6357 Stunt 'Copter N' Truck (1988)
This year, Lego released a new set called Helicopter Transport. As one would expect from Lego today, it has lots of details and gizmos. I have not purchased this set, but it did remind me of a similar one from my childhood: 6357 Stunt 'Copter N' Truck.
Devoid of all the tools and two-wheeled company, this classic set hails from a simpler time, when no tools were needed, helicopters landed on two simple 1x6 plates and big trucks were still only four studs wide. Let's take a look...
The box, courtesy of Bricklink
Item #: 6357
Name: Stunt 'Copter N' Truck
Theme: LEGO System / Town / Classic
A note on the piece count: Brickset lists 177 pieces, and yet Peeron only lists 158. Since Peeron also features an inventory, I've put down Peeron's piece count in the overview above.
As you may be aware by now, I've kept none of my old boxes in their original state. Instead, I have them all cut up and filed in folders. Surprisingly, despite carrying three vehicles, the box's front appears to have been not much larger than an A4-sized piece of paper.
There's also a fair amount of cool alternate models found on the box:
From a truck and a chopper to a piece of farm gear (top left)... cool
Parts & Pieces
As mentioned, there is a discrepancy in piece counts between Peeron and Bricklink. Once again, I find myself too lazy to do an actual count, but I have supplied you all with an overview picture of the whole shebang. Count away!
Much to my annoyance, I didn't notice until I was two steps away from finishing the entire thing that I was missing a grey 1x2 plate... It is not pictured above
As you can see, the color design gravitates towards black and red: the same colors used for the minifigs' torso prints. There's a bit of yellow sprinkled in there as well. The yellow parts all belong to the helicopter, but the color returns in the door prints as well. The grey parts are used exclusively in the truck's trailer.
Printed doors! The only yellow in the truck appears here.
There's not a whole lot of spectacular pieces. The doors pictured above are the only printed parts. Apart from that, there's a grille, a mudguard and some Technic plates used for the trailer. They will be used to connect the trailer to the truck and make it able to turn.
This is a 20+ year old set, so the instructions don't come in a booklet but on a large piece of paper folded into a square.
This is probably my largest single-sheet build manual I have and frankly, it's a bit cumbersome. Notice also how after the minifigs, it goes to the copter instructions, which are immediately shown placed on the finished model. The truck and trailer are on the back, followed by the entire set in a half-finished state. Curious...
Two minifigs, both wearing the "S" logo with a black and red stripe on their torso. The black and red is nicely followed through into the model as well. The pilot gets a white helmet, the truck driver a red cap. The heads are the classic faces with a closed stud on top. Pretty straightforward. The pilot doesn't get any kind of pilot torso, but that's fine. He shouldn't anyway, since these guys are supposed to be part of the same stunt team.
The great fun of a set like this is that it consists of three seperate and completely different submodels. It's not a very big set, so you'll be done pretty soon, but building the three seperate models makes it feel like you're working on something much more elaborate than it really is. I always enjoy that very much.
We start off with...
The chopper is built like the choppers I remember from when I was a kid. I have four of them, including this one, and they all follow the same building pattern. There's not much in distinguishing details on this one (like the hoses on the fire brigade choppers from the day), but then this is a stunt 'copter: there's not much need for fancy extra parts. The one thing that's added and that I think is actually pretty neat is a pair of searchlights below the cabin.
Halfway through, we have a good look at the 'copter's bottom half and we can see how the tail section is going to be attached.
The tail section consists of two simple 1x8 plates on top of each other, along with a propellor piece and a 1x3 slanted brick. It's classic simplicity.
As you can see, the finished 'copter is not an elaborate model like this year's TV 'copter, but it's perfect for the classic era.
My favorite model in the set. Remember, this is a 1988 model, from before we had those big 6-wide vehicles. But man, does it look bitchin'!
The truck's base is two 2x12 plates with the wheels holders in between. There's also a cool little construction that makes for the truck's gas tanks. Cool detail.
