Random set of the day: Underground Mining Station

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Underground Mining Station

Underground Mining Station

©2009 LEGO Group

Today's random set is 8709 Underground Mining Station, released in 2009. It's one of 18 Power Miners sets produced that year. It contains 637 pieces and 4 minifigs, and its retail price was US$79.99/£51.85.

It's owned by 752 Brickset members. If you want to add it to your collection you might find it for sale at BrickLink or eBay.


30 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Ah power miners. This is a quality set. Great series.

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By in United States,

Now, Power Miners is a theme that holds a lot of nostalgia for me. The Granite Grinder was my first set with minifigs. :) Never got this one though. Maybe someday. Good choice, Huwbot!

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By in United States,

Power Miners! I loved this theme as a kid, but sold off my collection to get 6274...

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By in United States,

Wow! Nice rock monster! I wouldn't want to run into that during the night!

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By in Australia,

Ah, Power Miners. A short-lived but fantastic theme.

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By in United States,

Welp. This is the first RSOTD that I can remember reading about on Brickset when it was first discovered...

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By in United States,

I remember trying to get this set near the end of its shelf life. Finally found it at a Toys R Us two hours from home. Great set, I must say.

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By in United Kingdom,

Oh, I really wanted this one when I was younger.

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By in United Kingdom,

My all time favourite theme as a kid loved them collected most of them and still got them on a box!!
Wish they would do a reboot!

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By in New Zealand,

Yum! Carrots!

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By in United Kingdom,

Wow the biggest wheel ever is just the winder for the Cablecar/Scoop. Even better they managed to use that wheel in another set. 4 of them as wheels.... I seemed to have completely missed out on power miners... may have to ebay a little example.

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By in United Kingdom,

Hah, I just got this last weekend! Great timing!

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By in United States,

This is my most complete subtheme @ 88% of my nearly 40 years of collecting. Couldn't find the two Target exclusive polybags. Still love the working soda vending machine in Lavatraz 8191.

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By in United Kingdom,

Got this and 8960: Thunder Driller from the Power Miners theme. Lots of cool industrial machinery going on, I wish LEGO would do more of their own cool little themes still.

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By in United States,

Nitro, the working vending machine? Are we talking about the same set? It never worked! lol I think they fixed the issue with the new vending machines.

I bought a bunch of Power Miners in 2017 and 2018 because the theme is awesome. However this one is one I just couldn't get for cheap.

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By in United Kingdom,

Wow, thank brickset.com for bringing it again.
The Power Miners theme is excellent. About ten years ago, I purchesed set 8960 for my boy for the first set of this theme, then I began to collect the whole complete sets of this theme and I collected 16 sets of this theme and almost complete (88%) except the two polybags. This 8709 is very nice, with bright lime green colour, big wheel and playing funny. I collected two of this set, one is built, another one still sealed in its box.
Hopefully, Lego will release this theme again.

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By in United Kingdom,

Can't believe that only 752 Brickset members have this.

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By in United States,

@David1985

It worked great for me. It better have since it would only take $100 bills!

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By in United Kingdom,

Random carrots included.

Maybe to do with the myth about them giving you nightvision.

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By in United States,

Holy cow Power Miners is already a decade old?

It was supposedly nostalgia for Rock Raiders, which was right around a decade or so before that.

Man I’m getting old.

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By in Israel,

Power miners - mine through my thick skin and into my heart <3

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By in United States,

Bring on the nostalgia!

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By in United States,

@jol That so true. Aside from City, Friends and Ninjago, Lego has no original themes. Everything else is licensed. This saddens me as Alpha Team, Bionicle and Adventures were among the themes that got me into Lego. They had Elves in 2018 and Nexo Knights in 2017 and nothing since. Is that just the way the toy market is now? Even Speed Champions, their current racing theme is technically licensed. I don't mind licensed sets, but for me they are restrictive when it comes to play since the story is preconceived. I would hate for them to end up like Mega Constr*x, only making licensed sets. That would be the day I stop buying Lego. City will never die but I have enough police already.

@Huw I think this is worth an article "The Death of Original Lego Themes"

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By in United States,

turboslot, I have never seen this set in a store. I think it was a limited release set which is why so few have it.

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By in United States,

PowerMiners is my childhood. Never got this one though ;(

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By in United States,

@Dash Justice: As recently as last year they had two other original themes (Nexo Knights and Elves), and later this year we’re getting Hidden Side. Not to mention other ongoing themes you didn’t mention like Architecture, Classic, Creator, and Technic

I suspect there will probably be even more original themes making their debut next year when there won’t be a new LEGO Movie as the year’s biggest new priority. After all, 2014 was just as light on new original themes as this year is… but in 2015 LEGO brought back Bionicle and Pirates, introduced Elves, and replaced the dwindling Bricks & More theme with a much more extensive LEGO Classic range.

Additionally, while Speed Champions is all licensed sets, it’s not as though non-licensed racing car sets have disappeared: since the Racers theme ended, they were simply absorbed by the type of themes they would have appeared in before LEGO Racers like City, Creator, and Technic.

And while The LEGO Movie themes are not purely in-house, non-licensed products, it seems strange to treat them as unoriginal on those grounds. Is there really anything in the LEGO Movie 2 sets besides the DC Comics and Wizard of Oz related characters and builds that wouldn’t look just as at home in a non-licensed set or theme?

