Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 at 4:43pm by Jason, BZPower Reporter
It's time for another LEGO set review, and this time we're diving into the Technic section to look at 42021 Snowmobile. BZPower Reporter Xccj looks over this set to see just how good it really is. Is it worth a trek across the frozen tundra for? Read on and find out.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The front of the box shows off the Snowmobile in full action, with a wintery background to be seen. In the bottom left, you can also see a back view of the main model with its action feature highlighted. But, as it is with many Technic sets, there are multiple models to be made here. The back of the box features the secondary model, a Snow Motorcycle, as well as some of its action features. Upon opening the box, you're treated to three bags of Technic parts (although one is entirely just treads), a sticker sheet, and two instruction manuals for each model.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The build isn't overly complicated for a Technic set, but it's still intricate enough to be interesting. The most technical part involves building the suspension system for the skis. Depending on your mastery of the technic build, it could take fifteen minutes or longer. The most irksome bit is actually piecing together the treads one element at a time.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
If there was ever a set that was supposed to be a parts pack, this is it. It has 186 parts, which is a decent value for a $19.99 Technic set... until you realize that 41 of those pieces are individual tread elements, so that exaggerates the parts count significantly. Still, this set contains a lot of parts that are new and rare or even unique to this set.
First off, there's two new joint pieces. The first is the element with three ball joints in a T pattern, which is brand new and so far only found in this set. I foresee this element being useful with the new Mixel joints. There's also a new socket element that's attached to a 4 length liftarm, which is also brand new. Unfortunately, it has a loose connection, unlike the new Mixel joints, but it's still useful from a Technic standpoint.
My personal favorite is the new 3 length pin element, which is 1 part axle and 2 parts rod. It's not often that we see a new pin design, and this one offers so many potential new building options! While this mold is brand new, it has appeared in a few other sets, like the Batman Riddler Chase set and the Ninjago NinjaCopter. However, it only comes in very large sets, and comes in small quantities in each. The Snowmobile is currently the cheapest way to get two of them. Also brand new is the 3L part with two pins on the far ends and a hole in the center. This was the first set this part came in, but it's appearing in some more Chima sets this summer too.
There are some other parts that are of interest. The new small Technic panels in black are unique to this set (you get three of each type, left and right) although their reuse value goes down if you apply stickers to all of them, as per the instructions. The light gray H beam is rare, and this is the cheapest way to get one. The 13 length lime green liftarm is also unique to this set. Additionally, the trans clear Bohrok eyes and tread elements are also relatively uncommon, so it's nice to get those too.
The overall Snowmobile looks pretty solid when put together. The lime green and black color scheme works very well here. Unfortunately, a lot of that is strengthened by the stickers, which go on the Technic panels and some of the liftarms. This makes the stickers essential for the look, and that can be problematic if you have trouble getting the stickers on straight or want to reuse the parts later in a non-lime MOC. The body of the Snowmobile is fairly solid, which is nice because it has some unique angles in the connections. However, the connection of the back treads looks a little too simple compared to the rest. And the front skis are lacking too. They're made up of just liftarm elements, and after seeing the detailed body, I'm disappointed that they didn't try to make the skis more elegant or realistic.
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 are all about function, and the Snowmobile has more than a few features to show off.
First off is a steering system for the front skis, which utilizes the ball joint element. If you turn the handlebars, it pulls on a rod that angles the skis, thus steering. This is a fun idea, but I think it comes off as a little too underwhelming. Due to the limitations of the rod, each ski can only turn about 20 degrees in each direction, which honestly doesn't look like much. I personally would've preferred a wider range of motion, but given the space restrictions of the feature, I don't know how that design could've been pulled off.
The skis are also supported with a suspension system, which again utilizes the new ball joint and socket pieces. It's very fluid and lets the skis move up and down with ease, which would theoretically be a good thing on rough terrain. (I wasn't able to test the model out on the snow, so the best it did was ski across my carpet.) The connections to the skis are loose, which provides the fluid range of motion, but also means they hang limply when the Snowmobile does a wheelie.
But one of the most interesting aspects of this Snowmobile was completely overlooked by LEGO, and that is that it's just about the right size for a constraction figure to ride.
If the Kohrak had these on their mission, Mata Nui would've been cleansed in no time at all!
We've looked at the first model in detail, but what about the secondary model, which has it's own unique design and functionality.
But the fun doesn't stop with just the Snowmobile. There's also a second build here, and that's the Snow Motorcycle. The secondary model doesn't quite use all the pieces, but it still takes up a good amount. However, the design is not quite as elegant as the Snowmobile. The body doesn't have the same smooth flow, and the front ski is pitifully basic. I guess the Snow Motorcycle is not that bad for a Technic model, but it definitely comes in second to the Snowmobile.
The Snow Motorcycle has two areas of suspension. The first is on the front ski, which lets it pop up and down. The second works for the back treads, with allows them similarly to pop up and down with ease. So although the design isn't quite as good, the functionality is a nice touch.
The Snow Motorcycle doesn't make for as good a ride for the Kohrak, especially since it doesn't quite have the side balance of the Snowmobile. But it provides an alternate mode of transportation across the icy fields of Ko-Wahi.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- So many good pieces!
- And a bunch of new and rare ones too!
- Decent price at $19.99
- Color scheme (with stickers) looks nice on the Snowmobile
- Decent functions
- Can be ridden by a Constraction figure… or Bohrok
- Alternate model!
What's not to like?
- Steering on Snowmobile needs a wider angle of movement
- Color scheme relies on stickers
- Front skis are lackluster
- Secondary Snow Motorcycle model not quite as good as the Snowmobile
- Availability is limited?
This is a great parts pack for Technic builders who want to experiment with some new types of pieces. From the ball joint elements to the new pin element, there's a lot to like about this set's inventory. Beyond that, the Snowmobile is also a decent design with some good action features. Sure, it could use some improvements, but at the very least it will introduce new builders to some cool Technic designs. The secondary Snow Motorcycle model is also nice, even if it's lacking when compared to the Snowmobile. If you're even slightly into Technic, I would recommend this set.
As mentioned above, I believe the availability of the Technic sets is not as widespread as in years past. Although this and other Technic sets only showed up in the US last month, it's been available in Europe since the beginning of the year. Over here, I believe these sets are limited to Toys-R-Us stores (in addition to LEGO stores and online.) Since TRU is known to throw in price increases, this set might be best ordered directly from LEGO. However, I could be wrong, so let us know in the talkback topic if you've found them elsewhere.
Thanks for reading! Please stay tuned to BZPower for even more great LEGO set reviews, from Hero factory to Legends of Chima to The LEGO Movie!
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