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REVIEW: 2531 Helicopter with Jeep Cargo


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Poll: On a scale 1 to 5 (13 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. 1 – Poor (1 votes [7.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.69%

  2. 2 – Below Average (2 votes [15.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.38%

  3. 3 – Average (2 votes [15.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.38%

  4. 4 – Above Average (6 votes [46.15%])

    Percentage of vote: 46.15%

  5. 5 - Outstanding (2 votes [15.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.38%

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#1 The Cobra

The Cobra

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 08:11 PM

INDEXED

You save me and I will save the day (Train - Save the day)

Set data:

2531: Rescue Chopper a.k.a. Rescue Helicopter and Jeep a.k.a. Helicopter with Jeep Cargo
Year: 1998
Theme: City
Subtheme: Special / Promotional
Pieces: 97 (plus 5 extra pieces)
Price: Unknown (see note)
Building time: less than 15 minutes
MISB on review: Yes
More info: Brickset - Peeron - Bricklink
Note: " Promotional release with several airlines including Austrian, Sabena and Qantas. Also available in the US from Shop At Home." (source: Brickset)

Box front: A "vertical" box, measuring 94x190x45 mm (3.12x7.8x1.10"), stating this is a "building toy" "Specially made for airline companies", with age suggestion and piece count.
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Box back: A shot of the main models in action, plus two small alternate ones.
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Box side: Some more alternative pieces use.
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Box top and bottom: A different look at the chopper.
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Box content: Two bags, loose net, loose string, instructions sheet. No stickers!
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Loose pieces: 4 main colors: white, red, yellow, black.  There seems to be a lot of gray, but it will end up hidden in the models.
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Minifigs and "not so ordinary" pieces: A chrome piece, a printed tile, a winch, the big helicpter windscreen (which made a comeback in this decade). Plus, something I've never seen before: some tape holding the strings (w/studs on ends).
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Random instrctions page: Building the winch section. There are no piece call-outs, but close-ups and sub-sections. Instructions sheet measures 210x130 mms (9.4x5.2"), and it was folded into three to fit the tight box.
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Building the jeep: Fast and simple. A small 4-wide vehicle with no doors (they wouldn't fit between the mudguards).
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Jeep is complete: I told you it would have been fast! Very few details on this one, just lights on front and rear and a "plate with handle" on front, so that it would be easy for a tow truck too to help this car (that Bomber-jacket guy must be really out of luck, or just over-cautuoius).
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Jeep views: Front and rear. Very little space at the driver's back.
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Building the helicopter: Starting from the core, this string placing is a bit tricky.
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Building the helicopter: Here are the separate parts for a better view.
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Helicopter is complete: And ready to take off!
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Helicopter rear: Lots of angles and slopes make it a bit unrealistic (so does the winch handle  :tongue: ).
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Helicopter views: Tails and side lights are the main highlights, plus that chrome reflector to make a spotlight.
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Caught in the net: The small jeep fints into the net; string with studs will help the holding it with the grappling hook.
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Full set: set is complete, and we have a few leftovers.
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Review:

There are three main reasons for I decided to buy this set.
1) It came really cheap (less than 9 Euros, including S/H);
2) I never owned an Airline promo, and it will not be easy at all to put my hands on another one;
3) I never owned such an helicopter or such a jeep. (My dark years started in 1988 and ended in 2007).

I could hardly believe this set was released in the late 90's; back then, cars used to look like this, and choppers like this.  :sick:  
So this was a sort of last call for these town vehicles.

The car is very simple, and very classic-looking. If it wasn't for the sloped mudguard, it could be an 80's model (and it would look like another promo, 2880). Obviously 4-wide, it has a 2-studs open trunk, which means you could hardly put something there AND hope you don't lose it on the way. Driver comes with a green baseball cap (my first ever, I guess) and a leather jacket. Both were common in outdoor adventures city sets.

The helicopter is very classic looking too. It is a part of what I call the 3rd generation (because of the windshield); the 1st had a regular windshield and a brick-made nose; the 2nd had two windshields, the ordinary one and a reversed one. These 2nd and 3rd generation have in common that the front opens vertically, so they don't have car doors. There is not much that makes this chopper stand out from the similar models (like 6642), and it comes with a couple of flaws.
First, there is really little room in the cockpit, and we all know that a head wearing a helmet is wider than a torso; therefore, it takes a while to find a way to sit the minifig. Second, the winch. Winding back the string is easy and effective; lowering it seems to be a waste of time, since it's much easier to just pull the grappling hook.
The pilot comes with a torso that I just love. It looks like a black leather jacket on a blood red t-shirt.

