Gather around young whippersnappers and adult fans of LEGO. I'm going to share a salty fishing yarn about the Annabell, a small fishing boat built in Classic Town fashion with a "floatable hull", yet trimmed with new modern colors for 2011. Yes, she's the new 2011 Fishing Boat, set #4642. "Pop" to his boy, a father and his son, loved as one, fish'n they will go, Ahoy!
Set Number: 4642
Set Name: Fishing Boat
Sub-Theme: Harbor/Sea Port
Released Date: April 2011
Price: $16.99 (USD) found at Toys R Us
Accessories: Shark, Fishing Rod, Fish, 2 Life Jackets
I was pleasantly surprised to find the beautiful white-hulled Annabell in the Toys R Us LEGO aisle today, directly above some train sets and next to the LEGO City Space Shuttle. How I immediately remembered Classic Town set 4011 Cabin Cruiser when I eagerly picked up the 64 piece set, alone just waiting for me to come along.
4011 Cabin Cruiser (1991)
Unfortunately, I have only seen Cabin Crusier in pictures thinking she would have made a fine fishing vessel. I had been given another chance picking up the new 2011 set and quickly turning her around to admire the boxart:
While I'm not really fond of the newer LEGO City Grey/Bley skyscraper background, thinking a lighter more leisurely "Paradisia without the pink" would be so much better, the shark, flying fish, and backside scenes make an enjoyable look.
Eager to get the set home, I quickly cut open the side tabs dumping the contents in prepration for this exclusive Eurobricks review.
WHAT! What is this? Had my fishing boat been "out to sea", transported by maybe even the Ghost Ship in one of EB's "favorite all-time" murder mysteries; later being stored within the damp air of a seaside Maersk container? My anger consumed me as I looked at the thin wrinkled instructions and sticker sheet wondering, "how might I flatten these to original glory?". Shame shame shame on LEGO! But enough about the wrinkled contents, I would pop the one bag open and behold a short build.
BUT first... I decided to take a look at the beautiful white and grey hull of the Annabell. Yes, at last I was the owner of a single smaller vessel hull.
28 studs long by 8 studs wide, measuring 23 cm or 9 inches in length, the airtight floatable hull quickly took my imagination to further heights... a new and improved Retro 1966 Batboat (custom stickers required), a Ship O'Fishing Gnomes, or even the originally intended leisure scene, a "Boy and his Dad", with maybe an extra Series 3 Fisherman as an additional friend. Splash! a wave of water brought me back to my senses.
Forgive my fuzzy pictures for the sun was setting as Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville played in my head.
FATHER & SON
The tranquility and simple pleasure of a Father and his Son enjoying the relaxing Sunday afternoon aboard the Annabell is what I see as I line up the minifigures. A lime green hat on the boy, how different yet perfect does it look? While the faces resemble one another; the apple never falls far from the tree, the young boy has freckles and a smaller, yet higher smile. Dad might be the same Werewolf and Green/White Transport truck driver we know and love, blue pants and a life vest makes him "Our Dad", the fishing pro. I'm sure he's got a fishing sonar-of-sorts, but is unfortunately still tickering with it in the garage, where he left it when this set was sealed within a Maersk container.
A little humor by LEGO for those of us who remember the late 70s when Jaws scared many from visting their coastal beaches, perhaps? Rather, a return to Divers with a classic grey shark for added adventure? Whatever you choose, one cannot fault LEGO for including the classic shark. While part of me would have loved the newer larger stronger better printed Pirate shark, the jaw biting grey shark is certainly a nice piece still the same.
Having just spent several hours building the Maersk on Esater Sunday, I was ready for a short and sweet built adding just a few pieces to the Annabell's hull:
Containing the wonderful printed radar slope and a round solid white windhield piece, the upper deck lets "Pop" steer the craft while "The Boy" casts his rod on the lower deck. Unfortunately, the steering wheel was left off during assembly.
Radar and port & starboard lights top the Annabell off nicely, while the addition of two binoculars puzzle me? Unfortunaley, nothing turns like Classic Divers, but perhaps fishing boats don't require as sophisticated radar systems.
The Annabell is a "two-man" craft containing two red chairs. The lower chair allows the fisherman to sit as he attaches his rod to the back of the boat. A 2x2 swivel plate would have been a nice addition to the lower deck chair.
A simple front-end or "bow" of the Annabell has a lovely yellow O-ring life preserver.
The completed Annabell after building:
With Pop, Boy, and Sharkey following close behind:
Just a few extra pieces:
And a sticker sheet that I have to flatten overnight:
So many have said that LEGO has been able to capture some of the charm of Classic Town in recent years, and its sets like this that reinforce the thought. While I don't own the 1991 4011 Cabin Cruiser set, I can't help to think that this may be an upgraded or modern version of the same floatable boat. The set has nice colors and I love the use of dark blue. The overall shape and design works well for me and has a bit of a sleek modern look while still capturing a retro ship design. The shark, young boy minifig, life vests and preserver, and fishing rod with fish accessorize the Annabell nicely.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
Comparing this set to 4011 Cabin Cruiser, 4011 had two seats on its upper/steering deck adding more play value; however to be fair, 4011 did not have as a nice a radar system on its upper deck. Could LEGO have given us the best of both worlds? Perhaps I'm asking too much. I would have loved some additional accessories, such as a 1x2 printed radio brick, a bucket or barrel for placing fish within, and maybe even a set of skis for some waterskiing fun. With a box this small, I can't understand why my instructions were wrinkled as badly as they were. Lastly, with a small piece count; two-three dollars off the price would have been a little more reasonable, although I think the set is worth it. Oops! I almost forgot, the Annabell needs a steering wheel.
Let me try rating this set with some additional factors considered:
Design: 4/5 (no turning radar, opening latches, or swivel seats)
Pieces: 4/5 (needs a crate or barrel & a few more pieces for alternate building)
Playability: 5/5 (it doesn't get much better than floating and fishing with minifigs)
Nostalgia Factor: 5/5 (I'm getting the Classic Town "warm fuzzy")
Price: 4/5 (just a few dollars over price expected)
Overall: 4.4 (with all things considered, I'm rounding to 5!)
4642 is not just a Fishing Boat, it's a floatable fishing boat. It's not Jack Stone, but it's quality design, nice colors, and nice pieces. The build took me about 10 minutes and I enjoyed it. I can't wait to break out a Series 3 Fisherman to bring a friend along. It's great to see LEGO offering a new boat that isn't Police or Fire. Now I want that tugboat I never had. This is a must buy and a great way to introduce the new Harbor sub-theme. I look forward to seeing the other new sets and the Creator Lighthouse for added nautical fun. I hope you have enjoyed this review, reading some of the contents vs. just looking at the pictures.
Until next time,
Edited by TheBrickster, 30 April 2011 - 06:24 PM.