It’s now 2023, and new LEGO City releases are starting to appear on the shelves. One of the smallest sets that has me most excited is 60394 Otter Habitat. At only $16 AUD RRP, it brings us a great new animal mould – the Otter. Following up from last year’s squirrels, kittens and a host of other farm animals this set comes with a Minifigure, ATV, frog, fish and a small landscaped area. To say nothing of two otters!
I found these in our local LCS on January 2, and was seriously tempted to purchase 20 of them in order to obtain the 40580 Blacktron Cruiser as a Gift With Purchase. I will neither confirm nor deny whether I bought more than two. Let us take a look.
Let’s take a closer look.
Taking a closer look at the elements, standouts include the mudguards appearing for the first time in green. Some other rare elements include the 2×2 earth green tile (only 2 other sets), and the 1×2 sloped tile in dark brown. The pale blue elements are also relatively uncommon.
This set comes with one Minifigure: a female park ranger. She has a double-sided face print which has been around a bit over the last few years The sand green torso has double-sided printing, with a detailed shirt – featuring badges, buttons and a belt on the front ( with a white shirt underneath), while the belt, collar and seams continue around the back.
The dark green legs have no printing. She has long brown hair with a central plait or a bright green motorcycle helmet with white goggles.
The ATV is to LEGO City in the 2020s as the simple go-kart design was to town in the 1980s! It’s everywhere, with subtle variations in colour and shape. This one features a fetching green (fir the first time) and tan (with a reddish brown seat), along with a great printed slope, featuring a couple of meters. A camera and walkie talkie clip onto the back for good measure. All up, it uses around 37 pieces of the 90 listed in the inventory.
The bull bar at the front, along with the grille plate provides a good looking from end. The roll on the provided wheels is quite impressive, and almost frictionless.
Next, we move on to that small piece of landscape – 13x 6 studs in size. we have tree elements mounted on a pile of rocks, while a small stream wraps around the tree, over some rocks and into a pond. a sloped 2×6 dark azure tile allows for a tilting stream and the chance for the otters and fish to hide underwater. a small green frog completes the environment.
Finally, we complete the scene with 2 otters. The otters have printed eyes and noses, and have an upwards gaze while the tail is sloping downwards towards the end.
This is a new mould in reddish brown. They measure 1×4 studs, attaching over a 1×2 stud region. It is just over 1 brick high (but less than 4 plates) The tail clears a tile’s height at ground level.
Here they are with the Squirrel tribe, released in LEGO City in 2022
Frankly, they are adorable.
The Minifigure is alright, the scenery pleasant and the quadbike fairly standard. the building experience was pretty good: even in poor light, my inability to distinguish between different colours could not prevent me my putting the set together: essentially each element appears in only one colour.
One drawback was the way that the 50 page instruction manual was creased in transport – it couldnt lie flat and was unable to be readily used, one-handed. This is a set where I feel that digital instructions offer an advantage.
As a relatively inexpensive set, that will probably be permanently reduced at some retailers after the April school holidays. That said, it is not too expensive at the full retail price to pick one or two up now.
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Overall, it’s a great little set, with a few new elements, as well as a nice example of landscaping. ATVs have been quite common in LEGO City over the last few years. Given the detail in its construction, I wonder if we are approaching ‘Peak ATV’ The Otters, along with the fish and frog make for a great combination
Of course, LEGO City has become the home of animals too, over the last years. Of the 21 non-Stuntz sets in this wave, 11 have an animal of some form, including cats, kittens, dogs and puppies, squirrels and a solitary hare.
I look forward to pointing these out as I review a few more of these sets over the next few weeks. I am a little concerned that I have spent this long writing about such a small set. Ultimately, it is everything a small LEGO City set should have – play value with a minifigure; a vehicle, several animals and some landscape. I think this is shaping up to be an excellent year for LEGO City. I do hope we see the park ranger torso arriving in other sets later in the year.
What do you think of the ATV and Otter Habitat? Some AFOLs have started to refer to it as the Otter Battle Pack…It might not have the requisite 4 figures to be considered such…But If you buy 2 you will have spent a similar amount to the buy in a typical Star Wars fan shopping for Battle Packs does…
I will have some more LEGO City (and Ninjago, Monkie Kid and Mario) reviews coming out soon, so dont forget to follow the blog – join our mailing list to get regular notifications of new material. Let me know what you think of this set in the comments below, and until next time… Play Well.