review: BanBao Police – Policeman & Thief (8347)

8347-boxPerhaps the most notable thing about this BanBao set from the outset is that it has built-in drama. Of all the primary narrative standbys, there is probably none more reliable than “cops and robbers.” I’m sure the set will be a disappointment (we are talking about BanBao, after all), but let’s just see exactly how much it disappoints.

8347-contentsParts come in three bags. There are folded instruction sheets for the set’s two builds as well as a crumpled instruction sheet for the ToBees (BanBao’s version of the minifigure). There is also a sticker sheet.

8347-lanternHere’s the set’s crown jewel… er, lamp. I presume it’s supposed to be made from some sort of precious stone. It’s not a particularly appealing shade of yellow. Who would want to steal an eyesore like that?

8347-case-02This is the case that the jewel sits inside, built according to the instructions. It’s not much of a vitrine without anything to cover the opening on top. It probably goes without saying that the quality of the parts in this set is pretty much subpar. The windshield pieces that make up the case’s glass sides require an unreasonable amount of force to put on studs (or remove from studs, for that matter).

8347-car-3shotThe vehicle is equally underwhelming. At least it doesn’t look like a riding mower, like the vehicle in set 8348. It’s more of a go-kart.

8347-tobeesHere is the set’s dramatis personae. It was awfully considerate of the thief to completely bypass the criminal justice system and dress in a prison uniform. Talk about a guilty conscience! I also just realized that the packaging shows the thief wearing his baseball cap backwards, which is the clear hallmark of criminal behavior. Between the thief and police officer is the special foot piece required for ToBees to sit in the vehicle’s seat.

8347-accessoriesThe accessories are a rather unusual mix. The two 1×4 tiles are meant to represent gold bars once the included stickers are attached (at least that’s what’s shown on the packaging), but I think they would serve a greater purpose as a lid to the glass case. The piece that’s commonly used as a spray nozzle in most other sets is used as a torch (or some sort of light source) here. The steel briefcase could belong to the thief, I suppose. The book (pictured in the center) is more of a mystery. I’m not sure what purpose it serves in this set. Likewise, I’m baffled as to what you’re supposed to do with the chain. Does it belong to the thief? Is it supposed to be used to bind the thief once he’s been captured? What’s the police officer supposed to do once he’s collared the crook, anyway? The car only seats one. Is the cop supposed to drag the thief behind the car?


MSRP for this set is USD$5. No matter how I do the math, what you’re supposed to pay and what you receive for the money do not add up.  You do receive two characters in this set which offer a timeless play scenario. Unfortunately, there’s just not much else included to warrant a recommendation.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s