Rover Testing Drive Review

Rover Testing Drive Review

In the summer of 2019, LEGO® City scientists returned to space exploration. Their research targeted the Red Planet, and ultimately Mars exploration. To that end, the development of technology was required, and testing took place on Earth. This brings us to the topic of today’s review, the Rover Testing Drive. Here, we examine the set that will allow Minifigures to explore the surface of Mars.

NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review purposes. However, the provision of products does not guarantee a favorable review. I will use my usual rating system (click here to learn more), and provide my honest opinion.

Rover Testing Drive front box art.
Rover Testing Drive front box art.

Set Summary

  • NAME: Rover Testing Drive
  • SET #: 60225
  • THEME: City
  • COST: $39.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 202
  • MINIFIGURES: 2
  • RELEASE DATE: June 23, 2019
Rover Testing Drive rear box art.
Rover Testing Drive rear box art.

Summary Review

  • VALUE: 56% (Very expensive cost-per-brick and build-time.)
  • BUILD: 80% (Nice for the price point, but has some design flaws.)
  • MINIFIGURES: 89% (Good characters and accessories, good brick:fig.)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 80% (Not a great display piece, but fun for play.)
  • OVERALL: 76%
Minifigure and accessories.
Have a look at those accessories!

Rover Testing Drive Review

VALUE: 56%

Rover Testing Drive costs $39.99 in Canada, and contains 202 pieces. Based on that information, the kit has a cost-per-brick of $0.20. In contrast, my current average cost-per-brick is $0.14. If we look at just the City theme, which tends to be expensive, my average is $0.17. Therefore, even by City standards, this set is expensive. Consequently, it barely passes the value assessment. I rate it at 60%.

Rover Testing Drive front view.
The Rover (front view)

In terms of build time, I had Rover Testing Drive fully assembled in 29 minutes. Remember, this set costs $39.99. That equates to a build-time value of $1.38/minute. Given that my current average cost-per-minute is $0.83, Rover Testing Drive absolutely fails in this category. I rate it at 52%. Averaging this score with the cost-per-brick yields an overall value score of 56%.

Overhead view of the rover.
Rover (overhead view)

BUILD: 80%

The overall look of this set is nice. It is simple, but it resembles a rover with the potential to transport astronauts around Mars. Additionally, it features a robotic arm boasting six points of articulation and the rear of the rover is a pick-up bed for storing tools and solar panels. My main point of contention with the exterior of this rover is that the wheels wiggle a lot in place. I am not sure if this was done intentionally to simulate the real ability of wheels to adjust to rough terrain, or just a design flaw. While not in danger of falling off, they need a sturdier design.

Rover Testing Drive rear view.
Rover (rear view)

The interior of the rover is nothing special. Removing the cab roof allows a Minifigure to enter. Sadly, the cab does not have actual doors for access. There is a control panel inside, but I feel that it could have been more substantial. However, the lack of detail in the cab is not a major issue. Extra levers from others sets can remedy that problem. In the end, this set needs a hinge attaching the cab roof to the rover. It loses a point for that, as well as the wiggly wheels. I rate it at 8/10 (80%).

Rover robotic arm.
Robotic arm with six points of articulation.

MINIFIGURES:

The set comes with two Minifigures. One character is an astronaut while the other is an engineer. Since this is a testing drive, it implies that the rover is still on Earth. In that regard, it is okay that one of the Minifigures has no Mars survival suit. Each character has all of the standard Minifigure parts. Additionally, both have front and back printed torsos, as well as front leg printing. Neither of them has an alternate facial expression though. Based on those facts alone, I would rate them at 20/30 (67%).

Front view of Rover Testing Drive Minifigures.
Front view of Minifigures.

In terms of accessories, there are two new geode pieces in this set. You also get a printed tile computer piece, a crate, a jackhammer, and a laptop. Even though it is a sticker, I like that there is something to display on the laptop screen. Finally, there is also a video camera piece. However, in this set, I feel like it is a laser or some other tool. I could be wrong though. Seven accessories brings the design score up to 27/30 (90%)

Rear view of Minifigures.
Rear view of Minifigures.

Two Minifigures in a kit containing 202 pieces gives a brick-to-Minifigure ratio of 101:1. As far as ratios go, that is not bad. My current average is 142:1. Therefore, this set earns a ratio score of 88%. Averaging this with the design score gives the Rover Testing Drive an overall Minifigure grade of 89%.

Two geode pieces.
Two geode pieces are included.

ENTERTAINMENT: 80%

From an adult collector’s perspective, the Rover Testing Drive is nothing special. I do not really see myself keeping this on display. I had some fun photographing it, and I might even take some more shots before I re-purpose the parts. However, in the end, I am not enamored with this kit. I give this set an AFOL score of 3/5.

Rover Testing Drive cockpit.
Not much going on the cockpit of this rover.

Conversely, a younger version of myself probably would have liked this set. It would be critical for Minifigures on Mars to have a form of terrestrial transportation. I would have gotten a lot of play time out of this. Additionally, the issues that bother me as an adult probably would not have meant much to me as a kid. I think this is a fun play set. I give it a KFOL score of 5/5. Overall, that yields an entertainment score of 8/10 (80%).

Minifigure with geode.
Studying geodes.

OVERALL: 76%

The Rover Testing Drive meets its intended purpose, which it to be a fun play set for children. It might not meet the higher standards of adult collectors though. Additionally, the price tag for this set is high relative to what you actually get. A sale of 20% off would bring the price more in line with an average City set based on my past reviews. 30% off would be in line with LEGO® sets in general based on the same criteria. My suggestion is to wait for a sale before buying Rover Testing Drive.

Rover cockpit exterior.
Rover cockpit.

What are your thoughts on the Rover Testing Drive set? Be sure to let me know in the comments below. 

Until next time,

-Tom

What do others think?

Brick Insights is an awesome site that aggregates LEGO® set review scores from around the web. Based on their statistics, you can see what other reviewers think of Rover Testing Drive below.

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