With the abundance of 'themed' Lego sets - you can get everything from Star Wars to Lord of the Rings to The Simpsons in Lego form now, not to mention Chima, Friends, Castle etc - it's rare that we buy a 'basic' Lego City set so it was a nice change to receive this one for review from Toys R Us.
Plus it comes with a Lego chainsaw!
I'm not sure how high on children's Want list a logging set will be, however my 7 year old loved putting this together. It's one of the few where he's actually had the patience to sit and build the entire thing, instead of building half and then letting it sit to one side for weeks before I get annoyed with it sitting around, give in to temptation and finish it myself. I have no idea whether it's true or not, but it always seems like you get more brick for your money with Lego sets that are 100% owned by Lego (i.e. not Star Wars etc) so you get a good sized plane plus accessories with the set.
The plane includes an opening cockpit, a cargo section at the read, a hoist/lifting hook and rotating propellers to go from 'heli' to 'plane' modes. There's also a quad bike, 3 minifigures, dog, toolbox and a bunch of logs - enough bits and pieces for a couple of children to play together.
Unlike other brick-producing companies, Lego cleverly split their models up into sections, with each section coming in a separate bag. This means that you only have a small pile of bricks to look through to find the one you need, instead of a giant pile and a long, frustrating hunt.
The other difference from other, cheaper brick companies is that all the Lego bricks are of top quality. They all fit together perfectly, which can't always be said of the bricks from other companies. The other thing with Lego is that there's never a brick missing. I went into a disbelieving panic when 7yo announced that he was missing one with this set. Could Lego have broken their record? Of course not! It eventually turned up hidden in the pages of the instruction book and I was much relieved.
The age on the box is 5-12. My 5 year old lost interest in building once the men were put together, however he was drawn back once the plane was built and he could play with it. 7 year old was entranced throughout and 3 year old was happy with her new 'rings' which looked amazingly similar to tyres.
The best example of how good the set is is when 7 year old got to the end, he immediately looked at the picture of other available sets and drew me up a list of things he wanted. Obviously he's a little confused about how far off Christmas is. As a slightly obscure set in regard to subject-matter, the heliplane would be a good choice for a present as I don't think many children would, given the array of Lego sets to choose from, pick this themselves. They're therefore unlikely to already own it but any Lego fan would love to put it together. And the best thing about Lego is if you don't like the 'official' model you can always smash it up and build something else instead!