At last, 2018 sets are now showing up in UK stores, so CapnRex101 and I will be reviewing as many as we can in the coming weeks.
I'm starting my reviews with 60181 Forest Tractor, one of this year's City 'great vehicles'. It seems like just yesterday that the last vehicle to help the good folk of City with deforestation, 60059 Logging Truck, was released, but it was in fact 4 years ago. Even more surprisingly, it's been 8 years since the release of a City tractor, which last made an appearance in the excellent farm sets in 2010.
Anyway, let's see what this latest 174-piece set, that retails for £17.99/$19.99, is like...
The set provides us with a single minifigure, a forestry worker. Disappointingly, its torso is an old 'stock' one that's been used in many construction-themed sets since 2015 but the head, Smirk, Peach Mark, Pupils, Stubble Beard and Moustache and Sideburns Pattern is new.
The brown-shirted worker is equipped with a hi-vis jacket and a utility belt, from which a pair of pliers protrude from the pocket at the back.
The single-piece safety hat with ear defenders was also first produced in 2015.
Overall then, a perfectly serviceable and appropriate minifig, although not that exciting.
The set's parts come in two numbered bags. That numbered 1 contains the parts for the minifig and accessories: chainsaw, shovel, sawing trestle, a couple of logs and a young pine tree.
This is not a licensed product but there's no question that the tractor is based on German company Claas' Xerion series of vehicles -- four large equally sized wheels, the company's trademark lime green livery, and distinctive shape of cab.
Consequently, it looks great! The front in particular is very neat, with SNOT techniques and curved slopes used to create a nice-looking engine cowling.
On some models of the real vehicle the cab can rotate, but that's not the case here.
The 'bull bars' part is new for 2018 and is extensively used in other 2018 City sets.
The play functions of the set, apart from the obvious driving the vehicle around, are limited to picking up the logs with the rear-mounted arm, and attaching them to the chains to drag them along.
Apart from the aforementioned bull-bar piece there are no new parts in the set but there are plenty of interesting ones, such as 8 Wall Double Corner 1X2X1 in light grey, and I believe the 2x4 wedges, seen under them, are new in lime green.
A minifig-scale Claas Xerion. What's not to like?
I can find no fault. It's pretty much the perfect City set: a great-looking model of an interesting vehicle that provides some play value, albeit limited.
The only thing I can pass comment on is the price. £17.99/$19.99 is not a bad price by any means, but it has fewer pieces than similarly priced sets, no doubt due to the large wheels and tyres, so it's not a great one to buy just for parts. You're probably like me with way too many wheels like this that you have no use for already...
It's a superb addition to the Great Vehicles series, which is just as well as it's been a bit lacklustre the last couple of years.