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2016 LEGO Technic summer sets review

Three new LEGO Technic sets were released at the beginning of the month, and they are definitely something to talk about. The enormous #42055 LEGO Technic Bucket Wheel Excavator is the largest LEGO Technic set ever released, the #42054 LEGO Technic CLAAS XERION 5000 TRAC VC is considered one of the best looking LEGO Technic sets in recent history, and the #42053 LEGO Technic Volvo EW160E comes with some really neat functions. So let’s take a look at these very impressive sets in more detail. 🙂

LEGO Techic Summer 2016

#42053 LEGO TECHNIC VOLVO EW160E: After the very successful #42030 LEGO Technic Volvo L350F Wheel Loader, it makes sense for LEGO to continue recreating some of the most iconic heavy equipment made by Volvo. The black and yellow color-scheme is very pleasing, and the vehicles look awesome. The #42053 LEGO Technic Volvo EW160E is not motorized, although Power Functions can be added. There are a lot of interesting hand-operated moving features however, that doesn’t really need Power Functions anyway. This includes the expandable boom, working bucket, height-adjustable cab, rotating superstructure, rear-controlled front steering, working front blade, and expendable outriggers. (You can see all the working functions in the video-review by Sariel.) The set is a nice addition to the LEGO Technic Volvo collection.

#42053 LEGO Technic #42053 LEGO Technic Alternative

Here is the official description of the set: Operate the powerful Volvo EW160E! Enjoy a rewarding building experience with this awesome 2-in-1 LEGO Technic model. Developed in partnership with Volvo Construction Equipment, this meticulously detailed replica of the Volvo EW160E, with its classic yellow and black color scheme, has all the features of the real-life wheeled excavator. Operate the versatile pneumatic boom and grabbing bucket, rotate the massive superstructure and elevate the cab for optimal visibility. If you need extra stability, extend and secure the outriggers, lower the front blade and lift the entire structure into the air! The authenticity of this model is without bounds, right down to the detailed cab with seat, armrests, sun visor and adjustable mirrors. Upgrade with the #8293 LEGO Power Functions motor set (not supplied) and you have a fully motorized boom and working lights! When you feel like another building challenge, rebuild it into the heavy-duty Volvo L30G compact material handler. Volvo EW160E with boom and outriggers retracted measures over 6” (17cm) high, 9” (25cm) long and 4” (12cm) wide, and over 11” (29cm) high, 18” (47cm) long and 7” (18cm) wide with boom and outriggers extended. Volvo L30G with bucket lowered measures over 6” (17cm) high, 13” (34cm) long and 5” (13cm) wide, and over 10” (26cm) high with bucket raised. 1166 pieces. Price: $119.99 – BUY HERE

#42054 LEGO TECHNIC CLAAS XERION 5000 TRAC VC: What really stands out with this vehicle is the color-scheme; the lime-green, red, and white combination really pops and makes this an impressive display-piece. But there is more. The model is also motorized the raise and turn the cab and to operate the crane, and there are a number of hand-operated features as well. Unfortunately the model can’t pick up any heavier weight (not even a banana), as you can see in the video-review below, and the alternate model is just a rebuild of the attachment, but it is still a very cool looking set.

#42054 LEGO Technic

Here is the official description of the set: Harness the awesome power of the CLAAS XERION 5000 TRAC VC! Experience the ultimate in farming technology with this 2-in-1 LEGO Technic reproduction of the high-powered CLAAS XERION tractor. This meticulously detailed replica comes with the trademarked green, gray and red color scheme and an array of authentic features and functions. Turn on the included Power Functions motor and you can raise the cab and turn it through 180°, operate the versatile crane or extend the outriggers. The vehicle’s front-wheel, 4-wheel and crab steering provide ultimate maneuverability with the huge tractor tires ensuring optimal grip for immense pulling power on all types of terrain. Rebuild the tractor’s crane to create a CLAAS XERION 5000 TRAC VC with Silage Plow! CLAAS XERION 5000 TRAC VC with crane arm lowered measures over 11” (30cm) high, 24” (61cm) long and 7” (18cm) wide, and over 14” (37cm) high with crane arm raised. 1977 pieces. Price: $179.99 – BUY HERE

#42055 LEGO TECHNIC BUCKET WHEEL EXCAVATOR: This juggernaut is the most talked about LEGO Technic set since it was revealed at the toy fairs earlier this year. It is the largest LEGO Technic set every released, and it is definitely monstrous! While it doesn’t really replicate any specific real-life mining equipment, I don’t think that’s a problem, and personally I love the look. What is a problem however is that the bucket wheel has trouble picking up stuff except from very specific angles. Also, while I do get that such large equipment doesn’t move around very fast in real life, the LEGO model with only one motor is painfully slow. In the video-review by Sariel you can see it in action. I still think that this model is extremely impressive, and perhaps with a bit of tweaking could be made even better. I also really like the look of the alternate model, which is a clever sorting-machine that can separate 1×1 elements from 2×2 elements, and looks like a mobile processing plant. Instructions can be downloaded from the LEGO Technic website.

