It dawned on me the other day that I naturally gravitate to the LEGO sets that appeal to me (I know that’s obvious). The repercussion is every set I review will be biased towards a higher score and the appearance I’m just another mouth piece of LEGO.
Well to overcome this I decided dip my toe into a small set from the new LEGO City sub-theme Volcano Explorers. The sub-theme is part of the new 2016 summer wave and is slowly appearing in the shops down here in Australia. When I first heard of the release I have to admit I was rather excited after being a massive fan of the Arctic and Deep Sea sub-themes.
LEGO City Volcano Explorers Starter Set 60120 is the smallest set in the range and is a great way to inexpensively test out the new sub-theme and has a little bit of everything covered. The set includes 83 pieces, 4 x minifigures and retails at AUD $15.99 ($10 at Kmart) / USD $9.99 / GBP £8.99.
For the price point the set is actually very generous, offering an array of minifigures (4 in total). We get 2 x volcano workers (male and female) with breathing apparatus, metal detector and pick axe. The Torso and legs are identical with some nice detailed printing to show the kitted up overalls. Next we get the supervisor/quad driver with unique torso and truckers cap. He also has a cool unshaven face to finish off. Lastly we have a female scientist with her trustee camera in tow to record all the crazy science taking place.
Taking a look at the back of the minifigures and we can see the detailed printing is continued on the torso. The volcano explorer logo on the supervisor/quad driver is a great and I love the inclusion. Also worth noting the standard oxygen cylinders that the two volcano workers carry on their backs.
For some reason the colour scene (olive green) isn’t sitting well with me. I feel that LEGO may have missed a trick here. Growing up whenever I saw a National Geographic documentary on volcanoes, scientists were always dressed in silver heat resistant suits when collecting magma samples and this would have been nice to see recreated.
Note – I do know the USGS scientists wear olive green, but not when working close up to magma.
Moving on we have a little ruggedized quad bike in the lime green livery that runs through the whole sub-theme. Simple little build that has an unusual downward pointing aspect with the wheelbase at the back lifted by 1 x brick.
To aid in the science and sampling activities the quad bike comes with some essential items like radio, towing chain and long range antenna.
A little highlight of the set is the new translucent orange molded shell that comes apart to reveal a dark blue crystal piece. For comparison I have added the shell we got from the Arctic sub-theme. These pieces have proved very popular with avid AFOL collectors due to their uniqueness and the new volcano version should be no different.
To round up with have a little play element in the form of a mini volcano and simple lever that is worked at the base to shoot out two translucent orange bricks and a dark blue crystal piece.
In summary I’m not a big fan of this sub-theme. I had high hopes when I heard of its concept, but sadly I don’t think it’s transferred into LEGO form in scale (Volcanoes are large beasts) and I think the colour scheme is jarring and off key.
Keen to hear other’s opinions, so feel free to drop me a comment here or on the facebook page.
Final Rating: 4 out of 10