Suddenly some images from the 2H2011 LEGO Dealer's catalog have been shown at flickr.
Fortunately those included also some images from most of the 2011 LEGO Tecnhic sets, listed the day before.
Here we go...
8071 - Bucket Truck
The Bucket Truck somehow resembles me the 8292 (Cherry Picker) from 2008, on a truck with a different cabin form, or even more the 8289 (Fire Truck) from 2006, whose aerial lift has more similarities (no telescopic boom) and also had a pair of front outriggers like this new set.
The wheel/tire assembly seems to be the same as used in the rear axis of the 8260 (Tractor) from 2009. It might be a good indication for the scale of this model.
The predominant white color in this model might look a bit unexpected, but it perfectly matches the color from the majority of the results obtained if we google for "Bucket Truck".
As far as we can see from the image, no Power Functions used in this model.
8109 - Flatbed Truck
The most eye-catching characteristic in this model, seems to be its bi-colored yellow/red schema. Quite unusual in Technic sets, at least with such color contrast.
This is a PF enabled set, which seems to include one single M-motor. About this model functions', I'd risk to advance the flatbed can either tilt or slide out. Maybe using a dual mechanism similar to that used in the 8052 (Container Truck) from 2010. Although there is no clue for the presence of a Linear Actuator to perform these functions, from the box image.
From the model main image in the box, it seems there is also a winch function. Three functions seems not too much from a model with the size of this one.
It is the same type of vehicle as proposed for B-model in the 8264 (Hauler) from 2009, however here in a larger scale and likely with more functions.
It would have been a great idea if the LEGO Technic team, had thought to launch another set with a vehicle in a similar scale for the same year, to pair with this Flatbed Truck. If correctly marketed they could have benefited each other, and leveraged their counterpart sales.
So far, no new parts visible in this image.
8110 - Unimog U400
Now, lets look into the 2011 main model. The always awaited Technic flagship!
The Unimog is a versatile multi-purpose Mercedes vehicle, usually sold with attached equipment for specific utilizations. In the case here represented, one lift crane.
After a sneak peak in 2010, it turns obvious that the pneumatics are making a strong return in 2011! They were not present in a flagship since 2006, after several years being used in the largest Technic models (despite usually in small quantities). Maybe the fans demand has been heard in the Olympus...
The pneumatic cylinders are used to move the several crane sections, so there might be two large cylinders present and probably a small one (although not visible in the image) to actuate the claw. From the image we can notice the rubber belts used to force the claw to close, when the hypothetical small cylinder is not actuated.
Also we can notice three levers at the rear, protruding from the respective pneumatic valves. Thus also three cylinders from this perspective.
With such amount of pneumatic cylinders and the PF motor visible in the box, this couldn't be a true flagship, if it would not have a motorized pneumatic compressor... If it gets confirmed, it would mean however that won't be a large pneumatic pump used in this set, but a small one instead.
The presence of a compressor, would confirm this as perfect successor of another mythical Technic set. The 8868 (Air Tech Claw Rig) from 1992. However if we dare to step back a little more in time, this set makes me also to remember the 8854 (Power Crane) from 1989.
As other functions this model might have, we can see a winch at the front and probably some mechanism to rotate the crane in the rear, despite no indication visible in the box. These together with the eventual pneumatic compressor, are the most obvious candidate functions to be present in this model and to get PF motorization.
It would make three functions, which is not a very likely amount. A pair number of functions would be something more usual, therefore we may have enumerated one extra function, or we might have still something else to discover. Maybe the outriggers that seem to glimpse from the rear!?
At least the images on the box seem to indicate the presence of a 4-way switch box on the right side, above the battery box, with two levers (one red and one yellow). An observation consistent with the single PF M-motor, that we can see illustrated in the box.
It seems we're going also to get a new type tires with tis model. As for the proportions perceived from the image, it looks the wheels used might be the 44772 (56mm D. x 34mm) type, but having a new tire with a track of the same type as used in 32019. The tires should be as slim as the wheel they use, thus not a balloon type.
Just wished the model to be large enough, or an off-road Unimog variant, to get the mythic Power Puller wheels...
And finally the color! Yes, the color!!
I want to believe the slightly orange shade that we see at the U400 box, really means what it seems to be, and not some technique to highlight the model's cabin... At least the cabin color shade seems really different from the pneumatic cylinders' yellow, behind.
Hopefully another fans pray that have reached the Olympus...
One way or another, it doesn't seem that we have got really new orange Technic parts, but most likely Bright Light Orange ones (or Flame Yellowish Orange [Color ID 191], if we want to use TLG color nomenclature).
If it confirms to be the case, it wouldn't be totally unexpected for three main reasons:
- It is a color that was still present in the color palette for 2010. Likely it maintains active for 2011.
- It is a color which was already used in the past, to produce Technic parts (for a few Bionicle sets, in 2005).
- Being a different orange shade, it does not cause confusion with the orange details used in all PF elements, as a visually distinctive element.
There was one orange Technic part used in a recent Technic set (8297, Off-Roader) also using PF elements. Probably because it was a singular part, it was not considered enough to raise confusion, but instead something that would enhance the PF wow effect.
Just hope it is something to continue, with an increased variety of Technic parts, produced in this same color.
Unlike in the previous Technic flagships, there are no stickers with a clue about which was the Technic designer behind this awesome set.
On a less positive note, the Mercedes-Benz logo in the box, seems to be the main reason to justify the dealer price increase, already seen on a price-list. As we well know, licensed sets usually means higher prices.
Unfortunately it is not a price increased for the best reason - Some new cool PF elements, or increased set complexity and part count.
Although, it is cool to have another licensed Technic set!
Some other questions that remain open after having seen this image:
- Does the wheels have suspension?
- Is it 4WD, with three diffs?
Now, it just rests to know what the 8081 (Extreme Cruiser) set is going to be.
A mid sized motorcycle... or a kind of a Jeep/SUV.