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REVIEW: 6563 Gator Landing


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Poll: On a scale of 1 to 5 (19 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. 1 - Poor (1 votes [5.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.26%

  2. 2 - Below Average (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. 3 - Average (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. 4 - Above Average (8 votes [42.11%])

    Percentage of vote: 42.11%

  5. 5 - Outstanding (10 votes [52.63%])

    Percentage of vote: 52.63%

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#1 TheBrickster

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 04:32 AM

Gator Landing

Set #: 6563
Theme: Town
Year Released: 1996
Piece Count: 232
Minifigs: 3 + Gator!
List Price: $27.50 (USD)

Story

Somewhere in the swamps of the Florida Everglades, three bank robbers have escaped with the proceeds from a lucrative heist.  With suitcases of gold coins, $100 bills, and a few bars of Swiss chocolate, the happy men have the perfect hideout.  An old rope bridge spans the gator-infested swamps where they maintain a number of escape vehicles.  They have a small sea plane to fly into a nearby unsuspecting town; as well as a rugged 4W drive, a Jeep Wrangler made by Mariko perhaps.  And for an adventurous get-away into the Everglade swamps, an airboat rests in the water.  

I recently picked up this great classic set from 1996, NISB, and couldn't wait to share a review on EB.  This will be Part 1 of a two-part review.  

Part 1

About This Set

Gator Landing is one of those classic Town sets that fit into the "Adventure" category rather that Town, similar to the Outback series released one year later in 1997 (like 6444 Outback Airstrip).  The set has a lot to offer including a hideout with bridge, three vehicles (small seaplane, air/swamp boat, and 4WD), a gator, three very nice classic figs (one with a cowboy hat :wub: ), and a number of accessories.  For a NISB set, I did pay a bit more than I probably should have, but I love this little set, and it's been on my "want list" for some time.

The Review

Let's start with a look at the box and instructions:

As you can see, the box is not mint, but it was sealed:

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The back of the box shows a number of creative alternate models:

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The instructions show the same picture as the boxart:

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But surprisingly, the backside of the instructions has even more alternate models:

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It was especially fun to browse the 1996 catalogue included in this set.  It shows Pirates and Islanders, Royal Knights and Forestmen Classic Castle sets, and some great Classic Town and Rescue sets.  What a great year for Lego! :wub:

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MISB(bag) pieces from 1996.  How great is this?

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Not contained in bags is this dark grey BURP and brown bridge piece.  Comparing it to the new tan bridge piece in Pirates Hideout, it's not much different (meaning just as soft):

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With an abrupt ending, this concludes Part 1 of the review.  Part 2 will show the wonderful vehicles and other components contained in this set.

Enjoy!  

NOTE:  A rating poll will be added to part 2 of the review.

#2 mania3

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 06:09 AM

Very cool review of a very cool set.  Strangely enough, I have no memory of this set, but it was released about the time my dark ages were setting in.  The last set I recall buying was a small Explorian ship.

#3 Klaus-Dieter

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 09:51 AM

Thank you very much for the great review of this great set, TheBrickster! :sweet:


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#4 TheBrickster

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 04:07 AM

Part 2

Continuing Part 2 of this review...

This set has three very nice classic town minifigs with a great red cap, cowboy hat, and black wig:

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Strangely, the set includes a lot of "loot" - 3 $100 bills, gold coins, two brown 1x2 tiles (I'll refer to these as chocolate bars for lack of a better idea), and two brown suitcases.  I'm honestly not sure the purpose of the money.  Are these bank robbers?  or counterfetiters? (perhaps the brown bars are printing bricks).  Share your thoughts on this subject???

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I love the classic gator and Wild West-style bush:

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As mentioned above, this set includes three vehicles.  Let's take a look at them, shall we?

First, here's the airboat or swamp boat, a nice simple yet effective design.  It also has some hooks to attach various tools:

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The red and black 4WD vehicle is my favorite.  It is actually plate-built vs. the large one-piece classic 4-stud car chasis:

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It even has some places to attach tools as well.  The back is open:

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The seaplane isn't too bad, but I'm not particularly fond of the large blue windshild piece.  It seems out of place:

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Opening up the windshield, you can see the sloped navigation brick and a safe for placing money? What are these guys up to?

