I’m back again with a new review from the LEGO Cars theme. This time around we’ll see Lightning McQueen and Mack Team Truck (from now on I’ll use just ‘Mack’) in a set based on the first film from 2006. I really liked this set since it came out (I missed the Ferrari team trucks at the time, and this is a very similar model), but could not fit it in my budget. Then I found it at 30% off, I could not pass upon the chance to get it.
Theme: LEGO Cars (Cars)
Set name: Mack’s Team Truck
Set Number: 8486
Price: 39.99 $, 30.99 £, 39.99 Euro
Year of release: 2011
Mack and Lightning McQueen are hitting the road to visit their friends in Radiator Springs. It’s a road trip adventure! Now they just have to remember the directions! Help them find their way there!
• Includes classic Lightning McQueen and Mack Team Truck with opening trailer
• Features cone, racing flag and tools
• Open the trailer to load Lightning McQueen inside!
• Measures over 12” (30cm) long and 3” (7cm) tall
• Lightning McQueen measures over 2” (5cm) long and 1” (2cm) wide
Links: Peeron, Bricklink and Brickset
The front of the box shows the completed set on a pit-lane background taken from the Cars film final race in Los Angeles (CA). In the lower right corner we see a ‘play feature’ shot showing the open trailer. The left part of the front is devoted to advertising: LEGO logo, age range, set number, Disney – Pixar Cars 2 logo; a smiling Lightning McQueen and a grinning Tow Mater fill the lower left corner. The left side is completed by a nice stripped dark grey/black and metallic dark red background. The Disney logo also appears in the upper right corner.
The back shows some play features: the tools rack and TV screen inside the trailer, McQueen and Mack smiling while taking splitting courses, a suggestive shot of the tools arranged in a tidy row, and again the open trailer. LEGO and Disney – Pixar Cars 2 logo, along with a spy-car silhouette fill the upper band. What may look like McQueen and Mack’s ‘family shot’ also appear there along with their names.
The upper side shows again the logos and ‘family shot’, this time without names. The 1:1 scale piece this time is one of Mack’s tyres.
Upon opening, the box reveals four numbered bags, two instruction booklets and one stickers’ sheet (more on these later on).
Bag number one is devoted to holding and protecting the McQueen’s parts, as well as the pieces used to build the tools’ rack and traffic cone. It’s dominated by Red, with some Grey and Black accents and a handful of mixed colours.
Bag number two includes the parts needed to build Mack (I believe the tractor has the name, while the trailer is another thing…). Here, again, Red dominates, along with bits of Black, Greys and White.
Bags number three and four are used to build Mack’s trailer. As before, Red is the main colour.
Spare parts include Cheese Slopes, Round 1x1 plates and a Blue Technic, Pin 1/2. Not mind blowing, but useful parts all, imo.
The only recoloured parts included in this set area two Modified 2 x 4 No Studs, Curved Top, appearing here in Light Bluish Grey for the first time.
I call these parts theme exclusive pieces, as they were introduced this year with/for this particular theme. One of the most anticipated/loved/hated/discussed parts is the windshield. I’d really like to get some versions of this piece without the eyes’ print, say for the Racers line. The mudguard is the same shape as seen in the 8424 Mater’s Spy Zone set for Molly’s front. The printed tiles are perfect for the characters, though I can see little use for McQueen’s side panels in MOCs. Finally, Mack’s eyes’ slopes are very well done, and capture his mostly sad/nostalgic expression very nicely.
On a side note, I have to say I’m a bit disappointed by the fact that the white print on McQueen and Mack’s eye pieces is not deep enough to completely hide the red of the underlying part. As they are, it seems both characters suffer of a bad case of conjunctivitis.
Other new parts include McQueen’s rear mudguard (same shape as seen in the 8424 Mater’s Spy Zone set for Mater’s front), two Red and two Light Bluish Grey Bracket 1 x 2 - 2 x 4, which I foresee will be widely used in MOCs, and one Dark Bluish Gray Plate, Modified 1 x 4 with 2 Studs.
Strangely enough (in my opinion, at least), the two instruction booklets come in two different sizes.
The cover reproduces the same composition as on the box front (minus the age range).
Random page – The build is pretty straight forward for McQueen and Mack, a bit more complex for the trailer, given the 7 studs wide choice. Every step has pieces call-outs, even when only 1 piece is used!
