A review of the Lego Technic ##42100 – Liebherr R9800 from a builder perspective.
This set was acquired via the Registered Lego Fan Media Support Program, in a review purpose. I am anyway totally free of what I will say on this set. This is the second time I make a set review (see also 42093 review), but as you may know, I am not a collector. I usually buy set for the parts and interesting building techniques, so more for the rebuild potential than the set itself. That is why I will not make a classic review, as many people already do it in a brilliant way.
I will rather focus on different points and questions from a builder perspective, in the same way I ask myself if I have to buy a set or not :
- How the partlist is good ?
- How this set is good for a beginner builder ?
- How the set is good for alternate model ?
- How this set is good for completing a parts collection ?
If you want anyway to see a review of the assembled set, I recommend this review, from the best Lego Technic review channel to me : Racingbricks.
Wow, this is the huge part, so let’s begin. The set is composed of 4108 parts and is available for 449.99€ on the lego shop, which gives a €/parts ratio of 0.11€/parts. This is a high ratio for a set with 4000 parts (compare to the 0.056€/parts of the 42082) but it is explained by the fact there are many control+ electrical parts (motors and hubs).
With this large amount of parts, this is the biggest set for now on the lego shop, and also the most expensive ! It asks me if Lego has not reach a point where the sets are too expensive, even if for its content.
One of the reason that you could buy this set is for the control+ parts. There are here two hubs, 4 L motors, and 3 XL motors. To compare with the 42099 which is for sale at 229.99€ which has 1 hub, 1 L and 2 XL, it is obvious that for the price the 42100 is better for someone who want to have new control+ parts. It is reasonable to think that the price for each elements will not be cheap until a long time on Bricklink (15€/motor, 30€/hub).
This set is also an interesting source of white parts, with lots of panels and beams.
But the set has a lack of white connector for me. For instance there are not #2 connector which is really important for making build (it can be replace by the 18948 but there is not in this set too). There is also no 6536 connector which is a very important to make anything in a creation. This tends to make the rebuild process a bit difficult if you do not have other white connectors in your collection. Therefore, it would be interesting to combine with other white sets like the 42025 Cargo Plane, or the 42096 RSR Porsche.
But, hopefully the set has many axles and pin connectors in different shape and quantity, and lot of grey frames and beams, which will enable to build easily frame and structure.
Next move on to the most contradictory parts : the special parts. This set has many, first obviously the bucket, but also the white large frames, the sprockets and links, turntables, big linear actuator, new clutches and some other in multiple quantity (hose and connection for instance), lot of them for this price.
So obviously it is a perfect set to acquire these parts which can be expensive to get on Bricklink or Legodirect. But in the other way, this is the main limitation for me for this set, you do not have many gears, universal joins, you do not have wheels, you have big linear actuator, but not normal one. You have very specific parts (like the bucket) for a specific model.
This inventory is the result of design choices. As every function is in (almost) in direct drive, you do need to have many gears, axles, Ujoins, connector to create the sub-assembly, therefore the drivetrain of the set is quite basic and the set is quite empty which results in this inventory with lot of specific parts and beams and panel for the design. This is for instance at the opposite of the 42082 which has many standard parts (gear, axle, U-join, etc) with very limited number of specific parts (which result in a good €/parts ratio but a poor one for specific parts).
Last interesting note is that Lego gives more and more non-Technic parts in Technic sets this time, like plate, tile windscreen etc. It is always good for enhance the design of a creation and we can say now that the Lego Technic looks definitely less bulky that before thanks to that.
Perfect for a beginner ?
That is the question. There are 2 approaches for me :
If it is the first set, I do not recommend, because it doesn’t represent what is Technic for me : lot of mechanism, playability and rebuild perspective. This is a good set with nice building time and big result, but with direct drive functions, like a RC model (a slow one). The aim of Lego for me is to be rebuild in other creations to enhance curiosity and creativity. This is possible here but hard to do for a beginner with no other set (and mainly in the construction equipment too). Consequently the available alternate model for now is quite limited (there is also no B model, we are now familiar with that) but Grohl has said he is working on a snowgroomer and I will work personally on a bulldozer as an alternate model.
In other hand, if it is not a first set, and the beginner has already some other sets to have rough material for building (like gears, axles, connectors etc), then it is a good set to acquire the control+ and specific parts and enhance the possibility of building without locking by only one inventory.
Update 29th of Jannuary 2021 :
I have created a alternate model for this Lego Technic Set as a VibroSeis Tracked Vehicle, building instructions available.
Perfect for the parts collection ?
Yes, because of the control+ parts (7 motors !), lots of specific parts to have, including the bucket, frame, sprocket and links, but also the frame, linear clutch etc etc. This is definitively a good inventory to get for the price for now comparing to the 42099 (229.99€ for 958 parts = 0.24€/parts !) but it requires also a large amount of money (449€ !) so I do not if everybody would be abble to buy it so easily. So I recommend to wait for a discount (who buy at full price anyway ?).
I am also convinced that this set will become a classic as the 8043 which is very expensive to find for now. This is not an ordinary set, because of its inventory, but also because of the design choices and possibilities with the new Bluetooth hub and motors which can works as servomotors. I think we can expect anyway in the future a smaller set with less motor and parts for a more fair price as the 8275 in this time which will be better to source only the control+ parts.
This set will mark the history of Lego and the history of the building Moc, because of its new Bluetooth controller and new motor generation. Its results in a high price and high ratio of €/parts even with all this electrical parts. The design choices made the inventory specific and hard to re-use without having other set. That is why I would recommend to buy with a discount for builder who have already other sets, for people who want to have the control+ parts for a fair price, but not for people who want only to play with it and expect RC-Model abilities.
- Number of part : 4108 parts (rebrickable inventory)
- Price : 449.99€ on the lego shop
- Ratio : 0.11 €/parts
Perfect for a beginner ? :
Perfect for the parts collection ? :
Should I buy it ? : Surely but with a discount.
For now, regarding the control+ app, it is not customizable for creating other profiles to operate other creations, but I am sure that Lego will open the app and that is why it is not relevant for now for me (just to wait or use alternate control such as appcontroller).