Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Online images from the 2H2012 LEGO Technic Sets

As most of you may have seen by now, images from the Dealer Catalogue with the 2012 sets, are being published on YouTube since last Sunday (18).
A few minutes ago, it was time for the LEGO Technic line-up!

Please realize on the auto-censured warning logo that we have added to this post, because watermarked images can't be posted here as per TLG wish…
However you will certainly find them with ease, so I'll just make a few comments on my first impressions.

9396 - Heavy-Lift Helicopter
Age: 10-16

It is an huge yellow and red Rescue Helicopter with winch, which recalls me the 20 years old 8856, Whirlwind Rescue..
The preliminary box art doesn't give any indication about the inclusion of PF elements, however it shows the typical "Batteries Not Included" sign...
The functions seem to be:
  • Winch
  • Opening rear door
  • Main and tail rotating rotors
  • There seem to be also a kind of swash plate, to control the main rotor blades pitch.
  • Guess the landing gears are also retractile, despite not clearly indicated on the present image.

9398 - Remote Control Off-Roader
Age: 11-16

As anticipated it seems to be a kind of large Crawler, despite the tire size seems to be equivalent to the already existing "81.6 x 38 R Ballon" (45982). More precisely we see now it is a "Remote Control Off-Roader".
It seems to include the same portal axle hubs, as included with the 8110 Unimog, and pendular suspension on both axles.
The orange annotations are also appreciated! 

The box-art shows one PF IR Remote, on Battery box, one PF IR Receiver and 2+1 PF M-Motors.
While this sounds Ok from the capability of the battery box to feed three PF M-motors, it won't fit the single IR Receiver neither the motors arrangement on the box image.
As it happened in the past, maybe this is so preliminary that not even the motors were shown in their correct version and one or two XL might be used instead!?

From the image, it seems we will be able drive the model remotely (which is very unique for a LEGO Technic wheeled flagship) and also steer the wheels. But... on front and rear axles!? 

Still not convinced whether this is going to be a great year for the LEGO Technic theme, as it has been the case in the past few years. But as we know, from the first impressions till we get the product in the shelves, many further details usually pop-up to change our opinions. 


Finally it seems we are still missing the third 2H reference, which was leaked as being a Tractor. Maybe it comes with reference 9393 to fill the gap. 

And now, another full year countdown for the next big news...

25 comments:

Richard said...

Perhaps the 2x m-motors will just be connected in parallel on one channel to drive the thing

Joey Kelly said...

I'm confused....where are the pictures?

carzzzz9999 said...

@Joey
Pictures are available http://legotalk247.blogspot.com/2011/12/summer-2012-technic-sets.html

Alessandro Bartoli said...

9396 - it doesn't look very nice to me, a bit too "bulky" and probably with not so many functions compared to its size. I am also not a big fan of flying Technic models.

9398 - it is good, not exciting but good. I was hoping to see a more extreme Rock Crawler and not something with a traditional "Offroad body" relatively similar to 8297 for ex. However, it is positive the attempt to improve the design, in particular with the shaping of the front and the cab. I wonder if the wheels will be black also in the final version.. Regarding functions, it seems OK to me having 1x IR and 3x M-motors; the IR has 2 channels, so one channel could be for steering the 4 wheels - uaohh! like set 8880 ! - and the other channel for moving forward the vehicle. The only thing I believe 2x M-motor to move the vehicle forward may be a bit too weak .. unless the vehicle itslef is relatively small ..

All together, in 2012 the LEGO Technic line seems to have opted for 3x "mid-size" flagships (9396, 9397, 9398) rather than for 1x really "large-size" falgship as in 2011 with 8110. Definitely a commercial decision, even though some fans maybe disappointed not to see a "really big" flagship in 2012 :(

Alessandro Bartoli said...

I believe next big news is going to be a "Supercar" Flagship model in 2013 .. looking forward to seeing how TLG's designers will manage to impress us!

Conchas said...

I tend to believe now, that it should use two XL-motors to move, like the former bulldozer, and one M-motor to steer. Although not clear if only the front axle steers, or both.

Ondra said...

I dont understand why arent there 3 L motors in row..I hope there is chance to have 2 xl motors for move.
9398 is not best kind of flagship imo.

Helicopter is imo greatest technic set in 2012.

FH System said...

I have been waiting so long for an official Lego Technic remote controlled car! Now my dream that i have since childhood comes true. Further i am very curious how the steering is done. Love this set already. Can't wait to get it.

James said...

If you look down and right of the single M motor it looks like an omega symbol. Maybe this is a servo that can turn 180 degrees each direction. The hardest part of remote vehicles is smooth intuitive steering. This could be a new PF element.

