60271 LEGO® City Main Square: Time For Adventures

When I first saw the images of the new 60271 LEGO® City Main Square, I was pretty nonplussed. My first response to a casual view was along the lines of “… another quad bike police chase, another helicopter, a new tram, a recycled limousine, some landscape and a couple of buildings. And they are asking $AUD275/$USD199.99 for this?” Please understand, I actually thought in terms of the currency conversion

” Meh.”

“And the characters have names now. What?? In the past decade, LEGO City has been the last stronghold of the anonymous minifigure!” Some of the characters might reappear, but I’ve never had anyone tell me what to call them before.

But after closer examination, there are aspects of this set which are worthy of further attention: drawing on some of the characters and situations seen in the animated series LEGO City Adventures, this is one of the largest LEGO City sets ever produced.

It is being marketed heavily as a set for the family to Build Together. As such, it is aimed a a variety of ages, not just something to leave your adventurous 8 year old to work on by themselves. As such, while some builds may feel overly simple (Aimed at a 6 year old), some represent building styles not seen in LEGO City for many years.

Come with me on a tour through the Main Square of LEGO City. You might not enjoy all that you see, but you might discover some things that leave you pleasantly surprised.

The 60271 Main Square is, what I like to think of as, an omnibus set: it contains some buildings, some scenery, a few vehicles and lots of minifigures. I was a little surprised when I saw this set, as the Australian price is $275 – compared to other large sets of recent years. However, with 1517 elements, it is only the second largest set of its type. So, I thought I would set out to see if it was more, or less, than the sum of its parts. 

There are eight submodels behind this set, each given it’s own instruction book. The instructions suggest that different aspects of the set might be best build by different members of the family, allowing play to get underway a bit sooner. The instructions books suggests build for different family members. Designated builders include: two children: male and female; adult male (Father) and adult female (Grandmother?) Naturally, its your LEGO, and you can get whoever you want to build it!

We will look at each sub-build and consider the Minifigures as we go along. Online discussion about this set has focussed primarily on the perceived valueof this set:After considering omnibus sets in general, I will consider the sub-builds in terms of equivalent sets that have been available in recent times and then think about what you might consider these to cost individually. then, perhaps be can apply some more objective measures to relative value.

BAG 1: Police Chase and Harl Hubbs’ Handy Waggon

The first bag almost feels like two small sets in one: Duke Detain on his police quad, chasing Snake Rattler on his motorcycle, and Harls Hubbs (LEGO City’s Handyman who is always happy to help) on is red pedal handy waggon.

The quad bike feels similar to other quad bikes I have seen, but extends to 7 studs long. The wheels used here are very free spinning, and it feels as though this vehicle can roll a lot further than previous ATV/Quad bike type constructions. Compared with other vehicles of this size, it seems a bit more parts intensive, with a standard 2×6 brick replaced by 9 plates/modified plates to fill the 2×7 brick volume. Including tail lights and headlights hear is a nice touch, as is being able to have the handlebars 3 studs from the front. There is actually more to this than I expected. As for the Figures: Duke Detain appears for the first time with Dual moulded arms – short sleeves. this matches the first appearace in the the first episode of the animated series..

Duke Detain’s quad seems a little more parts intensive than other equivalent vehicles from recent years.

Snake Rattler rides a motorcycle which is topped off by a new fairing for 2020. It is available in red in a couple of other sets including 60243 Police Helicopter Chase and 30341 Monkie Kid’s Delivery Bike. This design is the first time a dirt bike type frame has allowed for a headlight, as well as the appearance of rear suspension. His figure is identical to the one that appears in 60243. Snake doesn’t appear until the second series, episode 8: unfortunately not one that I can access easily in Australia, at present (I don’t have access to Nickelodeon).

