Tag Archives: News

Back to Bricks | Museum of American Speed Competition!

The Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska looks like our kind of museum! Hosting some of the most spectacular and awesome looking cars from America’s racing history (some of which have appeared here in Lego form!), the museum also runs automotive events, including Cars & Coffee, Drive a Model T Experience, and – this month only – a Lego building competition!

Museum of American Speed – Back to Bricks Building Competition

“Stuck at home? Stay connected this Spring with the Museum of American Speed’s online exclusive Back to the Bricks Lego Build-off Contest. This interactive event is FREE and open to everyone! This is your chance to create your very own LEGO show car from home! Submissions will be judged online and the winner will receive a $100 cash prize along with your build displayed at the Museum for one year! Registration is open through 4/20/20.”

Submit your entries via the link above and you could you see your Lego model displayed alongside some of American’s greatest racers! Thanks to a member of the Lincoln and Omaha LEGO User Group for letting us know about this competition via our Facebook page.

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42111 Technic Fast & Furious Dom’s Dodge Charger | Set Preview

If you’re ten, you gonna want to keep reading this!…

This is the brand new for 2020 Technic ‘Fast & Furious’ Dom’s Dodge Charger set, a 1,077-piece recreation of the iconic drag racer from the very first ‘Fast & Furious’ movie.

Officially licensed by both Universal’s ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise and Dodge, LEGO’s new 42111 set continues Technic’s increase in visual realism with almost Model Team levels of detail. Fear not though Technic fans, because it’s loaded with mechanical functionality too…

A working V8 engine complete with a spinning supercharger belt, functioning steering, double-wishbone suspension, plus opening hood, doors and trunk (with NO2 bottles inside) all feature, as does a wheelie stand so you can recreate the Dodge Charger R/T’s most famous movie scene.

The new 42111 set is expected to cost around $99 when it goes on sale at the end of April, around a year ahead of the release of next (and ninth) ‘Fast & Furious’ movie. Not counting the spin-offs.

Whatever we feel about that state of cinema that the ‘Fast & Furious’ movies are now the highest grossing films ever, we have to admit that they do inspire a properly cool LEGO set. And we’re not even ten.

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Life-Size LEGO Fiat 500

LEGO’s new 10271 Creator Expert Fiat 500 set has got us very excited. The press seems to like to too, with many inevitable jokes about how the real Fiat 500 is basically a model car anyway. Well LEGO have risen to that challenge! Built from 189,000 pieces (around 188,000 more than the set), LEGO’s expert model makers have constructed an exact 1:1 life-size scale replica of the iconic Italian classic.

Apart from the steering wheel – which is a real item from a 1960s 500 – everything is built from LEGO bricks, including the tyres, seats, and luggage rack (with luggage). A motor show-style cut out on the passenger side facilities entry, which the public will be able to do as this life-sized LEGO Fiat is due to go on tour to launch the new 10271 set.

YouTube Video

You can see how LEGO constructed the 1:1 Fiat 500 via the video above, you can check out our preview of the new 10271 Creator Expert Fiat 500 set by clicking here, and you see a fan-built 500 that arguably got there first by clicking this link.

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Creator Expert 10271 Fiat 500 | Set Preview

An Italian LEGO set that isn’t a supercar! LEGO’s successful line of officially licensed sets has been a properly exciting shift in the brand’s strategy, bringing real-world cars to bedroom floors everywhere. Beginning with Ferrari, a host of brands have joined the line-up, with fellow Italian supercar manufacturer Lamborghini one of the most recent new additions.

However despite Ferrari being the first car maker to partner with LEGO, their parent company Fiat have been oddly absent. Perhaps Fiat’s current range of distinctly mediocre offerings doesn’t lend itself too well to models that people would want to buy. Fiat 500L anyone?

However Fiat’s back-catalogue is far more interesting, with the original 500 being one of the most loved and well known classic cars of all time. A perfect candidate to be recreated as a Creator Expert set then, joining contemporaries such as the Mini Cooper and Volkswagen Beetle.

LEGO’s new 10271 Fiat 500 set brings the iconic Italian city car to life in brick, with 960 of them forming the 500’s famous silhouette, many of which appear in this gorgeous primrose yellow hue for the first time.

