LEGO Technic 42118 Monster Jam Grave Digger review

42118 Monster Jam Grave Digger captures one of the most iconic monster trucks from the live motorsport, in sturdy, big-wheeled LEGO Technic form.

Straight out of the monster truck stadiums of North America and coming in at £17.99 / $19.99, 42118 Monster Jam Grave Digger is one of a pair of real-world monster trucks (the other being 42119 Monster Jam Max-D) lovingly captured in Technic form, even if at a smaller-than-hoped-for scale of build.

— Set details —

Theme: LEGO Technic Set name: 42118 Monster Jam Grave Digger Release: January 1, 2021

Price: £17.99 / $19.99 / €19.49 Pieces: 212 Minifigures: 0

LEGO: Available now

LEGO Technic 42118 Monster Jam Grave Digger review

— Build —

For the uninitiated, Monster Jam is a live motorsport event that tours North America and Canada. Its monster trucks perform a variety of skills, navigating particularly challenging courses and competing in a number of competitions. Primarily, there are three areas of competition (says Wikipedia) – racing, two-wheel skills and freestyle. Prepare to have your YouTube recommendations permanently changed, but the below video best captures the spectacle of the Monster Jam series.

In that video you can see both Grave Digger (at the 5:48 mark) and Max-D (25:39 and 36:00) in action, the two monster trucks that have been given the LEGO Technic treatment for 2021.

For the scale of build selected, 42118 Monster Jam Grave Digger does wonderfully to capture the shape and overall energy of these oversized vehicles, from the huge, thick tyres that somewhat comically lift the vehicle so high up, to the eye-catching colour scheme and décor (achieved with stickers).

Also included within the build is a manually-powered pull-back-and-release motor that allows for an extra level of play with the vehicle. Whilst that and the price point is suggestive of a more juniorised Technic experience (there’s no steering or suspension), there’s something to be said for how good this thing looks on display.  

— Characters —

Technic is not a minifigure-friendly theme, but if it was, including a driver with 42118 Monster Jam Grave Digger would have been perfect. Indeed, for all the monster trucks that the LEGO Group has released in recent waves across the likes of CITY and Creator 3-in-1, 42118 is not out of place for scale or design.

— Price —

For the price, you get a decent and engaging build, a faithful recreation of a well-known real-world monster truck, and a little play feature too. It’s tough, durable, colourful and exactly everything you’d hope a Technic monster truck priced at £17.99 / $19.99 would be.

— Pictures —

— Summary —

42118 Monster Jam Grave Digger is a simple entry point into a world of crazy racing, stunts and skills, offering the right amount of colour, durability and design to faithfully capture one of the motorsport’s most iconic monster trucks.

You know you have a good LEGO Technic set when it gets you to thinking about what could come next, be that other monster trucks from the Monster Jam series, or a larger scale build with working suspension, steering and even App-controlled capabilities. The potential of Technic is there, and 42118 Monster Jam Grave Digger’s purpose to draw you in is perfectly achieved.

LEGO Technic 42118 Monster Jam Grave Digger review

This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.

42118 Monster Jam Grave Digger is available at LEGO.com from January 1, 2021 – support the work that Brick Fanatics does by purchasing your LEGO through one of our affiliate links.

LEGO Technic 42118 Monster Jam Grave Digger review

Rob Paton

As one half of Tiro Media Ltd, I mix a passion for print and digital media production with a deep love of LEGO and can often be found on these pages eulogising about LEGO Batman, digging deeper into the LEGO Group’s inner workings, or just complaining about the price of the latest LEGO Star Wars set. Make a great impression when you meet me in person by praising EXO-FORCE as the greatest LEGO theme of all time. Follow me on Twitter @RobPaton or drop me an email at [email protected]

Rob Paton

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