Lifted trucks, a favoured vehicle for a subset of the American populous that we mock regularly on these pages, are resolutely awful.
Even though the suspension is raised, the lowest point of the chassis (usually a differential) is unchanged, thus ground clearance remains exactly the same. Only now the handling, fuel economy, and refinement are worse.
The Lego Car Blog Elves of course, having very small brains indeed, absolutely love lifted trucks.
This one comes from JLiu15, and – despite it being much too slow to run any Elves over – the Elf that found it seems rather pleased.
Remote control all-wheel-drive, three-mode steering (front wheels, four wheels, and crab), a V6 piston engine, and – most notably – ludicrously lifted suspension all feature, and there’s lots more to see at the Eurobricks discussion forum. Click the link above to take a look.
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…
TLCB theory of the day: Before long all new cars will look like this.
Every new car launched is seemingly an increasingly enormous SUV, or is ‘lower, longer and wider’ than the model it replaces. Take these trends to their logical conclusion, and you end up with a two-tier (literally) market of monster trucks and pancakes, and nothing in the middle. Which is probably a metaphor for the current state of political discourse or something.
Anyway, enough about the polarisation of everything, here are two classically shaped commercial vehicles from HCKP13, at opposite ends of the suspension spectrum, and there’s more to see of each on Flickr. Click the link above to play higher or lower.
The 1961 Chevrolet Corvair was a brilliantly interesting car. Designed to take on Volkswagen, the Corvair was powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled flat-6 engine, which even came with the option of turbo-charging (the first production car in the world to do so).
Unfortunately however, the Corvair also featured a significant design flaw; the suspension tried to kill you.
The bean-counters at GM omitted anti-sway bars to save cost, which – when combined with that rear-mounted flat-6 engine and swing-axle suspension – caused the wheel camber to vary drastically when cornering. This created a car with wildly unpredictable handling, and therefore one that crashed a lot.
In 1965 attorney Ralph Nader published a book on the Corvair titled ‘Unsafe at Any Speed’, and Corvair sales plummeted. Of course GM did the default ‘evil corporation’ thing and attempted to smear Nader rather than fix the car, before conceding and equipping the Corvair with independent suspension.
The damage had been done though, and the Corvair carries a crashy reputation to this day. Cue Flickr’s Volker Brodkorb, who has fixed his Corvair station wagon’s handling issues by, well… turning it into an off-road monster truck.
OK, if anything the handling would be even worse, but look how cool it is! Volker’s model is in fact based on a real Corvair monster truck, which has got the Elves very excited. There’s more to see of Volker’s version via the link above, and you can check out a video of the real-life monster truck on which Volker’s model is based by clicking this link, where – amazingly – no one is killed at all.
This morning has been a stressful one here in TLCB Towers. Maybe we got complacent. Maybe we thought the Elves had wised up to the threat of remote control creations. Or maybe we’d simply forgotten this particular narrative, but whatever it was we were rudely and wholly reminded of the Elves’ propensity to smash one another to bits if given the opportunity.
The ‘opportunity’ arrived in the form of this, Michael217’s incredible Volkswagen Beetle monster truck ‘Bugzilla’, as featured in the video game ‘Wreckfest’.
All-wheel-drive via a Buggy Motor, Servo steering, enormous suspension above even more enormous wheels, and a slew of body-mounted spikes give Michael’s creation almost mythical Elf-squashing abilities, which were used to full effect by the one at the controls.
At least a dozen were flattened in the corridor with amusing cartoon tyre prints running down their lengths, a few were splatted against the skirting boards, and a handful were even impaled on ‘Bugzilla’ itself thanks to the spiky bricks mounted all over it.
Of course the Elf that found Michael’s creation was ecstatic about the whole event, which seeing as it’s likely a victim of multiple past smushings itself is probably understandable.
We have much cleaning up to do now, which probably includes a few trips to ‘Elf Hospital‘, so whilst we do that there’s loads more for you to see of Michael’s brilliant ‘Bugzilla’ build – which includes a V6 engine, opening doors and hood, and a detailed interior too – at the Eurobricks discussion forum, with the complete image gallery available on Bricksafe.
