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BuWizz Updated

BuWizz

Regular readers here at The Lego Car Blog will have seen a few non-LEGO words appearing every so often in the descriptions of featured models. One of these is BuWizz, a third-party LEGO-compatible bluetooth control and battery that delivers a huge jump in power to LEGO’s Power Functions components and provides remote-control-by-mobile functionality.

We reviewed the BuWizz brick and came away impressed, particularly with the power increase (because who doesn’t want more power!?), but one area where the device could be considered lacking was its app, which was clear and easy to use but nowhere near as programmable as its chief rival SBrick.

BuWizz’s latest update aims to rectify that with the addition of a suite of new functionality including increased customisation, more profiles, advanced power control options, livestream camera support, and a new user interface.

If you already own a BuWizz brick you can download the new app via the last link above, and if you’re yet to try the product you can find out more via the first, where there is also currently 20% off in the BuWizz Summer Sale.

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BuWizz Train Pull!

Yes you read that right. The guys over at BuWizz, who have designed a rather clever fully LEGO-compatible bluetooth control/battery, have decided to showcase the power of their little brick by a pulling train! With standard LEGO motors (and only three of them!). Don’t believe us? Take a look via the video above!

If you’d like to see how you can use the power of BuWizz yourself (even if you don’t have an old-timey train carriage handy) you can read our review of the BuWizz device by clicking here.

BuWizz

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BuWizz | Bluetooth Control Battery | Review

Lego BuWizz Review

The Lego Car Blog Elves love remote control Lego creations. Well, they love them if they are at the controls. As regular readers will know there have been a number of remote control related incidents here at TLCB Towers, resulting in much Elven hospitalisation. Well things are about to get taken up a notch…

Revealed here as a Kickstarter project back in June 2016 the BuWizz bluetooth control battery brick has become a regular third-party accessory within the Lego Community. With claims of up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own Power Functions battery set-up, now expanded to twelve times with the release of BuWizz 2.0, the potential to transform the way Lego models move is huge. But does the BuWizz live up to the hype? We’ve been sent a copy to find out…

Lego BuWizz Review

The Brick

Our BuWizz arrived a simple cardboard box, packaged only with a little piece of paper denoting the required warnings and LED indicator meanings. The BuWizz brick is a clever thing, incorporating both a rechargeable li-ion battery and a bluetooth control into one 8×4 stud box, reminiscent of LEGO’s own battery boxes from the 1980s. There are studs on top, tubes on the bottom, and four Technic pin holes with which the BuWizz can be attached to genuine LEGO pieces.

Our BuWizz came in a dark grey hue that we don’t think matches any of LEGO’s colours, but seeing as it can be mounted internally within a creation an exact match isn’t required. The moulding quality is OK, perfectly adequate for the job in hand, but certainly not as good as an official LEGO piece (or the rival SBrick reviewed here previously). On top of the BuWizz are two connection ports, a status LED, and four LEGO Power Functions compatible power outlets.

You must charge your BuWizz upon arrival via a micro USB, which the pack does not contain. This is a bit of a shame as it means the device is not truly plug-and-play, requiring a lead from something else in order to charge. We found a lead, plugged in the BuWizz, which let us know it was charging via the LED on top, and busied ourselves for a few hours.

Lego BuWizz Review

Set Up

Upon returning to our BuWizz a green light indicated we were ready to go. Like the aforementioned SBrick, the Buwizz brick uses an app to connect your phone or tablet to itself. The app is an easy download and connects the device seamlessly. Within it are six pre-programmed control interfaces available to operate your model. Each requires a small amount of set-up so that the app knows which of your motors is connected to which port which is simple enough, although there is no ‘test’ function as per the SBrick, which would be useful.

We connected four XL motors mounted within a direct-drive skid-steer test rig to the BuWizz battery and hit the controls. Weirdly one motor (and only one) span the wrong way, but the BuWizz’s simple ‘reverse’ option soon cured that. Then, because we have the mental age of five, we engaged ‘Ludicrous Mode’…

Inspired by Tesla, BuWizz’s ‘Ludicrous Mode’ turns up the power to the motors by a factor of three. Multiply that by the four motors you can drive at once and you get twelve times the power! And boy, does it show… Continue reading

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BuWizz Buggy

Lego Technic Remote Control Buggy

[Whiiiir] [Elven Screaming] [Thump] [Whiiiir]…

An all too familiar pattern of noises floated into TLCB Office from the corridor today. Said pattern has been heard here at TLCB Towers on numerous occasions and it always means tidying up for us. Sigh.

