One of the most fascinating products of Danish toymaker LEGO is their Technic line of play sets. Compared to the more traditional LEGO building sets, the Technic series provides a rare chance for kids to create and build something that is close to the real thing. It’s more like model building where they get to assemble something that they often see in the real world, complete with realistic parts and mechanisms. If your kid already has several sets of LEGO, maybe it’s time he or she graduates to the more technically-challenging yet equally fun and thrilling technology-inspired LEGO Technic. If so, then our 10 best LEGO Technic sets should help you find something specifically for your child.
10 Best LEGO Technic Sets
42040 Fire Plane
Age Range: 9 to 16 years old
One of the most iconic and truly utilitarian civilian airplanes we have today is a Cessna. It’s light yet with enough power to travel great distances. It’s also very easy to fly. It is no wonder it is used in a variety of applications including firefighting. With the Fire Plane from LEGO Technic, your child will be able to build his or her own firefighting airplane complete with very realistic details such as a 2-cylinder engine, a 3-blade propeller, and pontoons. The ailerons and elevators are magnificently controlled by the joystick in the cockpit. Your kid will have plenty of fun building this great aerial firefighter platform as he or she cranks the 2-cylinder piston engine of the Fire Plane and watches its propeller come to life. Pulling on the joystick, the Fire Plane soars above the clouds and over the fiery landscape to have a good look at the devastation raging down below. Your child then takes the Fire Plane over a lake, skims its surface, opens its water compartment, and takes in as much water as it can in one pass. And just as the compartment fills, your child will pull on the stick and the Fire Plane soars again, heading back to the fire down below. Activating the water drop function releases a realistic water cube to help put out the fire. And when the Fire Plane is not in action, your child can easily convert it into one cool-looking jet plane.
What We Like about It – The realism of the Fire Plane is phenomenal. Being able to convert it into a jet plane is an added bonus.
42020 Twin Rotor Helicopter
Age Range: 7 to 14 years old
When the US military needs to send a team of special forces in rubber boats inside enemy territory, they use only one trusted helicopter able to hover with its tail portion partially submerged in water: the Chinook. Officially called the CH-47, the Chinook is the undisputed king of heavy weightlifters in Western militaries. With twin rotors, a spacious interior, and an extra-wide loading ramp, the Chinook is able to carry up to 24,000 pounds of cargo or up to 55 fully armed troops. It has a top speed of 196 miles per hour making it one of the fastest multi-role helicopters of this size. It even bests some attack helicopters. With the LEGO Technic Twin Rotor Helicopter, your kid can fly his or her variant of the Chinook complete with its signature 3-blade twin rotor system that actually spins. The loading ramp can also be opened just like the real Chinook. And if your kid already has some existing LEGO vehicle models, he or she can use these as cargo. The good thing about the Twin Rotor Helicopter is that it can be remodeled into a single-rotor chopper that looks more like the AS365 Dauphin.
What We Like about It – This is one way to introduce kids to one of the most useful helicopters of our time. The realism and convertibility are amazing, to say the least.
42033 Record Breaker
Age Range: 7 to 14 years old
If you’ve ever seen drag racing in action, then you’d appreciate the unique styling of the Record Breaker. Technically, the first time we saw the Record Breaker we were instantly transported back to the early 1960s when Craig Breedlove broke all existing land speed records in the Spirit of America modified turbojet-engined vehicle that saw him blast across the Bonneville Salt Flats in a blistering 407.447 miles per hour. The record was shatters a year later in 1964 by Tom Green driving the Wingfoot Express at 413.2 mph. Three days after Green set the new record, Art Arfons set a new one with 434.03 mph using the Green Monster. The current record is held by Andy Green set in October 1997 using the ThrustSSC with a turbofan engine coupled to two Rolls Royce Spey engines giving it a 763.035 mph speed record. While the Record Breaker will not be breaking Green’s record anytime soon, it will definitely be worth watching your kid build this phenomenal machine. Its aerodynamic designs and a realistically detailed engine should give your child the feeling of owning a piece of history. While the Record Breaker does not convert into any other vehicle, when combined with the LEGO Technic Quad Bike, your child can create an amazing Extreme Off Roader. By the way, the Record Breaker has a pullback motor which should help your child establish new speed records right inside your home.
What We Like about It – The Record Breaker gives us an opportunity to appreciate just how far man has progressed in terms of land speed.
