I’ll admit it, I wasn’t sold on LEGO Agents. It seemed like a James Bond ripoff with stock heroes and cliched villains. However, I recently had the chance to play around with the LEGO Agents "big set" — a semi trailer command center — and boy, was I impressed! For so many reasons, this set won me over and convinced me it’s my choice as Toy of the Year.
First of all, the set is gloriously complicated and completely over the top. It has seven minifigs and more incredibly, seven vehicles included, with 1,154 LEGO elements total. Hold on, I have to make that bold and italic just so you can groove on this number as much as me: seven vehicles. That’s huge, people! Two fighter planes (including a totally rad VTOL), two ATVs, a zodiac, a jet-ski, plus the semi. The semi’s trailer is a complete base for secret agents with control panels, equipment racks, a briefing area and even a small prison cell. A cargo area holds vehicles, and the good guys’ fighter jet can fold its wings and slide into trailer. There’s even a rare light-up element that can only add value to a fantastic set.
Secondly, the packaging of the elements allows for both dad-kid cooperative building as well as offering challenges for kids of different ages and levels of patience. The element bags are numbered, allowing the builders to divvy up the spoils in accordance to their skills. Bag One contains the minifigs and simpler vehicles. These elements are easy to put together and offer a rapid payoff for smaller kids. A slightly older child may appreciate Bag Two’s jet planes because they’re also pretty quick and easy, and what’s more cool than a fighter jet? Bag Three holds the parts for the semi itself, a completely self-contained vehicle that offers more challenge.
The rest of the bags contain the bricks for the trailer. Because of its size, a lot of these parts are TECHNIC pieces that stick together with pins and holes, and probably is beyond the patience and manual dexterity of most younger kids. With numbered brick bags and the instructions split into four smaller books, the model is easily built by multiple participants and over several evenings. Even after its built, the Command Center is fun to play with. There is so much to see and do, the kids and I puttered with all the different parts for two hours nonstop.
Moneywise, the set is a fantastic deal. Typically LEGO sets cost about ten cents per element, averaged out. At over 1,100 bricks you’d expect it to run, at the very least, $99. Nuh uh. Suggested retail is $89.99 and if you buy the LEGO Agents Mobile Command Center from Amazon it’s only $69.99! Heckofa deal.
(If you want to see more pix, check out my Flickr set of the model.)
Watch the Banks family build the largest LEGO set ever created, the nearly-6,000-piece LEGO Taj Mahal.