8264 has 575 pieces and comes in a large hinged box. Like other recent sets, you have to destroy the edges of the box to open it.. The images below show the front and the back.
The instructions come in two large booklets. The secondary model instructions are not included but can be downloaded. There's also a sticker sheet.
The parts come in 4 large numbered bags, with the Power Functions elements separate. Each numbered bag corresponds to a discrete sub assembly of the model which can be assembled at the end.
There are a fair number of extra parts.
The new parts:
The new parts include new large panels. The panels are 5x11 with 5 holes on the ends and 7 on the sides. There are 4 holes on the face at the corners. Like some of the other new parts, these seem not to be made of ABS but something softer. There are 6 of these parts included.
There are also 4 of the new T shaped beams, which are very useful. They look exactly like you would expect them to.
There is also one of the new 9L axles.
If you look closely, you can see that the beams embedded in the side of the panels are slightly narrower than a standard beam. An inserted pin sticks all the way through. I'm not entirely sure why they did this. I later figured it out.
Here we can see the subassemblies and how they combine into the final model.
The hood opens and there is an "engine" inside. Unfortunately, it is made out of crappy bionicle parts and has no actual function. Too bad, because there was room for an engine in here.
The chassis articulates in the middle at a turntable. The hand of god control at the top drives the outer ring gear of the turntable. This allows the model to turn quite sharply.
The bed dumps very quickly. With the switch on the battery box having OFF in the middle, it is hard to shut it off at the end of travel. A polarity switch would have been nice.
The M motor drives the linear actuator directly. Since there is no external clutch gear, the clutch in the actuator slips instead of stalling the motor. It makes a horrible sound when this happens.
The final result is pretty good. It is big, yet attractive, like my ex-wife. It is also not very functional and highly overpriced, like my ex-wife.
It is an excellent looking model with great tires. However, it seems like we are paying for the Power Functions rather than traditional mechanical functions, as there really aren't any. There are virtually no gears. The raising bed works great, but that's really all it does. So it is a nice set with a lot of good parts, but I think I would have actually liked it better without the motor. Still, I recommend it if you have the money.
How big is it? Let's look at it next to an older dump truck.
It also fits in very well with all of the other recent studless construction vehicles.
I listened to "Permission to Land" by The Darkness during this build. It worked great since it kept me from concentrating too hard.
This should be showing up everywhere in stores now, so here's your chance to get the biggest model of 1H2009!
Edited by Blakbird, 02 July 2012 - 10:23 PM.