I was thinking of buying a LEGO Technic set. One set I’m looking at buying is the LEGO Technic Mack Anthem.
I decided to share the results of my research with you.
Why LEGO Technic
I’m old enough that I can remember when LEGO launched LEGO Technic brand.
It is designed for older kids and adults. Unlike traditional LEGO sets, Technic sets are more like models and not for play.
They require more skill to assemble but in return, you get much more detail including working engines, optional power functions (lights and automatic movement) and phenomenal detail.
What is a Mack Anthem
When you think of tough, dependable trucks, you think “Mack Truck”.
And the Anthem is their premier semi-truck for carrying freight across the country.
You can sum up what Mack owners and designers say about this vehicle in two words.
And watch the Mack Anthem 2018 promotional video:
What Does 2-in-1 Mean
This LEGO set is a multiple build. Specifically a 2-in-1 model.
This means that the set comes with instructions on how to build a completely different type of truck using the bricks included in the set.
In this case, it is a Mack garbage truck.
My mother-in-law retired from working for the city’s waste management (aka garbage pickup) service. I could see this being used as a nice display for someone who works in that type of job.
Or it could be a lifelike addition to a city display because it has grippers to pick up a garbage can.
LEGO Technic is known for creating detailed, functional models. They are not intended for traditional play the way a Duplo or non-Technic LEGO set is.
This detail also makes them harder to build and people have mentioned that it has taken longer to build than a simple set.
And the Mack Anthem is no different.
Here is some more information about what is detailed in this set.
- Engine -- A trademark of LEGO Technic is that vehicles have "working" engines. Meaning the pistons and fans move in a way that mirrors their real-life counterparts. And this is true here as well. And when building a semi-truck, being able to show how the powerful motor works are important to fans of these vehicles. This also turns these models into interesting teaching tools for explaining how oil is turned into energy.
- Lockable Doors -- The doors of the cab and the trailer lock. I don't think this important but it's a nice fun detail.
- Crane -- The full built truck and trailer looks like it's something that works in a heavy industrial setting. And these trucks come with a crane to lift and move the cargo container off and on to the trailer. And this is true for the kit. It's another fun detail.
- Outriggers -- To keep the trailer stable when loading and unloading the container the trailer comes with extensible legs that are called outriggers. It's another real-life mirror function. And why you buy LEGO Technic.
Dimensions And Pieces
This is large set. According to the manufacturer it comes with 2595 pieces.
Entirely built with the outriggers and crane extended is almost a foot high, half a foot wide and 2.5 feet long.
Based on my research there are no official accessories for this set from LEGO.
However, this doesn’t stop people from trying to modify them.
A simple modification almost anyone can do is add lights. There are several 3rd party companies who make unofficial lighting kits. Note - the LEGO Power Lights most likely won’t work in this set. Because they are designed for LEGO train sets.
But if you look at companies like Light My Bricks or Brickstuff they have kits that fit into almost any LEGO set.
The more advanced modifications I saw were taking LEGO power function motors and fitting them into the set to turn them into remote-controlled (RC) cars.
Fit For Permanent Display
As with all LEGO Technic sets they are a high-quality build and parts. LEGO pieces kept clean and out of the sun will last for decades.
And because this is an officially licensed set, LEGO made sure this is something that the Mack corporation could be proud of.
This set is perfect not just for the LEGO fan but anyone who loves trucks or works in the trucking industry. However, if you are buying it as a gift for someone to display and they are not already an AFOL, I would put the set together for them.
Because this is a large set. It’s almost 3000 pieces. And one comment I read said this has a 400-page instruction book. I can’t imagine anyone but a true LEGO fan building this set.
There are several things I like about this set.
It is a combined project from LEGO and Mack. Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated by big rigs. This was because our neighbor drove a truck. And the first TV show I remember is “BJ and the Bear”.
The set would require focus and attention. Building LEGO is one of my favorite ways to de-stress from work. And I adore the fact that when I’m done, I know I have completed something.
This set has so many details including moving pistons, radiator fan and a crane that it would just be fun to play with on a desk. And be a great conversation starter for guests.
Only get this set if you enjoy building big and complicated sets.
And that you have space to display it.
I would also consider getting an acrylic box to put on top so that it will keep it dust free.
In general, the reviews of this set have been very positive. The only negative reviews I could find mentioned that their box was missing pieces. If this does happen, contact LEGO. They can replace missing pieces but it will take several weeks for them to be shipped to you. Assuming the pieces are still in stock.
When I researched this set, it was selling in retail over $100. This is common for LEGO Technic sets.
They are not meant as general purpose toys such as LEGO City or Friends sets.
That being said, these are challenging building that can be a great way to spend a weekend building with family. And something you can display for decades.
What Else Can I Build
If you don’t intend to build the truck and put it on display in your house, then you will want to know what else can you build with the bricks.
By default, the boxed set is a 2-in-1 set. Meaning the set comes with instructions on how to build 2 sets.
A semi-truck and a garbage truck.
And if you visit the Rebrickable website then you can get instructions on how to build 4 more sets.
If you love LEGO Technic or are fan of Mack trucks or big-rigs in general then this is a great set.
It has a number of interesting moving parts and with almost 3000 pieces, it will take even the fastest LEGO builder several hours to put together.
If you’re trying to reduce your child’s screen time or yourself are looking for a long project to keep the mind focused while creating something with your hands then this is a great set to consider buying.