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Here's a front view of the plane:

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And the rear with another safe??  i do like the black and red pinstriping that gives the plane a sleek design:

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The hideout is two sections connected by a brown bridge.  Here's the 1st side with not much to talk about:

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I love the building; however, with it's classic half door and black and red colors:

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It has a small interior with a single yellow chair.  - no printing press for counterfeiting:

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Here's the brown bridge that connect the two sections.  the design is rather sturdy with some extra grey 1x2 slopes that hold the brisdfe in place.  The bridge does not turn or pivot:

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A picture of the complete hideout:

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And lastly, the complete set:

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Final Thoughts

Gator Landing is one of those classic town adventure sets that doesn't really fit into the traditional town variety, but rather more of an Extreme Team, Outback, or other town adventure sub-theme.  With that, I must say that I love these kind of sets. They offer so much "playability" outside the normal scope of a Town or City set.  What I like about this set is the idea/concept of a small landing in the middle of a swamp where the minifigs are up to something (or) just rather wealthy and enjoying their money.  The red building is terrific and can be used in different themes including Adventurers, Indiana Jones, and even Pirates.  I may picture it with a few different themed minifigs to see how it looks.  I love the red 4WD that is nicely designed and just looks great.  As I said above; I know I probably paid more than this set is worth, but it's a great classic and I know that I'm going to enjoy it for years to come.

Hope you enjoy this review!

#5 Erdbeereis

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 05:43 AM

Great review as usual Brickster! :thumbup:

This is a really nice set I think. A lot of nice little vehicles, some good plants, and it just has a great outdoors feel to it.

I rate it a very solid 4.

Thanks for the review! :classic:

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#6 dj2005

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 06:41 AM

It certainly is a complete package. The jeep is wonderful (hooray for a sunroof and working doors), the plane I actually like quite a bit, and the boat is a bit simple but it is not suppose to be a heavily burdened vehicle. The complex itself offers a good amount of playability with the included vehicles, mainly due to the blue base plates imitating water and the brown bridge creates a much larger play surface, along with some variety. I'd rate is about a 4-4.3. Nice job with the review Brickster.

#7 TheBrickster

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 09:35 PM

Thanks for the comments guys.  I really enjoy doing reviews of these older sets, esp. when its a set that I had not built before.

#8 WhiteFang

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 05:19 AM

Is this another Outback set? I never seen this set before until I saw your review.  :tongue:

From the look of the box and your collection, I must give you a thumbs up for preserving your LEGO in high quality content. It's nice to see these classic collections in good condition. This set offer lots of variations, which has this primary x-factor in it. If you look at it carefully, it seemed to offer LAND, AIR and SEA transport vehicles for different terrain or they have planned all possible options for their escape. Illustrating the scene of this set as 3 robbers on the run is defintely a nice start. These 3 minifigs look too friendly to be robbers. In the earlier sets, minifigs appearence and expression are generic and suitable for a typical good civillan.

This swamp boat certainly looks much better than my Glade Runner. I love those 4 studs classic vehicle. Its so compatible with the classic 4WD. The sunscreen, chassis and doors are some of the key highlights of a typical classic town vehicle. For the red 4WD, I will kind of classify it as a land rover. The seaplane looks cool and sleek. The overall design is done in a very nice manner. Not much to comment for the hut, except that it is a simple layout and lots of useful part. Placing the hut by the beach, it can act like a beach bar.

Even though, none of us could really determine their objective and it strike our imagination sparks to think of them as robbers or wealthy men having a gathering in the swamp. We can't be sure. One thing for sure, LEGO is good for us to imagine endless stuff.

Once again, another outstanding review. Thanks Brickster!  :thumbup:

It seemed this review has leaked to Classic Town.net as well.  :tongue:

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#9 Klaus-Dieter

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 04:45 PM

Here noy a more precise comment:

I voted for Above Average
since it was/is a great outback set. Mainly the vehicles are very well designed. And even the landscape is great. :thumbup:
The only thing which I don't like that much (and because of which I didn't vote for Outstanding) is that the hut is very little and that includes only one chair - what shall that be?! :hmpf: That's the same like with the gold mine in the amazing Western set (which you can find in my Legoredo diorama, too): The set itself is great - but there is only one chair as interior in the mine! Shall this be a commode?! :laugh: No, seriously, only one chair as interior makes really no sense :angry: .
But otherwise it's really a great set and I hope that one day TLG will come back with some outback sets. :classic:

View PostTheBrickster, on Nov 26 2008, 10:35 PM, said:

Thanks for the comments guys.  I really enjoy doing reviews of these older sets, esp. when its a set that I had not built before.
Do you plan to buy some of the next year's new amazing City set, too?

So again thanks for the review, TheBrickster. :sweet:


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#10 Justin

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 08:52 AM

I voted OUTSTANDING. What a great set. I got that set for my birthday in 1997. For me, it was a great set while it lasted (I lost all the pieces later on in life unfortunately), I do remember the hut with bridge, jeep, plane and fan boat. As I look back on this set, I'm like, "Wow, wouldn't it be cool if LEGO made more sets like this for a Bayou theme?" The amphibious aircraft with secret compartments is the icing on the cake in this set, in my opinion.  :classic:
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#11 AFOL12v

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 09:12 AM

Good review, don't misunderstand me wrong. But the set itself......rubbish. It doesn't fit right, I guess in my head. I don't like the plane and car and stuff.