Harl Hubbs is often seen riding his wagon around LEGO City, where he is “Happy to Help.” His waggon is built on a 2×10 base, with brackets making up the side of the box on the front of the wagon. On the back, he has a variety of things that might come in handy, including s lifejacket, a bundle of dynamite, a box of popcorn, a toilet seat and brass taps. A light grey ladder attached to the right hand side – ready to help Harl reach the highest heights! Perfect for measuring the height of something… like a skyscraper. (Series 1, episode 5, Race To The Top). This sub build has quite a ‘LEGO Movie’ feel to it. Harl’s figure is much the same as the others we have seen in a few other sets, but with an added utility belt element. He features a red torso, dark blue trousers, printed in high detail, including two pens printed in his breat pocket, as well as a folded down side of his overalls. I feel he makes a great addition to the City.

Bag 2: Freya McLeod and Fire Helicopter

Helicopters are a mainstay of LEGO City, and the designs have been fairly consistent over the years. This one doesn’t really have any radical departure from previous designs. It does have some stickers to apply on the wedge bricks behind the cabin, and they line up nicely with the plates, giving a nice smooth line. For reasons not readily explained in the manual, the helicoter comes with a small hand net.

Freya McLeod has appeared in a couple of sets in the last two years. However, this is the first time she has presented with her trademark hot chocolate cup, with a printed toasted marshmallow on the side. This cup needs to be made into a REAL THING! She wears a white fire helmet, with integrated dark red hair swept back. Her torso print includes a dark red jacket, open over a white shirt, with printed belt details. There is a large ‘fire brigade emblem on the the reverse of the torso.

Readily surprised, Freya’s head has a reverse print with a spittake of cocoa on her face. This is a fun reference to something that happens inalmost every episode of LEGO City Adventures.

Bag 3: Limo Service

There have been a few limousines LEGO City over the past decade. This is the first time it has appeared in black. The design is very similar to that seen in 2016’s 60102 Airport VIP Service, which is an updated version of that seen in 3222 from 2010. I do not understand that while this vehicle is 26 studs long, no attempt has been to make it 6 studs wide. Four stud cars are such a 2008 thing… Even Friends gave us a 6 wide Limousine in 2015. For me, I think this was the most disappointing aspect of the set. The roof can be readily detached from the main cabin, as well as from the driver’s cabin, allowing access to the interior decoration. Although I am surprised that we see a very business like computer screen, rather than a regular TV image on the screen.

The limo driver is generic, but professionally presented, with her hair in a tight bun.she has unprinted legs, and wears a white shirt, black vest and tie.

Bag 4: City Diner

The City Diner is set up on an 8×16 baseplate. It features a few sweeping curves. There is a detailed 8 stud round x 4 brick thick burger in a bun on the roof, as well as some curved 4×4 quarter circle curves windows. The roof utilises the red quarter circle sloped brick, seen in the Super Mario set, 71368 Toad’s Treasure Hunt. Some stickers add menu details, as well as ‘shop open’ details to the build. this building continues the brick built burger trend that we have seen a few times in the last few years. The signage, ‘Main Diner,’ consists of 2 stickers on two cool yellow 2 x 4 tiles.

On the inside, we have a detailed kitchen, with cooktop and coffee machine. There are sauce and mustard bottles resting on the cash register. There are two seats at the table in the diner, and a 2×2 burger on the table. The diner waitress has a striped top, with a printed scarf. She has a smile on one side, and a smile, with eyes closed on the other.

Bag 5: Park Square

There is a large park in the centre of LEGO City. In that park, there is a statue of Horatio Humphey Hubbs who, in 1715, fought off pirates who had captured the city with his hands tied behind his back, (S1 Episode7 Doorman to the City). This cub build goes on a 16×16 dark tan land mark, and features a tiled path to the statue – standing on a column, in a fountain.

The statue is an accurate version of that seen in the series – in light stone grey, with his hands tied behind its back with handcuffs. A cutlass lies at his feet. We have coloured bunting between the lights, as well as a couple of chairs at ground level. A picnic table appears to be more of an example of abstract expressionist art: still life with a custard pie. Overall, I like the build here – which also comes with four figures: Marc and Anna McLeod, and their son Billy. Billy is wearing a twirly cap, which took him for an adventure around the town in S1E2 Billy the Bug. We also have young Madison Yea – daughter of first assistant Deputy Mayor, Carol Yea. Unfortunately, we are yet to see an official figure of Carol. – her hair remains outside the current LEGO parts availability.

