If you’re a fan of the City theme and you already have a good selection of fire-fighting equipment, then you are the target buyer for this set. The fire truck has a European look and feel to it and is outfitted with specialized gear designed to tackle those pesky engine flare-ups out on the runway. LEGO last released an airport fire truck in 2006 (set #7891), and this updated version is literally twice the vehicle that its predecessor was: there are two times as many pieces, twice the minifigures, and double the play features. Let’s get to the build!
The Airport Fire Truck ships its 326 pieces in 3 bags with two instruction manuals. Almost every element in this set is devoted to the truck, which results in a sturdy vehicle with lots of built-in detail. You can see in the photo below how Technic beams make up the chassis.
Here’s a photo of some of the “specials” that come in this kit. I particularly love the wind-up hose assembly as well as the blue flames that double as splashing water.
Here’s a look at our intrepid firefighters. They look great, and I love their accessories, especially the breathing apparatus.
And here’s the completed kit, deployed for play! The cab is opened, as are some of the panels that grant access to storage and the engine.
Now, on to the ratings!
** Playability: 4 out of 5 bricks. This set earns above average ratings for playability. Its cab is large enough for both minifigures to ride side-by-side with a hinged lid for easy access. The retractable hose and nozzle is really neat, as is the rotating/elevating water cannon, and there are six opening hatches for storage and access to the engine. Lastly, almost all of the elements in the set are poured into the truck resulting in a sturdy construction that stands up well to extended play.
** Minfigures: 3 out of 5 bricks. The minifigure rating for this set falls into the average range. The female fire fighter is exclusive to this set, but her colleague appears in at least three other City sets. Both minifigures are well done with leg and front/back torso printing, but there really should have been a third minifig included. The bricks per minifigure ratio for this set is 163:1, which is far worse than the average for City themed sets in 2014, which was 113:1. Bottom line, the bad and good cancel each other resulting in an average score.
** Brick value: 3 out of 5 bricks. This set sold for $39.99 in our market; this generates a price per brick of $0.12, which is far better than the City average price per brick in 2014 (a staggering $0.17 per brick) and right in the neighborhood for all themes released in 2014 (which was $0.13). There is a fairly good mix of “specials”, but nothing that you can’t get in other sets. Our expectations should be high for brick value, so these factors combine for an average rating.
** Overall: 10 out of 15 bricks. This set has above average ratings, but it may appeal most strongly to a collector who already has a lot of City firefighting equipment. I wouldn’t pick it up as my first LEGO fire truck, especially as the asking price is just high enough to make you wonder if you wouldn’t be better off selecting two smaller sets, or just saying What The Heck and picking up the $50 set!