#12 Richie

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 07:39 PM

View PostTheBrickster, on Nov 26 2008, 05:07 AM, said:

Strangely, the set includes a lot of "loot" - 3 $100 bills, gold coins, two brown 1x2 tiles (I'll refer to these as chocolate bars for lack of a better idea), and two brown suitcases.  I'm honestly not sure the purpose of the money.  Are these bank robbers?  or counterfetiters? (perhaps the brown bars are printing bricks).  Share your thoughts on this subject???
The Dutch name in the catalogs back then was (translated) Goldsmugglers' Hideout. I used these guys as the local criminals. The 6598 police station has also this part:
Posted Image
He is the guy with the cowboy head, isn't he? Reason enough to arrest him...  :tongue:

And the brown tiles 1 x 2 were drugs when I played with this set.

To me it looks clear these guys are bad guys, however it is not as clear as 1687 Midnight Transport for example. But just see this as an advantage: as already noticed, you can use them for much more than town.

Great set, but the building is too small. 4 out of 5.

It's multifunctionomical.

Posted Image

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#13 TheBrickster

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 03:16 PM

Thanks for the outstanding feedback and appreciation for this great little set.

View PostWhiteFang, on Nov 26 2008, 09:19 PM, said:

Is this another Outback set? I never seen this set before until I saw your review.  :tongue:
No, actually it's not.  It looks like it could be though.  Outback came out the following year in 1997.

View PostKlaus-Dieter, on Nov 27 2008, 08:45 AM, said:

Do you plan to buy some of the next year's new amazing City set, too?
Yes, but not all.  With Pirates and other themes, I've got to limit myself somewhat.  I did pick up the 4WD and Horse Trailer already, but have not opened it yet.

View PostPanda9001100, on Nov 30 2008, 01:12 AM, said:

Good review, don't misunderstand me wrong. But the set itself......rubbish. It doesn't fit right, I guess in my head. I don't like the plane and car and stuff.
Ouch!  That's harsh, but I respect your opinion.  If you knew how much I paid for this set, you wouldn't believe me.

View PostRichie, on Dec 1 2008, 11:39 AM, said:

The Dutch name in the catalogs back then was (translated) Goldsmugglers' Hideout. I used these guys as the local criminals.
That would explain a lot.  Thanks for sharing Richie.  I knew these guys were up to no good with all the loot!

View PostRichie, on Dec 1 2008, 11:39 AM, said:

The 6598 police station has also this part:
Posted Image
He is the guy with the cowboy head, isn't he? Reason enough to arrest him...  :tongue:
I ought to shoot you out of this town for that!  :laugh:    Posted Image

#14 Joebot

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 03:48 PM

Man, these reviews of old sets are like a time machine for me. Great stuff. I had this set. In fact, the jeep is still cruising around my town. The rest of the set was long ago disassembled, but the jeep is a keeper. Gotta love those 4-wide vehicles. The new super-detailed 6-wide (or even 8-wide) vehicles are pretty cool, but they don't seem to have the same charm as the 4-wide.

#15 TheBrickster

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 03:17 PM

View PostJoebot, on Dec 3 2008, 07:48 AM, said:

Gotta love those 4-wide vehicles. The new super-detailed 6-wide (or even 8-wide) vehicles are pretty cool, but they don't seem to have the same charm as the 4-wide.
Definately!  The red jeep is probably my favorite component of this set.

#16 Sir Dano

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 11:52 PM

View PostTheBrickster, on Nov 26 2008, 12:07 AM, said:

*snip*two brown 1x2 tiles (I'll refer to these as chocolate bars for lack of a better idea)*snip*
I always assumed those were wallets, myself.

#17 TheBrickster

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 04:25 PM

View Postsir dano, on Dec 6 2008, 03:52 PM, said:

I always assumed those were wallets, myself.
Interesting take.  I would not have guessed wallets - but that makes sense.  Chocolate bars are fun though.

#18 VBBN

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 05:12 PM

Thanks so much for this wonderful review, Brickster! :sweet:

Wow, what a great set. Everything bout it is wonderul.

The Boat is nice, but probably the weakest part of the set. I like the floater design of it quite a bit. I feel sorry for the minifig who has to use the paddle to row it though. :grin:

The car is my absolute favorite part of this set. It is small, detailed, and sets the theme quite well. It suites a swamp-outback jeep very well. :sweet:

Planes are always welcome, and this one is great. The design of the dual bars to connect to the tail makes it very unique, and is my favorite part of this set.

And who can't love the little landing station?

A great review of a great set. :thumbup:

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