With this year nearing its end, it’s of course that time again where everyone is looking back at the best and worst of 2018 and while naturally it’s very much a subjective matter based on what your personal preferences are and a ton of other factors, at least to me the results over at Promobricks aren’t much of a surprise. Though not statistically representative, they represent how the German market ticks quite well.
Several Star Wars sets ranking among the stinkers and Betrayal at Cloud City (75222) taking the crown is less than unexpected. It’s a case of “My mom could have told you!”. Similarly, it didn’t require that much crystal ball reading to predict that other overpriced sets such as the Bugatti Chiron (42083), the Aston Martin DB 5 (10262) or the Vestas Wind Turbine (10268) would be on that list. LEGO can market the hell out of those licensed properties as much as they want, people just don’t care for this stuff beyond the day-one craze from collectors. Other sets are a bit more disputable. The Porg (75230) are a matter of “Love them or hate them!” even in the films, so that’s understandable just as is that Voltron (21311) situation – literally almost nobody around here ever saw the series, so to most it’s just another weird LEGO mech with an unknown background.
On the side of the winners the situation is a bit more clear-cut. I’m totally not a Potter-Head and in fact the more I look back at it, the more awful I find Harry Potter (I can’t fathom why I ever bought the first four movies on DVD), but you have to give it to LEGO – the sets are actually quite okay and within the weird logic of this series crafted well. If I had the money I would even consider the big Hogwarts Castle (71043) as a project to keep me busy for a few evenings. The one thing on that list I don’t agree on is the Roller Coaster (10261). I get that people who genuinely play around with it just love it, but to me it’s just plain ugly, as several not so minor shortcomings in its engineering and judging from the instructions makes for one of the dullest and most repetitive builds I can imagine.
Getting to the juicy bits, it will of course be interesting on which lists the new Modular Building, the Corner Garage (10264) will end up. So far the crowd seems to be divided and I have somewhat mixed feelings, too. While normally you can’t go wrong with these sets and compared to other LEGO models they are still comparatively cheap, the 30 Euros price hike is a bitter pill to swallow, even more so since it’s difficult to rationalize. After all, the building is cut in half and all those little details probably don’t really make up for the lack of interior space.
Some also have criticized the somewhat simplistic and mundane design and the crooked interior logic with the vet’s office being above a fuel station. Debatable points, yes, but then again pretty much not a single such set makes 100 percent sense nor are they meant to do so. In my experience one simply tends to forgive these lapses in logic and just enjoys the building once it stands finished on your table. I’m waiting to see it in a store before making my mind up about it definitively, but naturally this could indeed turn out either way…