Since its inception, the LEGO Creator Expert line has come to be acknowledged by its superior constructing methods and nice worth. Nevertheless, as statistics teaches us, in each group there are sure to be outliers. Enter 10268 Vestas Wind Turbine, a set that stands proud from the crowd in each sense. A re-rerelease of set 4999 from 2008, which solely noticed restricted launch to Danish power firm Vestas’ staff, the new set has 826 items and is priced at $199.99. Will probably be out there starting on Black Friday (Nov. 23).
The field and contents
The set is available in a big field in the much less widespread vertical orientation, as befits the tall, gangly construction of a contemporary windmill. The field is, the truth is, the similar measurement as the that of the 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V, regardless of that set containing greater than twice the items. Instantly, this set turns back the arms of time, as the twelve luggage inside aren’t numbered. Get able to unfold every part out and hunt for items. This is a product of the set’s origins in 2008, when just some units have been pre-sorted into ordered luggage. In addition to the luggage, there’s additionally a baseplate and the instruction guide. The basic inexperienced baseplate has turn out to be scarce in the intervening years as LEGO has switched to vibrant inexperienced for the individually bought baseplates and has moved away from the half altogether for the majority of different units, opting as an alternative for normal plates.
The 147-page guide begins with a hefty phase introductory phase, which incorporates the historical past of Vestas, one in every of the earliest (and now one among the largest) gamers in the wind power sector, and a brief primer on wind power and the way wind generators work. The booklet additionally emphasizes the LEGO Group’s “Planet Promise,” which amongst different issues consists of commitments to make 90% of its packaging recyclable and sustainably sourced and to decreasing its common field sizes, which have decreased 14% since 2014.
First up is the van, which is truly a fairly large car (although it nonetheless solely seats one — the different technician is going to need to hitch a journey). The van loses its blue stripe from the 2008 iteration. The van’s design could be neatly summed up as “adequate.” A tiny little bit of SNOT-work is used for the grille, and the remainder of the construct is fairly simple however works and appears ok for the function. There’s a small sliding mechanism to carry the welding rack in the van’s back.
This time round, the van’s aspect panels are printed, in contrast to the unique set’s stickers. In truth, there are not any stickers on this set in any respect, and solely a small handful of printed parts.
As you start the primary construct, you’ll get hit with one other dose of nostalgia, although this one is previous even by 2008 requirements. The easy development feels very very similar to a product of the 1980s, and the classic-style elements such as the white picket fence and 1x4x3 window body assist with that evaluation.
Right here at TBB, with new and revolutionary units, we’re fond of claiming that even skilled builders will study a factor or two. With the home and hill portion of this set, the reverse is true. Even novice builders gained’t study something. The set even goes up to now as to commit the fingernail-aggravating sin of stacking gray 1×four plates immediately on prime of each other for no good purpose (various options exist even with the half variety already utilized in the set). There are small trenches which principally (however not totally) disguise the Energy Features wires operating to the porch lights from exterior view. Right here you can even see the modest inside of the house, which features a mattress and a kitchen full with vary, oven, sink, and a lamp.
Subsequent up comes the mountain, which employs 4 inexperienced BURPs, a colour unique to the two editions of this mannequin. Presently they’re operating slightly greater than $Eight a bit on Bricklink, and given the rerelease’s promoting worth that’s unlikely to vary considerably.
The base of the tower is considered one of the details of departure from the unique set’s design. It’s been strengthened, now using 5 bracket 2x2x2 parts sandwiching Technic bricks to affix the tower to the baseplate. This creates a surprisingly sturdy connection, and I had no problem carrying the complete set round by greedy the tower, even as soon as the battery field was full. The area on the proper of the tower inside the mountain will home the battery field.
Lastly, we’re prepared for the tower itself. Made from 9 segments of the Eight-stud-long gasoline tank prime and bottoms related by Technic pins, the tower is a easy but strong construction. The gasoline tank piece joins the listing of parts pulled out of mothballs for this set, as it final appeared in a set approach back in 2013. The Energy Features wires run up a small hole in the center.
As soon as the two halves of the tower are clamshelled collectively, the tower is capped with a big geared turntable. On account of the wire operating up the center, the completed wind turbine is restricted to about 340° of rotation, with a bodily catch to maintain it from spinning additional earlier than binding the wire.
The nacelle at the tower’s prime is primarily a big gearbox, housing the Energy Features M motor, geared down for torque on the big blades. It’s a rudimentary development, consisting of a easy Technic field with plates for cladding. The additional wiring to the motor is simply stuffed into the void above the motor.
The three similar blades are monumental. Right here the two technicians are inspecting one among the blades earlier than set up. The easy plate development homes a number of Technic bricks at the hubward finish, the place they connect to the generator shaft.
The completed mannequin
The measurement of this construct is slightly exhausting to understand till you see it in individual. In contrast to most issues in the LEGO universe, this Wind Turbine feels correctly scaled. If we go together with the oft-used metric of 1 stud equals one foot, then to a LEGO minifigure the blade’s outer circumference tops out at a whopping 127 ft excessive.
Nevertheless, that’s truly lower than half the peak of the common wind turbine, which isn’t a lot an indictment of the set as it is a testomony to only how staggeringly big actual wind generators are. The set’s peak is nonetheless sufficient to earn it the silver trophy in the tallest set class, simply barely edging out the Saturn V, however falling about two inches shy of 2007’s 10181 Eiffel Tower.
