The Loop Coaster (10303) is the latest set in the Fairground Collection and is sure to give you a sense of excitement with the tallest free-fall in the park. This is the second coaster since the very popular Roller Coaster (10261) from 2018. However, the double loop coaster is a first from LEGO® and utilizes a variety of design techniques. This engineering feat is a complex build requiring some trouble shooting to achieve full functionality of the coaster. But once it is working, it is a lot of fun to play with! Just remember to eat that hot dog after jumping in line with your friends!
NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of products does not guarantee a favorable review. I will use the usual True North Bricks rating system (click here for more information) and provide my honest opinion.
LOOP COASTER SUMMARY
- NAME: Loop Coaster
- SET #: 10303
- THEME: Icons – Fairground Collection
- COST: $499.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 3756
- MINIFIGURES: 11
- RELEASE DATE: July 1, 2022
- COST/BRICK: $0.13 (good value)
- BRICK-TO-FIG RATIO: 341 (low fig count)
- DIMENSIONS: 92cm (h) x 85cm (w) x 34cm (d) (this set is massive!)
LOOP COASTER QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 63% (expensive)
- BUILD: 90% (a well-rounded build experience)
- MINIFIGURES: 69% (great minifigures but could use a few more)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 95% (excellent value!)
- OVERALL SCORE: 79% (satisfactory)
LOOP COASTER REVIEW
This set took eight hours and 33 minutes to build. It felt like it took a long time but based on the True North Bricks scoring system, it was much too quick for the sticker price of $499.99 CAD. Compared to other Icons sets, this earns it a price per minute score of only 36% ($0.98/minute). However, when compared to all sets reviewed by True North Bricks, the score jumps to 74%. Given the extreme difference, I took an average of the two for a final cost/minute score of 55%.
Value is also determined by the cost-per-brick. The Loop Coaster (10303) has 3,756 pieces. At full price, this translates to 13 cents per brick or a score of 57% when compared to other Icons sets. However, compared to LEGO® sets in general, the score improves a little. The average set goes for about $0.13/brick, earning Loop Coaster 83%. This brings the cost-per-brick score up to 70%. Averaging this score and cost/minute gives a final overall value score of 63%. Unfortunately, this is rated as expensive.
The Loop Coaster (10303) comes in a massive box, and within the box is another large box. After removing the set bags, there was also a folded piece of paper with a photo on one side and text on the other. The photo showed hands playing with LEGO® pieces next to various paper packages. The note had a short blurb about the switch to sustainable paper-based packaging. We have heard that this has been coming for some time so it was nice to finally see it in person.
After dumping out both boxes, there were a total of 23 set bags numbered from 1 through 15. Additionally, there were five more bags with coaster track and large plates. Inside one of the small boxes was a very long length of dark grey string.
I am not a fan of stickers, but I do like the added detail provided by the stickers in this set. They are bright and colourful. Additionally, many have a good bit of humour in them. However, I would still prefer to have printed tile. This would be particularly helpful for the 2×6 tiles as it takes a lot more work to apply those evenly.
One of the coolest stickers is the park map used in the bench mini-scene. It is a nice little scene with a fairly standard bench and it included one of the new squirrels! The balloon cart is also a fairly standard build using the relatively new tricycle frame. Although it was introduced in 2019, it is still only found in ten sets. Interestingly, white is the most common colour, coming in eight sets. The highlight is the two dog balloon elements. However, it is too bad they are both trans blue.
The pretzel cart was a bit frustrating as the pretzels kept sliding around or popping off the bar. I think it would have been helpful to make the cart slightly larger so the pretzels would be more secure. In contrast, the hot dog cart is an awesome little mini build! I am really impressed with how well the designer was able to create a hot dog at such a small scale. Unfortunately, the cart is a tad tall for the vendor who could use a step-stool to reach the wieners on the grill.
Building the landscape is straight forward and it gives you a sense of where the coaster frame will sit.
High quantity multiples
One of my favourite new pieces is the 1x2x1 half cylinders and there are 112 in this set! Even though I love this piece, I am not entirely sure why they use it over the standard 2×2 round brick to create the columns. However, this set is a great parts pack for MOCs (My Own Creations) as it has lots of high quantity multiples.
