It’s review time here at The Lego Car Blog and this time we’ve got a big one. Literally. This is the 42078 Mack Anthem Technic set, and it’s huge. Very possibly the longest Technic set ever(?), 42078 consists of two separate models, and one large white shipping container.
Inside all of that bigness there are no motors, no electronics, and no pneumatics, just lots of cogs and gears. This is an old-school Technic set. Apart that is, from the way it looks.
There’s been a trend within the Technic range in recent years to add ever more visual realism, sometimes to great effect, and 42078 continues this but takes it to a whole new level. Sort of. We’ll explain…
The Mack Anthem truck is a realistic replica of the real deal, being officially licensed from Mack and including some of both the biggest and smallest stickers ever fitted to a Technic set to help achieve the desired look. It’s also festooned with lights and intricate detailing (including a unique golden bulldog mascot piece), contains a fully equipped interior that even includes a bed in the sleeper portion of the cab, and features… well, not all that much Technic.
It’s a trick that the Lego Community has used for years, adding working functions to visually realistic creations, to get the best of both worlds. LEGO have definitely taken this approach with 42078, and we think they may have started with the look and added functions afterwards, which is probably the opposite to the way Technic sets were designed in the past.
The result is rather a pleasing one as the truck looks great, certainly better in reality than it does in the pictures. The hood opens up to reveal a miniature straight-6 piston engine (of the sort the Lego Community has been building for years) driven by the rear wheels, the doors open to reveal a very realistic interior, there’s steering via Hand-of-God that also turns the steering wheel (although not much – surely as you’ll never steer this set from inside the cab it could have a realistic steering wheel ratio LEGO?), and a working fifth wheel. And that’s it.
So not a lot if we’re honest, especially considering its size, but just enough to qualify it as a Technic set. And then we come on to our earlier-mentioned ‘sort of’; the trailer…
The Lego Car Blog’s infamous New Year’s Party is fast approaching, so whilst we still have the capacity to write let’s take a look back on the year that was 2018. A cave rescue, a Royal wedding, Facebook douchbaggery, #MeToo, and one Presidential scandal after another, it’s been a busy year!
Stats; The Lego Car Blog passed the 5 million visitor mark a few weeks ago! However as usual we weren’t paying attention and forgot to blog about it. 2018 saw another 900,000 of you joining us here, a roughly 10% drop on the last two years when the site surpassed 1 million visitors per annum.
We mused as to the reasons why this may be a little while back, looking at the rise of Instagram, the fall of MOCpages, and various other factors, but we’ve since realised we’ve written just over 10% fewer posts this year than last. Oops.
Search engines brought just over a quarter of a million visitors to these pages (who knows what they were searching for!), whilst Pinterest and Facebook another 50,000 combined. The rest of you – we assume – came here on purpose, mostly from the United States, with Germany, the U.K and the Netherlands the next post popular.
Interviews; The Master MOCers series added another two of the world’s finest builders to the Hall of Fame, withMahjqa and Nico71 earning a permanent place in the archives. Linus Bohman, the creator of the brilliant LEGO set review aggregator Brick Insights, also joined us here at TLCB Towers – make sure you check out his amazing website via the link above!
Advertising; In 2018 we continued to show limited ads via our hosts WordPress, with all profits donated to good causes. This really does mean that your views and clicks here at The Lego Car Blog can make a positive impact – thank you!
So it seems 2018 has been quite a year for The Lego Car Blog too. We’ve added another 442 posts, written 77,060 words, received 260 comments (including 3 threats from Putin supporters), and raised $thousands for those in need.
For 2019 we aim to continue to showcase the very best Lego vehicles from all around the world, review more LEGO sets and third-party products, and bring you the latest LEGO news and exclusive interviews. Until then we’d like to thank you for joining us here at The Lego Car Blog, and we wish you all a very Happy New Year!
Creations for Charity, the amazing annual fundraiser that provides thousands of LEGO toys to underprivileged children is back for another year! Many of the world’s best builders will be donating creations to the Creations for Charity online store, raising money to purchase LEGO toys for children in need around the world.
You Can Help!
You can join this incredible initiative in a number of ways; by publicising Creations for Charity, donating your own creation, or by buying one of the unique creations for sale via the online store.
