42062 Container Yard Review

Scrolling through the Brick Badger website can be a dangerous business, especially if you haven’t bought any new bricks for a while. It was a dull Sunday afternoon at TLCB Towers. The Elves had decided to find out which colour of 32009 Technic beam could do the most damage when beaten against a colleague’s head (medium lilac apparently). We were wandering the interweb and spotted the 42062 Container Yard was nearly 40% off on the famous riverine retailer.

The set contains 631 pieces, including a selection of beams in LEGO’s standard blue and orange colours, plus eight, grey 64782 flat panels. Not owning the 42056 Porsche 911, a source of orange Technic pieces is always welcome and the grey panels looked like they’d come in handy for making neat bases for MOCs.  There’s also one of the new worm gears and a good number of 18654 (15, plus spares). LEGO insists on calling these 1×1 beams, despite the pieces obvious inability to perform this engineering function. The most obvious new pieces in the set are the 18942 and 18940 Gear Rack & Housing. It will be interesting to see what use MOCers come up with for these parts. The set continues Technic’s trend of axles coming in a variety of colours: red, yellow and brown in this case.

Building the models is the usual, enjoyable adventure with Lego. There is a very nicely produced instruction book for both the main build and the B-model. The different colours are well differentiated and the days of dark grey and black getting confused are long gone. The parts come in numbered bags; building the tractor unit, the trailer and finally the telehandler. It took us a couple of hours of building and tea-drinking to complete the build. Builders at the youngest end of the suggested age range might find this quite a marathon of building and concentrating. Perhaps an advantage of this set is that you can build the lorry (and pause to play with it), build the trailer (and pause to play with it) and finish off with the telehandler. We certainly did!

As you would hope from a set with two different models, there are a good variety of mechanisms for young (and old!) engineers to build and play with in this set. Each vehicle has a different steering mechanism, plus the four-bar linkage that raises the arm on the telehandler, which also uses that new worm gear. Purists might be annoyed that the A model doesn’t use the gear rack to extend the telehandler’s arm. However, the B model does and the A model uses an interesting camming mechanism similar to the locking mechanism found in early repeater rifles. The container grabbing claw is another very neatly implemented version of a locking knuckle. For a set with a relatively small number of pieces there’s a lot here to inspire amateur engineers to experiment and build their own machines.

Sadly, the one thing that this otherwise excellent and exciting looking set doesn’t do so well on is its playability.  Compromises have had to been made to keep the set within a certain price range, which is understandable. There’s a mismatch in the scales of the two vehicles, with the telehandler being rather too big for the truck. The steering gear of neither vehicle has much lock. This doesn’t matter too much for the lorry but it does matter for the telehandler. The claw lacks the degrees of freedom found on the real-life machine and the model lacks the twin steered axles of the 42061 version. This makes it almost impossible to line up the containers to place them onto the trailer, with the Hand of God often being needed to pick up the telehandler for the final alignment.

This set is a good source of pieces in certain colours and some of the newer parts in the Technic range. The build lasted a long time for a small set but it was varied and enjoyable. Finishing one model is a natural pause for playing in the build, which was a nice bit of variety. There’s some very neat engineering to be found here, with an interesting variety of mechanisms used. 42062’s main flaw is that it’s frustrating to use/play with, to load the containers, without “cheating”. However, there is a lot of value and fun here for both young and old Technic builders.

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