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Found 481 results

  1. Bob De Quatre

    REVIEW: 10263 Winter Village Fire Station

    Introduction Winter is coming... And with it comes a horde of undead warriors the new Wnter Village set: 10263 Winter Village Fire Staion. So let's the spirit of Christmas and the smell of burning buildings surround us and let's see what Lego Santa has brought us! Thanks to EB and the LEGO CEE Team and Designers for giving me the opportunity to review this set! Set information Name: 10263 Winter Village Fire Station Theme: Creator Expert Year: 2018 Pieces: 1166 Price: $99.99, GBP 84.99, 89.99€ Resources: Brickset, BrickLink Packaging The box has an usual size for medium sets, at almost 50cm height, 30cm large and 10cm wide. It shows a very nice Winter Village scene in front of the fire station building, with all of the smaller builds included in the set. The back of the box shows detail pictures, describing play features of the set, with all the minifigures in action. Content of the box The box contains a sealed bag with a two instructions booklets and the sticker sheet. The seven bags are numbered from one to three. Instructions booklets The set comes with two instructions booklets, a smaller one with 51 pages, and a bigger one with 83 pages. The instructions themselves are simple and easy to follow... Maybe a bit too simple for a 12+ set. In the biggest booklet, the parts added to the assembly at each steps are highlighted in green. Build The first booklet will guide us through all the smaller builds of the set, using first set of bags. Here are pictures of each of those smaller builds: With bags number 2 we'll build the first floor of the fire station. And we'll finish the fire station with the 2nd floor and the roof using bags number 3. The build is pretty straightforward and not very enjoyable, except for the nice snot assembly of the white laticed windows on the tower on the left side. The completed set looks like a nice scene, with all the smaller builds adding life outside of the fire station, and will make a great addition if you already have some of the other Winter Village sets. The fire station feature a lightbrick on the roof, which can be activated to illuminate the 1st floor... well sort of... I think the lightbrick itself could have been a little more concealed. The roof can also be removed to have a better access to the kitchen and especially the coffee machine, that the chief officer seems to like a lot. To me the roof is lacking snow, with all the tan plates showing, something that could have been improved with a few whites plates and slopes. My favorite build is the fire truck, despite the too many stickers used. It's not a complicated build, but it looks nice, and could easily be modified to a more solid build. The christmas tree build is pretty simple but still interesting, using 4 wedged sides to recreate the conic shape of the tree. It could be improved to create a bigger tree, with more space for ornaments! The frozen fountain on the other hand isn't as nice as the rest, and could have been better with higher borders and more work on the firefighter statue pedestal. Minifigures The set comes with a nice selection of minifigures: a young girl, a baby (always protect your baby's hands with gloves when it's cold!), a ice hockey player, a musician with his saxophone, 3 firefighters and a dog. The three firefighters have the same pants and torso, and all minifigures have backprinting, except for the baby and the hockey player, but including the dog! Interesting parts The set includes some exclusive parts (for now): a few bars 6L with stop ring (63965) in tan, the baby with dark turquoise body and the firefighters' torso. The set also contains a big load of dark red bricks, which are always welcome, but I would have liked some dark red brick bricks (98283) as it would have given more texture to the wall of the upper floor. Conclusion Design: 7/10 - A nice design, but with some flaws like the back of the headlight bricks showing both the exterior and interior of the walls. Parts: 7/10 - Some new parts, but nothing too fancy. A nice selections of minifigures. Build: 6/10 - A basic build, with simple techniques for a 12+ set. Some improvements could have been easily included. Price: 7/10 - With a ppp of 0,077€, this set is rather average. Overall: 27/40 (67,5%) - A nice set, especially if you like the Winter Village sets. It makes a good playing set and may please children more than adults, but in this time of the year we're all children again, isn't it? Well...
  2. Peter Blackert has released his follow-up book to How to Build Brick Cars. Now it is time to reach for the sky! Title: How to Build Brick Airplanes Subtitle: Detailed LEGO Designs for Jets, Bombers and Warbirds Author: Peter Blackert Year: 2018 Publisher: Quatro Publishing Group USA Inc. ISBN: 978-0-7603-6164-1 Content: 192 full color pages. Price: Around $17, depending on region. I have had the pleasure to get a sneak peek into the instructions in the book and have built a small selection of the models to see what it was all about. In this review I will give you an overview of the content of the book and dive into the builds of a handful of models from it. Content After a brief introduction and a guide of how to use the instructions in the book, there are three sections of building instructions: "Miniplanes", "Intermediate" and "Advanced". There are 7 miniplanes, plus the one from the free teaser instructions for the mini Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird which I presented here. In the intermediate section there are 5 airplanes, plus separate instructions for three of the engines. In the advanced section you will find instructions for the very, very big models of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and P-38 Lightning. Instructions for the engines of the P-38 are presented separately and the full model uses more than 2000 parts! Instructions The building instructions, and especially the part layouts, have undegone some transformations since the previous book; Parts lists are now shown in white in an appendix: Parts and color are written in tables in another appendix. In the previous book the part were shown in full color right before instructions of the individual model. I personally prefer the old way because I'm lazy and don't want to match color codes to parts, but I can see the advantage of saving some space and have more clear part images (white with contrasting black outlines are extremely clear in print compared to, say, brown parts). The instructions are fairly easy to follow. They are extremely compact with many "do this for both right and left hand side" and other shortcuts to save page space. There were a couple of times where I had to rebuild a small section due to mistakes, and a 1x2 plate shown upside down can be taken for a 1x2 jumper plate, but otherwise it went smoothly. Miniplanes: Fokker DR. 1 All models in the book are prefaced with an introduction that includes the history and other trivia. This first model you might know as "The Red Baron". A German triplane from The Great War flown by Baron von Richthofen. The instructions are simple, taking up only a single page. I believe the model itself uses less than 100 parts, but even with this minimalistic design, Peter has managed to pack some clever details. Details include how a 1x2 plate with clip serves as both the rear wing and rear landing gear, how the stabilisers between the wings are held using dual clips, and how 1x1 plates with pinholes are used for the front landing gear. The models in this section are a joy to build. I can build a complete model during the evening after work and the stand is reusable for all but the big B-2 bomber, which has found its way into this section. And remember you can always try out the teaser build: Intermediate: Mitsubishi A6M Zero When I was asked which model to build, the Zero was on the top of my list. I cannot remember the last time I saw one built in LEGO, so I could only imagine that it is not an easy model to get right. Please note that I failed to get some parts in the right colors. For this model the thin liftarm 5 for the landing gear have to be white, while the windscreen has to be transparent - not transparent black. Given how rare these parts are, (each both a available in two Star Wars sets), I believe the part substitution is forgivable. It took me three evenings to build the model. It is designed in sections and you can remove the wings for storage. The engine has its own section in the book and can be built as a separate display piece. The high level of detail for the engine, however, has a downside. I have not been able to mount it properly onto the body of the plane. It droops a little and comes off easily when the model is upside down. I will have to look further into this. The interior is nicely detailed - the best among the planes I have built. There is both a seat, control stick and instrumentation. The cockpit can be opened, although I am not sure it is intended to (it doesn't open like this on the real planes). A nice detail in the building instructions (carried over from the car book) is that transparent parts are highlighted when building sections, such as the window. The wings have all the moving details of the real thing. The ailerons move: And the elevators: And the rudder: The landing gear folds in and you can turn the 1x2 plates to lock them in place. Other details worth mentioning are how the curved slopes nicely form the curves of the fuselage, how the red pieces are mounted to form the red stripe on the tail, how the 9 sections around the engine connect and give it a very authentic appearance, how the cockpit window slopes a bit upwards like on the real airplane and how a 1x1 tile with pin should be used for the rear wheel. I have used a 1x1 plate instead, since I was unable to locate the correct part in black (transparent and gold seem plentiful). The building instructions show how to build the standard version of the Zero. It is up to you if you want to make the modification for the carrier version with folding wings. I think this is a truly beautiful model. I know Peter disagrees with me on this, but I can't think of a place in this model where he has 'cheapened out'. It is richly detailed, looks nice on display and I would have no problem having it on display at home despite of how it was used by the Japanese Empire during World War II. Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II (Please note that it should not have olive green parts - I have failed to locate my dark gray ones) Now this is a fun model! Compared to the zero, this model is a bit more stable. There are a couple of hinges which can be difficult to work without having to reassemble some pieces, but that is a very small price to pay for having the "STOVL" version of the F-35 on display. The building instructions show how to build 3 version of the F-35. Even though I messed up a bricklink order and received 1x2 plates with handle in gray instead of dark gray (and the big dark gray slope pieces have vanished from my collection), I still think this version works out and the end result is a beauty. Here are a couple of screenshots from the book so you can see all the version - and in the correct colors: Let's start out with all functionality which you might expect from now on: All the wings can turn in fancy ways and the cockpit opens. The landing gear can even retract. Here is some wing action: The party trick of this model is something out of the ordinary. Open the necessary panels and it can turn into 'almost vertical takeoff' mode: The way that the landing gear folds in is also really neat: The keen reader might have spotted that I have used 4x4 dark gray plates with cutouts instead of the 6x6 ones, but I am also willing to bet that most of you have not noticed it before I just mentioned it. The 6x6 plates are rare and if you want them in dark gray, new dark gray, they come at a hefty premium on BrickLink. The 4x4 plates work just as fine in a hurry and I do not even notice them... perhaps because of the big olive green parts. The book mentions a service for getting the stickers for the model. They look nice, but I have not yet fully researched how to get them. Advanced: Allison V-1710 V-12 Engine Now it would have been great to have shown you the humongous 2000+ pieces P-38... but its two engines will have to do for now. The engines are standalone builds, just like the engine of the Zero. Here they are placed next to the Zero so you can get an idea of how big the model is going to be. I have had some trouble getting some of the yellow pieces for the rotors, but they should arrive by the time the model is finished. The engines have Technic V6 engines (V12 engines would be too big and non-technic engines wouldn't have the sweet moving pistons. I will update this thread with pictures once I finish this or other models. Final Thoughts When building cars from the previous book I was impressed with the mechanical solution packed away inside of the models. For the airplanes on this book I am even more impressed with the level of details shown throughout the models - even the small ones! It is simply more fun and rewarding to build these airplanes, than it was the cars. I can't tell you why. Maybe it is because of the modularity of the builds, or maybe it is simply because I'm not used to build airplanes. While Peter claims that old and new gray and dark gray parts can be sued interchangeably, I believe some purists might disagree, and this is where it might become expensive. Please check out the part lists before you start one of the larger projects. Some parts are rare and expensive because they only came in few sets a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. I was given early access to the building instructions and have been promised a printed copy.
  3. REVIEW - 42081 - VOLVO CONCEPT WHEEL LOADER ZEUX INTRODUCTION Cranes, forklifts, cars....can we please get something different for crying out loud?! Well....here it is, something different. Of course, one can argue that this is yet another a front loader, and technically they might be right. But it is a unique in a way. Volvo and TLG make the most of their ongoing collaboration and present us the ZEUX, an Autonomous Concept Wheel Loader. An autonomous car (also known as a driverless car, self-driving car, and robotic car) is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input (source wikipedia). This boils down to the front loader being capable of navigating without human input, therefore lacking the cabin. In order to perfectly sense the environment, it uses a drone sidekick! Some people think this thing is as ugly as....an autonomous concept wheel loader, but I will tell you straight away I absolutely love it. I love the concept, I love the looks and I love the fact that TLG and Volvo actually made a Technic set for this vehicle. And that's that for an objective review. Of course, I will try to be objective in my review, but I won't hide the fact that I am very enthusiastic about this model. Let's deploy the drone and....grab a beer, since this thing will be driving itself. If you see this icon, you can click the image on the left or right side of the image, to cycle through alternative images. PICTURES Pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. More pictures can be found in my Flickr album. DISCLAIMER This set has been provided by the CEE Team of TLG. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefore, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG. SET INFORMATION Number: 42081 Title: Volvo Concept Wheel Loader ZEUX Theme: Technic Released: 2018 Part Count: 1.167 Box Weight: 2,33 kg Box Dimensions: 57,5 cm x 37,0 cm x 11,1 cm Set Price (MSRP): £ 109.99 / $ 139.99 / € 119,99 Price per Part: £ 0.09 / $ 0.12 / € 0,10 Links: Brickset, Bricklink THE BOX The front shows the model with its flying sidekick. The background shows a pile of sand and behind that a skyline with scryscrapers. Apparently, this vehicle is not only meant to be used in remote mining facilities, but also in urban areas. The bottom right tells us the vehicle measures 59 cm in length. If you don't own the 42030 - Volvo L350F Wheel Loader, but you do want the big bucket, now's your chance. You will get four nice big Claas tires with it, in case you missed those. So, this set might be interesting enough for the unique parts alone. BACKSIDE The back is divided in two sections, a top section for the main model and a bottom section for the B-model, another Volvo Concept, called the PEGAX. Needles to say, I am more enthusiastic about this alternate model, than the one for the Rough Terrain Crane. I actually quite like this one, but more on that later. CONTENTS OF THE BOX This box contains: 1x Sealed pack with booklet and sticker sheet 4x Tires 1x Big bucket 1x Bag with rims, actuators and gear rack housing 9x Unnumbered bag BUCKET AND TIRES I didn't think to see another set with the big bucket, but here it is. And four Claas tires, which are turning into a common presence in my collection. I absolutely love these bad boys and I sure hope TLG will some day release a smaller version as well. RIMS AND ACTUATORS A bag containing four rims, two linear actuators and a gear rack housing. BAGS A total of nine numbered bags. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS I was about to show the pictures of the bucket and rim again here, but that's rather useless, since I already posted them in the content section. Other than those parts, there aren't any new or interesting parts. I can hightlight the propellors, but that's about it. 7 BLADE PROPELLOR This propellor in flat silver isn't very rare, but you don't see it every day either. Comes in seven other sets. PART LIST Two pages showing the 1.167 parts. THE BUILD We start by building the front of the chassis. An interesting technique is used near the gear rack. The white part behind the 12T Gear is not a 1L connector. It's actually a 2L Liftarm with Pin and Axle. It rotates between two 5L thin liftarms. I could be mistaken, but it's probably just for proper alignment of the front and rear wheels. Here's a better view of the 2L Liftarm. I should have taken a better picture. REAR The rear wheels are connected to this assembly. Both the front and rear wheels don't implement shock absorbers or any other form of suspension. When you operate the final model, you are inclined to push it down to test the suspension. Unfortunately, to no avail. I reckon autonomous vehicles don't need suspension BOOM This is the boom which will connect to the bucket. Operated manually via a Linear Actuator. Usually manual operation and LA's don't combine very well, because it makes operating the functions very cumbersome. I wonder if this is the case for this vehicle as well. And the boom connected to the chassis. This is actually turning into some sort of vehicle. Feels more like an excavator than a front loader, but that will probably change in a bit. Next we are going to build the.....the.....uhmmm......what is it that we are building here?! It does seem to be sliding out. Ahhh here it is, the....uhmm.....the.....counterweight I presume. This entire big block can slide out to compensate for the weight of a filled bucket. T = F x L comes to mind. Looking at the left image, you see three (six, if you count the other side as well) panels with stickers, red and green lights and "chromed" grills. A couple of steps further down the road you will cover them with other panels (image on the right) and you will never see those decorated elements again. Is this a way to sneak in some parts for the B-model, which uses these panels in a more prominent way. Either way, I was hoping to be able to see these panels in the A-model as well. Ohh wait, you actually can see the panels inside this big paper weight At the rear you can see the 12T Gear, which is not the Hand of God steering, but it is used to move the weight back and forth. The rear is almost done now. We only need to add the antenna and the drone. I am not sure why the drone is positioned like it is, because it is not able to fly off by itself. The antenna is blocking one of the four propellors. I'd say, move it a couple of studs to the front. After adding some panels, the wheels and the bucket to the boom, the Zeux is finished. I enjoyed building this vehicle. It's not that different from a regular Front Loader, but it does have some unique elements. The usual leftover parts. COMPLETED MODEL Of course, it is a matter of personal taste, but in my opinion this vehicle looks awesome! I love the Tech-look with the black and yellow color scheme. I also love the orange accents to highlight important and/or moving parts, like railings, footsteps, etc. And I also love that TLG (and Volvo) went all out and said....let's do this! This collaboration is proving to be very fruitful. Here is video with some background information on how this project started. A cool fact is that kids actually helped shape this model and made some design decisions. The boom has been properly finished with panels at the right place. Feels solid. Operating the functions manually works better than expected. They are actually quite responsive. Here's the list of implemented functions: Four wheel steering Raising/lowering the bucket Raising/lowering the boom Raising/lowering the chassis Extending/retracting the counter weight The three raising/lowering functions are operated by turning the 12T gears, all located near the front wheel. An interesting fact is that the antenna at the back is actually an eye. You would think it is used to look at the environment, but it's primary function is to interact with people walking near the vehicle. By looking at the eye you can see that the vehicle has seen you. The following video gives you some insights: The back looks even more "Techy" than the front, with the drone and the antenna. Click on the image to raise and lower the chassis. Granted, the looks of this vehicle are relying heavily on the applied stickers. It will probably still look cool without them, but you would lose lot of the details. The front loader in attack mode. Ready to strike There has been some debate about the reason to raise and lower the chassis. At first I agreed that ground clearance was a logical reason, but the axles are still near the ground, so that doesn't make sense. Therefore, I think it has to do with transporting the vehicle. If you put this on a truck it will be quite high. Lowering the chassis will solve this issue. And it can be used to change the angle of the boom without moving it. Not sure if this is an actual purpose, but maybe it doesn't cost as much power, since the arm is longer. Just guessing here. And a final image from the left rear of the vehicle. B-MODEL I haven't been able to build the B-model, so I have no idea how the build is. However, by looking at the picture I have a pretty good idea. It is an odd looking vehicle, but at least we get to see the six grey panels Again, one can discuss the looks. It's not the best looking vehicle I have ever seen, but for an autonomous vehicle, it does what it does, haul a payload. I am not entire sure why this vehicle needs to adjust its ride height. Maybe to prevent from the load falling out of the bed. Anyway, I will most likely get a second copy of this set and build this PEGAX hauler. For me, it's two thumbs up for this alternate model. SUMMARY At the beginning of the review I mentioned that I was very fond of this model. Well, that didn't change upon completing the build. I like everything about it. And I find it particularly interesting, and audacious, that TLG and Volvo actually went ahead with this project. This proves that two major brands working together can accomplish great things. I do understand that not everybody will like this model, but if you are remotely interested in robotics and autonomous vehicles, this should appeal to you. Then there is the discussion about manually operating the functions on an autonomous vehicle. Some claim that it should have been full RC. But if you think about it a big longer....an autonomous vehicle being remotely controlled?! That doesn't make sense either. The perfect solution would be to integrate Mindstorms, but that's not feasible for a retail set. It will even be challenge to add the functionality, even for the avid Mindstorms builder. There's simply not enough room in the chassis to place all the motors and sensors. All things considered, I am very happy with these manual functions, and the way they operate, even with Linear Actuators. Not sure whether this is considered a Pro or a Con, but it is worth mentioning that this set doesn't have numbered bags. Both previous Volvo models didn't have numbered bags either. Makes you think that Volvo has something to do with this. For those of you wondering...the MACK did have numbered bags PROS Unique vehicle Cool design and color scheme Another chance to get the big bucket (and big Claas tires) Manual functions work properly CONS Lots of stickers No intricate gearbox. Functions are directly connected to the LA's. Oddly placed drone (is this even a Con?!) SCORE How do I rate this set? 9 DESIGN I know this is highly subjective, but I love the looks of this vehicle. 8 BUILDING EXPERIENCE Enjoyed the build, but there is no intricate gearbox. 8 FEATURES Enough features to keep it interesting. 8 PLAYABILITY For manually operated LA driven functions, they are surprisingly responsive. 8 PARTS Depends on your needs, but another chance to get the big bucket, in case you missed the Volvo L350F. 8 VALUE FOR MONEY Price per part is not particularly low, but you do get a big bucket and four Claas tires. 8,2 I'M LOVING IT FINAL WORDS One last thing to mention is this page at the end of the instruction manual. It contains some of the prototype (I presume) vehicles which have been created during the design process. Thanks you for reading this review. All pictures can be found here.
  4. Hello everyone, I believe many of you are anticipating and wondering if this traditional pictorial review will ever come and I am glad to be back once more to share with all of you on this LEGO Collectable Minifigures reviewing tradition right here in Eurobricks. I could still vividly remembered that The LEGO Group (TLG) have just recently released Series 9 in just 3 months ago and now Series 9 is slated for 'retiring soon' in the Shop@Home/US. With Series 10 releasing fast and furious, it is no surprise that Series 9 being the first wave of the year 2013, to be cast aside for the new glorious instalment known as Series 10. Firstly, I will like to give my most sincere continued thank you and gratitude to TLG for giving me this exclusive early insight before others, so I could actually sit down quietly to evaluate and review this brand new LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series. I will also like to give my thanks to Eurobricks Staff/LEGO Ambassador, CopMike and my fellow Eurobricks Staffers for able to facilitate and continue to support me on this. Last but not least, I must also thank my wife, Kim/Belun for being so understanding and support me for this review! This review probably came at a very wrong time where my personal life is probably be the most busiest chapter of my life where I do not have the luxury of time! Thank goodness, everything went smoothly and I could still continue to deliver this review. To be honest, if my wife is not supportive enough during this hectic period, I don't think I can ever pull this review into action. As always, let's do a re-cap for all of the past Eurobricks Collectable Minifigures polls once more. It started with a humble beginning of Series 1 followed by Series 2 in the year 2010 and it continue to spread like wildfire with another 3 strong waves of minifigures craze in the year 2011, putting Series 3, Series 4 and Series 5 in an excellent harvesting year. In the year 2012, we celebrated with Series 6, Series 7 and recent Series 8. With the beginning of the year 2013, we have the recent new Series 9 and now I will like to invite the rest to drop their votes into the new Series 10 poll statistics as well. Name: 71001 LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 10 Theme: LEGO System / Collectable Minifigures / Series 10 Year: 2013 Minifigs: 16 unique minifigures plus 1 super rare Mr.Gold (subjected to approximately 5000 minifigures worldwide) Price for 1 box: USD N.A, GBP N.A, EURO N.A, SGD $294.00 Price for 1 packet: USD 2.99, GBP 1.99, EURO N.A, SGD $4.90 Resources: Brickset, BrickLink An image of an 71001 LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 10 box Please do not be mistaken of the colour schema. It is not the same yellow colour similar to Series 1. Instead this Series 10 is covered with the golden colour. It is a pretty nice colour to commemorate the tenth series and more importantly, the golden colour come with another promotion which will be explained in a few sections below. [Reference 1] [Reference 2] [Reference 3] [Reference 4] The 10 different colour packaging themes for Series 1 to 10 boxes I just can't believe myself that I actually manage to continue to place all of the past and current LEGO Collectable Minifigures boxes together for this superb group shot to able to illustrate the 10 unique colour package themes for Series 1 to 10. It is certainly a wonderful feeling to see them place side by side to witness the different colour transition for different series. What could possibly contain within these mysterious sealed packets? I can't believe this is the Tenth Series for the incredible LEGO Collectable Minifigures Theme The LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series (CMFs) is slated for worldwide release on the 1st April 2013. This is definitely considered to be another outstanding job done for the TLG CMFs design team who are able to marvel us with many more great minifigures concept for this new series. In general, I do not think that this is something which is being done poorly or another form of mere repetition, just to create to generate more sales volume but I continue to see TLG being able to continue to value add the whole LEGO experience with more superb minifigures enhancements through these dream designs that came out of the TLG CMFs design team. Even though there is a leak of parts design back in late November which is discussed in this topic, there is some sort of mixed reactions coming from the community and to be honest, I did not pay much attention on the details yet even though it is more or less to be considered as the finalised design. However, I will not think it is best to judge it harshly without judging it through real images of the actual minifigures. Because to me, that actually make a huge importance in this kind of evaluation and affirming my belief whether these minifigures are continued to be regarded as remarkable minifigures of the LEGO CMFs theme. Please do note that the naming that I have use for this review are official TLG minifigures naming for Series 10. So, there is absolute no doubt or misinterpretation on the naming used. Front view comparison between Series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 packets Wow, I just always amazed when I group all of the series together for a group shot. This is just so crazy to see a huge pile of different unique packets for Series 1 to 10. There are altogether 10 different packets and design packaging for this single theme since the year 2010. I know there are many other late collectors who got into LEGO at a pretty late stage and missed out on the earlier series and have to pay a hefty amount to catch back the chase. It will be quite painful and tedious to collect the early series once more especially Series 1 since I have recall that Series 1 is having limited production plus the fact that it is not being distributed to the United States directly, which also cause indirect increase of global demand. Just take a packet and open it, if you could hold all of the 10 packets in your hand based on the image above. Rip it open and you discover a random LEGO minifigure that is so special to the person who is buying it. Be it parents, children, AFOLs, casual shoppers, there is always something for everyone of us and I guess this is an easy way to bring back a person who is in the dark ages by tempting them to open up these packets! Take a closer look at these. This is the front view of the Series 10 packet, while this shows the back view of it. Last but not least, this is an image that shows the back view comparison of all packets. I am going to repeat this very same golden rule. If you are intending to narrow the precious ones that you are collecting, please hone the touch and feel method. It is a useful skill set to acquire and locate the minifigures that you want. Your sole mission is to memorise and remember the minifigures assortments for each unique design. Isolate and identify the most unique accessory or accessories that appeared for the particular minifigure. From there, eliminate the torso, head and legs away and feel for other parts. The only disadvantage of this method is much idle time will be most likely wasted if the minifigures that you are seeking for does not exist in the box or ending up having sore numb thumbs after feeling. However, I do think this approach is much practical than any other uncommon approach Front view of the Minifigs Series 10 promotional leaflet Super rare - Where is Mr. Gold? The golden colour for the entire colour schema comes with a surprise. Believe it or not, this is a very surprising marketing move which is being carried out by TLG for the LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series. Even though this is not the first time that TLG have done such promotion for the LEGO Star Wars theme, but I really find it hard to believe that they are doing this to the fans of this beloved theme since I believe many of us including myself who have been collecting Series 1 till now, will like to complete this entire theme without leaving out any possible minifigures under this umbrella. TLG has officially introduced this brand new rare lottery campaign known as ‘Where is Mr.Gold?’ which is suspected to go beyond Series 10 and to be included for other future series as well. ‘Where is Mr.Gold?’ is rumoured to be produced with an approximately ‘5000 of such minifigures’ which will be circulated worldwide in unknown whereabouts. Its classification is top secret and is to be regarded as super rare level. Unfortunately, I do not have such honour to own such an extreme rare minifigure and it will probably be bothering me since I will be missing of this minifigure to truly complete the LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series. Back view of the Minifigs Series 10 promotional leaflet which features 'Where is Mr. Gold?' The chances of owning Mr.Gold is given to 5000 random opportunities in uncertain and unpredictable climates in the global environment. It also means that there are 5000 mint boxes of 30 or 60 quantities that will be circulated will definitely contain a very different form of distribution compared to the one that I am reviewing on. The Mr.Gold craze will likely spark undesired results as It will probably be ripped open or tampered along the long supply chain of TLG and half will probably be gone before these will reach to the shelves for the consumers. Anyway, I am probably exaggerating and I am pretty annoyed with the pessimistic situation since I strongly believe that the secondary market will probably be driving the price at a ridiculous level. Mr.Gold is a rare rumoured chromed gold minifigure which is release altogether to commemorate the tenth series of the LEGO Collectable Minifigures. He is chromed with gold from his hat, to the head, following by his body excluding his hands and down to his legs. He will also hold a golden stick, similar to a sceptre that place a diamond gem at the top. I wonder if the golden stick will be chrome as well. It is unfortunate that I do not have any concrete information to share. Only time will tell and I will think that I might actually want to create an Eurobricks topic to request our community who own Mr.Gold to step forward with a picture of it as a form of proof to calculate the total owners of this super rare minifigure and the remaining possible amount to hope to chance upon this super rare minifigure. 1) The serenity Librarian This serenity librarian is a class of her own with her scholastic outfit. The design of this librarian is spot on with her tidied clipped hair, black-rimmed spectacles and cotton knitted vest over her body which is keeping her warm in the library together with the customised mug filled with hot chocolate, for example since I do not know her preference. It is definitely very welcoming to see such a lovely nice girl in her classy outfit. I could not describe her as a typical nerdy looking person but I find this minifigure pretty attractive in her own rights. More importantly, it is always very welcoming to have a much generic looking female minifigure in your LEGO City layout. I did pause a moment and think of the printed LEGO book titled, ‘Oranges and Peaches’. I am not aware of this publication and I will need to depend on Google for an answer and it lead me to this blog which feature a very well-written article. To summarise, it is to illustrate a patron who ask a librarian for a book called ‘Oranges and Peaches’ and the librarian is not sure of this book and press on to inquire more of the book content such as the author of the book. The patron replied by the name of Darwin something and it is meant to use it as a reference book for the biology class. The librarian found the book titled ‘Origin of Species’ written by Charles Darwin and this is the exact book which the patron is looking for. Pretty amazing, isn’t it to be able to see how the librarian inquire and probe further into resolving his enquiry. Parts assortment The parts assortment is very good and I am largely impressed with her classy outfit which definitely can be interchangeable with other female minifigures her hairpiece which can be viewed nicely from behind. I like her white mug which has the ‘Shhh!’ printing. I could really imagine in the huge public library where some inconsiderate patrons will disturb the serenity of the library and she will probably pull out this mug and point to the patrons to keep quiet. It is quite uncommon and is limited to several LEGO themes which are not quite popular except Harry Potter. You can take a look at the past printed books which is meant for the minifigures to read. Look like a suitable compatible couple? Enjoying their day together with their very own unique mugs 2) The furious Medusa This furious Greek Mythology monster who is known as Medusa is notorious for her gazing ability. Her rage is not to be treated lightly and she is not easy to be defeated by many fallen warriors except by the hero, Perseus which are told in most of the stories. It is an excellent piece of design and is like a dream come true for those who enjoy medieval and fantasy era where builders are able to create more diverse battle scenes involving in these mythical creatures such as the iconic Medusa. You can place the Medusa attempting to sneak up to an unsuspecting patrol and petrify them to stone when they stare through her eyes. It will be almost perfect if Medusa can actually wield her preferred secondary weapon which might be bow and arrow, followed by dealing the final blow through her gazing ability. Parts assortment Take a look at how Medusa minifigure body parts are made of. The slender body is made up of hard ABS plastic while the slithering long tail is made up of semi-soft rubber. Her back view also shows multiple presences of snakes protecting her from behind by providing additional line of sight to avoid being ambushed from behind. I am very glad to see that Medusa actually comes with a dual printing on her appearance which increase more variety of presentation for her hideous looks. I will definitely wish to get more of these to increase the challenges for the solders. Mythical Creatures of the Dark Age My arrow will reach you May my round shield best the might of Medusa 3) The imposing Roman Commander Many LEGO army builders like me will be keeping their eyes peel open for a second chance to acquire these Roman Commanders as Roman Solders or equivalent. You may wonder why we will need so many Roman Commanders since each of them is only capable of leading a legion of their own. It is because the plume on the top of the Roman Commander’s helmet able to be removed and arranged in other directions as shown in the later image below. Otherwise, you can also take the plume out and placed it as a second tier Roman Solder together with the Series 6, Roman Solder. All in all, I am extremely pleased to place this minifigure together with the other 2 earlier designs in the CMFs to form the strong foundation of the Roman Empire. If you are intending to customise a Roman legion, I will suggest reading this to understand the army structure of the Roman Empire. Parts assortment The parts assortment is excellent. It provide a good variety of army building related parts which include the new Roman Commander’s plume. It is quite similar to the Series 2, Spartan’s helmet which is not detachable. It also comes with a red cape and a sharp gladius. His armour vest is much darker in colour as compared with the regular Roman Solders which can be used to differentiate with other legionnaires if one happen to acquire too many Roman Commanders. The mighty Roman Empire Swore to protect the Emperor The Roman Solder is promoted to its next rank Sir, I am reporting for garrison duty! 4) The amazing Warrior Woman Look at that pointy spear, wielded by this amazing Warrior Woman. She is a warrior by nature and is not bound herself to any form of inconvenience. Her weapon choice is the usage of spear that can be used to throw and hurl towards the enemy like a javelin. Based on the design of this minifigure, I will like to reference that she can be considered as the Amazons. Amazons is a nation of all-female warriors in the Greek mythology and Classical antiquity. In many ways, I am finding this design very appealing for many army builders out there. You can take a closer detailed look at the Warrior Woman. Parts assortment The parts assortment for the Warrior Woman is very good. Apart from the overall design of her minifigure which depicts the brown tunic outfit, her round shield is what really attracted me at first sight. As far as I can recall, this is the third printed design. I remembered the other two prints are seen on Captain America’s shield and Lord of The Rings, Rohan shield. I reckon that this Warrior Woman will be one of the popular designs in Series 10. New World Adventures Pit her skills with different rivals 5) The fearsome Tomahawk Warrior I am very fond of this male warrior looking minifigure who is sworn to defend his tribe from impending danger. With his warrior like painting on his facial and body, he arms himself with his trusty tomahawk axe. It is certainly awesome to see such a new design which can be used to integrate together with the rest of the Native America tribe. Parts assortment This minifigure has one of the best complicated prints as the prints extend and cover both his left and right arm. Everything fitted nicely and I am very pleased to see the new tomahawk axe instead of this regular typical boring looking axe. Tribal Warriors The exciting new Wild Wild West 6) The daring Skydiver Skydiving is a very exciting breath-taking sport where one will exit an aircraft in the mid-air and returning to earth with the aid of gravity while using a parachute to slow down during the terminal part of the decent. Gearing and strapping up with his safety equipment along with his visible lime green parachute, he is probably ready to take his first jump out of the aircraft where the adrenaline rush will hit in. Parts assortment The parts assortment is very average and unappealing. I don’t find it very interesting especially to find out that the minifigure only reveal one side of his feelings from his facial appearance. Nonetheless, I will agree that the new look is able to convey and will be pretty useful in many aspects such as doing very exciting and dangerous stuff. You can also see the parachute from the back view of the Skydiver. Overall, I will just have to say that one or two of these skydivers will be enough for me and I don't see a very strong reason to acquire more than the rest of it, but that could just be me. Comparison between different type of parachute bags Are you afraid of taking that jump? Skydiver taking a bungee jump 7) The sweet Bumblebee Girl I will like to present this lovely and cute little Bumblebee Girl which certainly excites many female fans of LEGO (FFOL). This cute bumblebee costume is an ideal design for birthday parties where friends could dress up and decorate themselves with very cute outfits. The entire Bumblebee outfit is very visible with her orange and black colour theme. Not to forget her delicious pot of honey. I will think that the LEGO costume mascots have just increase another notch with a brand new addition into the family. Parts assortment The parts assortment is very good and detailed. It comes with all of the necessary accessories like the new colour coat of the white transparent fairy wings, bumblebee hood and the pot of honey with slight overflow of honey at the edges plus the actual tiny little bee picture printed onto it. You can also take another closer look of the back view of the Bumblebee Girl with her wings behind. Different type of fairy wings Magical winged creatures Mascots Fiesta 8) The wise Grandpa The Grandpa looks like he is enjoying his golden age of his retirement where he could just laid back and enjoy a hot cup of coffee and reading his newspaper at this comfy sofa couch. I love the design of this minifigure since we are quite lacking of old folks and senior citizens in the city population for LEGO City. Most of the LEGO minifigures are largely made up of children, young men and women and adults. There are not much of these grandparents looking designs. I will like to put him by his pet dog and seeing him taking a short morning stroll in the park. Parts assortment The parts assortment is very good which include a white mug and especially the 2x2 printed tile where it reflect ‘Old Times’. I hope the font for the newspaper is large enough for them to read. Apart from that new element, the semi-bald headed minifigure is the best. So far, we have not seen any of such hair design before. Despite of the receding line, I still find this part very useful for us to utilise. You can take a look from his top view and the back view of Grandpa. Two different types of newspapers coverage Visiting our dear Grandpa LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series (2x2 printed exclusive tiles) I will like to take this opportunity to highlight a few small little sections to commemorate the magic of the LEGO CMFs. AS you can see, there are altogether eight 2x2 printed exclusive tiles which are made specially for this theme. Starting from Series 1 till now, each of this tile is associated to a special minifigure. Without this printed tile, it might not ever be completed and fully understood. Furthermore, printed tiles could last for a very long time unlike stickered parts. 9) The tactical Paintball Player This tactical looking Paintball Player is actively participating in a game known as Paintball. It is a game where players will compete in teams to eliminate opponents by tagging them with paintballs that propelled from a paintball gun. This minifigure is a surprise to me as I have always wanted to play with paintball but I do not really have a good crowd to join up with me for this interactive and physically demanding sport. Armed with his paintball gun, I wonder if he is actually loaded with green dye paintball or orange dye paintball. The protective helmet is bigger than the regular ones and his coveralls are soaked in green dye markings. Parts assortment This minifigure is just so amazing and it comes with nice assortments as well. I particularly love the paintball gun which can be viewed clearly from this angle. The distribution of the paint markings are very nicely handled including a small little green splat at the top of the helmet. Surprisingly, the back of the minifigure also come with a tiny orange splat as well. I wonder who shot him from behind. Personally, I like his grey coverall very much and if given a choice, it can be used for other activities as well such as military, chemical plant, etc. Paintball Competition Paintball games are fun 10) The experienced Sea Captain Ship ahoy! The experienced Sea Captain is shouting to his crew. I knew the Sea Captain is able to spot something in this troubled seas through his binoculars. The Sea Captain can be the captain for a fishing trawler, vessel, a naval ship, etc. You will need someone to take charge and with his amount of experience spent on the boat, it is no wonder why he could withstand sea sickness better than those landlubbers. Parts assortment The parts assortment are very useful which include the binoculars and the seagull. I am particularly fond of the sea captain's cap. There are some fine printed details at the Sea Captain's sleeve. The most welcoming new part is the seagull. It is make up of semi-hard ABS plastic with the lovely printings on his wings and head. You can take a moment and enjoy seeing the seagull taking a pit stop at the deck. The beauty of the new Seagull Captain, they are here to look for you LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series (animals) Once more, I am sharing the highlights of the LEGO CMFs animals. There are altogether eight unique animals which is being used for the LEGO CMFs. Some of which are considered new animals like the seagull, monkey, teddy bear and the chiwawa, while some of the common ones are the bat and snake. Nonetheless, this LEGO CMFs animals have brought us many fine new and old parts since Series 2. I hope to see more new animal designs in future LEGO CMFs because it has certainly create many nice and unique animals that can be used in various settings. 11) The teary Sad Clown I find this very amusing to see TLG to introduce a new addition to the CMFs clowns. It is certainly good to know that there will be more different variations of clowns which can be used for the various circus acts together. So, what do you think of this black and white clown? Personally, I find it to be a little vintage, probably because of the mono looking appearance. Furthermore, he is not the usual cheerful looking circus clowns unlike his other counterparts. I am sure many of us have probably found a solution to resolve his teary appearance. Let’s see if we are thinking the same to rectify the sadness in him. The answer to my solution is just after two more images. Parts assortment The parts assortment are quite average. I find it disappointing to see a lack of dual printed face where he can actually reveal another new emotion instead of being teary all this time. I don’t like to see my minifigures to be always sad looking. Clowns are supposed to cheer and wow the audience up. He probably may have received some bad news that displeased him greatly. In addition, his clown hat is just so lovely. I will like to use it like some sort of birthday party hat for the children to wear. Nonetheless, I am still pleased to see this minifigure design as it actually help to expand the CMFs circus troupe. The many faces of Circus Clowns Interchangeable thoughts with the Mime Artist The Circus Troupe is expanding! 12) The courageous Revolutionary Soldier This is a very historic looking minifigure and is part of the American Revolution history where it was a period of political unrest during the late 18th century in North America where colonies joined together to break away from their colonial master. Patriots bear arms to fight for their freedom. I am confident that this minifigure will be very well-received by the pirates and historic fans. Parts assortment The parts assortment is excellent. I am very fond of the white wig. It is amazing and there is a blue band at the end of the tail. You can view more details from viewing from his back where you can also observe back printing of the uniform sash and from the side view, you are able to view the shape of the white wig. His weapon of choice is the regular trusty brown musket where he use it to defend himself and protect his loved ones. This fellow fits well in the LEGO Pirates Theme I wonder if it is a good idea to pair him up with a Pirate Captain? Welcome to the Imperial Redcoat! Some interesting historic outfits 13) The nimble Baseball Fielder Sport fans are in for a treat especially if you enjoy baseball. The Baseball Fielder is a new addition in this sport where you are now able to place the Series 3, Baseball Player in a very tight formation together that feature the pre-existing team, Clutchers and the new team, Stackers. I just love the new classic blue and grey outfit right from his baseball cap down to his attire. Parts assortment The assortment is not too bad and the main attraction is certainly the new glove design which is part of the minifigure's hand configuration. As you removed the glove hand, you will notice the entire glove is actually a part of the hand piece and greater detail from this angle and side view. It will be almost perfect if the design team could include a baseball for the fielder to grip on. Baseball Team - Clutchers and Stackers 14) The fashionable Trendsetter One look and I assume thinking that she is a big celebrity that shows her bling bling or someone who is of high net worth value that reside in Beverly Hills, California. In truth, she is a fashionable Trendsetter that hold and lead her own fashion taste, causing others to follow her taste of fashion together to form a very strong hype. It is very nice to see new and modern looking female minifigures which can be used to populate the City with diverse personality and unique fashion taste. Parts assortment The parts assortment is excellent and I mainly adore the pet, chiwawa which is the first of its kind in LEGO and plentiful nice accessories on her attire such as the silver heart necklace, black sunglasses and the state of the art mobile phone. The new mobile phone may resemble a model in the current open market and from the design of it, it is not surprising that our LEGO minifigures have evolved and learnt how to use touch-screen mobile phone and installation applications in it. You can see the details through this image. Her hairpiece is different as well and from here, you are able to view the back view and side view Taking her chiwawa out for a stroll in the park Check out her new state of the art mobile phone LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series (1x2 printed exclusive tiles) This special little section is to highlight the past LEGO CMFs, 1x2 printed exclusive tiles that involve in a total of six minifigures that is used to complement the minifigures' designs since Series 1. All of these printed elements are very useful in many ways where we can use it for our own building creations, etc. What do you think of these printed parts? Isn't it better than just regular stickers. 