This excellent looking Technic Mercedes-Benz truck was discovered by one of our Elves on Brickshelf today, coming from previous bloggee mpl and being constructed solely from the parts found within the enormous Technic 42078 Mack Anthem set.
Like its parts-source, mpl’s Mercedes-Benz alternate features a detailed cab interior, opening doors, functioning steering, and a working fifth wheel.
Interestingly, mpl has chosen only to re-use the parts from the tractor portion of the 42078 set, whilst retaining the infuriating trailer. We’d probably have had a go at improving that too, but that’s only because it annoys us.
There’s more to see of mpl’s 42078 Mercedes-Benz B-Model (and that carry-over trailer) on Brickshelf via the first link above, plus you can read our review of the original set via the second.
The first is – apparently – a ‘Mechanical Ant’, built from the Technic 42080 Forest Machine set, and it’s terrifying. Particularly if you’re an Elf, because through a combination of mechanical, pneumatic, and motorised functions, all of those spiky-looking implements can be made to whirl menacingly. There’s articulated steering too, making the ant easily manoeuvrable, and a rotating and raising cabin to get a better view of the carnage occurring beneath. Head to Wojtek’s ‘Mechanical Ant’ album on Flickr by clicking here to see more.
Wojtek’s second contest entry takes the enormous Technic 42078 Mack Anthem set (which includes instructions for one of LEGO’s best B-Models in years), and adds another alternative build, this rather brilliant Mack terminal tractor. A working six-cylinder engine sits alongside the offset cab, which features a rotating seat and working steering. The huge parts source has also allowed Wojtek to build an assortment of towing options, including an articulated trailer and a sliding container mount for the truck itself. Find out more by clicking here.
Wojtek’s final competition entry is even more unusual, and takes one of LEGO’s most iconic recent sets, the spectacular Technic 42083 Bugatti Chiron, to create this; the ‘Bugatti EB-Double’. A twin V8-engined truck complete with a Bugatti grille and taillights from the Chiron, Wojtek’s creation features working steering, a huge deployable rear wing (that operates automatically depending upon which of the four gears is selected), working suspension, and a cab that does something very weird indeed, converting the ‘EB-Double’ into a Mercedes-Benz Renntransporter-esque vehicle for maximum originality points. There’s more to see of Wojtek’s amazing alternate on Flickr – click here to make the jump!
LEGO enormous 42078 Technic Mack Anthem set both impressed and infuriated us in equal measure when we reviewed it here last year. One of the set’s major plus points though is the huge quantity and variety of parts included, making it a superb acquisition for builders looking to expand their brick collection. Or build a C-Model…
This is mpj’s Volvo 8×4 crane truck C-Model (so called because the set already includes instructions for a rather nice B-Model), built entirely from the parts found within the 42078 Mack Anthem set – although with a few new stickers added.
Volvo Trucks own Mack Trucks (but not Volvo Cars weirdly) so there is a neat link between mpj’s model and the truck from the set. Like the original, mpj’s build features purely mechanical functions, with the outriggers, crane rotation, three-stage boom, and two-axle steering all controlled by hand.
The design also leaves around 1,000 of the 42078 set’s 2,500 parts unused, so there’s plenty left over to create all sorts of items for the Volvo’s flatbed.
There’s more to see of mpj’s excellent C-Model at the Eurobricks forum, where you can also find a link to instructions should you wish to turn your own Mack Anthem into a Volvo 8×4 crane truck for yourself. Take a look via the link above, and you can read our review of the original 42078 Technic set by clicking on the first link in the text.
The Lego Fan Community is a marvellous thing. Like all the best products, LEGO has the scope – and the adaptability – to allow for improvement, with bluetooth remote control, custom decals, and even bespoke mini-figures available through third party providers to help builders to personalise their own creations and official sets.
One area that LEGO themselves dabble in is LED lights, with a pair available through their Power Functions range. But what if you want more? Like, lots more?
That’s where Game of Bricks come in, a new start-up offering tailored lighting kits for existing LEGO sets. The guys at GoB contacted us to see if we’d like an early test of a one of their kits, and a box for the huge 42078 LEGO Technic Mack Anthem set duly arrived here at TLCB Towers. So how did it fair? Read on to find out!
Packaging & Product
First impressions were excellent, with the Game of Bricks Mack Anthem kit arriving in a secure and rather nice box, with a mass of wires and lights neatly packaged within it. Unpackaging it undoes much of that neatness unfortunately, as a lot of lights means a lot of wires, but more on that in a bit.
The wires themselves are extraordinarily thin, so much so we feared breaking them, but it turns out they’re remarkably robust, and their slim profile allows them to (mostly) fit between bricks without issue. Attached to these are the lights themselves, each glued inside a non-Lego brick that replaces the non-functional light pieces on the model. These non-LEGO replacements are a good match, although their clutch power is slightly variable, and each has a hole drilled through it to allow the ultra-thin wires to pass through.
Power comes from a battery box (or two in the case of our kit) that takes AAA batteries and plugs into the wires via a USB connection. This makes disconnecting the battery boxes to change them an easy process, plus you can plug your lights into a USB port should you wish. So far, so good.
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…
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.