VBBN

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  1. I have merged this with the existing thread. Please take care to search around for existing topics such as this before creating new ones, as often times there are established threads for such questions
  2. VBBN

    Where is LEGO Going?

    I vastly, VASTLY prefer the idea of instructions being digital. Lego has to keep up with environmental demands. I have seen countless companies continue to push for more economical solutions to instructions/packing. While many of these solutions are great, It'd be impossible for Lego to downgrade their instructions to the level of single-color instructions or brown backed pamphlets. People complain about “not being able to tell between black and dark gray” enough as it is with Lego’s highly above average instruction quality. Doesnt matter if you are staring at a booklet or staring at an iPad screen: instructions are instructions. But in a digital landscape, we can see better color separation, the ability to zoom in, and who knows what improvements will come in the future- on the fly error corrections? Animated depictions of what pieces go where? Imagine if you looked at the “pieces necessary” section of a step but couldn’t find where that piece goes, but you could tap on that piece and it would show you? Adapting to the future doesn’t always mean a bad thing. Lego is going to evolve and adapt over time, as it always has. You can’t seriously look at where lego started, with wooden toys and metal cars and whatnot, and say it hasn’t evolved from that in its inception. It always has been a changing thing, and always will be, as any good product should be in my opinion.
  3. VBBN

    What did you buy today?

    Technic Jeep Wrangler. I drive a yellow JL in real life so it was a must!
  4. This review is now live!
  5. Set Name: 42123 McLaren Senna GTR Pieces: 830 Year of Release: 1HY 2021 Price: 49,99€ / $49,99 / £44.99 / AU$89.99 / CA$69.99 Hello and welcome to my review of 42123, the McLaren Senna GTR. A huge thank you to Lego for providing us this set to review and discuss! As always, all opinions will be my own, and I was indeed quite interested to see what this set has to offer. In 2019, Lego introduced us to 42093, the Corvette ZR1. It seemed that set was establishing a new scale of Technic vehicles, to which we also saw the likes of in 42098, Car Transporter. Now, Lego has continued this lineup with the Senna GTR. The price is a little strange on this one, here in the US it's $50 same as the ZR1, but with 251 more pieces, making it a great deal overall, parts wise. Though it seems that for other countries it's a bit pricier than the ZR1 was, not sure how all of that was calculated. Regardless, has 251 more pieces and isn't Lego's first rodeo at this scale anymore, but does this mean it's better? Box Unlike it's larger Ferrari wave mate, this set comes packaged in more traditional Technic packaging, along with a 10+ rating. This definitely suggests the target market for this new scale is for those who are getting in to technic, but not ready for the much larger sets. (Or, alternatively, it is of course a more reasonably priced Technic car for those not wanting to shell out triple digits for the bigger sets.) Box Rear As you would expect, the rear shows us the set features and some stats from the official car. Stickers Unlike the ZR1 which was a more traditional street car, the Senna GTR here is loaded with racing graphics, and the sticker sheet definitely reflects that with a total of 46 stickers. The printing is good and the silver stickers have a nice metallic finish. This is the first set of stickers, though, that I have had quality issues with- some of the stickers started to come off of their adhesive backing, and so there are a few spots where the stickers do not stick entirely to the part, an annoyance to be sure. New Pieces: The only new mold in this set is the new 2x3 panel, which is seen in quite a few of the 1HY sets. We get two in black and two in blue here. Recolors: Mostly some blue recolors - the 3x9x2 arch is printed (with mirror designs). It's a nice print and certainly better than the stickers, though it severely limits the usefulness of this piece. The Build The Senna GTR is a mid-engine car, we can see here how the rear axle is attached to the set's V8 engine, unfortunately on single wheel drive. The engine itself is built extremely similarly to both the ZR1 as well as the Car Transport, utilizing a smaller faux-piston design. Steering We then build up the front of the car, with seats and the front steering. I will say, I think the ZR1 was a little more interesting in terms of these functions, since you had a rear wheel powering a front engine, and also had to work the steering in, which resulted in innovations to it everything in. The build here kept the engine and steering on separate halves of the car. Obviously this is due to the design of the car, but something worth pointing out. Rear The rear of the car takes shape. Very minimal system use here, primarily just for the rear diffuser. Body Panels Here we can see the shaping of the car at the rear. One bonus to this set's color, the blue pins at times can be completely hidden, such as right near the taillights. Roof The roof takes shape, and we add more to the front splitter. We also add in the rather basic dash, which will look at later. Note, of course, that the steering wheel does not control the steering function, this will be controlled via HoG by a gear on top of the car. Hood A cutaway of the hood, the slope in