REVIEW - 42069 - EXTREME ADVENTURE
It's time for yet another review. This review will handle the second most expensive set of the 2H 2017 wave, the 42069 - Extreme Adventure. It represents a Land Rover like vehicle with a modified undercarriage. This vehicle has link treads instead of wheels. I am not the biggest fan of link treads, unless the vehicle is full RC. This is because treads limit the playability, especially on smooth surfaces. This is actually the first Technic set with rubber inserts, so I am eager to find out if they will improve playability. I couldn't help but think how this model would look with wheels on it. At the end of this review I will be attaching several different type of wheels, so you can check out for yourself.
Pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. More pictures can be found in my Flickr album.
This set has been provided by the CEE Team of TLG. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefore the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG.
Title: Extreme Adventure
Part Count: 2382
Box Weight: 2,79 kg (approx)
Box Dimensions: 58,0 cm x 37,4 cm x 9,8
Set Price (MSRP): € 139
Price per Part: € 0,058
Price per kilo: € 49,8
Links: Brickset, Bricklink
The box is as wide as the box of this year's flagship (42070 - 6x6 All Terrain Tow Truck). Since it is less deep and high it doesn't look a lot smaller. You can judge a book by its cover and sometimes you can't judge a set by the box, because this set contains 520 more parts than the 42070 (2382 versus 1862). The part count obviously isn't the most important factor, but it doesn't happen often that a non-flaghip set has the most parts. The snow does a good job of making the model stand out.
There is barely enough space to show all the functions of the main model. The B-model looks more like a Research Exploration Vehicle than the one used in the 42070. It is called Mobile Base Vehicle though. The base seems to be detachable and it even packs a crane. It does help when the designer of the main model is one of the best B-model designers :wink:
CONTENTS OF THE BOX
The box contains:
BOOK AND STICKERS
No loose parts, just 20 unnumbered bags.
A modest collection of new purple parts. We already got some 3x13 Curved Panels in the 42048 - Go Kart in 2016 and now we can work with the parts below as well. Hopefully TLG will release sets with the bigger panels in purple, so we can all start building a purple Porsche :laugh:
Eight Wheel 18mm D. x 14mm with Pin Hole, Fake Bolts and Shallow Spokes in metallic silver have been provided in this set. That is quite a few, considering the fact that they only have been released in two sets, where you got one and two of 'em respectively. Sorry for the unsharp picture btw.
6x3 PANEL IN DBG
For the first time this panel has been released in dark bluish grey.
40 YEAR ANNIVERSARY BRICK
This set also contains the 3L liftarm, also known as the 40 Year Anniversary brick.
PERPENDICULAR 3L CONNECTOR WITH CENTER PIN HOLE
It has been a while since we have seen this in yellow. As a matter of fact I only owned two of these from last year's (2016) Volvo EW160E. Always funny that some common parts are actually not so common at all. Glad to see these making another appearance, much like the red #3 connector.
RUBBER TREAD LINK ATTACHMENT
These attachments already appeared in two Nexo Knights sets and now they make their first appearance in a Technic set. You get 52 attachments.
In the Factory Store in Legoland Germany you can buy bags with these attachments, where each bag contains 28 of 'em. This is how such a bag looks like.
Not a very special part, but I still wanted to highlight the fact that you will get six shock absorbers, four soft ones and two hard ones. Two of the soft ones will be used to dampen the door opening mechanism.
This set contains a new rope. It has kind of a metallic touch to it. It is slightly thicker than the regular rope. Thumbs up for this new version. It looks and feels a lot better.
(ctrl+c, ctrl+v from the 42070, which contains the same rope)
11L AXLE LBG
Seemingly ordinary, so I almost forgot to shoot a picture of it, but this set introduces the 11L Axles in light bluish grey. Together with the 10257 Carousel and 75172 Y-Wing Starfighter, it has been introduced this year. Strange enough after TLG introduced the 11L Axle in yellow.
DARK GREEN JUMPER PLATE
Also a quite common part, but released in a new color, a dark green 1x2 Jumper Plate.
This set contains 2382 parts, spread out over two pages.
Time to get building! This set contains 10 u-joints and in case you are wondering where they are going?! You already need four of 'em early on, in the middle of the chassis.
After some additional building steps, you will be attaching the V8 engine to the chassis. It's very cool that this model has V8 engine, instead of a V6. Or even worse...a 4 cylinder engine. Thumbs up. You can also see the first few purple parts invading the model.
