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[REVIEW] 60347 Grocery Store

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LEGO's first ever normal mainline grocery store set is already tipped to retire at the end of the year, which will give it a mere 7 months of availability. Should you pick it up before it goes, and did LEGO doom it to fail? Let's find out.

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SET INFORMATION
Number: 60347
Name: Grocery Store
Theme: City
Released: 2022
Part Count: 404
Minifigures: 5
Set Price (RRP): 59.99 EUR / 54.99 GBP / 99.99 AUD / 69.99 USD / 89.99 CAD
Links: Brickset, Bricklink

INTRODUCTION
Three years on from Heartlake City Supermarket, I had given up hope of ever seeing the shopping cart piece again. One random 4+ Friends set, and that was it, or so I thought.

I was pleasantly shocked to see the piece return when images of this set came out. And then I noticed the new prosthetic leg, and the new corn, and the reuse of the pea suit, and the new veggie stalk... This set appears to have a lot going for it from a parts perspective, but as many people have pointed out, it seems very over-priced, as is the norm for the "road plate system" sets. Come along as I discuss what works, and what doesn't, in 60347 Grocery Store.

Thank you to LEGO for providing this set at Eurobricks' request.

THE BUILD
With only 404 pieces and a 6+ age rating, this set offers nearly as basic as builds get these days. As you'll see in the small amount of spare parts, for better or worse, the set lacks small details overall, though larger parts can mean it feels like you get more money's worth from fewer parts.

The first bag kicks things off with the two included vehicles, which are basic builds but will interact well with the set. The little car harkens right back to four-wide vehicles that were the norm pre-mid-1990s.

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Bag 2 quickly lays the groundwork for the grocery store itself, and I will say that I found the build process a bit scattershot. The breaks between bags seem rather random, and it felt like I was adding a few parts over here and then over there and then back over here. It didn't flow as smoothly as I'm used to.

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Bag 3 completes the interior detail and brings the store up almost to its roof level, again stopping in a fairly arbitrary place.

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Bag 4 finishes the set with the top of the store and lovely brick-built carrot sign, and adds part to the road plate, which is included along with the large plates for the grocery store in a separate non-numbered bag.

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THE MINIFIGURES
The minifigure lineup in this set packs a remarkable amount of value. The man with the exclusive prosthetic leg has an exclusive torso as well, the shop owner Mr. Produce only comes in this set and the Advent Calendar and everything besides his hair is exclusive to him, the little girl's jacket only comes in two sets, the peapod costume makes its first appearance in a set after debuting in CMF Series 20, and even the woman's green jacket underneath the costume has only appeared a handful of times.

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This collection of characters feels beyond reproach to me, and includes all the figures one would need to play out scenarios with what's included in the set. You have the man and child customers, the shop owner to work the till, the "backroom" worker to drive the forklift, and the peapod promoter woman who can also double as a customer with the costume swapped for the included hairpiece.

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My only query would be why the promoter would be wearing a peapod outfit when the store has a big carrot on it. Of course, the real reason is that LEGO hasn't made a carrot costume yet, but within the universe of the set the peapod doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

THE ACCESSORIES
A grocery store needs groceries, and it bears mentioning that LEGO did not skimp. In addition to all of the accessories I have laid out here, there are also two orange juice cartons and two milk cartons that I didn't pull off the shelves for the picture, plus some generic bottles.

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The shopping cart really is a lovely piece, large enough to hold some things, but still a good size to scale with minifigures. The corn also makes a fine addition to LEGO's vegetable collection, and actually scales tolerably, unlike most LEGO food which was created to scale with Scala or Belville figures!

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THE VEHICLES
So far I have heaped praise on the minifigures and included accessories, and that praise isn't going to run out quite yet with the vehicles.

They do their job well with minimal numbers of parts and minimal complexity. The wee little car is a fun throwback to Town, but now it's an EV!

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The forklift is perhaps a little heftier than LEGO forklifts of old, but looks great and can accommodate a minifigure sitting or standing, given the tall roll cage originally introduced in Power Miners.

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For a dark time in the early 2000s LEGO stopped including their classic opening doors on vehicles. They have probably been back for just as long at this point, but I still love the little touch of having an opening door even if it is practically useless for play.

