8295: Telescopic Handler Review

Theme: Technic
No: 8295
Release Year: 2008
Cost: AUD$129.99
Pieces: 1182
When I was growing up, my favourite theme was Technic. The fact that you could build intricate models that usually did something cool was something I couldn’t resist. This is still the case today, and the Telescopic Handler is one of those sets that does something cool.

Elements: 7
I’ve found with Technic sets that most parts are pretty standard. It’s pretty much the same with this one. The bright yellow panel is the only thing that’s unique to the set, but there is still enough parts to make it worthwhile. The large balloon tyres are great, as well as the linear actuator that supports the telescopic arm. There’s a nice amount of yellow also. ​If you bought this set when it was new, it would have been one of the first sets to use the linear actuator. The other one will be in next week’s review post.

Swooshability: 7
As I mentioned before, Technic sets are renowned for their swooshability. This set has a lot of option in this area, with a massive telescopic arm, the adjustable pallet platform, four wheel steering, and retractable outriggers at the front. It’s a good set, but I have three little gripes – firstly, the steering is not that great. It’s controlled by the light at the top of the cab, but it takes a lot of force to turn the wheels, to the point that it stresses the axle. It’s got a discinct spongy feel. In order to get it to fully turn the wheels, you need to move them with your hands. It’s a shame really. Also, the hand winding mechanism for the telescopic arm is a little fiddle. It takes ages to get the thing moving. maybe a reworking of the gearing ratios would fix this, but it would take a little tweaking. Lastly, to get the outriggers down, the exhaust pipe acts as a lever. When the outriggers are in the up position, it looks strange tipped back. The pure fact that it looks gets close means it gets a 7 and not a 6.
Build: 8
Technic builds are always a good experience. You learn a little bit more, and it’s good fun piecing together the build. I always love clipping another completed section on. You really get the idea of how big it’s going to be when the telescopic arm is completed. It’s big, and will take you a few hours to build. The cab is built separately and clipped on, as are the outriggers. For me, LEGO sets mean grabbing a drink, turning on some music, and getting stuck into it. This build experience was very enjoyable, regardless of the lacking in the swooshability department.
Design / Appearance: 9
Not focusing on the other sections of this review, this model is very cool to look at. It’s big, with chunky tyres, moving parts, in construction yellow, and can actually lift things to a pretty decent height. I love the cab section, with the bright blue chair. Sticking in an extra colour there was a very clever move.The only criticism is that it’s a little exposed. The body of the Handler itself is nude! It would have looked much nicer with a few panels, but on the flip side, you wouldn’t be able to see the extra details inside.
Value for Money / Collectibility: 6
If you are interested in purchasing this as a used set, you’ll most likely be saving a bit of money, with secondary markets going for a little under the RRP. If you want a new set, expect to pay around $200. This means that you’ll get a decent price per element, at under 20c even at new. Collectibility is a little trickier. Is it a standout set? Not so much. Is it unique? Nope, there’s other telehandlers. It’s always tricky rating this section. I should really split this out to two sections and do a score out of 60 instead, but I think that’d be odd. Maybe if I review the review format again, I’ll split the two. Value for money is good, collectibility not so much, unless of course, you simply have to have all the Technic sets. 

Next week I’ll be looking at another 2008 Technic set using the linear actuator. It’s 8294: Excavator. What did you think of the set? Let me know in the comments below.

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