Brother of Fire Chief Freya, Marc is an anxious parent: forever concerned that almost anything thing Billy wants to do might be a bit dangerous or scary. His jumper appears brighter to that seen on screen, where it almost seems teal. And when Billy’s Twirly hat took him on a ride around town, you might consider his anxiety to be well justified. Billy’s overalls are just right, but he is often shown with a bright yellow smiley badge on his chest, and it would have been a nice touch to include that here. Ann’s cardigan/top is a different design to what is typically seen in season 1 on ths series.

This sub-build bears some similarity to 40221 Fountain, a Gift with Purchase from 2016, although I feel that set might have done a more elegant job with the furniture design. There is a simplistic picnic table, consisting of a 2×4 plate o a 2×2 brick. I found this to be the most disappointing aspect of this sub-build.

Bag 6 Poppy Starr on Stage

Poppy Starr is a recurring popstar in LEGO City Adventures. With Brightly coloured hair, this is a new outfit for her – not previously seen in LEGO City Adventures at this time.She appears to be wearing a brightly colored crop top over a dark singlet, with stars. She has a medium azur guitar.

The stage is a simple build on an 8×16 plate, with a raised stage. There is a lighting gantry over the stage, providing multiple lights. There are two speakers on stage, and they rotate freely on plates with pegs attached to the stage. This is not a particularly complex build, but ultimately looks like a small and intimate venue, when compared to some of her appearances in the series, where she is seen surrounded by gigantic speaker stacks.

Of course, it is all very well to be appearing on stage, but its so much better to be able to do it in front of a crowd.

Book 7 (Bag 7,8,9) Tram and Tram Stop

The next build is relatively large, and consist of a small tram stop – with vending machine and timetable, and a tram. While no discernible tracks are visible in the package art, it is certainly more like an elevated light rail than a monorail. Predominantly yellow, it features the same cabin housing seen in 60197 Passenger Train. There are two main carriages, as well as a small joining compartment which allows the tram a greater degree of flex. As such, it is able to run along a line of standard LEGO track. Indeed, this is necessary for the doors to be able to open, while next to the tram stop. There are a number of stickers used in this sub build, for both the tram as well as details on the tram stop. I may have left them off the tram, but as you can see, it looks quite plain without them. I am a little disppointed that this tram doesn’t match the version seen in the series, which is more of a greenish blue and tan colour scheme (Series 1, Episode 1 Cubs and Robbers)

The tram stop is a simple enough build, including a vending machine containing cans of VitaFresh, as well as a ticket vending machine, as well as a map and timetable.

There are two minifigures in this set: A tram conductor/ driver who appears to be almost identical to ‘Chuck’ in the Hidden Side 70424 Ghost Train Express – but with a more youthful, enthusiastic face print. the other figure in this bag has a fairly generic, single female face, azur hoodie over a striped green shirt and dark tan legs, with no print. The interesting aspect is the hearing aid printed on the right side of her head. At this stage, I have been unable to identify the character in the television series, but I suspect it will only be a matter of time before she will appear. With the increased developments in printing/design that we are seeing in minifigure design, we should be seeing more and more in the LEGO City line, to make it representiative of our society.

Book 8 (Bags 10-14) Mayor Solomon Fleck and the City Hall.

City Hall is where it all happens. Built up over four bags, this sub-build comes with one minifigure: Solomon Fleck. This corn-cob clad mayor of the city features a similar mould to that seen in ‘CornCob Guy, back in series 17 of the Collectable minifigures, except he is dark green, and appears to have a bright yellowish orange print over the corn, rather than the two coloured mould used for the original corncob guy.

Has Mayor Solomon Fleck finally met his match?

In the series, we only once see Mayor Fleck without his corncob, and it is disappointing that he did not come with a seperate hairpiece to cover this appearance. That said, he does have a printed torso, including a sash declaring him to be #1 Mayor!

He comes with a number of accessories that get added as the build proceeds: a black umbrella, croissant, laptop and coffee cup. All he is missing is Carole Yea, his first assistant deputy mayor, and mother of Madison! I have to admit, I think her omission to date is a disappointing oversight.

