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Aanchir

New York Toy Fair Coverage Part Three: City

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Shortcut to Part One: Hero Factory

Shortcut to Part Two: Ninjago

This year, I was able to go to the New York International Toy Fair for the first time as a representative of the BIONICLE wiki BIONICLEsector01 and its sister site HEROsector01. Together with fellow BS01/HS01 staff member Chols, who took most of the photos, I attended the LEGO Collectors Preview where representatives of LEGO fansites can view and photograph the new sets for an extended two-hour timeframe (our invitations unfortunately did not cover admission to the full three-day Toy Fair event, so externally-produced LEGO products like clocks and watches were not among the things we saw).

Since our sites' normal coverage doesn't extend outside the constraction themes, we reached an agreement with Eurobricks to share with them our coverage of the LEGO Collectors Preview and all the sets and themes on display. Part three of our coverage is LEGO City, one of the most traditional LEGO themes for 2012 but one which still pushes the envelope by relocating the setting to outside the usual city limits. I know I promised Monster Fighters coverage at the end of Part Two, but that's been delayed slightly, so we're pushing LEGO City ahead in the sequence to satisfy your appetite for new set news.

This coverage doesn't include store exclusive (limited edition/special edition) sets, which weren't on display, so if the numbers of sets for each subtheme seem off it's (probably) not a mistake.

Three sets were released in January for the Forest Fire subtheme. We weren't able to take any good photos of these ones, so instead we'll be offering links to high-resolution images on cache.LEGO.com.

This fire truck looks a bit unusual for a LEGO City vehicle, but apparently it actually resembles some of the types of fire engine used for fighting forest fires. It includes a nicely-designed tree in a style that appears in many of this year's City sets, as well as one firefighter in the new Flame Yellowish Orange (Bricklink's Bright Light Orange) uniform design.

This set is very nicely-designed in my opinion, with attractive engines and pontoons. It has two great-looking trees, a jeep with equipment chart, and three minifigures (a uniformed firefighter and two pilots).

This ATV is simplistic in design, but still rather stylish. It includes a fire extinguisher, a chainsaw, and a uniformed firefighter minifigure.

Five sets were released in January for the Great Vehicles subtheme:

4431 Ambulance

199 pieces

USD 19.99

CAD 24.99

Other currencies from Brickset

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This is a very accurate model of an American-style ambulance, although I'm a bit upset that the hood sticker does not have the word "Ambulance" mirrored (as it appears on many ambulances so it will be correctly aligned when viewed in a rear-view mirror). Stickers in this set add a lot of versatile detail, such as the dashboard sticker (which could be used in all scores of 6-wide vehicles) and the grille sticker (with "CITY" branding in the center). The set's minifigures include two EMTs and a civilian for them to rescue. One of the EMTs can fit in the back of the ambulance with the stretcher, while the other drives.

4432 Garbage Truck

208 pieces

USD 19.99

CAD 24.99

Other currencies from Brickset

Link to high-resolution image from cache.LEGO.com

We didn't get any good photos of this set, but it strongly resembles the sorts of garbage trucks I might see in everyday life. Its primary color is Bright Green, a much rarer color than the typical LEGO green, or dark green (Bricklink's Green). It is a bit unusual that it is covered in recycling-symbol stickers, but this is obviously so that it can follow LEGO City's trend of having a uniform logo for each City subtheme. It has two garbage collector minifigures, one male and one female.

4433 Dirt Bike Transporter

201 pieces

USD 19.99

CAD 24.99

Other currencies from Brickset

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This set features a nice SUV and trailer, plus two dirt bikes. The color scheme is a nice deviation from the typical LEGO City civilian vehicles. Also included are a spare tire on the roof, two cones/flags, and two minifigures in classic-looking Octan racing/mechanic uniforms.

4434 Tipper Truck

222 pieces

USD 19.99

CAD 24.99

Other currencies from Brickset

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This set introduces two great new bracket pieces that form its tipper bed. Also included are a fence, two worker minifigures, and a bright red wheelbarrow.

4435 Car and Caravan

218 pieces

USD 19.99

CAD 24.99

Other currencies from Brickset

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It's always nice to see a leisure-oriented LEGO City set. The caravan can open to reveal the interior. the 4-wide car is the same bright yellow as many, many LEGO City sports cars from previous years, which might turn off some buyers. A minifigure couple completes the set.

Five sets were released in January for the Forest Police subtheme:

4436 Patrol Car

97 pieces

USD 11.99

CAD 14.99

Other currencies from Brickset

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The police car in this set is a modest size but still maintains a nice streamlined look. The barricade and bear crossing sign help complete the set. Minifigures include a rather generic convict and a forest police officer. I'm not especially happy that the police badge design has changed from the design that had been standard since 2005.

4437 Police Pursuit

129 pieces

USD 17.99

CAD 19.99

Other currencies from Brickset

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There's a cute little police ATV in this set and a forest police officer in a helmet rather than a flat-brimmed hat. But the real draw in this set is the souped-up pickup truck and the convict in ripped sleeves driving it. Some LEGO fans would be happy that this set is entirely sticker-free.

