Following his lovely 5510-inspired Jeep Renegade CJ5 featured here over the weekend Flickr’s Havoc is back with another Model Team set redux. This time it’s the 5541 Blue Fury set from 1995 that gets the update, becoming a smooth Ford T-Bucket complete with working steering, opening suicide doors, a trunk and an enormous engine. there’s more to see at Havoc’s photostream – click the link to make the jump!
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