The LEGO Car Blog’s ‘Review Library‘ contains well over a hundred LEGO set, book, and third party LEGO-compatible product reviews. It also, with an average score of 7.8/10, shows that we generally rate LEGO sets rather highly. No surprises there.
However, whilst several LEGO sets have achieved a coveted 10/10 or 5 Star score, depending upon which rating system we remembered to use at the time, a few… haven’t.
8865 Test Car
What, a Technic Supercar made this list? Well, two could have in fact, each earning a thoroughly mediocre score of 6/10, but this one’s more controversial.
The 8865 Test Car arrived in 1988, and brought bodywork – of sorts – to the ‘supercar’ chassis formula for the first time. Double wishbone suspension appeared front and rear, as did a V4 engine (still using the old square pistons) hooked up to a three-speed gearbox, some truly rubbish seats, and a plethora of LEGO’s early ‘interference fit’ black pins, which meant that once the Test Car was built, there really was no taking it apart again. Which kinda defeats the whole point of LEGO.
Our reviewer wasn’t overly impressed by the end result, and took his ire out in Review form, his fingers likely still stinging from trying to dismantle it.
8437 Sahara Blaster
Fast forward a decade and – visually at least – LEGO could still get it just as wrong. This is the 8347 Sahara Blaster, “a sort-of dune buggy, Paris-Dakar type thing, but so loose was its affiliation with the real world vehicles on which it was apparently based in some markets LEGO called it the ‘Future Car’ to hide its inaccuracies”, to quote our reviewer.
It wasn’t just the looks though, as for some unfathomable reason LEGO decided to use their ‘Flex-System’ for the steering arms, which meant the steering broke constantly. It was also rubbish at actually steering, so when the 8437 was fitted with the neat slide-in 9V electric motor, it was incredible easy to crash. Which would break the steering again.
The Sahara Blaster was not a favourite, but it could’ve been worse – it could have been that awful B-Model. Or our next set…
8432 Red Hot Machine
A year later and LEGO were still flex-tubing mad, with almost every set from 1998 sporting it one way or another. The 8432 Red Hot Machine probably wore this new look the best, looking sleek, futuristic, and enticingly modern with the inclusion of a ‘CD-ROM Game’.
It also included, alongside poor steering and even poorer suspension, some very funky looking new parts – just look at those wheels! Except – despite appearing on a range of 1998 Technic sets – they were never to be seen again. And nor it seems, was the ‘CD-ROM’ game, which doesn’t exist anywhere on the internet.
Everything exists on the internet, but the Red Hot Machine’s game? Nope. Gone. Which probably tells you all you need to know about it. 5/10, and one of LEGO’s darkest years.
42058 Stunt Bike
There was a time when Technic ‘Starter’ sets included everything the big sets did. Steering, piston engines, suspension… all gone by 2017.
What we got instead was a pull-back motor, a cardboard ramp, and a ’40th Anniversary of Technic’ brick. And the single worst motorcycle ever conceived.
The Technic 42058 Stunk Bike achieved the lowest score of any set in the Review Library, earning just a 3/10.
However 42058 is still a LEGO set. And that means it can be taken apart to be turned into something altogether better than the model on the front of the box.
Thus, even a bad LEGO set, remains a thoroughly excellent toy.
You can find all the LEGO sets reviewed here at The Lego Car Blog – both good and bad (although none are really that bad) – in the Review Library, and if you think we’ve missed a set that should be included, do let us know, especially if you think you own a set worse than 42058. Just as long as it’s not Galidor.