Usually when I write my reviews for a LEGO set, I first build the entire set (taking photos as I go) and then eventually I sit down at my computer and write a review. Sometimes the difference in time from when I build to when I write is a matter of hours, but more often it is a matter of weeks (or even months). For today's set review, I decided to do something a bit different. I'm going to write my review while I build the model. In this way, you can get my unfiltered thoughts as they occur during the building process!
The box for the Fire Emergency set makes the set look quite exciting. We get a nice sized firetruck plus a building to try and save from the wrath of the inferno.
Upon opening the box, I was a bit surprised to see that there are three different numbered bags. The first two bags will be used to build the firetruck while the final bag will be used for the building. We also get a 8x16 grey plate that is loose in the box, a pair of fire hoses, and a sticker sheet. The good news on the sticker front is that there are only eight stickers...the bad news was my sticker sheet was jammed at the bottom of the box and came out a bit bent. I think the stickers themselves will still ok though (we shall see).
The set comes with three minifigures - all of which are firefighters.
All three figures have the same exact pants and torso but the heads are different. One firefighter is female (which is a good thing to see LEGO making sure to include females in more "action/adventure" roles). The other two figures are male. You get an axe, a power saw, and a brick built fire extinguisher as accessories (plus the one firefighter has a full air tank/face mask apparatus which is quite nice)!
As I mentioned, the first bag contains pieces for the three minifigures plus about half of the fire truck. One interesting note is that the base of the truck actually uses a pair of 2x8 red bricks to "eat up space" in the interior.
Without those bricks, the firefighters would sit much too low in the truck. That said, it does feel like LEGO could have done something a bit more creative there - maybe a storage area for other tools?
The first sticker used in the directions is for the license plate on the front of the truck. It's a typical LEGO City front bumper - nothing fancy but it does get the job done.
The back bumper, on the other hand, uses three different stickers despite being a similar build. The two red caution stickers look good once applied but I still hate the use stickers out of principle!
The remainder of the pieces from bag #1 go onto the model quickly and efficiently. At the end, you do get a few extras - and that one single blue 1x2 transparent plate looks a bit odd right now. I'm curious to see why LEGO placed that piece there...
On to bag #2 which should finish off the firetruck!
The build for bag #2 begins with a few flat tiles and then you construct the hose and nozzle. I like how the hose looks - and the blue "flame" piece representing water works quite well too. The only weird thing is when you clip the nozzle in place on the truck (when there isn't a fire), the hose is still shooting out water!
The hood piece is attached by a pair of single studs via jumpers. And yes, that's another sticker. At this point, the only stickers remaining are the three stickers that are to be used for the boards on the building portion of the build.
The final firetruck model is quite nice - I especially like the "pseudo-pneumatics" in the back of the truck. It did take a few times of making the ladder go up and down before the system worked smoothly. Also, when sliding the second ladder into the first, make sure to be careful doing so or else you'll likely jab your finger like I did!
Finally, we move on to bag #3 where we construct the building that is on fire!
The building itself is obviously something that was abandoned in LEGO City for quite some time. The only thing you get for the inside is a barrel and a broom.
The final three stickers are used for the three boards nailed across the front of the abandoned structure. It should also be noted how LEGO used this opportunity to show kids how to use jumper tiles effectively in order to have a removable roof!
The roof of the structure has an interesting play feature that I wasn't anticipating. As you can see, there is a knob on the left side of the building which you can turn in order to have the flames either shooting up out of the roof or down and "hidden" representing the fire has been put out. Those blue pegs will hold the flames shortly!
Once the building is complete, you get a nice looking model (complete with a blackened portion of the roof where the fire is located).
Overall, I like this set quite a bit. The play factor is high - and both the firetruck and the burning building go well together.
The Bottom Line:
Play value: 9
Kid value: 9
Adult value: 6
For kids, this set is almost perfect. All that is needed is a cat, dog, or even a person to "rescue" from the burning building. For adults, there are a few useful pieces in the set but the fact that all three firefighters have the exact same torso is a small letdown. The giant flame pieces were new to me (as were a lot of the pieces on the firetruck such as the ladder).
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