1993 - The Pole Reverser
|8022 Technic Starter Set
||8042 Pneumatic Universal Building Set
||8818 Baja Blaster
||8857 Steet Chopper
|8872 Forklift Transporter
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.....
A new 3 spoked steering wheel was introduced which had a cruciform recess on the back.
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.
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.....
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.
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.