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REVIEW: Fabuland 3628 Perry Panda and Chester Chimp

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Poll: REVIEW: Fabuland 3628 Perry Panda and Chester Chimp (6 member(s) have cast votes)

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#1 Pandora

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 08:27 AM

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Number – 3628
Name – Perry Panda and Chester Chimp
Theme – Fabuland
Year – 1981
Minifigs – 2
Pieces – 3
Price – GB £26.14/ EURO 30/ $42.28 (when bought)

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Everyone loves Fabuland, don’t they?  It’s a bright and happy world where sweet little animals go about simple lives, and many real-life people find that they have resonance with a particular character or animal.   For hopefully obvious reasons, I personally found this resonance with Perry Panda, who really is.... adorable.  Through the power of BrickLink, I bought a used and lonely figure of Perry Panda, but unfortunately, though still adorable, he was a little grubby and faded, and required a lot of photoshop work to restore him in pictures.   A return to BrickLink and a slightly more thorough search returned this set, MISB!  An opportunity to have a new Perry Panda, plus a friend and a vehicle, for our Fabuland friends must have some of their world around to make them feel at home, this is an opportunity not to be missed!


Review: Perry Panda and Chester Chimp 3628.



It’s an old box, and the passage of time has not been kind  :sad:  but the front of the very colourful box shows our heroes going about their daily business.  An old price sticker indicates the box was likely originally bought in Germany, costing 10.20 Deutsche Marks.

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The back of the box is equally beaten up.  It shows what good friends our heroes are and further scenes of day-to-day business, including an inability to put the ladder in the tricycle, and Perry’s concern for Chester as he horses around at height.

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The sides show identical scenes of further chimp and ladder acrobatics, and you can see where I have tried (and failed) to open the box carefully.

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The base shows yet another comic scene.

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Inside the box are two booklets, one with a specific story for Perry and Chester, and the other showing off other Fabuland sets.
The Story Booklet shows a wordless comic describing the adventures of the pair as they set about cleaning windows.  It is lovely to look at so here are all four scenes.

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Another page describes the relationship between the pair, unfortunately not in English, so I have translated as best I can:

Percy is the owner of a window cleaning company.  They say he is a real a businessman- but perhaps a little too good-natured.
Gabriel Gorilla works for Percy.  Intelligent he is not, but in the story (or in his mind?), he is king.


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It’s interesting that BrickLink and other resources call this set Perry Panda and Chester Chimp, when the Story Book clearly calls them Percy Panda and Gabriel Gorilla.
The booklet also shows a drawn picture of Fabuland itself and its inhabitants.  You can see Perry and Chester at the top of the right-hand side (click the picture for a high-res view).

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The second booklet shows a photograph of Fabuland and its inhabitants.

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As this set is not easy to get hold of I’ve included some small pictures of the pages inside the second booklet; please click on them for links to high-res pictures.

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The last page of this booklet shows Charlie Crow building his own truck (Carry-All) and also has instructions for parents.  I shall translate (I hope!):

Each box contains a book of stories on the small animal from the box, and gives ideas for building and play.  If you read the story aloud, your child will better know each new character.

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Onto the LEGO!

There are but three parts, the first two are a ladder and a red tricycle:


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The tricycle is an attractive red and seats (stands) one at the front, with space for equipment at the back.

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When I saw this, I immediately remembered my childhood Fabuland set, Ricky Raccoon and his Scooter, as the tricycle is remarkably similar:

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The ladder is a simple piece with hand grips at one end and attachments for the tricycle at the other.

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There’s also a brush (but I got two  :grin:)

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Our adorable heroes, Perry and Chester, from the front:

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I’m slightly miffed that, given the main reason for buying this set was to get a brand new Perry Panda, the 30 years of rattling around in the box has still left his nose and ears a little worn  :cry_sad:

Here they are from the back, and Chester is looking a little short...

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The build requires simply attaching the ladder to the tricycle.  Here you can see the holes in the bed of the tricycle into which the ladder attachment is inserted.