We start the build for the town hall on a 16×8 plate, and before long, we have a small foot path, and some basement windows, before adding the ground floor. The ground floor houses a key in a layer guarded display cabinet. Is it the key to the City? Something Else? Does this explain why we saw the Mayor wandering through the sewers of LEGO City in Episode 2 with a torch? Some how I doubt it.

We complete the ground floor with double doors, capped by some pearl gold ornamentation – a ‘trophy figure and wolf claws gives an effect similar to an angel, or a person standing in front of a rising sun. , and windows on either side

The first floor is supported by the front wall, as well as columns at the rear. It contains a minimalist desk, with a coffee cup, umbrella bucket, and suitcase rack. In the roof, there is a small clock tower (another sticker). On each side of this building, we add small extensions, with additional arched windows – containing a trophy and a cup. More Mischief got Snake Rattler to make?

This is a fairly atypical build for a LEGO City set – it involves more bricks that you would expect, and feels more like a Friends or Creator 3-in-1 set. There are over 300 bricks in this part of the build. It provides a place for most of the necessary action from the series to take place. A seagull and cat cap off the action, with lots of chances for rooftop hijinks.

So, here we have the collections of builds from the set and while most of the sub builds might be considered to be worthwhile to be a set in its own right, how to they all fit together?

Some Thoughts On Omnibus City Sets

I think of these as omnibus sets: they contain a number of subbuilds that could be a set in their own right. Typically, grouped together across a subtheme. These sets are all expensive: some might cynically call them ‘Grandparent sets’ – sets that are only likely to be bought by grandparents as a special present. Certainly not something that might be picked up as an impulse purchase. Unless you are out looking for something to do together as a family.

So – I looked through the Brickset database, looking for large city sets. I arbitrarily chose 700 elements, and filtered out train sets and bundled packs (collections of sets packaged into a larger box – this was the predecessor to these types of set, especially around 10 years ago)

This query showed up an interesting collection:

First – are more of these large sets appearing these days?

Certainly, there appears to be an increase in the number of large sets appearing in the LEGO City range over the last few years. The jump appears to happen around 2015, as bundled sets all but vanish, and an additional high end set or two is added to the major subtheme.

In recent years, LEGO City has offered a couple of subthemes through the year – typically some City Based sets, and some from an Exploration/Action based theme (typically in the second half year.)

Examples of City specific locations from 2018-2020 might include:

  • 60204 City Hospital; 861 elements; 13 Minifigures
  • 60216 Downtown Fire Brigade 943 elements; 7 Minifigures
  • 60203 Ski Resort 806 Elements 11 Minifigures.
  • 60258 Tuning Workshop 897 Elements; 7 minfigures
  • 60246 Police Station 741 Elements; 7 minfigures

You could argue that the Ski resort is almost a City Square type, since it incorporates several different businesses and areas in the set.

Some sets from the City-Exploration subthemes from the last few years include:

  • 60196 Arctic Supply Plane. 707 Pieces 4 Minifigures
  • 60195 Arctic Mobile Exploration Base; 786 Elements. 6 Minifigures
  • 60188 Mining Experts Site; 883 Elements 6 Minifigures
  • 60288: Deep Space Rocket and Launch Control 837 Elements 7 minifigures
  • 60229: Rocket Assembly and Transport (2019) 1055 elemements. 8 Minifigures
  • 60266 Ocean Exploration ship

As you can see, each of these sets has lots of minifigures for role play, story telling; several vehicles, some buildings and landscape as well as other play features. Similar sets were available in earlier years, related to Jungle, as well as Volcano Explorers.

But, this is a city compilation set, and there have been several similar sets over the years, and I thought we would take them back to 2013 – for the sake of completeness.

  • 60271 Main Square (2020). 1517 elements. 14 Figures. €175.45
  • 60233 Donut Shop Opening (2019) 790 elements. 10 minifigures.
  • 60200 Capital City (2018) 1211 elements, 13 figures
  • 60097 City Square 2015 1683 elements 14 figures
  • 60026 Town Square 2013 914 elements 9 minifigures

I was wondering how best to compare these different omnibus sets – to see how this year’s set compares with the others.