LEGO’s officially licensed vehicles continue with two more new-for-2021 sets! 42118 and 42119 join the Technic range as the pull-backs for 2021, and like the 42109 ‘Top Gear’ rally car, each is licensed to not a car brand, but to an entertainment company.
‘Monster Jam’ is a North American stadium institution, in which monster trucks freestyle around an arena filled with squashed cars, dirt ramps, and a whooping beer spilling crowd. Which sounds great. Because it is.
Two of the main protagonists are ‘Grave Digger’ and ‘Max-D’, which LEGO have chosen to recreate for their 7+ Technic sets.
It’s normally at this point when we’d deride the new pull-back sets for being total garbage, but this year we can’t. Because they’re awesome.
Each set contains around 250 pieces (although there’s no ramp this time – which surely these were made for – but you can build one of those at home), including excellent wheels and tyres, and a giant Jolly Roger/Angry Chief flag.
Expect 42188 and 42119 to cost under $20 when they reach stores next year, and for Monster Jam arenas built from books, cushions, toy cars, and other household objects to appear in homes everywhere. Good stuff.
Is there a cooler name for a truck than ‘Power Wagon’? Nope. Dodge’s naming department nailed it back in 1945, with the nameplate lasting right up until 1980. This is a ’50s Power Wagon, with a few modifications, as built by TLCB Master MOCer Redfern1950s, and it’s magnificent.
Red’s cartoon-ised Dodge sits proudly atop monster wheels and suspension, features a brick-built removable ‘canvas’ load cover, plus a detailed engine and interior behind a removable hood and opening doors.
A multitude of top-notch imagery is available to view at Red’s Flickr photostream by clicking here, and you can read his interview as part of the Master MOCers series here at The Lego Car Blog by clicking the link in the text above to discover how he builds models like this one!
Redfern1950s has given himself a lift. Published here earlier in the month, we titled Red’s rat rodded school bus after the name your Mom used ‘professionally’, and – just like your Mom – Red’s recently enhanced things to make them a whole lot more… noticeable. Jacked suspension and comically enormous tyres complete the look and there’s more to see of Red’s enhanced Busty Rusty on Flickr here.
Another day and another Elf returns to TLCB Towers in hope of receiving a meal token and a Smartie. The aforementioned Elf his happily eating both at the moment, thanks to Oliver 79 and his neat Technic monster truck. Featuring four-wheel steering, working suspension, plus opening doors and hood it could be an official LEGO set. It’s all mechanical too, so there can be know Elven shenanigans. See more of his classic Ford-esque pick-up at the Eurobricks forum via the link above.
Much as we like Mad Max style V8-engined hot rods, we think that pretty much every post-apoc movie has got it wrong. What you really want in a future populated by not much other than zombies is something that uses as little fuel as possible. Preferably none. And something quiet.
There’ll be no gasoline or diesel almost instantly (plus whatever is left sitting in tanks has a shelf life, so using it will almost certainly kill your engine eventually), yet when the power goes out there’ll still be wind turbines turning and solar panels, er… solaring, providing free energy for survivors to tap into.
Eurobricks’ paave has got the right idea, modifying the yet-to-be-released Tesla Cybertruck into a Cybermonstertruck, ‘Mad Musk’ style. We think Elon would approve, brilliant and idiotic as he is in equal measure.
Like the real Tesla, Paave’s creation is electrically driven with all-wheel drive, thanks to two large motors, two IR receivers and a LiPo battery. It also features leaf spring suspension, opening and lockable doors, hood and tailgate, and a removable body for when it inevitably goes wrong (it is a Tesla after all…).
It’s been built as part of the Eurobricks Mad Max competition (which has provided the Elves with some of their favourite creations to date) and there’s more to see of paave’s entry via the link above.
