Category Archives: News

76896 Speed Champions Nissan GT-R NISMO | Set Preview

It’s 2020 Speed Champions reveal time! Uncovered by one of our elite Elves thrown over The LEGO Company HQ’s wall a few weeks back, this is the brand new 76896 Speed Champions Nissan GT-R NISMO!

Slotting in between the previously revealed 76895 Ferrari F8 Tributo and excellent 76897 Audi Sport quattro, 76896 brings another real-world manufacturer into the Speed Champions line-up. The new Nissan GT-R NISMO joins the range in LEGO’s new 8-wide style that has become uniform across the latest Speed Champions sets, allowing them to look (mostly) to scale side-by-side as well as being able to fit two mini-figures.

Aimed at ages 7+ 76896 includes 298 pieces, a mini-figure racing driver, and a lot of stickers, forming the racing livery, front grille, air intakes and even the headlights.

It’s not really a look to our tastes, as we much prefer the brick-built rear to the be-stickered front, but we suspect that if you’re seven you won’t mind at all (when you’re seven stickers are awesome).

We also suspect that the new 76896 Nissan GT-R NISMO will fly off the shelves, with the GT-R being one of the poster cars for the Forza generation and also becoming the first Japanese car to be recreated as an official LEGO set.

We hope that the new Nissan GT-R’s arrival heralds the possibility of further Japanese manufacturers deciding to partner with LEGO (Toyota Supra, Lexus LFA or Honda NSX anyone?), but even if not – and although this particular Speed Champions set is a bit stickery for us – the arrival of another real-world manufacturer is something to be celebrated, particularly with a car as legendary as the Nissan GT-R

The new 76896 Speed Champions Nissan GT-R NISMO set is expected to cost around $20 and is due to reach stores by the end of the year.

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76895 Speed Champions Ferrari F8 Tributo | Set preview

No sooner had we written yesterday’s post previewing the awesome new 76897 Audi Sport quattro S1 set than another Elf stumbled back into TLCB Towers following its ‘adventure’ in LEGO’s HQ.

This is its find, the new 76895 Speed Champions Ferrari F8 Tributo.

The 2020 Speed Champions line-up wouldn’t be complete without a new Ferrari set, and this really is a new Ferrari set, being the Italian supercar manufacturer’s latest model which was only revealed at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.

Like yesterday’s Audi, the new Speed Champions Ferrari F8 Tributo set applies LEGO’s new 8-wide scale to allow for a little more realism and for two mini-figures to sit side-by-side. 76895 only includes one, and interestingly it’s a racing driver despite the F8 being a road car, but you can always add a second should you wish.

The F8’s design has been well replicated in Lego form, albeit with a few stickers helping with the shape of the cockpit, and includes 275 pieces for an anticipated $20 price tag. Aimed at ages 7+ we think 76895 looks rather good and will likely continue the success of Lego’s Ferrari Speed Champions partnership, however we’d still take the Audi…

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76897 Speed Champions Audi Sport quattro S1 | Set Preview

The elite team of Elves dispatched over The LEGO Company’s perimeter walls are one by one returning to TLCB Towers, clutching their discoveries stolen from the bowels of LEGO’s R&D department.

A couple may also carry a few bite marks (and some don’t return at all), but that’s why we employ mythical creatures, as there’s no way you’d get us to squeeze through an air-conditioning duct to escape a Danish Alsatian. We’re much too fat.

Anyway, the Elf that returned today came home clutching a new set that has got us very excited, the frankly brilliant looking 76897 Audi Sport quattro (with a little ‘q’) S1 rally car.

The quattro was not the first car to be fitted with all-wheel-drive, but it was the first to take the idea rallying, along with a unique 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that made a truly ridiculous amount of power, allowed thanks to Group B’s incredibly lax rulebook. The result was a car that won the World Rally Championship in ’82 and ’84, with every WRC manufacturer title claimed by an all-wheel-drive car thereafter.

The new 76897 set recreates the Audi Sport quattro S1 which finished second in 1985 season in the hands of Stig Blomqvist and Walter Röhrl, using LEGO’s new 8-wide template to bring more realism to the Speed Champions range. Constructed from 250 pieces, the Audi’s famous livery has been really well replicated, and for once the detail is brick-built rather than being applied by stickers. There are stickers too of course, and they look splendid, adding excellent period authenticity to the set.

Like all Speed Champions sets 76897 also includes a mini-figure driver, but annoyingly no co-driver, despite the 8-wide design allowing one to fit. This is no doubt due to cost, but is nevertheless disappointing from a realism point of view.

Despite this oversight we think the Speed Champions Audi Sport quattro S1 is one of the best products to come from the franchise yet, and – at an expected cost of around $20 when it reaches stores at then end of the year – there’s no cooler set for the money. We’ll just have to add our own second mini-figure to the model to complete it.

