Review – LEGO 60134 Fun in the Park

As an “Adult Fan of LEGO” (AFOL) it is easy to become tired of the constant police, fire and adventure-style themes currently flowing down the LEGO City supply line. They’re great for children – no argument, however they are somewhat repetitive to the adult eye.

So it was great to learn about 60134 Fun in the Park – which contains not only fourteen minifigs, but also some props and other items to make life interesting for all our little LEGO friends:

60134boxfront

At first glance this seems like a wholesome set, and with a little imagination the minifigs can go a long way. The back of the box gives you a full representation of the contents:

60134boxback

Sorry for the white patches on the right, they’re the store security tags. Thanks BigW! So without further ago, I ripped the box open which resulted in three bags with three matching books:

60134contents

Now to get building. Bag one results with:

60134bag1

Note to the pedants out there – the green baseplate is not included. However you can buy them, search for LEGO 10700

Our first minifig is an interesting example – let’s call it “Man in the wheelchair”:

wheelchair

Apparently this is a first for LEGO, and a good idea – not every person in existence enjoys the use of their legs. However he seems pretty happy, and probably dreams about having enough clout to organise international mercenaries into groups to snatch suitcases for terrorist groups.

Next – Mr Hot Dog Vendor (or MHDV for short) – waving a spanner in his hello:

mhdv

However this is not a spanner, but a tool that’s ideal for serving tubes of hot mystery meat from his cart:

mhdvcart

The top of the cart tilts open for access to more contents, and the mustard and tomato sauce dispensers are a nice touch.

Moving along, we now have “business lady” – waiting for a bus…

buslady

Might be a long wait, the next bus is coming in the second half of 2017. Nevertheless with a snappy suitcase and fancy hair, life is going well for her. The sign on the bus stop is printed and not a sticker, so will last a few decades at least.

Over in another part of our park, we find a small child who seems to be androgynous:

child1

However they are a very lucky child, thanks to the ride they can spin around on:

child2

Let’s hope they eat after using the ride, not before. Note the small tree which is also included.

And the final chap from bag one is the Careful Cyclist. Careful as they have a helmet – and a light on the front of their bike (but not the rear):

bike1

That smile is a bit creepy – what is he so damn happy about? Bicycle ownership? Fair enough. Let’s leave that question for the ages and open up bag two:

lot2

The first of the five minifigs in bag two is, quite simply, Ned Flanders:

ned1

… and Ned has a girlfriend…

ned2

… with whom he can stop and smell the flowers on the park bench:

nedgirl

However not all LEGO people are happy, especially the tradespeople. The following lady is not happy at all about having to pain some fences:

painter1

Her overalls are a mess, and it’s probably difficult to do a neat job with that oversized paint roller – however there isn’t much fence to deal with:

painter2

Painting is even harder in the park when you have small children running around, and the following pair look innocent, and could be planning all sorts of mayhem:

two1

As an AFOL I really like his shirt, it’s one of two I can think of that hint at LEGO classic space (the other being this guy). Very meta. Her – quite feminine, pre-teen, and a little cutie to break the monotony of roaming adults. But they’re fine … just scoring in the park:

goooooal

And now for the final bag – number three:

60134bag3

Plenty of activity with the final bag, starting with The Hipster. Beard, flannel shirt – who is most likely a part-time barista and DJs electronic music on the weekend:

hipster

He’s enjoying that croissant from work, and teasing the next youngster in the pack who is stuck with a healthy apple:

hipsterchild

That’s a large apple, and should keep her busy for a while. However not to stand on ceremony, they can enjoy the picnic table with their best friend (and another tree):

picnictable

The picnic basket is a fitting accompaniment. The stud on the dog’s back lets you do all sorts of things to the dog, none of which I’ll demonstrate on this site.

Moving on, we have Caretaker Lady – who is most likely contracted to keep the park in order:

caretaker

Part of her job is to mow the lawn, with her neat little lawnmower:

lawnmower

However all the noise is annoying one of the mothers in the park…

mother1

…who is letting her views be known to Caretaker Lady:

mother2

And while they’re conversing about the noise of lawn-mowing, the baby has crawled out and on its own:

baby

… however after a few moments it has been put back in his pram:

pram

Wow, that was a lot to go through – however very much worth it. With this set you can create a busy scene in a small area – or scatter the people where they’re needed the most.

For now, my park is between the Corner Deli and the Parisian restaurant:

finished1

finished2

Looks like we might have a food cart vendor war coming up. The extra white fence pieces are used to protect the inhabitants from a future railway line.

