30 November 2020

LEGO® City review: 60260 Air Race

Tobias Witmer (TobyMac from Rebrickable) returns today to review an unusual LEGO® City set with several new elements, 60260 Air Race. But are they of any use to adult builders? The products in this article were provided for free by LEGO; the author's opinions are not biased by this. Buying this set? Consider using our affiliate links: USA LEGO Shop at Home|UK LEGO Shop at Home. New Elementary may get a commission.


Today we’ll be looking at 60260 Air Race, a LEGO® City set that contains 140 parts, and includes 2 helicopters, an airplane and 3 minifigures at an RRP of £24.99 / $39.99 / 29.23€. Judging by the box-art, the helicopters can actually fly, so let’s take off!

New Parts

There are 5 new moulds for 2020 in this set which all relate to the helicopters, and all of them have appeared earlier this year in 60244 Police Helicopter Transport and 60248 Fire Helicopter Response. Since we haven’t looked at these sets yet here on New Elementary, I’ll include the parts in this review.

First up is the Helicopter Tail and Landing Gear. This part comes in Bright Yellowish Green/ Lime (6301946 | 41327) and Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange (6301965 | 41327). I was surprised by this one, as there is not a single LEGO System connection to be found. I was unable to find a place where I could attach a stud, an anti-stud, a bar, a clip or a Technic pin. All walls are too thin to attach a clip to them. The minifigures fit in them, but sit loose. If it wasn’t for the LEGO logo and mould number on the bottom, I would have thought I had been sent some knock-off brand by accident. 

The plastic also seems to be made out of a different material than the usual ABS. It feels light for its size, so maybe that is a clue? Reducing weight for better flight seems logical.


The Helicopter Cockpit in Transparent Light Blue/ Trans-Light Blue (6285593 | 41328) is also a new mould connected by a non-LEGO connection.


It can be released by squeezing the cockpit on the sides. Here too, no other System connections.

The Helicopter Rotor in Black (6285595 | 41325) and Helicopter Axle for Rotor in Black (6285596 | 41326) are also new moulds for 2020, again without System connections. 


The axle is put through the helicopter chassis, and the rotor clicks on top of the axle, securing it to the helicopter. 

The last new mould is the Brick Special 1 x 4 x 6 with Flywheel Socket [Helicopter] in Dark Stone Grey / Dark Bluish Gray (6287471 | 41324). This brick holds the ripcord and the helicopter. It is an updated version of the Brick Special 2 x 4 with Pin Holes and Flywheel Socket (18585). I would have had this part to make a comparison photo if my dog hadn’t used it as a chew toy - I guess I should be thankful she didn’t choke on it. The Rip Cord Flexible with Handle Thick for Ninjago Airjitzu Flyers in Black (6289760 | 16965) is not new or rare, but it is the first time this part appears outside of Ninjago.

There is another new part, but I can’t really call it a new mould. The tail-pieces of the helicopters are made out of a plastic sheet, a bit thicker and less bendable than the standard LEGO plastic sheets. 

There are 2 printed versions, and LEGO didn’t provide a Design ID for them, so on Rebrickable they have gotten what we refer to as a UPN(Unknown Part Number) designation. The Wing, Tail, with '21' 'X-TREME' on Lime/Red print (6318263|upn0046pr0003) goes with the Lime helicopter, while the Wing, Tail, with 'VITA RUSH RACING', Orange on Bright Light Orange/Dark Azure Print (6318150 | upn0046pr0004) goes with the Orange helicopter. The hole in the part fits over the connection in the tail of the helicopter but it’s a tight fit. Every time I attach it, I fear the material will tear apart. The hole will fit a 1-module wide tile if you wanted to use it in a MOC, but there is so much spare room, it wiggles a lot. The part is too thick to be held in between 2 parts.

Recolours, Prints and Interesting Parts

The set comes with only 1 recolour. The Technic Cylinder 4 x 4 with Pin Holes and Centre Bar appears for the first time in Vibrant Coral/ Coral (6301969 | 41531). 


My first thought was that this will make a great eye for an alien or a large figure in a Trolls-themed build. I have very limited MOC skills, so this is just a suggestion on how you can use it yourself in a good MOC.

There are 2 newly printed parts in the set. The head I will address further on in the minifig section but the other is the Tail Shuttle with Red/White Fox print in Black (6301407 | 68023). The print is ‘neutral’ enough to incorporate it into your own designs.

Then there are a few other parts that are worth mentioning:

  • Brick Curved 2 x 4 x 1 1/3 with Curved Top in Bright Blue/ Blue (6303712 | 6081) is not new, but has not been seen a lot. In 2019, it was used in 41636 Benny Brickheadz, which was limited to 5000 copies for Target customers. The last time the part was in a regular set was back in 2015, found in 75087 Anakin's Custom Jedi Starfighter.
  • Wedge Plate 4 x 4 with 2 x 2 Cutout in Blue (6315291 | 41822), 2 of which are included, was last seen in 2006.

The set comes with 3 minifigures. The woman has a new head: Minifig Head Rivera, Eyebrows, Freckles, Eyelashes, Pink Lips, Closed Mouth Smile / Open Mouth Smile Print in Bright Yellow / Yellow (6303499 | 68335). The Minifig Torso Racing Suit 'X-TREME' Logo in White (6290548 | 76382) is new for 2020 and has only been in 2 other sets.

