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REVIEW: 3061 City Park Café


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Poll: Review: 3061 City Park Café (94 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. Poor (1 votes [1.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.06%

  2. Below Average (4 votes [4.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.26%

  3. Average (4 votes [4.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.26%

  4. Above Average (44 votes [46.81%])

    Percentage of vote: 46.81%

  5. Outstanding (41 votes [43.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 43.62%

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#51 brickmack

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 07:08 PM

A very funny and thorough review. Definitely going to have to get this set. My only major complaint is the white background used in the photography makes it rather difficult to see the white and transparent parts.

Edited by brickmack, 03 January 2012 - 07:09 PM.


#52 LegoDad

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 07:49 PM

Excellent review, that made my day.  It is good to see that people here have a sense of humor, as I thought this was incredibly funny.  I haven't gotten caught up in the uprise against this, as a product will invariably piss somebody off, but I think Lego has done a good job here.  I am not in the market for these, as my daughter is only 2 and is still chewing Legos and tearing heads off, but this was well done by Lego and has several pieces that will be good for building one's own cafe, or house, etc.  

It is too bad that the figures aren't minifigs for crossover, but obviously the research said to go another way, and money talks.
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#53 KimT

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:00 PM

That's it!
Now I have to get the entire Friends line just because you did a great and hilarious review.
Damn you! :sceptic: :laugh:
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#54 Jipay

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:27 PM

Great review and great comic ! This gives a real highlight on the potential of the line.

#55 Fridwulfa

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:33 PM

Haha, great review! I was a little sceptical to the whole Friends line in the beginning, but this changed my impression a little.
I'll probably buy some of the sets now and make my own female minifigs :sweet:

#56 Marckeyh

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:40 PM

Very funny review! Now I'm tempted to buy a few friends sets...  :laugh:

#57 radar92

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 09:40 PM

Great review,

Of all of them I like this set the most.  I'd love to include it in to my train table but I doubt my daughters would let me.  Of my three daughters, my tomboy, I expected would not even want to touch them.  She built the little convertible car and played with it to boot.  My other two love the sets.  I like the new details that are include.

Now of course these are the Lego bricks my kids will be getting me for a bit.

#58 Redhead1982

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:01 PM

That is a great review, Hinckley. I enjoyed reading it very much, and my thoughts on the sets are similar to yours. It's not all about the stereotypes, it's about geting a toy, a great one for the fact and this one gives us many new and interesting parts. I'm not excited with the new ladyfigs, but am amazed with the new accesories. Although I am a slightly older version of the target population for Friends, I'm not a fan of pink and purple and dolls and so on... But this set (and other Friends) are great for parts, and I'm looking forward to getting my own City Park Cafe.
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#59 TheLegoDr

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:14 PM

We were already planning on getting most of this line, but your review was much needed. It helps put the controversy in its place and allows us AFOLs a good read on something "girly." The pink/purples aren't too overpowering throughout this theme, but it is noticeable for sure. I welcome the new colors, and if I ever so wanted I could swap out a few things here and there to make it more "manly." The Cafe/Milkshake Shop works well with pastel colors instead of dark gritty colors.

I do really like the new molds. I'm not much of a city person, but these sets are opening my eyes I suppose.

My wife has been slowly agreeing with my obsession of Lego, and now she is getting the little one involved, so these sets will be in our house soon enough. The cafe being one that my wife wants to pick up.

I am glad they are using traditional Lego bricks and accessories to allow the "boys" more options as well.

Thanks for the great review. I can't wait to read more!
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#60 Sandy

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:31 PM

Hilarious review (even though it was a bit ranty at times). It really made me want this set all the more! :grin:

I hope the whole "controversy debacle" has died down by now, since this theme well makes up its few flaws for the increbible amount of new parts and fresh set ideas. I for one never thought these sets were overly girly or demeaning (Belville and Scala were much more so, in my opinion). It is clear they are aimed for females, but just like some girls like the boyish LEGO themes, some boys will love these sets all the same. I know this boy does, even though I haven't even gotten my hands on any of them. :wub:

Sure, it still irks me that these mini-dolls aren't minifigures, but there's no use crying over spilled milk. Creative MOCers will no doubt find many uses for these mini-dolls just like they have for Fabuland and Belville figs. Friends Mafia, anyone? :grin:

I have a hunch we might see Disney Princesses produced in this same mini-doll-style in the future, but if the part selection remains as ample in those sets as well, I don't think I would mind that.

