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The Sandcrawler and a 6 year old?

I am considering getting my 6 year older the Sandcrawler. I know I know, that seems totally excessive. But he has been talking about this thing for months now, non stop. And my husband is a total fan. So it seems like a win win. So my question is how sturdy is this thing once assembled? I think he should be able to put it together but I am more concerned about him playing with it. While he is above his years in the ability to build and his patience, he is still a 6 year old. I know he is going to be playing with it and I want to be sure it is not going to be constantly falling apart. Any first hand knowledge on this?
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Comments

  • PlellPlell Member Posts: 192
    It's pretty darn sturdy once assembled, the possible exception being tank tread slippage. But, having a six-year-old's hands, he'd probably have an easier time fixing that than my big fat fingers did. There are parts that are very loosely attached mid-build, but once they're locked down later in the construction process they hold quite well.
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,185
    I haven't built the second, but if it is anything like the first then it is kind of boring to play with. A big massive cargo tank with threads that can sort of roll on the ground. Sure you can open a few hatches and doors, but the vehicle is not that much fun. How about the MMT, it's big, brown and cheaper by $210. If he likes that and can build it maybe save the Sandcrawler for next year when he turns 7.

    I bought my 6 yo Benny's Spaceship because he really wanted it and he demonstrated building skills, but my wife ended up building it for him (I would have built it, but was gone that day). He also played with it for a couple of days and now it sits there with the rest of his "mature" collection. He likes playing with his minifigs, smaller Lego sets, and with his random parts box every day.

    Like most 6 yo they will eventually want to dismantle the set and create random stuff with it. Are you ready to let that $300 set become a parts pack down the road?
    madforLEGO
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,769
    Exactly right. My youngster has been all over mine and it survived. Equally, whereas he is capable of building most models on his own, he probably would have struggled with this one alone so I'd just say be at hand for those tricky bits.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,963
    We do not have this set, so I can not speak to the stability of it.
    vwong19 said:


    Like most 6 yo they will eventually want to dismantle the set and create random stuff with it. Are you ready to let that $300 set become a parts pack down the road?

    Honestly, that just depends on the child. For example, my 7 year old ... He bought a ton of Atlantis sets with his Christmas money he received from a relative. That was back in the day they were 50% off. He was 3 and just turning 4. Those sets stayed together until I finally took them apart and packed them away about 2 years later. For him, it was all about the playability, and there was no way he was going to dismantle the sets. I know other kids that age, would immediately take apart sets, but that simply was/is not how my kiddo plays. He still has out sets that he built when he was 5 and 6. My daughter built Diagon Alley at 5 or 6, the only item she wAnted for her bday, and that is still all together.

    I think the other big questions to me besides stability is
    A- how much playability does this particular set have?
    B- is it better to get one huge sets or 3 large sets?


    Anyway, I do not know the answer to the questions I posed, because it is dependent on the child.

    In the end, I think if you feel he will love this set, and this is his desperate want for Christmas, that there is nothing wrong with that, especially if he has experience building a number of Lego sets.

    vwong19
  • TarDomoTarDomo FinlandMember Posts: 515
    It might be a bit too difficult to build. 14+ is there for reason, I think and it´s a UCS set so for adults or teenagers. It is also more for display though it has play features. UCS sets break easily and are hard to fix. Personally I was mostly interested in the minifigures as a kid. Sometimes I wanted a big set because of one cool minifig. Also I broke sometimes same set many times and rebuilding it was annoying. I would recommend to buy minifigures from ebay or to buy a smaller set but it´s only my opinion. For 300$ you would get 10 30$ sets or all microfighters (if you don´t have them already) and a few large sets.
    Andor
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,429
    My son is 3 1/2 and he has zero patience for building by directions. I bought him a couple of Galaxy Squad sets for him for Xmas. My wife thinks it's a waste because he'll take it apart. It doesn't bother me. I'll build them. He'll have giant bugs and robots. He'll take them apart and build other things and I'll have had the experience of building them. That way we're both happy.

