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Review: 6753 Highway Transport


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#1 mrpolyonymous

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 09:31 PM

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Here’s my review - my first attempt at a LEGO set review - of the 6753 Highway Transport set, released summer 2009.  I've always liked the Creator line for providing good-looking models with a nice variety of pieces and instructions for alternate models, and this model is no exception.

Front view of the box:
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The box is the same width and height as the 4997 transport ferry from last year, but not quite as deep.  It looks like there is more variety of pieces than the ferry, too. The box was stuffed quite full.
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As is usual for sets in the Creator series, there’s building instructions for three different models. Here are the five instruction manuals for the three different models:
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The pieces in their bags:
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The pieces out of their bags. Some of the larger bags contained smaller bags.
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The completed red car:
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The completed white and blue car. I built the cars one after the other, but in the instructions you build the red car, the truck, the white & blue car, and then the trailer.
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The two cars from the set, together with 6743 Street Speeder. They all have the same wheelbase and width, but 6743 uses slightly smaller tires, and looks to be built to a slightly smaller scale.
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The chassis of the truck, made with fairly simple Technic beam construction:
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This gear rack mechanism is new to me. I'm not entirely sure why a dedicated piece was required, but it does a good job. It’s used in the steering mechanism of the truck.
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The completed truck. It's not obvious in small pictures, but there's quite a lot of variation in the yellows.
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The truck has an easy-off roof for access to the detailed interior. The doors open, too.
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The first piece of the trailer. A lot of Technic beams used here.
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The second part of the trailer. The red bushing underneath is how the trailer connects to the main truck body.
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The completed trailer. There are small arms that fold down to allow the trailer to stand on its own. Without them, it tips forwards. I don’t remember seeing anywhere in the instructions where it shows you how to use these arms, which is a bit unusual, but I could have just missed it. When fully extends the support arms lift the trailer high enough for the truck to back under it to connect the two, which is a nice detail.
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The completed trailer, mounted on the truck.
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The completed model, loaded with its cars and 6743 street speeder:
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The few pieces left over after finishing the build. The string and hook are used in the other two models.
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Larger images on flickr

The build is fairly straightforward. Congratulations to LEGO on shipping a large set that doesn’t include bricks of the same shape in both black and dark grey!  (Or, at least, no such duplicate shaped pieces in any volumes where they could be easily confused.) This meant there was no point where I had to play the "is that piece black or is it dark grey?" game with the instructions. There were a couple of times where I was looking for dark grey pieces that didn't exist, but a quick check in the inventory would show I was looking for the wrong colour. I still wish there were some printing process TLG could use to make the colour differences really clear.

There was no confusion in the construction of either chassis.  Mostly the beams are 14 stud black Technic beams, but all the beams used are clearly differentiated in length and colour.  None of the "is this the 10, 12, 14, or 16 stud black beam?" problems of some 1990s era Technic sets. Once the chassis were built, the construction on top of them was quite simple.

One final note to be pleased about with the build: no stickers! I do hope the Creator line stays sticker-free.

The only complaint I have with the build, if it's really a complaint, is that there's nothing new or innovative here. The only thing I found surprising here was the use of Technic triangle liftarms to make the part of the truck where the trailer attaches.

I haven't tried the alternate crane or tow truck models yet, so can't comment on them. I already have LEGO cranes aplenty, and a tow truck or two, so I don't really feel the need for more.

I picked up the green 6743 Street Speeder at the same time as this set because it looked like they would go well together, which they do, up to a point. While the cars have the same width and wheelbase, the smaller wheels on 6743 mean it doesn’t fit in position perfectly on the trailer and rolls back-and-forth a little bit when loaded on the trailer. Also, you can push the two cars from the model on to the trailer without lifting them (although the backs of the cars scrape the ground a little bit when going up the rear ramp of the trailer, from flat ground to the angled ramp) but 6743 has to be lifted in to place. I still like the look of 6743 on the truck, though.

There's actually room on the trailer for four cars: two up top, two down below. However, in the set, there are only places to hold three cars, two up top and one down below, as shown in the picture. That's fine, but in the trailer you actually build the ramp required to get to the fourth spot right behind the cab. It would have been nice if there were pieces to finish off this fourth spot, and a mechanism to raise this internal ramp. I'd guess you’d need about 30 pieces more to do this. Perhaps these extra pieces would push the set beyond a certain price point that TLG didn't want to exceed, or maybe people would feel that providing two cars for a trailer with space for four was a rip-off. A four car trailer and four cars would in my opinion have made this an awesome - if very expensive - set.

Summary:
Rating: 8/10
Price paid: 20% off list price at Toys R Us, so around $95 Canadian plus sales tax.

