Saturday, January 13th, 2018 at 9:03pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today we continue and conclude our streak of LEGO City Jungle reviews. Closing us out is Ta-metru_defender who takes a look at 60160 Jungle Mobile Lab, one of the medium-sized sets in the theme. Read on to find out if this set will jump out and grab you like a hungry alligator or if it will end up lost among the ancient ruins. Let's find out!
I'm going to begin this review with a question. Why is the Jungle Explorers in the City? I mean, I get stuff like coast guard and police, obviously, and even mining because that's somewhat 'normal' insofar as the City theme goes, but exploring jungles seems a bit more adventurous. LEGO gave BZP and I a set (for which I am most grateful) so I can set out to try and answer this question.
I quickly realized I didn't care about the question anymore, because we get a minifig-eating plant.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
You know the deal with LEGO boxes. The front shows off the set and everything that comes with it, the back's got play features and other cool stuff, and the top shows the minifigs.
I will say I do like the whole jungle-y look, it feels very, well, jungle-y, what with the underbrush and vines. Does a good job of making it out to be the wild exploration it is.
Inside are numbered bags with pieces, a sticker sheet, a plastic film piece for the waterfall, and a big blue plate.
There are also three instruction booklets: one for the plant and waterfall, and two for the lab itself.
I always like it when LEGO splits up parts of the build by bag and instructions. It means if you're building the set with someone you can each build a section. It's cool, and something I wish more sets did (because building LEGO with friends is a lot of fun!).
Anyway. Time to put this thing together and explore the jungle.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Alright, so, first off, minifigs:
Minifigs aren't usually the focus of a City set, but I gotta say I really like these. The jungle exploring outfits all look suitably rugged and the greasy mechanic and scientist also look the part. Everyone wears blue jeans in the jungle, though.
The accessories are neat too, with the oar being a new piece. The machete, though, might be my favorite of the lot.
On that note, let's talk new pieces.
Like I said, the machete part is new and looks dope. It makes sense for jungle exploration and it's a cool thing to see in the set. Another new piece of note is the minifig-eating plant part. It's got a bunch of connecting points for pins so it'd make for some great armor for a Toa or Rahkshi of Plantlife. Someone should get on that.
There's also a transparent tile printed with a compass. Good to know these guys won't get lost.
This subtheme also sees a redesign of the crocodile/alligator, something I have mixed feelings about (though that's just nostalgia talking). It's dark green with a printed eye and looks adorably menacing. It's got all the articulation of the old one, except this time the tail is held in by a pin.
So instruction book 1 is the waterfall and the kayak. The waterfall isn't an overly complex build, but then, it's a City set so, really, what do you expect? I like the waterfall made from the screen, it's a cool way to get it done and also allows for a play feature I'll tell you about later.
We also get a new kayak piece that's also in a couple other sets. This one has a camera mounted on it. All in all, something cool, and it can be mounted on top of the Mobile Lab itself which is pretty dope.
And, at last, the Mobile Lab itself.
It's a solid vehicle, which I like because LEGO models falling apart in my hand is not something I'm a fan of. The Keetongu orange color scheme is striking and I'm a fan of that too. It looks nice and rugged, so, jungle vehicle: check. The main compartment opens up to reveal the titular lab (the wheels make it mobile). I really like the big map, seems good for planning an adventure.
Now, if you want to get going, you can stick the kayak on top, clip the oar to the side, and stuff the accessories into compartments on the side, and everyone fits inside! I like it when sets have places to put parts, and this is cool!
And finally, the crown jewel, the minifig-eating plant.
It's built with that aforementioned new piece and put on a mini ball joint so it can swivel and eye up its dinner (proverbially, everyone knows mnifig-eating plants can't see, they find their prey using echolocation (duh)). There's also a spider inside it, but whether that's bait, yesterday's dinner, or a bizarre symbiotic relationship is anyone's guess. All together, it's a wonderful little build.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
Most of the set's play features are found in the waterfall segment. There are some stones that a minifig can hop across (or swing across on the vine) to get to the ruin's stairs.
But danger lurks behind that waterfall! If you place the crocodile on the tray behind the waterfall, you can push it through, potentially eating any unlucky adventurer. It's pretty cool, and made possible by that seam in the waterfall piece.
Once you've climbed those stairs you can then brush aside the giant leaf to find the ruby. It's neat to see a whole small adventure put together like that.
The mobile lab itself is home mostly to roleplaying, like doing a science on the ruby. It's cool enough, though I wish it did something more, be it having suspension in the wheels or some more science-y stuff to do.
And then we have the minifig-eating plant. The rubber band on the back lets it snap open and snap close, ensnaring a minifig in its jaws. It's a satisfying snap and I do like putting minifigs in peril. Also. Minifig-eating plant. What's not to love?
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Minifig-eating plant
- Neat vehicle
- The machete piece!
- Minifig-eating plant
What's not to like?
- The 'ruin' feels a little lackluster
- Could use another play feature
- $50 is a little steep
I don't buy a lot of City sets (I'm a Star Wars guy) so I don't know how this compares to the norm. But it is a fun set with a lotta neat details, and is the cheapest way to get the minifig-eating plant. When all put together, though, it feels a little disparate, with the lab, ruin, and plant almost seeming like different sets collected together for $50.
But each part is solidly done and it is a nice midrange set for the Jungle Explorers subtheme.
And also there's a minifig-eating plant which is the best dang thing.
A big thank you goes out to Josh for putting this review together, and another to LEGO for sending us the set. We'd love to hear what you think about it in the Talkback topic or in the comments on YouTube. Until our next wild review strikes, keep visiting right here on BZPower!
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