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Pic Review: 7900 Heavy Loader


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#1 Hobbes

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 08:54 AM

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UPDATE

I've updated the review with new pictures.


I got this set yesterday with the new crane and since this forum's kinda... sleeping I thought a review could bring some life in here. So I get right to it.
The pictures were taken with a flash since I built it yesterday evening. I'll add some "daylight pictures" soon and exchange a few. As always, thumbs are clickable.


Since the box wants to depict the entire truck with bridge and show some detail it's quite big. And with all the new and bigger boxes it's the same thing: you have to tear it to open it (right picture). That is soooooo annoying! Why is it so hard to make a decent box like "in the good olde days"?! That can't be more expensive...

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Also, as always, the content looks like it were thrown in randomly. Fortunately the instruction booklet didn't have any dog ears (I hate it if that happens).

The backside of the box has a nice diorama on it depicting almost all construction sets. As with all new sets this one's a "modular" build, too (shown on the left half of the box). What intrigued me most and ultimately let me buy this set was the picture to the right end of the box: the truck transporting the digger. That looks like a set I like. The right picture shows a close-up of it.

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The set comes with one minifig only (one more would have been nice). Nothing special about it but it has nice torso and it smiles (I don't like non-smiling minifigs). The red thing, I think, is supposed to be the emergency fire extinguisher every car should have. Good thing is, there ain't many stickers, just the important ones (I like yellow-black construction stickers).

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Now for the bridge parts. That was a huge disappointment. The left picture shows the four "side" parts. The right one shows the "quality" which is the disappointment: it looks like a Technic piece, but it isn't. You can bend it quite effortlessly (really easy). And it doesn't "straighten" itself out. If you keep it bent for a while it stays that way (not as twisted as shown here but still a bit bent). In short: it's a cheap piece.

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The instructions start with the truck, of course. The first two bags (they're numbered, by the way) hold the pieces for it. I didn't have problems distinguishing the darker colors as I did in other sets. What always intrigues me are certain building techniques I wouldn't expect. In this set, too. It's nothing major, it just makes me smile. Like this one:

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It looks sophisticated and gives it a Technic-ish feeling. On the other hand it was probably the easiest way to accomplish it and that's a good thing. It shows that somebody at TLC does think about existing pieces when designing new models. As I said, it just made me smirk ;-)

The model is 8-wide, which I didn't like at first. But car models have become bigger lately, and it fits with recent models. Good thing about it is, you can fit two minifigs next to each other in the cockpit. A little semi-snotting and you're done. The positioning of the steering wheel looks a bit odd, though. Is it just me or does it look like the driver has to steer with his feet? Guess that needs to be changed...

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The build is easy and has no surprises. The finished model doesn't look that bad. But, as with all new car models: no doors. There's room for modifications, though, and that's why I haven't put the "Special" sticker on it (above "Transport") since I'll put a door there.

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With the front and the side mirrors it has a real truck-ish look. A pretty good looking truck, afterall, I think.

Now for the bridge. Along with the "side parts" come four dark gray plates. It was late when I built it but I think it's the new "Dark Stone" color, or whatever it's called. These four pieces make the "platform".

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While building the bridge I came across another thing that made me smile. Anybody notice anything? ;-)

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Corrrrrrrrect, the beams are two studs too long! Easyily worked around, though. I read in another review (on 1000steine.com) that I wasn't the only with too long pieces. Seems to be a packing error since the shorter beams fit better.

Anyway, here's the finished bridge. It doesn't look that bad, but the consruction isn't as sturdy as it looks, even with the cross beams and Technic beams on the side. The whole thing still swivels when you pick it up.

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As you can see, the bridge's ends aren't fixed, they turn. And since the plates just "lie" on a studless Technic beam they easily flap up. With a few small plates you can connect them on the underside, though, as seen in the right picture.

One thing, though: "Long Vehicle" on the side and top of the bridge?! Isn't that supposed to be at the end of the "convoy"? ;-)

Next up is the "hanger", which really is two parts: one on the rear of the truck and one at the far end with a wheel base. Except for the wheel base they're the same construction. It uses a little Technic but isn't that difficult or surprising. The construction itself is ok but when put the truck-side part on the truck is pretty flimsy. in the right picture you can see that it kinda "leans" back. That doesn't change when you attach the bridge to it.

