The second half of the year is approaching at breakneck speed and that can only mean one thing – new LEGO sets! Official images and set information has already been trickling onto LEGO.com, so I’ll kick off this year’s preview season with one of my most anticipated themes of 2017 – the new LEGO City Jungle sets!
The Australian LEGO.com store recently updated itself with all the new sets from the City Jungle theme, which gives us a really precise look at what we can expect from this new LEGO City sub-theme as well as pricing!
The new LEGO City Jungle sets should release worldwide on 1 June 2017, although depending on where you live, you may get sets a little earlier if retailers start breaking the street date.
The LEGO City Jungle theme is a continuation of the the Science and Exploration City subthemes, which kicked off with Arctic, and was then preceded by Deep Sea Explorers and last year’s Volcano. I’ve been a big fan of nearly all these subthemes (except for Volcano which didn’t appeal to me), so the 2017 Jungle sets are right up my alley.
I also love collecting LEGO Animals, so the LEGO City Jungle sets are almost a match made in heaven for me.
From what I can tell from the sets, the LEGO City Jungle subtheme sees a new research and exploration crew (with a snazzy new Jaguar peeking out a bunch of leaves logo) taking to the Jungles of LEGO City (that sounds super oxymoronic) to uncover ancient ruins and study the local wildlife.
The main draw of the LEGO City Jungle sets is naturally the wildlife. For the first time ever, we get a trio of Big Cats, a Panther, Tiger and Leopard! I cannot fully express how excited I am that we’re finally getting some Big Cats.
The new moulds look terrific, and even though they’re all based on the same base mould, the printing and individual details look incredibly sharp and allows each Big Cat to assume their own identity.
The Big Cats aren’t the only new LEGO critters, we also get an awesome looking Venus Flytrap, which is comically oversized and looks like it could actually eat a minifigure.
In the Venus Flytrap above, you can also spy a new Spider mould, which also makes it debut in the Jungle sets. It’s a cool variant of the existing spider-piece, and I particularly like the tiny little eyes.
Oh and we also get an awesome new weapon/accessory, a new LEGO Machette!
Disappointingly, there isn’t any new foliage piece, which I did sort of expect, given that this is a Jungle theme and all. Anyway, let’s take a look at the LEGO Jungle sets!
*Do note that the US product pages aren’t live yet, so I’ve just put placeholder links for now. You can click on the Australian and UK LEGO Shop links if you want to check out the products in more detail.
LEGO City Jungle Sets
60162 Jungle Air Drop Helicopter
Animals: Tiger, Crocodile, Venus Flytrap, 2x Spiders
- 60162 Jungle Air Drop Helicopter [US] – TBC
- 60162 Jungle Air Drop Helicopter [UK] – £109.99
- 60162 Jungle Air Drop Helicopter [AUS] – AU$229.99
Keep your camp well-supplied in the LEGO® City jungle with the Jungle Air Drop Helicopter, featuring 2 spinning rotors, a clamp system to carry the pallet platform or truck, work tower with rotating crane, riverboat that holds 2 pallets or motorbikes, a temple, collapsible bridge, movable statue, buildable Venus flytrap and a 4×4 truck with winch. Includes 7 minifigures, plus tiger, crocodile and 2 spider figures.
60162 Jungle Air Drop Helicopter is the flagship LEGO City Jungle set, commanding a whopping £109.99/AU$229.99 pricetag. For a 1200 piece set, that just seems a little much, considering that you can buy a Palace Cinema modular in Australia and still have some change over.
Now, this isn’t the most expensive LEGO City set ever (that honour goes to the City Square) but it just looks like poor value. You do get a huge double rotor helicopter, a riverboat and a few small structures, but the highlight of this set is undoubtedly the Tiger, which is exclusive to 60152 Jungle Air Drop Helicopter.
The Tiger is going to be one of the most coveted Big Cats from this theme, and it pains me that I’ll have to spend so much just to get it. I don’t think this will be a Day One purchase for me because I simply can’t afford to buy it without a discount.
Which is a shame, because this looks like a pretty brilliant LEGO set.