the middle can be fragile at times. Completed Model - No Stickers I generally like to show models without stickers first so that we can analyze the true shaping and color blocking of the model. This is especially useful in sets like this where the car is hidden in racing vinyl. Overall, I think the set does a good job in capturing the look of the Senna GTR, it's more detailed and shaped better than the ZR1, which tended to take some shortcuts in that area. The front fenders of course make this effect strange to look at, but I think what stands out to me is the color blocking at the front of the car; technically, this is supposed to be a blue car with a chrome silver vinyl, but we can see here that lego used light bluish gray as actual body color panels. Personally, I think this should have been handled differently, we will see in a moment. Completed Model - Stickers - Front With the stickers added, we can see that they attempt to pul the front end together. Unfortunately, though, this looks very messy to me, there is a lot of disconnect between the body panels of the car and as a result, the stickers do not connect very well. I also wish that the front pieces themselves could have been silver elements instead of light gray, as the stickers look very odd here. The rest of the car looks good, though, certainly similar to the real model. Completed Model - Stickers - Rear The rear of the car is really good, I think the shaping of the car and spoiler lended themselves very well to the pieces LEGO had available. The exhaust can be seen from a top down angle: Completed Model - Stickers - Top The shaping is decent from a top down view, though the front does look quite crude here with it's sharp angles, something that does not blend well on a McLaren design. I do not have the Car Transport set so I cannot advise if it fits; it's the same width as the ZR1 but ~3 cm longer. Front Here again we can see the front. White 4L bars are used to emulate the LED foglight of the car, but the effect is lost. I prefer for the connectors they are mounted to in black as it better separates them from the color of the hood. The headlights are buried in the front of the car and at most angles you cannot see them, I often look at the model and feel like the front is missing them. Completed Model - Stickers - Profile It is difficult to show in photos, but the set has a very minor angle to it's frame, which does give an extremely subtle tilt. There's a few inaccuracies to the real model here, the main one being the section right above the "GTR" sticker; on the real model, the 12 is very large, it seems Lego struggled to fill this area in with more body panels. Doors The set has opening doors. Interestingly, Lego incorrectly calls them dihedral doors, which are often found on Koenigsegg vehicles. These are more traditional butterfly doors. Interior The interior is basic and offers only a non-functional steering wheel and seats Function Video Function wise, besides the opening doors, this set has HoG steering, and the V8 pistons that work as the rear drive-side wheel spins. Size comparison The Senna has considerably more pieces than the Buggy, though due to so many pins and other smaller panels, it ends up being pretty comparable in size and mass. Here it is with some system sets, for reference. Overall 8.5 DESIGN Keeping the size of this set in mind, it's a good design overall. I do feel like certain elements of the set miss the likeness of the real vehicle, and with 251 extra pieces, I think it's a step forward in detail from the ZR1. However, the nature of the set being a livery-covered race car lends to a messy look. 6 BUILDING EXPERIENCE Average. Less interesting functionality when compared to the ZR1. 4.5 FEATURES I had to hit the set pretty hard here. No differential. The engine is similar to what we've seen at this scale already and not really very interesting, and the steering is almost a standard at this point. Opening doors are really the only thing this set gains over the ZR1 7.5 PLAYABILITY Slightly better than the ZR1 thanks to opening doors. Other than that, it's a car with steering and an engine, sure to please kids. 8 PARTS Good selection of parts with some nice recolors and those new 2x3 panels. 8 VALUE FOR MONEY This really depends on where you live. In the US, you get more parts for the same cost, but in other countries, those extra parts come with reduced functionality compared to the ZR1. 7 A step forward in some ways, a step backwards in others. When I went to rate this set, I decided to first compare it with the ZR1 and the ratings Jim had given when it was first reviewed. Overall, I found myself rating this set lower in most categories, dropping it's score by an average of .9. I think this is a fair rating; When I look at these technic cars, I expect that each time a new one is released, that we will see improvement. In the 1:8 scale range, the Chrion and Sian massively improve upon the rough GT3 RS. When I look at this set compared to the ZR1, I see 251 more parts, but less functionality. The front is still a mess, and the overall look of the car is hindered by the limitation of Technic sculpting. I don't see that evolutionary step forward here. I just see basic functions that we have seen before. I see a car that is sculpted okay, but that would likely be done better justice in System. I am much more interested to see what LEGO can do with $50 price tag and 800+ parts on a more interesting piece of equipment, this just seems to add to the flow of uninspiring car builds. What are your thoughts on this set?