A glance into the corridor revealed the scene of expected carnage, with an Elf – high on power – repeatedly driving a nimble off-road buggy over a group of already squashed Elves.

The controls have now been taken away, the victims patched up, and we can take a look at the vehicular weapon in question. Built by Anto of Eurobricks it’s an entry into the current BuWizz Fast Car Competition, in which the third-party bluetooth brick specialists have challenged builders to make, well… a BuWizz powered fast car.

Lego Technic RC Buggy

With up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own Power Functions battery/receiver system a BuWizz powered creation is certainly able to outrun a fleeing TLCB Elf, and with competition entrants having to complete the longest jump possible Anto’s RC buggy had the suspension to bounce over victims without any problems at all.

There’s more to see of Anto’s brilliant remote control buggy at the Eurobricks forum, plus you can watch it in action via the video below.

We’ve also got our hands on our own BuWizz brick, courtesy of the BuWizz team, and will be conducting our own tests shortly [maniacal laugh!] in order to bring you a full review. Whilst we find out whether eight times the power really is possible you can find all of the BuWizz powered creations previously featured here via this archives search, and you can read our five-star review of BuWizz’s rival SBrick by clicking here.

YouTube Video

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BuWizz Fast Car Competition

BuWizz Competition

Third-party bluetooth control wizards BuWizz have powered numerous creations that have appeared here at The Lego Car Blog over the past few years. With up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own Power Functions battery and IR Receiver set-up, BuWizz-powered creations are capable of very un-LEGO-like speeds.

The BuWizz team would like to see just how fast your creation can go and as such they’re running a competition this month to find the fastest Lego cars on the internet. There’s a twist too, which can you discover in the link and/or video below…

BuWizz RC Battery for Lego

If you’d like to enter your own remote control Lego creation you can do so via the BuWizz website, and there are some fantastic prizes on offer for the winners! First place will receive the new LEGO Technic 42083 Bugatti Chiron set revealed here previously, whilst second and third places will get their hands on some awesome BuWizz goodies (so you can make your fast car even faster!).

To read the competition rules and to enter your own fast car click the link below!

Enter the BuWizz Fast Car Competition

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Selectable Six

The Elves are very excited today. One of their number brought this astonishingly well-engineered 6×6 off-road truck back to TLCB Towers, and whilst it’s too slow to mow any of them down, it’s certainly fast enough for them to enjoy riding around the office grounds in it.

Built by previous bloggee Thesuperkoala, the truck’s remote control prowess comes courtesy of a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery delivering power to several LEGO Power Functions motors that drive the steering, high/low range gearbox, and selectable all-wheel-drive system.

Combined with pendular suspension on all axles this gives Koala’s truck brilliant off-road ability, allowing the Elves to ride out in the office courtyard and crush some flowers, which has excited them immensely.

It also features a working V6 engine, opening doors and hood, plus folding drop-sides. We’re about to pull the pins on these so the Elves will all fall out when they next go around a corner (in order to preserve our daffodils), so whilst we do that you can check out more of Koala’s awesome 6×6 at his Flickr album by clicking here, where you can also find a link to a video of the truck in action.

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Безумный Макс

Parts of Russia may look a bit like a post-apocalyptic wasteland (and even more so in the former Soviet Union), but that has meant Russians have needed to build some awesome vehicles in order to traverse the wild landscape. We’ve featured many such off-road cars and trucks over the years, but none quite like this.

Based on a ZIL 130, this is Samolot’s ‘Peacemaker’, a 6×6 skid-steer monster that imagines what Mad Max would be like if were set in Russia.

With each of the six wheels driven by a Power Functions XL Motor and offering eight studs worth of articulation, Samolot’s creation can drive over pretty much anything, particularly as the twin BuWizz bluetooth batteries on board can deliver up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own system.

If that wasn’t enough, the ZIL also features a trebuchet mounted on the rear for… er, we’re not sure – shooting down airliners? Whatever it’s for it makes Samolot’s build one of the wildest we’ve featured yet, and you can guess what happened when one of our Elves brought it into the office earlier today.

It’s safe to say we have some tidying up to do, so whilst we do that you can visit Samolot’s post-apocalyptic Soviet future at the Eurobricks forum, where you can also watch a video of the Peacemaker in action.

