There are plenty of manual functions including four-wheel drive, moving pistons inside a detailed V8, and adjustable mirrors. There’s plenty of detail in the cab and in the accessories (tools, chains, and a fire extinguisher). There are Lego Technic plates included for building and lifting. The red and black color scheme is striking, as is the multicolored pieces that go into building the engine and internal components.
Designing with Technic panels and liftarms is never an easy task, and usually the result is either a total win or an awful failure. Sometimes stickers can transform the model’s boring look, but as I mentioned above the set of stickers for the crane is purely complimentary. The crane’s entire look is done through a very fine choice of panels completed with a wide range of small details and accessories, like this very cool fire extinguisher attached right behind the cab. There’s also a corresponding sticker right underneath it.
I was surprised how little LEGO marketed/displayed this set! Up until about a couple weeks before the release, I could hardly find any info about this set other than some really mediocre photos. And on release day, my local LEGO store only had 3 copies and they weren’t even displayed in the store! I know it’s a pricey set, but I figured there would be a lot more interest…maybe everyone isn’t as big of a Technic fan as I am!
In 1989, the LEGO pneumatic line was revamped, and a new cylinder and pump piece were introduced. The old cylinders and pumps were discontinued. The chief difference is that the new cylinder had two input valves now, which allowed both pushing and pulling without needing complex circuits involving the distribution block piece. The Generation 2 cylinders also had metal rods so that they more closely resembled real hydraulic cylinders.
LEGO suggest this kit for 9-16 year olds, however many adult reviewers are also very pleased with the quality of the product. The tracked wheels mean the vehicle can be driven over a number of obstacles and it can travel up to 1.5 mph. Everything is included from the remote to the motor, however, it is necessary to buy both AAA and AA batteries for these to work.
The primary advantage of studless construction is the addition of new construction methods that were previously unavailable. Liftarms are exactly 1 unit width high, in contrast to studded beams, which are a non-integer multiple of one unit. It can be awkward to use studded beams in vertical structures because it is necessary to insert plates between the studded beams in order to get the holes to line up. Studless beams allow greater flexibility when building in multiple dimensions, while remaining compatible with "classic" studded beams. Some builders also believe that models constructed with studless beams look nicer than their studded counterparts.