Sluban is a Chinese brand that produces Lego compatible building blocks and play sets. When I say “Lego compatible”, I don’t mean Sluban produces counterfeit Lego products. They actually design their own play sets although the basic building blocks are identical to the ones made by Lego.
The building blocks are not only identical, they are similar in quality to Lego blocks which is impressive considering that Sluban products are significantly more affordable. This review is about the earlier version of the Sluban Police Station play set (model B0192) which are still sold at some toy shops in a number of countries worldwide. The latest version of the set has the model number B0193. There are differences as much as there are similarities between the two sets.
The Police Station comes with a set of 8 figurines, a police truck, car, motorcycle and helicopter. Figurines are an area where Sluban has chosen not to copy Lego. The Lego Minifigure design has basically remained the same for a few decades now and although both Sluban and Lego figurines look somewhat similar, they actually have some key differences.
Sluban has chosen to give its figurines heads and hands that can swivel some 15 degrees in their sockets while Lego figurines have hands and heads that can only turn in their sockets on one axis. Not only that, Sluban figurines can also rotate 360 degrees at the waist while Lego Minifigures can’t.
Building the Police Station and its various vehicles took me a few hours and the instructions were quite easy to understand although there is still room for improvement. The only thing that I find hard to assemble are the vehicle wheels which take a lot of force and dexterity to install. With that said, I’m quite sure most children between the ages of 6 and 10 may find them difficult to install and will probably need to be assisted by their parents or adults.
Once fully built, the Police Station set is quite a nice play set with plenty of details to keep children busy with role playing. There is even a small jail, glass doors that can swivel open and also a battery-powered search light. The set also comes with a police communication device which also doubles as an alarm.
Although the quality of Sluban bricks is generally good, the vehicle designs lack the refinement that Lego designs have. They tend to disintegrate or fall apart easily if not handled with care, especially the helicopter. This is not surprising because Sluban is a new brand in this market. Lego, on the other hand, has been around for decades and has had plenty of time to refine its product designs.
For those who are keen to get a Sluban Police Station set for their children, the latest model B0193 (pictured above) is available for just $70 on Amazon. Like the earlier model, the B0193 also comes with a set of figurines, police car, truck, motorcycle and helicopter. There are some upgrades to the new set, however, like a new police truck with computer navigation, satellite dish as well as better design for the helicopter and police station.