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#61 Hinckley

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:41 PM

 Sandy, on 03 January 2012 - 10:31 PM, said:

Hilarious review (even though it was a bit ranty at times). It really made me want this set all the more! :grin:
Thank you! :sweet: Apologies for the bit of rantiness. It's in direct response to some of the major rants I've been reading on blogs, Flickr and even op-ed columns in the NY times. :hmpf: Get over it people. Keep things in perspective. If you can get over the couple tiny rants, it is mostly a review though. :grin:

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#62 ZO6

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:58 PM

Outstanding review, Hink!  I really enjoyed all the laughs!  

I was actually very surprised that there had been controversy over this line.  Aren't there enough things for people to worry about out there that they don't need to criticize a new well deserved line of Lego toys aimed at girls? (Apparently not)

I don't want to start rambling about any of those politics, instead I'd rather focus on what the Friends line is - a bunch of awesome Lego sets!  The cafe is my favorite set from the line, perhaps because it has a retro inspired design and a whole lot of charm. There is significantly more floor space in that thing than I imagined, and for the most part it went to really good use.  The plethora of accessories and details are also a huge selling point for me - they're something I have sorely been missing in System sets for a long long time.

#63 Flipz

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:50 AM

 Hinckley, on 03 January 2012 - 04:25 AM, said:


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I keep hearing that the mini-doll is 1 plate taller than a minifig, so the skirt mold will make a fig the same height as the doll. I think it was worth checking out. Daxia has tall hair, though...

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Aha. Still doesn't seem even. I would call the height difference 2 plates.

...

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This may be a bit off-topic, but what minifig parts are those?

Also, I really like this set, but I must admit your gumball machine design is better.  :wink:

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#64 Hinckley

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 03:26 AM

 Flipz, on 04 January 2012 - 02:50 AM, said:

This may be a bit off-topic, but what minifig parts are those?

Also, I really like this set, but I must admit your gumball machine design is better.  :wink:
The female in the top picture is a custom fig designed by me. The fig in the second pic is a combo of many themes. The legs are the mummy from the original Adventurers line, the torso is from the original Gungan Patrol set, the tattooed arms arm from the Gladiator in Series 5 and the head is from Aquanauts or some weird theme like that. They are all characters from Mafia games I have hosted here in the gaming forum.

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#65 Hikaro Takayama

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:05 AM

Quote

Let me comment real quick on the whole girly thing. Let me be completely political and inappropriately personal. As a gay man, I understand people getting up in arms over stereotypes, especially stupid ones. I hate when people assume I love show tunes. I hate when people assume I go to clubs, do drugs and listen to Lady Gaga. I really don't like it when they ask my opinion on hair, fashion or make up. What the hell? I'm gay but I'm still a guy. Stereotypes annoy me too, but I've come to expect that some people just latch onto them because they don't know any better and some exist for a reason.

:thumbup: I hear you man!  I'm pretty much the opposite: I'm a somewhat effeminate straight guy, and I've lost track of how many times I've gotten accused of being gay just because I like to dress a bit fancy and let my hair grow out, so I'm with you 100% on the stereotype business.

...But I digress.  About the set: I believe I mentioned this when the preliminary pics came out, but I'll say it again:  There are actual diners where I live, all of which are survivors of the 1950's, that look almost EXACLY like this cafe, even down to the decor (although with SLIGHTLY less pink).  In America during the 1950's, pastel colors, including pink, were the style for interior decorating (as my brother found out when he bought a house built in the 1950's with most of the original interior and appliances), and this cafe definitely has that vibe going for it.  I believe it would definitely fit right in with any '50's style American town setting and the set itself harkens back to the classic TOWN sets I remember from the late '80's and early '90's, so it has that nostalgia factor going for it as well.

The only thing I DON'T like about it is the lack of roof, but that should be easy enough to fix.  :wink:

Also, some thoughts about your hair experiments:  I agree with the person who said the switch with Capt. Jack Sparrow was awesome:  Not only doe it give Andrea that inner-city look, but Jack has that 18th century gentleman officer in a wig look going as well.  Excellent review, and thanks for the laughs.  :laugh:

I may just end up getting this set eventually.

