29 October 2014

REVIEW: LEGO Technic Bulldozer

 No dozing off here.

While the rest of you might be spending your evenings out with friends, dancing, partying, and generally being awesome, we're being ten times as awesome. Plus one. That's because it is once again LEGO time at Test Pit Towers, so we battened down the hatches, threw the TV into the gutter and tore open several bags of small plastic pieces. One evening later we had the new Technic Bulldozer (#42028) to show for it.

This new set from the technical wing of the world's number one toy maker depicts a bright yellow bulldozer (the big digger that pushes stuff along the ground) which is aptly constructed from 616 parts, many of which are tiny plugs and pins. The finished model weighs in at the mid-range of Technic sets, following a build that took us about two hours.

The finished thing is actually a joy to behold and conjures pretty accurately the look of a big yellow JCB bulldozer. There are three really well-achieved working functions which add a lot of value to this set. Firstly, by way of a clever screw mechanism, the front blade lifts up and down, allowing the bulldozer to be pushed along without it scraping. The screw works excellently by forcing you to put more effort into the turn of the twist-stick, meaning the final position you leave the blade in is stiff and immovable - great for rough play.

The rear scraping claw can also be adjusted up and down, using the same screw mechanism as at the front. We're not really too sure what the point of the claw is, but then again we're not bulldozing experts. Needless to say it adds a great degree of adjustment and tweaking to the finished model, which is great for kids.

The third impressive element is one we've seen before on another Technic model; the Hotrod. As you push the bulldozer along the exposed pistons of the engine block pump in and out, just like on the Hotrod. However, unlike that car model, the mechanism here is far more complex (and a hell of a lot trickier to assemble). Basically the drive force from both sets of tacks is used to pump the pistons, and although that might not sound very complicated, any mechanical engineers reading this (and we're sure there are loads out there) will be curious to discover how LEGO have done it.

We really enjoyed putting this together, despite the fact it was by far the most challenging Technic build we've ever reviewed. The box states this is a 9-16 set, but even as adults we slipped up a few times, missing this little cog or pin, and had to go back a few pages in the manual. Also there are a few diagrams in those instruction pages which aren't all that clear on exactly which hole requires which pin, resulting in a few trail-and-error assemblies. But, at the end of the day (or night, in our case), you are left with an impressive model that seems fairly robust and plenty of fun to drive around.


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