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Review: LEGO Westfield Exclusive London Bus


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Poll: Review: LEGO Westfield Exclusive London Bus (22 member(s) have cast votes)

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  3. Average (2 votes [9.09%])

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  4. Above Average (5 votes [22.73%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.73%

  5. Outstanding (6 votes [27.27%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.27%

  6. It's free. Who cares? (9 votes [40.91%])

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#1 Rufus

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 10:27 PM

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Thanks to my wife, Pandora, for pointing out to me that LEGO Westfield, London, were giving away 300 exclusive London Bus sets as part of their official store opening today.  So I sauntered down to West London, thinking I'd pop into the shop, buy a little something, and get a free set for my trouble.

The trouble was far more than I'd bargained for.  News had traveled, and there was a queue just to get into the shop.  It was moving slowly, but the store staff were giving away free LEGO Universe games to those waiting.  Twenty minutes or so later, I got into the shop... only to find another queue for the counter, and this one was moving even more slowly.  I began to worry they'd run out of buses before I got anywhere near to the counter - but my fears were unfounded; there seemed to be plenty to go around, and I left the store with a little bag of red parts (and quite a lot of purchased stuff :blush: ).


Review:  LEGO Westfield Exclusive London Bus


Name:  London Bus (I'm guessing)
Number: 3300006
Theme:  Exclusives
Year:  2011
Pieces:  127
Figures: 0
Price:  FREE with any purchase from LEGO Westfield on 27 February 2011


Links ...  This set is not currently listed on Brickset, Brickshelf, Peeron, or Shop@Home


The Bag


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I was expecting an impulse-style printed polybag; I was a little surprised to be handed a resealable bag with generic printing similar to the ones Shop@Home Pick-a-brick comes in.  There is nothing on the bag to indicate what's inside...


...but from the rear, you can see the parts:

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The parts inside aren't packed separately, and there's no distinction between smaller and larger parts.  I've not encountered anything like this before; the one advantage is you can sneakily build the model, then take it apart and repackage it and no-one would know :look:


The Instructions

The a single, folded instruction sheet is the only thing inside the bag besides the parts.

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The cover shows a computer-generated version of the model, with a pseudo-city background; presumably LEGO weren't going to devote lots of time and effort into a short-lived Free exclusive, and who can blame them?


In case anyone wants to build this from their own parts, I've shown all the instructions here:  click on the pics for high resolution images.

Steps 1-5

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Steps 6-11

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Steps 12-15

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Steps 16-19

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There are no piece call-outs, and the instructions use about 6-8 parts per step, on average.  It's a simple build.


The Parts


Here's the spread of parts:  click for high resolution.

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Of note are the 17 clear 2x1 bricks; otherwise the selection is unremarkable, except....


... if you want to build this from your own parts, beware!

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This set contains what I believe to be a new part:  a 1x2/2x4 bracket, part ID 93274.  It doesn't seem to be listed on Bricklink.


The Build


It's a simple build, largely brick-on-brick.  

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First off, a 12x2 plate has wheel bearings and plates attached, then strengthened with two 2x12 bricks.


Arch bricks form the wheel arches:

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The new bracket forms the SNOT front - the only non-traditional build technique of the whole model.


Windows are formed from 1x2 clear bricks:

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Where a 1x1 window is needed, three 1x1 plates have to suffice.  There should be a 1x1 tile on the stud visible at the front, but I missed it until the end.


Two 4x6 tan plates form the upper floor, and more windows are added:

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At the front and rear are two sandwiches of 1x2 plates: red, black, red.  These are meant to represent destination indicators.


Finally, a 4x12 plate makes the roof, which is topped off with modified slopes and cheese wedges:

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Leftovers

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Not bad for a little set.  I thought I must have left the 1x2 tile out, but I can't see where it should go :look:


The Completed Set


And we're done!  Simples.

