LEGO City Stuntz – Batteries not required

The Stuntz sub-theme of LEGO City is weirdly placed. It’s a range of sets with their own logo but it exists as a City theme with named City characters making an appearance. Despite that I think it’s a great part of a larger conversation about play experiences.

The key to the stuntz range is the motorbikes with an included flywheel. This allows the bikes to function without the need for bulky or expensive electronic components. The flywheel thing will make sense to most people who have played with toy cars before. Push the bike forward a few times to build up momentum and off they go. And they really go.

I have built two sets in the range. The Stunt Competition set and the larger Stunt Show Arena set. I am not going to go in to a full in-depth review of the sets but I will briefly discuss each one.

Stunt Competition

This set is super basic in terms of the actual build. You get a flaming ring and a ramp. That’s it. The ring is literally placed on top of a stack of 9 2×3 bricks. It’s not going to blow anybody away in terms of the building experience.

The RRP of this is way too high. About $10 too much. Nobody should be paying $32.99 for this. Thankfully it is widely available at much lower prices. That should also potentially come down further as retailers look to make way for new City ranges. Amazon has it for $22 at the moment.

What does shine about this set is the two motorbikes. I love that having two opens up simple play opportunities like seeing which one can jump longer or who will knock over the flames first.

Stunt Show Arena

This set is essentially a collection of builds that all go together to create a cohesive theme and I love so much of it.

What I like to call the ring of doom is a fun play feature and interesting use of coaster track elements. You also get two different ramps that allow for a variety of play experiences.

The monster trucks are colourful and fun even if a lot of the details come from stickers. I was a little bit disappointed that there is no pull-back type feature in these. To accompany the trucks you get two basic car builds each with a clever collapsible roof.

The hotdog stand and trophy display just help set the scene.

I would have liked to see two motorbikes in this for the price of $159.99. This is another one that I think is priced too high. This one is actually super cheap at Amazon at the moment – just $76.45. That’s a bargain.

Batteries not included required

I built these sets and let my son play with them. That’s part of the reason why I am not using my own photos. Motorbikes went flying under couches and got covered in dog hair and dust, minifigures got taken apart and mixed up. Sections from the two sets got mixed together and pulled apart. Which is great! Because not once was either of us tempted to pick up a device. Nor did I have to worry about finding my tiny screwdriver to change batteries.

Now, I am not anti-technology. I think LEGO Mario is a fun and clever use of technology. But sometimes it feels forced. LEGO has a terrible track record with augmented reality sets. Hidden Side and Vidiyo are both somewhere on the spectrum between underwhelming and abomination. These Stuntz sets are packed with play experiences that are engaging and entertaining without needing flashy lights and sounds.

You send a flywheel powered motorbike hurtling towards a jump tell me you aren’t having fun.

It’s undeniable that LEGO is in a battle against screen time. Kids are spending more time playing games earlier than ever. But I think they need to fight the battle this way – with interesting and downright fun analog play. Be the best option in that category don’t try and make some weird mashup of LEGO building and a TikTok clone for 9 year olds.

These sets were sent to my by LEGO at my request. Opinions are my own.

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