15) The diligence Decorator You could identify him as a painter who work hard to decorate your house interior with a nice coat of azure blue. This diligence decorator is hardworking enough to ensure the painting is going on smoothly based on the splat of paints on his body and face. I really enjoy seeing new civilian occupations being introduced to the City and it really help to create more new personalities with it through new approach. This minifigure might be quite dull to some but to me, I find him interesting to have. Parts assortment The part assortment are good. The paint roller is something which is simple and yet it amaze me with this little tool. You can assemble the paint roller together in a very simple fashion. The pail is a good accessory where it can be used for various settings and not just restricting to paint jobs. Working hard to decorate the place Artistic Touch 16) The tough Motorcycle Mechanic Woo hoo, the last one is a tough nut! At first glance when I saw this image, I seriously did not think or even consider that he is actually a Motorcycle Mechanic. Instead, I did a typical stereotype and think he is a gangster or hooligan who is out to wreck trouble. It is only until I have seen the official description, then I realise the proper usage of his spanner which is to repair motorcycles and not using it to whack people. Parts assortment The parts assortment is very average and even with the regular spanner, it still does not impress me as much as the earlier Series 6, Mechanic that keep his tools in a toolbox. However, the plus point for this minifigure is certainly the printing on his flame fiery tattoo on his side arm and the back view that feature the skull printing. Such small little details are very nice to have and I appreciate the efforts made to put into it. What do you think is happening here? My new ride A concluding thought for the Collectable Minifigures Series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 Let's take a moment and view this awesome super big group photo which I have assembled for viewing! I can't believe that a 48x48 grey baseplate has actually occuped the entire LEGO CMFs that are released so far. it will not be possible for me to use just the same baseplate for Series 11 and future series, so I probably will have to crack my head to think of a new solution to overcome the excess population growth. Putting back to the main point, what do everyone feels about the current LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 10? For me, it is just totally amazing and incredible which I can't use to describe with only a few words for expericing this hype excitcment in me. Even after I had written this review, I still cannot believe the epic sight. This is certainly a huge achievement which TLG had done and actively promoting since the year 2010. Now with a total of 160 minifigures released for the entire Series 1 to 10, not including Mr.Gold and the Toy Soldier, that is considered tremendously a lots of minifigures to be seen and is no easy feat to attain and to complete. Even by placing them onto the display requires a substantial amount of time to do so. I had taken an image above and showcase every single minifigure out there and I had to admit that it is damn impressive! Words of unlimited joy and thrill can't simply describe the feeling when I assemble and put them altogether as one single theme! Each time, I do this and it is just so incredible to see how much this theme had actually evolved to a great magnificent transformation. With Series 10 releasing soon, there is a Series 11 coming in the next few months in 2013 and soon after the Series 10 will be retiring from the shelves as well to facilitate the welcome of the Series 11. I hope we will be ready for the future LEGO CMFs Series. All in all, I am only wishing to see this magicial theme being able to continue wave after wave in every new calendar year. General Statistics for Minifigures Series 10 Below is the combination which I have received from my box, 2 Librarians 2 Medusa (s) 6 Roman Commanders 4 Warrior Women 4 Tomahawk Warriors 6 Skydivers 2 Bumblebee Girls 2 Grandpas 4 Paintball Players 2 Sea Captains 4 Sad Clowns 4 Revolutionary Solders 6 Baseball Fielders 2 Trendsetter (s) 4 Decorators 6 Motorcycle Mechanics Based on the above, I managed to achieve only 2 full complete sets of 16 unique minifigs each. It means I will have only 28 remaining random spares left. Read down to find out what are the remaining spares I have. My remaining spares 0 Librarians 0 Medusa (s) 4 Roman Commanders 2 Warrior Women 2 Tomahawk Warriors 4 Skydivers 0 Bumblebee Girls 0 Grandpas 2 Paintball Players 0 Sea Captains 2 Sad Clowns 2 Revolutionary Solders 4 Baseball Fielders 0 Trendsetter (s) 2 Decorators 4 Motorcycle Mechanics Data Analysis Based on the complete new data which I have complied, I have indicated my basic analysis based on my own take. Buying 1 full complete MISB box will allow you to achieve 2 maximum complete unique sets. I believe this is the new distribution which is being considered for a full box of 30 since TLG is intending to market the LEGO CMFs series with effect of the recent Series 9 to be sold in a box of 30 and 60 to market and reach out to new and different group of consumers. Therefore, if you are buying a box of 30, you will definitely be given a full complete set, while a box of 60 will certainly give you 2 complete set. Personally, I don't like the way the new distribution is being configured, not because of the given completed series for a full box. I think the allocation fo the minifigures types is not as good as the previous Series 9. It is because there are not many filers minifigures under the group of six, like the Skydivers, Baseball Fielders and Motorcycle Mechanics. I am not pleased to see these minifigures types to be given with a higher frequency. The only consolation is the wonderful Roman Commander being given the group of six treatment. This is not the same equal and fair treatment given unlike Series 9 distribution where I find it very well distributed with significant army building minifigures to be given very much high frequency like the Heroic Knight in Series 9. So far, each of the 16 unique collectable minifigures have an equal chance of getting 2 out of 32 packets, when a fresh untouched box is opened and consumers will rush in to buy it separately. That will be a 6.25% probability based only on 32 packets. When you add the remaining 28 spares into the calculation, the probability will varies further. 6 unique minifigures are now only available at 12 out of 60 packets and this translates to 20% in total and 3.33% each, which makes it very much harder than before to achieve by just doing it randomly. Whereas, the probability of getting the perceived popular Roman Commanders are on the very much higher new frequency, since they are available at 24 out of 60 and this translates to 40% in total, which is a jump of 15% (9 minifigures more) and 10% for each mentioned type. The likelihood that this percentage will be adjusted further due to many fanatic LEGO minifigure hunters/molesters like ourselves who are scrambling high and low to search for the ones that they are highly desired by many fans even with the Roman Commanders given the highest frequency, it might not be enough since building up the Roman Army Empire will take lots of efforts, because I am having a hard time to build the earlier Roman Soldier in Series 6 where I own about 12 of them. However, it is a great pity that the Medusa is classified as the lowest probability distribution point since there is only 2 Medusas in each sealed box. Furthermore, the Medusa may classified as a potential army builder minifigure. I am not sure and I don't think the Medusa will be the most expensive minifigure in Series 10 even though it might be very popular but definitely not as popular as its predecessors like the Series 2, Spartan and Series 3 Elf. The other type of army building minifigures which might be less general popular but definitely highly sought for are the superb Warrior Women, Tomahawk Warriors and Revolutionary Soldiers. I am feeling neutral of the rest of the distribution and I am wishing that some of the lowest probability distribution point like the Sea Captain, Trendsetter, Librarian, Grandpa which are very useful to apply it in the LEGO City layout. These minifigures can be interchange with the ones in the middle distribution point especially with the Sad Clowns and Decorators that I am not very much fond of, to acquire more than just a few. Overall, I am not completely very upset with the way in how the LEGO Collectable Minifigures distribution listing is being done but I am definitely not feeling pleased about it. What do you guys think about this round of distribution? To conclude and summaries, based on the probability demonstrated by this review, as an example, here are the results, Very High probability 1) Roman Commanders 2) Skydivers 3) Baseball Fielders 4) Motorcycle Mechanics Total range: 40% (increases by 15% more based on 3 complete sets equation) Each: 10% Medium probability 1) Warrior Women 2) Tomahawk Warriors 3) Paintball Players 4) Sad Clowns 5) Revolutionary Solders 6) Decorators Total range: 40% (remains the same based on 3 complete sets equation) Each: 6.67% Very Low probability 1) Librarians 2) Medusa (s) 3) Bumblebee Girls 4) Grandpas 5) Sea Captains 6) Trendsetter (s) Total range: 20% (decreases by 15% less based on 3 complete sets equation) Each 3.33% Some of my close-up images of my current LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series collection To conclude, the LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 10 has created a greater hype than ever before, mainly because of the recent unexpected 'Where is Mr.Gold?' campaign that can either annoy you or surprise you which can be very much of a mixed reaction for many including myself. The new Series 10 is remarkable in its own rights by able to showcase many amazing and creative juice through these new releasing designs that make this series shine especially with minifigures like the Medusa, Revolutionary Soldier, Sea Captain, Tomahawk Warrior, Warrior Woman, etc. It is no easy feat to be able to work on a continunous tight schedule and able to design and deliever new LEGO Minifigures with their wonderful pool of ideas which is obtained by many inspirations. I am confident that the imagination for creativity in the TLG CMFs design team will always be strong. This is also the only avenue where we can see many exciting new minifigures that can never be achieve in the regular LEGO theme releases where stand-alone minifigure concept is not possible where the theme revolve around it. Every of these minifigures in Series 10 have its own charm and beauty with everyone searching for their ones that they like. Army builders are not being disappointed as they are about five minifigures which can be classified as army building which is more than the previous series. Overall, this positive feeling is the exact same excitement whenever there is a new release. Please note that the LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 10 do not contain the placement of LEGO spare parts/accessories. This was practiced since the start of LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 3. Summary review Playability: 9/10 (Many more new LEGO Collectable Minifigures integration across many new and existing themes.) Design: 9.5/10 (Very detailed and limited new LEGO minifigures' parts and accessories with more endless incredible accessories like the paintball gun, seagull, chiwawa, etc.) Price: 8/10 (I believe pricing will remain the same and to me, the quality has certainly improved and worth much more in terms of perceived value especially with the hunt for Mr.Gold.) Overall: 8.8/10 (Another highest ratings ever, on the LEGO Collectable Minifigure Series and is definitely worth buying more of almost everything.) I gave it a "5" based on my Review Score Card. What about yours? I hope every one of you enjoyed reading this simple review of mine. Comments and Criticisms are strongly welcomed. Pictures can be found in My Flickr and My Brickshelf (When moderated) If you are interested to read the past LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series reviews, you may find the following links below! 8683: Collectable Minifigures Series 1 8684: Collectable Minifigures Series 2 8803: Collectable Minifigures Series 3 8804: Collectable Minifigures Series 4 8805: Collectable Minifigures Series 5 8827: Collectable Minifigures Series 6 8831: Collectable Minifigures Series 7 8833: Collectable Minifigures Series 8 71000: Collectable Minifigures Series 9 The LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 10 will be launching on the 1st April 2013 (worldwide)
  5. Hello everyone, I am very pleased to note that the LEGO Collectable Minifigures reviewing tradition continues right here in Eurobricks. It was just merely a short 3 months when you last seen my previous Series 8 review and now I am back once more to share with everyone of you on the latest most exciting instalment of the incredible LEGO Collectable Minifgures Series which is due for global launch on the 3rd December 2012 and the very first of its kind in the upcoming year 2013! This is the fourth new series, which is released so far in 2012 and even though Series 9 is slated for 2013 new releases, it just made you feel that this LEGO Collectable Minifigures are like FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) at every 3 months turnover. That is very amazing and I am certainly seeing TLG (The LEGO Group) is striking hard while the iron is hot. As always and before, I am very excited to share this very special traditional reviewing coverage which exists and only be found solely in Eurobricks and meant for our Eurobricks Community and the entire LEGO Community. First and foremost, I will like to give my most sincere thanks and gratitude to TLG for giving me this exclusive early insight for the brand new LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series. This very special arrangement had provided me an immense great opportunity and adequate time to prepare for this special review, so I could work on this project and give my very best to provide the most extensive coverage for the LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series. Thank you to our Eurobricks Staff/LEGO Ambassador, CopMike and my fellow Eurobricks Staffers for able to facilitate and continue to support me on this very own Eurobricks tradition. This is the ninth time and I hope I will continue to walk this reviewing journey with everyone of you. More importantly, I also wish and hope for such continuing tradition for other future series. I am fully aware that our very own Eurobricks Collectable Minifigures Poll for this brand new series is still not readily available. Fear not, with the images readily available in this review, you may vote for your favourite collectable minifigure. Before we come to this portion, let's re-cap the past Eurobricks Collectable Minifigures polls once more. It miraculously started with Series 1 and Series 2 in the year 2010 and it continue to spread like wildfire with another 3 strong waves of minifigures mania in the year 2011, putting Series 3, Series 4 and Series 5 in an excellent harvesting year. With the year 2012 coming to an end soon, we celebrated with the new Series 6, Series 7 and recent Series 8. Right now at this very moment before we conclude the year 2012, the brand new Collectable Minifigures Series will be releasing worldwide in a matter of weeks and this will be a great opportunity for our Eurobricks community to cast your preferred votes in this new Series 9 poll statistics. Name: 71000 LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 9 Theme: LEGO System / Collectable Minifigures / Series 9 Year: 2012 / 2013 Minifigs: 16 unique minifigures Price for 1 box: USD N.A, GBP N.A, EURO N.A, SGD N.A Price for 1 packet: USD N.A, GBP N.A, EURO N.A, SGD N.A Resources: Brickset, BrickLink An image of an 71000 LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 9 box Is there anyone who have guessed the new colour schema correctly? I meant guessing it right before the rumours start to surface. In this case, the new LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series comes in mild silver grey looking packaging. I have also provided some of the image links below which show the different angles of the minifigures box. [Reference 1] [Reference 2] [Reference 3] The 9 different colour packaging themes for Series 1 to 9 boxes At this rate the boxes are releasing, I am having an incredible hard time to capture all of it together in a single shot. More importantly, do you feel it is essential to have it in future reviews to see the significant growth of new series and able to see the boxes complement with one another to showcase it as absolute single core theme together. As much as I can, I will try my very best to continue to take such pictures but it is definitely going to be very challenging for the future Series 10! What could possibly contain within these mysterious sealed packets? Do Series 9 successfully make you feel very anticipated with huge excitement right now? Well done TLG. The LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 9 had successfully caused me tears of joy and excitement when I first witnessed and received the mint box in November 2012, where the LEGO community and myself, in general do not know what is in-store for this release, especially when we are given unofficial naming and doubting the source if it is legitimate. In fact, TLG had done an excellent job to under-wrap this entire Series 9 without causing a leak in their production factories or supply-chain management unlike previous series that we had seen parts sold in eBay or seeing disappointing preliminary images. TLG have plans to release and launch the Series 9 in a different fashion, like the first official teaser image which was released on the 26 November 2012, where the world had seen for the very first time of the LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 9, minifigures' back view in a collage layout. This move is well-executed and definitely done it well with better coordination and planning. With all of these in place, this launch and the new series is the best Christmas surprise ever and I am sure this is a treat to almost everyone of you out there! I can't speak for all but I am sure the pictures in here will be able to relate how I feel. Please do note that the naming that I had used for this review are official TLG minifigures' naming which will be used for Series 9. So, there is absolute no doubt on it. Front view comparison between Series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 packets Can you simply believe this wonderful sight? This is the fullest glory of the entire Series 1 to 9 in mint packets. It appears you are witnessing an unbelievable chapter of LEGO history. As you can see, the LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series, where many assumed it could be a one-off gimmick in year 2010, was proved wrong as TLG has continued to innovate and launch various new minifigures designs in a series of 16! Yes, 16 is the magical repeating number and it is happening for the very ninth time. Just take a moment and enjoy the sheer systematically progression of these lovely packaging. It tells me a lot that TLG had indeed put in lots of effort to develop and market the entire brand new series, where nobody could ever believe it is made possible. Blind packaging concept is not a thing in the past and it had already successfully infused into our LEGO hobby as part of our ritual culture where almost every LEGO collectors out there religiously hunting for more and at least owning one. Just take a look around us, whom have actually collecting or buying LEGO. Who could ever miss of not buying at least one packet from any series? I don't believe there is none in the LEGO community or parents that did not buy any. In fact, I strongly believe that this LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series theme is the simplest gateway for anyone to get involved in LEGO! The entire concept and value behind this theme is truly remarkable and the success is very commendable. Take a closer look at these. This is the front view of the Series 9 packet, while this shows the back view of it. Last but not least, this is an image that shows the back view comparison of all packets. Oh, and lastly, I had mentioned this before previously and I will do it again. If you are intending to narrow the ones that you are collecting, please hone the 'touch and feel' method. It is a useful skillset to acquire and locate the minifigures that you want. Your mission is to memorise and remember the minifigures assortments for each unique design. Isolate and identify the most unique accessory or accessories that appeared for the particular minifigure. From there, eliminate the torso, head and legs away and feel for other parts. The only disadvantage of this method is much idle time will be most likely wasted if the minifigures that you are seeking for does not exist in the box or ending up having sore numb thumbs after feeling. However, I do think this approach is much practical than any other uncommon approach. Front view of the Minifigs Series 9 promotional leaflet Back view of the Minifigs Series 9 promotional leaflet 1) The professional Waiter Finally I am able to acquire a brand new waiter design variation. Although you begin to see these waiters in the 1990s, but none of these waiters stand out as well as this new seasoned professional looking waiter. This fellow definitely suiting for a posh fine dining environment where you and your guest will enjoy the candlelight dinner over soothing music with the waiter serving the finest red wine in the the restaurant. You will like to have this fine fellow in your dining establishment to serve your dining customers. This is an image of an another view of the Waiter. Parts assortment The parts assortment are very nicely done up with new accessories like the food tray where the waiter could place the newly printed wine bottle which shows the vintage grape looking favour. You can have a closer look at these wonderful new accessories. The food tray is supported by a circular stud beneath for the minifigure's arm to hold the centre equilibrium to balance the wine bottle without any usage of LEGO stud to support. The tuxedo design give a refreshing same black look. Suits are always the same for men and you will probably rarely see suits in different colours, probably white. Gentlemen in Black... 2) The barbaric Cyclops The Cyclops is both part of the Greek and Roman Mythology, where it illustrates a giant one-eyed monster with sheer brute strength at his wield. At first glance, you might think it was an ogre but on closer inspection, you will soon notice the big round eyeball at the centre of its head. This medieval ancient monster is first of its kind to be actually seen in LEGO minifigures scale. With these new formidable force in play, it will soon may threaten other castle medieval factions in my playing scenes. Parts assortment The parts and design are done very nicely. I like how the minifigure turns out to be sand-green olive-green. It has back printing at the torso which add details into it. It also come with a club with a new colour shade. I am particularly fond of its dual expressive feelings at the face. It seems the half-eyed monster is either looks tired or could have been knocked out due to a strong impact from behind which I will illustrate below. In addition, I also put in more images with the Cyclops in action and comparing it with other quite distant relatives. Knocking the Cyclops to bed Detailed view of the Cyclops Our attitudes are too similar with one another Distant relatives Taking on the challenge of the Cyclops 3) The glamorous Hollywood Starlet Everyone, let's stand up and give a round of applause to this glamorous Hollywood Starlet! Indeed, this starlet could be originally from the famous Hollywood, the place where many famous movies were made and screened worldwide. I was actually thinking to associate it with the term, 'Actress'. However, her outfit with these shining glittering dress, had certainly made her true starlet where she is ready to receive an award in those similar movies awards ceremony. Parts assortment The parts are average but the design of the starlet's dress is impressive and is also suitable to be used as night gown for ball parties. Did you notice the beautiful nice looking tiara at her neck? Such details are really amazing. The award trophy is similar to the ones like the first Series 2, Karate Master. I do like her new blonde short-haired appearance with some perm in it. Best Leading Actress Some new dresses to choose from... 4) The brave Heroic Knight I am so excited and feeling extremely happy to see this minifigure being created in the LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series. Even though it is just a typical medieval knight which had appeared in countless series of LEGO Classic Castle, such as the Black Knights till modern castle theme like the recent new Kingdoms. This Heroic Knight is fantastic and epic, simply because it is a new design which can be associated with an existing castle faction of the superb re-introduction of the Fantasy Era, Crown Kingdom that is the single Castle theme which ends the dark age of all Castle fans, including myself. Therefore, this minifigure definitely holds a symbolic meaning to many. You can take a closer detailed look at the Heroic Knight. Parts assortment The parts assortment is very good which includes a brand new short sword. I am quite sure I have not seen it elsewhere unless it might be from the new LEGO Heroica Games, but I am pretty confident it is a new weapon type. The shield and armour are completed with a nice coat of silver. The helmet is completed by adding it with a white plume and it can be represented as 'White Knight'. It is a pity that the torso is just a plain grey piece instead of having some design printed onto it, but it is common to see a plain torso behind an outstanding piece of beautiful armour. You can take a closer look of the back of the Heroic Knight. For the victory WhiteFang standing together with the new Heroic Knight Don't they just look quite similar with one another? It is a very nice coincidence and another increase of liking from me. Here is another image without the helmet visors on to show their real faces. Crown Kingdom New Knights of Honour Our new leading commander Marching out to battle 5) The supreme Roman Emperor The mighty line or rulers of the Roman Emperor is renowned in ancient medieval history. Initially I was wondering who might this Roman Emperor be, without assuming, even though my first impression could be Julius Caesar. The written scroll which states 'VENI, VIDI, VICI' wordings had confirmed my suspicions and it refers to 'I came, I saw, I conquered' when Julius Caesar said in his campaign. Parts assortment This is an outstanding historic minifigure. Take a look at the back view and side view. There are many fine details as how a Roman Emperor looks like. I particularly like th golden laurel wreath at the top of his head. Do note that the wordings are printed onto a 2x2 tile and in my opinion, anything that is printed LEGO parts are always welcomed. Furthermore, I will tend to think that the outfit can be used for other Roman citizens by changing the hairpiece away. It can be a good way to populate the Roman Empire with citizens. The Roman Empire will rule the land with my mighty legionnaires Protect the Emperor 6) The upstanding Policeman When this name was initially surfaced as rumours, many claimed that this minifigure is not required and it is not needed since the LEGO Police had been there for many many decades, like an evergreen theme. It is true that the Policeman might not be highly desired. However, now that you have seen the design of this Policeman, do you still think it is not required? In fact, I personally felt that this is the most outstanding piece of Policeman design which I have not seen for a very long time. It has all of the right details in there, right from the cap, badge, tie, belt, pockets, etc. At one glance, I know you will be dealing with the men in blue. Parts assortment The parts assortment are great and the police cap is truly an outstanding design which no other police officers in previous and current LEGO themes were introduced. This is one of the best supporting reasons why this minifigure is to be sought for to safeguard the City interest. The Police ID printed badge is very nice and the officer's ID is '2101'. I wonder if it has any meaning in it but I do like the anonymous minifigure face in there. It also comes with a standard handcuff. I got to admit that this could be my very first City minifigure which I am determined to buy in multiples. Furthermore, I don't really recall seeing nice navy blue policemen in LEGO. It is always 'black' uniform. Law Enforcement Department Police Inspectors 7) The cute Chicken Suit Guy Many have anticipated and wondered how does the Chicken Suit Guy looks like and it is no disappointment. TLG has definitely done an excellent job to capture the chicken suit mascot very well. It look like the guy from Toy Story 2, who is standing in front of the Toy Outlet. Even though it may look simplistic but the challenge lies in the connection of the wings to the torso at the side. I will love to have a few of these to march around the City, that could entice and interact with the children. This is an image where you see the cute Chicken Suit Guy attempting to flap his wings. Parts assortment There is no accessories for this fellow, but the detail are pretty decent even though there is actually no print for the torso for the front and back. If you look at the torso carefully, there is no indication which is the front or back since the wings are symmetrical. Take a moment and see some of the closer looks through its side view and back view. The headpiece and the entire suit is a nice piece of work. You can take another look on the minifigure's building parts. Party animals??? A good rest after a hard day at work! 8) The daring Roller Derby Girl I did not really expect to see Roller Derby sport to be seen in the LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series. At first, I am not too familiar with this sport and do not know what to expect. After I had done some reading, I realised this is a sport which is popular in the United States. This sport involves in lots of body contact and you need to skate it through to win as a team. In a nutshell, Roller derby is played by two teams of five members simultaneously skating counter-clockwise on a circuit track, where one person is designated as a jammer while the other four are blockers. This move surely introduces more unique characters in this series. Parts assortment The Roller Derby Girl comes in a number representation, '49'. She has tons of body protective gears from elbow guards, knee guards and helmet. You can take a glimpse through the side view. The new skates design is great. Even though it does not come with moving wheels, but I am totally impressed that the skates enable you to hold the minifigure on top of any LEGO stud. There is a stud at the skates below. I am sure this will be another popular piece of accessory. The new skates can hold its grip onto the LEGO stud Hanging out with friends 9) The mysterious Fortune Teller Ah, so where is the crystal ball, that the Fortune Teller will look into it and say, 'What do you see in there?' to the visitor. Geez, there is no crystal ball but there are tarot cards that were used by mystics and gypsies to cast predictions and divinations. She isn't really mysterious but she does make a fine maiden. Parts assortment The parts assortment for the Fortune Teller is decent and the printed tiles for the tarot cards are very pleasing. Too bad, I do not know the meaning of these particular 'castle' and 'sun' card but personally I felt these can be made as fine pictorial portraits. Her hairpiece with the purple bandanna at the top is one of the nice touch in this design. You can see the shape of it from her back view. The new Wild West expansion 10) The impartial Judge I do believe as long a country have legislation and law which governs law and order, there will be an important person in the court system which will pass sentence at the end of the court trial, and it is none other but the judge. Every single details right from his wig, to the grey frowned face with round-rim glasses and robe is captured in this minifigure. At one glance, anyone will immediately recognise it is a judge and more importantly, he is the first ever judge in the LEGO minifigures history. Every city needs at least one judge to be present to hold the court trials. Parts assortment The new judge hammer is a wonderful invention. It can also be made as a fine mallet or be used in a workshop. The wig is also pretty good. You can take a careful examination through its side view and back view to see the well-defined line of layers of hairs in the wig. The only disappointment is the discoloured pinkish stain which ought to be white. Oh well, TLG has not been able to rectify this known issue. However, this is not a huge concern to me since the robe managed to cover the most of it. The torso itself is very useful for designing aristocrats. However, it actually gave me a strong resemblance towards the Series 8 Pirate Captain. What can you relate in this picture? Court Hearing You are going nowhere but prison 11) The nasty Alien Avenger Who could have ever expect the Series 7 Galaxy Space Patrol will face a new threatening rivalling space faction, known as the Alien Avenger? The naming itself suggest that there are like avengers seeking revenge on their enemies for destroy their home planet? I tend to think that the Alien Avenger is somehow related to the orc/ogre species. Still, their armour and equipment are equally advanced against the Galaxy Space Patrol. This will be another exciting minifigure which many space army builders will seek to build up the new warring faction. Parts assortment The parts are equally the same like the one in Series 7 for the jet-pack armour, the laser pulse gun and the helmet. It comes with a different colour schema and prints at the shoulder pads and the rest of it are generally covered in grey. If you have taken a careful look, you will also noticed that on the top right hand upper corner indicates a name called 'SHAMI' or 'SHANI'. To be honest, I can't make clear on the fourth letter. Detailed overview of the Alien Avenger equipment Inter-galactic Space War Different space warring factions The struggle for survival is always ongoing for us 12) The beautiful Mermaid Wow, simply great to see the mermaid in the yellow fleshed looking. I will think this is the only approriate mermaid design which combines both the 2009 Pirates Mermaid and the recent Pirates of the Caribbean flesh mermaid. Both of these design had actually formed a much better original looking mermaid which will let many LEGO fans to acquire it. It is just perfect and welcoming to see such a wonderful and proper design. Parts assortment The parts assortment are good especially for the new hairpiece which I am quite sure I don't see it elsewhere and the lovely starfish. I love the torso as well and it could be used interchangeable for other minifigures customisation purpose. I really could not find what does this minifigure lack of but seriously this will be very popular among many. Father and Daughter Seeing is believing Great White Shark Attack 13) The advanced Battle Mech This fellow is a surprise to me. I can never imagine that a orange looking Battle Mech could be represented in the form of minifigure. It does somehow reminded me of Gundam. Until recently, when I saw the images of the new 2013 Galaxy Squad, I saw other similar looking mechs accompanying the space troopers. Well, it seems that they are evolving and changed their robots assistance to more sophisticated and advanced looking machine. I am not even sure if a real person is controlling this mech or if its controlled by a computer or even have a robotic mind of its own? Nonetheless, I am sure this will be also a very popular minifigure as well. Parts assortment The parts assortment for this highlight is definitely the the Battle Mech's armoured jet pack and the sleek looking armoured helmet. All of these parts contribute to the fitting of the Battle Mech's design. However, it is a great pity that this minifigure does not come with any accessories to complement. I did wish he can hold a laser pulse gun or something different. Still, this is not really a main concern but I thought it could be suggested as a good improvement. Battle Mech exo-gear Battle Mech in action Battle Mechas standing by Unite with Exo-Force 14) The radical Mr Good and Evil This Mr Good and Evil is like a combination of two extreme personality merged into one single character, with each of the personality fighting to struggle with one another, like these iconic dual personality characters such as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Batman Villain, Two-Face. The entire design appears that Mr Good and Evil has indeed gone through a struggle to keep his sanity from both sides to prevent the evil transformation from taking place. Just take a look at all of these torn clothings. Even the hat itself had some torn marks. Parts assortment The parts assortment is pretty average. Please do note that the potion bottle of vial is not blue. It is purple and I am not sure how come my camera capture it in this manner. I could see TLG is trying their best to illustrate this minifigure by even taking note of their hands between normal and abnormal differentiation. The tattered torn black suit is quite nicely done and even extended it down to the black pants. I do enjoy seeing this minifigure securing a place in the Monster Legends. Struggling with different personality issues Whose vial is more potent? Special Collectable Monsters Collection 15) The steadfast Forest Maiden The steadfast Forest Maiden had finally unveil its beauty and charm. This Forest Maiden will be considered to be known as the most highly sought minifigure in this Series. Read on to find out why as this minifigure will appeal to many groups of LEGO fans and largely appeal to the army builders. This Forest Maiden can be used between theme of Forestmen or could be even considered to use as part of Elves counterpart. It does reminds me to see a new version of her previous life as a Forestwoman. It is really very nice to see female warriors to stand up and bear arms to defend their lands from danger. Parts assortment Just take closer look at the Forest Maiden torso and parts. Isn't it amazing? I could not find any faults in this minifigure. The elfish long bow and the beautiful shield of the tree emblem is simply remarkable. The torso and skirt piece is laid nicely in dark green outfit. Do note that the orange long hairpiece is not ABS hard plastic. It is made up of soft rubber. Forest inhabitants Isn't she suitable being a female elf warrior? 16) The reliable Plumber Plumbing is not an easy job and this Plumber will always do his best to come up front to repair and rectify all problems with his tools? I could see one of his main tools that the Plumber carry is the newly designed plunger. Little do they known that the plunger is very useful to remove chokes in basins and toilets. It is fun to see this fellow coming to the series and I really do not recall seeing this occupation made available in LEGO City or Town before. Parts assortment The parts assortment is average but the design of the Plumber is nicely done. There is back printing for the Plumber. I do wish there are more tools but the main highlight for this fellow is the plunger. Are you curious to find out what is beneath the plunger? The surface of the plunger below is made up of soft rubber. This is an image which shows the side view of the Plumber with a closer look at the plunger. Populating with more new jobs It was an accident A concluding thought for the Collectable Minifigures Series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 So, what do everyone feels about the current LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 9? A few words cannot describe the adrenaline rush which I am feeling at this very moment. Even after I had completed writing this review, I still cannot believe the epic creation of using mere LEGO minifigures to construct a theme together. No such LEGO theme is ever created before and this is the first and only longest running line of collectable minifigures which encourage and continue to entice many LEGO fans to be immense and crazy with the chasing and collecting. With a total of 144 minifigures released for the entire Series 1 to 9, that is considered tremendously a lots of minifigures to be seen and is no easy feat to attain. Even by placing them onto the display requires a substantial amount of time to do so. I had taken an image above and showcase every single minifigure out there and I had to admit that it is damn impressive! Words of unlimited joy and thrill can't simply describe the feeling when I assemble and put them altogether as one single theme! Each time, I do this and it is just so incredible to see how much this theme had actually evolved to a great magnificent transformation. If you have also taken a careful look, there is a consistent distribution of designs to allocate for the female minifigures. Previously in Series 7 and Series 8, there are a total of 5 female minifigures available, and in this case, it is the same distribution as before, which include the Hollywood Starlet, Roller Derby Girl, Fortune Teller, Mermaid and Forest Maiden. All of which had shown a determined consistency to provide a much higher attention to the female minifigures counterparts. We have now heard and seen rumoured news of a potential Series 11 where we have not even seen confirmed images of Series 10. This goes to prove that the LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series will just end in Series 10. All I can do, is to continuing hoping for their continuation of this theme, so more new inspirational potential discoveries may appear through the magical wonders of the LEGO Collectable Minifigure Series theme! All of the LEGO Collectable Minifigures Parts mixed together (Series 1 to 9) I thought of creating a small little section to dedicate these to the LEGO Collectable Minifigures accessories. Every accessories in this image belong to the LEGO Collectable Minifigures. Little do we realise, there is actually many new accessories created through these series. I do apologies that I didn't line them up in proper filing but I tend to like them in an artistic mess where you can test your identification knowledge through a glimpse of it. Most of the accessories in there are pretty much exclusive to a certain designed minifigure, like for example, Series 1, Clown's Trumpet, Series 6, Sleepyhead's Teddy Bear, Series 8, Fairy's Wings, etc. By utilising the exclusive accessories, you will be able to customise and diversify further in touching up the minifigures' details in your collection or MOCs. And I just noticed that among the pile, there is actually a very few parts that should not belong in there. I just put all of these parts in a single bin as I did not really sort them accordingly General Statistics for Minifigures Series 9 Below is the combination which I have received from my box, 2 Waiters 6 Cyclops(s) 2 Hollywood Starlets 6 Heroic Knights 4 Roman Emperors 6 Policemen 4 Chicken Suit Guys 2 Roller Derby Girls 2 Fortune Tellers 4 Judges 6 Alien Avengers 4 Mermaids 4 Battle Mechs 4 Mr Good and Evil(s) 2 Forest Maidens 2 Plumbers Based on the above, I managed to achieve only 2 full complete sets of 16 unique minifigs each. It means I will have only 28 remaining random spares left. Read down to find out what are the remaining spares I have. My remaining spares 0 Waiters 4 Cyclops(s) 0 Hollywood Starlets 4 Heroic Knights 2 Roman Emperors 4 Policemen 2 Chicken Suit Guys 0 Roller Derby Girls 0 Fortune Tellers 2 Judges 4 Alien Avengers 2 Mermaids 2 Battle Mechs 2 Mr Good and Evil(s) 0 Forest Maidens 0 Plumbers Data Analysis Based on the complete new data which I have complied, I have drafted my basic analysis based on my own take. Buying 1 full complete MISB box will allow you to achieve 2 maximum complete unique sets. By far, even with the low possibility of completing an additional complete set, this is actually the best news ever to see such a distribution coming true. It is just like a dream and the entire feeling is as if TLG is listening to our thoughts and taking it into careful consideration. Personally, I felt this is an excellent opportunity to actually provide equal and better distribution for the regular LEGO Collectable Minifigures collectors who just want to complete at least one unique set and the army builders, in general that is hunting and acquiring many of the popular army building minifigures like the Cyclops, Heroic Knights, Policemen and Alien Avengers. I really hope the given distribution above; will be the very same distribution for the rest of the world. So far, each of the 16 unique collectable minifigures have an equal chance of getting 2 out of 32 packets, when a fresh untouched box is opened and consumers will rush in to buy it separately. That will be a 6.25% probability based only on 32 packets. When you add the remaining 28 spares into the calculation, the probability will varies further. 6 unique minifigures are now only available at 12 out of 60 packets and this translates to 20% in total and 3.33% each, which makes it very much harder than before to achieve by just doing it randomly. Whereas, the probability of getting the perceived popular Cyclops, Heroic Knights, Policemen and Alien Avengers are on the very much higher new frequency, since they are available at 24 out of 60 and this translates to 40% in total, which is a jump of 15% (9 minifigures more) and 10% for each mentioned type. However, the likelihood that this percentage will change further due to many fanatic LEGO minifigure hunters/molesters like ourselves who are scrambling high and low to search for the ones that they are highly desired by many fans. Moreover, I am extremely very pleased to note that some of the more likely popular minifigures like the Cyclops, Heroic Knights, Policemen and Alien Avengers are on the highest possible distribution point since these 4 minifigures are generally classified and rated under the army-builders' portfolio expansion. Thus, this will provides a much higher chance for us to likely find it in those opened boxes. At least, that is what it had happened back in Series 6 and 7 where I can still manage to find some very small trace of Celtic Highlanders, Minotaurs, Evil Knights and Galaxy Patrols. However, it is a also a great pity that the Forest Maiden is classified as the lowest probability distribution since there is only 2 Forest Maidens in each sealed box. Furthermore, the Forest Maiden is classified as army builder minifigure. I strongly believe the Forest Maiden will be the most expensive minifigure in Series 9 and it will be as hot as its predecessors like the Series 2, Sparten and Series 3 Elf. The less general popular minifigure but still relatively in high demand, are the beautiful Mermaids and Battle Mechs. I am also extremely pleased to note that the very much less popular minifigures where fans only requires a handful of these selected minifigures in their collection since these are not too suitable for army building like the Plumbers, Roller Derby Girls and Hollywood Starlets. Overall, I am very glad to note this very positive revolutionary change in the LEGO Collectable Minifigures distribution listing. To conclude and summaries, based on the probability demonstrated by this review, as an example, here are the results, Very High probability 1) Cyclops(s) 2) Heroic Knights 3) Policemen 4) Alien Avengers Total range: 40% (increases by 15% more based on 3 complete sets equation) Each: 10% Medium probability 1) Roman Emperors 2) Chicken Suit Guys 3) Judges 4) Mermaids 5) Battle Mechs 6) Mr Good and Evil(s) Total range: 40% (remains the same based on 3 complete sets equation) Each: 6.67% Very Low probability 1) Waiters 2) Hollywood Starlets 3) Roller Derby Girls 4) Fortune Tellers 5) Forest Maidens 6) Plumbers Total range: 20% (decreases by 15% less based on 3 complete sets equation) Each 3.33% Some of my close-up images of my current LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series collection To conclude, the LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 9 has blown my mind away and hit beyond my 'wow' expectations. It can be considered the most 'legendary' series, ever released so far especially given the mixed reactions in Series 8, in the LEGO Collectable Minifigures standards. This new release had indeed raised the mark to a higher level of quality and achievement. Series 9 had seen many new characters like the Judge, Battle Mech and designs plus outstanding expansion and integration like the Alien Avenger, Heroic Knight with other LEGO themes and previous series. I am just loss for words. It had exceed my expectations and had overtaken my love for Series 1 and Series 7 which are my primary preferences over the course of these releases. The Series 9 had also witnessed a brand new milestone of achieving the best optimum balance which will satisfy two main camps of collectors, largely minifigures' collectors and army builders. Furthermore, every of these minifigures are appealing and is best in its own class and definition. I will just have to sum it up and note that the Series 9 had truly re-ignite the charm, beauty and most importantly achieving the fundamental true principles of what a high quality LEGO Collectable Minifigures concept is all about. You can't satisfy everyone in this world and to a very large extent, TLG did an excellent job to retain and attract new buyers. Lastly, it made me feel the same excitement when Series 1 was first launched. Please note that the LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 9 do not contain the placement of LEGO spare parts/accessories. This was practiced since the start of LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 3. Summary review Playability: 9/10 (Incredible to see more and more new LEGO Collectable Minifigures integration across many new and existing themes.) Design: 9.5/10 (Very detailed and limited new LEGO minifigures' parts and accessories with more endless incredible accessories like the heroic sword, starfish, hammer, plunger, etc but the pinkish discoloured stains for Judge is still a little disheartening.) Price: 8/10 (Rating for price went up by one notch and I believe pricing will remain the same and to me, the quality has definitely improved and worth much more in terms of perceived value.) Overall: 8.8/10 (One of my highest ratings ever, on the LEGO Collectable Minifigure Series and is definitely worth buying more of almost everything.) I gave it a "5" based on my Review Score Card. What about yours? I hope every one of you enjoyed reading this simple review of mine. Comments and Criticisms are strongly welcomed. Pictures can be found in My Flickr and My Brickshelf (When moderated) If you are interested to read the past LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series reviews, you may find the following links below! 8683: Collectable Minifigures Series 1 8684: Collectable Minifigures Series 2 8803: Collectable Minifigures Series 3 8804: Collectable Minifigures Series 4 8805: Collectable Minifigures Series 5 8827: Collectable Minifigures Series 6 8831: Collectable Minifigures Series 7 8833: Collectable Minifigures Series 8 Special Eurobricks Bulletin We have come to the end of this pictorial review. I won't reveal too much but you will discover it soon enough. Please do not discuss this inside this review. Kindly leave your thoughts in this discussion topic.
