Expensive Squirrels in the Park – LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326)

I don’t buy City sets that often since I don’t want to end up with too many “useless” parts (large panels, wedges and similar stuff or elements in weird colors), but occasionally I take a liking to some of the sets. A lot of that has to do with the animals included or small details that just appeal to me and so I ended up getting the Picnic in the Park (60326), after all.

Pricing and Contents

This particular set is a LEGO store exclusive here in Germany, but it seems it is freely available through regular retail e.g. in the US. The exclusivity in these parts kind of preempts any debate about prices, but there’s always a chance it might become more widely available at some point. At 15 Euro for 147 pieces it follows the crude standard logic of around 10 Cent per element, but is it a good price? Personally I don’t think so, as ultimately this builds into some very small models and the volume of stuff just isn’t there. This definitely feels like 10 or 12 Euro at most. Even when you open the box you already see how little actual content there is and it feels like one of those 10 Euro sets that you pick up for 7 Euro after discounts at the drugstore.

LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326), Box

Minifigures and Animals

In relation to the price I’ve seen and heard the argument of the set containing three minifigures, which is one more than the usual two, but no, sir, that’s not really a good point! It’s not like these would be unique or particularly special. Scraping body pieces together from other sets the figures could be recreated with not too much trouble, give or take a few specifics for the prints. This will only get even simpler once LEGO starts re-using the parts in other sets as well, although be it in different combinations.

LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326), Minifigures

LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326), Squirrels

The main attractions are of course the two squirrels. They are based on a completely new mold for the City line and are much more realistic than the ones originating in Elves and having been revived only some time ago. The Black one is exclusive to this set, but the one in Dark Orange can be found in some others. There’s also a third variant in Light Bluish Grey which itself is exclusive to the School Day (60329) set. For the time being getting all three is not easy, but I’m pretty confident we’ll see the little bastards in many more sets soon enough.


Having a huge chunky oak tree with the squirrels would have been good enough for me, but apparently this is not how things work and there had to be some vehicles for actual play.

LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326), Bicycle

The first is a yellow bicycle with a small cart in tow. The latter is the simplest construction imaginable with the crate piece being used. Not much else to say here. It certainly works and while simplistic, it looks elegant enough.

The second is a small (electrical ?) utility vehicle reminiscent of a Tuk Tuk or similar vehicle originally based on a motorcycle frame. Even one of my first reviews for the Heartlake Pizzeria (41311) came with something along those lines. The details and building techniques change over time, but the design always is pretty much similar. Still, those little cars look the part and are always a nice addition.

Tree and Bench

Squirrels live in trees, that’s a given, and so this set of course needed one. Too bad it turned out rather awful! Yes, as you can see in the photo this is just another of those trees built from stacked arch elements at a ninety degrees angle. sure, it’s simple for kids, but is it any good? Not really! It is especially disappointing now that we have much better pieces such as the curved tube elements from the Bonsai Tree (10281) and other recent additions to the LEGO parts catalog.

LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326), Tree, Front View

The small table and bench are just fine, being built from six (!) identical 1 x 3 x 1 arches. the pizza box tile on the other hand… I really don’t understand why they haven’t come up with something better after all those years. They could even do new designs every year so you can date the sets easily even after the fact just by looking at the motif.

LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326), Tree, Detail Table

Personally I would have hoped for a fuller, more elaborate canopy with perhaps at least six of the large “leaf” elements. Then they could also have thrown in one of the ladybug tiles or a butterfly. Some more of the acorn tiles also would have been nice. You know, during an autumn storm it sometimes literally “rains” acorns from those oak trees in my area which goes to show how many there actually are. At least two per leaf element would sure have not been too much to ask, methinks.

LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326), Tree, Top

Concluding Thoughts

In a funny way this is one of those “Made with irony in Billund” sets, both in the good and bad sense. It’s a negative in that the set definitely is overpriced for the ordinary and very average content. There’s just not enough mass of stuff here and the tree is just *meh*. The squirrels would have deserved a better habitat and presentation.

On the positive side, despite the limitations, this set is still the most cost-effective way to get two squirrels, including the exclusive black one, short of buying some 80 Euro/ 100 Euro sets, ordering the animals from LEGO‘s Bricks & Pieces service or Bricklink. The small car/ cart and bicycle are also nice and give me a positive vibe, minor as their contribution may be.

The bummer really is that if this cost just 10 Euro I’d totally say “Go for it!” with no regrets or reservations. However, those 5 Euro on top really bother me and give me an uncomfortable itch. I just can’t see where that extra money went. There aren’t any special prints, no second bike or any of that which would justify it to me. Therefore I would only recommend this set to people who really want the squirrels and enjoy the overall cutesy-ness.


2 thoughts on “Expensive Squirrels in the Park – LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326)

  1. LEGO prices have definitely shot up lately. You can tell that everything in City or Friends is severely scaled down in order to match old pricepoints with new budget sensibilities.

    For example, Friends has a surprisingly similar equivalent to this set this year and it’s pretty sparse overall.

    Speaking of generic minifigure parts, that lady’s hair-piece went from interesting to overplayed very quickly.


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