Aircraft are vital for creating connections between cities – both in real life and LEGO® Form. The first Minifigure Scale passenger planes debuted in the mid 1980s, and were relatively similar in design until 2006, with the arrival of large scale wing elements.
The New LEGO City 60367 Passenger Aircraft builds on the revitalization of the LEGO City reboot that we have seen this year. It brings us details that we have never seen executed in any of the dozens of airplane sets over the years, be they in Town, City, Friends or DUPLO. We have new livery, vehicles, uniforms and even a couple of characters that can be found in other aspects of LEGO City.
Join me as we check out all the new features and new ways to play with a LEGO Airplane.
LEGO City continues to embrace a new look and feel this year, with one of the more unique-appearing sets for the latest wave being the 60363 Ice Cream Shop. We have seen plenty of ice cream and other frozen treat vendors over the last few years, mainly in food truck or slushy van forms, along with various ice cream stands and freezers. However, this is the first time LEGO City has given us a full shop for some time. Is it worth the $AUD62.99/$USD39.99/33.99€/£29.99 being asked for it? Let’s take a look.
There are over 2000 plastic souls in the City of Bricks. Each of them has a story to tell, and some are yet to be written. Here are 14 such stories, playing out against a backdrop of colour, lights, pizza shops and a colour scheme to challenge Heartlake city for its sheer variety.
This year, we have seen some changes in LEGO® City. In the past, when we have built a city centre, we have had a variety of shop fronts, occasionally with a business upstairs, a public transport hub, and very little tying the shops together. In fact, an undisciplined builder could occupy the entire room, with individual components disconnected from each other.
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.
Continuing our coverage of the 2022 LEGO City Lineup, today, I wanted to take a look at the 60389 Custom Car Garage. This is a great variation on the ‘Multiple Cars and Garage’ sets seen in LEGO Town and City lines over the years.
The first Garage and Tow-truck in the Minifigure era was 6363 Auto Repair Shop in1980: however, there were no cars requiring repair. In 1985, the scene took off, when a small garage and three go-kart-like vehicles (along with a tow/transport truck) came packaged on 32x32stud baseplate. The office off to the side of the garage allowed kids to get right into role-playing the shadier side of the auto crash repair business than might be considered normal. The cars seeking repair were go-karts, and could be customised in a variety of permutations very readily.
The 6561 Hot Rod Club of 1994 brought us a collection of car enthusiasts, as well as some fancy-looking wheels, including a rather spiffing chromed-up vehicle. I would consider this set to be the prototype for the set we are looking at today. While the bodies of the cars were 4 studs wide, the rear wheels extended their width to around 7-8 studs.
A custom garage for 6stud wide cars didn’t eventuate until the LEGO Factory 10200 Custom Car Garage in 2008. This set gave us three cars, with exchangeable engines, to say plenty of inspiration for your own vehicles.
Up to this time, these car workshops have been somewhat sheltered, with a roof to prevent all but the smallest of hands from getting in to arrange the garage exactly as you might like, and so we see a different format with 60389 Custom Car garage: with a workshop focussing on performance vehicles, this set is a little more open plan: imagine the walls and roof yourself, but the set provides the furnishing along with 4 minifigures and 2 cars, with a selection of interchangeable front and back ends, as well as a variety of engines that can be substituted in and out. All this in 509 pieces.
The set is priced at $79.99AUD, €49.99 £44.99 USD59.99 CAD79.99. So, what does it offer? Is it a poor man’s Fast and the Furious? Or does it offer something more?
It’s been a couple of years since we have seen a food van in LEGO city: we had -Pizza in 2017; Ice cream in 2020 and now, in 2023 we are getting a Slushy Van. (There was also the highly disguised ice-cream van in 2022, but it was really a criminal front)
The set is aimed at builders aged 5 and up, has 193 and is priced at 32.99AUD/19.99USD/£17.99 and 24.99CAD. How does it shape up? (Special thanks to the LEGO Group for sending this set over for review. All opinions are my own.)
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.
As I write this, we are awaiting the second launch window for Artemis I, after the mission was delayed earlier this week, as the result of cooling problems. This mission will see an integrated test of the Space Launch System rocket as well as the Orion space craft – which will house the crew when they are taken to land on the moon in 2024.
In Greek Mythology, Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo, as such it seems fitting that this is the name chosen for NASA’s missions to return to the moon, 50 years after the last man stepped foot on the surface.
This year, the LEGO City range has featured a number of sets with a ‘Space’ theme, based on the components being investigated for the Artemis mission. We have previously looked at the Lunar research Base, as well as the Lunar Rover. The Rocket launch centre represents the largest set in the theme, with 1010 pieces, and with a RRP of $AUD249.99. This is a big set, and contains everything you need to set up a rocket launch base. Designed in cooperation with NASA, the rocket bears more than a passing resemblance to the Artemis Space Launch System… But I am getting ahead of myself.
A little while ago, I took a look at one of the new LEGO City Missions sets, while sharing some insights from the development team. While I looked at the Mission to Mars set, it was unashamedly from the point of view of an AFOL who was also a Classic Space Tragic. However, I was not the target audience for the product and here at Rambling Brick Enterprises, we don’t have any of the 6+ target demographic on hand in the house, and are unlikely to for some years. Unless you consider 20 years old to be somewhat 6+. So I sought out Simon, himself a space tragic, as he also has a member of the Target Demographic around the house. What follows is their story…
Meet Simon and The Target Demographic
The Rambling Brick was kind enough to drop off a copy of the LEGO® City Water Police Detective Mission set for us to review as a family. The logic being we have a household member who is in the target demographic of these sets: a seven year old boy. The Rambling Brick wanted to know what we, and specifically the Target Demographic, made of the set and the app enabled story telling.
Back in the early days of LEGO® minifigures, the majority of sets that we had to play had a modest part count, and could be pulled apart and rebuilt in less than an hour: there was plenty of source material for alternative builds, either from the suggestions on the back of the box, or using an ideas book, such as #6000 – which documented the adventures of Mary and Bill, initially in a Town-based adventure, but takes a detour through the worlds of Classic Space and Castle…
Sets were built, played with and rebuilt. Hardly anything was kept together for a significant amount of time.
Flash forward 40 years, and the way some kids play seems to have changed: sets become display pieces in some households, gathering dust until the owner enters their dark ages, before moving on to sell them on the secondary market.
In part, I can understand this: sets have become a bit more sophisticated over the years: more pieces, more complicated building techniques, and we have already invested a couple of hours in building the core model. I encountered some examples of this recently as I worked on the new Creator 3in1 sets – Viking Ship and Midgard Serpent, as well as the DownTown Noodle Shop: pulling these sets apart and building the alternative models took up to 2 hours, depending on the models.