  6. REVIEW - 42080 - FOREST MACHINE INTRODUCTION This has to be the least appealing set of the second wave of 2018 sets, when it comes to aesthetics. Of course, this is a personal preference, but the use of two different shades of green just doesn't cut it (you get it?) for me. And the RRP (recommended retail price) of 129 euro doesn't help either. Basically, this is a rather expensive not so good looking set. So, why am I interested in it anyway?! Because it packs some pneumatic functions, and even a new pneumatic valve (two to be precise). After longer pneumatic cylinders, TLG again listened to certain Eurobricks members hehe and designed new elements to work with the Pneumatic V2 system. And judging by some visible gears here and there, this set probably packs more than meets the eye. Nuff said, let's start our engines and do some logging...sustainable of course! If you see this icon, you can click the image on the left or right side of the image, to cycle through alternative images. PICTURES Pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. More pictures can be found in my Flickr album. DISCLAIMER This set has been provided by the CEE Team of TLG. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefore, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG. SET INFORMATION Number: 42080 Title: Forest Machine Theme: Technic Released: 2018 Part Count: 1.003 Box Weight: 1,67 kg Box Dimensions: 47,5 cm x 37,0 cm x 6,2 cm Set Price (MSRP): £ / $ 149.99 / € 129,99 Price per Part: £ / $ 0.15 / € 0,13 Links: Brickset, Bricklink THE BOX The front shows the model, with quite an impressive logging apparatus. You don't want to get cought in the claws of this bad boy. It will turn you into minced meat in no-time. As I said before, I am not a big fan of the color scheme on this thing, but I am very interested to find out what this thing is packin'. The right side of the box is already showing some spoilers. Not only does it pack a battery box and a large motor, like the Rough Terrain Crane, but it also contains quite a few Pneumatic V2 elements, including two brand new valves. I can only say....whoop whoop BACKSIDE Like the Volvo Zeux, the backside is divided in an upper and a lower section. The upper section, for the main model, tells us that this model has a Motorised Pneumatic Crane, Articulated Steering and the cabin with boom can rotate about 270 degrees. The bottom section shows the B-model, a Log Loader. At this point, I am somewhat indifferent about it. It utilizes the Pneumatic and Power Functions elements to have some functionality, but it seems to be more or less the same as the main model. CONTENTS OF THE BOX The box contains: 1x Sealed pack with booklet and sticker sheet 1x Bag with tires and large motor 1x Bag with pneumatic hoses 7x Numbered bag BOOKLET AND STICKER SHEET The sealed bag with booklet and sticker sheet. BOOKLET A single booklet with instructions for the main model. STICKER SHEET The sticker sheet with various stickers. TIRES AND LARGE MOTOR The bag containing eight balloon tires and the large motor. POWER FUNCTIONS ELEMENTS As usual the battery box comes unbagged, while the large motor resides in its own bag within the bigger bag. PNEUMATIC HOSES Pneumatic hoses, to go with the cylinders. How convenient. BAGS And of course, the numbered bags. Seven in total. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS This set does come with some interesting parts. PNEUMATIC PARTS First of all the new pneumatic valves. These are new molds and are an improvement over the older ones. We will see why later in this review. This set also contains two of the new V2 longer pneumatic cylinders and a small cylinder. I forgot to include the blue pump. TIRES Eight balloon tires. No sure why I am highlighting these, because they are quite common. Only 41 sets have used these in the past RIMS These rims aren't very rare either, but in this color you will only find them in three sets. Flat silver if I am not mistaken. BLADE AND SPIKES Here are two odd-looking fellas. One of 'em is a Circular Saw Blade, found in lots of themes like Ninjago, Power Miners, etc and the other is a 2x2 Round Brick with Spikes. The round brick with spikes has been used before, but this is the only set which has them in Yellow. PANELS I almost missed these ones, but upon building the model, I suddenly realised that these panels might be new in green. And indeed they are. These small panels are new in Lime Green. PART LIST The part list showing 1003 parts. THE BUILD The build starts with the front steering linkage. Here you can see the new valves attached to the back of the cabin. The main difference with the old ones is the axle going through the valve. This means that they can be operated using an axle (most likely with a gear attached). This gives us lots of opportunities for better pneumatic models. Like the old valve, it isn't very easy to switch. This must be due to the nature of the valve, but there is quite some resistance when you try to switch the valve. The new valve also implements the slightly smaller ends, to make it easier to attach the hoses. The battery box, motor and valve are neatly packed in the rear compartment of the vehicle. The rear is connected to the front using thew new large turntable. Both rear axles have pendular suspension. Albeit a very basic implementation, but it's worth mentioning. At this stage the front and back of the vehicle are done. The rear can be opened and closed to easily replace the batteries in the box. After building the crane, and some added details (two logs, a chainsaw, a small log and some sort of rest for the log) the model is finished! To be honest; I am not completely sure what to think of it. Still looks a bit messy to me, but maybe the functions can compensate for that. COMPLETED MODEL Here you can see the completed model, with the added extra's. You can click on the image to see alternate versions of the boom position. The picture below clearly shows how big the head on the crane is. It packs the grabbers/grinders and the saw blade. The weight is rather high, especially when you look at the size of the crane boom. It's not a real problem for the crane itself, but it does tend to get top heavy and it can easily tip over the vehicle over when moved to the side. These semi-new macaroni parts sure are popular. They come in every Technic set, don't they?! I do love 'em btw, so keep 'em coming. And one final image from the rear. It is interesting, and to some even useful, that TLG included two new green panels (not counting the lime panels) and green parts, but I think this vehicle would have looked better with a dark bluish grey chassis, and more lime green parts for the rear compartment. FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES Below are two videos demonstrating the functions. Both videos are basically the same (take 1 and take 2), but I figured I might as well include the both, so you will see the grabbers work at least once I have said this before in previous reviews, but to me, Pneumatic models often are proofs of concept, instead of actual working models. Admittedly, the big cylinders work like a charm. These have enough power to do the heavy lifting. But the small cylinder simply doesn't have enough power to operate simple functions. As you can see in the video, I sometimes have to help the grabbers near the saw blade to contract. Besides that, it takes a long time before they open and close. They are not very responsive. The valves are very hard to operate. You really need to apply a lot of force to the 12T gear, which makes you wonder whether the axle isn't breaking. I love the new design, but operating them by gear/axle doesn't feel safe or comfortable. I'd rather use the lever. The pump is located in the rear of the vehicle. When it's turned on, that part of the vehicle tends to move a lot. You can see it shaking a lot. This is caused by the lack of weight, but the suspension doesn't help either. The crane is rather heavy, so when you rotate it, the vehicle is bound to tip over. This is partially caused by the suspension and partially because the head of the machine is too heavy. All in all I am afraid that the functions don't compensate for the overall look of the machine. I really appreciate what TLG has tried to do with this set/model, but the execution is not that succesful. A full blown Forest Machine might have been a better choice, because the appearance and functionality of this model doesn't justify the price of the set. B-MODEL The alternate model isn't very exciting, an eight wheeled vehicle with a pneumatic crane. At a glance I had to look twice to see it's a different vehicle. It looks poorly executed and the placement of the battery box is rather awkward. It's not the worst B-model *cough* 42082 *cough*, but I do think it could have been better, if the designer hadn't focus on a vehicle with eight wheels and a crane. SUMMARY Before building this model I was hoping that the functions would compensate for the poor exterior of the model. Unfortunately, they don't. There are simply too much negative aspects to make me enthusiastic about this set. I would think twice, or thrice, before forking out 129 euro for a couple of new panels and some Pneumatic parts. Even at a decent discount I think it's better to order these Pneumatic parts via S&H or Bricklink. PROS New pneumatic valves Decent selection of other pneumatic parts Three panels in new colors CONS Doesn't look good, especially two different green colors Small pneumatic cylinder doesn't have enough power Valves are hard to operate Vehicle tends to tip over Rear sections shakes a lot when pump is turned on Suspension makes it wobbly/instable Price SCORE How do I rate this set? 6 DESIGN Color scheme and overall design is so so. 7 BUILDING EXPERIENCE Kind of okay, but there is much fiddling going on. 7 FEATURES There are enough features, but they don't work very well. 6 PLAYABILITY Functions should work better to improve playability. 7 PARTS If you are into Pneumatic models (or MOCs), this is a nice parts pack. 6 VALUE FOR MONEY At 13 cents a piece, this set is rather expensive. 6,5 MEDIOCRE MACHINE Thanks you for reading this review. All pictures can be found here.
  7. SET REVIEW: 10254 WINTER HOLIDAY TRAIN (including Power Functions) Introduction It is my pleasure to present to the EB community a review of the 10254 Winter Holiday Train. This is the latest yearly installment in the Winter Village series of sets from The LEGO Group and promises to be an exciting addition to Winter Village collections which do not have the previous winter-themed train 10173 Holiday Train released in 2006. Since the release of that earlier set, we have seen many other trains released that fall outside the standard LEGO City theme, such as the Emerald Night and Horizon Express. I have been impressed with those models and so my hopes for this set were very high on hearing of the release. For many fans, a winter train that doesn't cost a small fortune on the secondary market is to be welcomed. I hope that this review will assist you all with considering whether to add this set to your collection. I have also included a segment on the adaptability to use with Power Functions, which I think is a really well thought out part of this set, although the set DOES NOT come with the Power Functions parts necessary to motorise it; these are sold separately. My thanks to EB LUG Ambassador CopMike and the LEGO CEE Team and Designers for the opportunity to review this set for the EB community. Set information Name: Winter Holiday Train Number: 10254 Theme: LEGO Creator / Winter Holiday Theme Year: 2016 Pieces: 734 Price: USD $99.99, GBP 69.99£, EURO 89,99€, NZD $179.99 Resources: Brickset, BrickLink Packaging I'll begin with some images of the packing for this set. The box is of moderate size (479x282x89mm) and features great detail shots on the back. One side features a layout of the included track including measurements of the size of the train and diameter of the circular track. The close-up shots on the back of the box give a good indication of the various play features this set has, which will be discussed later in this review. It also makes it clear that the set can be motorised with certain power functions sets, sold separately. Box Front Box Rear Box Close-Ups Box Contents The box contains 7 plastic bags of parts, 1 for part 1, 3 for part 2, 2 for part 3 and a separate one containing wheels and couplings. There are also 4 sets of 4 curved track pieces and two instruction manuals contained inside plastic packaging to prevent creasing. No cardboard behind the instruction manuals but they were unbent and in good shape. The set contains no sticker sheet. Contents Overall Individual Contents Instruction Booklet There are two instruction booklets with this set. The first is a small half size booklet containing instructions for the first part of the build: the station and presents. The second booklet is A4 opening along the long edge not the short edge and contains instructions for the full train. First Booklet Booklet Size Comparison Inside Sample Pages Minifigures The set comes with 5 minifigures, two children and three adults: the train conductor, engineer and a passenger. There is a nice variety of colours and unique prints here, with one face printed on both sides and four of the five torsos printed on both sides. The train conductor has some nice details such as the gold pocket watch. The choice of face for the conductor is my one criticism of this selection. While he could look old and serious, to me he looks grumpy, and this is particularly evident in some of the box art where we see him waving from the back of the train and helping load presents; he doesn't look like he wants to be there at all! It does at least add some variety to the usual cheery faces however. The female adult minifigure has the dual-sided face. The first side shows a big enthusiastic smile, perfect for posing with the playing children. The opposite side tells a different story; here we see a peaceful sleeping face, likely happy to have a moment to rest (I'm sure most parents can understand this one!). It works quite well in the box art with the woman sleeping on the train station bench while the children play around her. There is a good variety of head accessories with several different types of hair, so this set will add a bit of diversity to a Winter Village collection. Minifigures Front Minifigures Back Minifigure Alternative Face Interesting Train Parts I thought some of the train parts deserved a picture of their own before we get to building the set. There are a couple of different sizes of train wheel, with the biggest driving wheels in red and the engine leading wheels in red also with some black ones for one of the carriages. The rest of the carriage wheels are standard black train wheels that connect with a thin metal rod. The picture below shows one of each size, as well as a couple of other train parts such as the not so common pilot piece (cowcatcher) which will go on the front and the magnetic couplings, of which there are 5 in the set (1 for the back of the train and 2 for each carriage). I also included the white leaves because why not, I like them. Train Parts (and white tree piece) The Build - Part 1: Platform and Presents Now let's get on to the build. Part one contains the small station platform, two minifigures and all of the presents in the set. There are some interesting parts including a clear 2x2 domed piece, roller skates, a printed 1x1 tile with a number pad on it and a nice assortment of small coloured pieces. And of course we can't forget an orange brick separator! Parts contained in Part 1 We then move to building the station. The station is quite small but has a couple of nice details such as the snow tiles (always nice to have white 1x3 tiles) and the lamp post. As far as lamp posts go I wouldn't call this one my favourite, but it is nice enough and seems to be a compulsory requirement of most Winter Village style sets. This improves on previous single-lamp posts from Winter Village sets, trying a different piece for the glass rather than the two-part sphere pieces and uses the green life saver piece as a wreath, which is nice, with a touch of gold as well to brighten things up. The simple bench finishes the station off. Overall a simple little build, not intended to be a major part of the set but nonetheless it is a necessary one. Railway Station Next we have the present,s which are always a bit of fun. There is a nice selection of presents in the set, with three wrapped gifts, a robot, a boat, a spaceship, a fire engine and a windup toy. The robot is very cute and can hold items with its "hands". The child minifigure also comes with a radio piece suggesting the toys can be remote controlled for a bit of added play/imagination value. I like the design of these presents; they are recogniseable and also sturdy. Presents The whole first part to the build makes for a nice collection of items that will add to a Holiday-themed scene. There is a nice assortment of colours and presents in here, plenty to be delivered by train to the waiting children! Completed Part 1 Build Let's not forget the spare parts, this section comes with a few. Spare Parts for Part 1 of the Build The Build - Part 2: Locomotive Part 2 of the build is my favourite as now we get to build the locomotive! This part contains the engine and tender. The selection of parts for the locomotive presents a nice range of shapes and colours, primarily black, green and red. Some of the interesting train parts have already been noted. Parts contained in Part 2 The engine build was fun, not too complex but with some interesting parts used to create the shape of the train, such as axes and goblets. Build in Progress The driving wheels are on their own block, which includes a technic brick for the pin connection with the tender; no coupling here. Attaching the Driving Wheels The floating leading wheels have a couple of decorative features that stand out from the usual, including multiple colours (red and some small gold 1x1 round plates for a little extra bling) plus the distinctive pilot piece (cowcatcher) which makes the shape of this loco stand out. The Leading Wheels Now we just need to add the cab and finish the boiler! Completed Chassis with all Wheels The completed engine is a polished build with lots of colour and a distinctive small steam engine silhouette. The locomotive is categorised as a 4-2-0 with four leading wheels and two driving wheels. The design is based on a Jervis type engine. The scale is too small to replicate many steam engine features like the Emerald Night manages, but the shape has many distinctive features such as the cone-shaped funnel and distinctive pilot on the front. I particularly like the curve of the boiler which is a nice improvement from the 10173 set with its very angular boiler. The Finished Engine Some of the details include a smoke plume, domed safety valve, a gold bell and the cylinders for the pistons (although there are no moving pistons unfortunately). Engine Side The cab of the engine is quite cozy, with just enough space to fit a single minifigure. There are two brackets for tools and a generic printed train control panel which doesn't really fit the steam locomotive that well. An attempt at some valves and a safety glass would have been nice, although difficult in the limited space (potentially the white bar near the top could be a safety glass, use your imagination!). Engine Cab All in all I do like the profile of this engine, it has some neat colours and details for the size and the shape is easily recogniseable. One or two improvements could be made but on the whole it is an attractive build to have at the front of the train. Engine Front Profile Next in this Part is the tender for the engine. As far as tenders go, I again really like the side profile of this, it has a good shape that compliments the engine,as we will see. The Tender Looking inside, there is a little less detail. We have a single sloped plate with some black round pieces near the top to represent coal. The engine doesn't have anything resembling a firebox inside the cab anyway! The coal is only near the top edge, to be visible over the sides I imagine. Inside the Tender The back end of the tender has a few nice pieces to add some texture to what would otherwise be a black plate, so this adds some interest to the build. Her we have our first magnetic coupling piece to connect up to the wagons. Back of the Tender On the whole the tender has some nice colur and details; it serves its purpose. The inside is not as exciting as the outside, but to add any more detail to the coal piles would require a lot of smaller piece (which, with the part to cost ratio, may not have been impossible). Let's see what it looks like all connected up. Complete Engine and Tender Overall this locomotive is a great build. It looks good on display and will definitely look impressive with other Winter Village sets. It may be quite small compared to other Lego trains, but it fits well into the theme. I mostly like the colour scheme, although the white at the front stands out at me a bit much. In the design, the biggest flaw in my opinion is the coupling between the engine and the tender, which can be seen more clearly in the next picture. I really dislike that to uncouple the tender from the engine it is necessary to lift the tender off the tracks (unless you are really set on pulling that pin out of the tender piece). Two more magnetic couplings would not have gone amiss here, like on the Emerald Night between the engine and tender. Locomotive Side View Coupling aside, I do like this engine, and it is just the right size for a circular track too (often the bigger trains look very long on a simple circle). Here are a couple of pictures of it on some track before we build the carriages. Some of the genius of this design will become evident in the final segment of this review when I adapt the train to motorise it with Power Functions elements. Locomotive goes Choo Choo Choo Choo Off into the Distance And let's not forget the spare parts! Part 2 Spare Parts The Build - Part 3: Carriages The last part of the set is the build for the two carriages; a flatbed for presents (with a Christmas-train twist) and a small caboose. There is a wide assortment of pieces, shown below. Pieces in Part 3 We start building the flatbed first. I like the intricacy of this build for what is essentially a flat wagon, it packs some neat design features. Flatbed Build Progress The gold and dark blue elements on the sides (using a Studs Not On Top building technique) are nice touches, but what I really like about this carriage is that the Christmas Tree and miniature train on top rotate as the carriage moves along the tracks! This is so much fun and uses a worm gear to make sure it doesn't spin too fast. Christmas Tree Spin Mechanic The miniature train itself is very cute and curves around under the tree like so. Train on a train folks, does it get better than this? The presents from part one can be stored in the section on the right. With the tree added, it is a nice carriage, far more interesting than most rolling stock flat beds, the Christmas vibe is impossible to miss (although perhaps not the most practical carriage at other times of year!). Flat Bed Complete Next up is the small caboose, which is a nice carriage to sit at the back of the train. Inside is a small table with two chairs, a cup and what could be a lamp or a flask full of hot chocolate if you have that on your mind! Caboose Build in Progress The completed carriage is nice, small but with features including the raised roof in the middle, gold lanterns at each end and the white leaves with coloured baubles, replicated from the tender. The roof is easily removable to place minifigures inside. Completed Caboose As for swoosh-ability around the track, it gets a pass. Choo Choo Caboose! That completes part 3, so we'll end with the two carriages together. The carriages are good builds and fit the Christmas theme well; we have a tree, a place to store presents and a cozy table to sit around and drink a warm drink (ignoring that it may be a bit drafty with the gaps around the doors with the train is moving!). The single tan axle on the flatbed train really bugs me in terms of colour scheme, but other than that I don't have any complaints. Completed Part 3 Carriages Complete Set There we have it, all done! Before I move to the conclusion however, I would like to throw in the optional Power Functions elements, all sold separately. Power Functions (Sold Separately) One thing that really impressed me about the design of this set is how easy it is to motorise it. To do so, you will need the following four Power Functions pieces/sets which are ALL SOLD SEPARATELY. Alternatively, if you own a recent Lego City train set, you can raid the parts from that, like I did. For those of you looking to purchase these separately, the set numbers are 8879, 8884, 88000 and 88002. Power Functions Parts (Sets 8879, 8884, 88000 and 88002) The set includes instructions for pulling the locomotive apart to fit in the Power Functions elements. For such a small train, they manage to cram these parts in really well! Here is the disassembled engine to show what needs to be removed so that you can add the powered wheels and remote control hub. Disassembled Engine The modules come apart quickly and easily and the whole thing can be motorised within a couple of minutes. There is a hole in the floor of the cab for the cables to come up through, and then the rest of the cables just.. sort of fit in there. That's the only downside to motorising this set; some of the design features are lost and, due to the size, the grey Power Functions parts can't easily be hidden without changing the shape or using a lot more parts, so some of the aesthetic is lost. Motorised Train That said, the designers did a great job of not only incorporating the Power Functions but making it easy to do so, and easy to switch back too. As noted though, it is quite hard to hide, particularly the cables, which mostly do manage to fit inside the cab with some spillage. Cables After motorising your train, you are also left with a few parts to do with as you will, or to swap back into place for display purposes. Motorised Train with Spare Segments Overall, very impressed with the Power Functions conversion considering the size of the build. Conclusion It is necessary to come up with a score for the set, so here are my thoughts below overall. Design: 8/10 – The set is well designed and has some interesting play features. The spinning tree is notable and there are a lot of accessories to increase play value. This was a 7 as I do think improvements could be made, but I have given it an 8 as the quick adaptability to Power Functions really blew my mind a bit! Parts: 8/10 – An interesting selection of parts with some good colour options for use in future building. Build: 9/10 – The build experience is fun and engaging but not too complex. This would be a good set to build in an afternoon with the kids at Christmas. There is nothing repetitive and there are lots of fun features to discover as you build. Price: 6/10 – The price per piece is unfortunately a downside to the set, coming in at 0.136 USD per piece. That said I still value the build and design so I would not let this discourage you. It is a bit too costly I would say just to buy for parts, but certainly worth it for the build experience and display model (certainly an improvement on last year's Winter Village re-release...). Overall view: It's a great addition to the Winter Village series in my view. There are a lot of features, a lot of interesting and colourful parts, and the build is fun to do. One more carriage would have been a nice addition but other than that and the few design points noted throughout, the set is a great build and the adaptability to Power Functions is quick and easily done in a few minutes. Of course if you are more traditional and wish to push the set around yourself, it also works well for that. I would recommend displaying without any Power Functions on it if possible as they do remove some of the details and the battery box in particular is not at all concealed. As with many train sets, it does not come with much track (so as to keep the price down), but this can be expanded with additional track sold separately. Thanks for reading and do let me know your thoughts on this Winter Village installation in the comments below. Will you be buying it? Or have you already bought it? Feel free to share your views and your own pictures!
  8. REVIEW - 42082 - ROUGH TERRAIN CRANE INTRODUCTION The biggest set of the second wave of 2018 sets is the Rough Terrain Crane. Actually, it is THE biggest Technic set ever, with 4057 parts, surpassing the 42055 - Bucket Wheel Excavator, which has 3929 parts. This set contains 128 parts more than the BWE. Which immediately raises the question; has TLG purposely made this set bigger, so it has the highest part count ever? The reason I am asking out loud, is that there has been some debate in the Technic Forum about the growing size of the sets, related to the functions. Some say that the part count is intentionally high, without adding significantly more (or better) functionality. While I do see a trend in sets getting bigger (i.e. higher part count, thus higher price), I don't think that TLG designers are filling their workday finding out ways to add lots of unnecessary parts. I do like to think that the style of building is adapting/evolving to the contemporary standards/requirements. Of course, I don't want to sound too naive, because at the end of the day, it's all 'bout the money. It's all 'bout the dun dun do do do dumb. I don't think it's funny to..... Anyway, why not use this review to dive into this delicate matter. Before we start I like to point out that I do like big sets. The experience of opening the box and seeing the plethora of parts is overwhelming. On the other hand, with Technic sets getting more and more expensive, I can understand that people stop buying the (bigger) sets. In this review, I simply want to find out if this set could have been made with, let's say, 3000-odd parts while maintaining the same functionality. Another thing I'd like to address in this review is the use of extra elements (playable items), like a chains, tools etc. There has been some debate about this in the Technic forum, so I like to give you my opinion. If you see this icon, you can click the image on the left or right side of the image, to cycle through alternative images. PICTURES Pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. More pictures can be found in my Flickr album. DISCLAIMER This set has been provided by the CEE Team of TLG. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefore, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG. SET INFORMATION Number: 42082 Title: Rough Terrain Crane Theme: Technic Released: 2018 Part Count: 4.057 Box Weight: > 5kg (I forgot to weigh the box, because my kitchen scale couldn't handle it.) Box Dimensions: 57,5 cm x 47,2 cm x 16,5 cm Set Price (RRP): £ / $ 299.99 / € 229,99 Price per Part: £ / $ 0.074 / € 0,056 Links: Brickset, Bricklink So, with an RRP of 229 euro, the price per part comes down to 5,6 cent per part, which is a steal. It's even slightly less than the BWE (5,9 cents per part). This makes it one of the cheapest Technic sets in terms of price per part. Let's compare some stats with previous flagships. COMPARISON WITH OLDER SETS 2011 - 8110 - Unimog - 189 euro, 2048 parts, 9,3 cent per part. 2012 - 9398 - 4x4 Crawler - 169 euro, 1327 parts, 12,8 cent per part. 2013 - 42009 - Mobile Crane Mk II - 199 euro, 2606 parts, 7,7 cent per part. 2014 - 42030 - Volvo L350F - 219 euro, 1636 parts, 13,4 cent per part. 2015 - 42043 - Arocs - 199 euro, 2793 parts, which is 7,2 cent per part. 2016 - 42055 - BWE - 229 euro, 3929 parts, 5,9 cents per part. 2017 - 42070 - All Terrain Truck - 249 euro, 1862 parts, 13,4 cent per part. 2018 - 42082 - Rough Terrain Crane - 229 euro, 4057 parts, 5,6 cent per part. All of these sets have Power Functions, some more than others. The Volvo is literally packed with Power Functions, which explains the high price and low part count. A potential candidate for a comparison with the 42082 - Rough Terrain Crane is the 42009 - Mobile Crane Mk II. The 42009 packs 2606 parts for 7,7 cent per part, while the 42082 packs 4057 parts for 5,6 cent per part. So, the universally praised Mk II crane has a 37,5% increase in price per part. Or the 42082 has a 27,3% decrease in price per part, depending on how you want to look at it. That is 5 years ago, and I'm not taking inflation into account. In other words; for 30 euro extra you get 1451 extra parts. This comes down to 2,1 cent per parts, which isn't bad at all. Some of you might argue that this is not the way to compare two sets, but these numbers are based on RRP and part count, which are numbers we can work with. Since this set has four of the big Claas wheels, a gearbox, and not a lot of PF, I could also compare it to the 42070. But that set was way overpriced, so I don't think that would be fair. The average price of a part in a flagship, based on these 8 sets, is 9,4 cent. So for 229 euro you can expect 2155 parts. You get 1901 more than that. Thus drawing the preliminary conclusion that this set is big, but the price is more than reasonable. Of course, the original debate wasn't focused on the price per se, but whether the models are getting unnecessarily big. Let's carry on unboxing so we can find out. THE BOX The front of the box shows the model and its Power Functions components, a Battery Box and a Large Motor. No sign of new Powered Up elements yet. It also shows a picture of the model with an extended boom, measuring 100 cm high till the end of the boom and a chassis size of 48 cm long. Going by the size this isn't some two-bit crane. But size doesn't always matter. The box has the same width and height as last year's flagship (42070 - 6x6 All Terrain Truck), but it's a couple of centimeters deeper. INSIDE FLAP Like the 42070, this box also has the flap, common to flagship sets. The inside shows a big picture of the model, which is most likely almost 1:1 scale. It's pretty impressive, that's for sure. You can also see that the upper body with the boom can rotate freely, thus 360 degree. This means that most of the mechanics, and battery box, are probably placed in the upper body and not in the chassis. This makes sense, and we have seen it before. Another picture shows the boom can be raised up to 60 degrees. BACKSIDE The back is divided into two sections/sides. The left side shows the functions of the main model, while the right side shows the alternative model, a Mobile Pile Driver. I will express my love for the B-model later this review CONTENTS OF THE BOX The box contains: 1x Inner box 1x Sealed pack with two booklets and the sticker sheet 4x Rim 4x Tire 25x Numbered bags (8 of which are in the inner box) INNER BOX The inner box contains the sealed pack with instruction booklets and sticker sheet. And it contains the bags for steps 1 to 4. INSTRUCTION BOOKLETS Two instruction booklets. One for the chassis and one for the crane. Makes you wonder if one person can start building the chassis, while the other starts working on the crane. STICKER SHEET Quite a few stickers to decorate this model. A construction vehicle just isn't the same without black and yellow stripes. And of course, a bunch of stickers indicating how to operate the functions. POWER FUNCTIONS ELEMENTS A battery box and a large motor. TIRES These, so called Unimog Tires, seems to be very common nowadays, but they have only been used in two Technic sets before. RIMS Four big red rims, also used in the 42054 - Claas Xerion and the 42077 - Rally Car. TIRES ON RIMS Here a picture with the tires fitted on the rims. NUMBERED BAGS A total of 25 numbered bags. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS Actually there is only one interesting part in this set and that is the 11 x 11 Curved Gear Rack (or banana gear as some call them) from the 42055 - Bucket Wheel Excavator in a new color black. I am very happy that this gear has appeared in a color which can more easily be used in a MOC, for example an EV3 Robot Not sure why I forgot to take a picture of the part itself, but here is a picture of the subassembly. This set contains a total of eight of these curved gear racks. PART LIST A whopping 4.057 parts, but still only two pages with parts. THE BUILD Bags, bags, bags and more bags. Lucky for us, they are numbered. If you like a challenge, open all the bags and create a big unsorted pile. That will keep you busy for quite some time. I will simply go from step to step As expected we start with the chassis. And to be more precise; with the gearbox in the chassis. Really, orange pins?! Yes, really! Right off the bat, lots of gears are added to the chassis. A white clutch gear is used in the bottom of the chassis. This indicates that these gears/axles will be connected to the Power Functions. At the end of the first step the center of the chassis has finished. This chassis with center gearbox is kind of reminiscent of models like th 8110 - Unimog and the 8258 - Crane Truck. Lots of gears, densily packed in a small space. There's little room left. The bottom of the gearbox. This set contains the 5x7 frames in two colors, light bluish grey and black. This is what you can do with two different color frames. I am not really fond of these kind of solutions, but I understand it can be convenient. Ohhh, and then there's the green liftarms. Because we need green in a red vehicle. I reckon someone opened up the bucket with green dye, so we do need to use more of these of parts in green Actually, I am being semi-serious here. The Forest Machine uses these liftarms in green, so it's probably cost-effective to use them in multiple sets. We are seeing this with other parts as well. For example, the beforementioned orange 3L pins with bush and white 1L connector, etc. TLG tends to minimize the overall number of different parts used in (Technic) sets. I reckon this has something to do with optimizing their warehouse space. New parts are added every year and storage space is limited. Instead of using five different colors TLG uses one (maybe two) color. Doing this over the entire range of sets will save up a lot of space. Technic seems to be the ideal theme to use these kind of strategies. And it adheres to the "color vommit in the chassis" strategy. One of the wheel assemblies. As you can see there is no actual suspension. Not even pendular suspension. Which seems odd for an Rough Terrain Crane, but I am no expert. Here's the subassembly attached to the center of the chassis. An almost similar assembly attached to the other side. Instead of green liftarms, this one uses orange ones. This way you can more easily tell the sides apart. This is actually not a bad thing. I have mentioned it before, but I am actually a big fan of the color vommit approach. Altough I must admit that using these orange 3L pins with bush is definitely pusing it. Blue might have been a better choice, but that would have confliced with the Bugatti color scheme. Therefore, I think TLG made the decision to use orange in this as well. By the way; this set does also contain 40 of these 3L pins with bush in black. The picture below shows how you can align the wheels. After aligning them, you slide the 16T gear in position. When I was building the set, I wondered why there was space between the gear and the liftarm, but it soon made sense. A subassebly for the outriggers. I do like the design, but as with most outriggers on Technic models, they op...e....ra.....te.....ve......ry......slow......ly. I would love to show you a video of the outriggers, but since it's Tuesday now, I don't have enough time to lower them before the embargo date of this review Just kidding of course. They do take a while, but since they are outriggers I find this acceptable. As long as the other functions aren't that slow. The chassis with front and rear wheel assemblies, and the front and rear outriggers. This is what you would expect from a crane this size. No unncessary use of extra parts so far. Next stop is the V8 engine with white oil filter and orange propellor/fan. I really like the oil filter. It's simple, but it adds detail to the model. The choice of orange as the color for the propellor seems odd, but it's likely a safety precaution. The emphasize that this is a part you need to watch, since it will be rotating when you move the crane. Not entirely sure, but it must be something along these lines. After the engine you will be building the connection between the chassis and the upper structure (crane body). This is done by using eight curved gear racks and an ingenious system in between. Click on the images to construct the ring. At that point you will attach the rims and the chassis is done. Worth noting is that the wheel caps in the rims use a lot of extra parts. Per cap approximately 12 parts are used, which boils down to 48 extra parts, just for the caps. This picture will be very hard to shoot with the crane attached, so I will give it to you now. This model implements Ackerman Steering Geometry. Or Reversed Ackerman Steering. Or even Reversed Reversed Ackerman Steering hehe. Not sure what the consensus in the forum was. I am no expert on steering assemblies, but Ackerman Steering boils down to the inner wheels turning at a different angle than the outer wheels, due to the fact the outer wheels have to travel a wider diameter. Ackerman Steering is something Technic fans like to see in models. For more information I suggest you start with Wikepedia and go from there SECOND BOOKLET This is an interesting part in the build. Reminds us of the 8043 - Motorized Excavator. Admittedly, I didn't think of this myself, but it has been addressed in the forum. Since the two 20T Bevel Gear with Pinhole have been placed on opposite sides of the actuators, this results in them turning in a different direction when the boom is raised (or lowered). Basically, this means that when the boom is raised, one of the LA's extends, while the other retracts. If one of the 20T gears was placed the other way around, this problem would not occur. Of course, the turning direction of one of the axles feeding the LA should be reversed for this to work. Since the gears attached to the LA's only rotate a tiny fraction when raising the boom, it leads me to believe that this is a calculated flaw. In this video I try to demonstrate the issue at hand. You continue to work your way back to the rear of the superstructure. Again, lots of gears and space which will be filled with gearboxes. This is the point in the second booklet where you can't build any further, untill you finish the first booklet. At this stage you will attach the upper section to the chassis. The boom is really massive. Feels solid like a rock. I am impressed with the sturdyness of this boom. It does a lot of panels and H-frames, so it's only logical, but I was still impressed. No wormgear to extend the boom this time. The other side of the boom with a white clutch gear for safety. The boom attached to the crane. Needless to say I am having a hard time getting the entire boom in the picture. The back of the upper section is closed with panels. The black ones can be removed for easy access to the battery. There are two gearboxes on the top of the crane. The left (bottom) one is to switch between crane and chassis functions. The right (upper) one is to switch between raising/lowering the boom, extracting/retracting the boom and lowering/raising the hook. The chassis functions are rotating the super structure and raising/lowering the outriggers. COMPLETED MODEL It is rather difficult to shoot decent pictures in the photo studio. I sure hope sets won't get much bigger than this. Looking at this model, I think TLG has done a remarkable job with this Rough Terrain Crane. The black chassis, with red elements, combined with the red super structure looks spot on. Lots of technic gears and elements provide an interesting build. I love how the two (or three) gearboxes work together. Here you can clearly see the gearbox on this side of the chassis is used to rotate the crane. Because of the weight, the chassis tends to bend a little, but nothing to worry about. The boom of the crane can exend way more than this, but that makes is impossible for me to take pictures. A close up from the front of the vehicle. The cabin door swings open to reveal the interior of the cabin. And one from the reaar. I'm sorry I don't have anymore pictures of the completed model, but I think you have seen most of it. You can find out more by building it yourself FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS This model packs features you would expect from a mobile crane. Raising/Lowering the boom Extracting/Retracting the boom Raising/Lowering the hook Raising/Lowering the outriggers Four wheel (Ackermann) steering Working fake engine Other than that there are some details like two cabinets which can be opened to store some gear. TLG has even added some walls which can be turned into part of a house or cabin. OUTRIGGERS Okay, let's get this out of the way. The outriggers are slow, really slow. I turned them on this morning and when I came home from work, they were halfway. Obviously, I am joking...I didn't go to work today. It's not that bad, but it would be nice if they operated a wee bit faster. You do need to use the four plates for them to properly reach the ground. STEERING AND DRIVING For a set this size steering and driving work properly. Even better than I expected. CRANE The thing I am most impressed with are the crane functions. These work like a charm. And, unlike the 42043 - Mercedes Arocs, this gearbox (or rather gearboxes) is very easy to understand. One look at the stickers is all it takes to be able to operate this thing. It offers a ton of playability. Linking gearboxes, instead of direct connection to a motor, can cause some slack. This can be seen when turning the crane. But this is just a minor gripe, just like the outriggers. DOOR A nice detail is the sliding door. PLAYABLE ITEMS It's time to talk about the added playable items, like this toolbox. Some people don't feel this is necessary and some even seem to be a bit annoyed by it. I have addressed this in my 42069 - Extreme Adventure review where I state that I like these added details. And I still do. The Forest Machine also packs some extra's like a chainsaw, some logs etc. Actually, I see it in most of the Technic sets. What I have seen is that this greatly enhances playability for younger LEGO fans. I am absolutely aware that this is a 11+ set, so it is not designed for a 5-year old. But seeing a 5-year old play with these Technic models and use all the extra items in the set for his "story" makes you realise that by adding playable items to a Technic set, it suddenly becomes a set for all ages. So, a handful of extra parts might be enough to prepare a 5-year old for Technic enthusiasm later down the line. After all, he (or she) is the future Technic target audience. Therefore, I am 100% in favor of adding these little details to Technic sets, even if these sets are 11+. PART COUNT And now for the part count discussion. No doubt this model could have been made using less parts. It you take away the playable items, wheel caps, grey construction panel and outrigger plates, you already save a couple of hundred parts. In the old days a Technic model used to be liftarms with gears inside. These days are over. Models are becoming more and more realistically looking, which means that less of the interior is visible. This also goes for the boom for example. In the old days we would have seen the interior of the boom and now it's covered with panels. I am not convinced that TLG is deliberately adding parts to the boom just to have more parts. I think TLG is doing this because they need to compete with other toys in the stores and these toys look like the real thing. Therefore TLG wants its models to look more like the real thing to, resulting in adding panels and other embellishments. Granted, TLG's marketing department won't mind having the biggest Technic set every year, so they can use this in Ads. Like I said in the introduction; I am a fan of big sets. I love putting together a 4057 part set. But I reckon people are more upset about the price of bigger sets than the part count. This can be a false assumption, because I know not all AFOLs think like this. But if TLG had used 3057 parts instead of 4057 they could have easily maintained the same RRP. 3000 parts at 229 euro is 7,6 cents a piece, which is still rather cheap. So my conclusion is that TLG might have upped the part count a bit, but still presented this set at a very affordable price. We already see this set popping up for around 179 euro, which boils down to 4,5 cent a piece, which is extremely affordabl for a Technic set. For me it would have been an issue if TLG priced this set at 349 euro RRP. Then I would have figured TLG was doing it on purpose. Basically, this is a UCS-like Technic set and you get it for 229 euro, or less if you do some online shopping. Personally, I think this is extremely good value for money. Of course your mileage may vary, but this is how I see things. B-MODEL The B-model, a Mobile Pile Driver, is a cop out, nothing more, nothing less. I mean, seriously?! 4000+ parts and we get a model that is 95% the same as the original model. And if that's not the worst part, it's ugly AF, as some people would like to phrase it. The Pile Driver extension looks like something I could have built....when I was four . Maybe, well probably, I am insulting someone at The LEGO Group, but I can only hope that they were lacking time and/or resources, so they came up with this at the last moment. The argument of time is rendered invalid, because this is what you can in a couple of days. Well, maybe not everybody, but @nico71 was able to turn this set into a front loader. Nobody will probably argue that this would have been a better B-model. Not sure what TLG's policy is regarding alternate models but the 42030 isn't in production anymore, so I don't see any reason not go for something like this. The rear view of the model. And even the grey construction elements can be turned into something useful. SUMMARY I am a big fan of this set. It packs a lot of functionality and parts, for a decent price. The forum contains pages and pages with potential improvements, but that's out of scope for my review. Almost every set gets improved by AFOLs, so that's no surprise. Bottomline is that this is great set for existing AFOLs and new AFOLs alike. I can remember coming out of my dark ages in 2005, building the 8421 - Mobile Crane, which had a whopping 1885 parts. I remember the endless quantity of parts coming out of the box. Imagine a set with more than twice the part count. And again, this doesn't automatically mean a better set, but you will be impressed when you open this box. Much has been said about the color vommit in the chassis of this model. I have grown fond of color vommit, because I like the variety in the parts. I do enjoy seeing all the colored parts. However, using orange 3L Pins with Bush is pushing it to the limit, especially on a red model. I would have preferred blue instead of orange. My final conclusion is that for around 200 euro, you do get a LOT of value for money. I can see myself getting an extra copy, just because of that. I would almost go as far a stating that this could be considered a UCS Technic set. PROS Good looking model Properly working functions (even Ackermann steering) Several (linked) gearboxes Great parts pack (especially for people new to Technic) Very affordable, almost cheap CONS Some slack due to drivetrains and gearboxes Outriggers operate very slowly No suspension No special parts besides the new curved gear rack in black SCORE How do I rate this set? 9 DESIGN I love the looks, color scheme, everything. 9 BUILDING EXPERIENCE Very enjoyable build with several gearboxes and other functionality. 8 FEATURES Great features, with some room for improvement. No suspension though. 9 PLAYABILITY Implemented features provide lots of playability. 8 PARTS Mostly common parts, but you do get a lot of them. 10 VALUE FOR MONEY Price goes down to 4,8 cent per part if you shop around. It doesn't get any cheaper than this. 8,8 UCS ANYONE? Thanks you for reading this review. All pictures can be found here.
