Technic Control+ and flagship model announced

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The first significant announcement to emerge from the German toy fair concerns Technic. Here's a Google translation:

New at LEGO Technic: CONTROL +

With LEGO Technic CONTROL +, consisting of new electronic components and associated free app, children and adults experience an even more authentic gaming experience. CONTROL + enables touchscreen control to provide realistic control and, for example, programming of simultaneous movements of the models. In addition, the app gives vehicle data of the model again.

LEGO Technic CONTROL + can be tested for the first time from 1 August 2019 with the replica of the Liebherr R 9800, one of the largest excavators in the world.

The LEGO Technic model consists of more than 4,000 parts, seven motors and two Smart Hubs and can execute several movements at the same time.

"LEGO Technic CONTROL + gives us the opportunity to create even more versatile LEGO Technic gaming experiences around the physical model. We are delighted to have Liebherr as a partner in one of the first LEGO Technic sets to incorporate this novelty, "said Niels Henrik Horsted, LEGO Technic Marketing Director.

The cooperation is also ideal for Liebherr: "The fact that the LEGO Group is offering our Liebherr R 9800 as a construction kit confirms our motto 'technology that inspires' on a small scale. The detail and functionality that the model shows are fantastic. We are confident that we will not only be able to inspire LEGO fans but also many fans from our industry, "says Gregory Schuh, Marketing Manager for Liebherr Mining Hydraulic Excavators.


Update: Andres has posted an image at Zusammengebaut and the price is said to be 449€ which will probably equate to £450 and $500.

33 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Interesting. Sounds like it's going to give 2018's crane a run for it's money, but I dread the price. 7 motors, plus some new control elements and the development costs of an app. So maybe Bugatti money?

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By in United Kingdom,

7 motors, and import tax due to a no deal Brexit: £500 at a guess!

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By in United States,

I don't understand why LEGO can't just make one system. There is Boost, Mindstorm, Trains, Control+, Power Functions, Powered Up. Just pick one and go with it LEGO.

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By in United Kingdom,

I've started saving already... :P

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By in Sweden,

€450

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By in United States,

I've seen conversations about Power Functions (PF) vs Powered Up (PU) on message boards, and have only just gotten into the whole PF MOCing myself. I have had mixed results so I look forward to CONTROL +, hoping it provides a LEGO-proper solution to what non-LEGO products currently do.

Having said that, even if the flagship model is "amazing", the price will no doubt be a tough pill to swallow for me, so here's hoping they sell these CONTROL + elements in stand-alone packaging like they currently do with PF (motors, receivers, battery packs, etc.).

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By in United States,

I hope we can also use regular controllers. I don't like having to maintain old computers to run various old Mindstorms versions. Now I will have to also maintain old phones/tablets? And what when they inevitably yank the app from its various stores and the phone/tablet you're using dies? I hope they consider this.

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By in United Kingdom,

I really want to know how the 7 motors are driven from two hubs. Are they a Technic version of the PUp hub with more outputs? Or 2 x 2 outputs and some sort of splitter?

Frankly, I hate the move to app-controlled devices as it builds-in redundancy. At least if they're normal hubs then the basic remote control can be used, but we still have no way of just switching a motor on to run a continuous device like the Roller Coaster or a GBC.

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By in United States,

450 Euro

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By in United Kingdom,

£450 - thanks, but no thanks. I'll stick to my SBrick.

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By in United Kingdom,

Sounds like Mindstorms, which I was put off of by the clunky software. Hopefully apps are better now. However I have apps from five years ago that don't run on my iPad, will Lego keep up the development? I'm hoping for every app, there will be an option to use a remote control, or to program it yourself.

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By in Portugal,

@LachlanLikesLego The goal with Power Functions, and now with Powered Up and most probably with Control+, is remote control, hence its simplicity. MINDSTORMS is geared towards programming robots that act and react autonomously, so it needs to be more complex.

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By in United States,

> "I don't understand why LEGO can't just make one system. There is Boost, Mindstorm, Trains, Control+, Power Functions, Powered Up. Just pick one and go with it LEGO."