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#66 slovakiasteph

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:57 AM

Great review!  Can't wait to get this set.   :wub:   I'm not sure I'll be able to build it, though... might be too difficult... because I'm a girl.     :tongue:    :grin:
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#67 Aanchir

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 05:23 PM

 Hinckley, on 03 January 2012 - 04:25 AM, said:

The pieces:

As previously mentioned, there are three large plates in the new medium azure color.
Bricklink actually says this is Bright Light Blue (212 Light Royal Blue), and from your pics that seems to be the case. Medium Azure has a more greenish tint. But of course, you have the parts in front of you and I don't, so you'd be better equipped to make that comparison.

Quote

The exciting new molds of accessories found in the kitchen are all yellow in this set. There's a knife, a fork, a plate, a pan, a cake pan, a cupcake, a pitcher, a spatula and...

...the very best new mold: a hand mixer! I'm instantly in love! :wub_drool:
I love these parts too, and they're much more versatile than the "Fashion"-themed accessories, which tend to have heart patterns on them all over the place. I wish these came in a less vibrant color, though, like 315 Silver Metallic (Flat silver/the current pearl silver color).

Quote

Want to hear something sucky? The icing on the cupcakes doesn't knob on, it just sits there. As if the 1x1 round plates really needed any more help finding their way to the carpet to lie helplessly in wait for the next vacuum. :hmpf: Who molded this piece??
That's a bit disappointing. I was expecting a connection more like the glasses in this same pic, if not with an actual stud inside the cupcake! Still, I'm wondering what uses there might be for this cupcake piece besides as food items. I can picture them crowning a 1x1x6 cylindrical column somewhat nicely!

Quote

Part of my sticker avoidance is from poor sticker application skills. This one is less intimidating because you're supposed to apply it crooked.
This is a very nice sticker! The fact that it avoids pastel colors is nice, since it'd be so versatile for a building with pretty much any type of color scheme.

The other stickers, particularly those with ice cream on them, remind me a lot of Paradisa, although thankfully the pastel shades are used sparingly so the end result isn't so diabetes-inducing. Not sure the same could be said about the sweets themselves! :tongue:

Quote

Printed elements!!
The same thing I said about the stickered parts applies even moreso for these printed parts. No overdose of pastel colors here! In fact, I fully expect the cash register to show up in City sets before long. It's very nicely designed-- not overloaded with detail, but not simplified beyond recognition or realism either.

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And next we have the oven. The new cake pan...or cookie sheet or whatever...mold fits right inside.
I'm very impressed with this aspect of the design. It's a pity there are no baked goods designed to fit so snugly inside the pan itself!

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Here they are placed inside. I really hope it never rains here. For whatever reason, there's no roof. Maybe it never rains in ... Heartlake... Valley ... or whatever the town is called, but if it did, that'd be fine for the dishes, but not so great for what's being cooked on the stove.
I'm sure most people buying this for a town layout will create a roof for it, but it's easy to see the point of leaving it without a roof. First of all, it makes play easier, and second, it brightens up the place. I recall some of my family's Paradisa sets were very cramped and dark inside.

Quote

The booths surround a very nice high table. The whole set fits the diner/cafe feeling. A nice white base with red upholstery/table top. The girls don't have tubes on their butts, so they need to sit on tile. They could sit on studs, ... :look: (careful...) ... but that probably wouldn't be very comfortable.
Interior details certainly weren't glossed over in this theme. I like the seating area and table. Very stylish!

Quote

There's a display case, but apparently it's only for displaying one thing at a time!
Reminds me of the attempt my brother and I made to give Market Street an interior on LEGO Digital Designer.

Anyway, great review. It's no surprise that this set is one of the ones that Town/City fans find most unique and appealing. And it comes with all types of useful stickers and accessories. There are (as of yet) no Friends sets on my wishlist, and with this year's Hero Factory and Ninjago offerings (How stereotypically boyish, am I right?) I don't expect the Friends sets to make their way into my collection any more than the City and Star Wars sets I also admire so greatly. Still, I hope and pray that this theme proves successful, perhaps even successful enough that TLG can push the envelope and make the theme even less stereotypically girly, while keeping its positive outlook and stylish charm.

Edited by Aanchir, 06 January 2012 - 10:32 PM.

