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.
So there you have it, LEGO’s new-for-H2 2018 Technic sets. It’s quite a construction-heavy line-up, and one that we think is largely a decent effort. Apart from that pointless Volvo. Of course, the Volvo isn’t LEGO’s only officially-licensed new Technic set due for release later this year…