Nothing brings a LEGO® model to life quite like a bit of light and/or sound. Between 1986 and 1998 and there was a 9V system dedicated to this, and made available in a number of Space and Town sets of the era. This system had a battery box (8studs x4studs x2 2/3plates), and had some exposed powered studs that a light brick could be placed on, or a siren brick. It was also the power system for the monorail sets of that era.
In recent years we have seen a number of sets, particularly in Creator type sets featuring a light ( 2x3x 1 1/3) or sound brick (typically 2x4x2). The lights have especially helped a fire to glow, or provide some form of running light for light house, truck or satellite. The sounds have varied from an engine revving, through to a doorbell and dog barking to the sound brick included in the 2009 Grand Carousel. This latter brick now commands a remarkable price on Bricklink.
Fast forward to 2019. This year we have seen a new design of Light and sound brick in the City line: a 2×6 brick dedicated to the emergency services. Available in three sets at this time: 60209 Diamond Heist, 60215-Fire station and 60216-Downtown Fire Brigade, this element adds both emergency flashing lights, as well as a siren sound.
I found this new element in 60215 – Fire station. It was packaged inside its own cardboard sleeve, seperate to any of the bags in the set. It measures 2×6 studs, and is 3 plates thick over the middle 4 studs, and 2 studs thick over each end. The element has 4 studs: 2 studs, 2 studs in from the end. The outer ends (2×2) are transparent blue, and the middle 2×2 white, with a pearl silver button. Turning it over, there are details of the battery requirements for the brick (for the record, it’s a CR1216), as well as 2 small screws.
Pushing the button, we see the lights start flashing, and a siren sound commences. The siren runs for 5 seconds, while the lights continue to flash, using a varying pattern, for 10.
In 60215, it us used on top of a SUV style vehicle. The vehicle is simple enough: six studs wide ( plus wheel overhang) and fourteen studs wide. Predominantly red, there is a single line of colour trim down the side – in cool yellow. Over the years this trim has been white, yellow one of a variety of greys, and there have been bright yellow highlights over the years- railings, fire extinguishers and railings. But this is a step away from an established pattern. Interestingly, all of the yellow printing on this set’s stickers is in this cool yellow, which makes for an odd, almost faded look for the stickers on the bumper bars. Still, a change is as good as a holiday, and in a year when we are seeing BOTH Fire and Police lines renewed in LEGO City, it is nice to see something which makes the set appealing to buy. Admittedly there is probably a limit as to just how many fire stations you can install in your LEGO City. For me, somehow this is my first…
In this set, we also have a personal watercraft, a four propellor drone, a Dalmatian and the station itself. There is also a rubbish bin and a pile of newspapers which have carelessly been allowed to catch fire. For the younger readers, newspapers are what we used to read to find out about the world, prior to the development of the 24 hour news cycle, CNN and the internet. They were also a useful source of absorbent paper to place in the bottom of bird cages and litter trays, as well as to wrap up broke glass, before placing it in the rubbish bin.
The ‘Fire’ element as a sub build has been placed on a rounded inverse plate, allowing it to be placed on anything you wish to imaging burning. This has evolved over the years in LEGO City set, and I think this is possibly the best version yet.
The station has a garage for the SUV, a tower and a small wharf. The tower features an observation post on top, a recreation room in the middle, complete with popcorn to help enjoy watching the Downtown fire brigade at work, on the widescreen TV. The bottom floor has a desk and computer. The drone can part on the roof of the garage, and the garage features one of those great sliding doors.
There are four minifigures present in this set. Three of the torsos and one of the leg prints are new this year. We also see a new design of axe, after many years. This year is also the first time that we see the fire helmets in bright red! The PWC rider also sports one of the new life vests, first seen last year. All of the cool yellow plates seen in this set (1×4; 1×8, 3×4 wedge plate) are also new.
Now, this is not the only Light and Sound element to appear this year… a similar element has appeared in DUPLO scale, also on top of a fire engine. It can be found in 10901 Fire Truck, 10902 Police Station and 10903 Fire Station.
Overall, I like the set, but if you have a larger fire engine, the question remains, where will you park it? The building has a heavy dependence on window type panels, which is typical for this type of set, but it is offset by neat details such as the external lights, and the use of the red girder tower element – the first time this has appeared since its debut in the ‘Batman ’66’ Batcave 76502. The vehicles are zoomable and swooshable, and have enough moving elements to keep me amused, including stud shooters firing light trans blue studs. the variety of land see and air is also appealing. The use of a drone also helps to reduce the overwhelming number of helicopters that have appeared over recent years. I give this set Three and a half out of Five arbitrary Praise Units.
Unfortunately, at present, this new sound and light element is only available in more expensive sets, the cheapest being 60209 Diamond Heist ($AUD79.99; $USD59.99; £49.99). It is currently selling for around $AUD7.00 on Bricklink.
I hope you have enjoyed this introduction to the new sound and light element, as well as this quick overview of the new Fire Station. I have a couple of more rapid reviews, based on recent live streams, coming up over the next couple of weeks, especially since the LEGO Movie 2 has yet to be released in Australia. Look out for them over the next few days. I expect there will be another stream coming up before too long. In the mean time, follow the Rambling Brick on Facebook and Instagram, for updates and until next time…