Review: Arctic Air Transport [60193]

I was really excited with the return to the arctic that we saw with the science-inspired City theme sets from 2018. Not too long ago, I reviewed the Arctic Mobile Exploration Base (click here to read about it). This week, I am back with my second must-have set from this series, the Arctic Air Transport. Why was it a must have? Well, read on fellow LEGO® enthusiast, and find out! As always, if you are curious about how my scores are generated, have a look at my rating scale by clicking here.

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Arctic Air Transport box art.

SET SUMMARY

NAME: Arctic Air Transport
SET #: 60193
THEME: City
COST: $49.99 CAD
BRICK COUNT: 277
MINIFIGURES: 2
OF INTEREST: a saber-tooth cat
RELEASE DATE: June 2, 2018

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Front view of the Arctic Air Transport.

SUMMARY REVIEW: 72%

VALUE: 55% (High cost per brick, and short build-time for the price.)
BUILD: 70% (Neat look, but really hard to access the inside.)
MINIFIGURES: 84% (Solid Minifigs, and a fair brick:fig ratio.)
ENTERTAINMENT: 80% (Really fun for play, perhaps not so much for display.)

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Rear view of the Arctic Air Transport.

REVIEW

VALUE: 55%
The Arctic Air Transport costs $49.99 in Canada. With 277 pieces in the kit, you are looking at a cost per brick of $0.18. The current average based on my last couple of years of purchases is $0.14, so this set is pricey in terms of what you are actually getting. I suppose it is still less than the average cost per brick of a City set that we saw in the January 2019 catalog (click here for more on that). All the same, I only rate this set 70% in terms of brick value.

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Arctic ATV.

The Arctic Air Transport took me 52 minutes to assemble from start to finish. That means that each minute of build time, based on the full cost of $49.99, set me back $0.96. Again, that is not a particularly good value. My current average cost per minute of build time is $0.85. I would rate this set at 40% for build time value. Averaging that with the brick value score means that the Arctic Air Transport earns an overall value rating of 55%. So, not a great value at full price. If you wait for an average sale of, say, 20% off, you would get a much better deal, and a value more in the area of 80%.

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Who knows what lies beneath the permafrost…

BUILD: 70%
I’m just going to start off by saying that I think this helicopter looks great from the outside. It has a sleek design, and with its four propellers, it is different from the standard helicopters we tend to get in the City theme. It has a nice winch system that lowers a hook from the bottom of the helicopter. The hook is lowered by turning a gear on the roof, which actually works very smoothly. There are two smaller builds too, an ATV, and a chunk of ice (in which you place the saber-tooth cat). The ATV is alright as a little build, but is nothing really remarkable.

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Reaching the peak.

Where the Arctic Air Transport falls a little short is firstly with the aforementioned ice block. It is really box-like. I guess it could be argued that it has just been cut from a glacier or something, hence the box shape. But, I find it somewhat bland. My other point of contention with this set is that there is no access to the rear compartment of the helicopter. The back of the build is one, solid piece. I would have much preferred a door that lowers into a ramp so you can actually put something inside. As it stands, you have to disassemble the entire roof of the helicopter to access the inside. It just makes half of the main build essentially unusable space. I give this build 70% overall.

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The new saber-tooth cat figurine.

In summary, what I like about this build:

  • It looks nice
  • It is a new design in terms of City helicopters
  • The build for the four propellers is well thought out
  • The winch system works really well

I don’t like that:

  • The ice chunk is fairly uninspiring
  • You can’t access the rear compartment of the helicopter easily
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The chunk of ice built to house the saber-tooth cat is a little bland.

MINIFIGURES: 84%
Arctic Air Transport comes with two Minifigures. You get a pilot for the helicopter, and an ice/mountain climber. The latter character is identical to the one we saw in the Arctic Mobile Exploration Base. Neither one has a double-sided face, but both come with a lot of printed details. Based on my rating scale, I give these characters a design score of 22/30 (73%). But, we can’t forget all of the accessories. The set comes with two ice picks, a circular saw, a printed brick dashboard for the helicopter, and a saber-tooth cat. Those bring the score up to 27/30 (90%).

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Front view of the Minifigures included with the Arctic Air Transport.

Two Minifigures in a kit containing 277 bricks gives you a brick-to-fig ratio of 139:1. However, you also get a saber-tooth cat, which is AWESOME. Counting the cat in the brick-to-fig ratio brings it down to 92:1. That is fair, and actually below my current average of 132:1. I would rate that at 78%. Averaging this ratio score with the design score gives us an overall Minifigure score of 84%.

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Rear view of the Minifigures included with the Arctic Air Transport.

ENTERTAINMENT: 80%
I am a science geek, so can I see a younger version of myself getting copious amounts of play time with this set? Absolutely. I would have loved this set as a kid. It probably would have bothered me a little, even when I was younger, that it is hard to access the back of the helicopter. But, I doubt that would have hindered my play much. The saber-tooth cat, and the arctic adventures involved in finding it would have kept me entertained for hours. As an adult, I had a lot of fun building and photographing this set. But, I will probably not be keeping it built forever. This was the cheapest way to get a saber-tooth cat. The other set to contain one (the Arctic Supply Plane) costs twice as much. So, based on fun factor, I would give this set 5/5. But, based on whether adult me will be keeping it around, I would give it more of a 3/5. So, we’ll take the happy medium, and score it at 4/5 (80%).

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It is a little difficult to access the rear compartment of the helicopter. The whole roof has to be removed, which is not as easy as it should be.

OVERALL: 72%

While I really do like this set, and I think kids will have fun playing with it, I don’t think that the Arctic Air Transport is a very good value overall. However, LEGO® kits go on sale fairly often. Even just a standard 20% off sale makes this set much more worth the buy, and would raise my overall rating to 79%. It is the cheapest way to get a saber-tooth cat too, which was the main selling point of this set for me. What do you think? Feel free to leave your comments in the space below.

Until next time,

-Tom

p.s.  If you like the content at True North Bricks, I would love it if you followed me here on WordPress, FacebookPinterest, or Twitter for regular updates.

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A winch lowers from the base of the helicopter to pick up the frozen load.

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