When LEGO announced the release of the Roller Coaster (10219), members of the team were jumping for joy! We're are huge fans of the theme park series and our light kits for the Ferries Wheel and Carousel are among our favourite designs.
So when this 4,124 piece set arrived at our warehouse, we were eager to sink our teeth into what looked like a super fun set to build.
Inside this big box of fun is over 30+ polybags filled with LEGO components. The polybags are numbered from one to eleven, but a number of bags are unnumbered, including bags for the roller coaster rails and plates.
In this set, LEGO has included 11 minifigures. We forgot to take separate photos for these guys, but you'll see them throughout the rest of the build shots we've taken. Overall, there is a great mix of minifigs included in this set.
To get an idea of scale, the LEGO Roller Coaster set is built on top of 13 16x16 studded and 4 8x16 studded green plates! Dimensions wise, the set clocks in at 53cm in height (20"), 88cm in width (34") and 41cm in depth (16").
On top of the Ferris Wheel and Carousel, you're going to be wanting a lot of space for your theme park area!
When you sort through the pieces, you're going to be tempted to start with the red railing. I mean, how could you not?! But, as you start flipping the instruction booklets and the 474 steps involved, you'll soon realise you'll need to tackle the 530 2x2 white round bricks first!
These bricks make up the supporting columns that prop up the railings. A lot of them will look like this:
One of the main concerns with these type of brick was the sturdiness of the columns. As you might know, LEGO sets aren't always the most rigid of things and we've learnt the hard way several times (including the Taj Mahal literally blowing up in our faces). Fortunately, LEGO included Technical axle rods to slot through the columns as well as building a lattice structure to distribute the load.
Although the initial stages had a lot of repetition, it wasn't tedious, and there was something rewarding creating each column and attaching it to the support beams. After setting the bottom row of columns, a second row was required and this is where things start getting fun!
Once we got to this section, this is where your Roller Coaster set starts looking like a real-life attraction. It was incredibly fun building this section and the red railing bricks were a joy to snap together to form the ride's path.
But wait, there's more! This structure, as we've mentioned, is quite tall and another two rows of columns get stacked on top of the 2nd tier. This is where you start getting a sense that this is quite an epic ride for our fellow LEGO citizens!
Once this section is complete, we start expanding out to the rest of the baseplates. This includes things like the ticket booth and carriage ride entry area.
Once you finalise the build and connect all the railings, the next step is the black chain bricks used to pull our LEGO Roller Coaster carriage! This is used to pull the carriages up the steep slope. Overall, there are 203 of these little brick chains, but we found them rather fun to snap together! However, threading them through the the top and bottom pulley mechanisms can be challenging.
However, all that repetition and hard work will pay off. Once the set is complete, it's something to marvel. The Roller Coaster set really captures the essence of a real theme park or carnival roller coaster and the great thing is that it's fully functional!
LEGO has made minifigure sized carriages that look like the real thing. Once you've added your chain to the pulley mechanism, you can watch your LEGO ride lovers hop on this fun-filled ride and zip around the multi-layered tracks!
As mentioned, we're huge fans of LEGO's theme park series and the Roller Coaster was no exception.
We knew the moment this set hit the shelves that we had to make a light kit for it. And even if we didn't know ourselves, our legion of faithful fans made it clear that they wanted this beauty lit up.
Going into this set, we knew the number one challenge was always going to be lighting up the carriages! Features like the Ticket Booth were going to be simple and obvious points of lighting, but the carriages for the minifigures were really cramped and didn't offer a lot of space.
Therefore, we put our design thinking caps on and figure out a way to put a power supply on the carriage itself. The carriage needed its own supply, rather than being tethered to the main building to avoid tangling of cables as it zipped around the course.
With that challenge in mind, we turned to our engineers. After locking them in the R&D room (e.g break room) for a few days with nothing but gummy bears and energy drinks to subsist on, they came out with this:
The engineers created what we've dubbed the Light My Bricks Mirco Battery Pack! This thing is tiny! Using 3 x LR44 batteries, when fully assembled, the power supply is only slightly larger than a full 2 x 2 LEGO brick. This made it possible to slot in the rear Roller Coaster carriage.
The battery pack itself has 6 ports, like a make-shift expansion board and therefore can accept 6 of our bit lights!
With the sizing issue checked off, the next challenge was checking to see if the carriage worked with the battery pack on it. We were a bit nervous, as we heard lots of stories of the LEGO carriages themselves getting stuck at times. But after numerous tests, we were happy to discover that the carriage works perfectly fine!
Check out our demo video here to see it in action:
Overall, the end result of the Roller Coaster was a success. We are extremely proud of the team coming up with a solution to lighting up the carriage and from a MOC/DIY perspective, opens up a whole host of possibilities for our fans that want to experiment with their own LEGO lighting creations.
This set comes with over 33 individual lighting components and turns the Roller Coaster into the real thing! Our Light My Bricks Roller Coaster Light Kit is now available in our online store here.