It was a good choice to include the net and the strings; the net is a bit small, so it would hardly fit a larger car. No unusual pieces (and that's no big deal if you aren't into MOCing) and no stickers (and that's always a plus). A sort of civillian rescue is a bit different from the ordinary; so is a small set with two (eventually) independent vehicles. I can't rate it "Outstanding", but I would have loved to own it as a kid and I am happy now as a collector.

Rating:

Color scheme: 4/5. White, yellow and red usually makes me think of Shell; this is a new use for such colors (and Octan was already in back then)

Minifigs and accessories: 3/5. A black suit with white helmet (and trans light blue visor)? It looks odd to me. While, the leather jacket looks really cool. Ordinary faces, quite common torsos, no accessories (if you don't count the big net).

Pieces: 3/5. Good for the set, far from outstanding for MOCs.

Playability: 4,5/5. Two vehicles, two minifigs, and a rescue situation.

Design: 3/5. I wouldn't be as negative as some other Teacher, but indeed both chopper and jeep look a lot like many other choppers and jeeps from that era.

Overall rating: 4/5. Very good for someone who was in the mid of his dark years. Plus, a good twist in those years of juniorization.

The final words: Who doesn't love rare sets that come for cheap?
Most overread phrase on S@H: "Sorry, item is not available in this country: Italy."

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#2 lightningtiger

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:44 PM

Thanks 'The Cobra' great review ! :sweet:
Cute little 4x4 jeep with a rescue copter - bare bones and basic BUT effective they both do the job (might MOC a construction jeep like that one for myself).
Your right that winch and trans-blue cover are rare too. :oh:
Loved the picture on the edge of the box - water sking after the rescue - ah well they must relax sometimes ! :grin:
Again thanks 'The Cobra'.

#3 Section8

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 12:33 AM

Thanks for the great, comprehensive review!  The jeep is a bit shabby but that is made up by the awesome helicopter.  Certainly better than most of the other 'Generation 3' choppers (as you put it), like the one in 6396.  These airline promo sets often eclipse many of the regular line sets from the same years.  1998 was full of juniorized sets in the regular town line, which easily makes this one of the best sets of the year.

#4 legofan

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 07:27 AM

Thank you for a wonderful review!!  :thumbup:

This set is truely very very rare!!! Almost extinct set! Very cute little copter with a winch to actually winch and rescue someone/ something! Cool!
But i just couldnt say more regarding the jeep....  :sadnew:

Overall quite an okay set, but given it's rarity, this set is truely amazing now ~~ I do believe straight-up boxes are very rare in Lego right?

Thanks again for sharing! Cheers!!  :tongue:

#5 WhiteFang

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 06:52 PM

Great review Clonie!

It's nice to see past promotional airlines exclusive set, making their way to EB, especially when I have never seen this set before. I like the idea of a rescue theme, where it flies to the mountain area to save drivers whom are in great danger. I can imagine the snow mountain behind the backdrop. Between the helicopter and jeep, I strongly prefer to own the helicopter instead of the jeep, and for the price which you have got. It's defintely a bargain.  :thumbup:

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#6 The Green Brick Giant

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 07:15 PM

During the late 90s LEGO S@H had the Airline Promos for sale through the catalog, I wish they still did that.  I htink this set was for sale for $10, but sadly I never bought.  Neat little set.  The airline promo sets are the ebst, I'm glad I have the few I have.

#7 The Cobra

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 07:42 PM

 WhiteFang, on Dec 19 2009, 07:52 PM, said:

Great review Clonie!

:hmpf_bad:

Thanks for blogging it!  :tongue:
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#8 WhiteFang

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 07:48 PM

 The Cobra, on Dec 20 2009, 02:42 AM, said:

:hmpf_bad:
:cry_sad:

 The Cobra, on Dec 20 2009, 02:42 AM, said:

Thanks for blogging it!  :tongue:
Sorry about my typo. Hee!  :blush:

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#9 Zorbas

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 08:07 PM

Thanks for this great review The Cobra! :thumbup:

Man, this is one weird box! It reminds me of one of those boxes that Playmobil used to use.

I like the helicopter. It has the early 90s design and that's good (for me). The only thing that I don't really like is the colours that have been used. They are too many I think and they don't have the right balance.

I really like the winch feature. :wub: The winch piece looks very interesting.

The small vehicle is just average, nothing too special.

The torsos are very nice too, especially the brown one. If only I can get my hands on one of these some day... :blush:

...and that eyebrows face...I still can't find the reason why I don't like that particular face.


Thanks again for the review The Cobra!
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