If ever there’s a video game crying out for a remake, this is it. Wipeout anti-gravity racing launched in the mid-’90s on Playstation, PC and Sega Saturn, and it was epic. Set in 2052, players competed in the F3600 anti-gravity league, piloting racers around a variety of ludicrous tracks to a soundtrack by legendary artists Leftfield, Chemical Brothers, Orbital and others.
Taking us right back to 1996 is Volker Brodkorb, with two gorgeous anti-gravity racers inspired by the game. Each is built brilliantly and includes a mini-figure pilot and some wonderful custom decal work to boot. You can join the race at Volker’s Flickr album via the link above, and to be reminded how awesome Wipeout was watch a race in 1080p here!
The Lego Car Blog Elves are most perplexed today. Somewhat unbelievably, seeing as these builds could almost have been made for them, they missed this unique collection of ‘Crazy Engine’ racers by yu chris. We have a reader to thank for their appearance and you can see more of each crazy cartoon contraption on Flickr via the link above.
It’s time for another Set Review here at The Lego Car Blog, and this summer we’ve been handing the Reviewer’s Pen over to you – our readers. Today we have a double review, courtesy of Saberwing007, and he’s feeling all Top Gun…
So, do you feel the need? The need for speed? I hope so, because we are going to be reviewing some really fast sets today.
Back in 2002, Lego released set 8475, which was the debut of their new system for making remote control models. I actually saw the set in catalogs at the time, but I did not realize how special it was, and I kicked myself for missing out on it down the line. However, I recently got both 8475 and 8366, partially for the parts, and partially to get a set I missed out on. There is another set, 8376, which uses the same system, but we won’t be covering that here today.
As some background, all three of the sets, 8475, 8366, and 8376 use the same basic RC parts, but are otherwise quite different. At the end of this review there will be an overview of the RC system, but for now, let’s head off to the races!
8475 The first set released, 8475 retailed for $130 in the US, but only had 284 parts. That seemed like an awfully high price for such a set, but today it’s a bargain, considering how much these sets go for on the secondary market. The set build is fairly simple, with most of the structure being made of the RC receiver, and motors. Despite this the finished set has fully independent suspension, which works well for keeping all the wheels on the ground. The styling is very much in line with the other Racers and Technic sets of the era, being mostly a wire frame made up of flex tubes, with only a few panels. This allows the set to have a fairly low part count, and keeps the weight down. In spite of the limited bodywork, it is an attractive model, probably due to the fact that most dune buggies actually look like that. The color is quite nice as well, with most of the parts being pearl dark gray, a very rare color that was only included in sets of this era.
Driving the set is a blast, due to its speed, and the ability to use the set outdoors, where said speed can actually be used. The set is actually much too fast to be used indoors, unless you have a large house or an empty gym to use (or TLCB Executive Washroom and Sauna, Ed.). Unfortunately, the center of gravity is a bit high, which could cause a flip if you’re not careful. Luckily, controlling the model is easy, as the controller is not only quite ergonomic, but the joystick for drive and steer are proportional. In an unusual move, the B model for the set has different tires than the A model. Said B model is far less attractive, being a rather sad looking pseudo F1 car with off-road suspension. As a hilarious side note, in the instructions for this set there is a mini comic that shows 8475 losing a race against another set, 4589, in spite of the fact that 4589 is much slower, does not have suspension, and uses IR remote control.
