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  • Writer's picturethebrickguy

1973 Classic Police Car [420] Review

I’ve always wanted to get my hands on feel of the old days of LEGO Sets, and not just the build - but the overall experience. I’ve since started acquiring complete sets including boxes and instructions. This is my latest eBay treasure at steal of $9.99 USD! For some reason, a sealed box of this very same set, costs a couple of kidneys, 1 arm and 2 legs. I'm fortunate to grab this in a reasonably well conditioned box, albeit used.

The Police Car release from January 1973 is listed in the US under set 420. This set was released in the UK under a the set number of 611 and costed 0.33 GBP back then. Brickset does not have the US pricing listed somehow. Sit back and imagine that this set is 44 years old, older that some of you reading this right now. That still never fails to blow my mind on how well its been kept and still in almost a pristine condition.

I’m pretty pleased to say that the construct of the box is quite sturdy and neatly printed on all sides. The back shows a few photos of the set in the hands of a builder and a different angle of the police car.

The underside of the box has a graphical image of the build. It goes to show how Lego has cared for box designs from the very start. One could easily ignore parts of the boxes to save on print costs, but you can clearly see how well they made sure they went the extra mile.

The instructions sheet come simply foldable with both sides printed.

Consisting of 15 parts in total, you may want to note a few things here. First, printed tiles. Even for such a tiny set which would fit in todays Creator City series, these come with printed tiles. It shows how much care went into these. If you spotted the yellow 1x1 plate, good on you. Looks like the seller gave me a yellow piece instead of the intended blue. Darn it.

A couple of things I wanted to highlight about the parts. First of all - the wheels. You can see how these require metal and moulded to the brick.

The other thing that I wanted to highlight are the 1x2 bricks. If you look at them closely, you’ll see an additional bar for support. The more recent elements lack this for obvious reasons. They look much better!

The finished build is as expected, simple and does the job of more than stretching the imagination. It is clear what the build is, plain as day.

But wait, did you notice something? Isn’t that placement of the single brick, dare I say, ILLEGAL? Share your thoughts. Perhaps when back in simpler times it was less frowned upon for such connections.

My favourite part about this is the box! Look at how it’s constructed. It’s meant to be re-used to save your build and parts. Granted, it probably will add costs to it, but if you can appreciate that this little set lasted over 40 years, perhaps its because of this little feature that some smart package designer decided to include.

In summary, a simple trip back in time to appreciate the good old LEGO days. Simplest of the the concept, a car, in a tiny set that’s universal to all imaginative play. That’s what LEGO is known for, throughout the years and to this date, everlasting themes and instantly recognisable builds.


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