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mostlytechnic

[REVIEW] 42120 Technic Rescue Hovercraft

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  1. 1. Your opinion of the set?

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Technic Rescue Hovercraft

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Thanks to Lego and EB for this review set. 

Over the years, Lego has made multiple hovercrafts. After all, there's only so many cars, spaceships, and fire trucks that kids need. There have been police and fire hovercrafts, but Technic has had 3:

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1993's 193 piece single-person hovercraft. 

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2013 had another single person hovercraft, again in the <200 piece range.

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2018 brought a 1000 piece, much larger set, both in literal size and in the design of the hovercraft it's representing. 

Now, in 2021, there is an in-between set, both in design and part count. 

Name: Rescue Hovercraft

Set Number: 42120

Pieces: 457

Price: $29.99

Minifigs: 0

Theme: Technic

 

The Box Front

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The never-ending battle between the graphic designer and the lawyer... one wants a dynamic shot of the toy racing across the water. The other doesn't want to get sued when kids' toys sink in the bathtub. 

Ok, fine, no one is going to sue over a non-floating toy (probably). But on the other hand, customer service doesn't want to deal with calls about stickers peeling after getting wet.

More importantly, what is that in the bottom corner? There's a strange logo that I'd almost forgotten about. 2 in 1? THERE'S A B-MODEL? Yes, there is. (unfortunately, the instructions aren't online or in the app yet, so I'll have to add that later)

 

The Box Back

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I'll cover the functions later, so I want to focus on the B-model here. That is a good looking small airplane! And it looks loaded with functions. I see a gear on the wheels, so that's probably going to spin the props when you roll it. There's also a knob on top of the plane, so I'm assuming that will move the flaps on the wings. Even the stickers don't seem terribly out of place - although this looks pretty small to be a "rescue" aircraft. 

 

The Box Top

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Technic sets love to use a wheel for the 1:1 size reference. Here, they got as close as possible and used the fan on the deck. Also, the lawyers now speak a lot of languages :head_back:

 

The Contents

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Pretty typical fare for this size set - 3 numbered bags, a small manual, and a sticker sheet. There are a few of the newer parts, but nothing that stood out. Lots of orange panels though! Often Technic sets have a few panels of the "visible" color and the bulk of the parts are grey/black. Since this is smaller, the ratio of external to internal is higher and so there's a lot of orange in here. 

The Build, Part 1

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Bag 1 builds the core of the mechanisms. There is a pair of tiny wheels up front that handle the steering via the red liftarm linkage. There are a pair of wedge belt wheels that transmit motion to the vertical axles at the back. And do you see what those are? Lime? There haven't been lime wedge belt wheels since around 2012. Surely they didn't produce these in lime just for this set where they're not even visible, so I'm assuming there's something else in the 2021 lineup that will make more obvious use of them. Anyone know what? 

Also, the front has a single lime 3L pin with pinhole in lime. Those were produced for the big Lambo set, and now we have one appearing in a much smaller set. Again, it's going to get completely hidden, so it's just a secret bit of inside color. 

 

The Build, Part 2

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Bag #2 completed the base of the hovercraft. There's some fairly complex building to get the clear/red/green "lights" at the nose. Then it builds the deck with its 2 or 3 seats. Later, that's going to be a bit of a pain to attach. There's so many connection points - 8 pins around the perimeter, more in the middle, and gearing for the steering. 

 

The Build, Part 3

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Bag 3 completes the build with more cosmetics, all the stickers, and the rear fans. There's the answer to how many seats - it's 3, with the steering in the center seat position. The handlebar there does not move with the steering; it's just cosmetic. However, the steering knob on top DOES move both the hidden wheels underneath and rotates the fan pods at the back. Rolling the hovercraft spins the fans at the rear (NOT the front fan) and makes the blue lights on the roof rotate. That's a nice extra touch. 

The stickers clearly add a lot to the vehicle. I didn't find them hard to put on; there's not much you have to align between pieces. 

There is one part I don't like. The black hull is vertical at the front and back, but curves inward along the side. That's due to the selection of panels, but I think I'd prefer for the sides to be straight vertical as well. Having two different profiles looks odd - and clearly the designers agree, since they hid the sides with fake water on the front of the box. 

 

The Underside

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Not a lot to see here - most of it was already visible in the earlier build photos. This angle is clearly not meant to ever be seen. 

 

The Driver?

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Technically, you can fit a minifig in the seats. However, it's not really minifig scale. Sorry. 

 

The Rear

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The fans and the grey guards both spin as the hovercraft rolls. That's not accurate, but understandable given the scale. I appreciate the addition of a few cosmetic details - the antennae and life preserver fill in an otherwise empty area of deck. 

 

The Ratings

Design: 8

Build Experience: 6

Features: 9

Playability: 7

Parts/Value: 8

Overall: 8

I really like this little set. It feels like a good Lego value - 450 parts for $30? That's not bad! It's also pretty decent size - big enough to play with and feels big enough to be a $30 Lego set. The part count isn't too inflated with tiny pieces. It has the basic features - steering and fans - but makes them a little extra complex. Lego calls this set an 8+, and that seems ok. Kids may need some help with marrying the deck to the hull, but overall, it's not an overly difficult build. And I'm really looking forward to the B model instructions being released. That looks like a great alternate build. 

I took off a little on the build experience - it's a pretty symmetrical model, so there's a lot of duplicate building (either identical fan housings, or mirrored sections). The one step is also a little tricky. As a kids toy though, it's nicely swooshable and fits the hand nicely. 

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Thanks for the review! I'm pretty impressed with the set, especially with the B model.

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I totally dig the orange and black bits, but the extremely poor skirt and the rotating prop-guards put this one in below average for me. 8824 was one of my favorite sets as a kid, and this thing just looks poor and overdesigned by comparison.

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2 hours ago, vectormatic said:

I totally dig the orange and black bits, but the extremely poor skirt and the rotating prop-guards put this one in below average for me. 8824 was one of my favorite sets as a kid, and this thing just looks poor and overdesigned by comparison.

I agree on the rotating prop guards being a letdown. I was surprised by them - there's studs on the dish after all, but they covered them with a round tile! I think there just isn't a great way to connect the guard to the black bracket they're using for the right-angle gearing connection. 

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I also loved the 8824 and found it odd that those rubber bumpers were never used more as they made a pretty nice looking model.

The skirt in this hovercraft is indeed a serious cosmetic flaw, as are the rotating prop guards. Still I believe I'm going to get it, some nice parts and interesting B-model here.

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While I like both this and the new 42121 excavator I can't help but think that they should have been minifig scale. These are really sets intended to be played with by kids.

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2 hours ago, XenoRad said:

While I like both this and the new 42121 excavator I can't help but think that they should have been minifig scale. These are really sets intended to be played with by kids.

Both are close to minifig, but then, Technic is never minifig scale. There hasn't ever been a Technic set in minifig scale - as close as this is, it'd look WAY out of place in a Lego City scene.

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7 hours ago, mostlytechnic said:

Both are close to minifig, but then, Technic is never minifig scale. There hasn't ever been a Technic set in minifig scale - as close as this is, it'd look WAY out of place in a Lego City scene.

Not offically commented but 42055 BWE, 42064 ocean explorer and 42100 liebherr is minifig scale.

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Thank you for the funny review and the crisp pictures!

I think, for the money it has absolute "above average" play features, together with an obviously great B-model!

Now they should just put the building instructions for the B-model in the package!

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