LEGO® Set Review: 6348 Surveillance Squad
Surveillance Squad (us)
Escouade de surveillance (fr)
Peloton de Vigilancia (es)
Town System / Rescue
Ages 7-12 / 306 Pcs
15 page manual. 1 model. 1995 full catalog. Model 1: 4+16+24 steps.
Price Range: $31 CAD at Walmart Etobicoke, 10 cents/element CAD
Review Written: 12 December 1995 by Calum Tsang
Special Features / Compatibility
Scale: Mini-figures Scale
I think I’d buy it again, but not so soon (I don’t have a large enough police department). I’d certainly buy it as a birthday or christmas gift for younger kids.
Surveillance Squad is really misnamed-it should be SWAT Team Temporary HQ :) It includes a tractor rig with six wheels and a large trailer containing two consoles and seats for surveillance and recording etc. It follows Police decor quite well, the usual white with black trim. At the back of the trailer is a hatchback door, with a ramp/ladder. The side of the trailer opens up so you can have access to the two people sitting inside. Up on top is a long red antenna, a radar or microwave dish and a light assembly, which I assume is a flood lamp. The set is rounded out with the usual Police motorcycle, which can fit into the back. Two pylons (red cones) and a barrier are also included, which fit between the tractor and trailer.
If these folks are doing surveillance, they really want to be seen, because compared to other LEGO vehicles, this trailer is huge: 20 studs long by 6 wide, and very tall. (not even including antennae!) You get three minifigs, a burly unshaven truck driver (grr, more nonstandard faces!), a detective/squad commander (black hair, moustached) and a motorcycle officer.
I picked this set up at Walmart, which has a considerable discount over stores like the Bay and Eaton’s in Canada. (a Hook and Ladder is $21 compared to $26 elsewhere) However, Walmart doesn't give free five dollar coupons or sell Metroliners, so your choice is a bit limited. It also came with three extra black POLICE caps, which I thought was REALLY groovy, and I proceeded to out fit my new special operations team with them.
My general feeling towards this set has grown since I purchased it. On the box, it shows the entire set-up deployed with both hatches opened, pylons out on the road, antenna up, etc. I had left it for a week or two in transit along a road in my still small Town, and it looked very large in comparison to other vehicles, almost strange in a way. Now, that I have it
upstairs on my desk, with everything setup in an “action” scenario, and my inclusion of a SWAT team, it looks a lot better and seems more “fun” to me. I don't really play with my LEGO as toys, more to build, but it was a lot of fun to assemble a roleplay scenario where the Saraville PD Special
Operations team had descended on my Amiga to take out possible “malevolents”.
I felt the set wasn’t really a Surveillance Squad, for a real surveillance squad would be in an unmarked van or something. I think they didn’t want to call it a SWAT Team Trailer because of the violence
associated with that, but I think maybe Mobile Command Post would certainly
be fitting too. While I have chosen a SWAT team motif, I’m sure there are
less violent uses for this set in a Town, like maybe a search and rescue for a missing person. Either way, it’s an interesting package and certainly worth looking into.
Set Rating:Very-Good The set is a nice collection of pieces, some basic, some specialized, and a lot of the pieces are welcome additions. Some are certainly new to me, such as the new windows on the trailer, the ladder/ramp piece, and the antenna.
Model Rating:Excellent This concept is certainly a first for LEGO Town, and when everything is configured (side of trailer open, antenna up, floodlamp up, rear door open) it looks pretty cool. Unfortunately, in transport, the trailer looks kind of odd, a bit too long. I would keep from giving it a MUST-HAVE, for this reason, and that my major reason for liking it is the “kid” factor, it’s very “neat” in the sense that the start of Aliens was cool, where they all pull out all their weapons and prepare for the dropship landing... :)
The rig is nicely done, with good detailing paid to all aspects of a tractor rig, like the exhaust pipes, the front ram/crash frame, the gas tanks on the side etc. It’s certainly a lot more detailed than sets from 1986! One minus is the fact that the windows on the rear part of the cab are decorative—there is no extra space. If they had left that hollow, the pylons/barrier gate could be stored in there, reducing the length
of the trailer, and making the entire combination less elogated and better
The trailer insides are nicely done, with the front system console quite detailed. You get a 2x2 flat tile with front and profile shots of some criminal complete with serial number. Then, a radar tracking dish on a 2x2 slanted 45 degree brick, a tape recorder 1x2 tile, and a usual CRT 2x2
slanted 45 degree upward brick. The rear console is hinged and has a 1x2 brick with a green CRT with unreadable text, the WEIRD minikeyboard missing letters. Inside are two blue swivel chairs, and that section is hinged to open up to the right, like an RV or camper setup. The elements used include larger 4x1 4 piece high panels with large transparent light blue windows, four in number.
Playability Rating:Must-Have I think Surveillance Squad, for maybe 4-8 year olds, could be a real treat—I mean, three minifigs, a tractor trailer combo, antenna, radar dish, computers, motorcycle, floodlamp, all the doors and wheels...As for
older LEGO fans, you could arrange large scenes with them (the trailer is now parked behind my left Yamaha YSTm10 speaker on my desk, with SWAT team snipers on my Amiga and elsewhere preparing to take out a terrorist) with the trailer commanding a search and rescue operation, some sort of crowd control (maybe LEGO Town citizens rioting against too much funding to
Police Services? :) or whatever needs a mobile rolling HQ. The 94 catalog
depicts the trailer set up next to a fire in a tall building with a Hook and Ladder extended trying to save a woman high up. You’ll have to decide whether you, as an adult, will enjoy the Squad, it took a while to grow on me. It looks a heck of a lot better deployed than in transit.
Nice fun concept.
Design problem with length noticeable when everything is closed up.
large 4x1 4 brick high windows
nothing is new, as far as I know: maybe those windows.
rubber tires, medium sized bulbous
Two black Police logos, roughly 1x1" for the black 4x1x4high panels. Insignia and italicized POLICE with red underline. They don't cover multiple pieces, but the set would look kinda bland without them. I put mine on.
Mostly for Town integration.
This is a fan created web site. LEGO® is a registered trademark of The LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site.
All views expressed in the reviews on this site are those of the review author, and do not necessarily represent the views of Joshua Delahunty or the University of California.
Set names and photos are copyrighted materials owned by The LEGO Group, used according to its Fair-Use Policy. Set photo scans courtesy of Pause Magazine.
Background imagery supplied by and Copyright © Todd Lehman. Used with permission.
3-D Element bitmaps supplied by and Copyright © James Jessiman. Used with permission.
All product line and theme banner graphics hand-drawn (not scanned) and Copyright © 1996 Joshua Delahunty.
Send comments on these pages to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.