Among my first impressions and my best guesses, I was convicted about a new incarnation of 8288 Crawler Crane from 2006, eventually at a larger scale and some motorized functions.
Concerning the Mercedes-Benz Arocs and from the several possibilities we can find from images available online, I imagined a dump truck. It could a nice fit with the last flagship, the 42030 Volvo L350F Wheel Loader. This would eventually boost sales for both sets, but however and due to the large scale of L350F among wheel loaders it would fit a lot better with some sort of mining truck or any other larger MB heavy duty truck, than with an Arocs truck. This one would fit a lot better with some kind of smaller scale wheel loader, like 8265 Front Loader which is unfortunately not selling for a long time. So all the possibilities were open again (Tow Truck, Crane & Tipper, Concrete Mixer, Dump Truck, etc...). Even we could get some version with 3 or 4 axles, although a 4 axle seems more likely for a $230 flagship.
The only viable possibility for the wheel size, seemed to be the use of same tires and wheels as used in 8258 Crane Truck and 42009 Mobile Crane Mk II.
Also it stood out that a simple dumper could turn a bit too short in terms of available functions, for a Technic flagship...
As for the Fire Plane there is not much one can expect. From the set number it should be the smallest in the season with not much functions. Some propellers, bottom doors for the water tank, eventually some working flaps, rudder or retractile landing gears. Most likely not a motorized set.
As of today you may have already noticed from certain forums, there are already a few images circulating in the sub-world of some die hard LEGO Technic fans... This has been a more than expected event as we got closer the new year 2015.
Because TLG folks are always much concerned about leaks, we can't publish any watermarked images, but we can talk about them if we came to see some one. At least this has been the agreement!
Please bear in mind that as usual by this time, images are quite small and to much blurry, hence with too few visible details. Also these are clearly not the final box artworks, what means some information may be incomplete, not precise or even subject to be changed in the final product (remember the huge differences with the 42039 24 Hours Race Car). So please take all the info below as just a bit more reliable than rumors.
And let's finally take into the details...
42043 - Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245
This is indeed the new Arocs truck with its typical front grille and MB logo. Likely a sticker on a round tile, but I wish it would be a printed element as we also can't see many more stickers apart from the license plate.
It is a tipper truck with a crane behind the cabin. A bit like 8258, although this one did not include the tipper.
The truck is predominantly white with light or dark bluish gray elements (hard to distinguish at this low quality images). The crane is red and has a clam-shell made from one or two new elements.
In terms of Power Functions, the box shows one Battery Box and what seems to be one L-Motor (remember some motors information have been imprecise in some preliminary box artworks before).
And it also shows there are several pneumatic elements in this set (presumably 4 of them) which makes this mainly a pneumatics set!
Now the best part (sit if you are not already sited)...
We can see three different sized cylinders!
From the apparent proportions I'm assuming the one in the middle is the regular pneumatic cylinder (Design ID: 47224) and so the other two in the top should be a longer version of this one.
Regular cylinder is 7/10,5L and from the proportions I guess the new one could be something like 9/14,5L (tbc).
We should have also one small pump element, to build a motorized compressor. The last pictogram in the box doesn't seem to fit with the "new" small pump introduced with 8110 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U400 (Design ID: 99798). Rather it seems a bit shorter and thicker. Can it be a new short pump with 2L diameter!? I can't be sure, but it would make some sense, as the longer and several cylinders will require more air, and this is one way to produce it a reasonable pace.
So you see, some clues here but also significant doubts about what we will get... Time will tell!
The crane itself looks the have three sections with a clam-shell bucket attached to the tip. Only one pneumatic cylinder is clearly seen in the crane arm (parallel to the first section which folds/unfolds the second section), but I guess two/three additional pneumatics are also possible here - One in the column to fold/unfold the first section, one to extend the boom (second section) and one inside the clam-shell for opening/closing.
This makes up to four cylinders and remember we can only see three (+ one pump) in the box. We could easily live with some crane arm geared functions to accommodate the difference, although the apparent amount of pneumatic houses around the crane arm sections really puzzles me...
