Tag Archives: Review My Set

And the Winner is…

The Lego Car Blog Competition

The Lego Car Blog’s Review My Set Competition drew to a close last week, and it’s added a whole host of reader-written LEGO set reviews to our burgeoning Set Review Library! Almost 100 individual LEGO sets and third-party products have now been reviewed in total, and we aim to keep this number climbing as the Set Review Library is the single highest viewed page here at TLCB.

We were seriously impressed by the standard of your review submissions, which ranged from LEGO’s most expensive flagships right down to pocket-money sets, and were written by experienced adults and young builders alike.

So how did you guys do? Well it was close. Really close. But we’re delighted to announce that the overall winners are…

Winner

Andrea Lattanzio  |  5591 Model Team Red Bird

 

Runner-Up

Rage Hobbit  |  8070 Technic Supercar

Yup, whilst we said there would only be one winner it really was too close to call, especially if you’re as indecisive as we are, so the assorted loot here at TLCB Towers will be shared amongst both winners!

Lego 5591 Mach II Red Bird

Andrea’s review of the classic 1995 Model Team flagship recorded one of the highest view counts in its first week, and also included bespoke images created by Andrea specifically for his review article.

Rage Hobbit’s entry reviewing the 2011 Technic Supercar flagship accrued the most views over the duration of the competition, and the writing was so in-keeping with our in-house reviewers we could probably have passed it off as our own.

Andrea and Rage weren’t alone at the top though, as many reviewers really impressed us with their writing ability (and subsequent view count), to the point where we’d like to have you on staff!

Congratulations to Andrea and Rage, to all of you who saw your Set Review/s successfully published here at The Lego Car Blog, and if you’d like to write a review for a set that is currently missing from the review archive we’d still love to receive it! Simply get in touch us letting us know the set you’d like to critique and you could see your writing appear here for over one million viewers a year!

Lego Set Reviews Prizes

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Halt the Hits!

Lego Review My Set Competition

The Lego Car Blog Review My Set Competition closed to entries on December 31st and there are just 24 hours for entrants to squeeze in a few more hits before we total up the views and go to the judges to determine a winner! You can see all of the Reader Reviews that were successful in being published in the Set Review Library, good luck to all the competition entrants, and remember that views received after today will not count!

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Review My Set Competition – Now Closed!

TLCB Review My Set

Running over the past 6 months or so we’ve been asking you, our readers, to submit your reviews of LEGO sets that you thought should be in the Set Review Library. We’ve published loads of your entries (which can read by clicking the link above) and we now have the tough job of shortlisting, via the view count figures, those who will go to the judges’ vote.

Some say we only embarked on this exercise to increase the Set Review Library’s stock without paying anyone. And they’d be right. But we do have prizes up for grabs, made up of the loot that we have acquired here in TLCB Towers over the past year.

We’ll be announcing the winner of the aforementioned swag in the New Year, in the meantime a huge thank you to all those who have entered the competition, and if you’d like to submit a review for the Set Review Library here at The Lego Car Blog you still can (only you won’t win anything). If you have good written English and creative writing skills then get in touch!

Lego Set Reviews Prizes

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5591 Mach II Red Bird Review

Lego 5591 Mach II Red Bird

The Lego Car Blog Review My Set Competition is drawing to a close, but we have just enough time to squeeze in a couple more reader reviews before the end of the year deadline. Today’s set review comes from a TLCB reader, and also one of our Master MOCers, the brilliant Andrea Lattanzio aka Norton74, and things are getting decidedly 1990s. Over to Andrea…

This Red Bird is ready to fly.

My love affair with the set No. 5591, also called ‘Mach II Red Bird’, started during a very cold Sunday morning of a past winter when I saw the big truck displayed on a flea market counter. I immediately bought it even though a few yellow pieces were replacing the missing originals, red train doors in place of the white ones, and other things like that were afflicting it. But for the price it was on offer for I got it with no hesitation! Without difficulty I replaced the incorrect parts with the right ones and the set is now restored in all its glory alongside the other Model Team sets in my collection.

