Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity

3661 Bank and Money Transfer
The Chronicler's Rating - 4/5
Price ~ $50.00
Year Released - 2011

When one surveys the multi-decade longevity of the Town/City theme there are two types of sets that it is staggering how few versions have been produced: hospitals and banks.  Since the advent of the minifigure in the late 70s there have been only two hospitals (6380 Emergency Treatment Center in 1987 and 7892 Hospital in 2006) and before this model only two banks (1490 Bank in 1990 and 6566 Bank in 1997).  This has always baffled me considering that Lego has produced a new police station or fire station, without fail, every 3-5 years over that same timeframe.  It seems to me that banks for the crooks whom the police are chasing to rob and hospitals to take the burn victims of all the houses that the fire department is saving would be the perfect counterparts to those more prevalent sets.  The purpose of this brief history lesson is to highlight the following: this set is a rare treasure.  It is bar none (even though there are not very many to bar as I have just shown) the best Lego bank yet produced and, if history holds true, there may not be another version of it for years (just look at the hospital sets, almost 20 years separated them!) so grab it while you can!

If your child is a fan of the Town/City theme then I would highly recommend this set.  It is a fairly simple construction so it should not frustrate a young builder (the town sets often appeal to the younger spectrum of Lego’s audience more than some of the other themes) but also has enough detail to please an older one.  Everything your child needs for a satisfying heist story is here, including both crooks and police, giving this set high marks for playability.  It also contains an excellent collection of parts that will have many versatile uses when your child (inevitably) disassembles this set to make their own original creations.  On top of all that the number of pieces you get for the price is better than most of its 2011 contemporaries making this set a fairly good deal for the more value conscious shopper (as a quick aside the city sets tend to have higher value in terms of pieces per dollar due to the absence of Lego having to pay any licensing fees).  In short a great set with lots of possibility.  Only reason to avoid is if your child has no interest in City sets whatsoever, this one would feel a little weird all by itself even though it could be played with in that setting.       

A chance to own a Lego bank may not come along again for a long time.  If you are trying to build a realistic and complete City this is a great opportunity to add a building that a lot of your friends (and especially you older siblings) won’t have.  If you have other police sets especially this will make a great addition as your crooks will have a place to rob, I highly recommend it. 

I would recommend that you get this set for 2 reasons.  First off it is a rarity for a bank set to even be available and if you think about it that is very odd.  Why Lego does not release more of them is a mystery to me, all the more reason to get this excellent set while you can.  Secondly, this set has exceptional playability and will provide an excellent set piece for robberies and high speed chase stories.  Grab it before you have to wait another decade!

Happy Building

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