The fairground sub-theme of LEGO® Creator continues in 2018 with the thrilling 10261 Roller Coaster. Sven Franic has braved the ride to bring you info on all the new parts in this 4080-piece set, priced £299.99 / US$379.99 / 329.99€ and on general sale from 1 June 2018.
When the new roller coaster tracks were first introduced last autumn, I think we all knew TLG hadn’t made six new elements purely for the Joker Manor. It was just a matter of time before we saw the first ever official roller coaster set.
Even with specialized track and car elements, the 10261 Roller Coaster is a feat of mathematical LEGO engineering. All that geometry serving both structural and aesthetic functions had to be legal, which looks simpler than it actually is. In terms of overall dimensions, I think this is the largest LEGO set ever. Besides, it is a sort of milestone in the LEGO System.
BUILDING TECHNIQUESIf I were to design a large metal scaffolding construction, such as a roller coaster, my first instinct would be to grab the bin with LEGO Technic beams. They are easy to connect at odd angles and have several times more connecting power than any System brick. Since this is a Creator Expert set, it is safe to assume that having most of the construction built in Technic wouldn’t fit the theme, despite the Technic design team’s efforts to convert Creator Expert designer Mike Psiaki to their “superior” building system (as our friends at Zusammengebaut discovered).
It is hard to believe the Technic department wasn’t involved, at least as advisors, but as far as the construction holding the rails goes, it is built in Creator-friendly System brick.
However, there is more to the white pillars than meets the eye. A fortunate functionality of the centre axle hole in the 2x2 Round brick must be its most efficient use in this piece’s 40-year existence. A whopping 530 of them are used in the set as vertical beams for the rails which would likely collapse without the indispensable help of Technic axles securing them through the core. The only part where Technic beams are used is to bridge between short segments of the pillars where modified plates without the functionality of axle holes had to be sandwiched in.
Securing all these pillars to the ground requires an equally ingenious method. A frame surrounds the foundation holding down the pillars with clips, making the “parabolic ring” (Element ID 6020990 | Design ID 75937) with its octagonal bar connections one of the most copious elements in the set.
The elaborate train of mechanisms which powers the roller coaster winch deserves special mention.
NEW PIECESTo get the conspicuous rail elements out of the way: there are now seven individual segments of rail elements available and, so far, the complete range is only available in Bright Red [TLG] / Red [BL]. Neither of the other two colours (Medium Lilac [TLG] / Dark Purple [BL] and Medium Stone Grey [TLG] / Light Bluish Gray [BL]) can complete the full length of track in this set, with the short steep segment of rail (Design ID 62561) exclusive to this set.
The complete track of the roller coaster is made up of these parts, which are now available in the colours indicated:
- Rail Straight 8L (Design ID 26022) ■ ■ ■(Element ID 6229117)
- Rail Straight 16L (Design ID 25059) ■ ■(Element ID 6229099)
- Rail Curve 90° (Design ID 25061) ■ ■ ■(Element ID 6229115)
- Rail Ramp low elevation (Design ID 34738) ■ ■(Element ID 6229098)
- Rail Ramp high elevation convex (Design ID 26560) ■ ■(Element ID 6229122)
- Rail Ramp high elevation concave (Design ID 62559) ■ ■(Element ID 6229121)
- Rail Ramp high elevation steep (Design ID 62561) ■(Element ID 6229123)
At first glance, the new Brick Modified 1 x 2 x 1 No Studs, Curved Top (6227184|37352) looks like the Brick Modified 1 x 4 x 1 1/3 No Studs, Curved Top (Design ID 10314) cut in half, but the new element is also shorter by one plate.
It is a useful substitute for the cult “R-slope” element (6091) (a nickname passionately advocated by AFOL Simon Liu) when the distance between them has to be less than two studs. This comes at the price of having a single connection point which affects the structural integrity of the builds. Even though I would rather have a 1x1 version of this, every new piece in the curved slope category is welcome.
Chris McVeigh has already introduced New Elementary readers to the Brickheadz glasses, I will still sneakily categorize this piece as new. The Roller Coaster comes with just the rectangular version, Bar 2.25 x 5.25 Double Squares (Element ID 6208551|Design ID 35366) which is suitably used as a fence. For a minute I was worried that this was a Brickheadz exclusive piece, even if I couldn’t yet find any revolutionary function for it apart from adding character to the brick interpretation of yourself.
The piece is used as a bar connection support directly under a plate which, despite its rather large dimensions, is the type of piece I can see myself reaching for whenever strange geometry is required.
70620 Ninjago City, the updated mould which exchanges the anti-stud for a bar on the bottom is now available in the next best thing: Reddish Brown.
Some of these plant elements are made of a softer plastic which is known for weaker clutch power. A bar makes a stronger connection than an anti-stud. An added incentive for changing some of the plant moulds might also have something to do with the new sustainable plant-based plastics which are planned to be used first on those softer plant elements.
Earth Blue [TLG] / Dark Blue [BL] is used as an accent colour in the fairground sub-theme of Creator Expert, so some recolours in this department are no surprise.
The Coaster cars (6233695|26021), Hinge Panel 6x3 (6229129|2440), Vehicle Spoiler 1 x 4 on 1 x 2 Base (6187275|30925) and 2x2 Curved Tile (6199898|27925) are all given the Earth Blue treatment.
STICKERSThe set uses no new printed pieces. Most of the stickers are set-specific. The juice bar and cotton candy tiles might come useful some day.
CONCLUSIONWith the resources needed to develop a brand-new track and car system for the Roller Coaster, TLG must have pinned a lot of hope in it. The LEGO City Miners sub-theme came at an appropriate time, making use of the rails, and I am eager to see what other new ideas they come up with to exploit the elements.
The old narrow rail system introduced by the Indiana Jones theme is still used in the Friends 41130 Amusement Park Roller Coaster. But with its limited range of only two individual track elements per colour, it doesn’t seem to be going far in terms either of further development or ride excitement.
It is a good time to be a LEGO fan with three iconic fairground rides available at the same time. I can’t wait to see the humongous reinterpretations of these rides in upcoming AFOL conventions. Suspended railway, anyone?
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