Imagine the scene, we open our new shiny box of the LEGO Technic Black Champion Racer in a rush of excitement and I blurt out in my best american accent ”I feel the need… the need for….” then there was a long pause as I looked at my 4 year old son in expectation to be the Goose to my Maverick and finish off the sentence. Instead he softly whispers in dismay “LEGO?!”
The smooth lines of the LEGO® Technic Black Champion Racer can only mean one thing… speed! Pull the super-sleek car back, release and watch it shoot forwards!
It was ridiculous of me to expect him to know what to say as he has never seen the film, but the whole theme of our play session with the LEGO Technic Black Champion Racer was all about speed and I had a need!
I have to confess that despite being a big LEGO fan as a child and now as a man-child I have never had the pleasure of building a LEGO Technic set. There has been no reason for it except other sets have appealed to me more, or maybe subconsciously I thought Technic was for more expert builders. Either way I have definitely been missing out!
The Black Champion Racer is a relatively small set compared to some of the products in the LEGO Technic range, but they say good things come in small packages and that is definitely the case with this product. With just 138 pieces and a recommended builder age of 8 – 14 the build was challenging enough to take about 20 – 30 minutes, maybe quicker if you don’t have to chase down a crawling baby and wrestle a car tyre off him!
I really love the choice of colours of the racer, the mix of bright orange and midnight black provide a modern twist to a classic type race car design. The showpiece of this set is the pull back and release feature that really brings the car alive and brings a whole new dimension to the play experience.
Although my 4 year old really wanted to help with the build he wasn’t really able to do much apart from put the wheels on, which was fine as he knew it would be too difficult for him. However, once the car was built the playability of this product is suitable for all.
It was only the other week that we were planning to build a ridonculous ramp for my son’s toy cars and the appeal of testing out the pull back and release feature of the racer was too good to resist, so out came the ramp. Now I may have falsely built the image of this ramp to be something stupendous, well it will be, but it isn’t at the moment, currently it is just a sheet of MDF.
Before we went and made any adjustments to the ramp we tested out how the LEGO Technic Black Champion Racer’s pull back motor performed on an incline. It did surprisingly well and with a bit of tinkering to the trajectory of the ramp we were ready to race.
There were squeals of glee when the racer flew off the edge of the ramp and landed with such elegance, my son then requested I stop the shrieking and help him build something “even cooler”. What came next was a building session of unadulterated creativity, the ‘ring of doom’ was about to be born.
10 minutes later and the ‘ring of doom’ stood proudly at the edge of our ramp. Not only did this intimidating DUPLO creation add a new element of skill and danger to the jump but we had also lined up a wide range of blood thirsty DUPLO animals at the base of it, waiting to pounce on any mistakes.
I really had my doubts as to whether the Black Champion Racer had the guile to make it through. It did, just, but not without clattering into an elephant and a cow. We couldn’t afford a repeat of that horror so it was back to the drawing board.
The great thing about LEGO is the instructed model is just a guide, you build it, you enjoy then you can modify it. Although tempting to do a complete re-design of the racer I could hear the bath running and time was running out on our play session. A really quick fix of bringing the front wheels closer to the back wheels by two holes surprisingly gave us the an extra inch lift which squeezed the racer past the giraffe, elephant and cow with ease. There were cheers all round!
At £17.99 the LEGO Technic Black Champion Racer is a bit more than a pocket money buy but it offers so much value, not just in the build but with all the fun that can be had with the pull back and release function. A big plus with this set is the ability to mix it with the Desert Racer to create a Race Truck with two pull back motors!
As a newbie to Technic I am worried that I enjoyed this product so much that it will act as a gateway to bigger and better Technic products… well have you seen the Cargo Plane?!!