60388 LEGO City Gaming Tournament Truck: Hands On Review

The LEGO® Town, and later LEGO City themes have been charged with presenting kids with the things they see in real life, in an easy-to-build format, to trigger role-play moments. It is now apparent to me that I don’t get out enough, and that my kids have now grown up, as I had not realised that a Gaming Truck is a real thing. They attend major events, run tournaments at expos and, on a smaller scale, even make appearances at kids’ birthdays, when in the past we might have had a fairy, magician or gymnastics coach. How things have changed!

Part of the early 2023 LEGO City wave includes the first example of such a truck in LEGO Form. The set comes with 4 minifigures, 344 pieces and has a retail price of $AUD69.99/£39.99 / $USD39.99 / 44.99€. So, how does the experience shape up? The LEGO Group sent a copy of the set over for me to review – let’s take a look: as always, all opinions are my own. Read on for more details.

LEGO toys have featured ‘things on the back of trucks,’ since the days of the HO Scale moulded toys. Featuring petrol tankers and construction vehicles originally, with time we would also see self-referential container trucks, car transporters and of course helicopters!

As time moved on, and the scale moved from 4 wide to 6 wide in LEGO City, trucks moved to a larger scale too – allowing for extra space inside. The police, and subsequently Agents and Ultra Agents started to use them as mobile headquarters.

And of course, more helicopters and other vehicles would be transported…

It hasn’t all been serious logistics, however. Some of it has been for fun! In recent years, we have seen carnival rides travelling on the back of trucks ( in creator expert, and LEGO City)

And so, it would make sense that with the rise of e-sports, online gaming and the like, a gaming truck would have to follow in due course.

While some trucks might act as a mobile network hub, with a roomful of computers for kids to have a communal gaming experience, some geared towards the tournament scene are providing a complete stadium experience, on a mobile platform (particularly around the USA and Europe) – complete with fold-out stage, huge screen as well as streaming and broadcast capabilities. Here are a few examples:

The parts:

LETS take a closer look:

At first glance, the first thing I see is the distinctive colour scheme: with the prominence of black white and lime green (along with the transparent bright green elements), it feels a little like a callback to the days of Blacktron 2, a space theme from the early 1990’s.

I am surprised that the wheels that we have here are relatively small. We have some large 1x6x5 slope elements, which are (for now) unique to this set. We will have the opportunity to deface them with some stickers later in the build. The 2×3 Lime tiles with clips and the white chassis element are also unique to this set, although they have been seen in other colours in other sets, previously. finally, the 10×16 plate, with studs around the edges and horizontal bar, which was previously seen as the cover for the Hogwarts’ Defence Against the Dark Arts book in 2021.

The Minifigures:

The set comes with 4 minfigures included in this set. In keeping with other LEGO City sets this year, we seem to have lost the obligatory naming of characters, to line up with LEGO City Adventures series .

Everything about our gamers is new in 2023, except the colour of their legs. I love the striking blue geometric design as well as the accelerating magenta fist on the other. Both figures have new, dual-sided face prints, expressing both extreme focus and more than a little concern (ideal for when the tables turn during the course of a game).

Two ‘non-participants’ are also present:

The commentator/driver has a new torso print, featuring the logo of the e-Sports League, plain grey legs as well as stubbly sideburns and a short afro-style haircut. This head has been seen a few times since 2021, and the smile on his face delights me every time I see it. I really like the e-Sports League logo, with glasses shaped like a game controller over the face of a minifigure head, wearing a gaming headset. It instantly communicates what he is there to commentate on.

The other Minifigure has an enthusiastic face on one side, and a sleepier side on the other. the dark orange hair-piece has had a few outings since 2020. while the torso, a green hoody over a black shirt, has only had a couple of previous outings. She is carrying a 1×2 tile with a mobile phone print – I presume to capture a few selfies with the champion.

The Build

The build starts with the tractor unit: I love the way that rather than using a sticker to put a logo over the grill, or just using a regular old grill element, the front plane has a tile built. Perhaps the lack of a grille means that the vehicle is electric? One passenger comfortably sits inside. There is a coupling-plate on the rear, to which the trailer attaches.

We start work on the trailer, joining together the two halves, as well as adding some steps up the back of the truck.

As we do this, we set up some action on the screen on the back of the truck:

These avatars slide left and right, allowing a simulated screen-based battle to be occurring on the screen at the same time.

We add a small room at the end of the truck, accessible by the steps. It contains some merchandise: the game character’s weapons: gauntlets and a pale, blue katana, as well as a couple of posters. (I presume it is merch, because of the cash register element), and then build up the screen, using some printed background elements. the stickers on the outside of this region feel a little redundant, but while a brick-built design could have been used, it would have used up space in the rear of the truck. Along the top of the screen are some slidable markers – whether they are pointing out the score, level progress or health reserves is not entirely clear, but it doesn’t really need to be.

Finally, we get to put our gamers in their place: they have seats that swing out from the truck, each with their own (stickered) screen.

We add some final details: a storage area at the front for the ultimate trophy – making great use of the game controller element, while a plate-crafted controller is attached to the roof of the trailer. Finally, we add some ‘curtain sides’ to the truck: tiles are used to add some contrasting structure to these large, smooth black plates.

These tiles lift up, revealing the contents of the trucks, as well as the mechanisms for moving the screen avatars, as well as revealing more images of our player characters underneath:

Plainly, I am out of the loop, as I did not realise until I was today-years-old that Gaming Tournament trucks were actually a real life thing. Overall, it is an enjoyable build. I give this set 3.5 Arbitrary praise units out of 5. The set brings us a truck in Blacktron 2 colours, and provides scope for the ‘player minfigures’ to battle it out in the real world. The truck is long, but has good play value, both as a truck, and for running the tournament.

I appreciated the use of the geometric tile designed to avoid contact stickers, as well as the use of colour. The movable screen characters, as well as the point/health indicators were a stroke of genius and enhance the gameplay. I was also quite pleased to be seeing something new (for LEGO city) on the back of the truck.

My cheeky inner Space Fan would have loved to see the main windscreen also in transparent bright green, but I appreciate it might not have been practical. This might actually be the main drawback, as I see it. As a set aimed at kids who are aged 7 years and older, I reckon it is pitched just right. It might take them a little while to build, but the build is not too complicated, and there are some neat surprises along the way, as the interactive aspects of the screen reveal themselves.

I found myself wondering if it would be relatively simple to modify this set to create a rail-based esports space. Probably not too difficult, when you consider that the base of the 60337 Passenger Train carriages are very similar in design to the trailer here, incorporating the same plates on the base, albeit in dark grey. The colour scheme makes me feel that this might have been in the back of someone’s mind when they designed either the train or the truck. Or both!

I could just imagine the train pulling in and parking the car on a siding, for the local heats. Of course, it is dependent on a regional rail infrastructure – something which is not nearly as strong as it once was in the state of Victoria.

Into Esports? LEGO City Trucks? The set is available now from LEGO.com, and Local retailers. Consider using these affiliate links: the Rambling Brick might receive a small commission which helps to offset the costs of maintaining the blog.

What do you think of this set? Why not leave your comments below, and until next time,

Play Well!

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