Review – Coast Guard Starter Set [60163]

I am currently sitting in my vacation villa on a stormy evening in Costa Rica. It is the perfect time to write as the thunder crashes outside. Going on vacation left me with a little bit of a blogging quandary. I didn’t want to just stop my regular posting schedule, because I actually quite like writing. True North Bricks has become one of my favorite hobbies. Vacations are all about taking time for yourself, and the things that you enjoy, so I decided that I would keep blogging from Costa Rica. But, what to do about set reviews? My initial plan was to pre-write some reviews, and just post them while here. But, that idea just didn’t sit well. I figured it would be much more fun to actually write a review, and photograph the set on the beach. It would be even better to review beach themed sets from the beach. The sets also had to be small, since I had to take them with me on the plane. So, I picked up two sets before leaving Canada. One will remain a surprise for next week. This week’s review is the Coast Guard Starter Set.

DSC_0111web

Box for the Coast Guard Starter Set, taken on the black sand beach in Puerto Veijo, Costa Rica.

SET SUMMARY

NAME: Coast Guard Starter Set
SET #: 60163
THEME: City
COST: $12.99 CAD
BRICK COUNT: 76
MINIFIGURES: 3
OF INTEREST: a shark, a surfboard, and a wind surf board
RELEASE DATE: May 29, 2017

DSC_0133web

Coast Guard Starter Set box contents.

SUMMARY REVIEW: 75%

VALUE: 66% ($0.17 per brick is starting to be pricey.)
BUILD: 90% (Nice little build, could have used some detailing.)
MINIFIGURES: 92% (Nice Minifigs, lots of accessories, great brick:fig.)
ENTERTAINMENT: 50% (Really bad build-time value, but enjoyable set.)

DSC_0115web

Cruisin’ through the surf at Playa Negra, Costa Rica.

REVIEW

VALUE: 66%
Costing $12.99 in Canada (which is currently C5603, in Costa Rican colones), and coming with only 76 parts, the Coast Guard Starter Set is sadly not a very good value. It comes in at $0.17 per brick, which is common for the City theme, but not great when it comes to LEGO® in general. While I have not gotten a new catalog since January, back then the average cost of a brick in the catalog was $0.12, and last year it was $0.13. I will give the Coast Guard Starter Set 3.3/5 (66%) for value.

DSC_0120web

On the lookout for danger!

BUILD: 90%
I like this build. It is simple, yet effective and sturdy. The first section of the instruction manual has you put together the lifeguard stand. My initial thought on building it was that I really liked the look of the support struts and ladder design together. It is also really stable. My one issue with it is that the top platform only has one wall. The lifeguard on duty has limited places to lean, and could easily fall off while scanning around with the binoculars. But, you can fix that easily with some spare bricks. In my opinion, it should have three walls, leaving only the back open for ladder access.

DSC_0122web

Life guard station in the waves.

The second build is the lifeguards’ buggy. It is also designed decently well, and serves its purpose. However, I don’t like it quite as much as the Jungle ATV that came out around the same time (click here to read my review). The sides of this one are a little bland. I will take off one mark for each of these builds for the aforementioned issues I mentioned. That gives each build 9/10, meaning overall, this build scores 90%.

DSC_0124web

Hitting the waves with the surfer Minifigure from the Coast Guard Starter Set.

MINIFIGURES: 92%
There are three Minifigures in the Coast Guard Starter Set. You get two members of the coast guard, and one surfer (who needs to be rescued from shark infested waters). Based on the look alone of these characters, I would give them 31/45, which is 69% (you can read how I generate this grade by clicking here). But, you also get a number of accessories here that help boost the set. There are two walkie-talkies, a life vest, binoculars, a surfboard, a windsurfing board, and a shark. Those bring the design score up to 38/45 (84%).

DSC_0125web

The surfer is the only Minifigure in the Coast Guard Starter Set to feature a double-sided face.

With 76 bricks and three Minifigures, you are looking at a brick-to-fig ratio of 25:1. Normally, I like to include large animals in that ratio (in this case, the shark), which would bring it down to 19:1. Either way that you look at it, the ratio is excellent and earns a full 5/5 (100%). Averaging this with the design score earns the Coast Guard Starter Set an overall Minifigure score of 92%.

ENTERTAINMENT: 50%
This set took me 11 minutes to build. At $12.99, that means that each minute of build time cost me $1.17. That is astronomically expensive in my books. In fact, it is the most expensive build time I have yet to encounter. Keep in mind that I also built this at a very leisurely pace. The Coast Guard Starter Set earns a poor 1/5 (20%) for build-time value.

