It’s that time of year again, when shadowy figures scurry through the night in search of things they didn’t know they wanted. No, not Black Friday, but the annual Elven unearthing of LEGO’s new Technic sets!
One of the ‘lucky’ Elves chosen to be catapulted over the walls of The LEGO Company HQ returned a little while ago with this (and only a few Alsatian teeth marks), which we can now show you following LEGO’s official unveiling. This is the new for 2021 42123 McLaren Senna GTR.
Following the brands’ previous partnership within the Speed Champions line-up, the Senna becomes the first McLaren to become an official Technic set (although it won’t be the only real-world car to be immortalised in Technic for 2021…).
Expected to cost around $50/£45 when it reaches stores, the 830-piece 42123 McLaren Senna GTR looks quite pricey for a mid-range set despite the high parts count, but perhaps the ’10+’ on the box hints at a complexity within that justifies the price of admission.
We’d be surprised though, as 42123 appears only to have working steering, a miniature V8, and opening doors, which is a long way short of what we would usually expect from a Technic set targeted at ages ten and up.
Still, what 42123 misses in working features it attempts to cover (literally) with a great many stickers, with a vast array of printed and be-stickered parts helping to add visual realism to the set’s complicated (and parts intensive) bodywork.
We’re sure that LEGO know what they’re doing and their focus groups have determined that stickers trump features in the minds of ten year olds, but we’d happily trade a few ‘GTR’ decals for working suspension.
The other officially-licensed Technic 2021 set it is then…
That’s got some clicks. If you’ve arrived here expecting to see something rather different, apologies. This is a neat Brazilian though, being the 1991 Brazilian Grand Prix winner in the hands of Brazilian F1 legend Ayrton Senna. That win helped the McLaren MP4/6, powered by Honda’s RA121-E V12 engine, to claim the 1991 Constructor’s Championship and cement itself as one of the all-time greats, and it’s been recreated beautifully in Lego form by previous bloggee Alexander Paschoaletto. Head to Alex’s photostream via the link for more.
McLaren are one of the ever expanding list of vehicle manufacturers to partner with LEGO, in probably the best move LEGO has made in, well… ever. From life-size replicas to small scale Speed Champions sets, there’s a LEGO McLaren for everyone. Except for Technic fans.
Eurobricks member Charbel aims to rectify this, with his stunning Technic McLaren 720S. Two years in the making Charbel’s 720S forgoes Power Functions motors in favour of some serious mechanical functionality, including an 8-speed sequential gearbox, independent suspension, a working V8 engine, opening butterfly doors, active rear wing, and working steering.
Charbel’s creation is also adopts a completely modular construction and there’s a whole lot more to see at the Eurobricks forum at the link above, or via Charbel’s beautifully presented video below.
No TLCB hasn’t suddenly gone all low-res, that really is a life-size McLaren Senna hypercar, and it really is made from LEGO bricks. Almost a quarter of a million of them.
Over 2,700 hours were required to built it (plus a similar number in design) with the end result weighing around 1.7 tons. That’s considerably more than any real McLaren road car.
This life-size LEGO creation is not entirely bricks mind, as LEGO designer Lubor Zelinka and the team of thirty model model-makers behind it have used actual McLaren Senna wheels and have fitted a real McLaren Senna seat, steering wheel and starter button into the cockpit.
That means this life-size LEGO McLaren can be sat in, and with all 467,854 pieces glued you won’t be able to knock anything off! You can do just that too, as the model goes on tour this summer, including a trip to the Goodwood Festival of Speed where previous life-size builds have featured.
If you’re a UK-based reader of this site, or you fancy a trip to the UK, you can get your tickets for Goodwood here, and if you fancy your own LEGO McLaren Senna, but don’t have a quarter of a million bricks at your disposal, LEGO’s official Speed Champions McLaren Senna set is available to buy now for £12.99.
A few weeks ago a crack team of The Lego Car Blog Elves were dispatched over the perimeter wall of The LEGO Company’s HQ by way of the office catapult. Tasked with uncovering LEGO’s new-for-2019 sets, those that made it back to TLCB Towers would be revered as heroes, whilst their fallen comrades would be mourned for around 15 minutes, before we all moved on with our lives.
Today the lucky survivors able to out-run a Danish alsatian see the fruits of their courageous mission revealed to you, our readers – and what tasty fruits they are! So without any further pointless preamble, here are the brand new 2019 LEGO Speed Champions sets!
LEGO’s partnerships with real-world car manufacturers is (and we may be a bit biased given the title of this website), one of their best ever decisions. The sets resulting from the tie-ups to date have been almost universally excellent, so it’s little wonder that LEGO and other manufacturers are looking to partner. Dodge become a new addition to LEGO universe for 2019, joining the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, Porsche, Volkswagen, Ford, Volvo, Ferrari and others.
