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REVIEW: 6597 Century Skyway (picture heavy)

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#1 coffeeandcake


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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:46 AM

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hi all, been following these forums for awhile, and i decided to contribute in my own way here by posting my review on this classic lego town set, 6597 century skyway. this is my first review so please go easy on me, and if i am not doing this right, do let me know.. im still learning (: most of my pictures have been taken using my phone camera, so excuse the quality, but i have tried to do my best in taking the best quality i can.


Set Number: 6597
Set Name: Century Skyway
Sub-theme: Airport
Year of Release: 1994
Pieces: 850 (lugnet)
Minifigs: 12!
Components: building, control tower, airliner, heavylift helicopter, small helicopter, 3 vehicles, mobile stairs and extras.
Price: 109USD (lugnet)

i have been a long fan of lego, and this set was one my favourites back when it was released about 18 years ago. needless to say, i got out of lego for quite a bit, unhappy with the newer line of <insert that tiresome argument> and easy build sets. this set then got lost with time. when i got back in to lego last year, i set out on a quest to find this set again, and managed to get one for a not-so-great but reasonable price, plus it was complete and in good condition, although the white pieces had shown its age..faded into an off-white to brownish colour. but that was a minor gripe. the set came without a box, but packed nicely by the previous owner in modular-style polybags with numbers, parts seperated into their respective build (i dont remember if the parts were seperated that way back then).

i dont have a picture of the bags, but here is a shot of the instructions, and random pages of the various builds. the instructions come in a massive booklet, about A4 sized, and contained about 50 pages. it shows pretty much the same scene as the box would had, with the old lego system logo on the left and the set number on the right.
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i will post detailed shots of the booklet according to the respective build as the review goes on..

the set comes with a whopping 12 minifigures, the entire first page on the booklet is dedicated to them.
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the figs included are very nostalgic, back to the generic smiley faces with freckles.

meet the friendly, ever smiling airport crew, from left to right - we have a pilot, a stewardess, the lego-branded octan aircraft refueler, baggage handler, air traffic controller, and forklift driver. i like the variety that comes with the figs in this set, such as the cap, hairpiece and hard hat. i appreciate that lego didn't just give three identical airport crewmen.
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the remaining six figures, from left to right - security guard, cargo helicopter pilot, small helicopter pilot (looking identical to the other helicopter pilot - do all chopper pilots look like this (: ) and three passengers, two males with the same head, but different bodies and a female with some sort of a bob cut in what looks like a sweater.  
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as with all classic minifigs, there is no special printing on the legs or back printing on the torsos, but lovely nontheless.

the set comes with three small vehicles, a 2 in 1 baggage truck with mobile stairs, an octan refueling truck, and a forklift for precious cargo. these builds are simple enough, and a breeze to go through - it took me no longer than 15 minutes to go through.

random instruction page from the vehicle builds.
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the tiny baggage truck is built using a simple and straightforward build. it has capacity for up to 8 suitcases or 1 cargo box in the back. it is connected to the mobile stairs via ball and joint pieces. the stairs is also an easy build and uses stickers on the plane tails on the side. a note about the stickers, they have a translucent background rather than a background printed in the same colour as the brick they are stuck on, like in today's sets. i think they look quite nice, and could make for another 'airline' plane tail for an alternative build perhaps?
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the baggage handler also comes with a trolley, which can fit 3 suitcases
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the octan refueling truck is another simple and straightforward build. its a tiny truck which utilises the string and hose, rather than the rubber tubes that we would find in sets today, or back then, the space sets. the truck also utilises octan branded stickers on both sides. i find far less detail in this build, for example, lack of a proper cockpit, and lack of headlights. and there is NO way that it can carry enough jet fuel in there for the plane to travel very far!
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the cargo forklift is another nice little build which uses the spring forklift piece which allows lots of playability. it has a larger wheel footprint on the front than the back, i am guessing for stability. it is built to lift cargo boxes which also come with the set.
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there are three sets of cargo boxes, two yellows, and a double grey box.
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each box can snugly fit two suitcases.
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and the forklift can lift the boxes and stand without issue.
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the set comes with 3 aircraft - a small helicopter, a big cargo helicopter, and a passenger jet. i will start off with the easiest build, the small helicopter.