Bespoke period-correct Fiat decals, opening doors hood and engine cover, a detailed interior, and a boot-mounted travel case all feature, as does – weirdly – an easel with a Fiat 500 painting placed upon it. Now if only the painting had an easel in the background of its Fiat 500, which of course would depict a Fiat 500 with an easel in the background… A thought that like that can break your brain.

Despite the moderate piece count the new 10271 Fiat 500 set will be one of the smaller models in the Creator Expert range, measuring 24cm long and 11cm wide – suitably befitting of the original car’s tiny dimensions – and will cost around $90/£75 when it goes on sale in March of 2020. In a line-up that was perhaps becoming a bit supercar-heavy, we think the addition of something small, slow, and classic is a fantastic choice. Top marks LEGO!

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LEGO Technic 2020 | Set Previews!

And now, later than billed, it’s the all new 2020 Technic line-up! OK, we’re well into 2020 now (and have already previewed the new 42109 Top Gear Rally Car and 42110 Land Rover Defender sets), but one of our Elves got caught at The LEGO Company’s HQ and securing its release was harder than removing a U.S President from office. We wouldn’t have minded (we have lot of Elves) but it had some great intel…

42101 Buggy

This intel in fact, the new 42101 Buggy aimed at aged 7+ and featuring 117 pieces. 42101 looks like a modern reinterpretation of the classic (and awesome) 8818 Dune Buggy set from 1993. It’s not as good as the 1993 version obviously, which had a single-cylinder piston engine, but it does feature steering and rear suspension, making it a worthwhile entry point into the Technic range. Expect to pay around $12/£9 in stores.

42102 Mini Claas Xerion

The second entry point into the 2020 Technic range brings back the familiar green and red we’ve come to know from one of LEGO’s official partnerships. The original 42054 Claas Xerion 5000 set is – we think – one of the best Technic sets of all time, and the 130 piece 42102 set resembles a tiny (like, really really tiny) version of the 2017 flagship. Accurate decals, working steering, and a lawn mower thingy that rotates as the model is pushed along make the Mini Claas Xerion a neat set for ages 7+, and like the Technic Buggy above it’s available for pocket money. Good stuff.

42103 Dragster

Uh oh, the Pull-Backs. The Scrappy-Dos of Technic, we haven’t yet been impressed by any of these. However 2020 looks like it might be the exception, because we rather like this one! Featuring nothing but a pull-back motor (boo), the new 42103 Dragster set displays the usual extensive stickerage we’ve come to expect from these sets but it looks… well, really rather good. Aimed at ages 7+, 42103 includes 225 pieces, a ‘Christmas tree’ light, and a wheelie-bar. Could 2020 be the first year of decent pull-back sets?

42104 Race Truck 

No. Because back to form, here’s the 42104 Race Truck. With 227 pieces – all of which can be put to better use elsewhere – a plethora of stickers, and a pointless start/finish gantry thing, 42104 includes literally nothing that a Technic set should do. Oh, the bonnet opens, does that count? Next…

42105 Catamaran 

Breaking momentarily away from the Pull-Backs comes 42105, one of LEGO’s most unusual Technic sets ever, although perhaps 2016’s 42074 Racing Yacht proved there is a market for Technic sailing boats. With 404 parts including a pair of new two-piece hulls and those huge sails, 42105 features complete mechanical controls for the rudders, hydrofoils and sails and can be re-built into a more traditional powerboat should you wish to deploy those sail pieces elsewhere. It also floats(!), which immediately makes it cooler than any other set in this line-up (because who doesn’t like a good bath toy?). Aimed at ages 8+ expect to pay around $40/£35 for 42105, and for bath time to become much more interesting.

42106 Stunt Show

42106 pulls us back from bath time fun to, well… pull-back fun, but it could have good play value. Not much else mind. The 42106 Stunt Show includes three models in one; a pick-up truck, trailer/ramp, and a motorcycle, each looking fairly terrible despite the flame decals. The trailer features mechanically operated legs to turn it into a ramp and the truck includes steering, but that’s all. Which is nowhere near enough for a set costing $50/£45. Admittedly jumping the bike through the flaming hoop does look rather fun, but not $50 of fun, and we suspect even the Elves would tire of it quickly. We’ll be leaving this one on the shelf…

42108 Mobile Crane

The final set of H1 2020 is the largest of the line-up (not withstanding the officially licensed 42110 Land Rover Defender and 42109 Top Gear Rally Car sets revealed here at the end of 2019), the near 1,300 piece 42108 Mobile Crane. Forgive us for not being particularly excited by this one, because it does look like a reasonable set. It’s just that LEGO have released countless eight-wheel mobile cranes over the years and they’re all becoming much the same.

