It’s the first weekend in December and it means we hit the big set phase of our awards. Today’s award goes to the best set from LEGO priced at £60 all the way up to a £100. This usually means (for most themes) the biggest set of the range that year and also begins to include some of the smaller exclusive sets. This year we have had some wonderful large sets as well as the biggest ever selection of exclusive sets, thus making this year’s vote even harder than usual. I always look forward to seeing what my other judges pick and this year they sprang a few interesting ones. Once again my own pick was restricted by what the others had chosen, with 3 judges going for a retail set over an exclusive!
Adam – Deep Sea Exploration Vessel
A nice change for the often vanilla City theme. Plus looks pretty nice too.
Keith – Ferrari F40
Ferrari F40 – a beautiful re-creation of the 1987 Fezza with the Prancing Horse twin turbo engine captured in minute detail. Add to that the official Maranello license, all the parts of the car are accurate. What pleased me were the wheel trims which just give it a polished look and add to 100% authenticity. A little fragile in parts, this is a minor thing, but the car displays superbly. A great Creator set which surpasses the Rover Mini Cooper previously released.
Luc – Death Star Final Duel
The F40 will probably win this one but I was too underwhelmed by the Mini to get excited about it. It was this set that really rekindled my excitement for Star Wars sets this year; it looked exciting, it was really well designed and it convinced me that there can be more value in a good static set than in some big vehicles (sorry Poe’s X-Wing).
Séb – Heartlake Grand Hotel
Packed with character and charm – this set looks amazing. Though aimed towards the young female fan of LEGO, I think this would make a great set-piece in any LEGO city scene regardless what sex you are. I’d be removing all the mini-dolls as they simply have no place in my collection, but the vibrant colours, new elements, and overall look make this my winner over the licensed themes. Also – how can you not love the London-style black taxi cab and the lounge piano scene? A fantastic playset that actually seems worth the fairly hefty price tag, unlike some of the flagship sets from other themes.
Richard – Ferrari F40
So my chocie, and again the deciding vote. My selection from the above four was easy as three are large retail sets on themes that I don’t buy which left me the Ferrari F40 as a clear winner. But wait, before I explain why I picked I want to take a look at the category and look at some of the other nominations. Obviously the ones above, but for your money you could have gotten the biggest Ninjago set City of Stiix (not including exclusive), Jokerland, plenty of Star Wars sets, plus other large sets from various themes, including the Brick Bounty. I own both Jokerland and Brick Bounty. Thankfully both I didn’t pay for as Jokerland is all about the minifigures and the Brick Bounty is ok but is no Imperial Flagship. It’s not even a patch on the first ever pirate ship from 1989.
With all that taken into consideration, even if I was free to pick any set from this category I would have still picked the F40 without a second thought. Nothing in this category comes close to it in terms of build fun or looks. I love the VW Camper Van and I love the Mini so this is a no-brainer for me. Plus you get change from your £100 as well!!! When it comes to a big retail set or an exlusive, 99% of the time the exclusive will win with me.
This year’s £100 or under set of the year – Ferrari F40