The centre shaft used to support the elevator uses 102 2×2 45 degree triangle tiles. There are 51 medium azur tiles and 51 dark azur tiles that create a cool pattern all the way up the 92cm shaft. The elevator itself runs on 222 small chain links combined with 33 wider link treads.
Putting the lower part of the coaster track together was pretty straight forward. The construction of the loops was interesting, especially for the large tear-drop loop. Interestingly, the larger loop does not connect all of the adjacent track. This is necessary to achieve the correct slope without the need to create a new mold for a new track element. Similarly, the transition between the straight track at the very top of the elevator and the first drop also do not connect. Additionally, the track used for the drop is not a single track element, but two standard corner track pieces turned on their side.
One of the more interesting structural elements is the decision to perch the super tall tower support beams on 2×2 jumper tiles. Clearly, this is to achieve the correct distance between holes in the Technic arms that support the towers. However, the ingenuity of LEGO® designers never ceases to amaze me.
Functional design elements
The designer also created a fantastic counterweight mounted onto coaster cars. The counterweight offsets the weight of the coaster as it rises up the elevator. The counterweight is also where you will attach one side of the super long rope. Just be sure to tie it tightly!
Another ingenious functional element of this set is the brake system. Interestingly, the brake system functions off of the same crank that is used to run the coaster elevator. As the crank is turned to return the counterweight to the top of the elevator, it also rotates the tire that slows the coaster before it enters the loading zone.
The elevator itself is kept in position by a number of wheel rims and pulleys. It is a very efficient and relatively light system. I imagine that is why a brick-built counterweight is used rather than the actual LEGO® counterweight elements that are heavy and expensive!
The loading platform looks fantastic and is one of my favourite elements of this model. The slope of the roofline created by additional track elements fits in nicely with the rounded lines of the coaster track. Building the platform was also a nice break from some of the Technic-based elements. Unfortunately, the addition of the light grey 2×3 tiles with clips to fill in the roof detracts from the overall look a bit. Medium or dark azur would have looked much better. Additionally, you can also use the extra track elements on the roof to modify the track layout and create your own design!
Overall, the build experience is nicely balanced. While some aspects are simple, others are quite complex. The Loop Coaster (10303) also uses a variety of techniques, many of which I hadn’t seen before. Part of this is the combination of system bricks and Technic bricks. There is a fair bit of repetition, particularly once you get to the construction of the elevator support towers. However, the steps felt more therapeutic than monotonous. Perhaps that is because I find layering plates and tiles to be a rather mindful building experience. Consequently, the Loop Coaster earns a build score of 90%.
The Loop Coaster (10303) includes 11 minifigures and six of them have dual-sided heads. These include a lady with an over-the-shoulder bag wearing a cool medium nougat blouse with a neat neck-line, and sand green pants. She has thick dark brown hair in a bun and both of her expressions are happy. Interestingly, there is only one child minifigure in this set. One side of their face is in a slight frown (perhaps they are too short to go on the coaster) and the other has a slight smile. They have light tan surfer-style hair, a blue jacket over a light blue shirt and blue pants. My favourite minifigure in this set has spiky red hair, one winking expression, and one smirking expression. They are wearing a jean jacket and matching pants, and a red shirt with what looks like a potentially gender queer flag.
Another fair goer has receding thick black hair and side burns. He has orange tinted aviator glasses and a smirk. He is wearing a burgundy bomber jacket over a light blue golf shirt and blue pants. The coaster attendant is wearing a yellow shirt with the LEGO® logo on the back. Perhaps this coaster is at a Legoland Park. She has brown hair pulled into a ponytail revealing a cochlear implant above her right ear. She has a friendly smile.
I love the expressions on some of the minifigures. They are perfect for unsuspecting riders of a loop coaster! One has a gaping mouth with high eyebrows and medium nougat wavy hair. He is wearing a green bomber jacket over a printed shirt and dark blue pants. His alternate expression is relatively neutral. One woman has a very concerned expression with an open down-turned mouth. She has glasses and tousled dark grey hair. She is wearing a long sleeve pink shirt and light tan pants. The other woman has a fearful expression on one side and a neutral to sad expression on the other. She has awesome blue side-swept hair. She is wearing a blue blazer over a white blouse with pink flowers, and white pants.
