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Review: 1817 Forest flyer

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Poll: How do you rate this set? (17 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. 1 – Poor (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. 2 – Below Average (1 votes [5.88%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.88%

  3. 3 – Average (4 votes [23.53%])

    Percentage of vote: 23.53%

  4. 4 – Above Average (7 votes [41.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 41.18%

  5. 5 - Outstanding (5 votes [29.41%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.41%

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#1 The Cobra

The Cobra

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:34 PM

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Take a table - In the evening - By the waterside [...]
Looking out from this position - Are things what they seem?
(Yes - Fly from here)

Set data:

1817: Sea Plane with Hut and Boat a.k.a Promo Airline Forest
Year: 1997
Theme: Town
Subtheme: Special
Pieces: 131 + 4 extras
RRP: 15 USD (source: Brickset). Legopriceguide.com states a 55 USD as value for a MISB set as of August 2012.
Building time: less than 15 minutes
MISB on review: Yes
More info: Brickset - Peeron - Bricklink
Official description: N/A

Box front: While the box was battered, it still made me want this set. And while most everyone in the world knows that Lego is a building toy, it makes its owners happier to know that this set was "specially made for Airline companies" (especially now that I am one of them!)
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Box rear: whether on a river or on a lake, these three guys seem to have a whole lot of fun
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Box inside: That's how I like my Lego boxes: FULL!
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Box scan: Such a torn box is hard to take pictures of, and a nightmare to scan. Here's my best try to show you what's on the sides. The small pic with the swimming guys is a funny (and a bit creepy) one
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Box content: Large bag, medium bag, small bag, two instructions manuals, stickers, brochure, two loose green plates, one loose big black slope, one loose string.
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Pieces: We have a lot of white and red to make the plane and the boat, and grey for the hut, plus a few other colors for details and accessories.
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Random instructions page: Actually, this is a folding double sided A3 that will show how to build boat and hut. The fishing rod needs some attention.
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Random instructions page: And this IS a page, since this is a browsable manual. Placing the tail wing on the tail was quite tricky.
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Stickers: Only two, they add some detail and they both are placed on a single piece. That's the way it should be.
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Mini-poster While Brickset lists this set in 1997, other databases date it 1996 (so does the copyright on the box side). That's why we have some nice City sets here and not that <insert that tiresome argument> stuff. As usual, side B is about other themes. Please click on these thumbnails for larger images.
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Minifigs: Here are three guys form the mid-nineties, each with a quite-standard "shades and grin" face. No back printing whatsoever, not even front printing for the sleeveless man (he'll be wearing a safety vest, so printing would be wasted, right?)
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Building the plane: The cockpit is far from interesting, except for a printed slope and a place to store some accessories.
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Building the plane: Hey, we're done. This is a seaplane, so the pilot wears the other safety vest (yep, there are only two). We see pontoons under each wing: not only they make this model more accurate, but they also help it from falling on the tail, where most of the weight resides.
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View from the queue: Here's a couple of shots to show some details, like the propellor, lights on the top of the wings (shouldn't there be lights on bottom too?), and the yet un-stickered tail.
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The cockpit: While it may look cozy, it still can host a briefcase and a backpack.
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Comparison shot: Here's the 90's sepalne standing by his newer version. Since vehicles have grown larger over the last decade, it's no surprise that 3178 is slightly longer, larger and taller.
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The boat: No frills, just a nice small way to float on the river, and an oar to help it moving.
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Comparison shot: An impulse set! I used to love 'em. The Coast guard boat is 2 studs shorter.
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The hut: As small as detailed, thanks to 6 grille bricks (I'd love to see a 2012 edition with the new brick-profiled bricks) and quite a lot of accessories. A three-sided building that we grown-ups love, don't we?
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Comparison shot: Shortest rod, better catch. Maybe our inuit friend knows that a 1x1 plate with clip light doesn't work as a bait.
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Complete set: In all of its glory. Our heroes made it to the hut, let the holiday begin!
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Extra pieces: Some 1x1's
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"Thanks, Frosty": Come on guys, lunch's almost ready!
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My Dark ages started in 1987, to finally end. That means I missed a lot of sets (and themes), and 1817 fell in the "I want it!" category. 15 years ago it would have been impossible to own; my chance came in spring 2012. It costed me nearly 20 Euros (thanks to the €/£ ratio going South); is it worth it?