The good:
  • Very nice looking and functional model at the end.
  • Straightforward build, no "black or dark grey?" confusion.
  • A reason to get 6743 Street Speeder
  • No stickers
The bad (well, not really bad, but not great):
  • Nothing new or really clever in the construction
  • Trailer seems unfinished
  • More variation in the yellow colours than I'd like. It's not as bad as some of the variations I've seen in reds, but it's noticeable.
  • Included car models scrape the ground slightly when pushed on to the trailer.
Would I recommend this set? Well, I like it quite a lot, but it's not an absolute must-have. It's quite expensive, but not over-priced (in my region at least) for the number of pieces. I suspect that, if you have looked at it and thought "I really like the look of that," then you should get it and you will be happy with it.  If you were thinking of saving your money for the new Creator house or the carousel or whatever, there's really nothing here to change your mind, and I'd recommend you carry on saving your money. If you were undecided, well, I don't know that I can sway you either way.

Edited by WhiteFang, 18 June 2009 - 02:36 AM.
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#2 Algernon

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 09:53 PM

Impressive review! I like the look of this set. Do you think you could do a review of that large Power Miners vehicle? It hasn't been done yet.

#3 prateek

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 01:58 AM

great review, and welcome to Eurobricks. Its good to see another canadian here :classic: i like the overall look of this set, but i suspect itll get boring after a while like most of the other creator sets. the build seems pretty boring too, but it is a great model nonetheless. i like the alternates too :thumbup:

#4 WhiteFang

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 02:47 AM

mrpolyonymous, first of all welcome to Eurobricks! Thanks for taking your time off to do this review.  :classic:

I am surprised of its steering mechanism. It's a nice design feature that adds some fun into it. Will you be doing the alternate models too? The tow truck looks nice. It seemed this set had used quite a fair bit of technic elements to incorporate into the trailer and front design. Did I mention that those cars are lovely?  :tongue:

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#5 Ssorg

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 03:47 AM

Thanks for the very nice review! The set reminds me of the classic Model Team... like many Creator sets do, even though they do have somewhat different style.

Why do you like to place cars' (truck & green speeder) bumpers upside down? :laugh:

Edited by Ssorg, 18 June 2009 - 03:51 AM.


#6 Sinner

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 03:53 AM

Thanks for the review and welcome to Eurobricks!  :wub:  I love the look of this set, but I'm still undecided if I'll get it or not. Price will be a major factor. I suspect that I could build this with just spare pieces, and that's what I'll probably end up doing.

View Postmrpolyonymous, on Jun 18 2009, 06:31 AM, said:

This gear rack mechanism is new to me. I'm not entirely sure why a dedicated piece was required, but it does a good job. It’s used in the steering mechanism of the truck.
It's an old piece. TLG tend to use it when they want to add compact/simple but still strong gearing.





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#7 CP5670

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 05:25 AM

Thanks for the in-depth review. This set has always looked like a must-have to me, but then I read this:

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The completed truck. It's not obvious in small pictures, but there's quite a lot of variation in the yellows.

Yay for bad quality. :hmpf_bad: This set seems to be nearly perfect otherwise, but I'm not going to pay $90 for the same kind of yellow bricks that we've been seeing for the last two years.

Is the yellow at least consistent between identical pieces? If the more common pieces are a darker yellow, then that would be a good sign for the future.

Edited by CP5670, 18 June 2009 - 05:26 AM.


#8 Alldarker

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 08:23 AM

Welcome to Eurobricks, and compliments on a great review of what looks like a very nice set. I've never really looked at the Creator sets, mostly due to the fact they are not to scale with minfigs, but your review has made me want to get this set! I like the look of the two sportscars; the might actually be in scale with minifigs or at least should be easy to mod.
The truck and the trailer seem a little out of scale with the cars though (too large)...
On the plus side again, the two alternate models look excellent as well: nothing that hasn't been done before, but they do look like solid well designed models, instead of afterthoughts like some other Creator alternative models do.

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#9 TenorPenny

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 08:45 AM

Thanks for gracing us with such an excellent review. On your first post, indeed!

#10 UserNameInvalid

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 09:02 AM

No doors?

Edit: there are doors.  :blush:





BTW
Thanks for your great review!  :thumbup:

Edited by UserNameInvalid, 18 June 2009 - 09:07 AM.


#11 mrpolyonymous

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 12:29 PM

View PostAlldarker, on Jun 18 2009, 03:23 AM, said:

Welcome to Eurobricks, and compliments on a great review of what looks like a very nice set. I've never really looked at the Creator sets, mostly due to the fact they are not to scale with minfigs, but your review has made me want to get this set! I like the look of the two sportscars; the might actually be in scale with minifigs or at least should be easy to mod.
The truck and the trailer seem a little out of scale with the cars though (too large)...
On the plus side again, the two alternate models look excellent as well: nothing that hasn't been done before, but they do look like solid well designed models, instead of afterthoughts like some other Creator alternative models do.

Thanks for the words of encouragement, everyone. Eurobricks is the first site I've found that has really useful reviews of LEGO sets, so I thought I'd try to pay that back.

You'd have to mod the interior of the cars to make a minifig fit. It  might look okay, but it would definitely not be to scale with any other  sets that use minifigs. The truck and trailer are a bit out of scale  with the cars, but I'm not sure if the scale could have been done  better. The cars are 8 studs wide, and to make the trailer strong  enough required an extra two studs on either side, for a total of 12  stud width. I suppose the truck could have been 10 studs wide to be  more in scale with the cars, but then the 12 stud wide trailer would  have stuck out.

