I bought this set as a present for my cousin's daughter (first cousin once-removed? ) earlier in August, when I headed down to Virginia for BrickFair. She already had a bucket of LEGO Duplo blocks, but I figured now would be a good time to transition her into actual sets. Seeing as how much she loved this little set, I will have to get thinking about which Duplo set to get her for Christmas.
Name: 5644 Chicken Coop
Price: USD 8.99, GBP 7.99
Further References: Brickset.com, BrickLink.com, Peeron.com, flickr
These were all taken while she was at nursery school, by the way (except for the box pictures which I took before I left for VA). For those of you who may have believed that I am a toy snatcher.
The box is very colorful and kid friendly, making use of simple illustrations to paint a farmland to act as the background. Just like any other LEGO set, the age limit is listed on the left, although with a lower range than we've come to expect - 1.5-5 years of age. Frankly, I think most kids will outgrow Duplo long before they reach five, but since when have any of us paid attention to the age ranges anyway?
After all these years, I still remember the red Duplo rabbit featured on the logo, and it's great to see it once more even on today's sets.
The back of the box has various build and play options which could provide inspiration for youngsters, that is if the box manages to stay intact after a kid tries to open it!
There actually aren't any, but it's simple enough to build by looking at the box. Better yet, a toddler could use his or her own imagination to create whatever out of the 11 pieces that are included.
One of the first things I noticed was that some of the colors differed from the typical colors that we are used to. For example, take a look at the green and orange 2x2 bricks. Those colors are actually referred to on BrickLink as 'bright green' and 'bright light orange.' I really like these brighter colors, which I think are more in-sync with the early age audience as opposed to the standard green and orange shades.
I thought this was a pretty cool piece to have in a Duplo collection - a dark tan 2x2 brick with a nest of eggs printed on it.
Technically, there is only one minifigure in this set, but I included the chicken in here too. The Duplo figure is that of an elderly denizen of LEGOVille, tending to her lone chicken. This is a world where the animals are huge, and the chickens are 2/3'rds the size of a person.
I never realized this before actually, but all Duplo figures, including generic ones, seem to take on realistic skin tones as opposed to yellow skin like their System counterparts. I suppose this is done as a way to show children the vast diversity of races and cultures in the world, through the role-play of daily life.
Design and Playability
Chances are that a kid will have fun just playing around with putting bricks together haphazardly, but when the set is put together, the play options are quite open-ended. That is what I like about Duplo, as it is so simple and basic that toddlers will have loads of fun just putting random bricks together, or recreating simple scenes. But, I think that is one thing toddlers have over older fans and AFOLs - they can spend hours of fun playing around with a little 11 piece set like this, while we binge on BrickLink for every single part we can get our hands on! All kidding aside, with LEGO the play options are limitless, even if it may seem like there is so little to play with.
It felt pretty surreal walking out of the toy store with a Duplo set in hand, seeing as the last time I probably did so was back in the 1990s. I was pretty psyched to see that my cousin liked it so much, and as I said before, I will have to get her a larger Duplo set for Christmas this year, so any suggestions will be helpful.
Thanks for reading!
Edited by Rufus, 09 October 2011 - 09:36 AM.