Saturday, June 12, 2010

Review: 8045 Mini Telehandler

A Lego maniac like me cannot go on without getting random Lego sets from time to time, even if he buys enough stuff for himself :) I got this set as an anniversary surprise from my spouse, I was very happy.
I. Data sheet

Name: Mini Telehandler
Number: 8045
Theme: Technic
Year: 2010
Number of pieces: 117
Price: EUR 9.99 (Germany), USD 10.99

B-Model: Motorcycle

II. What is in the box?

This is a truly modern Technic set. We can hardly find any real bricks - only the lights and the pallet has some of those. The rest is made of beams, joints, axles and other similar pieces. Fortunately there are not many special pieces, it seems to be a good starter set for free building. The wheels are not typical Technic wheels, they rotate on axles so they cannot be used as driven wheels.

III. Functions

It is a small set having few pieces, so it concentrates on one main function: by rotating the knob at the back we can lower or rise the forks. It includes a pallet too, so there is no need to buy other sets to start playing. Raising the fork is easy but lowering it is not quite smooth. Because of the tension in the mechanism it starts to make small jumps, the pallet falls down quite easily.

The B-Model does not have any functions at all: we can build a motorcycle. At least it has a spare wheel that we can use to exchange the wheel on the sidecar.

IV. Design

Even though it has relatively few parts, it is obvious that the designer spent more time on the looks than on the functions. The loader has lights at the front and the back, even on the top. On the two sides of the chassis we find two boxes that have an aesthetic role only. On the right there is the engine compartment and on the left we find the driver's cabin. It is not large enough to hold a minifig but even so it is quite detailed - you can clearly see the seat.

V. Score

This is a perfect starter set for 7 year old boys. Assembling it is pretty quick, I could do it in less than an hour even though my daughters "helped" me. The function is simple but is entertaining. The parts are generic enough to build other things, although I have not tried that.

As a final score it gets 8/10. It has many nice aspects but it gets a small penalty because using this many parts it could have a bit more functionality. For example the 8259 Mini Bulldozer has not just an adjustable dozer-blade but also realistic treads.

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