Three of the minifigures are vendors including the pretzel vendor, balloon vendor, and hot dog vendor. The pretzel vendor has awesome glasses giving a magnified look to her big eyes. She also has a baseball cap with pontytail – one of my favourite hairpieces! She is wearing a fair-inspired striped shirt with grey pants. The balloon vendor has a super happy expression and an equally happy and colourful shirt printed with colourful balloons. He is wearing a pink baseball cap and purple pants. The hot dog vendor has a toothy grin and sweat dripping down his face. He has a red baseball cap, a white chef’s jacket with red bandana, and dark tan pants. None of these minifigures have a duel sided head.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the minifigures in the Loop Coaster (10303). LEGO® easily could have included very boring standard minifigures. However, instead they included some great expressions, cool outfits, and even cooler hair pieces. Additionally, you acquire some accessories like a squirrel, a load of pretzels, some hot dogs, two balloon animals, and the tricycle element. These minifigure designs earn a score of 70%.
In this set, there is one minifigure for every 341 pieces. That earns a score of 87% when compared to other Icons sets. However, that ratio only translates to a score of 46% when compared to all sets reviewed by True North Bricks. Taking an average of the two gives a final ratio score of 67%. Averaging this with the design score gives an overall minifigure rating of 69%.
The Loop Coaster (10303) is a lot of fun to play with. Once the coaster reaches the top of the elevator it swoops down the track and through the two loops very effectively. The brake system and stopper also work great. It is really cool how everything functions off of the same crank. That said, I do think the manual could use a few instructions on how to operate the various functions. It wasn’t clear that you need to continue turning the crank to ensure the brake and stopper function correctly.
Additionally, the elevator didn’t work properly at first. The coaster started to lift as it cycled through the large chain links but then it seemed to get stuck on the small links. There was no improvement even after checking that all the pieces were pressed firmly together. My partner then suggested removing a single small chain link. This seemed to do the trick!
In addition to the functionality of the Loop Coaster (10303), there are some really fun story-telling features. Two of my favourites are the camera mounted on one of the track supports capturing images of the riders as they zip upside down through the loop. The other is the monitors mounted at the back of the loading platform showing the images taken from the camera. Look closely and you will find a surprise!
The Loop Coaster (10303) is a massive set and is best build on a big table. If you find you need to move the coaster, be sure to do a few checks before running it. Specifically, check that the elevator tower and all the coaster tracks are still securely attached. Despite carrying the coaster as per the instructions, I noticed some shifting after moving the coaster to a different room.
The instructions also let you know what you need to operate the coaster using the Powered Up app and components. Unfortunately, I don’t have these components so I was unable to test it. Adding a motor would definitely add to the fun but the crank works well enough. Check out the video below for a short demo! And if you want to find out more about the physics behind the Loop Coaster (10303), check out the LEGO® site.
The Loop Coaster (10303) excels in the entertainment category. The single crank system is genius and the track includes not one but two loops. Not only is it fun to play with but it looks great too. The contrast of the dark blue and flame yellowish-orange (Chima orange as we call it in our house) looks great and the splashes of medium azur really pop. The only downside to this set is it’s massive size, which can cause some elements to separate if moved. Regardless, this set still earns an entertainment score of 95%.
OVERALL SCORE: 79%
Overall, the Loop Coaster (10303) has achieved new heights (pun intended) in LEGO®. This set is a great addition to the Fairground Collection but it is also striking as a solo piece. Although extremely large, it would be a fun display piece if you have the space. I suspect it wouldn’t be long before you or your guests were cranking the coaster up the elevator to send it down the track. It is also a fun set to play with! While the build experience and entertainment value of this set are high, those scores are offset by the high cost and relatively low minifigure count. Averaging all four scores gives this set an overall score of 79%.
Is the Loop Coaster (10303) on your wishlist? Or, have you tried creating your own roller coaster? Tell us below or share your thoughts with us on social media.
Play well folks,
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