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Lego Maniacs' Guide: Reviews: Town : Outback : Crisis News Crew

[Purchase Lego at Amazon.com] 6553 - Crisis News Crew

Rating: 3 Stars
Pros: Two great city vehicles; the set is worth the price for a set this size
Cons: None noted
Contents: 133 pieces including 3 mini-figs
Price: $11.99 - Discontinued
Reviewed: 23-Apr-1997
Reviewed by: Joseph Gonzalez

6553 Channel Six reporters are onto a very bizarre story tonight. In the usually quiet urban neighborhood of Hazelwood, an entire house has been demolished and residents that got out of the house in time are babbling on and on about a strange train that appeared out of nowhere and proceeded right through their living room. Now, of course, there is no trace whatsoever of any kind of destructive source, only evidence of its effect.
Susan Blahs rests her head on the steering wheel of the media van as her obnoxious reporting partner, Rex (not affectionately referred to as T-Rex by the police) pesters everyone at the scene, asking all kinds of ridiculous questions about the equally ridiculous situation. Almost dozing off in a late-night catnap, she is suddenly awakened by the presence of two stone-face FBI agents that rush the destroyed house's residents into a waiting sedan and quickly speed away.
"They're not getting off that easy" she suddenly hears as the back door to the van is thrown open, equipment is tossed inside and Rex is suddenly in her face, "call the chopper, Sue, those were Phenomena/Resolve agents, and I'm not letting them rush my witnesses to the story of the century off to some abandoned warehouse for debriefing!"

Any town collector is looking for a way to round out their town scene by having workers from all sorts of occupations (not just police and fire fighters), so the Crisis News Crew fits a very necessary niche. It's been quite a while since the Lego Group gave us any kind of news team, and of the older sets I've seen, none of them is as complete as this one.

The Crisis News Crew set's features are a van and helicopter. Each of the vehicles is sturdily built with the van sporting a big transmitter dish on the back and room enough to transport media equipment which will be mentioned below.
The helicopter is also a nice design with room for one pilot, a rear cargo area and an outside perch for daring reporters with an available mount for a camera. The rear cargo area is not much bigger than 2x3x2. It doesn't provide much room for a mini-fig or any other materials and I'm afraid I wouldn't recover anything I stuffed back there unless I held the copter by its tail and shook really hard (so that's why Godzilla does that!), so this tiny area wasn't too useful for me, but it was a nice thought. Hey Lego, how about a nice roomy Bell-Huey helicopter down the road sometime?
The kit comes with three minifigs: two technicians and a reporter. There are also three extra mini-constructions: a lighting fixture for filming, standing/studio camera (a very neat little assembly), a bullhorn (what, our reporter does hostage negotiations on the side?) and a microphone with the media logo. This logo also appears on only one other preprinted wedge brick used in the nose of the copter (the van and helicopter panels have stickers with the same logo). These little extras flesh out the set nicely and, as mentioned, pack nicely into the back of the van.

There are no really unique pieces with the set, but I like the 1x2 flats with two reels preprinted on them for miscellaneous use.

I wasn't disappointed with this set. There is a nice amount of bricks for a set this size so you can build up and enhance either vehicle at the expense of the other. It's a worthwhile set for anyone who's been dozing in their dark ages and missed out on a news crew set before (like me), or just needs to give their resident TV station reporters some competition.

15 readers have rated this set as 4.165 out of 5 stars.
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