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!

Friday, August 2, 2013

LEGO Collectible Minifigures - Series 11 Review

I did a review back when Series 9 was released but somehow missed doing one for Series 10.  No matter, here's my Series 11 review - maybe I'll make this an "odd series only" feature on my blog.  (All images from the official LEGO website).

The scientist makes for a nice addition to the mad scientist and Frankenstein from previous series.  Her print would also make for a decent doctor or nurse in a hospital scene.

Lady Robot:
Lady Robot
LEGO seems fixated on robots with their various minifigure series.  This one is find, as are all the others, but quite frankly the robot idea is getting kind of old.  This one isn't high on my want list.

Evil Mech:
Evil Mech
Another theme that LEGO has beaten to death lately, the space mechs.  At least this one looks quite a bit different than their other space dudes (and dudettes) from recent releases.

When I was in college, I had a roommate that everyone called Yeti.  That's enough of a reason for me to acquire this - but even without a "connection" to the figure it's still an awesome minifig.  This is, by far, one of my favorites in Series 11.

Saxaphone Player:
Saxaphone Player
I can't say I have a ton of interest in this figure but it does open up the possibility of LEGO eventually releasing a full band via various minifigure series.  The saxophone piece is nice looking.

Holiday Elf:
Holiday Elf
I guess LEGO can't call this a Christmas elf for marketing purposes even if it is red and green.  I like the fact that the elf comes with two accessories (a present and a bear).  I also like the Elf's hat - something I could see being worn in a Forestman scene (if it weren't for those big 'ol ears).

I don't mind LEGO including a policeman/constable/fire fighter type figure in every Collectible Minifigure Series because they are useful (and highly playable) figures.  After all, LEGO should be all about the kids first - and playable is the name of the game!

Pretzel Girl:
Pretzel Girl
I loved the Pretzel (Lederhosen) guy when it was released so you know I have to love this figure just as much (maybe more even).  This is another "must have" for me (along with the Yeti).

Diner Waitress:
Diner Waitress
This is a funny little figure that I can't quite decide if it is awesome or lame.  The roller skates and ice cream are cool, but I don't like the yellow uniform (she looks like she's wearing nothing but a blue loin cloth with a quick glance).  I suppose that might drum up business at the diner though...

This figure seems to be based on Johnny Depp's character in The Lone Ranger (or at least the LEGO verion of him).  Maybe it's just the crow on the scarecrows head that makes me think that.  I do like the ability to acquire another pitchfork - I only ever had one of those as a kid.

I think this is my least favorite character of Series 11.  There's nothing wrong with it per se, it's just that we've had way too many similar figures in previous series.

This is the third "must have" figure for me.  I think the welder looks absolutely perfect - and it makes for a great addition to any Town/City layout.  This is what all LEGO minifigures should be like - unique figures that might not necessarily fit into a proper set.

Mountain Climber:
Mountain Climber
The mountain climber has nice printing (and I like getting the rolled up rope with him).  I'm sure someone, somewhere will come up with a great mountain scene but to me he's only marginally more useful than the Skydiver from Series 10.

Lego gave us a grandpa already so this was bound to happen.  The is the same as the one that Little Red Riding held but getting a cat figure is a nice little bonus.  The sweater is hilarious.

Island Warrior:
Island Warrior
I know that there have been plenty of warriors, but if LEGO insists on putting them in the various series, they should do more like this guy.  He's unique - and quite awesome to look at.  He'd be a fun addition to an Islander collection!

Gingerbread Man:
Gingerbread Man
I'm guessing this will be a highly popular figure simply because it's so unique.  LEGO went all in on the holiday theme (2 out of the 16 figures are arguably "Christmas figures").  I don't necessarily need yet another mug but hey, it's an undeniably cute figure.

As a whole, I don't think Series 11 ranks as the best series ever.  However, it has just enough unique/interesting figures for me to try and collect it (along with the previous ten series).  If I had to pick, the Yeti, Welder, Island Warrior, Pretzel Girl, and Scarecrow would be my favorite five.  The Lady Robot, Evil Mech, Barbarian, and Mountain Climber make up my bottom four.