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Review: 6496 Whirling Time Warper

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Name: 6496 Whirling Time Warper

Theme: Lego System/ Time Cruisers, Time Twisters

Year: 1997

Pieces: 147

Minifigs: 2 minifigures

Price: $22

Resources: Brickset, Bricklink

Hello and thanks for checking out my review of the Whirling Time Warper. This set was available in 1997 and was part of the Time Cruisers series. I purchased this set on eBay in 2014 for $7.00, it was complete minus the instructions and box. It can be difficult to find these days but not impossible. Bricklink prices range from about $15 used without box or instructions up to $163 new in the box.

Front of Box


Photo courtesy of the internet


Here is a picture of the set from the 1997 (UK?) Lego Catalog. Here the set is named the "Scream Machine".

There is a bit of info as to what the theme is all about.

The Parts


Yes, that is a bathtub. Also dragon wings and arms.




The dish is printed with the "hypno" pattern.



The Ghost glows in the dark just like the more recent version. This one has a friendly smile though.

The other minifigure is name Professor Millinneum or Commodore Schmidt.


The brown wedge-belt wheel is somewhat rare, only appearing in 10 sets.

The build takes just 23 steps and is pretty straight forward. There are no part call outs, colors are easy to identify.


This is a screenshot of the PDF instructions provided by Lego- it's great they still have these available for 20 year old sets.

The Built Set


There is plenty of room for Proffessor Millenneum in the bathtub cockpit. The ghost barely has anywhere to ride.

Below you see the time cylinder filled with artifacts. Apparently heating knives, studs, and wands with open flames propels you through time.


When you roll the W.T.W. the tophat skulls undulate and the crossbow/dragon head move up and down. The cylinder and the propeller spin around.


Below you can see the mechanism which causes all the movement.




My thoughts

It has been said the Time Cruisers theme was a way for Lego to clear out left over parts from other retired themes. This is quite probable. Does it matter? I don't think so. How else are you going to get a bathtub and a pair of trumpets in one go? Sure the sets are weird, but it seems they were meant to be strange and I'm not ashamed to say I like the theme as whole.

That being said I have a few problems with the Whirling Time Warper.

-It's not a solid build. Many parts are attached by only one stud and will fall off if you are not careful as you pick it up.

-The tension from the rubber band will occasionaly pull the whole top of the set off.

-It's kind of ugly.

The things I like about it

-The parts: bathtub, trumpets, trans-blue bubble dome, chrome dagger and crystal

-The ghost, I really like the old ghost

-The weirdness of the undulating skulls with tophats


Value: ?/10 This really depends on what you end up paying for it. The retail price in 1997 was $22, which I think is too much. I bought it for $7(+$2.50 shipping) which I felt was a steal, it did require watching eBay auctions for several months though.

Design: 5/10 It's not pretty to look at but it does have some neat movement built in. It seems unfinished as if it was a first draft with no revisions.

Minifigs: 7/10 I really like the ghost. Proffesor Millenneum has decent armor printing. I like that his face is basically a classic minifig head turned evil by adding a goatee and menacing eyebrows.

Playability: 6/10 It's fun, my kids giggle at it while pushing it around, but ultimately the play features make the build fragile

Parts: 8/10 There are several rare and unusual parts in this set

Overall: 4 or 7/10 If you find this set for about $10 it's a seven. $20 or more it's about a four.

Thanks for reading. I hope to add reviews of the rest of the theme, if I find the time. :monkey:

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@tkatt. Thanks for the review. It is very good and interesting for the old set. The set looks very interesting, it appears that the designer may have been trying to make the set appear that it was built with whatever miscellaneous parts that may have been on his workbench. This really adds to the whimsy of the set.

I have seen several sets where the construction was more form than function, for example ad you mentioned parts hanging on by one stud. I guess those designers didn't follow the advice in the Master Builder's Academy which teaches ways to make a model structurally sound. I realize that this set was before the MBA, but LEGO must have had guidelines back then, and they for sure have guidelines today.

Overall, great review! Thanks for doing this, I really enjoyed the read and photos.

Andy D

Edited by Andy D

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thatt, thanks for the review.

It has been a while that I wanted to see reviews about these infamous timecruiser sets. Seeing your review, it made me like them somehow. This set is quite different than what you'd normally see and I think it forces the imagination. Also, I am not sure that in the 90s sets had such moving mechanism.

Out of curiosity, was there a particular reason for you to look specifically for this set?

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The Time Cruisers sets came out during my dark ages, I only became aware of them while searching for pirate ships on eBay. The Flying Time Vessel uses a grey pirate ship hull and it would show up in almost every search for pirate ships. I ended up buying the Time Vessel planning to use it for a pirate ship. But after I built the set as intended and found out that I really liked it for what it was, weird and fun. My obsessive collector instincts kicked in and so I began searching for the rest of the sets in the theme.

Thanks for commenting.

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