#42055 LEGO Technic #42055 LEGO Technic Alternate

Here is the official description of the set: Experience the huge Bucket Wheel Excavator! Enjoy building and operating this massive 2-in-1 Bucket Wheel Excavator, the largest LEGO Technic set to date! This awesome, meticulously detailed reproduction of a real-life mining excavator comes with a cool dark-blue and yellow color scheme and an array of authentic features and functions, including hand-railed walkways, huge tracks and a detailed cab. Switch on the included Power Functions motor and you can activate the conveyor belts, rotate the massive superstructure and maneuver the colossal machine into position. Then activate the boom to lower the gigantic, digging bucket wheel and convey the mined material to the waiting mine truck. When you feel like another building challenge, rebuild it into a Mobile Aggregate Processing Plant. Bucket Wheel Excavator measures over 16” (41cm) high, 28” (72cm) long and 11” (29cm) wide. Mobile Aggregate Processing Plant with boom retracted measures over 8” (21cm) high, 34” (88cm) long and 8” (21cm) wide, and over 12” (33cm) high with boom extended. Mine Truck measures over 3” (10cm) high, 7” (19cm) long and 3” (10cm) wide. 3929 pieces. Price: $279.99 – BUY HERE

From the three sets I like the LEGO Technic Bucket Wheel Excavator the most. It doesn’t just provide two great models, but also plenty of very useful parts to build your own monster machines. And the other two sets are faithful replicas of real-life equipment and are also excellent. I think LEGO Technic fans would be happy with any of them. They are listed under the LEGO Technic section of the Online LEGO Shop.

Shop LEGO Technic 2016 Summer

So what do you think? How do you like the new LEGO Technic sets? Do you have a favorite? Are you planning to get any of them? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • BLProductions August 15, 2016, 12:59 PM

    Technic has certainly produced a lot of large models this year. Only 5 out of the 12 sets this year are under $50. These three are the best of them all, in my opinion. The accuracy of detail in the Volvo EW160E and the CLAAS XERION, combined with their functions, make them truly great sets. Now, the BWE is indeed the largest Technic set ever by piece (it’s 7th largest overall) and probably size, and it’s my favorite of the three. Its poor performance, however, lets the model down somewhat. I think it needs 2 XL-motors, not one, for power. The Mobile Aggregate Processor works okay, though, and it looks quite cool. Sadly I will have to pass on it, in favor of many other sets this year. 🙁

    • admin August 15, 2016, 1:30 PM

      Yeah, I agree that all three sets look very impressive. Also, two motors would definitely have been better for the excavator. I guess it shouldn’t be that hard to add one, but I haven’t seen anyone do it so far. Excavators don’t move very fast in real life either though, so it’s not completely inaccurate.

      • BLProductions August 15, 2016, 3:57 PM

        Actually, I think it would be pretty difficult to add a second XL motor, at least without creating a large bulge on one side of the gearbox. Aesthetics aside, after re-watching Sariel’s video, it looks possible to remove the beam-work on the side of the existing XL motor, and add another one next to it. Then add a few gears to connect the new motor to the existing gear-chain before the white slip-gears (making sure that the gears are not in conflict). That should double the strength of the drivetrain, which should improve the performance of the bucket wheel, so that it doesn’t stop at the slightest touch. It won’t speed up any of the functions (I think the drive speed, though infuriatingly slow, is accurate to real life), but it will increase their strength. It will also eat through the battery box’s power at double the speed, however…. 😕 But does that sound like a plausible solution?
        Now I want to test it out; too bad I’m missing both the set and the motor. 😕

        • admin August 15, 2016, 9:44 PM

          That’s true. This monster will likely eat batteries really fast no matter how many motors you use. I would love to test this thing also. Looks so cool! 😀

          • Håkan August 16, 2016, 9:20 AM

            You cannot connect the construction to an electrical socket? Or would that require some serious techie re-engineering?

            • admin August 16, 2016, 10:12 AM

              Sure you can, with a DC adaptor, that is already part of the Power Functions. And this may not be a bad option at all, as the model is pretty much stationary. It ain’t going to go fast anywhere, so you won’t have to worry about wires and all. 🙄

            • BLProductions August 16, 2016, 10:19 AM

              Well, there is the #45517 Transformer 10V DC that LEGO sells to go with the #8878 Rechargeable Battery, but then you would have to use 8878 instead of a normal battery box, and it is a different size that wouldn’t easily fit in the BWE. However, the problem remains, as I doubt you can both charge and use 8878 at the same time. So, no, I don’t think it’s possible to connect the set to an electrical socket and constantly power it that way. And re-engineering sounds risky… the motor might get destroyed. 😕

  • Julien August 16, 2016, 7:31 AM

    I think the BWE 42055 is the set of he year, all themes taken in account, because it’s new, it’s “fresh” and LEGO has tempted to make this type of model and without to be perfect it’s a great model : nice harmony of the colors, the proportions are well respected and to challenge a B-model with a huge amount of parts, nearly 3000, is outstanding, a real success. I would nearly prefer the Mobile aggregate… 🙂
    For those reasons i’m going to buy 2 boxes to get both sets.
    That’s not the common models that we see all the time in city, SW and on.
    So well done LEGO for your creativity and carry on to dare new models.

    • admin August 16, 2016, 10:14 AM

      I agree with everything you said. 😀

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