I typically only buy LEGO City sets when they’re non-City related. Deep Sea Exploration, Arctic, and last year’s Jungle are consistent draws for me thanks to the exotic settings and presence of new animal moulds.
In 2018, LEGO City returns to the Mountains for a small Mountain Police sub-theme that bears many similarities (such as uh, bears) to 2012’s Forest Police theme. It’s a familiar story, LEGO City criminals fleeing to their mountain hideouts for safe refuge, but sadly the Mountain Police force are all over their case this time.
I’ve given LEGO City quite a lot of flak lately for unoriginality, but the Mountain Police stood out because they seemed to exude a sense of humour, they contained new animals, and I also didn’t get into the previous Forest Police sets, save for one set.
I bought two sets from the theme, 60173 Mountain Arrest which is the subject of today’s review and the Mountain Police Headquarters which I hope to get to soon. Let’s jump straight into it.
Name: Mountain Arrest
Set Number: 60173
Price: AU$69.99 | US$59.99 | £24.99 (Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [UK] [Amazon])
Exclusive to: N/A
Animals: Black Bear
Theme: Mountain Police
Year of Release: 2018
Instructions: 60173 Mountain Arrest City Police:
One of the things that drew me to the set was the price point. I think I picked this up during a recent sale for about $55 or $50, which I felt was a pretty great value for what the set contained.
There’s one thing that unites nearly every Australian LEGO fan – a universal disdain for prices when compared with the US (which I personally don’t subscribe to) but this set has a pretty interesting quirk – the US RRP is actually HIGHER than the Australian RRP (after conversion). I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like this before.
Add in nearly ubiquitous 20% off sales and you’re looking at a set that was just begging me to buy it. Of course, I had to acquiesce.
City sets aren’t particularly known for standout minifigures, but I’ll be honest, one of the four minifigures in the set was actually one of the driving forces that led to my purchases. Any guesses which?
New for 2018 are these Mountain Police minifigures. We get a male police officer and a female helicopter pilot. To suit the rugged terrain and environment, both minifigures are dressed more like mountaineers than actual police officers.
The male police officer comes with a white helmet and has some pretty neat details on his torso such as a length of rope, carabiners, utility satchels and rappel straps printed on his legs.
The female pilot has a tan pilot jumpsuit and a navy vest. Both minifigures share the same legs. I really like the colour scheme of the minifigures, navy blue and tan is such a classic combination and it works incredibly well in this scenario.
Here’s a look at the minifigures’ back printing. I especially like all the detail on the police officer’s back, which has a large satchel with a walkie talkie, and a water bottle.
While the Mountain Police may look great, they don’t hold a candle to both criminals. Let’s start with the female criminal who has freshly escaped jail thanks to the prison stripes underneath her red flannel shirt, and olive pants. I really like the prison outfit peeking out.
The male criminal is… a strong contender for minifigure of the year. There’s so much going on, starting with the fact that he’s almost naked with only some boxer shorts on which has an adorable bear paw print on it. He’s
bear bare-chested with a really helpful serving of chest hair on his pecs, and a bear-scratch scar on his abdomen.
I love his startled/disbelief expression as well.
Here’s a look at the back printing of both minifigures, and the male criminal’s alternate face which has an angry expression. The male criminal’s design is just so absurd that I love it. I can’t help but smile when LEGO designers let loose a little and have fun with minifig designs, and this is a classic example of it.
If you think that’s funny, wait till you see the LEGO beehive – a new element introduced for 2018. It’s unmistakable as a beehive and if that wasn’t good enough, it also fits over a minifig’s head, so you can create scenes like the one above. Whoever greenlit this accessory is the bee’s knees.
The other draw of the set is the triumphant return of the LEGO Bear, last seen in Polar Bear form in the LEGO City Arctic sets. This time around, we get a black bear variant which I’m really glad to add to my bear collection.
Bears are one of my favourite animals, so I’ll pretty much buy any set that has a bear in it. For those of you new to LEGO bears, they’ve got a decent amount of articulation – you can swivel its head up and down, and they can also rear up on their hind legs like you see above.
