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  1. If you're a big fan of tall structures and buildings, then this set is for you. Measuring 1 meter tall, this towering wind turbine used to be a limited-release set only available for Vestas employee. In November 2018, LEGO will re-issue set # 4999 to make it widely available to more collectors and LEGO enthusiasts. Thank you for the LEGO Group (TLG), LEGO CEE and our very own Eurobricks Ambassador, Jim, in making this review possible. Without further delay, here is my 17th RA review, LEGO Creator - Vestas Wind Turbine, set # 10268. Overview Name: 10268 - Vestas Wind Turbine Theme: Creator Year: 2018 (2H) Pieces: 826 pcs Minifigures: 3 (+1 dog) Price: USD 199.99 / EUR 179.99 / GBP 159.99 The set will be available in LEGO store and starting 23 November 2018. Introduction First thing first, I am traditionally taking pictures of smaller builds so taking a full-size photo of a 1-metre model is quite a challenge. Nevertheless, I am sticking to my traditional white-on-white background. You'll notice that even if most of the parts are white, they look "off white" due to shadows. That's just the nature of plastic white balance. Now that it's out of the way, enjoy the walkthrough of the building process and my thoughts about this set. Frankly, I have no interest in the original set 4999 because its price in the secondary market is very cost prohibitive. Now that it is available to a larger audience for the suggested retail price, or even cheaper, is this set worth all the hype and buzz generated around it? I'll answer that towards the end but first, let's start with the box art. Front Panel This set is branded under the Creator Expert line. Also included in the box art is the "seal" of plant-based plastic elements. These elements made from plants together with the renewable energy such as wind turbines are perfect fit for TLG's green agenda. It is not a secret that TLG has investments in wind power. Therefore, if there is any set worth releasing again to make that widely known, is the Vestas Wind Turbine. Power Functions are already included in the box as prominently shown at the right side of the front panel. Back Panel The back panel shows the power function features including the rotating turbines and porch lights of the house. Again, you will see the "This Element is Made from Plants" seal to remind us that TLG is really concerned about the planet. Not being sarcastic here -- but how many companies are pushing green and sustainable energy? I can't recall much. Perhaps the seal will help embed the idea to younger minds so TLG will be known as a company who cares about the environment. Side Panels Here are the side panels. You can spot the seal once more on one of the side panels. Top Panel Since this is a creator set, of course it will be criminal not to print the parts on the box. You can check out the parts here in bigger resolution. Speaking of parts, let's unbox the set already. Inside, we get a very high-quality manual. Several pages are dedicated for Wind Energy and plant-based plastic. A version of LEGO Planet Promise is also included in the booklet but the version in the booklet is far more interesting. Without giving away too much, one of the trivia included in the booklet is that 90% of the LEGO packaging sets is recyclable and 1 million plastic trays were already saved from replacing the plastic Advent Calendar trays with recyclable paper-pulp version since 2017. There are more snippets of information included in some pages. For example, in page 35, it says "A Vestas wind power plant can be up and running in less than 12 months, defying the longer lead times involved with conventional fuels." Other pages that include snippets of information are pages 69, 75, 114, 135, 136, and 142. Now, let's go straight to the parts! Parts "Ok. What is this? There are no numbered bags?" Hard mode activated! --- this is my initial reaction. For sure, this set is not the biggest set without numbered bags but it's probably in the top 10 -- Tower Bridge is one of the biggest as far as I know. Also, based on this review of the Medieval Market Village, and as confirmed by my dear friend WhiteFang, that set does not have numbered bags as well. I have also confirmed that the older set 4999 has the same plastic bags without numbers. So, who am I to complain? You can check bigger photos of the bags below if you wish -- they look quite randomly packed together, just like the old version of the set. Although, if you look closer, you'll see that most of the parts are related to the elements needed to complete a certain section of the build. Nevertheless, they look like a mess to the untrained eye. As suggested by the instruction booklet, the only solution is to prepare all of them in a manner that will not make you insane: Note: the clear plastic containers are not included in the set. Here are the notable parts included in the set. All the printed parts are notable specially the smaller panels: Did I not mention that there are no stickers in this set? Hurrraaay! There are 4 green BURPs included in the set. Some of the advanced builders don't like this part much. However, in this set I can tell you that using this part makes a lot of sense because the hollow part of the BURP helps conceal the wiring underneath. More about that soon. Speaking of wiring, there are 2 sets of wires included. And