Number – 4644
Name – Marina
Theme – City
Year – 2011
Minifigs – Five
Pieces – 294
Price – GB £41.99
So I’m clearly not the quickest of reviewers, but once again, having started, I’d thought I’d finish!
On yet another Saturday afternoon I find myself in TRU looking for LEGO. This time it was the Alien Conquest sets we were after, however, in the City section, gleaming invitingly was this set: 4644 Marina.
Fresh from my exploits reviewing 5770 Lighthouse Island, this set made me want to continue with my attempts at reviewing, and I was still feeling ever so slightly... nautical
LEGO City Marina 4644
The front of the box shows all the different buildings in the set, which are joined together by a raised footbridge. It also shows the various characters as they go about their business, be that windsurfing or deep-sea diving.
Additionally, you can see that TLG proudly proclaim that the boat really floats!
Really?! I’m not putting my LEGO in a filthy pond, but I might just remember that next time I take a bath.
The back of the box shows lots of smaller pictures, and a demonstration that the overall build is “divided into sub-models for easy start”, and that these sub-models are contained in numbered poly-bags. Click for a link to a high-res picture.
The top of the box shows all five minifigs in action poses, and with their respective accessories.
Inside the box are two instruction booklets. Book one contains instructions for the boat and the windsurfer, and shows as much on the front. You can just spot the quad bike in the background of the picture, and indeed its instructions are here, too.
Inside the booklet you can see which bag to grab and which “extra” parts are also needed.
The back shows the final stages of the build.
The second instruction booklet is for the remainder of the build – the buildings and structure of the Marina.
The back shows everyone’s favourite KFOL. (Not shown)
Towards the back of the second booklet, there’s a full inventory spread over two pages. I’ve put them side by side but there’s a link to high-res pictures if you want to see more.
The sticker sheet, unlike the instruction booklets, was in perfect condition. In fact it had cloned itself; I got two. I’m still not applying them, though.
Now onto the LEGO itself. One bag is unnumbered and contains two tan plates, the boat body, a red flexible pipe for the boat and the windsurf sail.
Each numbered bag contains a smaller polybag within, and you can just about make them out.
Here they are:
A better look at the parts inside the unnumbered bag, including the nice tan plates, and the boat that really floats:
The main parts of bag 1 contain some interesting parts, particularly the printed console.
Here’s a closer look at the printed console.
The smaller poly-bag within contains mainly minifigs accessories and parts for detailing.
The minifigs comprise of two divers, identical apart from facial expressions, hats and accessories,
and a dodgy bloke in his vest and pants, with a slightly sinister coastguard.
To start you off gently, the first build is the wind-surfer and his board, complete with a solitary buoy for him to windsurf around. This is extremely simple.
This is followed up with the cute little quad bike, that looks a bit more like a dune buggy to me with its roll-bars.
There’s even a tow bar on the back in case any vehicles or boats need to be towed out of the sea. It’s a very simple build, with a pleasing end result.
Building the boat really just consists of adding the steering section, some seats and some details to the large boat part. Having said that, the addition of these pieces really does transform it into a divers’ boat.
Here’s a better view of the steering section:
The back, with the two powerful engines:
And the front, where you can see how much these chaps are enjoying themselves.
At the end, not much is left over save for a few extra accessories and 1x1 trans plates.
Bag number 2 contains the parts for the coastguard watchtower, with a couple of handy staircases, lots of brown plates and a moulded green roof part. There are also three 1x1x5 dark grey bricks and a couple of Technic bricks in blue.
The smaller poly-bag again contains items for detailing, including three flags used to denote the water safety, and a life preserver part.
The second bag also contains the fifth minifigs, who is my favourite, probably because she has my sig-fig’s head. I like to think of her as Pandora on holiday by the sea...
The parts of the big and little poly-bags are combined with the first tan plate to build the Coastguard Watchtower with its sandy driveway, the raised bridge and a small pier with a beacon.
A view of the Coastguard Watchtower from the front. It makes you want to hum the Baywatch theme... and the Lifeguard from collectable minifigs series 2 would be right at home here, I think. There are interchangeable coloured flags, depending on the warnings required for the beach, plus a life-preserver ready to grab and throw to a hapless swimmer. The quad bike fits nicely under the stilted hut.
The bridge is quite simple,
And connects to an equally simple pier or jetty, where holidaying Pandora contemplates the murky depths below. There is also a beacon to prevent the divers in the blue boat from accidentally crashing into said pier/jetty.
The back shows where the long blue Technic brick is used and it is placed to allow attachment of the built contents of the third bag.