Parts of Russia may look a bit like a post-apocalyptic wasteland (and even more so in the former Soviet Union), but that has meant Russians have needed to build some awesome vehicles in order to traverse the wild landscape. We’ve featured many such off-road cars and trucks over the years, but none quite like this.
Based on a ZIL 130, this is Samolot’s ‘Peacemaker’, a 6×6 skid-steer monster that imagines what Mad Max would be like if were set in Russia.
With each of the six wheels driven by a Power Functions XL Motor and offering eight studs worth of articulation, Samolot’s creation can drive over pretty much anything, particularly as the twin BuWizz bluetooth batteries on board can deliver up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own system.
If that wasn’t enough, the ZIL also features a trebuchet mounted on the rear for… er, we’re not sure – shooting down airliners? Whatever it’s for it makes Samolot’s build one of the wildest we’ve featured yet, and you can guess what happened when one of our Elves brought it into the office earlier today.
It’s safe to say we have some tidying up to do, so whilst we do that you can visit Samolot’s post-apocalyptic Soviet future at the Eurobricks forum, where you can also watch a video of the Peacemaker in action.
The original set wasn’t really a monster truck (or anything like the real Big Foot for that matter) but it was rather cool, and Havoc has chosen to carry over its paint-job onto a vehicle far more in keeping with the real Ford pick-up based car-crushing monster truck.
Havoc’s ‘Big Foot’ uses a Ford F-250 as its base (like the real truck), but switches the famous blue livery for the red-on-white that many Model Team sets have used over the years. Head to Havoc’s photostream to see all the images, plus you can view his past builds and see the official LEGO set that inspired this one via the links in the text above.
Sigh. These are sounds we’ve heard too often here at The Lego Car Blog Towers before, and they usually mean we’re going to have to get the carpets cleaned again.
A weary trudge to the corridor outside the office revealed the cause, and to our surprise there wan’t just one, but three. Three Elves were each controlling three separate (and rather impressive) Technic Monster Trucks, bashing them into one another and occasionally adding variety to the proceedings by driving them at and over the Elves who had come to watch the spectacle.
It admittedly looked like great fun, so Mr. Airhorn was deployed to break up the ruckus, the injured were patched up with Pritt-Stick and plasters, and we’ve taken control of the trio of Technic trucks for ourselves.
Each truck comes from Technic building legend Madoca77 and wears a gloriously retro livery, including the famous Ford ‘Big Foot’ colours and Toyota’s wonderful ’80s ‘pick-up’ stripe, and the three models are all remotely operable via bluetooth thanks to two SBricks.
These control the four XL motors (one per wheel), the two Servo motors that steer both the front and rear axles, the Medium motor that switches between crab steering and normal steering modes (just like LEGO’s excellent 40254 Claas Xerion 5000 set), and the Medium motor that operates the clamshell bodywork lift.
Madoca’s builds also include LED headlights, opening doors and dropping tailgates, plus – most importantly – a mega suspension setup which includes portal axles. They easily make it into our favourite creations list of 2019, and if you like them as much as we do then head to the Eurobricks discussion forum via the link above to read more about the builds and to watch a video of Madoca’s vintage monster truck design in action!
Remote Control monster trucks have a history here at The Lego Car Blog, which – if you’re an Elf at least – is not always a happy one (see here, here, and here). Fortunately today’s example was – despite its excellence – too slow for the Elf at the controls to run down any of its brethren, much to its annoyance.
Don’t let that put you off though, because this monster truck by previous bloggee Kevin Moo is a fantastically clever bit of kit, with all-wheel-drive, all-wheel-steering and all-wheel-suspension.
However that ‘all-wheel-ness’ is not the cleverest part, as Kevin has engineered an ingenious automatically locking centre differential design that keeps the wheels locked together when the truck is driving in a straight line for better grip off-road, yet unlocks when it’s cornering to allow the wheels to spin at the different rates required during a turn.
No, we have no idea how he’s done it either!
There’s lots more to see of Kevin’s Technic monster truck on Flickr and at the Eurobricks discussion forum, plus you watch the video below demonstrating the automatic differential lock to see if you can figure it out…