Random set of the day: Metro Park & Service Tower

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Metro Park & Service Tower

Metro Park & Service Tower

©1988 LEGO Group

Today's random set is 6394 Metro Park & Service Tower, released in 1988. It's one of 21 Town sets produced that year. It contains 620 pieces and 6 minifigs, and its retail price was US$58.25.

It's owned by 2047 Brickset members. If you want to add it to your collection you might find it for sale at BrickLink or eBay.


 

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28 comments on this article

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By in Australia,

Just an excellent set. Has everything you could ask of it. One of my all time favourite town sets

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By in United States,

$58.25?? What’s that look like inflation adjusted?

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By in New Zealand,

That was the first set that I found with a faulty deformed part. Was bought in Australia for me so had to contact LEGO Australia for a replacement part.

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By in Canada,

Always wanted this as a kid...

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By in United States,

This set was one that was not in stores anymore by the time I was a serious Lego maniac, but annoyingly was in all the catalogs still. A truly great set, one of the first I picked up when I left the dark ages. It just has so much play value built in and the colors are perfect.

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By in United States,

Always wanted this set! It looked such a great set and so much fun in the advertisements!

$58.25 in 1988 is the same as $121.11 USD in 2018. Which at 620 pieces works out to be 19.5 cents/piece.

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By in United States,

@Teriyaqi: according to the US Inflation Calculator, this set would cost $123.37
In today’s dollars.

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By in United States,

^^$123.37, though restlically, would be an $80-90 set today.

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By in United States,

TWO BASEPLATES!!!!
They don't make 'em like this anymore.

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By in Australia,

I actually don't own this one ... but my cousins got this as a Christmas present one year, and I was quite envious. That big parking garage is just gorgeous. And yeah, two baseplates.

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By in Germany,

I have it! One of my two favorite sets. So much playability, a design that is still modern today, loads of cars and minifigs, that elevator, the hinges to make a drive through out of it, the car wash and as stated above: two special baseplates. I even still have the box. The day will come I rebuild it with my daughter.

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By in Germany,

And just look what kind of size you got with just 620 pieces. Nowadays that's almost eaten up when you build two to three little Speed Champions cars!
Just look at 75875 for comparison. More pieces, much less substance.
True, modern sets have more details and greebling, but I much prefer the substantial structures (and baseplates!) of old. Think of it, this set gives you four vehicles, a gas/petrol station, a car wash, plus a complete multi-storey car park for crying out loud.

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By in Germany,

Christmas '89. I was 5 when I got this. :)

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By in United Kingdom,

what a lovely set it was - great concept and execution.
still no Octan parking lot ;)

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By in Norway,

Omg, I love this set!! Bring it back :)

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By in Croatia,

Got this set 10 days before article came. All minifigs and base plates and many of bricks . Only it came in lot of 12kg , space,castle and city from 1980 ;) so will need to order bricks to get it to full glory ;)

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By in United States,

I really want a copy of this set. It's very difficult to find a complete used copy that has all the parts and stickers intact, and I'm not willing to shell out for a sealed copy (yet...). Will be a great addition to my future Town layout for certain.

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By in United States,

@AustinPowers: I don't really feel like getting more size out of fewer bricks is any kind of advantage when you're still paying way more for that number of bricks than you would be today. Like, what advantage is there to paying $120 for less than 700 bricks than $120 for 900–1200 bricks? With many of today's sets you get not only more detail, but also sturdier structures, more play features, more time spent building, more resources for MOCs. And of course, it never hurts to have sets that don't take up as much shelf or floor space… how many kids do you think there are who had to cut down on their LEGO hobby because their parents got fed up with the resulting clutter?

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By in United States,

Oh yes! This was the crown jewel of my younger self’s Town collection. Well, along with the airport. It was regularly attacked by unidenified paramilitary forces, causing the local population to modify their police and rescue helicopters for defensive purposes. LOVED this set. I’d buy a successor in a heartbeat.

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By in Spain,

My favourite CITY set!! Hours and hours of play!! Fantastic set!! I had to obtain really good marks at school to be granted with it (more than 5 excellents of 8 subjects), but when I got it...I was really happy!!

4 cars and a moto, fulling the deposit, washing cars...!!

I still have it built!!

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By in United States,

@Aanchir: As a counterpoint, I'd say that clutter is actually easier to avoid in big sets from the classic town era. Sets with road baseplates made it easier to create a neater display, rather than just having things spread out.

Additionally, as far as piece count goes, people simply like different things about the hobby. You seem to prefer builds with more detail (even if they're smaller), while AustinPowers seems to prefer larger builds with substantial structures (I side with AustinPowers when it comes to town, though not with all themes). When I was a kid, I was interested in immersive worlds, which is why I was such a huge fan of Bionicle, Adventurers, etc. I never got into town as a child, because my peak Lego days were during Town Jr. But when I was old enough to go online (around age 11 or 12), I drooled over those old town sets from the 80s and early 90s. I imagined how cool it would be to build an entire town complete with roads, houses, buildings, etc.