As I mentioned in the “build” section of this review, I do like this set. When I finally get around to designing a coastline for my city, I will incorporate this build. I might change the little issues that bothered me, but it will still be recognizable as the same set. It gets 4/5 (80%) for enjoyment. Averaging this with the build-time score earns the Coast Guard Starter Set an entertainment score of 50%.

DSC_0117web

Patrolling Playa Negra in Costa Rica.

OVERALL: 75%

The Coast Guard Starter Set is a fun little build, and I do like the overall product. It comes with some nice Minifigures and a shark, and an excellent brick-to-fig ratio. The design of the builds is simple, yet still fun. However, this set is really expensive for what you are actually getting. In all my reviews, this set has had the worst build-time value. You are also paying the typically high price per brick seen in the City theme. If you have this set on your purchase list, you should wait for a sale. At 20% off, you would be paying a more average price per brick, though the build-time would still remain pretty expensive. 25-30% off would bring this set more into the value range that I would recommend.

How do you feel about the Coast Guard Starter Set? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. Until next time,

-Tom

A Banana at the Beach (Day 1)

It’s a rainy morning in Puerto Veijo, Costa Rica. Honestly, that doesn’t bother me. My wife and I knew it would be the rainy season when we booked this trip. The rain gives me time to sit and blog. It’s supposed to clear up this afternoon, so I’ll get out later. We have a really nice villa here at the Banana Azul hotel to pass this time in. I am looking out at our private garden as I write, listening to the rain fall.

DSC_0073web

A banana at the beach.

Since it’s not currently ideal beach weather, I thought I would share a couple of my Minifigure photos from yesterday. I already posted one along with my usual Minifigure Monday post (click here to read it). Knowing that I would be staying at a hotel named “Banana Azul”, I couldn’t resist to bring my banana Minifigure. He ended up in the photo above with the key chain for our villa patio doors.

DSC_0082web

“Black, all great beaches are black sand beaches.”

My wife and I went on a long stroll down the beach yesterday. The main beach in Puerto Veijo is a black sand beach, which derives from volcanic sediments. I brought my beach attire Batman Minifigures along with me too. I couldn’t resists making plays on the predisposition to black from the LEGO® Movies with the black sand. I figure it’s the perfect beach for LEGO® Batman. When I posted yesterday, I was torn between the image I ended up using, and the one above. I liked both, so now you get to see both as well!

Stay tuned for more Minifigures from Costa Rica!

-Tom

Minifigure Monday – Restore the Calm

Restore the Calm
(An original vacation inspired poem from True North Bricks, featuring LEGO® Batman)

When stress has been the day to day,
The time has come to get away.
When worry overcomes your mind,
The beach will help you to unwind.
When pressure’s like a ticking bomb,
The crashing waves restore the calm.

DSC_0086web

“I only like black sand beaches.”

Coloring Page – Beach Batman

I am posting this week’s coloring page a little early, the reason being that I have to get up super early tomorrow and catch a flight. I won’t have time to post before leaving. Where am I going, you ask? Well, this week’s coloring page is a hint… I am heading off to the sunny beaches of the Caribbean sea for two weeks. Many a Minifigure will be joining me (and my wife is coming too). Be sure to check back over the next two weeks for some LEGO® themed posts from Costa Rica! Click here to download this week’s coloring page (it will open in a new window). Happy coloring!

BeachBatmanPin

This is a sample of the Beach Batman coloring page, it is not print quality. Use the link above to download a free PDF file.

LEGO® City Hospital Ads

This week’s LEGO® set review was the City Hospital (click here to read it). As usual, I had a little extra fun photographing the set. This time around, one of the shots struck me as billboard-esque. So, I turned some of my photos into ads that could be posted around LEGO® City to advertise the arrival of the new hospital. These shots have already made their way to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. But, here they are all in one place for those of you who swing by my blog every now and then.

 

Canadian LEGO Deals [July 7, 2018]

If you have not taken advantage of double VIP points at the LEGO® Store yet, you have until Saturday to do so. You can also still get the beach tote bag with purchases over $199 until Sunday. It is a pretty good time to make a big purchase you have been dreaming about… I got Destiny’s Bounty for myself… A new promo starts on Monday. If you have had your eye on the Mindstorms EV3 core kit, it is 20% off the LEGO® Store price at Costco, which is a rare deal (of course you need a membership to access this price online).

This Week’s Freebies & Promotions:

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 4.02.21 PM

Double VIP Points ends at the LEGO® Store on Saturday, July 7.

ToteBagJuly2018

The beach tote giveaway ends at the LEGO® Store on Sunday, July 8.

