Monday, December 1, 2014

LEGO® CITY Fire Station 60004 Review

LEGO® Fire Station 60004

With a piece count of 753 the LEGO® CITY Fire Station 60004 is our first CITY themed structure and I gotta say it's pretty big and probably one of the bigger sets among the CITY buildings and their toy line. Owning various CITY sets like the Auto Transporter 60060, Arctic Helicrane 60034 and Police Patrol 60045 our CITY collection is pretty all over the place but 60060 and 60034 were gifts while 60045 was an intended purchase as we needed some local law enforcers in our growing coastal town.

So why did we get this 2013 CITY Fire Station? Well there are a few reasons.
For one my son is into Fire Fighting and Stations (all boys go through that stage I guess) so that's one reason ticked. Two, I was considering the Fire Brigade 10197 but the price of that retired set has gone mental and the third and final reason, there's a lot packed into this set.

Kids won't get tired of those roller shutter garage doors

In terms of parts and features with the Fire Station 60004 this is what you get:
- 2 Garage Bays with Roller Shutter Doors
- 12 Doors Frames (9 with Glass Panels)
- 3 Windows
- 1 Fire Truck with a Telescopic Ladder
- 1 Fire Van
- 1 Fire Helicopter
- 1 Tool Cart
- 5 Minifigures plus a Fire Dog
- close to 10  different tools
- and various interior builds including a Control Room.

I'm not gonna nit-pick on price per part and all but with the elements of playability it already got me sold. I mean there's quite a lot here and my son loves every bit of it! (and so do I)

So with the Fire Brigade out of the question I thought this would be a great set to have for parts as it could potentially lead to our own Fire Station Modular down the road. Suffice to say it will stay as it's original build until we feel we need to modify. So lets get down to the what's up with this towering Fire Station.

This set states that it's for 6-15 year olds but after analyzing the parts and instructions I took it as an attempt to let my son practice his building skills with a more advanced set, he's about 1 year younger than the indicated age range but I thought with a little patience and guidance we could do this.

The Fire Truck build took a while but we got there.

He enjoyed the build but as mentioned if you intend to introduce a more advanced build to a younger LEGO® candidate then that 'little' patience needs to go a loooong way. That being said it was a good lesson on focus for both my son and myself. For my son he just needed to work on his strength and pressure of his fine motor skills as not everything was clutched in tight. The actual fire station building was more of a co-op build between my son and I and he enjoyed sorting and finding parts for most of the build.
Overall a great learning session and process.

So before we get into the Station itself let's look at the three Fire Station vehicles included.

The Fire Truck, Fire Van and Fire Helicopter of set 60004

As mentioned you get three vehicles here, The Fire Truck, Fire Van and Fire Helicopter my kid likes the Fire Truck and Fire Helicopter most among the three.

60004 Fire Truck with the ladder fully extended.
This makes the truck reach a maximum height of 25cm, nice and high.

With boys you can't go wrong with Fire Trucks, give boys a way to climb higher, a water hose and they're set; even in real life. He enjoyed the side compartments which housed traffic cones.

60004 Fire Helicopter

The Fire Helicopter was a fairly simple and small build, so small that they included parts for only 2 rotor blades. It would have been nice to see 3-4 blades though like the Police Helicopter 7741 but not being the hero vehicle in this set that's cool, the water tank and hose/nozzle made up for it I guess. My son still liked it cause of the rotating blades, anything that spins or rotates is also another crowd pleaser.

The Fire Van with the needed equipment for the job.

The Fire Van somehow was the least favourite but the fact that it had storage in the back gravitated him to the van as he loves storing stuff in compartments. (Seriously what's up with that?) It would have been nice if the front bonnet used a part other than a standard red slope/roof tile brick.

The Fire Station 60004 Crew

The Minifigures were a nice unique treat and you get 5 plus a Dalmatian Fire Dog, so at least while they were so minuses with the vehicles they didn't hold back on the Fire Fighting Crew, there's a Minifigure to man every vehicle, post and than some.

