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REVIEW: 590 Engine Company #9

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Poll: On a scale of 1 to 5 (17 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. 1 - Poor (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. 2 - Below Average (1 votes [5.88%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.88%

  3. 3 - Average (1 votes [5.88%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.88%

  4. 4 - Above Average (8 votes [47.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 47.06%

  5. 5 - Outstanding (7 votes [41.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 41.18%

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#1 TheBrickster


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Posted 14 July 2008 - 03:42 AM

Engine Company #9

Set #: 590
Year Released: 1978
Piece Count: 318
Minifigs: 4
List Price: unknown

Lego's first Fire Station with figs was this great Engine Company, #9 (Set #590).

The set offered some first-time great pieces including the standard 4x5 door, 3x4 windows, minifig accessories, and the standard hinge pieces that allowed the back of the set to swivel open.

Starting with the instructions:

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And the backside that included some great alternate models:

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The set included two vehicles, a jeep and traditional long fire engine.  A picture of the little jeep:

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And the fire engine:

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The ladder turned and also extended:

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Neither of the vehicles had steering wheels or seats, but they were some of the earliest open vehicles for minifig playability.

The set included four firemen.  Unfortunately, they used torso stickers which I peeled off a number of years ago.  The plus is that inside Idea Book #6000 are six of the same torso stickers which I still have.  I don't think that I'll put them on though, at least not the ones in the Idea Book.

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Here's a shot of the building.  I love the traditional clear garage doors:

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One of the best parts of the building is the tower section that I always loved.  The original had a clock sticker, mine being replaced by a Fire Station sticker from the old Idea Book:

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The back of the tower even had a door:

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Opening the back section reveals an office with desk, chair, and a small table.  This was very detailed for it's time:

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A view of the back:

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And lastly, the entire set with figs and vehicles:

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Would you believe that I had difficulty building this set as a child because of the "new" hinge pieces.  I recall the first attempt ending with a back section that would not open. :laugh: After I figured it out, the set had a great amount of playability from the station to the vehicles.  The only thing missing from this classic set is an old antenna piece.  These were very easily broken.

This set is the "red version" of Set #374, the Yellow Fire Station released in the same year.

#2 Captain Green Hair

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 03:52 PM

For those times this was a above average set, all the detail, doors, new style firemen..great. :thumbup:
But that big sticker on the tower.....does it belong to the set?
I remember my firestation from 1988 or so....and it had the very same sticker..

Great review, good pictures, nice story, thanks! :thumbup:
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#3 WhiteFang


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Posted 20 July 2008 - 01:30 PM

A vintage Fire Station review, that is 30 years old this year. Indeed, this is the first Fire Station with mini-figs which is produced in 1978.  :sweet:

For a LEGO set, that is produced so many decades back. It is a very impressive set, by my standards. The fire vehicles are great to cruise around, to make sure that our town are safe and always ready for any emergency. The fire engine ladder, is simply so lovely. The ladder is a pretty nice part.  :wink:

I never expected their torsos to be sticker. I thought they are printed though. However, the helmet is cool. I believe, we only receive white fire helmets in most of the fire station sets.

A fire station that make use of hinges to open its interior is a good design. I miss such good designs consideration. The doors to the gates are a nice addition. Can I ask you something? Can the fire engine and the other safety rover be parked into the building nicely, without bumping the gates?

If this set comes along with floor tiles to cover the studs on the green baseplate, for the vehicles to come in and out. That will be another lovely feature. Personally, I love this set very much. By 1978 standard, the first fire station with mini-figs is the milestone for all Fire Station designs that is evolving and improving, even till the very moment.

I give this a "5".  :thumbup:

Thanks Brickster, once again and again!  :blush:

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#4 Zarkan


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Posted 20 July 2008 - 05:51 PM

While this set would get just a two in modern times, for 1979 this is a wonderful kit. There's lots of detail like the top door, the numbers over the garages, and other neat little things. Plus, the vehicles are actually not that bad at all, and back then they would be state of the art lego. It gets a 5 from me!  :wink:

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#5 bullet8542


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Posted 21 July 2008 - 03:57 AM


Thank for the trips down memory lane, You are awesome.

My first Fire Station from Lego I loved this set.

5/5 for me as well.
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