Tag Archives: 2015

On Tonight’s Show…

Series 22 of the world’s favourite television show is nearly here, and this time they’ve picked up a few (virtual) bricks…

Tagged , , , ,

Green Speed

If ever a Technic set could polarise opinion, it’s this one…

42039-1

It is of course the new for 2015 42039 24 hours race car.

Some say it’s ugly, others say it doesn’t do enough, or what it does do is gimmicky, or there’s the sticker haters (can’t say I blame them..). Time to confuse the issue further with TLCB’s two pence worth…

I rather like it.

Let me explain, since the above four word review might not be what you came here for. First of all, to these eyes it looks nicer without stickers, and it’ll certainly look nicer than one with peeling stickers a few years down the line…

Lego Technic 24 Hours Race Car

The bright green and white panels work pretty well. Not flawlessly (there’s a few awkward gaps here and there) but the overall effect leaves you in no doubt about what it is. It was differently designed in the preliminary images (I won’t put one here because they’re all watermarked, but you’ve probably seen them) and most people seem to prefer the way it was in prototype form.

The main changes made before the production version concern the headlight design, wheelarches, cockpit design and the loss of the rear central fin. This last point is a bit of of a pity since it hurts the model’s authenticity but I actually agree with Lego’s decision about the other aspects. While the headlight design we got isn’t as sleek, it’s more realistic and actually looks better. This change was probably made to facilitate the installation of PF lights. The original, rounder, wheelarch pieces, while individually more attractive than what we were given, didn’t blend as well with the side profile and look too narrow from above. I’ll take the too-square wheel wells of the production version, just. I find the changes made to the cockpit and door design to be an improvement as well.

So there. That’s settled that. Now, time to see what this beauty (?) does…

It’s an enjoyable build, working from the single, large square-bound instruction book. Still no sign of another one for the B-model… At 1200 pieces or so, this set is on the large side for one without numbered bags but I encountered no problems finding anything in the large pile of bits. After a few hours I had an engaging toy to play with. It’s a lot like the old 8461 Williams from 2002 in that respect…

100_6817

Anyone hoping for an all-singing-and-dancing Technic Supercar is in for a bit of a disappointment. 8880 this ain’t, but it does have a V8, working steering and suspension as well as opening gullwing doors and engine cover. These last two functions are controlled via the machine’s only gearbox using an unobtrusive black gear on the side. It is a bit gimmicky although the system works well. The new gearbox parts used here do make assembly more foolproof (no more putting free-wheeling gears on the wrong way round…) and operation feels slightly more positive than before. The difference is small, but noticeable. I’d still prefer the transmission to vary the speed of the engine relative to the wheels though…

…Mostly because the engine is (again!) very nearly silent. This is a race car! Give it some noise! It could do with a bit more detailing as well. While it’s nice to be able to raise the engine cover, there’s not a lot to see when you do.

Suspension works well, with about the right travel, stiffness and ride height. The design is fairly standard double wishbones all round. A pushrod set-up like that in the aforementioned Williams might have been nice, but what we get does it least work properly.

Steering is fine; again a fairly standard HOG system, but the hub parts used here do allow a decent amount of lock and it works smoothly and well. There’s nothing for me to complain about, then… apart from the completely vertical and unconnected in-cab wheel, perhaps.

Like many recent models, it’s designed to be easy to motorize, although in this case there’s not much point. It might be fun to watch the doors or engine cover whirr up once, but that’ll be it. The electrics are well hidden however, with plenty of space under the opening front panel for the battery box to hide in.

The B-model is a Paris-Dakar style rally raid truck, and it looks pretty good. The very low profile tyres that suit the main model perfectly do look odd on it though. Still, a fine effort. The Le Mans car is a fine effort too. Good looking, thoughtfully designed, fun to build, and something Lego Technic hasn’t done before in a colour that’s new to Technic and very attractive. We’re still waiting for that all-singing-and-dancing Technic Supercar, however.

In many ways, this is more like the old Racers line than a true Supercar, and if you can accept it on those terms and like the look of it, you’ll enjoy it.  8/10.

