Sometimes you find LEGO-related items in the most unusual places. I just got the 2017 Cabela’s winter catalog, which usually list a large selection of gift items besides just hunting, fishing, and camping gear. Browsing through the catalog, I spotted two remote-controlled vehicles that look like were built of LEGO Technic pieces. The description in the Cabela’s catalog was brief, with small images, so I decided to check out the sets on their website. Cabela’s is known for selling high quality products, which made the vehicles look even more interesting. 🙂
According to the Cabela’s catalog the brand of these vehicles is called ConstrucTechs, however I also found the same sets under the Qihui Mechanical Masters name. They are made in China, and are basically imitations of the LEGO Technic building system and appear to be fully compatible with LEGO Technic. While toys are not the main focus of Cabela’s, they do release high quality gift items for children and collectors for the holidays (usually toy guns, die-cast trucks, drones, hunting and camping playsets, remote-controlled vehicles, board-games, etc.), and it appears that this is a new toy line they are trying out. Below is the product description of the two ConstrucTechs sets they currently carry.
➡ CONSTRUCTECHS 2-IN-1 SUV: Build any vehicle that comes to mind with the ConstrucTechs 2-in-1 SUV. It contains more than 400 pieces that can be built into all different types of vehicles. Build SUVs, trucks or other vehicles. A two-hour charging time allows for 90 minutes of use. Unique connect and lock system for durable building. Precision gears. USB cable and remote control with high-strength signal. Detailed instruction manual. Price: $39.99
➡ CONSTRUCTECHS 2-IN-1 SEMI TRACTOR/TRAILER: Set imaginations free with the ConstrucTechs 2-in-1 Semi Tractor/Trailer. It contains more than 400 pieces that can be built into all different types of vehicles. Build semi trucks, race cars or other vehicles. A two-hour charging time allows for 90 minutes of use. Unique connect and lock system for durable building. Precision gears. USB cable and remote control with high-strength signal. Detailed instruction manual. Price: $39.99
Below is a brief review I found of the two ConstrucTechs sets mentioned above, plus a third one, the ConstrucTechs 2-in-1 Remote Control Space Racer/Jeep. It seems like the sets come with nice instructions and are solid builds. On the negative side, the remote is pretty weak (about 15-20 feet), and only works on one R/C frequency, so if you get more than one set, you can’t race them against each other.
While it is not specifically mentioned in the review above so it’s easy to miss, all of these vehicles are built on a single fairly large base, which includes the motor, houses the batteries, and provides the RC functions. The Technic parts just build the body around the base. While this makes the vehicles more build-friendly and sturdy for kids, it also means that older builders don’t get the same satisfaction and learning experience as building the mechanical details of a LEGO Technic set. In the video below, you can take a better look at how the sets are constructed.
The ConstrucTechs line only includes these three sets, and Cabela’s only carries two of them, however the same sets plus more are available under the Qihui Mechanical Masters brand (as you can see in the video above). It’s interesting that Qihui Mechanical Masters sets are listed on Amazon, but not ConstrucTechs. (The distribution of Chinese products under different brand names is always so confusing!) You can find them on Amazon: QIHUI MECHANICAL MASTERS ON AMAZON
Anyhow, just wanted to share what I found while browsing the Cabela’s winter catalog, and the little detour it took me on. What do you think? Have you ever heard of ConstrucTechs or the Qihui Mechanical Masters brand? Do you have any of the sets, or are you interested to get them? Feel free to share your thoughts and own reviews in the comment section below! 😉
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I have seen sets like these bin Christmas catalogs too, but usually only with regular bricks and pieces. My guess is that that, just like with many other things, they find a manufacturer that already makes a product they want, slap their logo on it, and sell it to their customer base. I always imagined China to be like a giant factory that churn things out 24/7 for the world to consume!
LOL! I thought the same thing! China is like a giant machine, just churning out stuff! 😀
This is interesting. Never heard of these brands before. Doesn’t Lego has license for the design of their Technic parts?
I don’t know how the patent system works, and if the Technic beams would be considered an original enough system to be patented.
Not likely. LEGO actually doesn’t have a patent on most of the parts they produce. They do have a patent on the minifigs and mini-dolls though.
Not bad. I agree that these might be a good introduction to motorized technic sets for younger kids.
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