I love the Creator 3-in-1 sets because they remind me of when I was younger and just starting out with only a few bricks and my imagination.  I was able to make many different creations using limited pieces.

For those not familiar with these sets, each Creator 3-in1 set has one main theme and then there are instructions for you to build 3 different models - quick, medium, and advanced levels.  You build each of these models using the parts that come in the box.  It’s a great way to spark creativity and I even find myself adding extra pieces to the model.  One of the important features for me is - can you play with it when it’s built?  I don’t want to set it up on a shelf just to look at it, I have lots of minifigures and I want to play with it!

I was very excited to see this Vacation Getaways as a Creator 3-in-1 set.  Over the years Lego has had many sets that were campers (and I’m pretty sure I have them all.)  What I really liked about all of them was the amount of detail that went into them and the fact that you could play with them using minifigures.


The advanced build is the main model of this set.  It’s a camper with a trailer and motorboat.  It also has a brick built bear and a couple of brick built trees.  The set comes with 2 minifigures - a male and a female character with one pair of legs that are the regular legs and the other are the short legs (the ones that do not move independently of each other.)

I found this model challenging, but not incredibly difficult to build.  The top comes off in two pieces to allow access to the front and back parts of the camper.  Inside there is a bedroom area, a bathroom, a kitchen area, and a table area.  The bedroom area is a slide out so there's more room to play on the inside.  There is a stop so you won't accidentally pull out the whole side.  The back also hinges open (it split down the middle and opens to the left and right) to allow for even more access to play.  I really like how everything can be transported on the camper and then set up to play.  For example, the grill, table and chairs fit nicely on the roof and can then be taken off and set up.  The fabric awning folds up nicely next to the camper while it's traveling and then can be opened up to provide cover once the camper arrives at its destination.  The camper also can tow a trailer that has a motorboat on it.  To complete the camper scene, two brick built trees can be placed wherever you like and there is a brick built bear, which is very posable. This model provides a lot of playable features.  It makes me want to take a trip in the camper.


The next model in the book is the summer house and it’s listed as the medium build.  From the picture, it looks less complicated than the main model, but slightly more challenging than the quick model.  The summer house is definitely a fun build.  From the outside it’s a cute two story house with a covered balcony on the top level and a patio area below.  The neat thing about the house is it has hinges right down the middle of it allowing you to open the house very easily to see the inside and allows for easy play with the minifigures.  Inside on the right is a kitchen area on the lower level and the balcony above.  On the lower left side is a bathroom and a bedroom is on the upper level.  Having the hinges open it up down the middle make it really versatile.  You can open it all the way up, or have it all the way closed, or anywhere in between and it still looks great and is very playable.


The last build in the book is the yacht, which is the quick build.  The yacht was a pretty quick and a fairly easy build, which was confirmed by looking at all the pieces I had left over when I finished building it.  The front part where the windows are can pull open for access to the beds, where you can put the minifigures.  The top comes off easily, to allow access to the table and kitchen area.  Although it’s easy to take the top off, when it goes back on, it is secure, making the model playable without feeling like it’s going to fall apart.  It has a canopy that can cover over the back deck or it can be tilted up.  For being a quick build, the yacht is a fun model and has many areas you can play with by itself and with minifigures.

As I was building the 2nd and 3rd models, I noticed there were several key elements that were used consistently in each of the models.  The main one is probably the yellow and orange striped fabric piece that is used for the awning in the camper model.  It is also used as a balcony covering in the summer house and a covering over the back deck of the yacht model.  The way the fabric is held up was very similar in each model.  And speaking of the fabric, this was very soft and flexible, not rigid like it has been in past sets.  I didn't feel like I was going to rip it when I was attaching it to the models or when I was taking it off.  It seems very durable. 

Another similar element was the brick built chairs.  In each model the chairs are identical except the seat “cushion” are a different color.  In the camper they are blue, in the summer house they are tan, and in the yacht they are yellow.  Each model also has a stove and a sink in the kitchen area.  All of the models have a bedroom area and both the camper and the summer house have a bathroom.  There is a grill in the camper model and the summer house, and while they are not identical, the technique to make the fire and grill grate were the same - 4 translucent orange 1x1 round pieces covered with 2 grey grill plates.  It’s a very simple, but effective technique.
The chairs for the camper, the summer house, and the yacht

The kitchen area in the camper, the summer house, and the yacht

The bedroom area in the camper, the summer house, and the yacht

The bathroom in the camper and the summer house

The grill uses 4 orange translucent 1x1 round pieces with 2 grey grill plates.


Unlike other Creator 3-in-1 sets I have that have 3 separate instruction booklets, one for each of the models, the instruction book for this set is one thick book with the instructions for all 3 models in the one book.  It’s laid out so the main model, the camper, is the first one in the book, then the summer house, then the yacht, which is in reverse order of the difficulty level.  I understand that you would want the main model to be first, but as a builder, if you wanted to start with the quick model, you have to flip through to almost the end of the book to build it.  And it was very hard to find the page each model starts on because there was nothing telling you what model you were looking currently looking at.  I would have found it helpful if there was some kind of indication, like maybe different color pages or a graphic next to the page number to help you tell which model the instructions belong to that you were currently looking at.  There is a page at the beginning of the book that shows all 3 models each with a green, yellow, and red brick showing the difficulty of the builds.  It would have been nice if they would have put that colored brick on the pages corresponding to the model.  In the end, I do like having just the one book, but found it hard to quickly locate the instructions for each of the different models.

I feel the Lego designers have done a great job with this set and I’m sure it’s not easy for them to come up with models that work.  I like the fact that you can build one model and then take it apart and use the same piece set to build two other similar type models.  As I was building each of the models of this set, I was thinking of what has to go into to designing one of these sets.  Does the set appeal to a variety of age groups and skill levels?  Are the 3 different models easily recognizable?   How is the same part used differently to enhance the build of each of the 3 sets?  

I think the Creator 3-in-1 sets are a great value for what you get - three sets for the price of one.  I’m not sure if they really save me money, though, because I tend to want to purchase three of them so I can build each of the models and have them all built all the time so I can play with them. This set is no exception.  If you like to use your minifigures to play with your sets as much as I do, you will really like this Vacation Getaways Creator set.