Lego Duplo My First Zoo (6136) Review

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Review:

My First Zoo is my son’s second favorite Lego Duplo set after his My First Train set. It includes a giraffe, tiger, elephant, polar bear, and fish, so it was also a big hit with my animal-loving seven year old daughter, and the two of them like to combine it with their Lego Duplo Green Building Plate and free bricks from a brick box to make more elaborate fences and exhibits.

My rating:4 Stars (4 / 5)

Lego Duplo Green Building Plate Review

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Review:

If you have Lego Duplo, this 15 inch by 15 inch building plate is a must-own, in my opinion. As far as I know, none of the Duplo sets come with a full-sized building plate, but building Duplo sets on the plate rather than free-standing makes them much more stable and less frustrating for little builders. The building plate is also a good base for building towers, houses, and other stuff. My kids particularly like to use it with their My First Zoo set to enable more fences and exhibits.

If you have regular-size Lego, you’ll want this 10×10 building plate instead.

My rating:4 Stars (4 / 5)

LEGO Friends Heartlake High (41005) Review

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Review:

I was really impressed by the design of this Lego Friends set. The final build was smaller than I expected, but really packed a lot of cool stuff into a compact space. Heartlake High comes with science and fine arts classrooms, a cafeteria, and bathrooms, and has tons of useful accessories like art supplies, a laptop, an owl, a telescope, and more that give it good play value.

Despite this, my daughter has never shown as much interest in playing with it as she does some of her other sets, like Olivia’s House, the Summer Riding Camp, and King’s Castle. I think it may just be that she can’t relate to it yet – she’s only seven, so she certainly hasn’t been to high school and hasn’t even watched that many high school movies. I’ve been thinking about bringing it back out now that she’s read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series – they might help her come up with more scenarios to play out in the school. Meanwhile, though, I’d probably recommend this set for slightly older girls, say 10 or 11.

My rating:4 Stars (4 / 5)

Lego Castle King’s Castle (70404) Review

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Review:

I nearly bought this set on the spot when I saw it in Target for the first time. Lego Castle was my favorite theme as a child and King’s Castle reminded me so much of the great classic sets like Black Knight’s Castle that I grew up with.

As it was, I held out until, er, the next day. But near-impulse purchase or not, it’s not one I’ve regretted. It took my daughter a couple days of working on and off to finish and it’s one of her favorite sets to play with (along with her Lego Friends sets Olivia’s House, Summer Riding Camp, and Adventure Camper.)

King’s Castle comes with seven minifigs, plus a horse, and a bunch of cool features reminiscent of the classic Castle sets, like a working drawbridge, portcullis, and catapult. It’s a large set with plenty of room to add minifigs from other sets (and even themes – the Lego Friends girls and their horses spend a lot of time hanging around, as does the Golden Dragon) for more elaborate scenarios, and it also makes an attractive display piece.

Eventually, I’m hoping to get a whole medieval theme going with Medieval Market Village and Kingdom’s Joust, and this castle will be the centerpiece.

My rating:5 Stars (5 / 5)

Lego Friends Summer Riding Camp (3185)

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Review:

My daughter isn’t as horsey as I was as a girl, but she loves animals in general, so this set ties with Olivia’s House as her favorite Lego Friends set. Like Olivia’s House, the compact design packs in a lot of cool details and she really enjoyed both building it and playing with it. Our only complaint is that a couple of the shutters were missing in the package (and I haven’t gotten around to requesting replacements from the Lego company).

Note: This set will soon be discontinued, so if you want it, now’s the time to snag it before the price goes up! Otherwise, check out Sunshine Ranch (41039)  as an alternative.

My rating:5 Stars (5 / 5)

Lego Friends Jungle Rescue Base (41038)

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Review:

On our daughter’s wishlist

She loves animals, so she really likes the look of the new Lego Friends jungle theme. We haven’t bought her any yet, but this is the one she says she likes best so far, because it has the most animals and different parts.

 

Lego Duplo Deluxe Train Set (10508)

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Review:

With 20 pieces of curved track, 5 pieces of straight track, a bridge, a working crane, and more, this was a great addition to our son’s first Duplo train set that substantially improved its play value (which was already more than enough to keep him happy for a couple hours a day). While his first set included just enough track to make a circle, this set allows him to build much larger and more diverse tracks, including much larger circles, ovals, figure eights, and more. It also has a different style engine, and different cars, including a coal car, which adds more variety to the train itself. He likes to give his Duplo zoo animals rides in the coal car.

My rating:5 Stars (5 / 5)

Lego Duplo My First Train Set (10507)

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Review:

My siblings and I had a big bin of Lego Duplo train tracks when we were growing up and had a lot of fun with them, and they’re still one of my son’s favorite toys when he goes to visit his grandparents.

We decided to start his own collection with this set, which has a battery powered two car train and enough track to create a full circle. Although it doesn’t allow as much scope for creativity and engineering as some of the sets with more track, my son loves it and plays with it daily. He enjoys both setting up the circular track and just letting the train chug freestyle across the floor. Its engine can handle both hard floors and most carpeting, though more uneven surfaces cause it problems.

My rating:4 Stars (4 / 5)

Lego Research Institute (21110)

Review:

lego research institute (21110)

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Lego has a super cool site called Lego Ideas where Lego fans can submit ideas for new sets. The community then votes on the ideas, and the most popular (and feasible) ideas are made into commercial Lego sets, with the original creator receiving a share of the profits.

I’m an occasional voter on the site and one of the ideas that I absolutely loved was a female Lego fan’s proposal to create a set featuring female scientists. It was recently released as Lego Ideas Research Institute (21110)!

Outside of the insanely popular Lego Friends theme (which uses a different style of minifig), women and girls are under-represented in most of Lego’s themes. My daughter has complained about the lack of female minifigs in Lego Castle (her favorite theme, aside from Friends), so this set is great just to get some more female hair and faces that can be mixed and matched with the Castle sets. However, I also love the Research Institute set itself, especially the dinosaur!

You can order the set at Lego.com.

My rating:4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

LEGO Ninjago Epic Dragon Battle (9450)

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Review:

We liked the Golden Dragon so much we’re thinking about getting this set for the Ultra Dragon as well. It looks even more impressive!