This hasn't been reviewed yet so....
Build Time: Who knows
Price: $99.99 (US)
Why I bought it: It was on sale for $89.95 and I like orange!
Front of the box:
Three instruction manuals. The set has nine bags and three baseplates (I accidently deleted the photo).
Sticker sheet: OMG finally I get one that is not crumbled!!
Bag 1 builds three of the set's four minifigs. As you can see, I got the trucker's and the mechnaic's pants mixed up. I really like the red hairpiece! Their backs are not printed.
Bag 1 also builds the little blue truck. As you can see, there's a big hole on the back of the cab, where cargo can fall into! The reason this exists is so a yellow chair can fit inside.
I don't know why the truckbed walls are resting on two 1x4 plates. The vehicle looks so much better without them.
An overview of everything that Bag 1 builds, as well as the extra pieces.
Verdict: I'm disappointed that the set only contains four minifigs, and non of them are very original. As for the blue truck, I feel the only reason they included it in the set is so the auto shop''s lift have something you can put on. The truck is just way too tiny to look realistic. The mudguards are too big for its wheels and the big hole on the back of the cab is really annoying. It is kind of cute though and looks like something a kid would drive in the back yard.
This bag builds a tractor unit. Here it is along with extra pieces:
Verdict: This truck is very similiar to the one found in 7633 Construction Site. I like the color scheme a lot, although I'm bothered that the stripe pattern ends abruptly towards the back of the cab instead of continuing along. There's nothing special about this truck, other than being an accessory for the set's main vehicle: the orange wrecker.
Bag 3 builds the bottom half of the orange wrecker as well as adding another minifig. Here they are, along with extra pieces.
Bag 4 completes the wrecker truck. Here it is along with its extra pieces.
The side cabinet doors do not lead to storage areas. Instead, they allow access to the boom's hydralics.
This is the maximum height that the boom can be risen to. White crate not included.
The wrecker truck in action.
This is how the wrecker tows another vehicle. The wheellift has two projections that fit into a gap underneath the red tractor's front bumper.
Because the blue truck does not have the gap that the red tractor has, it cannot be effectively towed. With that in mind, I tried hooking the wrecker's wheellift onto the blue truck's rear bumper, as seen below. However, this was a very flimsy attachment and the blue truck frequently fell off.
The wrecker's boom is surprisingly robust and stays in place quite well. It is able to lift my 8-wide fire quint, which is twice the wrecker's size!
Here are all three vehicles and all minifigs together.
Verdict: The wrecker truck is very cool. It looks really rugged and the boom is very robust and functional. The only thing I'm bothered about are the mudguards- I just hate how round they are!
Bag 5 builds the small office of the garage. Here are all the printed pieces that the office contains.
The office also has three tiles with stickers that are supposed to represent mechanic's manuals (I think). They don't really look like manuals though. Anyways, those "manuals" fit on a shelf next to the computer. I think this is a nice detail.
Here is the completed office with extra parts.
Verdict: I kind of like the office- it has enough detail and isn't too cramped. The one thng I don't like is the giant sticker that is supposed to represent a map of LEGO city. If TLG had instead printed the map on a tranparent piece, I would be a lot happier.
This bag builds the first half of the auto shop, shown below with extra pieces.
Bag 7 completes the autoshop, shown below with extra pieces
The office is attached to the auto shop via a single technic pin on the bottom and a 2x2 plate on top. The connection is surprisingly sturdy.
This bag builds the first half of the wrecker truck garage.
This bag completes the wrecker truck garage, shown below with extra pieces.
The truck garage is connected to the auto shop by two techinic pins and two 2x2 plates. The picture below shows that the connection is solid and the entire building can be lifted without anything falling apart. (Don't do it with vehicles inside!)
Here are the extra pieces from all the bags together. They look quite useful.
Below shows how the lift in the auto shop works. I like the lift's mechanism because it feels very smooth yet solid.
You can put the red tractor unit on the lift as well, although doing so will restrict the overhead crane's movement, because the vehicle is too tall.
The auto shop also contains various tools seen below. I love the table drill and saw!
The photo below shows how the overhead crane is attached. It can move north, east, south, and west, as well as go up and down. The crane can cover the entire area of the auto shop and slides quite well from east to west and vise versa. However, it does not slide well from north to south and vise versa.
The wrecker truck will only fit in the garage if its rear view mirrors are folded all the way in!
Here are pictures of everything from the set together.
First off, I feel this set is too tiny to cost $100. Sure it has a lot of pieces (942) but most of them are tiny. And only four minifigs! With that said, I think the set overall looks quite nice. I am usually not a fan of lego buildings (with the exception of the modular series) becasue they look too childish and unrealistic. But the 7642 Garage actually looks quite real. Still, I plan to tear everyting down for MOCing purposes.
One of the big negatives of this set are the vehicles. Other than the wrecker truck, the rest are unoriginal and uninspired. I feel that with a flagship city set like this, TLG should have included trucks that are more unique and interesting.
In terms of playability, um I'm an AFOL. I don't play with my models- I display them! But I guess this set offers a fair amount of playability to its target demographic. I can see how a 10 year old would line up his entire collection of city vehicles to be repaired at the auto shop. Plus, the wrecker truck is very functional.
At first glance, this set does not seem to have many useful parts because the building seems to be composed mainly of white bricks and pillars. But upon closer inspection, the set does have many useful pieces. The three trucks contain a lot of nice elements for MOCing vehicles. Also, the auto shop itself provides a solid foundation of building a bigger and more detailed version.
Overall, I give this set a grade of average. I think the building looks pretty realistic but other than the wrecker truck, the other vehicles seemed like an afterthought. Plus this set just does not have enough features to warrant a $100 price tag.
Btw, I have a newfound respect for all you regular reviewers out there. Making a review was more painful than I had thought!
Edited by TheBrickster, 03 April 2010 - 06:48 PM.