Reviewed by Clive Crafford (SAFOLs Member, jhbLUG Member)
As a collector of LEGO® Planes, I was eagerly awaiting the new arrival when it was announced. I was pleasantly surprised with the new set once the first images were released, and enjoyed the building experience a lot.
Officially titled Passenger Airplane, set number 60262 comes with 669 pieces, 9 minifigures (includes a baby figure) and a retail price of R1 699.99 (before the November 1st price increases). Not differentiating too much from previous sets, this set comes with the plane, the airport terminal and control tower, along with a ground vehicle. The only addition to this is the passenger car belonging to Poppy Starr.
The red convertible is a pretty standard LEGO® vehicle measuring just 4 studs wide. The ground vehicle is also 4 studs wide, and comes with the standard steps to access the plane, the only difference to previous sets being the car lift. It works well to lift the car to the same height as the plane.
Although it is dubbed a passenger plane, it is actually the first multi-purpose plane with dedicated areas for both passengers and cargo. The build itself goes quite quickly, the larger components make this set feel bigger then what it is, with the small part count it has. There are some new elements made for the plane, the nose cone being the most noticeable. I like the new look, and reminds me of the shape of the A380, although this is a much smaller plane. The other parts are in the tail, and both work well. The look maintains similar colours to the previous passenger plane, and no dramatic changes has been made to the colour scheme. The larger blue area being exchanged for white and vice versa. The empennage (vertical tail) is a printed part, which will be welcomed by most, as positioning the stickers correctly on both sides has always been difficult and frustrating. The plane has 2 engines, and both are constructed with 3 major pieces, instead of a single piece as in previous iterations. The wing is still the same large, moulded piece, and seems unlikely that LEGO® will move away from this any time soon. The finished build is stable and as Brickman from LEGO® Masters Australia would say, has a lot of swooshability.
The interior of the plane is quite spacious. The car that comes with fits snuggly into the cargo hold, but it is big enough for all sorts of cargo you may need to fly around. The passenger area has just 5 seats, indicating that this is much more of a luxury private jet, and not to be used for commercial flying. The minifigures fit well with no struggle to get everyone seated. There is also a shared entertainment system. The sticker does contain a tease for fans of Bionicle, so will be interesting to see if this hints to future plans LEGO® have. The passenger area is connected to a service area, containing a small bathroom for the occupants as well as a service trolley, and baggage area. The plane can be piloted by two pilots, however only one is included in the set. The cockpit is one of the most detailed areas, and the designers recreated it very well.
The most disappointing part of the build is the terminal building that feels lacking in all aspects, just as most previous sets. It would be great if this can be released as a separate, dedicated set, with more attention to detail and overall impression. This is aimed at younger fans, so is understandable that they do not require much in this regard, it is only adult fans that would like to see more here. The roller coaster track for the roof is clever, and gives the building a smooth look from the outside. The control tower is there just for the sake of, without adding too much to the set in terms of looks and playability.
Overall I am pleased with the look of the plane itself, and it makes for a decent companion to the other sets in the range. The only improvement would be on the airport terminal and control tower. I also like all the minifigures you get with the set, which makes the price feel better when looking at the piece count. It is definitely a fun set to play with and will be welcomed as a Christmas gift.