Ever since the #70922 LEGO Batman Movie Joker Manor was first revealed a few months back, there has been a lot of talk amongst LEGO fans about the new LEGO roller coaster track system that comes with the set. It has been a dream of many LEGO enthusiasts to build a proper LEGO roller coaster, and with the new tracks and roller coaster cars we are getting very close to make this a reality. So I thought it would be a good idea to talk a bit about the tracks in more detail. 🙂
To recap a bit of LEGO history here, LEGO originally used single plastic track pieces for their trains that needed to be pieced together to build a proper track. The trains running on these tracks were powered by batteries inside one of the train cars. By the 1980, LEGO replaced this system with pre-moulded plastic track sections with a piece of metal in the middle, which allowed the trains to be powered by the tracks themselves. The power source for the tracks was from a standard wall outlet via a power converter. This is much like how standard hobby trains are powered. Many LEGO fans still used this system, as it at allows the trains to run indefinitely (as long as the tracks are powered), with no need for batteries.
In 2006, LEGO replaced the powered track system with simple plastic track pieces. The trains are again powered by batteries, but instead of using a battery car, the batteries are inserted into a universal battery box that can be attached anywhere on the train. Just like previously, the track pieces are 8 studs wide, with the tracks 6 studs apart (4 studs in between tracks). The track pieces are available in straight and curved configurations, and there are also switches and flexible segments (see above).
In 2009, LEGO introduced a narrow train track system for the #7199 LEGO Indiana Jones Temple of Doom set. The tracks were 6 studs wide, with the tracks 4 studs apart (2 studs in between tracks). This system only had two configuration; a curved track piece and a small ramp with 5-bricks elevation. Both of these pieces were specific to this set, and were only reused a couple of times since then. (The ramp only appeared in the #6857 LEGO Super Heroes Dynamic Duo Funhouse Escape from 2012, and the curved track in the same set, as well as the #7065 LEGO Alien Conquest Alien Mothership from 2011, and the #41130 LEGO Friends Amusement Park Roller Coaster from 2016).
Besides using the narrow curved track mentioned above, the #41130 LEGO Friends Amusement Park Roller Coaster also introduced another new track piece; a small ramp with 3-bricks elevation. (The curved narrow track piece is available in dark-bluish-gray, black, and medium-azure, the taller ramp is available in dark-bluish-gray and black, and the shorter ramp is available in medium-azure only.)
The roller coaster in the #41130 LEGO Friends Amusement Park set is a fairly respectable size as far as layout, but it is not very tall (6 bricks at it’s highest point). It is more like a slightly elevated train track rather than a true roller coaster. While the set didn’t satisfy those who wanted to build a realistic roller coaster, it did indicate that LEGO designers have been thinking about roller coasters. This gave hope to LEGO fans that we may see a real roller coaster in the near future. And they didn’t have to wait long. The #70922 LEGO Batman Movie Joker Manor was announced in September of 2017, and released in December (see at the Online LEGO Shop.)
Instead of just modified narrow train tracks, the new roller coaster system includes proper roller coaster tracks, and a specialized roller coaster car base that securely attaches to the tracks. The roller coaster track system includes six pieces; two straight pieces (short and long), a curved piece, two large ramps with 6 1/3-bricks elevation (one with an inward curve and the other with an outward curve), and a small ramp with 3 1/3-bricks elevation.
LEGO fans are already at work experimenting with the new pieces, and I’m sure we will see some wonderful creations at various LEGO fan forums and conventions in the near future. The BrothersBrick recently posted an interesting video, where they demonstrate how a roller coaster using the new tracks could be powered using LEGO Power Functions elements and some clever building techniques (see below).
As mentioned above, the roller coaster track pieces first appeared in the #70922 LEGO Batman Movie Joker Manor. The tracks are dark-purple, and the roller coaster cars are lime-green. The recently released #60188 LEGO City Mining Experts Site includes the straight and curved track pieces in light-bluish-gray, while the roller coaster cars are black.
The roller coaster system will also be prominently used in the #31084 LEGO Creator 3-in-1 pirate-themed roller coaster later this year, and there are also rumors of a large roller coaster coming in the LEGO Creator Expert Builder line to match the other fairground sets; #10244 LEGO Creator Fairground Mixer from 2014, the #10247 LEGO Creator Ferris Wheel from 2015, and the #10257 LEGO Creator Carousel from 2016.
What do you think? Are you excited about the new roller coaster pieces? Have you experimented with them already? Would you like to see LEGO releasing a large LEGO roller coaster? In what other ways would you use the pieces? Feel free to share your thoughts and own ideas in the comment section below! 😉
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