you count Mr. Gold - which I don't count since I'll never find that one).

Good stuff by LEGO...I've been enjoying Series 10 quite a bit!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

LEGO Series 10 Minifigures: Pack Rip #4

This is the fourth (of five) LEGO Series 10 Minifigure pack rips.  So far, so good in terms of the packs - each pack has held a different figure which makes me happy.  Will the good luck continue?  Let's hope so!

Pack #4:

Well, I started off by landing two of my "most wanted" figures and since then each pack has given me some of my least wanted.  Even so, I'm happy because it's another new figure that I needed.

The Motorcycle Mechanic is ok but I can't say that I love the figure.  Even so, I no longer need it so I'm still happy.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

LEGO Series 10 Minifigures: Pack Rip #3

Welcome to yet another LEGO Series 10 pack rip.  This is the third (out of five) that I recently purchased.

Pack #3:

Yep, the Librarian.  First, I have to say that the Librarian is full of stereotypes - the glasses, the frumpy hair, the sweater, heck even the "shhhh" mug.  The Oranges and Peaches book is sort of interesting.  This is from The Brick Blogger:
A Google search reveals that the book’s title refers  to a story about communication skills. A patron at a library comes to the reference desk and asks for a book called “Oranges and Peaches”. The librarian has never heard of the book before, but does a quick search in the catalog. Nothing. A quick search on Amazon offers some possibilities, but, no. Nothing. Rather than send the patron away the librarian probes the patron for more information about the book: “Can you tell me what the book is about?” The patron says they have no idea. The librarian then asks how did they hear about the book. The patron says it was assigned by their professor for class. The librarian then asks: “Which class are you taking?” The patron says Biology. The librarian finally asks:  “Could it be Darwin’s Origin of Species?”
I like that at least - something fun for sure!  I also like the fact that I didn't yet own the Librarian, so far it's been four packs, four new figures for me which is awesome!  Once more, here's the checklist:

And here's a parting shot of the lovely (yet frumpy) librarian.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

LEGO Series 10 Minifigures: Pack Rip #2

I posted my first pack rip a couple of days ago (see it here).  Now, let's move on to pack #2 (out of five).

Pack #2:

Well, not every pack can produce a "most wanted" figure for me.  When I initially looked at the set checklist, the Warrior Woman was one of my four least-wanted figures in the set (though I want one of each figure so I'm still happy).

That said, holding the figure in person I must admit that I actually like it quite a bit.  The shield is really nice - as is the gold-tipped spear.  Not bad - in fact, Series 10 is shaping up to be a pretty great set!

Join me later when I open up the remaining three packs of minifigures!

Friday, May 10, 2013

LEGO Series 10 Minifigures: Pack Rip #1

I recently purchased six packs of LEGO Series 10 Collectible minifigures.  As usual, I'm going to try to collect the entire set - though I doubt I'll ever find the uber-rare Mr. Gold.  I already opened up one of the packs on my baseball card blog where I landed what was probably my most coveted figure in the entire series.

From here on out, the goal is to knock more figures off the 'ol want list!  I've got five remaining packs to open on this blog, so let's begin!

Pack #1:

So far, so good for me!  The Baseball Fielder (as he's called) was another one of my "must own" figure choices from Series 10.  This is the second baseball playing minifigure that I own (the other was a batter for a team called the Clutchers).

Looking at the checklist, I still really want to get the Medusa, Roman Commander, Honey Bee, Paintballer, Revolutionary Soldier, and the painter.  I'm also interested (though less so) in the Librarian, Tomahawk Warrior, Skydiver, and Grandfather.  The Mechanic, Warrior Woman, Sad Clown, and Trendsetter are my four least favorites in the series (at least based on the poster - sometimes that changes when the figures are actually in hand)!
One last look at the baseball fielder:

A great start to Series 10 - let's see what the next four packs hold, shall we?!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

LEGO 10218: Pet Shop - REVIEW

The LEGO Pet Shop is my first experience with the adult oriented Creator line of modular buildings.  For my first building experience, I have to admit that the building is quite a bit of fun!

The set contains 2032 pieces including a bunch of unique/interesting pieces.  Since it's a pet shop, you do get a fish, cat, and dog along with a pair of parrots.  There is also a small vegetable garden on the balcony of one of the buildings so you get a few carrot tops.  However, I'm jumping the gun a bit by talking about the special pieces.  Let's go through the set from the beginning.

I ordered the set online (you can get a good price on Amazon.com which is why I've included the link to the left).  The first thing I noticed when the box arrived in hand was how big the box actually was!  If I were a kid, I would have had a heart attack right then and there - I still remember how awesome it was to get a set that was big enough to have a "flip up" cover on the front.  That reference only makes sense to those who are roughly my age, but so be it.

