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4996 Beach House Review


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#1 dunamis

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 09:35 AM

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Beach House Reviewed by Dunamis
Set 4996
522 Pieces
$29.95 from Target
Build time 90 minutes



Yet another interesting Creator theme house.  This one comes fresh of the 2008 line of sets and promises 3 different models.  Packing 522 pieces (albeit a lot of 1x1 plates) for only $29.95 it was hard to pass this one by as I was foraging for the new 2008 Star Wars sets at the local Target.  Plus, I was itching to do another review since I had finally fully recovered from my marathon UCS Falcon review which took the better part a month to complete.

The Box:

The box is pretty standard Creator type box which shows off the three models (beach house, Caf� and �towering� apartment building.)

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The back of the box shows some of the features of the three models.

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Interesting features of the three models prominently displayed on the back include:
- Food counter complete with coffee (espresso) maker and food warmer (with chicken leg!)
- Home office complete with laptop (and the ubiquitous coffee cup.)
- Flip up roof granting access inside of beach house.  Note the satellite TV dish and even rain gutters along the roofline!

Opening the box is a matter of breaking two seals.  We�re back to the reusable cereal box type tab system that we saw so often in 2007 sets.  Note the parts inventory is on the side of the box as well.  This is a nice feature.

Once inside the box, we are greeted by eight sealed bags plus two yellow 16x2 plates and a green 32x16 baseplate.  

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Thank goodness there is no DSS (dreaded sticker sheet) but alas there are no minifigs.  In addition, there are the three manuals (one for each model) and they were stuffed into my box with the care of kid trying to put 10 gallons (or liters if you prefer) of candy in a 5 gallon bucket.  But hey, we�re not collecting manuals here so who cares if the manuals are all bent and warped?


The Manuals:

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The three manuals are 74, 72 and 48 pages in length.  They are laid out well and are pretty standard with all the usual trimmings:

- Piece call outs for each step
- Parts inventory at the end of the primary model build
- Page numbers

Color separation in these manuals were fine for me.  

Plus, we get the usual verbose LEGO instructions on not dumping all your pieces outside in the grass and not to dump all your pieces into a single pile.  Thanks for the tip, TLG!

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Parts list
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The Pieces:

Pretty standard stuff here and as I mentioned, lots of 1x1 plates and tiles (at least 100.)  However, we do get quite a few windows and a couple of doors.  A majority of the color is black and yellow.  I did see a few pieces that I was not familiar with so I�m going to show them below.  Keep in mind I�m not a parts jockey so bear with me if I think a part is brand new for 2008 and it was actually released with the classic space line.

2x2 Window (fixed) and 4x3 window that opens:

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The follow photo shows the window glass (same as in Corner Caf�), door glass and new black parts.  Turns out these black parts are used as wheels.  I showed the window glass because it still contains the molding circle just like they did before.  It is hard to see from the photo, but it is there.  The door glass I think might be new:

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I don�t recall seeing these 2x2 round plates with clips before and I thought I would show the mail only because it is printed and not a sticker:

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I know these are common, but didn�t they have four studs on top?  These only have two:

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How about this sloped 4x3 window that opens:

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Overall a nice assortment of parts with nothing juniorized.


The Build:

The build was fun and was fairly straightforward.  Once you figure out which of the three models to build, it goes pretty quick.  Here are a few shots:

See how the inside is made:

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Look at the detail with the flowers and even the outside water faucet!

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Outdoor seating area:

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Upstairs being built:

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Upstairs with opening roof (notice the satellite TV dish):

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Check out the patio on the upstairs complete with outdoor light and rain gutters!

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Here�s my favorite, the BBQ grill.  At least we know where those new parts go:

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Finally, check out the tree.  No juniorization here!

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Here is what is left over:

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So far, I have only built the primary model.  The others look interesting, especially the caf�.

The Design:

The design was well done.  Very rich in detail.  I love how there are no juniorized parts.  The house is accessible by taking off the top floor (like Caf� Corner and Market Street).  There is an internal staircase as well.  There is no interior to speak of in the beach house, but there is in the other two models.

The only real negative is that it is kind of small when you get it done.  It would be nice if it was about 50% bigger.