The seaplane looks like a seaplane and not just like an "ordinary plane" and that's helps with the "mountain river holidays" feeling. Unlike many other Lego planes it hase no side doors for luggage, but our pilot only carries some essential tools like a briefcase and a backpack. He also wears a safety vest, to save space in the cockpit (and, maybe,his life in the unfortunate case of a ditching gone wrong).

The boat is really simple; hand-powered, 10 studs long outside, 6 studs long inside, so it host two people: a rowing one and his resting guest. Oar color matching boat color: that's chic.

The Hut: as small as great. On 12x10 studs combined green plates, this 8x5 wonder comes with outside detail (grill bricks), small tree, front door, side windows, outside seat/cup holder, inside seat/table, chimney, barrel (with cover), shovel, axe, fire grill, fishing rod, frypan and two cups. Okay, I could complain about getting three guys and only two on some accessories (red cups, a must on 00's City trucks, and safety vests), but I just can't.

There's really nothing much to comaplin about, except for my usual grunt about "we are some hard-to-find sets so nice? Can't they all be awful?". All of the figs are male, maybe they didn't want to imply what happnes when two guys and a girl are in a such isolated place (unlike, let's say, Surf Shack, which probably lies on a crowded beach). This was just a manly fishing weekend.

Still on the con side, don't look fore rare/unusual pieces here. There aren't. All torsos, headgears and hand tools are far from rare. But there's more of each that you might expect in a 15 bucks set (remember? that was the price back then).

Well, how does it compare to a 2012 set worth 20 Euros? Interestingly, we have a lot this year: most of them are called Great vehicles. Finally, they come with two or three figs (and one of them is a girl!), but 1817 is more than "just" a vehicles set. It gives you a "finally, a few days out of town" feeling, with firends to talk to and walk/row/fish/eat/fish with. (Seaplane con only seat one.)

So, yes: I'm happy I spent 20 Euros to own this set.


Color scheme: 5/5. Simple and effective, no nedd for frills.

Minifigs and accessories: 5/5 3 figs in a quite small set, and 10+ plus accessories. Just great.

Pieces: 3/5. While the rear box shows alternate buildings, this set doesn't look like one you would buy for pieces. But if you're into small planes, what you need is there.

Playability: 4,5/5. A lot of it. Two vehicles and a small building lots to do with all that gear and a few imagination.

Design: 5/5. It's hard to think "it could have been better".

Overall rating: 4/5. The main con of this set is availabilty. Back then it would have be hard to own one, but now we got the Internet (and a wage!)

The final words: An hard-but-not-impossible to find that town lovers will love.

A toast to male friendship!: "Ok, next year we're renting a larger hut."
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#2 Ferrik


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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:54 AM

This may be a simple set but it still manages to look great. By the way, this is a  great review.  :wink:
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#3 PsyKater


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Posted 24 August 2012 - 11:09 AM

Wow, a (yet) classic town set, I did not know until now! Thanks for this review!

I think the first comparison picture (planes) is replaced by a boat picture. Perhaps you can manage to replace it ;)
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#4 The Cobra

The Cobra

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 12:41 PM

Oops, thanks for the heads-up!
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#5 lightningtiger


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Posted 24 August 2012 - 02:36 PM

Great review 'The Cobra', neat little set and one I never knew existed....I do like the little shack/hut....might go to Peeron for the instructions for it....my son wants some simple classic town-ish stuff to build. :wink:
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#6 SheepEater


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Posted 24 August 2012 - 03:03 PM

This set reminds me of that movie from 1997

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#7 WhiteFang


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 06:38 PM

Airline exclusive!  :wub:

Ohhh, this is a classic looking airline exclusive and without this lovely review of yours, I could not have known of this set's existence. Actually I only like the small little shack instead of the aircraft.

Thank you The Cobra!  :thumbup:

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#8 LEGO Train 12 Volts

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:42 AM

Beautiful review! I like the little house of this set! :blush:
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