Anyhow, the box:

And if you wanted to see the entire set piece checklist:

Once you get over the sheer size of the box, you've got to open the thing up!

As you can see, you get a bunch of different bags.  Sixteen of them to be precise.  The first building (the townhouse) uses the eight bags numbered either 1 or 2 while the second building (the pet shop) uses the eight bags marked with a 3 or 4.  You also get two large green plates, one per building.

Finally, there is a single unnumbered bag full of larger flat plates and a final bag holding the two instruction manuals (which are packaged nicely with a hard cardboard backing).  As I first opened up the box, it was a lot of fun just looking at the various pieces in the bags and seeing if I could figure out what they'd be used for.  Sure, some of the pieces are simple to figure out (such as the bricks for the walls) but there were some unique pieces that were used for some smaller builds within the larger structure (as you'll see).

I followed the instructions in order which meant the first building to be constructed was the townhouse.

Each of the two buildings are constructed one floor at a time.  The first floor of the townhouse also includes a smaller crawlspace (complete with a trap door on the inside of the building.  There is also a nice set of curved stairs (though as the model progresses building the stairs is by far the least fun thing to do over and over)!
You might be able to make out a pair of skis...  If you look at the decorative element above the front doorway, you should be able to see the skis.  That was a fun use of building elements that I would never have even considered using if I were trying to build my own townhouse.  The red box on the building represents a mailbox - and it comes complete with a LEGO letter.  I also like the little garden underneath the main window - and the sidewalk is fantastic as well.

Moving on to the second floor, we find that the designers at LEGO got a bit lazy.  There's absolutely nothing on the second floor (except for a single white brick to represent paint).  There is a window box with flowers in the front but that alone doesn't make up for the lazy design.

As you can see, each floor of the building is built separately and then combined at the end.  It makes for easier building - but more importantly, it allows the building to actually be played with if one desired.

Although the second floor disappointed me, I have to admit that the two floors stacked on top of each other look tremendous!

Moving on to the top floor, there's still not much exciting in the interior.  At least here you get a couple of bricks meant to represent boxes.  I guess the idea is that the new homeowners are just now moving in...hence no furniture.  If that's the case, why is there furniture downstairs?  And, perhaps more important, why are there flowers and a veggie garden if they are just now moving in?

Once you've built the three stories, all you need to do is add the roof.  There is a small amount of detail on the roof (including a chimney) but it's a simple enough of a built that I didn't take a specific photo for the final step.  You can see the roof in the next couple of photos.

I mentioned the veggie garden a few times - you can only see it from the back view of the building.  

The doors at the bottom open up into the crawl space.  The trashcan was a nice touch as well!  As for the front of the building...

...simply gorgeous!

Once the townhouse is done, you get to move on to instruction book number two and create the set's namesake:  the pet shop!

Like before, the floors are each constructed one at a time.  The first floor of the pet shop is by far the funnest floor to build in the set.  You get to a neat build to create the "pets" sign and there is a lot of fun tiling to be done for the interior.  You also get a few microbuilds including a bird house and a goldfish tank.

I like the light pole and the little stand with dog bones and a ball.  I think it adds to the look of the set immensely.  As for the pet shop interior, here's an aerial shot of the interior of the first floor.

It's a bit hard to make everything out, but you should be able to see the parakeets, the shelf of toys (including the bird house), a cash register (in the middle), a dog pen, and a cat pen (complete with a hole and a mouse).    The object at the top right corner is the fish tank, a fun little build!

The upper floors of the pet shop are actually used for a second residence.  To the best of my knowledge, this is the only set in the LEGO Creator line that includes multiple living residences for your LEGO townsfolk.  

The back of the pet shop (seen above) shows a wash bin, plus the mouse and a crate.  You also get a townsfolk with a green bicycle which is a nice inclusion.

After creating the first floor, the remaining two floors are simply more residences and not overly exciting.  There was a neat build for a bathroom but otherwise it was kind of "meh".

However, the real beauty of the set is the two buildings side-by-side!  When you have the set totally built, it's an amazing piece of LEGO beauty!

The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Fun:  9
Play Value:  7
Kid Value:  6
Adult Value:  10
Overall:  9

The set was quite a bit of fun to build, though the stairs got annoying after a bit.  I would have liked to have seen some other microbuilds for the first townhouse, the emptiness of the upper two floors was a bit of a letdown.  However, those are only small quibbles given how great the rest of the set is.  In fact, the first floor of the Pet Shop by itself is almost enough to justify purchase!  

I did dock the set for kid value because it's probably a bit too difficult (and time consuming) for kids to actually piece together the set on their own.  I do think there are enough play elements though to make it worthwhile for kids, after all, who doesn't love a pet shop as a kid?

Overall, I give the set a 9 out of 10.  Only the emptiness of the first house keeps this set from reaching a full 10 out of 10.  It's still a "must own" for any LEGO fan!