Buy the LEGO Technic 42039 24 Hours Race Car

Tagged , , , , ,

Superbike?

The new 2015 Technic sets are in the shops now and I’ve made my customary annual pilgrimage to the temple of Mammon…

I returned with a very nice green and white Le Mans style racer (about which more soon) and this:

Lego Technic 42036

Looks very racy dontchathink? It is of course set 42036, the Sports Motorbike, and it might be LEGO’s most handsome bike yet. 375 pieces of Technic goodness for 30 quid. Decent value, then, if not outstanding.

New element news! This comes with some very handy ‘technic single bush with pin’ pieces that’ll get moccers salivating. They have appeared in a few 2014 sets, including the big Tumbler, but 2015 is their first appearance in Technic sets. There’s also a piece that’s a 1L smooth sided bush – imagine half a pin joiner and you’re there. 42036 comes with just two of those, one of which is a spare.

What else have we got? Well, after you’ve destroyed the box, you’ll find two instruction books, a worryingly large sticker sheet and a few bags of bits. You’ll enjoy the build well enough over a leisurely hour or so, ten minutes of which will be c.a.r.e.f.u.l.l.y. placing stickers over curved panels.

The bike itself looks ace, in a Japanese suzhonda firebusa kind of way, while functionally it’s a mixed bag…

The engine’s pretty neat. It’s a V4 (NOT A TWIN!!) that takes its drive from the centre of the crankshaft, it’s mounted across the bike and canted forward. Not being an expert on bikes, I have no idea how realistic this is but I find it does make a nice change from the usual set-up in Technic bikes. Still turns too slowly, though…

Suspension, on the other hand, is pretty bog standard with no surprises; wobble-strut front forks and all. Because of the thicker tyres, the front one will foul the springs too easily when it’s compressed, and I really would have thought a wider rear tyre shouldn’t be too much to ask on a bike like this… maybe they can mount the primary chain inside the swingarm while they’re at it. Some things never change…

Colours change sometimes, and this time for the better. The medium blue and red combination is very attractive with the dark grey wheels. I was hoping it’d look so nice I needn’t bother with the stickers, but alas without them it does look a bit underdressed. With the stickers on it looks great, until they start to peel…

Which leads me to LEGO’s treatment of the seat. It’s a pair of stickers on the frame! This is. Just. Not. Good. Enough. At least with the exhaust underneath the rider can keep warm.

In other news, the B-model looks pretty cool:

Lego Technic 42036 B Model

…makes a change from the endless sea of choppers and dragsters doesn’t it? I like this drag-bike type thing very much, mostly because the front end doesn’t wobble so much. There’s an instruction book for it as well.

Overall, this is a bit style-over-substance (engine excepted) and, while it looked like it might be an outstanding bike, it’s really rather… average. It’s saved by its good looks and that B-model. 7/10

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

2014 Year in Review

Lego 2015

The Lego Car Blog has made it to 2015! Here’s our round-up of the year that was 2014…

  • Reviews! Lots more have been added to the Set Review Library throughout the year, both of LEGO’s latest sets and a few classic too. Click the link above to see all our reviews, and if you’re interested in reviewing a set for TLCB get in touch – we’d love to add some more to the database!
  • Interviews! The final interview in our Master MOCer series was published and last month we announced its replacement – Become a Lego Pro. The first Pro interview, with the Technic legend Sariel, is available here, and we have another in the can to be published early this year.
  • Views! The magic One Million mark was surpassed in 2014! A huge thank you to every single one of you reading this, to those who’ve visited, those who’ve been publicised, and those who’ve commented during 2014. We really couldn’t do this without you!

What’s coming in 2015:

We hope to keep blogging throughout 2015, and if we manage it we’ll continue to bring you the best Lego vehicles, news and set reviews. We’ll also be publishing a few more Become a Pro interviews, and we might even run a building competition at some point too! As always, you can let us know what you’d like to see via the Feedback & Submission Suggestions page, and you can contact us via Flickr – simply search for ‘The Lego Car Blog’ and send us a message.

Get involved!

