Review – Ambulance Helicopter (60179)

I bought the Ambulance Helicopter set in August so that I could get the LEGO® Store freebie at the time. I really liked the look of it, and I wanted something with a little more substance to go with my City Hospital (click here to read the review), since the helicopter that came in that set left a little to be desired. I actually waited to build the Ambulance Helicopter until after the first snow here in Montreal. The reason for that is that this helicopter is built on skis, so I wanted to photograph it outside in a winter setting. Well, the first snows have come, and I finally got my chance. If you are interested to know how I generate scores in each section of this review, feel free to read my rating system page (click here).

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Ambulance Helicopter box art.

SET SUMMARY

NAME: Ambulance Helicopter
SET #: 60179
THEME: City
COST: $24.99 CAD
BRICK COUNT: 190
MINIFIGURES: 3
OF INTEREST: a snowboard and stretcher
RELEASE DATE: November 26, 2017

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Front view of the Ambulance Helicopter.

SUMMARY REVIEW: 87%

VALUE: 80% ($0.13 per brick is a decent value.)
BUILD: 90% (Great looking set, but the medic doesn’t fit inside.)
MINIFIGURES: 88% (Generic, but nice characters, excellent brick:fig.)
ENTERTAINMENT: 90% (Good build time, really fun set that I plan to keep.)

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Side view of the Ambulance Helicopter.

REVIEW

VALUE: 80%
There are 190 pieces in the Ambulance Helicopter kit. Since the set costs $24.99 in Canada, you are looking a price per brick of $0.13. Over the past couple of years, I have been tracking the cost per brick in each of the LEGO® sets that I have purchased. At this time, that average is $0.14/brick. So, the value you get with the Ambulance Helicopter is not bad, and I would rate this set at 4/5 (80%). The value is even better when you compare it with other sets in the City theme, where my current average is $0.16 per brick.

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Overhead view of the Ambulance Helicopter.

BUILD: 90%
The exterior of this helicopter has a very sleek look to it, which I like quite a bit. The yellow and red color scheme is also a nice break from the usual white and red. I enjoy that there is a rear ramp that lowers, and the stretcher fits comfortably inside. There are added details in the rear compartment of a screen for monitoring vitals (a sticker), a fluid drip set up, and a wall mounted syringe. The cockpit contains a console with a radar screen, but no joystick to control the helicopter. That is a pretty easy fix though.

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The rear of the helicopter opens, and the stretcher fits inside.

My primary issue with this set is that the paramedic can’t actually fit into the rear compartment of the helicopter. The ceiling is just a little too low to accommodate her sitting by the stretcher. So, she has to sit on the edge of the side openings. The set has these 1×2 plates designed onto the sides that swing up or down, and the back of the packaging shows the paramedic using those as a seat. Since there was still some clear thought into where this medic would sit, I will not take off a full mark for that.

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“Help, I’m over here!”

My second issue is the lack of an actual entry into the cockpit. I don’t like when you have to imagine doors. I suppose with this set, there really was no way around that. An entry from the rear would have sacrificed the vitals screen. Since I really like that detail, I won’t take off a mark for the doors.

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The paramedic included in the Ambulance Helicopter.

While there are no really impressive or new build techniques in the Ambulance Helicopter, I like the overall look and design of it.  I wish it had an actual cockpit door, and that the medic could fit fully inside the rear compartment. But, overall, I like the design of this set. It earns a build score of 4.5/5 (90%).

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The Ambulance Helicopter pilot.

MINIFIGURES: 88%
There are three Minifigures included in this set. You get a snowboarder in need of rescue, a female paramedic, and a male helicopter pilot. All are nicely designed characters, but none of them have double sided faces or leg printing. In terms of accessories, you get a stretcher, a snowboard, and two syringes. The paramedic also comes with the new hat/ponytail headpiece that I like so much. While these Minifigs look good, they are still fairly generic townsfolk. Like with most city sets, these characters don’t have the same amount of detail that you see in some other LEGO® themes. I give them a design score of 34/45 (76%).

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Front view of the Minifigures included with the Ambulance Helicopter.

With three Minifigures and 190 parts, you are looking at a brick-to-Minifigure ratio of 63:1 for the Ambulance Helicopter set. The average brick:fig for the sets that I have bought over the last couple of years is 134:1. So, this set actually gives you a fair character count. Based on my current rating system, I give the Ambulance Helicopter a ratio score of 5/5. Averaging this with the design score gives an overall Minifigure grade of 88%.

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Rear view of the Minifigures included with the Ambulance Helicopter.

ENTERTAINMENT: 90%
The Ambulance Helicopter took me 33 minutes to build. At $24.99, that means that each minute of build time cost me $0.76. Based on my last two years of LEGO® purchases, my current average cost per minute of build time is $0.85. So, this set gives you a decent amount of building time for the price tag. I rate the build time at 4/5 (80%).

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Boardin’

I actually really like this set, and I plan to keep it pretty much as is in my LEGO® city. I will swap out the skis for wheels. However, that is not a point of contention for me. I like the skis, and think that it was a nice twist that was added to the story of this set. My city just isn’t a winter scene city. So, I give the Ambulance Helicopter 5/5 for my enjoyment of it. Averaging this with the build time score gives an overall entertainment grade of 90%.

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The snowboard comes with decorative stickers.

OVERALL: 87%

The Ambulance Helicopter is a solid buy, even at full price. You get a good looking set that comes at a nice value in terms of the cost per brick, as well as the build time that you get. The Minifigures are not super detailed, but every city needs men and women in generic uniforms as well. I like this set quite a bit, and my only major alteration would have been to make the roof one tile layer higher. That way, the paramedic could have fit into the rear compartment. All the same, I recommend the Ambulance Helicopter.

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No where to sit… I guess I’ll just have to hang precariously out the door…

What are your thoughts on the Ambulance Helicopter? Feel free to leave a comment below. Also, if you like the content at True North Bricks, I would love it if you followed me here on WordPress (click the “follow” option in the menu to your right), FacebookPinterest, or Twitter for regular updates.

Until next time,

-Tom

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