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LEGO Technic 2020 | Set Previews!

And now, later than billed, it’s the all new 2020 Technic line-up! OK, we’re well into 2020 now (and have already previewed the new 42109 Top Gear Rally Car and 42110 Land Rover Defender sets), but one of our Elves got caught at The LEGO Company’s HQ and securing its release was harder than removing a U.S President from office. We wouldn’t have minded (we have lot of Elves) but it had some great intel…

42101 Buggy

This intel in fact, the new 42101 Buggy aimed at aged 7+ and featuring 117 pieces. 42101 looks like a modern reinterpretation of the classic (and awesome) 8818 Dune Buggy set from 1993. It’s not as good as the 1993 version obviously, which had a single-cylinder piston engine, but it does feature steering and rear suspension, making it a worthwhile entry point into the Technic range. Expect to pay around $12/£9 in stores.

42102 Mini Claas Xerion

The second entry point into the 2020 Technic range brings back the familiar green and red we’ve come to know from one of LEGO’s official partnerships. The original 42054 Claas Xerion 5000 set is – we think – one of the best Technic sets of all time, and the 130 piece 42102 set resembles a tiny (like, really really tiny) version of the 2017 flagship. Accurate decals, working steering, and a lawn mower thingy that rotates as the model is pushed along make the Mini Claas Xerion a neat set for ages 7+, and like the Technic Buggy above it’s available for pocket money. Good stuff.

42103 Dragster

Uh oh, the Pull-Backs. The Scrappy-Dos of Technic, we haven’t yet been impressed by any of these. However 2020 looks like it might be the exception, because we rather like this one! Featuring nothing but a pull-back motor (boo), the new 42103 Dragster set displays the usual extensive stickerage we’ve come to expect from these sets but it looks… well, really rather good. Aimed at ages 7+, 42103 includes 225 pieces, a ‘Christmas tree’ light, and a wheelie-bar. Could 2020 be the first year of decent pull-back sets?

42104 Race Truck 

No. Because back to form, here’s the 42104 Race Truck. With 227 pieces – all of which can be put to better use elsewhere – a plethora of stickers, and a pointless start/finish gantry thing, 42104 includes literally nothing that a Technic set should do. Oh, the bonnet opens, does that count? Next…

42105 Catamaran 

Breaking momentarily away from the Pull-Backs comes 42105, one of LEGO’s most unusual Technic sets ever, although perhaps 2016’s 42074 Racing Yacht proved there is a market for Technic sailing boats. With 404 parts including a pair of new two-piece hulls and those huge sails, 42105 features complete mechanical controls for the rudders, hydrofoils and sails and can be re-built into a more traditional powerboat should you wish to deploy those sail pieces elsewhere. It also floats(!), which immediately makes it cooler than any other set in this line-up (because who doesn’t like a good bath toy?). Aimed at ages 8+ expect to pay around $40/£35 for 42105, and for bath time to become much more interesting.

42106 Stunt Show

42106 pulls us back from bath time fun to, well… pull-back fun, but it could have good play value. Not much else mind. The 42106 Stunt Show includes three models in one; a pick-up truck, trailer/ramp, and a motorcycle, each looking fairly terrible despite the flame decals. The trailer features mechanically operated legs to turn it into a ramp and the truck includes steering, but that’s all. Which is nowhere near enough for a set costing $50/£45. Admittedly jumping the bike through the flaming hoop does look rather fun, but not $50 of fun, and we suspect even the Elves would tire of it quickly. We’ll be leaving this one on the shelf…

42108 Mobile Crane

The final set of H1 2020 is the largest of the line-up (not withstanding the officially licensed 42110 Land Rover Defender and 42109 Top Gear Rally Car sets revealed here at the end of 2019), the near 1,300 piece 42108 Mobile Crane. Forgive us for not being particularly excited by this one, because it does look like a reasonable set. It’s just that LEGO have released countless eight-wheel mobile cranes over the years and they’re all becoming much the same.

42108 does feature a wealth of mechanical operations, with eight-wheel steering, boom elevation, rotation and extension all via hand-powered mechanisms, a working winch with a ratchet to allow it to lift loads, and four functioning stabilisers. However despite the increase in detail that we’ve come to expect from modern Technic sets and enhanced realism thanks to a few well-judged decals, 42108 is an utterly unmemorable product. It’s also priced at around $95/£85 which – particularly as it includes no B-Model – is rather a lot.

We’ll go sailing on 42105 instead…

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2018 Lego Technic Line-Up Preview!

The year that is 2017 is drawing to a close, and as is traditional in the final weeks of the year our Elves have been busy infiltrating The LEGO Group’s HQ. Armed with nothing more than their sharp teeth and ‘unique’ body odour, our mythical workforce have braved the cold of the air-conditioning ducts and the ferocity of the guard dogs (mostly) to bring you LEGO’s brand-new-for-2018 Technic line-up!