We love being an accessible blog (we try anyway!). If you’d like to take the step from reading about Lego to writing about it – and in doing so see your words published to almost a million readers a year – then add us on Flickr and send us a Flickr Mail with your article idea. This could be a set review, event review, interview, or something we’ve not though of – we want your imagination!

Thank you from all of us here at TLCB Towers, and we hope you have a great 2015!

TLCB Team

Tagged , , , , ,

2015 LEGO Speed Champions Set Preview

Lego 75909 McLaren P1 2015

LEGO’s small and always fun Racers sets are being refreshed for 2015! LEGO has announced the new ‘Speed Champions’ range, which is made up of partially refreshed old Racers sets (specifically the race-Ferraris and Iveco Transporter), and some new (and rather nice) hypercars.

One of these new sets is shown in the picture above – the awesome McLaren P1 – which joins the other two members of the latest real-world hypercar trio: the Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder. The P1 shown comes equipped with cones, a pleased-looking mini-figure driver and a few other useful tools, whilst the other sets also include a variety of additional parts.

We think the single car sets (Porsche 918, LaFerrari, P1, and a Ferrari 458 GT3) will please collectors although they do seem to show evidence of LEGO’s default method of creating the complicated shapes required via large specifically moulded new parts and stickers. Nevertheless, all of the new cars do look fun and some of those unique pieces might be usable for other ends (the surfboard piece in use as the McLaren’s rear spoiler is a nice touch!).

Overall we think the new Speed Champions cars will make good starter sets for beginners, and they’re relatively inexpensive at around €15 each. Definitely worth looking out for when they reach stores in early 2015.

Lego 75913 Ferrari Team Truck 2015

This is the set that the Elves are more interested in though. Remember set 8654? LEGO’s F1 team truck was well received by builders and LEGO have given it a refresh it for 2015 creating the new set 75913.

Included in the revised set are toolboxes with tools, lots of Ferrari-attired mini-figures, a brick separator(?), a Vespa(!) and of course the latest Ferrari F14, complete with a spare nosecone. The F14 seems a fairly accurate mini-figure scale version of Ferrari’s real racer, featuring a couple of new pieces and stickers to create the flowing shape.

As for the truck, LEGO seem to have reused the same Iveco cabin and trailer from last year’s set, and all of the assorted racing paraphernalia can fit inside as before. 75913 will cost you around €100, which is quite expensive for a mini-figure scale set, but there is a lot included for your money.

Lego 75910 Porsche 918 2015

Joining 75913 in the new Speed Champions range for 2015 are a Mercedes McLaren pitbox with F1 car (€35), two Porsche GT3 Racers in one package (€50) and the other aforementioned supercars including the 75910 Porsche 918 Hybrid pictured above. The complete Speed Champions range will reach stores in early 2015. Start saving!

Sources: The Brick Blogger and Brickshop.nl

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Service Truck? 2015 City Preview

Portaloo

One of our “volunteer” Elves has just returned from his mission over the wall into LEGO’s headquarters. He got a bit lost on his way to the Technic area that we really care about and stumbled into the “City” products. Fortunately he evaded the guard dogs and returned home carrying two new 2015 sets.

First up is the 60073 “Service Truck”. LEGO seems to be having trouble naming its products at the moment. We all know that the 42024 “Container Truck” is actually a skip lorry and surely 60073 should be the Portaloo? Perhaps LEGO couldn’t get a licence agreement or maybe they thought that mums and dads wouldn’t want to buy the set for their kids? But we all love a bit of toilet humour and LEGO’s photographers seem to be no exception, with a minifig in the cabin caught doing his business, on the box top.

The errant Elf also brought this rather lovely 60083 “Snowplow Truck”. Whilst it might not have the functionality of the 8110 Unimog, it certainly looks the part, with its orange snowplough blade and grit hopper. Both new sets will reach stores in early 2015.

Unimog

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New LEGO Technic! 2015 Preview (Part 2)

New LEGO Technic 2015 42039 Race Car

It’s time to reveal the final new LEGO Technic sets bound for stores in 2015! Yesterday we previewed five of the eight new Technic models due at the start of next year, including the new 42037 Formula Off-Road Racer.

