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REVIEW: 4549 Container Double Stacker

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#1 legofan


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Posted 15 December 2009 - 12:26 PM

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Good Evening Guys! Have been a LLLOOONNNGGG time since i last did a review ... So, with some time in hands and a borrowed camera (Wifey took home ours...), here is a humble review of one of the most wanted sets for train fans to expand their train layout. May i present to you:
Lego 4549 Container Double Stacker!

1. LEGO Set No/Name
4549 : Container Double Stacker; made in 1993, 451 pieces
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2. Where you got/bought it from

3. Offical Retail Price
This is a tough one, but according to Peeron, RSP was US$52.00

4. No of Minifigs (if any), name them if you know the names
2 Railway Workers. Both with blue legs and Red-and-white Danger Torso with 'Train' logo on left chest. One wearing brown minifig male hair, the other a conventional red peak cap.
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2 minifigs, together with classic colourful instruction booklet.

5. List of parts (if possible), especially the interesting or rare parts, please highlight them
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Very rare and useful interesting parts shown here! The grey train base (which train fan wouldnt want train bases?), the red barrel with string pulley attachment, the 4studs wide door frames with opening classic doors in three colours: white, yellow and blue, the crane arm and inside arm, and of course, the star of the set, the Red 'Grabber' attachment that tightens grip when u hoist to grab the container and release grip when u lower to release the container. Very sweet! I'll get more into that later...

6. Your "building" experience - which you can do a step by step to show it with photos

Alright, here we go! (picture heavy):

We first start out with building the containers, first up the 'Octan' small container:
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Yes, i know... The green is in a different shade... Haiz.. Anyhow, our two minifigs are gonna get very very busy fixing up this huge set! The base of the container is shown here..

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Putting up the white panels. The panels actually should have a 'Octan' decal on them... But these panels are very very useful, esp in building vans and trucks, or containers as shown here..

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The wonderful classic door frame with door! I love these, and in this set, there are a total of 4 whites with 8 doors, 2 yellow with 4 doors and 2 blue with 4 doors! Talk about many! This is the same door as the mail van 7731 used recently for it's rear opening cargo door. IMHO, this is the absoluate best door ever for any cargo van 4 studs wide! But in this case, the containers, being 4studs wide, might look pretty small...

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A little 'Team-effort' to build up the roof of the container. Here, you can see the classic Octan colour taking shape (White, Red and Green)

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As i mentioned earlier on, the container does look kinda small now that it is completed, as compared to recent 6studs wide ones as seen in cargo train deluxe 7898 and city harbour 7994. However, the sweet cargo doors just made everything sososo sweet...  ;)

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Up next is the red-and-white Classic Cargo container. Exact same building steps as the previous one, only in a different colour. I kinda like this one as it still retains it's 'Train' logo on it's panel~  ;)

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The same sweet opening cargo doors is used here again... simple yet effective sweet design for container doors as our minifigs are having fun opening and closing them...

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A little look at the sweet mechanism of the containers. If you are wondering why the studs at the bottom of the conatiner and the roof top smooth tiles are there:

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The ingenious idea of locking the conatiners together using simple and effective design of tiles and studs to lock the conatiners while moving on the train. Smart!!  :-/

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Next up, the larger conatiners. U know, these containers are made to mimic real life ones, whereby the smaller ones are 20 feet containers and the larger ones are 40feet containers. How thoughtful and attention to details! Talk about realisticism to real life! Here is the base of the larger yellow container.

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Forming up the side panels. Again, these panels are simply wonderful for creating vans, trucks, containers and houses...