the small helicopter is a simple design and another easy and straightforward build. there isnt much to mention about it, and there are no printed pieces or stickered pieces. i will get more into this at a later part of the review.
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the cargo helicopter. this helicopter is a much more challenging build, and the instructions can be kind of confusing. as there are no parts callout and pieces can be added at random anywhere on the build, it takes a keen eye and i ended up staring at the steps a couple of times to make sure i hadn't missed anything out (in some cases i did). all in all, it is a clever little build with a lot of thought put into playability (more on this later too). it has stickers on the side of the cargo logo and YL-315. im not sure what this means, usually TLG puts the set number.
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the cockpit has a printed 1x2 computer tile.
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the sides open up to reveal a cleverly made cargo compartment (more later as well) and doors on the back, for which purpose, i have no idea.
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the highlight of the set - the plane. i find this tiny plane very good looking. i like the nose pieces which make it look sleek, and i think its one of the best planes to ever released by TLG. the proportions are not the best, but good, and i think it looks way better than the huge <insert that tiresome argument> planes in the airport sets which are around today.. although this plane would be dwarfed in comparison.

the plane has a printed tail, but uses stickers for the fuselage branding, which i would say is a disappointment. the stickers dont do so well on the textured slope of the roof, and is pasted over two pieces which makes it even worse. mine is faded.
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the pilot instruments are a grey printed 2x2 slope
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the roof opens up to reveal an interior which comfortably fits four minifigs, with space for luggage at the back.
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the main event = the airport itself. the set comes with four road baseplates as well as a 16x16 and 32x16 green baseplate.. which means it has 6 baseplates - by far the most i ever found in a lego set (could be sets with as many or more, but this is the most that have made it into my hands). i love the attention to details and the thought put into playability when putting together the build, although i think that they could have done better with the instructions. again, this is a more difficult build and the angle doesnt really help, and i usually end up miscounting the studs and placing the pieces at the wrong place.
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the control tower
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i like how the control tower is built with the glass pieces and i like the printed slopes included in the build. the two crane pieces are by far the largest pieces in the set.
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the building
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the airport building itself comes in two levels. it has a small cafe, a ticketing counter, lockers, a departure board (with really weird timings!), and a garage on the lower level, and another cafe on the upper level, with a bridge crossing to the helipad.
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stickered pieces aplenty here, with the airline board logo, the departure board and the lockers.
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however, i think this is salvaged by the nicely done and printed radar mini build on the roof (:
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to save you from hearing me repeat myself, more of the building is outlined below in the playability section.

this set has a very high playability value. judging from the condition i received my set, it was out on display and probably played with alot. there has been a lot of thought that went into designing this set to be playable, such as the open sides of the buildings and the aircarft and vehicles which just gel together so well. here some highlights.

the ticketing counter on the ground level of the main building. this is immediately through the main doors, where your figs can check in for their flight.
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luggage lockers, for leaving your luggage or whatever else you would like (: there are three lockers and they are all stickered.
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more playability here, having their bags checked through the security area, where they will be loaded onto the next flight!
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and here they are being loaded onto the aircraft.
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say your last goodbyes to your loved ones over a drink on the ground floor cafe..
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..or on the upper level viewing gallery cafe
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there is space above the garage for the small chopper
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passengers are boarding their next flight, off to visit legoland.
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while the refueling truck comes out to get busy.
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the cargo helicopter is being loaded up by forklift. as i have stated earlier it is a very cleverly built compartment. it is 4-studs wide and on one side, it is just the right height for the forklift to place the cargo boxes in the hold. it can hold 2x cargo boxes.
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and on the reverse side, it has space for four loose suitcases.
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other details included with the set are a palm tree, flowers and a windsock. the set also comes with 8 suitcases and various lights for the runway.
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which is explained in a step using a real overview of the airport on the back page.
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Design: 9/10 a timeless, classic lego set. very nice design especially the plane. i also love how every build in the set works so well together.
Parts: 8/10 not really much special parts, but extra points for the printed radar and slopes, six base plates and challenging build.
Build: 8/10 challenging build, although sometimes can be confusing with random parts added across the build and inconsistent angles in the instructions. had to double back quite a few times, because i missed out some parts.
Minifigs: 10/10 TWELVE classic minifigs - whats not to love?
Playability: 10/10 very playable set, as mentioned above. every item included in this set goes so well together, and lots of thoughts were put into the little details to ensure this set is playable for a long time to come.
Price: i'm not going to give a score on this, because i do not know what it is worth now. if it was back in the day, i'd say the price was well worth such a beautifully designed set, 12 minifigs and high playability (yes i'm 25 and i still PLAY with my lego). that said, i paid roughly 3 times for a used set today what i originally paid back in 94 for a brand new set.

