Whilst our recently-released Elves trek back to their favourite haunts around the internet in search of Lego vehicles for us, we’ll await their return with a Set Review of a model that turns twenty in a few days.
1995 was a great year for Lego vehicles. The Town range was expansive and almost entirely brilliant, Technic was on a roll, and Aquazone made its debut.
5541 joined this bumper year as the Model Team newbie, and like many of the other sets of the time it suggested a confidence and flamboyance within The LEGO Group. Something that sadly seemed to have all-but-dissapeared just two short years later…
Anyway, back to ’95, and the Blue Fury / Hot Rod. Aimed at moderately experienced builders aged 9+, 5541 featured some lovely (and newish) chrome pieces, a few tasteful (and very high quality) transparently-backed decals, and a remarkably high level of detail for an official set.
5541 was based on a fairly generic hot rod design, but is no less lovely to behold for that, and featured working steering, an opening trunk, and… er, that’s it. It was definitely more of a display piece than a playable toy, but sometimes that’s OK. It was in fact this very set that taught this reviewer about the importance of detailing – and every MOC created by him thereafter was a significant step up. A watershed moment if you like.
The Blue Fury / Hot Rod set contained just over 400 pieces, which is surprisingly low considering the detail, and these could be reconstituted into the dragster-type B-model that you can see pictured above.
It’s also worth noting that 5541 reappeared around a decade later during some dark times at LEGO as one of their ‘Legends’ sets – which frankly were the only sets worth buying at the time – bearing the set no. 10151. This means that there should be plenty available on the second-hand market, and also that they hopefully aren’t in the hands of speculators intent on driving prices skywards.
If you can find a tidy 5541 or 10151 set it’s a worthwhile purchase for any Model Team fan. It does have limited play value, but it’s just so lovely to look at! 8/10