It’s Review Time here at The Lego Car Blog, and for those of you who’ve been reading reviews of LEGO’s large expensive sets and wondering ‘But what about something I can afford?’, this one is for you!
75887 is another result of LEGO’s tie-up with Porsche, which most famously brought us the 42056 Technic 911 GT3 RS set. Aimed at ages 7+, measuring just 6-studs wide, and costing around $15/£12, 75887 is a very different offering to the enormous 911, but it’s no less authentic.
Based upon Porsche’s Le Mans winning 919 Hybrid racing car, 75887 is a mini-figure scale homage to the race-winner, complete with an accurately printed mini-figure driver, a traffic light pole, a laptop piece, and a lot of stickers. We’ll come on to those in a bit…
The build itself takes only around 20 minutes, and includes some lovely SNOT techniques to create the smooth, almost studless aesthetic. As always the instructions are beautifully clear, if a bit over-simplified as has become the way with them these days, and they utilise a few odd-coloured pieces in hidden places, presumably to make the images easier to follow. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, as it possibly means builders will acquire a wider range of parts in their collection quicker, but was it really that taxing when everything was black or grey in the old days?
The resultant shape is pretty good, with any strange colours perfectly hidden from view, and a wide array of curves, bows and tiles used to recreate the 919’s bodywork with reasonable accuracy. The authenticity is further enhanced by no less than twenty-four separate stickers, some of which are no bigger than a stud, and the placement of which takes up around half of the 20 minute build-time.
Applying these may be a little tricky for those at the younger end of 75887’s age range, and to be honest the set probably doesn’t need all of them, but it’s nice that LEGO went all-in!
After much peeling, placing and sticking you’ll have really rather lovely replica of the Porsche 919 Hybrid, (even if it’s a bit stumpy when compared to the real car), that can be zoomed beautifully across a desk and will survive the inevitable plummet to the floor intact to boot.
75887 is probably not the most accurate officially-licensed vehicle in the Speed Champions range, but it’ll be good enough for the target audience, it’s a fun (and reasonably technical) build, and if you like stickers (and what 7 year old doesn’t?) it has them in abundance! A worthwhile starter set, 7/10.
“We’ve installed some rather interesting modifications…” Q-Branch certainly had, and in doing so created probably the most famous movie car of all time, James Bond’s wonderful 1964 Aston Martin DB5 ‘Goldfinger’.
After months of teasing LEGO have finally revealed their newest addition to the Creator line, following the Routemaster Bus, Mini Cooper, Volkswagen Camper and others. Constructed from 1,295 pieces, the band new 10262 Aston Martin DB5 set is officially licensed by both Aston Martin and the James Bond franchise, measures around 30cm long, and yes, it includes those rather interesting modifications!
The 10262 Aston Martin DB5 model continues the detailed exterior focus set by its Creator Expert predecessors and features a few special elements to help achieve the visual realism required, including some new printed tiles and excellent wire wheels – which we’re sure are going to pop up on MOCs all over the place following the set’s release later this year.
Under the hood is a replicated straight-6 engine, there’s a faithfully recreated interior, and the doors and trunk open too. But of course, those aren’t the best features…
James Bond’s essential options start with rotating license plates for dodging speed cameras, a hidden telephone in the door, and a bullet shield, which raises from the trunk lid as per the real car. If 007 is the one firing the bullets a quick pull on the gear lever deploys the front wing mounted machine guns, which as per Q’s invention are hidden beautifully behind the indicator lights. Next those neat wire wheels can become rather more pointy, as tyre slashers extend to dispose of any unfortunate henchmen sent in pursuit.
Finally of course there’s Q’s finest work, fitted to the DB5 principally for removing a henchman that has entered the car, but also useful for expelling irritating friends, side-seat drivers, and nagging spouses. Pull the rear bumper and the DB5’s famous passenger ejector seat fires into action, sliding the roof neatly back as it does so.
The beauty of LEGO’s newest Creator set is that – just like Bond’s actual car – all of those goodies are completely hidden inside the body, which shows not a hint of the deviousness within. That makes this probably the most playable Creator set yet and the perfect motoring icon to recreate in LEGO form.
The 10262 Aston Martin DB5 set is aimed at ages 16+ (which highlights the complexity within it) and is expected to cost around $150/£130 when it goes on sale on August 1st. It’s going to be a hit.