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[Hoonitruck]

This is the ‘Hoonitruck’, Ken Block’s ridiculously powerful all-wheel-drive, twin-turbo Ecoboost V6-engined classic Ford F-150 pick-up truck, and it’s glorious. You might now be expecting us to say ‘well, this one isn’t obviously, this is Lego…’ but we won’t, because this really is ridiculously powerful, all-wheel-drive, and comes with with a twin-turbo V6.

Previous bloggee Lachlan Cameron is the builder behind it, whose recreation of Block’s ‘Hoonigan’ Ford Mustang was TLCB’s most viewed creation of 2018, and his latest build is every bit as awesome.

A pair of third-party BuWizz bluetooth batteries delivery up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own system, with each hooked up to its own Technic Buggy Motor, the most powerful motor that LEGO have ever produced.

The result is… well something that a Lego model shouldn’t really be capable of, and thankfully Lachlan has fitted fully independent suspension and all-wheel-drive to try to manage that power.

The model also features a complete (and superbly accurate) exterior wrap courtesy of fellow previous bloggee Jaap Technic, plus a wealth of chromed parts via Bubul, and – to pre-emptively answer the question we’re sure to be asked – Lachlan has a habit of making instructions for his creations available too, so keep an eye out for the arrival a link.

In the meantime there’s much more of Lachlan’s spectacular build to see at both Flickr and Eurobricks, plus you can watch what all-wheel-drive and eight times the power can do via the video below…

YouTube Video

 

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2019 | Year in Review

Well it’s been quite a year. TLCB’s home nation had yet another election, President Trump became the third U.S leader in history to be impeached (not that it means anything at all), Greta Thunberg led the world’s children on strike over climate change, during which time the world’s leaders literally fiddled whilst California and Australia burned, and Russia were thrown out of the Olympics for mass state-sponsored doping (again).

It’s been a busy year for the automotive world too, with PSA and FCA merging to create, er… PSFCAA(?), Nissan-Renualt-Mitsubishi boss Carlos Ghosn’s arrest (and current exile in Lebanon after smuggling himself out of Japan whilst on bail), Elon Musk inadvertently smashing the windows of his own truck live at its unveiling, Volkswagen revealing the most ambitious ‘we’re not evil, honest’ plan since Italy swapped sides in World War 2, and flying cars still not becoming a thing despite Blade Runner now being set in the past.

But enough on the criminality of the President, Carlos Ghosn, Russian athletics, and Volkswagen, what about The Lego Car Blog? Well the good news is we’ve not done anything criminal…

Stats:

The bad news is we saw a drop in visitors for the second year, after six consecutive years of growth, and will end the year at about two thirds of a million. That’s still a lot of people mind, and we’re still surprised that anyone at all likes this site enough to visit it, so if you’re reading this; thank you. Those numbers don’t include visits to our Facebook page either, where all posts now also appear.

Search engines brought around 200,000 visitors, with Pintrest and Facebook the next greatest referrers. Our most popular page was, as ever, the Review Library, which now holds over one-hundred reviews of official LEGO sets, books, and third-party products such as BuWizz and SBrick.

The most viewed creation of 2019 was Lachlan Cameron’s awesome Ford Mustang [Hoonigan], which was also received the most clicks of any link we published whilst the video of the real [Hoonigan] Mustang tearing up the streets of LA at the hands of Ken Block was the most watched media. The second most clicked video link was altogether more silly.

The United States proved to be the most popular visitor country once again, perhaps as people try to escape the inane gibberish that seems to be going on there at the moment. Germany and the UK make up the rest of the top three, probably for similar reasons.

In all visitors from two-hundred countries visited The Lego Car Blog over the course of 2019, with several counties posting a visitor of number of one, including Iran, Liberia and Haiti amongst others. If you’re reading this and you’re that one – thank you, and you are part of something much bigger! There were also three visitors from Vatican City, which makes us kinda hopeful that one might be the Pope, but if it is we’d better stop making ‘Your Mom’ jokes…

Interviews:

OK, we forgot about these in 2019, with just one new builder added to the Master MOCers Hall of Fame. The wonderful Redfern1950s joined us for the twenty-first interview and you can find his page via the link above, plus read the twenty interviews that proceeded his via the main menu at the top of the page.

We’ll try to do better in 2020. Unless we forget again…

Advertisements:

Lastly, your visits and clicks here at The Lego Car Blog have continued to do good, with a few thousand dollars now raised in total via the adverts that you view. We don’t allow many ads to appear here, and whilst some are dubious in their content – ‘Local Mom makes $[insert ridiculous amount here] without working!’ is perhaps the most irritating – we hope they’re not too intrusive and we’re more than happy to take money from internet marketing companies and redistribute it to those that need it most.

