The Chronicler's Rating - 2/5
Price ~ $50.00
Year Released - 2011
The last true marina set was 1994's Sail and Fly Marina and for those of us who can remember that set this one, unfortunately, looks downright spartan by comparison. In the City theme especially Lego has, over the past several years, reached back into its own history and drawn inspiration from some of the great sets of the past. Many of the recent sets that have done this have been able to capture the magic and masterpiece of their predecessors (the last two police stations and last two fire stations are prime examples as is this years Queen Anne's Revenge). Unfortunately, 4644 Marina fell far short of its inspiration.
On paper these two sets have pretty much the same components, docks, a restaurant and sea going craft. But the older set, in every respect, did each one of those so much better that this set looks incomplete by comparison. Everything about this set feels shortchanged, the dock is pitifully small (Lego made it look bigger by adding the bridge so it would be longer but it's an illusion), the boat (it's really a raft) is small and essentially just one big piece and the restaurant and "life guard stand" are built like facades as opposed to actual structures. Contrast that with the Sail and Fly Marina which had 2 gorgeous speed boats (comprised of no large pieces) as well as a small motor boat and a (beautiful) seaplane all with separate berths on a huge dock which was flanked by an enclosed restaurant and boat repair yard complete with crane for lifting the speedboats out of the water.
There is nothing in this set that your child cannot build with pieces I am certain they have in their collections. Nothing about the construction of this is difficult and none of the pieces are rare. Considering the price tag there is really no reason to get this set unless your child has requested it specifically and even then I would suggest you try to talk them out of it.
Marinas are a blast and I would highly recommend that you get one for your collection, just not this one. The pieces on this set are not very good and for the price you pay you don't get very many of them. Furthermore you can easily make something as good as this set on your own with pieces from your collection. Spend your money on some of the cool boat sets that have recently been released and build your own marina.
The Sail and Fly Marina set the bar very high for this type of set. Even factoring in the fact that this set is not meant to be a recreation of that masterpiece and taking into account the more expensive production costs Lego is facing this set still falls way short. With as many other great sets as are currently available right now I would encourage you to spend your money elsewhere.
The Lego Chronicler