Barn & Farm Animals (60346) was one of the best surprises of 2022. However, the price tag of this set was one of the worst. But is it as bad as it seems? With eight animals and four minifigures, there is more to this set than just bricks. Unfortunately, there aren’t many bricks. Unlike our typical reviews, I am going to spend more time diving into the value of this set rather than the build experience. Let’s get started!
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.
BARN & FARM ANIMALS SUMMARY
- NAME: Barn & Farm Animals
- SET #: 60346
- THEME: City 4+
- COST: $89.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 230
- MINIFIGURES: 4
- RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2022
- COST/BRICK: $0.39/brick (beyond expensive)
- BRICK-TO-FIG RATIO: 41 bricks/fig (excellent ratio)
- OF NOTE: 1 pig, 2 piglets, 1 sheep, 1 lamb, 1 cow, 1 calf, 1 squirrel
BARN & FARM ANIMALS QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 28%
- BUILD: 70%
- MINIFIGURES: 95%
- ENTERTAINMENT: 60%
- OVERALL SCORE: 63% (unsatisfactory)
|What I Liked||What I Didn’t Like|
|Animals! Especially baby animals!||Price|
|Working winch||Colour print issue on orange torsos|
|Continuity in minifigure outfits||Tractor front end|
BARN & FARM ANIMALS REVIEW
Barn & Farm Animals (60346) is part of the LEGO® City theme and has an age rating of 4+. This set has 230 pieces and retails for $89.99 CAD. That’s a frightening $0.39/brick! Before you choke on your coffee, let’s take a look at the various factors working against all of us AFOLs who really want all those great new animals.
LEGO City sets AND LEGO 4+ sets are expensive
At $0.39/brick that works out to a dismal score of 11% compared to other City sets that we’ve reviewed. Sets in the City theme are notoriously the highest priced sets for the number of bricks in the box. Tom reminded us about this in his recent article that looked at the 2023 catalogue. But this isn’t your average City set. This is also a 4+ (previously LEGO® Juniors) set.
Sets marketed as 4+ are inherently different and it isn’t fair to judge them against sets created using a completely different strategy. Sets like Barn & Farm Animals are meant as bridge sets between LEGO® Duplo and standard LEGO® System sets. On the back of the box there is even an image of the simple tractor build with the text, “LEARN TO BUILD”. These sets intentionally have fewer pieces as well as a greater number of larger pieces so that small hands can accomplish big things without getting frustrated or disinterested. And big pieces cost more to make.
So many animals!
Barn & Farm Animals is aptly named as it comes with a LOT of animals. In fact, there are eight animals in this small 230 piece set. I feel like that must be some kind of record! Not too long ago I reviewed the City Wild Animal Rescue Missions (60353) set which had a similar piece count but only five animals. In 2021 we reviewed the City Wildlife Rescue Camp (60307) which also had eight animals, but it had more than twice the number of pieces.
While we track the minifigure to brick ratio at True North Bricks, we haven’t tracked the animal to brick ratio. However, I suspect that this set would likely come out well ahead of the pack, especially given the low number of pieces. And keep in mind that similar to large pieces, it also costs a lot more to produce animals given the size of the mold and amount of material that goes into a single animal element.
Barn & Farm Animals was a quick build, taking just 27 minutes to complete. That seems reasonable since it only has 230 pieces. However, the other half of our value calculation is based on cost, not the number of bricks. With a price tag of $89.99, the build time value of this set is $3.33/minute. No other sets we’ve reviewed have come anywhere close to that. As an extreme outlier, this results in a score of 0% when compared to other City sets we’ve reviewed. I suspect we have reviewed very few, if any, LEGO® 4+ (Juniors) sets and that is likely the differentiating factor here. When comparing bricks per minute, this set comes in at 8.5 bricks/minute compared to the average of 6 bricks/minute for all City sets we’ve reviewed. This could be a reflection of the simplicity of a 4+ set.
Averaging the cost per brick score of 11% and the cost per minute score of 0%, we get an overall score of 6% after rounding. However, since 4+ sets don’t come across our blog very often, comparing them to non-4+ sets doesn’t seem quite right. We should probably introduce some kind of weight factor, but I’m not sure what that should be. Perhaps a better assessment would be the value of the set with the cost of the animals removed. Let’s take a look at the impact of those cute little animals next.