Their first set is 75893 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon & Dodge Charger RT, a wonderful dual car homage to Dodge’s fastest products. A brilliant classic 1970 Charger (complete with a huge drag-racing supercharger) competes against the brand’s latest 2018 SRT Demon at a drag strip, with three mini-figures and the drag racing ‘christmas tree’ lights included. Each car looks faithfully accurate – although some of that accuracy is admittedly due to stickers, and with just under 500 pieces 75893 looks to be an excellent addition to the expanding officially-licensed Speed Champions line-up.
Next we have a vehicle from one of the first manufacturers to partner with LEGO – it wouldn’t be Speed Champions without Ferrari! With 198 pieces the new 75890 Ferrari F40 Competizione set marks the entry point to the 2019 Speed Champions range, and brings one of the most famous supercars ever made back into LEGO form after its last appearance as the 1,158-piece 10248 Creator F40 set from 2015.
Although considerably smaller than its predecessor, 75890 is nevertheless a brilliantly accurate little set. This version of the F40 is the Competizione, or racing car to you and me, and thus it features a mini-figure racing driver, an all-important spanner, and switchable parts to convert the F40 from race to road. 75890 will reach stores in early 2019 and will be a roaring success.
LEGO’s third new Speed Champions set brings another previous partner back into the range; McLaren, with their mind-bending track-only Senna. With 219 pieces the 75892 McLaren Senna set is slightly more complicated than the Ferrari above, as is required by the fantastically intricate design of the real car. It’s an aesthetic that doesn’t seem to translate too well to LEGO in our opinion, and – despite what appear to be a few new pieces to help replicate the real Senna’s shape – 75892 looks to our eyes a bit of mess. Nevertheless for McLaren / supercar fans it’s sure to be a winner when it arrives alongside the other Speed Champions sets in January of next year.
Chevrolet first joined the Speed Champions range a few years ago and they return to the line-up for 2019 with the 75891 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Race Car set*. Another single-car set, 75891 brings Speed Champions into the world of NASCAR, although for licensing reasons you won’t find that link anywhere on the box. What you will find are 198 pieces, some of which are uniquely printed, a mini-figure complete with fuel-refill tank and the ubiquitous spanner, and a wealth of stickers to help recreate the ZL1 in LEGO form.
We’ve bemoaned the over-use of stickers rather than bricks to recreate real-world replicas in the past and the same is true here, but LEGO know their market, and also the most cost-effective way to hit the spot aesthetically. 75891 should be hit – especially amongst NASCAR fans!
*Plus an exciting new addition to the 2019 Technic range… but more on that another time!
The fifth and final Speed Champions set new for 2019 brings another old favourite back onto shelves; Mini, with a pairing of the iconic 1960s Cooper-S and a 2018 John Cooper Works Buggy. A tricky thing to make from rectangular bricks, LEGO seem have done a superb job recreating the original Mini in mini-figure scale, and whilst there are stickers present they’re not used to create the shape of the car – bravo LEGO! The classic Cooper comes in rally car spec, complete with quad spot-lights and a roof-rack, and includes a mini-figure rally driver.
The John Cooper Works Buggy isn’t quite as successful, looking not all that much like the real thing. But we’re guessing that if you’re reading this and you’re eight, that won’t matter one bit! Featuring big rubber tyres, a workshop complete with tools, and some cool stickers, if we were eight we’d absolutely love it!
75894 Mini Cooper-S Rally and MINI John Cooper Works Buggy is the largest set in the 2019 range at 481 pieces including four mini-figures and will join the rest of the line-up in stores from January.
Which set is your favourite? We’ll take the classic Dodge Charger and recreate the train-jump scene from the first Fast and the Furious movie, although we’d really need a Speed Champions Toyota Supra to do it properly. Over to you LEGO…
The 2018 Formula 1 season is all but over, so we’re heading back in time to some of the sport’s greatest racing cars. TLCB regular Angka Utama is the builder behind them and he’s done a simply spectacular job of recreating three of F1’s most iconic entries.
First up (above) is the McLaren-Honda MP4/6 in which Ayrton Senna won the 1991 F1 World Championship. Angka’s model captures the real car beautifully, including a neat brick-built miniaturisation of the famous Marlboro livery.
Angka’s second historic F1 car comes from the previous year, when Ferrari’s 641 took second in the F1 Constructors Championship driven by Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell. Like the McLaren above Angka’s model perfectly captures the famous racer’s shape and livery, and also includes some wonderful suspension and brake detail too, thanks to the ingenious use of mini-figure hands and Technic cogs.
