Jim

[REVIEW] 42128 - Heavy-duty Tow Truck

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125 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you like this set?



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19 hours ago, howitzer said:

I don't think there's any single part type that is absolutely essential to Lego builds, but these alternating hole beams have been on the wishlist of many Technic builders for a long time. I'm predicting that they will become very common in the future, much like the pin with pinhole part, which was introduced only in 2015, but very soon you'd find them everywhere in Technic builds.

My point is not whether this is a useful element, it will be, no doubt. I just think it isn't out of kindness towards AFOL's but rather a tactic to keep the income flowing. That is of course one way to run a business - I just find it a bit irritating that it's most like profit that drives this. 

As for the pin-with-pinhole, I don't really see the comparison with the perpendicular beams. For me that part is more an extension, allowing adding pin attachements where it would not otherwise be possible. The perpendicular beam radically changes the internal constructions - which to me not necessarily is a good thing as it makes it hard to reuse our existing parts without having to buy (initially) expensive and hard-to-find parts if we what to achieve similar builds as the official.

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23 hours ago, VBBN said:

Great review as Always Jim.

I was curious to see them start using those modified liftarms after the Off-road Buggy, nice to see them in use here, and with more sizing. Looks like a good set to potentially get some pnematics experience with, this one may end up on my wishlist!

Thanks Veebs! The perpendicular liftarms are a great addition to the arsenal. Of course, we weren't exactly needing them, but that they exist, we will gladly use them. As with, most new parts.

This is a great set to work with Pneumatics indeed.

5 hours ago, mic8per_ said:

Great review, amazing set! I am going to buy this set. It looks really good without the stickers.

Thanks! I agree, it does look good.

21 hours ago, jensrodi said:

I consider this is deliberate tactic from LEGO to include just a small number of new parts, to "force" AFOL's to buy the new sets, even though they already have the other 99% of the parts in storage. I my view there is no real reason for perpendicular beams. Yes, they make some builds easier, but all of it can be realised without these beams. Just look at for instance 42043, which in many ways could be compared to this new model.

That said, I must complement on a very thorough review. It is a joy to read :-)

Thanks!

Of course, it's a tactic to introduce new parts. The main reason is to keep innovating (and staying ahead of or keeping up with the competition) which results in boosting sales (by introducing new parts, new designs, new possibilities).

I still think the perpendicular liftarms are a direct response to clone brands and RV vehicles. And AFOLs begging for them :laugh:  

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37 minutes ago, jensrodi said:

My point is not whether this is a useful element, it will be, no doubt. I just think it isn't out of kindness towards AFOL's but rather a tactic to keep the income flowing. That is of course one way to run a business - I just find it a bit irritating that it's most like profit that drives this. 

As for the pin-with-pinhole, I don't really see the comparison with the perpendicular beams. For me that part is more an extension, allowing adding pin attachements where it would not otherwise be possible. The perpendicular beam radically changes the internal constructions - which to me not necessarily is a good thing as it makes it hard to reuse our existing parts without having to buy (initially) expensive and hard-to-find parts if we what to achieve similar builds as the official.

Well, TLG doesn't run on charity, so of course it's a tactic to keep the income flowing. The product has to evolve to meet the evolving needs and wants of the customers, and adding new useful parts is a great way to keep people engaged.

I don't think the new beams change the construction style that much, it's nothing like the transition from studful to studless. The new beams just allows more flexibility in design. Also, the new parts should soon be available in B&P, that's where I bought the new panels etc. Of course the real problem with the beams is that getting them in various lengths will probably take a long time, as TLG fills the gaps only as it suits their design needs. So for a while we're stuck with only few different kinds of the new beams.

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On 7/18/2021 at 10:15 PM, Coolusername said:

How do these "new" valves actually feel? The old ones always had no, how could i describe it, ratchet stop point really, you couldn't "lock" them in place.

These new valves are way better than the old ones, but don't expect miracles.

On 7/18/2021 at 8:53 PM, LEGO Train 12 Volts said:

Great review, beautiful truck and amazing livery! :pir-wub:

Thanks! 

On 7/18/2021 at 4:00 PM, Ullum Zurt said:

With that in mind, I was already beginning to source for another tank and pneumatic tubes for 42128 as well. But if there isn't a need for precise control of the pneumatic cylinders, as in they just need to move from 1 extreme to the other, and that can be achieved by 2-3 pumps, then perhaps adding a tank may not be worth the effort/cost.

Any thoughts on this?

The boom works like a charm with 2 or 3 pumps. The wheel lift was a bit harder but still very doable with the manual pump.

I do like the airtanks, but I agree they aren't really necessary in this set.

52 minutes ago, jensrodi said:

My point is not whether this is a useful element, it will be, no doubt. I just think it isn't out of kindness towards AFOL's but rather a tactic to keep the income flowing. That is of course one way to run a business - I just find it a bit irritating that it's most like profit that drives this. 

