After their adventures with the 31005 Construction Hauler and the 31006 Highway Speedster, we thought that the Elves would like to practice their nascent building skills on something a bit more challenging. The 7345 Transport Chopper’s RRP is double that of the previous two sets at £24.99 from Lego.com, though we bought our set for £20.00 from Amazon. Inside the box, you get 5 bags containing 383 pieces, which amounts to ½ kg or 18oz of LEGO. This compares very favourably with the price per kilo of bulk, unsorted LEGO on eBay. Being a Creator set, you’re also getting the months of design effort from LEGO’s team, plus printed instructions for three different models. Value for money? Excellent!
The first stage of building, as usual for the Elves, is to rip open the bags and send parts flying everywhere. Next comes the part where we fish bricks, plates, tyres and greebles out of the TLCB executive jacuzzi. The final stage is where assorted Elves batter each other with the larger and pointier components, until they are settled down with a blast from the air horn. You can understand why we haven’t let them build anything from Technic, with all of those spiky axles and cogs.
The three models are rated as “Quick”, “Medium” and “Advanced” builds. The helicopter is the “Advanced” build and seems to be completed in just 56 steps but there are several extra sub-builds within this, plus another 8 for the little red jeep. As usual, some of the steps only add a couple of bricks to the construction but we have to remember that the target age range is 8 to 12. We built the jeep first and gave it to the Elves to zoom around in, whilst we got on with the serious business of building the chopper. As this set is aimed at younger builders, it’s a bit annoying that you have to use parts from four different bags to complete the first three stages of building the jeep. Perhaps this sub-build could be in a separate bag and the rest of the parts could be in numbered bags, like some of the other LEGO product ranges?
The first part of building the helicopter is its chassis, complete with retractable tricycle undercarriage. Continue reading