LEGO’s own Cuusoo-created official 21108 Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set has been a riotous hit, and it received a full compliment of points here at TLCB in our set review. But we don’t feature people’s pictures of official sets, so what’s this 21108 doing here?
Well, there’s a bit of a clue in the image above. Yes, that’s a ghost-busting mech transforming out of the totally standard looking Ecto-1 set! No, we don’t know how – our guess is some sort of magic – but newcomer ninbendo has pulled off something mind-bendingly brilliant. You can see all the photos of his ‘Mechto-1’ on Flickr. Michael Bay meets Ghostbusters anyone?…
Welcome to the TLCB review of the new Lego Ideas 21108 Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set.
I was in my early teens when this brilliant film was released, and I have fond memories of it. It was pleasing to find on seeing it recently that it’s aged quite well. Unlike some of it’s audience… and of course that 1959 Cadillac ambulance still looks effortlessly cool.
Turns out it looks cool in Lego as well.
This was always gonna be a day 1 purchase – I knew that as soon as I saw the preview pictures. Unlike the DeLorean model, Lego has stayed very close to the original designer’s idea, making it the most realistic minifig scale car I’ve seen from them by a long way.
You have to pay for this excellence. Forty five smackers is a lot for an 8-wide car, however you look at it, although as we’ll see, Lego have done their very best to make the outlay worth it.
First, the box. In common with other Cuusoo / Ideas sets this comes packaged in a sturdy, high quality Architecture set-style box that’s beautifully illustrated with an atmospheric shot of the car and the four main characters in Minifig form. On the back, we’re reminded that it’s the film’s 30th anniversary. Just in case anybody who saw it first time around doesn’t feel old already…
Instructions are a similarly high quality square-bound book with glossy pages, lots of interesting snippets about the film, the characters and the car, and the instructions themselves are interspersed with quotes from the movie to enjoy as you build. Take your time over it. It’s like doing an Architecture set, where you’re learning about the building as you, er.. build. The only thing that might annoy is the book’s inability to lie flat; but what are paperweights for ?
It’s quite rare for me to be remotely interested in a set’s Minifigs, so I’m no expert on such things… The four main characters do seem to be a pretty good representation of Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddemore. I have seen comments elsewhere about Venkman’s hair not being right but it looks fine to me. I told you I was no expert… I like the way his sardonic features do a passable impersonation of Bill Murray though. All of the heads are printed on both sides, to provide a scared face when the situation arises, which it will… The four all wear identical torsos with their initials printed thereon, which you’ll need a magnifying glass to read, but it’s a nice touch. They also have identical backpacks, well greebled with all their ghostbusting gear, and Zeddemore has his, er his…. ectomplasmic activity sensor thingy as well. All in all, these are excellent. Probably.
The meat of the build is, of course, the car. A white ’59 Caddy ambulance fully equipped for any paranormal emergencies. Building it serves as an object lesson in how to form a perfectly shaped minifig scale car. Lesson one: you’ll need a lot of brackets. Lots and lots. Those new 2 stud long curved slope pieces will come in pretty handy as well… Anyone used to just building City style cars is in for a surprise: this is building at the very top level of moc quality, and it shows in the finished article. It’s scaled properly to the wheels, it’s stance and proportions are spot on, the level of detail is right for it’s size (the only thing really missing is door handles; but then I can’t think of anything that wouldn’t look clunky – that’s one of those things that’s better left out, I think), even the side windows have the correct ‘tumblehome’ and trimmed edges. All extremely impressive in a model this small, although that does mean that nothing opens.
Fortunately, the roof with all it’s… stuff comes off for playability. Three figs will fit inside (someone’s gonna have to walk, unless he wants to lie down in the back…). For such an intricate model, it’s surprisingly sturdy too.
One of the reasons it looks as good as it does is the use of silvered pieces for the bumpers, for that typically Cadillac chrometastic look. If they’d have stretched to silvered instead of grey pieces around the windows as well it would look fantastic. And be even more expensive… Another bonus is the fact that there are no stickers (Hallelujah!); everything that needs to be is printed, including four 2×2 curved slopes with the Ghostbusters logo and the ECTO-1 licence plates.
This is a model that screams quality. It probably wasn’t subject to the same cost constraints that may have hobbled the (cheaper, worse) DeLorean; and I’m glad that a lesson may have been learned. Collectors will pay for quality, and this is very much a display set; one to perch proudly on your mantelpiece and await the ‘wow’s from visitors. Or pose it atop your television and sit back to enjoy the film…It’s better value in the US ($50) but even in Europe, it’s worth the price of admission. 10/10.
If we’re honest here at TLCB Towers we’re an egotistical bunch. We like to think these posts are about the creation pictured, but really we’re here to satisfy our craving for attention. The Elves on the other hand are just here for the food and an occasional screening of a Transformers DVD.
However this post really is all about the MOC, because this Ferrari 458 Italia might just be the most beautifully designed, built and photographed creation that we’ll post all year. Nathanael L aka Lego Builder Jr. is the brains (and hands) behind the build, and you can see more of his enchanting re-creation of Maranello’s finest at either Flickr or MOCpages via the links above.
Nathanael’s model is also available on LEGO’s ‘Ideas’ website (formally ‘Cuusoo’), whereby 10,000 votes could see it reach production as an official LEGO set. We’re not sure if the (brilliant) roof would pass LEGO’s set-suitability criteria, but it’d be a small concession to replace it with a more orthodox design. LEGO already partner with Ferrari to produce officially licensed products, so Nathanael’s model really could be a possibility. To vote for the 458 simply click on the ‘Lego Builder Jr.’ link above where Nathanael explains all.
