Mobile Crane

LEGO Classic: LEGO 6361 Mobile Crane
Set information:
Community rating:
LEGO Classic
LEGO Classic
(7 votes)
LEGO Classic: Town LEGO Classic: Construction
Review's author:
LEGO Classic
Place: Poland
Joined: 2015, jan 21
Seen: 3d 2h
2016, may 30 18:35

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Catalog entry
This is really the first such vehicle in Town theme. Released in 1986, long mobile crane has a retractable arm on a rotating basis and the rope ending with a metal hook for lifting containers or any other objects. It is perfect on the construction site, because sometimes you have to pick up a heavy floor or a roof plate. In addition, the designers have proposed a very interesting five alternatives for this set. Stationary or perpendicular crane is required even more on construction site. The set is very well thought out. It has couple of inconveniences, but not everything can be done at once in one hundred percent right. Personally, I find this vehicle one of the best in Lego Town sets.
I've managed to find only one presentation in a small catalog from 1986, where this crane was present lifting the blue container next to the bulldozer from 6658-1: Bulldozer set.
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Catalog's presentation from 1986
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Previous and next mobile cranes
The predecessor of this vehicle was a pneumatic crane available in 6678-1: Pneumatic-Crane set released in 1980. However, this crane was quite different. Instead of the hook, it had a scoop. Therefore I boldly stated earlier that a vehicle from this set was the first crane with a hook in the history of the Town theme. In contrast, the official successor was a crane from a set of 6352-1: Cargomaster-Crane, which looked quite different and in which all the  inconveniences from reviewed vehicle have not been repeated. I will describe them in more detail in further part of the article.
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Technic crane
In the meantime, another interesting vehicle appeared, available in limited edition in the United States only. It was the blue crane from a set of LEGO-1489-1 released in 1989. Very similar design to the vehicle available in this set, however, it had even larger wheels. It is worth mentioning about mobile crane from LEGO-8460-1 Technic set, where you can find a vehicle exactly the same type. As befits for a Lego Technic, the mobile crane has mechanisms everywhere, where it is required. All can be controlled via the cranks protruding from each side of the vehicle. Even the support extends through the crank. This is definitely one of the most interesting Technic sets. As you can see, the concept of the crane was widely used in Lego constructions and can be found in several forms.

The Vehicle

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The rope with metal hook
The mobile crane is a structure in its own way unique. It contains several unique bricks, such as iron and solid hook, retractable arm composed of two parts and a special part 2x4x2 with crank for retracting the rope.
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The vehicle
The vehicle is very long, I have to say that this is one of the few very long vehicles that do not bend in half. The crane is fully functional. It is possible to practically hook any Lego construction to the hook and move it to another place. The entire basis rotates 360 degrees, the arm can be extended to almost twice the length and using crank, the hooked object can be raised or lowered.
The vehicle has four outriggers, two per side. The supports are retractable and it is possible to fold them. I think that they are the biggest disadvantage of this vehicle. Outriggers are based on ordinary holder, which is not able to keep the vehicle stable. It do not need much to fall apart while trying to operate the crane. Worse, it can be broken quite easily, if you use too much force.
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Moving the container
I recommend to be careful in this aspect or to purchase several additional holders.
The barrier was used as the handle for the container, which is also used as part of the helicopter skids. This is the second drawback of this set, because the hook is hard to set up on the barrier, you have to use force to mount it on. You can not simply grab the object by handle with hook, it must be dismantled and put on. It is not practical. It is worth mentioning that both of these inconveniences have been removed in the newer version of the mobile crane released in 1991 included in 6352-1: Cargomaster-Crane set. This is a very good example of how Lego group learned from mistakes and how effectively took care of them, which I think strongly contributed to the overall success of the company.
The crane can be classified as a construction vehicle, as it very useful during any building process as I proved it in many galleries by now. I suspect, however, that its main purpose was to load containers on a ship. The set included one container with openable door on one side.
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Cabin and the operator
The operator of a crane and at the same time the driver is wearing a black workers suit with the red builder's helmet. Cabin of the vehicle does not have a door, which I think was a good choice. I can not imagine this vehicle with the doors, it just do not fit here. The roof can be opened up, so the driver can be placed without a problem. Behind the cabin there are two levers used to operate the crane. Very cool idea, it's nice that the designers have not forgotten about such an important element. At the end, the operator would not be able to steer the crane's arm from the cabin in this case.

In summary, this is certainly one of the most interesting models, because of its size and available functionalities. Raising containers or other objects is not a problem when we have the crane!
I present below one of the images of the race track's finish line building process, where the crane helps with lifting the grandstands plates. It may also be seen in many other building processes available here.
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During the racetrack's finish line construction

Alternative constructions

On the back side of the packaging we can find as many as 5 interesting alternative proposals, such as perpendicular or stationary crane. Most of these structures can be useful on the construction site. Mobile crane can also turn into a heavy tow truck for large-size vehicles. All these proposals can be seen in the alternatives section below and some of them even have an additional 'how to build?' gallery. I must say, that those alternatives were hard to reproduce from one picture.
Linked sets:
2015, apr 4 19:06 (112 months, 9 days ago) by Rogdush
2016, nov 27 11:19 (92 months, 6 days ago) by Rogdush
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