Tag Archives: 1980s

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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Retro Rampage

Whiiiir! Crunch. Whiiiir! Crunch. Elven Screaming. Whiiiir! Crunch.

Sigh. These are sounds we’ve heard too often here at The Lego Car Blog Towers before, and they usually mean we’re going to have to get the carpets cleaned again.

A weary trudge to the corridor outside the office revealed the cause, and to our surprise there wan’t just one, but three. Three Elves were each controlling three separate (and rather impressive) Technic Monster Trucks, bashing them into one another and occasionally adding variety to the proceedings by driving them at and over the Elves who had come to watch the spectacle.

It admittedly looked like great fun, so Mr. Airhorn was deployed to break up the ruckus, the injured were patched up with Pritt-Stick and plasters, and we’ve taken control of the trio of Technic trucks for ourselves.

Each truck comes from Technic building legend Madoca77 and wears a gloriously retro livery, including the famous Ford ‘Big Foot’ colours and Toyota’s wonderful ’80s ‘pick-up’ stripe, and the three models are all remotely operable via bluetooth thanks to two SBricks.

These control the four XL motors (one per wheel), the two Servo motors that steer both the front and rear axles, the Medium motor that switches between crab steering and normal steering modes (just like LEGO’s excellent 40254 Claas Xerion 5000 set), and the Medium motor that operates the clamshell bodywork lift.

Madoca’s builds also include LED headlights, opening doors and dropping tailgates, plus – most importantly – a mega suspension setup which includes portal axles. They easily make it into our favourite creations list of 2019, and if you like them as much as we do then head to the Eurobricks discussion forum via the link above to read more about the builds and to watch a video of Madoca’s vintage monster truck design in action!

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Initial D AE86

Just like people, some cars are born into greatness. They might have limited talent and have achieved little, but a family name goes a long way (we’re looking at you Bentley Bentayga and Rolls Royce Cullinan). Others have become great, either through their own endeavour or through blind luck and a random affiliation. This is the story of the latter.

The Toyota Corolla AE86 Sprinter Trueno was a good car in the same way that most Japanese cars of the 1980s were; well priced, fuel efficient, and far more reliable than its American or European counterparts.

And that is where the story should have ended, with the AE86 just another Japanese compact quietly getting on with not breaking down or falling apart. But in 1995 the AE86 got a shot at fame. At ten years old it became the star of a Japanese comic called ‘Initial D’, in which 18-year old Takumi Fujiwara slid sideways up mountain passes delivering food behind the wheel of his father’s AE86 Sprinter Trueno.

By 1999 ‘Initial D’ had become an anime production, viewed not just in Japan but around the world, and Toyota’s humble hatchback – now long out of production – had become a megastar. The popularity of drifting has continued unabated, leading to the AE86 becoming one of the most sought-after and iconic Japanese cars in history.

This superb recreation of the Toyota Corolla AE86 as it appeared in ‘Initial D’ comes from Peter Blackert (aka lego911) of Flickr, who has captured the world-famous car brilliantly in Lego. His design appears in the new book ‘How to Build Brick TV and Movie Cars’, which includes building instructions for the Sprinter Trueno pictured here (along with many other iconic cars) so that you can create your own version at home for drifting around your desk.

Peter’s Toyota Corolla AE86 Sprinter Trueno model is available to view at his photostream via the link above, and you can find the book in which the instructions for this model features by clicking here.

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Ride an Adonis

That title got your Mom’s attention. This is a BMW R80 RT by Dutch customisers Moto Adonis and it’s been recreated beautifully by Andre Pinto (aka brickthebrick). Based on the 750cc twin-cylinder BMW touring bike of the 1980s, the R80 RT Adonis was built as a one-off for a client to compliment their architecture business. Andre’s highly detailed Model Team version captures the look brilliantly and there’s more to see at both Eurobricks and on Flickr via the links.

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Speed Communists

We continue the small-scale theme with this, László Torma‘s ace Speed Champions scale Trabant 601. An unlikely race car, László’s Trabant uses a be-stickered curved brick for the doors which he kept because his son said they were cool (the Elves agree by the way), and thus the Trabbi has a slightly more sporting nature than was originally intended. Clever techniques have been used throughout the build to recreate the communist car’s famous shape and there’s more to see of László’s 601 in both race and road car specification on Flickr – click the link above to take a look.