  9. The Lego 42029 Customized Pickup truck is a Lego Technic set that was released in the second half of 2014. The set has 1063 pieces and retails for about 100 USD which seems a bit high. When the first images were leaked, the reactions were very mixed. Some people liked it others didn’t and the main complaint was that the set’s front end looks quite ugly. Honestly I wasn’t a fan of the whole second half of 2014 line up, but I decided to buy this set for the parts and do a review of it as I quite enjoy making reviews. Anyway lets get on to the actual review. The Box I apologize for the glare on the box, I'm not sure how to avoid that. The box is weirdly shaped as it is long and short in height. It feels full and has a pleasant weight to it which makes you think that the price was worth it. Here's what I mean about the shape. Compared to a model with similar parts, the box is not really square. Here's the back of the box. It displays the model's various functions, the possibility to motorize it, and the B model. The B model honestly looks terrible to me as it looks like a mess. Here's the contents of the box. There are 11 bags and once opened, the parts barely fit on my temporary, tiny table that I was using to build. The box also contains two instruction manuals( and no instructions for the B model as always) and an unsecured sticker sheet. Since the sheet wasn't secured, mine arrived with a large bend in it. This picture is after 5-10 minutes of trying to flatten it. The Build The build starts with the rear axle and the mini linear acuator for dumping. Not much is really going on right now. Some beams are placed diagonally to make a sort of truss which is kinda interesting. The other interesting thing is how the dump function works. Normally in Lego vehicles the linear acuator pushes the dump bed up as shown in this photo by Blakbird. Instead of using this basic pushing mechanism, the acuator in 42029 is mounted facing downward and fully opened in closed form. When you want it to dump, the acuator pulls the bed up instead of pushing. I'm not sure what benefit this gives, but it is an interesting way to make a mechanism. Anyway back to the build. The build then goes to the front of the chassis. At this stage, you get a feel for the size of the model, and to me it seemed a bit small at first. After that the build takes an odd step. In a model it makes more sense to build a complete chassis and then build the bodywork, but in this model the build ignores that the chassis is not finished, and moves on to the cab section. The cab looks alright, but the interior looks very half baked. The seats are too small for this model and they're blue... again . I'm really getting tired of seeing blue seats in models. It doesn't look realistic, and is it really that hard to make different colored seats? This trend has been used sparingly for many years, but then in 2009 it started to get used for most models. It's been 6 years of that now and I think its time for change. Anyway on to another overused Technic mechanic- the gearbox. The 42029 follows the time honored tradition of a function splitting gearbox. This iteration of it is quite simple with only two functions- a winch(again ), and a dump bed. The functions are controlled by the black bevel gear on the bottom, or from the 8 tooth gear on the right as that's where the M motor can be placed. The cab is attached and the model starts to resemble its final form. Next the engine is added. This was also a source of controversy as it was a V6. Most pickup trucks use a V8 so this was a bit odd. It's also not that hard to squeeze in 2 extra cylinders as evidenced by Sariel's motorization of it, so this seems to be laziness on TLG's part Another interesting thing I found was that the instructions displayed the old mold for engine blocks while my set included the new blocks. The odd thing is that my 42009 also has the newer style blocks and its from 2013, so I would think the 42029 instructions would include these new blocks as the set came out a full year after 42009. Next you have to build the front axle. I'm not a huge fan of these new hubs as there has to be so much space between the suspension arms. Also an interesting technique is used to limit the suspension. The white pieces, which are normally used in studded sets, block the arms from sagging under weight. Front axle mounted. At this point the steering also works and you could have a rolling chassis if you wanted to. And now the cliche winch piece is built. On a side note, I have 2 shelves of Legos. One shelf contains supercars and the rest is ordinary sets. Every single set I have built on that shelf has a winch or thread of some kind. They're all done differently, of course, but i just find winches boring. As a function they're quite boring unless its absolutely necessary such as the 42009 or 8258. Now here's another source of disappointment- the ugly front end. When you look at modern pickup trucks( especially American ones), they all have a feeling of power. The grilles are massive and are covered in chrome and the lights are large and boxy. Just look at the new Ford F-150. The 42029 looks so weak compared to these trucks. Instead of large boxy headlights it has bug eyed lights which are made from gearbox extenders. The grille also looks terrible. Its a mashup of red and grey parts which does anything but evoke a sense of power. I think they could have made it look a little better if they had replaced the red bushes in the grille with grey. Also look at those #3 connectors in grey. There was also some controversy about this as they look very out of place, and this was the perfect opportunity to bring back the rare #3 connectors in red. They brought back the red 5x11 panels in this set, so why couldn't they do they same for these connectors? I replaced mine just to see how it would look and it looks a lot cleaner. Overall the whole front area looks quite disappointing and feels sloppy. Anyway on to the rest of the build and there's not much left of it. The dumping bed is attached and a few other details are added and bam you're done. The dumping bed is an uncommon feature for a pickup truck, but it works well, and gives it a second function thus giving TLG an excuse to use another function splitting gearbox Here are the spare parts Completed model Here's a few pics of the finished model. I think the rear is simple and pretty well done Here's a side shot. With the high suspension, it feels more like a crawler to me than a pickup truck. The suspension is one of the best things about this model. It feels neither too soft or hard and is nice and bouncy. It also has amazing travel. The model's winch also works smoothly as with every other model with a winch. The set can also be motorized with the 8293 power functions set. All you need is an M motor, LEDs, a battery box, and a clutch gear. Motorizing it is quite easy and only takes a few minutes, but one should manage their cables properly, as I didn't pay much attention to the placement and it they stopped the bed from fully closing. I didn't care much for the motorization as it just put lights on the roof and motorized 2 functions. Unlike the 42024, this set doesn't really need the motorizing as the functions work at a reasonable speed, so I decided to not keep the motorization and advise you not to waste your money on the extra parts required to do the motorizing. I decided to take the set outside in order to match its rugged looks. Nice view of the V6 and its turbochargers? Not sure what the things are on top of the engine. Everything opened I also decided to give the dumping bed a practical test with birdseed and it worked well although the bed and parts of the chassis got quite dusty One flaw with the dumping is that the tailgate has to be opened manually. It doesn't make much sense to put a dumping function yet not have an easily opening tailgate. Personally I would have liked to see the tailgate use frictionless pins and some sort of manual locking mechanism. It would feel a bit more realistic at least to me. Final Thoughts The model doesn't have the greatest looks or the most realistic functions, but it has a great assortment of parts. Personally even though this set claims to be for older ages, I feel that it would appeal to younger children more due to its high ride height and quirky looks. It is also one of the most durable models that I have built. The suspension absorbs drops and it can be rolled over multiple times with no or minimal damage. At one point it accidentally fell off a sofa and it survived with only the roof lights and one steering link breaking. With all this sturdiness, its an interesting build as there is so much reinforcement and it is fun to see how they achieve this. The model is easy to break into chunks and has a lot of possibility for modification, so that's always good. Overall Build- 8/10 It's a fairly standard build, nothing too surprising, but it is fun to see how sturdiness can be achieved. Also there are a few interesting parts Looks- 4/10 Really TLG? This looks nothing like a modern pickup truck. I get that its "customized" but that gives no excuse to how half baked the looks are. The front end looks sloppy and the rear is just simple Parts 10/10 Steering arms, suspension, CV joints, ton of red parts, beams in black, dark bluish grey, etc. Its a great parts selection to build your own model. Functions 7/10 Lets see, it has great suspension, steering, a V6 , yet another winch , and a function splitter which really wasn't necessary. Price 7/10 At first glance the price looks alright, and you get the .10 cents per part ratio, however, it feels like it should have been priced a bit cheaper. Just look at the 42024- over 900 parts for 70.99. Now I understand that this model uses some more expensive parts and such, but i think it should really be priced at $85. That sounds like a more fair price since you have to pay an extra 30 to buy the kit that motorizes it. Final score 36/50 The set is a big pile of 'meh'. It could have been better, but its just average, and doesn't have much realism. It provides a ton of modification possibilities(Perhaps this was TLG's intent with this set hence the "Customized" name) and I would love to sit for hours and modify it into something better, but it also fills the function of expensive parts pack, and that's what I will probably be using mine for. In a perfect world where I had more money, I'd love to buy 2 of these and use one as a parts pack and modify the other one, but I guess I'll just have to modify this one and then break it for its parts. For now though its staying on my shelf just beckoning me to go and try to make it even more of a customized pickup truck. Thanks for reading my review. As always constructive feedback is appreciated and please voice how you feel about this set too.
  10. I never imagined I would say this, but as of today I am the proud owner of a Porsche 911 GT3 RS. How cool is that?! Waiting for this set to arrive seemed to take ages, so I was definitely on cloud nine when the set finally arrived. The 911 is one of the oldest sports cars on the market. It's lineage dates back to 1963, which is quite impressive! Since the production of the 911 there have been lots of different versions, like the Carrera, Carrera S, Targa, Turbo, R, GT1, GT2, GT2 RS, GT3 and GT3 RS. The GT3 RS can be easily recognized by the race-inspired inlets in the front wheel arches. Due to legislation there's a grill in the inlets. It can be removed during track days, which will improve the downforce. The LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS is a 1:8 scale model and is 17 cm high, 57 cm long, and 25 cm wide. It has been designed by Andrew Woodman and Uwe Wabra. When TLG started the initial drafts in 2013, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS project remained top secret. Therefore TLG had to build the first LEGO version using photos of the camouflaged prototype of the original from the internet. The first LEGO prototype was ready in a matter of weeks. Like every sports car with the Porsche emblem on the hood, the LEGO version of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS also combines design, performance, and functionality. Still concealed in black-and-white foil as a mystery model at the Nuremberg toy fair late January, the color of the characteristic bodywork has now been revealed and shines in bright orange. Thus, it corresponds to the special coating of the original sports car in lava orange authentically. With the right skills you can get the GT3 RS around the Nürburgring in 7 minutes and 20 seconds. Factory driver Brendon Hartley took it for a spin on the Nardo circuit in Italy. The video can be found here. When you talk about a genuine sports car, you immediately talk about performance, which is pretty impressive, to say the least. Let's take a look at the specs: Horsepower: 368 kW or 500 pk (at 8.250 rpm) 0 - 100 km/h: 3,3 sec 0 - 200 km/h: 10,9 sec Top Track Speed: 310 km/h or 193 mph Price: around 250.000 euro (no extras, Dutch price) If you are interested in buying (or configuring) your own 911 GT3 RS, you can click here and indulge yourself. Instead of buying or configuring we will be building a Porsche 911 GT3 RS today. That's something not a lot of people could say, until now! Although I must admit that even though this version is a fraction of the price of the real car, it still has a pretty heavy price tag. Forking out 300 euros for a collection of ABS isn't something everyone will understand. Before we start I like to point out some of the questions which have arisen. For example; why is this set rated 16+ while the Mercedes is 12-16 year? Is the price tag of 300 euros justified? Does this model replicate some of the real world mechanics? Does the luxury packaging add any value to this set? These are just some of the questions I will be answering in this review. This review will have a different setup than my regular reviews. Since this sets focuses on the entire experience instead of the model alone, I will try to share this experience in my review. Instead of opening the box, discussing the parts and taking you through the build, like I usually do, I like to focus on the different aspects of the set and model. When it comes to the model, I will try to compare it with it's real life counterpart. TLG made a teaser for this set using the word Ultimate. There will be little discussion about the real Porsche's association with this word. But will it's LEGO counterpart live up to the expectations?! I think it's time to move onto the interesting part and find out whether this LEGO Technic set also deserves the predicate Ultimate. PICTURES Pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. More pictures can be found in my Flickr album. DISCLAIMER This set has been provided by the CEE Team of TLG. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefor, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG. Number: 42056 Title: Porsche 911 GT3 RS Theme: Technic Released: 2016 Part Count: 2704 Box Weight: 4,8 kg (approx) Box Dimensions: 47,1 cm x 37,3 cm x 14,7 Set Price (MSRP): € 300 Price per Part: € 0,111 Links: Brickset, Bricklink Will this be a Limited Edition set? No, it will be as limited as other Technic sets. Which is also stated in the press release: The exclusive LEGO set of the exceptional sports car, which has been developed in close conjunction with Porsche AG, will initially be available at shop.LEGO.com from June 1st, 2016, as well as in the 13 LEGO stores throughout Germany and Austria. It will be available in other stores from August 1st, 2016. This means that when you are reading this review, the set is already available, which is usually not the case with other Technic sets. The box is a key feature of this set. Instead of a regular Technic box, this set is packaged like the 41999 - Crawler Exclusive Edition. The term Exclusive indicates that we are dealing with a special set, which is obviously the case for the Porsche as well. The following question (asked by JGW3000) is more than justified: Since the box presentation is a key feature of this set, perhaps Jim can comment on packaging and outer packing used to protect the box, so we can determine if we should go to a LEGO store or risk mail order in order to purchase this. In my Review of the 42043 - Mercedes Arocs I explained that my box was severely damaged. Obviously that's something you don't want to happen when you are buying a 300 euro Ultimate LEGO Technic set, with exclusive packaging. Lo and behold; the box arrived in pristine condition. The set box snugly fits inside the outer box, which avoids taking damage too easily. I am very pleased with the condition my set arrived in. I don't think getting the set in a physical store will guarantee a better condition. Thumbs up for shipping it this way. I hereby present, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS...in a box! It's way more luxurious than a regular LEGO box. Black and orange obviously work very well together. The bright color, combined with some post-crop vignetting really makes the Porsche stand out. I can honestly say that the box makes you anxious to open it. A LEGO box has seldomly made me feel more exhilarated before opening it. This is definitely a plus. This box is pretty big and feels massive. Since it's filled with additional boxes it feels very sturdy and doesn't dent easily. Since it's filled to the brim, the box isn't much larger than the box of the 41999. The width and height are the same. It's a bit deeper though, which can be seen in the image below. FRONT SIDE The front side of the box shows the model itself, along with the Porsche emblem and the set information. In case you are wondering what the 18 means in the upper right corner; that's not 18, but 1:8, the approximate scale of the model. It also states that this set is 16+, which is rather unusual. Hopefully we can answer Allanp's question at the end of this review: What makes this set carry the 16+ symbol? It isn't the largest or the most complex set to date, so why the 16+ age thing? BACK SIDE The backside of the box shows a top down view picture of the Porsche, along with four key features (interior, suspension, engine, upholstery). INSIDE The reason the box feels so sturdy is that it is literally filled to the brim. I can't think of any other Technic set which was filled like this. In the old days TLG used an inlay, but they never entirely filled a box like they did now. Showing the rims instead of packing them inside the box is a nice touch. The way the book and rims are being presented, is an indication that you are in for a treat. Another bonus is visible on the inside of the cover. It shows the history of the 911 from the original 911 (911) to the 2011 911 (991). The box contains: 1 x Book 1 x Sticker sheet 4 x Box with parts 1 x Box with rims and tires Each of the smaller boxes depicts what you will be building during that phase. I sure hope we will be building more than just an engine, seats, hood and a spoiler After discussing the box, the book definitely needs our attention. It's presented as the center piece of the contents and it's an absolute eye-catcher. The book packs a whopping 580 pages (including the front and back cover), which is unprecedented (not having seen the 2016 2H BWE instruction manual). Being designed as a coffee table book, it doesn't simply provide the building instructions. It also contains an abundance of historic information about the Porsche 911 and of it's LEGO counterpart's design process. Comments have been made that this book makes the set more expensive, which is debatable. Around 40 pages have been devoted to this additional information, which boils down to around 7% of the book. Maybe I'm simplifying the calculation, but this means this book can't be more than 7% more expensive than regular instructions would have cost. While we are on the subject of a coffee table book, TLG could have gone the extra mile and provide a hardcover book. This surely would have increased the costs, but you would get something in return. I'm not saying they should have, I'm saying they could have. Personally I think this book is fine, since it only contains about 7% additional information (concentrated at the beginning). It would have been a different case, if it contained more information throughout the book. Riffling through some pages of the book, we even see the previously mentioned Brendon Hartley making an appearance (top right image). The first step in the construction of your 911 GT3 RS is to build the drivetrain, complete with dual clutch gearbox (PDK), paddle shifters, suspension and the heart of the 911 GT3 RS, the 4.0 flat 6 engine. When you have completed all the steps in box 1 you will be able to test out all the functions and see how they work. Reading this means we are working on the fun part of the vehicle. Which immediately raises the question; is all the functionality of the car built during this phase? The first box contains 11 numbered bags. It even contains the new fender pieces, two printed and four unprinted. Will we be using these already in the first phase? Below are two images showing the new (and orange) parts contained in the first box. New pieces are the orange fender pieces, flex axles, the 3L axle with stop (color coded brown), new wheel hubs, changeover catches, suspension with red finish, panels and a tile with a unique code (supposedly to unlock online content). Instead of taking you through the build, I will discuss the different technical aspects of the real vehicle and compare them to it's LEGO counterpart. The single most interesting part about this set is the gearbox, which you start building early on. The picture below shows where the lever, to change the selected gear mode (Drive, Neutral or Reverse), will be placed (between the two blue 3L pins). As you can see, selecting Reverse simply changes the direction of the gears. Does this mean we have the same number of gears in Reverse as we have in Drive? Yes, it does! It’s the year 1983. In the new 956 Group C racing car, Porsche is putting a double-clutch transmission – Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) – through the rigors of motorsport for the first time. PDK offers a crucial advantage: the driver can keep the accelerator pedal depressed and change gear easily by using buttons on the steering wheel, even in the corners. This is how it works. PDK is essentially two gearboxes in one and thus requires two clutches. This double-clutch arrangement provides an alternating, non-positive connection between the two half gearboxes and the engine by means of two separate input shafts. During a gear change, therefore, one clutch simply opens and the other closes at the same time, enabling gear changes to take place within milliseconds. Highly responsive and particularly sporty. More information can be found here In the picture below we can see how TLG implemented the double clutch mechanism. There's a clutch at the top and one at the bottom. This is obviously a simplified interpretation of the real PDK. How about making your own four wheel drive Porsche? Does the transmission have an output that could be sent to the front easily, like 8448's (asked by Lego Nerd)? The red changeover catch is probably placed for stability (you will connect a liftarm to it later on), but it also provides a possibility to turn this into a 4WD car. Of course, you would need two additional differentials, one between the front wheels, and one in the gearbox between the front and rear axles. What's the point of having clutch gear inside all this? (asked by Allanp) Unlike in a real car, there's no stop after the highest or lowest gear, meaning that you can switch the car from 4th to 1st gear and from 1st back to 4th. That's one of the reasons the clutch gear is used, since the axles/gearbox will generate a lot of resistance/strain at some point. Another reason is that it's there to prevent possible damage to the gears if two speeds get temporarily engaged at the same time while rolling it. Or possibly if rolling in neutral and engaging drive while in first gear. Here's a video of the gear changing sequence. I have temporarily attached an axle to demonstrate the gearbox. Obviously you will not be shifting gears by turning a gear. You will be shifting this car, using the flappy paddle gearbox! How cool is that! The paddles are integrated in the steering assembly, which is shown below. The right paddle shifts the car into a higher gear, while the left one switches down. Here you can see the steering and shifting assembly attached to the chassis. The video below demonstrates shifting with the flappy paddles. Bear in mind that the subassembly is not yet properly secured, so there's some movement, which will be gone when the chassis has been finished. How am I supposed to shift gears by the way? As you can see there's no convenient position to operate the paddles. You need to grab the bushes and elastic bands to operate the gearbox. I can hardly imagine there's no better solution for this. Extending the axle by 1L would probably have done the trick. This feels somewhat cumbersome. The best solution would have been to design custom flappy paddles, but I understand this decision can't be taken lightly. What I don't understand is that TLG didn't provide an extra set of elastic bands. The bands will wear out after a few years on the shelf, rendering them useless. Providing a spare set would have been a nice gesture. Onto a more delicate matter. Some of you might have heard or read the rumors about this set being potentially flawed. Before jumping to conclusions, let's take look at the supposed flaws of the gearbox. First of all, the gear sequence is incorrect. Instead of switching from 1st to 2nd to 3rd to 4th, it's shifting from 1st to 3rd to 2nd to 4th. Say what?! I talked to Paul (Boratko, Crowkillers) about this possible issue, and without seeing any picture he immediately figured out that some of the gears must have been switched. As it turns out, there's indeed a mistake in the building instructions, or in the design, but I reckon it's not the latter. The video below demonstrates the incorrect sequence: I can (more or less) understand why this mistake has been made. What I can't understand is that this has not been caught before production. Quality control guys most likely aren't petrol heads, like some of the AFOLs. Let's take a look at what's wrong. On the left you will see the assembly when you follow the building instructions. On the right you see how it needs to be built. The grey 16T Gear and the black 12T Double Bevel Gear need to switch sides. the center gears are placed correctly. Here's a short video of how to apply the fix. The mistake has been made on page 267, 268 and 269 of the manual. So make sure to apply this fix when you reach that stage. After this fix, the sequence of the gearbox has been corrected. The gearbox is now shifting in the proper sequence, which can be seen in the following video: So it's all good now?! Well, not exactly. There's an even more pressing matter which we need to discuss. Occasionally the gearbox seems to stall completely. Take a look at the video and see what happens: Since you are not supposed to hook up a motor near the fake engine, the white clutch gear can't do it's job to prevent stalling. However, the main question is; why does the gearbox stall completely? And why does it stall so often? One of the reasons can be that the fins on the new red driving rings are slightly too thick. This will increase the change of the gears getting stuck. However, it happens quite often so I am not sure whether this is the case. The majority of the people building this set will probably never notice this flaw, since the clutch gear will hide the gearbox issues. But this set being The Ultimate, you'd expect the gearbox to function properly. The gearbox being the single most important technical function in the car, I am baffled by the fact that the mistake in the building instruction has not been caught, and that the actual gearbox itself seems to be flawed. Next time TLG better contact Paul before releasing another supercar This issue has been communicated to TLG, so let's wait for them to come with an official statement. Comparing the Porsche to the 42039 - 24 Hours Race Car we can see that the width from the end of the wishbones (where the ball joints connect) is 23L versus 19L. The Porsche itself is actually 4 studs wider than the 42039, two on each side. Compared to the steering assembly of the 42039. You notice the gear rack is much smaller, yet the turning radius is better. Two of half pins are limiting the turning radius of the Porsche. Removing them will slightly improve the radius, but the wheels might slightly touch the inside of the chassis, especially when the suspension is compressed. Here you can see the steering linkage, a pretty straightforward mechanism. Fitted as standard, the new rear axle steering with sport tuning combines performance and everyday driveability. An electromechanical adjustment system at each rear wheel enables the steering angle to be adapted based on the current driving situation, steering input and vehicle speed. The advantage for day-to-day driving: during low-speed maneuvers, the system steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction to that of the front wheels. This has the virtual effect of shortening the wheelbase. The turning circle is reduced to make it easier to park. The advantage for sporty driving: during high-speed maneuvers, the system steers the rear wheels in the same direction as that of the front wheels. Driving stability is increased by the virtual extension of the wheelbase and agility is enhanced by the simultaneous steering of the front and rear axles, especially during overtaking maneuvers on the racetrack. One of the coolest feature about the real 911 GT3 RS is the fact that it has rear axle steering. It even alternates between steering modes! At low speed it counter steers (to improve the turning radius) and at high speed it steers in the same direction (to increase driving stability). That's so incredibly cool. And it's definitely something we expect to see in The Ultimate supercar TLG is releasing. Unfortunately they haven't. I am very disappointed to conclude that there's no real axle steering at all. Not even counter steering rear wheels, which would have sufficed. Obviously having both modes would be super duper awesome, but at least give us the counter steering mode. Not sure why TLG hasn't implemented this feature. They might have felt the need to do both of them. But omitting rear axle steering altogether is a huge letdown for me. RECTIFICATION I need to rectify something. According to this interview on the Top Gear site, Porsche vetoed the inclusion of the rearsteer. Obviously Uwe was able to recreate this mechanism. Makes you wonder why it wasn't included. This electronic active damping system offers continuous adjustment of the damping force on each wheel based on the current driving situation and your driving style. At the press of a button, you can select between two different modes. ‘Normal’ mode is designed for sporty driving on public roads and on wet racetracks. ‘Sport’ mode is specially tuned for maximum lateral acceleration and offers the best possible traction on the track. To continue with cool features, or letdowns, the 911 GT3 RS has, what's called PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management). This basically boils down to ride hight adjustment, which is another potential cool feature to incorporate into the model. Unfortunately, like the rear axle steering, this feature has been omitted too. The engine of the new 911 GT3 RS sits just above the tarmac. At the rear end, of course. With its low center of gravity, it was predestined for motorsport. Indeed, this water-cooled six-cylinder unit with four valves per cylinder, VarioCam and dry-sump lubrication with a separate engine oil tank could not be more ideally equipped for its role. The engine draws its power from a capacity of 4.0 liters. This equates to a power output per liter of 92 kW (125 hp), and acceleration that simply knows no limits: the sprint from 0 to 60 mph is completed in a mere 3.1 seconds. The real Porsche has been fitted with a 4.0 liter 6-cylinder boxer engine, while its LEGO counterpart is fitted with a flat 6 engine. The difference between a boxer and a flat engine, is the movement of the pistons. The boxer engine has horizontally opposed pistons (when one piston moves in, the opposite piston moves out), while the flat engine has pistons on each side moving in and out simultaneously. More information about flat engines can be found here. Edit: Techniccrack pointed out that it's exactly the other way around. So the boxer engine has pistons moving in and out simultaneously. Thanks for pointing this out. While the engine in the LEGO version isn't realistically correct, I certainly don't mind TLG choosing this solution. It would have been cool to see new engine parts, but it's perfectly understandable that TLG used the currently available parts. After 323 steps (of 856) you have finished 38% of the model, resulting in the chassis. If there's no additional technical functionality (which seems that way) this means that 62% of the build consists of adding body and interior parts. Constructing the gearbox is interesting, but the overall build of the chassis is a bit underwhelming. The engine has been completely covered by panels and other parts, which is true to the original Porsche. But it does prevent you from seeing the pistons move at different speeds when shifting gears. The calipers are looking rather rectangular. Makes you wonder if it would have been better to use black parts combined with a rounded sticker. This would have reflected the actual shape better. Another option would be to create a custom part, but we obviously TLG can't keep designing new parts. It's cool that they included the calipers in the first place. The rear side has double shock absorbers, while the front uses a single absorber (per side). The back of the car is very heavy compared to the front, so this is good decision. Another aspect which has been discussed is the color vomit in the interior. I don't really mind using colors in the interior (like UCS Star Wars sets), as long as the different colors aren't clearly visible. Clearly visible are the blue pins (especially two of them in the gear box (D/N/R selector). Shouldn't these pins be black? More on this later. During production of the real 911 GT3 RS there is a stage called 'the marriage', where the drivetrain is connected to the body of the car. In this box you build the floor plan of the 911 GT3 RS, complete with seats and roll cage, before placing it over the drivetrain in a similar way to the production of the real 911 GT3 RS. The second box contains 9 numbered bags. The orange parts, including a 11L liftarm and axle connectors, which I already spotted in the Maze set. For me this was an indication that the Porsche would be released in Orange. The floor plan of the car is built separately from the car, in a modular fashion. Note that the body can't be easily detached from the chassis after completing the model, so it's not a real modular build. Here's a video demonstrating the marriage: After the marriage, and adding the seats, the car looks like this. At this stage you have completed 531 steps (of 856) or 62%. I really enjoyed building the second box. Placing the floor plan over the drivetrain is gives you a sense of building a real car. Clearly visible is the roll cage behind the seats. In box 3 you start to assemble the body of your 911 GT3 RS. Starting with the rear of the car and then onto the build of the iconic hood, now with distinctive shaping. Then it's the roof, again with distinctive shaping indicating the lightweight magnesium design only found on the newest 911 GT3 RS. The third box contains 4 numbered bags. Since you will be building the body, this box mainly contains an abundance of orange parts, including lots of panels. This set contains the full range of available panels in orange, except the 5x11 Panel. If I counted correctly this set contains 31 black, 59 orange and 2 grey panels, resulting in a grand total of 92 panels! It also includes 18 frames, which is quite a lot. At the end of box 3 you have finished 79% of the car (679 of 856). It is starting to look like a real Porsche! I absolutely love the new-ish 13x3 Curved Panels. They work really well on this model. Thumbs up for the part designer who designed this part! Now you build the front before adding the distinctive wheel arches with air outlets only found on the 911 GT3 RS. Next you add the massive, motorsport inspired, adjustable rear wing before finishing off your 911 GT3 RS by adding the doors and the exclusive wheels. Like box 3, this box also contains 4 numbered bags. Also containing mostly orange parts and panels. This leaves us with a finished car...okay, almost finished. Next stop, wheels & tires. 20 inches at the front axle, 21 inches at the rear axle. For a wheel size combination, that’s a first in the 911 model range. The larger footprint makes another improvement to dynamic performance. The wheels are made from a forged alloy and feature a platinum-colored paint finish. The central locking device bearing the ‘RS’ logo is derived from motorsport. Compared with the conventional five-bolt wheel connection, it offers enhanced performance thanks to the reduction in rotating masses. And, of course, it ensures a faster wheel change, which is vital when you’re in the pit and the clock is ticking. The tire sizes on the new 911 GT3 RS are nothing short of impressive: 265/35 ZR 20 on 9.5 J x 20 at the front, 325/30 ZR 21 on 12.5 J x 21 at the rear. The last box contains the rims and tires (stored inside the box). As you can see the LEGO wheels have the same size for both the front and the rear wheels. I think this is a perfectly understandable choice. Different sizes would have been hardly noticeable, but it would have added significant costs. Great thing about these rims is, that they are custom designed rims for the GT3 RS. Another great technical specification is that the offset inside the rims reflects the real rims, resulting in a better steering geometry. The printed RS emblems on the 1x1 tile add a nice touch. What size of construction can fit inside the new wheels for when making custom steering and suspension geometries? 5x3? 7x3? 7x5? How deep are they? (asked by Allanp) Can you tell me if they fit on the portal hubs? (asked by Zblj) Hopefully the following images will answer both questions. The portal hub is touching the rims, so it's not possible to fit them without spacers. The image below shows how far the frame is protruding from the rim. Let's talk rims and tires! From left to right (links to Bricklink for easy reference): 42039 - 24 Hours Race Car (and 10 others) 42000 - Grand Prix Racer or 8146 - Nitro Muscle 42056 - Porsche 911 GT3 RS 8674 - Ferrari F1 Racer 1:8 42030 - Volvo L350F or 8110 - Unimog or 76023 - Tumbler 8466 - 4x4 Off Roader or 5659 - Power Puller This picture shows which wheels will fit nicely under the new wheel arch panels. Front view of all the rims. As you can see the Ferrari F1 tires are slightly wider and almost the same height. The Ferrari tires have a slightly higher profile than the Porsche tires. Hopefully this image will give you some reference as to how the different rims compare to each other. This clearly shows the depth of the different rims. After adding the wheels, you have finished your very own Porsche 911 GT3 RS! Let me start by saying that I absolutely love the looks of this car. It sure is a 911 GT3 RS, no doubt about it. I have read some criticism that the car doesn't look good from certain angles. I beg to differ. Taking in account that we are still talking about a LEGO model, I think this car looks magnificent. There's a gap between the headlights and bumper, which people have complained about. Admittedly, it would have looked better when the transparent dishes would be positioned half a stud deeper and half a stud lower, but I'm not too bothered with it. Here are several pictures showing how the model will look after approximately 10 hours of building time. I love the front view of the car, with the black gear racks in the front bumper/spoiler. And I love how the hood worked out, but that's because I love them curved panels Back of the car looks pretty decent too, although I am not really sure about the rear lights. On the other hand; these kind of shapes are hard to capture in a Technic model. EXTRA FEATURES We have spoken about the technical functions of this model, but obviously there are some extra features as well. These are depicted in the picture below: Open hood/bonnet Open trunk/boot Open doors Adjusting the spoiler (regulate downforce) A bag for storing your racing gear COLORS Take a look at the image below to see some of the color choices TLG has made. What's catching our eye, is that the decision has been made to use a Black 2L axle in the door handle, instead of the usual red one. Kudos for TLG! However, in the rear wheel arch they used a tan frictionless pin and a blue friction pin. Maybe I am missing something, but why did TLG use the tan frictionless pin?! There are no rotating parts in that assembly? Furthermore; wouldn't it have been a great opportunity to use black 3L friction pins throughout the model. This would acknowledge the fact that it's a 16+ set and it would have made bodywork look way better. This would also solve the blue gearbox pins issue. And while we're at it, throw in black axle pins, as the icing on the cake. I understand the regular color policy, but this set being a 16+ set, and the Ultimate, and blabla, well....you catch my drift. 16+ AGE INDICATION This is the right moment to continue the discussion about the 16+ age indication. Asked by Allanp: What makes this set carry the 16+ symbol? It isn't the largest or the most complex set to date, so why the 16+ age thing? To be honest; I am not entirely sure. The build isn't that complex to justify the 16+ indication. My best guess it has something to do with the set being more of a display set than a play set. If it were a real 16+ set, all axles and pins would have been black and the instructions would have had a lot less steps. There's probably a good reason for it, but at the moment I can't explain why this set it 16+. COMPARISON WITH 42039 The picture below shows a comparison with the 42039 - 24 Hours Race car. While it's only 4L wider, you can see it's much longer. The next two pictures show the entire bill of material. A lot of discussion has been going on about the price. It is pretty steep, there's no denying that. But does this set justify spending 300 euros? I have tried to come up with a fair calculation, without any prejudice. Basically it's the same car as the 42039 (24 Hours Race Car), only bigger. Meaning it doesn't have Power Functions, Electronics or Pneumatics. Nor does it have an abundance of very special parts (some new molds and colors, which I will account for later). Both cars use lots of panels to make them look nice (don't get me wrong, I love panels). In my opinion a comparison with the 42039 is justified. I can even add the 42000 Grand Prix Racer to the equation. Also a car, more or less same scale as the Porsche, no Power Functions, Pneumatics, whatsoever. So let's do the math. The 24 Hours Race Car has an MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) of 100 euro (same goes for the 42000). The Porsche has an MSRP of 300 euro, which makes it three times more expensive. The 42039 has 1219 parts (1141 for the Grand Prix Racer), so the Porsche should have around 3657 (or 3423 parts). Let's take the average, round it down and make it 3500 parts. 3500 versus 2704 parts. Something doesn't add up. Why am I missing around 800 parts?! Based on the 42039 and 42000, a Technic set like this should end up with a price per part around 8,5 cents (the average of 8,2 and 8,8 cents). Meaning the Porsche should have cost around 230 euro, but it doesn't. So, the conclusion of this little calculation is that you are paying 70 euro for added value. What can be considered added value? A nice book, special box (and packaging), new rims, and an official Porsche license. I don't think that counting the book as added value is fair, since any set of around 3000 parts will have a pretty thick book. The book actually contains around 40 pages without instructions. So around 7% percent of the book is added value. This seems negligible when it comes to printing costs. This leaves you with the box (including extra packaging) and the license. We've probably all seen the video where you see the packaging process, which is mostly done manually. Let's say the box and extra packaging adds another 10 euro. Still 60 euro to allot. For those of you who haven't seen the video; LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS Sneak Peek from LEGO Factory in Kladno: Some new molds have been created (rims, fenders, panels) and a lot of parts in orange for the first time. Imagine this this eats up another 10 euro per set. This leaves you with 50 euros for the Porsche license. Maybe I underestimate the new rims/molds, booklet or packaging. That could very well be the case. But it's a fact that this model is relatively more expensive than the 42039 or 42000. Simple mathematics, no more, no less. I'll let you decide whether the added value is worth paying the extra bucks Almost at the end of my review, it's time to summarize how I feel about this set. Usually I am not overly critical. I acknowledge the fact that at the end of the day, LEGO is a toy. However, this is a different ball game. Being a 16+ set and TLG calling it The Ultimate made it clear that this set means serious business. UCS TECHNIC First of all I am really pleased to see TLG venturing into the Technic realms of what's commonly referred to as Ultimate Collector Series in the Star Wars theme. We've seen hints about this being the first in a new series, so I surely hope to see more models like the Porsche. UNBOXING EXPERIENCE When the set arrived I was on cloud nine. This is more than your run of the mill Technic set, so I was really excited to get building. This excitement continued during the unboxing phase. The box has a deluxe appearance and it's filled with nicely packed goodies. All in black and orange, which absolutely looks stunning. THE BOOK The books which has been included contains some cool additional information about the Porsche. Mainly before the start of the build though. The vast majority contains building instructions. Being a coffee table book, a hardcover would have been cool. It's no biggie that it's not though. THE BUILD The technical part of the build is concentrated in the first box, meaning that after 38% of the build you are done with the functional parts, leaving 62% of the build adding cosmetics. This is somewhat underwhelming. I really enjoyed 'the marriage' phase though, which gives you the feeling that you are actually building a car. TECHNICAL FEATURES Unfortunately, when it comes to technical accuracy there's a lot left to be desired. No active suspension management or rear axle steering. So two of the most interesting potential features have been omitted. Being the Ultimate it would have been cool to see both, or at least one of, these functions implemented in the model. GEARBOX The flappy paddle gearbox is supposed to be the star of the show. It's absolutely cool that TLG has implemented this feature. However, the mistake in the building instructions leaves you with an incorrect shifting sequence. This issue will most likely be corrected in a later version and/or an errata will be provided. I am not sure whether TLG will address the gearbox locking issue. This being a display model, I don't think this issue will be noticeable for the majority of the builders. The fact that Reverse has the same number of gears as the Drive mode is not accurate, but for me this is an acceptable choice. The flappy paddles could have been implemented in a way that you can actually operate the paddles, without touching the rubber bands constantly. PRINTED PARTS The RS 1x1 round tiles on the rims have been printed, which is nice! Makes you wonder why the 1x1 tile on the steering wheel (with Porsche emblem) hasn't been printed. It's plus that the wheel arches have been printed. This ensures the model still looking good after a decade on the shelf. At that time the rubber bands will be petrified and will most likely break when operating the gearbox. Therefor, it would have been great if TLG provided an extra set of elastic bands, for future use. PIN COLORS TLG has used a black 2L axle in the door handle, which definitely looks better than red ones. However, they haven't included 3L black pins. Instead they still used the blue ones. If you decide to use black 2L axles, why not use 3L black pins in several places. WOW FACTOR I showed it to some friends (non AFOLs) and the only interesting thing to show is the gearbox. Which actually doesn't really present well, since you don't see what's happening. You don't even see the pistons moving faster. Basically there's not much to demonstrate, other than it's an impressively big model. A very good looking, yet slightly boring, model. PRICE I have devoted an entire chapter on the price of this model, of which the conclusion was that you pay around 70 euros for added value. It depends on the type of LEGO buyer or builder you are (and the size of your wallet) whether this is justified. The price tag of 300 euro seems a bit steep for what you get in return, so I can imagine some of you will wait for a nice deal to emerge. CONCLUSION TLG definitely brings a unique experience, and I really like the looks of the model. However, the feeling that this "could have been" a better set predominates. That being said, I still think it's a must have for every LEGO Technic car enthusiast. It looks cool when you put it on display. And it offers lots of possibilities to modify. Or like brunojj1 phrased it: Seems to me like the Porsche delivers a perfect base for MODing and MOCing variations such as B-models or PF upgrades to make it a real ULTIMATE. If you are looking for the perfect set, you better look further. If you are looking for a unique Technic set with great potential, this is the set for you! ...and with this bombshell it's time to end Leaves us with the scores. 9 DESIGN This definitely is a 911 GT3 RS! 8 BUILDING EXPERIENCE Build itself is okay, the total experience adds a point. 5 FEATURES It lacks two functions and the major function is flawed. 6 PLAYABILITY This being a display model, it's virtually non-playable. 9 PARTS New rims, entire range of orange panels and new orange parts. 7 VALUE FOR MONEY Depends on your budget, purpose to buy it and other motives. 7,3 COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER I really wish TLG would have been more clear about the embargo rules. Pictures and videos were popping up everywhere on the Internet, while the review embargo stated the 1st of June. Additionally, the set already seemed to be available at some locations. Other than that, I still enjoyed the ride and I'd like to thank TLG for providing me this set! Thanks you for reading this review. All pictures can be found in my album.
