Yesterday pictures of the new sets for next year popped up on Brickset.com, Zusammengebaut.com and Promobricks.de. So lets have a look at the ones that have caught my eye – in one way or another:
60242 Highway Arrest
Quite a nice one. Nothing revolutionary though. The 6-stud-wide police car looks pretty good, while the red one appears a bit too simplistic. It seems 2020 will see the return of named characters in the City Theme. Even if the names are a bit cheesy, there is at least some healthy variation of faces and hair pieces. I’d say worth picking up when it is at a good price. Also nice to see a traffic sign. They are quite a rarity these days. The one element that makes this set notable however is this nagging question: this Vito guy… his last name isn’t by any chance Corleone, or is it?
All in all 2020’s police is aimed quite decidedly towards the lower end of the age-spectrum. Of course AFOLs may complain bitterly about this and me myself are not so super excited about the sets either, but cops & robbers-sets are a good entrance-
drug ermm -toy. And construction-wise at least the police car actually isn’t that far away from some of the Speed Champions cars we had in recent years.
62567 Lego City Safari Off-road Vehicle
This is definitely a no-brainer for me, not only because it strongly refers to a 1990-set of the same name I have very fond memories of, but also because it simply looks awesome and wholeheartedly fun!
60250 LEGO City Mail Delivery Plane
Another set with strong vintage-vibes. With just a couple changes this set could easily have been released in the late 80s or early 90s. Just look at the print of the pilot Minifigure! The plane may be a little bit simple, but you could call it just as well sleek and straightforward. I definitely like it. And it comes with a cute little birdie, which gives extra-credits.
31104 Burger Monster Truck
Creator couldn’t really impress me in recent years, but holy cow this set looks fun! From a health-and-safety-perspective its probably a bad idea to load yourself up with burger and coke wile balancing high up on some sort of ladder, but as a play-set this is quite genius! Now imagine the proprietor of 2017’s Pizza Van getting competition from this guy… I bet he is going to ask his friend Vito for help!
31105 Toy Shop Town House
This one is quite compelling too. It looks more sophisticated than the last couple of creator-buildings. Actually it won’t look too shabby even next to a creator expert set. And that little rocking rocket outside! So charming!
76897 1985 Audi Sport Quattro S1
This one puts me in a bit of a predicament. Walter Röhrl’s Audi Quattro is one of the most iconic racecars of the 80s and its appearance is captured really well, and I really want to like it – but the new 8 stud-wide standard is simply too big. Compared to today, the Quattro was quite a small car and even with its widened wheelbase and those chunky fenders, 8 is just disproportional. I am aware of the limitations of 6-stud wide vehicles when it comes to detailing, but for myself this is just not right. I want my cars still fit into a Lego city and not being a monstrosity. That’s what monster-trucks are for!
75270 Obi-Wan’s Hut
So far 2020’s Star Wars line-up appears quite solid, if a bit uninspired. As usual it is made up almost exclusively of vehicles, which lets this little set here stand out really positively. Especially if you don’t already own a Obi-Wan or Luke Skywalker Minifig from Episode IV. A nice, classic-style set.
75272 Sith TIE Fighter
This one though… it’s certainly a conversation-starter! Personally I don’t like it. It feels like just another TIE-Fighter. Usually I like TIEs, but this one looks to me as if the designers at Lucasfilm are now simply churn out all possible wing-designs, whether they are a good idea or not. At least it’s nice to see that the Uruk-Hai Sword from the Lord of the Rings-theme sees a revival. Still, if you want a proper, red TIE Fighter, give Vonregs TIE a go. It is ten times nicer!
71708 Gamer’s Market
Admittedly, I don’t really get on with the aesthetics of the new gaming, Cyberpunk and VR-related Ninjago-line, but the Minifigures in this set look just very cool. Definitely worth considering!
70429 El Fuego’s Stunt Airplane
It seems that in this set one of the heroes, or at least someone who thinks he is one, got possessed by a ghost! Quite a hefty airplane, with an aggressive, powerful styling. Really cool. Especially compared to most of the other sets of the second Hidden Side wave, which look rather ‘underbuild’.
70431 The Lighthouse of Darkness
Speaking of underbuild, the Lighthouse of Darkness (what a name!) could have done with a bit less corner-cutting too. Its turn-of-the-century-look is still pretty much intact though, which makes it quite a charming build. It would be perfect if it was just a little bit more substantial!
All in all there are quite some promising sets coming up next year. While no theme can completely convince me, there is a lot of good stuff. I’m sure most sets will find their audience. I especially like how little throwbacks like the Safari Off-Roader have their space just as well as something wild and whacky as the new Ninjago-sets. Its a good and reasonable approach: trying new styles and themes without alienating those who like a more conventional Lego portfolio.