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Lego Maniacs' Guide: Reviews: Town : Time Twisters : Twisted Time Train

[Purchase Lego at Amazon.com] 6497 - Twisted Time Train

Rating: 3 Stars
Pros: I liked the combination of blue and black bricks
Cons: The main model isn't worth $35 but the collection of bricks is worth a discount price.
Contents: 296 pieces including 4 mini-figs
Price: About $35.00 - Discontinued
Reviewed: 13-Oct-1998
Reviewed by: Joseph Gonzalez

6497 With a bone-jarring crash the train smashes into the side of the cliff, shearing off bits of rock and earth that careen and bounce off of the cars to continue their fall into the mile-deep chasm. Alas, the impact is not bone-jarring enough, for with a backward glance, Dante can see the bone-gnarled hand of Immortus still clutching the base of the car behind, and now a second hand reaches up to pull the skeletal frame further from beneath the car.
"Drastic actions for drastic measures", Dante thinks as he sees the mountain pass narrowing to a slender path that cannot possibly sustain the timetrain. An amber switch is turned and the chronometer adjusted to a new setting with another look back as he sees the slender yet powerful frame of Immortus crouching to jump to the forward car just as the train shifts direction off of the narrowing path to soar into the gaping chasm . . .

I'm still not converted to the Time Twisters subtheme but I do find them more entertaining as a whole than the individual models of the opposing Time Cruisers. I bought the 6497 set for its collection of pieces and it didn't disappoint me.
The model appears as three separate train-like cars. The first section is a mini-locomotive model with a smokestack that bobs up and down as the front wheel axle is turned. The construction doesn't come close to an old-fashioned locomotive but gives just enough of a hint (smokestack, cow catcher, etc.) so you can tell that is what it is supposed to be. Two separate pilot chairs with transparent canopies over them (these elements are quite cool) give this engine an almost Batmobile-like appearance and add to the quirkiness of the model.
The second section of the train is made up of two wooden walls that support a roof. An elevated platform sprouts out of the top of the roof with a stand and megaphone attached to the platform. This entire platform rotates as the forward wheels of the car turn. A second spinning shaft to the side of the platform sports the dreaded "hypno-disk". A pivoting arm with a wing is mounted on each side of the car's base so that the wings go up and down as the car is pushed. The rear of the car allows standing space for a mini-fig with hand-railings, a small table and a barrel.
The third and final car is a black/castle walled section with a staircase that winds from the side of the car up to a second level balcony. Another floating platform above the center of the balcony bobs up and down as the forward axle of this car turns.
Minifigs included with the set are two men, a skeleton and a ghost. It was interesting to note that the ghost actually comes with a pair of white mini-fig legs rather than a simple 1x2 brick and plate (which are all the ghosts usually get). A good assortment of mini-fig accessories includes a brown briefcase, red wand, two bat shields, a blue wizard hat, a large silver sword, two silver knives, a black bat and a grey falcon.
All in all, the model is quite silly looking but the simple moving mechanisms are a great introduction to young minds and will probably encourage them to make their own mechanical inventions. For older collectors, I would still recommend this set for its collection of useful pieces: blue 2x2 round bricks, two black 3x3 corner/concave sloping bricks, two grey chains, brown technic wheels, black smoke stack elements, black 4x4x2 cylinder element and the transparent window pieces which make great space ship canopies. Granted, it's a bit pricey to get a few fun elements, but it would definitely be worth it at a discount price.

17 readers have rated this set as 2.94 out of 5 stars.
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