So You Want to Build a Roller Coaster? Roller Coaster 10261 (Review)

In which I assemble the new 10261 LEGO Roller Coaster, build a couple of white pillars, troubleshoot a skipping chain and consider what I’ve learned. It’s a big set. I wrote a lot.  Why don’t you prepare yourself a drink, sit back and work out whether this is a set that you would like to put together.

IMG_0307-2The appeal of a roller coaster is hard to deny: action, excitement, lights noise, adrenaline, nausea, terror and relief, in various orders. When we first saw the new LEGO® Roller Coaster Track appearing in the Joker Mansion last year, it wasn’t long before people began to speculate about how long it might be before we saw one appear in the Creator Expert Theme Park series.  About eight months it turns out. I’m glad we got that cleared up. When the Roller Coaster (10261) was announced early in May, many people, myself included, were impressed by the build: a moving model almost always has more appeal than a static display. But it raised a number of questions: How easy would it be to power? How stable would it be? How easy might it be to draw inspiration for other Roller Coaster themed MOCs? And just how challenging would it be to build all those white pillars?

Some of of these questions were easily answered. Others might take a little more thought.  [Do you just want to skip forward to my a video of the run? Click here, or scroll through to the end]

I was invited to review the Roller Coaster by the AFOL Engagement team at The LEGO Group, and I hope I might be able to answer a few of the questions posed. Read on and see where this review takes us.

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Hold Onto Your Hats! Roller Coaster 10261 Unveiled

title.pngThe fairground has become one of the great subthemes of Creator Expert sets over the last few years – Starting with the Mixer, the Ferris Wheel and Carousel. Today we see the unveiling of the 10621 Roller Coaster.

Note: the official photos were released separately to the press release, and they are now attached at the bottom of this article.

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This set has been hotly anticipated since the announcement of the new roller coaster system first seen in 70922 The Joker Manor.  Initially appearing in purple, we have also seen grey track appearing in Speed Champions and LEGO City sets this year, as well as forthcoming in the Creator 31084 Pirate Roller Coaster. Neither 70922 or 31084 have been motorised, although solutions have been demonstrated utilising Technic chain, catching onto an attachment on the base of the cars. Here, we have the full range of track elements available in Bright red. (Ed: Unlike typical Creator Expert press releases, only a 2 stills have been provided by the LEGO Group.  The majority of images have been taken from videos designed to demonstrate the features of the set.)

10261_ProdWith 4124 pieces, this set comes with 11 minifigures, and is easily motorised by either Power Functions or Boost. I love that the use of Boost is being encouraged beyond the Creative Toolbox, to add sounds through the tablet, and to potentially increase the amount of control to be had over the system. The Australian Price at Shop At Home is $499.99

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The roller coaster is designed to be be simple to motorise using Power Functions or Boost

I am impressed by the amount of gearing that goes into driving the train, from the trip up to the top, as well as moving the outside bumpers, to ensure that the train is driven around the first corner, before beginning its freefall ride.  The use of the cam mechanisms here makes me think that the ride up could be just as clunky for our mini figures as it often is in the real world.

Here is the First Video: showing humans interacting with the new set:

There are some interesting additions to this set serving to add life to our amusement park, including the cotton candy stall: the beehive piece (recoloured pink) has been used in conjunction with a head to make a marvellous stick of cotton candy/fairy floss. There is a map of the park, as well as a bench: just the place for a grandparent to take a moment to relax, and consider the wisdom of their choices.  If you are looking for a healthier beverage option, there is a juice bar as well! The gates at the entry of the roller coaster are manually operated, and the ride operator has a measuring stick, in case of any small children sneaking onto the ride, past the initial measuring sign!

Here is a stop motion movie , showing life from a mini figure’s point of view…

Here is the Press release:

war3.png10261 LEGO Creator Expert: Roller Coaster

Ages 16+. 4,124 pieces.

$379.99 US – $479.99 CN – DE 329.99€ – FR 349.99€ – UK £299.99 – DK 2699DKK

*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.

Take a ride with the ultimate Roller Coaster!

[Summary]war2

Enjoy the thrills and excitement of the fairground with this chain-lift Roller Coaster featuring a wealth of brick-built details and 11 minifigures. Upgradable with LEGO® Power Functions and LEGO BOOST for an added movement sensor and realistic sound effects!

[Detail]

Capture the speed, thrills and excitement of the ultimate fairground attraction with this incredible LEGO® Creator Expert 10261 Roller Coaster. This fully functional chain-lift model comes with 2 trains and an array of authentic features and functions, including a ticket booth, cotton candy cart, concession stand, height marker, and a covered boarding station complete with opening barriers and a control panel. Lower the lap bars to secure the riders into the cars and release the brake to send the train to the foot of the first climb. Then activate the chain lift and enjoy the ride as the gravity-driven cars hurtle through the Roller Coaster’s twists and turns.

war1Upgrade the Roller Coaster with LEGO Power functions for a motorized chain lift or LEGO BOOST for an added movement sensor and realistic sound effects! This incredible collectible toy has been designed to provide a challenging and rewarding building experience with a touch of nostalgia and charm. Includes 11 minifigures.

