Monday, May 19, 2014

Alternate Build: LEGO 60058: SUV with Watercraft - NEW BUILD!

When I was a kid, one of the best things about getting a new LEGO set was the box.

Yes, the box.

You see, if you've never seen an old LEGO box this would seem like a dumb statement - but trust me, the box was almost always awesome.  For starters, on a large set the box would have a flip up flap where you could see some of the "key" pieces - plus the minifigures and often any weapons or printed pieces.

That was awesome enough - but there was something even cooler on the boxes of sets of all sizes.

Alternate build photos!

That's right.  Every LEGO box had a few images (typically on the back of the box or on the inside flap) where you could see other models that the pieces within the box could be used to build.  Modern boxes no longer have that - all you get now on the box are images showing play features (useful, but nearly as cool - nor as good for promoting creativity)!

Well, I'm here to fix that one set at a time!

That's right.  In this (slowly) growing feature I plan to take a single set (typically ignoring any extra pieces) and build some sort of alternate model.  My goal is to keep things varied as best I can - and remember, I'm only using the pieces from the set in question!

Well, today's set is LEGO 60058 which is the SUV with Watercraft.  I already reviewed this set (which you can read here).

As you can see from the above photograph, the actual set contains a single SUV, a trailer, and a pair of watercraft.  I decided to try and build something that wasn't meant for water which meant taking everything apart first.

You have the SUV pieces.

You have the trailer pieces.

And finally, you have the pieces for the pair of watercraft.

My goal for the project was to use as many of the pieces as possible - but not to throw pieces on unnecessarily (i.e. no burying or hiding pieces within the model).  In the end, I managed to succeed with flying colors - in fact, I used all but six pieces!

So, what did I turn the SUV with Watercraft into?  Well, I created a pair of vehicles.  The first vehicle is a sort of a crossover - or at least a pair of vehicle types melded into one.  The front of the vehicle is clearly a roadster of some sort while the back is almost tow truck like.

Personally, for a first attempt at doing an alternate build I was happy enough with my end results - but this is clearly the weaker of the two vehicles that I built.  In terms of this car, I really like the front - I managed to take the essence of the water ski from the regular model and turn it into a race car front!

I think the lime green looks pretty snazzy too.  Unfortunately, the set didn't contain a lot of lime green parts so there was no way to carry the lime green look throughout the rest of the car.

The back of the car sort of reminds me of a tow truck, though I don't know why exactly.  It's definitely got a tougher appearance.  As you may have noticed, I used the pair of license plates for this car - the second car only gets one (different) license plate.  I also realized after the fact that I could have (and probably should have) placed both control panels in this car and then used the otherwise unused red steering wheel in the second car).

Speaking of the second car, this one is my favorite!  It's a race car for sure.

Once again, I took the main color of the watercraft (in this case orange) and used that to help shape the front.  In fact, the front of the car is one of my two favorite elements of my personal build - I really like how it looks like there is an orange stripe over the engine block.

I also like the spoiler on the back of the car - it made good use of the bits that were normally used for the steering component of the two jet skis.

All things considered, this was a fun exercise (and a bit harder than I originally thought)!  I think the first car (the green one) is the weaker of the two models - but it does have some bits that I like.  I was mostly pleased with the fact that I managed to create two models that have very little in common with the original LEGO-produced model.  In fact, You probably couldn't even tell the main LEGO model was a big 'ol black SUV given how the my two cars turned out!

Monday, May 12, 2014

LEGO 60058 - SUV with Watercraft - REVIEW

It's been awhile since I have had the opportunity to buy (and review) any new LEGO sets.  When I saw LEGO 60058 on sale at my local big box store, it was an easy choice to purchase it for review (and because it goes wonderfully with LEGO 60011 which I've already reviewed)!

The SUV with Watercraft (as the set is non-creatively named) comes with 219 pieces and 2 minifigures.  The final product includes three vehicles - an SUV for towing (with a trailer) and a pair of jet skis.

Upon opening up the box, you are greeted with a pair of numbered bags, a pair of instruction booklets, and a sheet of stickers.

The first thing that caught my eye was the sticker sheet - this set uses ELEVEN stickers despite having only 219 total pieces.  That works out to less than 20 pieces per sticker in the set...something that I hate (stickers are such a pain to place properly)!

The build begins with the main SUV using bag #1 and then the two watercraft and the trailer are constructed using bag #2.  One thing that I've noticed with several of the more recent LEGO vehicles is that that they are generally quite colorful on the inside (only to eventually have most of that color covered up by the main color of the vehicle in question).

In the case of this set, you can see white, green, red, sand, brown, black, light grey, and dark grey at this point in the build.  However, once the entire SUV is complete most of that color will be hidden from view!

