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[REVIEW] 42124 Off-Road Buggy - Control+ segment coming later

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Set Name: 42124 Off-Road Buggy
Pieces: 374
Price: $129.99 | 
Year of Release: 1HY 2021

Hello and welcome to my review of 42124 Off-Road Buggy! This set is a complete package set, including the Control+ components you need; accordingly, it's price is a pretty immediate sticker shock at $130 USD for only 374 pieces. But what do we get out of those 374 pieces? Let's find out.

A big thank you to Lego for providing us this set to review; I'll admit I am not very familiar with Control+, so this set is definitely an interesting experience for me to try out.

*DISCLAIMER: As of the time of this review being released (12/15), I do not yet have access to the Control+ app with the Buggy-specific control build. Until then, I will not be reviewing the Control+ element of this set. Review will be updated once I am able

Box Front

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The front of the box shows the buggy in it's natural element. Not sure if the vehicle in the back is supposed to be a real dune buggy or another RC car, either way this particular model is supposed to be inspired by RC buggy toys.

Box Rear

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No B model for this set. We can see some of the features of the set, which is primarily just the directional movement that can be achieved with the app.

Box Detail

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Some details about the Control+ elements, as well as the tires for 1:1 ratio.

Sticker Sheet

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The sticker sheet is meant to homage 80s RC car design/colors.

Parts

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Here it is, all 374 + spares. We will detail new and interesting pieces in a moment. Note that this is the third set to use the new 5-gear differential system.

New Dark Azure Pieces

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We get three of the new 3x7 panel in dark azure, as well as a single one of the new 2x3 panels.

Wheels

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Here we have the brand new tires, as well as matching rims in white. These tires are fantastic and certainly ideal for off-road use, I suspect many people will want to get their hands on these. They are a little more rigid (similar to the new Wrangler tires), so they should hold up well if you take your set outside and through rougher elements. While in a pricey set, I do hope to see them released in a more accessible fashion later on. 

15L Crossbeams

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This part is very exciting to me, and I really hope to see more (especially shorter) variations in length of these.

Magenta Elements

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Here we have some nice Magenta recolors. Similar to the race plane, the value of these parts will vary; Some people will enjoy the rare color, while others may not care for it given the more limited use of such a color currently.

Control+ Elements

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While not new, it's worth giving a quick spotlight to these since they make up a majority of the price; 1 control hub and two L motors. These pull in pretty heft costs new: each motor is $40 and the control hub is $90, which means these components alone cost $170. For some, you might be better off picking this set up to get started than buying pieces individually. (Though prices on Bricklink and the like may of course be lower.)

The Build

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We start off with one of the L motors and build the hood around it. We will deal with cable management later, it's worth noting we get one red and one blue cable clip.

Front axles

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We work on the front bumper as well as the front axles. This build allow for steering, and will have independent suspension added shortly.

Roof

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Here we start working on the roof as well as what will be the back suspension. 

Control Hub

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The roof is added to the previous constructs along with front suspension and the control hub.

Rear motor & Differential

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As mentioned, this is the third set to feature the new differential system after the Volvo 6x6 and the Top Gear rally car. 

Mounted

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This assembly is then added to the rear of the vehicle. 

Completed Set - No Stickers - Front

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Here we have the finalized set, sans stickers. While the bright colors still pop, I think the stickers really help to blend the colors together more.

Completed Set - Stickers - Front

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I do think this set looks really nice and definitely captures the look of RC cars. There's a bit of an unfinished look to it; though some parts of this are passable. For example, it's logical that there's no seats to be seen here. 

Completed Set - Stickers - Rear 

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The rear is definitely the messiest view, as there's not a whole lot here to hide the motor parts. I think the suspension doesn't do as good of a job back here, most RC cars that I used to have tended to have angled rear suspension, much in the same was as the front of the car. Functionally, though, I'm not sure how different it is from what they've done here.

Completed Set - Stickers - Profile

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I really like the overall stance this buggy has, it definitely looks ready to tackle any terrain that's thrown it's way. It's also built in such a way to where it should be pretty stable when bouncing over terrain or off ramps

Completed Set - Stickers - Rear

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Size Comparison

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Compared to the larger pullback set, at 160 pieces more this set definitely takes up more space. While I can't show it yet due to embargos, we will see how this compares to the Senna later. 

 

Size Comparison

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Here it is compared to a set of a similar color sake. For 374 pieces, it certainly manages to take up a fair amount of space. 

Front Suspension:

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The front suspension works rather well, there's a good range of motion allowed here. While it's tough to show in photos, it is independent, allowing you to favor one side over the other. With that said, this isn't a particularly heavy vehicle,, so I am unsure of the usefulness of this feature, or it's limited, at least.

Steering

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The steering range seems decent enough, pretty comparable to RC toys I had as a kid, anyway.

Rear Suspension:

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Here we can see the range of the rear suspension. 

Opening...Hood?

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According to the official Lego description, this thing is supposed to have an opening hood-

Quote

The buggy is angled at the front to give stability when jumping and performing tricks, just like classic RC toy cars. With front and back suspension (a first for LEGO Technic), plus huge tires, an opening hood, antenna and retro stickers, this car is packed with attitude.

