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==Lego Police Station 7744==
Jack loves his Lego and has done for coming up a couple of years. Even though he was far too young to like it at the age of 2 we still decided on skipping the Duplo Lego items as we thought that he would grow out of it in no time and be wanting more of the expensive older boys Lego. With that in mind for his 2nd year Christmas we decided to ask people to give him money so that once we had decided what to do with it we could get him what we thought he would like. So a little after January we came across this Police Station (well Jack did) in the Argos book and he didn't stop going on about it and here the tale begins...
==Price and Availability==
The Lego Police station is not the most expensive set you can get but in my mind it is a lot of money for a child's toy. There are factors that mean I am more inclined to spend money out on Lego instead of other toys and these are the fact that the Lego should be playable with till he is a lot older as he is really too young for it now and should last him many happy years. The fact that Lego is always made to a great standard and will last a lifetime if you look after it well always appeals to and possibly the most appealing to me is the fact that you can always sell the sets on for not much less than you paid for it in the first place as long as all the instructions are kept and no bricks get sucked up the hoover!
So at around £65 for the set I begrudgingly took his Christmas money and bought him what he wanted. We got the set from Argos which is more or less where we get most of our big items of Lego from and at the time they had plenty of this set in stock. Nowadays however this may not be the case as there is a new and updated version of the police station which appears to be slightly smaller although costing the same and this means that the one we have has gone up in price and is harder to come by (good for future re-sale!).
==What You Get==
The set is however well worth the price because you really do get a lot for your money. Unfortunately Jack being that much younger than the recommended age range of 6-12 years old means that on first go I thought it would be a much better idea if I were to set the item up for him whilst he was in bed at night and have it there as a surprise for him in the morning. More fool me. The item comes in a massive cardboard box and housed inside are about 8 different clear plastic bags.
There are two A4 booklets (more like novels) inside and a smaller one which tells you how to put the set together piece by piece. You have to make sure not to muddle the different bags contents otherwise you will find yourself in a right pickle and it will take even longer than necessary. Not only is there the two main parts of the building to put together and numerous little Lego Policemen (x5) and Robbers (x2) but the set also comes with a prison transport truck, A police motorcycle a police car and a little Lego police dog! So as you can imagine there is plenty to be built.
The whole set took me a solid 4 ½ hours to put together with only stops to keep topper up on tea breaks and although I moaned I must say the whole process was rather therapeutic and really good fun. The whole process was made so easy by the fact that as usual the Lego instructions included with the set are so easy to follow and the pictures shown in the diagrams take you through the steps needed to create the police station step by step.
The finished article really was something to behold and I was so proud of myself, okay yes so a 6 year old probably could do it on their own but I still think it is an achievement to see it finished and standing up right. The attention to detail with the set is really quite remarkable but then again I expect nothing less of Lego but it does look great.
The fact that the two sections of the police station can be kept together or pulled apart is a really good features because it means they can be spread out for easy play or pushed together to create one large unit. There are little bits on the set which make for really good playability and these are things like the prisoner cells which have their own keys and doors that open and close. The cells themselves have a toilet in and a table and bed where the prisoners can be found lounging. There is the other part of the police station where the cars can drive in and park themselves up which has a great couple of sliding doors which look really good and move really smoothly. The computers on the police officers tables also are really well done as they have a proper little computer screen which makes them really true to life. I like the water cooler personally as this not only looks good but is a total must have in a police station!!!
Jack was totally amazed when he woke up to find that I had put this together for him. He was straight in there playing with all the little figures and was soon locking up the bad men in their cells. The set has a great playability to it that Jack still loves playing with now and he hasn't tired of it (unlike myself).
The only trouble I can see with it is that is dose fall apart quite a bit. I would think that because the set is so intricate and has loads of different aspects to it that it is definitely one of the items that I am putting together most. Jack is getting that bit older (nearly 4) and he is better at fixing the bits that have come away or indeed taking some bits of to replace them with something he thinks looks better or is a bit more fun.
