Random set of the day: Breakdown Assistance

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Breakdown Assistance

Breakdown Assistance

©1982 LEGO Group

Today's random set is 1590 Breakdown Assistance, released in 1982. It's one of 10 Town sets produced that year. It contains 233 pieces and 4 minifigs.

It's owned by 328 Brickset members. If you want to add it to your collection you might find it for sale at BrickLink or eBay.


33 comments on this article

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By in Australia,

The first time I've ever wondered why Lego cars would need two doors.

To cater for different markets?

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By in Australia,

Oh, I love these big old expansive town sets with baseplates.

Of course, you could've fit all the details of this set onto the single corner plate (with all that space on the outside of the curve). But fair enough.

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By in United States,

Riddle me this:

Why are there flowers growing out of cement??

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By in United States,

This set was a Dutch promotion for ANWB, (Which is the Dutch acronym for "Royal Dutch Touring Club") a nonprofit organization for Dutch motorists who makes traffic signs, offers travel info, complimentary roadside phones for emergency (as seen in the LEGO set) and, yes, breakdown assistance. The ANWB is just the Dutch version of the American Automobile Association (aka. "Triple A"). Yes, I looked up this information on Wikipedia, where the ANWB article is very small compared to the AAA one.

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By in Australia,

Because it's the concrete jungle.

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By in United States,

Dutch promo set, eh? That would explain why this is completely new to me.

What are the yellow posts on either side of the road supposed to be?

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By in United States,

"telefoon" lol

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By in United States,

@Librarian1976- appears to be a telephone (telefoon?) symbol on them.

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By in Australia,

@Norikins

The ANWB does not derive from AAA. Both AAA and ANWB derive from the British AA, or Automobile Association, originally a club for motorists in the very very early days of motoring during the time of the red flag act, where members would ride around on bicycles and warn members of police traps. Upon the abolishment of the red flag act, the AA became as you described, a break down & information service.

A great set although it is quite comical that this particular motorist has broken down right next to a ANWB telephone, garage and tow truck, yet still requires the assistance of all three...

If only Lego would bring back sets like this although I do agree that it probably could and should have been condensed a bit more to one baseplate.

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By in United States,

I miss sets with road plates.

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By in New Zealand,

I so want that Telefoon piece.

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By in United States,

@Brickchap According to Wikipedia, the AAA is older than the AA. The ANWB is actually older than both, having been founded as a bicyclists' club.

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By in Netherlands,

The yellow poles we used to have througout the Netherlands next to the highway where you could call for assistance. They all disapeared, together with the included phone booth, about 15 years ago when everybody got a mobile phone.

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By in Turkey,

Not really a dream set, but still a classic..

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By in Hungary,

What a luck, the car broke down near that repair shop.

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By in Netherlands,

Hmmmm.... I can’t remember owning this set, but I do have those blue “anwb” windows....

The yellow posts are indeed telephones. With a direct line to the anwb. They used to be alongside highways though, not in towns. Waaaaaay before mobile telephones!

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By in France,

What a luck, the two yellow poles phone signs are placed right between the two baseplates and hold them together! I can see no other parts doing it.

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By in Australia,

@phil13 Thats Wikipedia remember....

According to Wikipedia pavlova is a New Zealand invention, and this article was written by a New Zealander. Had the same article been written by an Australian, its very likely they wouldve said pavlova was an Australian invention.

The Dutch ANWB may have come first, although I very much doubt that the triple A came before the Automobile Association, after all, if the Americans had created it first, they wouldve like just called it the Automobile Association.

Im happy to be proved wrong, although only from a proper source of information.

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By in United States,

Neat set, wish I could find an affordable one to purchase

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By in Netherlands,

Let us not forget that this is the forerunner of the 1996 set "2140-1: Roadside Recovery Van and Tow Truck"

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By in United Kingdom,

I’m enjoying this “we were first”, “no, we were first” exchange based around the ever accurate Wikipedia...
Just FYI:
ANWB (Netherlands) 1883
RAC (UK) 1897
AAA (USA) 1902
ADAC (Germany) 1903
AA (UK) 1905

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By in Italy,

That's a lot of phones for a single junction

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By in New Zealand,

@biffuz, oh it’s not just a phone, it’s a telefoon.

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By in Belgium,

@Brickchap Naww... Americans like to put "American" in all names if there is a possibility :-)

This is a nice set! Much vintage! <3

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By in Australia,

It really does beg the question of why they built a phone-booth little more than 20 feet away from the garage?

I mean, if you've broken down and managed to walk all the way to the phone booth, you could probably walk those extra few steps to the garage itself. Or just stand there and yell, they'd probably hear you.

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By in Netherlands,

Some more information about the "praatpaal" as we called those yellow telephone poles. They were telephones, but they only had one button that would connect you to the ANWB breakdown service. So you could not make regular phone calls with them. They were placed every 2 km along the highways so that you'd never have to walk more than 1 km to reach the nearest one. Google image search link for photos of the real thing: https://www.google.com/search?sa=N&q=anwb+praatpaal&tbm=isch&source=univ&ved=2ahUKEwiDnPHF4MXkAhWFa1AKHbFSA0Y4ChCwBHoECAYQAQ&biw=1411&bih=895#imgrc=R3K4L362vJc8fM:

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By in Netherlands,

That's a really cool set. I never knew we had sets made specifically for the Netherlands and there's so much play value in there!

That car found the best possible place to break down. Right next to the people to help you back on your way.

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By in Netherlands,

I’ve got this set... it’s great! Helas, the old style hinge pieces are a little brittle. Also, the ‘Telefoon’ piece is stickered. I’ve actually unearthed it last weekend for my 4yo to play with.
I always put the poles and the box distributed across my little city, consisting of more than just 2 baseplates, therefore ensuring proper roadside assistance across the city (actually, the actual poles could only be found next to highways, not in cities (as said by others)... Also fun fact; these were removed a couple of years ago, and could be bought by the general public - funds going to a good cause. Someone living close to my parents actually has one in his back garden :))

ANWB stand for Algemene Nederlandse Wielrijders Bond, which loosely translates to General Dutch Cyclists Union, and therefore was around before the car came about. Cars were added later to its assistance and representation-portfolio. (As said by Phi13 :))

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By in United Kingdom,

"Of course, you could've fit all the details of this set onto the single corner plate (with all that space on the outside of the curve). But fair enough."
gives you space to fill in, make it your own

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By in United Kingdom,

@Your future president, Why not? Flowers can grow from cracks or gaps in hard surfaces.

@chaosderek, If roadside breakdown phones existed way before mobile phones, what did stranded motorists do between the time of the fixed line phones and mobiles? Wait a few years for mobile telephony? (Just kidding - I realise you meant roadside phones *started* long before mobiles, but what you said could be understood as *ended* before them! ;~) )

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By in Netherlands,

Oh I remember this set! My grandparents had it and I played with it every time I visited. I really loved it, perfect for my age at the time.
In blue on the building it says "Wegenwacht" (road watch), the service of the ANWB that sends out cars to come fix yours if it's broken in the middle of the street. Still exists, but the phones at the side of the street were removed 2 years ago from all the highways. They were present every 2 kilometers so you would never have to walk far to call for assistance. But now everyone has a cell phone so they are obsolete. I believe many countries have/had these, I've seen them in Europe quite a bit but they are all different styles.
They are for sale second hand for about 500 euros as a collectors item now.

No idea what happened to this set after my grandparents passed.

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By in Latvia,

Two baseplates and two cars in a 30€ set? Amazing!

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By in United Kingdom,

Charming set. I really love those little cars...

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