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REVIEW: 4549 Container Double Stack


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  4. 4 - Above average (2 votes [16.67%])

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  5. 5 - OVER 9000!!!! (10 votes [83.33%])

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#1 Lord Of Pies

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 02:04 PM

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'ello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I stumbled across my old brickshelf account this morning and realised I had a few photos of set 4549, which I had been meaning to upload ages ago, but never got around to. It's been a while since I last did a reivew, so bear with me here!

Anyway, on with the review! (Unfortunately some photos are missing, so use your imagination :P)

4549 Container Double Stack

This set, also known as Road 'N Rail Hauler in the US, was released in 1993 and cost $52 from S@H. It was discontinued in 1995.

Pieces: 446

Minifigs: 2

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The set consists of a 4-wide articulated lorry, a twin bogie wagon and 4 containers.

First off the minifigs. The 2 figures included are both bog-standard railway workers, in matching blue outfits. The minifig operating the crane sensibly has a hard hat, the lorry driver has brown hair. Nothing unusual about the faces, just the standard classic smiley.

The torso design has a nice white-and-red chevron pattern and a small <-O-> logo:

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Lets move onto the lorry:

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I really like this lorry, it is simple, yet looks good. The red colour scheme matches the crane too. The amount of stickers is annoying however, there are 5 just on this lorry! The lights on top are a nice touch too. The lorry can carry either 2 small containers, or one large one. (Or all the containers at once if you wish to disregard 'elf and safety)

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The cab looks American, not like British lorries at all.

The downside to this lorry is that it is only 4 wide, which is fine in a nice old fashioned lego town, but it looks out of place when compared to some modern sets.

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The doors open as well, and the roof is hinged too, so minifigs can be placed in the cabin easily.

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^ This piece connects the trailer to the cabin ^

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The way the trailer is attached enables a failry tight turning circle.

Another interesting thing about the lorry is the back wheels on the trailer. This piece is used to connect the wheels to the trailer:

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It means that both pairs of wheels can be touching the ground at once. A very clever yet simple design that I have not seen used on another lego lorry myself.  (This review explains it better)

The Crane:

The crane is also well thought out, unfortuantely I only have 1 picture of it which does not do it justice at all!

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The crane is very wide compared to the lorry, though it needs to be to remain stabe when lifting the containers up. The crane arm measures 8" when fully extended (No innuendos please) and can be lowered and raised.

Using my elite MS paint skills I will show you how the arm can be lowered:

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The lights are a nice detail as well, as is the little walky talky that can just be seen on the other side. Also on the other side is the handle used to wind in the string. When the "grabber arm" is attached to a container it tightens when pulled which means the containers can be lifted. It is a simple mechanism but it works well enough. This also ensures that playability is high, it is surprisingly fun loading the containers on to the wagon!

The wagon:

Jeez, I don't have a single picture of this one by itself at all! Its a shame, because I did have many pictures of this set, but they seem to have disapeared.

The wagon uses the same low base as 4547 Euro Express Tourist Car. It is very simple and only consists of a few pieces. It is a twin bogie design and can carry all 4 containers at once. the 2 long containers can be stacked up on top of each other in the middle and the 2 short containers can go over the wheels. Sometimes however when the train goes full speed the containers fall off round the bends.

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I haven't actually mentioned how the containers work really. They stack well because of a simple tile and stud design. They "lock" together so they don't simply slide off, but can still easily be lifted off by the crane. The containers also have doors at both ends. This set doesnt include any actual cargo within the containers.

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Conclusion:

Overall this is a wonderful set, the wagon makes a great addition to any cargo train, and the crane and lorry realyl add to the playability.

Pros:
  • Great playability
  • Detailed
  • Colour scheme
  • Several rare and unique pieces

Cons:
  • Expensive nowadays
  • Stickers
  • 4 stud lorry/containers hard to integrate into modern town

Overall I would highly recommend this set, I got mine for £20 (Bargain!) and it was definetly worth the money.
Again sorry about the lack of photos, but I think you got the general idea. This lovely review by Legofan details the construction of the set well.
Are you hasty for a tasty pastry?

#2 lightningtiger

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 11:35 PM

Thanks 'Lord Of Pies' for the review of this cool set. :sweet:
It is interesting to see this since we are getting a new cargo train that has a semi in it carrying double length containers so later on we can compare 1993 to 2010.
The crane idea with the winch - fantastic as the 2007 didn't have a winch arrangement on it (hello MOD time).
Back then it would have been the bees knees, but sadly as a with 4 wide trucks - only in classic town it would fit.
Again thanks and keep on bricking ! :sweet:

#3 Lord Of Pies

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 11:25 AM

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

I havent seen any of the new sets, I'll have to have a look. As a matter of fact, I haven't touched much lego at all recently, I only posted this review because I had the pics floating around!

As you say the lorry doesnt fit in well with a modern town, but the crane does, it is quite large by 90's lego standards. It is 6 wide so it looks good alongside newer sets.
Are you hasty for a tasty pastry?

#4 legotrainfan

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 02:34 PM

Thanks for this nice review! I rated this set 5. I like its high degree of playability. I also like the choice of colours for the vehicles, the waggon and containers. I like the doors of the containers too. They give you access to their contents (if you put anything in them).

Edited by legotrainfan, 04 April 2010 - 02:35 PM.

[...]
I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
From: "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by W.B. Yeats


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#5 TheBrickster

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 04:07 PM

Thanks for sharing a review of a real Classic Train set.

This set is one I always wanted.  I wonder what it sells for now?  It brings back Classic Town for me with the excellent 4-stud wide trailer truck.  I love those containers. :wub:

Nice! :thumbup:

#6 Nobrux

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 08:50 PM

View PostTheBrickster, on Apr 4 2010, 01:07 PM, said:

Thanks for sharing a review of a real Classic Train set.

This set is one I always wanted.  I wonder what it sells for now?  It brings back Classic Town for me with the excellent 4-stud wide trailer truck.  I love those containers. :wub:

Nice! :thumbup:

I share the same feelings for this one. I´ve always imagined a lego town with the 4564 Freight Rail Runner, this set, the 4555 Cargo Station and the 6542 Launch and Load Seaport. Lot´s of containers and playability!

By the way, thanks for the excelent review on this one. This set is definitely on my wish list.

#7 Lord Of Pies

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:38 PM

View PostTheBrickster, on Apr 4 2010, 05:07 PM, said:

Thanks for sharing a review of a real Classic Train set.

This set is one I always wanted.  I wonder what it sells for now?  It brings back Classic Town for me with the excellent 4-stud wide trailer truck.  I love those containers. :wub:

Nice! :thumbup:

Thanks for the comment. The cheapest I could find this set on bricklink was $80, and that was missing the wagon! Ebay occasionally has some real bargains, often people list items without realising the real value.


View PostNobrux, on Apr 4 2010, 09:50 PM, said:

I share the same feelings for this one. I´ve always imagined a lego town with the 4564 Freight Rail Runner, this set, the 4555 Cargo Station and the 6542 Launch and Load Seaport. Lot´s of containers and playability!

By the way, thanks for the excelent review on this one. This set is definitely on my wish list.

Your right, I didn't really mention how compatible this set is with others too much.

This set uses the same crane "claw" as set 6542 like you said, but the containers seem to be slightly different. Still interchangable I would guess. Set 4555 is the closest match for 4549, they both use the same container design and the same crane "claw". The wagons aren't the same colour however. Interestingly, set 10170, the "successor" to 4549, uses very similar containers and they can be mixed up and interlock with eah other. Set 10170 is also interesting because the two wagons in that set share the same bogey.
Are you hasty for a tasty pastry?



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