Yes, LEGO’s partnership with the Volkswagen Group will bring the world’s fastest production car to bedrooms all around the world. August can’t come soon enough…
Over the past few weeks a group of crack The Lego Car Blog Elves have been undertaking a secret mission. Infiltrating The LEGO Company’s headquarters, dodging the guards (and guard dogs – who have a taste for Elf meat), and resisting the baited mousetraps to bring back LEGO’s brand-new-for-2018 Speed Champions line-up. And what a line-up it is!
2018 continues LEGO’s hugely successful officially licensed partnership with some of the world’s top automotive brands, with six new sets all of which replicate real-world cars both current and – much to our delight – classic too. With two new sets each from Porsche, Ford and Ferrari, there’s plenty to like. Let’s take a look!
We’ll start with Porsche, one of the newer partnerships LEGO have forged, who add two new sets to their inventory. First up (top) is the 75888 Porsche 911 RSR & 911 Turbo 3.0 set, a glorious double featuring both the latest 911 RSR endurance racer and a superb lime green classic 911 Turbo 3.0. Each features a mini-figure, some neat decals, and the set includes a pit wall, mechanic mini-figure, and a rather useful looking timing gantry complete with reversible timing bricks.
75888 features just under 400 pieces, including those three mini-figures, and we expect it to cost just over £30 when it reaches stores. We like it a lot.
LEGO’s second new officially licensed Porsche set (above) is the 75887 Porsche 919 Hybrid, featuring Porsche’s 2017 Le Mans winning prototype. The 919 model is constructed from a wealth of curves and plates ensuring it is all but studless, with some colourful decals used to recreate an authentic livery. A light pole, mini-figure and laptop are all included and we expect 75887 to be wonderfully pocket-money attainable at around £12 when it reaches stores.
On to Ford, who like Porsche also have two new-for-2018 sets in the Speed Champions range, and who also have both a current and classic models recaptured in brick through their partnership with LEGO.
The 75885 Ford Fiesta M-Sport WRC is the first of the new additions, featuring Ford’s brand new World Rally Championship contender; the mental Fiesta M-Sport WRC. Like 75887 above, 75885 will be priced in the pocket-money bracket at around £12 and contains just over 200 pieces, including a racing driver mini-figure and a wealth stickers to help create authenticity. New white wheels and wedge tiles also make appearances, and the car looks wonderful in (we think) Monte Carlo Rally specification with a front-mounted light bar.
Our only gripe is that 75885’s livery is not the same as that found on the 2018 rally car, but perhaps the real livery hadn’t been decided upon by the time LEGO needed to finalise the set, or a partnership with title-sponsor Red Bull in addition to both Ford and M-Sport was one to many. Nevertheless 75885 is a lovely looking thing and looks to be a great entry level set for racing fans.
Ford’s second set within the 2018 Speed Champions line-up is perhaps the most famous model in their history. Yup, LEGO have gone and built a classic 1960s Mustang! We think 75884 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback is one of the nicest Speed Champions sets to date, and whilst it is perhaps a little over-stickered for a historic racing car, it looks fantastic in its Bullitt-green and gold stripe livery. As usual a mini-figure driver is included plus a timing board, and we expect 75884 to join the range alongside the Porsche 919 Hybrid and Fiesta M-Sport WRC in the c£12 bracket. It’s our favourite.
Finally we come to LEGO’s longest standing partnership and the brand that started LEGO’s collaboration with the auto industry; the mighty Ferrari.
Like Porsche and Ford, Ferrari have two new sets in the 2018 Speed Champions line up. First (above) is 75886 Ferrari 488 GT3 ‘Ferrari Corsa’, another rather nice entry into the pocket money bracket complete with a mini-figure racing driver (female this time), plentiful decals and a nifty looking trophy.