Let’s step back. The Red Bird is the eighth set of the Model Team series, released by LEGO in 1994. Model Team was the large scale vehicle line that LEGO produced from 1986 until 1999, with a total of 15 sets, plus a re-release of the 5541 Hot Rod in 2004 as part of the Legends series.

Model Team vehicles were characterized by realism, although whilst there is no doubt they were detailed and charming models the techniques used are fairly basic by today’s standards.

Lego Model Team Range

5591 Red Bird is a big set and it’s rich in pieces, an impression I had the first time I looked at it. Despite the basic colours – white, red and black – the livery is really spot on, reminding me of the “B.J. and the bear” colours. The wide usage of stickers makes the set more appealing too.

The set is composed by three parts: the tractor truck, the low loader semi-trailer and the Red Bird jet aircraft. Let’s take a look.

The tractor truck is probably the best part of the set. It’s based on a typical US truck with the cab behind the engine and a long front nose. The truck has a very well balanced design and it’s rich in details, among others: side mirrors, windshield wipers, opening doors and many auxiliary lights, with the side ladders located on the lateral fuel tanks.

You can open the hood to reveal the cool looking engine which was probably influenced by the first LEGO Model Team engine ever, found in the 5580 Highway Rig. The hood is wedge shaped too, which I really like as it helps to make the front of the truck more streamlined. 5591’s interior is quite simple featuring two yellow seats, a steering wheel and the dashboard constituted of two printed slopes. The front wheels can steer by turning a knob located on the roof and the Hand of God control works well – all good so far.

However, the back of the truck is a little bit poor without a realistic fifth wheel and with a simple bumper featuring only rear red lights. We’d have to wait until 1996 for the 5571 Black Cat to see a decent rear to a truck with a convincing fifth wheel.

Lego 5591 Mach II Red Bird

The second part of the set is the semi-trailer, which is quite simple and it perhaps looks more Technic than Model Team. Naturally the trailer can be hooked unto the truck by a plate modified with a towball socket. Continue reading

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9398 4×4 Crawler Review

 

Lego Technic 9398 4x4 Crawler Review

The Lego Car Blog reviewing Anorak, hanging nerdily for a short while, has today been removed from the office coat-rack and thrust at one of you for another Reader Review! Doubling his chances in the ongoing Review My Set Competition is Marco. qm of MOCpages, who adds another set to the Set Review Library. Over to Marco…

The 9398 4×4 Crawler, around $200 when I bought it, and it looked great on the shelves at the shop. A little expensive? Not really, it comes with 2L motors, a Servo motor, a battery pack and the signal receiver with the controller. Plus another 1,321 pieces.

The set comes in a big grey box, containing many different bags filled with bricks, the building instructions, and nothing more. It’s definitely not the box of the 42056 Porsche 911 Gt3.

Building 9398 you start with the chassis – as always in Technic sets – adding the two L motors for power to all four wheels and the Servo motor for steering at both the front and back of the vehicle. However after a time you’ll notice that the gear ratios are aggressively slow, which some builders won’t like, and for such a big set there is no V8 engine… in fact there is no engine at all! Even the little 8256 set has an engine! If mechanical functions are your thing then unfortunately 9398 will prove disappointing.

On to the looks of the set, where things don’t get much better. 9398 resembles a modern El Camino monster truck, yet looks neither strong nor powerful, more like a graffiti artist has spray painted Barbie’s Jeep. Not good. (Agreed! Ed.)

Lego 9398 Crawler Review

OK, let’s stop talking about all the bad stuff. 9398 is the type of LEGO set which is useful if you’re the kind of builder that buys sets for the parts, where it is a good investment. With multiple electric components and those great-looking (and huge) tyres that are under-utilised here, there’s plenty to pilfer for your own creations. Continue reading

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TLCB Needs You!

Lego Set Reviews

Yes, we need help from you, our wonderful readers, to increase the population of the Set Review Library!

We’re looking new writers to review official LEGO sets for The Lego Car Blog, and in doing so you’ll be part of a site that reaches over a million people per year!

