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Lego 1489 Mobile Car Crane Review

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#1 LegoBobby


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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:39 PM

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Ok welcome to my review of this Lego 1489 Mobile Car Crane.

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Set Name: Mobile Car Crane
Set Number: 1489
Theme: Town
Subtheme: Vehicles
Pieces: 174
Minifigures: 2
Year released: 1989
USRP: $12.75

Availibility: Limited release US only.


I found this set on Ebay after deciding to fill in the blank spaces that I missed when I was a child. Being an AFOL now I found 1489 on Ebay from a UK seller and then as I always do I checked Brickset for it's history and details and found it just how rare the item is as being US release only. I won the auction and received the set in the post. It was minus instructions and box but I wasn't too worried about that.


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To start with here are the Minifigs. You have the standard male workman in dungarees but unusually this guy has a white hat. Normally from this period you would get the guy in the blue dungarees with a matching blue hat and likewise with the red. It's refreshing to see a white hat. The female is sporting some very nice white trousers and a blue and white striped unisex top, she has the fashionable hair cut from the time and her hair is brown which again is quite rare.

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Here is the car included in the set, it must've been a popular selling car in LegoLand as it's a design that appears regularly which is nice as in the real world you often get a popular manufacturer and model. I like the size of this car as it comes across as a small city hatchback. I like the two tone red and white colour option.

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Notice how the roof opens backwards not in the normal way. This is because the back window is vertical rather than the sloped normal front and rear windscreen.

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Here is the main piece to the set, it's a road going crane. The first thing I loved about this set was the colour scheme, I think the Blue and Yellow go together great, it's almost a company colour scheme. I love the placement of the headlights as they go a long way to make this set look vintage. The crane boom rotates on a large turntable and sits neatly on the roof of the cab. I love the bigger wheels which to me suggests it may have been designed to go off road.

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Here it is from the rear, notice the nice location for the hook attachment when not in use. I like how everything has a place in this set, when it's not in use it has a nice location for storage. The winch at the rear is a little trickier to operate than the modern winches but it's a lot neater in appearance.

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The stability legs on this crane are a seperate item, the 4 legs are located on the back of the truck when not in use. As you can see from this picture though the worker has moved the legs out and struggled to put the legs on each corner. One thing I think this set could have done with would have been a control panel for the crane, at the moment the worker either controls the crane from the cab or does it by telepathy. It would have been so easy to use the yellow panel on the side of the chassis for some levers and a printed control panel.

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Here is the crane in action lifting the car. It has quite a long tall reach and is quite stable with the legs down. The only issue I have with this set is that it's not really a Mobile Car Crane to me, this is more something that you would find in the corner of a builders yard, railway yard or scrap yard. It would be more suited to moving heavy bulky items around a small area. I could see it lifting large amounts of cargo around a loading area. It wouldn't be practical to move around or set up quickly and efficiently. Having said that it looks quite good with a car hanging from it.


Design 10/10:  Clever realistic and stable models with no items that come off when played with.
Minifigures 6/10:   Nothing special about the figures in this set, standard dungaree worker and a rather frumpy female. The white hat on the man and brown hair on the female are unusual.
Parts 8/10:  Nice selection of parts that are quite unusual. The crane boom, the winch and the robot arm style stability legs are nice. Could do with a control panel for the crane though.
Build 9/10: A very good build that certainly is robust and won't fall apart whilst being played with. The crane boom neatly hooks onto the chassis at the front for ease of transporting.
Playability 9/10: Excellent, the crane can be used to pick any of your sets up and the car could be lent to any other set. Doubt you'd get bored easily with this one.
Price 9/10: I don't know what $13 would have been in pounds in 1989 but i'm guessinit would've been approx £6-7 which seems quite well priced. I paid £19 for this set and haven't seen one on Ebay since. The cheapest one on BL is £27 in similar condition so i'm guessing it is quite rare and valuable. A Lego investment so to speak.  
Overall 8/10:  Same old Minifigs, could do with a control panel for crane. Other than that a very stable and robust set that will entertain for some time. I love the look of the crane as well, it has a lovely character from the front.


Hope you enjoy my review and feedback welcome.

Edited by Rick, 04 November 2012 - 03:53 PM.

#2 The Dutch Guy

The Dutch Guy

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:57 PM

Thanks for the review. I like these small sets. I have one (slightly bigger) in yellow, without a small car. These were fun sets.
You are never to old for Lego (and never to young to start with it)

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#3 Carrera124


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Posted 29 October 2012 - 03:45 PM

Thanks for the review. It is interesting how many "special" town sets were released during the 80ies... when I discovered Brickset.com several years ago, it was amazing how many nice sets within the number range 1000-2000 are listed.

#4 LEGO Guy Bri

LEGO Guy Bri

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:32 PM

Great review LegoBobby. I really like the crane, though it seems a bit much for the car IMO but, still a set I wish I had  :classic:
-I don't tell you how to tell me what to do, so don't you tell me how to do what you told me to do... I know when to use finesse

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