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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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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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Extinction Rebellion

What the…?

This TLCB Writer stepped into the office this morning to find a scene from a horror film.

Well, if you’re an Elf at least. For humans it just looked like someone had dealt with a rodent problem via one of those comedy mallets. Squashed Elves were everywhere; on the floor, against the walls, even on top of shoes left in the corridor. But what could cause such total Elven carnage?

The answer was to be found in the office where – lying crashed on its side – a tracked buggy lay dormant.

Marxpek’s Technic recreation of the Howe & Howe Ripsaw EV1 had caught and smushed almost every single Elf on the floor of TLCB Towers, methodically running them down until it finally overturned in the office, whereupon the Elf at the controls had fled into the night.

Powered by eight Buggy Motors and four BuWizz Bluetooth control bricks, we have never featured a creation as powerful as this one. Ever.

A trick suspension and a track tensioning system allow that ludicrous power to be deployed on any surface, making Marxpek’s Ripsaw the most capable off-road Lego creation yet.

The Elf responsible for last night’s mass extinction attempt will be back for a meal token later, giving us some time to patch up the wounded. In the meantime you can check out more about this incredible machine at the Eurobricks forum here, and you can get an idea of how it managed to dispatch so many Elves last night in the video below.

YouTube Video

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Girls und Panzer

Just when you think anime can’t get any weirder… ‘Girls und Panzer‘ is a cartoon featuring girls and, er… panzers. Presumably to satisfy some seriously niche kinks.

This is one of the panzers from the aforementioned programme, a Porsche Tiger VK4501, a design put forward during the Second World War but never produced, which – given Porcshe’s already slightly dodgy beginnings – is probably a good thing.

This superbly photographed teddy-bear be-stickered Model Team version of the prototype battle tank is the work of newcomer NABLACKS, who has recreated the Tiger GuP.Ver in spectacular detail, and has equipped it with some properly brilliant functionality too…

Underneath the realistic exterior NABLACKS has fitted his Porsche Tiger with twelve (12!) Power Functions L motors, with six driving each track. Oscillating bogies provide the suspension whilst the turret can rotate and tilt courtesy of another two motors. All of that motorised goodness is controllable via bluetooth thanks to a trio of BuWizz 2.0 bricks, each delivering up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own Power Functions battery and IR receiver system.

This makes NABLACKS’ tank fast. Really fast. In fact there’s wasn’t a single Elf on the floor of the TLCB Towers still Elf-shaped within minutes of this arriving in the building.

You can see just how capable NABLACKS’ creation is via the video below (plus you can watch the ‘Girls und Panzer’ trailer video via the first link in the text if you’re feeling weird), and you can view more images of the build at both Flickr and Eurobricks, whilst we dispatch several flattened TLCB Elves to the ‘Elf Hospital‘…

YouTube Video

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Trucking Fast

Racing trucks are, to our eyes, completely pointless. Totally unsuited to motorsport and hampered by regulations that state they still need a fifth-wheel (as if they’re ever going to tow anything!), they’re only really worth watching for the inevitable crashes. But that’s not to say they aren’t impressive, because they are. Hugely so, with upwards of a thousand horsepower.

Equally impressive (maybe) is this, Lucio Switch’s ‘Race Truck MkII’, a spectacularly smooth Technic replica of a European racing truck, complete with some serious power of its own. LEGO’s discontinued buggy motors are the most powerful the company has ever made and Lucio’s creation has two of them. And two BuWizz bluetooth bricks, each multiplying that power by a factor of eight.

A Servo Motors controls the steering, and model also features working suspension front and rear, opening doors, a tilting cab, and an inline six-cylinder piston engine. It’s also, as you can see here, presented beautifully – giving a perfect demonstration of how to photograph and edit a Lego build. There’s much more of Lucio’s brilliant model on Flickr, including images of the chassis and drivetrain, at the Eurobricks forum where there is also a video of the model in action, and at Lucio’s own website.