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Thunderbolt II

One of the most ‘interesting’ looking aircraft, the A-10 Thunderbolt II is certainly a tricky beast to build in Lego. However we have our second Thunderbolt in a month today, as Flickr’s Lennart C (aka Everblack) has constructed this brilliant mini-figure scale version, complete with an array of wing-mounted weaponry. Head to Lennart’s photostream via the link above for all the photos.

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Stagefright

Produced by Hot Wheels from the late ’70s to early ’80s, ‘Stagefright’ brought Jack Keef’s 1849 Concord Stagecoach hot rod to bedroom floors everywhere. TLCB debutant Tony Bovkoon has brought it back, capturing the insanity of the Hot Wheels toy (and the real car on which it was based) beautifully in Model Team form. A flip body, mid-mounted V8, and some highly dubious ‘suspension’ all feature, and there’s more to see at Tony’s ‘Stagefright’ Flickr album via the link above.

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Thunderbolt

This might be the most beautiful recreation of a butt-ugly vehicle we’ve yet published. The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, nicknamed the ‘Warthog’, is a close air support aircraft – effectively providing air cover for front-line troops – that has served the USAF since the late ’70s.

Its, er… ‘unique’ appearance is dictated by the need for a short take-off and landing ability, significant firepower, and heavy armouring – due to the aircraft’s high likelihood of coming into contact with enemy forces.

This utterly brilliant Lego recreation of the A-10 Thunderbolt II comes from previous bloggee Plane Bricks of Flickr, who has nailed the challenging aesthetic thanks to a range of expertly deployed advanced building techniques, particularly evident in the engines and cockpit.

A huge gallery of images is available to view at Plane Bricks’ photostream – take a look via the link above.

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Horse Race

We get the feeling most Ferrari owners don’t just have one prancing horse in their stable. Regular bloggee Angka Utama doesn’t either, having built a whole herd of historic horses from Ferrari’s ’80s-’90s back catalogue.

Pictured here are a Ferrari 308 GTS, 328 GTS and 348 Testa Rossa, whilst a further classic Mondial cabriolet can also be found at his photostream. Each has been created superbly in 8-wide ‘Speed Champions’ scale, based on an ingenious modular platform, and each includes the cleverest windshield surround – made from a rubber band held under tension – that we’ve ever seen on a vehicle.

There’s more to see of each of Angka’s brilliant Ferrari builds at his Flickr photostream, including this awesome exploded-view image showing how the modular construction and that rubber band windshield surround have been designed. Head to Angka’s stable via the link above to give each horse a ride.

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Piëch’s Peak

Earlier this week one of the automotive industry’s greatest talents passed away. Ferdinand Piech, the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, ex-chairman of the Volkswagen Group, and the man behind some of the most iconic cars ever made, collapsed in a restaurant in Germany. He was 82.

Sometimes controversial, there was considerable hostility between Piech and Porsche – the company founded by his grandfather – during his tenure at the top of Volkswagen, eventually resulting in Piech buying Porsche to oust their chairman. The Volkswagen Group has since faced the biggest scandal in its history (dragging Porsche into it the mire too), yet has also become the world’s largest automotive manufacturer by volume, with much of that down to Piech’s reign at the top.

Piech’s legacy is as astonishing one, including diesel engines for Mercedes-Benz, the amazing Porsche 917, the Bugatti Veyron, and this, the original Audi ‘UR’ quattro – the car that, whilst not the first, popularised the advantages of all-wheel-drive beyond off-roaders.

This cartoon-like Technic recreation of the legendary Audi quattro Group B rally car comes from Teo Technic and features remote control drive and steering, independent suspension, working headlights and – of course – all-wheel-drive.

There’s more to see of Teo’s Audi quattro at both Flickr and the Eurobricks discussion forum. Click the links to make the jump – and tip your hat to the man behind it and some of the other greatest cars in modern history.

Ferdinand Karl Piëch, 1937 – 2019

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Summertime

It’s summertime here in TLCB’s home nation. Driving is now windows-down, tunes up, and the risk of distraction by mini-skirted pedestrians. Capturing the vibe perfectly is Andrea Lattanzio (aka Norton74) who returns to TLCB with this lovely mini-figure beach scene, with a with a classic van, a Paradisa windsurfer, a bearded hipster (complete with ubiquitous retro camera and guitar accessories), and a little bit of non-LEGO sand. Put your windows down, tunes up, and hit the beach with Andrea via the link above.

