The Money Transporter was one of the new City sets released this year that got my immediate attention, only second to the Pizza Van (which I reviewed back in late February, gosh – time flies!). A couple of weeks ago I finally got it. Lets find out if it can hold up to my expectations.
A set like this is one of those sets where the Lego designers can’t really do much wrong. Police is always popular and the Money Transporter has plenty of accessories and the obligatory criminal for included conflict right out of the box.
On the side of the law we have, apart from the van itself, a police officer with two pairs of handcuffs, two transportable safes, two red gems, 2 blacktron-neon-yellow(!) ones, two money-tiles and two gold-bars, while our criminal comes with a crowbar, a backpack for carrying smaller loot and a hand truck for wheeling away the safes, while the good guy isn’t looking.
With so many things to steal, the Money Transporter better offers plenty of storage space. And indeed: it does. Apart from the large cargo hold at its rear, it also has a smaller safe on each side for quickly stowing away stuff (and quickly getting broken open by our lady thief).
I am really happy with the “locking mechanism” at the rear. It is quite simple, but does a good job in looking very secure and official and annoyingly complicated to break open:
Of course what does such a secure locking mechanism help, if someone finds a much easier way to get in?
I think the trapdoor is added with the best intentions for providing easy access to contents of the truck, but from a practical point of view having a loose lid flapping open and close all the time isn’t much helping in giving you the feel of a secure money-transporter. I think a conventional removable roof, as so many other sets have, would have been just fine. This would also had made the handle redundant, which is an awkward piece to have sticking out of the roof: it is too big and bulky to be an antenna, but what else could it be? Also not so great is the design of the wing mirrors which are easily knocked out of position.
Apart from these issues though the overall look just works. It is appropriately chunky and solid and looks like serious business. I especially like the rear. It gives the vehicle a very secure appearance.
Compared to the Pizza Van though, the Money Transporter is not quite as refined. Especially the interior is sketchy at best. Where are the tiles with the stud in the middle to secure the safes on? As it is, they just bounce around inside and are very awkward to move in and out through the rear door. Of course, Lego designers are cutting corners to minimize costs. But there are areas where you get away with it, and areas, where it becomes an unnecessary annoyance.
The Minifigures are a mixed bag as well. The driver looks fine, could maybe have more details on his badge, but apart from that he is pretty much spot on as you’d expect him to look like. Including the very police-style moustache. The criminal on the other hand looks more like a gardener to me (GREEN!). Maybe one who is side-lining as robber, but still: her look isn’t great and the hair piece makes it even worse.
All in all the set may not be stellar, but its still a useful addition for a Lego City. Especially if you are looking for something more realistic and low-key looking, like the Pizza van, the Money Transporter should do well. I would recommend to replace the “handle”-piece on the roof with a proper antenna though. The price is very acceptable. Slightly lower than for the Pizza Van, which might explain some corner cutting here and there. This also secures a solid 4/5 rating for it. Its not perfect, but not even sets that cost a fortune are!
She kept on asking me for a nicer hair piece, so I consulted my styling expert and she came up with this look for her:
Our robber looks much happier now, doesn’t she?^^