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The Four Paws Of The Law!
on 21 February 2011
The frequency with which Lego update the Police theme of Lego City must represent an endless challenge to Lego's various designers. It's something that's very apparent with the new Police sets this year. Having turned out some truly outstanding sets back in 2008, putting a new spin on a very well worn theme has obviously become something of a challenge for 2011. The solution this time around has been to remix what worked well last time. Previously, the dog handler's van came as part of the huge police station set, so it's great to have this fun little vehicle available seperately.
The overall set is fun, with a nicely detailed dog, and a handler who comes complete with handcuffs and radio. The vehicle is decent, if a little odd looking. It's like one of those Citroen 2CV's that you see on the continent where its been converted into a van and so is an odd mix of a curvy front end with a great big box plonked on the back. It doesn't look quite so coherent as it should. The opening roof is nicely engineered and there's plenty of bricks that come with the set, but you can't help but think that those retro build patterns that were brought back into the fold during 2008 have been pushed a little too far. Whereas those slightly older sets had a nice mix of modern design coupled with a good use of many (rather than few) parts, here its just been pushed that little too far. A bit like when a band you've followed suddenly having an album that pushes them to a new creative and artistic level and then the follow up being slightly lacking.
It's probably highly pretentious to consider these things when, as a role play set it really suceeds, but its hard not notice that Lego have struggled to bring something new to the table for the Police theme this time around, offering exactly the same sets as in 2008, just built differently. Personally, I think they'd have been better off revisiting the long neglected Medical theme. It has been an awfully long time since we had a hospital and some ambulances...