I have a soft spot for Lego City vehicles, because I think they’re a great way for younger kids to get started with Lego. They’re often quite cheap (this one is £24.99, but you can easily get it for less than £17) and they never have too many pieces for small hands to put together (this one has 301).
The 4×4 with Powerboat is the latest in a long line of vehicle/boat combinations in the Lego City range, and this one comes in a very natty orange and black colour scheme. There are three separate models, and three instruction booklets. First you build the 4×4, which has some really nice chunky wheels, then the trailer, and finally the powerboat itself. There are also two minifigs, male and female, one of them to drive the car and one of them to pilot the boat.
None of these are particularly complicated builds, there’s not enough pieces involved for them to be. The car isn’t a whole lot different from any other recent Lego City car, but it rolls well and has room for a minifig inside. The powerboat also has room for a minifig inside, and is largely made up of a single piece orange hull, onto which you stick various other pieces to add some detail on the top. I know that the aim here is that it can actually float, but it does seem a bit of a cheat when a Lego piece is literally the shape of a boat.
Everything is covered in stickers of various shapes and sizes, including details on the roof of the car, on the sides of the trailer and all over the boat. I don’t think these stickers look like they’re going to be waterproof, so if you do take Lego at their word and play with the powerboat in the bath or sink, you may find it’s not long before you’re covered in the shredded remains of a number 21.
But let’s not be too harsh. This is a cheap toy designed for kids, and Noah is going to have great fun playing with this for a while before it gets recycled for parts. It’s unlikely to be the kind of set an AFOL is going to put on show, and it’s not designed as such.
It’s easy to scoff and say that Lego could do something more interesting than the endless array of boats and cars, but I have no problem with them. Boats and cars are the staple diet of Lego lovers of all ages, and this one can be loved by your kids just the same.