Sunday, November 27th, 2011 at 8:04pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today I take a departure from posting other people's reviews and post one of my own. And look at that, a Technic set. When was the last time we reviewed on of those? Probably whenever the Bionicle sets still had that label. Read on to learn about the 8071 Bucket Truck and see if this is the kind of set you'd like to add to your collection.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Here we have the box, nothing too exciting to see. It's hard to make a bucket truck look dynamic, but they do have an inset image highlighting some of the features. The back of the box is simple too, showcasing the alternate model, which is definitely not as cool as the main model and not something we're going to look at in this review.
Inside we have four instruction manuals, two for the main set and two for the alt model, and a sticker sheet. There's four bags of parts of varying sizes, and a couple loose parts (not shown).
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
This set was tons of fun to build, lots more than any of the Bionicle and Hero Factory sets I've put together in the past few years. Putting together the features you get to play with later is possibly more fun than actually playing with them. Every few steps you put in some gears and then you play around with them trying to figure out what they're going to do later on. Slowly it all comes together. It's definitely not a short build, and took me quite a while to get together, although I had to stop and take pictures along the way.
The instructions were very clear, which is good considering the complexity of parts of the build. Sometimes there was confusion between the dark grey and the black, but the available parts usually made it clear what was needed.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
The set contains 593 pieces, which turns out to be a whole lot. I sorted the pieces prior to building, and needed to make a secondary building area to place a bunch of them. I'm not up to date on the latest Technic pieces, but nothing in this set jumped out at me as being new. There's a good variety though, so if you're looking to expand your collection you might want to check out what's there.
There were a few parts that caught my attention and deserved highlighting. The turntable is a fun piece put to good use on the arm, and the rack-and-pinion piece makes creating a steering system easy. The pin with a pin hole in the middle was new to me and looks very useful, and the angled liftarms just look cool.
I still miss the old Technic beams with studs, but LEGO has come up with some really interesting building techniques to make complex shapes with the studless beams. I think the set looks really sharp, with a nice color scheme. The red and blue highlights actually make the red axles and blue pin and axle combos not stand out, which is awesome. There's also lots of neat details, such as the lights, mirrors, seats, and grill. Unfortunately there's no printed elements, just a bunch of stickers. I don't mind them, but I know a lot of people do. To each their own! Although Technic doesn't lend itself to solid models, it's clearly a bucket truck, no ifs, ands or buts.
It's a sturdy model too - you can grab it pretty much anywhere apart from the top half of the arm and pick it up without it falling apart. This really lends itself to playabilty as we'll discuss below. You shouldn't expect anything less from a Technic set though.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
Technic sets to me are all about the playability. They're supposed to have gears and sometimes motors or pneumatics, which means they do things! The bucket truck has opening doors and a hood (alas there's no engine inside), which are nice touches. It has working front steering, controlled by a knob on the rear. Two smaller gears control the raising and lowering of the two support legs, for added stability while using the bucket. I think the control mechanisms for these are a little hard to get at, but the feature is cool. And of course there's a bucket. A gear on one side raises and lowers the bucket, while a gear on the other spins it around. Yeah sure there's no conflict or bad guys, but you can drive around this truck all day long reaching things up in high places. And the arm can go really high too, higher than my picture-taking area was set up for, apparently.
It would have been nice if the Technic-figures were still around. One of those and maybe a couple powerlines to work on would have added a nice level of roleplaying to the set. That's not really what Technic is about though, so I don't consider their exclusion a detractor from the set.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Solidly built
- Decent color scheme
- Lots of gears and play features
- Good selection of useful parts
What's not to like?
- Awkward mechanism for actuating the support legs
- No engine under the hood
- No Technic-fig to drive it
Overall, this was a really fun set to build and offers some great play value when it's done. There's a good selection of parts too if you're looking to expand your Technic collection. It retails for $50, which I feel might be a little high, personally. You can probably find it on sale though, with the holiday season upon us, and if you can I'd recommend picking it up.
Thanks everyone for reading; please leave your feedback and any questions you may have in the Talkback. Keep checking back for more reviews right here on BZPower, along with other Bionicle, Hero Factory, and LEGO news.
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