The Build

The helicopters are extremely simple to build, with only 5 parts. They each come with a Flywheel Socket that gets some extra parts added for better grip. I have tested the flight capabilities of the helicopters, and they work very nicely. Clearly, this section of the set is focused on playability. I must add that the ripcord does need a fair amount of force, and my children had trouble giving the helicopters a good flight at first. It requires some training. In terms of build and interesting parts for MOC, this has little to offer.

The airplane is a more interesting build. It’s basic, clearly meant for kids, but at least feels like you’re building with LEGO elements. I can’t remember seeing the colour-combo of Black and Vibrant Coral before in an official set, but I love the look. My first thought was to use it in a Blacktron re-boot. I think the Blue gives a bit of contrast here.

Conclusion

What can I say? The new moulds are all outside of the LEGO System, making it tricky to incorporate them in a MOC. Because of this, I see little potential for them myself, but maybe there are more creative thinkers out there. Please let us know when you have found a clever use for the parts.

The other interesting parts are useful, but I’m not sure if this makes the set worth buying. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a bad set. My own children love it, and they have a lot of fun playing with it. But as a parts-pack, I don’t think so. If there are parts that have gained your interest, I think you’re better off buying them at Bricks & Pieces.

I’ll sign off with a warning: The helicopters lack any control, so be careful when you fly them!


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10 comments:

  1. Decent review of some very out of the ordinary parts!

    For parts that fly or shoot, it's not uncommon for attachment points to be kept to a minimum. That serves two purposes—for one, it helps maintain an optimal weight and balance, and secondly, it prevents parts from being attached that could turn a laboriously safety-tested toy into something hazardous. It is a little bit of a shame that unlike the earlier Airjitzu fliers, the "canopy" of this doesn't have any sort of usable attachment points. Of course, I doubt that'll stop AFOLs from finding ingenious ways to attach it to MOCs for the sake of NPU alone.

    A minor note—while you say this has no anti-stud connections, based on its appearance in another set this year where it sat on a trailer, it does appear that the skids can loosely sit on studs like those of the older helicopter skids introduced in the late '90s.

    I reviewed the Airjitzu fliers here way back in the day so I do appreciate that the ripcords are still in use! They're probably my favorite ripcords Lego has produced since they are perfectly sized to engage Technic gears.

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  2. I heard that the flying function worked very badly here, and that even the new lightweight pieces were still too heavy for the gimmick, but according to this review, it seems to have worked decently...

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    1. It works, but it requires a very strong pull, which my kids (8 & 10) had trouble managing. So I can't really say it works for kids.

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  3. Does the axle for the rotors fit inside any other lego part? I'm imagining a moon rover with huge 4-spoked wheels, or perhaps somehow the rotors could be used in a Great Ball Contraption.

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    1. Hi, I am also interested in having this information, and I would like to know the external diameter of these rotors, please. Thanks.

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  4. Normally helicopters rely on the use of two rotors (main and tail, fore and rear, top and bottom) to keep the hull from rotating in the opposite direction of the rotor. On something like this, that would be a complex and heavy thing to include, which would require a much bigger main rotor to get any sort of lift. The thin tail helps, but it needs a large surface area and minimal weight, hence why it's made out of thin sheet plastic. It also helps that if someone falls on this thing, the tail isn't going to break in a way that leaves a jagged knife-shard that's going to pose a risk of injury or death.

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  5. go home, lego, clearly you are drunk.

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  6. It's been kind of a bummer seeing just how much hate has been directed at these helicopters, considering that they're only about the same level of specialization as the Airjitzu fliers, Dragon Master fliers, and Spinjitzu Masters spinners from LEGO Ninjago. All of those sets used largely the same ripcord mechanism, and from what I saw they were not nearly as heavily criticized as these have been.

    I suppose it's a little understandable that in this case they'd be judged against brick-built helicopters, rather than purely on their individual merits and play value. Even so, I feel like the criticism of these feels slightly excessive, given that they appear in sets that would be pretty simple to just skip over if you didn't care for the gimmick.

    You're correct that= you seemingly can't attach "ordinary" LEGO parts to any of the helicopter pieces here, and I'm sure that's by design, just as it has been with other large projectile pieces. But there is a part of me that wonders how it might impact the performance if you were to "mix and match" these parts with some of those from the Ninjago fliers.

    For instance, what if you replaced the axle and rotor from this set with the axle (https://brickset.com/parts/design-36009) and rotor (https://brickset.com/parts/design-18592) from the Ninjago Dragon Master sets?

    You might need to add some Technic half pins or something similar to the pin holes on the top of the axle in lieu of the original minifig capsule, since I'm assuming a second capsule might add a little too much weight. But overall, the rotors of the Dragon Masters and Airjitzu fliers appear to have a lot more surface area than the ones in this set, and while that comes at the expense of realism in this context, it might reduce the pull strength needed to "launch" these helicopters.

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    Replies
    1. Well, since apparently the ripcord function works badly on its own, criticism of that aspect seems valid. It's like it's a kids' gimmick, that the kids themselves cannot manage... =/

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    2. People who don't collect or care about Ninjago probably just ignored any of those flyers. City collectors might want the plane, or people might like the parts used to build it, and the inclusion of _two_ helicopters makes this a phenomenally terrible price for the rest of the set.

      They may have intentionally reduced the size of the rotor to make these less powerful. Beyblades also went through a series of upgrades that made them more effective, but they hit a point where parents were complaining that the metal bits were chipping the enamel in their bathtubs. They may have had to back things off a bit or risk being banned from many homes. These helicopters in a kid's hands are probably not likely to cause damage indoors unless they knock over a flower vase, where the most powerful of the Ninjago flyers might be able to hit the ceiling and damage paint or drywall.

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