As far as I can tell, this is the hood, and yeah that's about as far as it opens. The instructions don't really seem to show this feature anyway. Unless I'm missing something, this is quite a stretch, LEGO.

Function Video (manual function only, no Control+ features shown yet)

Set Ratings (relative to other sets in this size class):

Visual Design: 8

Build Experience: 5

Execution of features: TBD

Playability: TBD

Parts/Value: 7

Okay so as mentioned at the start, Features/Playability is currently TBD as I do not have the proper Control+ element of the set to review it. (I could mess around with the powered up app, but given this is an official review, I want to review these features as they were intended with the set, so we will wait on these aspects.)

However, what I can talk about is what you get with this set. At $130, you get 374 pieces, many of which are recolored or new elements, including those wonderful new tires. You also get $170 USD (MSRP) worth of Control+ elements. While it has about 100 less pieces than the Top Gear car released last year, it does have more newer and interesting elements by comparison. For that, I gave this set an 7 on parts/value. Sure, if you already have a bunch of Control+ elements laying around, this score will likely be lower for you, since this creates a pretty big price wall to get over if you just want the buggy or it's pieces, minus the Control elements. Build experience is a 5; For a 374 piece set it's fine, but it's definitely not as involved as what you'd get with many other $130 sets. Visual design gets a 8. It's not perfect, but as a replication of an RC car, many things are passable. The colors are striking, and the angles/shaping of the car really lend themselves well to form as well as function. In my opinion, it is certainly more pleasing and "fun" to look at than the messy Top Gear car, and I love that it embraces such a wild design instead of going for realism.

For now, I will leave you with this. Once I can get this thing moving with the intended app, we will discuss the app experience and how this set performs on some different terrain. I will say that is likely an element that could make or break this set; It's got the bones to be a really fun offroader, but we all saw how miserable the performance of the Top Gear car was. I doubt this will hold a candle to true RC cars, but I am curious nonetheless. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this first segment of this review.

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That new differential is btw. included also in 51515 set.

Those hard springs on the front seem a bit strange choice, wouldn't soft springs do better? How about trying to swap the front and rear springs? Or just switch them to soft ones?

I'm really excited about those alternating hole beams, though I'm not sure they alone justify buying of the set as there's little other parts that are interesting to me...

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Great review! Personally, I would score the design higher since it looks so good and the color scheme is just fantastic.

Edited by JintaiZ

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Awesome!! Love the 15L beam thing

1 hour ago, VBBN said:

 

*DISCLAIMER: As of the time of this review being released (12/15), I do not yet have access to the Control+ app with the Buggy-specific control build. Until then, I will not be reviewing the Control+ element of this set. Review will be updated once I am able

 

 

You can use the buwizz app right?

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11 minutes ago, Newest_Tech320 said:

You can use the buwizz app right?

He could use the Powered Up app as well, but I guess the point is to review with the official solution (which is really not worth to wait for this time...)

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Cross beams...wow. Didn't expect them to be found in the Technic line-up. But since most of the clone other brands use them, I reckon TLG had to produce these. 

Those tires are really cool.

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55 minutes ago, Newest_Tech320 said:

Awesome!! Love the 15L beam thing

You can use the buwizz app right?

 

41 minutes ago, kbalage said:

He could use the Powered Up app as well, but I guess the point is to review with the official solution (which is really not worth to wait for this time...)

Partially to review what the app offers, but also I need to wait a bit of time before I can test this outside, these functions aren't exactly ideal in a wet/snowy environment haha. I've tested it using the Powered Up app, what I can say immediately is it seems to be faster than the Top Gear car, and accelerates/decelerates instantly, whereas I believe the Top Gear car had a faux 3-speed system. However, even from some minor obstacles in my house, the lack of powered front wheels seems to suggest this will not handle much other than level terrain. 

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Of all the Technic sets lately, this is what I am most interested on... then I saw the price. Okay. Maybe I will wait for a few % discount. The design looks very appropriate ...

Looking forward for the playability score as this will be most critical criteria whether it is go or no-go decision for me.

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Thanks for the review so far. I'm totally not into this whole powered-up or control+ thing, but this seems to be the best starter set for it so far. Much better than that ugly top gear car. I'm tempted to want one, which is a first for control+ stuff. This has a lot to do with the nice new parts (15L beam and tires), but as a Lego model it's also very likeable. I like how it's a rather bare-bones, no-frills model, while still looking really nice.

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Thanks for the review so far. I haven’t ventured into the world of Control+ yet. I’ve got PF and also an SBrick. So is Control+ worth getting because at this price and with the new liftarms and tyres this may be the set to buy 

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Its a great set but the control layout is not very good, it's all on one side, one "stick" sort of thing, forward, backward, left and right with your left thumb.

It would have been better if you had the option to switch it to steering on one side and accelerator on the other so you could use both thumbs separately, doesn't look like its possible at the moment, maybe in an app update in the future, hopefully.

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