We’re donning TLCB Reviewing Anorak today, as it’s time for another official set review!
We revealed LEGO’s 42022 Technic Hot Rod quite a while ago now, and we finally have a copy of the set in the office. Sitting in the middle of the 2015 Technic range, 42022 proudly flies the flag for mechanical engineering against a tide of sets boasting electrically operated functions. Electricity has its place of course, but sometimes we like to see how things work, and that is something that 42022 does brilliantly.
So, those mechanical functions; 42022 features a working V6 piston engine, functioning steering, and a beautifully engineered folding roof. The big V6 is turned by one (and only one) of the rear wheels, whilst the steering is operated by a vertical axel protruding from the rear of the car. It’s also quite possibly the single most abysmal example of steering that LEGO has ever had the audacity to put into a Technic model. Regular readers of this site will know we often moan about the poor steering on Technic sets, but 42022’s is so comically dreadful it’s like LEGO did it on purpose just to annoy us.
Luckily the folding roof is the complete opposite, being an absolute delight to operate. A small cog on the passenger side of the car raises the rear deck as the roof simultaneously folds down under it. It’s a wonderfully elegant solution, but sadly it also highlights the main problem with 42022: It isn’t really like an actual hot rod.
When you look at 42022 it is of course, unmistakably, a hot rod. But it also sort of isn’t, because it seems as if it’s been designed by someone that knows the key ingredients to make a hod rod, but doesn’t have a recipe for how to cook them.
It is far too low, or long – depending on your view, and many of the details, like that brilliant roof, are totally out of place on a vehicle such as this. A mid-00s sports car would be the perfect fit, but not a modified vintage car.
The odd proportions can actually be solved quite easily; simply doubling (or more) the height of the windscreen re-balances the whole car and makes it far more life-like. But of course then the roof doesn’t work…
The rest of the bodywork itself is OK in a minimalist sort of way – there are in fact only six blue pieces in total – and the funky stickers are quite a fun inclusion.
Besides a slight error in one of the sub-assemblies (which shows pieces present on the model which are yet to be placed in reality) the instructions are typical of LEGO – clear, fun to use, and beautifully laid out. 42022 also comes with digital instructions too, which gives an insight into where LEGO sets will probably head over the next few years.
Overall 42022 is a bit of a mixed bag. Whilst the proportions and detailing are a mile away from accurate (the online Lego Community does it so much better), the mechanical functions – even the terrible steering – are fantastic learning aids for any young builder; all are highly visible within the model and are easy enough to replicate with spare pieces. And that is what Technic should be all about.
42022 is currently on offer for around £20 instead of the usual £30 at a few well-known online retailers. At that price, it’s a worthwhile purchase. 7/10