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Haha! My lovely cargo doors again! Shown here in smart yellow.. What is better is, doors on BOTH ends!! Sweet!!!  :-/

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The completed larger container. A nice comparison photo showing two smaller ones make up one large one, just like in real life whereby two 20feet containers make up one 40feet one~~

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The Blue larger container. Similar building as the yellow one, except in blue... *duh*

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Again my lovely cargo doors on both ends of the conatiner... If u need lots of these doors and wall panels, buy this set!  :)

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'I'm the King of the Hill!'
Haha, all the containers stacked up nicely one on top of the other.. Sweet~! Nice set and generousity of TLG for porviding us with FOUR containers!! Thank you so much TLG!  :-/

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Next up, the train wagon construction. Shown here is the ever-so-useful-and-always-wanted-and-never-one-too-many solid train base in old grey. The thing with these train bases is basically, u just need to detach two boggles (wheels) and magents/ buffers at both ends and u got yourself a train wagon to pull along... Sweet!  

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Busy busy building for our two minifigs... Seen here building studs and blocks on the train base for the container parkings.

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Attaching the panels of the train wagon. The panels help to keep the containers in place during transit.

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Next, the all-important train wheels.

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A standard Boggle (wheels) set, with magnet and buffers to attach the wagon to the train locomotive or other wagons.

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Put the two boggles on the wagon and viola! a nice cargo wagon awaits! Hang on, it's not done yet...

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Adding on minor details such as grills for the front and even ladders for the minifigs to climb up and down the recess! So thoughful and attention to details!!  ;)

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Finally, the completed train wagon, fully loaded with all the containers! Heave-Ho! Looks colourful, thanks to the containers!

We then continue on building the two other main attractions for this set, the truck and the container stacker! Well, there was a huge arguement as to which is the actual star of the set, but, i sincerely feel that when put together, that is the best!! Well, Read, see and judge for yourself and see which u like better!

We start off with the truck locomotive/ tractor head:
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We start out with the base of the truck, a conventional 2x12 stud long flat plate.

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shown here is the open hole 2x4 plate. Upon seeing this, one could guess almost immediately the connection mechanism for the truck to it's trailer...

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The chassis of the truck taking shape..

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Nice! Although this truck is only 4studs wide and would look like a small lorry next to the newer 6studs wide trucks, it's looks is still amazing!! Read on...

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The Exhaust Pipes of the truck in solid black. Nice, tall and sweet, making the truck look that tad more intimidating... Not to forget, classic sweet doors!!

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See what i meant? The face of the truck is simply amazing! Looks like those one can see rolling down the US highways... then transforming into 'Optimus Prime' ... Haha

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Autobots, transform and roll out!! Ok, i OT-ed...  :)
Anyway, great looking truck in terms of colour and design! Only thing that is lacking should be being only 4studs wide....  :(

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Next, we move on to the flatbed trailer. Chassis of the trailer...

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Front and Rear Panels to hold the container in place during transit...

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If you are wondering about the chassis of the trailer, here is a under-chassis shot. Look very carefully at the rear part where the wheel will go... There are holes there... and then...

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And the wheels have a pin on top... So that means, upon connection, the wheels will have free-wheeling space that will in turn make BOTH wheels run AT THE SAME TIME! That eliminated the effect of having only one wheel rolling and the other not touching the ground. Simply smart idea! Wondered why they did not apllied this technic to the recent WindVine Transporter trailer??

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The completed Truck with trailer! Nice!! The red-and-white combination is really getting to me! Very nice blending of colours!

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And here we see the truck and trailer carrying containers built earlier on. As such, the trailer can carry either two small containers or one large container at any one time. *Disclaimer- Photo is for reference only. Please do not try this in your city and endanger your minifigs! *

And finally, the Conatiner Stacker... (Phew, that's a long review!)
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Seen here is the base of the container stacker. Trust me, it will build up to be pretty massive...

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Building the foundation of the container stacker...

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It is becoming larger... and larger...

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and larger... Note the SUPER LONG String i was given... Wierd... I had to wind in all that excess string into the barrel...

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Look at that windscreen! It uses the same windscreen as those in helicopters... Cute!  :)

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After the base is pretty much completed, we now move on to the strong hydraulic arm of the stacker...

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The completed Arm! Massive! It can extend to pretty long and certainly looks heavy-duty enough to hoist and lower those containers!!

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The completed Container Stacker! (Front View)

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The completed Container Stacker! (Rear View) I love this stacker! I personally feel that it is sososo much better looking than the recent green container stacker 7992! Not to mention more realistic too! The actual container stackers uses these grabbers too!! And not some silly hook...