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Speaking of play, I suspected that the forklift might be able to lift the car given their respective sizes... and I was right!

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THE GROCERY STORE
Now we turn to the big picture, and the titular grocery store. I will say, right off the bat, that the footprint of the whole set doesn't strike me as absurdly off the mark especially for the European prices, nor is the size of the grocery store too small necessarily to achieve a fun and proper grocery store toy.

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Sure it might be more the relative size of a service station or health food store than LEGO's one actual convenience store set, but what I mean is that unlike 60329 School Day for example with its woefully sized school, there's enough square studdage allotted to the grocery store to make for a decent grocery store. What's more, the road plate has some actual use here as the parking lot and loading area, and isn't tacked on for no other reason than to be a road plate.

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Unfortunately for the set, the devil is in the details, and the details leave something to be desired. 

Things start off fairly well out the front of the store, with the good and striking carrot sign, the veggie stalk stand holding wrapped flowers, and the crates with fruit and veg. It definitely gives me "fresh produce grocer" vibes, and I can forgive that different items are mixed in the crates because it's a toy and at least fruit and veg are often displayed in or on crates like this.

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Heading inside through the new for 2022 double doors, I want to reiterate that there is plenty of potential space for a good grocery store. There's room enough for minifigures and the shopping cart without things getting too cramped, which is great.

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Things start falling apart when taking a look at the actual groceries presented inside, and how they are presented. The crate of bottles reads like empty bottles for recycling. Baked goods in tall green crates look all wrong - these should have been in something like LEGO's barrel or on a built up display. There's also just not enough stuff in this section. If there were 2-stud or even 1-stud deep shelves here, things would have looked better and more items could have been included.

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The fish counter looks ok, though it's a little awkward being combined with checkout.

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The shelves along the side of the store also feel disappointing and awkward. They use up a lot of space to only hold two 1x1 items per shelf, and come across feeling bare. I also can't tell if these sections were supposed to be coded as refrigeration or not, since they look a bit like drinks. It would be much better if they had worked in an actual transparent door for a refrigeration or freezer section, and then maybe shelves with more variety of items like breakfast cereal for example, rather than just bottles.

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The two most play-oriented areas of the store actually work out as the best. Near the entrance is a bottle recycling machine, which uses minimal floor space and has a good collection crate for bottles on the other side.

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Over near the checkout counter is the loading/conveyor area. Approaching with the forklift, a crate can be slotted through the yellow and black striped technic parts which do a fantastic job emulating one of those ubiquitous plastic-strip barriers between spaces.

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It's a lot of fun pushing a crate through and then watching the parts fall back down behind it. Interestingly, these parts in this colour configuration were previously used like this in a 2020 Employee Gift set. However, this feature is probably why LEGO has used so many crates throughout the set even when they aren't the best thing for the actual products displayed inside.

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Outside, the parking lot has the details it needs, with a parking sign for Mr. Produce's car space and enough room to maneuver the forklift.

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CONCLUSION
There's really a lot to like about this set. The minifigures and accessories are fantastic. The exterior looks quite good. The road plate has some utility and isn't just a tacked-on road for the sake of it. The vehicles don't use too many parts and look good.

Overall, there is quite a lot of value despite the set having only 404 parts - value in the parts, and importantly, lots and lots of play value.

The only really lackluster part of the set in my opinion is the interior of the store. Though it has enough floor space, the way it uses that space is awkward and ill-conceived when it comes to the display of products, which is a pretty core aspect of a grocery store!

And now the price. I've read the argument that LEGO price-gouged this set because people are hungry for a grocery store. I've heard the notion that the road plate needlessly pushed up the price. Personally, given how much value the set provides, the price doesn't seem as far off the mark as I expected just looking at the pictures. An RRP of $10 less in the US, or $60, would be much better. I wouldn't expect anything lower than that as the RRP in today's day and age. As it is, if the types of things included appeal to you, I'm hard pressed to NOT recommend this set just because of the price.

It could well be another three years until we see the shopping cart again... or more. Get it while you can.

SCORE
How do I rate this set?

10 MINIFIGURES
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Great parts, great rarity and exclusivity, perfectly good amount.

9 PIECES
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Lots of fantastic accessories plus some very new parts, and overall ok volume though more parts for shelves and things would have been better.

