This set is all about the details. If you can name more than the four major characters from The Flintstones, you are likely a fan like me. These cartoons were a part of my childhood, but unlike so many properties these days, there were not Flintstones toys lining every shelf. Besides children's chewable vitamins and cereal, I never really got to play in Bedrock. This set is the perfect realization of this page right out of history in your own hands.
The Car- though not foot-powered like the animated version, the Flintstone family wagon is brilliant. The design and decal-free details take shape quickly and with four seats for all the included minifigs, you'll be off and rolling right away. The custom-cut fabric rooftop for the car is perfect. There is plenty of satisfaction and play value after finishing the first poly bag in this set, but the remaining five bags will go by quickly as you build the stone ranch of Fred and Wilma's homestead.
The House- The first couple bags establish the foundation, but the finishing touches are brilliant. A major challenge of the Lego system is to create curved, organic models from bricks that lend themselves so naturally to straight lines and symmetric designs. The IDEAS team really came through with rounded sides and a clever removable slanted roof. Once built, you realize just how iconic the exterior of the Flintstones' home is. You didn't even know that the shape of that slab hut was seared into your memory, but the house you just built is the perfect match.
Details abound inside and out. The stone-hewn television set, the couch and coffee table, sabre-toothed-tiger-print curtains, the front door, telephone, standing lamp, kitchen sink, bowling set, coconut tree, vegetation that ACTUALLY LOOKS like it only existed at the time of the dinosaurs, the empty milk bottles on the front step, and the mailbox complete with Family name chiseled in iconic typeface.
Finally, there is an inside joke about the set depicted on the television screen- a news story that actually says exactly what the Flintstones fans will be saying when the set is complete. That's all I will say here.
The final shape of the house is perfect. It's a three-sided design; compact to say the least. This is not the Simpsons house, but for the size and price point, it works. There is a closed-up display mode and a fold-open play mode. Easily remove the slanted roof that fits perfectly into place around the stone-covered chimney and fold out the two floor pieces to use the interior for play.
The MiniFigs- Fred and Wilma come in the first polybag; Betty and Barney come in the second-to-last. These are all perfect minifigs, colorful and accurate. The ladies have two expressions, interchangeable with the twist of the head. Fred and Barney only get one expression each, but they are cave men after all. Betty's hair seems influenced by the live-action film version versus her celluloid counterpart, but she is no less lovely.
The Build- I didn't really time myself. I assembled this set while distracted with parenting duties and I tend to build on the fast side. With kids and newer builders, this could take several hours, but the six step-by-step polybags are manageable size if the build needs to be broken up into multiple sittings. Lots of tiny pieces to create the slanted roof and details. No decals in the set. All details are printed onto the pieces.
Packaging- I am never disappointed with the IDEAS boxes. Beautiful package art and a bright yellow theme, fold up lid for easy access, and large enough space to easily store the set without complete teardown. (I didn't try very hard, but to close the box you may have to remove a small portion of the chimney and the top of the tree). Of course, the instruction manual is IDEAS quality. Bonus piece! How many orange Lego tools do you have in your collection? The handy extractor included in this set is uniquely colored to match Fred's necktie! I am sure somebody at Lego had to lobby hard to convince the factory to inject a different color of plastic into the mold- clearly out of love for the character. Thank you to that person!
Value- It's overall a great value. A solid model with lots of play potential once completed. It's on the pricey side for the number of pieces and wouldn't it be great for this model to be bigger or to include some additional figures? Sure, the criticisms are easy, but SO MUCH has gone into this set! Maybe we'll get lucky and see some follow-up sets! Or other Hanna-Barbera properties!
I likely never would have asked for a Flintstones Lego set, but when I saw it, I knew I needed it. Now I have rediscovered another childhood joy to share with my kids.
With a giant side of bronto-ribs!