4439 Heavy-Lift Helicopter

393 pieces

USD 49.99

CAD 64.99

Other currencies from Brickset

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This police helicopter resembles a Chinook, far from standard equipment in most police departments. But it's still extremely well-designed, looking streamlined without relying on any specialized nose or tail pieces. Minifigures include a forest police officer and two brand-new police pilots.

4440 Forest Police Station

633 pieces

USD 79.99

CAD 99.99

Other currencies from Brickset

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This police station is a masterpiece. Unlike some of the other forest police sets, this one is entirely unlike anything seen in any other LEGO City Police sets. The SUV is well designed, although the helicopter is not especially streamlined. Minifigures include a male forest police officer, a female forest police officer, a forest police pilot, a convict with ripped sleeves, and a convict with overalls. Plus, this set includes the amazing new LEGO bear, a rock that opens to act as a hiding place for stolen money and gold, and a couple trees to further establish the forest setting.

4441 Police Dog Van

313 pieces

USD 34.99

CAD 44.99

Other currencies from Brickset

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A police dog van might not be on the top of many people's wish lists since we got one just last year. This one is much larger and more formidable than the last, which could be a positive or a negative depending on one's perspective. But it includes two police dogs, a stylish sports car for the convict, and an abandoned gold mine that can serve as a hiding place. Minifigures include a convict in a ratty old jacket (seen in many sets last year) and a forest police officer.

Five sets are due for release in August as part of the Mining subtheme:

4200 Mining 4x4

102 pieces

USD 11.99

CAD 14.99

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This "work truck" feels formidable while keeping to a modest 4-stud-wide chassis. One miner minifigure is included with a stick of dynamite and a plunger/detonator. I'm not as fond of the plunger as I am of the more blocky one that appeared in the Explosion Studio during my childhood. It's possible that round plunger boxes exist, but I am having trouble finding information on the subject. One definite advantage of this plunger design is that the handle can slide in or out, adding play value.

4201 Loader and Tipper

139 pieces

USD 17.99

CAD 19.99

6866450351_0c663d0196_m.jpg

This set's contents are fairly generic-- the sorts of vehicles you might find in any construction theme. I'm not especially impressed by either vehicle's design, although the tipper uses that same new Technic-based hinge that is seen in some of the sets in the Great Vehicles subtheme. Two miners are included, along with a boulder and a stick of dynamite, but no plunger in any pictures we were able to get. Like the boulder in the 4x4 set, this set's boulder includes both rubble (1x1 round plates) and warm gold (pearl gold) crystals.

4202 Mining Truck

269 pieces

USD 34.99

CAD 44.99

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This set originally struck me as mundane, but now I consider it one of the most visually impressive vehicles in this subtheme. It's definitely a powerful dump truck design, with an entirely brick-built hauler bed. I'm not sure if the 2x2 round tiles on the front are supposed to be stickered-- they have no decoration at all in any of the pics I've seen, which is confusing as I would think of them as headlights, and there are stickers elsewhere in the build. Two minifigures, two boulders full of gold, a stick of dynamite, and a warning sign are included here.

4203 Excavator Transport

305 pieces

USD 39.99

CAD 49.99

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The excavator and truck here are both fairly generic, and I have a hard time imagining somebody buying this set rather than the cheaper and IMO more desirable Mining Truck. But of course, ideally, TLG wants kids to buy both for a full mining collection. Two minifigures and two boulders full of warm gold 1x1 round plates are included, along with dynamite and an alternate drill head that can be switched with the excavator's scoop.

4204 The Mine

748 pieces

USD 99.99

CAD 119.99

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The amount of play value in this set is stunning, and there's no question as to why it's the largest set in the theme. Besides the mine itself, which is filled with gold crystals, the set includes a large tipper truck, a modern-day minecart, a vault, a crane, a wheelbarrow, and a tunnel-boring machine which is unique to this set. All of these things are rendered quite attractively.

In addition to the set's four minifigures, there is a caution fence, a caution sign, two plungers, two sticks of dynamite, and lots of gold and rubble. One of the minifigures who stands out is the mine foreman, in his button-down shirt, tie, and suspenders.

One set is due for release in September:

4428 LEGO City Advent Calendar

248 pieces

USD 39.99

CAD 39.99

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This year's LEGO City Advent Calendar is fire-themed, in contrast with last year's police-themed one. It isn't without its faults-- Santa Claus's snowmobile is quite underwhelming in my personal opinion-- but in some ways I feel it definitely improves on last year's design.

In lieu of a proper fire station this year, this set provides some nice wall segments with equipment racks, making good use of the new 1x2 masonry relief bricks. While they can be connected together, they look a lot better on their own than the police station walls of last year's Advent Calendar. There is also a small ATV, with a separate day's build for the wheels and tires, but this time the tires are placed with a handcart so they look a bit more like a proper model on their own. This is a nice touch compared to last year's three-day police buggy.