Most of those are one system, just with many names. Previously, they had Power Functions, and now there is one integrated system with bluetooth, internally at first known was Power Functions 2.0. Add to the above the DUPLO train, which also in part of the system. Using a computer that can use Bluetooth LTE, you can "talk" to the hubs of WeDo 2.0, Boost, and the "Hub 4" in the app-controlled Batmobile and the LEGO trains, and control them all in the same consistent way. Control+ is just going to be the branding for the same thing in the Technic line.

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By in Germany,

I think Control+ is only a extension for Powered Up.

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By in United States,

Any idea when we'll get images?

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By in Canada,

Even though the picture of the set is blurry, that new bucket looks excellent!

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By in United States,

there is also stories of a control+ 4x4 crawler, gonna start saving now.

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By in United States,

The model appears to have pneumatics. I'd be pretty happy if they came up with a good way to RC pneumatics as well as motors.

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By in United Kingdom,

Description of Control+ is of a large control hub with 4 outputs. So, with two of those in the excavator that means 7 independent motor drives - no stacking or splitting of motor connectors. The hub is supposed to be of comparable size with Mindstorms, which may mean 6x AA batteries rather than AAA?
Presumably any sort of smart control or sequencing of movements is done on the app, not the hub.
Yet to know if this hub could be paired with and activated by the train remote controller; even then, that's only two motor controls, not four. Not really looking future-proof at all.
LEGO - can we just have a battery box with a directional switch on it?

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By in United Kingdom,

Hopefully amazon will sell it with a decent discount, £500 is simply too much for a Lego Technic set!!! Proper Tamiya RC kits can be had for so much less.

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By in United States,

There had better be backwards compatibility... I can connect a 1969 brick to a 2019 one. Wish there was similar focus on quality, consistency and compatibility with their electronics instead of just chasing the new shiny.

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By in United Kingdom,

Somewhat bizarrely I am wondering if this is where I 'check out' of Technic. I can't explain, I'm just not sure. I'll wait and see of course, but I want Technic to be what most recently the CLAAS Xerion showed it still could be.

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By in United States,

@Joefish I also hope for a simple on/off battery box, but thankfully we don't have to rely on TLG for the longevity of the official apps. There were reverse engineering efforts long before TLG decided release the technical specs and protocol, and there are quite a few third party apps out there that offer far more functionality than the official ones.

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By in Australia,

Looks good! I can tell what 6 of the 7 motors do...

2 for the tracks.
1 for rotation.
3 for the excavator motions.

What do you think the extra one does? :D

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By in Australia,

Could it be to open or close the bucket?

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By in Switzerland,

Looking forward for the Brickset review. :-)

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By in Lithuania,

Don't worry about the price those of you in the UK, you'll have more important stuff to do after brexit, like dumpster diving for food, etc.

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By in Netherlands,

The motors will probably be linked directly to the functions so I wonder how challenging the build will be...

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By in United States,

Seriously?! Another supermassive uglie for flagship?! It does not seem to be doing much more than 8043 did with 4 motors, less parts, and more elegant form. The app based remote control is a major concern for long run. Mindstorms EV had an app with 3D building instructions which then disappeared never to be seen again. It was not critical for the set, but LEGO's action was disappointing. Unlike old Mindstorms PC-based software that one can still run in VMs, there is no good way to resurrect a mobile app once it's gone. Think about it!

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By in United Kingdom,

Whilst I welcome LEGO moving to a more 21st Bluetooth control interface, instead of infra-red. It does mean they might be about to return to the issues we now have with early Mindstorms sets that require Windows 98 - limited futureproofness. Bluetooth and current smart phone doctrine will be antiquated in ten years' time. RF (as used by 8482 Cybermaster for communication and RC cars for decades) is the best option for futureproofness but I can't see Lego producing an RF controller or interface due to the additional cost it would add.

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By in United States,

On the one hand, this is pretty cool. On the other, is this model even going to be usable in 10+ years given that it's controllable only via an app which may become unavailable at any point? One of the best things about LEGO is that even a set from 20 years ago is just as great today as the day it was made.

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm with AMJK above. I'm wondering if this is the point I also 'check out' of Technic. As much as I love collecting the sets and the challenge of some builds, I can't afford to keep up.

Nudging £500 for a single flag ship set is unreachable unfortunately. The total cost of buying a year's worth of sets is surely unsustainable for many collectors now.

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