LEGO’s new 42083 Technic Bugatti Chiron is finally here! Teased here earlier in the year, and joining the previously revealed Technic sets in the 2018 H2 line-up, LEGO’s officially licensed 3,599 piece 1:8 scale recreation of the world’s fastest production car will go on sale worldwide on August 1st priced at $350, and it looks incredible.
Following the 2016 42056 Technic Porsche GT3 RS set, LEGO’s new Bugatti flagship becomes the biggest, the most detailed and the most technically advanced supercar set to date.
Underneath the beautifully replicated bodywork in Bugatti’s signature blue sits a working W16 piston engine, the largest ever fitted to a Technic model and true to the real car’s quad-turbo 8.0 litre W16. Double wishbone suspension, working steering and an eight-speed paddle shift-operated gearbox all feature alongside it and, like the Porsche GT3 RS set, the build process mirrors the Chiron’s actual factory production process of marrying these components together once each is completed.
LEGO’s 42038 Technic Bugatti Chiron set also includes a brick-built ‘top speed’ key, which the real Bugatti Chiron features to enable the car to hit its electronically limited top speed of 261mph. The 42083 set uses this to adjust the Bugatti’s rear air-brake/spoiler between its three settings, including a locked position for high speed runs across the kitchen floor.
New wheels – authentically replicating those found on the real Bugatti Chiron, tyres, bespoke Bugatti decals, and a limited-edition numbered brick are all included in the set, plus 42083 features a beautifully designed box (pictured above) and a coffee-table style presentation book – as first debuted on the 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS set in 2016.
Billund, 1st of June 2018. LEGO Group and Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. have today revealed the new LEGO® Technic™ Bugatti Chiron. The 1:8 scale super car will be available from June 1.
The LEGO® Technic™ Bugatti Chiron model brings together the iconic design heritage of the French ultra-luxury car brand and LEGO Technic™ elements, with a reimagined version of the latest cutting-edge super car from Molsheim.
The new model unveiled at LEGO House at the company’s headquarters in Billund by Neils B.Christiansen, CEO of the LEGO Group, and Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann. The 1:8 scale LEGO® Technic™ Bugatti Chiron will be available from June 1, only at allLEGO® stores and shop.LEGO.com, then all retailers globally from August 1, 2018.
The model encapsulates the magic, power and elegance of the Chiron, unveiled to the world two years ago and now brought to life in LEGO Technic™ form, offering a unique, authentic building experience for car enthusiasts and LEGO fans of all ages.
Niels B. Christiansen, CEO of the LEGO Group: “I am very excited about this new model. Our LEGO designers have done an amazing job capturing the details of this iconic Bugatti design. It truly stands as testament that with LEGO bricks you can build anything you can imagine, and an example that with LEGO Technic™, you can build for real. It’s a huge model that I can’t wait to start building myself. I’ve always been passionate about engineering and this model’s details and design are truly fascinating.”
Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.: “Thanks to their proven design and technology expertise, the LEGO Group and Bugatti are the epitomes of their brand segments. The LEGO Technic™ model of the Bugatti Chiron is an expression of this perfect relationship. I am impressed at the precision and refinement with which our super sports car has been translated into the LEGO world and I am sure that fans of both LEGO bricks and Bugatti will love this product.”
It’s that time of year again! With LEGO’s H2 Technic sets on the horizon the survivors from our crack team of Elves – sent to infiltrate The LEGO Company’s HQ – have returned to TLCB Towers with this summer’s bounty. So without further ado, here are the brand new Technic sets due to reach stores on August 1st!
42081 Volvo Autonomous Loader
OK, let’s get the weird one out of the way first. This is a Volvo autonomous loader concept and it is, frankly, one of the oddest Technic sets to appear in recent times. Continuing LEGO’s successful line of officially-licensed vehicles the new concept loader joins the previous (and excellent) Volvo Technic sets, but differs in that it isn’t a replica of a real-life Volvo at all. This makes it – in our eyes at least – utterly pointless.
Like many of LEGO’s recent Technic sets 42081 straddles the Model Team and Technic themes, bringing increased visual realism to functional models (only 42081 can’t be visually realistic because there is no real-world equivalent). All-wheel-steering, a mechanically raising and tipping bucket, and – for reasons we simply don’t understand – a model of a quadcopter drone are all included.