Last year's snowball catapults were a bit silly, but this year there's an even sillier-looking one, visible in the second photo. It doesn't make as much sense here, either. Sure, it's a winter-oriented set, but at least last year the catapult offered some winter hijinks for the "crooks". Still, the Christmas spirit is well-represented with a Christmas tree, some presents, and one particularly cute model, a microscale fire engine with a remote control (reminiscent of the many toy vehicles in the 2010 advent calendar).

There are seven minifigures in the overall model: Three firefighters (two male, one female), two kids (one male, one female), a mechanic, and the obligatory Santa Claus. It's fewer than have been in some advent calendars, perhaps because there is also a dog that may be treated as a minifigure.

This concludes our LEGO City coverage! Next up (hopefully) will be coverage of the Dino and Monster Fighters themes! Keep your eyes on the Action Themes subforum over the next week.

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Great overview. However, I can't seem to see Lego's reasoning behind such low part counts! It's not like these sets have any expensive/large bricks.

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I really can't wait for the mining sets to come out, even if they are a little expensive. I especially love the new minifigures! One thing I noticed, though, is that it appears that the mine will come with one of the new brick seperators. It might have been left in the display by mistake, but then again, the new town hall set comes with one, so at this point anything's possible.

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From the box art, it appears they *aren't* expanding the new mine cart tracks seen in the funhouse, IJ temple of doom, and on the AQ mothership. That's really dissapointing.

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Thanks 'Aanchir' for the high res pictures, and at least this years advent looks more interesting and worth buying. :classic:

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Well, this only confirms that the mining subtheme will be safe to pass on; this summer, instead of digging up the earth, I will go to Middle Earth! :laugh:

What is noteworthy is the price of 4204 The Mine, which has a Canadian MSRP of $119.99, which at this price point would be regularly be $129.99 (only 20% more than US MSRP instead of 30%!). Still expensive when considering the number of parts, but still nice to see TLC somewhat acknowledge the price disparity :thumbup:. Anybody else notice any cheaper prices in your local currency?

It's nice to see the CMFS2 Skier Skis in Yellow in the Advent Calendar, even if they neglected to include proper ski poles. I think a generic Advent Calendar would have been better than a Firefighter one, but what do I know?

Thanks for this coverage, Aanchir, but what is the purpose of covering the Dino theme in the next instalment, considering that they have already been on the market for a couple of months? :wacko:

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There were a few pictures floating around of a car park, is that a possible release that has t be confirmed yet, or just one that Lego designed for their city ads?

Also, I am loving the look of the mining sets, the foremans car is going to be a good seller I think.

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I thought there was supposed to come a set with the bear that is smaller than the police station. How come this is not at the fair? I hoped this would make bears cheaper.

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I'm really liking that mine set as a good kid's play set. Lots to do, lots going on and it just looks like the sort of stuff I remember playing with as a kid.

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There were a few pictures floating around of a car park, is that a possible release that has t be confirmed yet, or just one that Lego designed for their city ads?

Also, I am loving the look of the mining sets, the foremans car is going to be a good seller I think.

From what I've heard, the most likely scenario is that the Car Park is a limited edition/store exclusive set. With a few exceptions (like one or two sets from licensed themes), no limited edition sets were on display at Toy Fair, which makes sense because it is at its core a trade show where retailers look at the upcoming selection of products and decide which ones they want to stock. To display sets that will not be available to most retailers wouldn't make much sense in that regard.

I don't tend to buy LEGO City sets so I wasn't really paying much attention to the price per piece on most of them. Is this a general recent trend, or something new for this year? Regardless, the Great Vehicles sets are some of the best in terms of price-per-piece, which could be partly because they include fewer large bricks and plates and partly for market-related reasons.

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I thought there was supposed to come a set with the bear that is smaller than the police station. How come this is not at the fair? I hoped this would make bears cheaper.

You mean 4438 Robbers' Hideout? It's a TRU exclusive and as mentioned exclusives usually aren't shown at the Toy Fair. I just picked this set up on Monday at the LEGO store, it's a fun build, but slightly overpriced (although better at $40 than the $45 TRU is selling it for).

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Love the whole mine set! Can't wait till this hits the shelf and reanact Gold Rush Alaska. =D

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These new mining sets look great, more from a construction point for me though. I plan on probably getting the smaller 4x4, maybe loader and tipper and defiantly Excavator transport. Then turning them all into train vehicles! :laugh:

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These new mining sets look great, more from a construction point for me though. I plan on probably getting the smaller 4x4, maybe loader and tipper and defiantly Excavator transport. Then turning them all into train vehicles! :laugh:

I had the same plan! I guess there'll be a race to build Miner/Train MODS in August then. Game on!

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Love the whole mine set! Can't wait till this hits the shelf and reanact Gold Rush Alaska.

It's funny you say that, because when I first saw these sets, I thought that someone at LEGO must have been watching that show. Now someone just needs to MOC a wash plant, and we'll be set.

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