Jump to content


M:Tron - a theme review


23 replies to this topic

#1 BerndDasBrot

BerndDasBrot

  • Hey! It's yellow!


    Posts: 264
    Joined: 02-August 07
    Member: 1849
    Country: Austria

Posted 25 March 2008 - 05:20 PM

Hi!

After my two M:Tron MOCs I decided to make a total theme review.
In contrast to my other reviews this one is not picture heavy. It's kind of text heavy.

But If you're younger than vintage 1985 (I hope I can say that) I really suggest you should read this
because IMHO the newer space themes like Life On Mars or Mars Mission will look pale in comparison with M:Tron and its friends.  ;-)

Table of contents:

#1 overall information
#2 background information
#3 logo
#4 color scheme
#5 sets
#6 set and instruction pictures
#7 minifigs
#8 patterns
#9 catalogue panorama pictures
#10 brickshelf finds / MOCs using the MTron theme
#11 weblinks
#12 credits
#13 final thoughts


#1 overall information:

The M:Tron theme started in 1990 with five sets. Two special sets came in 1991.
I made a Lego Space Timeline for 1989 to 1992 showing the releases:

Posted Image

M:Tron disappeared in the catalogues in 1993.


#2 background information:

A very short definition, taken from an European catalogue:

"Who's who in LEGO space?
M:Trons have the galaxies best computers and magnetic equipment."


Another one, taken from a german catalogue:

"Alles dreht sich um uns!
Klar - wir sind doch die großen Erfinder mit den coolen Computern und der Top-Magnet-Hardware!
Was immer im Weltraum passiert - wir helfen und retten mit unserer starken Ausrüstung.
Wir wären richtig gut drauf - gäbe es da nicht diese Blacktron Typen. Die sind immer hinter unseren Geräten
her und zapfen unsere Computer an. Die machen uns höllischen Ärger!"
  X-D  X-D

I tried to translate it:

"The world revolves around us!
Yeah - we're the great inventors with cool computers and the best magnet technology!
Whatever may happen in space - we're helping and saving with our special equipment.
We'd really enjoy our lives - without those Blacktron suckers. They're stealing our equipment and hacking our computers.
They're giving us hell!"


I don't know where I've read it, but I do believe that M:Tron are running an  haulage business in Space. Ah, I found it:

"The M:Tron forces utilize the power of magnets to locate and TRANSPORT vital resources.
They also rely on their super magnetic capabilities to remain out of harms way."



#3 logo:

The catalogue / box / instructions logo:

Posted Image

And as printed on the bricks:

Posted Image


#4 color scheme:

Main color: red
Base color: black
Damn-cool color: trans-neon-green (glows heavily in the official LEGO pictures.)
Additional color: old light grey.


#5 sets:

1478 Unnamed 1991 30 Parts 1 Minifig
According to Lugnet Guide this set was part of the 1476 5-Item Bonus Pack set.

6811 Pulsar Charger 1990 25 Parts 1 Minifig
Just a little flyer

6833 Beacon Tracer 1990 38 Parts 1 Minifig
A little space buggy

6862 Secret Space Voyager  1991 300 Parts 3 Minifigs
A "Super Model" you can build from 6877, 6896 and 6923.
The main ship can grab the ground vehicle and attach it using magnets.
Oh- and it also features a message from Jack the LEGO-Maniac!

6877 Vector Detector 1990 59 Parts 1 Minifig
Another small flyer.

6896 Celestial Forager 1990 87 Parts 1 Minifig
A middle sized ground vehicle.
This model features a nice articulating chassis and a "rear magnet arm" that can recline to grab the container box.

6923 Particle Ionizer 1990 187 Parts 1 Minifig
Drum roll...! my favorite.
This helicopter-like spacecraft comes with a little robot and a magnet arm that can be (nearly fully) moved.
The mounting of the rotor blades is also very interesting (but different than shown on the box / instruction picutres!).

6956 Stellar Recon Voyager 1990 221 Parts 2 Minifigs
The biggest (deep) space ship of this theme. The magnet arm only can lean out the vehicle to grab the box.
The little buggy can be attached at the front between the two antennae / antennas.

6989 Mega Core Magnetizer 1990 486 Parts 3 Minifigs
A really giant ground vehicle. This set rules because of the big trans-neon-green panel and the giant wheels.
It also got a steering like 6896 affecting only the rear axle. The crane can be rotated, extended and raised or lowered.
The bonus features: a mini flyer, two mini buggies and two boxes can all be attached (using the magnets) and stored in this model!

