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Last Updated: 2/8/98

For 1998, LEGO is treating us to many things that we've been asking for for years, although, of course, it's by coincidence. Two new themes and six new subthemes compliment sets remaining from '97. As started last year, LEGO seems to have almost completely gone to a two-year product cycle - the only sets not discontinued from '96 are some of the original Wild West sets.

As is often the case with the in-box catalogs, only a few Technic sets are shown, and no Trains or Model Team sets are in the catalog (although we know from reports on the Retailers' catalog that one Model Team set will be released for sure). But this doesn't mean there won't be any, as those have been predominantly Shop at Home items in the last few years.

What is missing, however, that is very sad to a lot of people, is Pirates. All Pirates sets have been discontinued for '98. Whether or not this means that there will never be any more Pirates sets remains to be seen (next year), but for now, they're gone.

New Elements for 1998

LEGOLand Population Increase for 1998

To the best of our knowledge...

Adventurers

Seemingly inspired by the Indiana Jones films, the Adventurers sub-theme represents a line that many LEGO Maniacs have been after for a long time. These sets feature Egyptian pyramids, sphynxes and mummies! The cars and trucks seem to seat two mini-figs side-by-side. From these photos it's hard to tell, but the car and truck doors may not actually open. That would be incredibly unfortunate, since the vehicle designs themselves are quite nice. There are many new elements in these sets.

Set Number & Name Image Size Year Pieces / S@H$ Figs
5900 - Adventurer 26k 98 12 / ? 1
5909 - Treasure Raiders 77k 98 ? / $19.99 5
5918 - Scorpion Tracker 38k 98 34 / $3.99 1
5919 - Mummy 18k 98 156 / ? 4
5928 - Bi-Wing Baron 36k 98 69 / $5.99 1
5938 - Oasis Ambush 57k 98 76 / $7.99 3
5958 - Mummy's Tomb 94k 98 253 / $29.99 4
5978 - Sphynx Secret Surprise 149k 98 342 / $49.99 7
5988 - Pharaoh's Forbidden Ruins 108k 98 710 / $79.99 9

Insectoids

The introduction of U.F.O. in 1997 only hinted at the hideous race of Insectoids to invade LEGOLand in 1998! These creepy aliens have bulbous helmets and craft shaped like all sorts of nasty crawling and flying critters.

Set Number & Name Image Size Year Pieces / S@H$ Figs
6817 - Beta Buzzer 43k 98 ? / $3.99 1
6837 - Cosmic Creeper 45k 98 ? / $7.99 1
6903 - Bug Blaster 35k 98 ? / $2.99 1
6905 - Bi-Wing Blaster 48k 98 ? / $3.99 2
6909 - Sonic Stinger 40k 98 ? / $19.99 2
6919 - Planetary Prowler 49k 98 ? / $34.99 2
6969 - Celestial Stinger 60k 98 ? / $49.99 1
6977 - Arachnoid Star Base 122k 98 ? / $79.99 2

Hydronauts

Of the two new AquaZone sub themes for '98, these seem to be the good guys. The best thing about the Hydronauts is that they have a big base that is built on a raised baseplate, then raised further with the use of rock pieces. Both the Hydronauts and the Stingrays feature new pieces that allow the octagonal cockpit elements to be used at an angle.

Set Number & Name Image Size Year Pieces / S@H$ Figs
6110 - Solo Sub 15k 98 22 / $3.99 1
6150 - Crystal Detector 46k 98 101 / $19.99 1
6180 - Hydro Search Sub 100k 98 289 / $49.99 4
6199 - Hydro Crystalation Station 89k 98 472 / $89.99 6

Stingrays

And then there are the Stingrays, or as some people have called it, "AquaZone meets Blacktron". These sets are very agressive and the largest of the Stingrays sets is downright huge, measuring about 45 by 55 studs (width & length, respectively).

