Random set of the day: Black Thunder

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Black Thunder

Black Thunder

©1998 LEGO Group

Today's random set is 5542 Black Thunder, released in 1998. It's one of 2 Model Team sets produced that year. It contains 483 pieces, and its retail price was US$40.

It's owned by 658 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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26 comments on this article

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By in United States,

A good use of mostly standard parts to create a nice looking helicopter.

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By in United States,

This is actually the only set I have built and displayed right now. It really is a nice looking model.

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By in New Zealand,

Swoooosh!

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By in Turkey,

I don't know how to put this, but although I love my Mini and F40, these sets looked more like Lego.

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By in Germany,

Sets like this (Model Team in general) show how good LEGO models can look using only standard parts.
As nice as it is for MOCs that LEGO has introduced such a vast amount of specialized pieces in recent years, imho it takes away some of the fun of coming up with ingenious stuff using limited resources. What I find especially annoying is the fact that many of the newly introduced pieces are totally unneccessary as they perform a function that can be achieved by combining several others. Blows up the parts inventory without a real added benefit. I think LEGO should only introduce new pieces if their function can't be replicated by using existing pieces. But that's just me probably.

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By in Sweden,

This is a great helicopter model. It's also rather large, actually given that it has under 500 pieces. It is a bit empty inside but other than that it looks fantastic! And it's a lot of fun to build as (almost) all Model Team sets

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By in United Kingdom,

@AustinPowers, I do not entirely agree. MOCers have always found ingenious ways to use new parts and their right uses proves to be a challenge.

Also arguably, this set does not use only standard parts since the windscreen used is to be found only in this set.

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By in Belgium,

Great set! I got a copy of it and added a motor to simulate flight ;)

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By in France,

Very good looking old fashioned brick built chopper. I was in my dark ages during this range but each time I see a Model Team set I am quite surprised by its global quality and good design. Does anyone knows if this one has a gear or mechanism to make the rotor turn? Thank you.

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By in United Kingdom,

People say no specialised pieces, but I'm seeing arch pieces for the skids, wedge pieces in the nose and tail, hinged flaps on the engine, a propellor piece for the tail rotor, train doors and windows and of course a large single-piece windscreen. It's not that this set didn't have specialised pieces, it's that they've been around so long people have forgotten they're specialised.

Of course, it's not quite on the same scale as the one piece helicopter nose pieces, but those sets are for kids, and this is for advanced builders. I think we're doing pretty well all in all. Yes we have new pieces, but a lot of those are general use. There are just more curves than there used to be, that's why the aesthetic of Lego has changed.

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By in United Kingdom,

How long until someone sticks the SDCC Black Lightning figure in as the pilot?

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By in Sweden,

@Brick't: it is a long while back that I built this and took it apart again. The rotor turns for sure, but I don't remember any mechanism to make it rotate other than pushing the rotor itself. There are some technic pieces used to connect it to the inside of the helicopter, though; mostly for stability from what I remember.

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By in Canada,

Great set, I remember having this one a long long time ago!

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By in Germany,

@kinggregus: the cockpit piece had been around for eight years by the time this set came around. Trans-clear was simply a recolour.

@JonMarten: of course there are specialized pieces in this set, but like you say, by the time this set came around they had been in the inventory for ages. I believe not one single new piece was created solely for this set.
Plus I didn't say that specialized pieces were bad per se. But making new specialized pieces that don't make sense because their exact function can be replicated with existing pieces, that's what's bugging me.

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By in Australia,

It was something I pulled out by chance of an early bulk lot. It was the start of a huge LEGO helicopter collection all over the house.

Great model well worth a look.

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By in Hungary,

Probably this was the last Model Team set I purchased as an adult and no regret, it has an aesthetically pleasing look and simple functions that make this beauty playable. Still consider Model Team better than Creator Expert because of more LEGO look and vehicles were designed to actually play with, not to collect dust on shelves.

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By in France,

This is one of the best helicopters that LEGO has launched.

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By in United States,

Of the couple... few? (lol) helicopters LEGO has made over the years I think this is one of the best looking, by far. Too bad I was smack dab in the middle of my dark ages during Model Team years :(

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By in United States,

Just signed up and I will begin adding my collection! I just bought this set a couple days ago for $6! I hope to have all the Model Team sets, someday!

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By in United States,

@Bricksonthebarbie Outside of free, that might just be the best bargain I've seen for an old set of this size.

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By in Poland,

@AustinPowers I'm curious, can you tell some examples of recent new parts that can be easily replicated using combo of existing parts?

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By in Finland,

I don't think LEGO has started to use more specialized pieces, but instead using less basic "rectangular" shaped parts. That's the reason why these older sets look "older" and more LEGO-like - you can see the studs, plates and all that more clearly.
I can totally understand why people still really like these, though. They have the charm that modern sets don't quite have.

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By in United States,

@TransNeonOrangeSpaceman
I absolutely agree. There seem to be lots of people lamenting the increase of specialized parts and it always makes me wonder what they mean by specialized.

Many of the new pieces introduced by Lego recently seem to be slopes of different kinds, which seem very versatile to me, not specialized. Bricks and plates are all well and good. After all, that's how this all started, but they can't match the level of detail that newer parts allow at small scales.

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By in New Zealand,

I have recently sold my complete Model Team collection of all the sets to someone. This set was still mint in sealed box as were a few other of my MT sets.

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By in United Kingdom,

Who's piloting that helicopter?

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