Carousel 10257 Coming Soon: Reimagining an Investor’s Classic.

boxes.pngAround eight years ago, shortly after I emerged from my Dark Ages, I visited LEGOLAND 10257_Front_02_1California with my family. The Aussie Dollar was running at 90US¢ to A$1: the best exchange rate in years.  We got to the store.  What followed is a bit embarrassing, but suffice to say it included  Cafe Corner and the Grand Carousel 10196.  Despite currency fluctuations, the pricing model used meant we could afford these 2 sets, and some more, as well as some luggage to transport them home, and still come out in front.  Unfortunately, this involved unboxing these sets prior to returning home.  Once the box is broken, you might as well build them, don’t you think? If I knew then what I know now, I would have also picked up a Millennium falcon UCS, and transported them home in fur-lined gold plated shipping container instead.  Aah: hindsight. It gives me 20-20 vision.

The Grand Carousel had a huge footprint with a 48 square, green baseplate. It had an interesting 16 sided construction and rotation was afforded by a spring-loaded wheel turning the outside – just like the real carousel’s that would tour country Victoria going to annual town fairs.  Not only did it rotate, but the horses bounced up and down as well.  And then there was the sound brick ,providing the joyous sounds of a Calliope, and invoking a nightmare flashback in any kid scared by carnival clowns.  This set has appreciated significantly over theirs, with new sticker sheets selling for more than $70 on Brick link, and the sound brick for more than $200!

fairground past.pngIn more recent years, the Lego Creator Expert team have been producing exceptional sets based on Fairground rides, providing a challenging building experience and great play and display features. In 2014, we saw the release of the Fairground Mixer 10244, followed up by the Ferris wheel 10247 in 2015. Last year it was the Friends turn, with a whole sub theme.  The Amusement park Roller Coaster41130 was a highlight for many here! Builders have not been content with with merely adding motion to this to these rides. Lighting has also become popular, with some spectacular third party lighting kits now available especially for them. But I didn’t stop writing this post for the purpose of becoming over whelmed with nostalgia, continuing to chart my descent from a regular human being into an Adult Fan of LEGO, but rather to present the announcement of the latest fairground set, at Play-Time in New York today.

The press release: more pictures and discussion follow .

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10257 Carousel

Ages 16+. 2,670 pieces.

US $199.99 – CA $249.99 – DE 179.99€ – UK £159.99 – DK 1499.00 DKK

*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.

Discover the fairground’s star attraction with the Carousel!

Experience the majestic Carousel with a wealth of delightful features, including a large textile canopy, ornate reflective rounding boards with blue and gold detailing, reflective center panels, and a 2-tier deck comprising a raised boarding platform with handrail and a main platform with 5 buildable animal rides, including a white swan and 4 moving animals. Turn the crank and see the elephant, tiger, flamingo and frog move up and down as the carousel rotates. This delightful LEGO® Creator Expert model has an iconic elegance that evokes feelings of nostalgia, romance and adventure. Upgrade with LEGO Power Functions for fully motorized operation.

  • Includes 7 minifigures: a ride operator, mom, dad, boy, girl, grandmother and a granddaughter.
  • The Carousel features a large textile canopy, ornate, reflective rounding boards with blue and gold detailing, reflective center panels, two-level deck comprising a raised boarding platform with handrail and a main platform with five buildable animal rides, including a white swan and four moving animals: an elephant, tiger, flamingo and a frog.
  • Also features a sturdy, buildable base for easy transportation.
  • Buy your ticket at the booth, take the stairs to the boarding platform and choose your favorite animal ride.
  • Turn the crank and see the elephant, tiger, flamingo and frog move up and down as the carousel rotates.
  • Enjoy an ice cream, candy or a delicious hot dog as you watch the whirling carousel.
  • Accessory elements include a camera, ice cream, candy and a hot dog in a bun.
  • New decorated elements include printed tickets and printed storybook tiles.
  • Includes lots of molded golden elements, reflective golden labels and medium-blue/dark-blue elements.
  • Motorize the Carousel with the LEGO® Power Functions 8883 medium motor and 88000 AAA battery box (not included).
  • Collect and build an entire fairground with the LEGO® Creator Expert 10247 Ferris Wheel.
  • Measures over 12” (32cm) high, 14” (38cm) wide and 13” (35cm) deep.

Available for sale directly through LEGO® beginning June 1, 2017 via shop.LEGO.com and LEGO® Stores

Here are some of our happy fairground goers:

minifigs
Dad looks happy, but can he stomach the ride?

animals
Marvellous creatures to ride in: the flamingo has some great new colors!
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A Quick Comparison:

Apart from a layer of Dust, there are some immediate differences between the old and new.  Good news: no stickers making up the eyes of the animals on the ride.  The old ones have not lasted well, despite being kept in a cupboard, with reasonable climate control.  It is amazing to see the variations in expression, despite the exclusive use of ‘sleepy eyes’ in the new animals.

eyes
Grand Carousel, 2009, on left. New Carousel, 2017 on the right.
The fascia of the  new carousel is gorgeous, using different techniques to the old version, and the new yellow sail looks good.  I’m not sure how it will look after gaining a year’s worth of dust.  Greater variety of pearl gold parts, as well as azure gives us great curves!  The flexible rod on the canopy of the new carousel looks like it will keep it’s shape better than the old -tile and clip hinge technique.  The old version was one of my favourite ever uses of the ‘Santa Beard’.detail

The base is solid: built on plates to allow gearing to run underneath the carousel, compared to the green 48×48 stud baseplate used previously.  This allows greater texture and structure than seen previously. The new base seems to be 38- 40 studs across, and is octagonal. While the old version was dependent on the power functions to work, it is optional in the new version.  A medium motor is easily plugged into the ‘powerhouse’ to motorise the model.

power

I am quite excited by this set: building on the enhanced colour and parts palette in this post-friends/classic world.  The use of new building techniques, such as bricks on their side to make up the platform of the carousel rather than radiating plates is also innovative, and gives a cleaner look to the model.

I am a little disappointed by the need to invest in the power functions separately, and the absence of a sound brick will only increase the need to develop a third party sound accessory, such as the PFx brick – hopefully returning soon for a more successful kickstarter campaign.

What do you think of this set? Day one purchase? Or make do with the classic?  I like the idea of rebuilding the new mechanism and ‘reskinning’ it.  What theme would you give it?

Edit: Australian price has been announced at $AUD299.99

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