There has certainly been a bit of flack stirred up in the AFOL community, because this set seems to be thematically incongruous, poor value and just coming across as just plain ugly.

I can understand the incongruity argument: in the other sets illustrated here, there is a similar architectural theme throughout: every building is fairly box like. We have a lot more variation in the new Main Square: The City Diner is semicircular; the City Hall has more of a classical look, and the outdoor stage feels like a completely different set altogether. I do appreciate the design of the Diner, and the kitchen inside is quite functional.

As far as vehicles are concerned, typically we have seen a variety of cars and trucks – similar to the tuning workshop. And the design language, as well as the vehicle complexity is fairly consistent. Here we have a motorcycle, a reused quad bike, a recycled limousine and Harl Hubbs’ Handyman waggon.

Public transport – be it a bus or tram, is a feature of all of these sets, except the Donut store opening. The new tram design owes a lot to the design of the 60197 Passenger Train, with its large moulded ends finally getting a a chance to be used again, but at the expense of the source material.

As far as general recreation areas are concerned, I appreciate the efforts made with the trees in this set, it is more imaginative than the vertical trunk in 60097. 60200 features a skate pipe, 60097, a small patch of grass, and 60026, a statue. Unfortunately, the park here feels a little crowded – perhaps it would have worked better as 4 8×8 areas?

But we could also consider that the incongruity exists for other reasons: as a set designed as a cross-generational collaborative building set, it is reasonable for the sub builds to have different levels of difficulty, and aesthetic. The build aesthetic for City Hall is more consistent with Creator 3-in-1or Friends, rather than the traditional boxes used for the majority of LEGO City Buildings. As such it is likely to fit the more traditional girls demographic, rather than the more straght forward ‘box’ that normally appears in these sets in the past.

Perhaps it is putting fire AND police in the same set that makes it feel disjointed?

Ultimately, this set complements, rather than relates, any of the previous LEGO City Town Square sets.

Cost analysis:

As a LEGO City set costing $AUD275, this is an expensive set. While the models might feel disjointed, and be inconsistent in their construction styles (which is consistent with one of the set’s stated goals of getting the family of different ability levels building together – How many AFOLs fell down the rabbit hole, while they were building LEGO sets with their kids?).

I had a look at the individual subbuilds, in a desperate attempt to see if there was some way I could justify the cost of this set. Lets look at the sub-builds in the set, and see how they might compare with existing sets in the LEGO City, Creator or Friends ranges.

Build 1: Quad bike and motor cycle, Harl Hubb’s waggon.

Lets imagine this as two small sets. Cops and robbers. With a quadbike and motor cycle and 2 minifgures, it is pretty similar to set 60255 – which retails for $16AUD.

Harl Hubbs’ waggon is a bit different, and new. I would consider this in a similar league to some of the smaller friends sets, with a similar part count and feel such as 41360 Emmas Mobile Veterinary Clinic or 41389 Ice Cream Cart. One minidoll/figure in all of these – another $16 each.

Build 2: Freya McCloud and Helicopter.

This design of Helicopter is pretty similar to other small helicopters, but slightly more sophisticated than a standard poly bag chopper. As such, I’ll consider it to be $AUD15 worth of set. Small helicopters, with a moderate amount of scenery/ other elements (such as 60207 Drone Chase) tend to retail for around $30 – Alternatively consider the 60208 Fire Helicopter response. This has a helicopter and buggy for around $30. Admitedly, the helicopter is fairly juniorised, as a ripcord/flying model. But, the 60247 forest fire (Figure and buggy) is around $10. So let us say $AU20

Build 3: The Limousine.

We could consider this in terms of being 2 cars end to end, or as part of a larger set with a plane or helicopter. Compare 60102 – Airport VIP Service ($AUD60) with 60101 Airport Cargo Plane. and subtract the difference to estimate the value of the limo. ($AUD30). This is consistent with the 2 car theory, with 60256 Racing Cars being priced at $AUD 30.

