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5004932 Suitcase review!

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Hello everyone - oh goodness, it has been quite a long time indeed since I last wrote anything here.

I decided to grab a couple of things from LEGO's online store, and I was actually interested in this little freebie that was being given away for the first half of June 2017; I'm a little bit of a traveller myself and I don't mind admitting that I like to take a handful of pieces with me to waste time on long flights. I also haven't seen this guy reviewed anywhere else, so I thought that I'd lay out a few of my thoughts if you're still thinking of springing for it or perhaps picking it up from the second-hand market.

To start with the basics, here's the size, with a standard City police car for scale:

"Suitcase" with police car and minifig for scale.

For the more exacting among us (and if your hobby is LEGO, I suspect that that's not a small number of people), the entire box is just over 3 inches by 5 inches and very nicely decorated with a couple of cute callbacks and references to the rest of the LEGO universe, so it's very appropriate to be carried around in a kid's carry-on luggage, let's say. The main beef that I have is that the box is really not very sturdy, so unfortunately I suspect that it can get easily flattened in a bag that's being squished underneath the seat in front of you. I guess I wasn't expecting a finished oak-panelled box, but some stiffer cardboard might have been nice to give it at least a little more resilience against bangs and bumps that invariably come with travelling, whether by car or plane or whatever.

There's only 40ish pieces in here but they are a pleasant assortment of clever, colourful, and useful parts that also fit the theme nicely - one of the most useful parts included which strangely doesn't seem to feature on any of the official renders and can only be barely seen on the box is the transparent plate with shaft, which presumably is for helping to pose the minifig. A good chunk of the parts are devoted to minifig accessories like flippers, a camera, a cup, etc, so it's really a shame that there's only one minifig in the box, though I suppose that's asking a little much from a free set to get two. The included pieces don't take up that much room at all inside the paper suitcase, so supplementing them with pieces or additional minifigs from your own collection is not a problem at all.

I reckon that the coolest thing about this giveaway is the little "passport" book that fits nicely inside the suitcase. I had assumed that it would empty (like a real passport book would be for the novice traveller), like a notebook of sorts, but it turns out it's full of charming LEGO photography, with the included minifig being posed against various backgrounds such as the beach, a lake, etc. It's a great bonus to have and I'm sure that it would go a long way in sparking the imaginations of the photographically-inclined, providing a little bit of extra material to help occupy innocent travellers bored out of their minds after four hours on the road.

Passport aside, this is not the greatest freebie that LEGO has given away, but I do give it points for being a unique idea and one that is obviously appropriate to be handing out during the summer holidays when kids and parents are likely to be taking trips (sometimes they might even go together!). With the exception of the passport book, there's nothing in here that you couldn't easily recreate yourself if your goal is to come up with a "travel kit". So, I would say that it's definitely unique, but I don't think it's necessary to go out of your way to get it.

3.5 out of 5.

And now, my true purpose for writing this review: if you had to choose 100 parts to bring with you on a long trip, what would they be?

Comment your thoughts below!

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