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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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Speed Champions 76899 Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO & Urus ST-X | Set Preview

LEGO set names just keep getting longer. This is the new Speed Champions 76899 Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO & Urus ST-X set, the latest in LEGO’s rather excellent line of officially licensed real-world vehicles. Joining the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, McLaren, Jaguar, and Mini, plus VW Group brands Porsche and Audi, Lamborghini (another brand within the Volkswagen empire) are the latest manufacturer to partner with LEGO’s Speed Champions range.

The new set brings two Lamborghini cars to bedroom floors around the world, the marvellous Huracán Super Trofeo EVO and the hideous Urus ST-X. Each model is built in LEGO’s new 8-wide scale, includes a mini-figure driver, and deploys an array of stickerage to add visual realism (or cheat, depending on your point of view), with the Huracán looking rather lovely and the Urus spectacularly ugly, so correct on both counts.

The obligatory start/finish gantry that seems to be included in every Speed Champions set makes an appearance as expected, whilst another 660-odd pieces make up the two cars. 76899 will reach stores imminently, and whilst we do really hate that Urus, adding Lamborghini cars to the LEGO line-up (even if one is a Urus) is a welcome move. More please LEGO!

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LEGO 76139 1989 Batmobile | Set Preview

Great news for those of you who only work in black! LEGO have revealed their upcoming 76139 ‘1989 Batmobile’ set, at it is really very black indeed. With 3,306 pieces (at least 3,000 of which look to be black), 76139 is one of the largest Superheroes sets to date, and bridges nicely across the DC and Creator car lines.

The model is a faithful replica of the vehicle used in the 1989 Tim Burton movie, and comes with a rotating platform and three slightly superfluous mini-figures (Joker, Vicki Vale (who?!), and Batman himself), which gives away the model’s primary purpose as being a display piece rather than a toy or engineering demonstration. Nevertheless the new set does feature working steering, a sliding cockpit (using a new piece), and pop-up machine guns should Batman decide to go rogue.

The new 76139 ‘1989 Batmobile’ set is expected to cost a around £220/$250 – which is rather a lot – and will go on sale on Black Friday 2019, which seems both appropriate and quite possibly a dark joke considering the price…

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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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Plus Size

LEGO’s new Control+ app has finally brought bluetooth control to LEGO sets. Available on the new 42100 Technic Liebherr R 980 excavator set, the largest set LEGO have ever produced, the Control+ app allows all seven motors to be operated, and programmed, via a mobile device.

But what if the new app was used to control something a bit… larger?

Weighing 890 tons and with around 4,000 bhp the real Liebherr R 9800 excavator is the third largest excavator in the world and it has, courtesy of LEGO and TLCB Master MOCer Sariel, been turned into the world’s largest remote control toy.

With a suite of ingenious motorised Technic mechanisms installed in the cab the real Liebherr R 9800’s controls could be operated remotely through the new LEGO Control+ app, allowing it to drive, steer and excavate via a mobile phone just like the 42100 set. Only on a much much bigger scale.

Take a look a video above to see how the team did it, and get some ideas for how to control your annoying neighbour’s Honda Odessey through your phone…

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75898 Speed Champions Formula E Panasonic Jaguar Racing | Set Preview

LEGO have electrified the Speed Champions range! This is the new 76898 Formula E Panasonic Jaguar Racing GEN2 & I-Pace eTrophy set, the latest addition to the brilliant officially-licensed Speed Champions line-up (and the set with probably the longest name yet).

Bringing both Formula E and Jaguar into the Speed Champions fold is an exciting tie-up, particularly if it opens the door to other sets from Jaguar’s glorious back-catalogue.

The new 76989 set includes two cars from the Panasonic Jaguar Racing team; both the GEN2 Formula E racer and the road-car based I-Pace eTrophy support racer. Each car takes the scale up slightly from past Speed Champions sets, allowing for two mini-figures to sit side-by-side in the I-Pace, plus the set also includes a start/finish gantry and accurate decals to recreate the real Panasonic Jaguar team livery.

We think that the I-Pace – whilst a superb real car by all accounts – doesn’t translate particularly well in brick form, looking a bit like an iron, but the Formula E car certainly looks striking in the brick, especially in Jaguar’s electric blue. 76989 will reach stores in January of 2020, bringing with it two welcome partnerships to the Speed Champions range. More please LEGO!

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LEGO Technic 42100 Liebherr R 9800 Excavator | Set Preview

There’s been one hole remaining in our reveal of the H2 2019 LEGO Technic line-up. It turns out it was a very big hole indeed. This is the 42100 Liebherr R 9800 Excavator, the largest and most expensive Technic model ever released.

With over 4,100 pieces, seven electric motors, and two of LEGO’s new ‘Smart Hubs’ which allow for remote control via Bluetooth thanks to the recently released LEGO Control+ App, the 42100 set is the most advanced Technic set yet, and it has a price tag to match, costing $450/£400.

