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Review: 7638 Tow Truck

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Poll: On a scale of 1 to 5 (27 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. 1 - Poor (1 votes [3.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.70%

  2. 2 - Below Average (1 votes [3.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.70%

  3. 3 - Average (12 votes [44.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.44%

  4. 4 - Above Average (10 votes [37.04%])

    Percentage of vote: 37.04%

  5. 5 - Outstanding (3 votes [11.11%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.11%

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#1 mikey


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Posted 01 May 2009 - 01:24 AM


This is my first attempt to review a set, and also my first attempt at Lego photography!
so expect the worst! (the images are not the best, but I was pleasantly surprised by a few which I think are not to bad?).

(I have stolen the template for my review from Kanal-K1)
So the disclaimer is over, on to the review:

Lego 7638
Price £8.99 (Toys R Us)
Pieces 129
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I have been looking forward to this set from the first pictures I viewed on this site.  This truck features doors, which has been my main anticipation really, and I thought that it looks well proportioned and a good design.

This is a cheap set, so it contains two bags and a vehicle base.  If you like orange (i do), you will be impressed, but more importantly are those classic orange doors!
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I really enjoyed the build, I mean it is over quick, but I think very soothing.  The only problem might be tieing the string on the winch, and then forcing the Technic Axle through the winch.  But you do not need to be worried about maximising the length of the string by tieing really fiddly knots, because the length you are given far exceeds the amount you would ever need.
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There are a few stickers to put on if you wish (I don't!).

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And a minifig with a good torso, but a face that I dislike.

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You end with these spare pieces

Yes!  I think this truck looks perfect!  I am not a great fan of the 'standard city wheel' being used on everything from a car to a HGV, but that is the only fault I can find when it comes to this truck.  We have classic doors, a nicely shaped front end, and a working winch.  For me this is quite near perfection really!

There are 2 minor flaws, which need slight modification:
Firstly the warning lights, they should not be blue!  As the warning lights are mounted on white plates it is you choice to have yellow or orange lights, I think either would look good.

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Secondly, the seat position may need either raising, or centering.  When you seat your minifig to drive, his arm catches the windshield, and he is forced to drive in a uncomfortable position, i hope illustrated in the pic above.  I am not sure which is the best way forwards with this, even if I have to center the drivers seat  I will still be happy!

The winch works, and is capable of towing your broken down cars and small vans.  The doors open, and it has great 'swoosh' appeal.  Some utensils are included which might betray this truck as more involved in 'accident recovery', rather than 'breakdown services': this might explain the blue lights?
An Axe and Circular Saw are not tools I would let any minifig near my broken down car with, although the wrench might be acceptable for repairs!  You also get two warning cones to guide other motorists away from you.
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I think this is a great set.  I paid £8.99 at a Toys R Us, I can see it being more like £7.99 in the supermarkets/ argos / etc. which is even better value really!
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After 10 to 15 minutes of calming building, you end up with an excellent orange truck equipped with classic doors and a winch!
How can anyone not be happy with that?

Edited in better size photo:

Edited by mikey, 29 November 2010 - 06:08 PM.

my flickr

#2 Derek


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Posted 01 May 2009 - 03:19 AM

Nice review! I wasn't a fan of this at first, but I think I may pick it up!  :thumbup:

Welcome to Eurobricks as well!  :classic:

View PostIgnited_Impulse, on 20 September 2010 - 01:51 AM, said:

Dude, you've got a Final Fantasy sig and you're on a lego forum....arguing about elves. Try not to think you're some cool guy because you don't play D&D
My Flickr Account

#3 UserNameInvalid


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Posted 01 May 2009 - 03:51 AM

Hi Mikey
Nice -first- review!
Only comment: pics are good but a bit small so can't really see details and box content. Pls see the guidlines for ideal pic size.

I agree with you:

winch -I love gadgetty things-
doors -has also gadget factor-

minifig head -mini figs in City are never spectacular, but why this ugly head??-
blue warning lights -should be yellow-
another one of those ugly oversized walky-talkies

I like the set for that price, and most likely I won't be able to stop myself form picking one up for a quick fix.

Thanks for your review!

#4 TheBrickster


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Posted 01 May 2009 - 04:58 AM

Nice review Mikey.  I've added a poll to this review, and it's been added to our Trains & Town Review Index.
Thanks for sharing!  Part of me misses the old Classic Town 4-stud wide tow trucks, but this is still a nice set.

#5 Svelte


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Posted 01 May 2009 - 06:39 AM

Thanks for the review! Next time your pics could be a little larger :wink:

This looks like better value than the sports car set, but I can't say I think it is better overall. The parts assortment looks like a leftover Coast Guard set (I should say that subtheme was my least favourite City theme of the last few years). And I know everyone is excited about car doors, but they look ridiculous here in comparison to the size of the truck itself  :sceptic: or is it just me?  :tongue:

Thanks again!

#6 jeffjcc


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Posted 01 May 2009 - 06:53 AM

Good first review!

I sense that you really like those classic doors...

and....  I have to agree!!   So glad they're back!

#7 BillytheKid


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Posted 01 May 2009 - 07:21 AM

Your review is great. But, this set is easily build and too much stickers. And my personal note, it's again 6wide. That's why I voted this set poor.

