Our Christmas tradition continues: Building the Lego Volvo EW160E
In an earlier post I explained how, in the wake of a tragedy three years ago, our Christmas Lego building tradition was born (Lego memories and building a Christmas tradition). Over the years we’ve built a Lego Volkswagen T1 Campervan, a Mini Cooper and Wall-E. This Christmas, we faced our most challenging family Lego build to date: The Lego Volvo EW160E.
The Lego Volvo EW160E (set 42053) wheeled excavator is the first Lego Technic vehicle we’ve built as a family and the first one we’ve tackled with parts that are driven by a pneumatic system. It’s also a 2-in-1 kit, with the option to rebuild the kit into the Volvo L30G compact material handler.
For those who like a challenge, you can also upgrade by purchasing the 8293 Lego Power Functions motor set to give the EW160E a fully motorised arm and working lights – How cool is that?!
Boxing Day building fun.
On Boxing Day, whilst some of the population were still in a post-Christmas ‘food coma’ and others were already queueing outside department stores with money and gift vouchers burning a hole in their pockets, we were eagerly anticipating the arrival of the rest of the Taylor clan and the unboxing of our latest Lego kit.
As soon as we’d squeezed in more food in the form of a buffet lunch of Christmas leftovers, we cleared the table and settled down to the main event, the family Lego building session featuring the Lego Volvo EW160E.
Armed with our cups of Yorkshire tea, we began our unboxing of the impressive bit of kit and gasped at the size of the instruction manual…All 250 pages of it! Then we split the packets of Lego pieces and laid them out…The set comprises more than 1,100 pieces in total.
This project was certainly going to need some concentration, but we were up to the challenge, especially as Mr T’s 20 yr old nephew, Jack, built the Sydney Opera House (nearly 3,000 pieces) last year.
The Lego Volvo EW160E.
The Lego Volvo EW160E wheeled excavator has been developed in partnership with Volvo Construction Equipment and is an authentic replica of Volvo’s real life earthworks vehicle. It’s aimed at ages 10-16+ and retails at £69.99.
It’s advanced pneumatic system for operation of the extendable boom and working bucket and the option to add a motor kit to add additional power functions makes this Technic kit a satisfying and rewarding build.
Even without the motor upgrade kit, and in addition to its pneumatic functions, the Volvo EW160E is bristling with lots of great manual features, such as a height-adjustable cab with seat, armrests, sun visor and adjustable mirrors.
The Lego EW160E also boasts a rotating superstructure, rear-controlled front steering, working front blade and extendable outriggers.
As mentioned earlier, this 2-in-1 model can be rebuilt to create a Volvo L30G compact material handler, yet another detailed model of one of Volvo’s real-life vehicles.
Review: Lego Volvo EW160E.
The Lego Volvo EW160E was a challenging but thoroughly enjoyable build. It kept the whole family engaged and absorbed for the rest of Boxing Day afternoon and evening, with Mr T and the girls finishing it in a few shorter sittings over the next few days.
Once completed, the Volvo EW160E proved to be fantastic looking vehicle, with an impressive level of detail. Plus, unlike our previous Lego projects, with Technic, it’s not just about looks! We hadn’t anticipated how feature-rich this little beauty would be.
As well as the plethora of manual features, the pneumatic system which operates the boom arm is great fun to operate and works like a dream. I think Mr T is even thinking about buying the optional motor kit to add even more motorised functions.
Despite being a more challenging build than our previous Christmas Lego projects, the Volvo EW160E has given us an appetite for exploring more of the Lego Technic range. Yes, the Mini Cooper and VW Campervan were things of beauty, but having manual and pneumatic features with the option to add motorised functions too, really adds to the appeal of this kit.
It’s even won Mr T over, who’d originally set his sights on the Lego VW Beetle before Lego sent us the Volvo to review. In fact, Mr T has been so impressed with his first Lego Technic build, he’s already dropping hints about potential projects for next year, namely the gorgeous Lego Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS, (£249.99).
He’ll just have to make sure he’s a good boy this year and we’ll see whether Santa delivers for Christmas 2017!
Lego Volvo EW160E: Final thoughts.
We loved building the Volvo EW160E! At only £69.99, we think it’s an absolute bargain, offering a rewarding building experience.
Whether you’ve tried Lego Technic before or whether it would be your first foray into the Technic range, we have no hesitation in recommending it. In fact, it’s been such a great kit to build that after we’ve had fun testing out all of its manual and pneumatic functions over the next few weeks, we may even have a go at the alternative build, the Volvo L30G.
In the meantime, the Volvo EW160E has pride of place on our bookcase alongside all of our previous Christmas Lego projects.
Over to you.
Are you a Lego fan? Did you get any Lego for Christmas? What’s your favourite Lego range, (Friends, City, Star Wars, Technic)? As always, I’d love to hear from you.
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I was gifted the Volvo EW160E by Lego after they heard about our Christmas Lego building tradition. As always, the words and opinions are my own honest assessment.