If we’re going to get back on the blogging circus now that we’re not hiding under our bed waiting for the roof to cave in, let’s get stuck into another Lego 250 review. Because, honestly, right now this whole get-through-250-in-a-year thing is looking like a Dunning-Kruger wet dream. So let’s go a little left-field, and rummage around the chuck-out bins at Aldi for a book/build combo. It’s a popcorn cart with pages attached!
Aldi is great. It’s like someone figured out my great love of second-hand stores, salvage stores, and garage sales, and combined them all into one big store with the worst alcohol ever made just for lolz. There’s one just down the road from my kids’ house in Perth, and while I was there recently I got myself into its inadequately-airconditioned embrace. Apart from happily shoving my face full of quality Tim-Tabs, Lepsi, and Licorice Mullets, I found a little treat in the Karen-Overordered-Again bins.
I’m a bit of a sucker for Lego How-To books, particularly when they’re published by British publisher DK. They’re well laid out, contain tonnes of little tricks and tips to help with building dioramas, and if you’re of a certain frame of mind — which I am — quite entertaining. Anyone who collects recipe books just to read them will know what I mean. I’ve got a number of them in my library, and they range from the outstanding to the quite good, without ever being less than satisfactory. This particular pack is no exception. The book is beautifully packaged in a bright slipcase, and the publishing quality is high: heavy paperback cover, solid spine, interior pages that veer closer to card than tissue paper. Coming from Aldi, it was priced ludicrously low. So far, so happy.
A nicely put together package. Par for the course for DK.
Inside, the pages are clear and well laid out, providing a mix of instructions and galleries that make for good reading — if you’re of a certain frame of mind. There’s nothing mould-breaking or outstandingly innovative in the builds themselves, but they would open beginners up to a few techniques and provide an easy reference for more experienced builders. As a book it’s a nice little package. As a Lego book it’s satisfactory without ever hitting any heights. Good community theatre, rather then the RSC.
Cleanly laid-out pages with a combination of instructions and galleries. Easy for the beginner to follow, and for the more experienced builder to pick apart in detail.
The popcorn cart itself is forgettable. At 40 pieces, and with a generic minifig, it’s the sort of thing that gets included in a diorama as an ancillary detail that is noticeable neither by its presence or absence. It’s just there, tucked behind the roller coaster and the surprise alien daisy-chain on the lawn. The colour choices and parts selection are as generic as the minifig. I’ve purchased these kind of book kits before purely to get my hands on the minibuild (wait until we talk about the Microscale Space Cruiser that comes with the Great Lego Sets book). Not this one. It’s an addendum, rather than an exciting accessory.
Eh. It is what it is.
I’ve said it before in regards to these reviews, but there is nothing wrong with being average. It simply means that a set delivers exactly what was expected. Nothing more, but just as importantly, nothing less. This is a case in point. As a cheap pick up from a bargain basement Coles clone, it delivers exactly the kind of value for money to provoke a self-satisfied smile. The books will be riffled through every now and again when I’m looking to add some detail to a diorama. The parts will be distributed amongst my tubs, to be used for something more meaningful.
There’s nothing at all wrong with this set. If I were a kid, and received it for Christmas, I’d be really pleased, before I put it down to check out the really big presents. Sometimes filler is just filler, and that’s okay.
The last time the minibuild and the book will see each other, before destiny sends them both to the back of my collections.
Does what it says on the cover, and only what it says.
The League Table of Awesomeness