This set was first rumoured as early as January this year, or possibly before. It's been a long wait! The CREATOR range produces a large car every two or three years, and the last was 4993 Cool Convertible from 2008, a set which featured a lovely car, but many bemoaned the lack of steering. Clearly, LEGO have listened, and this latest yellow open-top sports car once again features working steering.
I'm a huge fan of CREATOR vehicles, and I've been looking out for this set's appearance for months. Was it worth the long wait? There's only one way to find out!
Review: 5767 Cool Cruiser
Name: Cool Cruiser
Year of Release: 2011 (Autumn)
Price: GB £35.99 | US $39.99 | EUR 39.90 - 44.99 | DKK 349.00 | CA $49.99 | AU $69.99
This sporty 4-seater cabriolet comes complete with working steering, opening doors and folding front seats. Pop the hood to reveal its powerful, detailed engine! If you want something even more impressive, rebuild into a super-fast racing car or a highly mobile telehandler. Any way you build it, you’ll rule the road in sporty style!
- 3 models in 1: cabriolet rebuilds into a racing car and a telehandler
- Features working steering, opening doors and folding front seats
- Pop the hood to reveal a detailed engine!
- Racing car: turn the steering wheel of the Racing Car to move the front wheels!
- Raise and lower the arm of the Telehandler!
- Measures over 9” (22cm) long and 4” (10cm) wide
- Telehandler measures over 9” (22cm) long, 4” (10cm) wide and 3” (7cm) tall
- Racing Car measures over 10” (27cm) long, 4” (12cm) wide and 2” (7cm) tall
Links ... Brickset ... Bricklink ... Peeron (not yet listed) ... Shop@Home
Click for a high-resolution full-frontal
The usual CREATOR box colour scheme of a light blue background with yellow surround is preserved here, which is a bit of a shame as the yellow car gets a little lost (I like that the CREATOR series uses colour themes, but I wish they'd choose more interesting and rarer colours, like dark red, dark green or medium blue.) Behind the car, rays of sunlight poke through stormy-looking clouds - quite a tempestuous scene for a car! This box is somewhat smaller than I expected, but it's actually the same area as that of the pricier Winter Village Post Office, but a little deeper.
In keeping with the best traditions of the range, the three builds are shown on the back. We know we're getting the cabriolet, but there's also a racing car and a variant of fork-lift known as a telehandler:
Click for a high-resolution image
There's less yellow on the box back, so the models stand out more. Insets depict two functions - not the functions I'd have highlighted, but hey! I would have thought they'd have shown off the steering, or the surprising features of the telehandler (spoilers, Honey!)
As is customary with CREATOR sets, the inventory is detailed on the box top, in case the parts selection will sway you:
Click for a high-resolution image
They always seem to put the inventory on a gradient from white top-left to dark blue bottom-right, whilst the colours are arranged light to dark. This makes the extremes harder to see; though to be fair, they're easier to make out with the naked eye and I'm sure TLC weren't worrying about AFOL web reviews when they designed it!
The box opens with thumb-tabs, and out fall nine polybags and three instruction books. No stickers in CREATOR sets! Each model gets its own manual:
The booklets are a similar size, though those of the smaller models are thinner; the paper quality of the telehandler manual is noticeably poorer quality.
Notice that the manuals aren't numbered - you can actually choose which order you wish to build them! If you need help to decide, on the second page of the car manual - next to the pictoral advice not to sort your bricks on the disembodied pelt of a yeti - there is a handy guide to build difficulty for each of the models:
Of course, you'd have had to open the car manual first to spot this, but it is standard CREATOR practice nowadays Actually during building I didn't notice that much difference in the build difficulty for the three models: all use a little technic, some SNOT (studs-not-on-top) and some fiddly placement of 1x1s.
The instruction steps are clearly laid out against a nicely-contrasting blue background; sub-builds are well-spaced out, and piece call-outs accompany the steps for each model. It can be a little tricky finding where to place all the yellow parts, but there is nothing too complicated, and no colour-differentiation issues; the build flows smoothly and logically with minimal repetition.
As you can see from the inset in this chosen page, the functions are indicated as they are completed, in this case the steering mechanism.
The steps in the Car manual continue right to the back page. The Racing Car book contains a few adverts at the rear (here is an example); the rear of the telehandler book is defiled by the despicably ubiquitous WinGagneGewinne Kid, but its inside rear cover does contain the inventory:
Click the picture for a closer look. They've done well to fit all 621 pieces onto one page whilst maintaining clarity.
The nine polybags divide roughly into four of larger parts and five of smaller. There's a slight catch - one of the bags contains a mixture of smaller and larger elements, most of which are repeated in other bags. I didn't notice this until the bags were opened, so no picture I'm afraid, and I can't think of an explanation for this phenomenon.
