Monday, 29 July 2013

A quick airliner comparison!

The first dedicated aircraft set Lego produced was from 1961, set 311 - 'Airplanes'. They were extremely basic, not having wheels or any specialized parts for the wings or tail. As the years went by and Lego grew in popularity, they manufactured more diverse parts that made life easier for any budding aircraft designers. 
  I have, over the years, managed to obtain a few airliner sets and have selected three from different eras to show a snapshot of the evolution of Lego's aircraft designs. 

Set 698 from 1977.
Based on a Boeing 727, there were specialized parts for
the wheels, wings, engines, and both parts of the tail. In
this case the third engine and tail are a single piece which
only ever used in two different sets. The windows were
printed onto the bricks along the fuselage but the Japan
Airlines logo on the tail was a sticker.

Apart from the discolored bricks my set is missing a wheel
the JAL sticker on the other side of the tail has fallen off and disappeared!
Part of set 6396 from 1990.
13 years later. This has the same wings and horizontal
stabilizer at the top of the tail as the old 727. The major
improvements in design include nose pieces, better wheels
 including a pivoting nose wheel to turn the model more easily,
 bigger engines, a new tail and, most importantly, a hinged
roof to access the inside where there is room for a pilot,
three passengers and some luggage. This isn't the first
aircraft of this design, that honor belongs to the airport
sets that came out in 1985 when the new parts
made their debut.
Part of set 3182 from 2010
20 years further on and we have the much bigger and more
specialized aircraft now being sold by Lego.
The differences are immediately apparent. The whole
nose/cockpit section is now one piece, the wings have grown
enormously, the engines are even bigger and the tail has
grown too! The inside is much more luxurious and has room
or two pilots, 10 passengers with their luggage and even has
a small galley for preparing food on long haul flights!
A size comparison!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

7998 Heavy Hauler micro review

I (fairly) recently won set 7998 Heavy Hauler from 2007 on eBay. It was one of the sets that were available in the shops as I emerged from my 'dark age' and started collecting Lego City again. I wasn't able to buy it new so I'm happy to get it second hand. 

So large I can't fit it in the camera frame!
Advertised as 100% complete with box and instructions. I did, however, find a couple of small problems / imperfections. Firstly the trailer truck body has large stress marks along one edge making the green almost white and has deformed the plastic slightly. The second is some of the stickers have been applied on a distinct angle! The main problem is the minifigure isn't from this set. I have yet to find out where he belongs! These little annoyances aside it's still a good set.
  One of the largest trucks Lego has produced for their City range. 332 pieces for (according to Brickset) 34.99 GBP / 34.99 US$. I can't rightly remember what the trans-Atlantic exchange rate was in 2007 but that seems very highly priced for the UK, or very reasonably priced for the US!
  Apart from both trailers being able to raise and tip their contents onto the floor, and the rear trailer detaching from the front one, there's not a huge amount else that this model does. Their are two containers below and behind the cab that contain wheel chocks so the rear trailer doesn't run away when detached.
  It's actually quite nice to build, not entirely straightforward but not too difficult for my ham-fists to deal with!

The main function of the set.
  It's a nice, large addition to my City collection and I'm glad I finally own it, but in a way I'm happy enough to have not bought this new. In it's day it was too expensive for what you got, although obviously you would have all the right pieces and they wouldn't be damaged....

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Hero Factory sets on eBay.

The three Hero factory sets are now listed on eBay, about half a week later than I originally planned, but if you're interested in having a bid you can find my eBay selling page here!
   As with all my auctions I ship worldwide and offer 100% money back if you're not happy with your purchase.
   I've been working way too many hours the past few weeks and haven't posted any where near as many times as I would have liked to, but I'm trying to be a bit stricter on myself and will try to post twice a week....hopefully. I've got plenty of new sets I want to review and a few other ideas in the pipeline to hopefully amuse and entertain (or in the case of Tiggy, make REALLY jealous! (Love you Tiggy!!))