To add your Set Review to TLCB all you need to do is contact us, either here or via Flickr Message, and let us know the set that you think should be included in the Review Library. It can be a set you love, a set you hate, or one in the middle!

Prizes!

Lego Set Reviews Prizes

As if reviewing your chosen LEGO set for over million annual readers and becoming part of one of the best set review resources on the web wasn’t enough, you could also win some neat loot!

We’re sent lots of great stuff here at TLCB to review, and as we want your help to add content to the Review Library we’re going to pass on some of the items that we’ve, er… reviewed to one of you. Simple huh?

One reviewer will be chosen to receive a goodie bag full of the lovely stuff above, including the newly released and five star rated Tiny Lego Wonders book, the brilliant Manner-Spielzeug Mad Max Interceptor kit, and the stunning Art of Lego Scale Modeling book too. In all it’s a prize pot currently worth over $130!

To read the full details of how a winner will be selected click on the link below, and you can read some of the brilliant Reader Reviews that have been published so far by clicking here.

Click here for Competition Details!

Please note that we’ll be collating this next round of Review requests and thus it may take us some time to respond to you if you’d like to participate. Don’t worry, even if it takes a little while we will let you know about your application!

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42035 Mining Truck Review

Lego Technic 42035 Mining Truck Review

After prompting the wrath of pneumatics fans following his controversial Set Review last month (and meeting TLCB Elves, which can be just as perilous), Thirdwigg has returned to join us here at TLCB Towers to add another official LEGO set to the burgeoning Set Review Library. Over to Thirdwigg to explain…

Most of the sets I buy now happen after months of deliberation, intense community scrutinization, and reading every online review I can find. And usually during double VIP months at LEGO.com.

Not this one. I went to the local toy store in a moment of children-induced weakness, purchased this cute little dump truck, and went home and started building it right away.

The box of 42035 is smallish, but the weight of it conveys a $30 set more than the size does. Upon opening the box, you’ll find a couple of bags of parts, a small sticker sheet, and wrapped instructions for both the A and B model.

As I started sorting the contents I found some of the new or rare parts that attracted me to the set. First, the new panels are pretty fun. Basically, they are a 5×11 panel with a 9×2 triangle removed. They are robust, and have an empty center; both sides of the panel are flat and can be presented to the outside of a model. Second, are the newish tires. They were part of the reason I was interested in this set, as I wanted to try them out in some MOCs, as their size fills a nice hole in Technic wheels range. Third, there are a smattering of new unique and/or interesting parts, like a piston and cylinder and the 3L pin with 1L axle.

Lego Technic 42035 Review

The build starts with the chassis, and before you are 8 steps in, you ask yourself “why no differential?” I’ve stopped trying to answer questions that start with “why did LEGO not do_____?” Now I just change it myself when I am done. Continue reading

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8069 Backhoe Loader Review

Lego Technic 8069 Backhoe Review

PC or Mac? Ford or GM? Edward or Jacob? These are the questions that have dominated our age. However since 2008 a new and even more important choice has arisen, one that has conflicted the minds of academics and that has caused lifelong friends to stop talking. So… Linear Actuators or Pneumatics?

Thirdwigg, returning to TLCB for his second Reader Review (and risking ostracisation by half of the online Lego Community), is brave enough to make his case…

Bias alert: in the Linear Actuator vs. Pneumatics debate I am conclusively in the former group. Feel free to send your “dear idiot letters” to thirdwigg.com, I can handle it. After the release of the Large Linear Actuators (LA) from 8295 and 8294, it was clear to me they were an improvement over pneumatics. They had a simple design, better integration with Power Functions and manual controls, actual mid-range control, and no clunky hoses to connect and manage in your model. But I still felt like something was missing after the LAs. Something shorter, smaller. When we first got teasers images of 8069 I was excited. Did it have what I was looking for?

Like most sets, this one comes in a box. You have to open it. It has parts in it. 609. And it costs $60. The tyres, buckets and stickers are loose in the box, along with two loose instruction manuals for the A model. B model instructions are online. All you need to know about new parts in 8069 is that it is the first set that included Mini Linear Actuators (mLA). You get four of them. You also get two yellow panels (they are kind of rare, it turns out), the buckets, lots of gears, yellow parts, and the mLAs. They are great. Great.