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It's recognisable as a London bus, despite the simplicity and lack of detail.  But what did you expect?  The bus is meant to be the iconic AEC Routemaster - often thought to be the 'symbol' of London.  Actually you don't see them around much these days, except as Wedding transport, but the image is enduring, and I think the designer has done a good job considering how small the set is.


From the nearside, the bus looks a little blocky, and there ought to be more windows:

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They've done a good job with the cutaway front, though.


The offside is a little plain:

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I'm not sure the cheese wedges work so well for the roof, but I don't know what else would do.  Also, the wheels - which come from Speed Racer sets - look a little pimped for a 50 year old bus!


The front isn't so exciting.  I think the destination indicator should be larger (eg. 2 plates), and the upper front windows ought to be double.

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The rear, on the other hand, while plain, is accurate enough.


This is the image of buses I usually see, as I arrive at the bus stop :laugh: :

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It looks good from this angle.  My only complaint here is the platform:  it should be lower; as it is passengers will need a ladder to get in!



Conclusion

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Well, for a free souvenir set, this isn't a bad rendition of the classic London bus.  It's as instantly recognisable as its real-life counterpart, and is a fun little set to build; plus if you were lucky enough to get one, you know there aren't many around.... until some idiot posts the instructions on t'internet, that is :blush:


It seemed a little unfair to score this section, so you've just got opinions.

Design:  Pretty much as good as you could get for 130-odd parts and four studs wide, but there are a few flaws as I've pointed out.  I'll let them off.

Build:  5 minutes max, nothing taxing...

Playability:   It goes forwards and backwards.  It is a minor talking point on the shelf.  What more do you want?

Parts:  Actually, here the set begins to impress.  There's 17 clear 1x2 bricks, and what I believe to be a unique part :wub:   I'm sure it's only a matter of time before it's commonplace, though.

Value:  Did I mention it was free?  Actually, when you consider that time is money, and it took me an hour each way to get to the shop, then an hour or so of queuing, then of course I had to spend the best part of £300 pounds on other LEGO....


Verdict:  I've got an exclusive set, and I'll get more mileage out of recounting the story of getting it than I get out of building it.  Plus I got to meet some fellow Eurobrickers in the process (albeit briefly) :classic:


Hope you enjoyed the mini-review!  C&C welcome.

Rufus

Edited by WhiteFang, 10 March 2011 - 05:12 AM.
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#2 prateek

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 11:38 PM

Very nice! I like this set a lot, especially since it's a promo. That new piece is a great bonus, and the bus looks pretty good for its size :thumbup:

#3 Fugazi

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 11:54 PM

Great detailed review, thanks Rufus!
It's a nice model, appropriate for a London opening. Nice amount of trans-clear bricks!
Indeed, the new bracket piece will likely be released this summer in regular sets -- it will be used for instance in building the VW bus of Flo's V8 Cafe (Cars license).
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#4 vader11

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 12:03 AM

It would be nice if there is a comparison with the London Bus in #10214 Tower Bridge.

#5 KielDaMan

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 01:47 AM

Very interesting polybagged set, not bad at all for a freebie. The Bus is pretty cute, and you get a generous amount of useful red and trans-clear pieces. Thanks for sharing this review Rufus! :thumbup:

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#6 Aanchir

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 01:49 AM

Based on the part number 93274, that bracket is indeed a new part. After all, other new parts this year tend to be 9XXXX numbers (for instance, many Ninjago parts are 93XXX). Wonder when it will debut in the core product line!

Beautiful review, and a very cute set. Pity it's an exclusive/limited-edition set. I'd love to get one of these in my stocking next Christmas!

Edited by Aanchir, 28 February 2011 - 01:51 AM.

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#7 WhiteFang

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 03:43 AM

Thanks Rufus. This is a very beautiful piece of gift from the limited edition store special! This is a very nice looking classic minature London Bus scale. Truly iconic from all angles. You are really very lucky to have a chance to own such exclusive special and also will like to thank you for sharing it with us.  :wub:

I need to put this review somewhere in my index. Let me find the space first.  :wink:

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#8 brickmack

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 03:45 AM

Nice. Too bad this was an exclusive. It would be nice if LEGO released a minifigure scale version (and in all countries, not just an exclusive for England).