The surviving Elves are now safely back in TLCB Towers enjoying the fruits of their meal-tokens, whilst our experts have been evaluating their discoveries to bring you full technical details of each set. Let’s get started!

42071 – Dozer Compactor

Lego Technic 42071 Box

Kicking-off 2018’s LEGO Technic line-up is 42071, a rather attractive dozer of the type found in open-cast mines and landfill sites the world over. As has become increasingly common within the Technic range (and a theme you’ll see right through today’s reveal) visual detail is on the increase, and 42071 features a couple of System pieces as well as a wealth of stickers to ramp up the realism.

New solid wheels make an appearance – although we suspect these will have little use outside of the fairly narrow niche they occupy in the real world – and the model includes a few neat playable functions, including articulated steering and a height-adjustable blade courtesy of some hand-operating cogs mounted in front of the cab. A decent start to 2018.

42072 & 42073 – Whack! & Bash!

Lego 42073 Box

Which rapidly ends with these two…

‘Whack!’ and ‘Bash!’ are LEGO’s entry-level Technic sets for 2018, and as is customary they are pull-back motor powered, making them ideally suited for play at the lower end of the Technic age spectrum, and they should be pocket-money priced.

Lego 42072 Box

But why do they have to look so terrible!? Looking like nothing in particular Whack! and Bash! feature nothing more than an engine which inexplicably falls out upon impact. We’ll move on…

42074 – Racing Yacht

Lego Technic 42074 Yacht Review

…to the most unique Technic set that LEGO have launched in ages. The 42074 Racing Yacht is still at the lower-end of Technic age-range but has double the pieces of the starter sets above – including those two huge new sail parts which look brilliant for making Town-scale awnings with.

Being an un-powered vehicle 42074 cannot feature the usual engine and drivetrain combination you’d expect to find in a set of this size, and thus the Technic functions are a complete set of realistic controls for the main sail, including main sheets, a sliding kicker, and a wheel-controlled rudder. It’s a brave move in a market where engines dominate, and one we rather like. Pick it up in stores next year.

42075 – First Responder

Lego Technic 42075 First Responder Review

Back to engine-driven vehicles and we have 42075, a small off-road fire responder. Stickers and lights abound once again, and the set features some reasonable mechanical functions, including Hand-of-God steering, a hand-powered front winch, a piston engine (albeit only two cylinders), and (potentially) rear suspension. Aimed at ages 9+ we expect 42075 to be in the sweet spot for value and features, and it could be a good purchase when it’s released next year.

42076 – Hovercraft

Lego Technic 42076 box

And now things get weird… This is 42076, an odd vehicle-transporting hovercraft, complete with an equally-odd vehicle being transported.

LEGO have dabbled in hovercrafts occasionally over the years, but none seem to have recaptured the excellence of 1993’s 8824. 42076 also fails to manage it, being probably less than mini-figure scale and thoroughly strange in its execution. It does include some mechanical functions though, with a linear actuator operated ramp, turning fans at the rear, and a lowering control bridge. But it’s still weird.

42077 – Rally Car

Lego Technic 42077 Rally Car Review

This is more our bag. 42077 rekindles the mad Group B rally era with a colourful mid-engined rally rocket complete with a V4 (or larger) engine mounted behind the seats, Hand-of-God steering, and rear suspension. There’s some neat detailing too, with an internal roll cage depicted via red Technic axles, bright decals, and a front mounted light-bar.

Aimed at ages 10+ 42077 moves us towards the upper end of the Technic range and we suspect many adults will like it too thanks to a wealth of useful pieces. Expect to see 42077’s parts reappear in various MOCs during 2018…

42084 – Hook Loader

Lego Technic 42084 Box

We jump back to the start of the 2018 LEGO Technic line-up with this, 42084 Hook Loader. A sizeable gap in the set numbering system between the sets above and this suggests it was originally planned for release in the second half of 2018, but it’ll now be available from the start of next year.

176 pieces puts 42084 firmly in pocket-money territory, and in contrast the the pull-back monstrosities further up this page it’s a set we rather like. Working steering and a hand-operated hook-loading mechanism teach the basics of gears and levers at an early age, and the set doesn’t rely upon a plethora of stickers to achieve visual realism. It may be small, but 42084 looks to be a decent demonstration of what Technic building is all about.

… 

LEGO’s 2018 Technic sets create a reasonable if unremarkable line-up, with some nice variation in themes but a continued trend towards aesthetics over technical realism that we’re not particularly excited about. However LEGO know what they’re doing and they (mostly) get it right when it comes to creating products that will sell in big numbers, so although we may prefer good old fashioned technical functions the market probably says otherwise. Still, we probably won’t be reaching into our wallets for anything in the H1 2018 Technic range just yet, but there is one more set to come…

Visit The Lego Car Blog tomorrow for our take on the final LEGO Technic set to be revealed for 2018, and it might just get TLCB staff excited…

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