Today we’re reviewing a small set that has a unique position in the LEGO empire: The Technic Skid Steer Loader. To me, it’s unique as it’s a small set which might not interest the core Technic demographic, but also may be quite complex for junior builders. But let’s get into the review to see if my hypothesis is accurate.
The great news about this set is that it’s only $15.99 so very accessible to almost all buyers. Kids with their pocket money could pick it up or it could go under the Christmas Tree or as a present for a birthday party.
The Skid Steer Loader is a 2 in 1 set so you can build either the Skid Steer as shown above or a hot rod. We chose the skid steer as looks like it would be more swooshable – thus more fun. And who doesn’t like more fun? The physical instructions for the skid steer are in the pack, with the hot rod instructions available online.
It’s a fairly quick little build with the cockpit and gears being put together first. It’s not super complex, but you do need to pay attention to the instructions. I’m not sure if the average 7 year old would get a bit frustrated trying to get all the various pins in the right place. In my view, the average 10 year old would be well placed to give the set a good crack.
After building the foundations we get to work on the lifter (white beams) and the dashboard. It’s a nice dash and the combo of the printed 1 x 2 tile and 1 x 1 gauge fits the set pretty nicely.
Add on the wheels, safety frame and the tipper bucket and we’re done. There are two seperate mechanisms to lift the bucket. The black cog on the right of the chassis “scoops” the bucket and the black cog on the top of the chassis controls the lift of the bucket.
The mechanism is not bad, but not amazing either. Unfortunately as a result of only having a single support on one side it feels a little unstable and is not very strong. It can pick up LEGO bricks, but kids are likely to be able to try to pick up other toys (e.g. marbles) and it will likely struggle.
I’d also like to have the set support a LEGO minifig. I understand Technic sets rarely are minifig scale but having a couple of studs added so a minifig could sit in the Skid would increase appeal to the target market.
As touched on in the intro, this set fills a very unique niche in my view. It’s a probably a little small for those teenagers who are looking at getting into Technic sets like the Mclaren Senna GTR (42123), but a little complex for those who might still be into standard LEGO sets.
If you’ve a little technical builder in mind, then this might be a great present for them. Alternatively if you can spend a a bit more and get to $32.99, I’d recommend City Tractor (60287) which was a more enjoyable build with a bit more swooshability and a couple of minifigs to build a real story.
A special thanks to our friends at Zavvi who provided this set for our review.
Build enjoyment: 6
Check this out moments: 5
Value for money: 8
Set: Skid Steer Loader
Set #: 42116
Number of Minifigs: 0
Number of Pieces: 140