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8 July 2015

REVIEW: LEGO Simpsons Kwik-E-Mart #71016


Who needs the Kwik-E-Mart? YOU DO!

Back with another LEGO set, this time we take a look at the largest set we've ever built... and also the best! After two series of minifigures and a whopping great house set, The Simpsons are back in LEGO form and shopping at their favourite local store. We, with sore fingers from building, pay a visit ourselves to the Kwik-E-Mart (#71016).



Good grief, this is a big set. The LEGO Simpsons Kwik-E-Mart comes in 2179 pieces, twice as many as our previous biggest set, Indominus Rex Breakout. But after looking at the main picture above, and comparing it to the size of the Jurassic World set, you might be wondering how the Kwik-E-Mart can be so much bigger. Well, it's all about what's on the inside.


Here's what you get... The Kwik-E-Mart itself (more on that later), a police car, and six minifigures. The choice of characters makes sense, especially when you consider just how many times poor Apu has been robbed while at work. Snake is present, as is Chief Wiggum, to either arrest the crook, or sit on his fat bum chowing down donuts and sipping coffee. Of course you get shop owner Apu, complete with brrom, and three members of the Simpsons family most likely to be shopping at (or vandalising) the store: Homer, Marge and Bart.


With the exception of Snake, we;ve seen all these guys before in series one of the Simpsons minifigure range. Still, in play terms, the selection is good, and to be honest all we really needed was Homer, so as to position him eating everything in store. The Chief has a baton (not to mention a car - more on that next), Snake has handcuffs, Apu has a broom, Homer gets nothing, Marge a shopping bag, and Bart gets his own spray can (for reasons that make sense later).


The police car, the first thing you build, is basically the same model as Homer's car from the Simpson's house. It looks great in the black and white of the Springfield police, can sit two figures in the front, one in back (sorry Snake), has opening doors, and even the boot can open up and be used for storage.


See, there they are, off to the station. One thing to note is how tricky it is to actually get the minifigs in there, and although the roof panel comes off, you might need to take off the windscreens as well. And to prove that it is in fact Clancy Wiggum's car...


... there's a half eaten donut on the dashboard. That is the first of many in-joke and reference stickers you'll apply during the course of this massive build. Right, onto the Kwik-E-Mart itself.


The roof, which so easily could have been plain, actually holds some great details. We love the skylights which really do add some light to the interior, as well as the fan to the left. On the right is Apu's secret garden which once featured in an episode, complete with carrots and tomatoes. And, if you look really closely...


... there's a very nice touch indeed. Right, back down we go.


Out front there are some great details such as the bike racks, two public phones, and the bin store area behind a closing swing door. Inside that little annex is a bin...


...which actually contains two garage sacks. You can also see more references around the outside of the building, such as a tag from the mysterious El Barto...


...a request for cats...


...directions to a shop that sounds like a really good idea...


...adverts for delicious local cuisine (think you have yourself to blame for that one, Homer)...


...and a poster for a musical. There is also a back entrance just for staff which actually opens up to reveal...


... that Apu's hygiene standards probably aren't that great. This little room also has a door that leads into the Kwik-E-Mart itself, which you'll see the other side of later. Still, that cheese does look tasty. Right, in we go!


As you can see, the whole building splits open at the rear and the roof panel simply lifts off. Once done you get to see where all those 2000 plus parts have gone. This has to be the most detail-laden set we've ever seen, and it is certainly more crammed with bits than the Simpsons' house from last year. Lets take a closer look, shall we?


On the left-side opening section there is a cash machine, a magazine rack, 'heat lamp dogs' (with dogs, of course), freezer cabinets along the back filled with individual items like chocolate milk, bottles, and cakes, a donut stand with donuts, and at the very rear - and one of our favourite pieces - a coffee machine, complete with pots and take-away cups.




Moving on there is a drinks dispenser (looks like yellow is more popular than red), a Buzz Cola machine, the famous Squishie machine (which is apparently leaking), the main cash register, and yet more magazines and greeting cards.


On the right side of the main section you have two removable shelf units (one having been taken out in the shot above) which are both stocked with treats and references. Along the wall there are loads more freezer units, with yet more tiny bits and details, and of course a frozen Jasper. Obviously. All the doors open so your minifigs can grab their chosen goods, while Jasper's door actually breaks down as well.


And on the right side swing section you get another freezer cabinet (which holds the much-coveted Buzz Cola cans), the entrance to the staff-only room we saw the back door to previously, and then several boxes of Powersauce, allowing you to UNLEASH THE POWER OF APPLES!


Those two removable units need a special mention - just look how crammed they are with goodness. From recognisable products like the Krusty-Os and donuts, to random shapes and parts which fit in really well, these are exceptionally well designed and use all the pieces very well.


Many of the other units can be removed, all of which perfectly capture what they are meant to be. The Squishie machine definitely stands out, and the bizarre build, which uses plates and bricks in all different directions, is completely inspired. We also really like the arcade machines, one of which is Bonestorm. Bonestorm!


As well as the printed and sticker jokes that populate the Kwik-E-Mart, there are also some great touches made with parts. We love the 'forgotten sausage' which can only be seen when the building is opened up. It seems to have slipped down the side of the counter, but we assume Apu will find it, pop it back on display, and dear Homer will gladly eat it.


The printed plates for magazines and cards are great, and as well as the Springfield Examiner you also get...


... Mom Monthly...


... and Angry Dad - a classic. And if you think Apu has given you particularly good service that day, why not get him a card?


Aww, he looks quite touched by that. In fact, all the minifigs look very natural in the surrounds of the Kwik-E-Mart, be they...


... shopping,...


... filling themselves full of E-numbers,...


... filling themselves full of caffeine,...


... missing crimes by filling themselves full of coffee and donuts,...


...and hiding from customers by escaping to the roof. No matter what the characters are up to, they look great in situ and there is plenty of scope for play and for recreating your favourite Simpsons scenes.


Actually, while we're on the roof, this is what the store looks like with the sections together and the top plate removed. It gives you a sense of just how much space there still is inside to move the figures around. It's also a great chance to closely look at...


... the Kwik-E-Mart sign, which we're happy to report is not all sticker. the 'E' is actually made up of LEGO bricks, and it was a pleasant surprise to suddenly realise it was right there before us while building.


So, this is truly is an incredible set. Even collectors who are not fans of The Simpsons, and who might not get all the in-jokes, have to acknowledge that it is a very cleverly designed bit of LEGO. The build itself was a real joy, and LEGO thankfully split up the construction process, varying between monotonous wall and roof parts, with fun and quirky units and display cases. All together it took us about eight hours to complete, and we enjoyed every minute.

Looking over the finished product makes us hope that this is the way future Simpsons LEGO sets will go. The Kwik-E-Mart actually makes last year's Simpsons House look fairly boring in terms of detail and jokes, and we hope that this time next year we'll get a Springfield Elementary, or maybe even a Moe's Tavern, with an equal amount of references.

Yes, it's pricey, but for what you get - either to keep and play with, or smash to bits for other builds - it is really worth it.

£169.99


"We don't serve your kind here."


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