Tag Archives: 42034

A Clockwork Elf – 42034 Quad Bike – Set Review

42034_Quad-Bike_01

What could be more fun than a hoard of The Lego Car Blog Elves, balanced on top of a careering vehicle, powered by a large, metal spring? For just £17.99 for 148 pieces from our local toy shop, we decided to find out!

Opening the box revealed two bags of Lego parts and a pull-back motor plus four tyres packed loose. As usual, the tyres rolled off under the TLCB office champagne cooler and had to be retrieved by a skinny Elf. The sticker sheet was also packed loose, resulting in the usual slight crumples (come on Lego put them in a bag with some cardboard!). Lastly, came the 60 page instruction book, which thankfully no longer features the terrifying, screaming child on its back cover. Why was he so angry?

60 pages of instructions, might seem a bit over the top but remember that this model is at the “fun” end of the Technic range and aimed at builders from 7 to 14 years old. That said, some of the steps did seem a bit small, such as adding two decorative bushes to the wheel axles in the final step. If you are ever in need of a mental challenge, go and build one of the big Technic sets from the early 1980s and you’ll be thankful for Lego’s modern day approach to instructions.

Disappointingly, there is no “B” model for this set. You can buy the other “Pull-Back” model in this year’s range (42033) and combine the two sets. However, that was too much of an investment for us as we weren’t sure if this model would survive the Elves “testing” regime for long enough to be re-combined.

Having distracted all 271 Elves in the office by giving them a Smartie to fight over, we started the build. The model starts with the chassis, in short rapid steps. By step 8, the pull-back motor is already fitted. For us, the motor was the exciting, interesting bit. How powerful would it be? How long would it last? How many Elves could we smush? Just 40 more pages and we’d be there…

The build continues in, what is now, traditional Technic style, strongly embedding the motor in a frame. Disappointingly there is no gearing in this model. It’s great introduction to Technic for younger builders but perhaps some gearing would have added to the educational value and interest? Maybe the motor wasn’t up to it? Just 35 more pages to go…

The decorative “engine” of this model is a two cylinder “V”. It’s neatly made from a 57585, 3 Branch Cross Axle and a pair of wheel hubs. The stickers start to come in at this point too. Applying them looked quite fiddly. We prefer to leave our pieces clean and ready for re-use in MOCs, so fortunately we skipped that part. The instructions now moved on to make the bodywork. Lego leave adding to wheels until the end of the build. How fast would our quad bike zoom?

Page 27 has a fiddly, combined axle and peg connection, with three things to go in. It’s a bit tricky and builders at the younger end of the age range will probably need a hand here. Page 30 adds an axle to the pull-back motor and the front axle too. It turns out the at the steering handle bars are just decorative. Perhaps a simple, friction based, steering could have added to the fun by allowing the quad bike to go in straight lines or in curves? It seemed quite hard to wind the motor up. Perhaps it would be easier once the wheels were on?

A few more steps, adding familiar Technic parts and panels (there were no exciting new components hidden in this build for the collector). Then it was time to add the wheels! Even though this model is aimed at younger builders, this took three whole pages of the instructions, which seemed a little excessive. The finished article is a nicely chunky, good looking, strong toy. It easily survived being dropped 30cm onto a table, thanks to its balloon tyres.

We loaded 13 and ¾ Elves onto the quad bike in the style of the White Helmets and started to wind up its motor. After four sets of easy 30cm pull backs, which stored a lot of energy in the spring, a ratchet cut in to stop it being over-wound and broken. The model easily covered the 6 metres across the TLCB executive sun deck, spraying Elves as it went. Fortunately it is light and has a strong front bumper built into it. Parents might want to guard some of their more delicate furniture.

To sum up. Value for money: perhaps not for the parts but you can buy this model online for a couple of pounds cheaper than we bought it in a shop. The palette is just black, yellow and grey, so the parts will easily combine with parts from your other Technic sets in MOCs. There are also two pairs of useful wheels, unlike the 42033 set. The model looks good, even without the stickers and is strong, fun and fast to play with. This is the model’s best point: it’s a fun introduction to the Technic style of building and a great toy to play with once it’s built.

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P.S. If you’re wondering what an Elf on a quad bike looks like, click this link.

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New LEGO Technic! 2015 Preview (Part 1)

New LEGO Technic 2015 42035 Mining Truck

It’s time! As is customary at this time of year we recently launched several randomly chosen Elv… er, we mean ‘brave volunteers’, over The LEGO Group’s perimeter wall by way of the office slingshot. Their job; to dodge the guard dogs and return with images of next year’s brand new Lego Technic sets.

Most of this crack team returned a week or so ago, and we’ve been sitting on their scooped images until now. Today though, we can bring you Part 1 of the 2015 LEGO Technic line-up!

Construction Equipment

First up is LEGO’s yearly default in the range; construction equipment. Pictured above is the new 42035 Mining Truck, aimed at ages 9+ and featuring 362 pieces, whilst pictured below is the smallest and simplest new set for 2015, 42031 Mini-Cherry-Picker for ages 7+.

New LEGO Technic 2015 42031 Cherry Picker

42035 features steering and a tipping bucket, whilst 42031 doesn’t really feature anything at all, save for some mechanical movement of the crane boom.

What is a little surprising is just how ‘Town’-orientated these two sets look, with studded parts, lights and even twelve grill tiles on the front of 42035. We’re not particularly excited by this development, as for us Technic should be about technicality, but we’re sure that The LEGO Group knows what appeals most to their younger audience.

Onwards to the second Technic category guaranteed to be included each year, the racing…

Racing

New Lego Technic 2015 42034 Quad Bike

We remain at the ‘starter’ end of the 2015 LEGO Technic range with the two new racing-related sets. Above is the set with the lowest part count of the 2015 Technic line-up, the 148 piece 42034 Pull-Back Quad Bike. As you probably deduced, this LEGO set includes a pull-back motor for added zoominess, and it looks quite a fun toy for younger Technic fans and Elves alike.

New Lego Technic 2015 42037 Formula Off-Road

This though, is a model more to our tastes, the wonderfully garish 500 piece 42037 Formula Off-Roader. Underneath the bright green bodywork 42037 features the first proper Technic functionality in the 2015 range, with working steering, suspension and a 4-cylinder engine up front. That engine is perhaps a little small for a Formula Off-Road racer, as they are usually fitted with nitrous-equipped 900hp V8s, but it works so we’ll take it! Both sets include some nice bright stickers and squishy tyres, and look robust enough for some stacked-book living room jumping.

Tracks

Lego Technic 42032

The final set in LEGO’s 2015 Starter Technic range is this, the 252 piece Compact Tracked Loader. Like the other small sets in the 2015 line-up, 42032 appears a little more ‘Town’-orientated than past Technic offerings, but it does look quite refreshing in white rather than the usual yellow.

With many of the loader’s 252 parts used to create the two tracks upon which it rolls there probably weren’t many left for LEGO to work with, but nevertheless 42032 does feature a mechanically operated bucket and compacter, which seems about right for the 8+ target.

Like all-but-one of the other new Technic sets previewed here, 42032 includes instructions for a second model, and will reach a store near you in early 2015.

So that’s the small sets out of the way;

What about the big stuff?

Join us tomorrow for Part 2 of the New LEGO Technic 2015 Preview to find out! 

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