#9 Churchill

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 03:52 AM

Nice little set.  Have we ever seen those resealable bags before?  It might be nice if all these little sets came like that- you could store it back in the bag.
I always enjoy your reviews, Rufus.  
Thanks!

#10 Ceroknight

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 04:26 AM

thank you for the review! I am very happy that a Lego store has been opened near the place I'll be visiting in a few weeks  :classic:
I must say, I prefer the one that came with the tower bridge, though small it's very sleek while this one's quite bulky..
How many of these are usually produced?
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#11 -R8-

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:36 AM

Love the title picture  :thumbup:
I wonder why they didn't use a transparent 1x1 brick in place of the three 1x1 plates, but it still looks wonderful nonetheless.
Thank you for sharing this neat exclusive!

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#12 Miss Kyle

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 12:33 PM

Yeah, the bag isn't too spectacular - even the shark I got in Hamburg the other day had a printed bag.
Anyway, I love the bus. Simple, but a very good design. I wouldn't want to miss it, and it's a perfect gift for a London Lego store!
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#13 Rufus

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 05:46 PM

Thanks for the comments, everyone!  :classic:

View Postprateek, on 27 February 2011 - 11:38 PM, said:

Very nice! I like this set a lot, especially since it's a promo. That new piece is a great bonus, and the bus looks pretty good for its size :thumbup:
Thanks prateek!  You're often first to reply to my reviews :wink: .  The new piece was indeed a pleasant surprise.

View PostFugazi, on 27 February 2011 - 11:54 PM, said:

Indeed, the new bracket piece will likely be released this summer in regular sets -- it will be used for instance in building the VW bus of Flo's V8 Cafe (Cars license).
Thanks for the info, Fugazi!  I'll check it out.

View Postvader11, on 28 February 2011 - 12:03 AM, said:

It would be nice if there is a comparison with the London Bus in #10214 Tower Bridge.
I would have done, only I don't own the Tower Bridge (yet).  I came close to buying it in the shop yesterday, but the trouble is I have nowhere to put the thing once built.

A few people were buying the TB yesterday; interestingly, the set that seemed to be flying off the shelves was the big exclusive Space Shuttle.

View PostKielDaMan, on 28 February 2011 - 01:47 AM, said:

Very interesting polybagged set, not bad at all for a freebie. The Bus is pretty cute, and you get a generous amount of useful red and trans-clear pieces. Thanks for sharing this review Rufus! :thumbup:
Indeed it is cute, Kiel!  The trans-clear pieces especially will be useful.  

View PostAanchir, on 28 February 2011 - 01:49 AM, said:

Based on the part number 93274, that bracket is indeed a new part. After all, other new parts this year tend to be 9XXXX numbers (for instance, many Ninjago parts are 93XXX). Wonder when it will debut in the core product line!

Beautiful review, and a very cute set. Pity it's an exclusive/limited-edition set. I'd love to get one of these in my stocking next Christmas!
Thanks, Aanchir.  See Fugazi's post above - looks like the new part will be out this summer.

View PostWhiteFang, on 28 February 2011 - 03:43 AM, said:

Thanks Rufus. This is a very beautiful piece of gift from the limited edition store special! This is a very nice looking classic minature London Bus scale. Truly iconic from all angles. You are really very lucky to have a chance to own such exclusive special and also will like to thank you for sharing it with us.  :wub:

I need to put this review somewhere in my index. Let me find the space first.  :wink:
Cheers, Fangy!  Good luck with the index - this set defies categorisation!

View Postbrickmack, on 28 February 2011 - 03:45 AM, said:

Nice. Too bad this was an exclusive. It would be nice if LEGO released a minifigure scale version (and in all countries, not just an exclusive for England).
Umm, yes, a minigure version would be lovely :wub:

View PostChurchill, on 28 February 2011 - 03:52 AM, said:

Nice little set.  Have we ever seen those resealable bags before?  It might be nice if all these little sets came like that- you could store it back in the bag.
I always enjoy your reviews, Rufus.  
Thanks!
Thanks Churchill!  :blush:  I use supermarket freezer bags for this purpose when taking sets apart.

View Postceroknight, on 28 February 2011 - 04:26 AM, said:

thank you for the review! I am very happy that a Lego store has been opened near the place I'll be visiting in a few weeks  :classic:
I must say, I prefer the one that came with the tower bridge, though small it's very sleek while this one's quite bulky..
How many of these are usually produced?
As far as I can tell, the TB version is only 2 studs wide, but the rounding of the rear end on that one is a bonus.  I was told 300 of these were available yesterday, but I'm sure more will find their way into public hands.  Look at the white Boba Fett - intially just 150 (and people were paying $200 or so for them) - now they're being given away.

View Post-R8-, on 28 February 2011 - 07:36 AM, said:

Love the title picture  :thumbup:
I wonder why they didn't use a transparent 1x1 brick in place of the three 1x1 plates, but it still looks wonderful nonetheless.
Thank you for sharing this neat exclusive!
I think it's because the 1x1 brick doesn't exist in trans-clear; at least not that I have seen.

View PostMiss Kyle, on 28 February 2011 - 12:33 PM, said:

Yeah, the bag isn't too spectacular - even the shark I got in Hamburg the other day had a printed bag.
Anyway, I love the bus. Simple, but a very good design. I wouldn't want to miss it, and it's a perfect gift for a London Lego store!
I quite agree, Miss Kyle.  What I didn't mention in the review is that the bag itself was a little beaten up (you can just make out in the picture that there are marks from where the corners of the pieces have indented the bag) but that could have happened in getting it home.

#14 buddy

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 06:09 PM

Great review for a great set! This set both looks nice and has good pieces in it, especially the new part.  :thumbup:
Very well done on the review.  :classic:

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#15 cmg

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 11:58 PM

Thanks for the great review - and instruction images!  
One question:  

Is the part count 127 (as per your parts image), or 134 (the text description)?

Thank you.

C

#16 Rufus

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 12:04 AM

View Postbuddy, on 28 February 2011 - 06:09 PM, said:

Great review for a great set! This set both looks nice and has good pieces in it, especially the new part.  :thumbup:
Very well done on the review.  :classic:

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Cheers buddy.

View Postcmg, on 28 February 2011 - 11:58 PM, said:

Thanks for the great review - and instruction images!  
One question:  

Is the part count 127 (as per your parts image), or 134 (the text description)?

Thank you.

C
Oooh... it seems you're right.  I must have miscounted.  Nicely spotted :blush:

I'll correct the review.  Thanks, cmg  :classic:

#17 SilentMode

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 02:15 AM

I was there on the Sunday too, and was miffed about the queue in the store as well as outside (due to being "open for browsing"). Thankfully I got there early enough to get one of the models, and I think it was worth it for a freebie.

It's that annoying bracket part (currently only available in this set) that will prevent anyone from building it with spares, but I'm guessing a 1x4 with four studs on the side could replace it. Might give it a try.

I also wondered why three 1x1 plates were used instead of a 1x1 brick.
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#18 Rick

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 02:52 PM

View PostSilentMode, on 04 March 2011 - 02:15 AM, said:

It's that annoying bracket part (currently only available in this set) that will prevent anyone from building it with spares, but I'm guessing a 1x4 with four studs on the side could replace it.
Two of these can easily replace it in this case (you have to replace the two plates in the row after it with a 1 x 4 plate though).

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It's a neat little set to get as a freebie and a really nice small parts pack indeed. Nicely reviewed Rufus (as usual :wink: ).



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