42108 does feature a wealth of mechanical operations, with eight-wheel steering, boom elevation, rotation and extension all via hand-powered mechanisms, a working winch with a ratchet to allow it to lift loads, and four functioning stabilisers. However despite the increase in detail that we’ve come to expect from modern Technic sets and enhanced realism thanks to a few well-judged decals, 42108 is an utterly unmemorable product. It’s also priced at around $95/£85 which – particularly as it includes no B-Model – is rather a lot.

We’ll go sailing on 42105 instead…

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2019 | Year in Review

Well it’s been quite a year. TLCB’s home nation had yet another election, President Trump became the third U.S leader in history to be impeached (not that it means anything at all), Greta Thunberg led the world’s children on strike over climate change, during which time the world’s leaders literally fiddled whilst California and Australia burned, and Russia were thrown out of the Olympics for mass state-sponsored doping (again).

It’s been a busy year for the automotive world too, with PSA and FCA merging to create, er… PSFCAA(?), Nissan-Renualt-Mitsubishi boss Carlos Ghosn’s arrest (and current exile in Lebanon after smuggling himself out of Japan whilst on bail), Elon Musk inadvertently smashing the windows of his own truck live at its unveiling, Volkswagen revealing the most ambitious ‘we’re not evil, honest’ plan since Italy swapped sides in World War 2, and flying cars still not becoming a thing despite Blade Runner now being set in the past.

But enough on the criminality of the President, Carlos Ghosn, Russian athletics, and Volkswagen, what about The Lego Car Blog? Well the good news is we’ve not done anything criminal…

Stats:

The bad news is we saw a drop in visitors for the second year, after six consecutive years of growth, and will end the year at about two thirds of a million. That’s still a lot of people mind, and we’re still surprised that anyone at all likes this site enough to visit it, so if you’re reading this; thank you. Those numbers don’t include visits to our Facebook page either, where all posts now also appear.

Search engines brought around 200,000 visitors, with Pintrest and Facebook the next greatest referrers. Our most popular page was, as ever, the Review Library, which now holds over one-hundred reviews of official LEGO sets, books, and third-party products such as BuWizz and SBrick.

The most viewed creation of 2019 was Lachlan Cameron’s awesome Ford Mustang [Hoonigan], which was also received the most clicks of any link we published whilst the video of the real [Hoonigan] Mustang tearing up the streets of LA at the hands of Ken Block was the most watched media. The second most clicked video link was altogether more silly.

The United States proved to be the most popular visitor country once again, perhaps as people try to escape the inane gibberish that seems to be going on there at the moment. Germany and the UK make up the rest of the top three, probably for similar reasons.

In all visitors from two-hundred countries visited The Lego Car Blog over the course of 2019, with several counties posting a visitor of number of one, including Iran, Liberia and Haiti amongst others. If you’re reading this and you’re that one – thank you, and you are part of something much bigger! There were also three visitors from Vatican City, which makes us kinda hopeful that one might be the Pope, but if it is we’d better stop making ‘Your Mom’ jokes…

Interviews:

OK, we forgot about these in 2019, with just one new builder added to the Master MOCers Hall of Fame. The wonderful Redfern1950s joined us for the twenty-first interview and you can find his page via the link above, plus read the twenty interviews that proceeded his via the main menu at the top of the page.

We’ll try to do better in 2020. Unless we forget again…

Advertisements:

Lastly, your visits and clicks here at The Lego Car Blog have continued to do good, with a few thousand dollars now raised in total via the adverts that you view. We don’t allow many ads to appear here, and whilst some are dubious in their content – ‘Local Mom makes $[insert ridiculous amount here] without working!’ is perhaps the most irritating – we hope they’re not too intrusive and we’re more than happy to take money from internet marketing companies and redistribute it to those that need it most.