Ferrari’s second officially licensed Speed Champions set for 2018 is rather more flamboyant. Priced at over £80 and containing three Ferrari cars (a modern 488 GTE, a gorgeous classic 250 GTO and a historic 312 Formula 1 car), the 75889 Ferrari Ultimate Garage also includes seven mini-figures, spare parts, a vintage petrol pump, trophies, and a race start/finish line.
All in all 2018 looks to be an excellent continuation of LEGO’s partnership with real-world car manufacturers, with a wealth of choice at different price points, a couple of new parts, and – best of all – some wonderful classic cars to accompany the very latest machinery. More like these please LEGO!
Yes, it’s that Set Review you’ve all been waiting for; the 42058 Technic Stunt Bike! Ok, maybe not… But we have a copy, so we’re going to review it anyway, you lucky people!
Launched at the start of 2017 the Stunt Bike and its pull-back twin form the entry to the LEGO Technic line-up. Aimed at ages 7+ they’re colourful, cheap, and very playable.
The heart of 42058 and the part to which everything is attached is the pull-back motor, which powers the rear wheel via a set of gears. It works well enough and allows the bike to jump over the cardboard ramp that comes included in the set with ease, and thanks to the very un-motorcyle-like wheels it’ll stay upright nine times out of ten too (slightly less if you’re playing skittles with unsuspecting Elves).
Aside from the pull-back motor though, that’s your lot, as there are no other working functions at all. That might be OK if 42058 looked like a real motorcycle, but due to the need to stay upright when being propelled by the pull-back motor, that’s not possible.
This TLCB writer remembers when the Technic starter sets might have included a piston engine, steering, even suspension… but those days are long gone. It’s not LEGO’s fault of course, they’ll probably sell ten times more pull-back toys than a model with a fiddly and complicated-to-build piston engine, but this writer knows what he’d rather have…
Still, if you’re looking to start off in Technic building or you’re looking for a gift for a child ready to make the step up from City, Star Wars or Ninjago, you could do worse than the colourful and be-stickered 42058. You could also do a lot better.
42058 may include a ’40th Anniversary of Technic’ brick, but there are much better starter sets in those 40 years than this one. Head to eBay and take a look. 3/10
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.
Top of the H1 2018 Technic line-up, 42078 continues LEGO’s successful run of officially licensed vehicles, following sets from Volvo, Volkswagen, Porsche, Caterham, Mercedes-Benz, BMW Motorrad and others.
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.
The year that is 2017 is drawing to a close, and as is traditional in the final weeks of the year our Elves have been busy infiltrating The LEGO Group’s HQ. Armed with nothing more than their sharp teeth and ‘unique’ body odour, our mythical workforce have braved the cold of the air-conditioning ducts and the ferocity of the guard dogs (mostly) to bring you LEGO’s brand-new-for-2018 Technic line-up!
The surviving Elves are now safely back in TLCB Towers enjoying the fruits of their meal-tokens, whilst our experts have been evaluating their discoveries to bring you full technical details of each set. Let’s get started!
Kicking-off 2018’s LEGO Technic line-up is 42071, a rather attractive dozer of the type found in open-cast mines and landfill sites the world over. As has become increasingly common within the Technic range (and a theme you’ll see right through today’s reveal) visual detail is on the increase, and 42071 features a couple of System pieces as well as a wealth of stickers to ramp up the realism.
New solid wheels make an appearance – although we suspect these will have little use outside of the fairly narrow niche they occupy in the real world – and the model includes a few neat playable functions, including articulated steering and a height-adjustable blade courtesy of some hand-operating cogs mounted in front of the cab. A decent start to 2018.
Which rapidly ends with these two…
‘Whack!’ and ‘Bash!’ are LEGO’s entry-level Technic sets for 2018, and as is customary they are pull-back motor powered, making them ideally suited for play at the lower end of the Technic age spectrum, and they should be pocket-money priced.
…to the most unique Technic set that LEGO have launched in ages. The 42074 Racing Yacht is still at the lower-end of Technic age-range but has double the pieces of the starter sets above – including those two huge new sail parts which look brilliant for making Town-scale awnings with.