6 DESIGN
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This was tough to score because a lot about the overall design is great, but the fact that the inside of the store is poorly designed really knocks it down.

10 PLAYABILITY
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There are all the right things included for play inside and outside of the store, plus well-functioning (and educational!) sections like the bottle return and crate unloading.

6 PRICE
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Again difficult to score especially given the regional differences. In the US it's bad, but in Europe it's ok. I still had to knock off some points.

8.2 OVERALL - With fantastic parts, figures, play value and a good exterior look, 60347 Grocery Store is a pretty strong City set, and not just for the novelty of being a grocery store. Lackluster interior details and a slightly too high price (depending on region) are the only things going against it.

 

GIFT GUIDE
With the holiday gift-giving season coming up, does 60347 make a good gift compared to other sets at its price point?

For a kid... the play value really is there, provided the kid in question likes something not too actiony. That said, two vehicles.... that's plenty for a chase.

For an AFOL... the set packs a fair complement of desirable parts for AFOLs, making it a decent gift. Buying it just for the rare parts might make the price feel worse honestly, and it isn't something an AFOL would most likely want to display, so bear that in mind.

For a casual LEGO fan... I'm not sure this makes a great gift for someone who casually likes LEGO. It really skews kid or true FOL who will appreciate the cool parts. I'd look elsewhere in LEGO's catalogue for a gift for someone that might want to build and display something.

 

Next week, I'll be getting Inquisitorial.

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In the UK the ASDA chain of supermarkets are getting a version of this set with different stickers to make this set an ASDA brand store. ASDA is owned by Wal-Mart, so I wonder if the US will get a Wal-Mart version?

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3 hours ago, Killian said:

In the UK the ASDA chain of supermarkets are getting a version of this set with different stickers to make this set an ASDA brand store. ASDA is owned by Wal-Mart, so I wonder if the US will get a Wal-Mart version?

I don't think that's particularly likely—Wal-Mart isn't really primarily a grocery chain, nor would it really be represented effectively by a small grocery store like this. Plus unlike Asda, the colors wouldn't be right for Wal-Mart.

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Poor kid with the prosthetic leg - I hadn't noticed that before.

On the whole, I sill feel like I did with the school: this set has to much road, and not enough building. And the price is insane in USD. I do really like the color pallette, though.

Edited by LordsofMedieval

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3 hours ago, Lyichir said:

I don't think that's particularly likely—Wal-Mart isn't really primarily a grocery chain, nor would it really be represented effectively by a small grocery store like this. Plus unlike Asda, the colors wouldn't be right for Wal-Mart.

Funny tidbit of trivia: there actually are Walmart grocery stores. They seem to be most common in the south and west. I've never seen one in New England or north of Colorado-ish.
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3 hours ago, LordsofMedieval said:

On the whole, I sill feel like I did with the school: this set has to much road, and not enough building.

It's a natural comparison to make given the price points but I fundamentally disagree for a few reasons.

The first is size. The school has about 7x14 or 15 studs of usable space on each level. The grocery store has 11x19 and that's not counting the side shelves which are kind of "interior detail". That's a huge difference.

The second is realisation of subject matter. Real life schools have lots of different types of zones: entrance halls, classrooms, locker hallways, etc. What LEGO gave us was an entrance that opens right into a classroom that also has lockers off to the side, and a second level with a classroom. The grocery store has enough space to properly emulate a real life grocery store without things feeling shoehorned together. The details aren't perfect, but the actual store is large enough.

When it comes to the road plate itself, its inclusion also feels much more natural in this set than the school because grocery stores (especially in North America and Australia at least) are associated with parking lots, whereas nobody thinks "oh what goes with a school? I know! A road!"

Finally, the school bus build itself looks awful and uses a sizable number of parts in the school set, whereas these vehicles are small and look good.

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Already shows sold out here in Canada. Was hoping it would have been 40% off at Amazon and modding it into a modular. The City sets with roadplates are really lame for us adult builders as they bring up the set price and are basically useless.

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Thanks for bringing this set to my attention. Just found it and it is really a nice one.

 

All the best

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Branding this set as Walmart would be ironic considering their business model is to drive small shops like this out of business.

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