Also (and this is no longer directed at Aanchir alone, but more of a general thought), I think using inflation alone, though necessary, is also a little misleading. As you can see, inflation has caused the price to just about double for this set; however, average wages haven't even come close to doubling. So technically it would be $123 in today's dollars, but $123 is a larger relative portion of someone's salary (on average) than $58 was in 1988. I actually think that's part of why Lego is relatively cheaper today. Sure, the use of lots of small parts helps improve the price/piece ratio, but I think Lego also knows that if they used inflation alone, it would price most people out of the market.

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By in United States,

I love little city scenes like this, they really help collections feel complete.

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By in United States,

Had this set as a kid. Absolutely loved it. Sold it and then found it again for 30 bucks online. Now I just need the newer garage.

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By in United States,

@peterlmorris: There was a sort of successor to this set six years back, #4207. Good set! Main differences were no street-level parking, a winch-driven rather than gear-driven elevator, and a smaller gas station and security station rather than a bigger gas station and shop. Also four cars instead of three and a motorcycle. As a bonus, it looks like it's still going on BrickLink for less than it cost at retail, if you have any interest in picking it up. And it even uses traditional baseplates, for those who care about that.

@TeaWeevil: A neater display, depending on how much actual shelf/table space you have. But just looking at this set, despite having two 32x32 baseplates, the footprints of the garage and service station themselves only take up around half that. The rest I guess you can jam with cars you get in sets that don't have baseplates, but needless to say it's much easier to make room for a set like 4207 mentioned above that condenses a greater amount of bricks, whether by weight or by piece count, into a 75 square inch space (give or take a few for the gas pumps) than a 200 square inch space.

I suppose this is one of the reasons that I don't get as nostalgic about baseplates as many people do. Rarely is the part of the set you actually build that much bigger or more substantial on a baseplate than it would be on standard plates, it just gobbles up more of the unused space around it, and if it's a set with multiple structures or bits of scenery, makes it harder to rearrange them to suit your play or display needs.

I also agree that inflation alone doesn't tell us how affordable a set is to the consumer, but I still feel like it's a necessary step in understanding that money today isn't worth what it was back then. If you want to wax nostalgic for a time when wages were higher, I'll be right there with you in wanting to go back to those good old days (even if I wasn't alive for some of them). But that's an entirely different thing than waxing nostalgic for the numbers on the price stickers being lower.

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By in United States,

Perhaps more than any other set, 6394 epitomizes the Classic Town aesthetic of 4-wide vehicles, simplistic, open structures, and baseplates. There's really no other set that features a parking garage like this: the exposed studs are rather limiting to the free movement of vehicles and builders hadn't developed SNOT yet.

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By in United States,

@Aanchir: Fair point; the amount of space certainly does make or break the neatness of a display/play area. The space where my daughter keeps her sets and creations is small and pretty cluttered, and lacks baseplates--however, I'm not sure that baseplates would help clear up the clutter, since we get things down and play with them on the floor, anyway. Additionally, there are other options that can make an area feel more complete and put together, including play mats with designs on them. These may not have the same "system" appeal as baseplates, but they certainly can fix some of the cluttered look that can come from a lack of those plates (I've found that, without some system, it's easy for a layout to look like a bunch of sets all pushed together), and can increase playability.

I tend to generally agree with you about baseplates; I don't miss them in most themes. But in town/city, I do miss them. When I was a kid, I felt like a baseplate gave me more "play" area. It reminds me of how the interior of buildings in Friends sets (one of my all-time favorite themes) tend to have larger footprints than those in City sets. City buildings may have similar amounts of detail crammed into smaller areas, but there's something to be said for space to play. For me, baseplates (especially road plates) helped towns feel more spacious.

PS: Thanks for the discussion. Your posts are always insightful. I agree with you in many areas--and I've found that, in places where I disagree with you, I still get the opportunity to see things from a different point of view.

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By in United States,

@Aanchir: I remember that set, and I almost bought it, but it’s like 1/3 of the old set. Part of the charm of the older one was the open negative space in front of the actual deck, plus having the gas station off to the side.

Maybe I should say I’d buy a modular set update in a heartbeat, though I have no idea how you make something as utilitarian as a gas station and a parking garage as architecturally interesting as the modulars.

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By in Sweden,

While I really like the look of this, it seems you can't park no more than 4 cars if you want each to be able to drive out without moving another (well I guess you may park another 2 on the ground level). And is there enough space to turn the cars once you get out of the lift? Well it certainly can't be for the then standard 10 studs long cars - even though the Shell car has somehow managed to on the box photo - but possibly for the shorter ones (7 studs long) included in the set.

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