Being an un-powered vehicle 42074 cannot feature the usual engine and drivetrain combination you’d expect to find in a set of this size, and thus the Technic functions are a complete set of realistic controls for the main sail, including main sheets, a sliding kicker, and a wheel-controlled rudder. It’s a brave move in a market where engines dominate, and one we rather like. Pick it up in stores next year.
Back to engine-driven vehicles and we have 42075, a small off-road fire responder. Stickers and lights abound once again, and the set features some reasonable mechanical functions, including Hand-of-God steering, a hand-powered front winch, a piston engine (albeit only two cylinders), and (potentially) rear suspension. Aimed at ages 9+ we expect 42075 to be in the sweet spot for value and features, and it could be a good purchase when it’s released next year.
And now things get weird… This is 42076, an odd vehicle-transporting hovercraft, complete with an equally-odd vehicle being transported.
LEGO have dabbled in hovercrafts occasionally over the years, but none seem to have recaptured the excellence of 1993’s 8824. 42076 also fails to manage it, being probably less than mini-figure scale and thoroughly strange in its execution. It does include some mechanical functions though, with a linear actuator operated ramp, turning fans at the rear, and a lowering control bridge. But it’s still weird.
This is more our bag. 42077 rekindles the mad Group B rally era with a colourful mid-engined rally rocket complete with a V4 (or larger) engine mounted behind the seats, Hand-of-God steering, and rear suspension. There’s some neat detailing too, with an internal roll cage depicted via red Technic axles, bright decals, and a front mounted light-bar.
Aimed at ages 10+ 42077 moves us towards the upper end of the Technic range and we suspect many adults will like it too thanks to a wealth of useful pieces. Expect to see 42077’s parts reappear in various MOCs during 2018…
We jump back to the start of the 2018 LEGO Technic line-up with this, 42084 Hook Loader. A sizeable gap in the set numbering system between the sets above and this suggests it was originally planned for release in the second half of 2018, but it’ll now be available from the start of next year.
176 pieces puts 42084 firmly in pocket-money territory, and in contrast the the pull-back monstrosities further up this page it’s a set we rather like. Working steering and a hand-operated hook-loading mechanism teach the basics of gears and levers at an early age, and the set doesn’t rely upon a plethora of stickers to achieve visual realism. It may be small, but 42084 looks to be a decent demonstration of what Technic building is all about.
LEGO’s 2018 Technic sets create a reasonable if unremarkable line-up, with some nice variation in themes but a continued trend towards aesthetics over technical realism that we’re not particularly excited about. However LEGO know what they’re doing and they (mostly) get it right when it comes to creating products that will sell in big numbers, so although we may prefer good old fashioned technical functions the market probably says otherwise. Still, we probably won’t be reaching into our wallets for anything in the H1 2018 Technic range just yet, but there is one more set to come…
Visit The Lego Car Blog tomorrow for our take on the final LEGO Technic set to be revealed for 2018, and it might just get TLCB staff excited…
The Set Review Library here at The Lego Car Blog is – just like your Mom – ever expanding. Today we’re joined by guest reviewer Andy Boal to add one of the most eagerly anticipated sets of 2017 to the library’s stock – the 1,686 piece Creator Expert 10258 London Bus. Is it worth £110 of your cash? Over to Andy to find out…
When I was young, I wanted LEGO’s London bus set 384. Smart, red, and it looked like a Routemaster to someone like me who had never been to London and didn’t know it was modelled on the Routemaster’s predecessor, also manufactured by AEC, the Regent III RT.
So I decided to make my own London bus, a full half-cab bus, and I made it 10 studs wide. Unfortunately I ran out of parts after the lower floor, so I didn’t bother making the stairs.
My history with Lego buses is otherwise rather chequered. 696, a white and blue bus almost entirely unlike the Ulsterbuses I would later take to school, was given to me in the 1970s, and I bought the original Knight Bus 4755 in 2004, complete with beds racing all over the floor.
