While this is now considered an older Power Mines set (it came out in early 2009), it is my favorite Power Miners set to date. I’ve built the 2 mechs, the 8958 Granite Grinder, and even the Claw Digger; but the Thunder Driller is my absolute favorite. It looks like something straight out of a James Cameron movie.
Note: You might be able to find this on clearance at some stores as they clear out old inventory to make room for newer LEGO stock, but this is an early 2009 set and you will most likely only find it online. Some retailers started clearing this out in mid 2010. Brickset shows it being discontinued in July of 2010.
It comes with some cool minifig accessories, 3 minifigs, and just looks great. I really like it. The Thunder Driller itself looks pretty realistic, too. There’s barely any exposed LEGO studs on the completed model, and it exudes a sense of brute power. The forward rock boring drill turns nicely when the front wheels roll, the engine compartment cover behind it can be removed to reveal a storage space (the cover also has a nice set of lights and a lifting chain), the driver’s area behind that is covered by a hinged ladder, and has enough room to hold one Power Miner and a LEGO box of dynamite. The other Power Miner can be put in there, too; but it might be a little cramped. Not only do you get all this stuff, there’s also a walkie-talkie, orange crystal, pick axe, and Firox rock monster figure.
By the Numbers:
Set: LEGO Power Miners 8960 Thunder Driller
Year of Release: 2010
Type: Power Miners Vehicle
# of Pieces: 235
# of Minifigs and what kind: 3 Minifig, 2 Power Miners, One Rock Monster (Firox)
Stickers? Yes, 8
Price: $49.95 US MSRP – Amazon.com (US) and Amazon.co.uk (UK), Possibly at Toys R Us. (Prices may vary through third-parties based on retailer and availability)
Time to Complete: @ 40 minutes, depending on how much time you spend on the stickers.