Addendum: jonwil has an interesting theory about this: see his post below.
The larger pieces are predominantly yellow, black and bluish grey (bley):
There's a bountiful selection of yellow slopes and curves. Unfortunately the yellow suffers from the familiar colour variability, best seen here in the two 2x2 corner plates at the bottom-left, which are a noticeably paler yellow than the surrounding parts.
This colour-variation even exists within parts of the same shape: it hasn't photographed well, but there are two distinct shades of yellow within the collection of 1x2 plates here.
It's nice to see a range of blue pieces amongst the smaller parts. Otherwise of note are the 1x2 inverted yellow corner slopes, not uncommon but only appearing recently in a handful of sets; the yellow and black 1x2 cheeses, and the fourteen 1x4 curved slopes. The eagle-eyed among you may have spotted that 1x2 inverted yellow slopes appear in this 'smaller part' picture as well as the 'larger part' array above; this is because they came in two different polybags as I mentioned before.
Some pieces of interest:
Nothing absolutely new, but new to me. I've not seen the 3-wide steering wheel in black before. 1x3 tiles are the rage at the moment, and this set contains plenty on yellow and blue. I got excited by the 2x2 modified corner brick, but it's also doing the rounds in various sets this year. Likewise the trans-clear headlight brick is rare but not unique: it comes also in the new 10220 VW Camper van, and formed part of the Grand Emporium's chandelier (though that one was without the mysterious 'slot'): Trans-clear headlight brick | with slot
Model 1 - Cool Cruiser
I elected to build the models in reverse order, ending with this one - because I didn't want to have to dismantle it - but for the sake of consistency with my other CREATOR reviews I will cover the main model first.
This sporty yellow cabriolet has a 'fun' feel to it, - more of a Mazda MX-5 than a BMW Z4 - a plaything rather than a serious sports convertible; if you compare it to the testosterone-fuelled 4896 Roaring Roadster from 2006, you'll see what I mean. It's nicely rounded, but the wheels look a little small for the size of the car. Its lines and curves are for the most part very well realised, and I love the angle of the doors. It's also nice to see four seats. Let's take a closer look.
The front is beautifully curved, and the three round 1x1 headlights give it a slightly more agressive look. Again, and especially from this angle, the small wheels look a little disproportionate, making the nose look somewhat bulbous.
The radiator grille and air intake help to break up the expanse of yellow. Note here how the angle of the windscreen is achieved, with plates attached at an angle - not, perhaps, a technique that will appeal to purists, but it keeps the windscreen shape reasonably rigid. I like how the 1x1 round white plates underneath the headlights give the appearance of lights. There's also a clever sandwich of SNOT panels around studs-up bricks.
SNOT also forms the rear panel; again, two separate SNOT panels are used, but sit together flush:
The back looks smart, curvaceous but like it means business. I like the centre brake light strip, common on cars these days. There isn't an opening boot/trunk, unfortunately.
This side view is, I think, the Cabrio's best angle. It shows off the roomy cabin, the sleek rake of the windscreen, and the sexy curve behind the front wheel-arch.
You'll notice that the rear wheel fits snugly in its arch, whilst there's acres of space around the front wheel; this is due to the steering mechanism, which we'll examine presently.
This car has a sexy feminine waistline, shown perfectly in this aerial view:
You can also see how roomy the four-seater cabin is. I'm not sure I'd want blue and white striped seats in my car, but chacun à son goût, as they say! The visible longitudinal axle transmits the steering from the black gear to the pinion; it's a shame it's not hidden, but it isn't overly obtrusive.
We'll inspect the underside details shortly, but here's an
I don't like the yellow plates here, but I believe they are necessary for the alternate models. The inverted black domes are interesting - they seem to serve no overt purpose, but might be there to prevent undue strain on the steering attachments if any force is applied to the car from above.
I was pleased to discover that the car has an opening bonnet/hood, even if it's not as wide as might be expected on a modern car:
Underneath, a few haphazardly-placed 1x1 rounds give a vague appearance of an engine. This looks a little like an afterthought, and I'd have hoped for a bit more detail here. To be fair, this is not a Technic set, so a working engine would be far above and beyond what might reasonably be expected, and the chassis and steering mechanism mean there isn't room for anything more than this two-dimensional facsimile. You can also catch a glimpse of the rack and pinion steering gear here.
The angled doors open smoothly, allowing plenty of room for passenger ingress. If only I had a Belville figure to demonstrate! The front seats can recline on clicky-hinges, but their range of movement is limited to one click either way from the angle shown here.
The dashboard is a little sparse, with a single printed brick limiting this car's speed to exactly 82 somethings (or 28, if you invert it!) and a dash-mounted gearstick. If you look closely you'll see that the steering wheel doesn't connect to anything: it's just for show. Steering is controlled solely from the black gear at the rear. The wing-mirrors are mounted a little too low beside the doors; they could do with being a brick-height higher.
