Category Archives: Reviews

Review: 10263 Winter Village Fire Station

The Winter Village sub-theme is a popular range of Creator Expert sets, with a new addition released each year. This year it’s the Winter Village Fire Station.

This is my first entry into the Winter Village, can this wintery setting win over a Queenslander who has never seen snow? Read on to find out.

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Build Experience

Christmas is a special time of the year for a lot of families – people take time of work and kids are home from school. It’s the perfect time for everybody to come together and build some LEGO. That is the approach that LEGO have taken with this set, with the build very deliberately split up across two books.

The first book covers the supplementary builds – the bench, Christmas tree, fountain and fire engine. It would be easy to pass the book around so that multiple kids could each build a standalone part.

Play Test: 10874 Steam Train

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Duplo doesn’t get a lot of coverage here on Bricking Around but I recently got my son a Duplo set I have had my eye on for a little while and I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

For this review I am just using the official set photos – mainly because I didn’t want to steal my sons set so I can take my own photos of it.

The Duplo Steam Train is a remarkably simple design. The part that does all the work is a single element that combines a LED light, speaker, colour sensor, train motor and batteries into a single and very robust unit. The battery compartment is nicely secured with screws so you don’t have to worry about things getting swallowed if your child is into that sort of thing. There’s also no wires or loose components to get broken off.

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A large single moulded element goes on top to form the body of the train. It is topped off with an opening roof so that the driver – or in my son’s case maybe a Duplo cat – can be placed inside. The second carriage follows a similar design with a solid base, large single piece body and opening roof.

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There are also three sub-builds. The first is a fairly simple tree comprised of 6 elements. I like the use of sloped bricks to give the tree some shape.

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The second of the sub-builds is a tipping bucket loaded up with some coal for the steam train.

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The third of the builds is a small train station. The clock face on the roof is a nice decorative element and I think the station looks good with the window and seat. The station gives kids a place for the train to stop and pick up passengers, adding an extra element of make-believe.

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To help add some personality to the set you get a female Duplo child and an adult Duplo train driver. There is also a grey squirrel that can be placed in the tree.

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The included 16 pieces of track form a fairly decently sized oval.

Getting It Going

There are two main ways to control the train. The first is the most simple – a gentle push and the train will start going. This works in either forward or backwards directions. It’s simple but effective.

Review: 70657 Ninjago City Docks

The LEGO Ninjago Movie may not have been a phenomenal success but I am incredibly glad that it got made – because it has lead to some truly outstanding LEGO sets.

In my opinion one of the best sets of last year was Ninjago City. It was a set packed with details and a sense of epicness (thanks mostly to it’s towering height). When LEGO announced that there was a companion set – Ninjago City Docks – on the way I knew that I had to review it.

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The Build

The build is broken down in to 19 sections, with each having one or two corresponding numbered bags. No single section is overly taxing with the build spread out fairly evenly over the 19.

The build starts off in a similar way to Ninjago City, with a series of plates laid out on the two baseplates. If you haven’t built Ninjago City this may seem a little odd but the use of different colours is a very clever way of adding a sense of depth underneath the water.

It’s not until section 3 and 4 that you really get all of the “water” (i.e clear tiles) in place. There are a lot of tiles to place but it’s broke up enough that it doesn’t become a chore.

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Review: 41597 Go Brick Me

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The BrickHeadz theme is polarising, and I will be completely honest and say that I am not a fan of all of them. I do like the concept and think some of them are awesome.

When Go Brick Me was announced I was really excited by the concept. A collection of parts that allows you to build a BrickHeadz version of yourself. It’s like those video games where you can customise your character, but LEGO.

Review: Incredibles 2 Juniors Mega Review

This year is a big one for a certain Disney owned superhero franchise. No I’m not talking about the MCU and Infinity War, I’m talking about The Incredibles 2 – one of the most highly anticipated Pixar sequels.

The film itself won’t be out until June 14th but the film’s tie-in LEGO sets are out now. Thanks to LEGO I will be taking a look at all 3 sets.

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Seeing as these are Juniors sets I am going to review all three sets in this mega review. Each set will have a separate heading so you can scroll down to one of you aren’t interested in all of them.

As these are Juniors sets I won’t be going in to as much depth as my larger set reviews but I’ll still cover the important stuff for each set.

It’s going to be a little hard to compare the sets to the film with it not out for over a month, so some guess work might be needed.

Lighting Up The Downtown Diner

I have always been interested in the idea of adding lighting to a LEGO build but it’s one of those things that I have never got around to because I didn’t really know how to go about it. It’s no surprise then that I immediately jumped at an offer from Light My Bricks to check out their kit for the Downtown Diner.

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The Light My Bricks kits will give you all of the components that you need as well as detailed instructions on how to install them.

The Components

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Review: 10260 Downtown Diner

Since 2007 LEGO fans have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of each new modular building. Last year we got the Assembly Square set – a celebration of 10 years of the range. This year we get what in a way feels like a new chapter with 10260 Downtown Diner.

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When leaked images first surfaced of the set some people proclaimed it to be a fake because of not only how different it looked but the inclusion of detailed minifigure faces.

There’s a lot to discuss with this set, so let’s get stuck in to it.

#WhatWillYouBuild – Building Like a Kid With 10404 Ocean’s Bottom

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This article was planned a while ago but it just happened to coincide with a campaign from LEGO called #WhatWillYouBuild. Thanks to that campaign I have a copy of the 10404 Ocean’s Bottom set to give away. See the end of the article for competition details.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the LEGO brick I wanted to do something different. Sure I plan to review some amazing sets that are out this year but I also wanted to try and capture what made me fall in love with LEGO in the first place. I set out with a simple goal – build like a kid.

