Random set of the day: Magic Mountain Time Lab

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Magic Mountain Time Lab

Magic Mountain Time Lab

©1996 LEGO Group

Today's random set is 6494 Magic Mountain Time Lab, released in 1996. It's one of 5 Time Cruisers sets produced that year. It contains 504 pieces and 4 minifigs, and its retail price was US$64.

It's owned by 831 Brickset members. If you want to add it to your collection you might find it for sale at BrickLink or eBay.


39 comments on this article

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By in Australia,

I never bought many of these Time Cruiser sets, but 13 year old me thought the Time Cruiser Base, here (obviously a volcano on the shore of a lake) was just the coolest thing ever, even despite (or possibly because) of the sheer random weirdness of it all.

Like, unhinged time travelling scientist? This is where I would expect to find a person like that.

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By in United States,

This looks like something I would've adored as a kid!

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By in United States,

I have this set and I love this set. I think I got it at KB Toys for super cheap!

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By in United States,

now this is new

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By in Portugal,

I remember looking at this one, not understanding it, but somehow, liked it! Was a weird but cool theme! Just a few years before Lego went crazy and juniorized lol 96 will always be one of my favorite years as a Lego fan!

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By in Israel,

Sadly I was 1 year old when this came out.

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By in United States,

I loved the Time Cruisers theme when it premiered in 1996, but even this set I wouldn't touch. Too jumbled and lacking a definitive "cool" build, the biggest crime to me was placing the structures entirely over "water" (the blue baseplates) without giving them a proper floor. I suppose this would be ripe for a modern remake (i.e. a MOC), but back then, I was glad it was the most expensive set in the line because I definitely didn't want it! The Flying Time Vessel was the set to own, although before I got it, I pined heavily for the Hypno Time Cruiser (of which I now have two in my collection)!

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By in United States,

Well...

Points for creativity I guess. What theme did they NOT smash into this set??

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By in United States,

Ha, Time Cruisers! Man, I remember a bag of Timmy heads being the prize for last place in some building contests wayyyyy back in the day on rec.toys.lego. The theme seems to have aged well--back then it was pretty well made fun of!

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By in New Zealand,

Some of the most interesting models ever are created from tabletop scraps like this. It’s a beauty.

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By in United States,

I remember my cousins passing this down to me as a kid. It's really cool looking back now..

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By in Finland,

This is probably the best TC set they made. For me, Time Cruisers always recalled me of the core of LEGO: build whatever you want. It doesn't matter what, it's still cool and imaginative!

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By in United Kingdom,

I always thought there was a certain bizarre charm to the time cruisers sets, their mis-matched look having a kind of flair to it

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By in Turkey,

Ok, if no one will, I'll call it: this is one wierd, ugly set. Excellent and some even rare parts though.

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By in United States,

Mashup before LEGO Dimensions Mashup!

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By in Malaysia,

First time hearing of this set! It looks pretty neat!

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By in United States,

When I was a kid, I could usually afford one ~$80 set per year when my birthday money was all combined with a bit of allowance to boost it. This was probably the first such set I bought and I never really regretted it. This was my golden age of LEGO purchases and since I loved Pirates, Ice Planet 2002, and Castles, this theme proved amazing. It gave me an excuse to build all of my recent sets and mash them together in crazy time travel antics. Even then I knew it was a soulless cash grab using soon-to-be-retired molds, but I didn't care. I eventually managed to get the Flying Time Vessel on clearance on my last trip to Florida in 1997. I also picked up the smaller of the Time Twisters sets, but I never got either the Hypno Time Cruiser or the Time Twisters train, much to my lasting regret.

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By in Netherlands,

I never liked time cruisers for the same reason as some others above me. To random and designs often didn't look cool.

But this is an exception. (except the flying boat) It's so random it just manages to work. In addition, look at all the parts, this is a parts goldmine!

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By in Netherlands,

Of course, Time Cruisers only existed for LEGO to get rid of old parts stock. Had a few swords or magic wands too many? Just toss 'em in Time Cruisers.

The 90's were truly a different era, and I doubt we'll ever see anything like this theme again.

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By in Bulgaria,

I was dreaming of having the Time Cruisers sets. I still remember the catalog for that year...

