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Lego's 2011 Lighthouse
on August 1, 2011
**Update early 2013: this set is now discontinued and the price is rising. For value, I recommend the Lego Log Cabin while supplies last. There are three Creator structures slated for 2013, a small cottage, a treehouse, and a family house.**
I think this is one of the best sets of 2011. This is a creative, original design that is fun to build and play with.
-This is, as far as I can tell, Lego's first dedicated lighthouse. There have been other lighthouse-like structures (e.g. the Coast Guard command tower from a few years ago). And there is a small polybag set, #30023, that just came out; but that is really a mini-version of this large one. So 5770 really is an original and unusual set. I wouldn't necessarily call it a collectors item, but I wouldn't expect another lighthouse for quite a few years.
-Being from the Creator line, this set is made primarily out of general-use bricks and comes with instructions for three different builds. This is closer to how Lego was when I was a child, and it encourages kids to rebuild the structures either as the other designs or their own. The Creator sets, however, use more ingenious building techniques than what Lego offered decades ago. These are really marvels of miniature design. The other two designs are a sea-side restaurant (with a dock and a hinged side-wall for access), and a boat house with a launching ramp.
-This set is on the expensive side for some people, but it is still a good value. All of these bricks are very useful in making your own designs, especially the red and white curved bricks and the slopes. And Amazon often goes below MSRP on these sets, so keep a look out (no pun intended).
-This set has great playability. In fact, of the three Creator structures that came out this year (the others being 5771 and 5766) this one is the most fun. It has a light brick that you can spin with a crank that sticks out of the side of the tower (actually, the light brick remains still while you spin a reflector). One must push down on the top of the lighthouse in order to keep the light shining. Kids will either be taking the model into a closet, or insisting that you turn off all the lights so that they can play with this feature. In addition to the front door of the model, a portion of the side of the tower swings open to reveal a ladder. And there is the boat, mini-figure, smartly designed sea-birds, BBQ and fish. The other two models are very good as well.
-The set is great for both boys and girls. It makes a great gift as well because if you don't like the design, you can still build it into something else.
-If you find this set is on the expensive side for you, but you want some of the same design advantages that it has, check out the set #5766, the Log Cabin, which arrived in early 2011. Both are great sets.