LEGO Technic 42055 Bucket Wheel Excavator review
Being the big Lego fan we are, when the 42055 Bucket Wheel Excavator Lego set was revealed not too long ago, we just had to get in on the action. If you’re not familiar with the Lego truck, we are here today, to tell you what is it all about. For starters, it has gained a lot of attention, especially among Technic fans due to the fact that it is the largest Technic set currently available on the market in terms of the part count – it is a little under 4,000 parts.
Since we have already taken the time to put it together (it’s sitting on our special shelf right now), we can confirm that it really is an impressive product.
Let’s start out with the box –we have opened up a lot of Lego boxes and personally, we believe this is the biggest we have ever seen (Lego 42030 and Lego 42009 were the biggest we’ve had yet). The box measures in at 57.8 x 47.8 x 16.8 cm and weighs a total of 5970 grams.
Here’s a look at the front of the box:
Here’s a look at the back of the box:
As you see in the picture above, on the back of the box, you’ll see the B-model, a mobile aggregate processing plant.
When you open up the box, you’ll come across another box. This box contains all of the bags (those are numbered). You have bags numbered 1-3, bags numbers 4-8, then a battery box, XL-motor and the In total, you will have 31 numbered instructions and stickers that are sealed tight in plastic.
Here’s a look at the nice Lego 42055 instructions manual:
Here’s a look at the Lego 42055 bags with the instruction manual:
In total, you will have 31 numbered bags. We enjoy how the Lego company puts their parts in separate bags like this, because it makes it easy to stay organized. If putting together Lego sets, like the Lego 42056 and the Lego 42039 is a hobby of yours, then you know exactly how important it is to stay organized. When you see these bags, you may be tempted to open them all up just to see what is inside, but we discourage you from doing this – you should follow the step-by-step instructions and only open the bags as you go along. If you open the bags, you could end up confused as you won’t know where the parts go. Look at the picture above – could you imagine all of those parts being mixed up in one big pile? It would become a major headache, so don’t do it.
As far as the instructions go, you will have 1 large book that is 541 pages long and 1.9 cm thick. This is a nice, sturdy book and after you use it, it stays together just fine. We have put together many different Lego sets, including the Lego 42043 and the Lego 42054 set and we must say, this is the first time we have ever noticed the instructions numbered the entire way through.
Usually, after a series of numbers bags are complete, the steps-counter resets and goes back to step one, but this one is different. This one goes all the way up to step 669 – yes, there are a total of 669 steps you will be required to take in order to complete this build. However, don’t let that chase you off – it’s fun to put together, every step of the way.
Also, new for us was the white squares in the instructions (you’ll notice those when you’re putting the set together). The white squares are there in order to indicate where you need to add the part.
New Parts Introduced
There are a variety of new parts that were introduced during this set. First, you have the 24121 – this is the quarter gear. What surprised us was the fact that it was thick and sturdy, which isn’t something you would expect when it comes to a part like this. There are a total of 14 in this set, which is enough for 3.5 full circles.
Another new part you’ll find in this set is the Bucket 24120. Personally, we cannot figure out why they felt the need to introduce a new version of this because the old one was good too. One theory we discovered (yes, we took time to research this part) was that it can be placed inside of the bucket, making the rocks fall out with ease.
While putting the Lego set together, another feature we noticed was the fact that the 5” and 9”-long axels are yellow in color. We assume this would be because they needed a couple of these in yellow for the railing, but to make packaging easier, they decided to make all of them yellow, which is perfectly fine as it doesn’t bother anything.
When you first start out, you’ll be putting together a little mini dump truck. Here's four pictures of the small dump truck:
Looking at the small dump truck above, doesn’t it look cute? In case you’re wondering, no, it wasn’t all that hard to put together. This being the first step, we had a free mind and personally enjoyed putting it together.
Go back up to the first picture we showed you of the mini dump truck. Do you notice the rocks in the back of it? One bag contains those light bluish grey and dark bluish grey domes and cones – those represent the rocks. We feel that it is a nice touch that added extra visual appeal to the set. Now, look at the second picture, the one that doesn’t contain the rocks (that’s after they dumped the rocks out), do you see how different it looks? It doesn’t look as appealing.
