LEGO 2015 Pre Black Friday VIP Invite Sale Items

I got an invitation to the Lego Store for the first time in 2015 and wanted to post the items that were on sale for VIPs, nothing too special, I didn’t buy any of the items on the list. I was interested in the Town Square but settled for the Cinema Modular with more pieces and less of a play set feel too it. The freebies were the ones everyone can get, the calendar and the Lego Gingerbread House. So here’s the list:

2015 VIP Invitation BF Pre Sale Items

Review: 3367 Lego Space Shuttle

Pieces: 231  Minifigures: 1  Retail Price: $29.99  Price I Paid: Retail

One of my favorite sets as a kid was a Lego Space Shuttle, specifically 1682 Space Shuttle Launch. Lego has made many Shuttles since, but this is the latest one. Unlike 1682 you don’t get the launch pad, you just get the shuttle – with landing gear attached.

You only get one minifigure – an astronaut – and I am a big fan of the gold space helmet/visor. The astronaut also comes with a more regular helmet, not the standard helmet, one with a lip around the bottom.

Note that isn’t the correct minifigure head, I changed it for an Interstellar picture – the original was a guy with orange glasses. Which doesn’t make much sense to me why he’s wearing sunglasses under his space helmet.

It is a pretty good sized set and unfortunate they couldn’t at least fit another minifigure in the cockpit. Just like 1682 it has a satellite to launch from the payload doors.

In the end, this is really a pretty basic set but at the same time it is a set of the most complex machine ever made. So on the one hand I like it because it’s a Space Shuttle and on the other hand it’s not a sub 300 piece City set. As you can see I didn’t apply any stickers. Let’s hope a new shuttle comes out soon in a slightly bigger set. There have been 9 proper shuttle sets since 1990 – but of course, there are no more active shuttles so it’s hard to say what will happen. I think it’s still an iconic image and shape and would be worthwhile – and kids need more space toys to play with!

In the end I think I have to give this set a 4. It’s just not that compelling when you really get around to it. Also I want to apologize for the poor colors of the photographs – photographing large white Lego with yellow light around (like daylight) presents some issues with color and I’m not a big enough photoshopper to start major tinkering.

First photo of 10246 Lego Detective Agency which is called Detective’s Office leak

It’s an office not an agency.

2262 pieces and what appear to be 6 minifigures. Hopefully Lego will put some official pictures up soon so we can get a better look at it. Interesting that there were rumors about this for months and months calling it Detective Agency – I wonder who is leaking the information from Lego – and is it really leaking? It’s not like they’re making missiles (other than the flick fire kind) or secret weapons. Giving out the name just encourages discussion, so it’s really in their best interest.

Review: Lego City 60013 Coast Guard Helicopter

Pieces: 230  Minifigures: 4 + White Shark  Retail Price: $39.99  Price I Paid: $25.39+tax

My second Lego Coast Guard review of the week (and the only other set I have) here we have, you guessed it, another Lego Helicopter. But this is the best Lego helicopter I’ve ever owned.

It comes with 4 minifigures and a “Great White” shark – this is exciting and the only set with a White Shark as far as I know. The minifigures are pretty standard, the rescue diver is probably the most interesting.

This is another play set that contains multiple vehicles – here we have a guy on a windsurfing catamaran who needs to be rescued from the shark. So we’ve sent in the Coast Guard Helicopter to save him. Unlike the lightweight helicopter that comes with the Coast Guard Patrol boat, this chopper seems up to the task. It has 6 rotors compared to the two on the little one in the other set.

It also appears that it could land on the water with a pontoon like base. Probably not though – I think the pontoons would need to be much larger to make a helicopter of this size float. The basic structure of the helicopter is two bigger pieces – making it easier for smaller kids to build, going along with the theme of this Coast Guard series, but this allows the helicopter to have a very sleek structure which I’m ok with. This explains why the set only has 230 pieces and again retails for more than it should at $39.99. Luckily it rarely sells for that much on Amazon.

The other cool “feature” of this set is the automatically retracting “cable” on the helicopter. The energy you use pulling the string out is saved to retract it later. I haven’t seen this on a set before. The idea would be that the diver lowers down and brings the windsurfer back up with him. All we’re missing is a basket contraption that is usually attached to the bottom in the real world. Oh well, you can’t get everything. Ultimately I’m pretty high on this set. As I said, it’s the best Lego helicopter I’ve seen and comes with the exclusive “Great White” shark. Though as we all know a great white shark is only half white. I will give it a 7 with the caveat that the price be $30 or less – which it currently is: LEGO Coast Guard Helicopter

Review: Lego City 60014 Coast Guard Patrol

Pieces: 449  Minifigures: 6 + 1 dog + 3 sharks  Retail Price: $79.99  Price I Paid: $51.99+tax (Amazon)

First of all, let me apologize for not posting a review for a week or so, I had to get some more sets ready for review by building them again and transitioned to a new computer. But now we’re back!