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The grabber arm in action! It tightens when the string is pulled in to grab and hoist up the container, and loosen it's grip slowly when the string is realease to lower and realease the containers! Ulitimate engineering!!!  ;)

And to come to conclusion, there is how the set can be played or displayed:

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Lifting down the containers from a train wagon that just pulled into station...

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Placing onto a waiting truck for further transit into the city...

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And off the truck go on it's rounds to the city with fresh new supplies!!!

7. Your overall rating based on fun, playable, value for $$$, part, minifigs, etc (on a scale of 0-10 where 10 is SUPER-DUPER-SET!)
Well i would Say...
Super-Duper!! This set is truely amazing with it's playability, colour scheme and upmost building fun! The only set to combine City trucks, with harbour equipments and train wagons!!! Truely wonderful set!
Only Cons might be:
1) Too expensive... However, my price was still ok, but check out ebay and you will know what i mean... esp MISB sets... Now i understand why people are willing to pay big bucks even for used set, not to mention MISB ones!!!
2) 4-studs all the way....  :(
Being the older generation, 4-studs was the way to go.. However, that created problems for us to integrate newer 6-studs wide vehicles and trucks with the older 4-studs wide ones...
Containers are really kinda small in it's 4-studs wide and 3-bricks high dimensions... The newer containers are alot nicer, but they lack the beautiful opening doors!!

All in all, a great set for any train fans! Buy it if you see it! You wont regret it! Truely wonderful! Hope you had fun reading this extensive review! Cheers!!  ;)

8. Your name as the reviewer.
Sammy Oh

Edited by legofan, 16 December 2009 - 12:40 PM.

#2 lightningtiger


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Posted 15 December 2009 - 01:02 PM

Wow what a review I must now catch my breath. :tongue:
Thanks 'Legofan' for that review, something must be said for those classic town train components - they are fantastic ! :laugh:
They revisited the crane in 2007 with this Posted Image which I prefer over the old one. But still there's something simple and warm about it, maybe it's because it was not over done. :sweet:
The truck is a cool 4 wide in classic style I a lot of people love, I don't mind it but I prefer 6 wide for big trucks. :sweet:
Sadly you would not be able to get much into those containers, ah well make another trip then. :tongue:

#3 Big Cam

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 01:05 PM

WOW, You make building fun.

That's alot of pictures yet I was never bored.  Ths set is very appealing to me, I have that red crane piece in yellow and thought it only came in yellow.

Very very nice job on the review, you really covered every single step :laugh:  and your pictures are great!

#4 Matt Dawson

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:22 PM

I wonder if lego have ever reconsidered making a modern version of this set...
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Want to see more photos? See my Flikr!
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#5 Zorbas


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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:54 PM

Can I rate this set with a "6"? :sweet:

One of the great sets that TLG offered us in the past!

A cargo wagon, a truck, a trailer, four containers and a stacker vehicle! Isn't that great? :thumbup:

The truck is great and very beautiful! I really like the combination of red and white on it.

The container stacker is excellent!!! :wub: I own the last one TLG that has released and this one is  better I think. The main problem of the latest one is that it cannot lift the containers high and far enough from the vehicle's body. Not to mention the hook that uses... :hmpf_bad:
This one has this REALISTIC mechanism (even 4-wide era sometimes is more realistic than the 6ers... :wink: ) that makes it look great.

And I really like the torsos the minifigs have! I never got the chance of having a set with that torso. :cry_sad:

Thanks for this excellent and really enjoyable to read review legofan!
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#6 Aliencat


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Posted 15 December 2009 - 06:09 PM

Hey Sammy, awesome review. Very detailed!  :thumbup:

One thing though:

View Postlegofan, on Dec 15 2009, 01:26 PM, said:

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the 4studs wide door frames with opening classic doors in three colours, red, yellow and blue
Looks like white, yellow and blue to me  :tongue:

#7 prateek


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Posted 15 December 2009 - 11:48 PM

Great review! I love how they included a truck and a crane to this set instead of just the rail car :thumbup:

#8 TheBrickster


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 03:46 AM

Nice review legofan.  I like the pictures as the two minifigs put the train wagon and accessories together.  This is a strong 5 for me.  

