LEGO® Set Review: 6991 Monorail Transport Base
Monorail Transport Base (us)
Monorail Astro Expreß (de)
Space System / Unitron
Ages 8-12 / 568 Pcs
Price Range: $178.00 (Ouch! That makes it the fourth most expensive set ever.)
Review Written: 16 February 1997 by J. William Kenlon
Special Features / Compatibility
An Extra Antenna
2 Blue 1x8 Hinges
2 Blue 1x2 Hinges
2 Grey 1x8 Tiles
Neon-Green/Yellow 1x1 Round Plates
1 Technic Toggle Joint
Scale: Mini-Figures. And these are the best Space has ever known.
I would buy this set again, if it weren’t for the fact I didn’t buy it in the first place.
This set’s main colors are grey, blue, and black, with blue windows and bright yellow highlights. The models are two monorail cars, one med-sized trailer, the control unit for the trailer, and two large “bases”. The box suggests several Monorail trains and bases, and several large and small spacecraft.
I got this set for free—that’s right, absolutely free—and I'm glad I did. While it is a great set overall, I would say that for only 568 pieces, this set is almost not worth it. I got it for free by winning second place in the LEGO Space Challenge. That’s something I love to brag about! :-D
The system of the set is like this: There are two bases, one of which is on the elevated baseplate. That one is now called Base No. 1. It is about seven bricks off of the ground. Base No. 2 is a long way off of the ground, and it is a control center on legs. Above the control room is a ramp at which a monorail track ends. When the monorail reaches this ramp, it automatically turns around, and heads in the other direction. The cockpit is left sitting there on the ramp, apparently to lift off and fly about space. Base No. 1 has a special rail piece which can stop the monorail in its tracks, reverse its direction, or let it pass. If stopped, the remaining cockpit can either stay in its bed
or go onto a little rotating arm thing, presumably for repairs. If it is permitted to pass through, it will make a radar spin around, and after a good deal of going around incircles for no particular reason it will reach the other end of the rail. If the trailer is there, the cockpit module will slide onto the trailer and hit the driver in the
head. If, instead, the control unit of the trailer has jettisoned, then the pilot of the monorail assumes command of the trailer and drives away to do further exploration.
Well, I do like the set, and the fact that it was free makes it even better. The only real problem I have is that I keep on comparing it to the 6990 Futuron Monorail
Transport Base, of 1988. The earlier set is really superior in design and function; it had a cleaner look about it, and included 5 people (but nobody looks cooler than Unitron astronauts). The 1988 set’s cargo could load and unload; this set just has detachable cockpits. The other had 147
more pieces but was $20 cheaper. Honestly, I would take the first Monorail over this one any day.
However, I still think that this Unitron set is
really, really great. If I were a certain famous set of critics, I would give this set “two thumbs up!”.
Set Rating:Excellent It’s not a “must-have” in general because the other Unitron sets could replace it, essentially. However, it works wonders for any Space collector such as myself.
Model Rating:Very-Good The models are a little sloppy looking, but who cares? It goes great with all Space sets, especially the other Unitron sets.
Playability Rating:Must-Have The fact that it has several different models in one, and its modularity make it a very playable set. Plus it has good models on the box. Kids and adults alike would (actually, do is a better term) love this set.
I love the model design and the look of it. The whole set is very functional all by itself. I dislike the fact that it only includes “Three Men and a Bad-guy” (Spyrius Droid). There are five stations to fill, and it only has three people.
There are two very large blue transparent windows (right out of Futuron) to which holographic decals are to be attached. Plus there are some “tubular hallway” pieces in trans-blue. There is a topographically elevated baseplate with the standard ramp on the side, and pit in the middle. Three beautiful Unitron astonauts and one Spyrius robot are included. Of course the monorails themselves, not to mention the cars that run on them, are only used in three sets so far.
Attractive (the first set with holographic stickers. Well, actually, it was the first along with Spyrius Robo-Guardian, and Lunar Lauch Site, but I digress), large, single brick only.
Age (at review)
J. William Kenlon
Space, followed by Western and Aquazone.
I buy sets to look at them and play with them. Elements are nice too. I did buy some sets just for the people (i.e. Roboforce, Technic) and I suppose that’s how I got 673 of them.
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