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That was it with building. On the last page of the instruction booklet there's an inventory. This seems to be standard now.

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And here's the whole thing. On the right you see it compared to the BNSF with one TTX car - quite a big set, I'd say.

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Since I had the BNSF around I put the bridge to its intended purpose and tried to run the locomotive over it. Well, as you can see, pretty narrow:

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The bridge is 8-wide, the tracks are, too, and the BNSF with its railing is, too. If you turn the railing inwards it fits, but not smoothly. On a layout this bridge most likely forces you to speed down the train. A standard 6-wide car without anythin "protruding" from should run over it without problems, anything bigger (10016 Tanker, for example) is bound to get stuck. Sometimes you can only wonder...


A comment about the pieces:
To me the new lighter colors look kinda... cheap, megablok-ish somehow. Not as... "solid" as in early days. Hard to describe it, the left picture with the wheel brick should show it. Dunno if you can recognize what I mean.
The middle picture shows the new seat. Yes, it's a new mold. It looks the same but it has a small "dent" right in the middle of it. No big deal for most people, but it makes you wonder why there's a new mold for an existing piece.
The right picture shows another piece I haven't seen yet. It's the turntable used in the rear wheelbase trailer part. It's not "stepless", though, it "locks" every turn-step. I find that annoying. And molding this entire piece instead of using two 1x4 bricks and a classic turntable can't be cheaper, and using three classic bricks/pieces can't be too difficult for today's kids, either.

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Well, to sum it up: the truck is big as the comparison with the BNSF shows. Then again, it's supposed to be a "Heavy Loader", so I guess it has to be big. And it fits the current scale of cars (which, I think, is too big).
Apart from a few design flaws the entire model does look good, and I'm sure the target audience (i.e. kids) surely will have fun with it. I'm not really the target audience but I didn't regret buying it (I payed 6 Euro off SRP anyways).


Next up is the Crane. Watch out for it, it's coming pretty soon ;-)

#2 xwingyoda

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 09:02 AM

Forum sleeping ? Indeed Hobbes and what a way to wake it up  8-  :-P

I saw those pics on BS yesterday and was wondering if you would do a review here and I am so glad you did  ;-)

Great review !! Thats a review made of great pics and text  ;-)

I'm happy to see that the "DSS" is rather small (Dreaded Sticker Sheet)  :-D  but disappointed that the quality of the bridge is not better (like "real" bricks): G TLC and their cut costs policy  :-|

I think I will not get this set because of room issue hehe (you know what I mean !!) but I admit it looks better than I originally thought !!

I can't wait to see your crane review: that is a set I will get asap !!

Review On !!

*yoda*

#3 Hobbes

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 09:16 AM

Thanks yoda :-)

You're right, I put the pics on BS yesterday, but it was late and I didn't want to do the review half asleep. I decided to wait until I'm at work where I have time to do a thorough review >:-)

And, oh my, I just noticed it took me over an hour  8-

Guess I should get back to work... then again, there isn't really anything to do... too bad I didn't take the crane with me  ;-)

#4 Christian

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 09:30 AM

Nice review Hobbes!!!

Too vad that the bridge pieces are made out of soft plastic instead of the normal hard plastic used for all other bricks(nearly all bricks).
This review actually made me consider buy this set, although not at full price, but then it is good that my local Tru is having 33% off all Lego tomorrow :-P

Im looking forward to your review of the big crane.

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#5 alex54

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 12:15 PM

for the soft plastic used for the brige pieces, it doesn't surprised me, because it is a very cheap set like the police boat or the catamaran the last year, with their base boat in soft plastic. I will buy it and try to make a 4 stunds one without the bridge (I put it for my train!)

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#6 JoeMI6

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 02:44 PM

Nicely done review Hobbes. It looks like a good set. But I won't be getting it as city sets don't excite me as much as stuff like the Sailbarge.