Given most AFOLs would likely buy this set for the animals rather than the set itself, I figured I should find out the cost of the animals on the secondary market. Using Bricklink (BL) as my source, I found that the animals are very pricey and removing them from the analysis vastly improves the value scores for this set. This allows a more fair comparison of the price per minute to build the actual set, and the price per brick (total pieces is 217 without the animals). I included three different BL: the average sale price over the past 6 months, the cheapest currently for sale in Canada, and the cheapest currently for sale anywhere in the world. I only included sources that had at least one new item in stock (I required two for the piglets and horns) and it included the brick and tile to complete the cow.
|Tot animal $||Set $ excl. animals||$/min score||$/brick score||Tot value score|
|BL avg 6 months sales||$57.54||$32.45||76||91||84|
|Cheapest in Canada on BL||$43.38||$46.61||52||70||61|
|Cheapest on BL||$29.50||$60.49||28||48||38|
Breaking it down
The total price of the animals using the average 6 months sales compared to current items for sale shows that the price of the animals is coming down. Consequently, I will focus on current items for sale. If you haven’t snagged the animals yet, then you have options. The lowest cost from Canadian sources is $43.38 (in most cases these sellers only have 1 or 2 in stock, so you may end up paying more). If you are willing to purchase from other countries then the cheapest price (again from sources with low stock counts) is $29.50. Or you can pick up the Barn & Farm Animals set for $89.99 unless you are lucky enough to find it on sale.
When we remove the value of the animals from the price of the set then the value of the bricks themselves become more reasonable, between $46.61 and $60.49. This impacts both the cost per minute and the cost per brick with a final value score between 61 and 38, or an average of 50. These still aren’t great scores but they are more reflective of what you get in the box. Unfortunately, even 61 earns a “passable value” label. However, a score of 61 certainly isn’t the worst we have seen at True North Bricks, though 38 might be.
To buy or not to buy
There isn’t a great way to determine the value of this set since it is a 4+ set and has so many animals. And both these factors drive up the cost. Based on the standard formula used at True North Bricks, the total value score is 6%. However, I think it is important to control for the impact the animals have on the price. If we look at the non-animal related pieces of the set then the value improves vastly to an average value score of 50% (taking into consideration Canadian vs international sources). Averaging both these scores gives a final value score of 28%. If you want the convenience of buying all the animals at once and getting 217 extra LEGO® pieces then perhaps grabbing the set makes sense for you.
Opening up the Barn & Farm Animals box reveals four set bags that match the four instruction booklets as indicated on the bottom left corner of the instructions. It also comes with a fifth bag containing five large elements including the cow. The instruction booklets progress very slowly through each step. This is perfect for little ones learning how to follow a process step-by-step.
The build itself is very simple. This makes sense since it is a 4+ set. The barn is modular and built in two sections using books two and three. The construction of the barn is quite basic and uses a number of large elements including an 8 by 16 modified plate in bright green and white. This set introduces young builders to hinges using clips and bars to build the barn doors and roof.
Although it serves no purpose in this model, I was happy to get a 1 by 14 white brick with groove (you can see it at the back of the barn). It’s great for building garage doors and adding architectural detail. The highlight of the barn is the working winch at the peak. I also quite like the printed 2 by 6 tile with the rolling hills and sunshine logo.
The farm around the barn
In addition to the barn, you also build other elements of the farm. These include a tractor with a trailer, an animal wash station, and a greenhouse. The tractor uses a 4 by 10 black brick as a base and I thought this would make it look really blocky. However, you taper the top part of the body and the mismatch between the two is hidden by the front wheels. The downside is that the tractor slopes forward and has pretty low clearance on the front end. The animal wash station and greenhouse are built on bright green 8 by 8 plates with a rounded side. The greenhouse is super cute but only has two sides. The wash station actually has a lot of detail including a faucet, hose, wash basin, and scrub station. It also comes with a crate and lots of veggies.
Barn & Farm Animals is a basic build. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of the functional winch and the detailed wash station. The barn itself felt like it was missing something although I can’t figure out what that is. Perhaps it was just too open. I think young children will really like all the different elements they get to build in this set. Given this set is aimed at builders aged 4+, I think it provides a nice balanced build experience for younger builders. Since I am reviewing this from an AFOL perspective, I have docked a few points for simplicity, the holey barn, and the tractor clearance. Overall, this set earns a build score of 70%.
There are four minifigures in Barn & Farm Animals. This is fantastic for a small 230 piece set like this! Of the eight animals, one has moving parts (the cow) and is counted towards the brick to minifigure ratio. This works out to almost 46 bricks per minfigure and translates to a score of 98% when compared to other City sets we’ve reviewed.
Two of the minifigure farmers have an orange shirt and lime green overalls. Unfortunately, the green on the torso is off-coloured as the orange is visible underneath. Both farmers have the same rolling hills and sunshine logo that we saw on the front of the barn. The male farmer has shoulder length brown hair and a very bushy beard. The female farmer has black hair in a bob-style cut. Both farmers have dual-sided heads with neutral to happy expressions.
The other two minifigures include another female farmer but with a white shirt and green overalls. Her overalls have the same logo as the others. She has blonde hair in a bun and she is wearing eye protection. She is clearly ready to get to work! The other minifigure is a farmer kid with a white shirt and blue overalls. Unfortunately, they do not have bendy legs. Neither minifigure has a dual-sided head.
There are a lot of accessories in this set. The barn comes with a shovel, broom, pitch fork, and scissors. This set also includes a lime green watering can and a brush. Additionally, there is also a garbage can, crate, three carrots, and three pumpkins. With all the accessories, the minifigure design score works out to 92%. Averaging the brick to minifigure ratio and the minifigure design, we get a final minifigure score of 95%.
At True North Bricks the entertainment value balances both the AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO®) perspective and the KFOL (Kid Fan of LEGO®) perspective. Unfortunately, the Barn & Farm Animals set has little entertainment value to offer AFOLS other than the animals. The model itself is very basic and unfinished from an AFOL perspective. It would make a terrible display piece and wasn’t meant to be one. It was meant for kids, and young ones at that. Solely because of the awesome animals, I give this set 1/5 from an AFOLs perspective.
Perfect for younger children
In contrast to the AFOL perspective, this set has lots of entertainment value for kids. Younger children enjoy opening and closing the barn doors and the peek-a-boo window. The hinged roof also provides easy access for greater playability. The tractor and trailer provide some action to bring life to the farm. And the wash station and greenhouse provide an opportunity for story telling. Lastly, but not least, the winch is a highlight of this set and would have been my favourite part when I was little. The only downside is the chain isn’t long enough to reach the hay when it is in the trailer. However, you need to pick it up to attach it to the stud anyway so it doesn’t impact playability.
The farm logo
Interestingly, the same logo that is on the famers’ overalls and the barn is also found in other sets. This makes for great story-telling between sets. These include two farm-related sets: the Chicken Henhouse (60344) and Farm Garden & Scarecrow polybag (30590). I also like how the farm is tied into a story line with other sets. The same logo is seen in the Farmer’s Market Van (60345) and the Freight Train (60336). In the latter, the minfigure is shipping produce (carrots) in the same crate we find in Barn & Farm Animals. I love the continuity!
The playability and continuity earn this set 5/5 from a KFOL perspective. Combining that with the AFOL score (1/5) and Barn & Farm Animals earns 6/10, or 60% for entertainment value.
OVERALL SCORE: 63%
Barn & Farm Animals was a tough set to review given it is so different from other sets that we use for our comparisons and score calculations. Averaging all the scores gives this set a final score of 63%. If you do prefer the standard True North Bricks methodology, then the final score would be 58%. Not too far behind really. It depends how you choose to factor in the value of the animals. Unfortunately, the high cost of animals also works against this set being good value for kids despite it’s great play factor.
If you want the convenience of picking up all the animals at once then this set isn’t horrible. At least you also get four minifigures. To offset the cost you can always grab it during a double VIP event and/or pick it up when there is a Gift With Purchase available. If the convenience doesn’t appeal to you, then skip this set and order the animals from Bricklink, Facebook marketplace, or your neighbourhood LEGO® reseller. If you picked up this set for the animals, what did you end up doing with the rest of the parts? Tell us below or comment on our socials.
Play well folks,
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