The same goes for almost every brand...in almost every business. It's called innovation.

You do need to keep in mind that the average "attention span" of a Technic consumer is about 5 years, from (let's say) 10 to 15. We are AFOLs and we are engaged much longer, so we actually see a lot of things changing. The regular customer just sees a snapshot.

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5 hours ago, Jim said:

These new valves are way better than the old ones, but don't expect miracles

 

How exactly are they better?

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24 minutes ago, Coolusername said:

The old ones feel numb and don't really have a set point. You have to feel where the middle is...

I agree.

So, how exactly are the new ones better?

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I though it's a normal set as usual,

but I changed my mind after watching your review,  

it has well design and the functions are good to play

thanks your rewiew, Jim

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Hmmm, interesting set. I've completely stopped buying technic sets due to them being not being technical enough for my taste and/or have PU (absolute showstopper). But this set checks a lot of positive boxes... *setting aside some money*. Nice review!

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On 7/21/2021 at 7:45 PM, Jim said:

The same goes for almost every brand...in almost every business. It's called innovation.

Sure, it is a form of innovation, but for what purpose. For me, the core essence of LEGO, is the huge amount of possibilities you have with very few parts, which I think was one of the original ideas with the brick. Wasn't it quite recently LEGO ran adds which highlighted that the insane number of combinations you could achieve with just a few 2x4 bricks. To me, this sort of contradict that way of thinking. In the end, innovation is not just inventing new parts for fun (or profit), it is just as much creating new constructions using the parts that are already available. This is something we see daily in the AFOL community - something I love to see and keeps me amazed.

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3 hours ago, jensrodi said:

Sure, it is a form of innovation, but for what purpose. For me, the core essence of LEGO, is the huge amount of possibilities you have with very few parts, which I think was one of the original ideas with the brick. Wasn't it quite recently LEGO ran adds which highlighted that the insane number of combinations you could achieve with just a few 2x4 bricks. To me, this sort of contradict that way of thinking. In the end, innovation is not just inventing new parts for fun (or profit), it is just as much creating new constructions using the parts that are already available. This is something we see daily in the AFOL community - something I love to see and keeps me amazed.

While you absolutely have a point, we would still be stuck with two by fours, if TLG kept thinking like that. New parts are introduced because they allow for other building techniques. They might not be necessary, but they give us more options.

Another example is studdless. We didn't need studless liftarms. Technic bricks where perfectly fine. Yet, now we all (most of us) love studless building. Some changes are gradually, some are drastically. The point being, a product evolves.

But this warrants a topic of its own. And we might even have such a topic already :sweet:

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On 7/22/2021 at 4:41 AM, Ullum Zurt said:

I agree.

So, how exactly are the new ones better?

Nobody seems to want to answer, lol, so I guess I'll give it a try. They have been completely redesigned, my first set with the new ones was The Forest Machine, my last set with the old ones was the Volvo Wheeled Loader set. Basically they got totally redesigned, you can check pictures to see for yourself. The old ones seemed a bit finicky, the new ones less so, more precise. Also they moved the inlets so even though they are slightly larger, you can actually fit them in tighter spaces. The biggest difference is now they have an axle hole through them, so you can activate them by two different methods. 

They are definitely much improved, although they still don't click or ratchet into position, it is however easier to make precise adjustments.

Hope this helps a little, now lets get back on topic, lol.

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7 hours ago, Johnny1360 said:

Nobody seems to want to answer, lol, so I guess I'll give it a try. They have been completely redesigned, my first set with the new ones was The Forest Machine, my last set with the old ones was the Volvo Wheeled Loader set. Basically they got totally redesigned, you can check pictures to see for yourself. The old ones seemed a bit finicky, the new ones less so, more precise. Also they moved the inlets so even though they are slightly larger, you can actually fit them in tighter spaces. The biggest difference is now they have an axle hole through them, so you can activate them by two different methods. 

They are definitely much improved, although they still don't click or ratchet into position, it is however easier to make precise adjustments.

Hope this helps a little, now lets get back on topic, lol.

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

The only sets with pneumatics that I have are 42043 and 42053. Was not really interested in 42080 and so never really read-up about the newer valves.

I am totally looking forward to getting 42128 though. The plethora of functions and the lack of C+ are the biggest draws. Thanks for the review!

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I hope someone from Lego reads this and notes that some of us avoid sets with the current generation of "smart" electronics.  This set shows that Lego can still put out mechanically interesting sets without electronics - I hope they continue to do so.