As opposed to All Terrain Tow Trucks, we actually do find a winch at the front of this vehicle. How on earth would you go on an Extreme Adventure without a winch?! It has a cool lock which is made, using a simple Rubber Double Axle Connector. It has enough leeway to unlock the winch and it bounces back into place upon release. A very simple, yet very effective mechanism.
The front of the vehicle shows the initials MR, which stands for Milan Reindl. Milan is one of the members who made the switch from Eurobricks to TLG, so it feels extra special to be reviewing one of his sets. I sure hope that Milan isn't in charge of designing the stickers though, because there are quite a few MR stickers on this model :wink:
Here you can see the start of the door opening mechanism. The rotating axles will be connected to springs, to provide some cool damping when opening the doors.
The axles are connected to the soft springs. This results in the need to apply some pressure when opening the doors, but when you have passed a certain point, the doors will ease out. Yet another thumbs up for this mechanism. Have we lost count of the thumbs up already?!
Another cool feature is the roof that can be tilted up and down. It is operated by the mini Linear Actuator, connected to the liftarms. I will show the entire mechanism in a bit.
Several steps further the doors have been attached and you have created the rear side compartments. This model has a ton of cool little details...
...which you see in the image below. Both side compartments contain a fire extinguisher and one the compartments even contains a medkit with a syringe. Adding these kind of "LEGO Sytem details" really add appeal and playability to the model. I will elaborate on that in the Features and Functions chapter.
Here's is view from the other side, where you can also see the fire extinguisher.
The following two pictures show the two states of the folding tent. I especially like the white color of the panel to emphasize that this is a different material. Another thing I really like about the tent is that it actually looks like a tent, even though it's just a simple panel. I am not really sure you would want to sleep in the vehicle with arctic temperatures though, but that's a totally different discussion :laugh:
The compartment under the tent holds a shovel, so you can dig in the snow or maybe even dig a hole in the ice to catch yourself some fish. You can also see the door lock which prevents the door from opening while you are driving.
At this point we are almost done with the bodywork, except for the roof rack and the bonnet. Now it's time to build the undercarriage. The rear axle doesn't have a rack for steering, but it does have a differential.
The front axle does have rack-and-pinion steering. Both axles are live axles, so they don't have independent suspension.
At this point the bottom of the chassis looks like this. Two axles going to the front of the vehicle, one for steering and one for driving. One axle going to the rear of the vehicle, which is obviously for driving. There's no center differential in this vehicle, but it is 4x4...or 4WD...or AWD. There are subtle differences, and there will be discussion by the purists, but most of the time it boils down to marketing mumbo jumbo. For the average Technic enthusiast this is considered a 4x4.
Voila, undecarriage complete. Live axles attached and we can hit the snow!! Let's not be hasty and get ourselves a proper bonnet and a roof rack first. Maybe we can throw in some jerrycans while we're at it.
That's more like it. The roof rack has three different type of jerrycans, so be careful mixing them up. You don't want to be drinking fuel and driving on water (unless it's hydragen powered). Luckily the cans have been color code for our convenience. The roof rack even holds a couple of spare link treads, in case we ruin some of them. If you do actually need them, you must have had a pretty rough (and enjoyable) ride.
The first time I laid eyes on this vehicle, my intials response was "yuck, what is that supposed to be. And what's with the color scheme?!". This was obviously after seeing some preliminary images. When the images from the toy fair popped-up things had changed for the better. And when looking at the following image, you can only say...WOW! I know some people aren't too fond of the black and purple color scheme. They think it's too dark, and while they might be right about it being dark, I personally think TLG nailed the color scheme. There's that typical Ken Block Monster vibe going on.
Unlike the All Terrain Tow Truck this model actually is a finished vehicle! The level of detail is extraordinary. There's so much to look at and to play with. Of course there will always be debate about purple and/or the color scheme, but I really love this purple color. Hopefully we will get more panels, liftarms and connectors, so the AFOLs can make better use of this color when building their own creations.
The 3L printed liftarm is prominently placed in the front bumper, near the winch.
Here you can see that Milan takes pride in his work...MR stickers all over the place. Narcissistic personality disorder maybe?! Just kidding of course. Milan is a great guy. Recently I had the pleasure of talking to him for a couple of hours and I am sure he will stay as friendly as he is now, even though his LEGO star seems to be rising!
