Random set of the day: Helicopter

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Helicopter

Helicopter

©1981 LEGO Group

Today's random set is 8844 Helicopter, released in 1981. It's one of 5 Technic sets produced that year. It contains 316 pieces.

It's owned by 1370 Brickset members. If you want to add it to your collection you might find it for sale at BrickLink or eBay.


24 comments on this article

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By in United States,

So I never had this Technic helicopter, but I did have the much later Arctic one with the Technic fig. It had many of the same features and is a pretty cool primer on helicopter parts.

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By in United States,

I had this as a child. I could never get the canopy to take the shape in the instructions.

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By in Canada,

Longish story...
My best friend who now lives in the U.K. father passed away a couple years ago. So my friend had to travel back home to take care of things.
While going through all the things that parents accumulate and save from their kids he stumbled across a bin of Lego.
Well, he knows me well enough and says ' here, I want you to have this. We have too much to take back as it is. I know you'll take care of it.'
All he took were some printed flags and a few figs. The only complete set I could come up with was this helicopter. It took soo much digging through the bin and trying to figure out what was what. But I managed to get about 90% of it. I had to sub a few parts but it now sits as a part of my permanent collection. I don't know which of us was happier. Me for building a really cool set or him for seeing a childhood toy put back together after 25+ years. No matter, still brought a tear to both of us old guys.

What a pain to build though...

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By in New Zealand,

Oh wow- This is beautiful- none of this ‘display model’ nonsense.

Swoooooosh!

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By in United Kingdom,

My older brother bought me this when I was a kid. Somehow it survived complete all through my dark ages in a plastic bag in a cupboard at my parents' house. Now I have it back again. Lego is forever.

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By in Latvia,

Returning to a favourite of Huwbot: old Technic!

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By in Turkey,

I had to buy this set twice after losing some essential pieces of the first one. After 20+ years it becomes a part of your history, so you don't look at it as a toy. Now, it's even more than that. I keep it built, front and center.

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By in Australia,

My very first Technic set, from when I was 9 years old. Phenomenal to me, back then - and now. The retracting landing gear, stable (and comparatively large) main rotor linked to the rear stabilizer, and bubble (fiddly!) canopy.

It fills me with so much happiness to see it here on RSOD.

I would commend it to anyone who has an interest in understanding the development of more modern Technic kits as well as realizing that legacy sets can still 'cut it'.

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By in France,

Not a single panel, but looks like a chopper! So do Technic sets need panels to cover all the gaps?
multani I liked your story.

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By in Germany,

I remember having this as a child - on holiday in Holland.... This was to shut me up when the hotel staff were looking after me whilst all the parents went out on the razz :/ !

But yes, great set! Awesome with the retractable wheels and both functioning primary and tail rotor blades.

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By in Belgium,

Such a great set.
I like these "vintage" technic sets!

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By in Netherlands,

My first ever Technic set! I remember getting it and being a little young for this set, but with a lot of patience and time I built it myself and was very proud of it. Still in my collection and is never going to leave.

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By in United Kingdom,

We still have this - heck, we still have the box, even! It's where our tiny Technic parts live, and it's from my partner's childhood sets. It's a nice one to build.

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By in Germany,

Notice how almost all here who are sharing happy memories of this set are from Europe (plus Australia, which back in the day I would have described as "UK, southern department" and spiritually still is part of Europe - even allowed to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest ;-)

This is one of many classic Technic sets that I had in mind when critizising the current ones like the new Land Rover over in that article. Those new ones just aren't what has the right to be called Technic.

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By in United Kingdom,

9yrs old stood in Mercers Toy Shop in Blackburn with my birthday money burning a hole in my pocket but £0.09p short to buy this beauty! The lovely lady behind the counter asked me what was up and the let me off the £0.09p - oh happy days!!

And it was one of the first sets I got back when i emerged from my ‘dark ages’

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By in United States,

@AustinPowers

First, when it comes to the US (excluding Alaska, Hawaii and various territories) this article was posted in the evening last night, around the time of the democratic debates. So it's reasonable that few from the US saw it or commented on it yet. I'm not sure where you were going with that comment, but it was odd.

Second, the Defender has far more technic features than this helicopter, and represents a much larger set. It is more comparable to 8860 Car Chassis from that time period, in terms of both features and scale: pistons, shocks, gearbox, differential, and steering. The part count is much higher, but so is the "completeness" of the model.

If we assume that inflation from 1980 to today is $3.11:$1, then the original price of the 8860 at $59 is equivalent to $183.49, which isn't far from the $199.99 ask for the upcoming Defender set.

Yes, they are different. The new sets tend to have skins on them so that you can't always see the guts of the models. And I often find the innards the new models do have to be far more complex and intricate than what we used to get in the early 80s.

I get how some people might prefer a purist technic model with no skin, but I suspect they are not received as well by kids who want both a building experience and a toy that looks like a toy. I suppose you could always sell the skin panels on BL. Me, I like them.

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By in United States,

^ also, with all the licensed Technic sets, good luck convincing other companies to be ok with a stripped down skeleton of their vehicle instead of an accurate model.

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By in Germany,

From the time when technic (bricks) came in only three colours:
red, blue, and yellow. (Black beams had been introduced the year before in 8860.)
As a child I didn't fancy this set because it had blue as main colour. This was my rarest.
Eventually I build a yellow motorised helicopter that used the rotor setup.

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By in United Kingdom,

Think was my first Technic set and I still have it (and the box). Unfortunately a lot of the 4273b parts are broken, may have to track some replacements down so I can put this on display again

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By in United Kingdom,

I used to like the boxes these sets came in. They had an inset which held the gears and various special bits for each set so you could see them clearly in the shop, remember? That was cool. I still have a few of these with the original boxes, this one included.

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By in Netherlands,

This was my 2nd technic set and it was a special build. It always felt a bit wonky .

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By in United Kingdom,

@Teriyaqi I suspect that has a lot to do with it, yes. Once you do panels on the licensed sets to make them more convincing replicas of real vehicles, having non-panelled sets in the same line perhaps makes those look more basic/less good value to some builders. Oh well, I'm happy we have plenty of the old-style ones knocking around the house.

Even so, my latest sets are from the very late 90s, when the rounded beams were just becoming standard, when panels were only just beginning to creep in. Some day I do want to get a contemporary set and see what the build experience is like. Maybe I'll finally fulfil an ambition and get a crane...

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By in United States,

Wait the landing gear moves up and down?!?

That IS awesome.

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