Review - 6378 Service Station
Posted 30 July 2011 - 04:05 PM
Welcome folks to my 9th review for the Eurobricks Reviewers Academy. Today I introduce you the 6378 Service Station set.
Theme: Classic Town
Set name: Service Station
Set Number: 6378
Price used: 25.50-90 $, 25-70 Euro
Year of release: 1986
Links: Peeron, Bricklink and Brickset
Front of the box is almost a square of 28 x 28.5 centimetres (11.03 x 11.23 inches), just a little higher than the 7307 Flying Mummy Attack.
It depicts the Service Station on a fantasized roadside background, with some low ‘hills’ and a blue sky at its back. In my view, it’s a pity the box designers did not take it one little step forward and add a few green lines on the grey stand to match the baseplate’s ones. The set number and LEGOLAND band in the upper left corner, and the LEGO logo in the upper right corner complete the layout (European edition, of course; the North American edition [courtesy of Peeron] had all those additional information about pieces count, age limits and so on, too).
As typical of those times, the back of the box does not show play features or alternate views of the original set. Instead, it showcases a number of possible alternate builds. It really screams: ‘Free your imagination, and let’s see what you can do with these parts!’
This is one of those boxes designed for exposition as much as for storage. It had a lid that covered a plastic window from which the parts would ‘smile’ to the future buyer. Too bad we see too little of this nowadays. Anyway, the Inside cover (or backside of the lid) show a kid enjoying those play features that were not included on the back of the box.
The main colour of this set is a bright white, with accents of red and yellow to liven it up. Black, grey and blue complete the palette.
This set includes a couple of re-coloured parts, namely the White Container, Box 2 x 2 x 2 - Solid Studs (found in other 3 sets only) and White Container, Box 2 x 2 x 2 Door with Slot.
The new pieces include the Light Gray Baseplate, Road 32 x 32 Service Station with Green Lines Pattern (exclusive to this set and the 9360 Roadplates and Scenery set), …
… the Brick, Round 2 x 2 with Buttons on Black Panel Pattern on Two Sides (found in three other sets only) and the Slope 45 2 x 1 Double with Double 3 Button Black Pattern (common to this set and the 6394 Metro Park & Service Tower only).
For those interested, here is a picture of the DSS, courtesy of Bricklink.
Mechanic (left) – This is a man who loves his job! Always positive, he never gives up until your car is fixed. No broken motors, no flat tyres, no oil stains can brush the smile out of his face.
One of my favourite parts in this minifigure, and I believe one of everybody’s favourite parts, is the overall torso, introduced in 1984 and produced until 2005. It really speaks of blue collars and a job well done.
Granted, the blue cap and classic smiling face are a bit outdated now that both have been updated, but they are nice additions to anybody’s inventory.
Attendant (right) – Probably the Mechanic’s wife, this smiling lady is happy to help you refill, wash your car or buy new parts in the Service Station shop.
The Shell torso piece had a long history in LEGO, as it was first introduced in 1978, but was about to make its final appearance, due 1988.
The rest of the fig is made of pretty standard parts, from the classic smiling face to the blue legs and the black headgear.
The torso pieces do not sport any back-printing, as those appeared some years later.
Tools of the trade
Even if these are not new parts, I’ll like to spend a few words on the pieces in the above picture. Together with the gasoline pumps we’ll see later, these are the tools our proud minifigures use to earn their meal. Sure, they cannot be compared with the newer mechanic’s tools introduced in 1995, but they have been, for a long time, every kid’s dream in terms of minifig technology, along with those nice shovel, axe and pickaxe pieces we all know.
The cover shows the same picture of the front of the box, plus two additional pics in the lower band.
On the right side, we see Mechanic and Attendant talking (unless the lady is going to hit the Mechanic with his wrench…) in the Service Station shop; careful observers will notice that they exchanged torsos and the shop is an alternate build compared to the original model.
On the left side, we see the first step of the instructions, classically starting with the minifigs.
The back cover shows a composition of views from the original model and the alternate builds. All of these pictures are also available on the box.
In this random page we see the set building is pretty straight forward. As typical of the time, there are no pieces call-outs, except for some minor, smallish details. Note how the baseplate design is cut to save space on the page.
Even though it cannot be compared to Mater, this tow truck looks fine and funny to play with, including the open-able hood as well as doors and roof of the cabin. My only complains are the lack of a car to tow, and the fact that, even though the doors are printed, the hood needs a sticker. Talk about inconsistency!
Service Station start
We start by building the shop and workshop.
I love to see how these older sets use a fair number of single pieces instead of panel and BURPs to make a wall.
The windows, roof and furniture complete this part of the set, and we can move on to the…
What would a Service Station be without its gasoline pumps? This isle configuration is very nice and it’s achieved with a limited number of well chosen parts. Very accurate and still playable, this is my favourite touch in the model.
The canopy and some minor details complete our set. The colour scheme, the proportions, the overall feel, all in this set makes you feel TLG designers took and actual Shell Service Station and shrunk it to LEGO minifigures’ size!
As common to almost all sets of the time, as well as a number of current ones, the back of the buildings is open, to allow better playability. Personally, I like this feature more than the removable roof one; as long as the model is meant more for play than exposition, of course.
Detail of the pumps
In this shot we can see abetter detail of one of the pumps. Doesn’t it look just like the real thing? Kudos at TLG for a job well done!
Attendant is filling the Tow truck while Mechanic keeps the workshop in perfect order. You must be ready for when emergency calls, or a customer just stops by.
Design & Colour scheme - 10/10 (A perfect replica of a real life Shell station. What more could I add?)
Minifig - 10/10 (They fit their roles perfectly. The torsos are very nice in design and represent a great addition to any Classic Town or City collection.)
Parts - 9/10 (Not many new or re-coloured parts in this model, to be sure, but a lot of useful and interesting ones. Moreover, most the new parts included here can be found in only a small number of other sets.)
Playability – 10/10 (Along with a good Town Centre, a Train Station or an Airport and an Apartment Building or Residential House, a Service Station is a fundamental part of every Town or City, and the number of interactions one can imagine is probably limitless. Moreover all the little play feature introduced in this model make it look just like a miniature version of a real gas station, boosting its appeal.)
Build – 8/10 (Pretty easy and enjoyable, it includes a fair number of nice solutions, like the pumps’ isle.)
Price – 10/10 (Quite frankly, I have no idea of the original price of this set, but I was happily surprised to see the price on the secondary market still remains largely affordable in most cases.)
Overall: 9.5/10 Excellent
As always, questions, comments, and pic requests welcome!
Posted 30 July 2011 - 10:22 PM
And can anyone see anything similar to my MOC Shell eh ?
The tow truck is cute, but pity it took Lego until recent times for female figures to have bust lines.
One thing I wonder about, this one is selling...er, antennas or gear shifters or handbrake levers and my old favorite 377 a battery as a door stop....why didn't they make stickers that represent globe/fuse cabinet and a wiper blade merchandiser - real servo stuff ?
Brick On and Go Well Go Shell !
Posted 31 July 2011 - 09:06 AM
My name is Wilhalm Bloodaxe and I am back to be part of the Ragnarök Now Redux.
Lord Kenneth Valise, Level 1 Knight, 28yrs old human
Power: 4 Health: 10/10 Gold: 10
Inventory: One potion, a Greatsword (WP: 3) and a Shield (SP: 2)
Posted 31 July 2011 - 09:16 AM
When I finally got the set for my birthday it was everything I had hoped for. I still have it and it takes centre stage in all my town layouts as it fits well in either Town or City layouts.
One of the truly great sets!
Posted 22 August 2011 - 02:07 PM
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