Enough with the praise, because this picture also shows a minor concern. The weight of the vehicle results in the treads slightly bending. It's not a very big problem, but it is noticeable.
The rear of the vehicle, with the quadruple metallic silver exhausts, has been designed as beautiful as the rest of the vehicle. I do like the use of the yellow connectors and half bushes to add some yellow details. Yellow and purple make a nice color combination. Orange and purple works nicely on the Go Kart, but yellow and purple works even better.
The tread wheel on the rear door provides a lock to prevent it from being opened. You have to turn the wheel before you can open the door.
The side view shows the fake dampers in the suspension. All these cool details add value to this outstanding model.
For the chassis lovers :wink:
Milan didn't take the easy way out when creating the chairs. These aren't simple panels, but actual chairs.
And last but not least....the icing on the cake....the jerrycans!
360 DEGREES VIEWER
Back by popular demand, the 360 degree viewer! Okay...nobody actually asked, but I will throw it in anyway :wink:
Swipe the picture to rotate the model.
FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS
This set contains so many cool features that I don't even know where to start.
This vehicle HoG (Hand of God) steering. It works okay, but the vehicle is a bit too heavy to operate the steering when you are not driving. Other than that; the gear easily comes off.
Four wheel drive has been realised with a differential in both axles, without a center differential.
The suspension is comprised of two live axles, which is done nicely. There's no independent suspension.
Missing on the 42070, but present on this vehicle is the winch. Works like a charm and has a cool locking mechanism. The winch is operating by turning the 12T gear on the shotgun side of the vehicle.
By turning the gear on the driver's side of the vehicle, the roof can be lifted and the tent will pop-out.
The bonnet can be opened manually, nothing out of the ordinary.
What is out of the ordinary though, is the mechanism for opening the doors. Using a spring for each door, there's damping when you open and close the door. The door opens by moving the upper side up and the lower side down. This is a unique mechanism which we have never seen before and which will be hard to trump.
OPENING REAR DOOR
The rear door can be opened manually, by pulling the tread wheel.
REAR DOOR LOCK
The rear door has a lock to prevent it from being opened. You need to turn the tread wheel to unlock the door.
OPENING SIDE COMPARTMENTS
Both side compartments can be opening manually.
SLIDING REAR COMPARTMENT
The rear compartment slides out and contains a shovel. There's a mechanism in place to prevent the compartment from falling out of the vehicle.
ADDED EXTRA DETAILS
Something I like to emphasize is the added extra details, like the jerrycans, medkit and fire extinguishers. Not only do they look cool, but they actually add playability to the set. I highly recommend that TLG designers do this more often.
Here is a video demonstrating the functions:
I like to go into more detail about the playability of this set. One of the reasons this review has taken some more time is that I had my nephews visiting for a couple of days. They are aged 4 and 6, so they like to be entertained. And they brought a 7 year old friend LEGO-lover and his 4 year old sister. This is my chance to be the cool uncle. And a cool uncle has cool LEGO! This gave me a perfect opportunity to see how kids enjoy Technic models. They are too young to be building these models, although the 7 year old would probably be up for the job.
Anyway, they all started with "WOWs" when I brought the sets downstairs. They have seen big Nexo Knight sets, but never any big Technic sets. Score one for the cool uncle. They definitely like RC vehicles, but they tend to operate the functions manually....at least they try to. After some time they asked for paper towels to make artificial snow and they were actually playing with the Extreme Adventure vehicle. It is so cool that this set includes new Technic figures, because the kids love to add them to the mix. Ohh, wait a minute....those were my 30-odd year old Technic figures. Come on TLG, bring back these guys. Kids really don't matter that they don't have the proper scale. Just sell them as a separate set if you are concerned about that, but how cool would it have been to include a Technic figure in this set. I can see the guy carrying the jerrycans, using the fire extinguisher, etc. You have done an outstanding job adding details, now go another extra mile and design some cool new Technic figures.
I am not a big fan of models with link tread, except for RC ones (8043 is probably still me favorite model). The reason is that they tend to lack playability, especially on smooth surfaces. The slide over the surface, instead of driving. This bothers me. Luckily, this set contains the new rubber attachments, to make up for that. Obviously the total amount of grip depends on the number of attachments. You can add two to each tread, one on each tread, etc. This set doesn't have one on each tread, so it still slides over smooth surfaces. The weight of the vehicle does help though. I was surprised to see the kids drive the vehicle through the entire living room and kitchen. Apparently there is enough driveability in this vehicle, more than I expected.