#8 mikey


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Posted 01 May 2009 - 08:43 AM

Thanks for all you comments, I have the original pics on disk before I resized, so I could add in a few bigger ones of parts etc.  What is the maximum size I should resize them to?
my flickr

#9 The Cobra

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 09:32 AM

I voted average; I'm not totally sure if I like this set. Yet it's great to have car doors back!
I might buy it  on sale.

Thanks for the review!
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#10 ZeeK


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Posted 01 May 2009 - 11:04 AM

I've voted "above average" since i've managed to see unresized photos from flickr - just remove "_m" in the image URL and that's all.

Absolutely LOVELY vehicle. I think this set will be my nex fav (next to 7942, 7239, 7991) - can't wait till early August (OMG, it's 3 months to wait!!!) when it will be available in Russia (no TRU shops here, sic).

Approx. 1 year earlier my friend k100m has created the brilliant vehicle of the same functionality:

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Here's the link to his topic at Russian AFOL forum DobleBrick: "Peugeot Boxer"
And link to his Brickshelf folder: Andrey "k100m" at BrickShelf

#11 Ralph_S


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Posted 01 May 2009 - 11:36 AM

Nice review and as far as I am concerned, the picture size is fine.
I like it. I much prefer 6-wide (7-wide including the mudguards) trucks over the classic 4-wide vehicles. They look much better proportioned and are much more realistic. Orange may remind all of us of the Coast guard sets, but it's a fairly normal colour for a recovery vehicle and there's nothing to stop you from building a yellow one yourself. I do agree that the lights ought to be yellow or orange and while there's nothing wrong with the minifig's head it would be nice to see more variety. I realise that there are many fans here of car doors and it's nice to see the part return, but when opened it's clear that they really are too small and if you want to remove the driver from the cab you'll still have to remove the roof.

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#12 BlueBard


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Posted 01 May 2009 - 11:53 AM

Nice review!  :wink: The 6-wide style seems a bit too massive for me but the design is great, as the colour and the MF  :sweet: I think this new line is going to be interesting  :wink:

#13 Rob PBS


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Posted 01 May 2009 - 12:01 PM

View Postsvelte_corps, on May 1 2009, 07:39 AM, said:

This looks like better value than the sports car set,

I totally agree with this. I thought the sports car would be a £5 set.

The Tow Truck is ok. A bit too orange for my liking, but I suppose it goes well with the repair centre.

Hate that minifig head!

Average set

#14 marvinblue


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Posted 02 June 2009 - 01:16 PM

Thanks for the review! I quite like this set. It's something different to the norm, which is always good! This will look great in my Town, but needs different coloured lights. I'm not sure whether to go with yellow or orange yet. Descisions, decisions!!!
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#15 rriggs


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Posted 02 June 2009 - 04:46 PM

I have this tow truck and really like it although I have rebuilt the front end without a bonnet and have changed the lights from blue to orange.  Nice little model and reasonably priced.  I love the torso and while I'm not crazy about the head he does look like a recovery truck driver - They always seem to have mirrored sunglasses...

Nice review.


"I bet Einstein turned himself all kinds of colours before he invented the lightbulb"

#16 Zorro


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Posted 02 June 2009 - 05:05 PM

Looks very good, this set, and that partially thanks to your review.
A big  :thumbup: from me and keep up he good work!

#17 CP5670


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Posted 02 June 2009 - 05:24 PM

I'm not sure if I will get this set. It looks pretty nice, but the big tow truck in the Garage set is a lot better. On the other hand, the rest of that set is pretty underwhelming, so this might still be a better buy overall.


I like it. I much prefer 6-wide (7-wide including the mudguards) trucks over the classic 4-wide vehicles.

I like 4-wide for cars, but 6-wide definitely looks better for trucks like this one.

Although I think they should make better use of the 6-wide design in the cab. A dashboard like this would be a very good addition.

#18 rriggs


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Posted 02 June 2009 - 07:55 PM

View PostCP5670, on Jun 2 2009, 06:24 PM, said:

I like 4-wide for cars, but 6-wide definitely looks better for trucks like this one.
I sooooooo agree!!  :classic:


"I bet Einstein turned himself all kinds of colours before he invented the lightbulb"

#19 Klaus-Dieter


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Posted 02 June 2009 - 10:04 PM

Thank you very much for this great review, mikey! :thumbup:

I voted for Above Average

-  very expensive (in comparison to e. g. the CG 4wrd And Jetski which was 10 Euros) :sadnew:
-  blue lights (this is a tow truck and no emergency vehicle such as police) :hmpf:
-  with its 6 stucks too wide for a tow truck of this size :thumbdown:
+ nice accessory :thumbup:
+ very realistic looking :thumbup:
+ car doors :wub:

If the Tow Truck was only 4 stuck wide it would have been perfect!


#20 Cavannus


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Posted 02 June 2009 - 10:20 PM

Nice review -- you don't only describe your pictures as too many reviewers do, actually your text has a real added value because it is your analysis of this set.

So, I still don't know if I'll buy this set: the good reason to get would be the playability, but I'm not a child... Maybe I should wait for a rebate to purchase it...

#21 unimog


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Posted 30 June 2010 - 01:23 PM

I have just bought this set because of this review.   :classic:

#22 legowill1


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Posted 13 September 2010 - 01:30 PM

It's a really good set!

#23 marv


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Posted 20 September 2010 - 10:20 AM

I think the reason for the blue lights is that real tow trucks in Danmark have blue lights (besides the yellow ones).

For example look at this picture...I think the design looks very much like 7638.
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