Review: 60018 Cement Mixer

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60018 Cement MixerWhen news first broke that we'd be getting some decent City sets in 2013, and not just more fire and police, a lot of people, myself included, could not wait to get our hands on them.

60018 Cement Mixer is one of three new 6-wide trucks that LEGO now refers to as 'Great Vehicles'.

The 'Great Vehicles' range was introduced in 2007, with a recycling truck (7991) and a cement mixer (7990). Before them, Town and City vehicles were largely 4 wide and/or juniorised. We can consider 2007, then, as the year that LEGO started making decent City sets, after more than 10 years of mediocre offerings.

Since then, LEGO has made some excellent vehicles, and it looks as if the three 2013 sets will continue to live up to the high standard we've come to enjoy.

Box and contents

The front of the box looks excellent and I think will significantly contribute to the set flying off the shelf. The yellow of the cab contrasts superbly with the blue of the box and the picture shows a hive of activity and play possibilities.

60018 Cement Mixer

The back amplifies the play possibilities and shows what moves and how.

60018 Cement Mixer

Inside, the parts are in two numbered bags. The two halves of the mixer are loose in the box, along with a sticker sheet and one instruction book.

I60018 Cement Mixer

Construction

Bag one contains the minifigs, which I'll mention later, and the chassis. There are few new parts in the set, in fact the only ones I noticed are two 'Plade 1X2 M. Van. Hul Ø 4,8' [sic] which you can see above the mudguard at the front.

60018 Cement Mixer

60018 Cement Mixer

Bag two builds the cab and mixer. The cab attaches via clips at the front...

60018 Cement Mixer

60018 Cement Mixer

...which form a hinge and, in a first for a 'Great Vehicle', allow the cab to be tipped forwards to reveal the engine underneath. The back of the cab is a yellow 'Wall 1X6X3 W. Studs' which was used in last year's tipper truck, in grey.

60018 Cement Mixer

The completed model

The mixer mechanism is also attached to the chassis by way of clips. The grey wheel on the side is used to rotate the mixer which has a helical screw in it. Turn it one way and the 1x1 round plates provided remain in the mixer, turn it the other and they are ejected out of the end.

I haven't applied the stickers. I don't mind doing so when there's a good chance they can be applied perfectly, but I'd probably have difficulty getting the two large ones round the mixer exactly lined up. You only get one chance with stickers. Mess them up and they are ruined.

60018 Cement Mixer

The main design difference between this version of cement mixer compared to 2007's 7990 is the addition of a chute and guide at the back. The chute can be rotated and angled, and the guide tilted up and down.

60018 Cement Mixer

This means there's a good chance the 'cement' will land in the wheelbarrow.

60018 Cement Mixer

The minifigs

The minifigs in City sets are rarely reason enough to buy a set, and the pair in this one are no exception. They are perfectly suited to the model, but nothing special.

60018 Cement Mixer

Comparing to 2007's 7990

7990 was a superb model, so much so that it's one of the few that I haven't broken down and bagged up. However, this new cement mixer is better in many ways. They are very similar in size and design but comparing the two you can see that the mixer on 7990 is mounted at a much greater angle which has resulted in the end of the mixer being much higher than the cab. This design flaw has been addressed in 60018 and the result is much more realistic.

60018 Cement Mixer

The chute at the back provides for much better playability than the pipe on 7990 which of course was not functional.

60018 Cement Mixer

Conclusion

Looking at 7990 in isolation you could be forgiven for thinking it was pretty much perfect, but with this set LEGO has shown that you can improve on perfection...

Of the 2013 sets I've built so far, this has been my favourite, and proves that LEGO does not need licenses or fancy IPs to be able to create superb sets.

City sets remain some of the best value LEGO sets available and this one is no exception. This is definitely one that every City fan, and those who are looking for an exceptional 'old school' LEGO set, should add to their collection.

27 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

I picked up a few of the 'great vehicles' last year and was very impressed, this one will certainly be another I pick up at some point. Thanks for the excellent review Huw.

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By in United States,

I'm not a big City fan but this set is pretty cool

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By in Hungary,

That's a great shot of the minifigs. You say they're "nothing special", but I immediately thought "it's the Mythbusters". Maybe that's just me?

Nice review, and now another set I have to be restrained about...

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review I really dig these photo reviews! Thanks and keep them coming.

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By in Hungary,

Thanks for the exhausting review!

Keep them coming, i don't mind how big or small sets they're about...

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By in United Kingdom,

@iadams - I can see why you'd think that for the figure on the left but the figure on the right doesn't even have a beard :p

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By in United States,

Is it just me, or does the figure on the left remind you of Gordon Freeman?

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review Huw! This looks like it is a good sets with a good amount of pieces for the price! I think this is one I can't resist to get!

