As noted in this article I have always enjoyed some of Lego’s smaller offerings. Big Lego sets were always reserved for special occassions and had only a few times a year but the smaller sets could be had without much reason or effort and were a great stop gap solution to quench the Lego thirst between holiday’s. Today’s feature set holds a special place in my heart because it was actually the first set I ever owned: 6811 Pulsar Charger.
Released in 1990 as part of the M-Tron theme, the Pulsar Charger was the small “army builder” set of the subgroup. Coming in at a paltry 26 pieces and a retail price of only $3.00 you received a small craft and one of the new mini figures of the M-Tron theme. M-Tron itself was known for it’s gimmicky use of magnets within the sets although this particular vehicle does not feature any.
What kind of ship can be made with 26 pieces? Honestly not much of one. It’s an open air cockpit with a steering wheel to control it and a thruster in the rear. How exactly does the Pulsar Charger steer using just a wheel? I’m no pilot but I’ve always been under the impression that flying craft requires some kind of a yoke that moves forward and backward to control altitude. Since Lego encourages the builder to use imagination I came to the assumption that this is more of a hover craft used on the surface of a planet to cruise along searching for a good place to mine magnets. A scout craft if you will. That explains the open air cockpit and the lack of a yoke. It’s as good of an explanation as any although the Lego universe certainly isn’t grounded in reality. Most of the smaller space ships have open cockpits of some kind.
I received this as a special surprise from my mom at the tender age of 6. She picked it up while shopping and decided that it was time for me to start playing with Lego sets because she felt they were a good “educational” toy. At the time I was completely unfamiliar with them and the concept of having to build the ship was intimidating to me. I wanted no part of it and felt it was a trick to try and teach me something. With her aid we assembled the ship and I’m sure it only stayed complete for a few weeks at best. I know for a fact I lost the walkie talkie fairly quickly. The rest of the set stayed in my collection for years however and despite losing the instructions early on I have rebuilt it countless times over the years from memory. With only 26 pieces there aren’t many places to go wrong here.
Maybe this set means something to you, maybe not. However I am sure that most kids my age have fond memories of a similar set to this. One of the small impulse buy models that only cost a couple of bucks but was received on a whim and provided years of entertainment and adventures. The Pulsar Charger was my first but certainly not the last mini set I received over the years and each one has a story all it’s own.