The smallest official LEGO Technic sets in recent years have a been a bit, er… rubbish. But all that could change with Rabbitdesign’s tiny tracked tipper. Based on one of the Caterpillar Company’s more unusual vehicles, Rabbitdesign’s Technic version features working tracks and a tipping load bed via a worm gear. You can see more on MOCpages, and you can vote to turn this model into an official LEGO set via the newly re-launched LEGO Ideas website (formally LEGO Cuusoo).
LEGO today released images of the latest official set to be borne of it’s Cuusoo programme. Created by LEGO fan Brent Waller, the new Ghostbusters Ecto-1 faithfully recreates the modified Cadillac Ambulance and characters from the 1980s movie. Over to LEGO:
This fun and iconic vehicle from the blockbusting ‘80s movie is fully loaded with all the paranormal detection equipment needed to track down those ghastly ghosts. It also features cool Ghostbusters logo decoration, removable roof, tracking computer and seats for 3 mini-figures.
…We just have further to go. Meet the Curiosity Rover, LEGO Cuusoo’s latest offering.
Set number 21104; coming soon to Legoland Mars.
Of all the Cuusoo models to date, this is undoubtedly the one that stays most faithful to the original project. There seems hardly any difference between this set and Stephen Pakbaz’s proposal. Mr Pakbaz is not only a LEGO fan, but a Mechanical Engineer working on the Curiosity project, so we can trust him to make a faithful model.
So far, the Cuusoo project has been a bit hit and miss. It’s a fantastic idea, and I hope LEGO persist with it; models like this make the exercise well worth it. We probably don’t need all the IP-dominated models of wildly varying quality (DeLorean, anyone?) but at least this model shows you don’t need to exploit a popular franchise to get noticed.
One thing I really like about these sets is the presentation. They come in a sturdy, tastefully decorated Architecture-style box with a glossy, square-bound instruction book that includes some fascinating information on the model and its designer. You pay a little more as a consequence but it’s well worth it. That said, this isn’t too expensive – £30 for 295 pieces presented with this quality is perfectly reasonable value.
So, the build. You start with a little slice of Martian terrain for the vehicle to roll over and show off its suspension. Simple, but a nice touch. Next, it’s the body of the rover; a slightly irregular white box with plenty of greebles. Wait, they can’t be greebles – on the real thing, all this stuff does something… There are 17 cameras and many scientific instruments to analyse this vehicle’s surroundings. With much data to process, there’s no need for a fast machine – how does 200 metres per day grab you? – speed freaks need not apply, I guess, despite the nuclear power…
It’s a fairly quick build; reasonably straightforward with a smattering of SNOT and a touch of Technic to liven it up. It’s an enjoyable thing to put together. As you go through it, the book tells you little tidbits of information about the rover and its mission and it’s fascinating stuff. For instance, this vehicle can roll over obstructions up to 65cm high while keeping it’s body full of delicately calibrated instruments amazingly stable.
The model will do something similar. It features the same type of rocker-bogie suspension and it works brilliantly. Roll it over any uneven surface (not too fast…) and it really impresses with the stability of the body. It’s done fairly simply but it works superbly. So, an impressively realistic model at a reasonable price with a dose of playability – what’s not to like?
Criticisms? Come on, there’s gotta be something…. Well, if you’re going to push me, I could wonder why it has conventional truck-type wheels and tires when those hard plastic wheels you sometimes see in space sets might be closer to the real thing. Hardly a big issue, that, and it looks fine as it is. Can’t think of anything else to carp at.
Together, LEGO Cuusoo and Stephen Pakbaz have scored a home run. If the idea of exploring other worlds is at all interesting to you, you’ll enjoy this a lot. 10/10.
Great Scott! LEGO’s Cuusoo scheme – where fans can publish their creations on the LEGO Cuusoo site, and those reaching 10,000 votes or more are considered for limited production – has generated its fourth fan-designed official LEGO set!
m.togami and Sakuretsu’smini-figure scale DeLorean time-machine from the superb Back To The Future movie franchise was recently approved by LEGO’s ‘Jury’ of designers for production, and The Lego Group this week released images showing how the set will look when it reaches stores later in the year. The new set – numbered 21103 – will contain 401 pieces, including both ‘Doc Emmett Brown’ and ‘Marty McFly’ mini-figures, a skateboard, and of course, a DeLorean with a few ‘modifications’.
It’s too early for us to say what the pricing for 21103 will be, however the really cool news is that the designers have decided that the revenue they receive as a commission reward for creating the Cuusoo-winning product (1% of the total generated) is to be donated to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Foundation. If The Lego Car Blog gave out awards for the heroes the Lego Community of 2013, m.togami and Sakuretsu are surely top of the list.
So watch the video below, start saving, and join the discussion on Eurobricks. And congratulations to the winning duo, from all of us here at The Lego Car Blog, for making this exceptional project a reality.
Mahjqa’s incredible walking, rolling, driving, Tachikoma (featured on The Lego Car Blog in March) has been entered onto LEGO Cuusoo. This site allows users to upload ideas, which if successful could be made into real Lego sets. Mahjqa has reached a superb 3,000 supporters already.