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Hero Factory sets for eBay.

My son managed to collect three Lego hero Factory sets over the past two or three years and has now realized he doesn't actually like them.... So later this week they will be for auction on eBay. I will leave a link to the listings when they're on, just in case anyone would like a bid!
  Hero Factory was the successor to Bionicle and as far as I can see there was virtually no difference. They all use big clunky parts you can't do much else with. Anyway, they're all complete in excellent condition and all have their boxes and instructions. The set numbers are 7164, 7167 and 7168 and were released in 2010.

The silver guy is Bulk, the white one is Stormer and the red one is Furno.
As usual with my eBay listings I will post anywhere in the world and always include insurance for addresses outside the UK.

Monday, 8 July 2013

60009 Helicopter Arrest mini review

Another of my more recent purchases is yet another police set with yet another police helicopter. Happily there are enough nice features to make this set rise above the run-of-the-mill stuff that Lego seem to bring out almost every year when the police theme gets another revamp.
  39.99 GBP / 49.99 US$ for 352 pieces which is in  the more expensive half for City sets but you do get 5 minifigures and a few helicopter pieces that are, as far as I can tell, unique in color for this set.
  The figures consist of three police officers and two bad guys, some printed torso's, faces and legs are new for this year but are in several sets so there's nothing to get too excited about.  There are a few accessories such as life jackets, back packs, money etc to add play value for the figures and there's also a brown dog, which for once is on the side of the baddies!

  The hideout is a nice model. There are stairs leading to the main part of the building where the criminals can look at their stolen goodies, like money, a gold bar and some jewels. There are three escape routes from the room for when the police come calling, the first obvious one is back down the stairs from the front door, there is also a drainpipe to one side they can slide down after climbing through a window, and, my favorite, a trap door above the garage so they have quick access to the pick up truck for their getaway. There are a couple of nice touches like planks across the windows and a green bin, so even the bad guys are into recycling these days! On top of all that there's a small jetty to moor their speedboat.

  The pick up truck is nothing special but it's a nice little addition to the set and adds more play value, though why the bad guys decided that an orange truck would be nicely inconspicuous is beyond me! At least it has doors!!
  The speedboat is nicely designed and the engine looks powerful enough to outrun almost anything except the helicopter. There is a secret compartment at the back to stash the stolen loot.

  Finally the helicopter. This is a very well designed model and, in my opinion, is good enough to be a set by itself. The inside is large enough to fit the pilot and two officers, but only just! There is a rope that can attach to the door bar so the police can slide to the ground in a hurry to catch the baddies. Unusually the landing skids, which Lego regularly uses a single piece for, is made up of several parts, which looks good and is more fun to build, a bit reminiscent of the 'Creator' sets. My only very minor quibbles are that the rotors are offset from center (there's no real way to remedy this without using half a dozen other pieces) and the model sits tail-heavy. Having said that it's a great model, nicely shaped and helps make the whole set well worth having. 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

New City Poly Bag Sets

A few days ago I picked up three poly bag sets in one of my local stores. I first knew about them from a Brickset article. This is a rare occurrence in the UK, normally these special sets are reserved for promotions either with a newspaper or through Lego themselves. There is some speculation that this may be a new trend by Lego, offering 'impulse buy' sets at store check-outs. I'm all for it, as long as they're cheap enough!
  There were a few different themed sets on offer including Star Wars, Chima, Galaxy Squad and, my favorite, City! Some of these sets have been on offer elsewhere in the past year or so and I already had one of the city ones, but there were three others I didn't have.
  I managed to get 30221 Fire Car - a simple small vehicle with a firefighter and extinguisher, 30225 Coast Guard Seaplane -  a nice little twin-engined plane with some pieces you don't see very often in small sets, and finally 30224 Ride On Lawn Mower - my favorite by a long way! A very neat little vehicle that looks good, has some great parts and is perfect scale-wise. It's nice to see something very different from the usual poly bag stuff.

Seaplane, Fire Car and Lawn Mower