As has been the case form some time we’re pondering whether we can and should do more with this platform, and should that ever happen we will of course let you know. For now though, things continue as they are.

2020:

As we enter a whole new decade The Lego Car Blog will continue to champion the best Lego vehicles created by the online community. TLCB Elves are searching Flickr, MOCpages, Eurobricks, Brickshelf and other creation-sharing sites as you read this, in the hope of uncovering the next blog-worthy model that will earn them a meal token.

If you’d like to suggest something they’ve missed you can continue to do so via the Feedback page, Contact page or on Facebook, where you can also let us know your thoughts (good and bad) about what we write.

Thank you for visiting us in 2019, and we wish you all a very Happy New Year!

TLCB Team

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76896 Speed Champions Nissan GT-R NISMO | Set Preview

It’s 2020 Speed Champions reveal time! Uncovered by one of our elite Elves thrown over The LEGO Company HQ’s wall a few weeks back, this is the brand new 76896 Speed Champions Nissan GT-R NISMO!

Slotting in between the previously revealed 76895 Ferrari F8 Tributo and excellent 76897 Audi Sport quattro, 76896 brings another real-world manufacturer into the Speed Champions line-up. The new Nissan GT-R NISMO joins the range in LEGO’s new 8-wide style that has become uniform across the latest Speed Champions sets, allowing them to look (mostly) to scale side-by-side as well as being able to fit two mini-figures.

Aimed at ages 7+ 76896 includes 298 pieces, a mini-figure racing driver, and a lot of stickers, forming the racing livery, front grille, air intakes and even the headlights.

It’s not really a look to our tastes, as we much prefer the brick-built rear to the be-stickered front, but we suspect that if you’re seven you won’t mind at all (when you’re seven stickers are awesome).

We also suspect that the new 76896 Nissan GT-R NISMO will fly off the shelves, with the GT-R being one of the poster cars for the Forza generation and also becoming the first Japanese car to be recreated as an official LEGO set.

We hope that the new Nissan GT-R’s arrival heralds the possibility of further Japanese manufacturers deciding to partner with LEGO (Toyota Supra, Lexus LFA or Honda NSX anyone?), but even if not – and although this particular Speed Champions set is a bit stickery for us – the arrival of another real-world manufacturer is something to be celebrated, particularly with a car as legendary as the Nissan GT-R

The new 76896 Speed Champions Nissan GT-R NISMO set is expected to cost around $20 and is due to reach stores by the end of the year.

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76895 Speed Champions Ferrari F8 Tributo | Set preview

No sooner had we written yesterday’s post previewing the awesome new 76897 Audi Sport quattro S1 set than another Elf stumbled back into TLCB Towers following its ‘adventure’ in LEGO’s HQ.

This is its find, the new 76895 Speed Champions Ferrari F8 Tributo.

The 2020 Speed Champions line-up wouldn’t be complete without a new Ferrari set, and this really is a new Ferrari set, being the Italian supercar manufacturer’s latest model which was only revealed at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.

Like yesterday’s Audi, the new Speed Champions Ferrari F8 Tributo set applies LEGO’s new 8-wide scale to allow for a little more realism and for two mini-figures to sit side-by-side. 76895 only includes one, and interestingly it’s a racing driver despite the F8 being a road car, but you can always add a second should you wish.

The F8’s design has been well replicated in Lego form, albeit with a few stickers helping with the shape of the cockpit, and includes 275 pieces for an anticipated $20 price tag. Aimed at ages 7+ we think 76895 looks rather good and will likely continue the success of Lego’s Ferrari Speed Champions partnership, however we’d still take the Audi…

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76897 Speed Champions Audi Sport quattro S1 | Set Preview

The elite team of Elves dispatched over The LEGO Company’s perimeter walls are one by one returning to TLCB Towers, clutching their discoveries stolen from the bowels of LEGO’s R&D department.

A couple may also carry a few bite marks (and some don’t return at all), but that’s why we employ mythical creatures, as there’s no way you’d get us to squeeze through an air-conditioning duct to escape a Danish Alsatian. We’re much too fat.

Anyway, the Elf that returned today came home clutching a new set that has got us very excited, the frankly brilliant looking 76897 Audi Sport quattro (with a little ‘q’) S1 rally car.

