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.
There are a total of 6 LEGO City Jungle sets ranging from a small AU$9.99 set, to a ridiculously expensive $229.99 set, so we’re getting a decent spread of sets of all sizes.
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
- 60156 Jungle Buggy [US] – TBC
- 60156 Jungle Buggy [UK] – £4.99
- 60156 Jungle Buggy [AUS] – AU$9.99
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!
Jay, the jungle air drop helicopter set is currently on sale at Big W for $158.40. That’s a saving of 42% off rrp (20% off Big W’s usual price of $198). I’m standing here at Highpoint and there are 6 sets on the shelf.
Rafael Romo says
Hi there, new reader here, wanted to jump in because this has to be my favorite subtheme ever, although I loved all the exploration/science sets so far, especially the Volcano, being an aspirant geologist myself, and also aspirant father, already thinking about how to teach science to kids while having fun playing.
My favorite of the bunch has to be the huge Air Drop Helicopter, just because of the teaching value: scientific equipment and motorbikes are dropped into the jungle in places inaccessible by land, through the boat and helicopter. The fact that it’s a hybrid plane-helicopter also adds to it a lot. The only thing I don’t like about the set is exactly the tiger. Because this is supposed to be the Amazonian jungle (by the type of ruins), and there are no tigers there. But I guess nobody cares about this.
I was at first thinking of buying the Exploration Site, but now I’m conflicted because most of the nice things it has are also in the Air Drop Helicopter set, especially the minis. I like having a “crew” of minis where everyone is a unique character, so having doubles is not good for me. I especially love the site itself and in particular the crashed airplane, but that’s about it. The leopard at least could actually be a jaguar, typical of South American jungles, so that is actually my favorite animal in the subtheme. Too bad that these two large sets nearly exclude each other.
The set I’m buying for sure though is the Mobile Lab. The inside of that truck is just too good to pass, and again the teaching value is the key here. A mobile station to analyze gems is just an amazing thing to have kids playing with, posing a lot of interesting questions: what do they analyze in the gems? How? Why is that important? The “action” at the cascade just adds icing to the cake.
Not a fan of the smaller sets: the panther is very nice, especially since it could be a South American black jaguar, but it’s not enough to justify the poor builds. I get that the parts count has to be small, but I still think the helicopter in particular could have been made to look nicer. I think even the smaller one in the Exploration Site looks better.
All in all, great subtheme that truly unites fun to teaching value. It inspires story-telling and role-playing, and all with science as the underlying driving force.
Hey Rafael, welcome! Hope you enjoy your stay and keep coming back 🙂
I really love your perspective of the Air Drop Helicopter, especially the educational aspect of it. Haha, and yeah, totally agree that the Tiger is out of place, but maybe geography in LEGO City is a little different.
It does seem kinda redundant to buy both the Exploration Site and Helicopter due to them being quite similar in price. I think the Exploration Site slightly edges out the Helicopter because of the actual ruins and crashed airplane.
I totally share your enthusiasm with the theme – I haven’t been this excited about a City science subtheme since Arctic, which is one of my all-time favourite themes! That one was absolutely perfect when it came to the educational bits!
This set is amazing but it hard to get any lego set at my country and the price will be sky rocket plus there will be no discount for those set even when it pass 1 year
Ah, sorry to hear that. Where are you from?
Can’t wait for these, I am overwhelmingly happy to get these great three big cat molds! Absolutely perfect for my Zoo MOC (which, BTW, was partially inspired by you when you talked about wanting to build a zoo moc in one of your arctic reviews (: ). The prices really bug me though; i’ll have to see what prices the cats will go for on bricklink, cause some of those look expensive!
Haha! I have all my animals in storage! Yeah, I expect the tiger to be worth a ton. I reckon they’ll be super expensive.
I might get the jungle buggy, because from my knowledge the head is exclusive to that set. However, I will most likely wind up with a impressive diorama from the Lego Ninjago movie.
Oh, great observation with the head!
Abu bakr says
They look great jay!Think i will buy starter set
Nice, yeah I’ll definitely get a few. Could always use more crocs.
Hey Jay, this doesn’t really have anything to do with Lego City, but i thought you might find this interesting: https://youtu.be/y-ePUfh8DqY
I’ll give you a hint, it’s from the Lego Ninjago movie 😉
Haha yes, I’ve been following the guy on Instagram. Was really surprised that the Ninjago headgear splits into two!
Oh, cool! I don’t understand what the point of the masks being 2 pieces is…
I’m thinking of it as a playfeature, but if could be useful to use their amazing hair pieces with a mask.
^ what Bruno said
I also think it’s a nice bit of innovation – we’ve had the existing Ninja masks for quite some time, so I’m glad we’re getting something different.
Quite like the Air Drop Helicopter, but at that price it really should have included more of a base camp, all these supply vehicles and no base of operations, not even so much as a tent! Also pretty light on foliage and scenery for a jungle, this is a set that could have benefitted from one of the old baseplates with the river or mountains on it. Exploration Site does a much better job in that regard and really digging the plane wreckage.