Alessandro Bartoli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alessandro Bartoli said...

@James - good one! I was comparing this picture with other PF set boxes, in fact it looks like next to the motor plug there is one more dark spot ..... I think we have to wait still some time before we unravel the mistery ...

@Conchas - maybe you could try and get some hint from TLG ? you may ask a vague questions, such as "Guys, what about PFs ? I was thinking it could be a good idea to develope some new elements next year.." Just to see their reaction :)

Ondra said...

I now accurate check 9398 box and there is wrote "servo motor" and "l motor".Go and check yourself

Alessandro Bartoli said...

I can't tell. It looks to blurred to guess. It could also be a "Motor 9V Power Functions with Gear Reduction Ratio 9.5:1" (www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=bb489)

santi said...

@Ondra, how can you even read a single letter in those images?

carzzzz9999 said...

9398 looks great cant wait for the next details to leak out, although
I wish that within the next 5 years LEGO makes improved versions of the 8285 and the 8421, that would truly be a wish come true

ullo said...

My thinking:
9398 is ugly.
But maybe it ist possible to adapt the remote funktions to the unimog.. ;-)

TheTechnicKiwi said...

(9398) I think the black dot is just the pin hole on top of the m motor. TLG definitely should of used an XL motor rather than 2 m's. (9398) it says "batteries not included" although there is no power functions label.

Conchas said...

I don't seen any Omega symbol or whatsoever. "Servo" it maybe. :)
Although it seems really a good possibility that we finally get the long waited L and Servo motors. :D

Nevertheless I bet the box mockup was drawn with images from the old M-motors and it will take a reasonable time until we see something different and better that could give us further and more reliable hints.
If the L and Servo motors get confirmed, I guess they will have different form factors from those seen here.

Also I don't see the need for a different PF IR Remote. The actual remote already implements return to center, so we just need the capability at new motor.

Looking forward for new images with the final elements on it.

Conchas said...

Now a question...

If we get a PF Servo motor, would you like it to be proportional or On/Off?

I think that for steering but not only for that, it should be proportional.

However with the remote shown on the box (8885) it can only work in on/off mode.

Would it be compatible with 8879 "PF IR Speed Remote Control", and work also on proportional mode?

Alessandro Bartoli said...

@Conchas - you sometimes give the feeling to know "something more" :) it should have a little switch on it, to select between "proportional" and "on/off" mode

Victor Leewan said...

Look at this photo : http://i48.servimg.com/u/f48/11/38/62/55/crawle10.jpg

The part I circled in green, could it be a motor ?

Conchas said...

@Alessandro

But I don't, at least in this specific case.

It was just a matter of thinking a bit on the consequences from the integration of a servo motor into the PFS (Power Functions System) and how it should integrate with the existing elements.

As we know, the current IR Remote (8885) can only work in Full Forward, Full Backward and Stop, which sound too limited for a proper steering function.
But since this is the remote shown on the image and I doubt it will get extra functionality (doesn't have the proper mechanical construction to allow that), then either there is something not matching here or the new flagship play experience, may also become a bit limited. Maybe we won't notice it too much while playing with it (time will say).

8879 remote also doesn't seem appropriate for driving cars.

Since the beginning I feel the PFS would need a different type of remote, like we have on RC kits.
Either a 2D joystick and/or double linear joysticks (one vertical and another horizontal), with proportional control.

TheTechnicKiwi said...

I've noticed a few strange things while looking at the picture with the green bubble: strangely it looks higher quality than the one without the green. Also at the end of the text telling is what motors they are there is something that looks to me like a treasure chest?!? I think we might have a dune buggy as the b-model (look to the far left side of the picture) although it would be very similar to 8279. What mode of steering do you think it will have? If I was tlg I'd put in a switch do it would work like Sariel's monster truck.

James said...

They already released an improved IR receiver, with single C pin control. It wouldn't be too far fetched to release a second generation controller with proportional return to center control.

As far as a proposed servo would go I imagine it would most likely have a spring in it to return it to center. Using PWM control from the IR receiver, you could calibrate the armature to twist the spring to full lock at 100% PWM and proportional increments there of. That part is easy, now the question is.. could you use this servo as a sensor or switch... imagine connecting the PF connector of the servo to a battery box. Now stack a PF motor's connector on top. Twist the servo a little and the motor turn slowly, twist it a lot and the motor turns fast. That would be a lot of work for a possible rarely used feature but it would still be interesting.

Conchas said...

@James

The point is that I don't see feasible such improvement on the existing remote (as pictured in the box) due to lack of space to the extra parts required.

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