The quattro was not the first car to be fitted with all-wheel-drive, but it was the first to take the idea rallying, along with a unique 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that made a truly ridiculous amount of power, allowed thanks to Group B’s incredibly lax rulebook. The result was a car that won the World Rally Championship in ’82 and ’84, with every WRC manufacturer title claimed by an all-wheel-drive car thereafter.

The new 76897 set recreates the Audi Sport quattro S1 which finished second in 1985 season in the hands of Stig Blomqvist and Walter Röhrl, using LEGO’s new 8-wide template to bring more realism to the Speed Champions range. Constructed from 250 pieces, the Audi’s famous livery has been really well replicated, and for once the detail is brick-built rather than being applied by stickers. There are stickers too of course, and they look splendid, adding excellent period authenticity to the set.

Like all Speed Champions sets 76897 also includes a mini-figure driver, but annoyingly no co-driver, despite the 8-wide design allowing one to fit. This is no doubt due to cost, but is nevertheless disappointing from a realism point of view.

Despite this oversight we think the Speed Champions Audi Sport quattro S1 is one of the best products to come from the franchise yet, and – at an expected cost of around $20 when it reaches stores at then end of the year – there’s no cooler set for the money. We’ll just have to add our own second mini-figure to the model to complete it.

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42109 Technic Top Gear Rally Car | Set Preview

Our Elves are on it right now. Much as we hate to admit it, they’re doing rather well at sneaking into The LEGO Company’s headquarters, not being eaten by Danish Alsatians, and bringing back brand new sets for us to share with you. Hot the heels of the Unnecessarily-Long-Named Lamborghini set revealed here last week, this is their latest scoop; the new for 2020 Technic 42019 App-Controlled Top Gear Rally Car.

42019 is the latest in LEGO’s app-controlled line-up, utilising the new Control+ app that allows a model to be controlled via bluetooth from a mobile device (as per SBrick and BuWizz). It also adds another (slightly odd) brand to LEGO’s burgeoning roster of official partners. Yup, BBC Top Gear join such names as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Chevrolet and Jaguar in being printed on a LEGO box, although this link is perhaps a little more tenuous (and perhaps more than a little late given Top Gear’s peak was some years ago).

The new 42109 App-Controlled Top Gear Rally Car set is a fully remote controlled rally racer of a generic and non-specific design, featuring an XL motor for drive, an L motor for steering, LEGO’s new Bluetooth smart hub, and a whole load of stickers.

463 pieces make up the set, none of which look new or remarkable, but what is very cool is that 42109 isn’t just operable via a bluetooth device through the new Control+ app, it includes interactive in-built challenges, merging video game thrills with a real functioning Technic model. That sounds rather neat, and is something we think any nine year old (or TLCB staff writer, which amounts to the same thing) will absolutely love.

Of course the success of the new App-Controlled Top Gear Rally Car will depend upon the execution of those app-based challenges, but as the app could be easily updated with new challenges added over time, we see far more longevity in the Control+ platform than LEGO’s past forays into gaming achieved (we’re looking at you 8432 Technic Red Hot Machine)…

42109 is due to reach stores at the end of the year aimed at ages 9+ and is expected to cost around $129/£125. We’re cautiously excited…

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LEGO 76139 1989 Batmobile | Set Preview

Great news for those of you who only work in black! LEGO have revealed their upcoming 76139 ‘1989 Batmobile’ set, at it is really very black indeed. With 3,306 pieces (at least 3,000 of which look to be black), 76139 is one of the largest Superheroes sets to date, and bridges nicely across the DC and Creator car lines.

The model is a faithful replica of the vehicle used in the 1989 Tim Burton movie, and comes with a rotating platform and three slightly superfluous mini-figures (Joker, Vicki Vale (who?!), and Batman himself), which gives away the model’s primary purpose as being a display piece rather than a toy or engineering demonstration. Nevertheless the new set does feature working steering, a sliding cockpit (using a new piece), and pop-up machine guns should Batman decide to go rogue.

The new 76139 ‘1989 Batmobile’ set is expected to cost a around £220/$250 – which is rather a lot – and will go on sale on Black Friday 2019, which seems both appropriate and quite possibly a dark joke considering the price…

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We’re 8 Today!*

Two World Cups, two Olympics, and two Presidents have all passed since this ropey little corner of the internet spluttered into life eight years ago. Considerably less newsworthy than any of those things, The Lego Car Blog has quietly become at least a footnote in the annals of the Lego Community, and that’s good enough for us!