    As for the Sandcrawler being a $300 parts pack... if you are buying it for him, enjoy the experience of building it with him. After that, I wouldn't worry about it.
  • tyvektyvek Member Posts: 13
    My son is pretty great at putting sets together. He has never attempted a 14+ one but he breezes through 9-12 ones without help from us. So I think he might actually be challenged by this. I think I might be a bit or Lord Business when it comes to this once it is complete and say it needs to stay together. We ended up scoring about 50 lbs of loose Legos last year for $100 and that what we use to put together freestyle pieces. However we are now charged with the task of putting together all the sets that made their way into the pit! LOL
  • tyvektyvek Member Posts: 13
    Thanks for the input! I'm glad to know that it is pretty stable for play. And as far as it being this big brown turd...I know!!!! I keep trying to talk him into something else and he has been steadfast for months. I think he likes the fact that it is a vehicle and has so many compartments. And FWIW, he has never seen the movie. So the minifigs are not a factor. Well, at least I don't think they are.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,963
    TarDomo said:

    It might be a bit too difficult to build. 14+ is there for reason, I think and it´s a UCS set so for adults or teenagers. It is also more for display though it has play features. UCS sets break easily and are hard to fix. Personally I was mostly interested in the minifigures as a kid. Sometimes I wanted a big set because of one cool minifig. Also I broke sometimes same set many times and rebuilding it was annoying. I would recommend to buy minifigures from ebay or to buy a smaller set but it´s only my opinion. For 300$ you would get 10 30$ sets or all microfighters (if you don´t have them already) and a few large sets.


    Eh. My experience is that 14+ has very little difference compared to 9-12 sets or 12+ sets.
    Sometimes those higher age sets requiring sorting, but it really is no more difficult to build.
    DiAgon Alley and Haunted house are both 14+. The winter sets I think are 12+. The kids did all of these at very young ages. It is true that they are targeted towards an older audience, but from a build perspective many of those higher age sets are not any harder building for a young child with build experience.

    Now, what I do think can be harder for younger kids are builds with a bunch of technic pieces. This is because sometimes those take a while to see what is being built, and some of those connections require a bit more finger strength.

    @tyvek One item I have done with my son is create a list of the items he is interested in. We color code them from top, mid and lower interest sets. Then we have a discussion about price. One year when he pointed out Death Star, I showed him how for that price he could get 4 other sets on his top list. (Not to mention I point blank told him that one was out.) I did similar with R2 starting when it first came out. Now, over the years, I have found that sometimes he really does have his heart set on one particular build, and he would rather have that than several items at the top of his list. Sometimes after discussing, he has changed his mind. Overall, though, I have found that these conversations really help both of understand where his interest really is. This year, R2 has been top on the list since February. I think he is old enough now for a 'model' set, which will sit on his dresser once built. It sounds like Sandcrawler, though, may be really what your kiddo wants. :-)
    husky96
  • TarDomoTarDomo FinlandMember Posts: 515
    @tamamahm Many people have said that the Sandcrawler is hard to build because the background of the instructions is too similar compared to the huge number of brown parts it includes. That makes it harder to build especially for a kid, I think.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,963
    TarDomo said:

    @tamamahm Many people have said that the Sandcrawler is hard to build because the background of the instructions is too similar compared to the huge number of brown parts it includes. That makes it harder to build especially for a kid, I think.

    That is good info for @tyvek. Thanks for sharing that.
    That is different than simply the set might be hard because of the age range. That is very specific to an issue with the directions. I know even we can have a hard time differentiating in some directions between a dark grey and a black in some directions.


    The one thing I should add is that that in the older directions often they do NOT tell you what pieces you need for that step. You figure it out by looking at the picture. That does increase the possibility of errors if one is not familiar with that, although we honestly have been fine here. If the colors are too similar, though, in the print with the Sandcrawler, that can create an issue in making it hard to see what needs to be done. Not having looked at the Sandcrawler directions, I have no idea if they tell or do not tell the pieces needed in each step.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    I wouldn't unless your husband is the one that really wants it. It's a serious model with some play features added in. I know my five and half year old would enjoy aspects of playing with it. But left to his own devices he would begin taking it apart and mixing pieces up with other sets.
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    If that's all he's been talking about for months I would absolutely get it for him. That's what makes an awesome Christmas gift. (and if it was my son, he would insist that Santa could get if for him even if it had been EOL'ed for years...lol)
    binaryeye
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,963
    Margot, it is the reason R2-D2 is coming here. :-) I have heard about him since February. He has been a top item for a while, but he finally rolled his way to the very top of the list this year.