Not too fussed about the cats to be honest, though I can see with a couple more animals we could be on the way to a zoo set!
You make great points. Some of those fabric tents would’ve been brilliant, although I can see them releasing them as bister packs.
Sigh, baseplates. I’ve just about given up on LEGO ever bringing those back.
Hopefully one day, we get some sort of safari theme!
Technically they use baseplates for moduler buildings.
Yeah, but he was referring to the old unique baseplates with prints and terrain on them. Really miss those!
I like the big cats, but the only thing that really interests me in the whole series is the venus fly trap. Wish they sold it with a bunch of bits for sub 20AUD, I’d get that set for sure.
Sadly, the strategy seems to be “hide the venus flytrap and big cats in pricey sets”, which for all intents and purposes, will most likely work since we’re all suckers. In fact, I think I’m going insane for even contemplating to get the Jungle Air Drop Helicopter set just for the tiger.
These new animal parts are always in the costly sets. When the Jurassic World sets came out they put the Indominus rex in the priciest set which was an almost identical remake of the Dino headquarters from 2012, just in different colours, the price $190 taking into account the license fee!! It was the only set it was released in and peed me off no end as I’d shelled out a lot for the Dino sets for the T-Rex dino’s just a year or so earlier!!
Yeah, at least the I-Rex set was a lot of fun. It was pricey but it made for a pretty nice display set. If the Air Drop Helicopter set had a much more fleshed out base/camp, I think the pricetag would justify it, but it just seems like a messy hodge-podge of vehicles and structures.
Unrelated topic. I just went to lego discovery chadstone today and found out that the price of 40165 (wedding favor) is $14.99 ($2 more than shop@home price AND $2 more than the first time you visited that place as i noticed it in the picture that you took when you were there (legoland train picture)). I haven’t got the chance to ask the staff about this. What is your idea?
These sets are lit! Really excited to get them and the Friends snow sets.
Yes! Super pumped for the Friends Snow sets too! Can’t wait till we get proper hi-res photos!
I really like the big cats, and the machetes are awesome! They look just like one of mine, so getting the new LEGO machete is a must! I really don`t like the ATV in halftrack mission. It looks like something I would have built out of duplo parts when I was 3. (no offense intended) I think LEGO could have done much better on it. Other than that, the new theme looks awesome. except the price lmao $230
Yeah, the Machetes are really cool! Almost look like 3rd party accessories, but they’re a welcome addition.
I hope the ATV is a lot better than it looks in photos, hopefully it looks a lot larger or has some nifty tricks to it.
I don’t know who greenlit that $230 set and thought it would be a good idea.
Wow, I’ve been psyched for the panther & leopard since the sets were first revealed, but had no idea there was a tiger! Lego must not have revealed that set until just now. I do plan to collect all three big cats! The Jungle Exploration site is an awesome set, easily the best in the theme! I see myself buying it, the panther set, and the starter set. I may have to Bricklink the tiger though or wait for the set to reach a deep discount on Amazon. Thanks for your early preview of the series Jay!
Yeah, they were pretty sneaky in keeping the tiger under wraps. Most likely because the Air Drop Helicopter set is a store exclusive (most likely TRU).
Same here, I don’t think I’ll jump for the Tiger set, unless I can get a decent (and I’m talking 30% off) discount.
Spot on with the Jungle Air Drop Heli-copter, way over priced for what you get. Better value seems to be the Jungle Exploration site and this is where I’ll target my money if the boy indicates it’s what he’s after. The Jungle halftrack mission looks ok too, but the rest don’t inspire.
New colours on old vehicles seem to be the City mindset. the new big Cats are great, so too the venus fly trap and we also get a kayak but seems to be money spent for some ole same ole with the City sets!
Yeah, the price is crazy. And it looks like it’s going to be a Toys R Us exclusive here? Even worse as they hardly ever discount like the other big retailers.
You can get the Kayak in the upcoming Fun in the Beach set, which I’m sure your boy will be after too!
Jungle Exploration Site easily looks like the most fun set here. Should be able to find 20-25% discounts fairly readily I would think. That Tiger will be a pricey item on Bricklink! Jungle Air Drop Helicopter set will be sitting on shelves for a long time I think – even discounted.
Got any thoughts on the other new ‘summer’ City sets? The People Pack looks fun although about $10 more than the previous Park People Pack.
Yup! I’m guessing it’ll be even possible to get it at 30% off. 30% seems to be the new 20%, at least concerning discounts. The sales this year have been crazy good.
Yeah, I’m guessing the Tiger will get up to about 30-40 on BL? Yes, I’ll be previewing the other City sets too! I think the People Pack is fairly priced, especially since you get a new dolphin and kayak too, which may explain the slight price hike.
I’m most excited by the Venus fly trap – I have a lot of unfished ideas, but I’d love to do a Little Shop Of Horrors vignette. 230 is INSANE for that set.
Yeah, I really hope this isn’t the last we see of the venus flytrap! The Little Shop of Horrors vignette sounds terrific, you have to share it when you’ve completed it!