Today we move on to the bigger stuff, including the rather lovely looking green endurance racer above. But more on that in a bit. Firstly, let’s look at two wheels…

42036 Street Motorcycle

New Lego Technic 2015 42036 Street Motorcycle

We start with the smallest of the more complex 2015 Technic sets, the 375 piece 9+ 42036 Street Motorcycle. 42036 looks a nice mid-range set, featuring working front and rear suspension, steering, and (we suspect) a chain driven two cylinder engine. It also comes in a rather attractive light blue hue and includes the common-for-2015 decals seen on many of the new sets that add a bit more visual interest.

Downsides are the matching tyres front and rear – which isn’t particularly realistic – and (possibly) the longevity of those aforementioned decals on the large curved Technic panels. Overall though we like the look of 42036 – a good effort from The Lego Group.

42038 Arctic Truck

New 2015 Lego Technic 42038 Arctic Truck

We’re now into the big sets! New for 2015 is this, the 42038 Arctic Truck, aimed at ages 10+ and containing over 900 pieces – many of which are in the ace 8110 Unimog orange. 42038 goes back to the days of good old fashioned mechanical Technic, and fits a wealth of functionality into its 40cm length, including a linear-actuator operated crane boom, suspended tracks and working steering.

As with some of the other new Technic sets for 2015, LEGO seem to have upped the detail level, possibly at the cost of robustness (how long is that communications ariel going to stay in place for example), but this does look to be a conscious effort to make Technic more visually appealing to those progressing from LEGO’s simpler product themes.

The 42038 Arctic Truck set will reach stores next year, and like most of the new LEGO Technic sets it includes a colourful sticker sheet plus instructions for a second vehicle.

42039 24 Hours Race Car

2015 LEGO Technic 42039 24 Hours Race Car

And finally, the flagship new Technic set for 2015, the 1,200 piece 42039 24 Hours Race Car! We’re not sure what 42039 features in the way of technical functionality, apart from steering and an opening engine cover, but we’re hoping for pushrod suspension and a big piston engine – it’s aimed at ages 11+ after all!

However, we can tell you that 42039 does feature some as-yet unreleased parts/colour combinations that will probably get certain quarters of the online Lego Community very excited, though we’re just happy because it looks a bit like the incredible Toyota TS040, Audi R18 and Porsche 919 hybrid racers from this year’s LeMans endurance race (although LEGO have missed the regulation stabilising fin from their version).

Like the other new sets for 2015 42039 includes a colourful set of stickers as well as instructions for a second model, although perhaps more surprisingly it contains no Power Functions electric components. This means that there are no new motorised sets in the 2015 LEGO Technic line-up at all – something that we’re in no doubt change mid-way through the year.

So until then, which is your favourite? As always our resident experts may review some of these sets after their release (plus you can check out all The Lego Car Blog’s reviews of sets past in the Set Review Library), and if you missed Part 1 of our preview detailing the first five new Technic sets for 2015 you can catch up here.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

New LEGO Technic! 2015 Preview (Part 1)

New LEGO Technic 2015 42035 Mining Truck

It’s time! As is customary at this time of year we recently launched several randomly chosen Elv… er, we mean ‘brave volunteers’, over The LEGO Group’s perimeter wall by way of the office slingshot. Their job; to dodge the guard dogs and return with images of next year’s brand new Lego Technic sets.

Most of this crack team returned a week or so ago, and we’ve been sitting on their scooped images until now. Today though, we can bring you Part 1 of the 2015 LEGO Technic line-up!

Construction Equipment

First up is LEGO’s yearly default in the range; construction equipment. Pictured above is the new 42035 Mining Truck, aimed at ages 9+ and featuring 362 pieces, whilst pictured below is the smallest and simplest new set for 2015, 42031 Mini-Cherry-Picker for ages 7+.

New LEGO Technic 2015 42031 Cherry Picker

42035 features steering and a tipping bucket, whilst 42031 doesn’t really feature anything at all, save for some mechanical movement of the crane boom.

