The crack team of Elven ‘volunteers’ fired over The LEGO Company’s HQ permitter wall tasked with uncovering this summer’s new sets had – we thought – all returned/been eaten by guard dogs, but no! Today one last bedraggled Elf returned home to TLCB Towers with a final new-for-2021 LEGO set, at it’s a great one…
This is the brand new Creator Expert 10279 Volkswagen T2 Camper Van, LEGO’s officially licensed successor to the wonderful 10220 Volkswagen T1 Camper Van that has been on sale for almost a decade (making it one of the longest serving LEGO sets ever).
Improving on the 10220 set is no mean feat – it achieved a full 10/10 review here at TLCB – and LEGO have certainly gone all-out, nearly doubling the parts count to a whopping 2,207 pieces.
Many of these are tiles too, as a new building technique deploys outward facing ‘SNOT’ to construct the bodywork in place of the original set’s traditional stacked bricks.
A fully detailed interior complete with a canvas pop-top, opening cabinets, a fridge, a stove (with all important tea pot), and a sink is included, whilst a brick-built surfboard (first seen on the 10252 Volkswagen Beetle set) along with two folding deck chairs ensure the T2 is suitably beachy.
Working steering, a sliding door, a brand new windscreen piece, and an opening engine cover add to the realism, whilst period-correct (and hippy default) ‘Peace’ and ‘Love’ decals ensure the model reflects the late ’60s – early ’70s era that still defines the T2 today.
Expect the new LEGO Creator Expert 10279 Volkswagen T2 Camper Van to cost around $180/£150 when it hits stores later this year, and LEGO’s successful Volkswagen Camper story to continue for some time yet. A T3 set in 10 years’ time? We wouldn’t bet against it!
Yes yes yes! LEGO’s partnership with real-world vehicle manufacturers is probably the best thing the company has done since inventing the brick itself, and in no set is this more evident than the brand new 10295 Creator Expert Porsche 911.
Containing a whopping 1,458 pieces and aimed at ages 18+, the 10295 Porsche 911 sets a new high for the Creator Expert series.
Two iconic ’80s versions of the Porsche 911 can be built from 10295; the pretty Targa, or the yuppie-killing Turbo. Each measures over 35cm in length and features working steering, opening doors, engine cover (under which the Turbo features a replica turbocharged flat-6 engine) and front trunk (under which the Targa’s removable roof can be stowed).
An excellent (and very brown) interior contrasts beautifully with the white bodywork, and makes this – in our opinion – probably the finest Creator Expert set yet.
The new Creator Expert 10295 Porsche 911 set will reach stores in March of this year with a recommended retail price of $150/£120, which is rather a lot for a toy, but not a lot at all for a classic Porsche 911. Plus there’s also the 75895 Speed Champions version so you can get your brick-built classic 911 fix for pocket money.
LEGO’s officially licensed replicas just keep coming! This is their latest, in partnership with motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson, the 10269 Creator Expert Fat Boy.
The first motorcycle in the Creator Expert line, the Harley-Davison Fat Boy becomes the second bike to be recreated in LEGO form following the excellent 42063 Technic BMW Motorrad R 1200 GS Adventure released a few years ago, and brings another new manufacturer partnership to LEGO’s already impressive back-catalogue.
With just over 1,000 pieces the new 10269 set is a hefty thing befitting its name, and it features a few new parts too – including printed Harley-Davison tiles that appear on the neat tear-drop shaped fuel tank and new authentic ‘Lakester’ wheels with very probably the widest tyre ever fitted to a LEGO motorcycle.
The new 10269 set also features a few working functions, including handlebar steering, a moveable gearshift pedal, kickstand and brake levers, and a working replica of the Fat Boy’s ‘Milwaukee-Eight®’ V-Twin engine with a brick-built engine block and pistons, making the Fat Boy the first LEGO set to use a non-specialised brick-built engine since the Technic sets of the 1980s. The model’s authenticity is completed with accurate ‘wicked red’ colouring as well as bespoke decals for the badging, speedometer and license plate.
10269 looks to be another fine addition to LEGO’s officially licensed range, and with Harley-Davison having such a loyal (often fanatical) following worldwide we expect the set to have an appeal as wide as that ludicrous rear tyre. Expect the Creator Expert 10269 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy set to cost around $100/£85 when it reaches stores later this month.
Welcome to TLCB’s almost timely review of the latest in a short line of Creator Expert car models…
Looks nice, doesn’t it? Usually in these reviews I open by rambling on a bit about personal experiences with the car in question, but since I’m not a millionaire that won’t happen this time.