I finally got my hands on 384 and, some time later another set I coveted for making models in the 6000 and 7777 Lego ideas books, 379, from eBay some years ago, and with at least one unique chassis part, 384 lives at my parents’ house.
So until this year I only had one model of a London bus. A Valentine’s trip let me pick up the four stud wide 40220 in Leicester Square, but then this week we were in Glasgow’s Buchanan Galleries shopping mall…
The 10258 London Bus box is the standard size for Creator Expert sets, and boasts two pictures of a real life Routemaster, as well as interior shots of the completed model.
Opening up reveals what is a relief to those of us who have had to build and later rebuild a nephew’s Death Star after parts had broken off while moving house – numbered bags. The bane of many a builder’s life, but I’m fully sold on them for making it easier to find the piece you want. Call me a wuss if you want.
The instruction book is 176 pages long – I have to say I like the single books. Looking at the sticker sheet though reminds me that the number plate is incorrect, because no UK numberplate runs to five digits. Of course, I’ve no idea whatsoever whether Morten Graff-Wang could have a personalised numberplate MGW258 or not, but GW was a South-East London registration.
Anyway, back to the set itself, and I’ve thrown the bags for parts 2, 3 and 4 back into thebox to save space and leave me with four to cope with. And breathe.
Part 1 is the chassis and the body sides up to a row below the windows, and the staircase. Turning the page reveals what many will assume is a new innovation, and that is highlighting the added pieces with a yellow outline, but those of us with longer memories will remember outlines on added pieces from the 222 Lego Ideas Book (there’s my childhood again!)
As you would expect, the chassis begins with Technic bricks and frames – all studded construction, of course, and establishing a strong foundation for the rest of the set.
After 21 main steps the floor is laid, the stands for the seats are set up, the staircase has begun, we build the engine with grey bullion forming the top of the engine block, and finally it is time to start building bodywork. 4×3 panels provide most of the flat bits, with a hint of a curved back to come.
As I build the driver’s seat I decide I’m glad I’m not driving this thing, as there is only one stud of leg room between the driver’s seat and the steering wheel and gearstick, and the seat won’t go back.
And then it’s time to build the stairs! The construction is very straightforward – the end of each step is held in place with a single stud round plate. I don’t think the five resulting steps are quite enough, but shh, it’s impressionistic.
The back of the bus includes a new 1x1x1 2/3 brick with two studs on the side, which match up if placed on top of the washing machine piece. It’s used to attach both rear light clusters – the left one directly, and the right one indirectly due to the curved corner I’m now expecting. You also get a yellow number plate option. A yellow fire extinguisher goes under the stairs (Hmm. Canary yellow is for hot oil fires. Who’s keeping a commercial deep fat fryer on a Routemaster bus?).
The side benches complete Part 1, and then we move on to Part 2 to finish the lower deck. Continue reading
This, ladies and gentlemen… who are we kidding – just gentlemen, is the largest LEGO set ever made. Ever.
At more than 7,500 pieces the 75192 Ultimate Collector Series Star Wars Millennium Falcon contains over 2,500 bricks more than its predecessor, and sets a new high for just how expensive a LEGO set can go.
Priced at $800, yes eight hundred, 75192 is a set of truly astounding detailing, with a complete interior, several new printed components, and the largest box LEGO have ever used. It’s so large in fact that it comes with a handle and wheels so you can get it home.
The 75912 UCS Millennium Falcon set also includes nine mini-figures that span both the original and new movies (so you can watch Han Solo age in mini-figure form), along with a selection of the odd-looking droids and aliens that make up the Star Wars universe, and of which we know absolutely nothing.
If you have $800 sloshing around your bank and you’d like to get your hands on 75912’s wheeled box the set is available to LEGO VIP members from September 14th, with general release following thereafter.