Here are a few views of the beach house with a few minifigs thrown in:

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Check out the close-up of the caf� which I think looks great:

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Also, here is a photo of the interior of the apartment building where you can see the office and computer:

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Overall Thoughts:

It is a really nice set.  A tad on the small side but it has some great detail and lots of features.  Quick enough to build all three models and would fit real nice into an existing town plan.  Is minifig scale, but does not come with any.  Lots of window parts and black slopes.  Is a nice diversion from the onslaught of Clone Wars ships that we can�t remember seeing from the movies.

Final Rating: 84%

Build 9/10 (Pretty quick and fun.)
Functionality 9/10 (It is a Creator set so you have multiple varied builds.  Diverse enough to keep the kids entertained.)
Design 10/10 (Excellent and well thought out.  Outstanding detail for such a small model.)
Parts 6/10 (Fair, nothing earth-shattering but lots of slopes and windows.)
Price 8/10 (Price ratio is good but you get a lot of little parts.  Would be better with minifigs.)

Edited by WhiteFang, 23 May 2009 - 06:38 PM.
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#2 KimT

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 09:54 AM

Nice set and review.
What I really like is that this set gives You a lot of ideas for Your own houses (MOCs)

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#3 Legocastlegirl

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 12:46 PM

Thanks for that really nice review Dunamis!

Now it is even more harder for me to wait for this set. I hope my Legostore will get it tomorrow!! It is really nice. Im a really big fan of the creator houses.. but that one is now the best one for me!!! I love the colour of it and of course the windows at the roof.  *wub*

Creator House ON!!!

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#4 Shadows

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 02:20 PM

Love this set now more than ever. *wub* I knew I wanted it from the first leaked boxshots, especially with my love of yellow buildings (just ask Hinckley ;-) ).

Great review, especially nice to see the closeup parts shots. Those new 2x2 white windows are very much like replacements for the classic 2x2 windows TLG stopped regularly making a while back, so it's great to see them.

The wheels are trolley wheels, common in sets including stretchers and handcarts. The holder for them is a fairly recent part I think. I remember a couple coming in a little single minifig jet engine repair set I picked up in a S@H order within the last year.

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Oh honey, be sure to wrench that chicken before it burns! *wacko*

Thanks for another excellent review of a set I'm even more excited about than before! *y*

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#5 ExoBuilder

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 06:13 PM

Thanks for the review! I definitely plan on getting this one.

Thanks again!

*sweet*

#6 Wout

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 08:03 PM

Thank you for the nice review with many pictures. *y*  :-D

I already wanted this set, but the pictures make it I want even much/more.
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#7 AgentRick57

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 09:49 PM

I didn't know that the other models in this set came with interiors. This changes everything!

#8 dunamis

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 10:25 PM

View PostAgentRick57, on Jan 7 2008, 09:49 PM, said:

I didn't know that the other models in this set came with interiors. This changes everything!

Keep in mind there is not a lot of interior, just mainly what was shown in the last two photos of the review.  Still, it does make the models really nice.
So much LEGO, so little time...

#9 msavageesq

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 10:50 PM

Great review, thank you.  I have this on order for my youngest's birthday next month as our first venture into Creator.  Looking towards the Town House thereafter, and then perhaps Town Plan or the Town House.

#10 Ickelpete

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 10:53 PM

Another great review from Dunamis  Thanks!

I will get it if I can find it on sale!!

#11 Sinner

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 12:38 PM

Thanks for the review.  *sweet* This set is on my when-I-see-it-I-buy list!  X-D





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#12 simonwillems

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 03:33 PM

View Postimperialshadows, on Jan 7 2008, 03:20 PM, said:

Oh honey, be sure to wrench that chicken before it burns! *wacko*

:-D  :-D  :-P  Thanks for a great laugh!

Good review of a good set, a real house with an actual staircase and a beautifully designed hinged window in the roof. I'll buy this.

