I bought this from Toys 'R' Us, at about the time it came out. It wasn't marked up then, but I don't know about now. I had been planning to get it all along, when I saw it on a rumor list, the name intrigued me. I was a little disappointed when I saw pictures from Toy Fair, but that didn't stop me from getting it, but really, I didn't know what to expect.
In my opinion, this is a very shallow thing to rate, but it's what makes mothers spoil their children. Nothing I'd really consider noteworthy, standard size for a box of a $30-$50 set.
The instructions were straight forward, as always. There was a minor recolor at the end-the antenna on the cafe was dark gray and not black.
This set includes 294 pieces which is horrible for $50. Granted, the blue boat piece is pretty solid, and there are a lot of juniorized pieces, but I still don't think that's enough to bring it up to $50. $40 would have been nice.
There is a great selection of parts though, if you don't mind some juniorized walls. Besides the boat hull already mentioned, we have some gray windows, gray stars, white fences, white walls, green roofs, and large tan plates, just to name a few. The two girder(ish) pieces on the life guard tower are really nice and I had to remove them from the set (I still have it constructed, if you are wondering) to build an add-on for the upcoming 6860.
There are five minifigures included, which is the most of any Harbor set this year (2011).
The Cashier This minifigure has the always nice brown ponytail, and a newer female face, which is much nicer than the strange Mary Jane Watson one we've been getting for a few years. This is the first time I've see her torso, and it's great, but doesn't look like something anybody (I know) would wear. Blue legs are always nice.
The Lifeguard I don't know if this guy is really a lifeguard, but he's normally the one shown in the seat and was included with the dune buggy. His face and hat are nothing new, but they aren't so bad. I find them useful. His torso isn't really fitting for a beach setting, being a hoodie, but it's still a nice torso. Again, he has common blue legs, but I always seem to run out of these.
The Diver The Diver has a really rare metallic silver helmet, and this is the first set I've gotten one in (there are two included though), and the light blue diving mask is a good inclusion, not that I'd consider it a rare part, seeing how common it was in 2007's (horrendous) Aqua Raiders II theme. I'm getting a little tired of his face, but whatever. It's still pretty generic. His torso is great to have, previously being exclusive to Squidtron. Flippers are always nice to have.
The Sailor The sailor has a red baseball cap, nice to have, and a fairly new face with an interesting and useful expression. He wears a life vest and has the same torso as the diver. There is enough extra equipment included to dress him up into a diver too.
The Wakeboarder This guy is my favorite minifigure ever. No, not really, I absolutely hate his face. If you read my review of 3661, you will know just what I think of his face. The hair, torso, and legs are all nice and useful.
Note: the photo's caption is a reference to my review of 3661, where the two minifigures in the picture have the same faces as in that set.
Well, it's juniorized. That's all I'm going to say. No new or inspiring techniques used, it's all pretty much classic brick stacking.
The Completed Model
Definitly much longer than I imagined, and really looks great. The white/green colorscheme with touches of gray, brown, and tan really looks nice and is pretty soothing actually (same goes with the review skin ;) ).
My only complaints with the model's look (ignoring minifigures, value, etc.) is that the store and cafe are both pretty empty. With the exception of a coffee maker and a couple mugs, there is no food for the cafe, despite a sign with several items above the coffee maker.
I don't know whether to recommend this or not. It has really nice pieces, looks, and size, but on the other hand, it also has a lousy price per piece ratio and is juniorized. I don't know what it is about City, but the PPPR's are getting really bad, with this being one of the better ones in the harbor and Space Port lines, which is kind of sad.