42032 Compact Tracked Loader
Age Range: 8 to 14 years old
What is a construction project if you don’t have the correct heavy equipment to move the earth? One of the most useful heavy equipment in any construction or public works project is a pay loader. While there are different types of loaders, one of the most preferred by many construction companies is the tracked loader. The Technic Compact Tracked Loader is an amazing miniaturized heavy construction equipment. Let your child drive the loader through the construction site and move soil and other materials using its huge tipping bucket. He or she can also use the fully functional grabber to hold objects in place as your kid controls the loader. Need to reach something high? The loader comes with a boom mechanism that is conveniently integrated and hinged to the rear chassis so it won’t obstruct the functionality of the loader mechanism. The tracks are fully functional like the real thing, enabling it to move over any terrain, be it muddy, sandy, or full of obstacles. Like the other items in our list, the Compact Tracked Loader can be converted into something else, allowing your child to have other options. The loader can be remodeled to become a Snow Groomer so your kid can design a perfect snowy landscape.
What We Like about It – The fully functioning loader implements are astounding. At least, kids will have the chance to build a heavy construction equipment so they’ll have an idea of just how it works.
42034 Quad Bike
Age Range: 7 to 14 years old
Some call it an all-terrain vehicle although many prefer calling them as quad bikes. These types of vehicles are designed primarily for one thing: off-roading. With huge knobby tires and fully independent suspension, you can literally take the Quad Bike anywhere. Its powerful motor can propel the bike over a steep incline as well as drive the wheels over sandy and muddy terrain. Aided by its knobby and ultra-wide pneumatic tires, there’s simply no terrain that the Quad Bike cannot go. The only limitation is the rider’s imagination and guts. The wheel arches on the Technic Quad Bike are high enough to provide for superb ground clearance as well as ample space for the deep-treaded tires to follow the contours of the land. It’s got a bull bar up front and a robust chassis that gives it its rugged and durable nature. When combined with the Technic Record Breaker, your child can actually build an Extreme Off Roader. This effectively combines the lightning speeds of the Record Breaker and the sheer raw power of the Quad Bike into one fantastic piece of machine.
What We Like about It – Creating an ATV may be technically challenging in real life. Building the Quad Bike, however, is pure fun.
42046 Getaway Racer
Age Range: 7 to 14 years old
During the turbulent 1930s, spurred by the recession of the 1920s, gangsters always used some of the world’s fastest cars at the time as their getaway vehicles. Many of the designs of these cars are still used today in the creation of roadsters. For example, the superb styling of the 1931 Pierce-Arrow or the 1932 Nash Advanced Eight can still be seen in modern designs. There is something in the car chases of the 1930s that many car enthusiasts today still find alluring. Perhaps, it is for this reason that LEGO decided to come up with its own interpretation of the 1930s Getaway Racer. With a superbly sleek and stylish body made even sexier by its low profile tires on extra-wide rims, the Getaway Racer takes your kid to a time in our nation’s history when bad guys had to use fast cars to go about their business and how our law enforcement responded with even faster cars. To help your child understand this piece of history, it may be ideal to also get the Technic Police Interceptor so he or she will have a complete understanding of how police car chases were conducted in the past.
What We Like about It – The Getaway Racer is one superbly-marvelous and truly elegant roadster inspired by the vehicles that made the headlines in the 19th century.
42029 Customized Pick Up Truck
Age Range: 10 to 16 years old
Most families today have either an SUV or a pickup truck. This is particularly true among families that have home-based businesses as the utility of a pick-up truck is simply incomparable. You can load almost anything on these types of vehicles. They are also more powerful and, depending on their engines, can make for a great off-roader. Now, your child can build a miniature version of this type of vehicle with the Technic Customized Pick Up Truck. The knobby tires mated to a couple of fully independent suspension systems help to move the truck across any terrain. The high ground clearance also aids in the all-terrain maneuverability of the truck. There are fog lights, vertically mounted exhaust pipes, and a mean-looking, sturdy grill guard. The flatbed can be tipped to unload cargo, making pretend play all the more realistic for your child and his or her friends. On the hood is a very powerful V6 engine that roars to life with the turn of the key on the ignition switch. Let your child drive the Customized Pick Up Truck wherever he or she wants to. And when your kid happens to venture into a forested area, he or she simply converts the truck into a Forest Skidder to clear a path right through the forest. He or she can remove debris and fallen trees so that the truck can resume its outdoor adventures.
What We Like about It – Pickup trucks are one of the most useful vehicles we have today. These are not only reliable means of transporting people; they can be depended on to move objects as well. Kids will surely appreciate the truck a lot better with this product from LEGO.