Over to LEGO for the full 75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon press release;
Ages 16+. 7,541 pieces.
US $799.99 – CA $899.99 – DE 799.99€ – UK £649.99 – DK 6999.00 DKK
*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.
Travel the LEGO® galaxy in the ultimate Millennium Falcon!
Welcome to the largest, most detailed LEGO® Star Wars Millennium Falcon model we’ve ever created — in fact, with over 7,500 pieces it is the biggest LEGO model ever sold! This amazing LEGO interpretation of Han Solo’s unforgettable Corellian freighter has all the details that Star Wars fans of any age could wish for, including intricate exterior detailing, upper and lower quad laser cannons, landing legs, lowering boarding ramp and a 4-minifigure cockpit with detachable canopy. Remove individual hull plates to reveal the highly detailed main hold, rear compartment and gunnery station. This amazing model also features interchangeable sensor dishes and crew, so you decide whether to play out classic LEGO Star Wars adventures with Han, Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO, or enter the world of Episode VII and VIII with older Han, Rey, Finn and BB-8!
Available for sale directly through LEGO® beginning
October 1, 2017 via shop.LEGO.com, LEGO® Stores or via phone.
LEGO’s official 10248 Ferrari F40 set received an excellent review here at The Lego Car Blog. However, it is a set that may be out of reach for many due to its fairly hefty pricing. Well fear not, because Amaman may have the answer.
LEGO’s 31070 Turbo Track Racer set is around half the price of its Ferrari counterpart, but contains all the pieces you need (plus a few you don’t) to build a wonderful Ferrari F40 replica. Amaman’s excellent F40 recreation is accurate enough it could be passed off as an official set in its own right, and when you’re bored with it 31070 provides a wealth of parts to build countless other vehicular creations.
You can check out Amaman’s 31070 Alternative Ferrari F40 on both MOCpages and Flickr, and you can see two alternate 31070 alternates by clicking here and here. Then go and buy the set and see what you can create!
One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the Panama Canal opened just over 100 years ago, taking over 30 years to complete and costing an estimated 28,000 people their lives. Started by the French in the 1880s, the project was completed by America in 1914, whereupon it completely transformed the worldwide shipping industry. No longer did vessels have to navigate the lengthy and dangerous Cape Horn – the tip of South America – instead able to cut straight through the centre of the Americas.
To date almost 1 million ships have passed through the canal, each taking around seven hours to traverse the 77km mix of channels and artificial lakes, and the three huge sets of locks.
It’s these locks that are the defining characteristic of the canal, allowing the water and the ships that float upon it to rise and fall with the land in order to cross from one side of the continent to the other.
So important is the Panama Canal and the locks that allow it to function that their width and length has become the determining factor for shipbuilding, with ships built specifically to the largest size that is able to fit through them, known as ‘Panamax’.
Today though, we have a set of locks that are rather smaller. This wonderful new set comes from LEGO Education, and it recreates the third set of locks of the Panama Canal.
Constructed from over 1,180 pieces, the 2000451 El Canal de Panama set is built in five sections (plus a few micro-scale ships), allowing five children (or adults!) to contribute to the finished model simultaneously. Each section contains a set of gears and mechanically operated lock gates, allowing the ‘water’ to rise and fall as the gates are opened and closed. We’ve seen similar mechanisms in paper or card form, but not yet in LEGO, and it seems to work beautifully – making this set a great learning aid for the those wishing to understand both mechanics and hydrodynamics.
Originally destined just for sale in Panama, the LEGO Education 2000451 El Canal de Panama set is now available with worldwide shipping (we do hope this means that some sets will travel through the real world counterpart!), and can be bought via the Panama STEM website.
If you’d like to get your hands on this unique limited edition set click on the link below to visit Panama STEM, and you can watch the Lego locks in action on YouTube by clicking here.