This set I got about a year ago when it was at a pretty good price on Amazon – it will probably go low again for the holidays. It stood out obviously because it has a big boat in it – a boat that actually floats – though I haven’t actually verified that myself, but the box claims it does. It is a pretty great Lego set depending on how much you spend on it and at the same time harmed by the notion that every set Lego makes needs to be a “play set.”

The main ship is great and has a pretty neat bridge design that is windowed on three sides – the same windows that I believe are used for the air traffic control tower in an airport set.

This is a serious looking ship – if there were drug smugglers in Lego sets, this ship would definitely be in hot pursuit. The bearded and bespectacled Captain is a nice touch as well.

The ship carries not just the obligatory “play set” helicopter, but also a submersible. It’s quite small and appears to be a remote vessel as it would not fit a minifigure. The submersible (that’s a fun word to type, btw) is ingeniously lowered and raised into the water from the back of the boat. The inclusion of the helicopter is part of the maddening “play set” use by Lego. It is about as big as a polybag helicopter. I forgive it somewhat because it does add to the appearance of this boat being quite tricked out, but the helicopter has two very small rotors which make you question it’s worth.

The set also includes a smaller boat which is undoubtedly in need of rescue by the Coast Guard. This boat is bigger than they needed to include so it’s actually quite justifiable in this set. There are two people in the craft – not paying attention as they either become surrounded by sharks – who probably just want a taste of that popsicle – or as they run aground into the tiny lighthouse on the rocks.

As you can see it is a pretty small lighthouse, but it makes a good “off in the distance” lighthouse. So to recap, we’ve got the Ship, the little helicopter and little submersible, the boat with the people in need of rescue, and the rocks with the lighthouse. Then of course we have 3 – THREE! – sharks. Add in the 6, mostly boring minifigures (I didn’t think they needed their own photo) and the grand total of pieces comes to 449. Seriously 449. The boat hull is one piece and the bridge is the majority of the pieces on the boat. So we’ve got a set with under 500 pieces with no licensed minifigures or anything in it that is supposed to sell for $80. The boat hull explains some of the cost but the MSRP of $80 is still pretty unacceptable. Luckily, almost as soon as the set came out it was marked down by $15 or more. So this is at once a buy only if it is on sale set and a set that is always on sale. So I’m going to give it a 6, since it’s sale price can get pretty good and all in all I like the set. The boat provides a multitude of options for MOCs that I sadly, have yet to explore.

Find it at Amazon: LEGO Coast Guard Patrol
I recommend a buy if the price goes below $60 and you’re interested in boats or a big collector of Lego City.

Review: Lego 60019 Stunt Plane

Pieces: 140  Minifigures: 2  Retail Price: $19.99  Price I Paid: $9.99+tax

Here’s another small City set, though not as much fun or innovative as the Fire Truck. I bought it because it was on clearance and was a plane.

It comes with two, rather plain, minifigures.

Have you noticed how much more popular overalls are in the Lego world compared to the real world?

The plane isn’t really anything special either – I do like the checkered stickers on the rudder.

And finally, the other figure comes with a little cart with various tools for repairing the plane obviously. He’s got the new headphones/ear protection that attaches to the top of the hat which was a nice Lego innovation. I wish we could get more than one helmet so that Astronauts, Race car drivers and pilots didn’t all wear the exact same helmets. In the end, I’d rate this set about a 4. Even if you’re really interested in City sets, there’s just not that much to it and nothing much unique about it.

Review: Lego 60002 Fire Truck

Pieces: 208  Minifigures: 2  Retail Price: $19.99  Price I Paid: $9.99

I collect City sets at great discounts.

Here’s another set I got at Stop’n’Shop for 50% off and I’m really glad I did. I don’t have any other City Fire sets and this set has several things that are new to me and I find “pretty neat.” This set has 208 pieces so even at its retail price it hits the magical 10 cents per piece target. For much of the build, everything is very symmetrical which is very satisfying. The cool features, which I now realize are probably in all Fire sets are the ladder which is made up of two pieces and extends and rotates and allows a minifigure to stand on the rungs with ease. The best photo to illustrate this is located on the back of the box.

Lego ladders – quite the innovation, if only so many minifigures weren’t afraid of heights.