  • Build a fully functioning Roller Coaster with 2 trains, lots of big dips and upgrade options
  • Upgrade with LEGO® BOOST and LEGO Power Functions for an even more immersive experience
  • Roller Coaster model measures over 20” (53cm) high, 34” (88cm) wide and 16” (41cm) deep
  • LEGO® Creator Expert building toys are compatible with all LEGO construction sets for creative building
  • Includes 11 minifigures: a cotton candy vendor, 2 ride attendants, 2 grandparents with their granddaughter and 5 riders. 8 of these minifigures feature reversible heads to display different emotions.
  • Fully functional chain-lift Roller Coaster model features a classic brick-built sign, control panel, 2 trains—each consisting of 3 train cars with low-friction wheels, and a 44-piece track consisting of 7 different rail elements.
  • Also features a ticket booth, fountain, cotton candy cart, concession stand, waiting area with bench, camera element and a pond with a frog figure.
  • Buy your ticket at the booth and make your way to the covered plaza.
  • No cheating at the height marker—the ride attendant has an accurate measuring stick!
  • Help the riders into the cars and secure the lap bars.
  • Release the brake to send the cars to the foot of the first climb.
  • Activate the chain lift to pull the train cars to the top of the first drop.
  • Move the rails to launch a second train.
  • Serve refreshing beverages at the concession stand or spin some cotton candy.
  • Don’t forget to smile as you race past the camera!
  • Upgrade the Roller Coaster with LEGO® Power Functions for a motorized chain lift, or with LEGO BOOST for automated chain lift activation and realistic sound effects!
  • Decorated elements include a ticket, money, arrow tiles, pressure gauge, number pad and a ride control panel.
  • Special new-for-June-2018 elements include a 2x8x6 Rail Slope, 1x2x1 Bow Brick, plant leaves, stalks and flowers.
  • Other elements include a height checker and 2 cotton candy treats.
  • Makes the perfect fairground addition to the 10257 LEGO® Creator Expert Carousel and 10247 LEGO® Creator Expert Ferris Wheel
  • Measures over 20” (53cm) high, 34” (88cm) wide and 16” (41cm) deep.

This is a spectacular looking set, and I look forward to seeing it in real life. It is certainly not inexpensive, and has an impressive footprint.  This is a relatively simpler design, based on steel frame roller coasters, rather than the old fashions, scary wooden ones of old.  It would be relatively some to customise, similar to the pirate theme seen in the creator 3-in1 set coming out later in the year (or indeed with the theme of your choice)  Why not use it to reconstruct your favourite ride at a LEGOLand Park?

Why not leave you thoughts and special project ideas in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out the Rambling Brick on Instagram. Until next time,

Play well!

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Too Busy to Build: Visiting the Downtown Diner (10260) in LEGO® Worlds

Without a doubt, the release of the Downtown Diner(10260) as the latest modular has brought about a few interesting discussion points, from the reintroduction of teal, the change of the faces from the Classic Smiley, to the change in the architectural style not being in keeping with the other modular buildings.

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While not coming in the Downtown Diner set, Tara looks like the perfect addition to the setting.

I personally like the change, and particularly adopting a look from 60 years ago, in line with the 60th anniversary of the LEGO® Brick, which we celebrate this weekend.

I am looking forward to taking on this set in real life, however the queue for building  is long, and time is poor. So I did what anyone would do when confronted with this conundrum.

I went to check my social media.

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Modular Diner 10260 Announcement: 1950s Style, for 60 years of the Brick

10260_Box1_v39This year, we saw the release of the 10 Anniversary Modular building, the Assembly Square.  This set featured plenty of callbacks to the previous modulars,  with various colour schemes and other design cues.  Now that we are entering the second decade of modular buildings, it appears that there are some changes afoot.  Until now, many of the buildings have had the appearance of buildings dating from the 1920’s or 30’s and the Minifigures all featured the classic smiley face.

