Despite being one of the most fascinating and amiable places in many LEGO universes, LEGO City is notorious for its poor health services accessibility: Since the start of the modern theme in 2005, only two hospital buildings (in other words, hospital-themed LEGO sets) have been released. As a comparison, LEGO City can boast 9 police stations and 5 fire stations complete with numerous cars, motorcycles and aircraft. A modern medical center was long-awaited by many fans, and finally here is the first step towards healthier population: LEGO City 60204 City Hospital set. The set was revealed back in April and immediately kindled many fans’ interest.
It consists of 861 pieces, includes a little army of 12 minifigures and retails at $99.99 / €79.99. Jump under the cut to see our impressions of one of the main LEGO City sets of 2018!
60204 City Hospital set is a regular retail set, so there’s nothing special about packaging or building process or design techniques. So, instead of leading you through all the building steps we’re choosing to share with you five things that the new set impressed us with and five things that bothered us.
5 things we love about the new LEGO City 60204 City Hospital set…
1. The new Hospital comes with a stunning team of City minifigures
With dozens of police officers and firefighters, LEGO City fans have never actually got enough citizens for their layouts. But this changed 2 years ago with the introduction of 60134 Fun in the Park – City People Pack, which was followed by the last year’s version, Fun at the Beach and the latest 60202 People Pack – Outdoor Adventures. With each of the people packs including up to 15 minifigures, populating a whole city block is not a problem any longer. The new LEGO City Hospital continues the trend, introducing 12 minifigures: 11 adults, 1 baby, and a bonus skeleton. All in all, there are more than 45 minifigure pieces (heads, torsos, legs, headgear, etc.) to create you own citizens.
Keen LEGO City fans will immediately recognise the first couple of minifigures. Actually, the hospital isn’t the only medical set we’re getting this year, and these two — a helicopter pilot and an ambulance driver — have already made their appearance in 60179 Ambulance Helicopter. The only difference is that the female minifigure isn’t smiling any longer…
My absolute favourite of the set is an awesome team of doctors or medics working at the Hospital. All of them are unique and can be found only in this very set, while the new female hair piece (37823) is a brand new LEGO piece, which made its first appearance in 10261 Roller Coaster set.
These minifigures are very vivid and lifelike. Capturing them is pure pleasure.
The rest of the pack are ordinary citizens who found themselves in the hospital. Adult minifigures feature no new pieces. However, for the very first time the baby’s body is in medium azure.
2. This set is the ultimate medical super pack
Instead of bringing back a dedicated medical sub-theme, LEGO treated us with just one set — but of superb value. Thanks to the hospital’s modular system it’s not just one huge building, but 4 independent play sets: The ground reception floor and 3 medical rooms. Each of them looks so good on its own that I can easily see each of them as an individual set.
Additionally, the ambulance and the helicopter come as self-sufficient sets. Of course, the ambulance has its main play feature — you can put an injured minifigure inside a very nicely designed car.
3. Diversity of minifigure parts is simply stunning
Another reason to fall in love with the new Hospital set is the fact that it doesn’t just include a significant number of minifigures, but instead gives you somewhat crazy amount of hairpieces, heads, torsos and legs of the most different designs, so you can mix them and come up with your own characters.
The set includes haircuts of 8 different styles in 6 different colors. Once again, the new female hair piece (37823) is a brand new LEGO piece, and this is its first appearance after the 10261 Roller Coaster set.
Moreover, the set comes with 4 great headgear pieces. I’m very pleased to see very simple designs; for instance, the pilot’s helmet is just a white piece, so kids can use it for many other minifigures of different occupations.
And, finally, legs galore is just another reason to be happy with the set. I love to see so many shades of blue as these legs will work perfectly as jeans of various colors.
4. The set includes the best LEGO ambulance car ever
The concept of the ambulance car is as simple at it can be: this is a white-and-red car with a relevant logo on its bonnet and which is able to fit a driver and an injured minifigure on a stretcher. We’ve seen dozens of ambulances produced by LEGO in the past, many of which were very cool and popular among fans. You can hardly make a really good medical car better, but the new one is something special.
I’ve spent several days playing with the car and still can’t say for sure what exactly makes it so special. I tend to think it is the car’s overall shape and a very suitable use of certain pieces. The proportions of the car are nearly perfect, and these relatively small wheels look absolutely awesome.
And even inside the car there’s a lot of room for the driver while the interior still has some very nice elements.
5. The new Hospital promises hours and hours of play
Just like a good modern video game, the new hospital set brings many, many hours of very joyful play. This is possible thanks to very well-thought choice of minifigures and very thorough planning of the building. Each room is made very easy to access without harming the building’s exterior.
The set introduces children in several hospital procedures and lets them check a minifigure’s eyesight, examine X-rays using a light brick, and also take care of a newborn baby in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Even though the rooms aren’t that spacious, there’s still enough place to put a medic or two around the patient and execute a successful operation.