    The conversations are useful, though, because I have found in other years that things shift a bit when we analyze his list.
    margot
  • tyvektyvek Member Posts: 13
    That is a really great point about the color of the instructions. I wonder if online the instructions are easier to see? (I will have to check it out) If I left it up to my husband he would want the Metal Beards Sea Cow (I think that is what it is called) But seriously, this dang Sandcrawler is still all he talks about. I was thinking of making a day of it and really blowing his mind and taking him to the Lego store for the first time and (if they have it) buy it there. I think it would really help add to the awesomeness of it all. But then again, Santa can't bring it that way. Ah decisions, decisions!
  • tyvektyvek Member Posts: 13
    Grrr. How common is it not to have instructions on a big set like this online? It does not seem that this set has instructions available to download. (So basically that means I totally need to hang onto the book if we want to take it apart and put it back together.) Maybe that is why this set is for 14+
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,963
    tyvek said:

    Grrr. How common is it not to have instructions on a big set like this online? It does not seem that this set has instructions available to download. (So basically that means I totally need to hang onto the book if we want to take it apart and put it back together.) Maybe that is why this set is for 14+

    I doubt that is the reason. Whether or not instructions are online would not impact an age rating. Age rating seems to be a combo of things from target age it is geared towards, ease of build, whether bricks need to be sorted, whether directions tell which bricks are used, etc.

    Honestly, I save all of our instructions.
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    Wonder why they no longer list the instructions, that seems odd.
  • tyvektyvek Member Posts: 13
    Thanks Galactus! I must have missed that when I looked.
    I took a peek and they do seem pretty intense!

    We keep all the books too but with a 6,5,3, and 2 year older "helping" and playing with the Legos things get a bit out of control! HA!
  • GallardoLUGallardoLU USAMember Posts: 644
    @tyvek‌ another option you have for Christmas, that my parents used for me when I was young was to give me a "Gift card" it wasn't a real one but just had a picture of the Gift (space shuttle set), and instructions on where it was at. (store had one held for us) only down side was that I had to wait two more days before we could go get it, which just extended the whole Christmas excitement even further.
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 565
    tyvek said:

    And FWIW, he has never seen the movie. So the minifigs are not a factor. Well, at least I don't think they are.

    Uhh, so what exactly is his attraction to the set again? With no context, does he fancy it to be some sort of big, brute tank? If his father is such a fan and wants the set as well, why hasn't the boy at least glimpsed some of the glory that is Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope? So many questions...

    But to address your inquiry seriously, perhaps therein lies the answer to your quandary. Show him "A New Hope" and maybe once he sees the Sandcrawler "in action", the set will lose a lot of its luster in his eyes. Maybe he will pine for something smaller, like say "The Mos Eisley Cantina". If that doesn't do the trick, show him the rest of the trilogy. Even if he doesn't lose his "must-have-Sandcrawler" stance, then at least you will have introduced him to the magical world of Star Wars that will definitely make this holiday season one to remember for the rest of his life!
  • TarDomoTarDomo FinlandMember Posts: 515

    tyvek said:

    And FWIW, he has never seen the movie. So the minifigs are not a factor. Well, at least I don't think they are.

    Uhh, so what exactly is his attraction to the set again? With no context, does he fancy it to be some sort of big, brute tank? If his father is such a fan and wants the set as well, why hasn't the boy at least glimpsed some of the glory that is Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope? So many questions...

    But to address your inquiry seriously, perhaps therein lies the answer to your quandary. Show him "A New Hope" and maybe once he sees the Sandcrawler "in action", the set will lose a lot of its luster in his eyes. Maybe he will pine for something smaller, like say "The Mos Eisley Cantina". If that doesn't do the trick, show him the rest of the trilogy. Even if he doesn't lose his "must-have-Sandcrawler" stance, then at least you will have introduced him to the magical world of Star Wars that will definitely make this holiday season one to remember for the rest of his life!
    I hadn't seen any of the movies when I started to want LSW sets because of minifigures. I hadn't even LSW the video game when I got my first sets.