During the second part of the build, you’ll be putting together the bottom portion of the frame. Many of you may find it boring to put this part together, but it is a step you cannot skip (you can never skip a step when putting together Legos, regardless of how boring or complicated it may be). You’ll notice everything here is double symmetrical, so you’ll find yourself having to put the same thing together a couple of times …sometimes even four times. Don’t worry though, because before you know it, you’ll be moving on to the next steps.
During step 3, you’ll be placing the two tracks on the side of the frame – you’ll be doing this two times and it doesn’t take long at all.
In step 4, you’ll be putting the structure that carries the two arms together. During this build, we were wondering why it had Technic Wedge Belt Wheel sitting at different angles (you can see it at the bottom). We didn’t see any belts in the inventory, so we are still not sure what their use is.
In Step 5, you’ll be creating a tiny conveyer belt. The purpose of this belt is to lead the mini dump truck.
Looking at step 6, we believe this was the biggest step in the entire build. To be able to find everything correctly, we had to presort the parts. This step was a major headache and we actually ended up walking away from the build for a couple of minutes. Sometimes, when things get complicated and you cannot figure it out, simply walking away and taking a break will help. Then, when you come back, you’ll have a clear mind so that you will be able to figure everything out. Putting together the Lego sets is supposed to be fun – if you were to sit there and constantly get angry while putting the set together, where would that get you, besides tossing pieces everywhere? Either way you go, once you are able to find everything, in this step, you’ll be putting together the first half of the big arm, along with the conveyer belt and the bucket wheel.
When you’re putting the bucket wheel together, you’ll notice that it fits together tightly. It may take a lot of force on your end to get it to fit in, but eventually, you should be able to get it put together correctly. Once it is in, it will be held together by 12 gears.
In order to make sure the connectors are fully secured to the axle, the axle will need to be sticking out a little, and it will barely miss the other gear. Once you have completed these steps, you will have a neat looking piece in front of you – it really is a massive build.
During step 7, you’ll be completing the big arm and adding in the gearshift box and motor, which is responsible for distributing all functions. In step 7, there are some odd parts that are used and we’re personally not sure why they’re being used, but we’re going to put them in there anyways, because surely there is some reason behind their function or Lego wouldn’t have included them in this build.
During step 8, you will be complete the model with the neat railing, cabin and some other tiny stuff. Personally, we believe the cabin is a bit on the small side for a minifigure, but other than that, we don’t really have any complaints.
A Close Look at the Functions of the Lego 42055 Set
What we really liked about the LEGO Technic 42055 Bucket Wheel Excavator Set was the fact that it had quite a few eye catching functions. We feel those functions are so cool that they are definitely worth mentioning.
For starters, there’s a function that will let you power the conveyer belt. It’s pretty cool watching things slide down the conveyer belt.
Another neat function involves powering the tracks – need we say more about this function?
Rotating the top was another added function that we found pretty cool. As you’re rotating the top, the small conveyer belt will turn along with it. Mind you, this won’t be a problem, because you can easily lock the conveyer belt so that it stays in the same place – this way, the dump truck won’t move and get in your way.
As far as raising and lowering the bucket wheel (something you would expect) is unfortunately not automated. If you want to raise and lower the bucket wheel, you will need to do it by hand. In a set that has this many parts, we would have expected something like this to be motorized, but for some reason, it wasn’t. However, this doesn’t turn us away from liking the product – as much as we would have enjoyed a motorized option for lowering and raising the bucket wheel, it really isn’t all that big of a deal. We put the set together, so manually doing this shouldn’t be that big of an issue.
There’s some complicated gearing that is nesting inside - this is responsible for linking the tracks together. It is also responsible for the rotation of the body as well as the lower conveyer belt through the three axles that are located on the left.
After you have taken 225 steps, and 3.5 or so hours have passed by, building the lower part of the body and the chassis should be complete.
Pros and Cons
As we put the product together, we noticed a large amount of pros, but at the same time, there was a couple of cons. In this section of the review, we’re going to take some time to take a look at both the pros and the cons.
First of all, we are going to start with the pros …
Fun to Put Together – Despite it all, this Lego set was super fun to put together. Yes, as we stated above, step 6 was a bit aggravating, causing us to have to walk away, but once we came back with a clear mind, we were able to take care of the problem we were having.
Organized – As we previously stated, we absolutely love how the parts have been organized, separately in different bags.