You can order the fence pieces online – from the LEGO store’s Pick-a-Brick, search for design ID 33303; or Bricklink.

A final touch is to add our friend and his public telephone from our last review:

finished3

For the curious, leftover parts are shown below – and yours will vary:

leftovers

Some of the minifigs have alternate faces, and I hid these on purpose so you would still have something new to look forward to after reading this review and buying your own set.

In conclusion, this set is ideal for making your own park scene, or for adding to your collection of contemporary minifigs in your layout. We bought a few and over time expect all the minifigs to be occupied in our town.

LEGO 60134 Fun in the Park has a retail price of $54.99 including GST, and at the time of publication you can get your own for around $42. (Try Shop For Me etc). Remember – and I will often say this – never pay full price for LEGO.

Later in 2017 a new set of minifigs will be released – 60153 “Fun at the Beach”, title self-explanatory. Stay tuned for that review.

Otherwise, that’s all for now, so don’t forget to have fun and build something.

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Review – LEGO 6613 Telephone Booth

The 1980s were a great time for the LEGO enthusiast – classic Town was in full swing and you could choose from a wide range of sets that reflected a simple, happy life for our LEGO minifigs. One of these which is close to my heart is 6613 “Telephone Booth”:

6613-1

Image (C) 1986 LEGO Group

For those of you born after 1990 the concept of a telephone booth may seem foreign or just silly, however for those of us of a certain age – we used and relied on the ‘phone booth to communicate.

This set resonates with me as we didn’t have the telephone on at home … and thus I would hop on my bike and ride down to the end of the road to talk to someone or just fool around with the telephone.

And when international direct-dial was activated, you could have all sorts of fun calling overseas… the call would just end if you didn’t put any money in, or if you were lucky you would hear “The number you are trying to call is out of service” (etc.) in a foreign language. One quiet afternoon on a Sunday I worked through the entire eastern bloc.

However, I digress. This is a neat little set that would have been at the cheaper end of the price range, and was available in 1986 (according to Brickset). Twenty-four pieces, one minifig with a blue cap – and they’re lucky to have a nice bike with a headlight.

Time lapse:

Thanks to the small red baseplate, you can plant the set anywhere or stamp it neatly in your growing LEGO town. The telephone uses a printed brick, and could be used elsewhere in an office or home situation.

You may want to move the seat apart, as two minifigs just don’t sit neatly together:

phonebooth

This set would also fit in well with the contemporary 60134 “Fun in the Park“, so one of which has found its way there. If you want your own set, check out Bricklink.

I really like this set, not only for the nostalgic value – but for the face it represents a tangible and real part of daily life from the era. The minifig is happy, and harks from a simpler time. Ideal for my 1980s LEGO town… so get ready for plenty more of these set reviews.

However – that’s all for now, so don’t forget to have fun and build something.

 

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Quick LEGO Tip – Sorting Pieces for Assembly

After the excitement of buying a new LEGO set starts to fade, it is reignited when the time comes to assemble your new box of fun. However after opening all the bags at once for smaller sets, or opening the larger sets’ bags in numerical order … sometimes pieces will go astray and then all mental hell breaks loose when you look for a crucial part.

However this problem can be solved quickly by sorting pieces into colours or types, and placing them into inexpensive cardboard trays. We found a bunch in a restaurant supply store and they’re perfect for the job – for example:

trays1

In the image above I’ve started to assemble Corner Deli 31050. And once you have used up all of a certain colour or type – just remove a tray. This shows progress and reveals what parts you do have left, in a neat and orderly manner:

trays2

Until finally … you’re finished. One completed Corner Deli, a few spare parts and none missing:

trays3

Happy Days. Now to put the deli in the layout. Stay tuned for a review of the set.

Bonus hint!

If you’ve purchased a new LEGO set and a piece is missing… and after checking that it isn’t on the floor, in the folds of your shirt or in the dog’s paw – you can call or contact LEGO and have a replacement sent to you.

To help LEGO out, make a note of the batch number. This is either printed on the tape that acts as a security seal on the box:

boxtape

… or stamped into the cardboard towards the corner of the box (very difficult to photograph):

stamp

This shows that you really do own a set (!) and helps LEGO identify quality-control issues as they will know when the set came off the production line. The more you help LEGO – the more they can help you.

Anyhow, that’s all for now – so don’t forget to have fun and build something.

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Fake LEGO – Just say No!

We recently returned from a business trip to Hong Kong and China (Shenzhen) which was not only fruitful for the original purpose but also quite fascinating from my perspective as an AFOL (adult fan of LEGO).