The house and mountain at the base of the tower are rudimentary at greatest, lagging behind modern units even when it was first launched in 2008. There’s a small mailbox and a little bit of patio furnishings, however the house is sure to get drafty with its open back, an particularly egregious oversight for a home in an space windy sufficient to help wind power!
And talking of open backs, don’t look behind the mountain until you need a Truman-Present-esque shock. Pulling the yellow lever powers the system on. The small door on the back of the tower is very similar to the mountain: a skinny facade that opens to nothing. That technician is actually simply killing time, as there’s nothing to work on right here.
The wind turbine itself doesn’t endure almost as a lot from the simplistic constructing strategies seen in the base, and is actually a quite good mannequin. It’s extremely sturdy and appears the half properly. Because of a intelligent little bit of LEGO geometry with the Technic pins that maintain the blades in place, the blade pitch could be adjusted by eradicating and re-attaching every blade at a special approach.
In fact, the set is additionally motorized. The energy concurrently prompts the lights and blades. It’s a cool little bit of visible shorthand displaying the full cycle of wind power from the turbine supply to the powered residence. We’ll forgive the irony of the entire factor being battery powered, as that’s an unavoidable consequence at this scale.
With the energy on, the porch lights shine brightly, and base feels firmly planted even with the large blades spinning.
The van features a welding rig and instruments, which is on a rack that slides into the cargo bay.
The set has acquired a number of updates since the preliminary launch, and I’ve already famous the variations in the van and the tower’s anchoring system. Different updates embrace the flowers sprinkled about, which now use the new stem component atop a 2×2 tile with middle stud. Provided that the previous stem aspect hasn’t appeared in any 2018 units, it’s a protected guess that it’s been completely retired. The door has additionally been swapped out for a more moderen fashion. The timber are the similar, besides in a single key means that LEGO is eager to spotlight. The giant spruce tree parts make use of LEGO’s new plant-derived plastic components, and this is the first common retail set marketed as that includes elements utilizing it. (This summer time’s gift-with-purchase set 40320 Crops from Crops was the very first set with the new parts.) The set’s packaging designers have gone out of their method to emphasize that two of the set’s 826 items are plant-derived, with a callout on the entrance and back of the field, and web page devoted to it in the instruction guide, and one other callout in the directions when the parts are positioned on the set.
Identical to the unique, the set consists of three minifigures, although this time round they’re correctly decked out with printing–the unique set employed three plain white torsos, with Vestas stickers for the technicians. The apples-and-spots sample on the woman’s shirt aren’t new, however each Vestas staff are unique to this set. They’re undoubtedly an improve from the unique set of figures, however they nonetheless gained’t be profitable any awards for greatest minifigure design. In truth, they really feel extra like custom-printed minifigure tchotchkes printed for a commerce present than they do like the detailed minifigures we’ve come to anticipate of LEGO.
Conclusion and suggestion
The wind turbine seems to be nice, and there’s no denying it. It’s a strong little bit of development and it towers over something you set it close to, simply as it ought to. The lackluster design of the house that accompanies it, nevertheless, brings the entire mannequin down a notch. Usually, when followers name for a set’s re-release, we would like the very same package as the unique, right down to the smallest particulars–maybe a packaging replace to fulfill collectors who revel of their sealed field variations of the unique, however definitely not a design change to the mannequin itself. Nevertheless, this is a case the place a redesign was sorely wanted. And the new mannequin has already been redesigned in a half-dozen small methods; why not take an additional step and correctly repair it?
Nevertheless, the actual sinker right here is the worth. At $199.99 USD for 826 items, there’s no smooth solution to say it: the set is grossly overpriced. There’s a principle that when LEGO assigns a worth level to a set, it judges not on the variety of items in the set, however fairly on the weight of its plastic. There’s benefit to that concept; in any case, you’ll be able to’t anticipate a 1,000-piece Metropolis cargo ship with giant hull parts to value the similar as a 1,000-piece Creator bucket. And the Vestas Wind Turbine consists of excess of the common variety of giant parts, fairly bumping up the worth. Nevertheless, the set’s weight falls considerably shy of each different comparably priced set we evaluated (we checked out each different Creator Expert set in the vary of $160-$200, as properly as a handful of units from different themes, together with Star Wars). So then, maybe the reply lies with the Energy Features. However, with the exception of the low cost extension cables, the Energy Features parts can be found in 8293 Energy Features Motor Set for simply $30.
It’s doubtless that this set’s worth is the results of an ideal storm of things: giant parts, Energy Features, and a licensed product. However in the finish, that signifies that clients find yourself with a product at a worth level that feels outlandish. As a result of the design has deep low factors and just a few highs, it’s troublesome to advocate paying the full retail value, regardless of how cool the turbine seems from a distance looming over your new, renewably powered LEGO Metropolis.
10268 Vestas Wind Turbine consists of 826 items, three minifigs, and a canine. The set is obtainable November 23 from the LEGO Store (USD 199.99 | CDN 249.99 | GBP 159.99).
The LEGO Group despatched The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for assessment. Offering TBB with merchandise for evaluate ensures neither protection nor constructive evaluations.
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