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The ladder stands upright when attached in this way.

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It can also be placed using the hand-holds to lie horizontally.

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Here are all the elements of the set together, emulating the scene on the front of the box.

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And once you get them all together, you can start to have even more fun!

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Conclusion

Design and Parts –8/10  this is classic Fabuland, not that there’s any other kind, and it’s a beautiful red tricycle.  :wub:  It coordinates well with the scooter, and the fact that the ladder can attach in two different orientations is great.  The brush is the same as those used by classic LEGO minifigs and looks a little small.  Given that other Fabuland sets have Fabuland specific accessories, a Fabuland brush would have been nice, as would a bucket.

Build – 8/10 it takes under five seconds; attaching the ladder to the tricycle is neither taxing nor time consuming, but still makes you smile.

Minifigs – 10/10 these are the headline of the set for me.  I bought this primarily for Perry, who is just  :wub:  able, but Chester is also entirely loveable, with his cute little ears, even if he is a little short.  The addition of the background story adds depth to the characters.

Playability – 9/10 the characterisation gives a springboard for setting up scenes of comic mishap with these two, plus the tricycle is fun to zoom around and the ladder attaches firmly in both orientations, preventing dislodgement when zooming.

Price – 8/10 At the time of selling, this set was evidently priced at 10.20 Deutsche Marks, which equates to EUR 5.22, GB £4.52 and US$ 7.36 at todays exchange rates.  I'm not sure how reliable the conversion is, but GB £4.52 is certainly a more expensive price-to-parts ratio for 1981, but this was the case with Fabuland back then.
Nowadays a MISB set can be bought from GB £25.99 to GB £43.28, and used sets range from GB £4.98 to GB £19.06 (values from BrickLink at the time of writing).  This was a MISB set with a known battered box, and I paid GB £26.14; I bought from a seller I had used before who also had other things I wanted to buy. This set is undeniably expensive, and I can only comment for myself, but I felt it was worth every penny.  If only a secret stash of old MISB Fabuland sets could be found so that they could be cheaper to buy (and I’d feel less guilty for opening it :cry_sad:)

Overall 88%  

I adore this set, it’s just gorgeous.  The characters are cute and the story is great, the only thing missing are more appropriate accessories, but those can be acquired by other means.

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Thanks for reading, High-Res pictures can be seen on my flickr

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#2 Rick

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 08:41 AM

I have this!  :cry_happy:  Unfortunately in a pretty bad state.  :cry_sad:  Broken ladder, broken tricycle, and figs in far from perfect state. So it's nice to see what it once looked like. :classic:

View PostPandora, on 02 June 2011 - 08:27 AM, said:

Another page describes the relationship between the pair, unfortunately not in English, so I have translated as best I can:

Percy is the owner of a window cleaning company.  They say he is a real a businessman- but perhaps a little too good-natured.
Gabriel Gorilla works for Percy.  Intelligent he is not, but in the story (or in his mind?), he is king.

'Erzählen' would be 'story telling', but since that's a verb, that wouldn't be capitalized in German...  :sceptic:

View PostPandora, on 02 June 2011 - 08:27 AM, said:

If only a secret stash of old MISB Fabuland sets could be found so that they could be cheaper to buy (and I’d feel less guilty for opening it :cry_sad:)
Feeling guilty for opening? What were you going to do, stare at the battered box for the rest of your life?  :hmpf: :grin:

#3 KielDaMan

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 08:58 AM

Wow, I'm thoroughly impressed with this lovely review - the photos are simply beautiful and the commentary is rich even for a set with a few parts. Excellently done Pandora! :thumbup:

Reading through this review has really made me appreciate more these Fabuland sets, I wish I was able to get this when I was young but alas, I completely missed these and I got started with LEGO with the system sets already.

View PostPandora, on 02 June 2011 - 08:27 AM, said:


It’s interesting that BrickLink and other resources call this set Perry Panda and Chester Chimp, when the Story Book clearly calls them Percy Panda and Gabriel Gorilla.
The monkey clearly looks like a chimp rather than a gorilla, so the BL set name is "more" correct than the story book one.

