Review of the LEGO Technic 42098 Car Transporter set

I bought the LEGO Technic 42098 Car Transporter set to build a custom design, and my decision to still build the official model was a mistake.

I would like to first state that I didn’t initially intend to purchase this set. It looked uninteresting to me, especially at this price point, but I found a garbage truck MOC (My Own Creation, an unofficial set) that only uses parts from this set. And since Technic garbage truck sets are rare, I opted for this set as a parts donor over the 42078 Mack Anthem B-Model for aesthetics reasons since the budget was very similar.

I decided to first go with the intended build since the MOC doesn’t use the parts of the blue car included in the set. Additionally, I’ve always enjoyed Technic sets and, even though I wasn’t initially interested in it, I was curious about the official build.

Boy was I wrong.

I started in order with the blue car. The build was enjoyable enough, I feel like the steering wheel could have been connected to the Hand of God steering but I remember this set isn’t about the car.

Photograph of the rear ends side by side of both the truck and the car from the LEGO Technic set 42098 Car Transporter showing a similar design for both.

The next day I started to build the truck, and immediately something felt off to me. The engine, transmission and rear axle assembly where very similar to the blue car. I’m guessing the blue car was designed after the truck and inherited some of its technical concepts. But because of the order of the instructions, when I started the truck which is supposed to be the main course, I had an instant feeling of déjà-vu, which actually set the tone for the rest of the build as I later found out.

The new (for me) long gear rack and housing was a nice discovery, but after that the build started being tedious and pretty much never stopped. Ramps were dreadful to build because of their sheer number, size and proportion. Connecting several pins along a thin 30+ studs long assembly was nerve-wracking and ultimately provided very little satisfaction because there were several more to do.

Photograph of the engines side by side of both the truck and the car from the LEGO Technic set 42098 Car Transporter showing a similar design for both.

The next day, the trailer was at first more interesting to build because there were some new mechanisms (connecting ramps on the front and back) but ultimately it became more of the same as the truck, so I spent most of the build wishing for it to end fast, which it didn’t because of the overall large number of parts.

Side note, I didn’t feel like using most of the stickers, even on the car that will not be disassembled.

The only good point I will concede to this set is that, once built, it was a fantastic toy for my 6-year old kid. But at a 12+ age rating and a hefty price point without really being a displayable model, I feel like it’s missing all the marks.

Photograph of the three parts of the LEGO set 42098 Car Transporter, the red truck, the red trailer with the loading ramp open and the blue car.

(This review was initially posted on the official LEGO website on December 1st 2020)

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