There are, surprisingly, no leftovers from this bag.
Bag 3 is combined with the second, remaining tan plate to build a little surf shop selling watersports equipment. The larger parts:
The contents of the smaller poly-bag within: More flippers! And a harpoon! I can see that being useful.. Note also the printed parts.
Here’s a better view of the printed parts, including a back view of the 2x2 plate showing its attachment.
Once the parts are combined, a charming little surf shop is formed, complete with cash-register and a few supplies for sale. There are even a couple of cupboards. A sticker to denote this as a surf shop is placed on the white 1x16 brick at the front of the shop. The front also shows that another long blue Technic brick is used here to allow the Technic pins to join the shop to the jetty.
The view from the back shows the back of the cash register and the cupboards more clearly.
Here you can see the surf shop attached to the jetty from the second build, and you can also see the dark grey plates with widely spaced studs to allow attachment of the built contents of the fourth bag.
Once again very few parts remain, and once again, they’re mostly flippers
The fourth and final bag contains fewer parts, but does contain some nice dark grey windows, two long aerials in black and an unusual lime green radar dish.
The smaller poly-bag has a few trans-clear 1x2x1 panels, a couple of mugs and a red loud-hailer, along with sparse bits and pieces.
The first thing to build for the Paradise Cafe is the coffee machine I have never been so delighted to see a coffee machine that’s incapable of producing coffee! It only requires a few parts, but it is instantly recognisable.
The rest of the cafe is put together rather simply, and uses two more of the moulded green roof parts. The largest of the stickers is supposed to be placed on the roof to identify this as the Paradise Cafe, and there is a menu sticker to apply on a wall inside. Both are placed on single bricks. The name Paradise Cafe harks back somewhat to bygone Paradisa sets.
However, a bit of Technic jiggery-pokery, and the roof is able to rotate and open. The Paradise Cafe has a flip-top lid! This provides an unexpected feature and allows better access into the cafe itself for moving things around.
The back view shows the interior better, along with the small terrace with a table and umbrella and a couple of chairs. This is supposed to sit on top of the surf shop, but the only possible way up is via the ladder used to display life-preservers. The top of that ladder finishes under the green roof part at the front. How on earth are these minifigs supposed to get their coffee?
At the bottom of Bag 4, only a black aerial is spare.
Here’s a view of all four modules joined together, with the additional vehicles and accessories. They do make a nice scene together, and the use of the bridge to imply water works well, but one can’t help feeling that there’s a whole lot of sea missing
The new Harbour range within the City theme provides the opportunity to expand your town with coast-line themed buildings and boats. This set, Marina, provides the more commercial and recreational side to the buildings with both a surf shop, and the Paradise Cafe, in addition to the Watchtower. To me this is an interesting direction for City. There’s still the element of excitement and rescue with the other Harbour sets, as one would have with the Police and Fire lines, but the addition of this more recreational side is more appealing to me.
Design – 7/10 I can’t help but feel this could have been so much more, and then I feel bad as there’s a cute little quad bike, and a windsurfer, and a big blue boat, not to mention the kitted out surf shop and cafe, but it still feels a little bare. The modular approach is nice and means elements can be moved around to some degree, and although it’s not new I’m delighted with the coffee machine.
Build – 7/10 nothing about this build was challenging, each sub-model was quickly and easily assembled. It was almost like four impulse sets joined together.
Minifigs – 8/10 there are five, including vest and pants man (the windsurfer) who I’ve not seen before, and the diver’s outfits are quite nice. There are plenty of accessories, too.
Parts – 8/10 there aren’t that many parts, all things considered, but there are some interesting pieces and, as mentioned, accessories. Stand out favourites would be the harpoon and the printed console piece and tiles, and if you need orange and lime-green flippers then this is the set for you.
Playability – 7/10 there’s a strange sense of incompleteness, as if the other Harbour sets are required to make a story. There are no real play-features except for the Paradise Cafe’s flip-top lid, but you can zoom around in the boat. You could even take the boat in the bath!
Price – 7/10 for the parts and interest it’s reasonable value for money, especially compared with other City sets. I wouldn’t be tempted to buy two, though.
It’s a pleasant set that would be nice enough to provide a starting point for a coast-line at least. It really was very simple to build and looks nice once built, but being spread out in a long line makes it awkward to display. The lack of any real sea element makes it seem a little odd. I’m pleased with it, and I did enjoy building it, but I think it’ll be sorted for parts before too long.
Comments very welcome.
Edited by Zorbas, 18 May 2011 - 02:53 PM.