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LEGO City Arctic sets review – Part One

(Written by Geneva – gid617)

One of the perennial LEGO themes is LEGO City, a theme that has given us countless fire stations and police cars. However, especially in recent years, LEGO has gone the extra mile introducing fun subthemes into the LEGO City lineup.  This year, LEGO civilization reached farther than ever… all the way to the Arctic! 🙂

This isn’t the first time citizens of LEGO City have visited the poles; in 2014 there was a previous wave of LEGO City Arctic sets, also featuring orange as a primary color (you can check out the sets in the Brickset database). This year, bright-blue and dark-blue have been added to the color scheme – a vast improvement, in my opinion! Not only that, but we get a wooly mammoth and a couple of saber tooth tigers, in addition to the polar bear and huskies that were released in 2014. We have already taken a look at these sets previously (see: LEGO City Arctic Sets Video-Reviews & More and 2018 LEGO Arctic Collection Review & Thoughts), but they merit another look before we move on to an overview of the whole theme.

The #60190 LEGO City Arctic Ice Glider (50 pieces, price: $7.99) is a nice introductory vehicle, fun to build and whoosh around. I like the concept of a glorified sled powered by a rear propeller, and it also includes a generous amount of minifigure accessories for the explorer!

The #60191 LEGO City Arctic Exploration Team (70 pieces, price: $9.99) is just a tad larger than the previous set, and is a great addition to any of the larger sets with the included three minifigures, a husky, a vehicle plus sled, and a little snow mound. As a stand-alone set, it would be a little lackluster, especially since the builds are all simple. However, it does include a fascinating new piece; a transparent light blue round brick with a mosquito printed on it.

The #60192 LEGO City Arctic Ice Crawler (200 pieces, price: $24.99) is my favorite of the new LEGO City Arctic sets. For one thing, the crawler has a great unique design (although I expect it is rather a pain to drive, especially considering that one lever is all the poor operator has for four legs and a claw hook!). This set is fun to build, and includes the poster minifigure for the line. And, who could say no to a cute frozen mouse?

The #60193 LEGO City Arctic Air Transport (277 pieces, price: $39.99) features a really fun quadrocopter, equipped with a winch for transporting ice-encumbered mammals. The winch is easy to operate, since the twisting gear sticks out the top. On the other hand, it is a little tough to get all four sets of blades spinning at the same time. Come on, isn’t that the first thing everyone tries to do?

The #60194 LEGO City Arctic Scout Truck (322 pieces, price: $59.99) comes with three minifigures, a polar bear, and a husky. Something about the jutting front treads of the truck seems a little unsightly to me, but I really like both little snow builds, and the interior of the truck has great play-value. Also, this set is designed to combine with LEGO BOOST to make a working forklift – a nice plus!

The #60196 LEGO City Arctic Supply Plane (707 pieces, price: $79.99) is a three-vehicle set that will bring your minifigures a long way on their quest to uncover the mysteries of the Arctic! I found the plane a little ordinary, but it does have a lot of cargo space (something the quadrocopter is lacking), and in any case, the ice cutter makes up for it! Although the #60192 LEGO City Arctic Ice Crawler is my favorite set, the ice cutter is definitely my favorite of the vehicles. The cab has 360-degree rotation, the treads move independently allowing for great maneuverability over large chunks of ice, and the saw can be raised and lowered into all kinds of different positions.

The #60195 LEGO City Arctic Mobile Exploration Base (786 pieces, price: $119.99) is the largest of the new LEGO City Arctic sets, with four connecting vehicles making for a long train to haul supplies and equipment over vast stretches of snowy wasteland. The cab/crane has a neat look with the front slanting windows, though (much to my surprise) several people have mistaken the other end for the front, despite the obvious incongruity of having a crane right in the middle of your windshield. Personally, that would never have occurred to me, but I do find that the crane has a tendency to fall off at the rotating base. After the excellent ice saw in the #60196 LEGO City Arctic Supply Plane, the one in this set is very basic, but the mammoth cave atones for all. This is an animal that has me very excited about potential uses in my own LEGO creations!

Speaking of animals, we haven’t talked much about any of the animal ice habitats/cages in these sets. They’re all built out of a mix of white, transparent-light-blue, and light-grey, and the ones that have animals trapped inside also have easy ways to remove the animals.

The saber tooth tigers and polar bear all have poseable rear legs and heads. Although only the mammoth’s head is poseable, it can turn completely around as well as up and down. And let’s not forget the mouse and mosquitoes! LEGO City has been giving us some great animal designs lately, and these LEGO City Arctic sets are no exception.