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By in United States,

@ Starwarsgeek500 - I was thinking the exact same thing! All it needs is a crowbar.

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By in United Kingdom,

Tat was an excellent review Huw. Despite owning the 2007 one, it looks very col,ad is one set I hope to purchase.

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By in Denmark,

I kind of like when LEGO 'forgets' to translate from danish to english. The 'Plade 1X2 M. Van. Hul Ø 4,8' should probably be called 'Plate 1X2 W. Hor. Hole Ø4.8', but isn't it nice that their danish heritage sometimes seeps through? ;)

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By in Ireland,

I picked this up in the US just after new year. It's a great set for sure and I only wish I had other construction sets.
I only just noticed it today in the shops in Ireland.

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By in United States,

I got this for my son (~28 months) this past week. Many of the new City sets were at a local store, and he picked this one over the new fire truck and other two trucks.

Overall, I think this is a great set with fantastic play features. My only criticism is that the hinge mechanism at the back is quite fragile and likely to come off during play. I reinforced it with some additional plates (2 1x3s, 4 1x2s, and 2 1x1s) and it is much more solid. The modification does make the rear look a bit more bulky, but it doesn't exceed the width of the vehicle. I also wish the mixer drum could be attached more securely to the axle it's on. But that would require a part that apparently doesn't exist (4x4 round plate with axle hole), so I don't hold that against the model.

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By in Australia,

As good as this model is, I can't really justify the purchase when I have 7990 already... Definitely looking forward to 60016 and 60017 though!

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Will do 60016 next :-)

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ @binaryeye - I wonder if adding plate hinges on the inside would be a less bulky way of adding strength to the bit at the back. I haven't got the set though, so I can't tell if that would get in the way of anything. Also, would the new 4x4 round plate with 2x2 round hole in add a little stability to the mixer drum join? (There is a 4x4 round plate with a hole, but it's just a round hole so you'd lose the ability to rotate the drum.) And I guess the awkwardness of my suggestions is that those aren't pieces many people would be likely to have spare! Sorry if they're no use because of that!

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By in United States,

@zipsforbananas: Good ideas! Unfortunately, putting anything on the inside of the wedge plate would get in the way of the mixer drum. I did try a 4x4 round plate on the front end of the mixer drum but it doesn't help much. The problem here is that the 2x2 round plate doesn't fit very tightly, but that may vary with different parts.

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By in New Zealand,

Everything is great about this set until you get to the wheels. The problem for me, which means I won't be purchasing this set, is that the wheels used on this set are too small. When viewed side on it's evident that, with the larger scale cabs and greater width than the classic town sets, the size of the wheels is disproportionate to the body. With a larger option available I don't see why they can't upscale (although someone will surely give me a reason or two). In set 4437 Police pursuit both wheels are used so a comparison can be made - the cement mixer sized ones are on the little quad bike but it's the 4WD utility wheels that would be perfect for a larger truck. Yes we can mod these sets and kids don't mind/care. Just my thoughts on the matter. Am I the only one who thinks this way?

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By in United Kingdom,

@Huw - Can you do 60017 next please Huw! I'm loving the set and was wondering what your take on it was!

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By in United Kingdom,

@Huw - Also, your camera work is AMAZING!! Wow!!

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By in Sweden,

Lovely model. The only thing I really don't like is that huge wall-piece on the back of the cabin. It just looks kinda terrible the way the 1x4 flat tiles stick out to the side. I get that they want to make each Great Vehicles build a bit different from each other, but this is one of the worst ones in that regard as far as I'm concerned. An easy thing to fix though!

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By in United Kingdom,

@Huw - I was wondering how you store your completed models, for example you said that you have kept 7990 built. How do you keep them dust free etc??

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By in United Kingdom,

I don't store that many but those I do, usually those I think I might have use for in a train layout, are in plastic boxes.

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By in Netherlands,

All three sets look good, only bad thing is that they have already been releaced in the usa,
but europe (netherlands) we have to wait till march till these sets come out.
Don't know why lego does these crazy things.

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By in United States,

I've been very impressed with these "$20 city trucks" (as I refer to them). Some of the best value in LEGO.

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By in Bangladesh,

A good model but one thing I do not like. The thing is big wall-piece on the back of the cabin. It just looks kinda terrible the way the 1x4 flat tiles stick out to the side. I get that they want to make each Great Vehicles build a bit different from each other, but this is one of the worst ones in that regard as far as I'm concerned. An easy thing to fix though!

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By in Australia,

@Huw - great review. Thanks. When I initially saw this item I wasn't interested as I have 7990. After reading your review, I will now be adding 60018 to the collection.

@iadams - thanks for the laugh. I missed that initially. If only the figure on the right had some black thick framed glasses on, and using my dynamite from 4201 and 4202 I could re-enact Mythbusters episode 26. Surely someone will rise to the challenge.

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