This set was on my wish list for 2012, and I was very excited when I spotted the set on the shelves. No need to say I bought it.
To start with some basic data on the set:
Name: 4206 Recycling Truck
Theme: City (Traffic)
No. of pieces: 292 (according to Bricklink)
No. of minifigs: 3
Price: 29,99 EUR; 24,99 GBP; 29,99 USD
Price per piece: 0,1027 EUR/piece; 0,0841 GBP; 0,1010 USD
The box is of kind of standard dimensions, and as usual has some space left so the bags (and the bricks) can make their typical sound upon shaking. The side of the box has a scene from everyday minifig life, showing that recycling is an important ecological issue even in LEGO town. The back of the box is showing different details and playability of the set. In the bottom left corner, the box is advertising the new City Traffic sets. On the opposite, the top right corner says: Hey!.
My favourite subset of 4206 is the 'eco-island' with different containers. It was something that caught my eye first, might be the colours, might be the topic. What I like the most, are the sign-boards behing the containers indicating where to put specific materials. What's missing (for those like me, who are not always sure what specific trash is made of), is some sort of extra text labels, but as it looks, LEGO town has only one material (ABS, that is) and it's simple to know how to separate the bricks (paper, plastic, glass).
There are three numbered bags inside plus a plate, DSS and two instruction booklets. The first instruction booklet leads us through bricking the 'eco-island' with the containers and the recycling truck, whereas the second booklet is for forklift truck.
There are three minifigs included in the set, one female and two male. It's always great to see more females included. What's more, this gal has pony tail braided hair, which is my favourite style for minifigs and appears in only 7 sets. Torsos and legs are very common, as seen in other sets. Being a fan of classic smiley faces ( ), these 'modern' faces are not always satisfying. For one thing, the female face could be lipstick-free (at least to make some deviation from the standard female face). However, the male with sun-glasses, he doesn't look that bad either. I would certainly notice his sun-glasses when passing him by.
Bag no. 1
Bricks from bag no. 1 are parts for the 'eco-island' and containers, and are shown below. There is a nice selection of colours, and some 'nice' parts.
The bricks of special interest (to me, at least) are shown here. There is never enough (tan) headlights. Also included are dark blue windscreens (6 of them), a new roof mould (seen in 3 of the 2012 sets, only), female hair with braided pony tail, a bottle, two cones in the new (Friendly) medium azure, a green container and some 1x3 tiles in LBG. And the star of the set is the wheelbarrow!
I was suprised by its construction, it's three pieces only, and the wheel included has somewhat old-school feel to it. It reminds me of some old airplane wheels. However, Bricklink, says it's not that old at all. It's construction is best seen in the instructions, as well as one of the possible uses.
However, this seems to be more fun. Certainly adds to playability of the set!
The structure of the containers is a simple yet effective build utilizing slopes and panels in three different colours to distinguish three types of LEGO materials. The sign behind the container is a nice guidance next to the label on top of the container (if smaller minifigs can't see the top of the container). However, the road-sign with the clip is attached to the pole with some stress, as it can be seen. It's top is obstructed by the stud on the end of the pole (a new design from 2012). According to the instructions, the signs have to be at the end of the pole despite the stress, so I left it this way. However, standard tile with bar could be used.
At the end of bag 1, we get three containers in the 'eco-island', a lady taking some old paper, a garbage man with a wheelbarrow and a broom, and a green container. I have no idea what the green container is doing here. It could be for biological waste, but looks too small compared with the other containers. However, I don't mind it's being included. It's a nice part to be added to the collection and can be used in City a lot.
Bag no. 2
The second part of the first booklet are the instructions for the recycling truck and the bricks can be found in bag no. 2. The parts from this bag are colourful as in bag no. 1, although the major colours are white, LBG and DBG.
The interesting pieces from this bag are shown here. Snot bricks are always welcomed, and here we can see some snot plates in white. These are new for me, and I think I could find some good use for them. What's more, I was surprised by the bright green bricks. My impression was, the truck is made from 'normal' green, so this was a nice surprise. Extra green shades can be a nice addition to green areas around the town (parks, gardens, etc.). Interesting are also the 2x4 bricks with curved top in LBG. And ever since following Derfel Cadarn's Detailed guide to building a medieval village I feel I can never have enough of 1x1 round plates.