As has been the case form some time we’re pondering whether we can and should do more with this platform, and should that ever happen we will of course let you know. For now though, things continue as they are.

2020:

As we enter a whole new decade The Lego Car Blog will continue to champion the best Lego vehicles created by the online community. TLCB Elves are searching Flickr, MOCpages, Eurobricks, Brickshelf and other creation-sharing sites as you read this, in the hope of uncovering the next blog-worthy model that will earn them a meal token.

If you’d like to suggest something they’ve missed you can continue to do so via the Feedback page, Contact page or on Facebook, where you can also let us know your thoughts (good and bad) about what we write.

Thank you for visiting us in 2019, and we wish you all a very Happy New Year!

TLCB Team

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Back in the USSR*

This is a BRDM-2, which might sound like something from your Mom’s internet browser history, but is in fact an amphibious armoured car built by the USSR between 1962 and 1989, and which is still in production in Poland today. Powered by a 140bhp GAZ V8 the BRDM-2 is capable of around 60mph on roads and a heady 6mph on water, when the engine drives a water-jet.

Like the MiG-29 we featured here earlier in the week the BRDM-2 was exported extensively, and is now in use on both sides of some conflicts, most recently between Russia and Ukraine.

This marvellous Technic recreation of one the Soviet Union’s most interesting vehicles was discovered by one of our Elves on Eurorbricks. Built by newcomer Danifill it packs in all the working functions of the real BRDM-2, besides the ability to float.

Two Power Functions XL motors deliver power to the four-wheel-drive system whilst an L motor drives the steering. All wheels are suspended, there are LED lights front and rear, and turret rotation is motorised too, with a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery delivering eight times the power of LEGO’s own system plus bluetooth remote control.

There’s more to see of Danifill’s brilliant BRDM-2 build at the Eurobricks forum where you can also find a link to a video of the model in action. Click the link above to head back to the USSR.

*Today’s excellent title song.

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42109 Technic Top Gear Rally Car | Set Preview

Our Elves are on it right now. Much as we hate to admit it, they’re doing rather well at sneaking into The LEGO Company’s headquarters, not being eaten by Danish Alsatians, and bringing back brand new sets for us to share with you. Hot the heels of the Unnecessarily-Long-Named Lamborghini set revealed here last week, this is their latest scoop; the new for 2020 Technic 42019 App-Controlled Top Gear Rally Car.

42019 is the latest in LEGO’s app-controlled line-up, utilising the new Control+ app that allows a model to be controlled via bluetooth from a mobile device (as per SBrick and BuWizz). It also adds another (slightly odd) brand to LEGO’s burgeoning roster of official partners. Yup, BBC Top Gear join such names as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Chevrolet and Jaguar in being printed on a LEGO box, although this link is perhaps a little more tenuous (and perhaps more than a little late given Top Gear’s peak was some years ago).

The new 42109 App-Controlled Top Gear Rally Car set is a fully remote controlled rally racer of a generic and non-specific design, featuring an XL motor for drive, an L motor for steering, LEGO’s new Bluetooth smart hub, and a whole load of stickers.

463 pieces make up the set, none of which look new or remarkable, but what is very cool is that 42109 isn’t just operable via a bluetooth device through the new Control+ app, it includes interactive in-built challenges, merging video game thrills with a real functioning Technic model. That sounds rather neat, and is something we think any nine year old (or TLCB staff writer, which amounts to the same thing) will absolutely love.

Of course the success of the new App-Controlled Top Gear Rally Car will depend upon the execution of those app-based challenges, but as the app could be easily updated with new challenges added over time, we see far more longevity in the Control+ platform than LEGO’s past forays into gaming achieved (we’re looking at you 8432 Technic Red Hot Machine)…

42109 is due to reach stores at the end of the year aimed at ages 9+ and is expected to cost around $129/£125. We’re cautiously excited…

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Elven Conundrum

This TLCB Writer uttered something containing such wildly offensive profanity when he entered TLCB Towers this morning that even this site, a cesspool of litany, is unable to publish it.

Elves (and Elven bodily fluids) were everywhere. Squashed into the carpet, slammed against walls, wandering round in circles being sick – clearly something had arrived into the halls of the building with a capability for Elven destruction unmatched in the history of this establishment’s existence.

