Tag Archives: 42001

42001 Mini Off-Roader Review

Off Road Box

…or the Elves go Technic. Regular readers of this blog will remember that the Elves have “helped” us to build some of sets that we have reviewed, including some of the 3-in-1 Creator series. We decided that it was time to let them go solo with the smallest, cheapest Lego set that we have ever reviewed (we have to buy this stuff you know!).

After the usual explosive opening of the two bags of parts in this set, we helped the Elves to gather the pieces up into a pile and then realised that there were no tyres. These are packed loose in the box and had all rolled under The Lego Car Blog executive beer fridge and champagne chiller. Fortunately a skinny Elf fitted under the fridge. He was soon forced into the gap by his colleagues poking him with the axles from the kit. He reappeared a few seconds later with all four tyres and a Malteser that had rolled under there two months ago.

The Elves then set to work on book one of the two instruction books that come with the kit. “What?!?!” we hear you cry, “Two instruction books for a set with just 100 pieces?”. LEGO have come up with a new concept for this model. The first booklet builds a common chassis and then the second booklet has instructions for two alternative bodies to fit onto the chassis. A novel, fun concept, with lots of play and re-building potential.

The instructions are in the usual clear, LEGO format, with just a couple of parts per stage. This is slow for a Technic set but remember the starting age for this kit is just 7 years old. By stage 6, a 5-wide frame has taken shape, with swing arms for each wheel. The Elves had to resist the temptation to bash each part down hard and tight, so that the suspension would work on the finished buggy. The first Elf-fight broke out at stage 8, with the adding of the two elastic bands which make the “springs” of the suspension. The temptation to flick the bands at each other was too great to resist and order was only restored when both bands had vanished under the beer fridge. Annoyingly, for a set aimed at kids, LEGO provide the usual spares for some of the smaller, cheaper parts but don’t give you a spare elastic band. The skinny Elf was sent under the fridge again and this time returned with the elastic bands and something blue and furry: possibly left-over cheese nibble from the office Christmas party. The last stage of the instructions is to turn the chassis the right way up, though even the Elves didn’t really need a page of instructions for this.

Off Road 01

The first body quickly builds up in typical Technic style, with some 1×1 round trans plates for front and rear lights. Stages 3 & 4 have a bit where you have to do things in the right order or pieces won’t connect but that’s the trickiest part of the build. Stage 12 requires strong fingers to insert a 2 stud-long axle and we had to do this for the Elves. After 22 short stages the Elves were left with a nice-looking, orange and grey, short-wheelbase off-roader. It rolls across carpets and desks and its long-travel suspension bounces really well. There’s space inside for a few of the smaller Elves and they had great fun zooming around the office until two of them were car-sick into the jacuzzi (again!).

The seven stud long axle, which pins the body to the chassis makes a very handy tool for disassembling the body to build the second version. As this set is aimed at younger builders, the instructions could perhaps be improved by including some pictures showing tips and techniques for pulling the model apart. Continue reading

Happy New Year! 2012 Year in Review

2013 is nearly upon us, and as we’re all still here we assume that we’ve got at least another 5,125 years of LEGO blogging in us. So before we look ahead to 2013, let’s look back on the year that was 2012.

Lego 2013 New Year

Happy New Year!


The LEGO Group turned 80 years old, and 2012 was another strong year for the corporation’s production of vehicles, with the continued success of the Modular Town theme bringing some stunning buildings and vehicles to go with them.

Technic too, continues to flourish, even before the arrival of the 2013 sets which we previewed earlier in the year, with Power Functions dominating, but also Pneumatics and Remote Control making welcome returns.

Finally, The LEGO Group also woke up to the power of social media, launching their blog collaboration tool, ReBrick, and gave The Lego Car Blog a hugely appreciated shot of legitimacy.

So what about us? Well we had a great 2012 too…

The Lego Car Blog continues to grow, with visits climbing towards a projected half million a year mark. Whether you’ve been with us since the beginning, or discovered us for the first time today, thank you for your readership, we’d be nothing without you.

Visits have come from almost every country on earth, with the U.S, U.K, Netherlands and Germany leading the pack. However, it’s also worth noting those countries where one person has found us; Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Benin, Micronesia, San Marino, Fiji, Iran, Suriname, French Guiana, New Caledonia, Tanzania, Liechtenstein and Dominica. If you are the sole reader in each of the countries listed, a massive thank you to you too; you are unique in your nation!

Our top posts have all been LEGO news related, with Previews of upcoming Technic sets taking the top spots, and Reviews of existing sets just behind them, but it’s your LEGO creations which earn the most comments. If we’ve featured your work on TLCB during 2012, congratulations and thank you!

Lego Technic 4x4 Crawler

Set Reviews like the 4×4 Crawler drew huge visitor numbers

Coming up in 2013…

The Elves are out foraging for the coolest creations, LEGO news and set sneak peeks as you read this; 2013 is going to be a bumper year for posts!

And… we can bring you some very early news of upcoming sets for 2013! But not just yet.

Oh all right then, just a little;

  • LEGO will be bringing back the Wild West theme, complete with steam trains, horse drawn carriages and gun-toting baddies
  • Legends of Chima will see some truly nuts vehicles launched, none of which really interest us at TLCB, but the parts they yield might…
  • LEGO Technic will launch two new flagships in August 2013. Our Preview of the new sets for 2013 revealed a few gaps in the numbering system. These will be filled in August with the release of four new Technic sets in addition to those you’ve already seen. We’ve seen the prototypes and will bring you Previews soon. Trust us, it’ll be worth the wait!

Happy New Year from all at The Lego Car Blog!