What is a little surprising is just how ‘Town’-orientated these two sets look, with studded parts, lights and even twelve grill tiles on the front of 42035. We’re not particularly excited by this development, as for us Technic should be about technicality, but we’re sure that The LEGO Group knows what appeals most to their younger audience.

Onwards to the second Technic category guaranteed to be included each year, the racing…

Racing

New Lego Technic 2015 42034 Quad Bike

We remain at the ‘starter’ end of the 2015 LEGO Technic range with the two new racing-related sets. Above is the set with the lowest part count of the 2015 Technic line-up, the 148 piece 42034 Pull-Back Quad Bike. As you probably deduced, this LEGO set includes a pull-back motor for added zoominess, and it looks quite a fun toy for younger Technic fans and Elves alike.

New Lego Technic 2015 42037 Formula Off-Road

This though, is a model more to our tastes, the wonderfully garish 500 piece 42037 Formula Off-Roader. Underneath the bright green bodywork 42037 features the first proper Technic functionality in the 2015 range, with working steering, suspension and a 4-cylinder engine up front. That engine is perhaps a little small for a Formula Off-Road racer, as they are usually fitted with nitrous-equipped 900hp V8s, but it works so we’ll take it! Both sets include some nice bright stickers and squishy tyres, and look robust enough for some stacked-book living room jumping.

Tracks

Lego Technic 42032

The final set in LEGO’s 2015 Starter Technic range is this, the 252 piece Compact Tracked Loader. Like the other small sets in the 2015 line-up, 42032 appears a little more ‘Town’-orientated than past Technic offerings, but it does look quite refreshing in white rather than the usual yellow.

With many of the loader’s 252 parts used to create the two tracks upon which it rolls there probably weren’t many left for LEGO to work with, but nevertheless 42032 does feature a mechanically operated bucket and compacter, which seems about right for the 8+ target.

Like all-but-one of the other new Technic sets previewed here, 42032 includes instructions for a second model, and will reach a store near you in early 2015.

So that’s the small sets out of the way;

What about the big stuff?

Join us tomorrow for Part 2 of the New LEGO Technic 2015 Preview to find out! 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

2015 Sets Preview! Sort of…

New Lego 2015

It’s that time of year again when a crack team of The Lego Car Blog Elves is catapulted over the wall of The LEGO Group HQ in the hope of scooping next years’ LEGO line-up. Not all return (we’re pretty sure the guard dogs have learned it’s a tasty time of year), but for those that do fame and glory* await! We’re lucky enough to have sent a (mostly) successful Elf Team this year, and the photos they’ve returned with make for interesting viewing.

Unfortunately all of the images are under embargo at the moment, so it would be wrong of us to publish them just yet, but to whet your appetite here are some early details that we can share of what will be coming to stores in 2015;

Technic: Several small to medium sized Technic sets, some with wheels, some with tracks, and a few with pull-back motors. And a motorbike.

City: Construction equipment galore, a few things swampy and the usual array of emergency services. And a Unimog.

Pirates: Yaarr! They’re back!

Bionicle: (Sigh)

We’ll bring you further details** of the official 2015 LEGO line-up as we get nearer to Christmas; watch out for our 2015 set previews! In the meantime of course you can check out all our reviews of the current and past set line-ups by visiting the ever-expanding Set Review Library. Stay tuned!…

*OK, a meal token and a Smartie.

**Except Bionicle.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Bionicle is Back! It Still Sucks.

New Lego Bionicle 2015

The LEGO Group is bringing Bionicle back for 2015! And here at The Lego Car Blog we could not be less enthusiastic about this fact. It’s safe to say we care as much about Bionicle MOCs as we do about Kim Kardashian’s Twitter feed. In other words, not at all. So here’s a classic Citroen instead!

Lego Citroen DS

Built by Flickr’s Massimo B it’s a late 1950s’ DS, complete with opening doors, bench seats and the famous single spoke steering wheel. You can see more of the French classic via the link above, where there is definitely no Bionicle.

Lego Citroen DS

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: