Cars are the very essence of the LEGO Technic philosophy. Supercars, buggies, Formula 1 cars or wild futuristic concepts — there’s no car you can’t build with LEGO Technic pieces. And it’s not just about the design, but also about the models’ functionality; any car can be equipped with a gear box or all-wheel drive. This season 42077 Rally Car hits the store shelves — an amazingly well-balanced set that can serve both as a brilliant display model or as a very clever choice for anyone who’s just getting to know the world of Technic mechanisms. The set consists of 1005 pieces and retails for $109.99 / 99.99€ / £89.99.
Pieces in new colors
Before we take a look at the building process and the main features of the car, let’s see what pieces appear in new colors in the set for the first time. The Rally Car has no pieces in new designs, however the set is panels galore; 12 panels of 6 types, all in magnificent dark azure, are an excellent addition to any collection.
Next comes a variety of both flat and curved panels, again in dark azure. It’s the very first time the bowed panel 3x7x2 appears both in azure and in dark bluish gray. And, of course, it’s easy to spot the famous wheel arch panel 5x15x2 in azure as well.
Just like last year’s flagship set, 42070 6×6 All Terrain Tow Truck, the Rally Car offers quite a number of beams in dark azure, both regular and L-shaped. No doubt, open center frame liftarm 5×7 in black will also be welcomed by fans, as it’s the first time the piece is produced in this color.
Finally, one more pleasant surprise is a small soft axle 7 in white, which sits just perfectly in the rear part of the car’s roof.
A brief glance at the huge sticker sheet included in the set is enough to understand that the design of the car is largely created by stickers applied to numerous panels. Without the stickers the car would be just an ordinary race vehicle of a very basic shape formed by curved panels above the wheels and panels in the rear. If you usually opt for not applying any stickers, you risk getting a very different model from the one pictured on the box.
Honestly, I believe stickers can make any model look better. However, it’s extremely easy to accidentally ruin the car’s design especially when two stickers can be easily misaligned on two adjacent panels. I wish the instruction book had some simple warnings to draw the builder’s attention to the importance of proper alignment of the stickers, or tips on how to apply them.
The real pain was an extremely long and narrow 1×12 BILLUND HIGH POINT sticker placed on a very narrow 1×13 white beam. I can hardly remember any other sticker that could detract a great deal from the pleasure of a very enjoyable building session like this one. What a buzzkill!
The last straw was four tiny yellow stickers which should be put on the inner surface of each of the four wheels. Do I really have to tell you how incredibly hard it was to put these stickers on?
As long as you don’t pay attention to stickers, the building process of the car is as enjoyable as it can be. It goes just at the right pace, remaining clear at any given step, which makes the set a wonderful choice for any beginner, both young and adult.
As usual, the engine block is built first followed by the rear bridge. However, it’s not until step 82 of the building guide that you get a full grasp of the actual size of the car. It is bigger than I could imagine judging just from the pictures on the box.
Once the chassis is finished, it becomes clear that the car is just about the size of the old LEGO Technic supercars of the 90’s, for instance, the legendary 8448 Super Street Sensation. Unfortunately, the size is the only thing that makes the two models similar; of course, the Rally Car features no gear box or a detailed engine block.
On the bright side, the bright red roll cage is a highlight of the model. Its simple, yet clever design requires just a handful of pieces (including some relatively new macaroni pieces in red).
The finished model
The finished model looks just amazing. It’s big yet not too heavy, which makes it a perfect toy as well as a wonderful-looking model that teaches very basic mechanisms inside a car — like independent suspension or the steering mechanism.
More than 45 Technic panels used in the design of the car make the model look as good as possible from any angle.
You won’t find wide holes or empty spaces that many Technic models are infamous for. However, there’s enough room inside the car to give you an opportunity to clearly observe the vehicle’s mechanisms in action.
No doubt more experienced fans of Technic sets will be dissatisfied with a number of smaller design flaws like the shape of the wheel arches.
Even the rear of the car looks pretty awesome with just enough space between the panels to notice the engine block behind the seats. Take a moment to note the highly efficient use of panels!
The play features
Besides the steering mechanism and a fully independent suspension, the main play feature of the set is, of course, the rear part of the bodywork that can be lifted to reveal the engine and the rear bridge. It works very smoothly and it’s totally not something I would expect to play with in a rally car.
It’s not only a great display feature, but it also presumes a number of play scenarios involving custom modification of the engine block and the rear suspension parts.
Conclusions & recommendation
42077 Rally Car is one of the best introductory set I’ve ever seen for anyone who is interested in Technic. Not only does it teach the basic structure of the car’s chassis, it also serves as a brilliant base — both literally and figuratively — for custom creations of your own, like cars, off-road vehicles or even crawlers with independent suspension. Moreover, you can easily motorise the car with nearly no additional parts.
Whether you’re looking for a decent LEGO Technic display set or you just want to vary your collection of panels in white and dark azure, the 42077 Rally Car won’t leave you disappointed.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick a copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.