The traditional parts’ list. I like the clean background that does not catch the eye too much, but still prevents the page from being totally blank.
Other interesting pages include the list of LEGO Cars characters. Each one is shown with the corresponding set number and a box you can check, so you know which are already in your collection.
As you can see, the stickers’ sheet is fully packed, with very few blank spaces. I was worried when I first set eyes upon these sets: on the one side, I feared the pieces would all be printed; on the other hand they could all be stickered, lowering the value of the characters’ parts in my view. I think TLG came to a good compromise: the Cars’ exclusive parts are printed (save for some in Mack, as we’ll see), while the more common ones are left untouched, to boost their use in MOCs (as you may know, I’m not a fan of applying stickers!).
We start off with Lightning McQueen. As you can imagine, his build is not overly complex. Nonetheless, I’d like to put an accent on a couple of details. First, the use of strangely coloured parts for the ‘interior’ of the model: Blue and Green are hidden below that shiny Red body-work.
Secondly, TLG used these jumper plates in order to hold the decorated side panels in the right position.
Once McQueen is completed, we move on to the…
…tool’s rack and traffic cone. Not actually the main reason to buy this set, but a good addition to increase the play value.
Next up is Mack. This is one of the few cases when I almost regret not applying the stickers; Mack’s ‘cap’ would look a lot better with the ‘Rust-eze’ symbol on it. Of only TLG made this a printed piece, too…
Lastly, we have the trailer. Now, I know truck trailers are often difficult to build in order to make them look good and playable at the same time, but I just find that the empty front space is a waste. If I’m not mistake, older Ferrari trucks (or at least one) used to have access to that compartment, too.
The completed trailer looks, and is, pretty sturdy. As said before, TLG chose to go with a 7 suds wide design for it. The main reason is that Lightning McQueen has an overall 5 wide frame (because of the tyres protruding from under the body-work and of the panels on his sides). All in all, I find these good shape and proportions for Mack.
Here’s a shot of Mack and his trailer. Again, I have to admit that the stickers would boost his appearance.
Everything is ready for the race. Take your seats and enjoy the fun!
Even though the films (especially Cars 2) do not put the accent on it, I believe Mack and Lightning McQueen to be great friends. I mean, they often travel the USA together, and, even if Mack calls McQueen boss, he’s really devoted to him, and tries to guide him with his (at times sour) wisdom.
Inside the trailer
One of the main play features of this set (apart from having the two cars running around) is opening the trailer to load/unload the tools’ rack, make McQueen climb or dismount, and so on. Though it may seem quite dull fun, I find it strangely appealing to open and close the 3 folds (ramp, side and roof) of the trailer and see it from the inside…
Radiator Springs’ Racing Team
Luigi and Guido joined the team to help McQueen in his race. With such a team, nothing can stop our favourite novice from wining the Piston Cup.
Be it fixing a broken valve, or selling tyres, McQueen knows Guido and Luigi are cut for the job.
Luigi only follows Ferraris!
Overall, this is a nice set for Cars’ and general races’ fans. It includes two of the most popular characters from the first film (Mack was a bit overshadowed in the second), as well as a bit of background to add to playability. As one would expect, the main goal of this kind of set is to prompt you to buy more, and it has been achieved pretty well.
Design & Colour scheme – 9/10 (Very well proportioned and efficient. The only con is the amount of stickers required to achieve the right look for Mack.)
Characters - 9/10 (I’m very happy to see how these versions of McQueen and Mack turned out. Granted, McQueen sides are a bit too large and blocky, but I guess that’s the best that could be done without making stickers for that too.)
Parts - 9/10 (Great variety of useful parts, a reasonable amount of new pieces, though much of them are printed. Of course, the greatest MOC potential reseeds in Mack’s parts.)
Playability – 10/10 (It’s cute speaking Cars! What more reasons do you need to find ways to play with them? The accessories add to that, too.)
Build – 9/10 (Nothing too complex, but some efficient solutions are used. Again, the 7 studs wide choice works very well for the trailer.)
Price – 10/10 (Though this is a Licensed set, it has a pretty good balanced price-wise: 374 parts for $/€ 39.99 is pretty good in my book, especially of late. If you can get it discounted, too…)
Overall: 9.3/10 Excellent
As always, questions, comments, and pic requests welcome!