Review: 21313 Ship In A Bottle

LEGO fan Jake Sadovich had what many would consider a crazy idea – building a ship in a bottle out of LEGO. Not just the ship, but the bottle too.

Well that crazy idea eventually landed on the LEGO Ideas website and very quickly gained the 10,000 votes needed to become an official LEGO set.

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After extensive and polarising redesigns from the LEGO set designers the final set is now available to purchase.

Does the set capture the magic of a ship in a bottle? Have the design choices ruined the original idea? Read on to find out what I think of 21313 Ship In a Bottle.

Be sure to read to the end of the article for the extensive image gallery.

Review: 60171 Mountain Fugitives

Small City sets are often overlooked for their larger more interesting counterparts. These cheap sets get relegated to stocking stuffers or treats for kids.

Today I am going to be checking out 60171 Mountain Fugitives to answer the question of whether or not this set is a worthy addition to your LEGO purchases.

The Build

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This section of my review is probably going to be fairly short and simple because there isn’t a lot of building to this set. In fact there are just 88 pieces, split between three builds.

The first build is the small log. The use of SNOT techniques allows for the log to feature two spots to place minifigures, while the end is nicely capped off with a printed tile.

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Next up is the blue ATV. This is a fairly simple build for anybody that has ever built a LEGO vehicle. The addition of the chain at the rear is something a bit different.

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The final of the three builds is the tree with a hidden nook for hiding loot. It’s certainly not the most impressive tree build LEGO have ever produced. I do like the way the foliage covering the hole was done.

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Overall the building experience is not particularly amazing but with 88 pieces I’m not shocked by that.

The End Result

The build experience is very basic but the end result looks great.

The overall shape of the log is a little odd with the use of bricks as well as the 2×2 rounds but I don’t think there was any way to integrate studs for the minifigures to sit on without adding some squareness to the overall shape. It’s not a deal breaker and having the option of a minifigure sitting on the log is worth the strange shape.

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The 2×2 tile with log pattern printing is a fantastic decorative piece and I can see it being well used by moc builders.

The blue colour scheme for the ATV is appropriate for a police vehicle while the front bullbar adds a sense of ruggedness to the look. My only criticism of the ATV part of the set is the light on the back. The blue light on a pole looks a bit odd and I don’t think it’s really necessary. I think having lights on the 1×4 plate with 2 studs would have worked fine.

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The chain on the rear of the ATV can be attached to the log and used as a play function.

Lastly we have the tree, which incorporates the main play part of the set. The criminals have dug out a hole in the bottom of the tree to stash the gold bars and covered it with some foliage.

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While the tree itself isn’t that impressive the bottom section redeems it. Some nice detailing with the use of grey elements to represent rocks and the movable foliage.

The standout feature to me though is the new beehive element that is attached to the top of the tree. This new element fits over a minifigure head (LEGO officially calls the part a hat) and creates some hilarious story opportunities. The idea of a bumbling criminal with a beehive on his head is wonderful. You’ll have to take the minifigure’s hair piece off before adding the beehive but that’s not really an issue.

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The Characters

There are four minifigures included in this set and I’m really pleased that there is a 50/50 gender split. Here’s the lineup…

Female Officer

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Our first minifigure is the female police officer. I love her facial expression which makes me think she’s more than willing to play the bad cop role in interrogations. That subtle smirk adds a heap of personality.

The female officer features a combination hat and hair element featuring a nice ponytail. It’s a great piece and I think it would also work outside of a police setting.

Her torso features a vest over the dark blue base and printing of pockets, her badge and a radio. The rear continues the vest printing.

While the torso printing is great the leg printing is quite basic with just two small pockets.

Female Criminal

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The female criminal minifigure features another great face print. There are a lot of similarities between this minifigure and the female officer, but this print is a bit more aggressive looking.

Adding to the narrative of the set is the torso printing which features a red open shirt over a classic style striped prison outfit. Obviously this minifigure isn’t just a criminal, she’s an escapee.

The female criminal also comes with a backpack to store the gold bars for her potential getaway.

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Male Criminal

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While the female criminal has had a chance to grab a shirt to disguise herself a little this character is still just wearing his standard prison outfit. The design is limited to the torso with both the arms and legs being plain. The stripe pattern does continue on the rear of the torso.

Another great face print here. I love the addition of the gold tooth.

This minifigure also features an alternative face print – this version is clearly post-beehive incident. I’m a sucker for anything that has personality and this print is outstanding.

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ATV Officer

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The second of our police officer minifigures is the ATV driver. This male police officer features a very common face print and the same pants as the female officer.

The male minifigure’s torso is similar to the female one – with the radio and badge – the difference being that this minifigure doesn’t have on a vest.

There is a helmet for the male officer to wear but no alternative hair piece. I like to just assume that he’s a bald officer.

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Value For Money

You can get this set for $10 from Kmart without any sale. For $10 you get – 4 great minifigures, a nice ATV, a small tree, some gold bar elements, a new beehive element and the great printed 2×2 log print tile.

I regularly spend over $10 on lunch. This set is great value at that price.

If you have any interest in this years mountain police city sub-theme then grab this set next time you are out. It’s fantastic value and has some hilarious play and storytelling value.