Lego Technic 1977

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Technic sets were first introduced in Europe in September 1977 under the name Technical Sets. Advertising, such as in catalogs, called the new theme "Technical Sets" although the boxes didn't have any name on them. The term Technic would not be coined until later.  These new sets still used much of the traditional studded construction of other LEGO® sets, but now introduced a small number of new parts which could be used to reproduce realistic technical functions.  There were gears and axles, and new special beams and plates with holes in them to allow installation of the axles.  There was even a piston element which could be used to accurately reproduce the lower part of a reciprocating engine.

These sets, intended for older children, expanded the Lego range into much more complex mechanical models, or -as early advertising stated- models "as technical as the real thing". The original series consisted of 4 models, including a 590 piece Auto Chassis, and 2 supplementary sets. In Europe they were given 850 and 870 series set numbers.

Several of these new elements, such as the cross axle and universal joint were holdovers from the earlier Gear wheel sets and were changed very little. Several other elements were new, more refined versions of the Gear Wheel elements, such as the technic beam that replaced the 2 x 4 brick with holes. Still other elements were entirely new, such as gears, the connector peg and piston rod. The 2 original supplementary sets included examples of all of the new elements.

example parts

The crown gear:
The original crown gear is a good example of how the new Technic elements replaced earlier elements. The Samsonite and Lego gear wheels could act as either a pinion or crown gear due to the relatively large size of their teeth. However, the smaller Technic gears required a new design. The crown gear featured a tooth similar in profile to a claw, (or a "bird's head" according to the 1976 UK patent application). Acting as a pinion it could mesh with the bottom of the tooth or as a crown gear with the top of the tooth.

UK patent 1543128 UK patent 1,543,128

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Lego Technic 1978

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In Europe, 2 new models, a small go-cart and a large crane, as well as a new supplementary set were released. The theme was finally released in the US under the name "Expert Builder" and were given 900 series set numbers. The initial release included 4 models, the motor set and a supplementary set. This difference between US and European availability has become standard Lego marketing practice, in fact there has never been a year with a common retail Technic assortment.

In addition to the new 16t gear, chain links and gear reducing blocks were introduced in set 872. The blocks connected to the 4.5 V motor and allowed for a 1:20 gear reduction in a much smaller space than would be required with Technic gears.

1978 US ad

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Lego Technic 1979

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2 new models, a large motorcycle and a bulldozer, as well as 6 small boxed supplementary sets and a 12 V stationary motor were released. The 12V motor, released only in Europe, was powered by the 741 transformer originally designed for the 12V Lego trains.

New elements in 1979 included the now common connector peg with axle, tread links, and the 12 V motor. The tread links were essentially a modified chain link and have appeared in only a handful of sets.

1979 US ad: 125K

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Lego Technic 1980

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The Idea Book
The 2nd Auto chassis, an auto engines set and the 1st Idea Book were the only items for 1980. The 8858 Auto engines set, released only in the US, could replace the engine in the 853 Auto Chassis (or presumably in the 8858, which wasn't released in the US until the next year). This was also the year that Lego switched over from 3 to 4 digit set numbers, all new Technical or Expert Builder sets were given 8800 numbers.
Several new elements were introduced in 1980. Most important was the shock absorber and crown gear differential, the first of the specialized auto elements.

8860 Auto Chassis:
The second of the major Auto Chassis and the last of the first generation sets, using a high percentage of regular Lego bricks but also utilizing the new shock absorbers and differential gear, the model featured rack and pinion front wheel steering. A three speed manual transmission, rear wheel independent suspension and a 4-cylinder boxer engine. Probably the last of the first generation models, the 8860 still relied heavily on standard bricks and beams, it even used Homemaker faucets as part of the manifold.
8888 Idea Book: However limited the early selection of specialized elements and however much 8888 ideabook reliance there was on standard Lego elements, quite complex models were possible. Nowhere was this more evident than the models and ideas presented in the original Idea book, which, even 20+ years later, are quite impressive. In many ways this may be the most inventive of all the Idea Books. Among many other things, the book included instructions for a steam shovel, mechanical dogs, a crane 'programmed' with gear racks and a writing machine resembling a 4-lead EKG.

1980 sets:

8858 Auto Engines
8860 Auto Chassis
8888 Expert Builder Idea Book
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Lego Technic 1981

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The 2nd Generation Sets
1981 NL Technical catalog
A completely new series of 5 models and 1 accessory set were released, including a large new tractor, the 8859 Harvester,
and truck, the 8848 Power Truck. It is interesting to note that after only 4 years Lego had already replaced the original tractor, helicopter and auto chassis with new, 2nd generation models. This very narrow scope of subjects, primarily cars, trucks, motorcycles, and construction/farm machinery, would continue until the late 1990's.
New elements for 1981 include the first of the 'toothed' plates, bushings and toggle joints, as well as the steering arm. These new elements allowed for a new method of construction and further refined the scale of technical functions.
1981 US ad
8848 Power Truck:
One of the first of the 2nd generation models, the 8848 Power Truck featured rack and pinion steering using toothed plates and the new steering arm, a rear axle differential, the front scoop and rear bed that could be raised and lowered via levers in the cockpit. The model made significant use of the new toothed elements, which allowed the technical functions to be scaled down in terms of size and resulted in a very realistic model.
UK patent 2,087,743
The toggle joint:
Connecting elements, such as a cross axle, at angles other than 90 or 180 degrees was always possible but this method of construction was fully realized with the introduction of the toggle joint. The 1981 UK patent application shows a toggle connector similar to the earlier piston rod but with a toothed rim. A pair of toggle joints could be assembled in various positions between 90 and 180 degrees by meshing of the toothed rims and could be locked in place by a connector peg or 1/2 bushing. These and other elements, such as the plate with toothing, allowed for rather compact angular connections and were widely used for years in Technic constructions.
UK patent 2,087,743

1981 sets:

8710 Expert Builder Parts Pack
8844 Helicopter
8845 Dune Buggy
8846 Tow Truck
8848 Power Truck
8859 Harvester
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Lego Technic 1982

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The Technic Universal Sets
1982 NL Technical catalog
The first 3 universal sets, including the large 8090 Universal Set, and a new 4.5 V motor, featuring a new battery box and connecting leads, were introduced. In Europe the theme was given a new name - Technic. The new name was used for both advertising and on the boxes. In fact several of the earlier Technical sets, such as the 8848 and 8860 were repackaged in Technic boxes. In the US the name remained Expert Builder, it would not change to Technic until 1986.
The friction connector: In addition to the new 4.5 V elements, the friction connector was introduced. The friction connector allowed 2 beams to be joined with a very secure connection and was largely responsible for allowing the beams to be used not just as long Lego blocks, but truly as beams, in much the way a Meccano girder was used. In fact the connection was so tight that Lego gave instructions to make a tool to remove them. It has become one of the most important and widely used Technic elements.
1982 US ad: 119K
8050 Universal Set:
Lego has always produced specific model sets, but it wasn't until the advent of distinct themes in the late 1970s that this became the primary focus of Lego marketing. Rather, Lego produced generic sets that offered ideas for a wide variety of models, such as the classic 100 series sets of the early 1970's. The Universal Sets were the first generic Technic Set.
The 8050 set featured instructions for 6 different models and ideas for several more. It included a general variety of Technic elements, such as beams, gears, connectors, as well as the 4.5V motor introduced in 1977.

