I have to agree here. It made the sets much more affordable and also somehow felt more ‘lego-like’ to me. It made construction quick and also made it less likely for the model to break.
For example, the Thunder Driller from Power Miners is mainly comprised of giant plastic wheels, three huge plane fuselage chunks, a massive drill and a few other bits. I have owned this set for a very long time, and it could easily sustain me ‘drilling’ with it and did not fall apart as I rammed it into hard surfaces.
On the other hand, a very similar set, Cole’s Earth Driller from 2013 falls apart as I pick it up. This set does not use any pre-made parts other than the drill and the back wheels, making it fragile. The rear fins snap off easily and the textured side panels quickly detach when you grab it by the middle. When the same actions done with the Thunder Driller are attempted, the vehicle crumbles to pieces.
The Thunder Driller is a relatively large vehicle, definitely within the size of a £50 set, yet retailed for an affordable £21.99. Comparatively, I didn’t expect the Earth Driller to retail for more than £12.99 considering its measly size, but it instead retailed for a surprising £17.99 due to its piece count. Despite being the more expensive set, the Thunder Driller is much better value, and remains sturdier by using larger pieces.