VINTAGE REVIEW – LEGO TRAIN STATION 4554

VINTAGE REVIEW – LEGO TRAIN STATION 4554

10 months ago I launched All About The Brick with a vintage review based on the set that triggered strong emotive feelings of my childhood and pulled me out of the dark ages (LEGO 9v Trainset 4563). Not only did it resurrect my love of LEGO, but I went one step further and decided to blog on all things LEGO. Fast forward to today and I still find the time in my hectic life to play, create and write about my passion LEGO and now my kids are joining me on the journey (perfect case study on nurture vs nature – guess which one?). Now you are probably wondering why the big intro and reminisce, well every good Trainset needs a Train Station and this was no different for me as a child. After getting the LEGO Trainset 4563 for my 9th birthday (November) I was fortunate enough to get LEGO Metro Station 4554 for Christmas 1 month later.

Way back on the original review I commented on the box graphics and funnily enough the Metro Station has the strangest backdrop. Even to this day I struggle to understand the logic other than maybe they used the graphic designer from the Classic Space team. The set was released in 1991 as an accompaniment set to the 9v Trainsets in circulation at the time.

The lovely thing about these older sets is LEGO use to highlight alternative builds either in the instructions or as a guide on the reverse of the box. This was a great idea that helped encouraged freestyle and creative building. To be fair LEGO has tried to resurrect this with the 3 in 1 Creative sets.

Now this was the exciting pinnacle of every every LEGO set bought in the 80’s/90’s the flip top lid. I can’t begin to describe the sheer joy and excitement of lifting up that lid and seeing the LEGO perfectly lad out on display through transparent plastic windows and the additional graphics on the inside of the lid. If there was one thing that I would love LEGO to improve on modern sets packaging it would be the flip top lid (I don’t think I’m alone either!).

Not to sound too over the top with this set it also comes with a very generous 8 x minifigures. First of the rank is a very scandinavian backpacker with a backpack accessory. Torso printing is good and typical of the decade. Further the minifigure is unique to this set – i.e. she still hasn’t returned from her backpacker trip 26 years later!

Next we have a pair of railway workers in standard uniform and a common feature across 9v Trainsets in the early 90’s (Workhorse of the LEGO train network).

Moving away from the hands on workforce is the platform train guard. Uniform printing on torso is very nice and surprisingly detailed. He has also made appearance across multiple sets (6 to be precise).

Next up is a female attendant again sporting nicely detailed uniform printing on her torso. She is also another unique minifigure to this set and for those who argue LEGO has been a bit gender specific over the years I beg to differ. One thing I’m not entirely sure is what the tile she is holding is suppose to represent – Would love someone to clear this up for me?!

Monsieur Chef covers all cafe day to day running operations. He represents the most common minifigure cooking various dishes over 8 other sets for LEGO. For those from the UK does he remind you of the now defunct Little Chef roadhouse chain mascot?

Not sure what to really say with this minifigure – I remember as a kid thinking she was a bit daggie and my opinion still stands. Happy to have her though as a passenger I ran over frequently with my train while playing out some super hero scene.

Lastly rounding up the minifigure selection is the big bose happily sitting up in his office. He rounds up the 3 x unique minifgures that come with this set.

All in all a great lineup of minifigures and a nice mix selection of unique minifgures. I think it highlights that some modern sets of a similar size lack the number of minifigures we saw in previous decades.

Before I move on to the main station build I wanted to discuss the platform specifically. The platform consists of 4 dedicated molds that connect together to form a genuine looking train station platform. Now the general trend of LEGO over the years is to become more realistically looking with the inclusion of more smooth and angular LEGO bricks etc… However, I truly believe that LEGO has gone backwards with regards to train platforms and 1991 represented a peak that has since surprisingly dropped away from realism.

For any major Train Station you need baggage control and this is captured with a little red buggy with two additional trailers. The buggy comes with a variety of post, parcels and suitcases along with a secret black suitcase filled with gold hidden below the drivers cab.

The build itself is of a medium difficulty with roofing and windows requiring a level of patience and steady hand to build. The colour scheme is yellow and black (there is a red variant – 2150 released in 1996) and works perfectly. The station includes a cafe, waiting area, pay phone and 1st floor office and harmoniously works together to form a well balanced typical European Train Station.

Not to sound too rose tinted, the various scenes seem to capture Train Station life perfectly. Further for those interested I’ve added some pictures of the instruction booklet – Classic 1990’s

In closing I think this set represents a more generous era for LEGO when they nailed the train station feel, look, life and playability. Happy to debate and discuss otherwise if anyone thinks there is a better train station out there.

Final Rating: 10 out of 10 

Happy Building!

 

 

 

 

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