Monster trucks seem inherently appropriate for ghoulish possession but 70421 El Fuego's Stunt Truck instead features equipment for ensnaring ghosts. This model looks somewhat bland when compared with others from Hidden Side but the suspension mechanism is interesting.
Furthermore, this set contains some marvellous minifigures, including two bikers and the daring El Fuego! Certain visual similarities between this model and 70907 Killer Croc Tail-Gator also bode well, especially because that is among my favourite sets from The LEGO Batman Movie.
This rendition of Jack Davids wears an attractive white jacket with a matching hood component. Red streaks are printed across his shoulder and the same design appears on his cap. This double-sided head looks perfect too, including cheerful and frightened facial expressions, while the legs include stitched pockets beside a metallic silver tag that presumably belonged to Jack's dog, Spencer.
Douglas Elton appears in three Hidden Side sets but this minifigure depicts his courageous alter ego, El Fuego! The green overalls include tremendous detail, especially across the legs where some tools are kept alongside a starry cloth. Moreover, the same target symbol is printed on Douglas' shirt and helmet while his head seems fairly similar to Jack's, featuring a smile on one side and an alarmed expression on the other.
Spencer accompanies the heroes and is the only consistently visible ghost within the Hidden Side range. This dual-moulded component comprises white and trans-clear plastic which have been combined beautifully, generating an ethereal effect. I love this design and the element appears extremely smooth, interrupted only by the pronounced tail.
Two bikers are included, the first of whom is named Dwayne. This minifigure features a black leather jacket which seems appropriate and I like the metallic silver chains connected across his chest. These continue onto the legs which look brilliant and Dwayne's bearded head has only previously appeared in three Mountain Police sets so its return is welcome.
Both minifigures belong to the same 'Hares of Havoc' motorcycle gang but Joey wears an exclusive sand blue jacket. They share identical legs and helmets but appear sufficiently different in my opinion and I appreciate the consistent hare-shaped details that are evident on each character! Joey's head is not double-sided which is surprising, especially given the bikers' impending predicament.
Dwayne and Joey have both fallen victim to ghostly possession, hence their standard heads can be replaced with trans-neon green alternatives. The petrifying facial expressions look magnificent and I love the unkempt beard around Dwayne's neck. Joey, meanwhile, includes enormous wings which are only otherwise available in 70425 Newbury Haunted High School. These minifigures carry a spring yellowish green revolver and a red crowbar.
The Completed Model
An unusual three-wheeled motorcycle is provided for the bikers. This model is constructed around an interesting linear actuator mounting which is remarkably effective and I like the Technic gears fixed on each side, although the axles around the front wheel seem rather awkward to me. In addition, the rear section appears unnecessarily blocky when compared with the streamlined front.
That has enabled the designer to include enough space for two minifigures which is pleasing but the large rear wheels are excessively wide. The decorative flame designs are formed using stickers and look nice, although the resulting two-dimensional headlight could certainly have been improved. For that reason, I am somewhat disappointed with this motorcycle.
Fortunately, the larger vehicle appears considerably more impressive. Its substantial wheels provide ample ground clearance for crossing uneven terrain and El Fuego's truck measures 17cm in length so looks appropriately intimidating beside the minifigures. Moreover, the combination of red bodywork with green highlights is delightful, corresponding precisely with El Fuego's distinctive clothing.
Pearl silver elements are distributed across the model as well, most notably around the radiator grille and behind the trans-clear headlights. The exposed engine air intake looks good and the angled ends of the bumper line up neatly against the neighbouring bodywork. Stickers on the bonnet and number plate provide additional detail.
Further stickers are applied on either flank, corresponding with those on the bonnet. The consistent lightning bolt designs look superb and I like the reddish brown highlights as well. However, the doors cannot open which is slightly disappointing, particularly since there would have been adequate space for hinges beside the light bluish grey door mirrors.
Removing the roof reveals seats for two minifigures inside. These are simply formed using tan jumper plates but occupy an important role. Furthermore, the controls look great, comprising a steering wheel, an excellent printed dial and a central console which includes a switch for boosting speed. You can also position additional minifigures behind the cab.
This section of the vehicle is predominantly occupied by an elaborate device for corralling ghosts and appears suitably outlandish. Dark bluish grey gears are employed to outstanding effect here and I like how the colour wheel has been integrated between them. Turning these gears reveals black, medium azure, yellow and vibrant coral Technic connectors that trigger actions within the Hidden Side app.
Click hinges are ingeniously situated around the colour wheel, ensuring that each colour remains in position while El Fuego's stunt truck is moving. The enormous dark azure cannon stands out against the rest of this model but appears consistent with 70422 Shrimp Shack Attack and 70423 Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000, both of which include similar dark azure weapons that were created by Professor J.B.
Four trans-red 1x1 half circle tiles form brake lights and they look remarkably realistic. The suspension mechanism, on the other hand, is unusual. Lowering a flap behind the rear wheels will cause the truck body to rise while its chassis remains parallel with the surface underneath. A single shock absorber is hidden between these sections of the model, providing the ideal spring tension.
Releasing the shock absorber also changes the appearance of the vehicle quite dramatically, creating an aggressive forward rake! I think the model looks even better with this stance, although raising the truck bed exposes some colourful Technic elements inside the chassis. In addition, a lime green brick is hidden behind the suspension release flap. I had expected this to interact with the Hidden Side app but its purpose remains unclear at the moment.
70421 El Fuego's Stunt Truck is probably my least favourite of the six Hidden Side sets which I have assembled. The absence of transformation functions is rather disappointing and I think these models seem bland when compared with others from across the theme. The motorcycle is particularly lacking in detail, relying almost exclusively upon stickers.
However, this set offers excellent play value and the stunt truck suspension is enjoyable. I am equally satisfied with the ghost-catching equipment positioned towards the back and the minifigures are great, maintaining the high standard established within Hidden Side. The price of £34.99 or $39.99 seems fairly reasonable but I would suggest focusing attention upon the smaller sets or 70422 Shrimp Shack Attack which are comparably priced.
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