LEGO TECHNIC # 42122 JEEP Wrangler: the review

LEGO TECHNIC # 42122 JEEP Wrangler: the review
Released last December, the LEGO Technic # 42122 Jeep Wrangler set reproduces the Rubicon version of the iconic Made in USA off-road vehicle. Let's discover the real car together and then let's see what awaits us with this first FCA / Jeep branded set that reproduces a vehicle that can be considered synonymous with 4 × 4 to all intents and purposes.

Tip: if you want to see the construction of the set live, the video of the LEGO MANIA episode dedicated to this set is available on the Twitch CulturaPopITA channel.

The packaging

The front of the box shows the vehicle in its yellow-black livery crossing a stream between the rocks with high mountains in the background, while on the back we can find the images of the built set that highlight the features of the model: opening hood and doors, front winch, independent suspension and functioning. There is also an image of the real vehicle inserted in a short technical sheet of the latter which summarizes the characteristics of the vehicle itself: displacement, weight, horsepower and all-wheel drive system. The LEGO Technic element replica of this LEGO Technic # 42122 Jeep Wrangler set, as is almost always the case with real vehicles, includes a series of aftermarket accessories, such as the larger tires with increased tread, the winch and the roof rack.

Inside, the parts are divided into five envelopes numbered from "1" (2 envelopes) to "2" (3 envelopes). The five tires (4 for the vehicle wheels and 1 for the spare wheel), the instruction manual and the sheet of stickers placed in the box loose. Having divided the 665 pieces into just two parts, a lot of time is spent rummaging through two batches of nearly 300 pieces each, pleasantly increasing the duration of the building experience, for example compared to the more recent 18+ rated sets, in which the division of the pieces is much easier.

The sticker sheet contains only some aesthetic details, such as the door handles, the wording "Rubicon" for the bonnet and the reproduction of the leather of the custom Rubicon seats. In particular. One detail in particular surprised us: the LEGO Technic elements that make up the iconic front grille of the engine are printed. At the end of the instruction manual we will find comparison photos between real car and LEGO Technic model, as well as a short information sheet on the real Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

Rummaging through the pieces included in the set, we find a couple of new items. The massive (compared to the model scale) tires are a new 2021 item and fit the standard 30X20 rim. The tread is directional, a detail that is not always paid attention to. The other new element for 2021 is the small 2 × 3 Technic panel, already seen in red and black in the LEGO Technic Ferrari 488 GTE “AF Corse # 51” set and in blue in the LEGO Technic # 42123 McLaren Senna GTR.


Given the particularly small scale, the Jeep Wrangler does not include a fake engine in motion, so the construction of the frame is quite simple: it starts by adding immediately with the addition of the seats and with the initial part of the mechanisms for two of the functions included in the model, the externally controlled steering with the HOG (Hand Of God) command and the suspensions.

This set, as in real off-road vehicles, includes the rigid axle suspension system. However, only the rear axle is bound to the spring suspension frame. The front axle tilts freely, held only by the frame at the points where the two parts come into contact.

You reach the end of the steps related to the envelopes numbered "1" by assembling the iconic grid and the hood of the block engine, but absent in this set. The engine compartment, in fact, although completed by the opening hood, is certainly not one of the most interesting parts of the finished model. On the other hand, it was an excellent solution to conceal the absence of the fake engine for reasons of space by reproducing the characteristic of many of the modern engines of being increasingly hidden by plastic cowlings rather than hiding the mechanical parts. The doors, the sturdy roll-bar, the rear passenger compartment including the sofa with reclining backrest, the engine hood, the roof and the 5 wheels with rims and tires are the elements that are built with the pieces of the envelopes numbered "2" and which lead us to finalize the construction of the model.

The finished model

The finished model has a heavy and muscular look, incredibly yellow like its real counterpart, and the new tires look perfect for the off-road on a trail in the woods. The bonnet and the opening doors make it a fun model, even if the interior of the engine compartment does not reveal many details and the interiors have as their only particular notes the replica of the leather seats with stitching and Rubicon logo in red thread and the framework instruments, the screen and the vents placed on the dashboard thanks to the appropriate stickers. The winch on the front bumper is simple and has an almost purely aesthetic function, since it does not have a locking mechanism and works only when the "cable" is fully extended.

The height from the ground and the stroke of the suspension ensures good climbing ability, despite the absence of spring shock absorbers on the front axle. The suspension configuration with rigid axle and that of the springs at the rear allow the model to always remain perfectly level, with a very good effect and yield compared to the operation of the real vehicle but also in providing a fun suspension system composed of relatively few elements .

The steering is controlled by a HOG (Hand Of God) knob on the back, in the center of the compartment that houses the passenger seat. The turning radius is not the best: just over 24 cm in length from bumper to bumper for the model compared to a turning radius of over 63 cm. At least 12 maneuvers are required to reverse the direction of travel at 180 °!

As regards the aesthetic aspect of the model, the detail that certainly strikes the most and that captures the iconic and distinctive element of the real model is definitely the front grille. The large, bulging round headlights tend to make you think more of a Toyota FJ Cruiser than a Jeep Wrangler, but the typical 7-slot grille and rounded bottom corners immediately bring it back into the iconic canons of the classic Jeep Wrangler!

However, the rest of the model seems to be betting everything right on the grid to do the bulk of the work in terms of recognizability. The cockpit is too low in relation to the mass and overall volumes of the body, giving the vehicle a somewhat squat and wide appearance that makes it look more like a two-door Hummer H2 than a Jeep Wrangler. The aftermarket bumpers, fenders and ultra-high trim, although common modifications on real Jeeps, emphasize the Hummer-effect.


The Jeep Wrangler Technic is a model entry-level for builders approaching the LEGO Technic world for the first time, while giving them the chance to recreate an iconic piece of Made in USA automotive production. Almost every year since the Technic theme began, the LEGO Group has produced generic 4 × 4 off-roaders, many of which have been fun to build models and with a refined design. The model is sure to win LEGO Technic new enthusiasts and builders because fans of the Jeep brand are almost as passionate as AFOLs are for LEGO.

The design is good enough at conveying the characteristics of the brand it represents, but were it not for the front grille so typical and so well represented, the model would almost certainly be seen as good but generic 4 × 4 produced in the past years. The features and functionality are all solid and rugged, but the lack of a moving piston engine under the hood sadly feels a lot, given how much a hallmark of LEGO Technic models is.

In summary, it's a solid and fun set to build, but unless you're a big fan of the Jeep brand, it may be worth waiting for to find it on sale at a little discount or at GWP (Gift With Purchase). ) and / or double VIP points for purchases on LEGO Shop @ Home.

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