A break-out star.
If we told you we’ve recently been spending time with some very small criminals, you might think we’ve been hanging out with tough gang of dwarfs and going around beating up pixies. But we haven’t (yet), as we’ve actually been building the LEGO City Prison Island (#60130).
This set, from the recent City range, comes complete with 754 parts and eight minifigures. Altogether it took us about three hours to complete, and is made up of four separate vehicles and the main prison itself. Here she is:
Definitely a fun build, you construct the vehicles first then crack on with the multi-tiered prison. There was nothing overly tasking or confusing about the set, so the 6-12 age range is spot on. There is a lot going here, so let’s start with the figs. First up, the good guys.
The police team feature a good mix of characters, with only the male and female guard (to the right) having the same bodies. We love the hot-shot boat pilot in the baseball cap and shades, and the helicopter pilot comes with a flight suit body and full helmet. And what about the crooks?
EYEBROWS! Yes, to denote criminality, LEGO has given all four bad guys very sinister eyebrows (and an amazing moustache for the guy in the orange vest). The two on the left are the guys doing the breaking out, while the two on the right are the prisoners hoping to escape. All are great, but we’re seriously digging the guy in orange!
The biggest vehicle is the police boat which features seats for two (although the pilot looks better standing up). Some great detail here and an appropriate and subtle use of stickers (as with the whole set, in fact).
There is an outboard engine which lifts up and down, as well as removable handcuffs and plenty of room in the rear for captured perps.
Next up is the police chopper, which reminded us of the small, single-seater helicopter from the Jurassic World: Indominus Rex Break-Out set (another break-out set). The canopy lifts up, both rotor blades spin, and there are nice light details on the sides.
The chopper actually uses a really clever design whereby the tail is centred despite the whole thing being an even number of studs wide. Two plates with central holes are used to pin the tail into place, which makes it look very well balanced and streamlined. And look, more handcuffs!
The crook’s smallest vehicle (and the first thing you build in the set) is a very simple affair with just a few bricks added to one of the all-in-one dingy parts (which were heavily used in this Batman set). Here you also get a crowbar and a grappling hook on the end of a chain. But why? You’ll see later…
And then the most striking thing about the set; the hot air balloon. Using some very strange and large parts we’ve never encountered before, the balloon is a fun little build which employs a central Technic rod and the eight segmented curved pieces which attach to it.
The finished effect is great, but the basket below can only hold two minifigures. Still, we suppose someone else could dangle from that rope.
Oh, and you also get this little guy. Sorry we forgot you in the line-up, mate.
The complete prison set looks amazing and is very solid once done. It looks like a completely enclosed structure, quite like the LEGO Creator building sets, but is actually very open and more of a playset. It has plenty of height and depth as well, and looks great as a display piece in its own right.
The front section opens up to reveal the main ground floor area; an exercise yard of sorts. Note the picture of a woman (presumably the female crook), the chalk markings, the wooden bench, and…
…the dumbbells hanging up on the reverse side! Classic.
Behind that is the main cell. This features a bunk bed, an opening bar door, and a toilet. Yay! We love it when LEGO includes toilets in their sets (like this one). The back of the cell is completely exposed and open, so a bit of imagination is required here to keep the crooks contained.
To the left of that is a little door which opens to reveal a couple of levers. We assume this is supposed to represent the main cell unlocking mechanism, and is a nice little hidden detail.
Above that is another small cell with a bed. But, while a figure is laying down, give that Technic rod a yank…
…and they will fall through the floor and out through the sewer pipe, Shawshank Redemption-style.
In the main tower there is a little guard balcony and room, complete with red coffee machine. We’re guessing it’s a pod machine because of its size. Budget cut-backs and all that… Note the binoculars and radio ready to be grabbed.
Above that is the watch tower, enclosed on three sides by those inverted sloped transparent pieces. The guard up there can enjoy a cup of coffee too, as well as a printed control panel and a swivelling chair.
On the other side, above the cell with the false bed, there is an open guard platform with a movable light. One thing we noticed about the whole set was a total lack of weapons; no guns, bats, or knives. So although you’ll find blasters and light sabers in the LEGO Star Wars and Super Heroes sets, City doesn’t seem to have any kind violence, something we think is actually very appropriate.
The chopper gets its own landing pad with brown staircase approach, light details, and a big H. Which is pretty much the whole kit and caboodle of Prison Island.
In terms of play features, the bars on the front of the yard can be easily torn down… by the grappling hook!
The false bed room also has a secret hatch in the roof…
…so the prisoner can be air-lifted out by the balloon (Oh, which doesn’t really float. Just to be clear. The boats float on water though!).
And here is where the shark comes into his own, attacking the dingy as it tries to escape. We can only assume he is employed by the police to act as an aquatic last line of defence, perhaps holding the rank of sergeant.
There is some good use of colours and texture to make it seem like the prison is actually sitting on top of a bare rock outcropping, complete with foliage.
This is great set with plenty of play value once the build is complete. There is a nice mix of Minifigures, which can all be reused for different characters in the future, while the varied mix of parts and colours means your (or your children’s) LEGO parts box will be overflowing with potential other projects.