Price: 49.99 USD
Piece/Price Ratio: 6.55 Cents USD
Set Dimensions: Length 26cm, Width 15cm, Height 18cm
Build Time: Approximately 3 hours + or - 30 minutes.
LEGO relies on commercials, paper advertising, or word of mouth about its products. This set relies on the typical mediums of being in the LEGO catalogues, advertised on the back of instructions, can be bought off numerous places on the internet, and had "leaked" pictures out well before it was released. This set was average in terms of its exposure to the community, and LEGO did a good job of getting this sets existence out there.
The box says everything: its the attention grabber that captures your interests and reels you in. The box by modern standards is medium sized. Overall the box employs the new bland black frame and an uninteresting background...not as attractive as old sets as far as looks, but the larger size of modern boxes sure does the job. The box front and back shows varying views and functions of the main model, its accessories, and the alternate model. The newer boxes are bland...but they still serve their purpose to transport, protect, and help to sell the set.
This box has the perforated areas to punch open the side to reach the contents. This change over the flaps and tape on the old boxes is most likely to protect and hold in the parts. The box contains, well, more boxes to hold the packages, which I suppose are to protect some of the parts. The bags and boxes are all numbered to help in the ordering of construction to make things go a little faster, and these bags are not perforated making them less likely to rip open. Of course my way is always is to just dump all the parts into a pile on the floor, but lego makes it easier for anyone who wants to build this set.
(note: not my image...my box has long gone to compost, credit to owner)
These instructions really mark a progressive change from the old style instructions into the new style instructions. Today we have multiple booklets...back then they were all unabounded into something a little more organized. The steps were not intricate, yet were not too simple. Overall 25 steps over 93 pages isn't bad. The real problem I have with instructions during this period is that the shades of gray and black are very difficult to distinguish, making for easy mess ups in the build.
This set was easy, quick, and not too boring.
The entire set uses modular construction all throughout the building process.
The front module, housing the steering column, engine, and front winch.
The addition of the chassis frame, reinforcements, and rear differential module.
The addition of the towing winch.
The seats, tires, and some final touches to complete the chassis.
Just like a real car, the body is built separate then attached to the chassis.
Now...in matrimony the two are united.
Like many modern sets the modular build is used in this set. The build wasn't repetitive and was straightforward. The new studless design was just being explored, and many of the possible construction techniques were just being used. The separate body and chassis construction is a really unique and realistic feature that is used in many real vehicles.
The studless design was not fully explored at this point. The lack of panels and other designer parts left out any possibilty of losing some of the "holeyness" in the set and for them stupid stickers (fortunately). But this set was really elegant in the way the studless design allowed for a nice curved design that was very pleasing to the eyes. I have had the "blues" over set colors, since yellow, red, and some white have predominated TECHNIC decor and design. Luckily blue has been found here, for the first time in a large set since 8462, making the set look "cool" in a soothing and outstanding way. The mirrors, translucent red lights, winches, and colorization all in a compact functional set make it very pleasing to look at.
The fun way to build...by throwing all your parts into a heaping jumbled mass!
A few new parts in this set. A new large arc liftarm is used...for construction mostly. A new L shaped POOP piece with pin holes going in three different directions. A small gear table, some aesthetic windows, and an h-shaped part used to house gears and help transfer motion. A new shock was used this year, incoroporating tighter coils allowing for much stiffer suspension that doesn't go limp after the set has been standing awhile.
This year began the introduction of many new colored pegs, pins, and axles into TECHNIC, something that looks nice but can sometimes mess with color scheme. Also the opaque engine block makes a reintroduction, albeit in this set it is much darker than most piston blocks.
Mechanisms are the things that make an operation in a set happen (i.e. hydraulics, levers, etc). Here this set uses shocks, a differential, and a very clever winch stop/release design. I think these are all self explanatory.
Operations are what the set actually does. Here a working V6 with a fan is driven by a real differential, and for a medium set the engine does spin quite fast. The stop/release action on the winches is just great...and it has two of them! The steering is via hand of god, and is rather weak having a turn radius of around 40cm. The front shocks are independent on each wheel, and very stiff! The rear wheels use a tilt action to simple ride over objects...kind of a cheap (and now common way in sets) to mimic suspension. Also the hood can open...although its simply a detail as the engine is quite visible
This set, as with many newer TECHNIC Models, are become more geared toward some play (something AFOLs don't like much since it sometimes throws out the detail and complexity of the sets). The winches, susupension, and various details make this set good for towing around other TECHNICS, going offroad over furniture, and the lights and engine make for cool effects when moving around, hell even your cat will enjoy the strings on this set. The construction of this set also makes it very strong and stiff, making it durable and able to survive falls and impacts.
Influence and Impact
TECHNIC has gained some popularity in the past years, with the revamp to studless and more interactive play functions. This set had a typical lifespan of around a year to two years on sale at LEGO. The price was relatively cheap so many people could afford a set of this size. This set is fairly attractive and sells good, as evident by the amount of brickset owners having it, the high bricklink price, and it selling fairly high on Ebay.
This set was more of a test in what studless could do. It marked the transition in many ways from its modulat build to its styling that many other studless sets would furthre on. Although it has no great legacy, it served as a great highlight of studless sets.
Overall Score: 80/100 Above Average
A nice set packed full on nice details, an interesting construction, its compact, and hey its blue! I recommend this set to any collector and it is well worth the money spent. This has been one of my favorite...and from the time I bought it I really can't figure out why...!? I hope everyone enjoys this set as much as I do...whether your a fan or not.
Edited by LordGalewind, 23 July 2009 - 05:20 AM.