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REVIEW - 42001 - MINI OFF-ROADER INTRODUCTION Technic Mini models are sometimes regarded as models not worth buying. I don't agree with this opinion. Whether it's a special part or innovative building technique, almost every Mini model has something that makes the set worthwhile. This time I will be reviewing the 42001 Mini Off-Roader. This model is not a smaller version of an existing model, so there's no real comparison with a bigger brother, or sister if you will. Nor does the model resemble a real life brand or vehicle, so it is what it is, a Mini Off-Roader. Note: All images can be clicked for hi-res versions. SET INFORMATION Number: 42001 Title: Mini Off-Roader Theme: Technic Released: 2013 Part Count: 100 Box Weight: 165 gr Box Dimensions: 15,5 x 14,0 x 4,2 cm Set Price (MSRP): 9.99 EUR DE / 7.99 GBP / 12.99 USD Price per Part: DE 0.100 EUR / UK 0.080 GBP / USA 0.130 USD Links: Brickset, Bricklink THE BOX The box measures 15,5 x 14,0 x 4,2 cm which is obviously not very big. The weight of the box is approximately 165 grams. FRONTSIDE The front of the box shows a though four wheel drive off-roader challenging a fierce rocky mountain trail...now does it?! What the box actually shows is Mini Off-Roader challenging a small foam rock formation, much like rocks used in Star Trek The Original Series, yet smaller The box also states that this model is for the age of 7 till 14. More importantly, the 2-models in-1 logo is clearly visible, which means this set can be used to build two different models. BACKSIDE The backside shows a picture of the alternate model and a smaller version of the original model. The conversion arrow and the 2-in-1 are printed to clarify that the main model can be converted into a secondary model. SIDES One of the sides shows the 2-in-1 logo and a picture of the main model. Another side shows a picture of one of the wheels in actual size and again, a picture of the main model. CONTENTS OF THE BOX The box contains: 2 Booklets 2 Bags 4 Tires BOOKLETS This set contains two booklets which is not very common for a set this size. Both models share the same chassis, which is why the build has been divided over two booklets, one for the chassis (8 pages with 10 steps) and one for the bodywork (34 pages with 23 steps for the main model and 20 steps for the alternate model). BAGS The box contains only 2 bags which is to be expected from a set consisting of 100 parts. One of the bags is filled with liftarms, panels, rims and two elastic bands. The other bags contains all the other parts, like pins, axles, connectors, etc. Opening the bags results in the following collection of parts, with the exception of the tires. No abundant number parts that will add real value to your collection. Nevertheless, there are some interesting orange parts and elastic bands. TIRES The tires are provided seperately (i.e. not contained in the bags). From the picture you can see that these tires have a front and a back side, so you should pay attention when fitting them to the rims, which have two different sides as well. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS This section describes the unique and/or highlighted parts. VERY SMALL SMOOTH TECHNIC PANEL (#21 AND #22) These two small Technic were new at the time of release and this set was only one of two sets containing them in orange. The other set is the 42007 - Moto Cross Bike. At the moment of writing there's a third set containing these parts, the Black Champion Racer. Side A Side B SMALL RUBBER BAND I was under the impression that these White Rubber Bands weren't that common, but it seems that these bands are as common as dirt. But hey, you can't have enough rubber bands! THIN LIFTARM 1x5 WITH AXLE HOLES Like the panels, these Liftarms were also new at the time of release. Looking at the the frequent usage in other sets, this part has proven to be a most useful mammal. THIN LIFTARM 1x3 Not a very rare piece per se, but if you are not into Bionicle, this liftarm part can be hard to find. Your other option would be to buy the 9390 - Mini Tow Truck, or the 8305 - Dual Bikes from a while ago (2000). LONG PIN WITH CENTER PIN HOLE This relatively new kid on the block is currently used in many Technic and non-Technic sets and has well proven it's worth. AXLE PIN CONNECTOR HUB WITH 2 AXLES Like the previous part this newish part is also quite helpful in certain situations. PART LIST Here's the complete list for all 100 parts. BUILDING EXPERIENCE The build starts with the chassis of the Off-Roader. After connecting some liftarms two elastic bands, one on each side, are attached to the towball pins. This is all there