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Toy Fair 2014: Technic

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#1 Offline Hapori Tohu

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Posted Feb 21 2014 - 11:49 AM

The Technic line doesn't seem to be a huge seller in the US, but LEGO was still showing off some of the sets at Toy Fair 2014. What we did see had lots of functions and cool styling, as we've come to expect from the line. Let's read on to see what was there!

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#2 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Feb 21 2014 - 12:29 PM

Sometimes it surprises me how well the older, more Technic-inspired BIONICLE sets are remembered by fans, and yet how little interest BIONICLE fans have in buying or creating Technic-intensive, function-based builds. Part of the reason I like a lot of later BIONICLE sets (which emphasized articulation) as well as the new Hero Factory building system is that the engineering side of LEGO Technic never came very naturally to me, and most of my Technic creations back in the day mainly used the parts for shaping rather than for the sorts of elaborate functions you tended to see in sets. So a building system geared towards shaping and articulation suited me a lot better than a building system that was designed with functionality in mind.

I recently built the first Technic set I had built in years — the Mercedes–Benz Unimog U400. It's a beautiful set, but so much of the design seemed utterly foreign to me. I can scarcely imagine what kind of design talent it must take to actually create an elaborate, functional model like that from the ground up.

This year's Technic lineup seems quite nice, continuing a trend towards incredibly elegant designs that has been going on for years. As a constraction fan I've gotten to see many of the advances in LEGO Technic firsthand — the switch from primarily studded to primarily studless building in the early naughts, the switch from elaborate, organic curved panels to a more basic system of panels that began appearing in 2008-2009, etc. Even so, I still feel like a bit of a neophyte when it comes to LEGO Technic building. I just don't have that kind of engineering know-how to really take part in conversations with the brilliant engineers and hobbyists within the Technic building community.

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