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Hey  there, my idea about using an airtank in 42128 :)

I don't think an airtank is useful for this model. Why? Because, in my opinion, airtanks are only usefull when there are lot's of or long hoses which need a lot of air volume or the model has an electric compressor which has a small stroke. Models like 42043 or 8110 benefit a lot from the airtank as the functions are run with the valves, which is tricky, but can be really smooth with the big air volume (rather constant pressure) from an airtank.

But I would play  42128 different. First set the function with the valve and then use the manuel pump to move the cylinder which allows fast and smoothish action due to the air volume each push provides. Also just push the pump slow for slow movement.

yes, compressors run fast but in my experience the manual pumps have an advantage with the bigger volume. If I use airtanks I always try  pump them up to the max before using a function

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Plus to that, I found a trick on how to immitate the air tank which works the best, especially when the total cspacity of cylinder and hoses is significant.

Just keep the valves not in the cenral-neutral position but in raised/lowered one. Then, when push the pump, you inflste not only suppliemnt hoses (from pump to valves) but all the system, all hoses and all cylinders. Then, when the total pressure is big enought, it will able to extend/retract several cylinders even several times without using the pump. 

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Agree! Also if you want to immitate the air tank you could run long hoses throughout your build, which probably get the same volume as a tank.

42128s older brother 8462 has 2 tanks, but they are completely useless, since you are not using the pneumatic functions in this set constantly. You are just pumping air into tanks for nothing before pressure reaches the cylinders.

TLG discontinued them for a reason. They are just not as useful as people think. Probably only useful with a compressor in a build you need the functions constantly,

like the EW60E or forest harvester thing, or that backhoe digger from like 20 years ago, which got like 10 cylinders and tons of hoses and valves

On 7/28/2021 at 3:34 AM, Hrafn said:

I hope someone from Lego reads this and notes that some of us avoid sets with the current generation of "smart" electronics.  This set shows that Lego can still put out mechanically interesting sets without electronics - I hope they continue to do so.

Sale numbers should speak for itself i guess ;)

Edited by Polarlicht

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2 hours ago, Polarlicht said:

Sale numbers should speak for itself i guess ;)

And they are, I belive. This set was purlely sold in a few hours since release and now all shops have increased the prices, some even in 3 times as the set is "will be ordered for shopping from other country". Honestly, it was the very first time I saw such caption. 

Besides all the advantages, I still cannot get rid of idea that the model is excessively big for its set of functions. Maybe, because it replicates an American truck? 😁

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8 hours ago, Void_S said:

This set was purlely sold in a few hours since release

Our stores also have the Zetros, but not even a copy of the Tow truck. When I sow "Sold out" on the Lego store, I was like: Whaaaaaat?! Don't remember such a hype for a Technic set.

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The local retailer where I buy most of my Lego has it in stock aplenty (I already received mine), but they generally stock huge amounts of new sets, and they too are apparently selling it also a lot. On the other hand Zetros is actually less available in their stock, though it's hard to say if it's because of sales or if they just stocked less of it or maybe haven't received as much of them.

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Looking at the Smyth's and Argos websites can give some idea of how well a set is selling. Smyth's currently has the tow truck at number 4 (out of all Lego sets) and top of the Technic theme, while Argos also shows strong sales, top of the Technic theme. The Zetros on Smyth's UK shows it's around 13th across all Lego (not bad TBH considering there's many hundreds of sets and all the new sets released at the same time). But yeah, tow truck is currently doing very very well it appears. 

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HI,

i purchased mine from smyths, unfortunetley it was the same price as on lego.com (£139.99)

I open it as well as 42129 on the 10th of august :classic:

Edited by SNIPE

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First set in ages I bought, as I always loved pneumatics. At first the colors didn't say much to me on the photo's, but in real life they look very good, and right color for the MOC I wanted to make with the cylinders.

Ordered set on 31st July, Shipped monday 2nd, received 3rd. Build by evening of 3rd, fully broken down and parts sorted by 4th morning, MOC finished today, and I like it. But now running into problems with Studio. The Pump does not exist there yet (even thought it was in a 2016 set already?!) and the 11L perpendicular beams aren't made yet, but those I managed to make myselve with Studio Part Designer. If anyone with part designer skills reads this, try to make it for all future MOC's by everyone? :D

I really liked the original set internals, very good use of the items, and had a big smile a few times, as I should remember that. I'ld rate the set 9.5/10 If they would give a few extra hoses it would be 10/10, then I could cut those up.

 

EDIT: And another missing element, the pneumatic valve. This will be a hard design to make..

Edited by Mr Jos

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4 hours ago, Mr Jos said:

I managed to make myselve with Studio Part Designer. If anyone with part designer skills reads this, try to make it for all future MOC's by everyone? :D

You can take my Studio file with all parts made for this set (yes, including the vakvvalves 2.0): https://bricksafe.com/pages/Void_s/studio-models (there are also other sets with parts were missing in Studio). 

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