Let’s back up with another quick-fire Lego 250 review! At least this time I won’t rant on about racism in children’s toys. Because I’ve got a whole new thing to rant about!
Duplo is for babies and Lego is for children and girls are for teenagers and Lego is for adults who never quite figured out the girl thing and that’s how traditional thinking works, kiddies!
Except there’s this stage that Lego hasn’t quite worked through, yet, as far as I can tell. Juniors looks like Lego for older people while purportedly being aimed at that in-between age group of 4-6 years old, an age group Lego imagines as having fingers the size of balloon animals and the hand-eye co-ordination of a career seamstress. Which is the only way I can figure out how whoever the hell made the design decisions behind 70821 Emmet and Benny’s Fix-It-Workshop coming up with the final product.
Let’s examine, shall we? Here’s the final set in all it’s let’s call it glory:
That look on Benny’s face is because he knows what I’m going to say next.
It’s actually not a bad-looking little set. The flyer has that Classic Space style, (which is what prompted me to buy it in the first place), and wouldn’t look out of place amongst its original brethren . The car is exactly the kind of hot-roddy style of car a four year old would draw if they didn’t have fingers like balloon animals. And the ancillary setting pieces give enough of the flavour of a workshop to satisfy, which is in the title, at least.
A nice little Neo-Classic Space build, except…. well. Read on.
So far, so okay. The whole thing’s just over 100 pieces, and despite the Lego Movie branding, the price point isn’t horror-inducing enough to stop Nanna picking it up for you for Christmas (Although, you know, I got it on special, so I’m not going to comment further…)
So what’s the problem? Glad you asked.
Fingers like balloon animals obviously means that kids can’t be trusted to work out how to put together complex bits like chassis’ and air-frames, amirite? So the first thing that drops out of the opened box is proof that Lego is going to finish about the third of the build before you even read the instructions.
I can’t wait to get stuck into buildi…. what the fuck?
Big, fat, useless, lumpen pieces. Nobody likes them. Nobody thanks you for including them. Just. Fucking. Stop. It.
Which leads me to the second problem, because if your design brief doesn’t trust kids to put together three wing pieces and a couple of slopes without sticking them all up various nostrils and cutting their fingers to shreds, WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU INCLUDING THESE?
These are going into someone’s eye, I just know it.
Seriously. Either your target audience has fingers like balloon animals, or they have the hand-eye co-ordination of a career seamstress, but you can’t have it both ways! The sheer stupidity of replacing the base components with giant, blocky blocks of uselessness simply to include a fountain of tiny, useless, one-use parts boggles the temper. It’s a diabolical design decision. Not only does it make an embuggering mess of the message you’re sending to the core demographic, it goes against the entire spirit of playing with Lego in the first place — creativity, flexibility, rebuildability.
Dumb dumb dumb dumb. Just dumb.
A 100 piece set where fully 10% of the build is given over to tiny tool pieces that can’t be used in any other way and which will be lost within a month, and the plates and slopes that could have contributed to hours of building and rebuilding are lumped together into giant pieces of faux-BURP (Big Ugly Rock Pieces, for the uninitiated)?
70821 Emmet and Benny’s Fix-It Workshop is a fail.
How to design a set in the stupidest way possible.
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