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So, after building, demolishing, then rebuilding this kit - and finally seeing the real thing in action in the awesome Lego movie - I thought it was time to write a review. This is a set made by the Danish company Lego that uses the interlocking brick system - small plastic blocks with bobbly bits on the top. Last month they released the Lego movie, and of course, their range of accompanying sets. We bought ours from the local Lego store, but they are available in shops such as Argos and online at the usual suspects. We looked at the shelf, were quite impressed at the reasonable £25 price tag for a 2 in 1 set, and couldn't resist the cool colours and the idea of having an ice cream van that could drive down our Lego street that I dream of owning. The Lego movie itself did nothing to put me off this goal - so I will probably spend the next thirty years splitting my income between the bricks and mortar I live in, and the plastic bricks I can build with. Shame I can't just build a Lego house and kill two birds with one stone!
Anyway, back to the kit. It comes in the standard brightly printed cardboard box with a variety of different pictures of the two ice cream machines made to resemble the film (or maybe they are film stills, it would be hard to tell). It comes in 6 (I think) cellophane bags all just in the box loose, and three instruction booklets. One is for the ice cream van, another for the flying, gun toting version of an ice cream van, and one is for the micro manager. Micro managers are small black flying drone/robot things that shoot what look like lasers and are all round bad guys. Altogether there are 344 pieces in the kit, but each of the items uses a different number, with the micro manager being a small extra.
The instructions are clear and concise. The two ice cream machines have 58 and 68 pages of instructions respectively. It is age rated 8-14, but I can confirm that it still works if you're 32! Unlike the 16+ set I completed recently, each step is incredibly straight forward and broken down. This is good as you can get a thorough job done, but for the more mature Lego aficionado it can be frustrating in a few of the stages as you seem to spend ages rummaging through the bags for the pieces for each stage only to be back rummaging a few seconds later as the step was so quick. But, it's not aimed at adults so I can forgive them making it easier for younger people to do by themselves. One thing parents may want to be aware of is the micro manager. It is quite cleverly designed so you can try and recreate the movie scene by firing three missiles out of its stomach. They can be quite tricky to launch and can get stuck. But, they don't fire too far and if your child is old enough to be playing with the small bits of Lego in the first place, these small missiles are no different. The set also comes with stickers for your ice cream van. Ours are still in the box, neither of us can bring ourselves to take the plunge - but to be honest I quite like the au naturel look. And, if I end up spending our mortgage money on Lego it may fetch us more on ebay! The set comes with three mini figures - none of the main characters from the film, but two really cool ice cream machine workers in bright blue uniforms with pink aprons, and a jogger complete with Mp3 player dressed in black and bright pink.
As this was a small set demolishing it was fairly easy. I've recently invested in a separator, and as it is a smaller set there were no specific bags things needed to go in. Each version probably took us, at a leisurely pace, 3 or 4 evenings where we'd sit for an hour or so in front of the telly, but I'm sure it can be done a lot quicker if you get the pieces organised. In fact, I'm hoping to buy a different two in one set so we can race.
Overall I would recommend this set. For Lego it is reasonably priced, good fun, and looks good. It doesn't take up too much space, and provides extra entertainment and longevity by its 2 in 1 nature.