And then consider the fact that it is essentially a black version of the limousine in 60102, and I am left feeling a little disappointed. Why is it not six studs wide like the like the friends equivalent, 41107-1 Popstar Limousine. This was a $AUD 40 set, with lots of scenery in 2015. Today, it would be around $AUD55-60, but would be equivalent to part of the scenery seen in the next part of the build…

Build 4: City Diner.

The City diner has around 120 pieces, plus one minfigure, and has a remarkable amount of internal detail. I suspect this is recommended for ‘dad’ because the burger constructions are fairly clever. while there are a relatively limited number of parts, they alternate between the quite small burger fill-ins, the quite large quarter bun parts, and some large windows and the curved roof elements. It’s hard to find too many sets that might approach equivalency. But the 41362 Heartlake City supermarket might be fairly equivalent in size, except for the car. Its recomended retail price is $AUD45 – let’s subtract the car, and make it $40

Builds 5 and 6 Park Square/ Poppy Starr On Stage.

I have mentioned already that the park shares some aspects in common with the Creator set 40221 Fountain, which was a gift with purchase when it was first released, but seems to retail on the secondary market for around $25 + shipping. Add in a 16×16 plate, to make around 30-40. Although, compare what you get in this with the tree and accessories in 41392 Nature Glamping, which in Australia has a RRP of $AUD50 – perhaps we need to reassess what we think these subbuilds might be worth together, particularly since there are 5 minifigures between the two..

Build 7: Tram and Tram stop

If you compare the tram, to the 60917 Passenger train ($AUD200), less the cost of the power functions and rails, ( 80+23+34 for hub88009 /motor – 88011 and remote 88010 ; Rails 60205/60238: approx $AUD50 for a simple oval) leaves only $12-$20 for the train and platform. Perhaps the train set is really good value. If we go the other way, and look at equivalent sized vehicles in Friends/City or Creator, we are probably looking at around $40-50. This sub build comes with two minifigures, although a tram onits own is like to have 3 or more.

Build 8: City Hall.

This leaves us with City Hall. You can’t fight it. This is one of the more satisfying builds in this pack, and it gives you more of a Friends or Creator vibe. It is not as colourful as either, and has a reasonable quantity of dark greay grey sloped bricks – around 60. As well as the Mayor (in his corn cob suit) we get a variety of play accessories including an umbrella, laptop, brief case coffee mug, letter, a cat and seagull; to say nothing of the pearl gold Key, Trophy cup and goblet. It has over 300 pieces. And many of these elements are larger bricks. There is certainly more structure to it than you might find in 41398 Stephanie’s House or 41427 Emma’s Fashion shop, and they both retail for $AUD50; similarly, it has more structure, but less detail than 31105 Townhouse Toy Store, which retails for $AUD80. It is certainly not as detailed as 31097 Townhouse Pet Shop& Cafe ($130) Compared to the creator sets, there are a greater number of larger elements

It would be reasonable to think that this build, were it to sell separately, might represent at least an $AUD80-90 set. But you might expect three or more minifigures to be included.

So, How Does It All Add Up?

Looking at these estimates, I accept that I have probably been fairly conservative with my pricing estimates:

Sub buildEstimated RRP
1 Cops and robbers/ Harl’s Waggon30
2 Freya McLeod and helicopter20
3 Limousine30
4 Diner40
5&6 Park Square and Stage50
7 Tram/tramstop35
8 City Hall80
TOTAL~285

So, overall, while the price/part might be high, there are a lot of larger elements – 2xn; panels, as well as individual window panels, especially in the City Hall and the Diner – the price is about what you migh expect for this ‘sum of its parts.’ Now, given the tendency of Big Box retailers around the world to frequently offer City Sets at 10-20% off, this might mean that this set is fundamentally overpriced. The other thing that has not really been discussed yet is that this set is a LEGO Branded Store Exclusive: LEGO.com, LEGOLand Parks and Discovery Centres, LEGO Certified Stores and LEGO Stores around the world. Do not expect it to be released beyond that. As such, it is unlikely that this will be on sale for 20% off in the next 12 months.