One thing that I did like about this set (and it was a surprise as I obviously didn't inspect the box very carefully when I purchased the set) was that the SUV actually holds two minifigures!  As you can make out from the (washed out) photo above, there is a seat for the driver and there is also a seat in the back for a passenger - which works out great since the set comes with two minifigures!  You also get three small extra pieces in bag one - nothing overly exciting there but extra pieces are never a bad thing!

Moving on to bag #2, you first build a pair of jet skis (each are identical except for the stickers and color scheme).  You also build a gas can (complete with Octan colors) and a gas pump.  Getting a few extra accessories was nice - it helps to flesh out the set quite a bit (and only uses a minimal amount of extra pieces)!

As for the trailer, it's an incredibly quick build.  By the time I got to the trailer, I was ready for a quick build since I was sick and tired of placing stickers (the jet skis each use four stickers)!  I must admit that the finished product looks really nice!

Once again, you get a few extra pieces out of the second bag.

Putting the entire model together, you can see it's a sharp looking set!

In the end, it's hard to find much fault with this set (besides all the stickers).  For $20 retail (or less if you are lucky like I was), you get over 200 pieces, 2 minifigures, 2 jet skis, and an SUV with trailer.  The SUV seats both figures - and both figures also get their own jet ski for cruising in LEGO's lakes and oceans.  For a relatively cheap CITY set, this one comes highly recommended!

Fun:  10
Play Value:  10
Kid Value:  10
Adult Value:  6
Overall:  9

I don't think the adult value quite as high as it is in some other sets (there weren't a ton of unique pieces and while the lime green and bright orange were nice, you have to "sully" most of those pieces with the stickers).  For kids, the play value is off the carts - two jet skis, two figures, and an SUV with trailer - you can't ask for more than that for the price point!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

LEGO Minifigure Series 11: A Two Pack Video Rip!

I don't often do LEGO videos, but I thought I'd film myself opening up a pair of Series 11 Collectible Minifigures packs in an effort to keep things fresh on the blog.  I will admit I haven't quite mastered the art of sounding excited when (essentially) talking to myself as I film myself - I need to work on that!  No matter, enjoy - and as a bit of a spoiler I was super happy with one of the two figures!

If you have any figures (from any series) available for trade, you can find my full want list here.  I'd love to work out a swap!

Monday, May 5, 2014

I Can't Stay Away! (3 More LEGO Movie Minifigure Packs)

As the post title says, I can't stay away from the LEGO Movie Minifigure packs!  I'm back with another three (something about spending under $10 appeals to me I guess).

I did pretty well this time around, though I did end up with one duplicate (my second Panda Guy).  Since I showed off Panda Guy in a previous post, I won't bore you with him yet again.  Luckily, the next two packs yielded figures that I needed (and "rare" figures no less)!

First up, Marsha Queen of the Mermaids.

I don't recall much of Marsha in the LEGO Movie.  I think she was a master builder but that's all I remember.  I do know she is one of the rarest figures in the set (only two per box) so I'm happy to have her in my collection.

The final figure this time around was another rare female figure - this time it is Calamity Drone.

A funny name to be sure (and very clever) but it's an odd looking figure.  I guess I don't care much for the robot figures as this one doesn't really interest me.  That said, a simple swap of the hair (and maybe hands) and you'd have a great looking western themed figure.

I'm slowly but surely working my way to the full set.  At this point, I have exactly 50% of the set complete - but only one common figure so far so hopefully the second half will be easier to finish off!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

LEGO Mania Magazine: A Look Back to Twenty Years Ago! (Part VIII)

When we last looked at the Winter 1994 Inaugural Issue of LEGO Mania Magazine, we made our way up through and including page 13.  At this point, there are only three pages - so let's finish off the magazine!

The final two regular pages (i.e. all but the back cover) contain puzzles for kids to solve.  Since I was a kid when the magazine first came out, I did complete the puzzles (or at least some of them).

On the second page of puzzles, there's another hidden crocodile (remember the contest was to count up all the crocodiles in the magaznie).  I like that the one maze ties in directly with the Islanders theme that LEGO went with for the inaugural issue.

Moving on to the back cover of the magazine, we find the one blatant advertisement for LEGO sets.

When I was a kid, I had at least two copies of the LEGO Club Castle value pack.  In fact, I've already reviewed the so-called bonus free King's Archer model on my blog.  At some point, I'll be sure to review the other two sets as well - I know I have them around here somewhere!

The Sandy Point Marina set doesn't ring any bells with me.  I must not have focused on that set when I was a kid...I was definitely more of a Castle & Space (and a bit of Pirates) collector when I was younger...which is too bad in some ways since I now mostly buy the City line of sets!

And with that, the entire magazine is complete and on the blog for all to enjoy and review.  I think LEGO did a good job of appealing to kids with the issue - I know I was interested in most of the magazine.  I always wanted to get one of my models featured in the magazine, but I don't think I ever even sent in a photo.  I might have some other issues of the magazine still (I'll have to check) so this might not be the last of the Mania Magazine here at Legend of Lego!