The trouble with when it falls down is trying to establish what parts of the set are missing and what bits need putting where. I found it a lot easier to put the set together when it was straight from the bag as it was starting from scratch and you knew where you were and what bit you needed. Trying to fix it up is much more difficult and the last time when it was more or less in pieces anyway I got so fed up that I decided the best thing to do was to take it apart and literally start with the single pile of bricks again. That said it definitely took me less time than 4 ½ hours so I guess I knew what I was doing a bit more and perhaps what bits went where although I think maybe around 3 to 3 ½ hours were spent on it this time.
The set is a good one but along with finding the time to put it up in the first place and then to continually keep fixing it due to the strength of the building as a whole I also find it really difficult to find the room to keep it up. We have managed to get Jack to put away some of his other toys so that one of his bedroom cabinets are free to put this on the top but its not and ideal place and I we had somewhere on the floor that would be better but I am always worried I will such it up with the hoover so I really haven't found the best place to keep it out of the way yet still accessible for his to play with it on nearly daily intervals.
Other than these few picky things thought I really think the set as a whole is a good one and you do get a lot of Lego for your money. The extra items such as the police bike, car and van are really good to go with the set because if you didn't have these then the station would be hard to play with properly (although Jack did have a fair few police cars anyway- spoilt thing) but with them the imagination can flow.
I think overall I have to give the Lego Police Station a good score of 4 out of 5 stars I think the minus mark really being for the break ability of the set once up and together but with Lego at leasts its not properly broken!
All in all highly recommend!
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you
many thanks for taking the time to read.
The Lego Police Station, set number 7744, retails for £59.99 but prices for it vary quite considerably at the minute. I think the Tesco 3 for 2 toy sale at Easter caused a stir throughout the pricing world a little, and also you'll find that Lego soon discontinue some of the 2008 sets to clear the way for this year's Christmas 2009 Lego sets. We got this for for £38, as it was already reduced on Amazon to £42, then we got an extra 10% off on top because the box arrived damaged. Prices at present range from £49 at Tesco, to £54 at Amazon, to £59 from the Lego shop. Use Google shopping or something to find a good deal.
For the price I paid for this set, I don't think I could be more blown away by the contents - and the grandson was totally entranced by this at first site. The box is absolutely enormous for starters, too big for a small child to even pick up! That's partly because of the base boards that are included in the set though, obviously it's not like solid boards can be folded to fit into a compact box or anything. All the pieces inside are divided into various plastic bags, so you can easily find the pieces you need for the model part you want to build. If you're being egged on to get this up quickly, you can put together the vehicles quickly and easily first to distract the kids while you get on with the real work!
Building this set took a very long time, but I did really enjoy doing it as it happens. There are absolutely loads of brilliant little details included, such as a toilet in one of the cells, keys outside the cells, and even a coffee machine in the booking area! There are lots of functioning parts too like cell doors, and barriers in the car park. I really enjoyed building up all these bits and pieces to produce such an interesting final model.
You don't just get the police station in this set, you get everything that's pictured included for the price. So you get the station, a prisoner transporter van (different to the one you can buy seperately for £10 but almost as nice), a police car and a police motorbike too. Plus you get five policeman minifigs, two crooks and a little dog too. Why there's even a couple of trees to brighten the place up.
As I said before, I think this is one of the more time consuming sets to build. It's suitable for children aged 6yrs and over, but I think a child under nine or ten years of age would struggle to build this themselves. Not because it's especially tricky, but because it would require a really long spell of concentration, as well as lots of 3D planning, counting and constructing. I think this is one that a lot of adults will actually enjoy building for the kids because it's challenging and interesting at a higher-than-usual level, whereas kids are likely to find this a bit frustrating and difficult.
Once built, youngsters will adore this though, especially because of its size, detail and accessory content. This is an absolute must buy for a Lego fan's birthday or Christmas present. It's worth the £60 RRP, and just amazing if you can get it for a bit less.