Expected to cost around $140 there are probably better ways to obtain 1,167 yellow and black pieces for your collection…
42080 Forest Harvester
This is more like it. Aimed at ages 10+ LEGO’s new 1,000-peice 42080 Forest Harvester set is the first to include Power Functions 2.0 (which may also mean the possibility of App control). We’ll have to wait until we get our hands on the new components to test out the upgrades, but the fact that the set also includes new pneumatics is cause for celebration!
We expect 42080 to use the new system to drive a pneumatic compressor that powers both the raising/lowering of the arm and the grabby/rolly/cutty thingumy on the end of it (which also looks to feature some new spiky round bricks). Mechanical functions are likely to include centre articulation and working steering, plus a little workbench and brick-built chainsaw are thrown in (somewhat unnecessarily) for good measure too.
We expect the brightly-coloured 42080 Forest Harvester set to cost around $150 when it reaches shelves later this year, which makes it $150 better value than that Volvo…
42079 Forklift Truck
A staple feature throughout Technic’s long history, we’ve lost count of the number of forklift trucks in LEGO’s back-catalogue. The new set does appear to be one of the best though, and it could very well be the sweet-spot in the H2 Technic range. With Hand-of-God rear-wheel steering, a tilting fork, and an interesting-looking rope-activated lift mechanism, 42079 includes just enough mechanically-operated functionality to be interesting.
We think it looks rather nice too, with well-judged Model Team detailing, a few stickers teamed with a nice colour choice, and a bonus mystery barrel containing something dangerous. Aimed at ages 9+ 42079 is constructed from just under 600 pieces and is expected to cost around $70 when it reaches stores in August 2018.
42082 Rough Terrain Crane
Now for the big one. This is 42082, LEGO’s 4,000+ piece, $300 flagship, and it’s massive. With the highest piece-count of any Technic set to date, plus Power Functions, 42082 is set to lift (hah!) the top tier of LEGO Technic even further towards engineering for adults.
An enormous extending boom (and it really is huge – the picture above shows it in its most compact setting), superstructure slew, boom raising/lowering and winch control are all driven electronically by LEGO’s Power Functions system, plus there are working outriggers, steering, and a V8 piston engine.
As with all of the new Technic sets 42082 will include instructions for a B-model, and it also features a wealth of stickers (each new set seems to include decals denoting the set no.) as part of a trend towards increasing the visual realism of Technic.
Third-party (i.e. non-LEGO) bluetooth connection devices such as the superb SBrick and BuWizz feature regularly in the models that we publicise here at The Lego Car Blog. Able to connect your creation to your phone for remote control, and – in the case of the SBrick – even programme your model in way that betters LEGO’s own purpose-built robotics systems, they’ve revolutionised what can be achieved in Lego building.
The LEGO Company have been unusually slow to meet this demand themselves, however now (and probably unfortunately for the companies above), LEGO’s own bluetooth-controller is nearly here, launching first as part of the 321-piece 76112 Batmobile set.
Part of LEGO’s rebranded ‘Powered Up’ range, the new controller adds bluetooth control and programming to Power Functions and will be available as a stand-alone product that can be added to existing sets and creations following the launch as part of the 76112 Batmobile set.
LEGO’s press release states;
“The LEGO Batman App-Controlled Batmobile, created for children 8 years of age and older, combines LEGO building and remote-control car play. It is the first codeable and programmable LEGO Batmobile that is fully controllable via smart device. Users can steer the Batmobile using one of two preset remote-control interfaces or personalize their experience through a customizable interface. With the interface unlocked, users move sliders, buttons and other elements to customize the remote control to their liking. Through a coding canvas that will be introduced later this year, users can code and re-code speed, direction, sound and duration to program various movements and stunts and create their own unique driving experiences.”
Whether this will ultimately usher in the demise of the excellent third-party bluetooth products used by the Lego Community currently or spur them on to further innovation and development we’re not sure. We hope it’s the latter, as this competition could bring about a multitude of top-quality bluetooth options for Lego models in the near future (we’ll see if we can do a back-to-back review of all three bluetooth controllers later in the year).
LEGO’s 76122 App-Powered Batmobile set will hit shelves on August 1st costing around $100, and you can read our reviews of the SBrick and BuWizz bluetooth controllers currently available via the links in the text above.