#4 Pandora

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 11:21 AM

View PostRick, on 02 June 2011 - 08:41 AM, said:

I have this!  :cry_happy:  Unfortunately in a pretty bad state.  :cry_sad:  Broken ladder, broken tricycle, and figs in far from perfect state. So it's nice to see what it once looked like. :classic:


'Erzählen' would be 'story telling', but since that's a verb, that wouldn't be capitalized in German...  :sceptic:


Feeling guilty for opening? What were you going to do, stare at the battered box for the rest of your life?  :hmpf: :grin:
Thank you Rick!  This is a beautiful, if simple set, and the tricycle does go well with your scooter; :laugh:   I would love for a more accurate translation than my school-days German can provide (my Italian and Spanish is sketchy at best :blush: ).  As to opening boxes, well I just can't resist, especially with cuteness such as this inside! :grin:

View PostKielDaMan, on 02 June 2011 - 08:58 AM, said:

Wow, I'm thoroughly impressed with this lovely review - the photos are simply beautiful and the commentary is rich even for a set with a few parts. Excellently done Pandora! :thumbup:

Reading through this review has really made me appreciate more these Fabuland sets, I wish I was able to get this when I was young but alas, I completely missed these and I got started with LEGO with the system sets already.


The monkey clearly looks like a chimp rather than a gorilla, so the BL set name is "more" correct than the story book one.
Thank you Kiel! :sweet:
I really do agree that Chester is a chimp; heaven knows why some areas made him a Gorilla, and I believe "Affe" actually means "monkey". :wacko:

Thank you both; it seems there is little love for Perry and Chester.... :cry_sad:

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#5 Big Cam

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 07:23 PM

I've always liked the look of the fabuland fig's, but it was EB that really made me like them.  I think them around the board, really made me want them more.  This review is gredat because it makes me feel like I have this set too.

#6 Donut

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 09:06 PM

Great review! The figs look so perfect and shiny (:wub:) after finally being released from their 30 years of imprisonment. :laugh:

Was there supposed to be a story booklet in every Fabuland set?

#7 Pandora

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 11:09 PM

View PostBig Cam, on 03 June 2011 - 07:23 PM, said:

I've always liked the look of the fabuland fig's, but it was EB that really made me like them.  I think them around the board, really made me want them more.  This review is gredat because it makes me feel like I have this set too.
Thanks Big Cam!  :sweet:

View PostDonut, on 08 June 2011 - 09:06 PM, said:

Great review! The figs look so perfect and shiny (:wub:) after finally being released from their 30 years of imprisonment. :laugh:

Was there supposed to be a story booklet in every Fabuland set?
Thanks Donut, they are much happier now they are free!  :grin:

To the best of my knowledge, each set came with its own story booklet which provided a sort of jumping-off point for creative play.  I'd love to be able to say this with certainty, however the other Fabuland sets and pieces I own no longer have their boxes (and my memory is rubbish for recent events let alone 30 years ago!)  Aside from that I don't believe the single figures (packaged on their own with an accessory or two) had story booklets, but great question, thank you.  :sweet:

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#8 Rick

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 06:50 AM

View PostPandora, on 08 June 2011 - 11:09 PM, said:

I'd love to be able to say this with certainty, however the other Fabuland sets and pieces I own no longer have their boxes (and my memory is rubbish for recent events let alone 30 years ago!)
Happy browsing :wink:

#9 Sinner

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:03 PM

It's so nice to see Fabuland sets in such great condition! Thanks for sharing such a detailed review.  :sweet:





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#10 Hinckley

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 05:24 AM

This is such an awesome review! :wub: I just love how you go over every detail of the box and instructions in great detail. It reminds me of how I used to pour over the images as a kid. I loved this little world so much, I ate up every illustration of it. Your review reminds me of that exciting feeling of getting a new Fabuland set. You really captured the nostalgia and innocent simplicity of the characters and set. I like how you focused on the characters' personalities as well and your intro about why people love Fabuland and how they associate with the characters is very true.

