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LEGO Technic Crawler Crane review

One of the most recently released LEGO Technic sets is the #42042 LEGO Technic Crawler Crane. This is one of the largest LEGO Technic sets to date, with two possible models and Power Functions. The set also has a refreshing blue and white color-scheme instead of the usual yellow common for LEGO construction vehicles. Below we will take a closer look at this impressive piece of machinery. 🙂

#42042 LEGO Technic Crawler Crane Box

#42042 LEGO TECHNIC SET DESCRIPTION: Move gigantic loads with the LEGO Technic Crawler Crane! Make way for the powerful LEGO Technic Crawler Crane! This huge, robust 2-in-1 model comes with an array of realistic details and exciting features. Activate the included Power Functions motor and use the joysticks to operate the boom, raise and lower the claw, rotate the superstructure and drive the huge caterpillar tracks that maneuver this mighty machine! Includes an authentic double winch and pulley system with extensive cabling, working claw, detailed cab with tilt function, exhaust pipe and a ventilation grill. You can also extend the boom for even greater height! A cool blue and white color scheme adds the finishing touch to this awesome model. Rebuilds into a huge Mobile Tower Crane! 1401 pieces. Price: $149.99 – BUY HERE

#42042 LEGO Technic Crawler Crane

#42042 LEGO TECHNIC CRAWLER CRANE FEATURES: This model is huge. The Crawler Crane measures over 24” (61cm) high, 13” (33cm) long and 7” (20cm) wide. There is an additional section included for extending the boom, and you can make it even longer with more sections that you can build if you have extra pieces (see review video by Sariel below for a three foot long extension!). The Crawler Crane also features a manually opening claw and tilting cab. But what I think is the most mechanically beautiful feature of this set is the extremely complex gear-box. Building it will teach you a lot about how gears function. Another very satisfying feature extensive cabling that works perfectly smooth.

#42042 LEGO Technic Functions 2

#42042 LEGO TECHNIC MOBILE TOWER CRANE FEATURES: This is the secondary model that can be built from this set (you need to download the instructions from the LEGO Technic website). The Mobile Tower Crane measures over 25” (64cm) high, 22” (56cm) long and 8” (22cm) wide, so yeah, this one is huge too. Note that the track section for both are the same, so you only have to build it once – which is a good thing because this is a very complex model that takes patience and skill to build.

#42042 LEGO Technic Alternate Model

#42042 LEGO TECHNIC SET POWER FUNCTIONS: This LEGO Technic set is motorized right out of the box (not something you have to buy separately and add later). For the Crawler Crane four aspects of the model are motorized; the tracks can move back and forth, the superstructure can turn all around, the boom can be raised and lowered, and the winch can also be raised and lowered separately. And for the Mobile Tower Crane three functions are motorized; the tracks can move back and forth, the superstructure can turn all around, and the winch can be raised and lowered.

#42042 LEGO Technic Functions

Both LEGO Technic models in this set are very impressive. Besides the amazingly complex gear-box, extensive cabling and Power Functions, it is also worth noting that while neither vehicles have suspension, they can maneuver over smaller obstacles just fine. However there is no steering; the vehicles can only go back and forth. Another weak point is that the Crawler Crane’s load-capacity is dismal. This is particularly amusing because the very first sentence of the official description is “Move gigantic loads with the LEGO Technic Crawler Crane!”, but as you will see from the video-review below, it has trouble lifting anything but the lightest weights because the clutch-gear in the winch start slipping. There might be some ways to work around this, but I don’t know enough about Technic to offer a solution.

#42042 LEGO Technic Parts

In the video-player below I have included two videos for you. The first one is the introductory video from the LEGO designers who worked on this model. They show you both models and all of the functions in detail. The second video is a review by LEGO Technic virtuoso and reviewer Sariel. He goes through every aspect of the Crawler Crane and lists all the strengths and weaknesses of the set. Very interesting to watch.

All in all the #42042 LEGO Technic Crawler Crane is a solid model that looks good and also offers great learning opportunities, as well as very useful new elements and new colors. The set is recommended for ages 10-16, but I have doubts that a 10-year-old could build this all by themselves. I think it is more suitable for teens and adults. LEGO Technic is very unforgiving – especially larger models. You miss one step or incorrectly assemble one little thing, and the entire model could end up not functioning properly. Finding the problem and then disassembling and reassembling the set can be a tedious, even frustrating experience. I do highly recommend LEGO Technic, but if you never bought one before I would suggest to start with a smaller model to get the hang of it. And if you are ready for a larger LEGO Technic set, the #42042 LEGO Technic Crawler Crane is a great option. You can find it (along with several other new sets) under the LEGO Technic section of the Online LEGO Shop.

Shop 2015 LEGO Technic

So what do you think? How do you like the LEGO Technic Crawler Crane? Is this you are interested in? Or have you bought it already? Feel free to share your thoughts and own review in the comment section below! 😉

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • BLProductions September 9, 2015, 5:24 PM

    I really want this! Power Functions, all the new Technic parts I need, tracks, it’s a blue crane…. The only problems are I can’t afford it, and I have absolutely no room for it. 🙁 Although we are moving soon (although I’d rather not) so I may get more space. Anyways, it’s still a very cool set, and it’s good that the track base is the same for both models, because, if my experience with 42006 says anything, that base is mostly indestructible.
    For the lifting problem, the simplest solution is to replace the clutch gear with a normal gear of the same size: http://brickset.com/parts/4514558 That should increase the max lifting capacity somewhat. 🙂

    • admin September 9, 2015, 6:54 PM

      Hm… that sounds like a good solution for the lifting problem! And yes, this set is awesome! 😀

  • insectoid19 September 9, 2015, 5:37 PM

    Wow!!! I did not realize that you can make a single PF motor steer so many things on a vehicle! I guess its because of the gear system. Wow…

  • Javier Villazon November 28, 2015, 4:49 AM

    Tris model is realy incredible , but it Will be better if a RC funtiom Will be included with crawlers steering

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