One thing that really bothered me when I starting building LEGO Technic models is the lack of bricks and beams. So on my race to build a good supply of parts I bought Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions (£8 on Amazon.co.uk) because it has lots of gears and axles and what the hell, because the book looked so good.
Now that I have read it ( it is really a short one ) and build most of the stuff I have an opinion about it: Lovely book!.
Don’t expect something utterly complex here, it is a LEGO Book with stud bricks and gears that let you build little crazy machines using rubber bands ( also included on the book ).
Here are the main experiments that the book features.
The Beaker Blender 3000
This blender is a really cool way of showing how gears works, and it really enlight you about the torque/speed stuff. You need to apply a lot of power to the handle and the blender will move awfully fast.
Did you ever want to break a LEGO gear? Well, this is a fast way of destroying your gear’s teeth. But it does a cool sound… think of it as a trade-off…
This is a very simple claw but it really inits you into a powerful mechanical construction. Anyway, it doesn’t really works because you can’t retrieve objects using it. Just grab them.
No Donkey donkey-cart
This is the most lovely construction of the book in my opinion. I just love the simple idea behind it and how well it does run. As I said: Lovely.
Surely my expectations were high on this one, or perhaps it was my pen. In any case this has been the construction I have enjoyed less of the book. I built it and I couldn’t stop thinking “What the hell!?”
If you don’t have kids around, this is the best way of losing your LEGO parts. As I have already two, I manage myself quite well into losing bricks and plates… but anyway, it is impressive to see how far the piece can travel.
Wall rocket Launcher
At first I didn’t understand what this model was about. But once I pushed it agains the wall I saw it. Quite clever and definitively fast! It is almost invisible on the video.
This construction uses rubber bands and gears to create a spinner using the big grey gear.
This is the reference model of the book and perhaps the most complex. Just remember to add the rubber bands to the wheels or power won’t be transmistted to the ground. That’s fast!
My eldest kid loves this one. I build the base using some LEGO Duplo parts and then build the zipline runners. It is pretty simple but kids love it.
Tennesse Time Killer
This one is amazing! It is a great way of teaching physics to kids. First thing my son asked me when he saw it was where the batteries were?.
Just using gears and rubber bands you can have this one moving for minutes, no joking.
Watch all of them in action is this video.
So what do I think of the book? A Must-have book for any LEGO fan really. Quite fun and enjoyable and simple enough for a child to build on his own. Also a great (cheap!) way of getting not too common parts.
Value for money
You can buy it at Amazon.co.uk