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Lego City Cargo Terminal
on 18 November 2013
This set is the largest of the 3 in the recent Lego City Cargo subtheme. It consists of the cargo plane, an air traffic control tower, a forklift, a conveyor belt loader, a refuelling car, 4 crates/pallets of cargo (the contents of 2 of which can be combined to make a basic quad bike) and 5 minifigures.
The pieces are packaged in 6 numbered bags for easy building with most of the larger parts split over 2 additional unnumbered bags. There are quite a number of large pieces, with the cockpit, tail and wings of the plane largely consisting of single elements and many of the pieces making up the fuselage also being pretty big. Although this helps give the plane a very sleek design and probably helps younger builders complete what is a pretty large model (the plane is around 57cm or 22" long), it does strike me as a little unLego-y.
The set comes with 37 stickers which definitely add to the design, but can be pretty fiddly to apply and could also limit the possibilities for reusing pieces in other models. There are a couple of other potentially fiddly parts - the tyres are quite stiff to get on to the wheels and attaching the conveyor belt to the truck may require a little patience, but overall I wouldn't expect it to be too challenging for the average child within the recommended age range, perhaps with a little help. The numbered bags mean that building the set can easily be split over multiple sessions and as there are also 4 separate instruction booklets two or more people could work on the set together, each building different components.
The number of different components that make up this set gives it a lot of play value, for example cargo can be loaded on to the plane using the forklift and the conveyor belt loader; the plane can be refueled with the Octan car; air traffic control can clear the plane for take-off and the plane can transport its cargo around the world (or at least the living room/bedroom!).
It is undoubtedly a good set but there are a couple of ways I feel it could have been improved: the cockpit has seats and control panels for a pilot and a co-pilot but only one pilot figure is included (unless the forklift driver also has a pilots licence?), given the size and RRP of the set I think they could have included one more figure. Also although there are four crates/pallets of cargo included, only three will fit on the plane at one time, all the cargo does fit in but the boxes have to be taken off their pallet so it doesn't affect play much, but is a bit of a shame as large section in the middle of the plane is bricked up and so is inaccessible and wasted space (though this could be made accessible with a bit of time and some extra pieces). The only other minor fault I have found is that the exhaust piece(?) often falls off the forklift when the forks are being raised or lowered.
Whilst not perfect this is a great Lego set, the size means there is enough building to keep children occupied for a fairly long time and the numbered bags and different instruction books make it easy to split over several sessions for shorter attention spans. The different components of the set allow for many different play scenarios and these can be extended by combining with other Lego sets, in particular I would recommend 60020 Cargo Truck as a good accompaniment.