Pictorial Comparative: 10257 - Carousel (2017) vs 10196 - Grand Carousel (2009)

lluisgib - Posted on 21 May 2017


The new Creator Expert set 10257 - Carousel will be available next June. It is an amazing set with lots of details and spectacular mini-models. But instead of only reviewing it, we have decided to compare it with the set launched on 2009, in order to see if the main issues of that old set are solved in this new version.

This new set comes with 7 minifigures. One operator of the Carousel, 3 kids and 3 adults.

The operator is also in charge of selling the tickets. To do so, there is a small ticket booth, separated from the attraction.

There is a cash register and one tile with "ticket" pattern.

But let's start with the comparative. The Grand Carousel from 2009 has a big problem, from my experience. It is mechanically fragile. All the attraction is suspended from the main column, and only some wheels are in contact with the base. Here you can see how is the basement of the old Carousel. It is a 48 * 48 baseplate. The model is too heavy so when you take it, the baseplate is deformed and the Carousel is mechanically out of adjustment.

The new Carousel includes a strong basement, and also includes all the mechanism that makes the Carousel turn. I think this is the main improvement in the model. Now you can take de model without deformation of the basement.

You can see how different are the two models, and how the mechanism is integrated in the base, instead of the old model, where the traction was done by friction.

The next part of the model is the turning base. In the old model, as I mentioned, it's based in a structure made with technic axles and connectors. On top of that, there are some tan plates, but they are not well connected to the structure. Due to the weight, when the carousel is running, there are some movements on this base, and sometimes the base is blocked by the studs of the base.

Due to the new base build with bricks and with tiles on top of it, the turning base of the new Carousel is more stable and there are no mechanical issues when turning.

The "secret" is the Technic part appeared last year, the Technic, Gear Rack 11 x 11 Curved, that allow to create a strong and workable gear to allow the base turn.

The turning base of this new set also includes a "second floor", with a nice stairs to access.

In the Carousel from 2009, the main column was a separate piece connected to the base through some plates only by its wheight. Athough it works, again it is a fragile structure.

In the Carousel of this year, the main colum is a technic and brick based structure connected to the base, giving a structural strongness that allows to carry without problem the model.

Perhaps de most similar part of the model is the roof, where there is the mechanism that allow the different rides to move with the turn of the Carousel. In the case of the 10196, the structure is again very heavy. The main problem here is that this structure bears the weight of the turning base. In 2009 there weren't the same assortment of technic axles and technic bricks that we have today. This means that there are some axles that can not be fixed enough to the structure because they are not long enough. The weight makes that that some of the axles are disconnected from the structure after some time running.

The 2017 edition is stronger, because of the new parts. As you can see, there are some Technic bricks 6x* 8 open center. The structure is very strong and also the wheels that make the rides move are placed near the center of the structur, giving more stability.

The rides are another surprise of this year's set. They reproduce 5 animals. The availability of many different Slopes curved allowed the designers to create some beautiful animals. A swan:

A flamingo:

A frog:

A tiger:

And finally, a big Elephant:

In the Carousel from 2009, although there were 8 rides, only three models were designed. A horse in three different colors:

And two carriages:

In the old set, the rides where connected to the roof, where there was the mechanism that makes them go up and down, and there was a small antenna (see back side of the horse) that helped to guide the movement. Anyway we can say that they were "floating".

Due that now the basement has some thickness, the rides have an inferior bars that are introduced in a special hole designed to be a "guide" for the ride, and allows to have a movement more vertical and stable.

Finally, the decoration of the roof is also improved. In the old set you have to take care because a small hit makes that the decoration falls down from the model. Different parts of it are connected only by one stud to the main body of each section.

The new set is again stronger. They used perhaps a less detailed decoration, but with the use of brakets, the structure becomes stronger and with more possibilities of connecting parts to the main body.

Finally here you are some pictures of the model finished. I really like how the legs of the frog are moviing together with the movement of the Carousel.

The new Carousel it's smallet than the old one, but it's a great improvement compared to the prior one. It has 593 less parts but the set is spectacular and more playable compared to the old version. The animals look great and it works smoothly. It is an essential set for any AFOL, although you are not too much in this kind of sets, due that the excellent building techniques and the selection of parts.

I would like to thank LEGO AFOL Relations & Programs Team for providing the set for review. The opinions expressed in this review are of course entirely my own.