Between the seven sets, there are 20 minifigures and 2 huskies in the LEGO City Arctic theme, though several of the minifigures seem to be twins. On the whole, LEGO graphic designers did a very nice job making the figures similar and cohesive, but still with unique designs and colors. For instance, notice the white hands on some, azure on others, and dark-blue on a few. Arctic huskies have to be some of my favorite LEGO dogs. although the real reason I’m listing them with the minifigures instead of the animals has more to do with my forgetfulness than with my partiality for huskies.

The Arctic subtheme is a worthy addition to LEGO City, and it remains to be seen in the next part of this review what happens when all seven sets come together! What do you think about the subtheme? Do you have any of the sets? Which one is your favorite? And how do you like the minifigures and the new animals? Don’t hesitate to share your comments and questions below! 😉

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{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Legostuff14 August 31, 2018, 11:56 AM

    I love this theme. I haven’t bought any yet, partly because I have the last Arctic theme and i pulled out all of the sets . Well it seemed a bit overwhelming. It’s been on my mind from time to time on weather to purchase or not to purchase. That is the question. Lol! I mean, I could have one team searching for silver crystals and the other team searching frozen prehistoric animals. I know I need the Supply plane, because I didn’t get it the last time.

    • gid617 August 31, 2018, 1:38 PM

      I think I only got one of the smallest sets from the last line, but it does seem like they would go pretty well together. I imagine that it would make pretty good sense for there to be crystals and frozen animals in the same area!
      If you’re missing a plane, the Supply plane set will fix that and I definitely recommend the ice cutter it includes – that vehicle is so much fun!

  • Sith015 August 31, 2018, 12:06 PM

    Cool! I like the ice crawler! What are you going to talk about in part 2?

    • gid617 August 31, 2018, 1:35 PM

      Well, I’m going to combine all the sets in one diorama, so we’ll talk about how well they look together and how they do on giving the explorers all they need to get their job done!

  • brickmaster August 31, 2018, 1:02 PM

    I love most of the City sub-themes. They are well designed, great for play and customization, and funny. I hope that mammoth and saber-toothed tiger will appear in other sets too!

    • gid617 August 31, 2018, 1:40 PM

      I imagine both the mammoth and saber-toothed tiger would be a little tough to incorporate in other sets since they’re extinct animals, but it’s really neat that LEGO went through all the trouble of designing them for this subtheme. And who knows, maybe there’ll be an Ice Age style theme sometime in the future!

  • TomTom August 31, 2018, 1:14 PM

    I want that mammoth so bad! This whole theme would make a great diorama! Is that what you are going to do in the second part of the review?

  • Tony August 31, 2018, 1:38 PM

    Do you have the Boost kit to combine Scout Truck with the Boost parts? Jang said it wasn’t that impressive, but it’s always good to get a second opinion.

  • kingcobra August 31, 2018, 1:41 PM

    Can the crane really pick up the mammoth? Does that work well?

    • gid617 August 31, 2018, 1:50 PM

      Yes, the crane can pick the mammoth up without any trouble! Pretty neat function actually – I hadn’t tried it out until your comment.

  • LEGOJeff August 31, 2018, 2:08 PM

    I’m looking forward to seeing how all these sets come together. That’s something I haven’t see demonstrated before.

  • Legostuff14 August 31, 2018, 2:24 PM

    I have an idea. What if the Arctic theme was set up like the Jurassic Park theme . A scientist tries to recreate the woolly mammoth and saber-tooth tiger , but, like in Jurassic park things go horribly wrong.

    • gid617 August 31, 2018, 5:58 PM

      That sounds like an idea with lots of story potential! Would be fun to see it played out in bricks!

  • PrashBricks III September 5, 2018, 11:51 AM

    I prefer the 2013 series though, I don’t really like this new darker shade of orange, and I don’t see a reason to just resell the same sets again…

    Did that got cheaper already on bricklink? I own two of the 4 or 5 sets released in that series, so I might pick one or two of them up if they got a lot cheaper.

    • admin September 5, 2018, 10:45 PM

      The two series are actually the same orange. It’s just that this series also has blue added. I also own some of the previous sets and really like them. You can find them pretty heavily discounted on eBay. Especially if you are willing to get partially built or used sets.

      • PrashBricks III September 6, 2018, 4:14 PM

        Ok, thanks for the info, that it is just the pictures that are saying that to me, probably bad lighting…

        Oh, and I really don’t care so much about that blue, and that gigantic lab of the 2013 series looked so cool, but was way above my price range at the time. I might pick it up now though, since it is just 30 euros…

        • admin September 6, 2018, 10:06 PM

          I got that 2013 lab as well. Found a seller on eBay that was selling a partial set with just parts for the lab for a really good price. 🙂

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