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2020 LEGO Technic Pull-Back Racers Review

As you might remember from my previous reviews, I’m a big fan of the LEGO Technic Pull-Back Racers, and have been collecting them from the time they were first introduced back in 2013. LEGO has been releasing two of these super fun and sturdy vehicles each year, and this year, they decided to shake things up a bit and released three! Below, we will take an overall look at the whole collection so far, and then discuss the three new racers.

The #42010 LEGO Technic Off-Road Racer and the #42011 LEGO Technic Race Car were the first two in the series, released in 2013. They were followed by the #42026 LEGO Technic Black Champion Racer and the #42027 LEGO Technic Desert Racer in 2014, the #42033 LEGO Technic Record Breaker and the #42034 LEGO Technic Quad Bike in 2015, and the #42046 LEGO Technic Gateway Racer and the #42047 LEGO Technic Police Interceptor in 2016. The vehicles were all fantastic with nice and chunky designs, sturdy construction, pleasing color-scheme, great looking decals, and excellent playability. Each of the vehicles is built around a pull-back motor that makes them run super fast, and even jump over things. And the two vehicles from each your can be combined to create an even more powerful model with two motors! The original price of $19.99 for each vehicle has fair and totally worth it.

For the next three years, the LEGO Technic team decided to make some changes and introduce smaller vehicles that were less recognizable as real cars, but with some extra play-features. The #42058 LEGO Technic Stunt Bike and the #42059 LEGO Technic Stunt Truck from 2017 came with ramps for the vehicles to jump over. The #42072 LEGO Technic WHACK! and the #42073 LEGO Technic BASH! came with engines that fell out when you ran the vehicles into things. The #42090 LEGO Technic Gateway Truck and #42091 LEGO Technic Police Pursuit from 2019 remained small and minimalist, and missed the extra play-features. They were the weakest designs in the entire collection. All of these vehicles had a combination model for each year as well.

2020 brought yet another change for the collection, and it’s definitely for the better. It seems like I wasn’t the only fan of the series who wasn’t as excited about the less realistic smaller models of the past three years, so this year, the LEGO Technic team introduced some excellent looking vehicles, and also added accessories for extra playability. And, we are not just getting two sets, but three! The #42103 LEGO Technic Dragster and the #42104 LEGO Technic Race Truck remain at the $19.99 price-point like the previous vehicles, and there is now also a larger set, the #42106 LEGO Technic Stunt Show Truck & Bike for $49.99. Another difference that was introduced this year is that the two smaller models cannot be combined, but instead, each of the three sets has their own separate alternate versions.

The #42103 LEGO Technic Dragster comes with a bold color-scheme and it can perform wheelies! The alternate model for this vehicle is an equally impressive Hot Rod. The additional accessory with this set is a racetrack light assembly. While I love the vehicle and its wheelie action, I feel that from the three sets the additional accessory here is the least useful as it’s not very interactive.

The #452104 LEGO Technic Race Truck is probably my favorite vehicle this year (although I like all three) and one of my favorites in the entire collection. I love the orange, black, and light-blue color-scheme with silver highlights, and I was delightfully surprised that the hood and the doors are functional and can actually open. It’s just a great looking chunky vehicle with a pleasing design and fun action. The additional accessory is a finish line. It’s a simple build, but it actually works well and could be used with all three sets (as well as previous ones). The alternate model is a standard racecar, and it looks equally good. In fact, I’m tempted to get a second set so I can race both vehicles at the same time.

And now let’s talk about the biggest set, the #42106 LEGO Technic Stunt Show Truck & Bike. As I mentioned above, this is the first time we are getting a larger LEGO Technic Pull-Back Racer set, so it’s quite special. It comes with a converted pick-up truck with an attached framing ring of fire for the bike to jump through. This vehicle has opening doors, hand-of-god steering, and no pull-back motor. The pull-back motor is actually in the motorbike, which is carried on a trailer attached to the pick up. The trailer itself has some play-function, as it can be detached from the pick-up and lifted up with a knob to create an angled ramp for the bike to help it to jump through the ring of fire.

I was very impressed by the construction of the bike. It integrates the pull-back motor really well and looks quite realistic. The idea is that you wind up the bike’s pull-back motor, run it up on the ramp, and attempt to make it fly through the flaming ring of fire. It took me a few tries to get my aiming right, but eventually got pretty good at it. By the way, you can also run the Dragster and the Race Truck through the ring, and of course many of the older vehicles from previous years. It’s a great play-feature!

The alternate model for this set is also very interesting. It’s a Stadium Truck that runs up a differently built ramp through a start line (aiming here is a challenge as well), and then crashes into a wall that can come apart on impact. Here, again, you can use the Dragster, the Race Truck, and previously released vehicles as competitors in the challenge.

In summary, I would say that all three sets are very solid in terms of design and play-features. I’m really glad that the LEGO Technic Pull-Back Racers have such strong presence this year. The sets are also an excellent introduction to LEGO Technic; not too big, not too small, but just the right size to try out building with LEGO Technic elements. As usual, LEGO Technic sets have lots of stickers, but they are high quality, and you can take the time to perfect your sticker applying skills (I use the soapy water method which works really well for aligning stickers perfectly). In the video-review below by RacingBrick, you can see all three of the sets in detail and in action!

I would also like to talk a bit about the instructions. All three sets come with paper instructions for the main model, and online instructions for the secondary model. In addition, all three sets have Instructions PLUS available freely in the LEGO Life app. This is the first time I used Instructions PLUS to build the entire model, and I mostly like the experience. The app has zoom and rotate tools that help you see sections of the instructions better. There are also some features I don’t like, like for example Instructions PLUS doesn’t have the handy Technic axle alignment image that paper instructions have. But overall the app works great and I had no problems with it. If you would like to take a look at the three new sets, they are available at the LEGO Technic section of the Online LEGO Shop.

What do you think? How do you like the new LEGO Technic Pull-Back Racers? Do you have any of them already? Which one is your favorite? Feel free to share your thoughts and own reviews in the comment section below!

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Hayato May 11, 2020, 12:27 PM

    WE have the small orange truck and the kids really like it. It’s chunky, easy to wind up, runs fast, and it’s very sturdy. But my kids say it should have a driver, so they have been putting action figures in it. 😀

  • yoladiel May 11, 2020, 1:02 PM

    I’m glad to hear they are back to better designs. All three looks great, but I think my favorite is the dragster. It was funny seeing it fly through the ring of fire in the video! Haha! 😀

  • lifelibertylego May 11, 2020, 3:26 PM

    I still think that the black one with the flames is the best. I’m surprised by the size of the stunt show truck. I suppose it would be possible to add a pullback motor at the back.

    • Thita (admin) May 11, 2020, 10:38 PM

      You probably could add a motor at the back. The “bed” of the truck is pretty much just empty space, so there is certainly room for it.

  • danny May 11, 2020, 7:38 PM

    Wow. I wasn’t aware of these pullback motors at all. Are they included in any other sets besides this series?

    • Thita (admin) May 11, 2020, 10:37 PM

      According to BrickLink, the pull-back motor is exclusive to the pull-back racer series. It does not appear in any other set. Of course, this doesn’t stop you from using it outside of its normal use. 😉

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