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New Sets for 1993
New Parts for 1993

1993 - The Pole Reverser


1993 was a transitional year for the LEGO Technic line.  Some pivotal new parts were introduced which did not get utilized to their fullest potential until subsequent years.

The 7 sets of 1993 varied widely in size from the smallest universal set of all to one of the largest Technic sets yet.  There were 3 universal sets in total.  The smallest was an introduction to Technic in coveted white.  The second was a pneumatic set.  Finally, the third was a motorized set which utilized a pair of the new pole reversers to allow remote control of the models, and also used one of the new micro motors.  A small buggy had steering and a 1 cylinder engine.  A hovercraft was introduced which was highly unique and contained parts never included in another Technic set before or since.  A large tricycle motorcycle contained a 4 cylinder engine and some massive new wheels.  Last (and biggest) of all, there was a large tractor/trailer truck transporting a forklift which was basically three sets in one.

There was also a supplemental set released this year which included 3 Technic figures.  At this time the figure were still relatively rare and wouldn't become common until 1995.

The new parts for 1993 were varied and important.  The huge wheels and idler gear were a foreshadowing of things to come.  The micro motor and pole reversers expanded on the 9V electrical system and opened up a myriad of new possibilities.  The axle joiner and long pin would become staples of standard Technic construction for decades into the future.


8022 Technic Starter Set
8042 Pneumatic Universal Building Set
8082 Multi Control Set
8818 Baja Blaster
8824 Hovercraft
8857 Steet Chopper
8872 Forklift Transporter


Idler Gear
A second 16 tooth gear was introduced, this time dark grey instead of light gray.  At first glance, it may appear identical to the old gear, and indeed it is the same size with the same tooth profile.  However the critical difference is that the central hole is round instead of a cross.  This allows the gear to spin freely on an axle but still transmit torque through the teeth.  One side of the central hole has a set of small teeth which can mesh with one of the toothed bushings, thus allowing the gear to be locked to an axle if desired. To my knowledge, this feature was never actually used in a set.  Finally, the rear side of the gear is open and has for evenly spaced dog stops.  Whatever could these be for?  We won't find out in 1993, but maybe the future will hold more clues.....

Steering Wheel
A new 3 spoked steering wheel was introduced which had a cruciform recess on the back.

Micro Motor
A new tiny 9V motor was first seen this year and occupies roughly the space of a 2x2 brick.  The motor has very low power but is also geared down to turn very slowly without external gearing.  This motor, while quite useful, was only ever used in a handful of sets.  Along with the motor there are a pair of brackets which allow it to be attached to standard studded construction.  There's also a friction pulley which attaches to the motor with a tiny rubber band allowing it to spin like a built-in clutch after a certain torque is reached.  This motor is always red.

Pole Reverser
The pole reverser is effectively a DC electric switch.  The center axle can be rotated 360 degrees.  At each 90 degree position, the switch is off (open).  At each 45 degree position, the switch closes the circuit at a detent.  Opposite directions reverse the polarity of the voltage, thus allowing the motor (or other attached electrical device) to reverse.  The pole reverser can be turned either with an axle run through the center or with the new pole reverser handle.  This handle fits into the top and stops at 45 degrees in either direction.  One set of 2x2 studs serves as the input, while the opposite side is the output.  It doesn't matter which is which since this unit simply opens and closes the circuit.

Axle and Pin Joiners
A pair of axle joiners were introduced which open up a new set of building possibilities.  The perpendicular joiner allows a pin to be connected to an axle at right angles.  The parallel connector acts as a butt joint to lengthen axles.  The straight connector also has a set of longitudinal grooves and a set of circumferential rings.  I wonder what these are for?  Maybe that's something else we'll find out in the future.....

Long Pin
A new long friction pin was introduced.  This pin is 3L long with a stop 1L from one end.  This allows a longer series of beams or other elements to be joined along a single axis without the protruding ends generated when using an axle with bushings.  This part became very common in the future.

Several new beams sizes were introduced.
  • The 1x1 beam may seem like a logical extension of the other sizes, but it has a very important distinction.  In a standard beam, the cross holes are offset from the studs.  In the 1x1 beam, the cross hole is centered under the stud.  Again, this may seem like a minor change, but future uses of some of this year's other new parts would make this 1/2 stud adjustment critical
  • There were also a pair of 1x4 beams with protruding flanges.  One is straight while the other is bent at 45 degrees.  Both can be fit with a rubber bumper pad.  Oddly, all 4 of these parts appeared in Technic sets only in 1993, then never again.
Wheel and Tire
And for the grand finale, a huge new wheel and tire set was introduced.  The wheel has 6 spokes, each with a pin hole.  The central axle hole is round (not cross) which means that the wheel can spin freely on an axle.  The addition of a bushing on the axle's rotation locks the axle to the wheel through a pair of flanges.  There's also another large set of slots on either side of the central axle hole.  Again, what could this be for?  There sure must be a lot of new things coming in 1994 to justify all of this....

This wheel and tire combination would only ever appear in two sets.


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