A Technic set that costs less than a tenner? A 2 in 1 build with some functions? Really? I'm looking at this tiddly sized box and have to wonder just how good it can be. A set like this needs to lure people deeper into a theme – and it can only do that if the build yields some level of satisfaction. I think this will be a big ask – so let's find out if it can deliver.
For £8.99 / €9.99 / $14.99 you get 176 pieces and as the front and back of the box shows, there are indeed two builds. The main event is a truck – a Hook Loader, and the second is an Airport Fire Truck.
Inside the box there are three bags, 2 panels and the thing that surprised me most, two sets of printed instructions. This is a good move – it's much handier than having to build from an on-screen PDF like a lot of "B' models. It encourages younger builders to take apart and rebuild having everything to hand – and I suspect that is the target demographic here.
I've photographed the build stages... but don't expect much here.
It starts with the base of the cab and a steering mechanism.
Then part of the bodywork and seats.
Next are the beams for the chassis and the geared loading mechanism
Then the wheels and top of the cab.
Oh. That's it, finished.
Currently, this is looking to be one of the shortest reviews I've ever written – so let's delve a bit deeper and examine the functionality.
Just behind the cab is a geared knob.
Turn it one way or the other and you can steer the truck.
On one side there is another geared knob.
When you turn this, it operates a boom arm that pushes the container backwards onto the floor. It's such a simple mechanism but it works really well.
The rear end of the container has a little roller on it to help it slide along the floor.
With just a few components, the boom arm is designed so that is has a tooth notched out of it. This grips the container. When you drive the truck to pick up again, you just reverse into position until the tooth touches the container. Then you turn the gear the other way and the boom arm lifts it back onto the bed of the truck again.
Apart from this other angle of the Hook Loader, there's very little else to show you. It's basic, but it looks like a truck and has functions that work.
The worst thing about Technic sets I find is breaking them down, as some of the pin elements can be a bit of a pain to remove. Fortunately, having so few parts, my fingernails stayed intact and I could build the second model unhindered. I haven't done step by step pictures this time as the subframe is similar.
Here's what you get. It's a bit of a stretch but the overall shape is there. It's never going to be the 42068 Airport Rescue Vehicle but it might get a novice builder looking to up their game a bit.
Even so, it has some functions. The steering mechanism is there again, there is a water cannon that swings left and right on top of the cab and another that goes up and down mounted on the rear tank.
It's not very pretty though.
And the black beams on the sides of the cab move up or down into no particular fixed positions.
It's certainly not rear of the year either.
OK, let's not be too harsh here. Holding the box in hand I was underwhelmed yes – but I did get a little satisfaction out of it once built I have to admit. This is not an AFOL set, this is a starter Technic set, and on that note I think it achieves it's goals very well.
The main model is good. With such a limited amount of parts you can build a recognisable truck with some play features, and I think for the target demographic it's important than you can zoom it about and do stuff with it. It's actually quite fun loading and offloading.
The Airport Fire Truck I'm not so keen on aesthetically, but I have respect for the designers managing to get two different models out of such a small assortment of parts, and it demonstrates further lessons for a novice builder.
It's a good enough set – if kept in context. If you wake up one morning thinking you want to spend less than a tenner on a 2018 Technic set for yourself, your kids, your brother or your mother, then this is the only choice you have. The US price seems to have a little disparity though.
Don't expect much, and you'll be ok.
Many thanks to the LEGO Group for providing Brickset with a copy of the set. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.