The LEGO CITY theme is generally grounded in reality but the 2018 Arctic range undoubtedly includes some fantastical elements. Nowhere is this more clearly apparent than in 60192 Arctic Ice Crawler, a 200-piece set that bears very little resemblance to any real cranes but still appears to be a fun model.
Furthermore, the set features another excellent minifigure wearing an ushanka hat as well as a brand new rodent piece which is currently only available here, although it will soon appear in a couple of the upcoming Wizarding World sets. Hopefully this foray into a more fanciful aspect of LEGO CITY will prove fruitful.
The set includes one minifigure which is a little surprising as most CITY sets of this size contain two, although no more are really necessary in my opinion. His blue ushanka is only available elsewhere in 60195 Arctic Mobile Exploration Base and features a white fur lining as well as considerable moulded detail. I particularly like the ear flaps on either side of the hat.
This character wears a medium azure and dark blue jacket which matches that worn by other members of the exploration team. I like the flame yellowish orange accents and the white monitor, presumably for measuring oxygen levels or the minifigure's location, looks marvellous. The head is equally impressive, featuring a pair of orange-tinted glasses that protect against the sun's glare reflecting against the snow. The figure comes with a circular saw and a mug.
The Completed Model
The ice crawler stands on four articulated legs so it can adapt to varying terrain, as may be necessary in an Arctic environment. It measures just over 15cm wide when the legs are positioned as shown in the image below and features an attractive colour scheme of orange and dark blue so matches the other Arctic vehicles released this summer. I do not believe walking cranes like this one really exist, although it bears a loose resemblance to spider cranes which travel on tracks before deploying legs for support.
Each leg is connected to the central crane structure using a hinge plate and includes click hinges at the knee as well as Technic pins at the ankle. These points of articulation are ideal for placing the crane in a static position but do not provide a particularly convincing walking motion, as suggested by both the set name and its official description. However, the stickers look good and I appreciate how Technic gears have been used to form the feet.
A rounded cabin is situated at the centre of the four legs. I like its curved shape and the colour scheme looks superb but there is no rotation between the cabin and the legs. This seems like a major omission as it means the crane can only manoeuvre by walking, presumably expending a great deal of power in the process! Fortunately, it would be quite easy to modify the model with a turntable between the legs and the cabin if you wish.
The trans-light blue cockpit canopy is mounted on a hinge so opens smoothly for access to the interior. There is room to place a single minifigure inside beside a yellow lever that controls the crane. It seems strange that the sides of the cabin are open so expose the occupant to the freezing Arctic environment, although this also allows them an excellent view of their surroundings which is important for any crane operation.
I always hope to see storage solutions for accessories and this set does not disappoint, including a clip for the circular saw and a box for carrying the red mug. You could also detach the lights from either side of the cabin and use them as hand torches. Two more stickers are applied beside the storage box, both of which feature the Arctic exploration emblem and some panel detailing.
Three light bluish grey segments connected by click hinges make up the crane arm. It can therefore be positioned in a variety of different ways and the gripper at the end is similarly versatile, consisting of four individually articulated claws and a Technic pin around which it rotates. A few more stickers are used on the sides of the crane arm, bringing the total number included to ten.
The 2018 Arctic range is focused upon the recovery of ancient animal specimens so almost all of them feature a small ice formation and an animal. This example is basic but I think the designer has struck a good balance between white and trans-light blue pieces, the latter of which allow you to view the rodent frozen inside the ice block.
Removing the block from its surroundings reveals a dark tan rodent inside. This component is far more detailed than its predecessor, including not only intricate moulding but also a pair of printed eyes. It fits over a stud very neatly and can even be held in the hand of a minifigure, just like the tiny mouse from Series 18 of the Collectable Minifigures.
I have mixed feelings about this set. The Ice Crawler vehicle feels more like something one might find in an adventure-based play theme like Atlantis or Power Miners rather than a CITY set and its inability to turn without moving the legs is problematic. However, I do like the appearance of the crane as well as the minifigure and the brand new rodent, the latter of which is only currently available in this set.
The UK price of £15.99 feels reasonable but $24.99 in the US seems comparatively expensive. I would therefore be hesitant to purchase this set at full price, although the crane represents a dramatic departure from the standard selection of CITY vehicles which is always welcome.
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