Now we can inspect the steering.
Despite the roomy wheel-arches, as you can see from this composite image, the range of movement of the wheels is rather limited. As a result, the car has a depressingly wide turning circle (20-point turns, here we come ). It is limited by the red 1x1 rounds attached SNOT to the side of the chassis.
Removing these red studs greatly increases the range of movement of the wheels, and therefore narrows the turning circle considerably:
However, there's a snag... literally. The rear-facing studs of the two yellow 1x2 double-SNOT bricks at the front catch on the wheels at steering lock, preventing them turning properly (as indeed does a yellow plate higher up in the arch). I'm sure some ingenious person will come up with a modification to achieve a compromise; in the meantime, I just happy that this car has steering at all .
I do have one other complaint about the steering, however. The wheels pivot around the front end of the black steering arms, which causes the wheels to travel quite a long way forwards or backwards when they turn. Ideally, the wheels should pivot around their centre axis, which is difficult to achieve; a compromise would have been to mount the wheels on the centre of the steering arms, a technique used in 2006's 4896 Roaring Roadster (picture from ickelpete's review). This would require the use of this piece instead of this.
The single rear axle has no differential - hardly necessary with a large turning circle and no engine, admittedly.
The two tan intermeshed gears you see above the axle are part of the steering mechanism, whereby the twist of the black gear is transmitted to a longitudinal axle that directly controls the pinion.
I don't have any appropriately sized figures, but a bunch of Fabulanders fit reasonably well both physically and metaphorically (this being Special Themes ):
Note that Cameron Crocodile has to stand to fit behind the wheel; Pandora Panda, Cara Cow and the Walrus are sitting comfortably, seemingly unperturbed by the fact that it's Cameron driving .
Finally, here's a comparison to the most recent large car model from the CREATOR range, 2008's 4993 Cool Convertible.
4993 had only a few more pieces that 5767 for £5 extra, but was a larger model. Her oversized wheels highlight how small 5767's are, but the seat sizes give away that they are not the same scale, 5767 being a larger car rendered to a smaller scale.
Overall, the Cool Cruiser is a beautifully designed, sport-looking car, with fun features and the welcome return of steering, despite its somewhat ineffectualt turning circle
Model 2 - Racing Car
We perhaps shouldn't be too surprised that the designer chose to make a Formula-1 style racing car for the Medium Build. It was quite a frequent choice for alternate builds for cars back in the day when alternates were commonplace; personally, I'd rather have seen a truck (like the first alternate for 4993), but the result here is surprisingly good.
The designer has done well to utilise the available curves and wedges to create a streamlined racer, and this particular model shows the steering off nicely, as we shall see. I'm not sure yellow is the best colour for it, but some splashes of blue help to give it a more lively livery.
Front-on, the racer has the low profile we'd expect. Lack of available yellow has given the front spoiler a somewhat mismatched look; the white really doesn't go too well.
Behind the front wheels you can see the minor detailing of the air intakes - a lovely touch
The rear is a little plain. The two exhaust nozzles are topped by a strip of trans-red plates, which I suppose represent the light of the turbocharger - a nod to veracity here!
While it stands out less than the front, the rear spoiler also suffers from missmatched colours, in this case the white of the side panels.
The top view is good! The large yellow bow slopes, and some SNOT-work on the sides, help define the streamlined curves of this racer. Hats off to the designer here.
The cockpit is perhaps a little large for a Formula 1 car; maybe this would better represent the smaller racers of Formula 3000. I'll stop before my ignorance of motor racing becomes too apparent
The underside is functional, and again marred by unexpected colours.
There's a little cavity in front of the rear axle that might fit a smaller PF motor, if anyone fancies adding a bit of power. I doubt there's room for a battery box, though!
A close-up of the cockpit reveals a rather uncomfortable-looking seat, and a disturbing lack of legroom:
The steering wheel is mounted vertically, which is probably reasonable for such a car, though it looks a tad oversized.
Partial dismantling reveals the rack and pinion steering apparatus, which - aside from the fact that in this model, the steering wheel actually steers - is identical to that of the Cabrio.
However, the racing car doesn't suffer from the poor steering angle of the Carbio, and its turning circle is better, despite the longer wheelbase.
Cameron again demonstrates his motoring prowess:
He actually looks far more at home in the racer than in the Cabrio!
Overall, the Racing Car is a good rendition of a mid-sized racer, with some lovely streamlining, but aside from the steering, there are no working features. Despite the missmatched colours, its a great second build
Model 3 - Telehandler
Recent experience has shown that the third build from these CREATOR sets tends to be a little ... leftfield. *points to the power boat from 5892 Sonic Boom* This set is no exception, although this tertiary model does at least have four wheels.
