Based on some input from other readers here, I went and checked my local Toys 'R Us and found the new 8063 tractor set in a nice big shiny box.
I'm a Technic fan. A HUGE Technic fan. I buy every set whether it looks any good or not. It's not easy to disappoint me given how enthused I am about the whole thing in general, but I was certainly disappointed here. Read on to find out why. I thought about reviewing it two different ways: one as an independent set release, and one as a comparison to the previous 8284 tractor , but in the end I decided that this was unnecessary since the same conclusions apply.
I'll be anticipating the questions from you, the readers, and I'll incorporate the answers into my review.
- Set 8063 (Weird set number. This series not used since the old Universal Sets)
- 1100 Pieces
- Build time was about 2.5 hours (including taking all the pictures)
The box is quite large. Pictures of the front and back can be seen below. This is one of the boxes in which you need to cut the rear corners to get it open. Unlike many of these boxes, everything inside was in good shape with no squashing of the instructions. In fact, they look like they came right off of the presses.
There are 2 instruction books.
Q: Since this set is clearly two distinct models, a tractor and a trailer, each instruction book covers one of these right?
A: Wrong. The division between instruction books occurs in an arbitrary location near the end of the tractor model.
There are no printed instructions for the B model; those muse be downloaded.
Like all the newer sets, these instructions come with a parts list at the end.
Inside the Box
There are 7 bags inside the box as well as a few loose pieces which I'll discuss a bit later. The bags are numbered into two groups. The first group is for the tractor, the second group is for the trailer. There are smaller bags of small parts inside the larger bags.
New and/or Noteworthy Parts
Q: With 1100 parts, there must be a lot of new stuff here!
A: Wrong. Since the tractor is nearly identical to the old 8284 tractor, there are no new parts here except for the engine compartment side panels. These are slightly flatter than the old versions.
The trailer uses 13 of the new larger panels in green (TLG #62531) as previously described in my hauler review. Based on early photos, I thought these were going to be sand green (like the Statue of Liberty 3450), but they are actually regular green. If you want a big pile of these panels, this is the place to get them.
There's also one of the linear actuators in the trailer.
The differential in the tractor is the same as that in 8284 which is NOT the newest version. Since the gear mating with the diff ring gear is a spur gear, it would have been difficult to integrate the new diff bevel gear without a significant redesign.
If you've built 8284 before, you will find this very familiar. The tractor is actually rather complex and, due to the use of 8 32009 "Technic Beam 3 x 3.8 x 7 Liftarm Bent 45 Double", the frame is very rigid. The trailer build is very redundant due to the use of so many panels.
This first image shows the core of all of the functions of the tractor. I've color coded the functions for reference:
Green: This is the steering. Overhead Hand of God control the front rack and pinion. The whole front steering assembly is pendular, so the steering axle also provided the structural support. Note that the steering axles pass through a 16 tooth concentric idler gear.
Blue: This is the drive train. The differential will mate with the rear double bevel gear. Torque goes through the driving ring center and up to the crankshaft of the engine.
Yellow: This is the Power Take Off (PTO). When the red driving ring is engaged, this is driven off the rear wheels.
Red: This is the worm gear lift for the rear implements.
Q: Why is there a worm gear lift for the rear implements? Are there any rear implements?
A: No. The worm gear pivots some liftarms which are not attached to anything.
Q: Why is there a PTO? Does it drive anything?
A: No. The PTO hangs uselessly out the back. When engaged with the driving ring, it uselessly spins.
Q: OK, if these major functions don't actually do anything on the main model, they must at least drive the B-model right?
A: No. The B model doesn't use them either.
Q: Well there must at least be some photographs on the box or in the instructions of possible implements which use these features right?
A: Wrong. These two major functions of the model do nothing at all and were obviously only included because the previous tractor had them. They are wasted on this model. In fact, the trailer does not really even come with enough gears and axles to build any suitable implement if you wanted to.
This shows some more of the structure attached as well as the rear differential and the seat.
Now we can see the inline 4 cylinder engine. There haven't been very many inline LEGO engines. You can also see the steering assembly and the pendular suspension highlighted in yellow. Note that, in this case, the engine block actually forms a structural part of the forward frame.
The build of the trailer was so straightforward that I did not take any photographs. It is really just a frame, so panels, and a linear actuator.
Now we'll take a look at the completed model. It is actually quite attractive and very large. The engine cover opens up and exposes the engine. The overhead Hand of God gears controls the steering. The rear gear controls the lift. The red lever on the right engages the PTO. The engine is driven by the rear wheels. The gear on the side of the trailer controls the dumping mechanism. A liftarm on the front of the trailer supports the tongue when disconnected.
Q: This is not that compelling. Does the B-model at least do something new?
A: No. In fact there isn't even a B-model of the tractor. The B-model is just a different trailer.
This set is lame. It doesn't function with itself and seems cobbled together. The idea of a tractor and a trailer is a good one, but they need to be designed to go together, which these are not. With no implements, the tractor is not even good as a standalone model.
- Price: 4/10 (quite a few pieces, but too much money for a set that doesn't work)
- Functions: 2/10 (half the functions don't work which is totally unacceptable for Technic)
- Appearance: 6/10 (reasonably good looking but trailer is bland)
- Parts: 3/10 (quite a few pieces, but not much new except panels)
- Total: 3/10 Don't buy this unless money is meaningless to you or you are a masochist. I expect it to be on clearance for $40 within a couple of months.
Q: How big is that thing?
A: The trailer is huge. Take a look.
Q: How does it compare to 8284?
A: It is virtually identical. Obviously, the color is different. The panels on the side of the engine are new. There are slight changes in the geometry of the lift on the back to make room for the trailer tongue. Otherwise it is the same with the obvious omission of the rear implements.
While building this model, I listened Killswitch Engage which got me properly enraged to write this review.
Q: Why the hell did LEGO release a model with functions which do nothing, an irrelevant B-model, and no original content?
A: I have no idea, but I'm not happy about it. Even if you don't have 8284, this tractor still makes no sense since half the functions are unusable.
Q: If you were an angel of retribution, would you visit your wrath upon whomever decided to release this set to the public?
A: What do you mean "if"?
Edited by Blakbird, 06 June 2012 - 01:42 PM.