Review: 42084 Hook Loader

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View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

I've photographed the build stages... but don't expect much here.

It starts with the base of the cab and a steering mechanism.

View image at flickr

Then part of the bodywork and seats.

View image at flickr

Next are the beams for the chassis and the geared loading mechanism

View image at flickr

Then the wheels and top of the cab.

View image at flickr

Oh. That's it, finished.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

Turn it one way or the other and you can steer the truck.

View image at flickr

On one side there is another geared knob.

View image at flickr

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.View image at flickr

View image at flickr

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.View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

It's not very pretty though.

View image at flickr

And the black beams on the sides of the cab move up or down into no particular fixed positions.

View image at flickr

It's certainly not rear of the year either.

View image at flickr

Overall

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.

 

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23 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

I think the lack of comments show the excitement level...

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By in United Kingdom,

I think for anyone on this site, it's not going to be exciting. But for the average shopper seeing it on a supermarket shelf, it'd make a good present for a child just getting into it

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By in United Kingdom,

I'd say this is a bargain for a child's set, given the 2 possible builds and the features in the main build.

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By in Netherlands,

This seems strikingly similar to 8065 in form, function and price. I kinda prefer the older one.

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By in United Kingdom,

If I got this aged ten I'd be over the moon with this dinky wee set. Sure the B model isn't great but I do like that it prompts a 'what else can I do with it' and that's what its (supposed to be) all about.

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By in Netherlands,

Thank you for the review! It's a small set, but a neat one. I appreciate the alt model review, considering it requires rebuilding it. This is the first review for a non-licensed set in awhile, so I am extremely grateful for that too!

Seriously, was there even a non-licensed review last month?

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By in Sweden,

The undercarriage is missing in the main build. Looks odd. The cherry picker set was better.

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By in United States,

Been waiting patiently for reviews of the Lockwood Estate and the Sanctum Sanctorum. Past two reviews have been that Porg mini and...this. Why rush out all those JW reviews if you guys are just going to skip the biggest set in the line?

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By in Sweden,

It was fun reading the review. :) thanks for reviewing a smaller (more affordable) set! (I read almost everything anyways, so smaller sets means more reviews!)

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By in United Kingdom,

I bought my kid this one, for £7 from ALDI.

https://brickset.com/sets/42044-1/Display-Team-Jet

For what is in it, he has had loads of fun building and rebuilding it. As it is small it is easy enough to tear down and rebuild and play in a single session. I think these smaller sets are great for kids learning about technic, without being too big a step away from system.

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By in United Kingdom,

Woah, @Kissasstodon, you tell it like it is! Who are you gonna give how-to-do-their-job advice to tomorrow?

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Yeah, what he said.

They'll be published when we are good and ready. We try not to flood the site with reviews of all the same theme in succession otherwise people are quick to complain.

Variety is the spice of... Brickset :)

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By in United Kingdom,

People are quick to complain whatever you do!

I like it! It's a cute little set. And I'm in the middle of building the Unimog, my first big technic set, and I'm wishing I'd got more into the theme as a kid. The small technic sets of the early 2000s didn't have much in the way of features.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Binnekamp - We generally try to review sets in a timely manner and the order in which LEGO releases products therefore exerts some influence upon the reviews we publish. For example, sets from eight different themes have become available since the 1st of March, only two of which are not licensed. I acknowledge that there are some Elves sets which we have not yet reviewed but otherwise our coverage has been fairly comprehensive.

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By in United States,

@Huw I was just curious because it seemed like all the other JW set reviews came within a few days of each other. Seems like an odd choice to save the largest one of the bunch for so much later, same with SS from the IW line. Hopefully we see them soon.

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By in United States,

@kissasstodon you know Jangbricks on Youtube has already reviewed the sets your asking about right? Reviews on Brickset are done at much more of a relaxed pace than most other places that do them, and I appreciate the time and effort that goes into doing what is a very secondary part of this website.

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By in Australia,

I didn’t even know about this set but it looks like a fun first technic build for my 5yo son. Thanks for reviewing it.

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By in Australia,

I agree most heartedly with CCC with the experience of his kid. Happened to me! When I was 10 years old my dad got me the 8825 Night Chopper, very basic at 116 pieces. This was the Hook Loader equivalent set of 1990! I was so entralled by the mechanism I spun the rotors until the gears broke! Damn, those 14 tooth gears sure suck in those days! Borged it into other technic sets and have been loving Technic ever since!

I would not mock entry level technic sets.

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By in United Kingdom,

On the truck model, it looks like you can leave out the rear black pin on that red 3 hole lift arm used for the doors, then doors can be opened and closed :)

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By in United States,

I really appreciate the small Technic sets, both as an AFOL and as a parent of kids who enjoy LEGO. This one reminds me of 42031 Cherry Picker, which my kids and I both enjoyed. Basic functions that work well in a small, affordable package.

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By in Belgium,

Fun little review, it's nice to see a little set get all these nice pictures too. Definilty interesting for the AFOL who's got kids wanting to start on technic.

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