A few steps onward, we finish the old-fashioned cozy 4-wide cabin with actual working doors. Look at that front design. The big headlights and grille give the truck a great agressive look. Perfect for a stunt team.
The finished model has some cool details: big outlets at the back of the cabin and some beacon lights and an antenna on the roof. Doesn't it look spiffy?
In this side view, you can see how the trailer will hinge on the trailer: a 2x2 tile with pin surrounded by other tiles forms the base on which the trailer will rotate.
Our final model is made up almost entirely out of grey pieces. This helps the trailer to disappear underneath the other models and directs the eye to the set's main attractions: the truck and the chopper. Unfortunately, this also makes for a bit of a boring and bland build on its own. It fits within the set very well, but it's a bit dull as a seperate build.
As you may have seen in the instructions, there's no large part that makes up the base. It's made of a whole bunch of plates and some slanted pieces to create the two levels. The Technic plates go in the top level at the front.
There's a 1x2 hinge brick on the bottom that allows the trailer to be detached and stand upright on its own. You can see it and the hole the truck's pin will fit through to connect the two models in this view from below.
We finish off the model with two red 1x8x2 bars and a couple of round 1x1 pieces to support the chopper. The red bars add a nice touch of color in the right spot and make the trailer fit in with the rest a whole lot better, both in color and size.
The trailer made interesting, thanks to the magic of perspective! The connection hole for the truck is clearly visible in the foreground
With all vehicles finished, we're ready to combine.
Despite the bland-looking trailer, I must say the combo of just these two looks pretty cool already
Ready for some stuntin'
It may not be as massive as 2009's update, but it sure looks cool
With no room left in the truck cabin, our poor chopper pilot has to spend every journey travelling backwards. Luckily, stunt pilots don't get motion sickness
I've always felt this set looks bitchin' as can be, only to be surpassed a few years later by the similarly-themed but much more elaborate (and expensive) Shuttle Launching Crew, which I also own. But you have to remember that this set is much smaller (and priced accordingly) and doesn't aim to be a massive play set. It scores a lot of points for being a small, decently priced set that still offers you no less than three models to build.
I also used to be a bit disappointed by the bland-looking trailer (who likes grey anyway?), but I now see how it fits very nicely into the whole and gives the truck and chopper the opportunity to take the foreground. The 1x1 stand for the chopper is a bit fragile though. You're probably better off just lightly placing your chopper on it, or this might happen when it takes off:
(hand not included in playset)
My only final comment would be that for these to guys to make stunt team, I wouldn't mind having some spectators to go along with it. Then again, this set doesn't aim to be a massive playset, but an addition to your town. And in 1988, Lego Town was still a theme filled with civilian sets. Just look at some catalog pages here, here and here. Plenty of sets to combine this with, especially the many racing car sets (whatever happened to minifig racers anyway?).
The Final Tally
Design: 8/10 The truck is probably one of my all-time favorite 4-wide models and with a minimum amount of pieces to keep the price low, this set offers some nice models that may not be intricately detailed, but fit very well together and offer a fun building process.
Parts: 6/10 Some car parts, chopper parts and two Technic plates. Not much to make you run out and go get this set. The printed doors are very nice though.
Minifigs: 7/10 Two figs from the same team. Are they brothers or just co-workers? Or secret rivals? Or just the same guy with a split personality? Plenty of play scenerios with these two.
Playability: 8/10 No spectators, but plenty of opportunity for accidents. Any set with the word "stunt" in its name will make you want to blow it up and the basic yet slightly fragile 'copter offers plenty of possibility. Also, driving this thing around your town is pretty neat.
Price: 8/10 The design is kept simple to allow for a decent pricing. For just $17.00 you get three models to build and play with. I like.
Overall: 37/50 brings us to a 7.4/10. And indeed while this may not be a big playset with all the bells and whistles you could think of, it still offers you a fun build, a great-looking design and plenty of play opportunity.
Edited by Rapseflaps, 05 August 2011 - 10:21 AM.