That is seriously expensive for a toy, but LEGO are hoping that the set’s enormous array of programmable functionality will make it an attractive purchase. The officially-licensed Liebherr (joining such sets as the Volvo L350F, Mack Anthem and Claas Xerion 5000) can drive, skid-steer, rotate the superstructure, extend and raise the boom, and open and tilt the bucket, all remotely via a phone.

Those functions can be programmed too, thanks to the new Control+ App, with realistic sound effects and real-time feedback available. It’s a modern interpretation of the brilliant plug-and-play 8479 Barcode Truck from twenty-two years ago, only with the up-to-date control programmability afforded by today’s intuitive touch devices.

The new LEGO Technic 42100 Liebherr R 9800 Excavator set will reach stores in October of this year, instantly becoming the flagship of the Technic range. Will the intuitive control, easy programmability and amazing multiple motorised functions offset that huge price? We’re willing to bet that if it does then a $500+ Technic set isn’t too far away…

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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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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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Creator Expert 10269 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy | Set Preview

LEGO’s officially licensed replicas just keep coming! This is their latest, in partnership with motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson, the 10269 Creator Expert Fat Boy.

The first motorcycle in the Creator Expert line, the Harley-Davison Fat Boy becomes the second bike to be recreated in LEGO form following the excellent 42063 Technic BMW Motorrad R 1200 GS Adventure released a few years ago, and brings another new manufacturer partnership to LEGO’s already impressive back-catalogue.

With just over 1,000 pieces the new 10269 set is a hefty thing befitting its name, and it features a few new parts too – including printed Harley-Davison tiles that appear on the neat tear-drop shaped fuel tank and new authentic ‘Lakester’ wheels with very probably the widest tyre ever fitted to a LEGO motorcycle.

The new 10269 set also features a few working functions, including handlebar steering, a moveable gearshift pedal, kickstand and brake levers, and a working replica of the Fat Boy’s ‘Milwaukee-Eight®’ V-Twin engine with a brick-built engine block and pistons, making the Fat Boy the first LEGO set to use a non-specialised brick-built engine since the Technic sets of the 1980s. The model’s authenticity is completed with accurate ‘wicked red’ colouring as well as bespoke decals for the badging, speedometer and license plate.

10269 looks to be another fine addition to LEGO’s officially licensed range, and with Harley-Davison having such a loyal (often fanatical) following worldwide we expect the set to have an appeal as wide as that ludicrous rear tyre. Expect the Creator Expert 10269 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy set to cost around $100/£85 when it reaches stores later this month.

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75895 Speed Champions Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 | Set Preview

It’s a new set day here at TLCB, as LEGO have revealed their latest officially-licensed entry into the Speed Champions line-up from old favourite Porsche; the most excellent looking 75895 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0.

If 75895 looks familiar that’s because it is, as LEGO have recycled the design from 2018’s 75888 set, but Porsche have been recycling the 911’s design for decades now so if anything that makes it more authentic.

Featuring 180 pieces including a new-if-slightly-douchbaggy-mini-figure (wearing luxury car-branded clothing is never OK), 75895 includes rubber tyres, a removable windshield to give access to the cockpit, bespoke ‘Porsche’ and ‘Turbo’ decals, and a set of cones which – this being a 1970s Porsche – you can run over as you career off the road in a snap-oversteer/turbo-lag induced moment.

The new Speed Champions 75895 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 set will cost around $15 when it reaches stores in August of 2019 and we like it very much. Thumbs up LEGO.

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42110 Technic Land Rover Defender | Set Preview

Oops. We suspect someone is going have an interesting day on Monday. This is the new Land Rover Defender. And by new, we really do mean new. The new Defender it not on sale yet, the press releases haven’t been issued, and camouflaged test cars are still pounding African roads.

Yet here the new Defender is, photographed un-camouflaged, complete with engine specs… only it’s in LEGO Technic form. Oops indeed.

We can’t take the credit/blame for this one as we haven’t yet dispatched our usual team of Elves to sneak into The LEGO Company’s HQ to bring back previews of the upcoming Technic sets. Instead this image was found on the website of a British toy shop, where we suspect it’s been mistakenly uploaded far too early.

Unfortunately the 42110 Land Rover Defender set seems to confirm our misgivings about the direction the new Defender has been taken. Spy-shots of prototypes have hinted at a fairly generic, very un-iconic looking SUV, and that appears to be exactly what we’ve got here. It’s certainly not a design that befits the Defender’s incredible 50 years of continuous production heritage.

Still, the Technic model itself looks properly good, features a slew of new pieces, and we particularly like the olive green colour chosen. The new 42110 Land Rover Defender set is also packed with mechanical functionality, featuring a winch, working steering, suspension, four-wheel-drive with three differentials, and a four-speed gearbox. That the description also claims the officially licensed LEGO set ‘captures the vehicle’s level of refinement’ and features a 6-cylinder engine makes us seriously worry for the real Defender’s future though…

We expect the new 42110 Technic Land Rover Defender set to cost around £160 when it reaches stores later in 2019, and someone to be in a bit of trouble come Monday…

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