1982 sets:

8030 Expert Builder Set
8050 Motorized Expert Builder Set
8090 Universal Set
8700 Power Pack
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Lego Technic 1983

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A Dragster
1983 US Expert Builder catalog
3 new models were released; a racer, dragster and motorcycle. The 1924 motorcycle was the first Technic promotional set and was available, at least in some places, as a cereal premium. There were no new Technic elements in 1983.
1983 US sets
8847 Dragster:
The Dragster featured rack and pinion steering connected to the steering wheel via cross axles and 2-cylinder engine attached to the rear axle by a spur gear and differential. A chain drive attached to the spur gear spun a cross axle, simulating a cam shaft. The dragster achieved a somewhat realistic appearance by using pulleys for the narrow front wheels and the large Technic tires for the rear. The tapered body, with an interesting blue and white color scheme, was achieved by using hinged bricks. The original steering linkage proved too fragile and later versions had an insert page showing how to rebuild a stronger linkage. Overall an interesting and rather difficult to find model.

1983 sets:

1924 Motorcycle
8841 Desert Racer
8847 Dragster
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Lego Technic 1984

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1984 EU Technic catalog
The first 3 pneumatic sets, including the 8851 Excavator and 8040 Pneumatic Universal Set as well as the 2nd Idea Book were released in Europe. In addition to the pneumatic elements, the threaded cross axles were new for 1984.
The pneumatics: The first pneumatic system included a pneumatic pump, cylinder, switch, and a distribution block, which were connected as a circuit with hollow rubber tubing. The original pneumatic pump and cylinder were single acting: pushing down on the pump created pressure in the system and pulling up on the pump created suction on the system.
1984 pneumatics
Because the original system was closed, Lego designed the piston head in the pump and cylinder to act as the pressure release valve. As described in the 1984 patent application, the piston was constructed from a flexible material that would normally contact the walls and seal the cylinder, when the pressure in the working chamber became too high the head would deform, breaking the seal, and allow the pressure to escape.
UK patent 2,139,318 A
8843 Forklift:
The 2nd forklift and first pneumatic model. The model's construction was typical of mid 1980's sets. It relied heavily on Technic beams, connectors and rounded plates rather than standard bricks. The model featured rack and pinion steering controlled by a 2x2 round brick on the top and movable forks controlled by a chain and pneumatic piston.

1984 sets:

8020 Expert Builder Set
8040 Pneumatic Expert Builder Set
8843 Forklift
8851 Excavator
8889 Idea Book
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Lego Technic 1985

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A Go-Cart

The lost year for Technic. After the release of the pneumatic sets in 1984, many of which were not released in some markets until 1985, and anticipating the Arctic Action series of next year, Lego produced only 1 new set for 1985, the promotional 1972 go-Cart. which was designed as a starter or trial set.
The small blue Go-Cart had only 1 function, front-wheel rack and pinion steering. To its credit, however, it used 8 small wheels to simulate wide tires.
Besides this one set one technic part was released: Gear Worm Screw. This part however did not appear in any technic set until 1986 in 8660: Arctic Rescue Unit.

1985 sets:

1972 Go-Cart
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Lego Technic 1986

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The Arctic Action Sets
1986 NL Technic catalog
8 new sets were released in 1986, the most in a single year since the line began. In addition to a go-cart and tractor model, 2 new Universal Sets as well as the Arctic Action sets were released. These were the first sets to appear in the US under the name of Technic, replacing the Expert Builder name. New elements included the worm gear, the action figure and several action figure accessories, such as skis, helmets and chairs.
The Arctic Action sets: The 4 Arctic Action Sets comprise the first Technic theme, based around a polar expedition. The series included a small ski car, a helicopter, a 6-wheeled truck and a pneumatic helicopter base and were given 8600 series set numbers. From the 1986 Lego press release: "Imagine a Mountain Rescue Base with a pneumatic powered helicopter platform. Or Snow Ranger vehicles with snow ploughs, and the new action figures which can even wear skis. They all add up to a really exciting new build-and-play idea."

The Arctic Action theme
The Arctic Action theme was the first attempt to add play value to the sets beyond just their construction and technical functions. It was the only Technic theme until the Competition/Cyberslam theme of the late 1990's.
The Action Figure: Lego had been producing figures in some form since the early 1970's, but the action figure was the first to be fully articulated. The head, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and feet were all movable to some degree. The patent for a new ball and socket joint, originally filed in 1985, shows a hip joint that consists of a pin with a ball at the end. The ball fit into a hollow socket on the thigh, allowing rotation. But the thigh also squeezed against the pin with enough force that the joint could remain in any position by friction, allowing the figure to be posable. This joint formed the basis not just of the Technic figures, but also of several other Lego dolls.
DK patent 157,062
8620 Snow Scooter:
The smallest of the Arctic Action sets and the smallest Technic set to date, the 8620 was scaled for the new action figure. The model had only one real function-the rack and pinion steering. The steering used not only the typical toothed plates and steering arms but featured an angled steering wheel held in place by cross axles and toggle joints. This small buggy would form the prototype for an increasing number of smaller vehicles over the next several years.

1986 sets:

8035 Universal Set
8055 Motorized Universal Set
8620 Snow Scooter
8640 Polar Copter
8660 Arctic Rescue Unit
8680 Mountain Rescue Base
8842 Go Cart
8849 Tractor
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Lego Technic 1987

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A Transforming Robot
1987 EU Technic catalog
For the 2nd time in 3 years Lego released only 1 new set, the 8852 Robot, as well as the 3rd Idea book. Perhaps after the number of new releases in 1986 Lego had saturated its retail outlets. But whatever the reason it would be the last off year for Technic.
8852 Robot:
The Robot represents probably the last of second generation sets. The model was a truck that, when the wheel on the back was turned, transformed into a robot. The set featured a rather complex gear train consisting of a worm gear, several reinforced spur gears and a long rack. Turning the pulley wheel simultaneously raised the cab and shortened the wheelbase. In addition to the now standard use of beams, steering arms, toggle joints and cross axles, the model also used a number of non-technic elements, such as claws and train windows.
A rather unusual subject for the Technic line, the design was no doubt influenced by the popularity of robots, especially Transformers, in the mid 1980's, and represented another attempt to add additional play value to the model.