A random page from the instruction booklet reveals that the set is a rather simple build. There are no white clouds indicating the bricks needed in specific steps. Also, I had no problems distinguishing black from DBG (which happens to me sometimes). I was done rather quickly with the build, yet it was still enjoyable. Here, the basis for the truck's cabine can be seen and the platforms for the containers on the back of the truck.
Recycling truck with and without the load from different angles. I applied the stickers, although I don't generally do that. The reason behind this choice is that I'm likely to get another set for pieces only, so I went ahead with the stickers. They really add to the model. Also, the front of the cabin is a 2x4 white tile and the sticker gives the cabin more realistic look. I hate it when a larger sticker has to applied over several bricks. The containers are attached to the truck by 2x2 jumper plates, which makes it really easy to lift them with the forklift.
Bag no. 3
The second booklet has the instruction to build the forklift truck and the bricks for the last step of the build are in the bag no. 3. The yellow bricks really stick out here, next to some unusually shaped technic bricks. I haven't seen them before, but they seem to be old and common pieces in the Technic's.
The highlights of bag no. 3 are most certainly the trans-yellow 1x1 tiles being new in my collection. The black modified plates are also not so new, yet they are to me. However, seeing the trans-orange piece, it made me think of ice-cream. If this piece is used as ice-cream on a stick, it is of the right shape, but not colour due to some (let's hope not toxic) food additives.
The finished forklift is a nice addition in the set. It adds up to playability, as it is used to move the containers from the 'eco-island' to the recycling truck and vice versa. The position of the forklift fork can be supported by the LBG bar, and it's easily moved while playing. The cabin can also be lifted, so the minifig can be seated behind the wheels more easily.
Design: 10/10 The idea of recycling truck in the City is a great and adds to educational aspect of LEGO. The containers look great, and the truck is of a nice build. Altogether, it adds something new to City, as it haven't been seen around City before.
Parts: 9/10 The parts included are interesting enough having some new parts and new colours introduced. Price per pieces is a standard 0,10 EUR per piece. As such I find it quite great for acquiring new pieces for my collection and I am seriously considering getting another one. The only fault would be the new poles, that add some stress to the signs clipped on. I don't see why the 'older' poles weren't used.
Minifigs: 9/10 Yeay, a female minifig is included! I like them around my town. Also, a great feature is the pony tail braided hair (did I mention it's my favourite?). I prefer standard smileys, but the included faces are not that bad either. Torsos and legs are of common colours, but again it's hard to imagine a city worker without the orange overalls. Maybe a different female torso could be included, this red sweater is becoming a more and more common, and we, the females, don't like meating other females in same clothes!
Build 9/10 The build is simple, but what could be expected from less than 300 bricks. Still, it's a lovely build, mainly the containers, but the recycling truck as well. It's also a fast build, so one can get to play even faster (if play is not included while building). Being a simple build, I still give it a 9 since it's meant for a slightly younger population with less skilled fingers.
Playability 9/10 Do I have to mention the forklifts forks are moveable? And the handle of the forklifts moves? And the wheelbarrow! Well, maybe a green container could be included for bio-waste. However, the build is satisfying enough, and it's a great addition to City also on a bigger scale. In addition to all, I think it's great that an educational (environmental) note is included in the set.
Overall, it's a 9,2/10. I'm satisfied with the build, interesting pieces, and the design of the set. I'm also strongly considering getting another set for the parts only, even if I don't get it for a discount (which is usually a reason for getting duplicated sets for me).
Hope you enjoyed the review as much as I enjoyed building the set!
Edit: while writing and editing pictures, I didn't see that Klaus-Dieter was starting a topic-review on 4206. Since he's only posted some teaser photos (bad guy! ), I hope my review can stay here as well.
Edited by Rick, 07 January 2012 - 10:11 AM.