BananaJuly2018

Purchases over $35 will land you a free Party Banana Minifigure at the LEGO® Store from July 9-15.

All LEGO Deals:

BEST BUY
There are 55 sets on sale through bestbuy.ca that are mostly in the 20% off range. I will not list them all here because the sale is on only today. But, you can check them out using this link: CLICK HERE.

CHAPTERS/INDIGO
The same sets from last week appear to still be on sale, with a few additions. I am not sure how long this promotion will last, but here they are:

  • BrickHeadz – Aquaman for $10.50 (19% off)
  • BrickHeadz – Joker for $8.00 (38% off)
  • City – Jungle Mobile Lab for $60.00 (19% off)
  • City – Jungle Halftrack Mission for $36.00 (19% off)
  • Creator – Modular Modern Home for $40.00 (19% off)
  • DC Super Heroes – Battle of Atlantis for $20.00 (19% off)
  • DC Super Heroes – Flying Fox for $128.00 (19% off)
  • DC Super Hero Girls – Batgirl Secret Bunker for $33.00 (40% off)
  • Friends – Heartlake Sports Center for $27.00 (40% off)
  • Marvel Super Heroes – Ultimate Battle for Asgard for $52.00 (19% off)
  • Nexo Knight – Tech Wizard Showdown for $44.00 (20% off)
  • Star Wars – Rathar Escape for $80.00 (19% off)
  • Star Wars – First Order Heavy Scut Walker for $52.00 (19% off)

COSTCO

  • City – Coast Guard Headquarters for $108.99 (28% off LEGO Store price)
  • City – Jungle Exploration Site for $99.99 (33% off LEGO Store price)
  • City – Cargo Terminal for $69.99 (30% off LEGO Store price)
  • City – Bulldozer Break-In for $61.99 (31% off LEGO Store price)
  • Classic – Creative Brick box for $47.99 (20% off LEGO Store price)
  • Friends – Heartlake Hospital for $82.99 (25% off LEGO Store price)
  • Friends – Stephanie’s House for $65.99 (27% off LEGO Store price)
  • Friends – Mia’s Camper Van for $59.99 (14% off LEGO Store price)
  • Friends – Friendship House for $79.99 (11% off LEGO Store price)
  • Jurassic World – Carnotaurus Gyrosphere Escape for $89.99 (10% off LEGO Store price)
  • Jurassic World – Indoraptor Rampage at Lockwood Estate for $129.99 (13% off LEGO Store price)
  • Marvel – Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown for $109.99 (15% off LEGO Store price)
  • Marvel – Thanos Ultimate Battle for $79.99 (11% off LEGO Store price)
  • Mindstorms – EV3 core kit for $319.99 (20% off LEGO Store price)
  • Minifigures Series 18 – Box of 60 for $159.99 (34% off LEGO Store price)
  • Ninjago – Temple of Resurrection for $79.99 (11% off LEGO Store price)
  • Ninjago Movie – Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon for $99.99 (23% off LEGO Store price)
  • Star Wars – First Order Destroyer for $132.99 (26% off LEGO Store price)
  • Star Wars – First Order Heavy Assault Walker for $124.99 (27% off LEGO Store price)
  • Star Wars – Resistance Bomber for $119.99 (14% off LEGO Store price)
  • Star Wars – BB-8 for $92.99 (29% off LEGO Store price)
  • Star Wars – Defense Crait for $89.99 (11% off LEGO Store price)
  • Star Wars – Kessel Run Millennium Falcon for $169.99 (15% off LEGO Store price)
  • Star Wars – Imperial TIE Fighter for $79.99 (12% off LEGO Store price)
  • Technic – Airport Rescue Vehicle for $99.99 (23% off LEGO Store price)
  • Technic – Ocean Explorer for $114.99 (23% off LEGO Store price)
  • Technic – RC Tracked Racer for $99.99 (23% off LEGO Store price)
  • Technic – First Responder for $54.99 (15% off LEGO Store price)
  • Technic – Bucket Wheel Excavator for $239.99 (27% off LEGO Store price)
  • Technic – Hovercraft for $88.99 (19% off LEGO Store price)
  • Technic – Rally Car for $109.99 (21% off LEGO Store price)
  • Technic – 6×6 All Terrain Tow Truck for $259.99 (30% off LEGO Store price)
  • Technic – Mack Anthem Truck and Trailer for $189.99 (17% off LEGO Store price)
  • Technic – Extreme Adventure for $159.99 (33% off LEGO Store price)

