#ThrowbackThursday Mobile Crane from 1978

Ah, yes, this is more like it. If someone gave me the choice between the new Ghostbusters Fire House or set 670: Mobile Crane in MIB condition, there would be no contest. Mobile Crane would win hands down.

1978 saw the introduction of the LEGO Minifigure and with that a gradual change to way that LEGOLAND vehicles were presented. Via a big bulk buy the other day, this set was amongst in very good condition with the map as well. I really wanted this one at the time when released but I think I was fobbed off with set 646 Auto Service instead. No matter, I have it now.

670-1 (1)

The Minifigure has to be one of my favourites. The hard hat is iconic and I do remember trying to ensure that this was not lost at all amongst the space and fireman helmets. The other cool part is the hi-vis vest and the introduction of the accessories for the minifigure was very clear even at this infancy stage. I have seen this minifigure being flogged on ebay for £50! That is just mental.

The build is simple, yet complex. The inverse use of the 4×2 Hinge plate creates the movement for the main crane arm, which is a funky technique. These hinges were notorious for snapping in half with a bit of force. I have actually tried to evo-stick them back together but it has resulted in a hatchet job losing its purpose. The use of the pulley and string is somewhat lost these days on City sets, but has made a bit of entrance into some of this years Construction sets once again. As the crane can actually swivel, I really do think that this great play value.

The rest of the truck is simple and effective, the principle of the chassis used within sets like 622 Tipper Truck.

These are not expensive to get hold of now – you can get one for about £4-7 which is fair for the age and number of pieces. I am tempted to re-created a LEGOLAND from 1978……and if prices remain reasonable, this could very easily be done. I am also half inclined to MOC a modern interpretation of this model as well……………


My name is Keith and I am a AFOL. Currently an expat living out in Basel, CH, but have a firm footing back in the UK when time permits. I have had had Lego ever since I can remember - and only until my wee one came along have I re-kindled the flame for building again. I also run matchbox1-75.co.uk, a resource site for the 1-75 series of miniatures by Matchbox. There are only three themes that I am get/collect (finances permitting) - City, Creator (Advanced and Expert) as well as the classic Star Wars sets from Eps IV to VI (anything else does not exist). I also keep an eye in Europe with ample chance to see how France, Germany and Switzerland market and offer LEGO.

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