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Review: 6941 BATTRAX: Building a Classic....

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Review: 6941 BATTRAX: Building a Classic....

Postby lowlead » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:29 am

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Waiting 24 years to build a set you always wanted and then having it in front of you is a bizarre moment to verbalize, but I'll share some thoughts on the subject here.

This is (was) a NISB 6941 Battrax. Without going into specifics, this was my first three-figure Bricklink purchase - an indulgence I seldom practice - but it was time. The 6894 Invader was the one other Blacktron set I owned, purchased from Child World at the Hanover Mall in Massachusetts (any Bostonians remember that store?!). So, as a kid at the time, that was the only set I was allowed to get, and sadly I had to leave the Battrax behind.

Cutting the seal while pondering just how long this box remained unopened is a unique moment, casting aside any care or concern for the 'collectibility'. Rewarding, too! Here's what you first see:
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Without commenting either way on the packaging, times sure have changed!

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Amazing how compressed the building steps are! You actually have to pay careful attention, but you spend a LOT LESS time flipping pages. The instruction booklet is surprisingly thin, only 6 pages:

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Here's how transparent round 1x1s used to be, and a rare black/yellow printed vent:

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The build itself was not particularly noteworthy, however, I was amazed at the condition of the parts. For some reason I was expecting to find signs of age in the pieces themselves, but found none. Then again, when packaged in the original poly bags, then dropped in the clear tray, there's not much room for shifting which causes all the scratching. Seems obvious, but this was my first 24+ yr old set, so I wasn't sure what I was going to find.

One major observation is the grip power of the parts! Whether it's by design, or because the ABS has ever-so-slightly lost some elasticity over time, the pieces grip REALLY tight. At one point I had to adjust the pilot's head inside the helmet and was forced to use pliers to get the head from the helmet.

So, here are a few more shots of the finished product, and a deep link to the gallery. I'll be happy to add more pics if anyone is curious about different aspects of the set.
6941 Battrax Gallery

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A slight modification to the pilot:
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Last edited by lowlead on Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Review: 6941 BATTRAX: Building a Classic....

Postby badgerboy » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:48 pm

That's fantastic. I loved the Blacktron stuff, but was too old and not quite old enough to really indulge in those sets, so only ever managed to get the 6876 Alienator (what a great name!).

If I had the money, I'd do what you've just done an try to pick up some in mint condition... for me, the Blacktron I spacemen are simply the coolest, not necessarily the most classic, but definitely the coolest.

The Battrax is one of the best, and it's nice to see it get some love, even if it was 24 years in the making ;).
new flickr folder
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Re: Review: 6941 BATTRAX: Building a Classic....

Postby vynsane » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:13 pm

Oh, man, Blacktron was my absolute favorite LEGO theme ever. I recently picked up a well-loved edition of this very set and had a lot of fun reliving the good young days, but had I the means, I would've gone MISB the way you did. I wish I still had all my LEGO from my childhood, but, foolishly, they're gone. I can't believe how clean and crisp the pieces look in your pics.
ALL HAIL THE BLACTRON EMPIRE!

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Re: Review: 6941 BATTRAX: Building a Classic....

Postby Alm » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:10 pm

I saw the Brickshelf gallery go public first; glad I found the review to go along with the pictures!

Blacktron was part of my childhood, too, except it was in the form of the second wave, Blacktron: Future Generation. I got a boatload of those sets from a garage sale in 1994, and I've been a fan of the sub-theme ever since. I even give props to the predecessor theme. To this day, those mini-figures are wickedly cool. Aside from the Message-Intercept Base, the Battrax is the only other set from the original Blacktron line that really catches my eyes as much as the second-wave sets did.

Most interesting to me in your review was the talk of the condition of the pieces. Like you, I recently caved into a three-figure eBay battle for a MISB 6542 Launch and Load Seaport, a set I've wanted since 1993 but could never afford. Coincidentally, the set is 20 years old this year, and while I haven't been able to build it yet, I plan to so I can experience the same joy you felt with the Battrax. I am curious especially as to the condition of the rubber tires on your Battrax. You mentioned all the parts seemed to go on stiffly, but I've seen in some of my other old sets from my childhood that the rubber tires may harden and crack, especially the larger, Technic-associated ones. The Battrax's tires in the pictures look fine, but do they feel normal?
I think TRON-based Lego sets would be awesome!
"Yeah, well, y'know, that's just like, uh, your opinion, man."
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Re: Review: 6941 BATTRAX: Building a Classic....

Postby lowlead » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:10 pm

Yep, tires too!

The rubber is soft and grippy as though they just popped out of the mold last week. Amazing, right? A testament to the high quality we have come to know and expect.
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Re: Review: 6941 BATTRAX: Building a Classic....

Postby Alm » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:58 pm

Thanks, that's good to know! Looks like I have a truly magical experience waiting for me when I finally open that Launch And Load Seaport.
I think TRON-based Lego sets would be awesome!
"Yeah, well, y'know, that's just like, uh, your opinion, man."
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Re: Review: 6941 BATTRAX: Building a Classic....

Postby Padawan716 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:05 pm

Amazing. Part of me thinks about the MISB status of the set, but seeing a "vintage" set in polished, mint condition is quite a sight to behold.

maybe someday I'll pick up a set like that and build it... the question is which one!? I wanted so many.
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Re: Review: 6941 BATTRAX: Building a Classic....

Postby seppo21 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:39 pm

This is one of my all-time favorite sets. So much in fact that I own two of them, though one of them actually has trans-yellow flex tubes instead of the solid yellow. I also have a pair of Renegades to go with them, one of those also with the trans-yellow tubing.
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