This, for those that don't know, is a 'telescopic handler' or telehandler. It's essentially a fork-lift truck with an extending boom for greater reach... except that in this model, the boom doesn't extend. It does, however, lift, and there's even a palette included to demonstrate that ability. No steering on this model, sadly
In this aerial view I've removed the palette to show the forks of the boom, which are nicely tiled; the cheeses at the ends of the forks prevent the palette sliding off:
The upper surfaces of the vehicle make nice use of tiles and slopes for a smooooth appearance; yellow is a good choice for a working vehicle, but here the blue seems a tad incongruous.
The underside is rather plain, but this view demonstrates the asymmetry of the centre section, formed by the side-mounted cab:
Of note here is the rear SNOT section, formed via two technic beams attached at right angles.
I like this view from the front, looking down the length of the boom, and again the cab asymmetry is apparent:
I'm impressed with how the wheel embrasures are formed out of bricks and slopes; simple, yet effective .
Lifting the boom, you can see it achieves quite a height, even without the ability to extend:
This rear view affords another look at the SNOT rear section; note also the two trans-clear headlight bricks have been used to make a little rear window for the cab.
Did I mention that this model features a couple of little surprises? Prepare to be underwhelmed!
Firstly, a section of cowling at the side lifts, revealing what at first glance looks like a series of coffee jars on their sides, or a small church organ, but presumably represents the telehandler's engine ...
... and the cab has a rather cute little door, which opens:
Considering the available parts, I think the designer has done a rather nice job on the cab: those large yellow half-arches are perfect here (though again I'm not so sure about the blue and white roof). Yes, these little features don't exactly blow your mind, but I'm impressed that this tertiary model has any play features at all.
Here's how the boom is held aloft:
The steering rack is utilised here as an adjustable latch mechanism: the bley axle can lock into any tooth of the rack, allowing the boom to lift to a variety of heights. The actual lifting has, of course, to be done by hand; there is no fancy technic gearing in this model. When lowering the boom, turning the black gear simply moves the axle out of the way so it doesn't latch again by mistake.
I'm a huge CREATOR fan. I love the ingenuity that goes into these sets, and seeing what else can be made out of them; being also a typical 'boy', I naturally like cars, and here the two have combined into a must-have set for me. I've been looking forward to this since its rumours first appeared back in January. So how does the Cool Cruiser shape up?
On the whole, I'm mightily pleased with this latest addition to the CREATOR car line-up. The Cabriolet is sleek and curvy, a fun family runabout rather than a pumped-up muscle car, and designed with a certain restraint that I for one find appealing. It's great to see the return of steering, which even though a little limited in its turning circle would be easily modified; aside from the somewhat undersized wheels, its lines are near-perfect, and the attention to the car's little details is superb. Whilst I'd have preferred a more interesting colour than the ubiquitous yellow, the colour scheme suits the nature of the car, and will stand out on the shelf.
The alternative builds are realised with a certain ingenuity. Even if the choice of models (particularly the racing car) doesn't exactly break the mould, the inclusion of well-conceived, realistic alternates in CREATOR sets continues to impress; their various features add both playability and educational value. I'm always amazed the range doesn't seem to have a greater following amongst AFOLs .
Design: 8/10 Despite its few flaws, the car is a thing of beauty. I especially love the curves of the wheel arches, and the angle of the doors. The designer has done brilliantly in achieving a realistic four-seater at a relatively small scale. The alternative models too deserve recognition here: varied and interesting, they look great despite their construction from a part selection constrained by the car. Points are lost only for the understeer and the slightly-too-small wheels of the Cabrio.
Build: 7/10 Never dull or repetitive, the build features lots of interestingly-combined SNOT panels, but there aren't really any innovative techniques (unless you include the non-purist windscreen attachment). My only concern with the build process was the onset of yellow-blindness at various points!
Parts: 6/10 There aren't huge numbers of sought-after parts in this set, and yellow isn't a colour in great demand, unless you're building... vehicles, I suppose.
Playability: 6/10 Anything that rolls has good play value, and this steers too There's not much scope for swooshing, though, and I think for an AFOL this has more appeal as a display model, a role which it fulfills beautifully.
Value: 9/10 At just under 6 pence per piece, like most CREATOR sets it's excellent value; in terms of time spent building the three models, or creating you own from the parts selection, the value is unbeatable.
Overall: 72%. My score: 8/10 This is another great CREATOR set, and I heartily recommend it to any car fan. Perhaps it doesn't have the super-sex-appeal of last year's Sonic Boom Jet, but it's still, in my opinion, another winner from the CREATOR range.
Thanks for reading, I do hope you enjoyed the review!
See more pictures in my flickr photostream
4896 Roaring Roadsters Review by ickelpete
4993 Cool Convertible Review by Siegfried