The latest Simpsons Lego set, The Kwik-E-Mart, is one of the best sets Lego has released for both value and fun. It may seem strange to give such high praise to a licensed set but it’s true. I had an absolute blast building this set. It’s full of Simpsons jokes and references. Read on to see the stages of the build and to hear my arguments for why this is such a fantastic Lego set.
The first step is building Chief Wiggum, Snake and the police cruiser. It’s a small vehicle but it still has trunk space and seating for both the driver and prisoner. I won’t give it away but there are jokes in the stickers for the license plate and the printing on Wiggum. That’s a big part of the fun of this build. It has TONS of stickers and they’re all references to products, graffiti, or signs from Simpsons episodes. Almost all are puns or are just weird. Also, the detail on the figure heads is fantastic. It’s far beyond what Lego normally does for minifigs.
At over 2,000 pieces, the set runs $199.99 at Lego. That’s a really good value. Generally, you can do math for a brick costing about 10 cents but then you need to round up. Usually licensed sets or sets that need unique pieces (like many of the Star Wars or Super Heroes sets) will get a bit of rounding up. And you pay even more at a place like Toys R Us. Since this set is exclusive to Lego stores and their online shop, the price is pretty reasonable. Yes, it’s aimed more at adults that have a good chunk of money, but then again, the Simpsons has been running for 26 years so there are plenty of adult Lego fans that like the idea of building a Simpsons set like this.
Here is bag 3 of 12 and already it’s starting to look like its iconic self. Apu is one of six minifigs that come in the set, along with Wiggum, Snake, Home, Bart and Marge. It’s the detail that makes this such a fun build. There’s a bike rack, pay phones and a dumpster area. The dumpster opens and has bags in it and the door to it can be propped up. There are stickers for Jack Pot and Buzz Cola in the windows. Excellent attention to detail.
This is Apu’s register area. Part of what makes this fun to build is that it doesn’t feel repetitive. You’re constantly building something unique. Here you can see a register with magazines and greeting cards (I won’t spoil all their jokes). There’s a slushee machine and a cola dispenser. There are arcade games. Lots of little details like napkins and condiments. It keeps building the set interesting.
Another fun aspect is that you’re constantly coming across weird products like this Powersauce. I guess it’s some sort of power drink made out of apple sauce? There’s a private room in the back that has a rat. The coolers are all full of unique items. Hope you have nimble fingers for all those little bricks.
It’s amazing how screen-accurate the shop is. ATM, “Heat Lamp Dogs”, coffee machine and DONUTS. The designers found a way to lay it all out in a highly-efficient design.
Halfway through and it really looks like itself. I mentioned before that the details make it fun and unique but the actual construction of the building is really solid, too. It reinforces itself and you can lift it without worrying about too much weight breaking itself apart. That won’t happen. I don’t think it could take a 4 foot drop to the floor very well, but if you dropped it from a lesser height the general construction feels like it would stay together.
The set utilizes a lot of existing bricks in clever ways to create jars, bottles, and other items for sale. Marge’s dress is also a clever twist on the cloth that is often used for Lego capes. It gives her minifig some extra dimension. Bart has a spray paint can that is just a clever repurposing of two common pieces.
Even the roof, which no one would really stare at has great detail. Not just the fact that it has a fan and windows, but it also has Lisa’s vegetable garden. That would have been so easy to just make a flat plate but they kept it accurate.
The back of the store doesn’t have as much detail but it does have a number of stickers, a back entrance and small details like electrical parts and drainage pipes.
Once you finish, the set has a decent amount of playability. It’s easy to envision all sorts of classic scenes from the Simpsons. Bart can read comics, play videogames, get high on Slushees or maybe try to steal stuff.
Yeah, there’s a hot dog – sorry, heat lamp dog – on the floor and Slushee spill. Apu’s sign lists all of Homer’s fake names that he can’t accept checks from.
Among the freezers is Jasper’s frozen body from when he tried to put himself in supsended animation and awake in the future. My Marge ignores this and continues shopping.
Finally, you can remove the roof (it lays on smooth bricks) and swing the set open. So not only is it a good value, not only does it have fun and innovate construction, but it’s designed for playability or posing it in your favorite diorama. All in all, I was blown away by this set and give it our highest review here at Robot’s Pajamas: Three Thumbs.