  6. Yeah I noticed a few build issues here- rear tail/elevators are backwards, wheel area is build wrong, and those white 1L beams are missing, those would definitely help the look of the set a bit But great review as well, I agree with you on many of the points here. I like the design, but I’d rather see it scaled up to work out many of the kinks and enrich the functionality.
  7. 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.
  8. Set Name: 42118 Monster Jam Grave DiggerPieces: 212Price: $19.99 | Year of Release: 1HY 2021 Welcome to my review of 42118 Grave Digger, one of the two pull-back sets for the 1HY 2021 wave, and also one of the two Monster Jam branded sets. Pullback sets have been released two per year since 2015, and this time around they get the Monster Jam treatment, a perfect matchup. But how do they stack up compared to pullbacks of the past? Thanks to Lego for sending us these sets to review. As always, all opinions are my own, and I will analyze this set from a few different perspectives. Box Front: Grave Digger is at home in a stadium here, pictured alongside the Monster Jam and Pullback logos. Box Rear The back showcases Grave Digger along with it's real-world counterpart and some specs related to the vehicle. The B model is also shown, an off-road buggy. Something interesting to note is that the buggy doesn't have the stickers applied, unlike the Race Plane B-model. I know Lego has omitted stickers from B models at times in the past, but I do wonder whether this has something to do with licensing, since the stickers are unique to Grave Digger and using them on the B model may not have been permitted? That, and the stickers would look rather silly on this buggy, you'd have sideways flames on the spoiler for example. Box Detail The side of the box has more Monster Jam and Grave Digger logos, some specs of the real vehicle, and the tires as a 1:1 ratio. Unfortunately the specs are pretty messed up on the box here- when we get review sets, they often have some labels slapped on the box. I try to remove them as best I can, but the adhesive was a little strong on this one. Contents Sticker Sheet: Nothing much to say on these yet. They look good, and this is one set where I think they are really necessary to bring the final look of the set together, as they introduce the pink/purple colors to the set. Parts Grave Digger has less pieces than Max-D (212 vs 230), but it makes up for it in two ways: First, more of the elements are larger, and second there are more interesting elements in this set - which we will look at next. First, though, I want to make a comment that Lego has steadily been packing in more elements with these pullback sets. Before 2019, these sets used to have around 130 pieces in each. Then, in 2019, we saw the count jump up to the 220's, though many of those elements were used in side builds. This time around, all 212 elements are focused on Grave Digger itself. Anyway, let's talk about the elephant in the room (I've mentioned this same thing in my Max-D review, so feel free to skip if you've read that one first); Lego introduced an absolutely beautiful new tire this year with the Jeep Wrangler set that would be a perfect fit for these monster trucks...and then didn't use it. I'm quite surprised by this, not only would it be a good way to stretch the new mold, but it would also make these licensed vehicles even more accurate. One working theory I have seen is that the new tires are a slightly more rigid rubber, and due to the light weight of this set, they would not grip the ground as well when the pullback feature is being used, unlike the softer tires included in this set. I do not have the Wrangler yet so I cannot test this now, but I do hope to do so in time. New or Interesting parts As far as new pieces, we get the new 3x7 panel in black, definitely a versatile color. Recolor wise, I believe the 4L lightsaber bars and technic pin connectors in lime are both new, I couldn't find anything on Bricklink for these two. Last, an element that is not new but relatively rare (I believe it's only appeared in one other set?) Is the lime green wheels, which we get 4 of. The Build The build starts off with mounting the pullback motor at an angle, this is to give the vehicle as much height as ground clearance as it can. Framing Similar to Max-D, this set is built like a brick, with every piece being attached and locked in. This is an ideal