HUDSON’S BAY

  • Batman Movie – Bane Toxic Truck Attack for $51.99 (20% off)
  • Batman Movie  – Batwing for $87.99 (20% off)
  • Batman Movie – Joker’s Lowrider for $51.99 (20% off)
  • Batman Movie – Riddle Racer for $31.99 (20% off)
  • Batman Movie – Joker Balloon Escape for $13.59 (20% off)
  • Creator – Modular Poolside Holiday for $33.99 (15% off)
  • Creator – Family Villa for $76.49 (15% off)
  • DC Super Heroes – Knightcrawler Tunnel Attack for $51.99 (20% off)
  • DC Super Heroes – Battle for Atlantis for $19.99 (20% off)
  • Elves – Azari and the Goblin Forest Escape for $21.24 (15% off)
  • Elves – Breakout from the Goblin King’s Fortress for $71.99 (20% off)
  • Elves – The Goblin King’s Evil Dragon for $33.99 (15% off)
  • Juniors – Snow White’s Forest Cottage for $15.29 (15% off)
  • Juniors – Cars: Willy Butte Speed Training for $19.99 (20% off)
  • Juniors – Cars: Mater Junkyard for $11.04 (15% off)
  • Juniors – Demolition Site for $33.99 (15% off)
  • Marvel Super Heroes – Thor VS Hulk: Arena Clash for $59.99 (20% off)
  • Marvel Super Heroes – Ultimate Battle for Asgard for $51.99 (20% off)
  • Marvel Super Heroes – Captain America Jet Pursuit for $21.24 (15% off)
  • Ninjago Movie – Master Falls for $33.99 (15% off)
  • Ninjago Movie – Manta Ray Bomber for $33.99 (15% off)
  • Ninjago Movie – City Chase for $21.24 (15% off)
  • Ninjago Movie – Spinjitzu Training for $11.04 (15% off)
  • Star Wars – The Arrowhead for $93.49 (15% off)
  • Star Wars – Krennic’s Imperial Shuttle for $95.99 (20% off)
  • Star Wars – Rebel U-Wing Fighter for $79.99 (20% off)

THE LEGO® STORE
You still have today and tomorrow (July 6-7) to take advantage of double VIP points on all sets, and you can get the beach tote until Sunday (July 8) with purchases over $199. Starting Monday, purchases over $35 will get you a free Party Banana Minifigure.

  • BrickHeadz – Aquaman for $10.39 (20% off)
  • BrickHeadz – Cyborg for $10.39 (20% off)
  • BrickHeadz – Captain Phasma for $10.39 (20% off)
  • BrickHeadz – Kylo Ren for $10.39 (20% off)
  • BrickHeadz – Rey for $10.39 (20% off)
  • BrickHeadz – Finn for $10.39 (20% off)
  • City – Prison Island Accessory Pack for $14.39 (20% off)
  • Friends – Mini-Dolls Campsite for $14.39 (20% off)
  • What Am I? – Game for $31.99 (20% off)

TOYS R US
All Juniors sets regularly priced at $39.99 are now $30 (25% off). In addition, the following sets are 30% off (online only) until July 18:

  • Batman Movie – Arkham Asylum for $125.97
  • Batman Movie – Clayface Splat Attack for $31.47
  • Batman Movie – Bane Toxic Truck Attack for $45.47
  • Batman Movie – Batwing for $76.97
  • City – ATV Race Team for $17.47
  • Creator – Beach Side Vacation for $27.97
  • Nexo Knights – Knighton Castle for $111.97
  • Ninjago Movie – Ninjago City Chase for $17.47