Hype Score: 2/5 – Great set, with some nice vehicles and a Tiger, but I cannot imagine most financially responsible parents/LEGO fans dropping so much on a LEGO City set.
60161 Jungle Exploration Site
Animals: Leopard, Crocodile, Snake, Frog, Venus Flytrap, 2x Spiders
- 60161 Jungle Exploration Site [US] – US$119.99
- 60161 Jungle Exploration Site [UK] – £109.99
- 60162 Jungle Air Drop Helicopter [AUS] – AU$159.99
Uncover amazing things at the Jungle Exploration Site, featuring a plane wreck with opening cockpit, amphibious helicopter with minifigure cockpit, spinning rotors and winch, heavy observation truck with minifigure cab, folding crane arm, observation room and space for the included motorbike on the back, plus an amphibious vehicle with minifigure cab, and cave and temple build. Includes 7 minifigures, plus leopard, crocodile, snake, frog and 2 spider figures
60161 Jungle Exploration Site may not be as massive, or impressive as the Jungle Air Drop Helicopter set, but it has a much more palatable pricetag, and overall feels a lot more cohesive.
I like that there’s a strong narrative to this set, where the Jungle Explorers set out to investigate a plane wreck, and stumble upon some ancient ruins. It all has a very Indiana Jones-vibe to it, especially the big boulder nestled atop the ruins that probably comes tumbling down.
You get all the main animals in the theme, especially the Leopard which is exclusive to this set and will be one of the main drivers for most to purchase it. This one, I can see myself paying the price for and as a whole, I like that the vehicles, characters and settings feel a lot more compact.
The pricetag is still a little on the high side (for a City set), so you’re probably best waiting for a discount before making the plunge.
Hype Score: 4/5 – Great set that has a focused theme, for a decent price. The Leopard is the main selling point.
60160 Jungle Mobile Lab
Animals: Crocodile, Venus Flytrap, Spider
- 60160 Jungle Mobile Lab [US] – US$59.99
- 60160 Jungle Mobile Lab [UK] – £39.99
- 60160 Jungle Mobile Lab [AUS] – AU$59.99
Discover exciting things in the depths of the LEGO® City jungle with the Jungle Mobile Lab, featuring a truck with opening sides and roof, a waterfall build with a crocodile and temple with a moving leaf that hides a treasure, plus a buildable Venus flytrap plant with closing ‘mouth’ and a kayak. Includes 4 minifigures plus crocodile and spider figures.
No big cats in this set, but you do get a pretty chunky and rugged looking Mobile Lab vehicle. The Mobile Lab looks like something out of the Jurassic World sets. You do get a Venus Flytrap as well as a small waterfall temple.
The Waterfall temple has a new plastic curtain for that added touch of realism, and has a cute little play feature thanks to the hidden crocodile but it seems like a fairly average set. On the plus side, you get 4 minifigures and a pretty cool looking vehicle, as well as a kayak. Might be a good pickup if it’s on deep discount.
Oh and this is the most affordable set that contains the Venus Flytrap.
Hype Score: 2/5 – No exclusive animals make this a pretty average set.
60159 Jungle Halftrack Mission
Animals: Panther, Spider
- 60169 Jungle Halftrack Mission [US] – US$39.99
- 60159 Jungle Halftrack Mission [UK] – £24.99
- 60159 Jungle Halftrack Mission [AUS] – AU$44.99
Explore what lies within the LEGO® City jungle on a Jungle Halftrack Mission, featuring a truck with tracks on the back wheels, storage space for the chain and tool elements, plus an ATV with removable crate, a buildable campfire and a buildable temple with diamond element and moveable stone that releases a spider. Includes 2 minifigures, plus panther and spider figures.
I’m most excited about 60159 Jungle Halftrack Mission. It’s the most affordable way to get your hands on one of the big cats – a Panther. It’s sub-AU$50, and looks like great value as you get a decent-sized tracked vehicle, an ATV and a small temple ruin.
