As we’ve noted before, the 3-in-1 series of LEGO sets make wonderful, inexpensive gifts, or really good introductory sets for youngsters who are new to LEGO. The 3-in-1 sets usually do not contain minifigures (that’s my avatar in the photos!), so when we’re rating this kit we have substituted “Realism” for our usual Minifigure category. For this review, realism reflects how effectively and interestingly the toy represents the real vehicles. Now, on to the build!
** The kit contains 69 bricks and an instruction manual for building three mini-scale fire department vehicles: a pumper truck, a support vehicle, and a helicopter. The instructions are clear, and the vehicles you build are sturdy enough to stand up to some serious play.
The photos below show the three vehicles that you build when following your instruction manual. Each photo includes my minifigure so you can see the scale. My favorite is the helicopter, followed by the fire truck.
** Playability: 3 out of 5 bricks. The main purpose of the 3-in-1 sets is to provide the widest possible build options with the bricks included in the package. This kit has a good mix of colors, brick types, and special shapes, which is what you should expect from a set designed for this purpose.
** Realism: 3 out of 5 bricks. When you build in mini-scale, which is what this kit calls for, your challenge is to use LEGO’s extensive inventory to create something that resembles something much larger and more detailed. In this set, all three vehicles were well done.
** Brick Value: 3 out of 5 bricks. This kit contained 69 pieces and sold in our market for $8.99, which produces a price per brick of $.12. This was average for the year the kit was released (2012). Also average is the selection of pieces included in the set. With a low overall price, this kit is clearly intended as an inexpensive introduction to LEGO, or as an affordable gift.
** Overall Rating: 9 bricks out of 15. The Creator 3-in-1 sets are not likely to be kits that LEGO enthusiasts will buy for themselves. For a few extra dollars, such consumers will pick up the lower priced kits in the themes they love most; but when those folks are shopping for birthday gifts, this is the sort of set they will reach for. The brick value is reasonable, the playability is good, and the instructions produce toys that are close enough to the real thing to give a youngster plenty of play opportunities.