Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Lego City Forest Police Station

Lego City Forest Police Station

Spring 2012 Toys
Ages: 6 - 12 yrs.
Manufacturer: The LEGO Group
Price: $79.99

When my son saw this giant LEGO box, his eyes almost popped out of his head. He has a few other LEGO kits, many themed with different story characters, but this was his first experience with the City Line. Immediately, he opened the package, pulled out the many bags of LEGOs and went to work. LEGO instructions are beautifully intuitive, with clear photos and numbering. Though the completed pieces may look complex, the step by step instructions engage my son for longer periods of time than any other activity. We liked that this set was not branded with a pre-existing story or character. The scenes (a forest police station with 3 police officers, a crook, a bear, and other fun aspects) encourage imaginative play rather than the reenacting of a familiar storyline. No guns or other types of weapons are included. My two boys role-played good-guy, bad-guy, and the set prompted many discussions about what police officers do when they find a bad guy, and how to handle the situation. Characters in LEGO sets are often male dominated, so I was pleased to find one of the three characters was obviously female.

Each building, character or mini-environment is bagged separately, with its own set of instructions: this helped simplify set up, but also allowed my son to build, play, then come back to it and build again when he was ready. Though some parents may find the price of this set high, it is definitely worth it. From a play perspective, my son was happy and continues to play with it, and we were delighted at the type of play, problem solving, and questioning the toy prompted.

Barbara Chamberlin   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Barbara Chamberlin researches and develops educational software and media at New Mexico State University's Learning Games Lab. She and her husband have two boys.

Look for this product at:
The LEGO Group

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