Overall: 45/50 this i by far the BEST lego set i have bought and owned. it is not only a beautiful collector's set, but a great addition to any lego city. i would take this set any day over the new range of airport sets.

that is all for my first review. i hope you liked it, and i apologise if it was too picture heavy or not detailed enough. comments and criticism welcome (: am happy to learn how to make my future reviews better!

cheers and beers!

Edited by coffeeandcake, 10 May 2012 - 05:54 PM.

#2 JackJonespaw


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Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:07 PM

Wow, this is an old set! Nice first review. This was a really great set back when it came out and still today.

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#3 just2good


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Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:51 PM

Excellent review, 'coffeeandcake'! :sweet:
My cousin almost got the 2005 version of this set for $50 on eBay, but someone brought it seconds before him. He also got the old Metroliner set for $15 on eBay (sorry I cant give details since Brickset isn't loading). :wacko:

#4 bootz


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Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:00 PM

Great review. I had the rerelease of this set, it was always one of my favorites. Unfortunately, its now part of my modular car dealership.

#5 lifeinplastic


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Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:22 PM

This is a great set - from the Golden Age of Lego City (or Town as it was then), possibly my second favourite set ever after the Metroliner. I thought that City was heading into another glorious period when Farm was released but I think the recent marina and hospital are very disappointing. I have always wanted more 'leisure' themed sets rather than the usual Police and Fire. The 2012 mining sets make a nice change but don't exactly reflect every day life. I was hoping the Friends theme was going to be similar to Paradisa but it didn't turn out that way.

I would love a set like the Century Skyway to be made to fit in with a Holiday Island sub-theme. The palm tree is a nice touch, showing that the airport is based away from a City area and the number of minifigures is a plus, although there could be more variety. The building itself is fairly substantial and there are nice additions like the luggage truck.

I hope Lego do make something like this in future, with one passenger plane, palm trees, a coach to take the holiday makers to their resort and a taxi cab. The figures should all be dressed for a summer vacation, of course. This set was great, considering the range of bricks and accessories available at the time.

Edited by lifeinplastic, 07 May 2012 - 02:24 PM.

My Ideal CMF Series: (No figures with open mouths and no specific features preventing multiple use (e.g. name tags)!

(1) Hotel Bellhop (dark red uniform with 2 suitcases), (2) Amazon Explorer (with over the shoulder bag and new toucan mould), (3) Elvis Presley Impersonator (in classic white jump suit with microphone), (4) Frog costume (lime green colour with diver flipper feet), (5) Barbershop Singer (we'd all buy 4 for a quartet), (6) Peruvian (traditional Andean costume with tan coloured panpipes) (7) Zoo Keeper (dark blue dungarees, broom and new non-Friends penguin mould), (8) Little Bo Peep (with shepherd's crook and a lamb), (9) Air Hostess (light blue uniform but hat to allow varied hair colours), (10) Prisoner (traditional orange or grey uniform with arrows, plus ball and chain), (11) Violinist (evening suit - an orchestra army-builder + bald-head piece with white hair), (12) Tourist (new white Panama Hat, brown beard & sunglasses, Hawaiian shirt & camera), (13) Australian ('Steve Irwin' olive/dark green outdoors safari suit with new koala mould), (14) Gardener (green watering can & classic style purple/orange flowers + bald-head piece with brown hair), (15) Teddy Bear costume (light brown colour - generic without any bow tie or clothes, etc), (16) Brass Band (with new instrument like a tuba/trombone to help create an orchestra)

#6 meyerc13


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Posted 07 May 2012 - 05:43 PM

Thanks for posting this great review!  I picked up the re-release of this set last year off of Craigslist and it is a great set.  As you noted, the jet is still a great design today, although the cargo chopper looks fairly dated.  One of the best features of this compared to the most recent airport is the runway.  It is a bit short, but it's better than no runway at all.

Once again, excellent review of a great airport.
Christopher Meyer

#7 WideWiiLover


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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:42 PM

Argh! You beat me to it

This is a good review....i suggest you choose to join the Reviewer's Academy....you have the ability...

I love this set, and picked it up when it cam back with Legend Status. Funny enough, some of the sticker placements have changed in the Legend compared to the original.