1987 sets:

8852 Robot
8890 Idea Book
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Lego Technic 1988

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The 3rd Generation Sets
1988 EU Technic catalog
5 new sets were released, including the 3rd major auto chassis. Lego also updated the packaging with a new box and manual design showing a CAD drawing on a dark blue background. This design would serve as the basis for Technic packaging for the next 10 years.
There were several new elements introduced in 1988, such as the propeller assembly and steering arm. Model designs were becoming more complex and realistic and 1988 marked the beginning of ultra-specialized elements. Rather than construct the functional equivalent out of more standard elements, Designers began to use these specialized elements to increase the functionality with compact assemblies.
US patent 5.071,384
The steering gear:
The new steering gear assembly is a good illustration of these new highly specialized elements. The assembly consisted of a rounded plate with a toothed bracket, a rack/steering rod and a pinion holder. The pinion holder would engage the teeth of the bracket, allowing it it remain fixed in various positions. Because the rack had a rounded profile the pinion could rotate around it and remain engaged. This same functionality would require a much bulkier assembly if constructed out of separate elements. This steering gear has served as the base of steering, especially in small models, to the present day.
The 8855 Prop Plane:
This was the first Technic airplane and still stands as their best. By this time Technic sets had mostly lost their block-like construction and were starting to become quite realistic in appearance. The design of the prop plane, especially of the wings and rudder, look like a cutaway of a real plane. This technique would become the staple of 3rd generation set design. The joystick in the cockpit realistically controlled the ailerons and rudder through a series of cross axles and universal joints. The final result is a model that captured the prototype in both form and function. It is perhaps the most underrated Technic set ever.

1988 sets:

8712 Technic Action Figures
8832 Roadster
8853 Excavator
8855 Prop Plane
8865 Test Car
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Lego Technic 1989

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The 2nd Generation Pneumatics
1989 EU Technic catalog
7 new sets were released, including 4 new Universal Sets and 3 models. The new 80x4 series of universal sets included a pneumatic set and the short-lived 8054 Motorized set. 2 of the 3 new models featured the new pneumatic system.
2nd generation pneumatics
The 2nd generation pneumatics:
The 2nd generation pneumatic system included a new spring-loaded pump and cylinder, as well as the older pneumatic switch and tubing. The new cylinder was double-acting; it had an intake port on both sides of the piston. By directing air to either port the piston could be raised or lowered. This system resulted in simpler and more reliable circuits then the single-acting system. This arrangement has served as the basis of Lego pneumatics to the present day.
8862 Backhoe:
Considered by many the be one of the best Technic sets, the 8862 was the high point in a long line of construction vehicles. The front scoop could be raised and tilted through a series of cross axle/triangle links. The back hoe was operated via 3 separately controlled pneumatic cylinders arranged exactly as in the prototype. Finally a set of rear stabilizers could be raised and lowered via a pinion gear arrangement. The now common use of beams attached with friction pins was used to create the cab framework resulting in a model that not only successfully duplicated the functions of the prototype, but looked realistic as well.

1989 sets:

8024 Universal Set
8034 Universal Set
8044 Pneumatic Universal Set
8054 Motorized Universal Set
8835 Forklift
8854 Power Crane
8862 Back-Hoe
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Lego Technic 1990

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The 9V Electric System

1990 EU Technic catalog

7 new sets were released, including no less than 3 sets featuring the new 9V electric system. The 8064 Motorized set replaced the 8054 set after only 1 year. 3 of the new model sets featured the new engine elements and were categorized, at least in some of the catalogs, as the 'Rally' sub-theme.

The 9V electrics:
The new 9V electric system represented the first change in Lego's electric elements since the introduction of the 4.5V system in 1966 or the 12V train system in 1969. The system replaced every previous electric element with a new design. Although originally released in the Technic theme, Lego soon standardized their entire product range to this new 9V system.

US patent 4,743,202

The conducting plate:
For some time Lego had been working on a building element that could be attached in the typical fashion and still conduct current, yet not be easily short-circuited. Several patents from this time described a typical Lego plate with 2 isolated metal inserts that were exposed underneath as well as on top through cutouts in the sides of the studs. The exposed metal on the studs was arranged in a mirror image on either side of the plate so that when 2 plates were attached they could conduct current but could not be short-circuited. In production the plates had a simplified metal insert that allowed easier connections.

US patent D314,993

The engine cylinder:
A series of new highly-specialized engine elements was also released in 1990. This new system included a cylinder block, pistons, piston rods and crankshaft elements. The result was much more realistic and properly scaled engines and represented another addition to a now rapidly growing collection of highly specific vehicle elements.

US patent 4,461,116

The friction connector:
Lego would often change the design of elements and the new friction connector was a prominent example. The new connector had slits in the middle and at both ends, making it easier to remove than the original. The patent shows an elastic cylindrical plug with an annular central collar. When the connector was inserted into a beam hole the center slit would compress and the ends of the connector would expand, causing a relatively permanent connection. It is interesting to note that the new friction connector was produced 8 years after the original patent was filed in 1982.

The Control Center

8094 Control Center:
Dacta, the educational division of Lego, had been marketing several computer-controlled devices since the mid 1980s, but the 8094 Control Center was the first retail computerized Lego set.

The Control Center had 3 9V outputs for 3 motors. 1 motor was directly controlled by 2 buttons that ran the it foreword or backward. The other 2 motors were controlled simultaneously by a 4-position Control pad that had 8 different combinations, resulting in 2-axis control. 2 separate series of keystroke sequences could be recorded then played back as a 'program'.

The 8094 set included instructions for several models, including a programmable plotter and 3-axis robotic arm.

1990 sets:

8064 Motorized Universal Set
8094 Control Center
8720 9V Power Pack
8825 Night Chopper
8830 Moon Buggy
8840 Rally Shock and Roll Racer
8850 Rally Off-Roader

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Lego Technic 1991

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The Flex System

1991 EU Technic catalog

6 new sets, including the 8838 Shock Cycle and 8856 Whirlwind Rescue, as well as a new Idea Book were released. Lego also included an extra instruction book with the 8024, 8815 and 8820 to build a meta set from these parts. Although this had been done in other themes before, it was the first in the Technic theme.

There were several new parts released, including new motorcycle wheels and large shock absorbers as well as an entirely new system of flexible cables and cardan joints.

US patent 5,733,168

The Flex System:
The new Flex System consisted of thin, flexible rod-shaped cables with coupling heads, larger flexible sheaths and connectors that could be attached with axles or ball joints. When used together with the flex tubing the flex cable allowed for the transmission of force much like a Bowden cable. The small size and flexibility allowed it to be used where traditional gears and cross axles would be too bulky or impractical.

The original patent application also made a claim for using the flex cables as a means of stiffening static constructions, however this was never fully realized in any Technic models. The use as a Bowden cable, however, was utilized in a number of models, most notably as a helicopter or airplane control mechanism. The system remains one of the more elegant Technic construction methods and has always been underutilized by Lego.

US patent 5,360,364

The Cardan Joint:
The cardan joint consisted of a spherical ball with axial grooves, a loose-fitting ring with ball attachments as well as a guide ring with carrier pins. The pins of the guide ring meshed with the grooves of the cardan ball, allowing the transmission of torque but also allowing the guide ring to pivot about the sphere. The loose fit of the ball attachments allowed them to remain static as the rest of the assembly spun and be controlled by a flex cable. Not only did this allow for 3-axis control of a helicopter rotor but also formed the basis of a constant-velocity joint. Another example of the increasingly sophisticated specialized elements Lego was now developing.

8838 Shock Cycle:
The Shock Cycle featured both front and rear wheel suspension, accurate steering and a 2-cylinder chain drive, The new shock absorbers and hollow rubber tires, along with the new engine elements resulted in a quite realistic model. As Lego continued to release new, highly specialized elements the designers were beginning to create very realistic models, both in terms of function and form. The Shock Cycle would serve as the basis of a number of motorcycle models over the next decade.