  11. REVIEW - 42083 - BUGATTI CHIRON INTRODUCTION First of all, my apologies for bringing you this review so late. There were some logistical and communication issues, which caused a delay in the delivery of the set. The set was due to arrive before the LEGO Fan Media Days, but mine arrived after the event. Throw some personal obligations in the mix and you have a belated review. Also, this review won't be as elaborate as the one I did for the Porsche GT3 RS. Sorry about that too. Nevertheless, I hope will enjoy the pics and some of my insights. I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to join the unveiling of the Bugatti Chiron on the 1st of June (2018), which totally rocked. For those of you who are interested, here's a link to the Bugatti page on the LEGO website and a link to the LEGO page on the Bugatti website. If you see this icon, you can click the image on the left or right side of the image, to cycle through alternative images. PICTURES Pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. More pictures can be found in my Flickr album. DISCLAIMER This set has been provided by the CEE Team of TLG. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefor, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG. SET INFORMATION Number: 42083 Title: Bugatti Chiron Theme: Technic Released: 2018 Part Count: 3.599 Box Weight: 5,9 kg (approx) Box Dimensions: 57 cm x 37,5 cm x 15 cm Set Price (MSRP): £ 329.99 / $ 349.99 / € 369,99 Price per Part: £ 0.092 / $ 0.097 / € 0,103 Links: Brickset, Bricklink THE BOX As you have come to expect, the box is more luxurious than the regular LEGO Technic sets. The blue on blue effect of the vehicle and background is working for me. And I like the reflection underneath the car. The upper right corner of the box shows that this set is also built in a 1:8 scale, like the Porsche. Some people state that the box is a waste of money and they prefer a regular box. Since this will probably only slice a couple of euros of the price, I prefer having a luxurious box for the "UCS" models. Since you are paying top dollar already, you might as well get a nice box with your model. I throw away every other Technic box, but I wouldn't think of throwing this one away. The back of the box shows some key elements of the car. And it shows the sexy behind of the car. More praise for that later. Nope, these are not my left-over parts from the build. This the content of a bag I received at the unveiling event. The USB sticks contain media kit for both Bugatti and LEGO (click here to download the LEGO Media Kit and Bugatti Media Kit). And when I run a flat, I can at least change it CONTENTS OF THE BOX The side of the box shows the profile view of the car. Click on the images to show the inside of the box. There are six boxes, one for each step of the build. The box contains two books, instead of one. And since the Bugatti is built in two parts (before the marriage) this allows you to start the build together with someone else. The second book. And the sticker sheet. I would be nice to get a second sticker sheet with a set like this. My Flickr album has pictures of the numbered bags, used in the different stages. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS I skipped this section in my Porsche review, but I agree it's worth having the Highlighted Parts section. RIMS Let's start with the most unique and prominent part of them all...the rims. Specially designed for the Chiron. And man, this design is magnificent. Absolutely spot on. Since they are dark blue it might be difficult to use them in MOCs, but given the number of dark blue panels in this set, we will most likely see more dark blue MOCs in the future. A thing worth noting is that the pins are attached to the rims. Unlike other rims, which have holes (female), these rims have pins (male). This makes them harder to use with some of the previously used setups. On the other hand, this set comes with very cool brake discs and calipers, which can be used in MOCs as well. As you can see in the image below, all of the common rims come with holes, instead of pins. BLUE PANELS At first, I wasn't happy with the idea of this set being blue on blue, but then I found out TLG used my two favorite shades of blue. It's a public secret I am a big fan of dark azure and that's no different for dark blue, used in the 41999 - 4x4 Crawler Exclusive Edition and later in the 42064 - Ocean Explorer. I have compiled a list of modern panels in dark azure and dark blue. I think this list is complete, but feel free to check for accuracy DARK AZURE 2 x Panel Car Mudguard Arched 15 x 2 x 5 2 x Panel Curved 11 x 3 with 2 Pin Holes through Panel Surface (new in Bugatti) 0 x Panel Curved 11 x 3 with 10 Pin Holes through Panel Surface 0 x Panel Curved 3 x 6 x 3 (non-existent) 0 x Panel Curved 3 x 13 2 x Panel Fairing # 1 Small Smooth Short, Side A 2 x Panel Fairing # 2 Small Smooth Short, Side B 0 x Panel Fairing # 3 Small Smooth Long, Side A 0 x Panel Fairing # 4 Small Smooth Long, Side B 2 x Panel Fairing # 5 Long Smooth, Side A 2 x Panel Fairing # 6 Long Smooth, Side B 2 x Panel Fairing #13 Large Short Smooth, Side A 2 x Panel Fairing #14 Large Short Smooth, Side B 1 x Panel Fairing #17 Large Smooth, Side A (new in Bugatti) 1 x Panel Fairing #18 Large Smooth, Side B (new in Bugatti) 1 x Panel Fairing #21 Very Small Smooth, Side B (new in Bugatti) 1 x Panel Fairing #22 Very Small Smooth, Side A (new in Bugatti) 0 x Panel Plate 3 x 11 x 1 0 x Panel Plate 5 x 11 x 1 DARK BLUE 2 x Panel Car Mudguard Arched 15 x 2 x 5 (new in Bugatti) 0 x Panel Curved 11 x 3 with 2 Pin Holes through Panel Surface (non-existent) 0 x Panel Curved 11 x 3 with 10 Pin Holes through Panel Surface 2 x Panel Curved 3 x 6 x 3 6 x Panel Curved 3 x 13 1 x Panel Fairing # 1 Small Smooth Short, Side A 1 x Panel Fairing # 2 Small Smooth Short, Side B 0 x Panel Fairing # 3 Small Smooth Long, Side A (non-existent) 0 x Panel Fairing # 4 Small Smooth Long, Side B (non-existent) 2 x Panel Fairing # 5 Long Smooth, Side A 2 x Panel Fairing # 6 Long Smooth, Side B 2 x Panel Fairing #13 Large Short Smooth, Side A (new in Bugatti) 2 x Panel Fairing #14 Large Short Smooth, Side B (new in Bugatti) 1 x Panel Fairing #17 Large Smooth, Side A (new in Bugatti) 1 x Panel Fairing #18 Large Smooth, Side B (new in Bugatti) 6 x Panel Fairing #21 Very Small Smooth, Side B 6 x Panel Fairing #22 Very Small Smooth, Side A 4 x Panel Plate 3 x 11 x 1 0 x Panel Plate 5 x 11 x 1 (still unique to 41999) There are lots of new dark azure and dark blue parts in this sets, like liftarms and soft hoses. For a full list, I recommend checking the Bricklink Inventory or looking at the inventory pics in the next section. DISC BRAKES On Bricklink these are called Steering Wheel Hubs 3 Pin Holes Round, but I will simply call them disc brakes. I love how these turned out. 1L PIN CONNECTOR Both were already available in these colors in 2017, but it's worth noting that this part is getting more and more common in different colors. I do like this part a lot. CONNECTORS New in the regular blue color. Makes you wonder why TLG introduced the connector with hole in blue, since neither of the three sets which have them in blue are depending on this color. TLG tends to use new colors in multiple sets, but we might see the real reason for producing it in one of the future sets. The same goes for the perpendicular split connector btw. ROTARY CHANGEOVER CATCH This cool new part is specifically designed for the gearbox on the Chiron. It can engage gears by using a rotary movement, instead of sideways/lateral motion. I'm sure we will see cool new applications for this part in future sets. I heard something about it being used in one of the 2H sets already. DRIVING RING EXTENSION This new driving ring extension has 8 teeth inside, which results in less slack. 20T DOUBLE BEVEL GEAR WITH CLUTCH This gear is basicallyh the same as the regular 20T bevel gear, but it has a pin hole, instead of axle hole. And it has clutches on both sides. 3L AXLE PIN Most likely, following the "we need more colors" pattern we have seen lately, this part is introduced in red this year. We used to have dark bluish grey for this part, but now we have red too. I wonder if dark bluish grey will be phased out. 5 x 7 FRAME If you need 5 x 7 frames in black, this is the set for you. Besides buying them separately, this is your best choice to get lots (16) of 'em. PART LIST THE BUILD It looks like the build starts with a Monocoque, but that's not the case. This simply is the rear of the chassis. Lots has been written and said about the suspension in the Chiron. In the following video you can see that even without the springs attached, the liftarms don't move easily. However, with the springs attached, the suspension looks strong enough for the weight of the car. Later we will verify if that is indeed the case. The wheel hubs are connected to the new Steering Wheel Hub (a.k.a. disc brakes). I'm sure we will see these discs in future sets, as brakes or maybe as something totally different. Here's the front view of the rear suspension. The bottom view shows the new 20T bevel gear with clutch connected to the differential. No, this is not the marriage. And I don't think you can call it an engagement either. The first kiss, maybe. Part of the chassis is connected to the rear suspension. The gearbox uses a new type of axle connector, already used in some earlier sets. Where the white connector has lots of friction, the driving ring can move freely over the grey connector. The video below demonstrates the two axle connectors. And after the first kiss comes....okay, I won't go any further with this analogy. Anyway, the gearbox is connected to the rear of the chassis. Again from a different angle. W16 ENGINE Here's the top and bottom view of the W16 engine. The engine doesn't use a single crankshaft, but a construction with three axles and three 24T gears. Admittedly, I would have loved to see a custom built engine with other parts than the standard pistons and cylinders, like the MACK truck. However, I don't think this is a bad solution. The engine operates smoothly and it's fun the see all the pistons moving. It does feel like a beast of an engine. Let's mount the engine by attaching it to the chassis. Again from a different angle. FRONT CHASSIS The rear of the chassis is finished, gearbox is in place and the motor has been built. It's time to move on to the front of the car. The front suspension also uses two springs on each side. Again from a different angle. This is what the front chassis looks like when the front suspension has been attached. There is a single clutch gear in this model. It's in the center of the vehicle, near the mechanism for the gear shifter (Forward/Reverse). Since the Chiron doesn't have a center diff, this model doesn't have one either. In the real car, there's full control over the power sent to the front and rear axle. This is done electronically. Obviously, the LEGO model doesn't have this kind of advanced mechanisms. Therefore, a clutch gear is used to avoid straing on the drivetrain. One thing I noticed is that the clutch gear is not attached with a 5L axle with stop, but with a regular 5L axle. I wonder why?! Next is the mechanism for the flappy paddles. It's a rather odd but ingenious system. This pictures clearly shows the white 1L connectors, which makes this mechanism possible. The video below demonstrates the gear shifter. It's not so stable yet, because it's not enforced by the chassis. The paddles in the Porsche were attached to the steering wheel. However, the elastic bands were placed in a position where they limited the operability of the paddles. The Chiron uses a different mechanism, where the paddles are positioned in front of the driver's seat, under the steering wheel. The front of the chassis right before the marriage. You can already see some of the tan interior and the dark blue exterior. Here's a video demonstrating the gear shifter and steering. THE MARRIAGE It's time for the marriage of the rear and front of the chassis. This is the result of the marriage. It's actually starting to look like a proper supercar. At this point I tested the gear shifting sequence. Rumor has it that there once was a supercar with incorrect gear shifting sequence, so I was pleased that I could clearly see (and feel) that the sequence was correct This car has a proper 8 + R gearbox, which means that it has 8 forward gears and just a single reverse. Some of us expected the have 8 reverse gears as well, but TLG did a proper job getting the gearbox right. One minor gripe is that the real Chiron only has 7 forward gears, but that's something I can live with. From this point it's mostly exterior work on the body. The spoiler neatly aligns with the rest of the bodywork. The rear of the car is so f.... sexy. I absolutely love how this is designed. And actually, I really like the bright red, instead of a trans-clear variant. This color makes it really stand out. Allegedly, the reason for not doing it in trans-clear, is that the material of the flex axles (and panels) is not suitable for trans-clear colors. The tan upholstery is partially made up of system bricks. I like the way the chairs worked out, but I probably would have added some more system bricks to avoid the gap in the seats. Here you can clearly see the gap I am referring to. After the interior we continue with the duo-tone exterior. When I first heard that the car would be blue-on-blue I was a bit disappointed. I was actually hoping for black-and-blue. I figured TLG would use regular blue, but I didn't think of dark blue. Admittedly, I was immediately convinced when I saw the dark azure and dark blue combination. And let's face it, duo tone blue is a trademark of Bugatti, so it makes a lot of sense to use these colors. The doors are added to the vehicle. They do feel a bit flimsy and there's no door lock. They look nice, but using the stickers on the tiles instead of flex axles and the flimsyness leaves room for improvement. Bit of a cop out if you ask me. When the first picture was leaked, it only showed the front of the car. It immediately generated lots of negative comments. Since I had already seen the back (and the rest) of the car, I was convinced that it wasn't so bad as many claimed. And when I look at the picture below, I still think the front worked out nicely. What I especially like are the angles in the bodywork. We have seen some Chiron MOCs, but they are mostly square cars with flex axles. This car has lots of exotic angles, replicating its real world counterpart. I'm not saying it's perfect, but I absolutely like how it worked out. And I don't mind the gaps in the bodywork. After all, it's not a Creator Expert car, but Technic. And last but definitely not least....the rims! If the car isn't good looking already, these rims take the cake. Absolutely stunning! Of course we need some rubber to transfer the power to the road! All in all I really enjoyed the build. I liked it better than the Porsche. Partially due to non-rushed building, but also because the gearbox, engine and other key elements are more fun to build. COMPLETED MODEL Low and behold, a LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron! Looking at the real car, you can see that the lighter blue resembles regular Technic blue more than dark azure. However, I am very happy that TLG still chose to go with dark azure. It results in a higher contrast between the two colors, it's better for dark azure part availability and it's just a better color blue The spoiler isn't fully extended in this picture. It's halfway between neutral (folded) and extended. On the left you can see the lead designer of the Bugatti. Oh wait, that's not entirely correct :wink: For those of you not familiar with the history of Eurobricks; this is Kim Thomsen (@KimT), former (technically he is still a member) Eurobricks member and he is member of the Community Engagement team at TLG. He is our contact for most of the activities. The right picture shows the actual designers, from left to right: Jachin Schwalbe - Bugatti Head of Chassis and Tire Development Achim Anscheidt - Bugatti Design Director Aurelien Rouffiange - TLG Designer Andrew Woodman - TLG Senior Design Manager Here you can clearly see the different angles, which definitely must have been challenging for Aurelien. Almost as good looking as the LEGO version hehe. As I said before, the rear of the car looks absolutely stunning. I can't get enough of this view. Usually the front of the car gives it its distinct look, and the rear...is just the rear. This car has a very distinct rear as well. I like how the W16 worked out. The engine has been partially covered with system bricks to give it the "big engine look", but you can still see most of the cylinders, in contrast to the Porsche. In this image you can see that the door isn't entire closed. This could have easily been avoided by adding door locks. Other than that, the car looks magnificent. Another great view of the back. Looking at this image, I start to wonder how this car will look like when the bodywork is entirely made in dark blue, and possibly losing the grey rigid hoses. The profile view is also very beautiful, but two odd thing stand out. First is the flex axle and rigid hose combo comprising the front grill. I somehow feel this could have looked better using a single axle or hose. The other thing is that the flex axles continue as stickers. This just doesn't feel entirely right. Especially since we have seen some simple, but very good looking, MODs, using rigid hoses. Some of the negative or odd things aside, I absolutely love the looks of this car. The duo-tone blue is stunning and the rims are out of this world. If you look closely at the rims, you will notice that the tires are not mounted "correctly". The rims slightly protrude the tires. Apparently Bugatti designers found the rims to be too small when mounted correctly. This was a very simple solution to make them look a bit bigger. At first I wasn't convinced by this solution, but upon seeing the solution in real life, I was convinced that it indeed looked better. And look at those disc brakes ... fantastic! The real ones don't look too shabby either There are a lot of odd angles, which are implemented very well. It's obviously a matter of personal taste, but I do like the looks of this car better than the Porsche's. Maybe it's the sophisticated color scheme. Combine dark azure with the classy dark blue and you have an instant winner. But of course, it's not only about colors, it's about shapes as well. The bottom of the chassis looks really clean. The tan interior looks great, especially with the stickers on the dashboard and on the inside of the doors. The Frunk (front trunk) opens to reveal the Bugatti bag. Like the Frunk, the space in the bag will be limited too. Where we are going, we don't need trunk or bag space These are the left-over parts after the build and the brick-built key you can use to raise the spoiler. The real car has key which can activate ludicrous speed (Spaceballs anyone?!). Although I like the gimmick of the LEGO key, I would have rather seen a spoiler which was raised with a lever next to the seat, or a similar solution. Without the key inserted. SUMMARY Being a model of a supecar, there's only so much functionality one can expect. However, with a hefty price tag, one can expect the functions to work properly. STEERING Basic functionality is steering, which doesn't work that well. The weight of the car, combined with the lack of HoG (Hand of God) steering, makes this car virtually unsteerable. When you manage to steer at a maximum angle, the turning radius is even bigger than Yo Mama. SUSPENSION After the gearbox issues in the Porsche two years ago, the suspension developed to be the flaw of this set. When you push the bodywork down, it doesn't come up again. This goes for the front AND the back. Maybe TLG don't see this as a flaw, but I do think this should work better. I have seen a solution where some of the friction pins were replace with frictionless pins and the suspension worked better. Maybe TLG (and Bugatti) considered the suspension to be too wobbly with frictionless pins, but this being a LEGO model, I feel the model should return to normal state after pushing the suspension down. For me, it's not a deal breaker, but I wonder how much thought went into this. DOORS The doors are very wobbly when opening. Besides that, there's no door locking mechanism. We have seen some pretty simple MODs, which would have solved this problem instantly. I don't get why simple details like these are so often omited in Technic models. GEARBOX For me, the gearbox lives up to the expectation. TLG went all out and designed some cool new elements to make sure this supercar has a properly working gearbox. Of course, there are always people who can make a better version, but after gearbox-gate two years ago, I'm very pleased with this one. W16 ENGINE Also, subject to many debates...the W16 engine. For the connaisseurs, this isn't really a W16 engine. It's more like a stacked V8 or a V8 with two extra 4-cylinder blocks. I would have loved for TLG to design some new engine elements as well, but I reckon they will leave that for future supercars. I can also imagine that the Bugatti is unique with a 16 cylinder engine, so designing special elements might be unneccesarily expensive. And to be honest; I do think the current setup is a proper solution for the W16. The engine works like a charm. DRIVETRAIN Something which does slightly bother me is the slack in the entire drivetrain. I have tested the gearbox sequence, which is flawless. But when you look at the pistons in the completed model, they sometimes only start turning after 50cm of driving. So many gears need to be engaged, that slack is building up. So, after the closed engine compartment of the Porsche, we now get a semi-open engine compartment, but the pistons aren't very responsive. SPOILER Raising the spoiler with the key is a nice gimmick, but I'd rather have a lever in the interior. Or maybe, have it linked to a fake brake pedal. Or, as a middle ground, be able to insert the key somewhere else in the chassis/bodywork, instead of fiddling in the wheel arch. CONCLUSION Some people claim (or rather, shout on every social media they can find) that this model is overpriced. At a price of € 369,99 for 3.599 parts, I don't think it's overpriced. Is it cheap? Definitely not. But in terms of part count you get what you can expect of a Technic set. It's not that this set is filled with System parts, as was expected before the unveiling. Do I think this set is worth this kind of money?! I find this question difficult to answer. It all depends on your needs, financial situation etc. If you like to buy Technic for the functions and to build other stuff with, then this set is probably not for you. But if you are into cool looking supercars, then this set is definitely worth the money. Like the Porsche, I will probably pick up an extra copy, just to have a collection of MISB supercars. As with most things in life, it's all about expectations. When the Porsche was released, we didn't really know what to expect. Therefore, some of the AFOLs were disappointed. Admittedly, I was a bit let down too, in some aspects. Now that we know the concept behind the "UCS" Technic models, we know better what to expect. So, does this model live up to my expectations? Yes, it does! The new gearbox surpasses my expectations, while I am somewhat disappointed with some of the other features. Overall, I do like this model better than the Porsche. The build is slightly more fun, the gearbox works better and I do love the duo-tone color scheme. Oh, and did I mention the gorgeous looking rear of the car?! All things considered I do love this set. If you are into the Porsche, you will definitely love this set. If you think the Porsche is just an expensive display model, you can easily skip this set as well. On the other hand; this line of supercars is probably the best chance, for most of us, of getting a collection of supercars SCORE From now on I will omit the scoring section. Not all sets have the same criteria and not all people are looking for the same things in a set. What can be a good parts pack for one builder, can be a lousy one for the other etc. A set like this, is not built for playability, so it's useless to rate the playability. Therefore, I think it's better to have a written summary with my feelings and let you decide the score yourself. I will end with a "which one do I like best" list, which I will use for future reference, when reviewing supercars. This list reflects my current preference: Bugatti Chiron Porsche GT3 RS FINAL WORDS Thanks you for reading this review. All pictures can be found here. Since the poll is still broken, I haven't included it, but I still like to hear what you think of this set?
  12. REVIEW - 42070 - 6X6 ALL TERRAIN TOW TRUCK INTRODUCTION It is that time of year again. The time when the most interesting new Technic sets will be (or already have been, in some cases) released. The flagship set is obviously builds loads of anticipation and expectancy. Interesting enough this year's flagship set isn't the biggest set, when we are merely regarding the number of parts. Even though the 42069 has more parts, this set is still considered to be the flagship. It's quite obvious when you see the size of the box or when you look at the price. At first sight the set looks as impressive as the box. Six big wheels, introduced in the Claas last year. Full RC, which means you can use a remote to drive the vehicle and to operate the crane and outriggers. There is only one remote however, so the functions need to be switched, using gears and levers. I am anxious to find out how the gear box works. Since several videos and reviews have been released, we already know that this set received a lot of criticism. One of the main complaints is the hefty price tag. It's as expensive as the Bucket Wheel Excavator, yet is has less than half the parts. There must be something in this set justifying the price tag. Why don't we start building, so we can find out what that might be. PICTURES Pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. More pictures can be found in my Flickr album. DISCLAIMER This set has been provided by the CEE Team of TLG. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefore, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG. SET INFORMATION Number: 42070 Title: 6x6 All Terrain Tow Truck Theme: Technic Released: 2017 Part Count: 1862 Box Weight: 4,0 kg (approx) Box Dimensions: 58,0 cm x 47,7 cm x 11,9 cm Set Price (MSRP): € 279 Price per Part: € 0,15 Links: Brickset, Bricklink THE BOX Upon looking at the box, it's clear that this set is this year's flagship. Obviously the lid/flap is a clear indication that we're dealing with the flagship, but the box itself is also pretty impressive. INSIDE FLAP The inside of the flap shows a single picture of the model, with the outriggers extended. Admittedly, it does look cool and appealing. According to the designers this is the truck that will tow the truck that was supposed to tow your car. If this bad boy doesn't get the job done, what will?! INSIDE The inside of the box shows the different functions, translated in no less than eight languages. At the bottom you can see an overview of all the Power Functions components. BACKSIDE The backside of the box also shows some of the functions, together with the B-model, a Research Explorer Vehicle. Not that I am particularly familiar with research vehicles, but it doesn't resemble anything I have ever seen CONTENTS OF THE BOX The box contains: 1 Single book with stickers 6 Tires 18 Bags BOOK WITH STICKERS The way every bigger Technic (or LEGO set in general for that matter) should be packed, the sticker sheet combined with the book. BOOK The book is quite heavy and it contains almost 400 pages for 590 building steps. STICKER SHEET Since the sticker sheet is packed with the book, it's unharmed during transit. Hopefully the bear is unharmed too. The colors of the stickers are very vibrant, which perfectly match the Dark Azure look of the truck itself. TIRES One of the key elements of this set are the six big tires, introduced in the Claas in 2016. I am big fan of these tires, so I was delighted that the rumors about a 6x6 Truck with Claas tires were true. BAGS This set contains 18 unnumbered bags, containing a total of 1862 parts. The PF components are combined with the rims and are packed in two separate bags. By looking at the bags you can already see a lot of different bright colors. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS This section describes the interesting parts. POWER FUNCTIONS This set contains the following Power Functions elements: Battery Box Infrared Receiver Infrared Remote Control M Motor XL Motor Compared to the Bucket Wheel Excavator this set does have the IR Receiver and Transmitter, while the BWE doesn't. And it has an M Motor, which the BWE lacks. So it has three more PF components. This is important for comparing the price. It's a nice PF Starter Pack for those of you getting (back) into the hobby. 24-16 TEETH DIFFERENTIAL Surprisingly, this set contains two old style Differentials. Upon close inspection, it seems that the mold has changed a bit, since the innards of the gear slightly protrudes, which wasn't the case with the previous versions. Admittedly, I would probably not have noticed if Sariel hadn't mentioned it. Actually it makes sense that this set contains at least one of these differentials. Since it's full RC and 6x6 we do need a center differential to prevent strain on the axles when powering all the wheels. DARK BLUE AZURE PARTS When we first saw the pictures of this set, we had to guess which color blue was used. This is because TLG has treated us with a wide range of blue elements in the Technic line. Compared to medium blue or medium azure, I definitely prefer this blue color. It would be great if TLG picked one (or two) shade(s) of blue and worked with that for a while though. They probably have heard enough complaints by now, so hopefully they will stick to dark azure as the alternate blue. Downside of getting new colors is the range of available parts. Over time the inventory will hopefully grow, but for now we have to work with this selection of dark azure. Currently there are 215 registered parts in dark azure, but they won't be very useful for building Technic. Unless you like to add Duplo to your truck 4x Liftarm 2x4 13x Liftarm 5L 13x Liftarm 11L 1x #1 and #2 Panel 1x #13 and #14 Panel 6x Curved Panel 11x3 3x Panel 11x3 9x Panel 11x5 4x Tapered Panel 11x5 CURVED PANEL 13x3 For the first time we get these panels in black, which is a very welcome addition to the parts selection. If we can get them in white too, that would be great, thanks CURVED PANEL 3x6x3 Earlier this year this transparent version of the curved 3x6x6 panel was intruced in the BMW R 1200 GS and Uwe conveniently used it as headlights in this truck. DOG BONE For the first time one of the frames (technically it's called a liftarm) is produced in a different color than light bluish grey. Six H Shaped Liftarms in red will be used in this set. One of my favorite parts and they perfectly fit the Mindstorms EV3 color palette. AXLE AND PIN CONNECTOR HUB This year the Axle and Pin Connector Hub is released in red. I already found these at the Factory Store in Legoland Germany and I wondered which set would use these in red. They are most likely not produced in red for this set, but for Baze Malbus from the Star Wars Buildable Figures. ROPE This set contains a new rope. It has kind of a metallic touch to it. It is slightly ticker than the regular rope. Thumbs up for this new version. It looks and feels a lot better. RED #3 CONNECTOR Last but not least, the rerelease of the red #3 connector, last seen in 2011. Lots of MOC-ers will be very happy to be able to use these parts for an affordable price again. I almost forgot that these parts were pretty rare, so I shot this picture afterwards. Four parts is exactly the number I have (or had before now) in my collection. So basically I doubled up! Whoop whoop. INVENTORY This set contains 1862 parts, which is not that many for a flagship these days. THE BUILD Let's build ourselves a 6x6 All Terrain Tow Truck, now shall we! As with most trucks we start by building the center section, where the gearbox will be positioned. We immediately get cracking with quite a few gears, including the white safety gear (a.k.a. Clutch Gear). Early on the M Motor is attached to the gear box. This motor will be used to drive several functions, switched manually by two levers. This picture clearly shows that there are four switches to be operated. Eventually there are only two levers (one on each side of the vehicle), so let's wait and see how this will end up. So far the build is enjoyable. It's fun to add the gears and to slowly find out how they will be operated and which function(s) they will be driving. After building most of the center gearbox you will work your way forward and attach the front wheel steering linkage. As you can see the steering is operated off center and the second 12T Bevel Gear is only used to guide the rack. One of the things that also meets the eye is the different colored liftarms on the port and starboard side of the boat...uhmm truck. It seems odd at the moment, but it will prove to be useful later on...if you don't screw up anyway Talking about screw ups. I had quite a few of 'em during the build. It was late and I wasn't really sharp. An example of lack of sharpness is taking the XL Motor to the photo studio (I was building downstairs) and not thinking clearly about where the cable should be positioned. I can tell you...not this way. There is little extra length on the cable, so you will need every centimeter (or even milimeter). Connecting it this way will end up with having too little length on the cable. Lucky for me I was able to turn the motor around without taking too much of the model apart. I had a friend over who is interested in LEGO Technic as well. Obviously, he didn't want to be in spectactor mode during the entire build, so we alternated building every now and then. Since I misplaced the XL Motor, you can see what happened in the picture below. The dark azure liftarms were placed over the wire, which got us into trouble half an hour later or so. Let's talk a bit more about the different colors on the different sides of the truck. Since people tend to frequently make the mistake of misplacing the differentials in a 4x4 model, TLG provided a fool proof way of connecting the differentials. This way you almost cannot make this mistake. So, you would think. Unless you are building with a team mate and you incorrectly correct a mistake. That is exactly what happened during this phase of the build. My buddy had built both live axles. He had built them correctly, but he reversed the second one, resulting in the red liftarms being on the wrong side of the vehicle. I noticed the mistake, but instead of simply turning the second live axle around, I started rebuilding the second live axle. This resulted in both differentials being on the same side. Needless to say, that didn't improve driving performance. This was the moment that we called it a night. As you can see the wire is still incorrectly attached and the rear live axle has an incorrectly placed differential. Little did we know that we *cough* my buddy *cough* also missed a 20T bevel gear right smack in the middle of gearbox. As you can see in the picture below, there is no extra length on the cable of the XL Motor. This is not the most elegant solution, but after you finish the cabin, you won't see the cable anymore. At this point we still had the rear differential the other way around, so when I hooked up the battery box to test all the functions, we noticed the two rear axles turning in different ways...a clear indication you screwed up. I immediately realised that my buddy didn't screw up the build, but simple attached the rear axle incorrectly (or is this also considered a screw up hehe). We both had a laugh and fixed the mistake. Here you can see that the red connector is a tight fit. Not much margin to work with. The finished cabin looks cool. Although, I wonder why TLG keeps using blue panels as seats. I mean, this blue doesn't really match the rest of the truck. I'd say that any other color would have worked better than blue. Yellow would have been okay, or simply dark or light bluish grey, since the set is already very colorful. Come on guys, you can do better than that. The engine powering this behemoth is a powerful 4 cylinder engine. Wait a minute?! That can't be right. A 4 cylinder engine....hmmmph. I reckon its real life counterpart wouldn't use a 4 cylinder engine, but Uwe probably prefered a non-V engine over the correct number of cylinders. I would rather see a big 8 cylinder engine, even if that meant a V8. Even Dokludi used a V8 in his replica, so there is space enough. Other than that; the engine with the two black panels looks cool. The rear outriggers use more or less the same mechanism as the side ones, using an axle instead of gears to operate the stamps. Cool aspect about this technique is that it's quite rare for the outriggers to be operated by a motor. Usually you have to manually extend the stamps, which is rather cumbersome. Or be very patient when you have to wait for the 42009 outriggers to be extended. These outriggers are deployed in no time! Here's the attachment of the gearbox to the mini LA. The axle still needs to be pushed through the bracket. When you are done with the rear outriggers you move onto the crane. The crane looks rather flimsy for a truck this robust. Some panels could be added to make it look more sturdy and robust. It feels unfinished this way. At this point the model looks like you will be adding quite some stuff. On the contrary, you are almost done at this point. I remember my girlfriend looking at the parts I had left, looking at the model and saying "but you still need to build a lot". This is how your 98% complete truck looks like. The fenders and the side panels cover up the chassis and after that you are done. As you can see, the rear of the truck lacks a proper bed, which leaves you with an unfinished feeling, again. The rear and (the looks of the) crane are definitely not the strong suit of this model. The front of the model does look cool though. Unlike the cute bear, the front says "don't mess with me, I will ... you up". At the bottom you can see the 40 year anniversary brick (3L Liftarm), which is present in all of the 2017 sets. Several "Tow 067" stickers need to be applied, but what they mean still remains a mystery. Since set 42067 is missing from the line-up many of us figured the 42067 would be introduced as a new supercar (or something similar) being towed by this truck. The designers were actually quite surprised with this theory (or they acted surprised) and they said it wasn't related at all. It is supposed to have a meaning though, which we will find out later. FINISHED MODEL Without further ado, I hereby present this year's flagship.....the 42070 6x6 All Terrain Tow Truck! Some basic observations when looking at the model. I didn't like the color at all when it was first presented. During the build I actually started liking Dark Azure. It works really well with red and the yellow details. There is quite a gap underneath the doors. It's a plus that TLG included the bigger panels, but I can't help but think that the gap could have been avoided. The yellow rims with the black dishes work really well. The overall look of the truck is rather impressive. When you start building and you see the six big tires, it's a sign that it's gonna be "yuge". And that the Mexicans are going to pay for it...oh wait now, that's something totally different. It is huge though. I am well aware that bigger doesn't always mean better, but I am a sucker for big models. The front of the truck with the bull bar definitely matches my expectations for this kind of truck. The chains and the Teddy Bear add nice touches to the exterior. The center of the chassis seems to be bending a bit, which isn't really surprising, given the size of the model. When I go on a cruise, the ship is bending all the time and that's not even a bad thing. I don't really mind this model bending a bit, although one could claim that it needs some reinforcement. Is it even road legal to have the tires sticking out of the vehicle?! I wonder how it looks if you position the panels 1L farther to the outside. This is how the vehicle looks from the back (sorry for the mirrors). As you can see I have attached both chains to the rear end of the vehicle, instead of one to the side. From the rear you can easily see the chassis underneath. The bottom shot of the chassis shows the old style center differential and the pendular axles. A couple of soft springs on each side would have been nice. Some extra pictures for your enjoyment. FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS Now that we have built the model and we know what it looks like. Let's talk about the functions. This model packs six functions powered by two motors. Steering Driving Rotate crane boom Raise/lower crane boom Raise/lower the hook Raise/lower the outriggers Unfortunately you can't switch functions with the IR remote, so you need to change the functions manually, using two levers. Each lever is mounted on one side of the model. The left lever (the one on the driver's side) switches between the Driving Functions and Operator Functions. When you switch this lever to driving mode, the position of the second lever doesn't matter. STEERING Instead of using a servo motor for steering, this truck is using the M Motor, which is also used for some other functions. Steering is very smooth and operates nicely. There is no return to center, but you hardly miss it. I really like the way this is implemented. Downside however is the turning radius. As with many Technic models, this model has a very wide turning radius. You need to go back and forth quite a few times to make a 180-degree turn in a somewhat confined space. Here are two video's demonstrating the steering mechanism. DRIVING Because of the weight of the vehicle, it's geared down using a 8T on a 24T gear in the portal hub. So, don't expect spectacular performance when it comes to top speed. It does have proper torque and it drives smoothly. Using an XL Motor instead of an L motor results in the model coasting when you release the "throttle", instead of abrubtly coming to a halt. All in all I am quite happy with the ability to drive (and steer) this model. Here's a short video of driving the truck: Since I am not really interested in Truck Trial and/or outdoor operation, I won't go into much detail about how suitable this model is for that. If you are interested in that, I can highly recommend watching the video review of our top video reviewer Sariel. What I do like to address is the inability of the IR system to be operated outside. I have never done truck trial or other outdoor PF IR related activities, but it just not possible to operate the model outside of your home. I never really realised that this was a big issue, but when you buy a € 279 RC set you probably expect it to work in your garden as well. Makes me wonder how many calls have been answered by TLG's customer service regarding this matter. It's time for TLG to step up their game and come up with a better solution. OPERATING THE CRANE AND OUTRIGGERS When you switch the lever on the driver's side to upper position you are engaging the non-driving functions of the model. That is operating the crane functions and the outriggers. When you are using this mode you are depending on the second lever to select the functions you want to operate. It's either the outriggers combined with lowering/raising the boom or rotating the crane and raising/lowering the hook. This takes a bit of getting used to, but I found this model easier to operate than the Arocs, which uses a similar approach. The following video demonstrates the operator functions: One thing that kind of bugged me during operating the outriggers is the fact that a 7L axle has been used and it has been stopped by two full bushes. This resulted in the outrigger getting stuck near the panel on the right side. I was surprised by this, since TLG usually makes sure that there is ample space for moving parts. I will be modding this by using an 6L axle and half bushes. MANUAL FUNCTIONS Besides the motorised functions, this model has some manual functions like opening the doors and the bonnet. And according to TLG's website, it has moveable lights. They have yet to be found though. B-MODEL The B-model of this set is what TLG calls an Research Explorer Vehicle. A polar vehicle comes to mind, but the big tires are more suitable for other types of environment. I am not sure what TLG is aiming at. Usually I don't really care for B-models and that's no different for this set. I would be happy to see someone build this vehicle and show us what it's all about. I will take a rain check. PRICE Now that we are almost at the end of this review you have probably noticed that I am rather enthusiastic about this set. Although we haven't found a clear explanation why this set has an MSRP of 279 euro. I was hoping we would find out during the review, but we haven't. Therefore, I am afraid we need to do some math to be able solve the mystery. The most logical way to determine the price of a set is to compare it with similar sets. Other than the usual Technic elements, this set contains PF components and six big tires. Let's look at the Claas because of the tires, the Volvo L350F for the Power Functions and the Bucket Wheel Excavator because it has the same price. Claas has 1977 pieces and has an MSRP of € 149. Four big tires, PF Battery Box and M Motor.. Volvo has 1636 pieces and has an MSRP of € 219. Lots of PF including 2 PF IR Receivers and 2 Transmitters, big tires and a big bucket. BWE has 3929 pieces and has an MSRP of € 279. PF Battery Box and XL Motor. 6x6 Truck has 1862 pieces and has an MSRP of € 279. More PF than BWE, but way less PF than Volvo. So the BWE has over twice the number of parts, no PF Receiver or Transmitter and a single motor, but it still has the same price. You can argue that the BWE was actually cheap compared to other sets. Okay, let's call the BWE cheap and ignore it. Leaves us with the Volvo to compare to, since that set has a lot of PF components. The volvo has the entire range of PF components, including 2 PF IR Transmitters and Receivers. So it has a lot more PF components than the 6x6 Truck. The Volvo has approximately 200 parts less than the 6x6 Truck. At around 10 cents a piece, this would make up for a maximum of € 20. The Volvo is € 60 cheaper and it has almost double the number of PF components. The Claas isn't overly expensive, so the price of the tires probably don't add extreme costs to producing the set. When looking at the price of other sets, I simply cannot explain why the 6x6 Truck should cost 279 euro. Therefore, I can only jump to the conclusion that this set is overpriced. I'd say the price should be somewhere between the Claas (€ 149) and the Volvo (€ 219). € 149 + 2 tires and more PF components makes me feel like € 199, but no more than that, and definitely no € 279. SUMMARY When I first saw this set, I wasn't very thrilled about it. Even seeing it in Billund didn't change my mind. It's just a big truck which can drive and has yet another shade of blue. I do like big models and I do like the Claas tires, but it just didn't do it for me. Bright colors for a truck like this?! BUILDING EXPERIENCE During the first stages of the build it was clear that this set packs and interesting gearbox to operate some cool features. The set contains over 100 gears, so there obviously is interesting stuff going on. During the build we (I had some help during some of the building stages) made some serious mistakes. This wasn't because of the instructions. This was because it was late and we weren't paying enough attention. The funny thing is that this actually added some fun to the build. We had to take some stuff apart, and investigate where the problem originated. This was somewhat reminiscent of the good old days, where you sometimes had to puzzle your way through the build. So yeah, I really had fun during the build, even though I (we) made some very stupid mistakes. DESIGN Dark azure is a very nice shade of blue. It's way better than medium azure or medium blue. Now let's hope that TLG makes a pick when it comes to blue and add some connectors to the mix. Some parts of the truck look very cool and some look unfinished. Especially the rear of the vehicle and the crane look unfinished. It feels that some modding needs to be done to complete this model. I have very much come to terms with the bright colors though and I have started to appreciate them. What I don't get is the use of bright orange parts in the chassis. Why not throw in some dark azure if you need to use another color than grey. I can totally understand that TLG want to make the build process as understandable as possible, especially with the target audience in mind, but in some aspects they are overdoing it. PLAYABILITY Sometimes when I build a Technic model, the functions just don't seem to work properly. They look like a Proof of Concept, instead of actual working mechanisms. The good thing about this model is that the functions work properly. Steering, driving, operating the crane and the outriggers, everything works fine (except maybe the minor issue with the outriggers). Outdoor playability is virtually non-existent though. Don't expect your kids to have fun in the garden with this thing. They will get frustrated. FEATURES The main functions of the model are all operated by a remote control. Upside is that these functions work really well. Downside is that you still need to manually switch the functions, and you need to be inside. The outriggers are a blast to operate, they are so cool. PARTS In term of special parts this set isn't exactly special. You get six big tires, which you might already own four of, when you own the Claas. For existing PF users, it's mostly parts in new colors. If you are new to Technic or new to PF, this set is a pretty decent starter pack. VALUE FOR MONEY This is where things get ugly. The hefty price tag of € 279 is way too much. Around € 199 would have been reasonable, but € 279 is nowhere near reasonable. VERDICT After building the set and spending some time playing with it I can only come to the conclusion that I really like it. I am even thinking about modding this set and that is something I seldomly do. This set reminds me of the 42039, where I felt like the president of a fan club with very few members. Sometimes a set just works for me and this is such a set. And that's not because it's the best set right out of the box, but it has potential to have a lot of fun with it. Some sets are perfect, but you will hardly touch them after building. The real question is whether people will be forking out such an amount of money for a non-licensed set. 6,8 Thanks you for reading this review. All pictures can be found here.