WALMART

  • Batman Movie – Scarecrow Special for $20.00 (20% off)
  • Batman Movie – Riddle Racer for $30.00 (25% off)
  • Batman Movie – Bane Toxic Truck Attack for $45.00 (30% off)
  • Batman Movie – Batcave Break-in for $100.00 (23% off)
  • Batman Movie – Scarecrow Fearful Face-Off for $12.00 (29% off)
  • BrickHeadz – Go Brick Me for $30.00 (25% off)
  • City – Cargo Terminal for $85.00 (15% off)
  • City – Heavy Duty Rescue Helicopter for $65.00 (14% off)
  • City – Jungle Exploration Site for $100.00 (33% off)
  • City – Bulldozer Break-In for $70.00 (22% off)
  • Creator – Modular Modern Home for $40.00 (20% off)
  • Creator – Modular Poolside Holiday for $30.00 (25% off)
  • Creator – Turbo Track Racer for $60.00 (20% off)
  • Creator – Modular Family Villa for $80.00 (12% off)
  • DC Super Heroes – Classic 1960s Batcave for $228.00 (30% off)
  • DC Super Heroes – Speed Force Freeze Pursuit for $30.00 (25% off)
  • Juniors – Cars: Willy Butte Speed Training for $20.00 (20% off)
  • Juniors – Cars: Florida 500 Final Race for $55.00 (15% off)
  • Juniors – Cars: Lightning McQueen Speed Launch for $10.00 (22 % off)
  • Juniors – Cars: Guido & Luigi’s Pit for $10.00 (22% off)
  • Juniors – Cars: Mater’s Junkyard for $10.00 (22% off)
  • Juniors – Cars: Cruz Ramirez Race Simulator for $10.00 (22% off)
  • Juniors – Cars: Thunder Hallow Crazy 8 Race for $35.00 (22% off)
  • Juniors – Batman VS Mr. Freeze for $12.00 (33% off)
  • Juniors – Fire Patrol Suitcase for $18.00 (28% off)
  • Juniors – Shark Attack for $18.00 (28% off)
  • Minecraft – The Waterfall Base for $70.00 (22% off)
  • Nexo Knights – Berserker Bomber for $30.00 (25% off)
  • Nexo Knights – Twinfector for $18.00 (35% off)
  • Ninjago Movie – Fire Mech for $70.00 (32% off)
  • Ninjago Movie – Lightning Jet for $60.00 (20% off)
  • Ninjago Movie – Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon for $100.00 (23% off)
  • Technic – Roadwork Crew for $30.00 (25% off)
  • Technic – Ultralight Helicopter for $12.00 (33% off)
  • Technic – Stunt Truck for $18.00 (28% off)
  • Technic – Stunt Bike for $18.00 (28% off)

UPCOMING FREEBIES

AugustFreebie1

Available from August 1 – 14 with purchases over $35 at the LEGO Store.

AugustFreebie2

Available from August 1 – 12 with purchases over $25 at the LEGO Store.

LEGO-fied: Jurassic World (and movie review)

Warning: I don’t like spoilers, so I have tried not to give any in this article. I do reference things that were seen in the trailers, and discuss how the LEGO® sets relate to the movie. If you have avoided any media regarding this film, perhaps you might not want to read on…

ParkIsGoneLEGOWeb

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom poster re-imagined with LEGO®

I love the Jurassic Park franchise, and the fact that it comes in LEGO® form as well makes it even better. I have reviewed a number of Jurassic World sets over the years, and plan to review a few more. But now, I have actually seen Fallen Kingdom, and can comment on the movie too. I have already discussed the Fallen Kingdom sets in a previous post (click here to read it), so I won’t go into too much detail about them here, and will chat a little more about the movie.

To start off, I want to say that I liked Fallen Kingdom. I would even venture so far as to say that I liked it more than the first Jurassic World, though it still doesn’t come close to the first Jurassic Park. I found that Fallen Kingdom tried to focus more on the chill factor than previous films. However, it tried a little too hard to achieve an old horror movie vibe in certain scenes. I think I would have liked this movie more if it had stayed truer to the early previews which focused on saving the dinosaurs from an erupting volcano. In the end, that story makes up less than half of the film. That plot would have been enough to make a good, entertaining movie. I still liked Fallen Kingdom though.

In terms of the LEGO® sets, many are relatively true to the movie. A large part of the film occurs at the Lockwood Estate, which is the largest set in the series. I think that Blue’s Helicopter Pursuit should have been a T. rex set though. Taking a look at my LEGO-fied movie poster, you’ll understand why. That scene happens early on this movie, and it is brilliant. The whole opening sequence is one of the highlights of the movie. The T. rex set we did end up with in LEGO® form is still pretty accurate though. Another more-or-less accurate sets was the Carnotaurus Gyrosphere Escape (click here for my review). While the gyrosphere is not found at the ride’s launch in the movie, the gryosphere does encounter the carnotaurus none-the-less.

In terms of inaccuracies, Stygimoloch Breakout (click here for my review) is not very on point. While the stygimoloch plays an important part in the film, and does breakout, the environment is significantly different from what is portrayed in the set. Another set that does not match the movie is the Dilophosaurus Outpost Attack. There isn’t even a live dilophosaurus in the movie, let alone an outpost for it to attack.

All in all, it was a great movie, and inspired me to make a new LEGO-fied poster. I was entertained. Not all of the LEGO® sets actually match events in the film, but in the end, who really cares? The sets are fun, and come with dinosaurs. What are your thoughts on Fallen Kingdom and the associated LEGO® sets? Are there any scenes you would have liked to see in brick-from? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. Until next time,

-Tom