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By in United States,

I try to keep an open mind as everyone has their favorite themes and I was only 2 when Time Cruisers came out, but this is one of those times that I have to go, whaaaaaaaaaat?
A positive thing to mention though, there appear to be some neat little mechanisms that cause parts to move when you roll the wheels on the vehicles.

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By in Austria,

This came out a couple of years after I stopped playing with Lego, so it never came to my attention back then. What an awful theme.

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By in United Kingdom,

Too weird. Just because your baby brother builds random cack like this and your parents have to say how wonderful and creative their little darling is, there was never a need for LEGO to do the same. You want LEGO designers to wow you with something original, functional and believable, not a pile of random tat. It's not even coherent enough to be considered a good parts pack!

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By in United States,

I think the monkey is my favorite part of the box art. That’s where the photographer said “How can I add _more_ whimsey to this jumbled collection of parts? I’ve got it! An upside-down monkey!”

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By in United States,

such a gonzo theme, i love it. remember seeing this in a catalogue during my dark ages

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By in United States,

The hatred for this set amazes me. It's actually really well built and designed (besides not having a floor) for the time being. I think more people here need to grab one for $20 on Bricklink and enjoy the fun and not just modern sets with death and destruction and fighting.

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By in Netherlands,

This was what LEGO was about, building whatever without too much story and theme limits.

While I never got any of this theme myself ,I did mix my parts, figures and themes all the time back in the 90s.

Technic, Trains and Model-Team at the time were more aimed at the older people, and this was before Licensed themes.

Even I kept my sets intact as I got older, eventually had no interest in LEGO at all for 15 years until recent, however I still think the concept of LEGO is the same now, being a system of parts, and not a 1-time built of the instructions.

And while I got most of my recent sets intact on display, I do eventually plan to mix and match once again.

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By in United States,

I really never "got" the Time Cruisers Theme. Sets like this look like nice parts packs, but as a set it looks like a seasoned 10-12 y/o builder was given a bunch of random Castle, Space, Pirates, and City pieces and told "just do the best you can to put it all together and make sense kid." Seriously, how did this stuff ever become finished products?

Ps. Reading through the comments I suppose these sets would/could inspire play, as in mashing up of themes, such as into one epic time travel adventure. However, even as a kid I had all of my themes completely separated. My Town plan was sprawled on the floor, and Castle and Space had their own spot on top of two dresser drawers. I was a bit of a young President Business I suppose, never mixing the themes so as to not spoil the realism... at least it never occurred to me to use Kragle!

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By in Hungary,

I guess the naysayers don't like the lego movie sets either.

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By in Canada,

Such an insane theme. I remember thinking at the time that it seemed as though LEGO had a pile of extra parts that they needed to get rid of, so they tossed designers the list and said "make a theme from this mess".

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By in Finland,

Lego should remake time cruisers

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By in United States,

My conspiracy theory is that this theme arose from an intern filling out piece production forms wrong

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By in United Kingdom,

It's funny how we change. I didn't buy the "it's like a kid designed them by just smushing everything together!" appeal at all, but in hindsight those sets look really fun and I regret that I only picked up one on clearance, years after the fact. And hey, I can't argue with them using up leftover parts: these days, we'd call that upcycling...

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By in United Kingdom,

Another one of my oldest sets in two days? Huwbot's on a roll by me xD

I got this one for my birthday a few years after it was released... the local toy shop always seemed to stock a few sets that were no longer available anywhere else, and this one was just so interesting to me in... '99, it must have been, and so different, that it was my immediate choice to ask my parents for. And, I'll be honest... I've loved it ever since.

I knew nothing of the Time Cruisers line... for that matter, I still don't know if it had a story or what. But it's just so nostalgic to me, and the way that it can make a fully-enclosed building was novel to me at the time. I see opinion being divided in the comments above, but... add me to the crowd who love this set.

I never even considered that the blue baseplates represented water, though. To me, they were always just... blue floor xD

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By in Poland,

I miss themes like that. ZANY Lego worlds are the best.

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By in Poland,

The floor ISN'T water - it's the blue planet ground. YOu can even see the craters.

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By in Netherlands,

Great theme! I build a lot of MOCs in this theme.

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By in Denmark,

This whole theme... how to say it... Did they just have a lot of spare bricks they needed to clean out before ordering new batch? Or was their main designers on paternity leave?

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By in Venezuela,

When you're a scientist and your HQ has "magic" in its name, you know something's amiss...

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