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Lego Maniacs' Guide: Reviews: Town : Time Twisters : Time Tunnelator

[Purchase Lego at Amazon.com] 6499 - Time Tunnelator

Rating: 3 Stars
Pros: Neat flapping wings and turning propeller
Cons: Model is kind of fragile to play with
Contents: 80 pieces including 1 mini-fig
Price: $9.99 retail price (Discontinued)
Reviewed: 18-Jan-1997
Reviewed by: Joseph Gonzalez

6499 In the early 1940's, an accomplished young professor was working on space/time theories along the lines of another contemporary, Albert Einstein. None have heard of Roman Quigley's work because he made the terrible mistake of creating a manmade miniature black hole which promptly sucked him and his laboratory out of our universe. With nothing else to do in this anomaly of space and time for what seemed like thousands of years, the professor perfected his theories and at last broke back into our universe with a series of time-machines. He has since been in and out of time, changing crucial events and basically causing utter chaos with the history books. His latest design of a one-man time-flyer is the dreaded Time Tunnelator!

None of the Time Cruisers models ever caught my attention. But with the advent of the Time Twisters (new designs and a change from totally corny to possibly ominous overtones), my interest is finally tweaked, and I have given in.
The Time Tunnelator is a basic what-you-see-is-what-you-get model. There aren't any hidden goodies here but I do like the design of what looks like a World War I plane turned into some crazy psychedelic nightmare.
In looking at the finished product, I was amazed at the way that pushing the vehicle across the ground turns the propeller and also makes the wings flap. In my opinion, this is probably the only interesting aspect of Cruiser/Twisters models (multiple functioning/moving parts) but I think it is going to be a great way to get younger kids interested in technic models which also feature the aspect of interacting parts, but on a higher level and with more realistic models.
One drawback of the model is that the wings were just a little bit hard to assemble and attach while laying on one's back. (Hey, it was my day off and I wasn't going to get off the sofa to put some goofy Lego model together...but then again, I also have trouble walking and chewing bubble gum at the same time.) But seriously, I'm left to wonder if a six or seven year old will be able to put some of the more delicate parts together without ending up throwing the whole darn thing across the room. It is satisfying to get it right at last, but it also makes the model a little bit delicate to play with. (This model isn't going to make it in any swooping/swooshing dogfights.) If you are an adult purchasing this for a small child, stick around and help them through some of the slightly difficult steps.
Some nice parts that make the model worth picking up are two bat adornments, two bugles (my theory is that the prof uses these to blast some kind of sonic fissure in the time continuum in order to pass through), a large propeller, brown wheel hubs (first time I've seen these in brown, they're usually in grey), and the thin plastic wings with spider web prints. [Editor's note: The wings are actually windsurfer sails.]
Wrapping things up, I'm not too wild about this particular theme, but I already have my eyes on the Twisted Time Train. If you haven't purchased a Time Cruisers or Time Twisters set, this is a good set to buy just to get a taste for them. You still may not like the theme, but if you purchase this set, you'll at least have a few parts that can be used with other models and you don't have to put out a lot of money.

8 readers have rated this set as 0.94 out of 5 stars.
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