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New Sets for 2001
New Parts for 2001

2001 - Off Roader


2001 saw a reduction in the number of sets and the number of categories to a more manageable level (10), perhaps in response to the unsustainable number of models in previous years.  There were 2 large new traditional sets, 2 re-released sets from prior years, 3 new Speed Slammers, 2 new Star Wars models, and a promotional set.  The two new sets both used a new metallic green painted color that was unique to 2001 and would never appear again.

The historical context makes it clear why Slizer and Roboriders were discontinued this year.  2001 is the year that Bionicle started and that theme superseded the others.  Early Bionicle sets did bear the Technic logo, but because they are really a different theme they are beyond the scope of this web site.

With the addition of the new frame parts, the new models from 2001 had the most robust and sturdy chassis construction ever.  In fact the evolution to fully studless in future years would generally reduce the overall rigidity of structure from the 2001 high point.  The most notable model is the 8466 Off Roader which can arguably be considered part of the Supercar line since it contains all the same features.  With four of the Power Puller tires, this was one of the largest, heaviest sets ever.

The new parts this year would continue to expand the studless system while still adding parts with studs as well.  The catalog of panels was also expanded.


1237 Asimo

8007 C-3PO

8008 Stormtrooper

8240 Slammer Stunt Bike

8241 Battle Cars

8242 Slammer Turbo

8463 Forklift

8464 Pneumatic Front End Loader

8465 Extreme Off Roader

8466 4x4 Off Roader



A set of 3 box or L shaped Technic frames was released.  These very rigid studded parts were used to make extremely sturdy structure.  They have since been largely phased out of Technic with the switch to studless, but are still used to reinforce large Systems models.

Beams and Liftarms
The catalog of studless part was further expanded with the addition of a 3L, 7L, 9L and 3x5 beam.  A 4L thin liftarm was also released.  The older 4L liftarm with a thicker bush at one end remained in production.

Miscellaneous Parts
A new, longer version of the perpendicular connector with 1/2 stud offset was released (shown in black).  There was also a 3L crank used as, not surprisingly, a crank.  Finally, the existing 3L pin got a similar part without friction for rotating joints.

The catalog of curved panels which had been introduced the year before was expanded.  The new panels (#5 - #8) are the same lengths as the previous but only half the width.

Suspension Parts
The Off Roader included a very important new system for supporting and steering the wheel.  Older hubs typically relied on only a single small diameter axle.  The problem of having a steered, suspended, driven axle had only been tackled on the 8880 and the solution was very large and had a lot of friction.  The new wheel hub was supported top and bottom by ball joints which mate with control arm sockets.  An existing ball joint on either side can be used for steering.  The much larger bearing area allows for the support of greater weight. and the connection to the wheel uses 3 pins instead of a single axle hole.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a CV joint (shown in gray) eliminated the need for a u-joint on the steered axis.  The angular limit for the CV is fairly small, so this means only a correspondingly small steering lock and suspension travel is possible when used.  Both parts would be used sporadically far into the future.


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