I’m 100% certain that this will be one of the best-selling City Jungle sets, no doubt buoyed by the addition of the Panther. It certainly helps that it looks like a well-rounded LEGO set that won’t break the bank. Accessible LEGO sets like these are my favourite, and will no doubt be welcomed by parents and LEGO fans on tight budgets.
Hype Score: 5/5 – Superb set with a Big Cat, great price point and all the elements you need to re-enact a Jungle expedition.
60158 Jungle Cargo Helicopter
- 60168 Jungle Cargo Helicopter [US] – US$19.99
- 60158 Jungle Cargo Helicopter [UK] – £15.99
- 60158 Jungle Cargo Helicopter [AUS] – AU$29.99
Head deep into the LEGO® City jungle with the Jungle Explorer Helicopter, featuring an opening minifigure cockpit, spinning rotors and working winch, an ATV with space for a minifigure, a treasure box and a temple with moving leaf revealing a gold-colored chalice. Includes 2 minifigures, plus a spider figure.
The 60158 Jungle Cargo Helicopter is a pretty interesting set. When I first saw it, I was pretty underwhelmed – the helicopter looked a little too small and bare bones for me, and there didn’t seem to be a lot going for it. Then I spied the price, which changed my perspective on this set.
Yes, the helicopter kinda just looks like a cockpit attached to the rotor blades, the ATV looks like something out of a polybag and the Temple Ruins looks super basic, but the accessibility of this set makes this quite an attractive purchase from LEGO’s core audience – parents who buy them for their 8 year old kids.
It’s not going to set the AFOL world on fire, but it makes for a pretty great entry level set and introduction into the LEGO City Jungle theme.
Hype Score: 3/5 – Set is as basic as they come, but the affordable price makes this great for parents.
60157 Jungle Starter Set
Animals: Crocodile, Snake, Frog
- 60157 Jungle Starter Set [US] – US$9.99
- 60157 Jungle Starter Set [UK] – £8.99
- 60157 Jungle Starter Set [AUS] – AU$15.99
Discover what lurks on the banks of the river in the LEGO® City jungle with the Jungle Starter Set, featuring a boat with space for gear and 3 minifigures, a tree with hidden treasure, camera and a working magnifying glass. Includes 3 minifigures, plus snake, frog and crocodile figures.
This is your standard City Starter Pack and comes with 3 minifigures, and a crocodile which is a great way to quickly amass more Jungle explorer minifigures to pad out your sets. The addition of the crocodile makes this pretty good value and the random assortment of foliage/tree parts.
You also get some pretty good variety in the minifigure department with a male scientist, and a male and female Jungle explorer.
I like these Starter Packs because they’re a relatively cheap, and you can usually pick these up for AU$10 at Big W, so I’ll definitely be picking up a few of these.
Hype Score: 3/5 – Not particularly exciting, but it’s cheap and you get a really nice selection of minifigs are parts.
60156 Jungle Buggy
Go exploring in the wilds of the LEGO® City jungle with the Jungle Buggy featuring a minifigure cockpit and space in the back for machete and binoculars elements, plus a buildable statue with hidden diamond element, moving leaf and a red spider figure. Includes a minifigure.
Eh, pretty boring set. The most interesting thing about this set is the Spider and maybe the machette? The Starter Pack has straight more value than this.
Hype Score: 0/5 – Skip this and buy the starter pack.
So that’s it for the LEGO City Jungle 2017 preview and some of my early thoughts of the sets. The new elements, headed up by the 3 Big Cats are really exciting additions to anyone’s LEGO menagerie, but the vehicles in the new bright light orange colour scheme also make for a very attractive LEGO City offering in the second half of 2017.
The pricing of these sets are a bit all over the place, I still can’t believe the Jungle Air Drop Helicopter set costs AU$230 in Australia – that’s just an outrageous amount for a LEGO City set, but the rest seem to be decent value especially if you can get them at a discount.
I will of course be reviewing a couple of these sets when they come out in stores, so do keep a lookout for them!
I’d love to know what you think of the LEGO City Jungle sets. Are you excited for this theme and the LEGO Big Cats? Let me know in the comments section!