Here’s a comparison of all three bears that LEGO have released so far. The brown bear was from the Forest Police theme in 2012 and remains my favourite so far.
Here’s half-naked criminal running for dear life being chased down by an angry black bear.
For the build, there’s something for everyone, starting with this simple red escape buggy that the criminal uses to navigate the rocky terrain of the City mountainside. The buggy is deceptively simple, but I really like the non-nonsense design with the large off-road wheels, headlights at the front and cage.
It seats one, and also has a spot behind where you can hang a bag full of stolen cash. The design is super clean, with no visible studs throughout the buggy which is another plus.
The robber’s hideout is the core model that holds the entire set together. Fashioned above a rocky cave, the hideout is pretty basic, with a small shack built on the plateau. Next to the shack is a wooden tub that the male half-naked criminal uses to freshen up. Props to him for prioritising his hygiene.
The shack is really basic – consisting of a door, sandwiched by two rocky walls and a zinc roof. The sticker that gives the roof detailing is a little odd as it’s a little small and doesn’t quite span the entire roof.
Ever wonder why the bathing criminal enrages the bear? Located below his wooden tub is the beehive, which the bear is attracted to. Maybe he didn’t like the splashing from the bath, which led to him attacking the criminal.
Here’s a look at the hideout from the back.
There’s a small cave on the ground level which contains a small table, which holds a map and a red coffee mug. What an excellent location to plot their next crime spree.
The highlight of the set is the large police helicopter which features double spinning rotors. It’s decked out in the usual white and blue colour scheme that’s typical of LEGO City Police.
I am not a massive fan of LEGO helicopters as they mostly look the same to me, but this one is pretty decent.
It’s fairly large, and is something that young boys (who are LEGO City’s target audience) will undoubtedly enjoy, especially if they don’t have any large dual-rotor police helicopters in their collection.
The helicopter includes a new net shooter which has a slightly improved mchanism. It’s a little easier and more satisfying to press the button at the back to launch the net, but the accuracy is still pretty bad.
The helicopter’s cockpit pops open so you can seat the pilot in it.
Over at the back, has a rear door that slides open, so you can load things like this curious bear into it. The bear doesn’t really fit into the back but I thought this would be a funny photo to take.
The helicopter is clearly designed with play in mind, and it also has a winch with a string and hook that the police officer can use to rappel downwards on the criminal’s hideout, or for search and rescue missions.
As far as helicopters go, this one doesn’t really make me go wow, and if you were to ask me, I’d rather have a smaller helicopter and a larger criminal hideout, but thematically, the helicopter makes perfect sense and should be a fun toy for kids to play with.
The rotors are a little iffy, and they come undone every now and done if you accidentally brush the blades at an angle which was slightly irritating.
In the hands of a Police/LEGO City fan, I think younger kids will thoroughly enjoy the twin-rotor police helicopter. I also believe it’s been awhile since we’ve seen one, especially in Police colours. Design-wise, it’s also a HUGE improvement over its predecessor – 4439 Heavy-Lift Helicopter in nearly every sense.
What I liked:
- Absolutely terrific value and affordable pricepoint
- You get a little bit of everything
- Relatively affordable way to get a LEGO bear
- Bathing criminal
What I didn’t like:
- Helicopters don’t really do it for me
- Hideout could’ve been a little larger
Final thoughts: LEGO City isn’t really a focus area for me, but I had a pretty good time building and photographing this set. As a playset, which it is primarily designed to function as, this set is pretty much perfect.
I love that there’s so much playability to be had, with the small hideout, buggy, bear and of course the twin-rotor police heavy lift helicopter. Kids are going to have a blast playing with this set as it has so much to offer to setup different scenarios and scenes.
The build wasn’t especially challenging but it was never boring since you’re switching between different models to build. I also like that the hideout, while small functions as the set’s focal point and that the designers have managed to squeeze a couple of fun details in it such as the wooden bathtub.
