42094 Tracked Loader marks the third time the LEGO Group has released a Technic set focusing on heavy machinery used in the timber industry. Is this a high point for the technical theme?
Price: £54.99 / $79.99 / €59.99 Pieces: 827 Available: Now
The LEGO Technic 42094 Tracked Loader is the only construction vehicle available in this current wave. It comes in an authentic yellow and black design with stickers adding further details. Working features include a working boom and claw, rotating cabin, winch and hook and large tracks on either side.
The box art shows 42094 Tracked Loader at work and while it captures the action well it appears to be taking part in some sort of deforestation. I am sure it is intended to be an artistic interpretation of a controlled clearance, but it is a strange choice in the environmentally sensitive world we live in. Especially when considering the work that the LEGO Group is doing to reduce traditionally manufactured plastic use.
Opening up the box reveals a fairly hefty manual, always a good sign for fans who enjoy a longer, more in depth build experience and eight unnumbered bags. The parts are fairly big and there is definitely a logic to how they are bagged, so separating the pieces out isn’t actually as daunting as it first seems.
The build process is made of sub-assemblies that combine to form the completed model. The build begins with construction of the chassis, back panels and piping, which helps give the model shape and an authentic industrial feel, with an inner gear system that operates the back winch. What I have come to love about LEGO Technic is how complex gears and mechanics are simplified so that any young budding engineers will be able to learn from and, most importantly, be inspired by building the sets.
In 42094 Tracked Loader‘s second sub assembly, the cabin and the doors are enjoyable to put together and a really clever design. While there are not many parts required for the actual structure it still manages to capture the look perfectly. The cabin is designed to have full 360 degree movement and slots into the main structure well.
The claw structure is another really pleasing build however there are some tricky moments that require concentration. A few steps in the build have you almost balancing pieces together until connecting them later on. It is a little tricky at times and it could have been better if these has been connected right away. In fact there are more than a few fiddly moments, but ultimately it makes for an entertaining and interesting build process so just take your time and you will be rewarded with some excellent play features.
The final section to construct is the track that sits underneath the main chassis. Having already built the 42095 Remote-Controlled Stunt Racer I was expecting this to be a fairly quick process but I was pleased to find it was far more involved this time.
The whole build is really fun to put together, and although not overly challenging, it certainly requires more concentration than the smaller Technic sets.
If you are new to LEGO Technic there are some really interesting and unique parts used that are not seen in any of the other Technic sets in this latest wave. For an inexperienced Technic builder it proves to be somewhat of a voyage of discovery. The finished model looks excellent with hardly any gaps, with those that are there feeling completely appropriate.
The colour scheme looks great and the stickers included are a highlight. There is some truly excellent printing work, which adds so much detail throughout the entire model and, in a really smart move, the stickers give both an authentic look and also instructions on how to use the play features.
The play features themselves integrate well and are fun to use. The Bionicle tooth is used as a switch which ‘turns on’ a gear – a great touch. The boom arm works well enough although the claw gripper doesn’t quite grip the included brick built logs as well as it could. It is small niggle though in an otherwise is a great set.
While a Tracked Loader may not be as glamorous a vehicle as a Porsche or a Power Boat, this is definitely a set that encapsulates everything LEGO Technic should be. Fun to build, well integrated play features, great looking model and all at a price that will not break the bank.
This product was provided for review by the LEGO Group.