Other replies here, to avoid too many posts.

Algernon:  Sorry, I don't own any of the Power Miners sets, so I can't do a review.

Prateek: It does seem like LEGO isn't too popular in Canada, doesn't it? Maybe it's because Canadians see the 20 to 40% price markup over our cousins to the south? grumble, grumble, don't get me started.

WhiteFang: I won't be doing the alternate models any time soon. When I do, I'll probably do the tow truck. It looks better than the crane, and I already have too many (if there is such a thing) LEGO cranes.

Ssorg: Oops, thanks for pointing that out :classic:

Siegfried: I might have passed on this set if I hadn't found it on sale. Thanks for the explanation of the gearing piece. There's certainly no other unusual pieces or colours in here, so it would be easy to build from other sets.

CP5670: The yellow is consistent between identical pieces. I don't have the model in front of me, but I don't believe the smaller pieces were necessarily darker. I personally find the colour variations distracting while building a model, but once they're complete I usually don't notice too much. The only time I've found it really off-putting was one of the Ferrari models where the variations in the reds were awful. I've stayed away from predominantly red sets since then, but I may try the upcoming creator fire engine to see if things have improved.

#12 CP5670

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 06:15 PM

View Postmrpolyonymous, on Jun 18 2009, 07:29 AM, said:

CP5670: The yellow is consistent between identical pieces. I don't have the model in front of me, but I don't believe the smaller pieces were necessarily darker. I personally find the colour variations distracting while building a model, but once they're complete I usually don't notice too much. The only time I've found it really off-putting was one of the Ferrari models where the variations in the reds were awful. I've stayed away from predominantly red sets since then, but I may try the upcoming creator fire engine to see if things have improved.

By "common pieces" I mean things like basic bricks and plates. The darker and deeper yellow is the correct variety and how it is supposed to look, as opposed to the dull, semi-translucent yellow that has been widespread since 2007. TLG claims to have fixed this defect in their manufacturing process last year, but it's not clear long it will take them to clear the old pieces from their inventory. If they are telling the truth, we should by now see common, generic pieces in the correct colors and the bad colors should be limited to less common pieces.

I have been doing the same thing as you with white, yellow and red sets, but the problem is that includes a lot of things. :tongue: I still buy sets that I think are exceptionally good or find on a heavy discount though.

Edited by CP5670, 18 June 2009 - 06:28 PM.


#13 prateek

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 08:26 PM

so do the cars have interiors?

#14 mrpolyonymous

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 09:44 PM

View Postprateek, on Jun 18 2009, 04:26 PM, said:

so do the cars have interiors?

There's an attempt at interiors. The "seats" are made from 2x2 tiles, there's a steering wheel and two 1x1 round plates that I assume are supposed to look like a dashboard. The steering wheel is mounted slightly too low to fit a minifigure, who would only slide around if you could get it in there because it would be sitting on smooth tiles! The doors of the cars are fixed, they don't open. On the green car that isn't part of this set, the doors do open, but there's no dashboard.

#15 ILikePi

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 02:46 AM

Thanks for this awesome first post review, mrpolyonymous!
The pictures are great and the text is also really good.
I hope to see more reviews in the future! :laugh:

By the way, welcome to EuroBricks! :classic:

Edited by ILikePi, 19 June 2009 - 02:47 AM.

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#16 Holodoc

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 11:19 AM

Welcome to Eurobricks, mrpolyonymous!
A great way to introduce yourself! :thumbup:

Thank you very much for this extended review!
I´m awaiting this set  - it´s on my "want" list at Brickset.

Thanks for pointing out that the small creator cars also fit to this car transport.
I own 6743 Posted Image as well as 4393 Posted Image and want to put both cars on the truck.

I´m not sure though what you mean exactly by "It would have been nice if there were pieces to finish off this fourth spot, and a mechanism to raise this internal ramp. I'd guess you’d need about 30 pieces more to do this." and would like to see pictures if you´re planning to add those ominous 30 pieces or a list of what you think the 30 bricks would be. :classic:
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#17 Svelte

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 01:58 PM

View PostCP5670, on Jun 19 2009, 04:15 AM, said:

TLG claims to have fixed this defect in their manufacturing process last year, but it's not clear long it will take them to clear the old pieces from their inventory. If they are telling the truth, we should by now see common, generic pieces in the correct colors and the bad colors should be limited to less common pieces.

I am pretty sure the old inventories are cleared out by now, but the colour problems persist. Having just built 8037 Anakin's Y-Wing, I can say that both common pieces (plates, bricks, tiles) are just as problematic as the specialised pieces produced for the 09 lines (such as yellow half-cylinders etc). The same situation applies for 7641 City Corner bus. The two main shades seem to be not-so-dense yellow (the 'glowy' colour) and yellow with a slightly blackish tinge - duller but still suffering transparency issues. I think we're stuck with these shades now, which is a great shame.

Thanks for your review though! I thought from the catalogues that the earlier Creator release would be in scale, so it's interesting to see that it's not. It's a shame as that would have been a nice synergy between sets in the theme of different sizes.



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