At the end of the corridor, upside-down with a wheel missing, that ‘something’ was discovered. This is it, Kirill Mazurov (aka Desert Kirill / desert752)’s incredible ‘SUV Racer MK II’.

Sitting on top of LEGO’s enormous 42054 Claas Xerion 5000 tyres, powered by four hub-mounted Buggy Motors, with portal axles, independent suspension, and a pair of BuWizz bluetooth bricks delivering eight times the power of LEGO’s own system, Kirill’s creation takes Lego to a place where it probably shouldn’t be.

It’s also a model that the Elves would absolutely love, had they not been chased down and flattened by it. A racing stripe (in orange no less) and Rally Fighter-esque bodywork give Kirill’s model an unusually racy exterior for an off-roading machine, whilst the rear looks a bit like a 1980s Alfa Romeo GTV.

We have no idea where the Elf is that found it, as the culprit has disappeared after overturning their find in the corridor, but it’ll be back later to claim a meal token. Before then we have a lot of tidying up to do, and possibly a few visits to the Elf ‘Hospital’ to make too, so whilst we get on with that (this job absolutely does not pay enough) you can check out more of Kirill’s amazing creation at both his Flickr photostream and at the Eurobricks discussion forum.

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Super Stratos Stradale

The Lancia Stratos was not a good road car. Uncomfortable, unreliable, and almost comically badly designed, there’s a reason that Lancia are barely around today (and so sad is their current single offering it’d probably be better if they weren’t. What’s going on Fiat?!). However, the Lancia Stratos rally car was a very different matter…

Powered by a mid-mounted Ferrari V6 the Stratos won three consecutive World Rally Championships, in ’74, ’75 and ’76. It might have won more too, were it not for parent company Fiat switching their focus (and therefore funding) to their own brand in ’77.

Such results have made the Lancia Stratos a hugely sought after car, despite the road variants being pretty rubbish. A better bet (and probably better built) is this Technic version from James Tillson, which recreates the Stratos brilliantly in Lego form.

Like the real car the front and rear bodywork opens, revealing the transversly-mounted V6 engine, working suspension, and functioning steering, with remote control delivered by Power Functions motors and a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery.

There’s more to see of James’ Technic Lancia Stratos in both Stradale and Group B specification on Flickr and at the Eurobricks forum – take a look via the links in the text above, plus you can read our review of the BuWizz bluetooth battery that controls and powers it by clicking here.

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Two Boxes and Eighteen Wheels

This wonderful Technic Kenworth W900 with container transport trailer was discovered on Eurobricks today, and it might be the most understatedly cool truck of the year so far. It’s not Christmas-treed with lights, festooned with stickers, or even bedecked with chrome. What it is, is quietly brilliant.

Built by MajklSpajkl for his LUG’s Lego exhibition, the truck and trailer measure well over 100 studs long and include some superb functionality. The truck itself includes remote control drive (thanks to a single L Motor) and steering (via a Servo), with another L Motor operating the fifth-wheel lock. A battery box hidden inside the cab provides the power whilst LEGO’s own IR Receiver or a BuWizz bluetooth brick allow the functions to be controlled remotely.

The trailer isn’t devoid of functions either, with its own concealed battery box providing power to raise and lower the support legs via a Medium motor. Pendular suspension features on the both the truck and trailer, and the Kenworth W900 truck also includes opening can doors, plus a moderately detailed interior and engine.

There’s more to see of this superb creation at the Eurobricks discussion forum via the link above, and you can read our review of LEGO’s own container truck set, the enormous 42078 Mack Anthem, by clicking here.

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Ride-On LEGO

Every Lego fan has wanted to do it. We’ve all imagined what it would be like, dreaming that one day, if we tried hard enough, it might just be possible. And some have even got close. No, we’re not referring to talking to a girl, but building a real, ride-on, controllable Lego creation.

That unrealised dream has now become a reality for the guys at third-party bluetooth brick builders BuWizz, who have built an actual ride-on go-kart (OK, ‘mobility scooter’ might be a better description…) from seven thousand LEGO pieces!

Thirty-two Large Power Functions motors power all four wheels (via individual in-wheel motors actually, meaning their creation could feature torque vectoring!), with eight BuWizz bricks providing the power and control via the BuWizz mobile app. They’ve even managed to talk to a girl and convince her drive it.

You can watch their amazing creation in action via the video below and read more about it at the BuWizz website, plus if you’d like to learn more about the little bluetooth battery control that allows a creation like this to happen you can read our review of the BuWizz brick here.

YouTube Video

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