  13. Hey all, we've been working on building up a lego youtube channel for romanian fans (https://bit.ly/2ML8vLM) I know this might not appeal to many on the site since only a part of us speak romanian, but I thought some of you might like to know. We're still young naive beginners, and especially in the beginning I've tried emulating what I like from other channels while slowly making it my own. I would love some feedback from members here, either romanian speakers or otherwise, everyone is welcome! I am also a newbie to the forums here, but I do follow your news.You'll find some reviews, some short and hopefully amusing videos, as well as some past live streams (which we are planning on making more of).Once again, the link is https://bit.ly/2ML8vLMIf and only if you enjoyed it, I would really appreciate a subscription, it will help us make a lot more content, I absolutely love LEGO and want to talk about it as much as possible :)))))))Thanks for your time, hope to see you on the channel! Happy building!
  14. REVIEW - 42079 - HEAVY DUTY FORKLIFT INTRODUCTION With 592 parts the smallest of the 2H 2018 sets. Of course, less parts doesn't mean a lesser model. It looks interesting enough and it has a promising B-model. The previous forklift (not counting the mini 8290) was the 8416 Fork-Lift from 2005, the year I got out of my dark ages. Needless to say this is a while ago. Like cranes, lots of people tend to like forklifts. Probably like those people, I am hoping that TLG will some day release a big forklift flagship, full RC, so you can fully control it like the 8043 - Motorized Excavator. But I digress. Let's see what this Heavy Duty Forklift has to offer. If you see this icon, you can click the image on the left or right side of the image, to cycle through alternative images. PICTURES Pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. More pictures can be found in my Flickr album. DISCLAIMER This set has been provided by the CEE Team of TLG. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefore, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG. SET INFORMATION Number: 42079 Title: Forklift Truck Theme: Technic Released: 2018 Part Count: 592 Box Weight: 1,24 kg Box Dimensions: 37,7 cm x 25,7 cm x 9,0 cm Set Price (MSRP): £ / $ 69,99 / € 49,99 Price per Part: £ / $ 0.118 / € Links: Brickset, Bricklink THE BOX Apparently the size isn't important, or impressive, enough to mention on the front of the box. It only shows the Forklift transporting a drum with dangerous content. The picture in the top right indicates that the carriage can go up and down. That's great, being a forklift and all. BACKSIDE At first glance, this doesn't seem to be a very special set, but the backside reveals a very good looking B-model. This alternate model could almost have appeared on the front of the box. Other than that, it has an interesting color scheme, some nice dark blue panels. Color me interested! CONTENTS OF THE BOX This set contains: 2x Instruction booklet 1x Sticker sheet 4x Tire 6x Unnumbered bag INSTRUCTION BOOKLETS We have seen this before, but I was still pleased with getting the second booklet out of the box. STICKER SHEET Nothing out of the ordinary. Just a couple of stickers to provide some details for the bodywork, and of course the DANGER sign for the drum. TIRES Probably some of the most commonly owned tires by AFOLs, but we haven't seen these last year (2017). Last set to use these tires is the 42049 - Mine Loader from 2016. BAGS The set contains six numbered bags. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS Unfortunately, this set doesn't contain any of the new parts. Or any interesting parts for that matter. I have highlighted the following parts as the most interesting of this set. GEAR RACK AND HOUSING This Gear Rack Housing and Gear Rack can be found in six other Technic sets. The light bluish grey housing is only available in two sets though. DARK BLUE PANELS If you want these dark blue panels you are limited to just a couple of sets. And I probably don't need to tell you that two of these sets are pretty expensive. PART LIST Here's the complete part list showing you 592 parts. THE BUILD Early in the build, the chassis already contains a lot of the functional parts. The front wheels with differential, connected to the axle and gears for the fake engine. Two universal joints (U-joints) are used to connect the axle in the mast. In the picture on the right you can see the steering mechanism. Forklifts usually steer with the rear wheels, which is also the case for this vehicle. This profile view shows part of the cabin taking shape, and the 2-cylinder fake engine has been placed. Behind the driver's seat is an axle going down in the chassis. It's connected to the axle leading to the mast of the forklift. BODYWORK The bodywork gives the forklift a finished look. I like the shape and color scheme of it. The light on the top of the vehicle is not the Hand of God steering. In this case, it's the Hand of God lifting hehe. CARRIAGE The carriage is lifted using a Short Worm Screw Gear. The lifting height of the forklift is 16 studs. Thanks to M_Longer for measuring it. I forgot to do that and I currently have the B-model assembled. Always build the B-model first if you are writing a review and you will be covering both models. In case you are wondering how this is measured, here's the exact quote: "I have put a 16L link under and it fit perfectly ;)" LEFTOVER PARTS The usual selection of small parts. COMPLETED MODEL The completed model has an exhaust which provides Hand of God steering. I do like the position of the steering mechanism, but I don't like the fact it is connected directly to the gear rack. This not only results in inverted steering, but also in rather direct steering. I would have liked to see some gear reduction and reversal of direction. I can understand there is little place for an intricate system, but I still think it was feasible. This being a minor gripe, I do like this model a lot. I love its looks and its simplicity (in a good way). I had this model standing on the table and my five year old nephew immediately started playing with it. I only had to explain the tilting mechanism, which is located at both sides of the cabin, but besides that, he quickly started turning the knobs. LIFTING MECHANISM Click on the image below to show the lifting mechanism. REAR The rear of the vehicle does show some unused space. This gives me reason to believe a better steering mechanism could have been concocted. I do like the looks of the rear though. The solution with the two small panels is nicely done. From a slightly different angle the forklift does look those big boys driving around in harbor areas. Another picture from the rear. I can only conclude that it's a good looking model. B-MODEL Since the instructions for the B-model are included in the set, it's only logical to include it in the review. Lucky for me, my lovely partner @Kitty was willing to spend some time building this alternate model. She is not really into Technic, but she is willing to help me out every now and then. Usually, she is taking sets apart, but occasionally she assists building them, like now. Unlike the forklift, the fake engine is placed at the front of the chassis. So is the steering mechanism. Here's a side view with the crane attached. There is no mechanism to extend the boom. You simply need to operate it by hand. The finished model is actually very good looking. And it has the basic functions you would expect from a tow truck, steering, working fake engine and a crane/boom. Granted, a mechanism to operate the boom is absent, but this being the B-model, I can live with it. Shooting pictures for models with some sort of hook is always a challenge. The hook never hangs as you would like and it takes a couple of minutes for the hook to completely hang still . After putting the model on the table you wait...or go about some other business. And a picture from the rear. This is one of those sets which is actually 2-in-1, having a proper alternate model AND instructions to build it out of the box. Below is a picture of the left over parts. SUMMARY For a Heavy Lift Forklift it feels a bit too compact. Like I said in the introduction of this review, it would be cool to have a Heavy Lift Forlift, which is actually massive, like the real machine. Of course, this has nothing to do with the quality of this model. Lifting the forks/carriage is done via the beacon light on the top of the model. Tilting the mast is done via the levers on both sides of the cabin. Both functions work properly. Steering is done via the exhaust at the rear of the model. Steering is very direct and above all, it's inverted. This could have been done differently. At this price point, getting basically two proper models is great value. All in all I really do like this set. Nothing extraordinary, but if will definitely make for a nice gift. Downside for AFOLs is that most of us will be able to make this with our own inventory, since it doesn't contain any new parts. PROS It's affordable. Two very nice models. Functions work properly (steering can be improved though). CONS No new parts have been used. Steering is inversed (minor gripe). SCORE How do I rate this set? 8 DESIGN Two very good looking models, especially for a set this size. 7 BUILDING EXPERIENCE Nothing really special, as expected. But still fun to build. 8 FEATURES Properly working manual features. 8 PLAYABILITY Lots of playability. 7 PARTS No new parts were used. Other than that is an okay selection with some nice dark blue pieces. 9 VALUE FOR MONEY The cool B-model adds a lot of value to this, already great, set. 7,8 FOR LIFTING AND TOWING FINAL WORDS @M_Longer has created an LXF file which he has share in this topic. And @JunkstyleGio has created two wonderful renders. Thanks you for reading this review. All pictures can be found here.
  15. Introduction: Thanks to @Jim the brand new Cargo Train has arrived early in LEGO City. Here a review of the set. I was very excited to get my hands on the set, not only because it offers a large potential but also because of the Powered Up system. Set Information: Number - 60198 Name – Cargo Train Theme – City (Trains) Year – 2018 Minifigs – 6 Pieces – 1226 Target age – 6+ (6 – 12) Price – €189.99, CA$ 269.99, $ 229.99, £ 179.99 Available from: July 1rst 2018 Links: Brickset - https://brickset.com/sets/60198-1/Cargo-Train Poll on the review: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GTQWQVX (suggestion: fill it in after you finished the review). LEGO Product Information Load up the powerful LEGO® City 60198 Cargo Train and deliver the goods on time! This cool LEGO City set features a motorized engine with 10-speed Bluetooth remote control, accessible driver’s cabin, a crane wagon with rotating and extendable boom arm, container wagon with 2 containers, and a log wagon, plus an armored truck with opening doors, and a forklift with opening roll cage and lifting forks. This cool LEGO train set also includes a full circular track with 16 curved rails, 16 straight rails and a railroad switch with lever, plus a control center with ladder and 2 buildable pallets with money bills, gold bar elements, a snow scooter and 6 LEGO minifigures. Includes 6 LEGO® minifigures: 4 train workers, a security officer and a crook. Features a motorized engine with 10-speed Bluetooth remote control, pantograph on the opening roof, and driver’s cabin with control panel. Also features a log wagon, crane wagon with rotating and extendable boom arm, and a container wagon with 2 containers with hooks on the roof for loading and space for pallets. Includes a control center with ladder and signal lights, a full circular toy train track with 16 curved rails, 16 straight rails and a railroad switch with lever, a money transport truck with opening doors, and a working forklift with opening roll cage. Accessory elements include a wrench, 12 gold bar elements and 4 money bills, plus 2 buildable pallets, 3 logs and snow scooter. Open the roof to access the engine car filled with cool details. Operate the cargo train with the 10-speed Bluetooth remote control. Lift and load logs onto the log wagon with the crane's rotating arm and hook. Push the lever on the railroad switch to drive the train to a different track for loading or unloading. Load pallets into the containers with the forklift before lifting them onto the container wagon with the crane. Set up the tracks in different configurations to load or offload cargo around your city. This product requires batteries (not included). Please refer to the product packaging for type and quantities. The included Bluetooth remote is not compatible with older infrared remote-controlled LEGO® train sets. Cargo Train in total measures over 4” (11cm) high, 32” (82cm) long and 2” (6cm) wide. Engine measures over 4” (11cm) high, 10” (27cm) long and 2” (6cm) wide. Log wagon measures over 1” (5cm) high, 5” (15cm) long and 2” (6cm) wide. Crane wagon measures over 4” (10cm) high, 8” (22cm) long and 1” (5cm) wide. Container wagon measures over 3” (9cm) high, 7” (18cm) long and 1” (5cm) wide. Armored truck measure over 2” (6cm) high, 6” (15cm) long and 2” (6cm) wide. Control center measures over 8” (21cm) high, 3” (8cm) wide and 4” (12cm) deep. Forklift measures over 2” (7cm) high, 2” (5cm) wide and 4” (12cm) deep. The Box: The box is huge, feels filled and heavy. This is the front of the box: and this is the back: They clearly mention that set is not compatible with older systems (read: Power Functions). They also promote the upcoming app(s) and the passenger train (+ the track sets). I found it a bit odd that they did not include the Bluetooth Low Energy logo and standard they use on the box. They mention Bluetooth but that could have meant Bluetooth Classic. Not too easy to see in the smaller resolution of the image, but they mention near the lightning bolt: "The Bluetooth technology is not compatible with older train products". For kids I think the box would be very appealing since they give a lot of hints on how to play with the set. Inside The Box: The box contains 12 numbered and additionally four unnumbered bags (three with tracks, train bases and a few other parts including the ladder, and then the PU train motor). Two stacks of four curved track sections and the PU controller and receiver came loose (interesting since the PF parts always came inside cardboard I think). The Instructions: The six booklets and the stickers came in a separate plastic sealed package, good thing since that keeps both stickers and booklets in much better condition of course: The Build: It is a massive set so I decided to take it on in a very structured way. Booklet 1/6: The Forklift The first pages of the forklift booklet contain some instruction on how to move forward bag by bag. It also explains the brick separator and scanning the QR code will even lead you to a tutorial video about the separator. Ok, well these are the parts of bag one: For the price of the set they really focused on money, so while you spend quite some money on the set, you also are rewarded with a lot of money related items. Some nice modern parts, a lot of familiar parts. They could have used the goldish version of the 'bars' (Piece 99563) but apparently they didn't (the piece was included in other 2018 sets though) and just used jumper and normal tiles. They have a lot of color variations, especially the jumpers, I thought that was a minor draw-back. At first I also found the "Bright Light Orange" parts looking somewhat poorly (reminded me of some clone bricks) but it worked out very well in the end. First one needs to build the minifig and the pallet. Here is what the figure and pallet look like. To the left the base of the forklift: Here is the final forklift together with the minifig and pallet full of cold uh, gold and banknotes. Here you can see for yourself that it wasn't a bad decision to make the forklift Bright Light Orange after all: Booklet 2/6: The Bank Truck Bags 2 and 3 are needed to build the bank truck. I guess they did this to make the set suitable for the 6 year olds. This is the heap of bag 2 after I structured it: Not that many special parts, really straight-forward. There was one interesting step: You build the driver seat / engine compartment as 'one piece'. The engine is place in the middle of the truck as it appears. I guess they looked at real car factories and their "Hochzeit"-moment (German for marriage) moment when the bottom of the car and the body are coming together. That is it for the first part of the truck. This pile represents the contents of bag 3. The left-hand corner is the finished first half from bag 2. I always build using 'heaps' but I must say restructuring the parts means one can build very fast so I would recommend it to kids from now on: I like these parts better then the base parts. They did a very neat job with the smooth nose of the vehicle: it is basically a four-wide car piece and integrates very well. No bulky 'Jack Stone'-era like parts, but still a smooth and very buildable truck. I thinks kids and T/AFOL's alike will enjoy building it! Here is what the truck looks like when completed. A really nice and easily accessible cargo bay, nice for the 'players', but they did in fact also include those nice doors at the back. So fortunately they did not save on details making the set also interesting for a more mature audience. As you can see the pallet with money and gold bars will fit right in! The only draw-back I could think of is when the bay is closed you can see the gaps on the top. Hope it doesn't rain in your LEGO city and the bank notes are water proof (well, they are made from ABS so I guess they are ;)). A view from the front: you see how smooth and detailed it is while still using relatively small pieces. I did not apply the stickers yet, later you'll see why (and a neat trick). I would advice that also for kids, wait till your have built everything and ask a 'pro' to apply your stickers. Booklet 3/6: A stopper, crossing and... Part one of the Locomotive! Finally, the first real train builds! First some 'battery management'. The set needs a staggering amount of ten AAA batteries! Four for the controller and another six for the receiver / motor controller. I did only have for when I started and the shops were already closed so you'd better prepare and get good deals on AAA batteries before you start your PU (Powered Up) adventures. You need to pair the Bluetooth devices first. The controller and receiver probably have some initialization periode where they are able to pair to each other. We will see how that works if we will power on more than one controller or receiver in the future :) Maybe they rely on the signal strength though and will only pair to the closest devices that just booted up, just speculation, we will need to see when PU parts become more readily available and further experiment with it. As Sariel showed, powering of is easy: The receiver will apparently (from the video by Sariel) also power down after one presses the controller momentous switch for +5 seconds. Hope the troubleshooting guide will appear there around July 1rst, for now it does not exist (https://www.lego.com/themes/city/trains). Here are all the PU parts together: From top to bottom: - the receiver / battery box / motor controller combination - the remote control for two motor channels - the PU version of the train motor Now we should have started building the loop with the 'dead-end' behind the switch. The set comes with 16 straight and 16 curved tracks, and a (left hand side) turn out. Interesting to see that they included quite some straight track compared to older sets, but also that they did not include an extra curved track to make the 'dead' section behind the turn out in line with former LEGO guidelines that suggested us to always add a curved piece right after the diverted section of turn outs and never directly connect a straight section. B.t.w. booklets 3 and 4 show a yellow / orange tile on the turnout so you can remember that train will react to what side of the controller, but they included a green tile and correctly show you to add that green tile to the controller for 60198. Maybe they should have included a sticker that looked like 60198 for that tile as well but they didn't. You then are instructed to build the (unsafe) railroad crossing, more or less just like the one from the winter village station. There is also a rail stopper for the end of the dead section. Here are the parts for both builds: This is the rail stopper: The crossing is plain but effective: They could have added barriers for even more playability but I guess in freight shunt yards like this, have a crossing without barriers is most common. Bag five contains the first part of the engine. The baseplate is 6 x 28 which is very common for recent trains (see: BrickLink). The inside of the train is very colorful. I know from designers that they typically do this for sets targeting a younger age, I don't mind it since the outside is still very acceptable. You see already quite some typical Train parts, so the LEGO Train story just continues with this set. The engine is very much symmetric as you can see, I value this very much since for children it helps them to better understand concepts like symmetry (I'm a beta teacher after all). Here is the half way built engine, I actually made a mistake with the yellow 1 x 4 panels, they should have been facing towards the inside of the train. The head is more or less a fusion between typical US and EU trains. We all know of course that the leaked initial images very much looked like typical EU engines, I think this way the train appeals to a wider audience (remember Jamie Berards recents comments on trains). Since the nose is SNOTted, it would be very doable to modify it without a lot of problems to suit one's taste maybe even better. The tile on the front will be fitted with a 'cargo' instead of the typical Train ('Northern') logo (<-O->). That was the end of booklet 3. Booklet 4/6: The rest of the Locomotive Booklet 4 lets you start with bag 6. You need to add the buffers and the motor as well. Here you see the parts from bag 6: Yellow bogie plates this time. The green train windows are not unique but after all most parts would also be reusable for MOC's etc. Here you see the finished bogies, one with the new UP motor, the other entirely brick-built: The buffers for the locomotive are of the snowplow variety. After finishing bag 6 we have this: The cockpits are easily accessible and the battery bay is very spacious: we don't have an IR receiver anymore of course :) There are two train parts in bag 7 that I have never seen before: the new pantographs! They look really neat I think. Here is the finished train with the controller next to it: You can see that the vertical part of the panels are now facing the inside. The 1 x 3 panels on top make a the entire engine very sturdy while it is still very easy to remove the entire middle section, just remove the four panels and one can lift the entire thing. It looks very much like a real cargo engine after all I think (although it appears a fusion between a continental and US train as we already discussed earlier). The roof section acts like a lever (comparable to what we have seen in e.g. the yellow and red cargo locomotives) for the battery box. Booklet 5/6: Crooked trees and a female operated rail crane Bag 8 contains the crook with the rail car and lumber. Not spectacular, but they did a nice job. I like the dark tan 1 x 6 fences. Looks like the crook is up to no good! Here the finished lumber rail car. The lumber fits very well and won't fall off that easy. Apparently this car is also the crooks ideal place he can observe from. Bag 9 contains the base for the rail crane. We have seen quite some rail cranes already (1972, 1975, 1977, 1980, 2006 and 2015 (I might have forgotten one or two), I already owned one (set 7814) when I was 2,5 years old, but I think (arguably) that only set 4552 from the 9V era tops this one. These are the parts, another (6 x 24) train base, the typical train railings again. The female crane operator has the same uniform as the train driver. Here you can see the finished base: The stabilizers are fully retractible as you can see and have a sturdiness to it as needed for performing heavy lifts common in railroad situations. This is also true for the bogies, very compact, really appropriate for a genuine real crane I think. This is what the crane base looks like after being but on it's bogies: Bag 10 contains the crane itself: I like the large round turntable. Also those technic parts. A good starter for engaging youngsters in Technics. This is what the finished crane looks like: M(r)s operator is now totally ready for every conceivable heavy lifting duty. B.t.w. those 'stamps' that you see connected to the hook are also used as joysticks for the operator. Behind the 'container' doors on either side are 2 x 2 tiles that will get a human machine interface / operator panel (stickers). Booklet 6/6: Rail yard control tower and container rail car. The final booklet contains the instructions for a duo container rail car and the yard control tower. First up is bag 11 that contains the rail car, containers and even a snow scooter. All the parts for the train car and the containers. No very special parts but nice color variations. First we build the rail car itself. A very straight-forward open rail car with a somewhat heavy duty base. Then the bank container that also doubles as a safe. Wondering why the crook only has binoculars, maybe he wants to steal the combination? I guess no explosives this time :). The container has a hook so the rail crane can easily lift it. The 'money pallet' will fit in just like with the truck. The second container comes with a pallet that can fit a snow mobile. The back of booklet 4 already promoted the arctic explorer sets so I guess they wanted to link the set also to the arctic theme enthusiasts! The snow mobile next to the car and both containers. The last bag! Number 12 contains the following: There is one peculiar item that was new to me: It fits a cross axle to the side and can fit a 20482 part to both other sides. Although the signal tower might not be that realistic, it adds extra playability and is quite fun. We can always MOD it of course work more like the real deal. Initially I though, did they finally reintroduce the yellow helmet again to a train set after about 40 years, but alas, although the female hairpiece of the operator also looks very neat. The back of the tower has a knob so you can signal the train engine driver that he can start / stop shunting in the rail yard. So that was it for building. Here are most of the left-overs: There is also an extra small chain piece (from the lumber car). This is what the entire set looks like from a 'helicopter' vantage point: The Minifigures: Here is the line up of the minifigs: Having some diversity in the LEGO train world isn't that bad I would say. I like the uniforms, a lot of details in their prints. All torsos also have a printed back: Apart from the 1 x 4 train cockpit, 1 x 2 money tiles and these torsos all other artwork is done using stickers. Stickers, love them or hate them?! I think without the stickers the train would not look that great at all, but we have them so we can upgrade the looks of our set by applying them. Here they are: The artwork was done quite well, I like the metallics in the bank logo's. Nothing too complicated but nevertheless making the set much more appealing. The sticker paper does then to curl better put it somewhere safe till you are ready to apply the stickers. I obviously have a lot of experience applying stickers, my wife always ask me to help out on e.g. her technic sets for applying them, so do my cousins and nieces. But that does not mean that I never fail at applying the stickers just perfectly. Fortunately I know a trick and used that trick to apply the stickers on set 60198 as well. The solution: adding some drops of (mild) dishwashing soap to some water: You then moisturize your finger and apply the solution to the place where the sticker(s) need to be applied. The thin film soapy water prevents the sticker from immediately sticking to the ABS. You can then readjust the sticker till you are satisfied, squeeze a little to make the sticker stay in place and just let it dry. Applying the stickers makes all the difference don't you think? I just wanted to finish off with a last view from the yard tower: What a job, a great view... and: Even your own coffee maker: I just love that they added this detail! Summary: Playability: 10/10 Design: 7/10 Price: 6/10 Parts: 8/10 Minifigures: 9/10 Overall: 7/10 Wrap-up and some final notes: Hope you like the review, I did not have my photography tent / spots up and running at the moment so sorry about the differences in colors / shading, hope it wasn't too disturbing in the end. At my flickr page you can see more pictures I took while building the set. Now I just need some AAA batteries to start the engine! And remember: don't forget to fill in your opinions on the set: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GTQWQVX The quality of the video could be better but at least you get the idea I hope. One more thing: I have started a Powered Up review that includes a tear-down here. Hope many more will contribute to that! I'll do that in a separate topic since it is of course not only about set 60198.
  16. It's a bird, it's an App-Controlled Batmobile, it's a... oh it is an App-Controlled Batmobile. Ok then! Set Name: App-Controlled Batmobile Set #: 76112 Theme: DC Superheroes - Batman Parts: 321 Minifigures: 1 Year of Release: 2018 Price on Release: 100 USD, 140 AUD, 90 GBP, 900kr, 100 EUR (varies by country) Flickr Set LEGO Brickset Bricklink (not yet) Thank you to LEGO for providing this set for review. The review is an expression of my own opinions. INTRODUCTION The latest in a long legacy of stunningly gorgeous remote-control LEGO sets, 76112 App-Controlled Batmobile rolled out to much skepticism and bewilderment when information first became available, at least from what I read online. "$100 for that weird looking thing? You've gotta be joking mate!" But actually, if you check that handy link to a list of remote-control sets on Brickset, you'll see that this one lines up perfectly with what's come before in terms of cost for content. And while I'm clearly being a bit sarcastic about some of the horrendous-looking RC models that have come before, it seems from the user reviews that at least a few people quite enjoyed them. So, how does this stack up? As a Powered Up (tm) set, one you build and then drive with your phone because you needed more screen time with your LEGO, is it worth your hard-earned pennies? Let's find out! BOX I don't think I've ever seen a LEGO box with a picture of human hands holding a smartphone on the front before, so that's very striking right off the bat (geddit?). They've also used a completely different colour scheme than the rest of the DC Superheroes line and a modern stylish Batman logo that evokes the Rocksteady Batman games logo because this set feels vaguely "inspired" by the Arkham Knight Batmobile. All-in-all, it's a design that will surely stand out on shelves for its uniqueness. However for a 100 USD product the box is quite small, compared to another recently released 100 USD product. It's interesting to highlight the difference, but this isn't a regular set. The back is quite sensibly all about highlighting the functions, though I have no idea what some of those symbols near the bluetooth hub are meant to be because they don't appear in the app or anywhere else. I do appreciate that it opens like one of the more premium sets, and it forces you to Hashtag because all of the kids these days are Hashtagging and LEGO is for kids didn't you know? In other words if you don't have Instagram don't bother buying this. PARTS and THE BUILD Inside the box you'll find three numbered bags (ymmv on if all of the numbering styles will be the same), four loose balloon tires, the bluetooth/battery box hub, and two motors. Plus the instructions of course, but honestly there's nothing worth photographing in these instructions so I'll just say that I found it interesting that there are no written directions for how to download the app, just a page showing the app logo and an arrow pointing to your phone, and the name of the app to search in your app store. Bag 1 contains a bunch of technic-type stuff, random bright colours you didn't expect, the minifigure, and the juicy bat-cessory pack which I've covered in depth in this separate article. When you're finished with Bag 1 it's quite a colourful mess that could be anything (besides like a castle but ok you get what I mean). Bag 2 contains parts to start building up the shaping and look, and also one 1x2 teal tile for no reason whatsoever besides that the designers seemed to get a mandate this year to use as much re-introduced teal as possible I guess. There's also a sand green hinge base and tan cheese slopes which in combination remind me of Harry Potter, and the opaque black windscreens which are slightly but not all that rare, especially compared to many of the other opaque colours for that part. Here's that teal plate sticking out quite conspicuously: And then it's gone, never to be seen again unless you're looking down into the open cockpit from behind. Bag 3 finishes off the model, so naturally it contains mostly black and grey, and of course the red windscreen which has come in three sets in that colour so is nice but not particularly rare. I was surprised to see that the Nexo-shield On button was printed, though it's a kind of raised print application that has the resultant effect of looking like a sticker. But we know it's not, so it's great! The single technique that stood out to me most in the build was the on button. It's activated using just the natural give in long plates - no hinge, technic bit to push, or anything. The button on the bluetooth receiver is designed to be pressed with just the lightest touch, so depressing a plate with a boat plate attached is enough to activate it. On the less nice side of things, the back struck me as messy right away even with the wires as neatly folded as I could get them. MINIFIGURE Sadly for Batman minifigure collectors, this set contains an exclusive, very detailed Batman, so people who fit that collector description will have to buy it just for the minifig. Or, y'know, Bricklink. I do love the level of detail here from the torso all the way down through the toes. From glancing at images I expected both torso and legs to be gunmetal grey, but the torso actually is moulded in black. The figure looks perfect from the front, but the difference in colour is a bit more noticeable and jarring from the back. The face has some nice stubble originally made for grimdark Batfleck, but now good for grimdark other Batmen as well. Batman comes with the typical one Batarang and one spare, which he brandishes with a grimace. THE COMPLETED BATMOBILE Putting aside the functionality, which of course we'll get to, the model looks... weird. I'm not super-up on Batman vehicles throughout the years, but I know that Batman has had a wide variety and recently several tank-like cars like the Tumbler and the Arkham Knight Batmobile. This one certainly isn't out of line with those completely. Still, it looks a bit awkward in person. From the back things get worse as it becomes apparent that the set is more built for the RC functionality than for aesthetic purposes, though it doesn't have a huge antenna sticking out of it so that's good! You probably wouldn't look at it from this angle ever in real life, but this isn't real life. From this low angle it looks quite aggressive. The bigger Bat-symbols don't do much for me but the little one on the front is ace. It's quite tank-like when viewed this way. Aaaand it's a bit stubby and odd when viewed straight from the side. The back also sticks out in a strange way. Like in lots of vehicles, Batman has to lie down quite dramatically to fit in the cockpit. Luckily in this instance he doesn't have to operate his Batmobile though, since the human overlord (namely, you) does it for him from the app. The cockpit also dangerously opens down into the wheelbase which is surely quite loud and unpleasant for Batman, but the tan trim and printed control panels are nice details that let you know at least a little bit of design work went into it. APP-CONTROLLING THE BATMOBILE By this point I've established that the parts in this set aren't too interesting, the minifigure is great, and the completed looks of the thing are so-so, but obviously the real test and also point of interest of this set is how it functions. It's easy to find the LEGO Powered Up app in the app store, which will hopefully work with whatever smart device you have, and once downloaded and opened it gives you the option to choose the train control app or the Batmobile control app. There's space on that screen for more, so I presume we can expect more sets coming with the Powered Up control system. I've never had any motorised LEGO before (besides ZNAP... don't ask), but I've watched the development of the various systems over the years and the amazing thing that strikes me with this set is how it relies on so few specialised motor-parts for the functionality. A battery box is a given, but most previous RC LEGO cars have had some sort of big base, while this just uses two motors which can be used for anything that needs rotation really. I know nothing about app programming but I know that obviously these two motors have to be rotating in opposite directions to get the Batmobile to drive forward as they're mounted 180 degrees from each other. That in itself is probably easy to achieve but to a newb like me it feels really built from the ground up out of parts that could do anything, which is exactly how LEGO should be. Of course, that all fails if it doesn't run well or isn't fun to play with, so that's what I'll be looking at now. The app has two different modes for controlling and driving the Batmobile. I haven't found official names for these, so I'll call the red one the Driving mode and the blue one the Function mode. Here's the Driving one. You can slide the controls up and down to change speeds, and hit buttons to pop a wheelie, sort of turn around, or quickly drive forward and then turn around. Unfortunately you can't use the button functions in conjunction with driving, so if you want to pop a wheelie you have to stop, pop a wheelie, stop again, and then continue driving. In Function mode you can't pick a speed but the Batmobile actually controls more easily. Every tap of the plus or minus buttons makes it lurch, or if you hold them down it will go forward or back, as you would imagine. The function buttons here allow it to kind of shudder backwards in a fright, pop a wheelie (of course), or vibrate and jitter around. But you want to see it in action, don't you! That's why I've put together a couple of different videos. The first shows me demonstrating the app with minimal editing so that you can just see how it runs. Overall, as you can hopefully see, it is fun to drive, but there are some annoyances. In Driving mode it won't run at any speed under 40, which makes the numbers under 40 a bit misleading (they're effectively 0). Also when trying to drive just one of the sides it only works sporadically. I've tested this on a nice carpeted surface too and it has the same result, so it's not a problem of it having too little traction on my smoother studio surface. Driving in Function mode works better and is therefore more enjoyable, but I wish the Driving mode worked better because in theory getting to choose speed is the way you'd want to drive. As far as the pre-programmed functions in each mode go, the ones in Driving mode are more useful in theory because it's nice to do various turns at the touch of a button. The various jerks in the Function mode are cute novelties but would get a bit old. Like I've said, though, you can't continuously drive and touch a button and have it go straight from driving into the pre-programmed turn. Instead, you basically have to take your fingers off of the drive controls to properly hit the button, and no matter what the Batmobile stops before doing the function. Therefore the turns are rendered a bit useless, and I think kids will have a better time with the blue Function mode overall given the problems with the red Driving mode. Perhaps LEGO will work on making the app better with updates, but we'll see. The other major thing to mention is speed. In either mode, at full throttle it just doesn't go all that fast. Now, you wouldn't exactly want it to because it's made out of lots of fiddly bits that definitely will fall off if you crash, unlike those old not-really-LEGO RC cars that were super sturdy and could survive crash after crash from what I've read. So on the one hand, I'd get frustrated if it went fast and I had to fix it all the time. On the other hand, you just kind of want an RC car to go fast. It's a conundrum. But don't get me wrong. It still is fun to drive it around especially given that you've just built something out a bunch of parts that looked nothing like a drive-able car when you opened the box, and now you're controlling it with your phone! What a world we live in. CONCLUSION & RATINGS Ultimately having built and tested the App-Controlled Batmobile, it's no longer perplexing to me like it was when I first got wind of it. It's proving the versatility of LEGO's newest motors and battery box system, and I can see the wisdom in LEGO making their newest RC car a tie-in because, while a plain RC Car is somewhat cool, an RC Batmobile for (every kid's favourite character) Batman to drive around in is awesomesauce!! The exclusive, highly detailed Batman minifigure is icing on that remote-controlled cake. The price, while high, seems justified in the context of LEGO's previous RC offerings and of RC toys in general. I did a few quick searches for other remote-controlled Batmobiles on the market, and you can easily spend more for a toy that you can't deconstruct and turn into something else, or at the very least customize with other LEGO parts! Still, there are drawbacks. First of all, the model just doesn't look that good and it isn't really recognizable as anything. I get why it has the short wheelbase and big tires that it does, but without those slapped-on new bat-cessories it wouldn't even look like a Batman vehicle. We'll see how it fares on the market, but I can't help but feel that if it was based on a Batmobile from some media, any media, it might have a better shot than it does now. The driving functionality and app also have a variety of negatives, as I've detailed above. Parts: 8/10 - Nothing exceptional, but the new Bat-cessories and a few other parts like the windscreen are nice, and the battery box and motors are obviously where it's at. Minifigures: 9/10 - The minifigure looks great from the front but odd from some other angles due to the colour difference between torso and legs, and an additional villain minifig would've been nice so you'd have someone to run over repeatedly! Build/Design: 7/10 - It's quite frustrating trying to fold up those wires while building, and the finished thing doesn't look great from a variety of angles. The fact that it doesn't look very Batty besides the Bat-symbols also brings this down. Functionality: 7.5/10 - Obviously as far as LEGO sets in general go this one has amazing functionality because, y'know, it drives, but the driving functions have a number of issues and the car just doesn't go all that fast. Value for Money: 9.5/10 - It can't be judged against regular sets; as a whole package, building a solid vehicle (without any particularly specialised parts) that you control from your device, plus a great minifigure, makes it actually fair for the money especially compared with other RC Batmobiles out there. Overall: 8.2/10 - Ultimately this score reflects that the App-Controlled Batmobile is not without faults in both model design and app functionality, but it's conceptually and functionally a strong and fun enough set that I would recommend it even at full price if an RC LEGO car or LEGO's Powered Up system interests you. They've come a long way, though there are improvements to be made yet. Until next time!
  17. Hello everyone! Maybe someone know me already. I'm a fan of LEGO BrickHeadz, running my own blog with all the latest news and reviews. My BrickHeadz Reviews are in german language and not timelapsed / speed builded. Here is my Let's Build / Review for the LEGO BrickHeadz #41621 Ron Weasley & Albus Dumbledore Set. Enjoy!
  18. Long-time member, sometime speaker. I thought it was time to get more active in the AFOL community, so I've started a YouTube channel. The first batch of videos will consist of my reviews of the new Harry Potter sets and Collectable Minifigure Series. Please find the first video, a review of the polybag 30407: Harry's Journey to Hogwarts, below. I'll add more reviews as I make them. Apologies for the varying picture quality. It's my first try! And I'm thinking: I should probably include more close-ups of the actual LEGO next time... Still, I hope this proves useful and/or entertaining to you. Thanks!
  19. Hello There! Yesterday, I went to my local Lego Store in Warsaw and... there were available new Lego Star Wars summer sets!!! Probably this is the first review of this set :) Price - 129 PLN in Poland, others should be 29.99 USD or 29.99 EUR. 355 pieces and 3 minifigures - Tobias Beckett, Enfys Nest and Weazel Check my full review with ENG subtitles: My opinion - 9/10!!! Great set and I recommend this!
  20. Bob De Quatre

    Review REVIEW: 75098 Assault on Hoth

    Introduction The battle of Hoth is maybe the most known conflict of the Star Wars' Original Trilogy. So naturally AFOLs were waiting for TLG to reproduce that battle in Lego. And they've finally done it! But... I guess everyone reading this review has something to add after that "but", so I'll try to ignore everything that had already been said about that set and to review it with an open mind. Thanks TLG for the opportunity to do this review, which will of course only reflect my own opinion. Set information Set Name: Assault on Hoth Set Number: 75098 Number of Pieces: 2144 Theme: Star Wars Year Release: 2016 Prices: £219.99 / $249.99 / €249.99 #75098 on Brickset #75098 on Rebrickable Packaging The box is pretty big. So big that I just couldn't take decent pictures of it... So I'll use the official images from TLG. The front of the box shows the whole set, except for the Tauntaun den, with the classic Star Wars logo and the Lego Star Wars UCS logo. On the top of the box you can see the 15 minifigures included in this set, as well as the Tauntaun and the Wampa. The back of the box shows the back of the set, with the Tauntaun's stable, and the numerous play features. Content of the box The box is 2/3 filled with 18 bags, numbered from 1 to 13. There is also some loose items: two 3026 6*24 white plates and two 6082 dark bluish grey BLURP. Two plastic bags contains the whole assemblies for the Tauntaun and the Wampa. The thick instructions booklet and the stickers sheet come packed together. The 21 sticker don't have the glossy look and stand out when applied, especially the white stickers on white parts. Instructions booklet The instructions booklet is pretty thick, with its hard cover and 280 pages. Inside you'll find pages about the Lego Designer team and of course the battle of Hoth. I found these few pages quite interresting. Instructions are clear to follow and shouldn't lead to any error. Unlike some reviewers, I don't think they are too simplistic or childish. Minifigures The set contains 15 minifigures and 2 large figures! Let's start with the named minifigs: R3-A2, K-3PO, Toryn Farr, Han Solo, Wes Janson, Wedge Antilles and Rebel Officer, who has the perfect name you can have to be an officer in the rebellion! Everyone here gets a backprinting, except for R3-A2. Rebel Officer gets a mustache, but no leg printings! Wes and Wedge are dressed as classic rebel pilots. What I miss the most is probably a hood for Han. Riding a Tauntaun without a hood will freeze his ears! Continuing with the named minifigs: Jeremy the Tauntaun, Luke skywalker and Bill the Wampa. Of course, when I took the picture above with all the named characters, I didn't forget Luke was still hanging in the Wampa cave... Luke has a double printed head, before and after meeting Bill. Sadly, no legs printing for him! Then we have 7 non-named characters: 5 rebel troopers, including 3 in cold resistant outfit, and 2 snowtroopers. the snowtroopers don't have any leg printings, but they have a skirt! Back printing for everyone, but no double-sided heads. Interesting parts The interesting parts of this set obviously include the Tauntaun and the Wampa. There are some rare parts, the only exclusive being the #64225 4x3 wedge in light bluish grey. 1x4 yellow tile with black stripes are nice, especially since I didn't own any! Build With bag 1 we'll build the left side of the trench and the whole imperial assault force, with its impressive E-Web blaster and a snowspeeder... Good luck guys! Bag 2 finishes the left side of the trench and brings the central part. We also build two canons and an 1.4 FD P-Tower. The trench is completed with bag 3, with which we build the right side of the trench, a loose snow patch, and two DF.9 batteries. In this bag, we also get 3 rebel troopers, who already outnumber the imperial forces. Bag 4 brings us the shield generator, with its four three round structures. With bag 5 we'll start building the T-47 airspeeder. And finish it with bag 6. Lots of stickers on that T-47. Bag 7 will start the Echo Base entrance, with part of the door opening mechanism. With bag 8 the Echo Base entrance is complete, with blast doors and lookout tower. With bag 9 we'll build the small control room. Bag 10 contains the Wampa's ice cavern. Luke can be suspended to the upper side of the cave and use the force to pull its lightsaber from the ice. I'm still wondering how a wampa can enter this cave... Bag 11 brings us a small moving crane, a small service vehicle and the Tauntaun stable. I always thought the Tauntaun was a carnivorous creature! The building of the v-150 ion cannon starts with bag 12... ... And ends with bag 13. Spare parts... Always welcome. The complete "outside" set finished. The "interior" parts of the set. Play features The play features of the set are simple but effective: the big door opens and closes, the studs shooter shoot studs and the lookout tower goes up and down... But let's take a look at what is, in my opinion, the nicest feature: the swapping elements. The two cannons, two DF.9 batteries, and the 1.4 FD P-Tower can be positioned at 7 different places on the trench part, the loose snow patch, and the Echo Base entrance. The shield generator also has a nice play feature as it can explode with a simple hit on a lever on the back of the build. But as you can see, when I was taking pictures, all my attempt resulted in the middle section always dropped down back in place... That may not have been the case with a four sections shield generator... Speaking of accuracy, the ion cannon firing sequence is really nice, as a pull on the back lever will pull back the "barrel" and shot the two darts one after the other. Toryn The ion cannon opens on the top to reveal nice firing and target control center that can fit a minifigure. The hatch can be closed with Toryn Farr inside. The 1.4 FD P-Tower has the same play feature, but there are no controls, and the hatch doesn't close. It seems pretty useless to me... Why? We have all read previous reviews of this set, and most of them were pretty harsh. I must say that I have mixed feelings toward this set. The minifigures, the lack of new elements, the use of older designs, etc... it's obvious that choices were made. What were the constraints that led the designer to make those choices? Sell price? Budget? Disney requests? All models look like they aren't finished, or at least needed a few more bricks. This is really visible on the ion cannon and the Echo Base doors. The name of the set, "Assault on Hoth", isn't well chosen too... The imperials are clearly outnumbered and have almost no firepower. How are they supposed to blow that 3 sections shield generator with just a snowspeeder bike? I would have sacrificed the wampa cave for an AT-ST. But what would have been the price to even the forces? While adding an AT-ST may have been possible, I don't see an AT-AT added to the set without a big price increase. And isn't that set already too pricey? Again I'm wondering what led to that lack of imperial forces... The Ultimate Collector's Series label. What does it mean? How is it applied to a set? Is that set worth of the label? I'm not in favor to give that label to playsets. To me a UCS is the Falcon, the Star Destroyer, the X-wing, not Assualt on Hoth or the Ewok Village. I think the UCS label is now only a commercial label that TLG applies to its Star Wars sets if they reach a given price tag. "Yes madam, it's an expensive box with lots of small plastic bricks, but it's an Ultimate Collector's Series box!" There is one last question that I'd like to ask: do we AFOL have some sort of responsibility? (Yes, you can start throwing rocks at me...) We expect a lot from TLG. And we are almost never happy. For years we wanted a Battle of Hoth set, and asked TLG to release one. Just take a minute to think at what would be your dream Hoth Battle set. Do you visualize it? Now try to fit it in a 250€/$ box... You'll have to make choices. And I'm sure your set won't appeal to me, but mine won't please you. And both won't please another AFOL... TLG tried to satisfy all of us AFOLs, with a product that is mainly aimed at children. They failed. But I'm sure kids will have a lot of fun with that set... Fun... Conclusion Design: 6/10 - The designs are simple and nice, nothing more. Parts: 6/10 - Not the best part selection I've seen, far from it (curved slopes!!) Build: 7/10 - Hours of good builds, but nothing complicated or with advanced techniques. Playability: 8/10 - A nice playset... for kids. Some good ideas. Minifigs: 8/10 - Saved by the number of minifigs, but they could have used some more printings and accessories. Price: 5/10 - Star Wars sets aren't cheap, and this one is way too pricey. Overall: 40/60 (66.6%) - A percentage score that may scare many of us! With reason... Too expensive, minifigures are ok but barely, almost no imperial forces... But still a nice playset. If you don't have oldest Hoth sets, I think you can enjoy the content of this set. Else, I think that Ben Kenobi could say "This is not the set you're looking for..."
