LEGO Creator Expert Roller Coaster

Pros

  • Monumental size
  • Working roller coaster!
  • Some wonderful details
  • Ingenious build
  • Great for play and photo opps
  • Upgradable to automatic operation

Cons

  • Where you gonna put it?!

Key Features

  • Review Price: £299.99
  • 4124 pieces
  • 11 minifigures
  • Set number 10261
  • For ages 16+

What is the LEGO Creator Expert Roller Coaster?

Following the wonderful Carousel (No.10257) and Ferris Wheel (No.10247), we finally have a roller coaster to join the LEGO theme park. And what a roller coaster it is.

The fully built set stands 53cm (20 inches) high, is 88cm (34 inches) wide and 41cm (16 inches) deep. It’s a beast – and it’s beautiful.

Scale and ingenuity aside, the most exciting thing about the LEGO Roller Coaster is the ability to upgrade it with LEGO BOOST or LEGO Power Functions. This means you can watch it automatically power itself via a motorised chain-lift, as well as adding realistic sound effects.

Here’s why you should start clearing shelf space…

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LEGO Creator Expert Roller Coaster – What’s in the box?

There haven’t been many bigger LEGO sets than this one, and that scale is reflected in the endless bags of 4124 pieces and the pair of chunky instruction booklets.

Most of that is obviously for the coaster itself. There’s a fully functional chain-lift, two three-car trains with low-friction wheels, and a 44-piece track consisting of seven different rail elements. Brand-new elements for this set include a 2 x 8 x 6 Rail Slope, 1 x 2 x 1 Bow Brick, plant leaves, stalks and flowers.

As well as the coaster, there’s a ticket booth, cotton candy cart, concession stand, park map, height marker, and a covered boarding station with opening barriers and a control panel. The base plates aren’t totally devoid of detail, either, thanks to a pathway, pond and a couple of trees.

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The 11 supplied minifigures are a mix of four park workers and seven visitors. All but one of the visitors have dual faces, so you can choose from happy expressions or those befitting folk on a roller coaster – there’s a particularly nice one of someone definitely about to ride the vomit comet.

It’s a nice mix of minifigures, although I can’t help but think that LEGO has missed the opportunity to include a promo mascot, such as a guy in a fruit suit to advertise the juice stand – I’m thinking something like the classic LEGO Hot Dog Man.

However, the opportunity to add any minifigures you want is surely one of the joys of this huge set. I probably had a little too much fun sending sith lords and superheroes around the roller coaster. Sadly, Lord Garmadon proved too tall to fit past the ‘Do not stand up’ height restrictor.

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LEGO Creator Expert Roller Coaster – How fun is the build?

The build is epic. Set aside around 12 hours. And be prepared to thread an awful lot of 2 x 2 round bricks onto Technic axles.

From that point of view, there’s rather a lot of repetition in the build, but the clever ways in which these parts are interconnected, and marvelling at the scale of the thing you’re building, will keep boredom at bay. It also helps that there are a few fun mini-builds to break things up – the candy-floss cart is particularly nice.

There’s possibly nothing that will make you feel better about counting out 203 chain links and then joining them all together, however. Still, it doesn’t take that long.

The first instruction book sees you through the construction of around one third of the coaster – the high section on the right – and that candy-floss cart. The second book covers all the rest. 474 steps in total. Absolute monster.

There are some truly lovely touches in here. An inevitably lost baseball cap sits beneath the coaster; the photo prints on the photo booth counter portray some of the minifigures supplied with the set, the safety bars actually raise and lower on the coaster cars, and there’s a camera to take photos of the screaming faces on the big descent.

The theme park map even shows a coaster, carousel and ferris wheel, in keeping with the sets available in the Creator Expert range – although this is also slightly disappointing, since it hints that there won’t be any more theme park sets added.

If I had one complaint, it’s that the roller coaster is a bit vanilla – there’s no theme to it. Still, you could always buy the LEGO Pirate Roller Coaster (No.31084) if you need to scratch that itch.

The Technic mechanism that powers the whole thing is simple but effective. Cranking one handle pushes the cars around to the chain-lift, while another handle turns the chain to pull the cars to the top, then rotates some wheels that push the cars around the top curve and onto the big first descent. It’s all downhill from there, with the cars spiralling round to the start again.

At the back of the second instruction book, however, you’ll find steps for automating your roller coaster using LEGO BOOST or LEGO Power Functions. You can even add sound effects.

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Why buy the LEGO Creator Expert Roller Coaster?

If you already have the Carousel and Ferris Wheel, you need this. If you don’t have those, you still need this – and then you’ll want the Carousel and Ferris Wheel to complete the set.

This is one of the all-time great LEGO sets, and not just because of its size or ingenious construction. There’s tons of play value here, and plenty of fun to be had with silly photo opps of your favourite LEGO minifigures hurtling around the track.

If you have the room, buy it.

Verdict

A set that will go down as one of the greats. Get one now, worry about where you’ll put it later.

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