Angka’s third and final classic Formula 1 car recreates one of the most advanced cars ever to enter F1. The Williams-Renualt FW14 was launched in 1991 with active suspension, traction control, and a semi-automatic transmission, and by 1992 it was utterly dominant, winning nine out of sixteen races and taking Nigel Mansell to the World Championship.
The model includes the FW14’s famous Canon/Camel livery and the superbly replicated bodywork and suspension of the Ferrari and McLaren too. There’s more to see of each brilliant miniature F1 car at both Angka’a Flickr photostream and via MOCpages – click the links to make the jump and ask Angka to build some more!
This is a near perfect working replica of the McLaren P1, it’s really orange, and it might be the finest Technic Supercar of 2018…
Built by brunojj1 of Eurobricks, this incredible 1:8 model of McLaren’s flagship hybrid hypercar measures over 70 studs / almost 60cm in length and is constructed from over 3,000 LEGO pieces.
Bruno has designed two different versions of the model, one manual and the other remote controlled, and he’s made instructions available too. Both variants have adjustable front and rear suspension, opening butterfly doors, hood and engine cover, a working V8 engine, and a deployable airbrake/active rear spoiler.
The remote control version adds a suite of Power Functions motors to electronically operate the suspension, airbrake/spoiler and doors, plus drive and steer the model remotely. Two on-board LiPo batteries or third-party BuWizz bricks provide the power, whilst twin SBricks allow the McLaren’s working functions to be controlled via a mobile device.
A huge gallery of images is available to view through the Eurobricks discussion forum, where you can also find a link to Bruno’s McLaren P1 building instructions and watch a video of the remote control version of the model in action.
Find out more by clicking here, and you can read our reviews of the third-party BuWizz and SBrick parts used in the McLaren via the links in the text above.
Nissan may be the most obvious brand to use the ‘GTR’ moniker, but those three letters have found themselves on all sorts of cars over the years. Suggested by a reader, today’s post is simultaneously one of the most and least famous to use the GTR name; the mighty McLaren F1 GTR.
Built for endurance racing just nine F1 GTR’s were produced in 1995, with reduced weight, higher downforce thanks to modified bodywork, and – somewhat oddly – less power, as FIA rules restricted output.
Despite the F1 never being envisaged for racing at all the GTR proved phenomenally successful, winning the ’95 Le Mans 24 Hours race against the prototype class expected to dominate, encouraging McLaren to build a further ten GTRs in 1997.
This excellent Speed Champions recreation of the McLaren F1 GTR is the work of newcomer Sean Cox of MOCpages and it captures the mid-’90s icon superbly. See more via the link above.
The average Bugatti owner has at least another fifty cars at his or her disposal. That means there’s a good chance they own one of these too, McLaren’s brilliant 570S. Well now – if you’re a LEGO Bugatti owner – you can too, because previous bloggee Lachlan Cameron has created this stunning McLaren 570S Spider purely from the parts found within the 42083 Technic Bugatti Chiron set.
Built in collaboration with two other previous bloggees, Lachlan’s 42083 B-Model features an 8-speed gearbox with neutral and reverse, a V8 engine, working steering, suspension, LED lights, plus opening doors, hood and engine cover. There’s much more to see of Lachlan’s amazing Spider at the Eurobricks forum, and you can see all the images at the Flickr album by clicking here.
This is the McLaren M23, a car that raced in Formula 1, Formula 5000, and the Indy 500 over five seasons between 1973 and 1978.
Powered by the ubiquitous Cosworth DFV engine and with relatively unremarkable bodywork the M23 was not the most innovative car of the time. However McLaren’s continual development of the M23 kept it amongst the front-runners of Formula 1 right up until the arrival of the M26 mid way through the 1977 season, earning two Driver’s and a Constructor’s World Championships, sixteen Formula 1 race wins, and multiple podiums.
It was towards the end of the M23’s career that it won probably the most famous Formula 1 Championship of all time, when James Hunt emerged victorious from a season-long battle with Ferrari’s Nikki Lauda at a rain-soaked Fuji Speedway. The 1976 season has been immortalised in the 2013 Ron Howard epic ‘Rush’ (which if you haven’t seen it – watch the trailer here), and now Hunt’s ’76 McLaren M23D has been immortalised in Lego too.
Constructed by Formula 1 building legend Luca Rusconi (aka RoscoPC) this Model Team McLaren M23D is a near perfect recreation of the 1976 Championship-winning car. With period-correct decals, a working V8 engine, and steering and suspension, Luca’s M23D is a stunning Lego replica of one of F1’s greats.
