41999 4x4 Crawler Exclusive Edition has been out for a couple of weeks now, and despite claims that orders placed through shop.LEGO.com on the 1st August wouldn't ship until the end of September, I received mine a couple of days ago, and built it right away.
I'm not going to do a full review because I see that zipsforbananas has written an excellent one already, and there's a thorough pictorial review on Eurobricks. Instead, I thought I'd just tell you what I thought of it and also solicit your feedback.
What I liked about it:
- The packaging is superb. Why can't all LEGO models come in a reusable box like that, rather than one that you have to destroy to open?
- The model is the best representation of a 'monster truck' that LEGO has produced, although perhaps after comparing it with real monster trucks, it would have looked better with larger wheels.
- Often with Technic models you get the feeling that the designers skimp on vehicle bodywork by over-using curved panels or by using flexible tubes to give an impression of bodywork, but that's certainly not the case here; the body is well built using plenty of beams, and consequently there are no gaps in it. Maybe this is because it was designed by an AFOL, and that's how we like to build our models.
- I didn't buy 9398, last year's Technic 4x4 crawler, the chassis of which this model is based upon, because I didn't like the colour scheme. Unless the the stickers were applied, it would have looked terrible, half black and half white. Applying stickers to Technic models is usually a mistake because they peel and flake over time. The colour scheme issue has been addressed and this new model looks terrific in dark blue and white, with or without stickers. The silver beams used for the bumpers and elsewhere look great.
What I didn't like:
- Until I finished it, there was nothing I didn't like. It was a interesting build, not too repetitive, and unlike some recent Technic models, it doesn't have a parts-dense multi-function gearbox which usually take ages to construct and are prone to mistakes. Then I switched it on...
- The speed at which it moves is a major disappointment. It crawls along at a pace that didn't even scare my cat. I think I was expecting something more like 8369 Dirt Crusher RC which zips along at a fantastic speed.
- The four wheel steering is very clever, and works well using the new PF servo motor but I thought the rear wheels turning looked a bit daft and un-prototypical. It's easily fixed though, I snapped open the rear axle assembly joint, removed one of the 3L axles and used pins to lock the rear axle in a fixed position. It doesn't have such a tight turning circle now but that's not much of a problem.
In summary, it's a great looking model, packed with functionality, but ultimately, playing with it is a bit disappointing.
Did you buy one? Have you built it, or are you like many people in the forum (it seems), keeping it as an investment for resale later? If you have built it, what did you think? Maybe it was your first Technic model. If so, will you buy more?
If you didn't buy it, it looks as if you won't be doing so unless you have deep pockets as it's out of stock now at shop.LEGO.com and prices on eBay are ridiculous (upwards of £400/$500).
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