#7 Lord Thrawn

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 05:20 PM

I am impresses by all these sets in Town, but they're just a little boring.  Most of my stuff is set in the future anyway.

Goo' review.

#8 alex54

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 06:32 PM

Yes, I have forgotten to sai this is a good review, and you wake up the city forum Hobbes ;-)

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#9 DoubleT

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 09:38 PM

Thanks for the great review Hobbes  *sweet*
DoubleT, Co-Creator of EuroBricks.com & BrickHorizon.com

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#10 Athos

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Posted 01 June 2006 - 06:11 AM

Only one figure? What is with that?

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#11 TrainTrack

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Posted 01 June 2006 - 07:46 PM

The truck looks awesome, way better than in the official pics LEGO took.

#12 phoinix

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 12:20 AM

very very good pictures!!!ecxellent review!finally smth new in the city forum!!

i love the design of the truck without the..load!!

lego-city is getting bigger and bigger !this set looks huge!!
this could be longer than a train!!!is that wacko or what? *wacko*  *wacko*

the bridge could be very usefull in a city..with a river under it...mmm..

hope this whole construction sets are going some place..hope  TLC is "constructing" something HUGE for city (and not just another police station)

#13 Hobbes

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 06:29 PM

*empty post - please delete*

#14 alex54

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 07:01 PM

View PostHobbes, on Jun 2 2006, 06:29 PM, said:

A comment about the pieces:
To me the new lighter colors look kinda... cheap, megablok-ish somehow. Not as... "solid" as in early days. Hard to describe it, the left picture with the wheel brick should show it. Dunno if you can recognize what I mean.

I understand what you say, and I totally agree. The plastic seems to be more softy than before...
Do you know when the crane will be sell? In the french mag, it is said in september... I can't wait, and it is harder after seing your pics on brickshelf! ;-)
The two small cant and toillete look realy like in the real life (in fact, I work in a building site for my study)!

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#15 Hobbes

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 07:56 PM

Yesterday I bought the 7248 Digger and set up the alternate model (clickable thumb):

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Even in this picture you can see that the truck-side hanger part leans "in". I have to find a different way for that. Nonetheless, I like this model a lot better *sweet*

#16 Jipay

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 08:48 PM

View PostHobbes, on Jun 2 2006, 06:29 PM, said:

UPDATE

I've updated my initial review with new pictures and due to the 20 picture per post limit split it up. This part II.

You were heard, the new limit is set to 60 images per post

#17 Hobbes

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 09:04 PM

Whoa, that many? Actually I was just explaining rather than complaining why I split the review. But thanks, I'll update my reviews right away *sweet*

#18 Jipay

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 08:44 AM

I know you weren't complaining lol ! BTW, nice title, congrats for you promotion ! (you get 100% of the votes)

#19 KimT

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 02:27 PM

At first I didn't want this set, but seeing the alternate I've changed my mind.
That looks great. When this set is on sale I'm definately getting one.
Great review and nice pics.

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#20 Hobbes

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 06:45 PM

View Postjipay, on Jun 5 2006, 09:44 AM, said:

BTW, nice title, congrats for you promotion ! (you get 100% of the votes)
Oh, I didn't notice  :-$

And I never wanted to go into politics... ;-)

#21 snefroe

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 09:36 PM

8-  8-

1) great review!!


2) i'm not so happy with the 8 stud width of the truck... it's getting kinda big for the traditional lego town

3) the fact that seat is different, is quite normal. Molds have to be replaced after x number of produced parts, maybe they modified the mold. the 2 x 2 round bricks are also different these days compared to years ago

4) surely you can solve the "leaning backwards" by getting a decent basis for the turntable? in fact, i'd replace it with an older 4 x 4 turntable

5) the soft plastic is unfortunate but to be expected i guess

6) i just hope lego sets like these will not grow bigger and bigger... it's more and more difficult to fit them in

#22 xenologer

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 10:24 PM

Just how flimsy are those bridge pieces?
Are they like bionicle swords?

Im thinking that they have some potential in large starSHIP mocs, or in possibly a crane.... but thats assuming they can be used as major structural supports without collapsing....



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