The Elves, peeved that this week’s earlier Guest Blog meant no meal token for them, have taken it upon themselves to rectify the situation. And rectify it they have. Built from the very same pieces as Nathanael Kuipers’ ‘Retro Roaster‘, Amaman’s ‘Sports Car’ utilises only the parts found within the official LEGO Creator 31070 set to create a gloriously sleek coupe. Part Jaguar E-Type, part Porsche 944, all brilliant, there’s more to see of Amaman’s 31070 Alternate at both MOCpages and Flickr.
Here at The Lego Car Blog we like to think we’re one of the most inclusive Lego sites on the ‘net. This is handy as we’re also quite possibly one of the laziest. Thus filling in for us today as a guest blogger is reader Markus Schlegel, who suggested a creation to us via the Feedback page. Over to Markus…
Regular readers of The Lego Car Blog will know that you don’t need a thousand bricks to build a decent Lego car. Sometimes you only even need a single official set to appear here and make the Elves go crazy. The master of alternate MOCs Nathanael Kuipers has done so by using only parts from the recently released official 31070 Lego Creator Turbo Track Racer. We can’t really tell if his Retro Roadster is more of a Cobra or of a Corvette, but what we can tell is that it looks magnificent from every single angle. Click the links to make the jump to Flickr or MOCpages and see more pictures of this alternate masterpiece.
London Transport have finally reintroduced double-decker, rear-access buses to their fleet. Missing from the capital’s streets since the iconic Routemaster was phased out in 2005, the new bus – this time a hybrid – is set to become a modern classic. However we will always have fond memories of the original, the wonderful AEC Routemaster that saw service on the streets of London for almost 50 years.
LEGO’s newest addition to their stellar Creator vehicle range (which has previously delivered such gems as the 10242 Mini Cooper, 10252 Volkswagen Beetle) pays homage to one of the world’s most infamous and recognisable of vehicles. This is the new-for-2017, 1,686 piece 10258 Creator Expert London Bus set, and we absolutely love it.
Beautifully recreated inside and out, the new LEGO Routemaster includes a detailed and accessible interior (complete with an authentic spiral staircase), exterior advertising posters featuring either ’50s or modern-day graphics, plus – uniquely – some of the detritus discarded by passengers, including a newspaper, drinks can, chewing gum (yuk!), umbrella and ticket stub.
Several new pieces also make their debut on 10258, including standard-tread tyres, vertical stud pieces, and a selection of new curves and arches in LEGO’s classic red hue.
The new 10258 London Bus set will launch in August 2017, scaled to match the previous vehicles in the Creator range, and we predict LEGO have an instant classic in the making. Just like London’s new double decker bus.
Well, sort of. This is LEGO’s 1:8th scale 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS set, featuring a flat-6 engine, paddle-shift gearbox, independent suspension, and much orange.
And this is what happens when the German motoring organisation ADAC conducts one of its industry-leading crash tests on it…
Fired into a miniaturised deformable block at 46km/h, the 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 set was effectively put through a 228mph impact, at least by TLCB maths anyway.
The resultant devastation is absolute, however we’re not sure that the real Porsche 911 would have faired any better at that speed. Still, at least with a LEGO Porsche you can put it all back together afterwards…
Drive safe out there.
It’s review time here at The Lego Car Blog, as the first of 2017’s Technic sets is placed under the microscope. Reader and previous bloggee Nils O has got his hands on the new 42064 Ocean Explorer set, and he joins us here at TLCB Towers to let you know whether you should get your hands on it too. Over to Nils…
Worth a second look?
OK, this isn’t a car, but it’s Lego Technic and it’s a vehicle. So, who cares…? When I saw TLCB’s preview for the first 2017 Technic sets I was a little disappointed by the picture of the 42064 Ocean Explorer. It was already written in the blogpost that the model looked more like a City set than like a Technic model, and there weren’t many Technic functions visible on the photos.
Despite this, I really liked the look of the ship, so I thought that I’d give it a second look when the set became available in stores. When I finally saw the set I was pleasantly surprised; it really had enough functions to wear that Technic logo on the box. So I made a wish for my birthday and now I’ve got it!
