Okay, so Lego City sets might not be the most complex, interesting or challenging builds, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fun. Lego’s current City Police Station set, 60141, is very much a playset aimed at children, but it’s an engaging build that offers plenty of detail and enjoyment for the young and old alike.
At 894 pieces, the City Police Station feels more like four small builds in one rather than one continuous build. Even the instruction books are separated as such. There are six books in total – one for a helicopter, one for a police car, and another for a criminal’s truck and police bike. Then there’s the main build, the police station itself, which is separated into offices and a cell block. Each of the vehicles feels like a singular £10-£15 set, and the station and cell block, despite joining together with pegs, could almost be separate buildings too.
Measuring almost 50cm across when it’s built, the City Police Station takes up a fair amount of space. But largely made up of large blocks and windows, the structure of the building itself isn’t exactly complex. There are some nice details added in – water coolers, coffee machines, PCs, cell beds and toilets for example – but if you’re used to building Expert models, there’s nothing like that same amount of detail here.
The prison cell toilets are nice, entertaining touches
But of course, that’s to be expected. It is a kid’s set after all. And younger Lego builders will have a blast putting this together. When I was a kid, my brother and I had Lego System versions of the fire station, hospital and police station. I remember building them up regularly – we’d have a whole street of Lego creations, and they’d stay on the floor until however long it took our parents to get sick of tripping over them. Then a couple weeks later we’d build them up again. Square and blocky, the early 90s Lego models were nowhere near as intricate and detailed as today’s versions, but there’s still a lot of similarities. The big paned windows with horizontal lined stickers, for example, and even the structure – two buildings separated by a bridge – is eerily similar. It’s a great bit of nostalgia for anyone who had Lego System as a kid, and it’s great to see how Lego has stayed faithful to its heritage while still constantly evolving and modernising.
The Lego computers certainly weren't this fancy back in the 90s. Is that Windows XP?!
The City Police Station is a set that Lego renews fairly regularly. The first City Police Station appeared in 2005, and since then we’ve had several iterations in 2006, 2011, 2014 and 2017. It means the current set is probably here to stay until 2019 or 2020. Whether this current set is the best police station we’ve seen from Lego is probably down to personal opinion. The building is structured slightly differently from the previous set, but the pieces, details and vehicles are almost identical. What does stand out about this police station, though, is its minifigures. They’re some of the best City minifigs I’ve seen, and add a lot of character to the set.
The bead of sweat on the robber's face is a simple but brilliant detail
There are three female and four male minifigs in this Lego City set - including this fiery criminal, whose hair is too fabulous to wear a robber's cap
The police officers' hats are much more detailed than previous iterations.
The female police officer might be one of my favourite minifigs ever – her hair and hat are one mould.
At £85, it’s not the cheapest set, and for the amount of pieces included, it’s not the best value when you consider the price per piece – at least, not compared to the much more detailed, complex modular sets. But there is plenty included for the asking price, including four vehicles, seven minifigures (and a dog!) and a cool hidden play feature that allows the prison wall to pop off.
After building large, complex models with thousands of pieces – I’m talking the Taj Mahal, the Roller Coaster, and last year’s behemoth Millennium Falcon – building something straightforward and simple like the City Police Station is a great way to unwind. It’ll take you somewhere between an hour or two depending how quick you are, and it’s completely free of the frustration of unclear instructions, small fiddly bricks and detailed, repetitive elements. It’s pure family fun, and isn’t that what Lego is all about?