I recently had a Lego-acquisition fit in a supermarket on spotting the thrilling yellow clearance labels. When I recovered I discovered I’d picked up a Lego City set. I don’t usually have much interest in the City stuff – it’s very nice, but it all seems to be vehicles and oddly stereotypical robbers. Perhaps as a non-motorist I just don’t get interested in things with wheels. Helicopters of course have whirling blades, interesting curved shapes and minimal wheelery.
Is It A Bird?
It’s a satisfying build (easily done while watching NCIS and The Mentalist for example), with the pieces split across four bags and an unnecessary two instruction booklets. There’s nothing especially cunning in the construction, since most of the neat stuff is accomplished with bespoke bricks like the roof of the cabin.
It is quite a large model however (which in some respects justifies the enormous box; I’m rather curious about the ratios of bricks:box size in Lego sets) and is very swooshy. The rotors can be spun with a satisfyingly lengthy free spin. They’re also really hefty things.
There is a large chunk of the ‘copter’s innards which you can’t reach, either from the cramped cockpit (with ace printed control panels) or from the back end where the mini police car/wardrobe fits. Oh, and you can open the back of the ‘copter as a ramp too. I like it.
The Sweet Smell of Fresh Plastic
The Lego City 4439 Heavy-Lift Helicopter has some unusual bricks I haven’t come across in sets before. I’ve spotted them occasionally in MOCs but hadn’t realised where they’d come from. The roof panels are a bit chunky but they do give that attractive shape to the piece, and I like how they’re easily flipped up for access.
Similarly the bricks that make up the nose and side bars are new to me. They look like sweets… or Duplo. I’m not sure where else I’ll find use for them – that’s my usual consideration when acquiring new sets: I want reusability because I will be dismantling the set before long (unless it’s the Palace Cinema, which I’m not allowed to take apart). I’m sure I’ll find a use for them somewhere… There are windows, which I always crave and bricks with studs on several sides. I rather like the Technics wheel double wheel axles too.
Here Are The People
The minifigures aren’t especially exciting, although you do get three of them. One’s a sheriffy fellow who can ride the cupboard-van, whose face is quite similar to Han Solo‘s grump-mug in the Microfighter range. The other two are orange-bespectacled clones. I do love their yellow life-vests. (Cave Troll not included)