In an age where toys for boys typically involve playacting war, it’s nice to give a toy whose protagonists display pure, unfettered heroism. And what could be more heroic than a fire fighter? Recently we had a chance to play around with LEGOs’ 600-piece Fire Station set. Featuring a three-part station house, a chief’s car, a fire truck and four minifigs, the set makes for hours of assembly and play.
Of course, as is typical of LEGO’s larger models, the joy is in the details. The top office features a computer bank with a swivel chair and patio door leading to a rooftop observation post. The main structure has control panels, two garages with working doors, and racks for shovels, axes, brooms and other firefighting gear. There’s even a tiny coffee maker inside! The only thing missing was a dog. (Do Danish fire stations have dalmatians?)
LEGO City line originated in 1978 (as LEGO Town) and has expanded and evolved every year since. Current models include a passenger airplane, a harbor scene, an ambulance, a rescue helicopter and more. However, the standout products are this year’s Fire Department-themed line. In addition to the Fire Station, there is a Hovercraft, a Fire Truck featuring a trailer-pulled Zodiac for waterborne rescues and a Fireboat that actually floats and sports a motorized propeller.
Perhaps the best feature of the line is its positive message. Even if Mom allows violent toys at your house, City provides a much-needed relief from all the conflict and mayhem. With everyday heroes like police officers, paramedics, and fire fighters — not to mention the cool vehicles they drive — youngsters can create a city the way it ought to be.