25 September 2021

LEGO® Technic review: 42126 Ford F-150 Raptor

Alexandre Campos continues our run of Saturday LEGO® Technic reviews with the 1 October 2021 release: 42126 Ford F-150 Raptor. Buying this set? Consider using our affiliate links, New Elementary may get a commission: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop/for Europe 'Change region'. Products in this article were provided by LEGO; the author's opinions are their own.


42126 Ford F-150 Raptor is the latest in the "mid-scale car" Technic line, joining 42096 Porsche 911 RSR, 42111 Dom's Dodge Charger, and 42125 Ferrari 488 GTE 'AF Corse #51'. You may have already heard of this set due to it being officially revealed a while ago, but now you can learn additional details and hopefully have a better idea on whether or not to get one for yourself. 

New Moulds

The first semester of 2021 brought a small revolution to Technic building in the form of "flip-flop beams". Beams that, instead of having all their holes in the same direction, alternate them for better three-dimensional building. 42124 Off-Road Buggy introduced these with a 15L version of this kind of part (71710).

I was hopeful and quite convinced that soon we'd see more lengths and I’m glad to see I was right. Several sets from the second half of the year contain a new length of flip-flop, 11L.

The Raptor contains 3 of these Technic Beam 1 x 11 Thick with Alternating Holes in Black (73507 | 6330585) as well as 1 of the aforementioned Technic Beam 1 x 15 Thick with Alternating Holes (71710 | 6321716).

The flip-flop beam is a natural extension of the Technic frame (or is it the other way around?) and can be thought of as a side chopped off from a frame.

The two currently available sizes match well with the dimensions of the largest frames and I don't doubt we'll be getting more lengths that match the smaller frames.

One useful quirk of the flip-flop beam when attaching it to a frame is that, depending on how you rotate it before attaching, it can match perfectly with its side or be out of sync by one module. Either way, the holes on both elements still align perfectly.

Parts in new colours

Besides the new flip-flop beam, the Raptor brings some known moulds in new colours.

The first of these is the Technic Panel Car Mudguard Arched 13 x 2 x 5 (42545). This size of medium mudguard was previously only available in 42096 Porsche 911 RSR in White and printed with several designs. Here we get four in Orange: two are unprinted (6358258) and two have "RAPTOR" printing (6338588). This is the first time we get this mould without any printing and I'm hopeful we'll see it again in more colours.

To extend each orange mudguard the model uses a Technic Panel Car Mudguard 13 x 2 x 5, here in Black (71689 | 6358257). This mould first appeared in 42125 Ferrari 488 GTE 'AF Corse #51', in Red. There are four of this element in this set.

The extension has a groove that neatly fits the inside of the mudguard. Additional elements are then used at the tips of each part to secure them together.

Since this is a large orange set you can expect to see some moulds for the first time in this colour. And you wouldn't be wrong. Here for the first time you get Technic Panel Fairing #5 Long Smooth, Side A (64681 | 6358254) and its symmetrical Technic Panel Fairing #6 Long Smooth, Side B (64393 | 6358253). One of each is included.

Two moulds that first appeared in 2021 make their debut here in orange: 5 x Technic Panel 3 x 7 x 1 (71709 | 6358256) and 1 x Technic Panel Fairing 2 x 3 x 1 (71682 | 6358255).

Technic Panel 1 x 5 x 11 (64782 | 4580014) isn't new in orange, but appeared in only 4 sets, in limited quantities (aside from the monstrous 17 in an Educational set), and for the last time in 2016. This element makes a welcome return here, still in a limited quantity: one.

Besides orange we get two moulds for the first time in Light Bluish Grey: 1 x Technic Panel Curved 7 x 3 with 2 Pin Holes through Panel Surface (24119 | 6257136) and 2 x Technic Beam 2 x 3 L-Shape with Quarter Ellipse Thick (71708 | 6361459). I'm sure the availability of these useful moulds in this neutral colour will please builders.

Other parts of interest

Here are some other interesting parts that come in this set.

Tyre Off Road, Dia. 75.1 X 28 (69909 | 6321710) has previously appeared only in 42124 Off-Road Buggy and returns here. Four of these equip this set with black rims. I don't think this is the best look for this kind of vehicle, but I can't say no to having one more source of this off-road tyre type.

So far the black Steering Wheel with 4 Studs on Center (67811 | 6299938) has been included in only three Creator Expert sets; this is the first appearance in a Technic set.