10260_Front_Callout_01But we now enter a new era in modular buildings: the downtown diner is drawing cues from the Streamline Moderne style, a style that originated in the late 30’s, but continued to influence architecture for decades to come: a sleek building, with a tiled facade and smooth curves, and we have both in abundance here. In a break with previous modular traditions, the minifigures now have expressions (and the occasional moustache) on their faces, while their dress appears more representative of the 1950’s. Indeed, the pink cadillac and the Rock’N’Roll singer all but confirm that this is a bit of a jump into the future from our previous modular era. (Admittedly, the Brick Bank 10251 from 2016, featured a computer on a desk, as well as an espresso machine in the staff room – not a common feature in the past –  certainly this would be the most anachronistic feature of a modular building to date.) Assembly Square feels as if it might also be from a more recent period in history, if only because of the clothing prints in use by the minifigures. Certainly, we are now entering a new era, with new architectural styles and new minifigure prints.

And Teal.  We have seen evidence of a reborn teal in other sets for 2018, however this set contains more elements in this colour than any other set that we have seen details for. I especially like the use of the 6×6 curves to create the high, sweeping arch. There are also lots of teal bricks in the back wall of the diner.

What do we see on the inside? We have 3 levels, with the diner downstairs, a gym on the 1st floor, and a recording studio upstairs.  The diner features a short order cook flipping pancakes and frying bacon, in the form of a 1×2 grille plate!  The Waitress is on roller skates. The gym is furnished with a boxing ring as well as a punching bag. The Boxer has blue trunks and red boxing gloves.

And then there is the singer, and is that his press agent? record producer? Who knows.  The detail in the recording studio is fantastic.  The stories you can create are endless. He drives a pink, open top sedan, with great fifties styling, and occasional anachronism,.

The style here is a departure from what we have come to expect from modular buildings, but after a decade it is time to move forward. Given that this year represents the 60th Anniversary of the LEGO Brick, it seems appropriate that this year’s modular should include references to the decade when that patent was lodged.

The 10260 Diner is available on the 1st of January 2018. The Australian price will be $249.99. Other currencies in the press release.

The press release follows after the photos. Continue reading

Minifigure Gender distribution: 2017 update

A little over a year ago, I wrote up an analysis of gender distribution in LEGO® Minigures in the post friends era.  In the years since LEGO Friends had been released, there had been some positive trends towards an equal balance, after starting from a pretty low base line (around 11% in 2012) up to 30% in the Volcano Sub-theme of LEGO City in 2016.

As well as supporting the regular themes, 2017 has been a big year for LEGO tying in with cinematic releases, with both inhouse and external IP.  By the end of the year, we will have seen a new Star Wars movie, Wonder Woman and Justice League movies, The LEGO Batman Movie and LEGO Ninjago Movie released.

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The LEGO Ideas set: 21312 Women of NASA.  Real Life STEM role models in LEGO Form.  This set is due to be released this week from LEGO retail stores. 

This post was provoked, in part after reading a comment about the relatively low female representation in the Collectable Minifigure sets recently released. I thought it would be interesting to revisit the question of gender distribution in some popular LEGO themes, and see if there were any significant shifts in trends over the last 12 months, when I last reviewed the numbers. The impending release of the Ideas set ‘Women of NASA’ is also of interest, as it certainly demonstrates a desire to see inspirational female role models immortalised in LEGO form.

I would like to look specifically at LEGO City, overall, as well as broken down into its major sub themes; The LEGO Batman Movie; The LEGO Ninjago Movie, and also LEGO Friends. I would also like to look at LEGO Star Wars sets released since the Force Awakens… Continue reading

Winter Village Station 10259 [Announcement]

10259_Back_01For about a year now, the LEGO® social media feeds have been teasing the forthcoming release of the largest LEGO set ever. Starting with a silhouette on the ‘UCS’ Death Star box last year, new (official) information has been arriving more and more frequently. The set comes with the thickest instruction manual ever.  And the Biggest box. And then, last week, we saw a trailer hinting at some of the elements present.  This set has been subject to excessive speculation as to its exact nature:  the included minifigures and how it will differ from previous versions of this particular subject matter.

This is not that set. It is however, another  set in a series that has almost always impressed… except that one year when the LEGO® Group rereleased a set from several years earlier.

That’s right, today the LEGO® Group released details of the 2017 Winter Village set: the 10259 Winter Village Station. Now last year’s Winter Holiday Train will have somewhere to stop!

Launch date for the Winter Village Station at shop.LEGO.com and LEGO Stores is October 1 with VIP Early Access starting on September 14. The Australian price is confirmed at $AU119.99

10259_ProdMore images, and the press release follow after the break. Continue reading

London Calling: Creator Expert Set-10258 London Bus [Announcement]

Today, after weeks of speculation, leaks and teases, LEGO announced the forthcoming release of Creator Expert Set 10258: London Bus.  With over 1680 pieces, this is the largest London Bus set released to date.

The set will be physically unveiled at the five LEGO Brand retail stores in the London Area on 1st of July, and launched at the online store on 1st August 2017.  Early Access will be available for VIP customers from 17th July. The Australian price is will be $199.99.

Some of the teaser images from LEGO’s twitter feed.

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