42035 Mining Truck
Age Range: 9 to 16 years old
Part of human progress involves the mining of natural resources to be used in a variety of applications. In fact, many of today’s gadgets and gizmos would not be possible if not for the mining industry. These natural resources have to be dug from the earth and brought to the surface for these to be processed. Unfortunately, because the volume of these raw products is huge, it would be a logistical nightmare to move them from the quarry site to the processing plant if we’re going to rely on ordinary methods. That’s why for such huge undertakings, we also require huge equipment. This is where haul trucks come in. These are super-sized dump trucks capable of carrying anywhere from 40 to 450 metric tons in their massive beds. Examples of these include the BelAZ 75710, the Caterpillar 797, and the Liebherr T 282B. Well, your child can now add the Technic Mining Truck to the list although it’s not really going to carry anything more than a few handfuls of sand. But, the Mining Truck does provide the chance for kids to build a miniature version of such mammoth vehicles. Complete with a highly detailed, powerful engine that comes with a fully movable transmission belt and pistons, the Mining Truck makes for an excellent introduction on how these humongous vehicles work. The Mining Truck can also be converted into a massive Wheel Dozer which should be a welcome addition to the quarrying activities of your child.
What We Like about It – It’s an excellent way to teach kids about some of the modern equipment used in mining operations. The realism of the Mining Truck is also commendable.
42042 Crawler Crane
Age Range: 10 to 16 years old
High rise construction projects require a platform which can be used to erect the different structures of the project as well as lift or move resources up and down the project being built. Such is the purpose of cranes. With the Crawler Crane that can be converted into a Mobile Tower Crane, your child will be able to simulate the construction of his or her own high rise apartment or office complex. With fully functioning caterpillar tracks, a motorized extendable boom, a tilting cab, and extensive, realistic cabling, the Crawler Crane truly reflects what can be seen in real construction projects. The realistic winch and superstructure can give your kid a sense of being in direct control of this one gigantic construction equipment.
What We Like about It – The fully functioning parts of the Crawler Crane make it a superb way of teaching kids about how such things function or operate in the real world. At any rate, this can also help them understand certain aspects of building construction projects.
8293 Power Function Accessory Box
Age Range: 9 to 16 years old
While the Power Function Accessory Box is not really a Technic play set, it does bring to life all of the LEGOs we have in this list. You can consider the Power Function as the heart of each of these play sets, giving power to the LED lights, revving up engines, and even moving different parts of your favorite Technic model. The kit already includes a motor, a light cable, a battery box, and a switch as well as other electronic components to breathe life into your creations.
What We Like about It – This is the glue that will combine all the pieces together. It’s what makes the Technic a marvelous piece of toy engineering.
How We Chose the Most Amazing LEGO Technics in Our List
Since the Technic line of LEGOs is designed with the basic premise of representing real-life objects or things, we knew we had to make this as our primary consideration in choosing which among the hundreds of models will be included in the final list. While there are some models that may not have an equivalent in real life, we still had to look at just how real the final assembled model will look.
We also had to consider the current standings of these products. As much as possible, we only included those products that have at least 4.5 stars. Our thinking is that if other people have a lot of positive things to say about a particular LEGO Technic, then there is a greater likelihood that your child will also love it.
Unlike our other product reviews, we no longer looked at the developmental appropriateness of these toys as LEGO has proven, time and again, that it does know its way around kids. Nevertheless, we did evaluate the level of difficulty in the assembly of these models and compared it to the recommended age. At least, we can assure you that if you give this to your kid, he or she will be able to build it.
Benefits of Building and Construction Toys for Children
Building and construction play sets are beneficial for children’s optimum development. Numerous studies have already shown the importance of encouraging children to play with these types of toys if we want them to grow up as more well-rounded individuals. In case you’re wondering, here are some of the more common benefits of building and construction toys for the children of today.
- It enhances the mastery of their fine motor skills as they have to piece together different blocks to create a larger form. This also aids in the enhancement of their visual and motor coordination as they attempt to combine different blocks.
- It helps them develop their math skillsparticularly in the area of geometry. They also get to learn the concepts of area, sorting, equivalents, and sizes. This can become an excellent foundation for the development of engineering skills.
- It stimulates their creative thinking potential. While LEGOs come with complete instructions on how to build a certain model, the unique design of the building bricks allow for the creation of an entirely different form of model. Children learn to experiment which is a fundamental requirement for effective problem-solving.
- It teaches them about certain scientific principles such as the effects of gravity, the achievement of balance, and the establishment of cause and effect relationships. Experimentation with a variety of forms or models can also be an important scientific principle that kids can learn from playing with these kits.
- It improves their social relationship skills by giving them the opportunity to narrate the things that they are creating or building. They can also play scenarios while in the process of building things.
The Bottom Line
If you want your kid to really harness his or her true cognitive potential, you’d better get him or her a LEGO Technic. Our selection of the 10 best LEGO Technic sets in 2017 should help you choose which one to give to your child.
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You can also see more great LEGO products in our building category here.
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