Technic Axle and Pin Connector Angled #5 - 112.5° in Blue (32015 | 6331024) had a timid presence in sets until this year when it came back in full force in 42123 McLaren Senna GTR. It's an odd colour choice for an orange model, and the quantity that comes with the Raptor is a lot more modest (2), but it's nonetheless welcome.

Remember 42113 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey? The LEGO Group doesn't want you to. That unfortunate set contained Technic Beam 3 x 3 T-Shape Thick in orange (60484 | 6305545) for the first time, and this element returns here. There are 4 of these included.

You may be asking "hey, the Technic Steering Ball Joint Large Open with C-Shape Pivot Frame ( 65452 | 6296843) isn't new or uncommon!", and you'd be right. However, it has changed since the last time we saw it in 42111 Dom's Dodge Charger. The reinforcement around its "neck" was widened, which limits the elements that can be placed adjacent to it.

You can better compare the old version, here assembled inside the Charger, with the new version. Was the ball joint portion of this mould that prone to snapping off that required this reinforcement and reduction in building possibilities?

Sticker sheet

The set comes with a hefty 268-page instructions book, but that didn't warrant protection for it or the sticker sheet, which means both came loose in the box. While the instructions fortunately came fine, the same can't be said about the stickers.

The review copy of the set came with the sticker sheet in this sorry state. It's all bent up, with one of the stickers (#14, middle left) partially lifted up and another (#20, middle right) slid off from its position. This is unacceptable for a set this large with such a substantial instruction book, especially since many of the stickers are essential for the model's look. The instructions and stickers should come protected like in other large sets.

Instructions

As previously stated, the instructions come in a thick book. As is more-or-less expected from a licensed set, it dedicates the early pages to the subject matter and the design process.

This page is especially noteworthy. It shows two prototype versions of the model: one in dark blue and with different details, presumably depicting the previous-gen Raptor, and one lacking the new element colours that appear in the final model: the panels in the bonnet and roof and the two components of each mudguard.

The page also mentions the challenge of creating the correct alignment of the rear wheels and their arches. We'll come back to it later.

Construction is divided into 3 sections. This particular page has either a mistake or an Easter egg left by an Aussie TLG employee who's a fan of utes. I find it more amusing to think it's the latter.

Building the set

The building process, as mentioned earlier, is divided into three sections. I found the process straightforward for the most part until I reached the section with the rear suspension.

The image above shows the portion of the chassis the rear solid axle suspension will be attached to. The red axle on the left will go to the engine, and the transmission will go to the rear suspension through the dark grey ball joint on the right. What makes this assembly unusual is the spacing between the ball joint and lower light grey 3x5 L-beam and the rest of the chassis: half a module. This spacing is better noticed between the white 7x11 frame and the lower L-beam. This is the big challenge the earlier page of the instruction booklet was referring to. I bet the set's designer lost a few nights of sleep before coming up with a solution to have a solid structure with everything in the required positions.


This is what the model looks approximately halfway through the second stage. There are lots of empty spaces where you can try squeezing a pair of motors to make it remote-controlled.


The underside view shows a few more spots for motorisation. The grey 16T gear on the centre left controls steering whereas the one on the right deals with propulsion.


For those folks from countries where you drive on the wrong side of the road, the steering wheel should be trivial to move to the right of the dashboard. 

The completed model

After emptying the three sets of bags in an entropy-reducing manner, the model is done.


As you can see, I chose to not apply any stickers. The front of the model therefore looks devoid of detail. I can somewhat excuse Speed Champions sets for requiring stickers to represent headlights due to the scale, but here that's not an excuse. At the very least, instead of stickers, the black Technic Panels Curved and Bent 6 x 3 (24116 | 6268012) could be instead transparent and printed with headlight patterns, like what happens with 42125 Ferrari 488 GTE 'AF Corse #51'.


Without stickers the rear is equally lacking tail lights. In fact there isn't a single transparent element in this set. It's a shame because it would have been easy to have these cheese slopes in trans-red, trans-orange and trans-clear instead of opaque colours with stickers on them to provide additional detail.


The model has steering via a Hand of God knob on the roof. This knob is easy to remove for improved looks, but then you'll have no way to steer the vehicle since the steering wheel inside is non-functional.


I can't remember any other official Technic car with four doors. This makes sense as they're usually sports cars which aren't known for their passenger capacity.


All four doors can open, as well as the bonnet and the tailgate. The cargo bed is pleasantly filled with minimal gaps. You could carry a hamster here without fear of them falling.


