Farming equipment has appeared in few LEGO City sets, especially during recent years. In fact, almost a decade has passed since the previous dedicated subtheme was released in 2009. The new 60223 Harvester Transport has therefore inspired considerable excitement based upon the inclusion of a combine harvester.
This model is considerably smaller than 7636 Combine Harvester but appears fairly realistic, featuring a horizontal rotary harvesting unit along with an unloading auger. In addition, the set contains a wonderful scarecrow with a printed head which looks great in official images.
Two minifigures are included, one of whom appears to be a farmer while the other drives the truck. The farmer sports green dungarees with a plaid shirt which feels appropriate for the character and I like the matching red cap. His head is decorated with a dark bluish grey beard, bushy eyebrows and a friendly smile.
The second figure is casually dressed, wearing a dark red jacket and dark tan trousers. This torso was introduced in 60202 People Pack - Outdoor Adventures last year and is only otherwise found in 10264 Corner Garage so I am pleased to see it here. The metallic silver sunglasses look marvellous too and this minifigure comes with a red mug.
Scarecrows are a characteristic feature of arable farms and this rendition looks magnificent, consisting primarily of 1x1 round bricks which form the simple support structure. I like the contrasting red, reddish brown and yellow colour scheme as well as the scarf worn around the scarecrow's neck. However, the most interesting aspect of this figure is its printed head. This is decorated with a stitched smile beside two buttons that represent eyes and a pitchfork accessory completes the scarecrow nicely.
The Completed Model
Combine harvesters are often transported on articulated lorries and this model appears fairly realistic, carrying the harvester and its rotary blade attachment separately. I like the contrasting blue and green colour schemes for each vehicle and their relative scaling is similarly appropriate. The truck measures 31cm in length when its trailer is attached so is substantial, although it does not look out of proportion when placed alongside other City vehicles.
This articulated lorry is similar to past models, consisting of a cab-over tractor unit and a flatbed trailer. However, it makes clever use of some 2x3 pentagonal tiles and 1x2 angled bows at the front as these form a distinctive profile which looks brilliant. I like the inset number plate and the headlights are quite attractive but some texture on the black radiator grille would have been welcome.
Removing the roof reveals space for one minifigure inside the cab, although it could provide seating for two with some minor modification. The doors open on either side and I like the large door mirrors which hang beside the windscreen. Moreover, additional minifigures can grip the light bluish grey bars outside the truck which is useful for display.
The back of the cab looks extremely bland. I like the twin smokestacks and the rear number plate is a nice detail but the fuel tanks could have been improved. In addition, the rear wheels are not protected by mudguards which is disappointing as the new wheel arch piece that was designed for 75894 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally and 2018 MINI John Cooper Works Buggy would have been perfect here.
Fortunately, the trailer hitch provides a secure connection and I think it looks good when attached. The harvester leans forward on the trailer and slots into a couple of click hinges so it feels secure during transit. Meanwhile, the rotary harvesting equipment is kept on a separate clip which compares favourably with real vehicles, even though the harvester looks rather odd without an attachment.
Two ramps lower from the trailer and their gradient is relatively shallow for a LEGO truck. Driving the harvester down these ramps is accordingly easy, although they seem rather narrow for such large tyres. The red and white hazard stripes look superb and I like the four-wheeled design. However, the rectilinear shaping of the trailer around its wheels leaves something to be desired in my opinion.
The most eagerly-anticipated aspect of this set is undoubtedly the harvester and this vehicle does not disappoint. It measures 17cm in length and features a green and white colour scheme which corresponds with the earlier Farm sets. The yellow highlights are presumably intended to John Deere machinery but do not overwhelm the primary colours and I like the contrasting grey elements as well.
Combine harvesters traditionally include an enormous rotary thresher but this model is equipped with a horizontal harvesting unit, like that shown on the John Deere website. Four saw blades are fitted using Technic pins and these rotate as the harvester moves, catching on the surface underneath the blades. This function is not advertised on the packaging and does not always work consistently but watching the saw blades spinning is satisfying.
Stickers are placed at either end of the harvesting unit, featuring corn symbols and yellow stripes. This whole structure can be raised on a hinge while not in use which is a realistic feature. There is space to seat a minifigure inside the cab and they are easily accessible by removing both the roof and the trans-light blue windscreen, as demonstrated below.
The driver climbs some steps to reach the cab. Several of these steps seem too large for a minifigure but I appreciate their inclusion and the enormous wheels look marvellous. Moreover, black 1x2 bricks with a grille pattern form radiators around the engine and two 1x2 grille tiles appear on top, providing plenty of ventilation. Ideally, this section would be removable to access an engine inside but no such details are included.
An articulated unloading auger is mounted on top of the harvester. This can rotate all the way around and folds down neatly for transport. I like the black macaroni component which forms a nozzle and stickers decorate either side of the arm. However, I found the stickers in my set had not been cut properly, leaving flashing around the edges. Hopefully this is an isolated incident as other 2019 City sets which I have assembled do not suffer from the same problem.
Four more stickers and some tail lights complete this model. I think the harvester looks great from every angle, although the blocky section between the rear wheels is somewhat unattractive. I love the bright hazard stripes though and presume the initials of 'PN' and 'MM' on each number plate refer to the designers of this set.
60223 Harvester Transport is an excellent set. The brand new harvester is definitely its most interesting feature and this vehicle has exceeded my expectations, including a brilliant colour scheme and numerous authentic details. The rotating saw blades look fantastic and I appreciate this function, whether or not it was intended by the designer!
The minifigures are similarly impressive and I quite like the articulated lorry, although it will feel familiar to seasoned LEGO City collectors. Personally, I would have preferred a separate tractor to catch grain from the unloading auger but this simple truck is probably more appropriate for a set that costs £24.99 or $29.99. That price seems reasonable so I would recommend this set to anybody who likes farming equipment or is searching for something unusual to expand their city display.
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