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Save Your Little Hero From Boredom - Duplo Action Wheeler Rescue Helicopter
Written: Mar 31, 2002 (Updated Mar 31, 2002)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
- User Rating: Excellent
Pros:Fills in the gap between basic Duplo and Lego sets. Cool screwdriver.
Cons:Limited number of pieces. Action Wheeler sets are getting hard to find.
The Bottom Line: A fantastic set that encourages experimentation, building skills and use of imagination. Contrustion elements can be mixed with other Duplo sets as well. A great steal for $5.00!
Once again, Wal-Mart restocked their clearance section with a few Lego sets that just didn’t catch on with the public. While this style of set is not something I would not normally purchase where Lego’s or Duplo’s are concerned, the price tag and cool design were definite perks in the decision. The Action Wheelers series is a stepping-stone in the Lego / Duplo family and contains the larger blocks [Duplo] but focuses more on building rather than basic skills. I’m glad Lego started the Action Wheelers line for the younger fans but with all the Winnie The Pooh, Disney and Bob The Builder sets geared towards the younger crowd, this seemed to have gotten lost in the shuffle.
Before I get into the review, there are some key things that need to be made crystal clear. In other sets, such as Jack Stone, there are helicopter’s that have rigging attachments, rotors and pulleys that involve the use of a thick piece of cord. In the Helicopter Rescue set this element is present but the string is much stronger – almost like butchers twine. While the manufacturer recommends this for ages 4 and up, extreme caution should be exercised if younger children are present. I don’t care to think of what could happen if the cord became entangled around a small childs arm, leg or throat. Please, if you purchase this set, explain the dangers to you child and make sure parental supervision takes place.
If you have a child that loves to build things and has an affinity for using tools as well, look no further! The Helicopter Rescue set is extremely easy to build and allows a child to lock things into place using the provided screwdriver. This screwdriver will not work outside the Action Wheeler line so explain this to your child. The wheel attachment and propeller section can be adapted to other sets or used with other Duplo blocks – in which case the screwdriver can be used for those applications. The screwdriver is used to lock the wheels into place and to attach the top section of the propeller. When done properly you might hear a small “snap”, this is perfectly normal. Once your child gets familiar with the set, there are a number of ways to change it around or completely redesign it.
You might think that this set will offer no replay value when you see that it only contains 15 pieces, but get that thought out of your head! The pieces are large, detailed and extremely sturdy once constructed. The canopy of the copter opens to allow the pilot to be placed in the cockpit. The clear canopy will scratch easily – so if you expect this to get a lot of use you might want to apply a layer of clear nail polish to it or even better – apply a piece of acetate over it. The acetate can be removed easily if it becomes damaged so that a replacement piece can be applied. The copter is pretty cool looking and had a completely functional hook that can be lower to pick up spare tires, rescue stranded Lego inhabitants or even catch criminals. This would be a great addition to the Jack Stone line of Lego’s – especially the police station.
There are several different ways the copter can be constructed so don’t limit yourself or your child to what the directions say. Check out the back of the box for several examples of alternative designs. I plan to strip this down and use the retracting cord and rotor in a castle scene to raise and lower a bucket into a water well. I’ll have to build a small Lego container to cover the large Duplo assembly or else it will stick out like a sore thumb.
A “chunky styled” pilot maneuvers over Legoville with the greatest of ease. He’s fashionably suited in a stenciled aviators jacket, red baseball cap [removable], stenciled sunglasses and headset. Much like the basic Duplo figures, he has movable arms, head and legs and wide grip hands. He’s about the same size as the Jack Stone figures but on a much more simplistic level. There aren’t any tools for the figure to use, but the yellow hook fits perfectly in his hand for quick rescues. Other Duplo figures can be used with this set and fit perfectly into the cockpit or can be used as a ground crew.
The Bottom Line
The decals that come with this set are small so an adult might have to help with the application and placement. Again, if you think this will get a lot of use you might want to apply some acetate strips over the decals or a light coating of clear nail polish to keep them from getting worn, faded or scratched. I opted not to apply the decals since some of the pieces will be used for other purposes and with other sets.
When you first see the copter components I am sure you’ll be impressed. The colors are vivid and the blocks are semi glossy – but when it’s built it looks even better. If you have Fisher Price or Playschool sets along this line [planes, helicopters, police, rescue] this would make a great addition to your childs toy collection.
This is a great set for smaller kids who have become bored with the basic Duplo blocks and sets. As I mentioned earlier in the review, extreme caution should be exercised with this set due to the strength of the cord. The screwdriver is a great addition to the world of Duplo and Lego – allowing a child to explore more advanced stages of building and constructing. If they get bored with this, they can always disassemble the set and use the wheels and propeller [the components that work with the screwdriver] with other Duplo sets. The Jack Stone series works extremely will with this copter, but the scale of both sets are a little different. If that doesn’t bother you or your child – then keep an eye out for discounted sets.
This set normally retails for $14.99 bit I snapped it up on clearance at Wal-Mart for $5.00. The Lego website still has this set available but it’s currently on back order. There were originally nine sets in the Action Wheelers series however the Lego website only has four of them listed. If you plan on trying to find this at an online auction please remember to search for the Duplo version since there is a Lego set with a similar name – The Rescue 1 Helicopter .
Set Name: Helicopter Rescue
Family Set: Action Wheelers
Lego Set: 2909
Number of Pieces: 15 [plus the screwdriver]
Age Recommendation: 4 +
Ease Of Assembly: Simple
Time Of Assembly: 10 minutes total
* = The cost is the clearance price.
Suggested retail prices can range from $13.99 - $15.99.
As always, thanks for the read!
^V^ Freak ^V^
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Amount Paid (US$): $5.00
Type of Toy: Blocks
Age Range of Child: Other
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