1991 sets:

8074 Universal Set w/ Flex System
8810 Cafe Racer
8815 Speedway Bandit
8820 Mountain Rambler
8838 Shock Cycle
8856 Whirlwind Rescue
8891 Designers Idea Book
meta Racer (8024+8815+8820)

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Lego Technic 1992

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The Air Tech Claw Rig

1992 EU Technic catalog

5 new sets, including 2 pneumatic sets, were released. The sets ranged from the 98 piece ATX Sport Cycle to the 957 piece Air Tech Claw Rig. This retail assortment of small, medium and large sets would continue as the typical Lego marketing practice for the rest of the decade.

There were several new parts released including a new toggle joint, 2 new propeller designs and the compressor pump and small pneumatic cylinder. These last 2 allowed for electric operation of pneumatics.

8838 Supply Ship:
The red, black and white 8839 Supply ship was the only full-sized Technic boat model ever released. The model featured an interesting steering mechanism with wheels set under the hull. When the rear wheel was turned via a flex cable linkage the 2 rear propellers would turn as well. The supply hoist both moved up and down as well as rotated on a technic turntable. The curved shape of the hull was achieved through the use of hinged plates, a technique that was becoming more common in 3rd generation construction.

8868 Air Claw Tech Rig:
Another large construction vehicle, the Air Tech Claw Rig featured virtually every Technic construction system available and was easily the most complex Technic set to date. The major feature was a 3 cylinder pneumatic grabber arm on a turntable. The pneumatic circuit was pressurized by a 9V motor and compressor pump. The model also featured a 6-cylinder engine, front wheel steering via a knob on top of the cabin and 6 large tires. Surprisingly, this was the only set ever to feature the 9V compressor.

1992 sets:

8826 ATX Sport Cycle
8828 Front End Loader
8836 Sky Ranger
8837 Pneumatic Excavator
8839 Supply Ship
8868 Air Tech Claw Rig

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Lego Technic 1993

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The 4th Universal Series

1993 EU Technic catalog

8 new sets, including 3 new fourth generation Universal sets. were released. The new 80x2 series included a new pneumatic and electric set.

1993 US Technic catalog

There were a number new parts released including a new electric switch, a micromotor, the cross block and catch, as well as new, large rubber tires.

US patent D344,769

The cross block:
The cross block is an element that allows a cross axle to be attached at a 90 deg angle to a connector. The result was much more compact than the previous use of stacked beams or toggle joints, for example. This element, and the closely related catch, have proved to be remarkably useful in a wide variety of Technic constructions and over the years Lego would develop many variants.

US patent 5,596,181

The polarity switch:
The polarity switch consisted of a plate with metal contacts terminating in a series of leaf springs and a grooved rotatable shaft with axial notches. The leaf spring fit into the groove and when the round shaft was turned the notch would press down on the spring, creating an electrical connection. Because of the arrangement of leaf spring and notches, rotating the shaft would alternately create and break electrical connections, allowing the switch to be used as a pole reverser.

8082 Multi Control Set:
The 9V 8082 Multi Control Set was the first set to use these new 9V electric elements. It featured the now common 9V motor as well as the new 9V micromotor and polarity switch. This allowed for the construction of models that had multiple, separately-controlled, electric functions. The main model, for example, was a vehicle that used the motor to power the car and the micromotor to control the steering.

1993 sets:

8022 Universal Starter Set
8042 Universal Pneumatic Set
8082 Multi Control Set
8714 Technic Team
8818 Baja Blaster
8824 Hovercraft
8857b Street Chopper
8872 Forklift Transport

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Lego Technic 1994

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The Super Car

1994 EU Technic catalog

8 new sets, including 2 more Universal sets. were released. The 8062 was the first Technic set to be packaged in a plastic storage case. Again, the retail assortment ranged from very small (the 92 piece F1 Racer) to the very large (1300+ piece Super Car).

There were quite a few new elements, including many specialized vehicle elements such as steering wheels, 2 new sets of steering arms and a transmission assembly.

US patent 5,687.160

The transmission:
Yet another highly-specialized vehicle mechanism, the transmission, was introduced. The patent shows 2 drive shafts, each with a cylindrical driving ring containing annular guide flanges and pointed claws at both ends. When the driving ring was slid to end of the shaft by a shifter that fit in the flanges the arrow-like claws would engage into hollow spur gears, acting as a claw clutch. The result was a compact system that allowed easy gear changes, even when the drive shafts were not rotating. In essence, a synchronized transmission.

Life-size Super Car: 660,000+ elements

8880 Super Car:
The 4th auto chassis, the 8880 Super Car, can legitimately lay claim as the most complex Lego set ever produced. It took advantage of every specialized vehicle assembly available in Technic: 4 wheel independent suspension and steering using a modified cardan joint as well a no less than 3 differentials and eight large shock absorbers; 4 speed transmission using the new transmission assembly connected via chain to an 8 cylinder engine using the new engine elements. Other features included pop up headlights using a lever on the dashboard and an opening trunk. It was also the first auto chassis to attempt a complete body. again, as was now common, curves were simulated using hinged plates. in fact the model used no less than 52 hinges.

Unfortunately for Lego they were approaching a ceiling where these large sets were simply too complex for children to build. The Super Car, for example, had a dense 50-page instruction booklet, with additional correction pages, and could take an experienced builder 4+ hours up to 8 hours for a beginner to build.

1994 sets:

8032 Universal Set
8062 Universal Set with Storage Case
8808 F1 Racer
8812 Aero Hawk II (8429 Helicopter)
8816 Off-Road Rambler
8829 Dune Blaster
8858b Rebel Wrecker
8880 Super Car

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Lego Technic 1995

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The Pneumatic Crane Truck

1995 EU Technic catalog

9 new sets, including several vehicles, a helicopter, and several pieces of construction equipment, representing virtually all of the typical Technic subjects. were released. Starting in 1995 Lego changed their set numbering, Technic sets were assigned new 82xx or 84xx set numbers. The smaller sets were given 8200 numbers and marketed under the term "Tech Play" and the larger "Tech Build" sets were given 8400 series numbers.

Several new elements were introduced, included the knob, axle sleeve, the first of the compound cross axles, a new beveled gear design and 2 new gearbox assemblies.

US patent 5,890,943

The gear box:
Perhaps as a reaction to the increasing complexity of Technic sets, Lego designers developed a simplified gearbox that would allow children to more easily create gear assemblies. The result, shown the 1995 patent application, was 2 different gearbox casings. The casings had guide grooves that would allow various pinion, worm or bevel gears to be simply dropped in place. These gears were then held in position with cross axles placed through holes on their sides. This allowed for easy construction of rather compact gear assemblies.

These gear boxes were used in most medium and large 1995 sets and would be widely used in later sets. variants of the basic design would form the basis of the late 1990's robots.

8460 Pneumatic Crane Truck:
The 3rd and perhaps definitive Technic crane. The Pneumatic Crane Truck was the most complex Technic crane to date. It featured a rotatable boom and superstructure on a technic turntable. The boom could be raised or lowered via 2 opposed pneumatic cylinders and could be extended by a rack mechanism. The model also had 4 outriggers controlled via a gear assembly as well as front wheel steering. The overall design, including the cab, boom and superstructure came remarkably close to the appearance of the prototype.

