Getting Started with LEGO Technic
Getting Started with LEGO Technic
With the new LEGO Technic Winter 2022 release, there have been several welcome additions to the technic line. If you are just looking to start out, which one should you buy?
First, let's examine the LEGO Technic Motorcycle 42132 which is a very easy purchase, coming in at only $12.99.
Despite the low price, this set offers a surprisingly good amount of functionality! We even get an actual working 3 cylinder inline engine.The way the cengine is done at some a small scale is actually pretty genius! The tiny studded pins are used as cylinders!
Honestly, you really can't go wrong with this tiny motorcycle! it's cheap, functional, and really a great representation of the technic experience at such a low price point! I definitely strongly reccomend this set!
Next up is the Monster Jam El Toro Loco 42135 which retails for $19.99
This set contains 247 pieces and it comes with a pullback motor. It is pretty good for playability, and you can buy multiple of these and have them race eachother!
I don't like a few things with this car though. First, the massive bumper on the front. I understand that this is done because the car will bump into walls, but the more expensive $50 pullback cars, which are covered in more detail in this article, completely lack that front bumper. It doesn't actually serve much purpose, and it just looks out of place. Also, the tires here should've been the same ones as were used in the LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler, since that would've been way more accurate to the real car.
Still the car looks decent and I like it more than either of the pullbacks of the 2021 winter wave. I appreciate the orange panels, and fun fact, the orange is my favorite fruit, and my favorite drink is orange juice
Let's look at the companion car, the Monster Jam Megalodon 42134 which also retails for $19.99.
I mean wow! This looks incredible! Sharks are some of my favorite animals in real life, so I greatly appreciate this car! It just looks phenomenal! Of course, I still have my same criticisms with the front bumper as well as the tires. But the light blue paneling, teeth, and the amazing aethetics really make up for that. If you are looking to just get one small pullback set, then this is the choice for you. Still, I think that the smaller $13 motorcycle is a much better representation of what LEGO Technic is actually about, mechanisms!
Next up is the LEGO Technic Formula E Porsche 99X Electric set number 42137, which retails for $49.99.
At first glance, this car seems like a great presentation piece, and it even features two pullback motors with a release mechanism. Furthermore, since the real version of this car is electric, there couldn't have been an engine or much functionality in this car to begin with. So conceptually, this seems great!
However, this car is fundamentally flawed. The front looks extremely unfinished and the chassis is just out in the open. Most technic cars at this scale have far better detailing.
Don't get me wrong, the pullback feature is incredibly fun, and I love racing the the Ford Mustang. But the front is just strange. When I first built this car, I actually went back in the instructions to check if I did something wrong, because I didn't feel like the model was complete.
Usually, I don't cirtisice the aesthetics much, mainly because the sets have other factors to make up for it, such as a gearbox, pneumatics, or other interesting functionality. The only function this model has is pullback.
Next up is the LEGO Technic Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500 set number 42138 which retails for $49.99
Like the Porsche, this car also has the pullback functionality with a release mechanism. Though unlike the porsche, this car looks very well detailed and does not have any unfinished areas.
Since the real version of this car is not electric and has an engine, I think this car should've had a working engine in addition to the pullback feature. Furthermore, why not add hand of god steering? With pullback, the car should always go forward in a straight line, so the steering should use a simple return to center mechanism with rubber bands.
Specifically, the engine may add some unwanted friction, which would always put it at a disadvantage when racing against the Porsche, but I think that some cool mechanisms in a medium sized set under $100 would've been welcome. I mean, even opening doors are sacrificed in favor of pullback, which is just strange considering it has zero effect on the speed or acceleration.
I don't think this set is overpriced, and I do still consider it to be much better than the Porsche.
Finally, we have the beloved LEGO Technic BMW M100 RR Motorcycle set number 42130 which retails for a whopping $230
This motorcycle is absolutely phenomenal! Seriously!!! It is nearly flawless except for the price tag. We get plenty of new pieces and functionality! This is also the largest LEGO Technic motorcycle ever! We definitely need more sets like this in the near future!
It has a 3 speed transmission with a neutral, with an awesome shifting mechanism. The suspension is phenomenal too!
Conclusion: The best, and easiest set to get started with, that also provides a good impression of that LEGO Technic is all about, is the 42132 Motorcycle. It is one of the most functional tiny technic sets ever! Furthermore, it is a ton of fun to play with!