Fun fact is that the mother of the 7 year old and his 4 year old sister was picking them both up, so she was also looking at the models. She loved the purple look and figured it must have been used to appeal to girls as well. I am pretty sure this is not the case, but it shows what goes in the mind of potential customers. The 4 year old girl loved the Extreme Adventure, she couldn't stop playing with it. Technic Mini-dolls anyone?! :laugh:
All in all we had great fun and it was interesting to see these kids playing with both models (hadn't built the 42068 yet). The All Terrain Tow Truck required alternating turns, but the Extreme Adventure offered the possibility to play simultaneously. They liked both models, but they all prefered the 42069. And I did get the impression that having the jerrycans and the other playable extra's did the trick. I highly recommend TLG to motivate the designers to do this more often.
The Mobile Base Vehicle looks interesting enough to give it a go. I am tempted to buy an extra set so I keep the main model built as well. The vehicle has a base which can be deployed. The base can open and close, and it even packs a crane.
This set absolutely takes the cake. I was a bit hesitant about the playability with the treads, but my test team has proven me wrong. When you hear kids asking if they can play with the set again, you know you did a good job as a designer...and me as the cool uncle :wink:
An impressive list of functions and features:
I am starting to like the vibrant colors more and more after each build. Black and purple work really well together. Besides the color scheme, the design of the model is outstanding. From the well formed chairs to the jerrycans, the details are amazing. Even @Kitty (my partner) is very enthusiastic about this set and she is not into Technic at all. I am not allowed to put the wheels back on after switching back to the treads.
Even though this model doesn't contain as much gears as the flagship, this still was a very enjoyable build. The cool mechanisms definitely make up for the lack of gears. Technically it's a very sound build as well.
At 5,8 cent per part and a total price of € 139 you just can't go wrong with this set.
We've lost a lot of good men out there! Milan Reindl a.k.a. grohl was one them. I feel sorry we lost him from our community, but I am very happy that he started working for TLG. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made in order to achieve something. I really liked his Heavy Lift Helicopter and this model is definitely a winner too.
Please, do bring back the Technic figures :wink:
How do I rate this set?
9 BUILDING EXPERIENCE
Lots of cool techniques used.
Long list of cool features.
Playability proved to be endless.
Nice collection of parts, albeit mostly common parts. Does have a unique purple selection.
10 VALUE FOR MONEY
Great set for 5,8 cent per part.
9,0 ANOTHER HIT BY MILAN
ADVENTURE ON WHEELS
As promised I have added a bonus section to this review, showing you different wheeled setups. This is how the front and rear axle look like. It took some time to come up with a proper solution. I am pretty sure there will be better solutions, but this one does use four Technic 5.5L Axle with Stop, in order to prevent the wheel from falling off. I started with a different setup just to shoot the wheels, but since I had me nephews around, I needed a more "kid-proof" setup. I haven't had any problems with the setup below. As you can see I have also changed the antenna setup. They kept falling off, so I ran them through the connectors.
The front and rear axle setup.
The next pictures still use the old setup where I used yellow axles.
POWER PULLER TIRES AND RIMS
Technically these are the 8466 - 4x4 Off-Roader wheels, but people like to call them Power Puller wheels. These wheels do touch the chassis when steering.
TUMBLER TIRES AND BLACK RIMS
Batman just isn't up for this job.
4x4 CRAWLER TIRES AND BLACK RIMS
These look okay, although we might need to try yellow rims.
CLAAS TIRES AND RED RIMS
Somehow red does look okay, but we would need some more red details in the car itself. These wheels do touch the chassis when steering.
CLAAS TIRES AND YELLOW RIMS
A little bit too much, don't you think. These wheels do touch the chassis when steering.
With hub caps. I cheated a bit here :wink:
UNIMOG TIRES AND SILVER RIMS
I do like the Unimog tires for this vehicle.
UNIMOG TIRES AND YELLOW RIMS
Now this is what I'm talking about. I really do like this setup. Big wheels and yellow rims, but not exaggerated.
With minor details (pulleys) in the rims.
Although I absolutely love some of the setups, I have come to the conclusion that this model is better with treads. Maybe not for playability, but it makes this a unique set, instead of yet another 4x4.