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[REVIEW] 42117 Race Plane

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Set Name: 42117 Race Plane
Pieces: 145
Price: $9.99 | 9.99€
Year of Release: 1HY 2021

Hello and welcome to the review of 42117 Race Plane, one of the two smaller $10 sets from the 1HY 2021 range. The set comes with a striking color scheme- what about it's build, parts, function? Let's find out

First, a big thank you to Lego for providing us this wave of sets to review and showcase! 

Box Front

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As you would expect, the box shows the plane in action, suggesting it had just been through some sort of aerial course. 

Box Rear

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The rear of the box shows the B model, a sort of Delta wing inspired build. When instructions are available, I'll update this review with some details on that model.

Box Detail

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A few sides of the box, the white wing piece is used as the 1:1 comparison.

Contents

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Content wise, we get the instructions, a sticker sheet, two loose wing pieces, and three bags of parts.

Sticker Sheet

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I will apologize in advance for some difficulties I have had with color balance in this review, the color combination of orange and dark turquoise was rather brutal on my camera and normal editing process. With that in mind, the stickers above appear more of a red color, but rest assured they are orange like the parts in the set.

Parts

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Here is a complete overview of the included parts. We will talk about what's new in a moment. You get a nice selection of some dark turquoise pieces, certainly not a color that's in big supply yet in Technic. (Though, depending on your perspective, you'll either appreciate having some elements in this color, or dislike that they are harder to use due to the rarity of other elements in that color.)

Recolors:

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While there are no new parts, we do get a few elements recolored in Dark Turquoise.

The Build

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Here we have the start of the build. We can see the beginning of the function, the spinning front propellor.

Adding Body

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Much of the shaping around the nose of the plane is done via system parts. While not pictured, it's worth noting you can rotate these panels up a bit. Not really an official feature, but it does allow you to see the function a bit, sort of a mock-engine bay door.

Landing Gear

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The wheels are mounted to the underside, with gearing appropriate to drive the propellor when the vehicle is moved forward.  No way to retract the gear, though some forms of plane like this do not have retractable gear, so it's passable. Of course, this particular gearing leaves little ground clearance.

Finished Plane - No Stickers - Front

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We finish off the plane by adding on the cockpit, again which uses a fair amount of system elements. I wanted to provide you a view of what this plane looks like without any stickers, in case you plan to leave them off. Overall pretty nice looking, I think the colors are well distributed here.

Finished Plane - No Stickers - Back

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Here's the back view.

Finished Plane - Stickers - Front

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The stickers add some extra visual interest- more orange and white, for one thing. I do like the edge marker stickers added to the propellor when he blades are in motion, though the rough texture of the blades means that the stickers don't grip all too well.

Finished Plane - Stickers - Rear

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Spinning around to the backside again, I wanted to discuss one of the visual design points that I'm not a fan of- the center rear wing. The piece used here was first introduced in Bionicle, and while I liked the look of it then, it does not really match the visual smoothness that the other surfaces on this plane have. It seems a little more out of place here than on 42044, for example.

Finished Plane - Stickers - Side

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It sticks out a bit more here. The shaping of the plane overall is decent, for the size and complexity at least.

Function Video

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

Visual Design: 7

Build Experience: 6

Features: 6

Playability: 7

Parts/Value: 6

Overall: 6.4

When I reviewed the 1HY 2020 sets, some people requested that I add some rating similar to many other Technic reviews; with these smaller sets, I find it's difficult to determine how to rate them, as comparing a $10 set to a $270 Sian on the same scale is tough. So, with that in mind, my above rating are as compared to other $10 Technic sets only.

The visual design of the set is fine and captures the look of a race plane without much issue. Points were taken off mainly due to the usage of the Bionicle fin which aesthetically is a little jarring, and the front landing gear is definitely compromised appearance wise by the function. But, overall it's a nice looking plane and the system helps to sculpt it. The build experience and features are marked at "middle ground." There are limitations to what you can do at this scale; the function works well, but overall many other small sets have comparably more functions than this one due to the nature of the vehicle they take on. There's not much else that I could see a kid really demanding from this set in particular. Though I do take some points off for the build as overall it's not very interesting. A basic body, add on the wings, and a few system bricks overall remove much of the interest to it. Playability is high, this is a set meant for kids and they will have plenty of fun swooshing it around, driving it along to make the propeller spin, and it's a sturdy set that won't come apart easily. For the adult oriented view, the parts/value is fine- $10 for 145 pieces is decent, we get a good selection of dark turquoise pieces here, some of which are new to this set. Like I said, this area is up for debate as some people may not find much value in the relatively rare color just yet.

Overall the set scores a 6.4, average for a small set. It's good for kids, has a nice visual design and color scheme, and a good selection of parts. With that said, when compared to other small sets like 42102, though, it's not quite as engaging, which keeps it from the upper tier.

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Great review! I adore its color scheme, but I think there's some parts of the set that could have been done better.

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Color scheme looks a lot like BOOST. Not too big of a fan, but I reckon it's okay for a race plane.

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6 hours ago, Jim said:

Color scheme looks a lot like BOOST. Not too big of a fan, but I reckon it's okay for a race plane.

In Boost dark azur is used, not turquoise, if I'm not wrong. But, yeah, I understand what you mean.

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