For the first time in my life we came across fake LEGO. If this isn’t news to you, then carry on – however all of us were awestruck by the detail in the knock-off sets available in the markets around Hong Kong.

And this wasn’t just your typical “Mega Blocks” type of set – nothing wrong with them as long as you don’t mix it with your LEGO. What took us by surprise were the absolute copies of LEGO sets by various manufacturers from China. Check out the following photos I snapped when the seller wasn’t looking:

rip-off knock-offs

The “Star Wnrs” gave us a good laugh, and the Big Ben gave me a fright as I hadn’t ordered one from LEGO at the time (however we now have two, thanks to Myer’s 25% off sale – one to build, one to keep).

However a Grand Carousel? Holy shit – those behemoths run from $1600 used to over three grand new (check Bricklink). A quick enquiry found that we could get this knock-off set for the equivalent of under two hundred dollars. And as they say on the knife ads – “but wait, there’s more!”

rip-off knock-offs

Those Creator modulars were available for under the equivalent of one hundred dollars. Ridiculous! I was tempted to buy one set just out of pure curiosity, however as a creator of intellectual property myself (a book) this would increase my personal level of hypocrisy to unpleasant levels. So I took these photos and went in search for tasty food.

If you’re still reading this I can imagine that some of you are thinking “Oh so what, that’s a deal and I really would have bought one”. If so, remember that a lot of people spent a lot of time on designing these sets, but also ensuring the highest quality levels from start to finish – to ensure you have a great LEGO experience for years to come.

Some of our more knowledgeable readers will know that the patent for the LEGO brick has now expired, and this has allowed other brands of construction blocks to arrive on the market. No problems there – however if those companies can create original designs for sets then more power to them. But simply copying a design, that’s a low act and deserves all the bad publicity that is available.

Furthermore, as reported in the Brick Fanatics website, the company behind the knock-offs above have also copied fans’ designs straight off the LEGO Ideas website. So if you think you have the next best thing with your creation – you may find it on the streets of East Asia and online before LEGO gives the go-ahead!

Real LEGO in Hong Kong? Absolutely!

To end this post with a positive note, if you’re in Hong Kong and have the time – don’t go past Let’s Go Lego in Mong Kok (Facebook). Tourists who are visiting the Ladies’ Market will find Let’s Go to be a short walk away – and their store is full of new and retired sets for your purchasing and ogling needs – for example:

Awesome real LEGO!

Along with a wide range of new and retired sets for sale (however we couldn’t get them to price the Taj Mahal above) – there are books and other LEGO odds and ends of interest, along with displays by local LEGO fans and clubs. We bought some retired City sets along with some rare polybags. Well worth a visit.

And a quick hint for visitors to Hong Kong – you can check your bags for your flight home from the centre of town! So if you have an early check-out from your hotel – and a late evening flight, you can spend the day without worrying about your bags. Click here to learn more.

For now – stay tuned for further posts here at OzBrick, including some set reviews and updates on the layout. And remember, have fun and build something.

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Hello world!

Hello and welcome to ozbrick.com. The purpose of this website is to document my time with LEGO. After the “dark ages” (the time not enjoying LEGO) between 1988 and 2015, I have rediscovered how much fun LEGO can be as an adult.

Furthermore, after finding so many interesting resources on the Internet about LEGO, I thought it would be fun to share my time with you out there. So if you like it, great. If you don’t – there’s plenty of other sites to visit.

OzBrick will be updated randomly, so there could be ten new posts a month – or none, depending on how busy life is.

Please note that I am located in Australia so will be referring to prices in Australian dollars, using the Queen’s English (for example “colour”, not “color”), and it would seem that Australia gets new sets later than other countries.

We also drive on the left-hand side of the road.

In the meanwhile, have fun and make something… first, tables. Ordered a few large folding tables from Alloyfold. Apart from good-value tables – they’re  a non-profit that does some charity work.

newtables

After dragging them into the home-office-LEGO room, they were larger than first imagined…

tablesetup

And that’s only two tables! One more will be added later when I shift around some other furniture. The plates are just an experimental layout at the moment, much more planning to come.

Notice the grey and green felt – easily obtainable from Spotlight or elsewhere, and provides a cheap method of creating a base surface. I’ll use some dark blue later on to create a water area, ideal for a port and somewhere to put Prison Island and a lighthouse.

Well that’s all for now, stay tuned for the next update which should show some basic layout progress and perhaps a set review.

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