then, here's the motor. Don't ask me why TLG did not put the most recent version of Power Functions. To me, as long as this baby runs fine, I'm okay whatever motor function version comes with it. Build The first small build is the Vestas van. If my sources are correct, it is supposed to be modelled after Mercedes-Benz® Sprinter Van. The build is a decent representation of the actual vehicle. I like its simplicity. Moving on, the main build starts with the construction of the small cottage house using the 32x32 green base plate. Nothing fancy so far. Move along, move along... Once you start working at the back of the house, where you use the BURPs, you will realise that the fixture holding the turbine tower is only 4 technic pins held by 4 brackets on the base plate! At this stage, you cannot judge how strong the build is, but you'll be surprised later. The set 4999 has something similar but this improved build reduces the wobbles in my experiment. It does not make the build indestructible though. The build becomes more interesting once you build the actual tower. Even if the process here is repetitive, you make a very substantial progress because the parts are quite big. Now, with the tower erected and with the power source ready, it only takes a few more steps to complete the build. Power test. The lights are on! Constructing the nacelle (house of the turbine) is like building a technic set that you'll forget for a moment you're building a Creator set. Obviously, this section is the most mechanical part of the build so it's not surprising to see mostly technic parts. The housing is also using technic bricks to form a SNOT technique where you use the large 6 x 12 modified tile with studs on the edge, printed with big "Vestas" logo to complete the enclosure of the motor. To avoid the nacelle from spinning out of control and twisting the wire running inside the tower, there is a tan (sand) coloured technic pin that prevents the housing from turning 360 degrees. Probably the most satisfying part of the build for me is when I plugged the motor function connectors to the small motor -- this marks the completion of the actual turbine motor and we're getting closure to spinning the turbine! Building the rotor hub is quite straight forward. Using a 3-rotor blade technic plate in light bluish grey colour, 3 sections are created for each turbine blade. As for the turbine blades, all of them are exactly built the same. Here's a view of the turbine blades in different angles: You'll notice that there are 2 technic pin holes available in one of the technic bricks at the end. This make it possible to attach the blades in two configuration: flat or angular position. I think the blades look best in angular position because they resembles real-life turbine blades more when attached that way. To give you an idea how really big the turbine is, here's a picture with the minifigures next to it. It's huge! Once the rotor hub and 3 blades are connected, it's a matter of pushing the protruding black technic pin inside the housing to complete the top. All wire cleanly tuck inside and ready to be covered. Alas, we're done! There are so many anti-studs at the back of the tower but that one is fine. Oh wait, what about the exposed back? Zooming in, perhaps, the only ugly part of the set is the back of the hill where all the colourful bricks and pieces are exposed. It's quite easy to cover and I don't understand why this re-released version did not put those extra bricks to make the model more presentable when viewed at the back. The good news is that it's fairly straight forward to replace the colourful bricks at the back to cover the exposed area if you wish to make the set more pleasing to the eye when viewed at this angle. This is not an issue to me but someone has to mention it. Here is the complete set in its full glory! Minifigures There is nothing much to write about the minifigures included. In the original set 4999, there are also 3 minifigures. However, there is one notable aspect in the minifigures that makes this re-release special. Front view with head gears / hair piece Unlike the original minifigures that came with set 4999, the Vestas employee minifigures in set 10269 comes with printed "V" torso, not stickers! This is a very big improvement over the older version of the minifigures. Back view No dual face print or back printing for the guys. There's only 1 back printing, which is the torso for the girl minifigure -- Halter Top with Green Apples and Lime Spots Pattern, found in 3 other sets at the time of this review. Green energy is the best! Right, doggy? I'll be back! Conclusion So, is it worth the re-issue? I think it is. Set # 4999 is madly expensive in eBay or Bricklink so this makes set # 10268 fairly "cheap". I know that is a very subjective statement depending on how financially gifted you are, but you get the point. Could this set be any cheaper? Probably yes. The original set 4999 has motor function included so it is not a proper re-issue if the motor functions are removed just to cut cost, but it could been one of the option. For the volume of the build and overall size of the structure, the big parts compensate for the poor price per piece ratio so I think the price is fair. If you look at the price per piece ratio alone then you're going to miss out on a lot of good sets. I mentioned about the fixture of the base and how