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Squashed in Space

After today’s earlier build we’re back to the usual TLCB nonsense and mayhem with this, a ‘multi-purpose all-terrain vehicle’ built by LXF and found by one of our Elves on Brickshelf. Despite the mini-figure in the cockpit LXF’s model is a Technic one, with a suite of remote control goodies inside too. Each track is powered by a separate LEGO Buggy Motor, whilst the single rear wheel steers via a Medium Motor. Those three motors are hooked up to a third party BuWizz brick, allowing not only Bluetooth control but also delivering eight times the power of LEGO’s own Power Functions battery.

If you’re thinking that sounds like a recipe for Elves getting squashed you would be right, as those caught at ground level stood no chance once this came hooning down the corridor. Thanks BuWizz…

We’ve now got to get some Elves (and their various bodily fluids) out of the carpet, so whilst we do that you can check out all the images of LXF’s mad creation on Brickshelf via the link in the text above.

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LEGO Technic H2 2019 | Set Previews!

Our Elves have been sneaking! Following our reveal of the H1 2019 Technic sets another batch of Elves were dispatched to The LEGO Company’s HQ to uncover the H2 additions to the Technic line-up. The survivors returned home over the summer and after much consideration we’re now able to offer our ‘expert analysis’ of LEGO’s latest sets! So, here you go, the H2 2019 LEGO Technic line-up…

– 42098 Car Transporter –

There’s a theme running through the H2 2019 Technic range and, much like your Mom, it’s size. We’ll start with the largest. Or longest at least. This is the 2,500 piece, 3ft long 42098 Car Transporter, a vehicle type that LEGO have dabbled with in the past in the Technic range, but never really tackled properly.

Three models in one, 42098 includes a truck, trailer and a muscle car, all of which are packed with mechanical functions like Technic-of-Old. The aesthetics are very much Technic-of-New though, with plenty of stickers and an increased level of visual realism.

42098 can fit five cars on board by our count, leaving room for four of your own once built. Both the truck and muscle car feature ‘Hand of God’ steering and miniature working piston engines, whilst the truck and trailer include ingenious hand-powered mechanisms to access the top decks, with gears lowering and extending a multitude of ramps to enable a full load to be driven on board.

42098 looks like a really interesting addition to the Technic range, and it’ll be nice to be able to store other sets and MOCs neatly on top of it. Expect the new set to cost c$180/£140 when it reaches stores later this year.

– 42099 4×4 X-treme Off-Roader –

Next we have a set that’s got the Elves very excited. It’s huge, it’s orange, it’s remote controlled, and it features LEGO’s penchant for poor spelling when words contain the letter ‘x’.

The 42099 X-treme Off-Roader looks… well, nuts, and it features LEGO’s new bluetooth remote control, finally catching up with third-party providers such as SBrick and BuWizz who have been offering control-via-phone for some time.

Like the 42098 Car Transporter above, 42099 is a complicated set aimed at ages 11+, but this time it swaps mechanical functionality for LEGO’s Power Functions motor system, now with the addition of the new ‘Control’ bluetooth-compatible app-based operating system.

This gives 42099 superb-looking playability, provided the set’s all-wheel-drive, remotely controlled steering, and suspension are up to the job. Judging by the images we’re hopeful, and if the number of stickers is a measure of off-road ability, the X-treme Off-Roader will be able to climb Everest.

Like all the sets previewed here 42099 will reach stores later this year. We’ll do our best to resist testing its Elf-smushing ability when we get our hands on it…

– 42097 Compact Crawler Crane –

The last H2 2019 Technic set we’re previewing today (but not the last in the range…) is this, the 920 piece 42097 Compact Crawler Crane. Featuring an all-mechanical array of functions including boom extension and raising, four spidery legs that use the huge stabiliser parts from the 42078 Mack Anthem set reviewed here earlier in the year, a winch, and a set of manual tracks, it looks like no crane we’ve ever seen but contains some excellent gear-driven functionality nonetheless.

Still towards the top of Technic’s age range, 42097 is aimed at ages 10+ and will cost around $100/£80, making the H2 2019 line-up one of considerable size and complexity, earning LEGO a few TLCB Points after a slightly lacklustre H1 range.

There’s one more set in the H2 2019 line-up left to reveal, and we’ll do just that later this summer. In the meantime you can check out our preview of the H1 2019 Technic sets here, plus you can visit our Review Library where 100 LEGO sets past and present have been reviewed so far via the link.

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