And there’s a very clever minifigure oxygen mask/tanks combination that fits perfectly to the fire hat:

3 pieces that fit together make up the mask and oxygen tanks.

And probably my favorite thing and the reason I decided to buy the set in the first place:

One of the toughest looking guys around. A scratch on his face and an uneven five o’clock shadow. If Jack Reacher was a minifig…

And after I completed building it, I discovered the symmetry continued and the fire truck is a very boxy rectangular shape, as they generally are in real life.

I’m not sure about the flame logo, that would be like putting a picture of a criminal on police cars.

Also I discovered that the numbers on the stickers for the license plate and side stickers are the set number. I’m not sure how long Lego has been doing this, but I’ve never realized it until now – so I actually put on all of the stickers for once.

This is a pretty good set and I think a great buy for the price I got it at, if only for spare parts. I’m going to give it a 7. Even at retail it’s worth it if you are serious about collecting City – but if not, it’s by no means a must have, just a little set with a lot of cool features and did I mention one of the toughest minifigures around town? Check the price on Amazon: LEGO City Fire Truck 60002

It even comes with a fire hydrant – perfect for the kids on those hot summer days.

Lego 2015 Set Images Leaked

UPDATE: The photos have been taken down but are now available through this Gizmodo link.

These appear to be quite preliminary photos, I’m hopeful that they will end up a little more creative. They do confirm that the Elves sets are going to be for girls with minidolls like the Friends line. Ok so they’re not specifically for girls but c’mon Lego. I’m not a fan of Friends – the whole idea that the sets for girls should be specifically “different” seems stupid, without minifigures, seems quite stupid. Additionally they have the Hulk in a Justice League set, which is what all of the DC sets appear to be, no specific Batman sets in this wave of sets. I like the Batman Mech suit – that’s definitely better than another lame flying vehicle. It also appears the Batman figures will have some sort of “Super Jumper” functionality attached to them. We also appear to be getting Wonder Woman’s invisible jet and a Supergirl. The Pirates sets sadly look like they are made for smaller children – which is great for the small children but they are nothing in line with what Lego made “when I was a kid.” (Did I really just say that? Wow.) They also have branded the plain pieces sets and the “new” baseplate as Lego Classic. The Star Wars sets are all based on the prequels or TV shows – so as someone saying things like “when I was a kid” obviously I have little interest in them. I do find it depressing to see that Disney is now printed on the box of all the Star Wars sets. I would guess that the next wave would be based on the new film, probably some early spoilers about the film will be from leaked pictures of the toys that they produce. Anyway have a look and leave your thoughts in the comments here.

All the images are here.

Let’s hope these are as preliminary as the watermarks indicate – the odd assortment of figures in the Pirates sets seems to indicate that the figures aren’t decided on yet at least.

Starting small: the first review Lego Set 60011 Surfer Rescue

I know what you’re* saying (or thinking) – here I am on this Lego Batman and Castles blog and the first review posted is of a 32 piece City set! Well, I thought I’d start small, if I can make this review the least bit interesting then I should be ok to write about bigger sets which (usually) are inherently interesting. So without further ado:

Lego Set 60011 Surfer Rescue

Pieces: 32  Minifigures: 2 (+ 1 Shark)  Retail Price: $6.99  Price I Paid: $3.49+tax

The Shark is prominently featured on the box.

Recently Stop&Shop (the grocery store) has had a few sets on clearance 50% off. They don’t carry that many to begin with, and they are all <$25 sets. Even at 50% off I thought twice before buying this set. I mean, c’mon, its only got 32 pieces in it! But there is a shark. And a guy in a wetsuit – I might need a Lego wetsuit someday. Plus I thought, I can put it on my blog! Well folks*, as you can see, I’ve spared no expense for you. Basically this set is ok. If you’re a child (age wise, not just emotionally or spiritually) you’d probably like it. Because as I’ve mentioned, there is a shark. I like the Coast Guard uniform as well. I think for $3.49 is an ok price for it, but I’d be hard pressed to pay full retail.

Look! A shark!

And now for the moment of truth. The rating – how should I rate all the sets. I think a range of 1-5 is too small, but it is simple. I’m going to go with 0-10 where 6 or above is a buy and 5 is a buy if it’s on sale. I’ll develop this more in the future, but for now I’ll give this set a 4. I wouldn’t buy it unless it actually is for a child.

Except, wait – I just bought it and now I’m telling you* not to buy it? Well that’s right. You don’t need it^ – on the other hand, it does have a shark…

* given the newness of this blog any references to readers or people reading this post is purely hypothetical

^ I plan on discussing my views on LEGO collecting in general in a future post – stay tuned