Great Parts – The parts, as with any Lego set, are high quality. Almost all of the parts are standard and are great for “rebrickable.”
The New Parts –In this review, we talked about the new parts that were included in this set. We feel that with every new part, the company goes out of their way, even when they don’t have to make the new ones. The big gear wheels are nice – those are going to make some great MOCs if you know what we mean.
Fairly Cheap – Mind you, we don’t mind spending extra money on a Lego set, especially when it’s something we really want to put together, but the fact that this set right here was relatively cheap was pretty cool.
The Build – Of course, the build itself is one of the biggest benefits of this set. The entire time we put this set together (besides step 6), we had a lot of fun. It is pretty entertaining. Don’t let this chase you away, but the build time took around 10 hours …if you think about it, that’s pretty cool, because you have 10 hours of fun sitting in front of you. We personally like when the Lego sets take a longer period of time to put together, because this means our fun won’t end quickly.
Now that we have looked at some of the pros of this Lego set, it is time to take a little peak at the cons. Mind you, where there are pros, with any product, regardless of its rating, if you dig deep enough, you will find some flaws. In this case, we only found two flaws.
Step 2 and 3 – Once you get to step 2 and step 3, you’re going to understand what we’re talking about here. Step 2 and Step 3 was boring and so repetitive and we are so glad those steps are behind us. Mind you, while step 2 and 3 were boring, we cannot say the same about the other steps.
The bucket wheel – When you saw the con section of this review, based on our little rant up there, you probably already guessed we would include this one in there. Well, here it is – that darn bucket wheel needs to be automated. Not to go on about the bucket wheel again, but we personally feel having to manually lower the bucket wheel is a tad bit (just a tad bit) on the cheap side. However, we’re not really lazy, so we don’t mind manually lowering it, but seriously, automating that thing would have been cool and we’re sure you would agree with us on that one.
Once the Build is Complete
As far as the build goes, once you have it complete, you’re going to have a feeling of accomplishment. Once we had the build put together and had it in front of us, we seriously wanted to give ourselves a nice pat on the back. Seriously, we cannot explain just how satisfied we were with ourselves – here it was, 10 hours later …10 long hours of work …this is a massive build. To give you an idea, the arm alone is a total of 75 cm long. The machine is 28 cm wide and stands a total of 45 cm.
Looking at the finishing touches as it sits here in front of us, we are even more amazed with what we have put together. We’re talking about the lights, walkways, handrails, ladders and so on – all of those are there in order to enhance the appearance of this build. Now, if only the bucket wheel were automated, instead of being manual …okay, we’re not going to get into that again.
All in all, the build is very amazing. If you’re a Lego fan and enjoy putting massive stuff together, the chances of you liking this one are pretty high.
Just go ahead and take a look at the complete build:
Look at it sitting in front of my couch. If only my significant other would let us keep it on the table as a centerpiece (we believe it goes great with the couch), but for some reason, we were told to put it on our shelf where it belongs, oh well, we tried.
After moving the nice looking centerpiece (at least we thought so) away from the couch, we decided to take it upstairs and have our own photoshoot with it …
Operating the machine itself once it is complete is pretty satisfying. We also noticed the machine is powered by one large PF motor that is mounted at the end of the arm. This is fairly simple and isn’t that big of a deal. In the middle, there’s a gearbox lever you can use in order to switch between rotating the bucket wheel (rotating, not moving it up and down) and the body on its axis or moving it back and forth. Once you have selected the movement of your choice, the bucket wheel will always rotate in the same direction.
You cannot go forwards and rotate the wheel all at once, which you might look at as a let down, but again, this is no big deal to us.
We really liked putting this together, just as much as we enjoyed the LEGO Racer and some of the Lego cars. Plus, the size of the build, once it was put together, truly was impressive. Some people will find it difficult to display the build because of the size, which we found difficult as well (although, it did look good as a centerpiece in front f our couch).
Die-Hard Technic fans are going to want this, no matter what. However, if you have limited funds, don’t worry, because there are some other Technic sets you may be interested in that won’t cost as much. Yet, if you have the extra money to put towards a Lego set, this one right here would be a great option.
Now, with all of that said, we’re going to leave you with these additional pictures:
please let us know about your thinking after read this review about Lego 42055 set by leave comments bellow.