You might not think there’s much between six and seven (according to TLCB calculator it’s just one in fact), but as your Mom will confirm, one can make all the difference.
Suggested by a reader via the Feedback & Submission Suggestions page, Gerald Cacas’ Speed Champions Ford Fiesta M-Sport WRC is just one stud wider than LEGO’s official – and really rather good – 75885 set (pictured below), but boy does it make use of that extra stud!
Whilst utilising the best bits of the official set, Gerald’s widened version adds in a brilliantly detailed engine bay (under a newly-hinged hood), a rally-spec interior, opening boot-lid, and a chunk more visual detail, including a brick-built windscreen which makes a world of difference from the slightly inappropriate fighter-cockpit of the original.
There’s more to see of Gerald’s expanded Speed Champions Ford Fiesta WRC on Flickr – click here to get a little bit larger.
Over the past few weeks a group of crack The Lego Car Blog Elves have been undertaking a secret mission. Infiltrating The LEGO Company’s headquarters, dodging the guards (and guard dogs – who have a taste for Elf meat), and resisting the baited mousetraps to bring back LEGO’s brand-new-for-2018 Speed Champions line-up. And what a line-up it is!
2018 continues LEGO’s hugely successful officially licensed partnership with some of the world’s top automotive brands, with six new sets all of which replicate real-world cars both current and – much to our delight – classic too. With two new sets each from Porsche, Ford and Ferrari, there’s plenty to like. Let’s take a look!
We’ll start with Porsche, one of the newer partnerships LEGO have forged, who add two new sets to their inventory. First up (top) is the 75888 Porsche 911 RSR & 911 Turbo 3.0 set, a glorious double featuring both the latest 911 RSR endurance racer and a superb lime green classic 911 Turbo 3.0. Each features a mini-figure, some neat decals, and the set includes a pit wall, mechanic mini-figure, and a rather useful looking timing gantry complete with reversible timing bricks.
75888 features just under 400 pieces, including those three mini-figures, and we expect it to cost just over £30 when it reaches stores. We like it a lot.
LEGO’s second new officially licensed Porsche set (above) is the 75887 Porsche 919 Hybrid, featuring Porsche’s 2017 Le Mans winning prototype. The 919 model is constructed from a wealth of curves and plates ensuring it is all but studless, with some colourful decals used to recreate an authentic livery. A light pole, mini-figure and laptop are all included and we expect 75887 to be wonderfully pocket-money attainable at around £12 when it reaches stores.
On to Ford, who like Porsche also have two new-for-2018 sets in the Speed Champions range, and who also have both a current and classic models recaptured in brick through their partnership with LEGO.
The 75885 Ford Fiesta M-Sport WRC is the first of the new additions, featuring Ford’s brand new World Rally Championship contender; the mental Fiesta M-Sport WRC. Like 75887 above, 75885 will be priced in the pocket-money bracket at around £12 and contains just over 200 pieces, including a racing driver mini-figure and a wealth stickers to help create authenticity. New white wheels and wedge tiles also make appearances, and the car looks wonderful in (we think) Monte Carlo Rally specification with a front-mounted light bar.
Our only gripe is that 75885’s livery is not the same as that found on the 2018 rally car, but perhaps the real livery hadn’t been decided upon by the time LEGO needed to finalise the set, or a partnership with title-sponsor Red Bull in addition to both Ford and M-Sport was one to many. Nevertheless 75885 is a lovely looking thing and looks to be a great entry level set for racing fans.
Ford’s second set within the 2018 Speed Champions line-up is perhaps the most famous model in their history. Yup, LEGO have gone and built a classic 1960s Mustang! We think 75884 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback is one of the nicest Speed Champions sets to date, and whilst it is perhaps a little over-stickered for a historic racing car, it looks fantastic in its Bullitt-green and gold stripe livery. As usual a mini-figure driver is included plus a timing board, and we expect 75884 to join the range alongside the Porsche 919 Hybrid and Fiesta M-Sport WRC in the c£12 bracket. It’s our favourite.
Finally we come to LEGO’s longest standing partnership and the brand that started LEGO’s collaboration with the auto industry; the mighty Ferrari.
Like Porsche and Ford, Ferrari have two new sets in the 2018 Speed Champions line up. First (above) is 75886 Ferrari 488 GT3 ‘Ferrari Corsa’, another rather nice entry into the pocket money bracket complete with a mini-figure racing driver (female this time), plentiful decals and a nifty looking trophy.