Set Number & Name Image Size Year Pieces / S@H$ Figs
6107 - Recon Ray 14k 98 17 / $2.99 1
6109 - Sea Creeper 21k 98 ? / $9.99 1
6160 - Sea Scorpion 55k 98 292 / $34.99 3
6198 - Sting Ray Stormer 108k 98 398 / $69.99 4

The castle theme welcomes the addition of the Ninja sub-theme this year. There are lots of new pieces used in these sets, and there is also a great variety of pre-existing pieces used to give the buildings an ornate look that hasn't been found in too many sets over the last few years. In particular, roof pieces are used generously, with the biggest Ninja set incorporating no fewer than 65 black roof bricks!

Set Number & Name Image Size Year Pieces / S@H$ Figs
6013 - Samurai Swordsman 81k 98 ? / $2.99 1
6033 - Treasure Transport 52k 98 ? / $5.99 3
6045 - Ninja Surprise 63k 98 ? / $11.99 3
6083 - Samurai Stronghold 66k 98 ? / $19.99 3
6088 - Robbers Retreat 95k 98 ? / $29.99 4
6089 - Stone Tower Bridge 122k 98 ? / $49.99 4
6093 - Flying Ninja Fortress 156k 98 ? / $89.99 9

Castle

Generic Castle gets a new figure pack for 1998:

Set Number & Name Image Size Year Piece Count / Price Mini-Fig Count
6031 - Fright Force 25k 98 26 / $6.75 4

Town Jr.

Town Jr. is majorly expanded for '98, with ten new sets. Again, these sets are designed for young kids making the transition from free-form building to building by instructions. These sets introduce the new bay windows which are probably one very large piece.

Set Number & Name Image Size Year Piece Count / Price Mini-Fig Count
6324 - Chopper Cop 17k 98 ? / $2.99 1
6325 - Package Pick-Up 38k 98 26 / $4.75 1
6327 - Turbo Champs 29k 98 ? / $9.99 2
6328 - Helicopter Transport 73k 98 100 / $14.99 2
6330 - Cargo Center 58k 98 228 / $49.75 5
6332 - Command Post Central 89k 98 ? / $59.99 7
6333 - Race and Chase 85k 98 48 / ? 2
6422 - Telephone Repair 29k 98 92 / $8.75 1
6424 - Rig Racers 44k 98 98 / $21.00 3
6426 - Super Cycle Center 76k 98 ? / $29.99 3

Town

According to the '98 catalog, there are only two new generic town sets: The new City People mini-figure pack, and the Mail Carrier, which is shown in the LEGO Direct mini-catalog...

Set Number & Name Image Size Year Piece Count / Price Mini-Fig Count
6326 - Town Folks 21k 98 29 / $6.75 6
6420 - Mail Carrier 31k 98 11 / $2.50 1

Extreme Team

What happens when the LEGO designers want to do a bunch of radical vehicles and settings and can't think of which sub-theme to put them in? They create Extreme Team! These sets are loaded with outrageous vehicles, and there's even a mountain to climb and dangerous river to traverse via a rickety log bridge.

Set Number & Name Image Size Year Pieces / S@H$ Figs
6567 - Speed Splasher 16k 98 ? / $2.99 1
6568 - Drag Race Rally 48k 98 ? / $29.99 3
6572 - Wind Runners 30k 98 46 / $5.99 2
6580 - Land Jet 7 29k 98 105 / $11.99 2
6582 - Daredevil Flight Squad 42k 98 278 / $29.99 3
6584 - Extreme Team Challenge 105k 98 ? / $49.99 4
6589 - Rocky Ridge Playscape 19k 98 80 / $9.99 1

Res Q

The most radical rescue-oriented sub-theme, these sets seem to take off where the 1896 - Trauma Team set left off. They also seem to be at least partially inspired by the Thunderbirds, just in terms of the types and style of vehicles included in the sets. Thankfully, there is also a base set. Notice the clever use of a space shuttle baseplate as a pier...

Set Number & Name Image Size Year Pieces / S@H$ Figs
6431 - Road Rescue 25k 98 47 / $3.99 1
6445 - Emergency Evac 31k 98 97 / $7.99 1
6451 - River Response 53k 98 145 / $19.99 3
6462 - Aerial Recovery 47k 98 ? / $24.99 3
6473 - RES-Q Cruiser 56k 98 283 / $37.00 3
6479 - Emergency Response Center 75k 98 ? / $59.99 5

Radio Control

Finally...something LEGO fans have been clamoring for for years...a Radio Control set! The set features what seems to be a one-piece chassis (receiver, chassis, wheels) with a bunch of pieces that let you build various vehicles out of the set. The transmitter uses a two-stick setup rather than a throttle / steering setup. It seems there are instructions to build at least four different vehicles from the set.