It’s hard to ignore how perfectly the planning and the design of the hospital fit all the accessories of the set. If you’re playing with a wheelchair you’ll notice a lot of ramps inside the building. I don’t remember any other LEGO City set featuring this level of attention to detail.
The ground floor makes the most of its much larger area. I was very pleased to see that LEGO City hospital isn’t just about doctors and patients, but also has place for those waiting behind the doors. A very cozily designed space includes a couple of chairs and even a small gift shop. Printed tiles will be very useful in many builders’ custom creations.
5 things that disappointed us in the new LEGO City 60204 City Hospital set…
1. Countles stickers…
All in all, there are 34 stickers in the set. Personally, I’m never against decorating some dull-looking surfaces with a couple of logos, but I can’t remember the last time I was so unsatifsfied with the stickers in a set. First of all, about a half of them have transparent clear backgrounds, which looks awful once applied because of the many tiny air bables beneath the sticker.
Secondly, the red color simply doesn’t match the color of the ABS plastic that the underlying LEGO pieces are made of. The color of the stickers is much darker, and it feels like the bright red elements of the hospital must have been produced in dark red instead.
Although I’m utterly in love with the ambulance, the amount of time I had to spend applying stickers on it is ridiculous. Certain building steps reminded me of aicraft scale modeling (where even tiny stickers matter). But this a building set, not an excercise in decorative designing!
2. The Hospital is much, much smaller than it might seem…
One of the biggest disappointments for me was the size of the finished building. For a second I wanted to check if there were any bags with pieces I had left unnoticed. Of course, it is the perspective on the front of the box that makes the build look so tall and massive.
In fact, it is just three tiny rooms and a very modestly sized ground floor.
Of course, the hospital is no Creator Expert modular building, so we do not expect the same elaborate exterior. However, despite its clean and simple design, the hospital building is a rather boring build. With absolutely no intriguing building solutions, it’s just slopes-panels-tiles over and over again. To cap it all, the hospital is that rare LEGO set that becomes more and more boring the longer you examine it. There’s simply not much to catch your eye.
3. Play scenarios are limited by poor set planning
All LEGO City sets can be divided into two big categories — action sets and stationary sets. And while the first group includes all kinds of ground vehicles, boats, and aircraft, the second one is all about buildings and stations — in other words, places to park the vehicles. One of my biggest mistakes was expecting the new hospital to be this very kind of a city station — with a (maybe small) garage and a proper helicopter pad.
You have to take the stretchers out of the ambulance outside the building, which depending on the scenario, might be a very strange thing to do.
Placing the helicopter landing pad on top of the hospital, in my opinion, won’t be an ideal option, but still it would be much better than leaving it lying around with no anchor point. I suppose a regular green plate symbolising a lawn in front of the hospital could be a perfect spot for a landing pad.
4. The set lacks hospital accessories
Even though there’s a bunch of spare parts that come with the set, including 2-3 spare syringes, the overall variety of accessories is rather disappointing. Hospitals are known for a huge variety of procedures and rooms, with their respective equipment and instruments, but the new Hospital set brings nothing new to the table. All we get is syringes in 2 colors, a pair of scissors and a number of improvised bottles/containers.
This fact severely restricts the variety of play scenarios. You either do an injection or give pills to your patients. So with just a couple of new accessories, the limits of this set could have been pushed much further.
5. The helicopter
Unlike the brilliant ambulance, the helicopter is one of the true disappointments of the hospital set. I clearly understand the limitations and the concept of the aircraft, but its design looks really poor and unfinished. Earlier this year LEGO released a wonderful 60179 Ambulance Helicopter set, so wouldn’t it have made more sense to replace the helicopter with a small medical car or a motorbike?
Conclusion and recommendations
No set is perfect, but some LEGO sets are much more anticipated by builders and fans than others. LEGO City 60204 City Hospital re-introduces a long-awaited sub-theme and will be the very first medical centre for a whole generation of younger fans. And I’m really happy for the kids getting this set; it’s a truly beautiful hospital carrying as much play value as you can imagine. But unfortunately this isn’t a set for adult fans and experienced builders. It’s full of flaws that grown-ups won’t be able to ignore, although the minifigures and the ambulance will become a perfect addition to any custom city layout. Alternatively, I’d suggest examining the set thoroughly and building your very won hospital the way you like it to be, borrowing the best from the official LEGO set.
LEGO City 60204 City Hospital includes 861 pieces with 12 minifigures, a baby, and a skeleton.
The set is available now from the LEGO Shop ($99.99 in the US | $109.99 in Canada | £69.99 in the UK), Amazon.com, Target, and elsewhere. The set is also available from third-party sellers on eBay and BrickLink.