Ferrari’s second officially licensed Speed Champions set for 2018 is rather more flamboyant. Priced at over £80 and containing three Ferrari cars (a modern 488 GTE, a gorgeous classic 250 GTO and a historic 312 Formula 1 car), the 75889 Ferrari Ultimate Garage also includes seven mini-figures, spare parts, a vintage petrol pump, trophies, and a race start/finish line.
All in all 2018 looks to be an excellent continuation of LEGO’s partnership with real-world car manufacturers, with a wealth of choice at different price points, a couple of new parts, and – best of all – some wonderful classic cars to accompany the very latest machinery. More like these please LEGO!
The Lego Car Blog staff, including most of our Elves, have survived another year! With 2018 just a round the corner we take a look at the past 12 months…
Stats; 2017 featured nearly 500 posts and one million views, with fewer than a dozen countries on earth yet to discover us (come on North Korea!). The most popular visitor nation is the United States of America, followed by Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France. A special mention goes to the one visitor from Somalia, proving LEGO fans can be found (almost) anywhere!
Creations; Hundreds more cars, trucks, motorcycles, aircraft, plus the odd spaceship, have appeared here at The Lego Car Blog over the past twelve months. Our Elves continue to scour all of the best Lego-sharing resources – not just Flickr – to enable us to publicise the very best Lego vehicles that the web has to offer. As long as the Lego community keeps building them, we’ll keep blogging them next year.
Interviews; The Master MOCers Series returned for a second season! Three more of the world’s very best builders entered the Master MOCer Hall of Fame this year, with eight more places remaining in season two. Who will join the ranks in 2018?
Reviews; Even more reviews both of official LEGO sets and third-party products were added to the burgeoning Review Library. You guys even wrote a few yourselves! We aim to keep adding to this in 2018, and if you’d like to help we’d love to hear from you!
Adverts; We’ve also raised some cash for good causes thanks entirely to your visits and clicks. The revenue generated by the small amount of advertising we allow here at The Lego Car Blog has been distributed to those in need, from right outside TLCB Towers to the other side of the world. From all of us here – thank you!
Social; The Lego Car Blog is now on Facebook! Search for us, click ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ us for new posts. All the cool people are doing it.
Wishing you a very happy New Year and a fruitful 2018!
A crack team of Elves recently returned to TLCB Towers after their top secret annual invasion of The LEGO Group’s Billund HQ, giving our experts first look at next year’s new Technic sets. You can read our assessment of each of the new-for-2018 sets via the link above, but we left one set off the list, the 2018 flagship… the enormous 42078 Mack Anthem.
Aimed at ages 11+ 42078 is one of the larger Technic sets of recent times and it includes a huge array of mechanical parts. Yes, mechanical, as 2018’s flagship for the first half the year includes no Power Functions motors (something we expect means that a seriously motorised set will arrive in the second half of the year).
Instead a multitude of hand-powered linear actuators are present along with two huge sliding booms deployed to stabilise the side-loading trailer. It’s this trailer which actually looks the more technical build, featuring an elaborate container loading mechanism that holds a wealth of wonderfully useful pieces.
In contrast the Mack Anthem truck, whilst big, seems a little devoid of functionality, with only working steering and fifth wheel, and an opening hood revealing a miniature straight-piston engine as its features.
And herein lies our issue. 42078 is more visually detailed than probably any Technic set to date, taking the theme to new levels of aesthetic realism. Lights, a complete interior, stickers, and even aerials and a hood ornament aim to blend the looks of a Model Team set with the functionality of a Technic one – surely the best of both themes?
Perhaps we’re just a bit grumpy today, but whilst a great idea in principle, the 42078 Mack Anthem offers neither the realism of a Model Team / Creator set nor the technical realism of a Technic one (although we must confess to rather liking the garbage truck B-Model). It’s a big green and grey compromise, a Range Rover Evoque convertible, trying to mash two genres together that are really best left separate. Which means we’re willing to bet that it’ll fly out of stores.
For us though, we’re still waiting for a 2018 Technic set that we can get excited about, because the 42078 Mack Anthem isn’t it.
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
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!
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.
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
…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
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
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
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
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…