is to the suspension, plain and simple. The two elastic bands contract the L-shaped liftarms, which results in the long ends swiveling downwards. The video below demonstrates the suspension. The simplicity doesn't do it justice, because it works like a charm. The suspension is very smooth with the right amount of stretch and resistance. This great working suspension adds a lot of value to this set. To quote John Hurt in the movie Contact: "Why build one when you can have two at twice the price?". I have purchased two sets so we can simultaneously see both models and make a proper comparison. Below you can see two identical chassis which will be used for both versions of the build. At this stage we have arrived at the end of the first booklet, which only took about ten minutes. Not surprising, since the first booklet only has 10 building steps. Progressing to the second booklet, you need to choose between building the main and alternative model. That's a choice I don't need to make for this review, so let's start with the main model. MAIN MODEL When building the bodywork there's a rather peculiar building technique, which you wouldn't expect in an official LEGO set. The Axle and Pin Connector Hub with 2 Axles only protrudes halfway into the Double Bent Liftarm. The Thin 1x4 Liftarm which is added in one of the following steps makes sure the hubs stay perfectly in place, but I was still surprised to see this technique. The finished bodywork for the main model looks like....uhh...well.....I don't know exactly. It doesn't bear any resemblance to a real life model, which makes it hard to judge. One thing's for sure; it's not the best looking Technic Mini Model. The bodywork can be attached to the chassis by using a 7L axle and two bushes, one on each side of the chassis. ALTERNATE MODEL Unfortunately the alternate model doesn't look much better than the main model. It's even a stud less wide, while you would like to see slightly more body, matching the size of the tires and chassis. Attached to the chassis the body is even more out of proportion. It's not really ugly and the color scheme is great (obviously this goes for the main model as well), but the body simply doesn't match the chassis. I can only imagine that this model is supposed to have a chibi look, much like the Microfighter Star Wars models. COMPARISON The following section shows a selection of images from different angles to compare the main and secondary model. The main model has a bit more volume, while the alternate model has a more sporty look. FRONT VIEW The main model has headlights which are attached at a higher point, while the alternate model has headlights which are placed more closely next to each other. REAR VIEW A slightly different setup in both models, where the main model again has higher placed rear lights. SIDE VIEW The side view shows that the panels are used differently in both models. The main models uses them as doors, while the alternate model uses them as engine cover (bonnet). TOP VIEW The top view reveals that the main model might have room for a minifig PARTS LEFT The left image shows the parts which are left after building the main model, while the second image shows the parts left after building the alternate model. As you can see, the main model uses slightly more parts than the alternate model. FEATURES Besides the awesome suspension, which we already have discussed, there aren't a lot of features in this set. There's actually a single feature, which is only present in the main model....opening doors! Wow, impressive! Well, maybe we can't expect too much functionality in such a small model. SUMMARY The Off-Roader is a fun model which is fairly easy to build. The suspension is simple, yet very effective. The model could do better in the design department, but the suspension offers great playability and that is what this set is all about. The orange parts are not very common so they are an added bonus. All things considered this set is definitely worth the few bucks you need to spend on it. PROS Great suspension Fun to play with Some (semi) rare orange parts Great color scheme CONS No resemblence to an actual off-roader Not the best looking model SCORE Below are my scores based on different categories. 6 DESIGN Not the best looking Technic model. 7 BUILDING EXPERIENCE The suspension makes it fun to build. 7 FEATURES The suspension makes up for the lack of functionality. 8 PLAYABILITY The model has Car-Swooshability. 7 PARTS Some interesting orange parts. 8 VALUE FOR MONEY Great present for the younger builders. 7,1 ELASTIC Hope you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and please rate this set at the top of this topic!