The story of LEGO buses is far more interesting than the subject matter would imply. As 60154 Bus Station hits store shelves, Brick Fanatics looks at five connections it shares with previous offerings
The LEGO Group took a long hiatus from buses. A really long hiatus. Immediately upon unleashing the minifigure upon the world in the late 1970s, a bus station set, 379 Bus Station, was also released. It would be 30 years before that happened again. Why these hallmarks of modern city transportation were so underrepresented across the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s remains a mystery. Since then, there have been multiple buses and each has been unique. 60154 Bus Stop, a set that has the distinction of being the first to incorporate handicap accessibility, provides the perfect opportunity to look at previous LEGO bus sets.
Connection 1 – 379 Bus Station: The one that started it all
Let’s hope it did not rain as much back in 1979. This set is a perfect representation of its time. Nearly all medium and large Town sets came on road baseplates back then and the simple, blocky construction of the buildings, vehicle and even the lamppost are enough to get the nostalgia juices flowing. Despite looking a bit dated, this remains the most complete bus station ever released by the LEGO Group as it includes a ticket building, covered waiting area, 32×32 baseplate – not forgetting the requisite bus.
Connection 2 – 7641 City Corner: The new beginning
As the first bus in three decades it was a pretty sure bet that City Corner’s offering in 2009 was going to be better than its predecessor. All it needed to do to achieve that was be fully enclosed. Thankfully, designers delivered something far better than a simple incremental improvement. 7641’s bus hit it out of the park and established some of the basic properties that all buses – including that found in 60154 Bus Station – since have incorporated in terms of look, general length, six-stud wide construction and peppering the exterior with advertisements. The colour choice is the only odd aspect of this set, as at first glance it really appears to want to be a school bus.
Connection 3 – 8404 Public Transportation Station: The tour bus
If you have ever been to a professional sports game you have likely seen something similar to this behemoth outside the venue. With its predecessor clearly having been designed to allow citizens to board regular buses, 8404 from 2010 was supposed to be a transfer station for trips. The primary difference between it and other LEGO buses is height. An extra two bricks facilitates the inclusion of luggage compartments within its underbelly. Its role as a long haul transport is further reflected in the lack of exterior advertisements.
Connection 4 – 60026 Town Square: The refined CITY bus
The LEGO Group had refined its new vehicle technique by the time 2013 rolled around. Following in the tyre treads of 7641, another ‘around town’ bus was released, but much improved. Almost exactly the same dimensions as its predecessor, this set is a bit more detailed in every other way. It includes a more realistic interior, the inclusion of digital displays showing information of its next stop, vents and the double cheese slopes on the rear view mirrors.
Connection 5 – 60154 Bus Station: Further advancements
As explained in our review, the most recent LEGO bus is an excellent model which, rather than repeating what has come before, takes LEGO CITY a step in the right direction towards being wheelchair accessible. It is fantastic that designers continue to think of new ways to imagine these vehicles – that approach will keep what could otherwise be a monotonous type of model fresh.