This model was so highly regarded that Lego rereleased it in 2002.

8485 Control Center II

8485 Control Center II:
The 2nd Control Center set. This set included an updated Control Center that had a provision for a 9V adaptor. The set included instructions for 3 models, most notably a helicopter landing pad and a mechanical dinosaur. Both of these models were rather complex and utilized the 3-motor programmability of the Control Center much better than the original set. This signaled the beginning of many new electronic elements that would appear over the next 5 years.

1995 sets:
8210 Nitro Bike GTX
8225 Road Rally V
8235 Front End Loader
8280 Fire Engine
8412 Nighthawk
8422 Circuit Shock Racer
8440 Formula Flash
8460 Pneumatic Crane Truck
8485 Control Center II

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Category: technic sets 1990s
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Lego Technic 1996

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The Space Shuttle

1996 EU Technic catalog

10 new sets, the most ever for the theme, were released. These included several small sets, such as the 8207 Dune Duster, as well as several rather large sets, including the 8283 3-in-1 Car, the 1300 piece Space Shuttle.

As was typical in the mid 90's a number of new elements were released, including several fiber optic elements, transmission elements, and perhaps most importantly the studless beam.

The Modul system

The Modul System:
In an effort to increase the playability of Technic sets Lego introduced the Modul system. This allowed children to build simple modules that snapped together using 2 x 4 blocks with connectors and technic beams to create the finished model. For example the 8244 Convertibles included instructions for 9 different modules that could then be combined into a series of vehicles and aircraft. Over the next several years this construction method would become increasingly common. It was one of the first attempts to change the focus of the theme from construction to play.

US patent D374,465

The rounded beam:
The rounded, studless beam, was designed as an alternative to the traditional Technic beam. It consisted of a square body with connector holes and cross axle holes at either end. In many ways this was a radical departure from existing Lego elements. It had no studs, so other elements had to be attached with connectors or cross axles. It also had a different aspect ratio, 1:1 rather than the standard 6:5.

Initially it was used with traditional Technic beams in Technic models, but over the next several years it would become increasingly used on it own, resulting in a completely new system, and the next generation of model construction.

US patent 5,733,167

Fiber Optics:
The fiber optic system, an addition to the 9V electrics, was designed to simulate the flow of energy, such as the wires of an engine. The patent shows a light unit consisting of a housing with slits, containing a rotatable disc with an LED on one side and metallic conductor segments on the other. When the disc was spun, collector shoes would contact the conductors and alternately light the LED when it passed by the slits. Transparent fiber optic cables could be connected to the slits and would light up in sequence. Although mostly decorative, the fiber optic system was nevertheless an interesting idea and even found use in several non-Technic sets of the late 90's.

8480 Space Shuttle

8480 Space Shuttle:
The 8480 Space Shuttle is perhaps the only set as complicated as the 8880 Super Car and may be even more difficult to construct. The set consisted of 4 different motorized functions all controlled through an ingenious application of the Technic transmission. A single motor could open the cargo bay doors, allow 2-axis control of the Canadian arm and light the fiber optics of the rear engine. Additionally a small satellite had panels that retract/expand by use of a micromotor. Additionally the ailerons were controlled via a gear mechanism and the landing gear was controlled through a novel mechanism using a shock absorber to lock the wheels in place. In addition to the use of hinges the model used quite a few sloped bricks to model the nose, creating a highly realistic set.

This model had as much playability as any Technic set to date, but. like the Super Car, it was probably too difficult for children to assemble. It would be the last Technic set of this complexity, and, along with the 8880 Super Car, stands as the high point of Technic set design.

1996 sets:

8207 Dune Duster
8223 Hydrofoil 7
8230 Coastal Cop Buggy
8244 Convert-ables
8286 3-in-1 Car
8408 Desert Ranger
8425 Black Hawk
8443 Pneumatic Log Loader
8456 Fiber Optic Multi Set
8480 Space Shuttle

By Isodomus

Category: technic sets 1990s
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Lego Technic 1997

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Code Pilot

1997 EU Technic catalog

15 new sets were released. These included several small sets, such as the 8205 Bungee Blaster and 8215 Gyrocopter, several medium sets, such as the 8250 Search Sub, and the large Bar Code Truck.

There were quite a few new elements released, including additions to older systems, such as a slip gear, a pneumatic air tank and new high torque 9V motor, as well as many elements designed for new systems, such as the angle connectors and bar code reader.

2 different Technics:
The sets of 1997 also mark the beginning of Technic into 2 different concepts. Small, easy to build and highly modular sets with high play value but limited functionality, and large, realistic and increasingly electronically controlled sets. This division would greatly widen over the next few years.

US patent D384,986, et al

The angle connectors:
The angle connectors, a modification of the earlier axle extender, were sleeves with cross axle holes in one or both ends and a connector peg hole in the center. The series, numbered 1-6, allowed 2 cross axles to be connected at any angle from 90 to 180 deg in 22.5 deg increments. The result was a functional replacement for the old toothed connectors and plates, albeit much stronger and more widely useful. Although one early design patent shows a 4-way connector, this element was never produced.

These new element marked the end of the toothed elements and over the next few years many of them would be replaced with non-toothed equivalents.

US patent 5,962,839

Code Pilot:
The bar code reader, marketed as the Code Pilot, was the first of many highly integrated microprocessor controlled systems that would be introduced over the next few years. The device consisted of a housing with an LED reader, several buttons, a speaker and 2 9V electrical connections, one serving as an input and another as a output. Inside was a battery holder and PCB with a Zilog 2998 microprocessor, The device could read and store bar codes which could then be executed by the reader, causing it to perform various actions.

The Code Pilot could accept input 2 ways: by using the LED to read a barcode or timing wheel, or by using a sensor, such as a touch sensor, attached to the input port. It also had 2 ways to output: by tones from the speaker or by electrical output to the output port. additionally, a number of programs, tones and synthesized sounds were stored in ROM.

The Code Pilot represented a major technological jump from the Control Center, but was still rather limited. Almost as soon as it was released it was seen as a stop gap device before the release of the RCX. It was only available in the 8479 Bar Code Multi Set.

8205 Bungee Blaster

8205 Bungee Blaster:
The 8205 Bungee Blaster was the smallest set to date and a good indicator of the new, small sets designed with play value as the primary goal. The set built a small dragster that included an elastic cord that was wound on a spool connected by pinion gears to the rear axle. By pulling the model backwards the cord would wind on the spool, then unwind when let go. A Technic version of the rubber band car. The same set was also marketed in red as the promotional 2129, allowing children to buy both and race them. Overall, a surprisingly fun, well designed small set.

1997 sets:

2129 Bungee Blaster (red)
8205 Bungee Blaster (yellow)
8215 Gyro Copter
8216 Turbo 1
8222 VTOL
8229 Tread Trekker
8232 Chopper Force
8250 Search Sub (8299 Search Sub)
8277 Giant Model Set
8299 Search Sub (8250 Search Sub)
8414 Mountain Rambler
8437 Future Car
8459 Pneumatic Front-end Loader
8479 Bar Code Multi Set
8735 Technic Motor

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Lego Technic 1998

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1998 EU Technic catalog

No less than 25 new sets were released. These included quite a few small sets including a Shell promotional set and a series of 6 "micro" sets that were available only in Europe, several medium sets, such as the 8417 Mag Wheel Master and large, electronic sets such as the 8483 Cybermaster and 9719 Mindstorms set.