Thanks for a great review: Brick On. :cry_happy:
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#8 The Blue Brick

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:05 PM

Great review with all those pictures. This was one of my favorite sets with all the vehicles and mini figures. :wub:

I really do miss the old days of lego.  :cry_sad:

One thing I never liked though were those freckled face classic smileys. I always thought they were pimples as a kid.  :laugh:

Edited by The Blue Brick, 07 May 2012 - 08:07 PM.

#9 Legocrazy81


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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:54 AM

We would never see sets like that nowadays...$109 for 850 pieces/12 minifigs/printed baseplates. Oh, the good ol days.  :laugh:
Clone Army-124 & counting...

#10 Ash


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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:27 AM

That's an amazing set. Look at all those baseplates!

We could never afford stuff like this when I was a kid, but I would have loved it.

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#11 Ivan K.

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 07:57 PM

Great review, mate! Well done!
This particular set looks quite used , but I believe you have paid fair price for it.
Frankly , my favorite set among the airports is 6396 which I managed to buy it MISB. In my opinion 6396 is more cute when it comes to classic sets.
In this one I do like the number of minifigs and vehicles , but somehow it doesn't look so compact when displayed alone.
Anyway , this is just a little personal observation:)

#12 romdam


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 10:09 AM

Picture heavy how?  I see none.

#13 MetroiD


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:08 PM

 romdam, on 10 May 2012 - 10:09 AM, said:

Picture heavy how?  I see none.
And that right there is another good reason to use flickr / brickshelf (or even MOCpages) as opposed to photobucket for the purpose of uploading pics of reviews and MOCs.

Oh, and I have to agree with Ivan K., I was a bit disappointed that it was the Skyway which got rereleased as a "Legend" and not its predecessor, the International Jetport. Then again, considering the latter's more 'touristic' vibe - I've heard on numerous occasions how people could picture it as a local airport at some cool holiday destination - and comparing that to the Skyway's busy look & feel, I must admit I understand the decision.
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#14 coffeeandcake


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 05:23 PM

thanks for all the comments on the review (:

yes i see that my pics are down... i'll try to get that sorted... will try with flickr... thanks for the tip (: sorry guys..

i never had the opportunity to own the international jetport tho, but i have read the review on the boards and it does look like a good set. if luck should come my way, i would definitely pick it up and make a comparison (:

(edit - pics are back. thanks metroid!)

Edited by coffeeandcake, 10 May 2012 - 05:51 PM.

#15 MetroiD


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 06:13 PM

 coffeeandcake, on 10 May 2012 - 05:23 PM, said:

(edit - pics are back. thanks metroid!)
No prob, glad to see they're back and kudos on sorting it out so quickly :classic:
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#16 Ivan K.

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 10:31 PM

This comparison between 6597 and 6396 reminds me of the sets Intercoastal Seaport and Launch & Load Seaport. I do like more 6541 just for the exact same reason I stated before. The Launch & Load Seaport has much more heavy-industrial layout, while the Intercoastal Seaport is somehow more charm , sweet and smooth. Although in general Launch & Load Seaport is one of the greatest sets ever made and shouldn't be messed with 6597 at all, but it is just my personal opinion..:)) Of course, 6597 has its advantages, but not enough for me to be among the legends, as @MetroiD mentioned already.

Edited by Ivan K., 10 May 2012 - 10:36 PM.

#17 AwesomeStar


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Posted 13 May 2012 - 12:41 PM

I remember buying this back in the early 2000s as a kid. I still think it was one of the best purchases I ever made. Hours and hours were spent zooming the planes around, checking in baggage, refueling the 'copter.

It's a pleasure to see it again and in such a nice review, too. Thanks very much!


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#18 Widdi


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Posted 19 May 2012 - 09:16 PM

Nice review, sadly yours was in very worn condition. Ok my copy isn't looking better and in my play mass. Due to less time and other hobbies, I haven't MOCced for 2 years now. I'm thinking about a project making Alternate models from newer Sets, but never had the time.
Those old 90s sets are really great for MOCs. When building I'm so what stuck to classic 80s and 90s town. Nowadays some City sets have the same spirit, but are still more <insert that tiresome argument> than this classic. I got mine in 1998 just when Town jr. invaded Lego Town. and this was the Piece-wise largest minifig Set in my collection until the Sand Crawler from 2005.

mfg Widdi

Edited by Widdi, 19 May 2012 - 09:17 PM.

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