9401 M:Tron Team 1993
Whew. I don't know anything about this set. Peeron too.
The website, I've listed at the bottom of my review, says that it was just a double pack (?) of 6811 and 6833.

M:Tron Minifigs also came in 6704 Space Mini Figures.


#6 set and instruction pictures

Disclaimer: I don't own the instructions for 1478, 6833 and 6989.
I photoshopped them into the picture, so you have the whole theme.
By clicking the thumbs, 1024px pictures will open in a new window.

Posted Image

Posted Image      Posted Image

Posted Image      Posted Image


#7 minifigs:

All M:Tron minifigs look alike:

Black hips with white legs, red Minifig Torso with M:Tron Logo Pattern, white arms and black hands,
black airtanks, yellow Minifig Head with Standard Grin Pattern and black modern helmet with trans-neon-green visor.

Posted Image
(taken from Bricklink)

Fortunately there's also a robot!

yeah- the robot.


#8 patterns:

Good news for some of you: the M:Tron theme doesn't have any stickers.
The M:Tron "M" adorns most of the patterns (on slopes, tiles or panels for instance).
There were also more complex patterns for the container box doors, or the hinge panels.
You can see them all on peeron:

But the M:Tron theme also used some of the "good old" patterns:

White tile 1x2 with Red and Yellow Controls (also in black)
Black Slope Brick 45 2x2 with Yellow Grille Pattern
Red Slope Brick 45 2x2 with Black Grille Pattern
White Tile 1x1 with Computer Display Pattern
White Tile 1x1 with Red and Black Buttons Pattern
White Tile 1x2 with Short Yellow Arrow with Black Border Pattern (also as Tile 2x2)


#9 catalogue panorama pictures:

You'll notice a few scars happened due to photoshopping.
Thumbs will open a bigger version in a new window!

From 1990:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


From 1991:

Posted Image

Posted Image


From 1992:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


#10 brickshelf finds / MOCs using the M:Tron theme:

M-Tron Galaxy Defender by Nabii
M-Tron Multi-Terrain Robotic Obliviator Nebulon by nevets-mcd
intruder, skeeter, speederbike, warhawk by SpacemanSpiff
M-Tron army by madoka   X-O
M-Tron ISF Aries by matthew1980
M-Tron Monorail by Thekla
M-Tron-Base by figueifoto

...and these are just a few - and of course not mine.


#11 weblinks:

M:Trons Wikipedia article

While I put the finishing touches to this text, I discovered a site with a nice review to M:Tron.
(and nope. I did not copy anything from this site.)

M-Tron is also a virtual vintage keyboard.
Unfortunately it doesn't have anything in common with the M:Tron theme. Not even the color scheme.  |-/  :-P


#12 credits:

Lugnet, Peeron, the Brickfactory, my M:Tron sets, Wikipedia, Everything2, BeoLingus online dictionary,
and last but not least TLG. Uh- I have to stop before it gets too romantic.  X-D


#13 final thoughts:

First of all I really hope you did real the whole review. I mean, I hope that you survived AND enjoyed it.

Anyway: A really beautiful old-school theme. Great color scheme, creative spacecrafts and loads of magnets.

Honestly I have to note that M:Tron is not my only favorite LEGO space theme.
Space Police II, Blacktron II, Ice Planet 2002 and Spyrius are making a wonderful team / theme together - IMHO.

Why do I think this is old school? Because I grow up with it. It makes me remember the "good old time".
Sitting in a pile of LEGO bricks and pseudoMOCing. Being enthuse about so many sets, I'll buy 15 years later.
I hope you can understand me!


Thanks for reading!
Feel free to comment!

Edited by BerndDasBrot, 25 March 2008 - 05:32 PM.

i dunno... erm- just watching.

Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image


#2 Tohst

Tohst

    Posts: 382
    Joined: 01-October 07
    Member: 2023

Posted 25 March 2008 - 06:26 PM

What a great blast from the past.  Thanks for putting this together.  I've enjoyed your MOCs and this gives some great background to the 'youngins'. :-)  Hey you!  Get off of my lawn *Waves cane!*

A couple of points, Particle Ionizer came in two versions.  One with the 'helicopter blades' as shown on the box and then with the modified design.  Nothing on the box indicates the change as far as I know (although I still have one of those boxes clanging around somewhere, I don't have two to compare).