In Conclusion

The new 60271 Town Square is a large set, with multiple subbuilds. The over-all design style is more variable compared to previous ‘City Square’ sets, where buildings and vehicles all feel very similar in look and feel. But cities rarely are this homogenous. Given the set is intended to be built by multiple family members working together, I have no real concerns about this variable aesthetic.

At first glance, I was not inspired by it, but having put it together, there are a number of things that have swayed my feelings.

I am disappointed by the recycling of the limousine design, and that this vehicle feels a little out of scale with the rest of city, at 4 studs wide. The Plate holding the park feels a little claustrophobic, and I wonder if it were braken down to four 8×8 plates if it might fell a little more comfortable.

However, There is more to the quadbike than I expected: these small utility vehicles have come a long way since the Moon Buggy of 1978. The City Diner buys into the current obsession with brick built hamburgers currently to be found on such establishments, but has a pleasant amount of detail. the relatively new motor cycle, and Harl Hubbs’ waggon are also good to see, with the Handyman’s mode of transport recapturing The LEGO Movie energy.

Having the stage for an open air concert provides you with great opportunity to put a crowd of minifigures together to enjoy the gig.

The City Hall departs from the typical LEGO City design aesthetic, to give you a building experience typically reserved for a set in the Creator or Friends themes. I think it is one of the most advanced buildings that I have seen in City sets for some time. However, the opened back dollhouse appearance of the buildings here will not appeal to the AFOL looking to populate their own cities. but there is no reason not to build them up at the back.

BUT This is a playset, for the benefit of children, playing with their families and from that point of view it succeeds in its goal.

With regards to the minifigures, I enjoy the selection, but am torn to some extent: LEGO City was the last holdout point of unnamed Minifigures. I appreciate that there are many minifigures in the current City sets that are not named, yet while only six named characters are featured on the package, there are another four inside who are named: Marc, Anna and Billy McCloud, as well as Madison Yea (And the statue of Horatio Hubbs). To have designated characters in sets might reduce the likelihood of some people creating different figures, by mixing and matching the different elements. But there is not too much wrong with the overall selection of characters included. From a gender balance point of view, we have 7 male figures, 7 females and one statue (of a male). This would be one of the most balanced sets, from that point of view, in recent years.

So, who is it for? At $AUD275/$USD200, this is an expensive set. But reasonable value, for what you get. Although, I can understand why people might not want to buy it.

If you are an AFOL, looking for a time-consuming build, it is not for you. You could spend the same money on a Creator Expert set, such as a modular building and have a more enjoyable building experience with it. Especially if you are looking for a building that is closed at the back.

If you are looking for a way to fill in your own LEGO City, the City Hall and City Diner would be great additions. Likewise, the stage and town square/statue would likely give you a desirable level of alternative land use in your town. The vehicles are a mixed bag, depending on other purchases that you have made in recent years. Several of the builds included here have not really appeared in LEGO Creator or LEGO City for some time: as such, I think it is worth a look. If you have one of the previous town square sets, none of the buildings that you have will be doubled up with these ones.

If you are interested in toy photography, there are lots of interesting opportunities available with this set, with a good variety of characters, locations, and themes possible.

BUT I suspect the main people who buy this set will be Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and probably parents, who wish to join in with the children’s play. This is the way that I feel this set excels: there is a build in this set for everyone. And if you are building together, before long you will be playing together.

I started of as a cynic, but I have come to appreciate the details included in this set. In its primary goal: presenting a set to be build by a family working together, I think it is excellent. As useful additions to a LEGO City layout – it provides some new builds, that have not been presented in sets in recent years. And for this, I would consider this set to earn four. out of five (4/5) arbitrary praise units.

But if you are an AFOL looking for a challenging way to spend a few hours cproducing an aesthetically pleasing model, I think you would do better to spend your time with either a Creator Expert or large LEGO Ideas set.

What do you think of this set? I would love to know your feelings. I certainly don’t think it’s for everyone. Leave your comments below, and until next time…

Play Well!

This set was provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.

Don’t forget, our LEGO Super Mario Building contest closes September 20: get your entires in. For further details visit this post.

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