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Coming up to my sons 6th Birthday he became fascinated by Lego City sets after playing with some at W-5.
We have a massive collection of Duplo, but never bought any of the smaller sets. While I would have loved to have bought the real Lego, most of his birthday was already in, mainly a new DSI courtesy of Dooyoo and some games, the big Lego sets were out of my price range, so we ended up with some of the Lego compatible sets, a huge police station, a rescue services set this firetruck, all for less then half what one Lego set would have cost.
I wasn't expecting a great deal from this set as only paid about £5 for it, but considering the price I was pleasantly surprised. I won't say this is just as good as Lego. It isn't. While I can not say there is anything wrong with the bricks, I do not believe they are quite the same quality as genuine Lego. They just don't have the same feel, and I doubt they are quite as durable. I do have a small set of mega bloks though, and I would say theses are as good as the mega bloks. We only have a few small genuine Lego bricks, but it was still enough to make sure these really are compatible. They also will work with the Mega Bloks.
This was meant for my son, but at age 6, he was not able to put this together without help. Unfortunately, neither was I, as the instructions are a bit lacking for the first steps, but I do think I would have managed in my husband hadn't stepped in. I would estimate it took him about an hour and a half, and once built this has stayed together fairly well. It actually does look very nice, and measures about 8" in length by my guess. There are 156 pieces all together, including some nice wee extras like a shovel and pick. Most of the pieces will be very, very small. I do think this would have been a bit better in fact with a few less pieces and some of the pieces bigger. It seems they went out of their way to use as many small bits as possible.
While I really wish I could have afforded to buy the real Lego, my son never noticed the difference and was over the moon with these. This has had plenty of play racing to the rescue of the police station, which keeps getting blown up ( it has a spring to blow the jail open). All we need now is the bomb squad! It has also survived the attentions of my youngest who is happy to drive this about shrieking out a siren noise, usually when Mom and Dad are watching the telly.
I don't really think it is fair to rate this down for not being quite the same quality as Lego. I don't really think anyone expects and exact duplicate of Lego at this price. Since this is every bit as well made as Mega Bloks, I think that is fair enough in the quality department. However it does lose one star for the quality of the instructions in my book. True, I may not be a rocket scientist, but I expect many children would find this as difficult as I did. I also believe the men are much more flimsy then real Lego men.
Would I recommend this? Not if you can afford the genuine article. If you can afford real Lego, I simply do not believe there is any match in terms of quality. However, if like us, you have no hope of affording a decent amount of real Lego to build your own little cities, then yes, this is a decent alternative. It might also be worthwhile for someone looking a few cheap extras to add to a proper Lego set. I'd like to start adding real Lego to this, bit by bit if I can, but I expect I will buy more of these cheaper sets as well. And at least I know he really is going to be interested in playing with these at home before shelling out a small fortune on the real thing. This set currently sels for £5.39 on Amazon with free delivery.