  21. Latest up in the fourteen-year cycle of remakes of the original Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series is the BTL A4 Y-Wing Starfighter. I reviewed the 2004 original back in 2010; it suffered for being over-long but scored praise for the use of gruelling on the ship's exposed innards. We’ll see here if the new offering has addressed the issues of the earlier version and how it compares to the movie original. Review: 75181 UCS Y-Wing Starfighter Name: Y-Wing Starfighter Number: 75181 Pieces: 1967 Figures: 2 Year: 2018 Price: GBP £169.99 | USD $199.99 | EUR 199.99 | DKK 1799.99 The Box A dramatic view of the Y-Wing in the obligatory Death Star Trench setting makes for a bold and attractive front. The box has the same frontal dimensions as that of the set’s predecessor 10134 - shown behind - but somewhat surprisingly it is deeper that the earlier version. The ‘ULTIMATE COLLECTOR SERIES’ designation has returned to prominence; it disappeared from the boxes quite early in the series’s run, around 2002 if I remember. Normally Star Wars sets share a box logo with all contemporary merchandise, LEGO or otherwise; this set’s logo is currently shared only by the new UCS Millennium Falcon, possibly indicating that it is expected to have a longer run than the regular sets. We shall see if this trend continues, and if subsequent UCS sets use the same livery. For a square-on frontal image click here. The ship is shown from a similar angle on the back, though the angle is reversed: There is less drama here. The ship sits on its stand in what appears to be a hanger, though the ground looks suspiciously like floorboards; I’m surprised that more wasn’t made of the Y-Wing’s return to prominence in Rogue One. A few features are demonstrated in insets. It’s a smart-looking box, and understated, with minimal clutter; on the top is a line-drawing of the ship with dimensions and a photograph of the figures, but there’s little on the sides worthy of comment. Contents I was surprised to find a smaller box inside the outer carton, and very pleased to find this delightful line-drawing of the set gracing the front and extending to the bottom and sides. There is a further outline sketch on the bottom, this time showcasing the ship's underside: Whilst it is not unheard-of for larger sets to contain inner boxes, I've never seen one with decoration before - a nice touch, though I suspect fans would rather pay a little less for a plain box, or at least one that doesn't require destruction with thumb-tabs. Accompanying the inner box inside the outer are eight polybags - numbered 2 to 6, 8, 12 and 13; insider the inner are a further seven (1, 7, 9, 9, 10, 10, 11 - 9 and 10 are duplicated) and the large black tile for the stand. There doesn't seem to be much logic to the packaging, and you need to open the inner box to start building. Instructions Also in the outer box can be found the single instruction manual wrapped in plastic with the sticker sheet: The front view is a cut-down version of the box front, though they have managed to avoid cutting off parts of the ship. There's no cardboard backing, which seems no longer to be a thing, but the Perfect-bound manual has remained reassuringly crumple-free without it. Inside are some four double-pages of information not unlike the manual that comes with Architecture or Ideas sets. It opens with a foreword from the head of the Star Wars design team, Jens Kronvold Frederiksen, who I believe designed the earlier 2004 version. There follows a double-page spread of trivia about the Y-Wing itself: I'm not sure of the value of list of fictional statistics, but the schematics and cutaways, and Ralph McQuarrie concept art on the facing page are nice. The model shown bottom left in the picture shares several features with this LEGO version and I'm sure was used as a reference. Next follows an interview with set designer Jordan David Scott in which he is asked the question, 'How accurate is the LEGO Y-wing, compared to the real in-universe vehicle?' I will not spoil his answer, but will attempt to answer it myself during the review. There is also an interview with graphic designer Madison O'Neill, part of which is reprinted below: Mostly I showed this page for the further reference models; I will make reference to the top right picture later. The studio models (bottom right) appear to be in the process of being painted; they are largely coated in (presumably) a primer which looks to be a lovely sand blue colour: sand blue features quite prominently in this and the current System versions. The set construction is modular with two or three polybags per module, counting the engines separately, and a single bag for the stand; there are two pages demonstrating the modules so you can plan your build accordingly. The instructions are clear with call-outs and sub-builds (example), and I encountered no colour-differentiation issues. I felt it important to show that real starfighters wear pink, or at least contain pink as filler. I like the plain grey background, with white for the module header, blue for part call-outs and tan for sub-builds: smart and clear. The obligatory decal sheet isn't too terrifying this time, and unlike 10134 there isn't a large and fiddly cockpit canopy sticker - the sand-blue decals go on the cockpit sides, but the top and front are printed. The console is unfortunately stickered too (12 and 13). The information sticker contains similar information to 10134's, though rearranged somewhat, and it's a little less fussy. Parts The spread of parts is shown below in thumbnail form; you can click each for a close-up. They are divided according to module, which corresponds to polybags 1, 2, and 3; 4, 5, and 6; 7 and 8 respectively: I haven't found any parts which look new or especially rare; there are however a larger number of sand blue plates in 1x3 and 1x4 which I am pleased to see. There is a useful quantity of jumper plates, and some 80 1x1 round plates in flat silver, along with 22 grille tiles in the same colour. I like flat silver - it is an inexpensive way to make something look metallic when bluish grey won't cut it. There are also 26 light bley ingots, used to good effect here and useful for paving. Disappointingly, there are fewer pieces of flex-tubing than I would like (or expected, after the multitude of copper and long dark bley tubes of 10134); here there are only 6 in reddish brown, and most of the pipe-work is achieved with 3, 4, or 6L bars. Bags 9 and 10 are duplicated; one of each is shown here, along with bag 12: bag 11 is the same as 12 minus the figures. I wonder why they did that. The 6x6 round brick is new in light bluish grey and sand blue; it is previously available only in 2015's 60080 Spaceport. The corresponding 6x6 round plate is common but this is its first appearance in yellow. The large Viking Wagon Wheel is new in light bluish grey. The right-hand picture features bag 13 which builds the stand; of note here is only the four black 1x2 - 1x2 SNOT brackets; only two are necessary so you can easily pilfer two if you need to. Figs Two unique figures are included: a flat silver and dark bluish grey Astromech droid, and Gold Leader. The droid is unnamed in the manual, but the box top reveals him to be R2-BHD ('Tooby'), and who featured in and was created for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. His body is, I believe, the same as that of the droid R3-S1 who features in the latest System 75172 Y-Wing Starfighter, but the head is unique. Gold Leader, aka Dutch Vander, has a beautifully detailed torso with leg printing to match - vastly superior to the previous generic Rebel pilot torso, and the helmet is a thing of beauty with olive green printing on the top, crest, and even sides. No wonder he's grinning! He also has a scared face on the rear; his head also sports a detailed visor and microphone. The torso rear-printing is also an improvement over the older design, with a more detailed tabard and a buckle. He comes with a small blaster, not shown here. Here is Dutch (centre) next to his earlier incarnation from 9495 (left) and Jek Porkins from 9493 X-Wing fighter: I'm sure you will agree the new design is much more detailed and a great improvement over the older torso; whether it will remain unique and exclusive to this set remains to be seen. I'm still unsure whether I like minifigures in UCS sets, but they make nice extra collectors items, and in the case of this set you can actually seat the figure in the cockpit. Whether you should remains unanswered. Build Rather than an exhasutive trawl through the build process, I have selected a few pictures to demonstrate important features of the construction or interesting techniques; for a more complete set of pictures, see my flickr album. Like her older sister 10134, we start by building the main body of the ship. Here, midway through module 1, the large Technic block is lined with cross-axle bricks (green), and flanked with further Technic bricks; this will form the main receptacle for the wing pylons: Some greebling and an axle connector is left dangling at the front. Already some detail is added to the underside; the square hole will of course receive the stand, and some flat silver Technic connectors at the rear look like they should have some function, but they don't. Maybe they are bomb doors (it's a bomber, after all). See their construction here. It is not until module 2 that we start to add the serious greebling to the top of the body. The reddish-brown whip piece will fold forward and clip into two of the grey clippy tiles to make an interesting feature. Note the Ingots of Bley which are used instead of 1x2 tiles to add texture, and to good effect. Also note the 4x2 bley SNOT area at the side towards the front ... ... this is built on sideways to add bulk, with some nice usage of various SNOT parts: It is nothing ground-breaking, but adds interest to the build, and reflects the build-process in general which is never dull. You can also see here where the whip got clipped. Next we see how the wing pylons are attached: slotting into the Technic bricks on long axles and secured with pins: To see inside the pylon, click here. Much like 10134, the pylons are a sandwich of bricks inside plates, but the attachment with Technic axles is much more secure in this version. They are stop-end axles, so they will stay in position if you want to dismantle the set. Removing the pylons from the body will however not be easy, because the join gets built on. Under the dark tan jumper plates and dark red grille tiles at the rear are several long 1-wide plates placed over the join: The jumper plates are used to good effect to add features to the top. The 1x3 double-inverted slope in the inset will be attached upside down into the centre jumper plate, using a 1x2 round tile with bar and pin holder as a stud reverser. Just in front of the centre jumper plate is a shield under an inverted 2x2 round tile with hole, attached via a clip in a technique similar to the headlights of the CREATOR Mini and VW Beetle. Every so often you have to flip the body to add details to the underside, and this is done gradually so that you're building on a flat, stable surface ... ... at least until you add the two 1x4 arches via SNOT bricks to make yet another interesting feature. This is not done until the end of module 2 - and it's a good thing, as this little add-on is somewhat fragile. Module 3 builds the cockpit section. The angled sides of the head are attached via hinge-plates at the rear, and skeleton arms at the front, to make a reasonably secure connection. The sudden appearance of some minor Technic here surprised me; the axle at the rear will insert into the dangling connector we met at the beginning. Note the brown and yellow double-headlight brick constructions, which produce some downwards-facing studs ... ... allowing the whole underside to attach, studs-down. This leaves only a few available connections on the top surface; the 2x3 white slope attached to only one stud on its base, but it will be secured with a tile on top. The engines are formed from a central stack of SNOT bricks and green cross-axle bricks, to which will be attached some side panels; note the use of headlight bricks to reinforce the connection on the sides with the green bricks. The clever part is that the engine needs to be rotated through forty-five degrees relative to the pylon attachment for the long axles to sit correctly, and this is achieved using a large 4x4 turntable at each end - a wonderfully simple solution; see here for more detail. At the end of the long engines, the Viking Wagon Wheels are attached using pneumatic T-pieces pushed into the little holes in the front, and marrying up to Technic crankshaft parts which allows a half-stud offset. The remaining point of the T-piece is used to attach a curved slope to neaten the join, though it remains rather flimsy. Note the flag pieces, which form the 'thrust vectrals': the instructions are very specific about placing the pole half-way into the upper clip (inset) - the free end of the pole needs to be long enough to insert into the centre holes of the wagon wheel. The construction of these thirst victuals seems rather inelegant, but we'll see how well it works later. Finally, some panels will add detail and texture to the sides of the engines. Panels 2 and 4 in the picture below sit higher on four 1x8 plates; these connect to the headlight bricks on the green cross-axle brick faces of the engine centre: the sides that will connect to the wing pylons. Panel 4 has a hole ready for the attachment; panel 3 has the landing gear. There now just remains the stand, and we're done. I thoroughly enjoyed this build; little details and surprises abound, and keep it interesting at every stage. Even the repetition of the engines isn't particularly tedious. On a personal note, I found the construction of the side panels of the engines and the SNOT underside of the cockpit reminded me greatly of building the Bullfrog all those years ago. The Complete Set First impressions: the set looks smart, which is no mean feat for a ship with all her innards on display. The colour scheme works well; the flashes of white, yellow and sand blue stand out against the grey, with pipework nicely picked out in brown. The shape is good, and looks about right, but we'll compare in more detail later. Incidentally, the stand can be attached in-line (as here) or transversely, and has two positions: upright - as here, although it doesn't lock in this position - and tilted to about 20 degrees. From the front, and slightly above - the ship almost disappears when viewed directly from the front - we can admire the shapely head, although I am not sure the shape is quite right, and should perhaps be two studs wider - compare to the reference picture I pointed out in the manual earlier. I'm also conscious that the wing pylons are a little fatter than they ought to be, though that may have been a compromise necessary for strength; I do like the use of 1x4 groove bricks to make a stripe at the front of the pylons. Perhaps my favourite angle is what I might call 'Darth Vader's view': Like the 2012 X-Wing, the ship's exhaust is (correctly) pinky-red. Here we get our first look at the thirsk victories on the rear of the engines, which seem to have come out quite well, but we'll look more closely later. I was looking forward to see if this set had addressed perhaps the biggest issue of her predecessor: the length of the engines. I am pleased to find that it has: they look about the right length. The smartness of the colour scheme again stands out in this view; note the sand blue stripe along the side of the cockpit. From the top, the relative proportions of body, pylons, and engine look pretty good: Compared to the schematics, the proportions seem about right, though the head still looks too small. The front of the engines should perhaps be more conical (I think they are parabolic in cross-section) rather than flattened hemispheres as the are here, but that's a minor point. I don't think I've ever seen so much detail on the underside of a set before: Hats off to the designer for going the extra mile here, and acknowledging that it's nice to have something that looks good even on the top shelf! You can also see that the landing gear sits unobtrusively when folded. Take a moment also to appreciate the smooth SNOT of the cockpit underside, seen more closely here. Here is the 'real thing' for comparison: Picture from starwars.wikia.com You can see here that the overall shape is good. The engines in LEGO's version should perhaps be a little fatter, but the length is about right; as you can see the wing pylons should be thinner and mounted towards the top of the engines rather than on their midline. Features Let's now take a closer look, starting with the head. No LEGO UCS ship would be complete without cockpit detail, though not much is possible at this scale; there are stickered panels, a seat back cleverly made from a flag piece, targeting computer, and I love the bucket handle control stick: And it will seat the figure! It shouldn't, of course; the scale is all wrong. The cockpit should also open sideways rather than backwards; no official LEGO Y-Wing has tried to correct this. There should ideally be more of a curve to the cockpit canopy, but this would be difficult to render with existing pieces. As it is, the cockpit comes out a little boxy - but the sand blue colour works well. There's a little surprise in the turret, which is otherwise similar to the System version. Remember the surprising Technic in the head section? It connects to the turret: Turning the turret moves the little 8-tooth gear in the neck; or, you can move the gear with your finger and the turret turns. It's not much, but I appreciate the little extra. The silver droid gets a little lost in amongst all the grey; and like all UCS ship droids he's still too small. However, let's not focus on him; as we move back, the greebling detail becomes quite impressive. The pipework steals the show here, but there are some small features at the side of the neck, and even the rear of the head section gets some greebling via a hinge brick sandwiched between two white flags. The flags don't quite line up with the slopes, but I can forgive this. Note the droid body forming some extra detail at the back of the neck. Now we come the really good bit. The use of various parts to form arcane equipment on the body of the ship is superb. I've taken guesses as to what it might do. Moving backwards from Tooby, there's a couple of bley ingots (battery?). Behind this, a couple of wheels on a Technic pin sit within some tan wall elements (starter motor), all a few layers deeper in the model. Behind this are two dark tan bucket handles sitting in corner wall elements, which look like switches or circuits and between them bley binoculars on a round tile with stud (distributor cap - you can see where I'm going with this). Over all of this runs the brown whip piece (HT cable); this passes rearward past a hinged grille tile (carburettor) and between an inverted ice skate (oil filler cap) and what looks like a cylinder head from a two-stroke engine to the shield-disc (air filter). I'll dispense with the lame analogy now. Moving ever-rearwards, you can admire the inverted double-slope, in front of a wheel hub and two binocular pieces sandwiched in. Either side of the flywheel are two mechanical claw parts best seen in the picture above, and another shield-disc behind. There is an incredible amount of detail covering every part of the body with barely a stud left exposed, and what is more, the height/depth of the features varies considerably: it is not simply a plate with lots of small parts stuck on. Round the back are two frames constructed from handlebars and fire hose nozzles, resembling rear-end bull bars; I hadn't noticed them on the real ship, but they are supposed to be there. Notice the vertical brown 4L pole on the right - there is space for one on the other side, but the instructions don't have you place one there. This is an opportunity to compare again to the 'real' ship, this time in the form of the Bandai 1/72 model: Looking towards the rear of this model, you can hopefully recognise several of the features I have pointed out on this LEGO version: the shield-disc, binoculars, flywheel, inverted double-slope, cylinder head, oil filler, carburettor etc. are all there in as much detail you could render in LEGO pieces. A splendid effort. I bet the Bandai model doesn't have landing gear. LEGO's does! It looks totally flimsy, but it is really quite sturdy, and does the job well. I don't recall any other UCS set having retractable landing gear; I'm sure I will be corrected if I'm wrong. The ski parts work well ... ... and the gear sits at a slant which looks better than the vertical stanchions you tend to see on System sets. As I have already shown, they fold quite neatly and are unobtrusive when folded; click here for a further picture. Now let's look again at the thrush vegetables, er, thrust vectrals: Despite the rather Heath Robinson construction, I think they work quite well. The curved slopes at the edge of the wheel are a little flimsy and easily knocked out of alignment, but the flag pieces are reasonably sturdy. I believe those parts are like rudders and should tilt around 'y' and 'z' axes rather than rotating around the long axis of the ship, but I can live with that - certainly a better solution than any other LEGO Y-Wing set. Comparison to 10134 I dug around in some boxes and rescued 10134 from retirement especially for this moment. The senior UCS Y-Wing was notable at the time for the extensive use of greebling, but when I reviewed her before I worried that the proportions were out. Principally, 10134's engines are far too long; 75181 gets it right here: I was surprised to the new set had used grey rather than white for the long engine struts, but I think this gives a smarter finish; they are attached more neatly to the nacelles too. The engine greebling on 75181 better resembles the original ... ... as does that of the body, and by a country mile: 10134's detailing is very much parts-stuck-on-a-plate, and there is minimal attention to accuracy; 75181 is the winner hands down ... ... as she is again on the underside: 75181's belly is remarkably detailed, almost pretty. Little effort was made on 10134 where plain plate undersides are all that is to be seen. Note also the colour schemes; again 75181's smart livery is a vast improvement over 10134's blocky, almost random colours. If there is one way in which 10134 edges it slightly over her younger sibling, it is the shape of the engine cones - closer to the real thing, though still not perfect. There isn't so much difference in the cockpit design, compared here without stickers. I prefer the tapered outline of the newer set, and the sand blue canopy, but if anything the scale is worse, going from a three stud to a two stud wide seat. Compare to this movie still (featured in the manual of the set): I think the System version is a better representative of the ship's size relative to a minifigure, and I would rather have had a wider cockpit on this UCS set and forego the figure altogether. Conclusion I confess I didn't have particularly high expectations for this set, mainly because the Y-Wing itself isn't the most interesting ship, but what 75181 lacks in functionality it certainly makes up in style and detail. The designer has gone to extraordinary lengths to recreate every mysterious lump or bump on the surface of the original in as much painstaking detail as possible with LEGO bricks, and for the most part has done a fantastic job. The colour scheme is smart, and attractive, and going by the various models around is close to the original; the scale of the LEGO version is much closer to the real ship than the older set, and it's a thousand times better overall. There remain some issues: some fixable, some less so; it may be difficult to render the thrust vectrals better, and the nacelle cones aren't perfect but probably optimal with the parts available; however, I would have traded in the new figure for a new side-opening cockpit mould, and I think the head shape could be better. Design & Accuracy 8 A great-looking set that is for the most part a faithful rendition of the original, with some wonderful detail. I remain uncomfortable with the scale, and I think the cockpit needs to be bigger; the shape of the entire head section isn't quite right. Build 9 An entertaining build process with minimal repetition and no frustration and several interesting techniques; it is well-structured allowing for you to pick up and leave off with ease. Parts & Figures 7 I don't think there are any new parts in this set, but there are older parts in new colours. The selection is all generically useful without being exciting. Some may be excited by the unique figures; they look great, but that's not why I buy UCS sets. Display & Function 8 The ship looks great on the shelf; it's one of those set that is a little tricky to tell from a distance that it is LEGO. There are a number of display options, with two stand orientations and two configurations; thanks to the landing gear, you can dispense with the stand altogether. The ship is well-balanced, sturdy, and reasonably swooshable; of course, there's also the turret function! Value 9 The older set 10134 cost £109 in 2004; that equates to about £165 now - for some 500 fewer pieces than 75181. £170 for 2000 pieces in a licensed set seems like good value; throw in a smart and informative manual and the price starts to look very good. Overall 41/50 (82%) This is an excellent rendition of the Y-Wing, good value, and a great addition to the collection. I wouldn't say it's a must-have, though sadly that's the problem with the Y-Wing herself - not perhaps the most sought-after of Star Wars ships. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the review. Comments welcome! Rufus With thanks to the LEGO Group for the review set. My flickr
  22. Travel the LEGO® galaxy in the ultimate Millennium Falcon! Ten years ago, the 10179 - Ultimate Colletor's Millennium Falcon made its appearance. For one whole year it was the biggest official LEGO set ever. Unfortunately, only a year later the 10189 - Taj Mahal was released, deposing the beforementioned Falcon. Of course, it still remained the biggest Star Wars LEGO set ever, packing a whopping 5197 pieces. At the time I just came back from my dark ages (more info in my 75144 - UCS Snowspeeder Review) and the thought of forking out 500 euro for a LEGO set didn't even make it to the consideration phase. Two failed scam attempts later (in hindsight, they were too good to be true), I still didn't own the pinnacle of LEGO Star Wars vehicles. Around 2013 I resented not getting the 10179 so much, that I decided to start Bricklinking the parts. Several (a lot) of orders later I got most of the parts. Obviously, I skipped the riggings (80 euros each), the radar dish (60 euro) and the light bluish grey levers (1 euro a pop). I did buy black riggings for a couple of cents though. You never know what can be achieved with a little spray paint. Collecting the parts was actually half (possibly more) of the fun. After I stored the inventory in boxes I never got around to building that hunk of junk. I started working on it a year or two ago, but I never got passed the chassis. It has been taking up spacein the LEGO room for quite some time. Until recently. When I got word that I would be getting the new UCS Millennium Falcon, which is simply called 75192 - Millennium Falcon by the way, I felt the need to finish the old one, so I could do a proper comparison. Since my parts were stored with other LEGO parts it took forever to find all the pieces, so the build was actually quite tedious. Let's say I was glad that it was done. I will go into more details about both builds later. The Millennium Falcon from the saga has changed owners more than a few times, so you must be wondering how I obtained the Corellian Freighter. Well, we played a game of Sabacc and when another player thought he was winning, I countered, "Not so fast, it appears I have an Idiot's Array". I had a good feeling about that! For those of you still thinking "What the hell is an aluminum falcon?!", I recommend consulting the Wookiepedia. "This amazing LEGO interpretation of Han Solo’s unforgettable Corellian freighter has all the details that Star Wars fans of any age could wish for, including intricate exterior detailing, upper and lower quad laser cannons, landing legs, lowering boarding ramp and a 4-minifigure cockpit with detachable canopy. Remove individual hull plates to reveal the highly detailed main hold, rear compartment and gunnery station. This amazing model also features interchangeable sensor dishes and crew, so you decide whether to play out classic LEGO Star Wars adventures with Han, Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO, or enter the world of Episode VII and VIII with older Han, Rey, Finn and BB-8!" PICTURES Normal pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. Whenever you see this icon, you can click the image (or swipe your mouse (or finger) from left to right) to change the image. Clicking on the left of the image will show the previous pictures, while clicking on the right side will show the next picture. More pictures can be found in my Flickr album. Pictures of the official press release can be found in this Flickr album. DISCLAIMER This set has been provided by the CEE Team of TLG. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefore, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG. 75192 Millennium Falcon™ Ages 16+. 7,541 pieces. US $799.99 - CA $899.99 - DE 799.99€ - UK £649.99 - DK 6999.00 DKK *Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing. Number: 75192 Title: Millennium Falcon™ Theme: Star Wars Released: 2017 Part Count: 7541 Box Weight: 14,4 kg (approx) Box Dimensions: 53,5 cm x 45,5 cm x 38,5 cm Set Price (MSRP): US $799.99 - CA $899.99 - DE 799.99€ - UK £649.99 - DK 6999.00 DKK Price per Part: US $0.107 - CA $0.112 - DE 0.106€ - UK £0.086 - DK 0.928 DKK Links: Brickset, Bricklink How do you start a review of a set this big?! Well, just like any other review, with the box The main difference between this box and most other boxes is that this one is ginormous! Weighing over 14kg (14,4 kg according to the freigh letter), this is by far the biggest official LEGO set box you will see for a long time. It's not very likely that TLG will produce a non Star Wars set this big and it's not likely that TLG will produce an ever bigger Star Wars set in the near future either. Of course, this is mere speculation, because you never know what TLG will come up with. Most likely, there will be a new Taj Mahal in the near future and I will have made a fool of myself with this comment, but let's wait and see how long it will hold. The box measures 53,5 cm x 45,5 cm x 38,5 cm. The width and height are slightly less than some of the other big boxes, but the tremendous depth makes up for it. I need to find some good usage for the box, since I don't want to throw this away after building the set. Maybe pack some parts and/or other LEGO inventory in it. FRONT AND BACK SIDE The front of the box isn't cluttered with marketing gimmics or any other distractions. It shows what this set is all about...The Millennium Falcon! Granted, there are some Tie Fighters flying around and in the back you can see a Tibana gas mining colony floating in the clouds of planet Bespin, but other than that it clearly shows the star of the set. Showing Cloud City leads to believe that the front art is depicting a scene from The Empire Strikes Back, arguably the best movie in the saga In case the front image doesn't convince you, the rear side of the box emphasizes on some of the key characteristics of this new UCS version. It shows several interior sections, interchangeable radar dishes, removable gunnery station and a brand new cockpit canopy element. The rumors about an interior were true after all. Albeit not a very big interior, but an interior nonetheless. At least, there's more interior space than in the previous UCS MF. If you are not paying attention, there's a fifty-fifty percent chance you will end up opening the box on the wrong side. You need to open the side with the top and side blueprint images of the Falcon. Red and green icons have been printed to show you where to cut the sealings. In one's excitement, they can be easily missed though. To be honest, I totally missed them. I was simply lucky to open the box on the right side. The other side shows a partial bottom view blueprint, along with an action scene near the Death Star and a flavor text explaining in eight different languages why this is a must have set for all LEGO and/or Star Wars enthusiasts. It says: "You missed out on the 10179, haven't you? And you have regretted it ever since?! This is your chance to bring balance to the Force. This is the prophecy. You really need to get this set. No matter what it takes. You could sell a kidney. Or one of your kids. Maybe your wife. What are you waiting for?!". If you open up the box on the right side, you will be welcomed by the instruction booklet. Correction, the enormous ring bound instruction manual. As with other luxurious products, it starts with the unboxing experience. When you pick up the manual you realise the uniqueness of this set. Not only the size of the manual, but the weight as well. It weighs almost 3kg, which is unprecedented. Most LEGO sets don't even weigh 3kg, let alone the instruction manual. This is something you probably don't want to see when unboxing a luxurious UCS set like this, a sticker sheet. Unfortunately one has been included, which means that not all parts are printed. Even though I would prefer to have printed parts, I have come to peace with sticker sheets. It's simply not feasible to turn every stickered part into a new element. One can argue that for a set like this, exceptions could or should be made. Looking at the time it took for TLG to completely sell the initial stock, I don't think that it makes much of a difference. The outer box packs four inner boxes, containing a total of 66 bags. Four bags are unnumbered and the other bags are divided into 17 stages. Cool thing about the inner boxes is that combined they show a cool blueprint-like image of the Falcon. Each of the boxes shows a quote related to one of the movies. Box 1: She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid Box 2: I've made a lot of special modifications myself Box 3: It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs Box 4: She's the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy UNNUMBERED BAGS These are the four unnumbered bags, containing special parts. I will include thumbnail images for the bags used in each step in the building sections. The book contains no less than 466 pages with 1379 building steps, divided over 17 stages. I expected the build to be divided over more than 17 stages, but some stages contain multiple subassemblies. I have taken pictures of some of the pages. Of course, I haven't included all the goodies. That would spoil the fun. Click on the images to scroll through the pages. These pictures were taken after building the set, which explain some dents and bruises. The dark pages are easily smudged by the way. Or click on one of the thumbnails to view a high resolution picture. For some people the sticker sheet is even more annoying than Jar Jar Binks, but I have accepted the fact that not every part can be printed. It would be cool to have a printed UCS plaque though. That would probably be feasible (TLG pretty please). I really do like the hallway stickers though. I have read that some people don't like 'em, but I would go as far to say that I love 'em. They way they give the flat parts a more or less forced perspective look works really well in my opinion. Given the part count, this set doesn't contain a lot of very special parts. However, it does contain some cool printed trans clear parts, and not to forget the re-issued 10179 radar dish and boat mast riggings. CANOPY ELEMENT This part was first seen in the Ninjago Ice Tank from The LEGO Ninjago Movie. Upon seeing this new part in that set, it was immediately trans-clear (hehe, pun intended) that this part would also be used as a canopy element for the (at that time) rumored new UCS Millenium Falcon. Looks like one of the Apollo capsules, doesn't it? Creating a Saturn V in this scale would definitely make it an even bigger set than the Falcon. PRINTED TRANS-CLEAR 6X6 DISHES Besides the printed canopy part, this set comes with two types of printed 6x6 Radar Dishes, one with and one without handle. TRANS-LIGHT BLUE RIBBED HOSES Instead of 1x2 tiles, this version of the UCS MF uses six Trans-Light Blue Ribbed Hoses to comprise the hyperdrive engine. BOAT MAST RIGGINGS Here they are, back by popular demand. RADAR DISH While it does look like the original radar dish, it's actually a different part with a different print. Thanks to @LEGODrongo01 for pointing out the different print. All the new parts can already by found in the Bricklink Inventory. The part list is spread out over four pages. The previous UCS Falcon had only a two-page part list, which shows that the variety of parts in this set is way higher. Click on the image to scroll through the pages. Or click on one of the thumbnails to view a high resolution picture. The side of the box shows the array of included minifigures. Not counting the two Porg and BB-8, you get seven cool minifigures. Chewie and C3PO have been around for a while and they don't appear to be aging Even though a relatively new design on both figs, we have seen these before. The other five minifigs are divided into two crews. One for The Empire Strikes Back version of the Falcon and one for The Force Awakens. Cool thing about the crew for The Empire Strikes Back is that Han and Leia both have respiratory masks, used when they venture outside the ship, looking for Mynocks. Younger han is looking as slick as he does in the movies. Leia is ever so stylish, even in her thick jacket and gloves. The second version of the crew is the one we have seen in The Force Awakens, and it's comprised of older Han, Finn, Rey and good old Chewie. Chewie has taken a liking to Rey, which provides some continuity after certain events in the movie. We will probably see more of that duo in the upcoming installments. For certain in The Last Jedi, which will air in a couple of months. The picture belows shows the line-up of the actual figures. Except for Chewie and C3PO all of the figs have a double side head, revealing another facial expression or setup on the back. This picture shows the alternate faces. It isn't really sharp, sorry about that. As I mentioned earlier, I have built the previous (10179) Millennium Falcon recently. I didn't really enjoy the build. Part of this was because I had to lookup every part in a bigger inventory, which was very time consuming. Another issue was that I didn't really like the way the model is built, loosely attaching the panels to the frame. All in all, I experienced it to be a tedious build. I sure hope the build is better executed in the new version. STAGE 1: FRAME Bags: 6 (and the beams from the 2 unnumbered bags) Build duration: 2 hours (approx.) The frame is reminiscent of the old (10179) chassis. The designer more or less copied the way the 10179 was built. The reason behind this is explained in the instruction manual, but it basically boils down to "never change a winning team" or winning design in this case. The main difference between the two versions is that the new version uses more colors than the old one. I was expecting the chassis to be a complete color vomit, but that's not the case either. Using colors like tan, dark tan and brown, the chassis has a Steampunk feel to it. The 10179 used a lot of 3L Pin with Bush in red and I was surprised to see them included in light bluish grey. I was expecting them in red again. It somehow makes sense, also because red 3L Beams are used in red. It doesn't really matter since you won't be seing the pins anyway. A relatively new part, which hasn't been used in the 10179, is the 3L Pin Connector with 2 Pins and Center Hole. This part is used to keep the Technic Beams tightly together and provide rigidity to the frame. Click on the image to see a comparison between the old and new frame. STAGE 2: LANDING GEAR Bags: 3 Build duration: 45 minutes (approx.) During this stage six of the seven landing struts will be built. The last one will be built during a later stage. The image below shows the subtle differences between the new (left) and old (right) landing gear. The main difference is the 6x6 Webbed Radar Dish, instead of the 4x4 Round Brick. Looking at the actual Falcon from the movies, you can see that the 6x6 Dish is a better representation of the right scale. Comparing the old and new landing gear, it's clear that both models are built using the same scale. The size of both struts is identical. When you click on the image below, you can attach the landing gear to the frame. When you look at the attached landing pads, you can see that the vehicle is actually resting only on the middle axle. Turning the model in the upright position reveals the frame with six of the seven landing struts attached. STAGE 3: DEJARIK CONTROL ROOM AND FRAME ADD-ONS Bags: 5 Build duration: 1 hour 45 minutes (approx.) This stage introduces the first minifigures. Chewie, C3-PO (human cyborg relations) and two porgs make their appearance. Unfortunately they are in a bit of a predicament. The porg can't reach the Dejarik table, Chewie wants to blow it up and C3-PO needs to do some construction. Always wear your helmet by the way, safety first! CONCEALED CANNON The starboard bow bay of the ship contains a concealed blaster cannon. The guns pops out when you slide the panel to the side. The two pictures below show the mechanism. MAIN HOLD In contrast with the 10179, this model features several interior areas. One of them is the main hold which features a seating area with a Dejarik holographic game. This game was introduced in Star Wars IV - A New Hope. The main hold also features an engineering station with turning minifigure seat and a doorway with passageway decoration. Sorry if you have a bit of OCD, like me. This picture is killing me. My fingers are itching. The designer chose to add the Dejarik table early on, so when you need a break from building, you can play a game of holographic chess The fact that you add something of an interior early on in the build is really joyful. The 10179 was a rather dull build and adding these little rooms to the model, makes the build lots more enjoyable. I absolutely love everything about the main hold. The seating area is very cleverly built, the turning seat is properly built and not just the standard minifig chair. I also love the passageway decoration, with the forced perspective. It gives you the feeling that the room is bigger and that it's connected to other parts of the ship. It even has the combat remote training helmet, which Luke was using during his training. He failed miserably, until Obi-Wan put down his visor and let Luke use his senses to counter the combat remote. Thumbs up for the main hold. The main hold is actually hanging underneath the frame. This is a very practical solution to have an interior, while maintaining structural integrity. After adding the forward landing strut, the model looks like this. STAGE 4: REAR COMPARTMENT AND FRAME ADD-ONS Bags: 4 Build duration: 1 hour 45 minutes (approx.) After building the main hold, we continue by building the rear compartment, which is the engine room. Even though this room isn't very big, it packs all the important details, like the hyperdrive, computer consoles, two doorways and two hatches leading to the escape pods. The room also contains the hidden floor compartment where Rey and Finn try to hide from Han and Chewie. The compartment is hidden underneath the 2x4 Technic Plate with 3 Holes. Unfortunately, Han knows his own ship like no other, so they were easily found. Like the main hold, this room is attached to the frame using 3L Pins with Bush. Basically the compartments are hanging underneath the frame. This proves to be a proper mechanism, since they are well secured. I am very happy with both interior compartments. Some of you might feel disappointed that it's not one big interior, but given the size of the model, the frame should be very rigid. There's a trade-off between rigidity and playability. The designer managed to pack a lot of iconic details from the movies into this model. Han and Leia have joined the party. They are already inspecting the Millennium Falcon for Mynocks. Han is sure he heard one near the bottom of the ship, but they can't seem to find it. Makes you wonder where it is hiding. STAGE 5: SRB42 SUBLIGHT DRIVE Bags: 4 Build duration: 1 hour (approx.) During this stage the stern section of the vehicle is built, including the sublight drive. The SRB42 was a sublight drive manufactured by Girodyne that equipped the CECYT-1300 light freighter. The engines formed a long strip on the stern of the vessel that became known as a "wide bar" engine. I have never been a fan of the Boat Mast Riggings used to build the grill for the wide bar engine. It feels like a cop out. So I was very surprised that the new versions uses the exact same solution. There's only one good reason for using the riggings again and that's giving the fans the opportunity to get a hold of another set for their Bricklinked 10179. If so, thanks TLG, I really appreciate it. If not, I would be very interested to know why these parts have been used again. STAGE 6: FRONT MANDIBLES Bags: 4 Build duration: 1 hour (approx.) The ship is slowly taking shape. We are still missing the iconic front mandibles, which are used to lock the cargo payload. The mandibles hold various sensors and an anti-concussion field generator. There is also the freight barge clamp so the YT-1300 can act like a barge or tugboat and push around large cargo. Also on the port mandible there is the shield generator and projector. On the inner side of the mandibles there is a freight loading arm. At this point it's getting increasingly more difficult to take a proper photograph. STAGE 7: MANDIBLE BOTTOM PLATING Bags: 3 Build duration: 45 min (approx.) When building the 10179 this was the point after which it was mostly building panels to cover up the frame. Something tells me that's no different for this model. I have a bad feeling about this STAGE 8: DURALOY PLATING Bags: 3 Build duration: 45 min (approx.) Plating, plating and more Duraloy plating, rated 102 RU (Resistance Units). The bottom panels are quite hard to attach. The pins don't easily align with the hole, so it needs some pushing and pulling. In hindsight, one of the center panels was not entirely in the right position, giving the grey minifig baseplate not enough room. Problem solved, however the ship took some damage from lifting it and bumping it into the slanting cealing I have. Nothing the Falcon can't handle though. Roughly half way the build and we have spent around 10 hours building. So the estimated building time at this point is around 20 hours. STAGE 9: MANDIBLE TOP PLATING Bags: 3 Build duration: 1 hour (approx.) After building the bottom mandible plating, building the top mandible plating feels somewhat repetitive. Even though there are subtle differences, you are more or less building the same panel four times. On the bright side; the plating and mandibles do look a lot better than the previous version. So, when you are done with the repetitive section, you will be filled with joy. The hunk of junk is starting to take shape. The front side is mostly done and the greebling looks very cool. STAGE 10: BOARDING RAMP AND BOTTOM LASER CANNONS Bags: 5 Build duration: 1 hour (approx.) The boarding ramp features a neat little Technic mechanism, which allows the ramp to be lowered and raised. Other than that it's a pretty basic ramp. You are clearly looking at the bottom side of a plate. It's not a big deal, but it would have been nice to see a more studless solution. This section is fitted underneath the vehicle and it packs the bottom Quad Laser Cannons. The shape is definitely rounder than that of the previous UCS version. Apparently, we did make some progress over the last decade STAGE 11: ESCAPE POD CORRIDOR PLATING Bags: 3 Build duration: 30 min (approx.) One of my favorite improvements over the older version is the hull plating of the escape pod corridors. There's some confusion about the number of escape pods and where they are positioned. The floor plan has changed several time during the course of quite a few years by now. With lack of a definitive conclusion, I assume that the Falcon has two escape pods, located at port and starboard side of the vessel. Let me know if you think I am an noob, making this assumption One thing that was slightly bugging me after finishing the complete model is the visibility of the tan plate. You will cover up the model with several panels, but the tan 1x2 part of the plate (the actual plate is bigger) is clearly visible. It wouldn't hurt to cover it up with a dark bluish grey tile, or even making the plate ifself dark bluish grey. STAGE 12: REAR PLATING AND HEAT RADIATING VENTS Bags: 4 Build duration: 45 min (approx.) Since it's the fastes hunk of junk in the galaxy, the engines will get rather hot. To prevent extreme temperatures, the Falcon has heat radiation vents at the back of the vehicle. Here you can already see four of the six vents, installed by no other than Big Deal himself, with a little help from BB-8. This picture also clearly shows that there is ample room for another engineering or cargo section. STAGE 13: MORE REAR HULL PLATING AND MORE HEAT RADIATING VENTS Bags: 2 Build duration: 1 hour (approx.) Closing up the starboard stern section of the hull. The port stern section of the ship will be covered by a removable panel, allowing you to show the engineering section. The same goes for the panels covering the main hold with the Dejarik table. The hole covering the main hold is fairly small, so it's hard to be able to appreciate all the details in the room without having built the model. Of course, your friends and relatives will already be impressed by the rest of the