Review: 4991 Police Helicopter
Posted 30 March 2010 - 12:08 PM
"There's traffic in the sky - And it doesn't seem to be getting much better - There's kids playing games on the pavement..." (Jack Johnson - Traffic in the sky)
4991: Police Helicopter
Pieces: 31 + 4 extras
Building time: less than 5
MISB on review: Yes
More info: Brickset - Peeron - Bricklink
Notes: Available from Quick fast food restaurants in continental Europe, Sept. 2007. One of two sets included with Nov-Dec 2007 BrickMaster magazine. Set also given away free with the Daily Mirror newspaper (UK), October 2008. Promotion also in Ireland. (Brickset)
Official description: N/A
Polybag: They don't usually come with set names. But a lot of (same old) writings on the back
Instructions: A one and a half sized sheet, with pieces number to help you ordering replacement parts (or an activity for Lego nerds who could tell you 7-digits code for any piece ever made).
Loose pieces: If it's small, keep it simple. Black, white, grey and trans colors.
Minifigure: I can hardly imagine an helicopter pilot with jacket and tie.
Sub buildings: The cockpit is unbalanced when not lying on double inverted slopes.
Complete model: So here it is, and with a few details for such a small set!
The final shot: Helicopter, pilot and extra pieces.
Does the image above look familiar? (Pic is link to instructions).
It looks like this small fire copter was a rip-off from the police one, given that 4900 came out the following year. It looked better in Fire colors (but the cockpit did not open); this probably means Lego designers knew they could have done it better. And you can probably just re-release a promo set without anyone grumping.
Back on our 4991. At first sight, I thought it sucked. Then, the "in my hands" factor made it gain some points.
First, minifig has an uncommon head piece, and that's a big pro. And I still think he would have looked better with a different torso (the police bikers torso would have been perfect). The copter is not totally bad. A windshield that remins me of SP2, a couple of utensils can can be taken off for more action and two propellors.
These minis have always been around in Lego City/Town, much more than in real life (yes, these kind of mini-flyers do really exist). Given that Police has always had a "regular" helicopter, a mini such as this one would be great to monitor traffic, or just as an aerial support. It's the flying version of the Police motorbike; probably not that fast, but it can fly, and that's a traffic beater for sure.
Design was smart; the Technic axle has has a stop on one hand in order not to slide into the cockpit (I first built it the wrong way, I'm sometimes so busy taking pics that I build something wrong), and with such a low piece count it comes with good features.
This is a set that many may overlook, but worth giving a chance. Not the most realistc kit around, but a good compromise. If I never owned, I would have rated it only 2 out of five, but I change my mind.
Color scheme: 5/5. Classic (or "Vintage", as Michael Cole would say) black and white Police. I wonder how would it look in white and blue.
Minifigs and accessories: 4/5. Pros: unusual head piece, a couple of accessories. Con: Jacket_and_tie torso.
Pieces: 3,5/5. A couple of propellors in a 30-pieces set. The rest is average.
Playability: 4/5. Opening cockpit, loudhailer and camera/bazooka to take off the copter and put in minifig hands, and two propellors to spin!
Design: 3/5. Good if compared to simpler 80's and 90's similar sets. But not eye-catchy to me before I bought it.
Overall rating: 3/5. On the edge of averageness.
The final words: The kind of set you can hardly love when you don't own it, but could when you do.
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Posted 30 March 2010 - 12:16 PM
It does have that classic town feel, with also a handy hinge to place or remove the officer/pilot.
Yeah, it does look like the firecopter too eh ?
Keep on bricking !
Posted 30 March 2010 - 04:57 PM
I own this set, but I got it, mainly for the sake of completion, other than that, this is a good to have polybag set. I rated it average too.
My name is Wilhalm Bloodaxe and I am back to be part of the Ragnarök Now Redux.
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Posted 30 March 2010 - 06:02 PM
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