    I don't think it's a good idea to show a 6-year-old SW movies. Personally I saw them at the age of 10-12 and my interest into the SW movies had started seriously a few years ago. I know someone might disagree but SW movies are not for such a small kid. They don't understand the big story behind all the battles.
  • tyvektyvek Member Posts: 13
    Yep, a 6 year old is a bit young for Star Wars. However I think we might be able to pull it off with some fast forwarding. (the real problem is his siblings. If a movie is on they all will gather around and really a 2 almost 3 year old will not get it)
    @Lego_Lord_Mayorca I have no idea why he is so drawn to this set. We have looked a photos online, saw the Lego produced video, saw random people on youtube talking about it and assembling it. And now he wants it even more! I think it comes down to two things...it is a vehicle and a building. You can move it around and it has lots of compartments to put stuff. That is very appealing to my guy. I, however, just see this big brown box that looks like no fun! But alas, I am not a kid.
    @GallardoLU Great idea! We are unsure on how to give it to him...Santa or us. But if Santa brings it we don't get to go to the Lego Store. But if Santa brings a gift cert....then it might be the best of both worlds! I'm sure a gift cerft could be in all the kids and they all could get a set that day.....hummm!
    margot
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,963
    Have you tried the video of the Agents Headquarters?
    That is a semi truck and unfolds into a building.... And 1/3 the cost. ;-)
    brickupdate
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    edited December 2014
    No young kid wants a gift certificate on Christmas morning. Under the tree is where it belongs.

    Don't get him a different set, that would be crushing when he has his heart set on a sandcrawler.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,939
    Se, the thing is, when I was 6 (and older, too!) there were Lego sets that I would go on and on about and desperately wanted. It was even the case with sets, like this, where I didn't know the source material. But my parents made it perfectly clear that they weren't going to drop £100s on a set I would quickly get bored of, and I was never disappointed to find smaller sets 'under the tree' (ok, maybe a little disappointed, but certainly not crushed!).

    I think part of it is that Lego's advertising just happens to have been successful and a six-year-old has been drawn into the hype. Speaking as someone who was a six-year-old once (and not a parent or child psychologist), get him something that'll be a surprise, keep him interested and cater to his existing interests.
    VaderXAndor
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    edited December 2014
    ^That's fine as long as the parent tells the child that the toy is too expensive and to pick something else to be excited about. But in this case it doesn't seem that the concern is over the money and really that's up to the parents to decide how much they are going to spend. You're not spoiling a child by getting them the one thing they really really want especially as said child probably has no clue as to the fact that the Sandcrawler costs way more than any other Lego set.
    And if the child loses interest quickly (as most kids do with most toys) we all know that Lego sets are easily sold on the secondary market.
    Also it seems like the dad will enjoy the set if the child loses interest so there's not much of a downside here.
    plasmodium
  • tyvektyvek Member Posts: 13
    Well, we pulled the Christmas trigger and decided Santa was going to bring this one. I liked the idea of going to the Lego store to pick it out but the total lackluster opening gifts made me think that would not be the best idea. So it will be wrapped under the tree. Acutally, spending $300 on a toy for my boy is really the reason I wanted to really think this out and get some feed back. We do not spend that much on one single toy and did not want it to be a great disappointment for him. While Lego is awesome we have had sets geared toward 5 year olds that break regularly. (They break for me too) My son knows how much it costs and knows it is expensive. He has been talking about saving money for it for a while but he doesn't have a job or allowance so getting that much was going to be tough. Ha!
    margot
  • theLEGOmantheLEGOman UKMember Posts: 1,520
    At least he'll be keeping the house tidy and clean till Christmas.
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 565
    Well, sounds like he's going to have a memorable Christmas this year. Plasmodium's reminisces got me thinking about my youthful Christmases. I don't recall my 6th Christmas very well, but my 7th one was very memorable. I got the biggest Lego set I had ever received up to that point, the Aquazone Neptune Discovery Lab, under the Christmas tree (or, actually placed off the side of the room in a chair, unwrapped. "Santa" always brought unwrapped gifts). I still remember vividly, almost twenty years later, how I felt when I received that big set, and I still treasure it to this day. I hope your son will feel just as strongly about the Sandcrawler.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,939
    Ah, I must be a bit younger than @Lego_Lord_Mayorca‌, because for me, the biggest I ever got was #5987 Dino Research Compound at about age 10. Now there was a memorable Christmas...:-)
    Andor
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,520
    ^ and ^^ I must be older than you both as I remember getting set #404 for Christmas as my last Lego gift of my childhood.
    margotAndor
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,939
    oldtodd33 said:

    ^ and ^^ I must be older than you both as I remember getting set #404 for Christmas as my last Lego gift of my childhood.

    Ok, ok, you win, grandpa. ;-)
    Andor
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    I'm somewhere in-between. The last LEGO I received as a childhood gift was #6954.
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    tyvek said:

    Well, we pulled the Christmas trigger and decided Santa was going to bring this one.

    Let us know how it goes!

    And I don't remember ever getting ANY Lego as a child, but I did go to Legoland in Denmark in 1971 so that must put me in the old person category too. :-)

  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,288
    @plasmodium - I must be younger than both you and @Lego_Lord_Mayorca‌ as I remember receiving #10188 Death Star aged twelve and that being the best Christmas ever!

    My views on receiving clothes have not changed throughout my life but my parents got me interested in a pair of slippers by hiding a key in them to the cupboard where the Death Star was being kept :o)
    margotplasmodium
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,520
    @plasmodium Not yet, not yet she's only 18!
    Andor
  • VaderXVaderX Member Posts: 220
    I guess I will be the bad apple and say that a 6 year old does not grasp how much 300$ really is... In the end your the child's parent and you decide what to do but a set that large and complex for a 6 year old just seems like over kill. You could buy him 3-4 smaller sets and he will get much more value out of them play wise. Good luck, I hope all goes well! Does he have an iPhone 6 under the tree too?
    Norlego
  • BrewBrew New Mexico (It's an actual state in the US)Member Posts: 182
    I remember getting the 'Expert Builder' car chassis (#956 I think) when I was 7. Probably cost around $100 back then and it was super complex for the time. It had a four cylinder engine and a working 3 speed transmission along with rack and piñon steering. Point is, I still remember how cool that was and the building challenge was really gratifying. I think accounting for inflation, $100 in 1977 would be close to $250-300 today. I understood how much that was and really appreciated that set. If fact, I still have it today! Your son is going to remember this for the rest of his life.
    margot
  • AndorAndor United StatesMember Posts: 252
    Wow! That is awesome @Lego_Lord_Mayorca‌. Thanks for sharing that amazing memory. Your a great dude.
  • TechnicNickTechnicNick Berkshire, UKMember Posts: 277
    I really enjoyed reading that @Lego_Lord_Mayorca, what a lovely memory! As for me, Christmas 1978 was my introduction to Technic, with an #852 Helicopter which I was thrilled with and still cherish. Two years later it was an #8860. Happy days.
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 565
    Thanks, guys. I hope everyone here has had or will have at least one Christmas as memorable as mine.
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 2,981
    Waw, lovely story lord mayorca! what a wonderful surprise from your parents! Thanks for sharing that :-)
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    Was hoping to see an update on how this went? @Tyvek?
    brickupdate
  • AdeelZubairAdeelZubair London, UKMember Posts: 2,656
    If you do purchase the Sandcrawler for him he will be a very lucky 6 year old kid (I just about got my first £100+ set on my 16th birthday let alone a £250 set!)
  • tyvektyvek Member Posts: 13
    Lego_Lord_Mayorca That is AWESOME! We hope to get down to Legoland at some point. I know it would be a huge hit. I love how your parents surprised you guys. That is really cool!
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    Wow, that's great to hear @Tyvek! I knew he would love it! I had no idea he would do so well with building it though!
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