There were quite a few new elements released, including the corrugated tubes, new low profile tires, the spring loaded cannon and projectile, as well as the Cybermaster and Mindstorms electronics.

Cyber Slam

Cyber Slam:
A new theme, marketed as Cyber Slam in North America or Competition in Europe, was the first Technic theme since the Arctic Action Sets more than a decade ago. The new theme involved robot-like models that could fight each other, typically with spring loaded projectiles that would strike an opposing target and cause an action figure to spring off the model. The initial series consisted of 4 sets with 2 more released in 1999. The theme is an example of the move away from construction based to activity based sets.

Mindstorms RIS 1.0

1998 also saw the release of Mindstorms, the first fully programmable Lego sets. The history of Mindstorms begins in 1989 when Lego began to fund a chair for learning research at the MIT Media Lab. One of these projects was a programmable interface for Lego robots - the Programmable Brick. Lego took much of this technology and developed a commercial product, the RCX.

The 9719 Robotic Invention System, the first Mindstorms set, was released in the Fall of 1998, Although they were clearly Technic sets, Mindstorms was marketed as a separate product line and given 97xx series set numbers. The RIS was soon followed by 2 expansion sets. Lego underestimated demand and the initial 80,000 sets were sold out well before Christmas.

US patent 6,461,215

The corrugated tube:
The corrugated tube was a flexible tube molded out of soft plastic with a uniformly grooved cross section and perpendicularly cut ends. The inside diameter of the tube allowed a connector peg, cross axle or Lego stud or similarly shaped element to snugly fit by friction. This allowed the tube to be connected at both ends and assume various shapes, including curves. Also because the tubes were uniform it was relatively easy to cut them to the desired length.

This element is a good example of the new decorative elements and, along with the flexible cross axles released in 1999, represent a new class of elements that could mimic the outline of a curve. They would both be widely used in Technic construction.

The RCX in situ

The RCX:
The programmable interface, marketed as the RCX, was easily the most complicated device that Lego had ever produced. It consisted of a housing with an LCD panel, several buttons, a speaker and 6 9V electrical connections, 3 serving as inputs and 3 serving as outputs. Inside was a battery holder and PCB with an Hitachi H8 microprocessor and 32K of RAM, The device could accept information from sensors attached to the inputs and execute programs created by the user, causing it to perform various actions.

The programming for the RCX was done on a computer using an updated graphical version of Lego's Logo programming language. These programs were then downloaded to the RCX by an IR transmitter and stored in RAM on the RCX.

The RCX put Lego in the unusual position of being a computer hardware and software developer, so when the hobbyists reverse engineered the electronics and published software tools, Lego wisely released the SDK's. It was this step, perhaps more than any other, that resulted in a successful product line

9719 Robotic Invention System:
The first of the Mindstorms sets, the 9719 Robotic Invention System v1.0, included the RCX, the IR transmitter, 2 motors, 2 touch sensors, a light sensor as well as a number of conducting leads, even a PC serial interface cable. The manual, called a 'Constructopedia' included typical construction techniques and the software included several simple projects.

In many ways the RIS was a return to the Universal sets of the 1970's, rather then present elaborate models the set offered only partial models and suggestions. It was up to the user to design and build their own models.

1998 sets

2544 Micro Bike
2854 Bungee Chopper (magenta)
3038 Spider Slayers (8266 Spider Slayers)
3054 Motorcycle
8202 Bungee Chopper (teal)
8203 Rover Discovery
8204 Sky Flier 1
8208 Custom Cruiser
8209 Future F1
8213 Spy Runner
8217 The Wasp
8218 Trike Tourer
8219 Go-Cart
8226 Mud Masher
8233 Blue thunder vs the Stinger (8239 Cyber Challenge)
8248 Forklift
8245 Robots revenge
8257 Cyber Strikers
8266 Spider Slayers (3038 Spider Slayers)
8417 Mag Wheel Master
8428 Turbo Command
8462 Tow Truck
8483 Cybermaster
9719 Mindstorms Robotic Invention System
9730 RoboSports Expansion Set
9732 Extreme Creatures Expansion Set

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Lego Technic 1999

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The Rise of the Robots

1999 NA Technic catalog

29 new sets were released, a number only exceeded in 2000. The new assortment included several small promotional sets, 9 Throwbot sets, 3 Mindstorm sets as well as several traditional Technic sets, including a new auto chassis, the 8480 Super Street Sensation. The theme received a new, more modern logo and box design starting in the middle of the year.

In addition to a completely new series of Throwbot elements other new pieces included the flexible cross axles, fairing panels, a new pneumatic cylinder as well as several new Mindstorms electronics. For the most part the new elements tended to be either decorative or electronic, mirroring the widening division in the theme.

The Throwbots:
The Throwbots, called Slizer in Europe, represent not only a completely new type of construction as but a new philosophy by Lego as well. The small sets, typically containing 30-50 pieces, were simple to build and had only 2 functions: To throw a spinning disc from a flexible arm and fold up via a series of gears. The sets contained only a few traditional Technic elements, such as cross axles and pinion gears, most of the model was constructed using new, decorative elements.

The sets were the first attempt by Lego to create a true action figure where play, not construction, was the key to the toy. The sets were also marketed with randomly packaged discs, encouraging children to collect all of them. Clearly a response to the popularity of toys such as Nintendo's Pokêmon. The Throwbots represent the most extreme example of the growing division in Technic.

Lego Star Wars

The Lucasfilm License:
In yet another philosophical leap, Lego entered into it's first ever license agreement. This agreement with Lucasfilm for the rights to market construction toys based on the Star Wars movies would last until 2007 and reportedly cost Lego upward of 20 million USD. Lego began producing sets that ran across all of their current product offerings. In 1999 the first Star Wars Mindstorms set, the 9748 Droid Development Kit, was released. This would be followed by many more Technic sets in the coming years.

US patent D423,061

The Throwbot arm:
There was an entirely new class of elements designed for the Throwbots. These elements were highly detailed but also highly figural and less generic than elements to date. The result was an element designed for a specific function.

The Throwbot arm is a good representation of this new design. The arm consisted of a 3-flanged end that could hold a disc and on end and a new large ball joint connector at the other. A molded spring in the center allowed the arm to flex and when sprung back to its original position, release the disc by inertia. The amount of detail molded into the element made it difficult to use for any other purpose.

These new figural elements would form the basis of future robot type figures such as the Roboriders and, finally, Bionicle.

1999 EU catalog

8448 Super Street Sensation:
The 5th auto chassis. Although not a technically complex as its predecessor, the 8448, nevertheless included 4 wheel independent suspension, front wheel rack and pinion steering, a 5-speed transmission with a reverse gear and an 8 cylinder engine that could be mounted either in front or back. Several different body styles could be built with one featuring pneumatically dampened gull wing doors.