Although not clearly visible, at least the cylinder to extend the second section seems to be present, due to the hoses and the way the lay around the boom. It can be manually extendable though, with the hoses going to the clam-shell instead.
Them we remain with another doubt... What about the tipper? Does it tip or do not tip.
There is no single evidence in the box that it does, but one could expect it...
Them I'd also expect it to be driven by one or two pneumatic cylinders (like in real Arocs if we think about hydraulics as pneumatics...). But these are already too much for those shown in the box and for a single set, so if it really tips I guess it will use one or two Linear Actuators.
Now let's talk about the other functions...
We can see two wheel axles in the front (both steerable). There is also an extendible out-trigger behind the second axle, which makes me think about gear racks now in LBG color.
It is not really possible to clearly see behind this, but I still guess there are another two unseen axles. It wouldn't make too much sense to have two axles in the front and just one in the rear...
The wheels/tires definitely look to be the same as in 8258 and there is a big distance from the mudguards to the tires, which suggests the presence of some kind of suspension... Wondering, but we will see!
There is no evidence of the presence of any piston engine in this model, but it may be there as usual... We will also see!
The cabin is 17 studs wide like it was the 8258 too, which means both trucks are in similar scale.
The tipper looks to be at least 33 studs long.
So in terms of functions, let's list the possibilities:
- 4 rolling wheel axles
- Two steering front axles (HoG)
- Suspension - ? (likely)
- Pneumatic motorized compressor (via switch box)
- Extendible outriggers (via switch box) - motorized ? (likely)
- Tipper tilt (via switch box and LAs or pneumatics) - ?
- Cabin tilt - ?
- Cabin opening doors - ?
- Adjustable rear view mirrors - ?
- Fake engine under the cabin - ?
- Tipper open door - ?
- Rotating crane arm base - motorized (via switch box) ?
- Crane arm first section folding pneumatic ?
- Crane arm second section folding - pneumatic
- Crane arm extensible second section - manual or pneumatic ?
- Clam-shell opening - manual or pneumatic ?
And this is it! If we consider we should get 2 or 4 motorized functions selectable via switch box, we need to prioritize which ones they should be, in case they're just two instead of four.
42042 - Crawler Crane
This is a crawler crane with lattice boom like 8288, but at a bigger scale. Although without the second mast (hence smaller boom) which otherwise would mean an enormous set for the price point.
It is predominately blue with some white appointments, like the cabin.
We can see a lot of blue Technic beams (inclusive in the lattice boom) and some blue panels too, like the newer version of the 11x3 curved panel (none of these 11x3 curved panels were released in blue before).
Due to the larger scale, tracks use the large links (Design ID: 57518), which seem to be used here in DBG color.
This is a set with Power Functions of the shelf, and the box artwork indicates it includes one Battery Box and also what seem to be one L-motor (again, remember some motors information have been imprecise in some preliminary box artworks before).
The set includes a rock grapple made with the grabber claws (Design ID: 11953) used in 42006 Excavator.
I'm sure the the new clam-shell elements introduced with the Mercedes-Benz Arocs would fit also perfectly here, but it makes sense to use some diversity in the sets that go into the shelves, so the designers wisely decided to have both in different sets.
I'm sure this is something you're going to try!
The grapple opens via a manual knob/gear seen at the top/side. It wouldn't be possible to make this motorized anyway, once it is suspended in the load cable.
Additionally we can also see at the box, grabbed in the claws, a latticed blue section which I guess it can be used to extend the crane boom, thus making it even longer.
Given these details and with one single motor, the functions we can expect to see motorized are the boom elevation and cable drum to raise/lower the rock grapple, or whatever you will install in its place...
Thus, the function candidates for this set are:
- Push/pull tracks
- Manual superstructure rotation
- Manually extensible boom, via modular section attachment
- Manual rock grapple opening
- Motorized boom elevation
- Motorized cable drum (lower/raises rock grapple)
As usual, still no details about the B-models so far!
And looking forward to get additional details on these sets as well as the Fire Plane still unseen. Likely to happen when the Toy Fairs will start again all over the world, in some weeks.