TLCB Review Library is now stacked with more than one-hundred set, book and third-party product reviews, there are over twenty interviews with the world’s greatest vehicle builders in the Master MOCers Series, and we’ve even finally gone and got ourself a Facebook page, around five years after Facebook was cool.

Since The Lego Car Blog’s peak of over a million visitors a year we’ve now settled in the high hundreds of thousands, so it seems at least a few people have got bored and wandered off (or left in anger), but if enough of you continue to like what you see here (or even if you don’t like it, continue to read it), we’ll endeavour to keep bringing you the best Lego vehicles that the web has to offer.

As always please let us know what you like and what you don’t, suggest creations our Elves have missed, and feel free to share, repost or steal anything you find here. The Brothers Brick do.

Thank you for stopping by, and remember that your views and clicks here at The Lego Car Blog generate advertising revenue that goes to those who need it more than we do, and for that we are incredibly grateful.

Onwards to nine, at which point we may well have to all get on with our lives and leave to this the proper blogs!

TLCB Team

*Yesterday, but we weren’t paying attention.

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Identify Any Brick, In the Blink of an Eye!

Back in April this year we stumbled across a very cool, OK, massively nerdy project. LEGO have produced a vast array of pieces over the years, everything from a flaming sword to a Deadpool duck head. No, we don’t know why either. Most of LEGO’s pieces however, are rather useful, but with so many made how do you know what it is you have (and need more of)? Piqabrick have the answer.

“Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, Piqabrick instantly identifies Lego bricks’ code, simplifying the long-lasting operations of searching and sorting.

Piqabrick easily and quickly identifies any Lego brick providing you the ID code and color code. How? Thanks to our proprietary computer vision technology. Piqabrick “looks at” a brick to identify it, just like we already do… but better!”

Sounds cool right? OK, not cool – massively nerdy again, but really bloody useful. Better still, Piqabrick has no monthly or yearly fee: it’s free for a lifetime.

If you’d like to find out more about how Piqabrick works and pledge so that the tool can become a reality then visit the Piqabrick Kickstarter campaign via the link below!

Piqabrick on Kickstarter

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Ride-On LEGO

Every Lego fan has wanted to do it. We’ve all imagined what it would be like, dreaming that one day, if we tried hard enough, it might just be possible. And some have even got close. No, we’re not referring to talking to a girl, but building a real, ride-on, controllable Lego creation.

That unrealised dream has now become a reality for the guys at third-party bluetooth brick builders BuWizz, who have built an actual ride-on go-kart (OK, ‘mobility scooter’ might be a better description…) from seven thousand LEGO pieces!

Thirty-two Large Power Functions motors power all four wheels (via individual in-wheel motors actually, meaning their creation could feature torque vectoring!), with eight BuWizz bricks providing the power and control via the BuWizz mobile app. They’ve even managed to talk to a girl and convince her drive it.

You can watch their amazing creation in action via the video below and read more about it at the BuWizz website, plus if you’d like to learn more about the little bluetooth battery control that allows a creation like this to happen you can read our review of the BuWizz brick here.

YouTube Video

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Plus Size

LEGO’s new Control+ app has finally brought bluetooth control to LEGO sets. Available on the new 42100 Technic Liebherr R 980 excavator set, the largest set LEGO have ever produced, the Control+ app allows all seven motors to be operated, and programmed, via a mobile device.

But what if the new app was used to control something a bit… larger?

Weighing 890 tons and with around 4,000 bhp the real Liebherr R 9800 excavator is the third largest excavator in the world and it has, courtesy of LEGO and TLCB Master MOCer Sariel, been turned into the world’s largest remote control toy.

With a suite of ingenious motorised Technic mechanisms installed in the cab the real Liebherr R 9800’s controls could be operated remotely through the new LEGO Control+ app, allowing it to drive, steer and excavate via a mobile phone just like the 42100 set. Only on a much much bigger scale.

Take a look a video above to see how the team did it, and get some ideas for how to control your annoying neighbour’s Honda Odessey through your phone…

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