459 of 460 people found the following review helpful
It's the wheels and the little guy that make this set best,
= Durability: = Fun: = Educational:
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This review is from: LEGO Duplo Building Set - 71 Pieces (5380) (Toy)
As a father of ten, we've had a number of Duplo sets over the years. Whenever we need to replenish our supply (this year being one such time), we look for a new set based on three basic factors: wheels, people, and price.
Price is a general constraint for us. We're willing to spend $25-$30 for a set of Duplo blocks. They're tremendously durable, and you can even run them through the dishwasher (in one of those cages used for baby bottle accessories). Within that price range, we try to maximize the number of bricks we get. If wanting only bricks (no special pieces), then you should be able to get 80 or more bricks starting at $20 on sale. If you want those parts (wheels and a character)--and in our experience, they are some of the most used parts when the kids play--then you are looking in that $25-$30 range with at least 65 other blocks.
All of our kids, especially the boys, loved having the wheels. They would make cars and trucks, and eventually airplanes and rolling robots. Sure, they could make many of these things without the wheels, but they seemed to play longer when they were making wheeled things.
Both the boys and girls like the little characters, but the girls would often take the Duplo person away to play with other dolls or for other activities. The boys would almost always make the boy a driver, or some person who was running from (or fighting) the giant robot, tank, or whatever they built with the other blocks.
Many people might not think of Duplo blocks as educational, but they are a great tool for teaching little ones about colors, numbers, and matching. It also helps fine-motor coordination as they try to assemble the bricks (especially at the youngest ages). We have a special needs child who was grown very fond of the bricks, and really enjoys assembling and disaassembling small stacks of them (this year's purchase was targeted for him).
**A SPECIAL NOTE ON THEME SETS**
Unless you have a specific desire to get your kids the specially themed Duplo sets (e.g., Bob the Builder), I recommend skipping those and getting just a basic set like this one for these reasons:
1) Cost. Themed sets cost more for less. You end up paying for the name/theme, and little else.
2) You simply get more blocks with the non-themed sets, and more blocks means more fun play.
3) Themeed sets usually have more special (unique) bricks. They can be used with any set, but those specialized bricks often aren't used as much (based on our experiences) in general play.
4) Most kids don't keep the sets together as displayed on the box. They like to tear things apart and build new things. Knowing that they will do that anyway, it seems to decrease the value of the special theme sets. By the time they are old enough to care about keeping sets togehter (or restoring the set to its original layout after playing with the bricks), the kids are about ready for the first regular Lego set.
**ONE EXCEPTION ON THEME SETS (ANIMALS)**
The only theme sets my wife and I will occasionally purchase are the ones with the animal figures and extra people. These are a great gift for a child who already has a supply of Duplo blocks, as they add to the fun.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 14, 2009 10:08:21 AM PDT
Thanks for the nice review. I was drawn to it once I read "father of 10". Wow... and I thought I was busy with ONE child! :-) Hang in there... I wonder how many grandchildren you'll end up having?! Good luck! PS - Per your review... I bought this set and my 18mo old daughter LOVES it (cut down on TV watching!)!!!
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2009 12:00:00 PM PDT
Andrew J. Riemer says:
Sorry for the late reply, and thank you for your kind words. If all goes well, we won't be concerned with grandchildren for a while, but it's definately possible in the next 6-10 years! I hope you get a chance to play with these blocks along with your daughter as she ages. Kids' imaginations can be so amazing!
Posted on Dec 17, 2009 8:45:52 AM PST
Lorna Laing says:
Wow, TEN children!!! My hat's off to you! lol Your review was one of the most helpful reviews I have ever read. Who would expect to find such a valuable review regarding Legos!
Thanks and best of luck to you and your crew!
Posted on Jan 2, 2010 3:27:36 PM PST
Mandy Mester says:
I really need a set that has a lot of wheels. Is this a good one to buy for wheels? I have two boys and all we have right now are (Mega) blocks, but I have read that they work with Duplo. Thanks!
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2010 1:58:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 6, 2010 1:58:57 PM PST
Andrew J. Riemer says:
I believe this set has only one set of wheels. In these big tubs, I've yet to find more than one set. Some of the themed sets might have more than one, but I don't recall seeing any. This time of year, you might have some luck finding some of the smaller sets on clearance at a local retail store, and might be able to collect more wheels that way. Our youngest boy received a small set that had what looked like a police ATV in the Fire Chief set (http://duplo.lego.com/en-us/products/zoo
We also have a number of young boys, so we always keep our eyes open for extra duplo pieces during garage sale season.
Posted on Jun 17, 2010 11:26:57 AM PDT
As the 7th of 8 kids in my original family, I see that the tradition of becoming more highly organized (because you tend to focus on the important stuff?) as you family grows remains true:)
Oh yes, and thanks for your helpful; review :)
Posted on Jan 2, 2012 11:53:58 PM PST
You are SO right-on about wheels and people! My son got the 80-piece set of "just bricks" and my first thought was that it could really use a couple of guys, and some wheels!
I'm sorry that Lego has come out with a new 71-piece set so now people won't see your spot-on review. Maybe you should repost it there . . .
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