Another view of the Fire Station 60004, there's even a Fire bin for training.

Now the actual Fire Station building. This thing is tall at 23cm and if you measure all the way to the satellite dish it's 31cm high so you'll need pretty descent storage space to be keep this stored and assembled. I did my home work and it fits our usual storage system perfectly.

It terms of play it has been hours of fun for my kid with the parking garages and roller shutters, the Helipad. Control room, and this set comes with a lot of Walkie-Talkies. My son and I were communicating via them for sometime during the who play. Seriously we only talked via the walkies.

There were many tools to the set too and places to store every bit of them which he enjoyed.

Each floor had a different play to them as you'll see from the pictures.

Kitchen and R&R area on the top floor.
Equipment room on the first floor.
Ground floor with our Fire Chief busy on the Emergency Line
The tool cart for repairs and maintenance, included inside the cart was a torch too.

So as you can see much to play in this set.

But while there were all these awesome features and play there were some downsides and this is just me being picky, not my son. (He's still playing with it behind me now)

The Fire Pole is something to be desired. It seems rather out of place as it is in the front of the building, honestly I would like to have seen this placed inside the building, as that would seem more functional, furthermore it would have been nice if the platform for the Firefighter on the Fire Pole could have just slid down on its own as now one would have to drag the Firefighter down the pole. This would mean building a locking mechanism on each floor. In fact the Fire Pole was the least of my sons interest to the set.




Another little issue I'm not to hot about is the blue tinted transparent panel glass across the set, even the vehicles. (But I guess this is a CITY thing looking at the Police Station 60047) Why couldn't they just use standard clear transparent panels? Even the garage doors are in a blue tint, even clear frosted ones would have been nicer. Purely an aesthetical point of view on my part no doubt.

And the last issue was while this thing had three floors, there aren't any stair cases? How would our Firefighters go up the different levels. This was just illogical but for a kid who cares. Firefighter can fly yo!

That being said this this is a CITY set, not a Modular and not even a CREATOR so I have to be realistic or unrealistic for that matter. So as a CITY set the open walls are great for easy play and because of the lack of walls they had to use a lot of Red 1x2x6 Column Bricks, which is assume were to make the structure more stable with it's height.

Side view of the station, the open sides give easy access to the truck.
In terms of overall size it does come to you with a depth that matches a standard Large 32x32 baseplate (at 25.5cm) so this would fit nicely next to any build that uses baseplates. Though the area just infront of the control room does stick out by 1 x stud so this means it won't flush nicely with a Road baseplate but there are ways around it I guess.

The back view of the station, lots of room to expand and play.

The building also comes in a unusual L-Shape foundation. Again it's a CITY set so I shall not complain. Which means there is still room for expansion and the medium gray foundation plates are huge utilizing multiple 16x16 plates.

So overall the LEGO® CITY Fire Station 60004 is a pretty worthy set cause the issues stated above do not at all hinder the play factor for my son. Christmas came a little early for my son with this set so I'll have to see what else I can get him other than LEGO®....Er though the LEGO® CITY Fire Truck 60002 would be a great addition to this set!?!

Size comparison between the 60045 Police Van & 60004 Fire Truck

Oh and one last last thing which again bugs me more than my son and that's the inconsistent size & ratio of CITY vehicles. As you would know by now I'm crazy when it comes to dimensions and I have not been able to find any common ground among various CITY vehicles.

If you take a look at the comparison shot above between my sons favorite Police Van from the LEGO® Police Patrol 60045 set and our new LEGO® Fire Station 60004 Fire Truck you would see that the Police Van is bigger than the Fire Truck. Shouldn't a Fire Truck be bigger or a Police Van be smaller no? Ok I will shut up now.

Feel free to comment or feedback and hope you enjoyed the post.

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