There is a great official picture with a very large M:Tron tower.  I believe it came from one of the UK catalogues.  I wonder if I could dig that up.  

Lastly, I it should be noted that M:Tron figures were available with glued Lego studs to their backs as part of a promotion.  I'm fuzzy on the details but lots (I think they were being sold in lots of 400 figures!) of these ended up being sold via ebay with Futuron Red, Futuron Yellow, and BlackTron 1 figures.  They were glued (even the visors).  

-Tohst
Played and won as Willie Spencer in Excalibur TNG: Mafia School

#3 CP5670

CP5670

  • In search of litmus paper


    Posts: 2481
    Joined: 02-February 08
    Member: 2646
    Country: United States

Posted 25 March 2008 - 06:49 PM

This is an excellent overview of a great theme. The background section is interesting. I had seen the blurb about "transporting vital resources" but the German translated one is new to me. They do seem to be some sort of cargo shipping company.

I actually have a sizeable M:Tron poster that came with a Particle Ionizer set I got on ebay. The scene is similar to one of the catalog images you posted (the one with the monorail in the background), but larger.

Quote

Why do I think this is old school? Because I grow up with it. It makes me remember the "good old time".
Sitting in a pile of LEGO bricks and pseudoMOCing. Being enthuse about so many sets, I'll buy 15 years later.
I hope you can understand me!

Perfectly well.  *y* I only had two of their small sets as a kid, but used to love the magnets and stared at the catalogs all the time. I got the entire line on ebay many years later.

M:Tron seemed to have an unusually large number of pieces with their M logo printed on them. I don't think any other theme had so many logo pieces, apart from classic space.

Quote

Posted Image

I have this catalog and love this scene. "Surrender, or we'll beat the crap out of you with our wrenches!" :-D

Edited by CP5670, 25 March 2008 - 06:52 PM.


#4 Lord Of Pies

Lord Of Pies

  • Official Pirate Set Reviewer, who's back into pirates!


    Posts: 1726
    Joined: 13-October 07
    Member: 2085
    Country: Great Britain

Posted 25 March 2008 - 07:06 PM

Wow, a mega effort here, a very good review of a pretty cool subtheme.

I never managed to buy an M-tron sets, although this review does kinda make me want to buy one or two of the sets. I never really fully liked the idea of using magnets, and the red and green colour scheme in my opinion does not look too good! Still, some of the designs of the ships are interesting and a Blacktron II 6989 Mobile Recovery Centre would be great! One of the sets I do like a lot in the red and green livery is the 6877 Search Craft, I really like the bi-plane design, I wish I had one.
Are you hasty for a tasty pastry?

#5 SuvieD

SuvieD

  • The Sailing Monkey


    Posts: 1661
    Joined: 18-March 05
    Member: 272
    Country: USA

Posted 25 March 2008 - 07:23 PM

M-Tron, oh how I love and miss thee!

Wonderful recap of all that is M-Tron.  Thank you for bring us all back to 1990.

#6 Lasse D

Lasse D

  • Pink Poodle


    Posts: 933
    Joined: 24-December 06
    Member: 1144
    Country: Denmark

Posted 25 March 2008 - 09:48 PM

Thanks for the good overview of this fantastic space theme.

I have surprisingly many of these sets (all but the big ships and the smallest car), but my favorite set has to be the Mega Core Magnetizer - it has tons of playability.

Space Police II was a good substitute, but it didn't have a magnetizer  :'-)
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#7 maiq the liar

maiq the liar

  • Youtube poopie!


    Posts: 901
    Joined: 01-February 07
    Member: 1321

Posted 25 March 2008 - 11:53 PM

I wish M-Tron was still around...Oh well, with classic-style space returning, we may see a M-Tron II!
(P.s: i consider the new good guy space set Space police III.)
Are my dark ages over yet?
...
God, finally.

#8 zero1312

zero1312

  • Devilish Crap!!!!!


    Posts: 3164
    Joined: 19-March 07
    Member: 1455
    Country: Germany

Posted 26 March 2008 - 01:15 AM

Thanks for the rereview. I liked M-Tron as a kid. *wub*  Almost all my trans-neon pieces are coming from that line. :-D
If history is to change, let it change! If the world is to be destroyed, so be it!!
If my fate is to be destroyed................ I must simply laugh!!!


MOCpages:
http://www.mocpages.com/home.php/99432

Posted ImagePosted Image

#9 xenologer

xenologer

    Posts: 1163
    Joined: 23-January 06
    Member: 626

Posted 26 March 2008 - 02:02 AM

Neat

I more or less started out with this theme.
And the ground vehicles with cool steering mechanisms have kinda stuck with me since.


