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REVIEW: 4193 The London Escape

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48 replies to this topic  – Started by gatorzip02 , Apr 20 2011 06:13 AM

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How do you rate this set?

  1. 1 - Poor (2 votes [2.02%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.02%

  2. 2 - Below Average (2 votes [2.02%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.02%

  3. 3 - Average (18 votes [18.18%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 18.18%

  4. 4 - Above Average (52 votes [52.53%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 52.53%

  5. 5 - Outstanding! (25 votes [25.25%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 25.25%

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#1 gatorzip02


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 06:13 AM

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Please bear with me as this is my first Lego review.  If the Mods would please add a poll, I would greatly appreciate it.  I just got back from Toys-R-Us and took advantage of the buy one get one 1/2 off deal to get several of the new Pirates of the Caribbean sets.  As London Escape has not yet been run through the Classic-Pirates wringer, I thought I'd give it a whirl.  So without further ado, here we go:

The Basics:

Set Number: 4193
Set Name: The London Escape
Theme: Pirates of the Caribbean
Sub-Theme: On Stranger Tides
Release Date: April 2011
Pieces: 463
Minifigs: 5
Price: $49.99 (USD) retail

Initial Impressions:
Back when these sets were first announced, I decided that I definitely wanted to get the London Escape.  I enjoy setting up my Pirate sets to play a Lego floor game, and I thought it would add nicely to my setup:  
Lego Pirate Floor Game
I also build a winter Lego Christmas village train every year and I thought it would work well in that capacity as well.  (more on that later)  I have always been frustrated at the lack of "civilian" structures in the Pirate line.  This set gives us a tavern and two carriages which will fit right in to any pirate fort or town.  


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The box does a great job of giving an overall impression of the set.  My only real gripe is the picture of the shiny gold bars on the back of the box.  As everyone is well aware by now, what you see is definitely NOT what you get.

In the Box:

The set is divided into four numbered bags to simplify construction.  There are two instruction booklets and a playing card featuring Gibbs.  Finally, there is a poster showing a rendering of the set.

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This set comes with five minifigs, you get Jack Sparrow, Joshamee Gibbs, Horse Coach Driver, King George's Soldier, and King George's Officer.  The big standouts here in this set are the two Redcoats.  These are the only two Redcoats in the entire POTC line and they are the first appearance of "fleshie" Redcoats.  The Officer features a coat which is only available in this set. (I believe, please correct me if I am wrong) He also has a white scabbard which is also only available in this set.  In addition, the tricorn hats have a white trim painted along the top.  You get the same Jack as in the QAR and Whiecap Bay.  I believe Gibbs is only available in this set, his grey hairpiece is probably fairly rare.  The buggy driver is one of the first dedicated pirate "civilians" he should prove very useful for the MOCers out there.  Overall, I would say it is a good number of figures.  I like to see at least one figure for each 100 pieces in larger sets and this one is right on the money.  

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Comparison of yellow minifig from Imperial Flagship with new fleshies

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Close-up of what I view as the most important parts of the minifigs

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Heads of all five minifigs.  Gibbs and Jack are both 2-sided

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Back side of Gibbs and Jack

New and special Parts:

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There aren't many new parts in this set.  The big ones are the shutters for the windows (2), the bottles (2), the bucket, the sign (printed, NOT a sticker), and the painting (also printed).  All of these will be very useful for MOCs.  The majority of the other parts are fairly standard.  Nothing to get too excited about.  

This set is really three sets in one.  It is composed of a Tavern, a carriage, and what appears to be a cart filled with coal.  I will tackle each of these individually.

The Carriage:
If there is anything Lego should have mastered by now, it is the horse pulling a carriage or cart of some type.  God only knows how many of these have been put out for the various Castle themes.  Goes to show how far transportation advanced over a 1700 year period. (I'm pretty sure the Romans got this figured out pretty well around year 1)  This set marks the first time a horse appears in a pirate set. (I think)  The carriage is very sturdy and should survive well in rough play.  Both the left and right doors on the carriage swing open.  

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The back of the carriage holds a treasure chest filled with "gold".  The set comes with one bar and six coins.  These things really are hideous in person.  I'd really like to know why Lego didn't go with the gold plate shown on the box.  

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It does have an "action feature".  The roof of the carriage can be flicked up to send a minifig flying off the top of the carriage.  (and all this time I thought K.I.T.T. had the first ejection seat)

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The Coal Wagon:

The Coal Wagon is a cart for hauling coal.  I like the techniques Lego used to model the coal.  I think I might modify the coal tender on my Lego steam engine to mimic this.  

