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REVIEW: 6411 Sand Dollar Café

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Poll: REVIEW: 6411 Sand Dollar Café (50 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. Poor (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Below Average (2 votes [4.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.00%

  3. Average (8 votes [16.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 16.00%

  4. Above Average (24 votes [48.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 48.00%

  5. Outstanding (16 votes [32.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 32.00%

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#26 Section8


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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:27 PM

Very nice review, Pandora!  I especially appreciate your images of the alternate builds for the set.  I have this set from when I was young and never looked up the box art for the alternate builds.  I like some of them better than the main build.  You're right about the baseplate, it is truly the centerpiece of the set.  My sister had Cabana Beach and Dolphin Point, and these three sets looked great next to each other.  The lines on the plates almost matched up if I remember correctly.  Since I only have the cafe now, the baseplate doesn't integrate well into my current town.  However, the nice thing about the cafe on the elevated platform is that it can be removed and placed just about anywhere.  Right now it sits on a curved road plate next to the beach, the L-shape being perfect for the space.

#27 Rick


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Posted 17 May 2012 - 08:32 AM

Thanks for such an in-depth review of such a lovely classic set. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on it.

View PostPandora, on 06 May 2012 - 01:11 PM, said:

The theme is renowned for its pink, pastel and white colour scheme, and the sets have always generated a wistful sense of nostalgia in me.  This isn’t true nostalgia; I’ve said before that Paradisa was released during my dark ages, however the sets still hark back to a time when life seemed simple and the hedonism of the 1980’s was still spilling over into the 1990’s.
Surprisingly ( :tongue: ), this was released during my dark ages as well and I strongly doubt I'd have gotten it if it were released earlier. :grin: But, indeed, sets like this make me nostalgic for the simple 1980's town sets. I'm always surprised that what I thought of as 'big' sets seem so small compared to sets nowadays. I doubt we'll ever see a set with under 200 pieces that includes a 32 x 32 baseplate again, especially one with such a lovely print. It seems a lot was left to the imagination and I must say my imagination does a pretty good job of depicting a peaceful, relaxing beach scene when looking at this set. :wub:


The back of the box is where I really get excited, though.
The alternative builds on the back of the box undoubtedly add to the feeling of nostalgia for me. I understand that, just like the amazing boxes with opening lids, it's just not cost-effective to include them anymore today and that, sadly, they're not going to come back.  :cry_sad:  But, along with the new or special parts displayed in the plastic hidden under the lid, it certainly helped 'sell' a set to me as a kid.


From the front it is evident that this is a very self-contained piece of beach, and yet there aren’t much in the way of defined boundaries to the scenario.  The graduated colours of the baseplate allow the different elements to make sense according to the surface on which they are placed.
After reading your review, I've come to realise that this is what I really like about classic town sets like this one. Next to stimulating your imagination, these larger sets also depicted a complete self-contained lively scene. In that respect it reminds me of one of my favourite classic town sets: Main Street.


As I mentioned in the introduction, and as anyone who read 6403: Paradise Playground will know, the alternative builds on the boxes of these older sets are scenes of true joy and beauty to me.
Thanks for doing these again. :sweet:  It's one of the many things that really makes your reviews unique. The alternative builds are a joy to look at on the box, but even better when built.

#28 Piranha


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Posted 17 May 2012 - 08:45 AM

Fantastic review Pandora. :thumbup:

This was indeed a great set. The baseplate that is included is definitely one of the best ever in my opinion. The beauty of these sets was the simplicity and color selection. The small cafe combined with the nicely placed foliage and life guard look-out create a very splendid beach scene. Combine that with a quality selection of minifigs and accessories and we have a pure nostalgic town set. :wub:

Overall I would rate this set as outstanding.

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#29 Rufus


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Posted 17 May 2012 - 09:07 AM

View Postalex54, on 07 May 2012 - 05:44 PM, said:

If I know this set, I'm very intrigued by those 1x1 round plates which come in pairs!!! *huh*
I have bought this set in particular the year it was released and I didn't have those pairs of round plates! Until today, I didn't know that TLC has made that!
And as far as I can remember, I never had those pairs in any set, in about 25 years of LEGO experience!
If somebody has some explanation about that, it would be nice...
I remember that in the 80s all 1x1 rounds came in pairs.  They were single when I came out of my dark age in about '99.  If you had single ones in this set, then I'd guess the change came around the time of this set's release, so some had the old example, and some the new.

#30 ZO6


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Posted 19 May 2012 - 05:09 PM

Another wonderful review, Pandora!  :wub:

I felt intensely calm just reading through this and looking at the pictures - everything in this set is just so peaceful and happy.  Though the cafe itself is rather small, and the rest of the set is comprised of small things here and there, there is still a nice cohesiveness to everything.  I suppose it's the baseplate that really makes this set something special.  As opposed to just having the cafe on a plate the size of the structure itself, and some of the other odds and ends left sitting out on their own, the inclusion of the baseplate grounds everything in a tangible environment.  I recently picked up the 2011 Marina, and while it's a lovely set, it's just begging to go on a larger baseplate.  Oh well, times change, and financial and environmental needs change with them (aka gone are the days of extravagant packaging and an abundance of large baseplates).  While TLG is certainly in a good spot these days with its set designs, it's still mesmerizing to look back upon sets from the past.

I really loved checking out your recreations of the alternated builds, much appreciation for taking the time to do those!

Thanks for sharing!

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