Ok, so what do we get? We get quite a big ship with a clean, studless, almost LEGO City like look. We also get a small submarine and a small helicopter. Each of the three models has one or more Technic functions. The scale is more or less in line with LEGO City, so if you like you can use a crew of mini-figures with it.
First of all there is the ship, a big explorer vessel of the type you would expect to search for a sunken ship or to explore the deep sea fauna. There are three ‘hidden’ functions operated by ‘HOG’ gears on top of of the ship’s bridge. The first function is the steering of the ship. The model has four little wheels for smooth movement on the floor. The rear wheels have a steering function operated by the bigger gear mounted in the centre of the bridge. The steering is also connected to two steering rudders on the rear end of the vessel. The second and third function are for the operation of the crane. The crane can be rotated and lifted by turning the two smaller gears on the left and right side of the bridge. It works perfectly to drop the submarine into the ‘water’ and get it back on board.
The second model is a little deep sea submarine. It’s quite small, but it has two Technic functions built inside. One gear is connected to the rear propellers, so when you turn it, they turn too, whilst the second gear is connected to a mechanism that opens and closes the pair of robot arms like a pair of pliers. With a little practice you can grab ‘specimens’ and bring them back to the vessel.
The third model is a small helicopter. Even though it’s smaller in size than most LEGO City helicopters it has the typical Technic helicopter function of both rotors being connected to an ‘operation gear’ outside the model, allowing them to spin simultaneously. Both smaller models – the submarine and the helicopter – have a canopy big enough to carry a mini-figure, and by adding one or more ‘half pins with a stud’ you can even fix the figures inside.
So, after all, the 42064 Ocean Explorer is really worth a second look, and for me it really was worth buying it. My son loves it, too. For him it’s like his LEGO City models, just better. I think it could also be cool to see all the functions of the vessel motorised with Power Functions elements (hmm, I think I see a new project appearing on the horizon…).
Thanks to Nils O for joining us as a Guest Reviewer to add another set to the Set Review Library. If you’d like to write a set review as Nils has you can; simply get in touch with us via the usual channels.
Lego Technic is 40 years old this year! Launched in 1977 the Technic range took LEGO into a new world of technical detail, providing advanced construction for older children and adults alike, and bringing with it probably the largest range of new parts in the brand’s history.
It all kicked off with a simple car chassis, a ‘New Technical Set’, 853. The single most viewed page here at TLCB, 853 introduced rack and pinion steering, a working piston engine and an operable transmission to LEGO fans. Its success allowed LEGO to develop the theme and three years later the second generation car chassis was released, this time with LEGO’s first attempt at working suspension, 8860.
Despite being LEGO’s second Technic car chassis, 8860 is often thought of as the daddy of all Technic sets, paving the way for the series of Technic Supercars that followed (of which you can read more in the Set Review Library).
With the Technic theme turning 40 years old this year LEGO have decided to pay homage to one of their greatest products, giving builders the chance to recreate the iconic 1980 set using modern parts found in the 2017 Technic range. Three sets, the superb-looking 42063 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure motorbike, the 42061 Telehandler and the 42057 Ultralight Helicopter provide the pieces required, and building instructions are now available* for free online.
Such is the way with the advancement of technology, LEGO’s modern take on the classic 8860 set packs all the functions of the original into a more compact package, and features working steering, a 4-cylinder boxer engine, an operable transmission (which may well be the first since the 1980s not to use purpose-built gearbox parts) and functioning rear suspension. The design uses straight-forward pieces too, so many builders may be able to build it from parts found within their existing collection.
You can read our previews of the three sets that supply the full parts list to build the 40th Anniversary 8860 set via the links above, our review of the original set here, and you can create your very own 40th Anniversary set by clicking the link to the building instructions below.
*Thanks to a reader for the tip!