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#68 Hinckley

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 05:29 PM

 Aanchir, on 04 January 2012 - 05:23 PM, said:

Bricklink actually says this is Bright Light Blue (212 Light Royal Blue), and from your pics that seems to be the case. Medium Azure has a more greenish tint. But of course, you have the parts in front of you and I don't, so you'd be better equipped to make that comparison.
I knew someone would catch that eventually and I assumed it would be you. Yes, the new color (is it new?) is not in the Azure family. :sad: I had seen an add highlighting the new colors and different shades of Azure just stuck in my head. Embarassingly enough, I work with LEGO for a living and have several easy references for the color differences. I was just being super lazy. :blush:

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#69 Aanchir

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 06:08 PM

 Hinckley, on 04 January 2012 - 05:29 PM, said:

I knew someone would catch that eventually and I assumed it would be you. Yes, the new color (is it new?) is not in the Azure family. :sad: I had seen an add highlighting the new colors and different shades of Azure just stuck in my head. Embarassingly enough, I work with LEGO for a living and have several easy references for the color differences. I was just being super lazy. :blush:
Light Royal Blue isn't all that new-- it was introduced in 2004 along with the other "Royal Blue" colors (such as plain Royal Blue, the one I'm most familiar with, which was widely used in the first two years of Knights' Kingdom II). However, it has mostly been used in themes like Belville and Duplo. It has also had appearances more recently in Minifigures Series 4 and the Ben 10: Alien Force constraction sets.

No problem not recognizing it-- I don't actually own any parts in this color besides the figure skater from Minifigures Series 4, and so I might not even recognize it in real life if it weren't for exposure to it through LEGO Digital Designer and the color palettes LEGO has so kindly released to the AFOL community in the past few years (speaking of which, I hope they release one this year as well).

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#70 Hinckley

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 06:23 PM

 Aanchir, on 04 January 2012 - 06:08 PM, said:

Light Royal Blue isn't all that new-- it was introduced in 2004 along with the other "Royal Blue" colors (such as plain Royal Blue, the one I'm most familiar with, which was widely used in the first two years of Knights' Kingdom II). However, it has mostly been used in themes like Belville and Duplo. It has also had appearances more recently in Minifigures Series 4 and the Ben 10: Alien Force constraction sets.

No problem not recognizing it-- I don't actually own any parts in this color besides the figure skater from Minifigures Series 4, and so I might not even recognize it in real life if it weren't for exposure to it through LEGO Digital Designer and the color palettes LEGO has so kindly released to the AFOL community in the past few years (speaking of which, I hope they release one this year as well).
Oh my God, you're a color encyclodpedia! :wub:

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#71 AndyC

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 07:55 PM

Hillarious review of another really nice set. Really glad that you took a "safety first" approach to that frying pan though, there might not be enough Lego firefighters to help out should a blaze break out.  :tongue: Love the Fabuland comic at the end too.

 Hinckley, on 04 January 2012 - 06:23 PM, said:

Oh my God, you're a color encyclodpedia! :wub:

The man is some kind of colour savant, we bow in respect.  :classic:
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#72 Flipz

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:16 PM

 AndyC, on 04 January 2012 - 07:55 PM, said:

Hillarious review of another really nice set. Really glad that you took a "safety first" approach to that frying pan though, there might not be enough Lego firefighters to help out should a blaze break out.  :tongue: Love the Fabuland comic at the end too.



The man is some kind of colour savant, we bow in respect.  :classic:

With all the firefighter sets City has put out over the years?  If all the firefighters showed up at once, the resulting deluge would put a hurricane to shame! :tongue:


Indeed, he is a savant, now I want one.  :laugh:

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#73 Hinckley

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:22 PM

 slovakiasteph, on 04 January 2012 - 04:57 AM, said:

Great review!  Can't wait to get this set.   :wub:   I'm not sure I'll be able to build it, though... might be too difficult... because I'm a girl.     :tongue:    :grin:
Yeah, you should be careful. Don't hurt yourself. Silly girl.

In all seriousness, a lot of those comments and rants were in respponse to a specific conversation I had been following on Flickr. The original complainer believes that 3061 City Park Cafe can be built in 4 minutes, only has 90 parts and insults her daughter's intelligence. This is clearly an uninformed opinion, just glancing at a picture and putting in no effort to compare this to other LEGO sets at similar price points...

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#74 pacc

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 11:18 PM

Friends to Harbour... Maybe the boat hulls can be made into ovensafe muffin forms the next time around.

#75 Hinckley

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 12:07 AM

 pacc, on 04 January 2012 - 11:18 PM, said:

Friends to Harbour... Maybe the boat hulls can be made into ovensafe muffin forms the next time around.
:laugh:

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