I think the reason Bricklink lists the name of the set differently is because the animals had different names in different countries. Since yours was German, it uses those names in the translation for whatever reason. I believe that if you had an English version, the names would be Perry and Chester. Who knows, though? I could be wrong :drool:

You've inspired me to break out my MISB Fabuland sets and write reviews! :wub:

#11 Rick

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 06:32 AM

View PostHinckley, on 01 July 2011 - 05:24 AM, said:

I loved this little world so much, I ate up every illustration of it.
I can vividly imagine you chewing on Fabuland boxes as a kid. :grin:

View PostHinckley, on 01 July 2011 - 05:24 AM, said:

You've inspired me to break out my MISB Fabuland sets and write reviews! :wub:
Do eet.  :moar:  Do eet now. :drool:

#12 Rufus

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 07:05 AM

View PostRick, on 01 July 2011 - 06:32 AM, said:

Do eet.  :moar:  Do eet now. :drool:
I second that!  :drool:

#13 Pandora

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 12:56 PM

View PostHinckley, on 01 July 2011 - 05:24 AM, said:

This is such an awesome review! :wub: I just love how you go over every detail of the box and instructions in great detail.
Thank you so much, Hinckley, that means a lot from the Fabuland aficionado! :wub:

View PostHinckley, on 01 July 2011 - 05:24 AM, said:

You've inspired me to break out my MISB Fabuland sets and write reviews! :wub:
Or you could send them to me and I'll review them for you....? :cry_happy: I know how busy you are, and any way I could possibly help out... :grin:

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#14 Hinckley

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 02:39 PM

View PostPandora, on 01 July 2011 - 12:56 PM, said:

Or you could send them to me and I'll review them for you....? :cry_happy: I know how busy you are, and any way I could possibly help out... :grin:
:cry_happy: What a thoughful and selfless gesture! However, I think it's my duty to get off my duff and dedicate some time to my favorite theme. I've been neglecting it for way too long.

#15 Darkdragon

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 06:25 PM

Excellent review and great photos of everything! I've only ever seen two Fabuland sets with boxes and it's great to see another. I'm sorry I missed this whole theme as a little kid.

The only bad thing about reading reviews is that it makes me want to buy sets instead of just figs!  :laugh:

#16 WhiteFang

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 04:03 PM

Amazingly detailed review! I love it. It certainly brings back lots of Fabuland memories and it's a pity that is not part of my collection. You are so lucky to own it.  :wub:

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#17 Bricks2000

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 04:47 PM

Fantastic review, Pandora! You've managed to convince Me to get myself a Fabuland SigFig, which arrived in the mail two days ago.

And even if I don't own the set, I do own one of the figs (Chester Chimp).
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#18 Pandora

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 08:12 PM

View PostSiegfried, on 13 June 2011 - 12:03 PM, said:

It's so nice to see Fabuland sets in such great condition! Thanks for sharing such a detailed review.  :sweet:
Thank you very much Siegfried!  :sweet:  I shall try to keep it in good condition!  :laugh:

View Postdarkdragon, on 02 July 2011 - 06:25 PM, said:

Excellent review and great photos of everything! I've only ever seen two Fabuland sets with boxes and it's great to see another. I'm sorry I missed this whole theme as a little kid.
Thank you darkdragon, I hope to do more Fabuland reviews so that others can live vicariously! :laugh:

View PostWhiteFang, on 03 July 2011 - 04:03 PM, said:

Amazingly detailed review! I love it. It certainly brings back lots of Fabuland memories and it's a pity that is not part of my collection. You are so lucky to own it.  :wub:
Thank you very much Fangy!  :wub:

View PostBricks2000, on 03 July 2011 - 04:47 PM, said:

Fantastic review, Pandora! You've managed to convince Me to get myself a Fabuland SigFig, which arrived in the mail two days ago.
The Fabuland love is spreading....  Thank you Bricks2000  :classic:

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