Review: 60012 4x4 & Diving Boat
The box art again is the standard City backdrop with a beach in the foreground and displays the set in the most action packed scenario possible, but without the inclusion of someone to rescue. The bottom right of the box features a diagram demonstrating that the 'boat really floats'. I don't particularly care for floating boats as I have yet to work out a scenario when water can be used realistically in a LEGO context, but in this set the inclusion of a floating boat doesn't have any negative effect on the rest of the set as the dinghy piece is widely used anyway.
The back of the box features a Coast Guard with the obligatory 'HEY!' and the set starring in four different scenarios. These include a Coast Guarder steering the boat, diving off it leaving it to the mercy of the currents, the other Coast Guarder stood precariously on the side of the boat holding (not wearing!) his life jacket, and the pair of them heading home after a rescue, with the second crew member holding on to the back of the 4x4 as it speeds up the beach, due to the cab only having one seat...
So what's in the box? Two numbered bags this time, no prizes for guessing that bag one will build the 4x4 and bag two will construct the boat and trailer. The instruction booklet features the same design as the front of the box, just without the age rating and 'boat really floats' diagram. These sticker sheets really seem to dislike me, again this one had to be flattened under the encyclopedia, which wasn't very successful as you can see from the photo.
Nothing really strikes me as unique in bag one, all of these parts have been used elsewhere before. The Coast Guard torso is the same as in 60011 Surfer Rescue, but it's nice to have a second copy. The only thing of interest here are the flippers. I haven't been building much lately, but this is my first encounter with flippers which are not on a sprue. Perhaps this has been changed to prevent wasted plastic, but by doing so, TLG seem to have decided that they are now small enough to warrant the inclusion of a spare, which would have, I imagine, the opposite effect, in that they end up using more raw material for the same number of sets which include flippers.
So, the finished 4x4. The lack of orange is particularly noticeable when looking at the 4x4 on its own - it gives the impression of a mainly white vehicle, which is what sets the 2013 Coast Guard line apart from the 2008 versions. The same colour scheme has been kept, but the colours have been inverted.
It's a nice little vehicle even without the trailer, although the fact that there is only one seat is a bit of an issue when two Coast Guard minifigures are included. Perhaps they are trained to hold onto the back like bin men while the vehicle is moving? I resorted to seating the second Coast Guard figure in the boat when travelling, but I'm sure that would raise some Health and Safety eyebrows!
One thing that is noticeably not present is blue lights - something I'd have thought LEGO would have jumped at the chance to include. I'm not sure what country LEGO City is in, but in the UK both RNLI and HM Coast Guard vehicles feature blue lights, even though they scarcely use them. The diving equipment holder in the back lifts out so that the equipment can be removed with ease. There is no front registration plate either, which would result in a £60 penalty notice in the UK, but doesn't seem to be a problem in LEGO City! I doubt they'll get away with it for long if it is indeed an offence - LEGO City must have the highest level of policing anywhere in the world!
Onto bag two, the diving boat and trailer. Some of the parts in here are nice to have, but there isn't anything that really shouts out.
The second Coast Guard minifigure features another new torso, this one is orange with a life jacket pattern (the inconsistency between whether a minifigure has a printed or standard life jacket irks me...) and also features the new Coast Guard logo, which I am definitely a fan of. They have very cleverly managed to make it look like the front profile of a ship even at this tiny scale. The torso also features back printing, of a safety harness this time.
The boat and trailer are simple but work well. There isn't an awful lot to say, except that again there is no registration plate!
To conclude then, the set as a whole. I think it works well, and is an improvement on the previous version 7737. However I can't help feeling that it could have done with someone to rescue. If this set is purchased in isolation, playability is very limited unless one of the Coast Guard men is drowning! From the collector's point of view, it is a nice piece at a nice price, and when played/displayed along with other sets from the range it becomes a much more useful item. This set is definitely worth the £10, though I'm sure you'll have no problem finding it discounted at some point. Even if you don't have a beach/harbour as such, it would look at home on the streets of any city. I will certainly be picking up another couple of copies of this set when I see them reduced.
Lastly, here's 60012 4x4 and Diving Boat along with 60011 Surfer Rescue.
My copy of 60013 Coast Guard Helicopter has a couple of missing pieces, so I will be waiting to review that once they have arrived. Next to be reviewed therefore will be the Coast Guard Plane, 60015.