There’s lots more to see at Luca’s Flickr photostream, where you can also find his extensive back-cataelgue of superb historic racing cars, plus you can read our interview with Luca as part of the Master MOCers series by clicking here.
We don’t often blog small scale vehicles here at TLCB, but RGB900‘s Speed Champions style McLaren 720S has captured the British supercar’s unusual shape brilliantly. We think it’s better than LEGO’s official McLaren 720S set, and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link above.
McLaren’s past few Formula 1 seasons are probably best forgotten, but whilst their F1 campaign is currently something of a disaster, thanks to the dog of a Honda power unit in the back of their MCL32, their road car division is going from strength to strength. Top of the McLaren tree is this, the 900bhp petrol-electric P1.
Just 375 P1s were produced between 2013 and 2015, and thanks to a hybrid powertrain the P1 can run on electricity alone for about 30km. This stunning Technic recreation of McLaren’s hypercar is electric too, driven by LEGO’s excellent Power Functions motors. A remotely operated 4-speed gearbox and rear wing / air-brake are also included, along with fully independent suspension and opening doors.
McLaren are on a bit of roll at the moment. Since their return to the road car market as a stand-alone manufacturer their growth has been nothing short of exceptional, first creating credible rivals to the established supercar manufacturers and now, with their new 720S, arguably surpassing them.
Powered by the firm’s well-proven twin turbocharged V8 engine, the all-carbon 720S has taken supercar performance into hypercar territory, with a 0-124mph time of less than 8 seconds. The competition amongst the world’s supercar builders is going to get very tasty…
McLaren launched the 720S at the Goodwood Festival of Speed at the weekend, and in doing so gave visitors the chance to build their very own car. Well, sort of…
Constructed from almost 280,000 LEGO bricks, this life-size replica of the McLaren 720S is the work of certified LEGO Professionals Bright Bricks. Besides being constructed around a metal frame and resting upon real wheels, this incredible 1:1 scale supercar is entirely built from LEGO pieces, and visitors to the Festival of Speed could help to gradually complete the car by adding the final layer of orange bricks to the bodywork.
When complete the finished model actually weighs more than the real car (that’s why the actual 720S is constructed from carbon fibre), and it’s due to go on tour as part of the McLaren 720S launch programme, so you may well get to see it if you’re planning to visit a motoring event this year.
Until then you can feast your eyes on these pictures of the part-finished 1:1 scale McLaren 720S from the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend, including a slightly clickbaity attractive girl (top) and a Goodwood’s own slightly less clickbaity Lord March (centre), plus you can read a review of LEGO’s slightly smaller – but just as orange – McLaren P1 Speed Champions set (courtesy of two of our readers) by clicking here.
McLaren Automotive are on a roll right now. After two decades away from car building they’ve re-entered the market big time, first with the MP4-12C (easily the worst named supercar in history), and now with a range of super sports cars based around the same carbon fibre tub and twin turbo V8 engine.
This one is the most powerful in the range (excluding the limited run P1 hypercar), the 675 LT, and it’s been recreated in Technic form as a commission piece by previous bloggee Jeroen Ottens. With remote control drive and steering, an electrically deployed rear wing and a working electric convertible roof Jeroen’s build is more than just a static display piece.
There’s more to see at Eurobricks and Flickr, where you can also find a link to a video of the functions in action and where instructions are available so that you can build your own 675 LT Spider too.
The Lego Car Blog Review My Set Competition continues apace, and today we have our fourth reader-written Review to add to the ever expanding Set Review Library. Today’s set is one of the Library’s smallest, and it’s been written by 13 year old Nicholas and his 11 year old brother Alexander. Over to Nicholas and Alexander for their Set Review of LEGO’s 75909 Speed Champions McLaren P1…
The McLaren P1. McLaren’s latest hyper car. It is absolutely amazing. Everyone loves this beauty. So it’s pretty obvious what LEGO did considering its popularity. They made a set of it. Now the real question is, how well did they recreate the P1?
The LEGO set, part of the Speed Champions range, has a great use of stickers, colors, pieces and of course the mini-figure. The mini-figure is very simple and well done. LEGO really did a good job on making this McLaren driver mini-figure.
Now to the car. The LEGO McLaren P1 is a strong and sturdy build. The building experience was great; it’s a simple, yet an easy build that just works, although 75909 does come with several stickers that need to be placed carefully, so they can line up, and that might not be the easiest for children.
The pieces are amazing. 75909 comes with several new parts that can be used for plenty of MOCs, and a cool feature is that the rims can be switched out if you prefer one style over the other.
The stickers are pretty good, I only wish they made the stickers with a clear background so you can remake this set in a different colour and still have the stickers’ details (Us too! Ed.). Continue reading →