Thursday, August 22, 2013

LEGO 7286: Prisoner Transport - REVIEW

The other day I was at my local Wal*Mart and saw that they had marked down a few different LEGO sets.  Most of the reduced price sets were from the creator line (something I have avoided thus far in my return to collecting) but they did have exactly one Prisoner Transport set remaining on the shelf (and marked down about 40%)!  I'm a sucker for all things LEGO City so I basically had to buy it.  This actually marks the third different police set that I've purchased this year (the others being High Speed Chase and Police ATV).  The High Speed Chase set is typically a $30 set, the Police ATV set is typically under $10 and my new set, Prisoner Transport, is typically $20.

How does this set live up to it's two closest sets (in price)?  Will this set live up to the fairly high bar set by the previous two City sets?  Let's find out!

Upon opening the box, you are greeted with a pair of numbered bags of LEGO pieces plus a small sticker sheet and a single instruction manual.

The first bag is used to build the two minifigures, the "extra stuff" (sign and crate full of gear), and the first half of the prisoner transport vehicle.  The second bag includes the motorcycle and the second half of the large transport vehicle.
The set comes with a pair of minifigures.  The robber has a beanie cap, a gold tooth in his smile, and his jailbird suit.  The cop comes with a standard hat and standard cop print torso.  Neither figure has an alternate face.

As you can see by the picture, there is a nice selection of extras included for play.

The robber gets a $100 bill in his pack and the set comes with a pair of handcuffs.  The yellow crate includes a walkie talkie, a flashlight, a loudspeaker, and a traffic paddle.  Finally, there is also a traffic barricade (though it uses stickers which I hate).

Moving on to the truck itself, the set uses a unique (to me anyhow) base plate.

The first half of the build is 21 steps total, but it goes extremely quick (most steps only include a single piece or two).  There are four stickers used in the first half of the build (three more in the second half) which is the only disappointment for me.  I'm still of a mindset that LEGO should be more like it was when I was a kid - more printed pieces, fewer stickers.  I get the cost savings but still...

The second bad finishes off the prisoner transport.  I like that there is a seat for the prisoner in the back of the vehicle - I was expecting it to be nothing more than an empty space to stash a guy.  That was a nice little surprise as I built the model.

The finished prisoner transport model is quite nice.  I also like the fact that you get the traffic barrier and the motorcycle.  It becomes a fun "cops-n-robbers" set in that way.  However, I'm not sure the hulking van would ever actually be able to track down the speedy orange bike!

The prisoner transport holds one prisoner plus it has a spot to hold the crate full of supplies (there is a door on both sides of the vehicle).  You can also lift the roof piece off fairly easily to access the prisoner's area as well as the crate.

In the end, I have to say that I like the set quite a bit.  For the price I paid, it was 100% worth it.  For the normal retail price of $20, it's probably still worth it though I would have liked to see something else included.

Perhaps a complementary police motorcycle (or even a spike strip like in High Speed Chase).  I also would have liked to see a third figure included, or if not that, a police dog.  Even without that, I still would recommend the set to anyone who likes LEGO City stuff - for the price it's probably a better deal than the High Speed Chase set (especially since here you get a place to actually store a prisoner)!

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

I think this set wasn't quite as much fun to build as the High Speed Chase set (mostly because this one is smaller in terms of piece size).  However, for the $10 difference between the two sets this set offers almost as much play ability for $10 less.  There are a few unique/interesting pieces included in the set (the barred windows of the prisoner transport are especially useful in other builds) which ups the adult value a bit.  Overall, I'd put this set right in line with the previous two City Police sets that I reviewed - it mostly comes down to what price point are you looking to buy something at!

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