model, so it's not that big of a deal STAGE 14: FRONT CENTER AND SIDE HULL PLATES Bags: 2 Build duration: 45 min (approx.) During this stage you will use the parts from two bags to make the front cross-shaped hull plating. I forgot to take a picture when I had built it, so here's one from a later stage. STAGE 15: ESCAPE PODS AND HULL PLATING Bags: 3 Build duration: 1 hour (approx.) One of the most significant changes, compared to the 10179, are the escape pods. Using several modern pieces allows for making shapes, which were impossible back in the days. While these new pods look way better than the old ones, I do think that the actual pods should be a hybrid version of the old and new ones. The new versions omit the tapered shape of the pods, clearly shown on the "actual" Falcon. That being said, I do love this design, together with the attached corridors. STAGE 16: COCKPIT AND CORRIDOR Bags: 4 Build duration: 1 hour 15 min (approx.) Nearing the end of the build, it's time to create the iconic cockpit section. Some of might argue that having basically two parts to represent the entire cockpit is not what LEGO is all about, but I beg to differ. Having such a detailed model requires a well formed cockpit. And these new parts allow for that. And the trans-clear one is printed, unlike the one used on the X-Wing. All things considered, I think this is a great solution. Did you know the cockpit is actually made of a material called Transparisteel? The cockpit canopy can be detached, which allows you to seat the crew in the otherwise very basic cockpit. No fancy stuff going on in there. No sign of the faulty compressor, Rey expertly circumvented. The cockpit allows four people to be seated. However, occupying four seats is only possible when you don't have any objections of someone invading your personal space, it's quite cosy. The better setup would be to have someone "riding bitch", like Chewie for example. As you can see the cockpit can actually be closed with a crew of four. The rounded corridor to the cockpit is nothing short of magnificent. This is arguably the best improvement over the old version. The shape is so much better than the plates and hinges solution. I am still not a big fan of the way you need to slap on all the panels though, but given the circumstances, the ones on this model do fit way better than the ones on its predecessor. STAGE 17: FINAL PLATING, GUNNERY STATION AND RADAR DISHES Bags: 4 Build duration: 1 hour 15 min (approx.) And now, the end is near. And so I face the final curt....building stage! The last stage is used to finalize the model, building the top quad laser cannons, operated via the gunnery station. One of the two 6x6 trans-clear printed radar dishes is used to provide some visibility. The inside of the gunnery station is very plain. Since this section is easy to open and it gives you a wide view of the interior, it could do with some extra greebling or decoration. You will also be building two versions of the radar dish. After Han was captured on Bespin, Lando took command of the Falcon once more to search for him, and later flew the ship at the Battle of Endor, where it entered the Death Star II and destroyed it from within. During this battle, the starship's circular military-grade sensor dish was knocked off as Calrissian piloted it through the Death Star's interior. Other than that it's cool that you can switch between the two versions, it's extremely kind of TLG to include the old style dish. This is a nice gesture, whether on purpose or not, towards the ones who have Bricklinked the old Falcon and skipped the unique parts. Be aware though, that it's not exactly the same part. It's a new part with a new print. As it turns out, Han and Leia were looking in all the wrong places. The Mynock is hiding behind the UCS plaque. FINISHED MODEL There she is...the new and improved YT-1300 492727ZED. Isn't she an ugly beauty! It measures a length of (approximately) 84 cm, it's 56 cm wide and 21 cm high. Total building time was approximately 17 hours, which is way less than I anticipated. Having numbered bags makes a world of difference. For Technic I usually account for 250 parts per hour and I know I do more with "regular" LEGO bricks. Having numbered bags result in doing around 450 parts per hour, not rushing things. I still like to take my time and try to enjoy the build, even when I am writing a review. And let's be honest, you don't want to rush building a unique and expensive set like this. Take your time and enjoy. Speaking of enjoying the build; even though this model is constructed in more or less the same way as the 10179, I found this build much more enjoyable. Part of it can be ascribed to not having to look ages for some of the parts, although some people actually love this. The interior sections are quite fun to build and they do add some identity to the model. Other than that, it is still mostly building panels. Building this model is definitely not as much fun as building a Modular Building for example. However, the end result is very rewarding, which kind of makes up for that. The combination of studded and studless design is spot on. At first sight I wasn't very enthusiastic about the design. I figured it looked to much like the old version and it should have been more studless. I even remember being a tad disappointed when I saw the first pictures. I wasn't even sure it was the real deal. However, when the press release images appeared and I looked at it in more detail, I realized that the design is actually very good. There's a great balance between studded and studless, which accounts for the Falcon still being a hunk of junk and not a very modern sleek looking spaceship. FRONT MANDIBLES Like the radar dish, the front mandibles can be altered to depict the later version of the ship. And by later I don't mean the one in The Force Awakens, but the one in The Last Jedi. Apparently, something is going to happen and the mandibles play an important role in it. Will it be tugging another spaceship? Who knows?! Well a lot of people do know, but I am not one of them. So, like most of you, I need to wait until the movie comes out. Part of me was hoping for a different engine setup, but this is not the case. Well, the 1x2 trans-dark blue tiles have been replaced by trans-light blue hoses. At first I thought it used 1x1 trans-light blue rounded bricks, which would immediately explain the high part count, but to my surprise only six hoses were used. Here's a picture of the entire crew posing in front of the ship. Old Han must feel weird, looking at the younger version of himself. In one of the most recent trailers there was a Porg in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. I have a Jar-Jar feeling about it. I don't mind some comic relief, as long as it's not overdone. Let's hope for the best. Porgs were an avian species native to the planet Ahch-To, where Jedi Master Luke Skywalker made his exile in the years following the Battle of Endor. The creatures, who dwelled on the cliffs of the island where Skywalker lived, could build nests and fly. Baby porgs were known as porglets. LEFTOVER PARTS As you can see, the leftover parts mainly consist of the usual smaller parts, with the long tubing as the exception. Yes, it's normal to have a spare. If you have any other spare parts than these, you should probably check the manual to see where you missed a part. COMPARISON WITH 10179 Inevitably, this model needs to be compared with the 30 year anniversary edition. I have already done some comparisons in this review and now we will take a look at both finished models. Upon glancing the images, one might think it's the same model. Some people didn't even realize the second version was the older model. Of course, there are some things that definitely give it away. First of all, the new version is a bit more colorful. The dark tan and green parts, placed on the hull here and there, provide some appeal to the design. I do like the fact that it's a bit less dull to look at, but from an accuracy point of view, one can debate whether it isn't too much?! Unless, the falcon will be covered in mud in The Last Jedi. Then it would perfectly depict some of the mud still attached to the hull. I do admit that the overall look is way better with some color on the model. Another difference is the use of more studless and more rounded elements. This provides for a more modern look, while still maintaining the characteristic scruffy look of the Falcon. And of course the cockpit section, with the molded canopy part, is significantly different and way better looking. While the old version does have the tapered forms for the escape pod corridors, I do like the new design better. In 2027 we will probably get a version combining the two designs to make the perfect shape Another difference is the way the engine exhaust vents are made. The new flat round tiles provide a nice smooth surface, while the old one was more studded. It's also clear that there has been a major improvement in the greebling. First of all, there's more variation and secondly, it's better executed. The holes in the mandibles are slightly smaller, but they aren't round anymore. So, the hole size is more accurate, while the shape isn't. All things considered, the old Falcon didn't look bad at all, but the new version is more up to par with the contemporary building techniques and looks. It's the logical evolution. This review is already very picture heavy, so I have chosen not to include a gazillion pictures of the old version as well. But if you are interested, you can click this link to open my Flickr album with some additional pictures, also of several building stages. COMPARISON WITH THE MOVIE VERSION It's nice to see a comparison with the 10179, but that's actually not as important as a comparison with the movie version. After all, it's modeled after that. Having discussed the cockpit and escape pods already, I like to focus on the top view, representing the actual shape of the vessel. By clicking or sliding the images you can reduce the opacity, revealing a blueprint I found on the line. I am not sure who made it and how accurate it is, but I have compared it to several other blueprints and models, and it seems to be accurate. Thank you unknown internet user for letting me borrow your picture The overall shape and size do match quite nicely. The mandibles have a slightly different angle, but there's only so much you can do with LEGO. Given the fact that LEGO basically only has a couple of angles, I'd say it's a job well done. The shape and location of the gunnery station is spot on. The engine vents and the equipment access bays aren't placed in the proper position though. The equipment access bays aren't even round anymore. The openings are smaller than in the 10179, but the shape isn't very accurate. To be clear; for me this is considered nitpicking, but I wanted to point it out anyway. Other than some minor inconsistencies, I do like to express that nothing in the design seems way off or is bothering me beyond belief. Well, except maybe for those tan plates I mentioned earlier hehe. Admittedly, at first I was somewhat disappointed and thought the new Falcon was underwhelming. Using the boat mast riggers again and being the same scale, I figured it was more of an evolution than a revolution. However, upon closer inspection of the hi-res press release images, I soon figured that there was more to it than I initially figured. The rumored and highly anticipated interior was indeed present. Albeit not a very big interior, but an interior nonetheless. The sheer size and fantastic looks of the model are nothing short of spectacular. This set being more of an evolution instead of a revolution actually makes sense. But in terms of building the model, I was hoping for a somewhat different setup than the previous version. Of course, it didn't help that I had built the previous version only days before this one, which emphasized the similarities. That being said; I did enjoy this build much more than building the 10179. The two interior sections were a very important aspect of enjoying the build. TLG managed to pack a tremendous amount of detail in both rooms, depicting lots of iconic aspects from the movies. I also like the sticker simulating the depth in the hallways, a forced perspective if you will. This gives you the sense that you can actually walk around in the ship. Well, that a minifig could walk around, of course. I know the part count is already very high, but how cool would it have been to have two rooms on the other side as well. Possibly two simple storage bays. The set is well built, but like the older Falcon, it's mostly a matter of slapping panels onto the frame. The finished model feels a bit more sturdy than the previous one, but the panels are still loosely connected, so they are not actually attached to the vehicle. They do seem to fit better, but you still can't hold the model upside down without panels falling off. Not that it's necessary to do this, but if you want to hang it on the wall, you will need to come up with a solution. There's always lots of debate about which minigures should have been included, instead of the ones TLG decided to put in the set. For me personally, I couldn't be happier with the setup in this set. The possibility to switch crews is very cool. I'm really taking a to the new crew, so I will definitely display it with the new ship setup and new crew. Maybe I will even put it in a display case and build a Jakku setting around it. For now, I have decided to like the two Porgs. Maybe I will revise this statement after seeing the new movie. The color vomit is actually not too bad in this set. I expected a lot more different colors used in the chassis, but the designer kept it nice and clean, using different shades of tan, combined with some bright accents. For me the tan color works really well in the chassis. Except for the two plates that is I never imagined I would bring this up in a review, but the size of this set can actually pose a problem. Usually, I disassemble my sets, especially the Technic sets. I do like to keep some of the UCS Star Wars sets built and I do have some display space behind my desk. This set will fit that display space, but if I use a display case, I need to find another place for it. But where?! I have the big Technic Porsch on my desk at work and I was contemplating on putting this there instead. That way I can look at it for approximately 40 hours a week. That's more time than I see @Kitty Not to mention the second (old) UCS Falcon I need to store/display somewhere. First world problems, I know. But it can seriously be an issue to give the model the proper display space it deserves. I have tried sneaking it into the living room, but somehow she noticed. Not sure what gave it away. Let's not pretend that we don't need to discuss the most important aspect of this set, the price! For some people price isn't an issue, but the majority of the fans will scratch behind their ears a couple of times before forking out this kind of cash. On the other hand; seeing the queues at the LEGO Brand Stores at midnight, makes you wonder if price really is an issue. There seem to be lots of fan willing to part from their cash in favor of getting this unique set. Not all of them are genuine fans, but this review is not the place to discuss that. Fact of the matter is that TLG sold out quickly, even at this price. Obviously, I was lucky to get it for the review, but otherwise I would have definitely purchased this set. This might sound a bit stupid, but this set isn't more expensive than the Snowspeeder, when it comes to price per part. Yes, it is expensive, but it's a huge number of parts. It's not an overpriced set. At least not more overpriced than other Star Wars sets. TL;DR To conclude this review I like to point out that this set is a must have for every Star Wars fan, even if you are only a casual LEGO fan. The biggest LEGO set ever released respresenting the most iconic ship of the Star Wars universe! I absolutely love the looks and the inclusion of the interior sections. The range of minifigs is spot on and the set is an absolutely eye-catcher. I rate it: 9 out of 10 MINI CONTEST Escaping from a fleet of Imperial ships, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Princess Leia fly the Millennium Falcon into an asteroid field. Landing inside an asteroid, the crew wear breath masks to brave uncertain atmospheric conditions outside the Falcon. Soon they discover mynocks, energy-feeding parasites, chewing on the ship's power cables. As the asteroid begins to rumble, they quickly find that they are actually inside the gullet of a huge space slug. This is a scene from The Empire Strikes back. The picture below shows the Space Slug as seen in the movie. TLG has released a promotional LEGO set depicting this scene. You have a chance to win one of these rare promotional sets. What do you need to do? Tell us what you think of the new Millennium Falcon and post a mini build in this topic of your version of a space slug. It doesn't need to be this space slug, it can be any space slug. We're not taking this too serious, so by all means, go for a fun build. You will have at least two weeks to post your build. After two weeks I will choose a lucky winner, possibly two POLL Unfortunately, It's likely that the poll still isn't working. I would be great if you can express your opinion in a post in this topic
  23. While cleaning an old hard drive, I found this review I never posted. Sure, the pictures are crude, I even forgot to take a shot of the entire set, but it reminded me of why I liked writing reviews so I wanted to share. Bandit's Secret Hideout (6761) - Wild West •Original Retail Price: $40.00 US •Figures Included: 1 Cavalry Soldier, 1 Calvalry Lieutenant, 3 Bandits, 3 Horses (black, white, brown), 2 grey Birds, 1 Skeleton head •Mini-fig Accessories: Playing Cards tile, 4 Golden Coins, Dynamite Tile, Golden Trumpet, Yellow Chair, Cavalry Flagpole, 2 Saber Swords, 8 Rifles, 4 Pistols, Pick-Axe, Cannon w/Cradle, 2 Saddles (brown, black), 1 extra brown Cowboy Hat for the Sketeton Head Helpful Links: Peeron / Brickset BUILD Due to the subdued color-scheme, this set looks like an unimpressive pile of bricks right out of the baggies. There aren't any flashy colors, like there are when working with neon Aquashark or Ice Planet pieces, but with some imagination, the end-result is still enjoyable. This Hideout is a mid-sized set, building it won't tax your skills, but it's still entertaining because of the neat features. It's fun to invent booby-traps, just ask Wile E. Coyote! You can test the traps as you make them, fine-tuning the way that barrel bonks the guy standing under it. Even though they're simple to use, the traps are effective, and consistent too. Most notably, the falling barrel from the roof lands in the same spot every time, so you can actually aim it. The rails, the tipping water-barrel, and the interesting way the rifles on the roof are connected give us a look at some of the more unorthodox ways of building useful tools and features. The black sloped roof is another place to grab ideas from as it shows us how we can make buildings with roofs that flip open. DESIGN It looks like the bandits found a crumbled granite hill and built around it with bits of wood and stone. A shabby, dirty, lonely place is what I picture a secret hideout in the wild west to be like, this set captures that drab essence. Isn't it funny that these bandits have a big GOLD MINE sign on the hideout but there isn't a mine anywhere in sight? Well, maybe it's not that funny, it's kind of disappointing actually! I'd love to have seen a real mine released with these Wild West sets (maybe there was one made for the Rock Raiders line?), but this set is exactly what the description on the box says it is, a bandit's hideout! There are a few areas where the minifigs can hang-out and play cards, along with a small storage area where the cannonballs are kept. I think it's about time to update the "cannonballs", they don't look like cannonballs at all. Unfortunately I can't suggest any practical designs for them. If they're little balls then there won't be any way to add a little indent so they can plug onto normal studs, because they would have to be much smaller to fit inside the cannons. The storage-room has a small ledge against the rock-wall where the bandits can put the rifle-box if they manage to steal it from the soldiers. They can't reach up there, so they'll have to bring-in the ladder from the big rock outside. There's plenty of room below for the safe and any other equipment they manage to get. I think this storage area could have been made to look like the opening to a deep mine-shaft. All it might require is a small black tile to simulate a dark hole in the floor, some fence-pieces, maybe a DANGER sign? The stairs lead to a narrow ledge behind the window where a bandit can sit and be a look-out. The fire lighting the door is dangerous though, I mean, look at it! It's just bursting out of the wall! It would definitely look more realistic with a clear yellow cone, to simulate a lantern, but I have to admit, the fire makes the whole hideout seem more wild and rugged. I'm not sure why the chair behind the window is bright yellow, it's obvious that it's in there when the window is open. Maybe subconsciously the bandits want to get caught. There's room on the roof for a bandit to sit comfortably, where he can either take a nap or talk to the birds. FUN Something I don't understand about these thieves is, that even though they're smart enough to create useful and hidden traps, they're not smart enough to make people STAY AWAY from their secret hideout. They have a big sign up top that says they're in a Gold Mine, that's a good way to ATTRACT a lot of attention! I think the skull on the "Keep Out" sign and big cannon on wheels is a step in the right direction for these bandits, but that sign on the roof needs to be changed, or taken down completely. Any suggestions? I think at some point every Lego fan covers a car or building in guns and swords and stabby bits. The 3-rifle contraption on the roof of the hideout is a goofy weapon because it looks so hard to use. How can the bandit even aim that thing? Or more importantly, how can he reach the triggers without falling off the building? It's going to take some major creativity to make it work! Is there anything more effective at stopping your enemies than collapsing stairs? They stop soldiers, wolves, salesmen, dragons, anything! The cannon rolls-out when the ramp is lowered after the trip-cord is pulled, but it doesn't fly-out like the drawings in the instruction-booklet show, it simply glides out smoothly because of how well all the pieces fit together. Legos are precision-made, and most of the time that's a good thing, but in this case the Lego pieces are limited by their own awesomeness! How many other toys can you honestly say that about? I see this set as a place for the bandits to drop-off their stolen goodies, like a big closet, and then run off to steal more stuff. It would have been nice to see a little cooking-fire included, some pots and pans, maybe even a chicken leg, to make the bandits more comfortable, but you can always buy the smaller Western sets for that. Can't say I'd pay the $40 retail price for this set, luckily it seems inexpensive nowadays. And not to toot my own horn too much, but I like the alternate model I built a lot more, it shows the kind of fun features you can create just by playing-around with the bricks a little. I also like the Cavalry Fort shown on the back of the box, it looks like a strong, solid model. ALTERNATE BUILDS The Hideout has a nice enough design, but building on a more detailed baseplate, like this desert-version, helps us think of things we normally wouldn't. For example, if you want to use the whole base, then you'll have to find a way to work around the road running through it. How about building a toll-booth? Maybe a bridge? That's all for now, folks! Something I'll try to include with every review is an alternate model that can be built using only the set's pieces, like this neat little box I made for the Golden Trumpet. Feel free to post links to the cool stuff you've made using this set! Notes: -The Skull I used for the sign-post is a modern one, the one this set is supposed to include is the "friendlier-looking" version. -The brown Horse's ear and the black Top-Hat were chewed-on by a Budgie that will remain unnamed. Thanks to my neighbor for letting me borrow this set to review.
  24. Hello, you might be asking yourself "what's a Star Wars Regulator doing a review of a Ninjago set for?" Well, I'll tell you. I've been a fan of Ninjago since season 2. When Ninjago first came out I thought, "what do I need a bright blue ninja for? Hiding behind bright blue curtains?" But as more sets came out and I started to watch the tv series, it began to grow on me. I'm still catching up on the episodes and haven't quite gotten to the Sons of Garmadon arc yet. So I can't tell you how they've handled the alternate Ninjago universe that is the Lego Ninjago Movie. But that also mean this review will be spoiler free, apart from some of the obvious spoilers that you can't avoid simply by looking at the box art. When the newest Ninjago line was released, the set that stood out to me the most was this one, Temple of Resurrection. Even if you aren't a fan of the Ninjago license, most of the sets are great parts packs and this one is no exception. So without further ado, here is my review. 70643 Temple of Resurrection Hopefully you can tell from the picture how thick this box is. I didn't get a tape measure out, but it seems to be about 50% thicker than your average $30-$60 set. And there doesn't seem to be an obvious reason for this. There are no large base plates or pre-fab pieces to accommodate. And the bags and instructions could have fit in a smaller box, or even a thinner one that was a little larger in surface area. Maybe Lego just wanted it to take more shelf depth. The back of the box illustrates all the play features. But it also shows off one of the main reasons I wanted this set. Each Ninjago line (as all "Adventure" themed Lego lines tend to) has a set of pieces/objects to collect. Most of the time you have to buy multiple sets to complete your collection. But recently Lego has been putting all the collectibles into one of the highest priced sets. For example, the Hands of Time sets allowed you to collect 4 Time Blades by buying 4 different sets. Or you just just buy the 2nd most expensive set and get all 4 that way. For Sons of Garmadon, you could buy 3 different sets to get all 3 Oni Masks, or you can just buy Temple of Resurrection to get all 3. Now, its time for a confession. The main reason I wanted all 3 Oni masks is because I'm a big Jackie Chan Adventures fan. One of the seasons dealt with Oni masks and seeing them re-created in Lego forum makes me geek out! Opening the box you can see that there are 6 bags and a sealed set of instructions/stickers. It's always nice to see the instructions and stickers protected and I wish Lego would do that in more sets, not just the large ones. My first reaction when I laid out the contents was "NO! The large windows are stickers not prints!" I have a love hate relationship with stickers, but it's mostly hate. If the piece I want to use in generic MOCs is stickered then I can just leave the sticker off to allow for more versatility. But if it's a piece I want to use for its intended purpose, like a decorative Asian wall panel, then I want it printed! I'll point this piece out again when we get to it in the building process. Sorry for the poor quality on this picture. I didn't go back and check my pictures before moving on to each building step, so I missed that this one didn't turn out well. It shows what things look like after Bag #1, as well as all the extra pieces. There are some unique pieces in Bag #1. We get some of the new flower molds with 5 petals, the white modified stud with shaft, and 2 printed pieces. The compass looking piece gets hidden in one of the boxes on the ground floor of the temple. I'm not sure what it's significance is, but a quick Bricklink search shows it's originally a Minecraft piece. That helps explain why it looks pixelated. Bag #2 finishes the extensions to the ground level. My guess is the red path is supposed to look like a tongue. You also get a bunch of spare parts, most of them extremely useful. You get an extra Mr. T. mohawk in red, one of each bandana style in black, a red katana (a new color for this piece), and a spare espresso lever. I find it odd that 1 set would have both styles of bandanas. The skeleton wears the new style introduced for the Ninjago line a few years back. And one of the Sons of Garmadon bad guys wears the Wild West version. Bag #3 builds the main floor of the 2nd story and achieves its stability with a lot of technic beams. The instructions have you build the entire floor before attaching it to the rest of the build. If you look at the base of the building that was built from bags 1 and 2, you can see that the connection points are on 4 different levels. The floor also had to fit around bricks already set along the edges. It was hard to line up and fit. And I assume that if I had trouble with it, the 8-14 year old this set was intended for will have even more. Something else interesting in Bag #3 was the varying shades of pearl gold. I know some colors are harder for Lego to keep consistent with every batch. But finding 2 different shades in the same bag seemed odd to me. I'd love to see the sorting process that brought this about. Was there really only 1 piece left from the previous batch that ended up in my set along with a bunch of the new batch? Or did one fall off a conveyor belt and a worker found it a week later, adding it to the batch of new ones? Who knows. Bag #3 ends very few extra pieces and now we are ready to build the 2nd floor and roof. Bag #4 has some great pieces in it. We get the oriental fence piece in pearl gold for the first time, the grooved dark red brick, some window and door pieces which are very useful for Asian style building, and an extra gold tassel. The gold tassel is in the Lego Ninjago Movie CMF, so it's not super rare any more. But it's nice to have more anyways. The lanterns are built using a Speed Champions' wheel in white which I thought was an ingenious use of that part. And Bag #4 wraps up with most of the walls being finished for the 2nd floor. There are also only 3 extra pieces in this bag. Bag #5 holds the pieces that almost made me cry when I first opened this set. Those two panels are stickers. Thankfully I was able to get them on straight enough to keep the perfectionist in me happy. But what if I had messed up? I seriously think Lego should start adding extra stickers sheets to all sets. Or at the very least, any set priced over $50. In this bag you also get some gold ingots which are used decoratively with the Oni masks and a dark pearl gray lightsaber handle. I'm not sure when Lego started doing this, but they now tell you at the beginning of a step whether you're going to need to build multiples of it or not. This saves a lot of time and frustration and I'm glad they started doing it! These revolving panels use one of the most interesting techniques in the set. By utilizing the anti-stud that is only in the middle of the window frame, the designer was able to offset two 1x2 plates. You later attached a small turntable to this spot which helps stabilize them as they turn. Bag #5 finishes off the structure of the 2nd floor and starts the roof. There are a few extra pieces shown at the bottom of the picture. Bag #6 has some great pieces! The black "L" tile has been around since 2016, but never in large quantities so every extra one is a nice addition to the collection. The red connector pin may not seem all that exciting, but this is the first year it's been produced in red. I was really hoping each Oni mask would have a matching colored helmet base. So I was very disappointed to see that all the helmet bases where black. You can't even see the black with the mask attached, but it means fewer cool helmet combos for other MOCs. With the finishing of Bag #6, the set is complete! There are some nice extra pieces like the dark bley horn and machete. Now to explore the play features! With a name like "Temple of Resurrection" it makes sense that the main play feature involves resurrecting Garmadon. You can see from the back that this is achieved with a lot of technic gears. By lifting the red arm, the gears move the roof. When it's lifted, the roof reverses direction and Garmadon is revealed. The side view shows that the build has a lot of openings. The bottom floor I understand as it allows you to position minifigures. But it would have been nice to get more windows with white panels to fill in the opening on the 2nd floor. This view is also the least flattering for the roof. It has to have gaps to be able to achieve the play feature, but this angle makes it look the most unsightly. Here's the temple with all the minifigures displayed. And in case you were wondering, minifigures can stay standing on the 2nd floor even when the roof transforms. The back shows that when the trap doors are activated the intruders are dropped into the armory. Probably not the best thought out plan. But it makes for a fun feature. And in case you were wondering, the Oni masks do not fit with the samurai helmet. Or course for many people the highlight will be the minifigures. As far as I can tell, the only minifigure you can find in another Sons of Garmadon set is Mr. E, the racer in black. Harumi, the female in green, and Hutchins, the man in green, and Garmadon are all exclusive to this set. Chopper Maroon, the man with the red mohawk, can be found in the S.O.G. Headquarters set with short legs and with the name of Nails. Cole seems to be exclusive, but he is very similar to the Ninjago movie version. Lloyd is listed as exclusive, but that's just because the other version excludes his katana holder. All minifigures have back printing. The baby does not have the new baby body mold. Instead it uses two pieces to achieve a swaddled look. I'd love to have another baby body mold, but this swaddled look works so well I can't complain. A couple more things to note about the minifigures. Harumi has some interesting printing on her lower legs. Does anyone know why those extra green belts are around her knees? Chopper Maroon has some detailed biker printing that gets covered by his bandana. And Garmadon, while looking very much like his Ninjago Movie version, is unique because of the purple "resurrection ooze." My overall thoughts? Go buy it! Or rather, find the best discount and then buy it. I got it 20% off at Target which seems to be the new normal price for this set. The minifigure selection is wonderful, the build process keeps you interested throughout, and even if you just want a parts pack, this set is a winner. So there you go. I hope you enjoyed the review as much as I enjoyed making it!
  25. 42055 - BUCKET WHEEL EXCAVATOR INTRODUCTION I never thought LEGO would make a bucket wheel excavator (BWE). First of all, the vast majority of Earth's population have no idea what it is (excepting the Germans). Secondly, such a model would have to be scaled around a bucket and therefore would be enormous even if made at the smallest possible scale. It just didn't seem likely, yet here it is. Bucket wheel excavators are among the largest pieces of mobile equipment ever created by humans. Whereas a standard hydraulic excavator removes material one bucket at a time and must empty each load individually, a BWE removes material continuously and transfers it via a complex series of conveyors to a fleet of waiting trucks. These machines are used in open pit mining to remove the over-burden: the loose soil and rock on top of the seam of target material. They excavate not downward, but forward. The machine is placed below grade, and then slews across a wall of material to bring the grade down to the level of the machine. Although they may have on-board hydraulics, these machines are electric and are tethered to the power grid via a cable large enough to run a small city. Though technically mobile, the machines move rarely and slowly and doing so is a major operation. They are constructed on-site at the mine since it is impossible to move them over long distances. Only the Germans have a unit large enough to describe the amount of material these machines remove: the scheisse-tonne. The LEGO model happens to include several scheisse-tonnes of overburden for your pit mining enjoyment. All BWEs share a common feature of a rotating bucket wheel, usually with at least 16 buckets. After that, the designs vary considerably. The largest and most familiar type of BWE is the gantry type. This type uses tall gantry booms and cables to support the bucket wheel arm. Set 42055 is clearly not intended to be a gantry type BWE, but seems modeled after a C-frame type like the Sandvik PE100. Even so there are clear differences. Whereas the LEGO model has the counterweight on the opposite end of the bucket wheel arm, the real BWE has the counterweight much lower for greater stability. Given the structural limitations of LEGO, this seems like a reasonable compromise. Although there has never been an official LEGO Technic model of a BWE before, the topic is not unknown among AFOLs. A couple of examples are shown below. The first, from Holger Matthes, is a gantry type built from traditional studded Technic. The second model by Desert752 uses studless building. Both models have many more parts and motors than 42055. SET INFORMATION Set Number: 42055 # of Parts: 3927 Main Model Weight: 3.5 kg Main Model Size: 83cm x 40cm x 30cm THE BOX This is a big box, roughly the same size as the UCS star destroyer and death star boxes. Unlike those boxes though, it does not have a cover that lifts off. Instead it has a top flap which shows the functions with a huge picture. The box opens to either end. Front Back Front flap CONTENTS OF THE BOX Instructions The instruction book is a massive brick nearly the size of the Porsche manual. It has 552 pages, 72 steps in the truck, 669 steps in the main model (not including callout steps). The manual is reasonably protected in a snug plastic bag along with the stickers but no cardboard. Mine was in good shape. Stickers There is an ample sticker sheet with all of these used for the main model. Quality is typical. Bags The parts are split into 8 sets of numbered bags which nearly fill the box. Some large bags contain smaller bags. 3x bags numbered 1 4x bags numbered 2 3x bags numbered 3 5x bags numbered 4 2x bags numbered 5 9x bags numbered 6 3x bags numbered 7 3x bags numbered 8 HIGHLIGHTED PARTS This set is a smorgasbord of parts, and not just because of the total part count. There are a huge number of useful and/or rare parts here including: 53x 5x7 frame 22x red 16-tooth idler gears 19x 20-tooth bevel idler gears 24x 90deg corner pin connectors The biggest obstacle to a model like this is the slew ring. The turntables in the LEGO parts palette were simply too small and weak to support a large overturning moment, so custom solutions were always required. LEGO has finally solved that problem with some new parts. These giant parts can be used as ring gears (like in the bucket wheel) or as huge turntable (like in the slew ring). 14 of them are included in the model. When four quarter segments are connected together, you get a complete circle with 140 teeth. There are also 8 new buckets. The 3 hole attachment along the back of the bucket was needed for this model. THE BUILD Bag 1 - The Truck The build begins with the mining dump truck in white. There is nothing special to say here except to note that it is NOT the same as the 42035 yellow truck. Although the scale and subject matter are the same, this truck does not have a moving engine. There are also a pile of rocks included for the BWE to dump into the truck. Bag 2 - The Carrier The second portion of the build is the main structure of the carrier. As you might expect, this needs to be really strong to support such a huge model. Looking at the picture, you can see that the entire thickness is supported with 5x7 frames making this thing a real brick. The corners are reinforced with 3x5L liftarms and 11L double angled liftarms. This assembly is mostly structural; the only moving parts here are the axles to drive the sprockets. The 4 red pins with bushing will be used to attach the superstructure. Bag 3 - The Treads The third bag builds the tread assemblies. These are two identical assemblies (rather than mirrored). I was a little surprised to see the black tread links here given that the conveyor uses DBG links. There is no suspension. Then the two tread assemblies are connected to the carrier, completing it. I was worried about the use of bevel gears in what is sure to be a highly loaded drive assembly, but the use of a gearbox bracket prevents slippage. Bag 4 - The Slew Ring The bottom of the superstructure is build next and sits atop the slew ring. There is a LOT going on here as you can see from this plan view. The only function that passes through the slew ring is main drive, but the smaller turntable also passes the power for the output conveyor. A few DBG wedge belt wheels can be seen positioned circumferentially. These ride on the slew ring to support the imbalance of the superstructure. The assembly is then connected to the carrier along with the linear actuators used for tilting the main arm. The three vertical axles seen in the front will receive power from the arm. Now the support towers have been started as well as the mechanism to control the angle of the output conveyor. Another 180 degrees worth of ring gears are used to support it and are concentric with the main slew ring. A pair (upper and lower) of standard size turntables are used to center the superstructure while the slew ring supports the weight and moment. Bag 5 - The Output Conveyor The relatively simple bag 5 is the output conveyor. It is just some sprockets, supports, treads, and a wall. This is suspended at a fixed elevated angle above the upper turntable, and a chute above it funnels the rock and earth from the main conveyor to the output conveyor. This is centered so that it works regardless of which direction the output is facing. Bag 6 - The Bucket Wheel Bag 6 represents by far the major portion of the build and makes up the main digging arm. We start with the support for the bucket wheel including the chute that funnels the material from the bucket to the conveyor. It is important that there be no gaps so parts can't into the mechanism and jam it. The bucket wheel itself is pretty simple. It uses 8 ring gear segments and 8 buckets. After the bucket wheel is attached, you can see the 6 pairs of 12-tooth double bevels gears which center and support it held by a radial spiderweb of structure. Now the main conveyor is built and a lot of structural reinforcement is added. This arm is cantilever a long way from the main frame, so it needs to be stiff not only in bending but also in torsion. The 5x7 frames and diagonal members you see help a lot with this. Here is a view of the completed bag 6 arm (bag 7 will build the back of it). The yellow axle protruding is used to drive the conveyor. Bag 7 - The Counterweight The back of the arm contains the counterweight. Why make it a boring inert mass when you can use batteries and a gearbox for weight instead?! The gearbox here is pretty intricate and is explained further later on. A single XL motor drives all functions and has plenty of power. At the stage shown, the gears are all present but nothing is supported yet. Now a bunch of structure has been added to properly support the gears. This view is from the bottom of the gearbox. After the gearbox counterweight is attached to the front of the arm you have a very long, but very rigid, beam assembly. The panels and labels for the switches effectively hide the awesomeness of the gearbox. I kind of wish the panels were transparent. The completed arm in a perspective view. Now the arm is attached to the main frame via a pair of small turntables about which it pivots. Then the top of the frame is added. The model may look complete at this point, but there are still a lot of aesthetic details to add. Bag 8 - The Operator Areas Box 8 adds the details needed for a human (or minifig) to actually operate such a beast. This includes railings, ladders, and the operator's cabin. This is what the model might look like to a mini figure for scale. Note however, that this model is much smaller than minifig scale. HOW DOES IT WORK? OK, we've built this thing and we know that it's huge, but what about the functions? Does it work, and how does it work? Is it just a big monster that doesn't do much? Hopefully this picture will answer that last question in the negative. There is in fact a lot going on here. In case you couldn't figure it all out from just looking at that cutaway, let's look at a color coded animation. This breaks the functions apart to make them more understandable. Blue is motor drive, orange is inside the gearbox, yellow is main drive, green is conveyors and bucket wheel, and red is rotation. Let's dig in further. Here is a view of just the gearbox, but it is still too hard to understand without some colors. You can see the 3 white clutch gears which are used to protect the gearbox from stalling. That's better. Blue is the motor drive. The XL motor is geared down 5:1 at the point that it rotates the center blue driving ring. If no driving rings are engages, nothing turns except for the blue parts. The center driving ring can engage either the orange or the green parts. The orange parts and internal to the gearbox and don't drive anything directly. The two orange driving rings rotate in opposite directions. The yellow driving ring outputs to the main drive, and can make the model go either forward or reverse depending on which direction is engaged. Note that the main drive is VERY slow, but I think this is probably scale accurate. Even if you desired the model to go faster, I wouldn't recommend trying to get any more power down that long gear train. If the green gears are engaged, they output to drive the conveyors and bucket wheel. The red driving ring can be engaged only if the red is already engaged. This controls the slewing and, like the orange gears, can reverse direction without reversing the direction of the motor. In fact, the battery box is blocked so the motor can only run one direction. Like the driving, the speed of the other functions is slow, but quite scale accurate. This shows the system for main drive, not counting the gearbox. The power has to go a LONG way to get down to those threads. As you can see, it has to run concentrically through the turntable and there are a pile of idler gears used along with an additional 5:1 reduction for a total of 52.1:1 (there was an additional 20:16 in the orange gears). I found that it works surprisingly well with no trouble moving the model on a level surface. The linear actuators for adjusting arm angle are as simple as it gets. I was surprised to see the the whole axle rotates even though it also supports weight. This is generally a bad idea, but in this case the arm is so well balanced that there is hardly any load here. Next is the slewing function. Note how the 20 tooth idler gear is used to pass the torque past the arm pivot axis. After than, it is just a pile of spur gears used to get us over the fixed internal ring gear. This shows the conveyor drive system. The sprocket for the main conveyor just tees off from the driveline. Note that the drive of the bucket wheel is actually powered by the tread links of the conveyor; there are no gears or axles running out the length of the arm. The main and output conveyors run off the same driveline so are always moving together. The gears for the output conveyor must pass through the upper turntable to allow the conveyor to pivot. Here is a close-up of the bucket wheel. The greatest inefficiency in the model happens here. The black double gears don't just drive the wheel, they actually support it. This means that the upper gears in particular have a lot of weight on the teeth which causes a bunch of friction. A real BWE would support the wheel with bearings so the gears only carry torque. With that said, the bucket wheel still works fine. I have not had any trouble with it but it can be a bit jerky because of all the compliance in the system. Finally, the output conveyor locking system is one of the more clever and unexpected functions in the model. The lower turntables rotates with the superstructure, and the upper turntable rotates with the output conveyor. If the driving ring is in neutral, then these turntables are independent and you can freely adjust the position of the output conveyor. If the right hand driving ring is engaged, then the conveyor is grounded to the superstructure and rotates with it. On the other hand, if the left hand driving ring is engaged then the upper and lower turntables are locked together and rotate in opposite directions. The effect of this is that position of the output conveyor remains fixed with respect to the ground while the superstructure slews. This is exactly what you want while loading a truck. Of course, there is plenty of backlash in the gears so it doesn't work perfectly, but it works well enough to demonstrate the idea. SUMMARY What can I say other than to utter lots of superlatives? This is the biggest Technic model ever in terms of dimensions and in terms of parts. It's complexity is right up there with the best, it works great, and it is a wonderful parts pack. Yes it costs a lot, but if you were starting a Technic collection from scratch this one model would provide everything you need for years of building (except, strangely, wheels). The main con is that many people probably don't know what it is. This may be a positive depending on how much you like to fool your friends. So just how big is it? It was hard to take a picture next to another big model, but I managed one with the Unimog. DISCLAIMER This set has been provided by the CEE Team of The LEGO Group. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefore, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG.