Don’t want to spend the minimum purchase required, just to get the 60th anniversary tile in ‘40290 60 Years of the LEGO® Brick‘ Set? Did you miss the opportunity to get it as a gift with purchase from the LEGO store? (Note: it may well still be available today… but I can’t speak for tomorrow. In Australia it is still available at time of posting). Well, we might well have found the perfect set for filling this gap, at a reasonable price, with a great mixture of elements to boot!
Building Better Thinking
As well as 40290, the 60th Anniversary Tile can also be found in the Building Better Thinking Series of sets, part of the Classic range. These sets come with an interesting selection of elements, in a wide variety of colours. The boxes (and instruction manuals) pose a number of questions (in multiple languages) which might encourage the builder to imagine what could be built with the set. To make such activity all the easier, compared with the recent Classic Sets, there are a considerable number of elements left over after building the models on the box.
There are a number of sets in the series: 10401 Rainbow Fun (85 parts, $AUD7.99/USD4.99/GBP 4.99); 10402 Fun Future (186 parts $AUD15.99/USD9.99/GBP 8.99); 10403 World Fun (295 parts $AUD 29.99/USD193.99/GBP 14.99); 10404 Ocean’s Bottom (579 parts $AUD39.99/USD29.99/GBP 24.99); 10405 Mission to Mars (871 parts $AUD69.99/USD59.99/GBP44.99)
Today, I would like to look at the smallest, most accessible of these sets – 10401 Rainbow fun. Priced at $AUD7.99, this set strikes me as the perfect brick based set for a child: featuring both a rainbow and unicorn amongst the models, what more do you need?
After the initial sensory assault brought on by the front of the box (these sets are brightly coloured), a closer examination reveals several interesting features, not previously offered by Classic sets: The starter question, in many languages… “What _____________ at the end of the rainbow?” and then, as we turn to the back we see the inventory of parts. not only are we given the contents, but they are divided into plates/bricks/modified versions thereof AND what I shall call other, functional, elements. Perhaps these are elements with only one point of attachment within the LEGO System: a 1 stud tile, propellor, wing, or unicorn horn. I cannot quite understand how to define the classification, as a one stud round tile with a star shaped print is listed with the bricks etc, while the tiles decorated with eyes are listed with the ‘other, functional elements’
This set has a number of features in common with the colour Creative Boxes from 2017 (10706-10709): the same low price and simple, effective builds. However, there are relative more elements in comparison with those sets, which had 55-70 elements.
The builds included in the instructions are pretty simple. You can probably manage them with a reference photo only. These sets also see suggested alternative builds inside the instruction manual. These ideas have no specific instruction, but can be put together using elements present in the set. Hopefully, this marks the welcome return of a tradition from years ago, with alternate builds suggested by packaging images only. Hopefully, LEGO Customer Service will not be overwhelmed by requests from instructions for these builds, as they have been in the past.
The ‘official builds’ start simply with half a rainbow and a unicorn pegasus. The rainbow features all the necessary colours, even if some of the colour band are represented by bricks or plates only. this is another example of the mixed eye tiles looking brilliant on a small brick built creature. We also build a plane and a remote controlled car. the plane has 2 round tiles, printed with a star. Its adds to the mock-miliatary markings that might explain the role of such a craft.
A highlight for me is the leftover pile of elements once we are done. This allowed me to complete the rainbow – half an arc was rapidly extended to the full rainbow.
Unlike last year’s small sets where we picked up a number of unpaired elements (e.g. right hand small wedge plates in the red box), there are a few more elements to improve the playability: an extra propellor and connector plate, 4 1×2 slopes (where only one is used in the builds) and a couple of unused bricks in tan (1×2) and orange (2×4). we also have extra wheels, to allow 2 sets of 4 wheels to be in use.
Even if you are the kind of hardened, callous person with no love for Rainbow Unicorns, this is the part that will attract you to the set! The 60th Anniversary tile is a white 2×4 tile, with ’60 years’ printed on it, in red and gold. It is a great reminder of the significance of this year, and may well result in a few moe of these sets being sold, than might have otherwise.
My final thoughts:
The colours are bright, light and breezy, with a total of 19 different colours represented. These set comes in at 9.4¢/part, and is not the worst value in Australia. That said, it is still pretty reasonable in the scheme of things. (10401 9.4¢/part; 10402 8.5¢/part; 10403 10.2¢/part; 10404 6.9¢/part; 10405 8.03¢/part. Individual market’s result may vary). This certain represents a great pocket money set. Coming in at $7-8 on the shelves at present, it is well in the reach of a child looking to spend their birthday or christmas money on a small set. The larger sets in the series (10402-10405) also contain mini figures, retaining the classic smiley faces that were missing in the Downtown Diner this year.
What I liked: Inexpensive, accessible, 2×4 60th anniversary tile, quick, elegant builds and RAINBOW UNICORNS!
What didn’t I like? When you add the part counts of the Building Better Thinking Series together, the total official part count comes to 2016. It would have been an awesome Easter Egg if the count came to 2018! However, there were at least 2 spare parts above the expected inventory in my set, so I am sure you will reach the count if you try. As a child of the 70’s, free building based on inspirational pictures was a huge part of my early LEGO Building experience. I hope these sets capture the imagination of a new generation. Having taken by unicorn out to the morning sun, I believe the most important thing to do is to pull it all apart and build something new!
I give 10401 Rainbow Fun a total of Four out of Five Arbitrary praise units, for the reasons outlined above.
I am looking at obtaining a few sets in this series: there are some great elements, and amusing uses (lime green treasure chest as a frog’s mouth anyone?). Do you have a preferred set? Do you see it as a great way to get a collectable tile?
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