As I was flipping through the January 2018 LEGO catalog, I picked out five must have sets for myself. You can read about them by clicking here if you are so interested. Given the number of sets that I got for Christmas, I had planned to forgo a LEGO purchase in January. That all changed when the LEGO Store offered double VIP points on one of my choice sets from the catalog, the Mountain Police Headquarters. It has taken me a while to get around to it, but let’s see how this set fares!
NAME: Mountain Police Headquarters
SET #: 60174
COST: $109.99 CAD
BRICK COUNT: 663
OF INTEREST: Mountain lion, dirt bike
RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2018
Summary Review: 78%
VALUE: 70% (At $0.17 per brick, this set is not a great value.)
BUILD: 80% (Overall a nice build, but two helicopters is a bit much.)
MINIFIGURES: 95% (Excellent Minifigs, and an amazing brick-to-fig ratio).
ENTERTAINMENT: 65% (It is a fun set, but has a low build time for the cost.)
With 663 bricks and a price tag of $109.99 in Canada, each brick in the Mountain Police Headquarters will cost you $0.17. The average cost of a brick in the January 2018 catalog was $0.12, while the average for all of last year was $0.13. So, this set is not the best value, but is also not the worst. It earns a score of 3.5/5 (70%). That is not unusual for City sets though, as the average cost per brick in the theme usually sits around $0.16-$0.17 per brick.
The Mountain Police Headquarters is comprised of the main headquarters, an elevated helipad, a small cave (for criminals to stash gold bullion), two helicopters, and a 4×4 Police truck. I am not really crazy about any of the vehicles. The weakest of all is probably the red criminals’ helicopter. I could have done without that one entirely. The designers of the City theme certainly love their helicopters, but two in one set is overkill. There is also nothing special about the red one. Those pieces would have been better used adding detail to another feature of the set.
The police helicopter is also not my favorite. I have a couple of these small police helicopters now, and I prefer the one I got with my last police station. This is not a bad helicopter by any means, and I like it a lot more than the red one in the set. But, I find the tail looks a little off, especially since it lacks a rotor. I don’t know much about real helicopters, but I have never seen one with sort of design. The helipad that this chopper lands on is also nothing too great. I would have preferred more detail here instead of the second helicopter.
No police station would be complete without a police car of some sort. Since this is meant to be a mountain base, this station comes with a pretty heavy duty looking 4×4 pickup truck. I am neither here nor there about it. I think it looks a little disproportionate in terms of the width of the wheel base versus the cab, but that is not a major complaint.
The main build is, of course, the headquarters. I really like this part of the set. Half of the base is built on top of BURPs (big, ugly rock pieces in AFOL lingo), and houses a cave for the mountain lion. There is a play feature here that launches the mountain lion out of the cave. The other half of the base is a garage for the police car. A flight of stairs brings you from base plate level up to the holding cell. There is a nice corner piece on the cell that can be easily detached by the red helicopter to simulate a jail break. Another flight of stairs brings you up to the station proper. Inside there is a radio station, a computer terminal, and a coffee corner with a little fish tank. The fish tank is a sticker on a clear 1×2 brick, but I quite like it. There really isn’t anything that I don’t like about the main build for the Mountain Police Headquarters. It is open in the back, but so are all of these City buildings. That eases play, but makes it inconvenient to place in an actual LEGO city.
Overall, I do really like the main build in this set. I am neither here nor there about two of the three vehicles. The red helicopter was a waste of bricks in my opinion. The other two small builds (the helipad and the little cave) would have benefited from the pieces wasted on the red helipcopter. I give the Mountain Police headquarters an overall score of 8/10 for build, taking away two points because of that small lack of detail, and the red helicopter.
The Mountain Police Headquarters comes with seven Minifigures. There are four police officers, two male and two female. Each of them comes with a headpiece to wear. I am really liking the new female baseball cap with the ponytail. Overall, that whole Minifigure is stellar in terms of design. All of the police have a unique face print, but no double sided faces. Each has front and back print on their torsos, and all but one have leg printing. I quite like these officers.
The remainder of the Minifigures in the Mountain Police Headquarters are criminals. One comes with hair, another with a pilot’s cap, and the last with a log costume. Two of them have double sided faces. All of them have front and back print on their torsos, but only one has any leg printing. Of these three, the log suit guy is my favorite. Even without the log suit, he has a neat “mountain man” type shirt.
Based on design alone, I would give these Minifigures 79/105 (75%) using my rating scale of 15 points per Minifig. But, the Mountain Police Headquarters also comes with a lot of accessories. You get four sets of handcuffs, a chain and hook, a dirt bike and helmet, two mugs, a net, a crowbar, a microphone, and a small tree. These bring the score up to 94/105. You could also count the printed/stickered tiles for the computer, radio, and fish tank if you wanted. I will give the Minifigures in this set 90% for design and accessories.
Seven Minifigures and 663 bricks give you a brick-to-Minifigure ratio of 95:1, which is already excellent. However, this set also comes with a mountain lion. Strictly speaking, the mountain lion is not a Minifigure. But, it was one the main reasons that this set appealed to me in the first place. It is a repaint of the tiger, leopard, and panther that came out with the Jungle Exploration sets last year, but it looks really nice all the same. Counting the mountain lion in the ratio brings it down to 83:1. The Mountain Police Headquarters earns 100% for its brick-to-Minifig ratio score. Averaging that with the design score gives and overall Minifigure rating of 95%.
The Mountain Police Headquarters took me 135 minutes (two hours and fifteen minutes) to build. With a price tag of $109.99, that means that each minute of build time costs $0.81. That is a bit on the expensive side in my opinion. It earns 2.5/5 (50%) for build time value.
I really like this set. While I could have done without the criminals’ helicopter, the main police station is great. I could totally see myself keeping this built if I had the space (and a mountain) in my LEGO city. The Minifigures will also give me a lot of photography time. If I was to keep it built, I would have to modify it to be modular though. With my current space limitations, I will have to re-purpose the pieces, but even then, you get a lot of great parts for custom projects in this set. I give it 4/5 for enjoyment. Averaging that with the build-time value gives an overall entertainment grade of 65%.
While I do like the Mountain Police Headquarters, there are still details that I would have done differently. This set is also a bit on the expensive side in terms of the cost of bricks and the cost of the build time. On the plus side, the Minifigures are really great, you get a lot of accessories, and you get a mountain lion. There is a lot of re-usability with the bricks in this kit too for the MOC enthusiasts out there. As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Until next time,