Poll added, review moved to Train Tech, and front-paged. :thumbup:

#9 CP5670


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 05:01 AM

I like the look of the new 7992 better, but that red claw arm is much cooler than the hook on the new one. :thumbup:

#10 CommanderFox


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:03 AM

A very nice review on a very nice trains set legofan. :thumbup:
The pics are very nice, love the figs building the models. :thumbup:
This set, looks fantastic! I wish I could have goten it if I had had the money to buy trains!
Nice review!


Edited by CommanderFox, 16 December 2009 - 09:03 AM.

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#11 cagri



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Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:49 AM

Thanks for the review, simply beautiful. When I was a kid, I would go through my catalogs almost everyday. Stare at the lovely models, imagine how I could build them with my own parts. This is one of those sets I memorized, always had it in my mind. I never could build it but I simply adored it. Good old childhood memories :(

#12 CDC


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 10:10 AM

Amazing set.

#13 legofan


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 12:43 PM

View PostAliencat, on Dec 16 2009, 02:09 AM, said:

Hey Sammy, awesome review. Very detailed!  :thumbup:

One thing though:

Looks like white, yellow and blue to me  :tongue:

OOPPSSS! Thank you for pointing that out Aliencat~ Sharp eyes!!  :thumbup:

Thank you all for the wonderful wonderful comments!! Really happy my humble little review made it to the front page! Thank you Brickster!   :cry_happy:

I simply love this set! One of my most fav. train set ~~ Proud to own it~~

Thanks again all for the kind reviews! Will definately work hard to try and produce more reviews to fill up the index~~  :cry_happy:

#14 Rayskull


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 03:40 PM

That set brings back memories, I never had it but I starred lovingly at it many times at night with my LEGO magazine.

#15 The Cobra

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 08:19 PM

I have to admit that what I like the most in this set is the red truck. But I think the whole thing is outstanding.
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#16 TheBrickster


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Posted 17 December 2009 - 06:00 AM

How much did you end up paying for this on Ebay?  I think this is a fantastic set.

#17 legofan


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Posted 17 December 2009 - 07:31 AM

View PostTheBrickster, on Dec 17 2009, 02:00 PM, said:

How much did you end up paying for this on Ebay?  I think this is a fantastic set.

Well Brickster, i do believe the price i paid was rather ok, given the set conditions and the missing decals. It costs me 43 Euros without shipping to Singapore, after shipping costs in, should be about 53 Euros. Do PM me and i'll give you the link to his shop~~  :tongue:

#18 WhiteFang


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Posted 17 December 2009 - 08:14 AM

Sammy bro, glad you dropped by Eurobricks to share some of your best Classic Town reviews.  :wub:

Viewing this review sure brings back many fond memories for train lovers. By the way, Dave (Cyclone Breezerider) has blogged your review inside Classic-Town.net too.  :thumbup:

See you around.

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#19 legotrainfan


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 09:58 PM

This set is amazing! I have it and I've always loved its high playability. And the containers have doors, which is a detail the containers of Intermodal Double Stack Car 10170 didn't have. I only dislike the mechanism of the crane. I think it never works well enough. It's a bit annoying.

By the way, I find this set traintacular!

Edited by legotrainfan, 23 December 2009 - 09:59 PM.

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#20 Rijkjavik


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Posted 24 December 2009 - 11:19 AM

A few months ago I was able to buy a MISB one for €100,- I think this is a fantastic set, one of the best additional train cars. But not only a train car, also a wonderful truck and a container crane (don't know the correct word for it).
I think this set is based at American examples. I'm not sure about the train car, but I never saw this kind before. And I know the TTX set has about the same shape. It's clear that the truck is American, with that nose. Better would it be if it had two rear axles.

Great review!  :thumbup:

It's multifunctionomical.

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