The build starts with the chassis and the front steering, then quickly onto building a worm gear submodel. “What’s this” you think? It’s for the bucket tilt. We’ll come back to this. Two mLAs are used to provide the bucket lift. Then off to the rear, where you start building a complex structure of gears for the rear bucket. The design is good, and teaches many gear structures including worm and bevel gearing. It also offers a great lesson on how to build good cross supporting structures in Technic when the rear supports are added.

You then build the cabin, which has some nice details. Next all the rear backhoe controls placed on the top and the backhoe is added with a neat little design for the two stages of movement utilizing two of the mLAs. Finally the fenders are added, the front bucket is placed, you add the wheels, and you are done.

Lego Technic 8069 Backhoe Loader

The finished 8069 model has a lot of functions; steering, bucket lift, bucket tilt, backhoe slew, backhoe arm, backhoe bucket, and rear stabilizers. For a set of this size it’s an impressive list. How well do they work? Better than pneumatics (zing!). The steering is light, and the turning radius is stunning (Hurrah! Ed.), especially if you take out the ¾ pins in the steering. You might bump the hood a bit on full lock, but it’s worth it. The bucket lift is excellent – it’s strong, and the controls are easy to use. The range of motion is good; though a little more height would be welcome. Continue reading

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Review Your LEGO Set – Win Loot!

Lego Set Reviews

Containing over 50 reviews of almost 70 LEGO sets spanning 4 decades, The Lego Car Blog’s Set Review Library is easily the most professional looking part of the entire TLCB establishment*.

Our expert Set Reviewers, shunning the fame and glory normally associated with such a task, quietly and anonymously pick apart The LEGO Group’s efforts, helping you to decide whether or not to open up your wallet.

They’re diligent, knowledgeable, nerdy… and most importantly they’re willing to work for nothing more than a microwave meal and the chance to gaze at TLCB’s intern from across the office.

Seriously though, our Set Reviewers do an excellent job and they really know their stuff, having reviewed everything from LEGO’s first large-scale vehicles from the late 1970s right up to the latest limited-edition Technic flagships. There may even be a famous name or two amongst them. And now we’d like you to join them!

If you own an official LEGO set that you think should be in the Set Review Library, you can help to put it there! We’re looking for funny, articulate writers to help increase the Library’s stock, and in doing so your words will feature on a site reaching over a million annual readers. There’s even some loot up for grabs for the best submission (details of which will follow).

How to Enter

  1. Contact us; either here, via Flickr message, or via one of our Flickr group discussions, stating the LEGO set that you wish to review and providing us with a link to one of your online presences.
  2. Stage 1 Approval; TLCB staff will review your suitability and respond with an acceptance or rejection. Apologies, not everyone will be accepted – please be prepared for a rejection if your chosen set is deemed unsuitable. If you are accepted we’ll ask for you to send us an image of your LEGO set with a unique phrase featuring somewhere in the photo to ensure that you do own the set in question.
  3. Write your Review! You can get an idea of past Set Reviews via the Set Review Library, but you can be as creative as you like!
  4. Stage 2 Approval; TLCB staff will review your Set Review, assessing its suitability for publication. Your words may require editing, and your Review may also be rejected – again, please be prepared for the possibility that your words are deemed to be unsuitable.
  5. Publication! Once your Set Review is accepted it will be published on The Lego Car Blog! You can choose whether you’d like a link to your online presence to be included, or you can choose to remain anonymous.
  6. Win! The Set Review with the highest averaged hits, combined with our judges’ assessment, will earn its writer some of the Lego loot that we have acquired here at TLCB!

That’s it! Simple huh? If you’d like to get your Set Review online for up to a million people a year, increase exposure to your own work, or if you’re just after some loot, then get in touch! Success could also open the door to other opportunities here at TLCB…

Good luck!

TLCB Team

*It’s a very low baseline.

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