type of build for a set that will be sent into walls, off the table, etc. Front end work With that durability in mind, we add on a rather overkill front bumper. Body Panels Completed Set - No Stickers - Front From here you can see the completed set and it's shaping without any stickers distracting from the view. Overall, it's not bad- the major issue we can see here is the front bumper. It's not on the real vehicle, and it really stands out in dark gray. But, again, it's there for durability to protect.. the headlights from popping off, maybe? Completed Set - No Stickers - Rear The pullback motor is more noticeable here than on Max-D, mainly because the dark gray stands out more against the black. Completed Set - Stickers - Front The stickers help bring the set closer to it's real life counterpart. As mentioned earlier, the pink/purple is a key part of Grave Digger's look, though I feel even with the stickers it is lacking here. And, yeah, it desperately needs the new tractor tires. Completed Set - Stickers - Rear Another "feature" is that the flag at the back is mounted in such a way that it can freely bounce up and down. Completed Set - Stickers - Head on The shaping is definitely pretty basic here, and everything is squared off by that bumper - definitely not a good angle, this one. Completed Set - Stickers - Rear Interestingly, this hollow-back design is actually pretty accurate to the real vehicle. Completed Set - Stickers - Profile While Max-D focuses on adding some faux suspension, the unique aspect to Grave Digger is they created a bit of the under-body cage using the lightsaber bars. I should mention that there is some slight issues with lime green, similar to the Sian, you can see the green technic pin here is the main culprit, it's slightly more yellowish than the rest. Size Comparison Max-D has more parts than Grave Digger, but many of them go into smaller parts, such as the small spike details. Overall, Grave Digger ends up being slightly longer and taller. (The length is tough to see here, but it's about 1-2 studs longer) Size Comparison Grave Digger is quite a large vehicle, and definitely feels much larger than any of the previously released pullbacks. We can see here that it's quite large compared to a Speed Champions set, and even gets close to the Fiat 500 in size. Function Video Set Ratings (relative to other sets in this size class): Visual Design: 6 Build Experience: 6 Variety of Features: 3 Execution of features: 8 Playability: 6 Parts/Value: 7.5 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. This is even more true when you look at a pullback set. Afterall, how do you rate "functions" for a set such as this? One one hand, you may give it a 3/10 because it only has one function, the pullback feature. On the other, you may give it a 8/10, because all this set promises is a pullback feature, and that feature works very well. So, I've made some modifications here in order to fairly rate this compared to other $20 sets. The visual design gets a 6, overall it's a little messier than Max-D and I think even with the stickers, doesn't quite hit the mark. Plus, the lack of the tractor tires and the unsightly bumper unfortunately take it down. Build experience is good, it's one of the most complicated pullback sets thanks to it's parts count. As far as functionality goes, it's lacking overall as mentioned since it only includes the one single pullback feature, but gets an 8 on execution; the main drawback is that front bumper which reduces the front clearance a bit. Playability also gets a 6 as it changes based on perspective- if you keep the target audience in mind; it's durable, and will stand up to the roughness it'll likely be subjected to. Although from an adult POV, compared to many other $20 sets, it's likely there are other sets with much better play features out there. Parts / value is decent- pullback sets now have been getting quite a few more pieces than in the past, an this one comes with a good selection of rare/new parts compared to the other small sets in this range. Compared with Grave Digger From a parts perspective, I think I see more value in the parts that come with Grave Digger; looks wise, though, I think Max-D is visually a little more interesting and even slightly more accurate to the real vehicle than Grave Digger. What do you think? How do these sets stack up compared to previous pullbacks, and will you pick either of these up?
