LEGOģ Set Review: 6340 Hook & Ladder

6340

[6340 Set Photo] Hook and Ladder (us)
Crochet et ťchelle (fr)
Camiůn de Comberos de Escalera (es)
Brandbil (da)
Feuerwehrtruck (de)
Town System Banner Rescue Banner
Town System / Rescue

Ages 7-12 / 173 Pcs
20 page manual. 31 steps (13 for front, 18 for rear). ©1994
Price Range: $16 (9 cents/pc) on a 20% discount from $20 list

Review Written: 7 August 1995 by David Ellis
Special Features / Compatibility
  • None
  • Extra Elements
  • 3 1x1x1/3 spares
  • Decals: None
    Scale: Mini-Figures scale.
    Errors: None

    Ratings: Set: Excellent Models: Very-Good Playability: Very-Good

    Conclusion
    Overall, I would recommend the set to anybody, even at full price.

    Description

    Fire engine with hose on reel and four section extension ladder. Front and rear of truck can separate. Two minifigs. Model is four studs wide.

    Main colors: Red, with some black and white pieces.

    Impression

    I was motivated to buy this set because my sonís small non-LEGO fire engine had fallen apart and couldnít be fixed easily, and my own interest in LEGO sets was just beginning. A 20% sale clinched the deal.

    What I like most is the variety of pieces and the ways they can be moved while playing with the set. The ladder retracts and the fire hose rolls up nicely. Another plus is the vertical ball and socket connection by which the tractor and trailer sections hook up.

    Opening and closing the ladder are difficult because the four pieces move stiffly. Perhaps a little household oil can make them move more easily. The adder does not attach solidly to the hinge and tends to come loose too readily. A gray 1x6 plate and attached 1x1 plates with vertical grabber hooks brace the ladder to support it. The brace hangs loose from one end when the ladder is down and should connect more solidly to the trailer. This part seems to be somewhat awkwardly designed.

    As I mentioned before, Iíd like to see sirens and flashing lights with toy fire engines. The LEGO Group does include sound and light pieces in other sets, and I can think of two reasons why this set excludes them: price and scale (I don't know where the 9V battery box could fit and leave room for this truck's other features).

    I have another issue with scale: A truck set four studs wide fits only one minifig in the cab. Iíd like to see LEGO vehicles scaled differently to accommodate two figures inside, side by side. The front wheels are directly under the cab and should be farther forward. I would also like to see swinging doors on the cab two bricks high, but thatís not the way LEGO models seem to be designed.

    Itís a bit annoying to have to remove the barricades from their hooks in order to swing the support arms out from the truck. (Those support arms are really cool, though.)

    All in all, I'm pleased with the set despite my criticism of it.

    Ratings

    Set Rating:Excellent

    This was the first theme set Iíd bought. Good selection of hinges and joints. Ladder, reel and 4x4 turntable elements (which were dropped in The LEGO Groupís transition from the Basic to the Freestyle product line) are included here. There are almost no bricks, but lots of plates and specialty pieces. Collectors with a good set of specialty pieces might not rate the set as highly as I did.

    Model Rating:Very-Good

    As usual, the instructions show only the main model on the cover of the box. This seems a well-designed model, making effective use of the pieces. It was my first exposure to small hinged pieces and the 1x1x1/3 plates, flats and rounds. So it was all new ideas to me.

    Playability Rating:Very-Good

    Thereís a lot that can be done with this set. The minifigs come with fire helmets, an axe, oxygen tank, gas mask and visor. The cab roof is hinged at the rear and can be raised to put a minifig at the wheel. The ladder extends fourfold and is set on a 2x4 hinge on a 4x4x1 turntable. Thumbwheels allow for the fire hose cord to be pulled out and put away. Once the barricades are removed from their hooks, the truckís support arms can be swung out and turned down. There are no doors to the truck cab, but there is a small storage box at the rear of the trailer section. Whatís missing is a siren and flashing lights, which are found in nearly all non-LEGO fire engines.

    Elements

    Special/Unusual Elements

    Hose, reel and ladder. These elements used to be included in the old Basic 5+ and 7+ sets had, but now the current Freestyle sets donít have them, so they have become special. The ball joint connection between tractor and trailer is something I havenít seen in other sets, and it is a big plus. Another unusual element is a ďZĒ shaped piece that consists of 2x3 and 2x2 plates connected by a 2x1x2 vertical running under the third row of the 2x3. There are two gray 1x12 bricks, which seem relatively unusual; I don't know why they are included here instead of six 1x4 bricks, but Iím glad to see them. There are two inverted slants, 1x1x1\1x3 with dual 45 degree slopes; I havenít seen these elsewhere.

    New

    Since I'm new to LEGO, I donít have a clue whatís new or different. I have posted an inventory for this set separately, so perhaps someone with more experience can help out.

    Non-Plastic Elements

    Six rubber tires; fire hose (more like shoelace than thread).
    Reviewer Information
    Reviewer Name Age (at review) E-Mail WWW Favorite Theme
    David Ellis 45 dellis@bbs.com --- Town

    Iím new to LEGO as of May-June of this year. I have ten sets, mostly Freestyle and Town, with around 3000 pieces. Iíd love to see old Town instructions; anybody with a spare copy please let me know!

    FORTHCOMING REVIEWS [By David --Ed]

  • 6670 (Repair Rig)
  • 6344 (Aerial Acrobats)
  • 6383 (Coastal Patrol)
  • 6949 (Robo-Guardian)
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