I hadn't realized it till you photographed them all sitting together, but each Spaceship seems to have a Ground vehicle of nearly equivalent size.


I wonder when the magnets fad dissapeared... Wouldnt it be neat to see them come back?
What if magnets were combined with the new Power Functions stuff? an electromagnet that can turn on and off? That kinda added playability might be just the thing to refresh magnets...

#10 WarnIcarus

WarnIcarus

    Posts: 106
    Joined: 17-December 07
    Member: 2301

Posted 26 March 2008 - 02:10 AM

The Mega Core Magnetizer is absolutely the best set in the M Tron line. I love the use of the quarter-dome as a windshield.

Posted Image

This is one of the best space themes LEGO has ever produced, everything is well thought out and it has a brilliant color scheme.

#11 BerndDasBrot

BerndDasBrot

  • Hey! It's yellow!


    Posts: 264
    Joined: 02-August 07
    Member: 1849
    Country: Austria

Posted 26 March 2008 - 10:51 AM

thanks for your feedback! I'm glad to see that you liked it.

Lasse D said:

Space Police II was a good substitute, but it didn't have a magnetizer
But another very cool ground vehicle: 6957 Solar Snooper


maiq the liar said:

I wish M-Tron was still around...Oh well, with classic-style space returning, we may see a M-Tron II!
(P.s: i consider the new good guy space set Space police III.)
IMHO TLG is on the best way to make good (space) sets again (compared to 1997-2004 IMHO). But I don't believe that they can make sets like in the 80/90s. Of course, their building style changed, new parts and so on. But as you said with SPIII it's time to go on and get along with the new things TLG will bring.
(While I make some reviews of the "good old" sets...  >:-)  :-D )


xenologer said:

I wonder when the magnets fad dissapeared... Wouldnt it be neat to see them come back?
What if magnets were combined with the new Power Functions stuff? an electromagnet that can turn on and off? That kinda added playability might be just the thing to refresh magnets...
A PF electromagnet would be really great!  :-)

i dunno... erm- just watching.

Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image


#12 Brickmaster

Brickmaster

  • Repentent Purple Pie


    Posts: 1587
    Joined: 15-January 05
    Member: 172

Posted 27 March 2008 - 12:59 AM

Next to Unitron, this is my next absolute favourite  :-$  It's sucha beautiful theme. I don't know why I love em so, I just do!  :'-)  Thank you for the time for the review, I read the whole thing. Even if I knew most of it already, if not all, I still enjoy reading it if it's about something I like, like watching a good TV program again. Good stuff.  *sweet*

Gave me the idea, maybe I should create some unitron and M-tron mocs..

Edit: Psst.. will there be any other space theme reviews?  :-$

Edited by Brickmaster, 27 March 2008 - 01:00 AM.

Posted Image

I dare you to find someone with an earlier joining date! Jipay! -SIEG

#13 BerndDasBrot

BerndDasBrot

  • Hey! It's yellow!


    Posts: 264
    Joined: 02-August 07
    Member: 1849
    Country: Austria

Posted 27 March 2008 - 08:46 AM

View PostBrickmaster, on Mar 27 2008, 01:59 AM, said:

Edit: Psst.. will there be any other space theme reviews?  :-$
*thinking* ...maybe Space Police II. But I have to get the 6957 Solar Snooper first.
M-Tron was the only Space theme, I (nearly) owned completely.
But if you want, I also could review sets I don't own. (but that could be kind of "dangerous", because you only see and understand the "power" if you own them.)
Or maybe I could show (off) my Classic space stuff.  *sweet*

i dunno... erm- just watching.

Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image


#14 BrickPoor

BrickPoor

    Posts: 15
    Joined: 31-December 07
    Member: 2350
    Country: Canada

Posted 27 March 2008 - 01:29 PM

A most excellent review. M-tron took place during my dark years so a whole theme review was great to see!

#15 BerndDasBrot

BerndDasBrot

  • Hey! It's yellow!


    Posts: 264
    Joined: 02-August 07
    Member: 1849
    Country: Austria

Posted 27 March 2008 - 02:16 PM

thanks and welcome! I hope you found what you've been looking for!

i dunno... erm- just watching.

Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image


#16 Brickmaster

Brickmaster

  • Repentent Purple Pie


    Posts: 1587
    Joined: 15-January 05
    Member: 172

Posted 28 March 2008 - 12:20 AM

View PostBerndDasBrot, on Mar 27 2008, 08:46 AM, said:

*thinking* ...maybe Space Police II. But I have to get the 6957 Solar Snooper first.

Or maybe I could show (off) my Classic space stuff.  *sweet*

Any reviews are great, and any collection pictures are always cool - I even love reading reviews of sets I already own  :-$  Because odds are, I havent built them in years..

*sweet*
Posted Image

I dare you to find someone with an earlier joining date! Jipay! -SIEG

#17 Asuka

Asuka

  • Pictural Poet


    Posts: 6658
    Joined: 19-June 06
    Member: 816
    Country: Schnitzelland

Posted 28 March 2008 - 01:15 AM

Thank you very much for that informative and well thought-out review with so many fine pictures and interesting links, BerndDasBrot.  *y*
A fascinating theme with a clear color scheme and many well designed and very playable sets indeed. My favorite aspect of that line´s
clearly how TLC managed to make attractive sets for kids (and AFOLs  X-D ) without shooting devices, crappy aliens, a boring storyline
or some oversized guns'n'dinosaurs....  :-P
A clever idea, a few magnets.... and a lot of play fun on!  :'-)

#18 dj2005

dj2005

  • Academy teacher and dumb knight


    Posts: 444
    Joined: 26-August 08
    Member: 3835
    Country: USA

Posted 22 November 2008 - 07:54 AM

This is absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much for taking the time do create this review as it introduced me to a lot of new ideas and I found the inserts of what M-Tron are perceived to be very interesting. LEGO + magnets = ingenious! :laugh: I just wish TLC created another ground vehicle that was medium/large in size (~230 pieces).

#19 mania3

mania3

    Posts: 627
    Joined: 09-November 08
    Member: 4324

Posted 22 November 2008 - 09:32 PM

Man, this review is amazing.  It was a great blast from the past.  Gave me a new appreciation of my old M-Tron sets.  I might bust them out tonight.

#20 jamzee

jamzee

    Posts: 158
    Joined: 05-August 08
    Member: 3664

Posted 24 November 2008 - 09:37 PM

amazing, and its just struck me as strange that lego don't seem to produce those huge, multi-set vistas anymore in their catalogues... such a pity as you can lose track of time getting lost in them...
Posted Image

#21 CP5670

CP5670

  • In search of litmus paper


    Posts: 2481
    Joined: 02-February 08
    Member: 2646
    Country: United States

Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:16 PM

View Postjamzee, on Nov 24 2008, 04:37 PM, said:

amazing, and its just struck me as strange that lego don't seem to produce those huge, multi-set vistas anymore in their catalogues... such a pity as you can lose track of time getting lost in them...

Same here. I spent hours staring at those catalogs as a kid and dreaming about creating my own layouts like that some day. They don't have the mini catalogs in the sets at all anymore, only the bigger S@H ones that are distributed separately.

#22 Spacefan

Spacefan

    Posts: 125
    Joined: 04-June 08
    Member: 3239
    Country: United States

Posted 25 November 2008 - 06:12 AM

View PostCP5670, on Nov 24 2008, 04:16 PM, said:

Same here. I spent hours staring at those catalogs as a kid and dreaming about creating my own layouts like that some day. They don't have the mini catalogs in the sets at all anymore, only the bigger S@H ones that are distributed separately.
Awww, I also miss the little picture catalogs from those days. I would be willing to pay the extra cost for them in a retail set, even if they were only included in the larger sets of over 500 pieces or something like that.

#23 Norro

Norro

  • Writer & Director and Old Grey fetishist


    Posts: 3507
    Joined: 30-April 05
    Member: 315
    Country: Ireland

Posted 25 November 2008 - 11:39 AM

I've noticed in my years in the lego community that M-tron and Ice planet seem to also be space's crossover subthemes. They are my faviourite lines, and seem to appeal to a lot of non-space builders. I wonder why?

Thanks for a great review of a wonderful line. The MCM is one of the greatest sets of all time and many of these sets were great fun to build and play and rebuild with.

God Bless,

Nathan
Posted Image

#24 Algernon

Algernon

  • Not a Doofus


    Posts: 2249
    Joined: 21-January 08
    Member: 2558

Posted 27 November 2008 - 05:07 PM

This was awesome! I'd love to see you review some other space themes, like Blacktron or Ice Planet.



Reply to this topic



  


1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users