It’s that time of year again! Yup, this year’s select group of Eleven ‘volunteers’ – fired over The LEGO Company’s perimeter wall by way of the office catapult – have started to return, and today we can share with you the first batch of their finds!
So here they are, the brand new for 2022 LEGO Technic sets (Part 1)…
We start at the smaller end of the Technic range with this, the rather lovely looking 42123 Chopper. Aimed at ages 7+ and with just 163 pieces, 42123 should make for an excellent pocket-money set, and we think it’s absolutely perfect.
In recent times many smaller Technic sets have been woefully lacking any Technicness whatsoever, but not 42123, which features steering, chain drive, and a miniature piston engine. It also looks great and there’s a B-Model too. Perhaps one of the best Technic starter sets in years.
42134 Monster Jam Megalodon
Aaaand cue the Pull-Backs, which have historically been utter garbage. However last years’ sets brought two Monster Jam licensed monster trucks to bedroom floors, and we thought they were rather good. They still had zero Technic functionality, but if you’re going to jump a Technic set over a book-based ramp it might as well be a monster truck.
Continuing the success of the 2021 Pull-Backs, LEGO are bringing another pair of Monster Jam trucks to the Technic line-up for 2022, the first being 42134 Megalodon. A good representation of the real truck, 42134 resembles a giant shark with wheels, and what’s not to like about that? 260 pieces, colourful stickers, a reasonable B-Model, and a pocket-money friendly price are all expected.
42135 El Toro Loco
El Toro Loco (the crazy bull) is 2022’s second Pull-Back, and whilst perhaps not quite as accurate to the real Monster Jam Truck as 42134, it still looks pretty good. And it’ll no doubt jump over a line of toy cars beautifully.
247 pieces, lots of stickerage, and a B-Model too make the continuing Monster Jam line of Pull-Backs the best of the genre by some margin. They may not be particularly Technicy, but you can’t fire any of the other LEGO sets into a group of unsuspecting Elves in quite the same way, and for that alone there’s merit.
42137 Formula E Porsche 99X Electric
Ah, this is awkward. After praising the Monster Jam monster trucks as the best Pull-Back sets, here’s er… another, better, Pull-Back set. Or is it?
The 42137 Formula E Porsche 99X is certainly a bigger, more complex set. With 422 pieces and aimed at ages 9+, the building experience will be more in-keeping with proper Technic sets, and it does looks fairly accurate – no doubt helped by the real-world racing sponsorship decals.
But should a 422-piece Technic set do nothing beyond being a Pull-Back? OK, there is a mechanism to release said motor once it’s been wound, but that’s it. No steering, no suspension, and – albeit realistically as this is a Formula E racer – no engine either.
What 42137 does offer is LEGO’s first attempt at augmented reality, in which the model can appear to be somewhere it’s not courtesy of an app.
Said app might be really cool in practice, but if the set using it has no other features, is it a Technic set at all? It’s a thumbs down from us.
42138 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
Wait, what? Another one? LEGO must be really pleased with their new augmented reality feature…
The final set in Part 1 of our 2022 Technic preview is yet another Pull-Back, and another Ford Mustang, following the Speed Champions and Creator sets from past years.
This time it’s the latest Shelby GT500 variant that gets reborn in LEGO form, and it does look rather epic, particularly in lime green with racing stripes (although the sticker rear lights are rather lazy).
What’s considerably less epic is the feature-count, which – like the 42137 Formula E Porsche 99X – is limited to one; a pull-back motor with a mechanical release.
The augmented reality app may well be awesome, but a near 550-piece Technic set with just one working feature seems very weak to us. Perhaps we’re just getting old.
So there you have it, Part 1 of the 2022 LEGO Technic line-up, a new augmented reality app, and all but one set being a Pull-Back. We’ll take that little chopper motorcycle…