  9. Set Name: 42119 Monster Jam Max-DPieces: 230Price: $19.99 | Year of Release: 1HY 2021 Welcome to my review of 42119 Max-D, one of the two pull-back sets for the 1HY 2021 wave, and also one of the two Monster Jam branded sets. Pullback sets have been released two per year since 2015, and while staying steady at $20, have gradually increased in parts count. Has this trend continued this year? How do they stack up compared to pullbacks of the past? Thanks to Lego for sending us these sets to review. As always, all opinions are my own, and we will analyze this set from a few different perspectives. Box front: Here we can see Max-D driving through a stadium. Nothing too exciting here; we have the Monster Jam brand logo, as well as the pullback feature logo. Interesting, the Max-D logo is not visible here, but rather on the sides of the box. Box Rear On the rear, we can see the set pictured again, as well as an image of the real vehicle with some specs underneath. On the right side we have the B model, a quad-bike inspired build. One interesting observation here is that the model is pictured without stickers; some have suggested that this is because the stickers would look rather silly on this B model (look, for example, at the yellow curved panel at the front; the Max-D logo would be flipped the wrong way here. However, I think the real reason is because the graphic design of these stickers within itself is a trademark to Max-D, and placing it on the B model would incorrectly brand it as a Monster Jam ATV. Just a theory, but it could explain why the monster jam sets are the two without any stickers on the B model. Another note about the B model- It's very reminiscent of 42034, one of the first pullback sets from 2015 when the two-per-year began. Coincidence or a 5 year anniversary nod? Box Detail On the side we can see more logos, and the tire is used as the 1:1 ratio. It's worth noting that these boxes seem thicker than previous pullback sets. Contents Content wise, this set is pretty impressive. So far, the Technic pullback set with the highest part count sits at 227, Max-D sets the record now at 230. We also have a sticker sheet, unsurprisingly. Sticker Sheet I'm not too familiar with Monster Jam, but from what I can see, this is one of many different designs Max-D has taken on, but seemingly it's most iconic. The stickers are cheesy in design, just like the real thing. Parts Here we have the 230 parts (plus whatever ends up being extras) laid out. We will talk about the new pieces in a moment, but one part I wanted to highlight- the orange wheel hubs, these have only been in 3-4 sets total, so it's nice to see them again here. Another point I'll mention a few times is that Lego continues to pack more value into these pullback sets. Last year, the average part count for one of these sets jumped from ~130 pieces to ~225. However, in 2019 many of those parts were used for side builds, whereas this year, all 230 parts were focused on Max D. You can see above that many of these elements are focused on smaller pieces necessary to created the spiked look on the vehicle. Anyway, let's talk about the elephant in the room: Lego introduced an absolutely beautiful new tire this year with the Jeep Wrangler set that would be a perfect fit for these monster trucks...and then didn't use it. I'm quite surprised by this, not only would it be a good way to stretch the new mold, but it would also make these licensed vehicles even more accurate. One working theory I have seen is that the new tires are a slightly more rigid rubber, and due to the light weight of this set, they would not grip the ground as well when the pullback feature is being used, unlike the softer tires included in this set. I do not have the Wrangler yet so I cannot test this now, but I do hope to do so in time. New part - 3x7 Panel We get two of the new 3x7 panel in DBG. Definitely a useful piece in a pretty neutral color. The Build - Pullback motor Pullback sets are generally focused around one function - the pullback motor. We can see here how it is integrated into the frame, note the use of the tubing pieces are faux-suspension. Framing You can see more of the framing here, the pullback ends up on an angle in the finished set. We can see some yellow & orange used to imitated the flames down the middle of the truck body. Body shaping begins Nothing much to say here, we can see how the shaping is added; everything is secured three times over to ensure durability. Spiked Fenders Max-D is covered in spikes; Lego made a valiant attempt here by slapping viking horns on the fenders. It's a fine effect for this price point, though I believe the roof should have a few as well. Plus, as you can imagine, they don't tend to stay perfectly aligned when you are handling the set. Completed Set - No Stickers - Front Here we have the completed set, minus stickers. I will admit that I usually tend to prefer sets without busy stickers, and this is no exception; it's a clean looking truck, and I do really like how the orange wheels pop against the gray body of the vehicle. Completed Set - No Stickers - Rear Spinning the set around, we can see that again, the center strip of the vehicle is somewhat present thanks to the use of yellow/orange parts. Completed Set - Stickers - Front The stickers add some extra color to the set and flesh out the flame effect down the center of the vehicle. Completed Set - Stickers - Rear Flipping back to the rear again, I will mention the flag mounted at the back; it's loosely mounted in such a way that when this thing hits bumps, the flag will bounce up and down. Sort of a "feature," I guess. Completed Set - Stickers - Head-On Moving to the front bumper, we- uh, well, there shouldn't be a front bumper. Max-D has no need for such silly things, how else is it supposed to crush cars and jump ramps? Like many pullback sets, this was likely built with the intention that kids will send this full-force off of a table, into a wall, whatever. Completed Set - Stickers - Back Ground clearance is a little worse at the back due to the pullback motor. If you try to send this over many obstacles it may get caught on the back tires more easily. Completed Set - Stickers - Profile I'll mention again the tubing used as faux suspension. Certainly for these sets, real suspension is not expected, I think this is a fine cosmetic-only attempt. Certainly better than nothing at all. Size Comparison with Grave Digger Max-D has more parts than Grave Digger, but many of them go into smaller parts, such as the small spike details. Overall, Grave Digger ends up being slightly longer and taller. (The length is tough to see here, but it's about 1-2 studs longer) Size Comparison With System Sets Here's the size compared to a few random system sets. One thing is for sure, these pullback sets are much larger than those in the past. Function Video Set Ratings (relative to other sets in this size class): Visual Design: 7 Build Experience: 6 Variety of Features: 3 Execution of features: 8 Playability: 7 Parts/Value: 6.5 Monster Jam trucks are pretty detailed vehicles, and pulling them off in Technic, at this scale, is tough. When you factor in the pullback feature, the durability required, the budget for this set, I think Lego did about as good of a job as could be expected. It's certainly an interesting looking vehicle, and more cohesive than many of the nonsense pullback sets in the past. Where the set loses points is a) the front bumper (I get it's there for durability, but it definitely messes with the look of the vehicle and b) the lack of the new tractor tires is a huge miss, though possibly one that was made due to the rigid tire material not working with the pullback feature as well as the softer tires used here. The Build experience gets a 6, it's par for the course with pullback sets, though the full 230 pieces going into this build makes it one of the most complicated pullbacks yet. The variety of features gets a 3; it's a pullback, and nothing more. However, the execution of that feature gets an 8; it works great, the main two things working against it are the clearance issues caused by the front bumper and rear axle. Plus, it's durable; again, it's expected that kids will be an absolute menace to these things, launching them into walls, off tables, etc. I dropped this on the ground, and not a single piece fell out of place. Parts are fine, not much in the way of new stuff and certainly those who want gears and the like will skip this one. Compared with Grave Digger When you compare Max-D to it's brother, I think it comes out slightly ahead. It's just visually a little more successful and interesting, and does more to capture the look of the real truck than Grave Digger. What do you think? How do these sets stack up compared to previous pullbacks, and will you pick either of these up?
  10. Set Name: 42116 Skid Steer Loader Pieces: 140 Price: $9.99 | 9.99€ Year of Release: 1HY 2021 Hello and welcome to the review of 42116 Skid Steer Loader, one of the two smaller $10 sets from the 1HY 2021 range! A huge thank you to Lego for providing us these sets to take a look at, and as always, all opinions on this will be my own. Once again, Lego takes a stab at giving us one of the smaller front-end loaders at a reasonable price range. This isn't the first time Lego has taken a shot at the small skid-steer design. On the smaller end of the spectrum we had 8418 at about $6 USD: And slightly higher was 42032 at $20 USD: Now, we move on to 42116, which sits closer to the middle at about $10. (Though with inflation I'd hazard a guess that 8418 would be $10 today as well.) Unlike 8418 though, we get significantly more pieces this time around- so how does this set stack up to it's competitors? Let's find out The Box I know, I know: you were surprised to see this set pictured in front of a construction site. I certainly was expecting it to be floating in water, or flying through space at the very least. Note that as always with our sponsored reviews, the boxes are the European variant, so there is generally less information (such as parts count) on the front of the box. Box Rear The rear primarily focuses on the B model, which in this case is a Hot Rod (although my first thought was a lawnmower, given the bucket hanging off the back). I generally like B models which diverge heavily from the theme of the A model, and this one looks to have some interesting change of function. Box Detail A quick shot of the box edges, we can see the tire is used as the 1:1 ratio. Contents Content wise, we have the instructions, two bags of parts, and a few loose larger elements. No sticker sheet with this one. Parts Here's all of the parts laid out. I generally do my best to research the parts that come with each set to see what may be new/recolored, but I couldn't really find anything that was new here. There are some black 1x1 bushings in the upper right, those are still relatively rare and sparingly used. Always nice to get more of an element like that, will make purchasing them on the aftermarket cheaper, hopefully. Plus, that bucket piece has only been released in 3 sets so far, all of which are pretty expensive, so this is a nice way to get one in a much cheaper set. The Build The build starts with the seating area as well as the function to raise and lower the loader arm. Body paneling Flipping around, we start to add some of the siding to the vehicle. The gray piece is the lower limit marker, so that the loader arm dos not decrease beyond this point. Cockpit and Rollcage We flip the seat down, build up the rollcage/cockpit area, and add some liftarms for the actual boom. Completed Set - Front Here we have the completed build. There's a few differences with this loader compared to the previous two incarnations we saw previously; first, this one reverts back to the 4-wheel design rather than the tracked design, no doubt an easier feat at this scale to pull off. Second, this is the first Lego Skid Steer to feature a single boom design, rather than the traditional double arm model. I know JCB makes loaders in this