#13 Nebsirob

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 03:48 PM

Thank you for the great review.
I think, Ill get 2 of these sets, so I can have the Beach House and the Caf
in my city.  *sweet*

View Postdunamis, on Jan 7 2008, 10:35 AM, said:

I did see a few pieces that I was not familiar with so Im going to show them below.  Keep in mind Im not a parts jockey so bear with me if I think a part is brand new for 2008 and it was actually released with the classic space line.
...
I know these are common, but didnt they have four studs on top?  These only have two:

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How about this sloped 4x3 window that opens:

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As for the fence: I know only the 2-stud version.  8-|
And the window was used a lot in the 80s and 90s (even in the 2004 city airport).
Dont worry, Im not complaining. It just came to my mind, because today I rebuild
my 7866 (from 1983), which had 2 of these babys.  >:-)

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#14 Batbrick

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 09:50 PM

Thanks for this great review! I love this awesome set, the Creator line never disappoints. This is definitely a must-buy for me, just like the other creator houses.

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#15 iamded

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 10:10 PM

Thanks for the great review! Very in depth! *y* *y* Those wheel pieces are quite old by the way, I have 1 from some time ago.
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#16 Darth_Legois

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 01:49 AM

I got this set on tuesday on the sunshine coast (i was on a holiday) and since Kmart were having a 15% off lego it was only $40 *y* . Im Modifying my Summer House (its pretty small) .So far i've put a small kitchen,toilet,fridge & freezer downstairs and up stairs i will try to fit a bed and computer  also im going to attach a small garage for my minifigs car. 8-

#17 Corvus

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 01:57 AM

My sister bought this last week. I'm so proud! :'-)

This is a great set. Not too big, and it looks really nice...


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#18 AgentRick57

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 02:42 AM

I finally got around to finding this at my local TRU. Probably going to do an interior soon.

#19 Darth_Legois

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 03:04 AM

View PostAgentRick57, on Jan 26 2008, 12:42 PM, said:

Probably going to do an interior soon.
Have fun.....its pretty hard theres hardly any room in my house now i will post pics soon. (i was able to fit a small fridge & freezer under the stairs 8- )

#20 takuto20

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 04:54 AM

Hey, Yesterday I got around to MOD my beachhouse too! I bought two boxes so I could have enough material for an extra floor and then I also added a kitchen, a vine in the backyard, storage for the upper floor... Try to spot the humongous flatscreen TV!

http://www.brickshel...96/cimg2656.jpg

Edited by takuto20, 23 March 2008 - 02:17 PM.


#21 WhiteFang

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 05:51 AM

I had this set, and it's really a very nice and excellent house! Thanks for the great review! Hehe, enjoy it very much. My fave part was the BBQ pit  :-$

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#22 Lt. Col. Thok

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 05:36 PM

Very nice!  I have been debating on whether or not to buy it-It would appear you made up my mind for me! *y*
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#23 Asuka

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 12:18 AM

View Posttakuto20, on Mar 22 2008, 04:54 AM, said:

Hey, Yesterday I got around to MOD my beachhouse too! I bought two boxes so I could have enough material for an extra floor and then I also added a kitchen, a vine in the backyard, storage for the upper floor... Try to spot the humongous flatscreen TV!

http://www.brickshel...96/cimg2656.jpg
Very nice... I guess I should buy a second one too....  *y*

#24 Darth_Legois

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 10:56 PM

Looks like i'll need to buy another one i just started the garage (which is attached to the house) but i ran out of yellow bricks...........  :'-(   >:-(  


btw nice moc takuto20 *y* i might have to "steal" your idea and make a third story since its abit tight downstairs to fit everything.......ooo yea and i like your kitchen and the dishwasher  :'-)  .......

Edited by Darth_Legois_619, 23 March 2008 - 11:00 PM.


#25 PaulC

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 05:53 PM

Thanks for the review Dunamis, this is a great little set! I'm also very impressed with Takuto20's mods.

I've been trying a few of my own. I liked the tower block design, but a lot of stuff needed fixing. Firstly I added a 4th wall, and made it so the storeys could be lifted off like in the other models. I also added flowers on the windowsills and doorways out on to the balconies. Still to be added is an extra door for the top floor which I'm going to get from the new doors and windows pack.
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I added a chimney that goes all the way up the back of the house, and has a fireplace on every level.
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Each floor is fully furnished with a fireplace, wash basin and bed on the upper levels...
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...and a corner sofa and coffee table, plus an extra large fireplace on the ground floor.
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Finally here is my idea of what to do with two copies of this set! All the parts pictured are from 2x 4996, except 5 extra fence panels and the minifigs. The house on the left has it's garden at the rear.
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