Now that the Daily Mirror Racers promotion is over*, I thought I would write a brief general review about the 6 sets.
*While the promotion keeps going for a few days with a Racers collectors box, play mat and sticker sheet, I decided it wasn’t worth spending any money on a rubbish paper for extras that would end up in the recycling bin anyway!
So here are a few technical details about the sets. Two of the sets were previously released last year, while the other 4 are brand new.
7802 Le Mans Racer – 2009 – 28 (+1 extra) pieces - Peeron - Brickset
30030 Tiny Turbo – 2010 – 29 (+2) pieces - Peeron - Brickset
7801 Rally Racer – 2009 – 41 (+1) pieces - Peeron - Brickset
30033 Truck – 2010 – 40 (+1) pieces - Peeron - Brickset
30034 Tow Truck – 2010 – 34 (+1) pieces - Peeron - Brickset
30035 Off Road Racer – 2010 – 30 pieces - Peeron - Brickset
Total number of pieces: 202 (+6 extra)
Total price (pick-up in stores): £3.55 (6 newspapers)
Total price (mail order): £6.50 + £1.60 or more (4 newspapers) + stamp etc.
Also have a look at more reviews of the promotional sets here on EB:
The polybags are standard fare, with action impressions of the models within. The background scene is slightly different for each model. The official names of the vehicles are from the Daily Mirror website, and as for all European sets the names can’t be found on the bags themselves. Strangely the bag of 30033 is bigger than the others, although it has roughly the same piece count as 7801. Looking more closely, we find out that in the 2009 sets parts come from Denmark, Hungary, China and the Czech Republic, while the 2010 sets only have Danish, Hungarian and Czech components.
The instructions are made up of a single folded sheet for each model. Once again 30033 stands apart from the rest, as its instructions are printed on a much larger sheet. There are occasional cutouts in the instructions where required, but no part callouts nor any part inventories. With such small models, colour separation is not really an issue, although it seems just fine to me. All instructions are available for download from the LEGO website (where colour separation IS an issue!):
7802 Le Mans Racer
30030 Tiny Turbo
7801 Rally Racer
30034 Tow Truck
30035 Off Road Racer
Sets 7801 and 7802, previously released, both have sticker sheets, smartly protected in their little cardboard envelope. The 2010 sets are all devoid of stickers. It thus seems likely that the stickers are the components made in China (see ‘The Bags’ above). I won’t be using them anyway.
Not all promotionals are made equal. Witness the numbers of pieces: 28 in 7802 Le Mans Racer, 41 in 7801 Rally Racer. The colours are primary, except for a bunch of orange plates in 30035, and some dark grey parts. Overall as expected there are quite a few Racer-specific parts (like air intakes, engine parts, fenders), but many useful basic MOCing parts are included as well. However there is nothing new or really exciting. 7801 and 30034 provide the greatest selection of classic bricks and bits, including that favourite of mine, the classic 2 x 4 mudguard in yellow and red.
Nothing fancy here, the idea is basically to create something looking vaguely like a 4-wheeled vehicle whilst using the least possible amount of pieces. No revolutionary techniques are involved, and the number of steps vary from 7 to 13. All can be built in a minute or so, unless you decide to take the bag building challenge to another level and have a go at opaque bags!
None of vehicles are minifig-compatible, and they would require a considerable amount of work to fit your favourite pilot in.
Some of the designs are successful in creating sporty, good-looking – albeit simple – vehicles, some not. You can judge by yourselves, but here are a few quick thoughts of mine:
7802: Nice low-slung design, hard to photograph but trust me it looks good – even without the stickers.
30030: Really not my type. Doesn’t look like an official LEGO product, very ungraceful.
7801: Nice design, high part count, many standard parts. I don’t think it really needs any stickers. Surprisingly I found no extra trans-smoke cheese slope in my bag, either it was missing or none is provided.
30033: Simplistic truck but still good looking, 5-wide (!) rear section, high part count.
30034: Has a somewhat unfinished look, could use a few more bits. Functional towing hook.
30035: Good source of orange plates, different wheels from the other Racers in this collection.
Playability is limited with any one set, but definitely improves with all 6. In particular, the Truck and Tow Truck can be used to carry the other vehicles. Swooshability is excellent for all models.
The design is nothing to write home about, but an effort is made to use different parts between the 6 sets. The colour palette could have been more daring though.
The set numbering makes me think that 6 brand new sets were initially designed for this promotional run but two (‘30031’ and ‘30032’) were eventually replaced with existing designs (7801 and 7802), but this is just a theory of mine. If true, I’m glad of the change as the two older models are also among the nicer ones IMHO, regardless of the stickers, while some of the new ones are less than stellar. But that’s just my opinion, feel free to disagree!
Overall the sets do not use that many specialized Racer parts, and provide quite a few useful basic bits. As mentioned in other reviews, the absence of minifigures or rare parts or colours will not appeal much to AFOLs, but as a vehicle building part pack it definitely comes cheap. The price/part ratio is among the best, especially for sets picked in stores.
I could only wish that next time the LEGO toys are offered with a decent newspaper, one that I would actually want to read. It would be an even better value!
Edited by WhiteFang, 28 March 2010 - 05:20 PM.