The Raptor has some clever brick-built details such as the top back of the front doors. This gives them the distinct look and mesh quite well (not perfectly, but it's barely noticeable) with the studless system in the rest of the model.


The interior detailing is standard for a Technic model at this scale: a pair of seats, a steering wheel, a gauge cluster and an infotainment screen (the latter two achieved via stickered tiles). As I said previously, the steering wheel is non-functional. I don't think it would be hard to correct this since the nearby 16T gear in the centre of the image is part of the steering mechanism and easily accessible.


The knobbly tyres feel more at home in a dune buggy than a pickup truck, even if the Raptor is a variant of the F-150 and intended for off-road use. Still, they don't look bad here.


The engine bay is dominated by the V6 block, connected via differential to the rear wheels. A beefier V8 would probably fit, but from what I gathered, real Raptor’s only comes with V6.


The rear wheels, where that V6 delivers its power, have live axle suspension. This is what the suspension looks like with the wheels removed.


The front wheels have independent suspension. If you want to modify the model for remote control, you might be able to fit a steering motor between the engine and the steering rack.


Speaking of the front wheels, they only have suspension and steering. There’s no all-wheel drive, despite the real Raptor being available with 4WD only, and Technic's motto of realism. For a model of this size this is a grave omission.


Clearly someone at The LEGO Group has a sense of humour.

The B-model

Thank you reader! But our B-model is in another castle!

Yes, this is another one of those sets deemed unworthy of an official B-model.

Conclusion


42126 has a weird pricing scheme: EUR 139.99/ USD 99.99/ GBP 129.99. This means the set can be 43% cheaper in the USA. Maybe this is a deliberate move to attract customers from the Raptor's homeland? Regardless, if you want this set you may want to call your American cousin for a favour.

As a model, it's pretty and evokes that feeling of ruggedness and "go-anywhere". The suspension and convenient Hand-of-God positioning make it quite swooshable indoors or outdoors. In addition, it shouldn't be difficult to convert for remote control. However, the lack of functional steering wheel and four-wheel drive significantly bring down the interest of the set. Its reliance on stickers for detailing, especially for the head and tail lights, is also very annoying, and avoiding stickers for these lights would have actually been rather easy. Additionally, in terms of function it brings nothing new from 42111 Dom's Dodge Charger, apart from a less dull colour scheme.

That said, looking at this set as an elements pack, the situation is quite better. You get orange elements galore, including a few moulds never before seen in this colour. If you don't want to pay for 42124's electronics just to get two pairs of off-road tyres, the Raptor's got you covered. The suspension and mudguard elements could also be of use. Saving the best for last, you get a few of the very useful flip-flop beams.

So, to summarise: the elements bring the value of 42126 up, and the playability brings it down. In the USA, this set is great value for your money; elsewhere you may want to wait for a promotion to make the price more palatable. As it is, unless you want to make an RC pickup truck or want to bolster your orange stash, this set is too expensive.


Orange and black always go well, don't you agree?

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READ MORE: LEGO® Technic review by Zach Hill: 42128 Heavy-duty Tow Truck

Editor: Chris Baginski

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5 comments:

  1. Actually, for 2022 Ford is offering a 5.2 L supercharged V-8 in a limited edition likely to try and keep up with the Dodge TRX. Well over 700 hp with a price tag to match.

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  2. Good review. Shame that LEGO learned how to protect sticker sheets for a time with some sets(bagging them and the instructions into a plastic sleeve with cardboard backer)and then I guess started to not care again...

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  3. I wish we could get a nice generic "chassis" set in this size. I'd gladly trade licensing cost and trade a bunch of those aesthetic panels and beams for functional elements so that it could be truly 4wd and have the interior steering wheel connected. As-is I'll pass.

    Regarding the C-beam+ball joint:
    I believe the reason for the new gusset reinforcements is to add rigidity which will help keep the two arms from spreading apart. When used with a differential ring gear meshed with a 20T bevel gear (just as pictured in Dom's Charger), all the power is going through that single mesh point and a bevel gearset already isn't the most robust so I'm sure that's why Lego wanted to add some rigidity to the frame.

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  4. How is the steering radius? Most LEGO vehicles are designed with horribly limited steering, making for a very wide turning radius. Your photos look like this aspect has been improved for the Raptor, but it's hard to tell.

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  5. I like the nod to Sariel's hamster! :-D

    Thanks for a complete & honest review.

    ReplyDelete