style. Interestingly, from my research, a primary benefit of the single-boom design is that it allows side entry into the loader, rather than entry through the front. Yet, the size of this set does not allow us to actually see any doors, so that feature goes to waste a little. Completed Set - Front Given the single boom design, tis of course means it's asymmetrical. It's also a fairly narrow build from the front-on view. Completed Set - Side From the side, we can see the two gears that will control the functionality. The gear seated at the top controls the boom, while the side mounted gear will tip the bucket. Completed Set - Rear Well, if you like seeing functions work, you'll like the exposed gears here, but otherwise, it's pretty messy. Completed Set - Bucket The bucket at the front works well with this set, it has a decent capacity overall and meshes well with the functions. We can see here that when the boom is lowered, you can get a slight tilt in the bucket to keep studs in. (You can tilt it up more when the arm is raised higher.) Completed Set - Bucket You need to raise the boom a bit in order to tilt the bucket down, but it works as intended. Completed Set - Boom Reach The lifting arm can reach a decent height, definitely impressive and fairly realistic of the reach one of these loaders has. Function Video Set Ratings (relative to other sets in this size class): Visual Design: 7 Build Experience: 7 Features: 7 Playability: 7 Parts/Value: 7 Overall: 7 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. I do honestly really enjoy this one- every once in a while a small $10 set is released that manages to capture some fun functions for a cheap price. Much like the Mini CLAAS Xerion I reviewed last year, the Skid Steer follows in that trend. It gets 7s across the board for me. It manages to take the small size of its early predecessor, yet combine it with some of the better functionality of its bigger brother. The single boom design can cause the function to be a little shaky, but other than that, it serves the set well. The build experience certainly isn’t quite as good as its larger brother, but I often enjoy unique builds like this, rather than more standard cars. The playability is good, I can imagine many kids scooping up parts with this- again, keeping in mind the target audience, this works. Parts/value is always a tough category for someone like me who is not as well versed in Technic as others, but I gave it a 7 here. Black bushings, a cheaper way to get this bucket, some gears- its got some harder to find parts, always appreciated. It's not a bad value for the amount of parts included, either. The main thing holding this set back is there isn’t anything new or recolored here at all, so it’s likely you could build this from your own collection. What is your opinion of this set?
  11. 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 As you would expect, the box shows the plane in action, suggesting it had just been through some sort of aerial course. Box Rear 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 A few sides of the box, the white wing piece is used as the 1:1 comparison. Contents Content wise, we get the instructions, a sticker sheet, two loose wing pieces, and three bags of parts. Sticker Sheet 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 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: While there are no new parts, we do get a few elements recolored in Dark Turquoise. The Build Here we have the start of the build. We can see the beginning of the function, the spinning front propellor. Adding Body 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 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 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 Here's the back view. Finished Plane - Stickers - Front 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 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 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.
  12. Set Name: 42124 Off-Road BuggyPieces: 374Price: $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 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 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 Some details about the Control+ elements, as well as the tires for 1:1 ratio. Sticker Sheet The sticker sheet is meant to homage 80s RC car design/colors. Parts 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 We get three of the new 3x7 panel in dark azure, as well as a single one of the new 2x3 panels. Wheels 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 This part is very exciting to me, and I really hope to see more (especially shorter) variations in length of these. Magenta Elements 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 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 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 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 Here we start working on the roof as well as what will be the back suspension. Control Hub The roof is added to the previous constructs along with front suspension and the control hub. Rear motor & Differential As mentioned, this is the third set to feature the new differential system after the Volvo 6x6 and the Top Gear rally car. Mounted This assembly is then added to the rear of the vehicle. Completed Set - No Stickers - Front 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 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 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 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 Size Comparison 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 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: 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 The steering range seems decent enough, pretty comparable to RC toys I had as a kid, anyway. Rear Suspension: Here we can see the range of the rear suspension. Opening...Hood? According to the official Lego description, this thing is supposed to have an opening hood- 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.