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Batwing

Batman has piloted a lot of vehicles over the years. Some were excellent, some, er… let’s just say they they fit into the ‘Robin’ category. This one of those, the ‘Batwing’ from the Tim Burton-directed movie of 1989.

First appearing in the Batman comics in the 1930s the ‘Batwing’ is more accurately called the ‘Bat Plane’ (‘Batwing’ was actually a name given to a pointless spin-off character), and originally looked like a fairly normal aircraft before its wild 1989 reincarnation in the form of the Caped Crusader’s logo.

It’s the Tim Burton version that’s the most famous (although definitely not the best), and it’s been recreated rather wonderfully by Riskjockey in the image above. Head to Flickr via the link to see all the photos, and you can watch the original trailer for the 1989 movie in which the ‘Batwing’ stars by clicking here.

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Chevrolet Silverado K30 Crew Cab | Picture Special

Here at The Lego Car Blog we’re not usually fans of American pick-up trucks. This is because they are, by and large, complete crap. However – and we appreciate there is little logic to this whatsoever – old American pick-up trucks, even though they’re still complete crap, are somehow becoming rather cool. This is one such ageing pick-up, the Chevrolet Silverado K30, in dually crew cab specification.

Perhaps it’s because as vehicles get older we’re willing to overlook their shortcomings, but we really want this truck. The Elves do too, seeing as it’s a giant tasteless 4×4. Fortunately for one of them, it did get its grubby little claws on this, as it found this rather impressive Technic recreation of the classic(?) Silverado K30 crew cab by previous bloggee filswagood on Flickr.

A few of the other Elves in TLCB Towers soon got to experience it too, but not in the way they hoped, as it ran them down in the corridor. Power Functions remote control drive and steering combined with bouncy suspension enabled filsawgood’s Chevy to comfortably squash a couple of our little workers before we took the controls away to take a look for ourselves.

And look we did, because filsawgood’s Silverado is a brilliantly-engineered build, not only featuring the aforementioned (and excellent) remote control drivetrain, but also opening doors, hood (under which is a detailed engine), tailgate, and toolbox (battery compartment), plus the model includes LED lights and a detailed interior too.

There’s much more of filsawgood’s superb Chevrolet Silverado K30 crew cab to see at his Flickr album by clicking here, and you can check out filsawgood’s other Technic 4x4s to appear here at The Lego Car Blog by clicking this bonus link.

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Town Triple

It’s blue Smarties all round today as three Elves returned to TLCB Towers, each with a blue town-scale creation. It turns out all three are the work of the same builder, Flick’s de-marco, who is becoming a regular on these pages. Each has been constructed in LEGO’s classic ‘Town’ style (a favourite here at TLCB) and recreates a well known(?) real-world vehicle in mini-figure scale.

The first of de-marco’s build is perhaps the most true-to-life, a classic Dacia 1300 from a time when the Romanian brand was independent from Renault, but also simply built discontinued Renault products (and fairy badly at that…). It turns out that the Dacia 1300’s ugly blocky sloping shape is perfect for recreation from angular LEGO bricks and the result looks remarkably close to the real thing.

de-marco’s second Town vehicle is a classic Austin/Morris Mini in British police ‘panda car’ specification. LEGO’s ‘Maersk’ blue with white doors and a single blue light (using a piece from LEGO’s 9V lighting sets) works a treat, even if the car looks a little long for the famously small classic car.

Lastly de-marco has built something a little larger, in the form of this excellent Kamaz drop-side truck. As with all three creations the details are spot on, yet simple enough to fit into a Town scale build, and there’s more to see at de-marco’s photostream via the link. There are also video instructions available for each build – you can find a link to these under each image in de-marco’s photostream should you wish to jazz your own Town up with some iconic classics!

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Heroes in a Half Shell

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Heroes in a Half Shell
Turtle Power!

The lyricists of TMNT taking the ‘Batman’ approach to theme-writing there. We’d forgotten that LEGO released a TMNT line back in 2013, which is probably a good thing to be honest. Still, the availability of Turtle-mini-figures has helped Flickr’s Hobbestimus to create this radical LEGO recreation of the Party Bus, complete with Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael and a host of ninja-based weaponry. Head to the sewers via the link above!

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