Review: 7686 Helicopter transport
Posted 07 July 2010 - 02:36 PM
To my Grandmother
Who died in March 2010.
She was still able to see me taking pictures of this set.
The present review covers a special edition set that is to day a set that is available for a limited period in the market. Taking into account that the set was issued it the second half of the year, its availability was shortened to 4 – 5 months only.
I'm going to show you all the trade-offs about the set and to compare it with the others if I can. I'd also like to prove that this set is the best Limited Edition set through the CITY series (2005 – 2010). Saying that I mean not only the set as such but I also consider the opinion of collectors, of those who will play it (children) and those who prefer MOCs..
Some official info.
7686 – Helicopter transport)
Timing release – 2009, second half.
Pieces (officially) – 377.
Minifigs – 3.
MRSP in Russia 1299 rubles.
The present set is part of a bit strange subtheme that is hard to name as we can see there a Tow truck 7638 and the big Garage 7642, so, it doesn't deal only with car mending. All the three sets have common livery both for sets (orange, grey, black and white) and and for minifigs.
In Russia the set is a bit more expensive that the other limited edition sets but it was due to rising MRSP in summer 2009. This fact, however, doesn't make the set less attractive.
The box is very big, it could have been much smaller. I guess the pieces occupy some 60 – 65 % of it.
At the front part of the box there is the set itself: a powerful and cool truck, a long but not less interesting trailer, a high-tech helicopter which looks quite small or compact, and an orange bike – just like to be added to the collection of bikes. So, all in all, the set is well thought out.
There are two books inside, the first is dedicated to assembling the bike and the helicopter while the second one is for the truck and trailer..
Numerous stickers are located on a small sheet, which I like:
The set contains 4 bags; the sticker sheet and the trailer hull are put like that. The trailer hull is a single piece and this fact is widely criticized by LEGO fans. I, however, do not share this criticism. And I'll show why.
As you can see, each bag contains few pieces. So the box could have been twice as little. The first two bags contain pieces to construct the bike and the helicopter. The bags 3 and 4 go fo the truck & trailer.
I should also notice that the set has got 3 (!!!) minifigures. For a special edition this is quite much. Moreover, this fact is very positive as we get such minifigs only in 7638 (1) , in Garage 7642 (3) and in this set, which totals only 7. As far as I know, TLG is not going to develop this subtheme in the nearest future.
Pieces from bags 1 & 2:
Getting the stickers ready:
Two minifigs from the first bags. I really like the torso they have, and I also like that they’ve got dark grey trousers – to make them different from their colleagues in the Garage..
The advantages of the set are not described all yet. The set offers a very nice colour scheme. Collectors will definitely like the orange bike, such colour brings joy and happiness.
Now, we pass to the helicopter. Before, I used to think it was a small and plain machine, but when assembling it I changed my mind as I was fascinated by designer solutions applied. The structure of the helicopter is a bit different from all the other helicopters offered by LEGO. And I was surprised by the size of the machine, I didn't think it would be that big and that it would be sort of 6515 set from 1995 in terms of size.
Some pictures of assembling process:
I'd like to highlight the tail of the helicopter as it is made in a special way. Usually, tails were made of bricks or plates whilst here we have a technic axle put inside technic pipes and pins.
The tail is made like this:
Blue holders are mounted to hold the windscreen.
There's only one gearstick here:
Well, the building is complete. I think, it is nicely designed. The helicopter is compact and large at the same time. Due to the way of making the tail, the helicopter came out more realistic..
Well, all I have to do now is to wait for the truck...
This bulk of pieces will make my truck.
The truck is mounted like that on several plates, it doesn;t have a large single piece as most LEGO CITY trucks do.
When we attach the side parts, the truck soon gets more solid and even imposant, I'd say:
Driver's cab, one of the most interesting things about the truck.
The roof and deflectors. Its position can be adjusted.
Usually, I show the structure of the front part. It is even more important here as the truck is more typical of USA than Europe as it has the engine part at the front..
American trucks usually have beautiful vertical chrome pipes just at the back of the cab. Here we get grey ones, and I think chrome would have been much better.
Now we put a number plate, and the truck is ready. One of the best LEGO CITY trucks, looks marvellous from any standpoint. Its proportions are well made, the hood is not long or short. I thought the truck would be higher. Its height, however, is optimum.
Now let's pass to the trailer..
7686 offers us a set of classical instruments that make me think of old TOWN...
At the beginning of the trailer we ca see boxes for instruments and they can also line the small wall. There is also a petrol vessel but I can hardly imagine for whom it may be needed.
Many people have been still criticizing the set for this single large bed-type piece. TO me, this is not a disadvantage. The set does contain a decent number of pieces. The structure of the bogie may be interrsting here as it may turn. U guess why the put here transparent red round pieces (1st photo) as they are then completely covered by othere non-transparent pieces, which you can see on the 2nd photo:
Well, now the building is complete..
it is stunning, isn't it? The transport is a mixed-use one. It is hard to meet such kind of trailer every day, but still it is nice. The truck & trailer may work as a rescue rig, as a transporter, as a repair truck, and the biker – as a insurance agent. The whole system truck + trailer is just gorgeous regardless of from where we look at it....
Some more pictures:
- design, colour scheme;
- 4 vehicles;
- 3 interesting minifigs;
- affordable price;
- heli's tail design;
- orange bike;
- front-engine type truct with adjustable deflectors;
- good number of useful pieces to build MOCs.
- Special Edition – available only for several months than sold out;
- large box.
In total, I would recommend this set yet ut might be very difficult now. If we compare Special Edition CITY sets, this one is definitely the best. It is well developed, well made and much more to scale than most of the others. The set would be useful for CITY builders and for those who prefer MOCs.
Posted 07 July 2010 - 02:58 PM
I too have one of these sets, oddly enough it's still together even the bike and trailer.
To me it seem odd that a towing operator has a helicopter - now that's roadside assitance to air eh ?
For the short lived garage subtheme it gave us some nice playsets with a different approach than before - actual real life !
I do believe in Europe that some motoring bodies that provide roadside repair/rescue have helicopters, I guess to provide traffic information to various bodies like radio stations or police even.
Thanks again and keep on bricking !
Posted 07 July 2010 - 07:35 PM
Edited by Mr. Elijah Timms, 07 July 2010 - 07:40 PM.
Cant wait to depart aboard the Icebreaker!!!
Posted 08 July 2010 - 09:53 AM
Currently playing as the Sheriff Kenneth Emanuel in Tamamono's Silver City Mafia
Posted 13 July 2010 - 02:47 AM
In any case, I really like this set! I think it's a great City/Adventure/Action combo set that has a pretty nice design. While the LEGO City garage has the same colors (which I'm not too fond off), this looks nice with the helicopter and truck combination. It was in a TRU display with the garage, and that's probably why I never noticed it.
Does the storage container come off the trailer? It looks like it might. I think I'm going to look into getting this set, and maybe add a few World Raicer motorcycles for added adventure.
On a side note, I wish you and your family well thoughts in the loss of your grandmother.
Posted 13 July 2010 - 03:18 AM
Posted 13 July 2010 - 08:48 AM
Thanks for the detailed review, it a nice set but I had other priorities.
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