fairly strong it is. I think it is sturdier than the older version but as I mentioned earlier, it is not indestructible. I was able to lift the wind turbine by holding the tower several times without any issue. It holds firm and it can lift the weight of the whole build just fine. The problem is when it oscillates and wobbles several times -- no matter how much stronger it is than the original set, the tower can still collapse on its own weight. Based on my first-hand experience, using my car, I transported this set simply by removing the turbine blades. I thought that the tower can hold firmly because the top is already much lighter without the blades. To my dismay, a few humps and gentle turn broke the tower from the base because the structure simply cannot handle the shakes and wobbles in its original configuration. So, if you're crazy like me and you wish to transport this set-- kindly ask someone to hold it so that the tower won't wobble or just transport the tower and the base separately. Frankly, this is not a problem if you will only display the wind turbine. I think the structure is strong enough that it won't collapse on its own weight in a very long period of time as long as you put it in a very stable cabinet. If you put it on display inside a shaky cabinet, overtime, the connection might loosen up at the base, increasing the risk of the set from breaking apart. You've been warned, so get a sturdy cabinet for your LEGO set displays. Having said that, it is a marvellous set. It is big and tall. It's even taller than my desk fan and dinning table. Besides, who doesn't like green energy inspired building set? I also think it is a very educational set and could inspire young builders about sustainability and renewable energy. This set, along with the campaign of using sugarcane based plastic that is sourced sustainably, gives TLG a very strong statement about their support for sustainability and renewable energy. I mean, how can you not like it? Review summary Playability: 7.5/10 - it's not as playable set as much as it is a great display set but it is clearly aimed at older kids and collectors. Design / Building Experience: 8/10 - The original design 10 years ago is still great, with some colour swaps and small alteration here and there. However, I think the base could be more reinforced. Minifigures: 7/10 - No more stickers, yey! Other than the unique torso, everything else looks generic hence the score. Price / Value for money: 10/10 - Goodbye scalpers, welcome true collectors! Overall: 8/10 - Wait no further. Get this set and forget about the older one that you cannot afford. There is always a case for making a set available once again. If it is truly in demand and there are willing buyers for the product, then it is always possible to produce the set once more. TLG keeps the BOM (bill of materials) and moulds so they can produce the sets if all the right parts are available. Reissuing is a common practice in other toy lines so I don't understand the hate TLG is receiving for "running out of ideas". I am one of the firm believer that LEGO sets, as toys, should be made available to everyone in any way, shape or form. Therefore, the re-release of this set is a big slap to hoarders and investors, who are capitalising on "limited release" sets. I truly commend TLG for re-issuing this set to a wider customer base, with or without the green agenda. Once again, thank you for reading. If you wish to view all the images used in this review and some extras, you can view my Flickr album for set 10268. Always enjoy building. Until next time! I wish you were here... P.S. Here's a video of the wind turbine spinning --
  2. Hi! As LUG Ambassador for TechnicBRICKs I got involved into a workgroup to discuss and gather community feedback about sustainability and most relevant LEGO products characteristics in this regard. Here we're also particularly interested in the feedback from the LEGO Technic community. This is a wide topic where you may consider many aspects like the raw materials used to produce LEGO bricks, packaging, building instructions, production facilities, energy, delivery chain, social responsibility, etc. And of course many other you'll certainly remember! To help framing your inputs we got four questions, for which we'd like to hear from you. Please feel free to answer by leaving your comments to this post. First, please list what consumers can generally expect when a toy product is made of "sustainable materials". Kindly elaborate your answers and provide examples, if possible. The richer descriptions you provide, the more we know excatly what you mean! Please rank what is most important (1 = most important etc. What characteristics of the LEGO experience are currently most important to consumers? For each characteristic, please describe excatly what it is about. The more explanation you provide, the better we understand your input. Please rank what is most important (1 = most important etc.) What characteristics of the LEGO experiences are relevant to consider when addressing "sustainable materials"? Rich descriptions and examples, please. Please rank what is most important (1 = most important etc.) Is there anything else you feel is important regarding Sustainable Materials that wasn't covered in the questions above, that might help get a better view about the topic? Many thanks in advance for your feedback!