What the 8448 really represented was a styling exercise. Lego sponsored a design project at Coventry University and used those ideas in creating the model. They used rounded beams and new fairing panels to suggest body panels and the new flexible cross axles and corrugated tubes to create a curves that were simply not possible with older construction techniques. The result was by far the most realistic looking of the auto chassis.

This use of rounded beams, fairing panels and flexible elements for the superstructure would become typical for 4th generation models. The designs, however, were never quite as successful as they were with the 8448.

1999 sets:

1257 Tricycle (3000 Trike Buggy)
1258 Buggy (3001 Propeller Buggy)
1259 Motorbike (1268 Bike Blaster, 3003 Motorbike)
1260 Car (3005 Piston Car)
8246 Hydro Racer
8247 Road Rebel
8251 Sonic Cycle
8252 Beach Buster
8253 Fire Helicopter
8255 Rescue Motorbike
8268 Scorpion Attack
8269 Cyber Stinger
8444 Air Enforcer
8445 Indy Storm
8446 Crane Truck
8448 Super Street Sensation
8450 Cybermaster Mission
8500 Torch
8501 Ski
8502 Turbo
8503 Scuba
8504 Jet
8505 Amazon
8506 Granite
8507 Electro
8520 Millennia
9735 Robotics Discovery Set
9747 Mindstorms Robotics Invention System v1.5
9748 Droid Development Kit

By Isodomus

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Lego Technic 2000

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In 2000 again a lot of new sets are released. This year a huge number of 37 sets is released. First time is the release of
 Starwars sets under the Technic theme. In 1999 the first Starwars set was released in the Mindstorm theme. This years release contains 3 droids; Pit DroidTM, Battle DroidTM and the Destroyer DroidTM. The sets are considerably detailed counting the pieces ranging from 236 to 654 pieces per set.

New is a kind of tuning sets for cars. This contains a tyre set a side skirt set and 2 different chassis with which you can design your own racing cars.

Additionally a few smal starter sets are introduced. Strange thing is that the same sets for Asia get a different model ID. Probably because of the fact that the text on the boxes are in Japanese.

Besides the small starter sets and the Starwars sets a big formula 1 set is released consisting of 1443 pieces named the Silver Champion. This set introduces new tyres specifically for racing cars reused in later F1 Ferrari and Williams sets. Also a new part is introduced to mimic the wishbone suspension technic we know from racing cars in real live making this model very realistic.

Also this year the Slizers aka Throwbots are continued from 1999 with 3 new sets. Additionally a new series of RoboRiders was a TECHNIC theme launched by LEGO in 1999 as a successor to the Slizers theme. It was short lived, and was discontinued in 2001, when it was replaced by BIONICLE. These sets were well marketed by Lego including dynamic designs and bidon like packaging in stead of the oldfashioned carton boxes. It also came with a story and a website. Nevertheless this theme only lasted for one year.

In this year sveral new technic parts are launched like the reinforced shock absorber to carry bigger sized cars.

Technic Liftarm

The liftarm was introduced first time in 1989 with just one type. In the years after new once were introduced one by one. In 2000 however 10 new liftarms are introduced which is a big amount considering the release of 14 liftarms in the 11 years before. The 3, 5 and 15 long and the L-shape 3x5 and some thin once.

2000 sets:
1290 Volcano Climber
1291 Dirt Bike
1292 Ice Explorer
1293 Swamp Craft
5206 Speed Computer
5218 Pneumatic Pack
5219 Tyres and Drives Pack
5220 Styling Pack
5221 Motor Base Pack
5222 Chassis Pack
8000 Pit DroidTM
8001 Battle DroidTM
8002 Destroyer DroidTM
8003 Volcano Climber
8004 Dirt Bike
8005 Ice Explorer
8006 Swamp Craft
8236 Bike Burner
8237 Slammer Racer
8238 Slammer Dragsters
8300 Action Figures
8305 Duel Bikes
8307 Turbo Racer
8457 Power Puller
8458 Silver Champion
8509 Robo Riders Swamp
8510 Robo Riders Lava
8511 Robo Riders Frost
8512 Robo Riders Onyx
8513 Robo Riders Dust
8514 Robo Riders Power
8515 Robo Riders Wheels
8516 Robo Riders The Boss
8521 Flare Slizer
8522 Spark Slizer
8523 Blaster Slizer
79974 Race Pack (consists of 1268-Bike Blaster and 5704-LEGO Racers - PC CD-ROM)

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Lego Technic 2001

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The year 2001 two big events; the introduction of Bionicles and the introduction of a new 'Super Car', although not everybody will consider this model 8466 '4x4 off-roader' as 'Super Car'.

The theme word is a combination of "biological" and "chronical". The concept can be seen as a continuation or successor of the former themes; Slizers/Throwbots and RoboRiders. Also the characters of Bionicles are based on classical elements Earth, Water, Fire and Air. Although the earlier sets of Bionicle were interoduced under the flag of Lego Technic it rapidly evolved into its own theme by the enormous success it has.

Strong point is probably the story lines for which Greg Farshtey is responsible. Even Lego Group still mantains a Bionicle site although the Theme was discontinued in 2010.

 Showdown In The Sky

Mata Nui has been busy since defeating the Skrall leader Tuma and helping Glatorian and Agori unite on Bara Magna. His quest to free his people, enslaved by the evil Makuta, continues as he journeys to the north. There, he finds an ancient fortress of the Great Beings, his creators. Inside, Mata Nui discovers a source of power so great that it could bring the smaller robot found on Bara Magna back to life. See for more stories Bionicle Site.


  I consider the 8466 Off-Roader released just 2 years after the Street Sensation as a Super Car also because it has the same features as 8448, but with an additional feature of all wheel drive! This off-roader is still a cross over model from technic bricks to technic lift arms. In this model however the amount of lift arms used is much more than technic brick used. The front and rear train are build out of technic lift arms so looking good. Funny is that the chassis is still designed with technic bricks which rises your eye brows during building this model.

The technic design of the all wheel drive is very like reality. Differentials in front and rear train and a differential incorporated in the gearbox. This model also uses the approach of a chassis with different coach models. Besides you could build a pneumatic tow hook with set 5218.

Sets for 2001:
1416 Bionicle Vakama
1418 Bionicle Matau
1419 Bionicle Nokama
1420 Bionicle Nuju
5223 Wind-up Motor
8007 Starwars C-3POTM
8008 Starwars StormtrooperTM
8240 Slammer Stunt Bike
8241 Battle Cars
8242 Slammer Turbo
8463 Forklift Truck
8464 Pneumatic Front-End Loader
8465 Extreme Off-Roader
8466 4x4 Off-Roader
8525 Bionicle Kanohi Box
8530 Bionicle Kanohi
8531 Bionicle Pohatu
8532 Bionicle Onua
8533 Bionicle Gali
8534 Bionicle Tahu
8535 Bionicle Lewa
8536 Bionicle Kopaka
8537 Bionicle Nui-Rama
8538 Bionicle Muaka Kane-Ra
8539 Bionicle Manas
8540 Bionicle Vakama
8541 Bionicle Matau
8542 Bionicle Onewa
8543 Bionicle Nokama
8544 Bionicle Nuju
8545 Bionicle Whenua
8546 Bionicle Power Pack
8548 Bionicle Nui-Jaga
8549 Bionicle Tarakava
880001 Trike Race
880010 Roboriders Value Pack
880011 Roboriders Value Pack
880012 Roboriders Value Pack

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Lego Technic 2002

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This year nothing spectacular was released. A lot of technic educational packages are released in stead. Besides that the series of Lego Technic Starwars was extended with a figure for R2-D2, Darth Vader, Jango Fett and Super Battle Droid.

