September 25, 2023

Review: Sunshine Surfer Van [31079]

Back in January, I picked my top 5 sets from the January 2018 LEGO catalogue (click here to read about them). I’ve reviewed one of those sets already (the Mountain Police Headquarters, click here to read it). The Sunshine Surfer Van is the second set off of my list, and what a great set it is! It looks like one of those VW hippie vans. I spent a summer working in British-Columbia back in ’05, and I made a friend who had such a bus. We would take trips to the beach in it. This van reminds me of that. Remember that if you are interested to know where the percentages come from in my reviews, you can swing by my LEGO rating page for a description by clicking here.

LEGO Sunshine Surfer Van box art.

Set Summary

NAME: Sunshine Surfer Van
SET #: 31079
THEME: Creator 3-in-1
COST: $39.99 CAD
RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2018

What you get in the Sunshine Surfer Van kit.

Summary Review: 92%

VALUE: 90% (Really good value at $0.11 per brick.)
BUILD: 100% (Awesome set, awesome design.)
MINIFIGURES: 77% (Decent city filler folks, nothing too exciting though.)
ENTERTAINMENT: 100% (Great build-time value, amazing set.)

Front view of LEGO’s Sunshine Surfer Van.


VALUE: 90%
The Sunshine Surfer Van is an excellent value set. With a price tag of $39.99 in Canada, and 379 bricks, you are looking at $0.11 per piece in this kit. That is below the average seen in the January 2018 LEGO Catalogue (click here to read my catalogue review). While that price is a little over the Creator average, overall, this is still a really good value. I give this set 4.5/5 (90%) in this category.

Side view of LEGO’s Sunshine Surfer Van.

BUILD: 100%
I really love the design of the Sunshine Surfer Van. It is sitting on the desk next to me as I am writing this, and I am hard pressed to find anything that I don’t like about it. The roof rack is full of beach accessories like folding chairs, a barbeque, a surfboard, and a beach umbrella. The whole roof comes off in one neat piece to reveal an interior with a small kitchenette, a fold-up bed, fold-down table, and TV. The side wall of the van swings open too to allow easy access to the interior for play. The whole van is actually quite spacious. I also like that LEGO included cab doors, which they sometimes forget on their City theme cars. I give the Sunshine Surfer Van a full 10/10 for its build design.

Interior view of LEGO’s Sunshine Surfer Van.

There are two Minifigs included with the Sunshine Surfer Van, one male and one female. Both come with hairpieces. Only the woman comes with a double-sided face. Both come with front and back printed torsos, and plain legs. The woman’s shirt is the generic red top seen in many sets before. The guy is wearing a surfer tank-top that I, at least, do not yet have in my collection. Most of the accessories they have are actually built from bricks. But, you do get a surfboard, binoculars, and a coffee cup. I give them 22/30 (73%) for design.

With 379 bricks and two Minifigures, you are looking at a brick-to-Minifigure ratio of 190:1. That is good, but not great, and earns a ratio score of 4/5 (80%). Averaging that out with the design score earns these figs an overall Minifigure rating of 77%. They are decent city filler characters, but not amazing otherwise.

The Sunshine Surfer Van took me 73 minutes to build. At $39.99, that means that each minute of build time cost me $0.55, which is excellent. I give this set a build-time value score of 100%. I will also be keeping this set built just as it is in my LEGO city, earning it an enjoyment rating of 100%. I love this set, and would not change a thing about it. Averaging those scores give the Sunshine Surfer Van an overall entertainment rating of 100%.

Overhead interior view of LEGO’s Sunshine Surfer Van.

Overall: 92%

I am a big fan of the Sunshine Surfer Van. It has a great design, great brick value, and great build-time value. The Minifigures are a little generic, but it is always good to get regular citizens to fill my city. While I did not build them, there are also two other models that you can put together using this kit, a convertible and a lifeguard station. There isn’t anything that I don’t like about this set, and I highly recommend it.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Until next time!


Rear view of LEGO’s Sunshine Surfer Van.