All in all, of the around 360 current known or rumored 2019 sets (excluding extended line), around 45% are licensed compared to 55% non-licensed, and that’s counting the co-created The LEGO Movie 2 theme in the licensed category. If you exclude that theme entirely, the remaining sets are around 40% licensed and 60% non-licensed. And if you count The LEGO Movie 2 as non-licensed, this year’s sets are around 34% licensed and 66% non-licensed.

Needless to say, any concerns that original LEGO sets/themes are dead or dying is making a mountain out of a molehill. The only arguments that really make things sound dire for original themes are the ones that rely on absurd definitions of “original” that exclude themes like Friends and Ninjago because they have character-driven supporting media.

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By in United States,

@Anchair You offer valid points. I had forgotten about hidden side and I'm glad that the sets look to be well designed despite the over emphasis on app integration.

I agree that the definition of "original theme" is arbitrary. I personally wouldn't consider Creator, Technic or similar lines as "themes" since they are largely "theme-less" (obviously I'm not discounting their purpose nor playability) You also bring up the percentage of original vs licensed sets, but I was talking about the ratio of original themes vs. licensed themes.

For example in 2010 we had 23 themes (including Architecture, Creator, Technic, etc, but excluding promotional, seasonal, gear, etc) of which 5 were licensed. That's 21.7% We have 22 themes in 2019 so far, 9 are licensed. That's 40.9%.

If we move Ideas to licensed (which a majority are) and exclude Collectable Minifigures and Brickheadz altogether, were left with 27.3% and 50% for 2010 and 2019 respectively. You might say this is a quick assumption, but I'm sure if you were to look at other years you'd see a trend.

Again, I don't mind license themes, and I recognize that people like them even if I don't buy them. But the was always something creative and special about the Lego Company's original ideas. I get that they have to make what sells. So if it's the case that anything unlicensed (besides City, Friends and Ninjago) doesn't sell than I think there's a bigger problem with the toy industry as a whole which makes me sad.

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By in Romania,

My most wanted set ever. i will get this one day, i promise.

Dang, do i want this set so badly.

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By in United States,

@Dash Justice: Good analysis, although I can't say I agree with all your findings.

For instance, Ideas sets that have been released, announced, or approved with an intended 2019 release include three licensed ones (The Flintstones, Steamboat Willie, and the not-yet-released Central Perk) and two non-licensed ones (the Treehouse and the Rocket Ride).

Among already released/revealed Ideas sets, 15 of 26 have been licensed according to Brickset, and I'd even question that total since I'm not sure the Japanese government agencies that created the real-world Hayabusa probe and Shinkai submarine require licensing agreements to sell likenesses of their works (NASA, for their part, does not).

Regardless of how you crunch the numbers, licensed sets hardly make up an overwhelming majority of Ideas sets. At the very most (counting NASA stuff, Shinkai, and Hayabusa as licensed), they would make up less than 60% of those released to date; whereas a more conservative estimate (counting those 5 sets as non-licensed) the theme is split 50/50 between licensed and non-licensed sets.

I also think that judging by number of themes gives an unrealistic picture of how license-driven LEGO is, particularly since LEGO often changes how their themes are broken down. For example, this year they started branding 4+ sets as parts of the regular System themes they depict rather than as a separate "Juniors" theme.

Also this year, they are now labeling their Super Heroes products as separate themes according to the IP they're based on (Batman, Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Captain Marvel, and Avengers: Endgame), rather than according to the brand that IP belongs to (DC or Marvel). So the number of superhero themes appears to have gone up when you walk through a toy store, even with no more sets than when they were just treated as subcategories of the same two main themes.

In the same vein, LEGO could hypothetically split this year's City subthemes (Fire, Police, Town, Great Vehicles, and Space) into five separate themes; turn Speed Champions into a Great Vehicles subtheme; turn Star Wars, Toy Story, and Marvel into Disney subthemes; and turn Minecraft into a Creator subtheme. By your tally, that would bring them to a total of 21 themes, of which only four (19%) are licensed. All without making any changes to the number of licensed sets they produce!

And no, I don't think there's any concern that unlicensed sets besides City, Friends, and Ninjago are no longer able to sell. Most themes that get retired do so long before they stop selling, usually because LEGO has new product ideas that they think will make a bigger splash than bringing back one from the previous year. Many of the core concepts then end up returning or being re-imagined a few years later once the concept feels novel and surprising to kids again, such as Castle, Pirates, Alpha Team/Agents/Ultra Agents, Bionicle, etc.

Ninjago itself was planned to be retired after three years even though it was a known hit, on the basis that it was only planned for that amount of time, and LEGO had lots of new product ideas still in development that they hoped to free up room for.

So it's likewise plausible that LEGO Elves and LEGO Nexo Knights might've been retired to free up room for The LEGO Movie 2 sets. And inevitably, The LEGO Movie 2 theme will fade away to make room for new themes, just as The LEGO Movie, LEGO Batman Movie, and LEGO Ninjago Movie themes did.

In fact, Star Wars, Super Heroes, Disney, and Speed Champions are pretty much the only LICENSED themes that aren't retired and replaced every few years. Of those themes you mention from 2010 (licensed and non-licensed alike), lots were either flash-in-the-pan themes that would only stick around a couple years at most, or ongoing themes that were themselves fading away after just a year or two on shelves.

LEGO has more long-running themes than they did back then, but that hardly means that they've given up on themes that aren't as likely to become long-runners.

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By in United States,

Ah Power Miners, you'll always be loved by the LEGO community!

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