Y’see, I have had the pleasure of inspecting this fine beast up close and in the plastic (the panels are glassfibre!). All you have to do is visit your friendly neighbourhood Supercar dealer. These places are almost always staffed by knowledgeable enthusiasts who sell what they sell because they love it. If they have the time, they’ll happily share it with you, a fellow enthusiast. Just try not to touch the cars they’ve spent ages polishing… Generally, they’re happy to entertain respectful sightseers and you’ll encounter none of the snootiness you might get from the classic boys…
The Ferrari F40 is an amazing thing, and hardly a people’s car like the other Lego Creator sets… except it is. It’s a thing that’s a joy to see (and hear) whether you own it or not. Three cheers for those who do and share them with the world by driving them around! If you ever see one behind you, wind down the window and hope he gives it the berries when he comes fanging past!
So, if you can’t get a real one, is 10248 the next best thing?
At £70 for 1158 pieces it’s better value, certainly… better value than the Mini even, with 80 more pieces for a fiver less. Considering the likely cost of the Ferrari licence, LEGO are being pretty generous here.
The box seems smallish, same size as the Mini’s I think, but it’s simple and uncluttered design is very appealing – it’s just a shame it’s got those destroy-box-here tabs to open it up. Inside, there’s two sets of numbered bags full of mostly small pieces – there’s a lot of detail here – a small sticker sheet that if you’re lucky won’t be crumpled and the single perfect bound instruction book that’s fast becoming the norm in larger sets. And a brick separator, because you can never have too many of those…
Instructions are pretty clear, so long as you realize Lego’s inconsistent representations of dark grey and black result in what could be black parts in the early stages actually being dark grey… Another minor niggle is the usually-helpful highlighting of parts just added occasionally obscures some parts already there, which can create confusion.
No biggie. It’s a fun thing to build, with very little repetition and like the Mini and Camper before it, plenty of interesting techniques and details along the way. I especially like the way they did those NACA ducts on the bonnet and sides. Here’s a fun fact: the duct was developed in 1945 as a way of allowing cooling air in with a minimal disruption to airflow, by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in the US (NACA eventually became NASA when it’s remit expanded just a bit).
I’m a riot at parties…
As for the rest of it, it’s mostly very good, starting with the engine.
The heart of any Ferrari, of course, and this has had plenty of attention lavished on it. The 2.85L turbocharged V8 isn’t the prettiest Ferrari engine but it ain’t exactly a diesel either… LEGO have done a great job of this, right down to the pistols used as manifold outlets that you can barely even see once it’s in the car.
The interior is simpler to build, mostly because (entirely accurately) there’s very little in it. What’s there is nicely done, although it would be good if the steering wheel’s rake was fixed instead of relying on a pin’s friction to hold it at the right angle. And good luck getting the tiny Prancing Horse sticker on the 1×1 round tile in the centre of the steering wheel! They probably should have printed that…
They probably shouldn’t have printed the rear pillars. This is the only area that lets it down somewhat. Apparently the genius responsible for the camper’s front and the Mini’s A pillar is yet to retire… One issue I have with this solution is the fact that printing in red on a black part results in a darker shade of red, a point that’s not evident from the pictures on the box but does stand out on the model. Also, because the side window / pillar is one big part, the side window lifts up with the rear cover. Any MOCer worth his salt would have bricked this part properly, as LEGO themselves did with the rest of it.
While we’re having a moan, do you ever wish that LEGO would stop unnecessarily redesigning parts? I’m talking here about the 1×6 arches used over the rear wheels that have an awkward little step that isn’t there if you use a couple of older, smoothly curving ones instead. It looks a lot better if you do.
I am now done moaning. I’m not even going to complain about the stickered ducts over the rear wheels, simply because there isn’t a better way that I can see to do this with an opening engine cover in the space available.
The front end is more successful, capturing the form of the F40 in bricks accurately and well. The pop-up headlights are quite neat (you have to lever them up individually yourself using a thin gap at the front – luckily they’ve provided the brick separator you’ll need for this!). The shape of the bonnet is excellent and there’s even a bit of detail under it, including a spanner (what are they trying to tell us about Italian reliability?). While you’re in there you might notice the multicoloured structure of the bonnet’s underside – the only place where the hidden BOLOCsness of this model becomes evident.
And then there’s that windscreen… Manna from heaven for MOCers, surely! Just so long as the car you build with it is red… There’s a slightly surprising omission here, since with a 1×4 black brick right below it at the same angle, a simple substitution provides somewhere to place a wiper. After all, they’ve thought of everything else, including door mirrors that are actually attached to the doors. Hooray!
Despite a couple of visual hiccups, the model as a whole does look pretty good:
All the panels that should open, do, which we always like to see. The engine cover pivots on an axle so there’s no friction – you’ll need the handy stick provided to hold it up. I guess Ferrari must have done the same.
Aside from opening stuff and peering at detail, there’s no playability here, as with the other cars in this theme, but I’m pretty sure any attempt at stuffing mechanics in would ruin it.
Like the Camper and Mini before it, it exists for display and it looks good enough to do that; it’s one visual flaw not quite enough to detract from the whole.
If you have petrol in your veins you’ll like it. 8/10.