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The cart has a rather interesting action feature.  The center of the cart can be spun around so that the cart can catch fire.  The effect is impressive and definitely adds to the play value.  

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The tavern is the highlight of this set.  It is very well detailed and contains most of the new pieces.  I have been building pirate Lego sets ever since they were first released in 1989. (I got my first set, the Caribbean Clipper, for my ninth birthday).  This set shows how far the Lego group has come with their buildings in the past 22 years.  All of the early pirate buildings depended heavily on boring wall panels and had very little architectural detail.  While this set is smaller than I would prefer, it is very well detailed and looks like a ramshackle tavern you would expect to find in a port town.  The interior features several barrels and a table.  The small second floor has a few additional details added.    

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The Tavern also has an "action feature” The torch behind the barrels can be removed and the barrels come cascading down on whatever poor unfortunate soul may be in their path.  I assume something similar must take place in the forthcoming movie.  The side of the building folds down so you can reload the barrels.  Not very exciting, but I guess better than nothing.  

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Finally we have civilians for our Pirates to pillage and steal from!  Now that I have had the opportunity to build this set and spend some time with it, I would have to say that I am still glad I bought it.  I'll probably modify the tavern a bit to make it larger and to fit into both my pirate game and my Christmas village.  If you choose to get this set, I would also highly recommend picking up the Medieval Market Village.  It fits very well with the London tavern:

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(I replaced the black roof pieces on the MMV with white to simulate snow in my Christmas village Lego train display)

Final Thoughts:
Playability: 8/10 (Good variety of minifigs and three separate builds lend good playability to this set.)
Design: 7/10 (Overall I would say the design of the two buggies is rather bland, the tavern is nice, but on the small side)
Price: 7/10 (This set should really be priced in the $40 - $45 range, it isn't too far off, but it definitely isn't a deal.)
Overall: 7/10 (Good minifigs and playability are the big redeemers here, it works well for what I need.  MOCers should find plenty to like)

Thanks for reading my review.  If you have any other questions, or would like a closeup photo of anything just ask.  If I have made any factual errors, let me know and I'll edit this post.  

- Joel

#2 Blackknight112

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 06:46 AM

Thanks for the review. Ths is a great set. IMO this one is the best of the potc line.
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#3 Dreamweb

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 06:48 AM

Thanks for the great review! I had no idea the tavern looked so cool! It's also nice to have a new redcoat guy.

Expect it to be blogged on Classic-Pirates.com soon!

Go to Classic-Pirates.com

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#4 KielDaMan


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 07:19 AM

Cheers for another POTC set review! Very well done, all necessary elements have been covered, and certainly gave me a better appreciation of this set. Though honestly, I personally don't find this set as interesting as the others - the horse carriage, wagon, tavern, and even the minifig line-up, is average at best IMO.

#5 lightningtiger

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 07:55 AM

Thanks for this review 'gatorzip02', a mega-cool set, heaps of play features and well that tavern does look like it's from dark side of London town eh ? :pir_laugh2:
I now can't wait for these to come out in the stores.....hello, layby ! :pir-wink:
Brick On the high seas everyone ! :pir-sweet:

#6 KristofBD


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 08:15 AM

Thanks for this review!  Personally I find this set the best in the PoTC line - specifically because of the more civilian line-up (perhaps this is because I am more of a castle than a pirates fan).  I love the minifigs (the redcoats are great!) and the play features.   :pir-wub:  After this review this set is defintively the number one on my to-buy list! :thumbup:
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#7 Bonaparte

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 08:28 AM

Thanks for this review!!

I love the grey hairpiece as it comes close to a wig (it it intended to be a wig? I assume it's not). Also it's nice to have the redcoat officer  :thumbup:

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#8 Princess Muttonchops

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 08:31 AM

Thank you for the excellent review gatorzip02.  The number of desirable pieces in this set is staggering.  The grey hair piece especially will be oh-so-useful for period MOCs.  I think this set has just been elevated to "must buy" status! :pir_laugh2:

#9 Keybobs


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:17 AM

Thanks for the review, I like others, am pleasantly surprised at how the tavern looks. I think I must have a problem or my lego judging skills aren't upto much, but i'm unable to vote anything less than 5 on all the sets so far, hell, I think i'd vote 6 if there was that option haha!

Thanks for the pictures too, great job  :thumbup:

#10 Alldarker


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:28 AM

Good and clear review!
I'll be honest, this set was my least anticipated set in the PotC line, and the review hasn't really changed my mind. I am still very disappointed in the tavern: it's just a facade with very few play features, and especially compared to the inn in the Medieval Market village, it's a very severe letdown. It almost looks like this set was neutered to fit in a lower price category than the Mill or Whitecap Bay.

I guess the carriages are pretty nice, as are the figures included in this set of course, and the printed parts are very welcome. But of all the sets in the PotC line, this one is definitely the one I'm most hesitant about buying, and probably won't.

Edited by Alldarker, 20 April 2011 - 09:28 AM.

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#11 Dane


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:51 AM

Thanks for the review, one of my favorite sets from this series

#12 -GZ-


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 10:34 AM

The tavern looks very plain and poor, especially in comparison with 10193 houses...
But... Captain's Daughter???
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#13 Piranha

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 10:36 AM

Thanks for this great first time review :thumbup:

this is easily my favorite of the new POTC sets, civilian town for pirate to pillage, two horses and a nicely built carraige, through in some nice figs and cool accessories and it is great. I would have liked a swordholder for Jack though and another white one for the other solider and I wish the hat was removable off Jacks Dreadlocks, this just means now I need a removed dreadlock and a hat one.

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#14 Alldarker


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 10:40 AM

View Post-GZ-, on 20 April 2011 - 10:34 AM, said:

The tavern looks very plain and poor, especially in comparison with 10193 houses...
But... Captain's Daughter???
I was thinking more of this Captain's Daughter...

Edited by Alldarker, 20 April 2011 - 10:43 AM.

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#15 mobricki


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:35 AM

Gibb's hairpiece will be perfect for many different mocs from that era. The new British officer torso looks great as well. I just put this et on my shopping list thanks for your review!! :jollyroger:

#16 Trent


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:41 AM

Nice review.

Thanks for the picture next to the Market Village too - I was curious as to how tall the tavern was.  It's a bit of a disappointment that it's not quite as tall as the buildings out of 10193.

#17 The Spark That Bled

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 12:39 PM

Thanks for the review.  I wasn't really interested in this set because it's mostly vehicles, which don't interest me but after seeing a few of the bricks that are included I certainly appreciate it more.  I love the printed picture of the ship.

#18 Big Cam

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 01:17 PM

Fantastic review, not really a good deal as you mentioned but still a must have.

I noticed you only get Jack's hat in the $50 or more sets.

#19 megasad


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 01:51 PM

View Postgatorzip02, on 20 April 2011 - 06:13 AM, said:

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Does anyone know why the 2x1 brick on the horse's back has holes in the studs instead of being solid with the word LEGO printed on them? I last saw this in the Weetabix house I got as a child, always assumed it was a fake piece…

#20 Baylego


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 02:35 PM

Great review! This was one of the POTC sets that was high on my list. Now I see that a few things might need modding, but it is still an appealing set, especialy for the rare minifigure parts!

#21 Hive

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 02:47 PM

Awesome set, I definately want it. But I'll likely be waiting for a sale, steep price.

#22 Cpt. Dan

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 03:02 PM

Great review, this is a great set. I love the Officer's torso, that will definitely be a favorite for pirate collectors and MOC's. This is actually my favorite set from the line for some reason - it's so cool.

#23 Oky

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 03:17 PM

Thanks for the great review! But you forgot to mention if any of the figs have double sided heads. If they do, could you please provide a pic? Thanks.

View Postmegasad, on 20 April 2011 - 01:51 PM, said:

Does anyone know why the 2x1 brick on the horse's back has holes in the studs instead of being solid with the word LEGO printed on them? I last saw this in the Weetabix house I got as a child, always assumed it was a fake piece…
It's probably a Technic brick. Not sure why they would use one though.

#24 AndyC


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 03:18 PM

View Postmegasad, on 20 April 2011 - 01:51 PM, said:

Does anyone know why the 2x1 brick on the horse's back has holes in the studs instead of being solid with the word LEGO printed on them?
I'd guess it's one with a technic pin hole in it, there are some used elsewhere in the set and it's quite common to see only one kind of 2x1 brick in a set if it doesn't actually matter what type they are (presumably to minimize the number of different molds in use for one set)
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#25 Legoless


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 03:24 PM

View Post-GZ-, on 20 April 2011 - 10:34 AM, said:

The tavern looks very plain and poor, especially in comparison with 10193 houses...
But... Captain's Daughter???
I think Captain's Daughter refers rather to a ribald English double entendre 'She was only the Captain's Daughter, but her naval base was full of discharged seamen!'

Hope I can get away with saying that on an AFOL site...

Anyway, *cough*, nice review.

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