Set Number & Name Image Size Year Piece Count / Price
5600 - (Radio Control Multi Set) 122k 98 ? / ?

Tech Play

While the in-box catalog doesn't distinguish between Tech Play and Tech Build sets, we're assuming that these two sets at least are part of the Tech Play universe.

Set Number & Name Image Size Year Piece Count / Price
8202 - Bungee Chopper 77k 98 ? / ?
8213 - Spy Runner 30k 98 100 / $9.99

Cyber Slam

Too many late nights have been spent by LEGO designers watching reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation. That is the only way to explain the borgified Picard figure that comes with one of these sets. The Cyber Slam sets are simply weird. Part of the Technic line, they incorporate a bizarre punch arm and target combination so that kids can beat the heck out of eachother. Sort of a do-it-yourself Rockem Sockem Robots thing...

Set Number & Name Image Size Year Pieces / S@H$ Figs
8239 - (Cyber Slam Spider) 55k 98 ? / ? 1
8245 - Robots Revenge 102k 98 ? / $29.99 1
8257 - Cyber Strikers 109k 98 ? / $49.99 2
8266 - Spider Slayer 36k 98 363 / $76.00 2

Tech Build

Two new sets are shown that will probably be part of the Tech Build line. The "Super Bike" incorporates some new wheels and tires.

Set Number & Name Image Size Year Piece Count / Price
8226 - Mud Masher 36k 98 ? / $12.99
8248 - Forklift 52k 98 227 / $33.00
8417 - Mag Wheel Master 108k 98 ? / $29.99
8462 - Tow Truck 50k 98 773 / $122.00

Model Team

Set Number & Name Image Size Year Pieces / S@H$ Figs
5542 - Black Thunder N/A 98 ? / $39.99 0

Discontinued Sets

Based on a comparison of the 1997 and 1998 catalogs, the following 46 sets appear to be discontinued for '98...

6829 - Radon Rover
6099 - Traitor Transport
6079 - Dark Forest Fortress
6046 - Hemlock Stronghold
6024 - Bandit Ambush
6090 - Royal Knight's Castle
6761 - Bandit's Secret Hideout
6190 - Shark's Crystal Cave
6135 - Spy Shark
6195 - Neptune Discovery Lab
6145 - Crystal Crawler
6175 - Crystal Explorer Sub
6125 - Sea Sprint 9
6492 - Hypno Cruiser
6491 - Rocket Racer
6494 - Mystic Mountain Time Lab
6493 - Flying Time Vessel
6499 - Time Tunnelator
4022 - C-26 Sea Cutter
4012 - Wave Cops
4002 - Riptide Racer
6280 - Armada Flagship
6232 - Skeleton Crew
6289 - Red Beard Runner
6250 - Cross Bone Clipper
6248 - Volcano Island
6296 - Shipwreck Island
6204 - Buccaneers
6249 - Pirate's Ambush
6281 - Pirate's Perilous Pitfall
6599 - Shark Attack
6550 - Outback Racer
6553 - Crisis News Crew
6563 - Gator Landing
6331 - Patriot Jet
6581 - Dig 'n' Dump
6518 - Baja Buggy
6615 - Eagle Stunt Flyer
6598 - Metro PD Station
6625 - Speed Trackers
6545 - Search N' Rescue
6337 - Fast Track Finish
6335 - Indy Transport
6334 - Wave Jump Racers
6546 - Slick Racer
6517 - Water Jet

As you can see from this list, all Pirates sets are being discontinued, which is really a tragedy. Other good sets worth getting before they're gone are 6090, 6195, 6493, 4022, 6599, 6550, 6553, 6581, 6545, 6335 and 6546.


European-Only Sets

We haven't seen a '98 European catalog yet, but this section will be updated once one becomes available.


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