Roller Coaster (10261)
Released: June 01, 2018
In the event that you don’t know me personally, and I thought that you would let me talk for more than ten minutes throughout the past year, then you’ve probably heard me utter the words, “LEGO Roller Coaster! It’s comin’ dude! Bank on it! I promise!” give or take an expletive. When the aptly named Ferris Wheel (10247) appeared on shelves, rumblings began to whisper and quickly disappear about a roller coaster set. But then it was quickly dismissed, because there would be no possible way that LEGO could make such a thing without compromising their product quality standards. It was unimaginable!
And then, Carousel (10257), arrived and it was clear that amusement park themed sets were here to stay. What could be next? A goddamned roller coster, that’s what! But again, that was just a theory. And then Joker Manor (70922) came to fruition, and while that has a roller coaster as part of the set, that wasn’t enough. But! BUT! In that set, they showed us that they had been working on a new system, a way of making a LEGO roller coaster possible. All that needed to happen now was a stand alone set where the train of the coaster made it up the hill without direct human interaction. And then, more roller coaster elements appeared in other sets: Rhino Face-Off by the Mine (76099), Ferrari Ultimate Garage (75889), and a Friends set or two. All we needed now was some sort of chain system, like those used in the Ice Tank polybag set that came out at the end of 2017 for The LEGO Ninjago Movie.
Coming in at 4080 pieces, Roller Coaster (10261) was released to LEGO VIP Members on May 16th, in the year of our President Business, 2018. The official release date is June 1st. Bags are numbered One through Eleven, with generally three bags per “Step,” with Step 11 being reserved solely for the 200+ links in the chain. There are eleven minifigures, two trains with three cars to a train, and yes. You CAN motorize the set into full-on automation. Over the next however long it takes us, we’ll be sharing with you our experience in constructing this massive set.
Bags 1 through 5 construct the taller end of the roller coaster ride. The entire base sits, roughly, on a basic baseplate and a half (48 studs, give or take) by three baseplates (96 studs, give or take). With the first set of bags, you set the base for the taller end, build a cotton candy cart, and build three of the eleven minifigures. The three minifigures are named Child (twn322), which is also featured in the beach themed minifigure pack, Child’s Grandfather (twn327), and Cotton Candy Vendor (twn320). These two adults consist of parts and colors that have been released already in various sets, except the hairpiece for Cotton Candy Vendor. The short tousled with side part hair comes in bright light yellow, and has only been released in this set and the brand new City Hospital (60204).
The cotton candy cart is a fairly studs-on-top build with the newer trans-clear wheelchair wheels, trans-dark umbrella, and the new beehive element in bright pink coupled with a bright pink minifigure head to complete the cotton candy. The cart also as a 1×1 light bluish gray printed calculator tile for minifigures to swipe their credit cards for their purchases.
Along with laying out the large green plates, connecting them, and setting up the base for the coaster, this end of structure also has a small body of water consisting of trans-dark blue tiles. A green frog calls this small pond home. While on the other side of the tracks, a brick built bench utilizing two 1×4 on a 1×2 base vehicle spoilers, a brick built tree with the newer six stemmed plant element introduced in 2016, and the new three leaf green plant piece. Also, in the same area, there’s a simple map using a couple of 1×1 round bricks and a panel piece, to hold a sticker displaying the aforementioned Carousel and Ferris Wheel with the Roller Coaster.
The base of the structure itself is pretty basic studs-on-top construction consisting of plates, tiles, and modified plates. It sets the stage for some fairly redundant building in the future, a drawback that we’re probably going to touch on a few times while discussing this set, but LEGO did their best to break up the monotony, by having you move around the structure while you build. Also, building this set in stages, rather than in one shot, appears to help break up building the skeletal structure. Because of the monotony of some of the building and the starkness of the construction, we’re also going to be combining some of the steps, or numbered bags. Make sure to check back often and soon as we continue to cover various LEGO projects and so much more!