LEGO Review: Carousel [10257]

Over the last few years, LEGO has been producing amusement park rides as part of the Creator line of sets. It began with the Fairground Mixer in 2014, which did not appeal to me in the slightest. 2015 saw the release of the Ferris Wheel, which immediately changed my mind about these ride sets. It is an absolutely stunning set (click here to read my review). The third installment, released this year, is the Carousel. Let me tell you, LEGO has outdone themselves again on this set. But, without further delay, let’s have a look at it in more detail.

Set Summary

Name: Carousel
Set #: 10257
Theme: Creator
Cost: $249.99 CAD
Brick Count: 2669
Minifigures: 7
Release Date: June 2, 2017

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LEGO Creator Carousel (10257) box art

Summary Review: 86%

VALUE: 100% (Excellent cost per brick of $0.09.)
BUILD:
90% (Stunning design, but way too many stickers.)
MINIFIGURES:
55% (Generic figs, too many kids, and a bad brick-to-fig ratio.)
ENTERTAINMENT:
100% (No modifications needed, and great build time.)

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LEGO Creator Carousel (10257)

Review

VALUE: 100%
With 2669 parts, this is definitely one of the larger sets on the market right now. It costs $249.99 in Canada, which sets each brick at $0.09 CAD. As with most big Creator sets, this is an excellent value since you are essentially buying LEGO in bulk. Not only is this below the current average ($0.14 CAD/brick) based on the summer 2017 LEGO catalogue (click here for my review), it is also below the average for the Creator theme ($0.11/brick). The Carousel earns a perfect score for value!

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LEGO Creator Carousel and Ferris Wheel

BUILD: 90%
There is really nothing that I do not like about the look of this set. It is exceptionally detailed, and has wonderful functionality. There is a little gear box with a crank that activates the carousel. Turning the crank not only causes the carousel to rotate, but it also causes the majority of the animals to move up and down. The only exception is the swan, which is stationary on the carousel platform. I found that the crank on this set is a little harder to get going than the Ferris Wheel was, and the overall motion of the carousel is not as smooth either. As the animals approach the gear box, they tend to stop moving up and down. This is particularly true of the frog. This might be an issue in my own assembly of the set that I have yet to figure out. But, I would love to hear if anyone else had this issue in the comments below.

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LEGO Creator Carousel (10257) gear box

The platform itself is divided in two levels. According to LEGO designers, this was done to make it more realistic, since the animals are so tall and Minifigures need a way to mount them. I think it adds to the appeal of the set, and the staircase leading up to the second level is very nicely designed. I am not crazy about the number of stickers on this set though. All of the mirrors are reflective stickers stuck onto tiles. It was a pain trying to make them all straight and even. Sadly, the Carousel loses a mark for that.

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LEGO Carousel (10257) elephant ride

Equally well made are all of the animal rides. You get a tiger, frog, elephant, flamingo, and swan. The frog is by far my favorite. It has an adorable design with hinged legs. This gives it the appearance of hopping along as the carousel rotates. Like I mentioned before though, this function is not smooth all the way around. I have not been able to find a flaw in my assembly yet, but it could just be how I put it together. All the same, I feel like the instructions should work well for everyone…

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LEGO Carousel (10257) frog ride

The sloped roof of the carousel is made from cloth pieces and flexible rods. Both are connected to the model in a fairly clever manner. It gives the carousel a realistic look, but I wonder about fading and dirt with the bright yellow colour of the fabric. I won’t deduct marks for that though, because it does look nice.

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LEGO Carousel (10257) tiger ride

Overall, I really like the build of this set. The animal rides are awesome, and the overall look of the Carousel is fantastic. My issues with it are the number of stickers, and the functioning. When I built the Ferris Wheel, I initially had functionality issues as well. Eventually, I found the problem and now it runs super smoothly. That might be the case here with the carousel as well, but I have yet to find the issue. Since that might be a flaw of my own making, I won’t deduct a mark for it. This set earns 9/10 for design.

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LEGO Carousel (10257) flamingo ride

MINIFIGURES: 55%
This set comes with seven Minifigures, but sadly three of them are ape-children. I know I have stressed this in previous reviews, but I don’t like that these characters have those stumpy, non-moveable legs. It really makes their arms look too long. In addition, none of the characters in this set feature any new designs. But, that is generally the way these large Creator sets go. The Minifigures that come with them are always generic townspeople. I don’t have too much of an issue with that, because my LEGO city does need to be populated. I am going to be reviewing these characters slightly differently than I have in the past. I have revamped my grading scheme a little, and you can read about that by clicking here.

Since these characters are pretty normal, I will review them en-masse, beginning with the children. Since each Minifigure is graded out of 15 points, the three kids can earn a total of 45. They collectively lose three points right off the bat though, on account of those stumpy legs that don’t move (the legs are one piece instead of three). None of them have double-sided faces, or leg printing, costing them another six points. However, they do all have more than just the generic face print, as well as front and back print on their torsos. The two girls each have a hairpiece, and the boy has a baseball cap. They earn 27/45 on their own (60%).

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Adult male Minifigure from LEGO Carousel (10257)

The adults fare a little bit better in my opinion, since they are proper Minifigures. Again, none of them have double-sided faces, or any leg printing, which costs them six marks. Their torsos are all double-sided, with the exception of the ride-operator. Each is complete with a hairpiece. They earn 39/60 (65%).

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Adult female from the LEGO Carousel set (10257)

Based on their designs alone, these Minifigures earn 66/105 (63%). However, the set does come with a number of accessories for them. There are two tickets to ride the carousel, a popsicle, a camera, an ice cream cone, and a hot dog complete with bun. This earns the Minifigures a further seven points, brining the design score up to 73/105 (70%). The brick-to-Minifigure ratio of this set is 381:1, which is pretty poor. That earns a ratio score of 40%. Combining the design and ratio scores gives an overall Minifigure score of 55%.

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LEGO Grandmother from Carousel set (10257)

ENTERTAINMENT: 100%
In terms of my enjoyment of this set, I absolutely love it. I will not change a thing about it when including it in my LEGO city. So, it earns 100% right there. In terms of build time, I spent about seven hours assembling this set (420 minutes). This means that each minute cost me $0.60. My current average is about $0.74 per minute of build time across all of the sets that I have reviewed in the last year. So, you will spend a lot of time putting this set together, which is great, and earns a full 100% again.

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LEGO Carousel ride operator and ticket booth

Overall: 86%

In terms of value, this set is hard to beat. You get a really low cost per brick, and a hours of build time. The design of the carousel is amazing. It looks really good when it is all set up too. Be forewarned though, if you hate stickers, you will be spending a lot of time putting them on. As with many Creator sets, the Minifigures are nothing special, and you do not get many of them considering the number of bricks in the kit. Overall, the Carousel is a gorgeous set, and I do highly recommend it.

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LEGO carousel (10257) swan ride

I would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences with the LEGO Creator Carousel. Especially if you had the same functionality issues as me and managed to fix them. Feel free to leave your comments in the space below.

Until next time,

-T.N.B.

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