This is my first Technic set, and I am not sure if it is a true representation of the theme since it’s part of the sub-theme of Pull Backs. The Pull Back kits are designed to be more playable than other Technic sets I have seen. If you are looking for a fun set that does not have the stereotypical LEGO feel, and the person you are buying for is into other car based toys, then this is a theme to explore. It also has a software game for tablets and smart phones (click here to check it out).
I have not built any other Technic sets, but I have used Technic elements a lot to build the support structure of spaceships, and none of those compared to the durable and stable construction of this set.
The racer has super clean lines and is very durable. At times lining up all the pins and holes took a bit of extra care.
** Playability: 5 out of 5 bricks. You just have to pull this sucker back once and let it go, and you know that LEGO has a winner with this series. I think it took about 45 minutes to build this set, and about 45 seconds after that, it took its first jump. This set earns our highest rating for playability because of its durability: I cannot count how many times this thing has been flipped, rolled, and crashed into a wall, and there has been not one request to put even one headlight back on.
** Realism: 5 out of 5 bricks. Not only is this vehicle functioning, it also has style. At first look I thought it was a replica of a real desert racer sponsored by Mountain Dew, but after a quick search on the internet and lack of actual branding in the stickers, I doubt it is, but it should be. Lots of detail went into this design: winch, air intakes, exhaust pipes, and lights on the grill and roll bar. Even if you aren’t buying it for the play features listed above, this racer will look great as a display piece.
** Brick Value: 3 out of 5 bricks. At $0.17 a piece this set seems on the high side at first, but when you factor in all the body pieces and the pull back motor, the price per brick balances out a little better. Though there are really no unique elements in the set, the green colour elements are pretty rare and would add a splash of colour to any build.
** Overall Rating: 13 bricks out of 15. As I write this review I am already planning my next trip to the LEGO store to pick up Black Champion Racer (42026). There’s going to be some serious racing around this place. As a Bonus the two sets combine with online instructions to make Race Truck. I hope that LEGO continues to expand this collection and find new and interesting ways to use this motor.