I really liked the set’s sense of humour, with the beehive, and of course the bathing criminal. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and with the diverse cast of minifigures to augment role-playing, you can’t really ask for more in the set.
Which brings me to the set’s greatest feature – it’s pricepoint. For all that you’re getting in the set, its AU$70 and US$60 pricepoint is just fantastic, especially if you can get it on sale.
It’s one of the rare sets where you feel like you’re getting so much more bang for your buck, which is a huge selling point with LEGO these days.
Casual adult fans can enjoy the set’s cheeky sense of humour, but this set will absolutely delight younger kids who will undoubtedly appreciate all the play potential that this set offers.
If you know of a young LEGO fan, this set would absolutely make a terrific gift for him or her. Even as an adult, because of the presence of the bear, bathing criminal and beehive, I can easily recommend this set, especially if you can buy it on sale.
Overall, I’m really pleased with what the set has to offer. It’s a definite must-buy if you’re a fan of LEGO City.
Thanks for reading this review! I don’t usually review LEGO City sets, but thanks to a poll I ran on Facebook a few months back , I was motivated to pick a few Mountain Police sets up. I also recently built the Police Station, so expect a review of that one soon.
Let me know how you’d score the set below, or let me know in the comments what you thought of this set!
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Your review convinced me to buy this set. Like you I don’t routinely buy city sets but I do enjoy the sub themes and I really want that bear!
Oh that’s great! Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Let me know what you think of the set once you’ve assembled it!
I like the bear, the bee hive, the mountain hideout, the bathing criminal…. but I’m not sold on the helicopter. I enjoyed your review, but think I’ll still Bricklink the bear, which may be reasonably priced as it also appears in a mining set.
Fair enough! It really shines as a playset, and I get that helicopters aren’t usually really exciting. I’m not a big helicopter fan myself, but I guess not having built one in a while made me appreciate it a bit more. Bricklinking the bear would definitely be a smart move!
I do hope you review the mountain police headquarters. I could just Brinklink the mountain lion but I am intrigued by the set (despite the TWO helicopters, ha, somehow I find the small ones more palatable).
Good review Jay, but in my opinion the helicopter is one big boring build that is incredibly piece-light, and the hideout is very small and cramp, so I’d rate this about a 2.5/5
Thanks! Yeah, you’re right, but I had fun after not building a helicopter for who knows how long. It’s really a set targeted at kids and not really adults because the play features is where it truly shines!
As always, awesome review. You comments and photos are pretty funny. I love the bathing criminal, surely I will get it!
Thank you, glad you enjoyed it!
I believe when you talk about the bear, you intend to say last “seen” instead of “scene”. Wonderful review tho, and while I never buy city sets — you basically have me convinced!
Ah yes, I meant seen. Thanks for that, I fixed up the typo 🙂
Yeah, really didn’t expect this set to appeal to me so much. It’s a lot of fun!
I generally try not to be too picky about grammar as I feel that it makes me look like a terrible person (just my opinion) but I couldn’t help but notice the way you spelled “though” (I realise that that spelling is often intentional (I think) but I just thought that it was a bit odd when you tried to correct grammar as well).
I like that you can put the beehive on minifigure necks too. You can also do that with BB-8/porg heads.
Fantastic review, Jay! I loved all your outdoor shots, they looked so clean 😀 As for the set itself, I think it’s pretty cool, but still kinda expensive. I might just BrickLink the bear, Underwear criminal, and tree suit guy from various 2018 city sets. Overall, though, I really like this forest theme! I got the smallest set, and it was worth every penny. For $9.99, you get very good parts, like the beehive, gold bars, printed wood tile, ponytail/cap hairpiece, and of course the crook head with bee stings 🙂
You read my mind Colby! I ditto everything you just said. 🙂
You know what they say, great minds think alike! 😀
Thanks Colby as always! I really enjoy outdoor photography. It’s a nice break from my studio and it’s fun to be creative with shots.
Yeah, the $9.99 set is also really impressive! I impulse bought the set and think its fantastic value!