From real Lego Technic 3 non complex starter sets are introduced. There was a Formula One set released '8461 Williams F1 Racer' but not in the Technic category although it contains a lot of Technic Lego.

This year however a few technic parts are released which will become the hit of the decades to come like the blue "Axle Pin with Friction Ridges" Axle Pin with Frictionand other small elements which will support the design of smaller future Lego sets like the "Axle and Pin Connector Perpendicular 3L with 2 Pin Holes" and "Axle and Pin Connector Perpendicular Double Split". These parts will make it much easier to change building directions in small areas.


In line with the current strategy for Lego Technic, making models more realistic several new panel fairings were introduced.


Besides the small parts a new big rim was introduced for the bigger cars:

sets 2002

8009 R2-D2
8010 Darth Vader
8011 Jango Fett
8012 Super Battle Droid
8429 Aero Hawk II
8430 Motorbike
8431 Crane Truck

K8008 Darth Vader / Stormtrooper Kit

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Lego Technic 2003

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Several technic parts were released for tuning cars. These parts are mainly used for non Technic Category technic cars.


sets 2003
4481 Star Wars Episode 2 - Hailfire Droid
8438 Pneumatic Crane Truck
8441 Fork Lift Truck
8451 Dumper
8453 Front End Loader
8454 Rescue Truck
8455 Backhoe Loader

Non-Technic Theme sets
8365 Tuneable Racer
8366 Supersonic RC
8369 Dirt Crusher RC (Yellow)
8370 Nitro Stunt Bike
8371 Extreme Power Bike
8376 Hot Flame

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Lego Technic 2004

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sets 2004
8433 Cool Movers
8434 Aircraft
8435 4WD
8436 Truck with Pneumatic Crane
8439 Front End Loader

Non-Technic Theme sets
8378 Red Beast RC
8386 Ferrari F1 Racer 1:10

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Lego Technic 2005

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sets 2005
8415 Dump Truck
8416 Forklift
8418 Mini Loader
8419 Excavator
8420 Street Bike
8421 Mobile Crane / Crane Truck

Non-Technic Theme
8369 Dirt Crusher RC (Blue)
8653 Enzo Ferrari 1:10

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Lego Technic 2006

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sets 2006
8281 Mini Tractor
8282 Quad Bike
8283 Telehandler
8284 Dune Buggy
8285 Tow Truck
8287 Motor Box
8288 Crawler Crane
8289 Fire Truck

Non-Technic Theme
8674 Ferrari F1 Racer 1:8

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Lego Technic 2007

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sets 2007

8270 Rough Terrain Crane
8271 Wheel Loader
8272 Snowmobile
8273 Off Road Truck
8274 Combine Harvester
8275 Motorized Bulldozer

Non-technic theme sets

8145 Ferrari GTB Fiorano 1:10
8146 Nitro Muscle

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Lego Technic 2008

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sets 2008
8290 Mini Forklift
8291 Dirt Bike
8292 Cherry Picker
8294 Excavator
8295 Telescopic Handler
8296 Dune Buggy
8297 Off Roader
9628 Mechanisms Power Add-on Set
9641 Mechanisms Pneumatics Add-on Set

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Lego Technic 2009

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sets 2009
8063 Tractor with Trailer
8256 Super Kart
8258 Crane Truck
8259 Mini Bulldozer
8260 Tractor
8261 Rally Truck
8262 Quad Bike
8263 Snow Groomer
8264 Hauler
8265 Front Loader
9686 Simple and Motorized Mechanisms Base Set
66318 Technic Supper pack 4 in 1 (8259,8290,8293,8294)
991426 Black Plates - Large Package
991451 Tracks
991452 Sprockets
W991526 Homeschool Introduction to Simple and Motorized Mechanisms Pack

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Lego Technic 2010

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2010 sets:

8041 Race Truck
8043 Motorized Excavator
8045 Mini Telehandler
8046 Helicopter
8047 Compact Excavator
8048 Buggy
8049 Tractor with Log Loader
8051 Motor Bike
8052 Container Truck
8053 Mobile Crane

66359 Technic SupperPack. Tractor Truck Loader plus (8259, 8260, 8293)

9667 Solar Panel
9668 Energy Display
9669 Electric Battery Pack 9V rechargeable
9670 E-Motor with gear readuction (Ratio 9.5 : 1)
9688 Renewable Energy Add-on set

Category: technic sets 2010s
Dec 4,2015
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Lego Technic 2011

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2011 sets:

8065 Mini Container Truck
8066 Off-Roader
8067 Mini Mobile Crane
8068 Rescue Helicopter
8069 Backhoe Loader
8070 Supercar
8071 Bucket Truck
8081 Extreme Cruiser
8109 Flatbed Truck
8110 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 400
66397 Technic Super Pack 4in 1 (8047, 8065, 8067, 8069)

Category: technic sets 2010s
Dec 4,2015
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Lego Technic 2012

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2012 sets:

9390 Mini Tow Truck
9391 Mini Crane
9392 Quad Bike
9393 Tractor
9394 Jet Plane
9395 Pick-Up Tow Truck
9396 Helicopter
9397 Logging Truck
9398 4 x 4 Crawler
66433 Technic Super Pack 3 in 1 (8293, 9392, 9395)
991751 MINDSTORMS Energy Parts Pack
2009689 Simple Machines 9689 Activity Pack

Category: technic sets 2010s
Dec 4,2015
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Lego Technic 2013

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2013 sets:

41999 4 x 4 Crawler Exclusive Edition
42000 Grand Prix Racer
42001 Mini Off-Roader
42002 Hovercraft
42004 Mini Backhoe
42005 Monster Truck
42006 Excavator
42007 Moto Cross Bike
42008 Service Truck
42009 Mobile Crane Mk II
42010 Off-Road Racer
42011 Race Car

Category: technic sets 2010s
Dec 4,2015
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Lego Technic 2014

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2014 sets:

42020 Twin-rotor Helicopter
42021 Snowmobile
42022 Hot Rod
42023 Construction Crew
42024 Container Truck
42025 Cargo Plane
42026 Black Champion Racer
42027 Desert Racer
42028 Bulldozer
42029 Customized Pick Up Truck
42030 Volvo L350F Wheel Loader
5004193 Technic Collection (42026, 42027)

Category: technic sets 2010s
Dec 4,2015
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Lego Technic 2015

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Sets of 2015

42031 Cherry Picker
42032 Compact Tracked Loader
42033 Record Breaker
42034 Quad Bike
42035 Mining Truck
42036 Street Motorcycle
42037 Formula Off-Roader
42038 Arctic Truck
42039 24 Hours Race Car
42040 Fire Plane
42041 Race Truck
42042 Crawler Crane
42043 Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245

Category: technic sets 2010s
Dec 4,2015
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