8366 Ultimately, between 8475 and 8366, 8366 is my favorite, as it looks really neat, has more parts, and is faster as well. Like 8475, it retailed for $130, but had 429 parts. Although there is an increase in part count 8366 does not have suspension, but it really isn’t needed. Like 8475, the build structure is primarily based on the RC Receiver and motors, with most of the parts going into body work. Unlike 8475, 8366 is much more paneled, but there are still many flex hoses used, particularly around the cockpit. It also has an actual cockpit interior, although it is neither mini-fig nor Technic-fig scale. Like 8475, it included many dark pearl gray parts, but mixes it up with some light gray panels, and red highlights, although those are only sticker details. In a somewhat odd twist, 8366 actually includes two different types of large panels, the 20 and 21 panels, and the 3 and 4 panels, with no other set including both. An additional unusual part is a pair of fully plastic wheels. These wheels are identical in size to the wheels used on the model, and are used to make it into a drift machine. However, this is an inelegant solution at best, as the model is really fast, and really hard to control with the drift wheels fitted. As well, the drift wheels scratch easily, so using them outside is something I would not recommend. Performance wise, 8366 uses the fast outputs of the RC motors, and so is faster than 8475. The lack of suspension actually helps, and keeps the car from flipping. Since the controller is the same as 8475, it is still easy to control, in spite of the speed. Also like 8475, the B model of the set is rather weird, being some sort of dragster that can pop wheelies due to how much torque the motors have, although I must confess I’ve never built the B model, it just does not appeal to me.
So, in conclusion, both of these models are quite fun to drive, and have useful parts for your own creations, even if the building process for the sets themselves is not the most interesting. It took me a long time to get my hands on these sets, and man was it worth the wait!
Now, let’s take a look at that RC system in detail….
This neat idea comes from TLCB regular Angka Utama, who has designed a racing car set with interchangeable nose-cone, rear wing and side-pod bodywork.
There are three colours and styles to choose from (above) and these can be mixed and matched too (below). You can see more at either Flickr or MOCpages, where you will also find a link where you can vote for Angka’s idea to become an official LEGO set via the LEGO Ideas platform.
Here at The Lego Car Blog we like, well… Lego and cars. The Elves add violence to this list (and Smarties of course), so when a few discovered gaming site gamesfreak.net and their free-to-play Lego games most of our workforce rushed over to find a game that could tick off all the things on their list.
Our favourite game – and one that manages a great combination of the three of the Elves’ desired attributes above was LEGO Racers Crosstown Craze.
Launched as an official LEGO online game back in 2008, Crosstown Craze is a simple 2D driving simulator in which you can race an assortment of LEGO Racers vehicles down an obstacle-strewn raceway. Smashing your competitors out of the way whilst collecting the power-boosts, health packs and other goodies strategically placed in the road helps your cause, and if you cross the finish line first you progress to meet another – tougher – opponent.
Crosstown Craze is quite similar to the CD-ROM game that came with this set way back in 1998, so don’t expect Grand Theft Auto V rivalling graphics. However, in an era of quick and easy mobile gaming, games like this one from times past have seen a second-coming, easily matching many of the games for sale via Android or Apple’s App Store.
The gamesfreak.net guys have over 30 other free Lego games to choose from, including strategy, character (such as Harry Potter), and building games. All their games are user-rated, and whilst some do take a little while to load, the site is generally quick and easy to use, and it requires no user account – you can simply click and play.
Kill some time and play for free – Click on the image below…
[Thank you to gamesfreak.net for donating to our charity fund]
LEGO’s small and always fun Racers sets are being refreshed for 2015! LEGO has announced the new ‘Speed Champions’ range, which is made up of partially refreshed old Racers sets (specifically the race-Ferraris and Iveco Transporter), and some new (and rather nice) hypercars.
One of these new sets is shown in the picture above – the awesome McLaren P1 – which joins the other two members of the latest real-world hypercar trio: the Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder. The P1 shown comes equipped with cones, a pleased-looking mini-figure driver and a few other useful tools, whilst the other sets also include a variety of additional parts.
We think the single car sets (Porsche 918, LaFerrari, P1, and a Ferrari 458 GT3) will please collectors although they do seem to show evidence of LEGO’s default method of creating the complicated shapes required via large specifically moulded new parts and stickers. Nevertheless, all of the new cars do look fun and some of those unique pieces might be usable for other ends (the surfboard piece in use as the McLaren’s rear spoiler is a nice touch!).
Overall we think the new Speed Champions cars will make good starter sets for beginners, and they’re relatively inexpensive at around €15 each. Definitely worth looking out for when they reach stores in early 2015.
This is the set that the Elves are more interested in though. Remember set 8654? LEGO’s F1 team truck was well received by builders and LEGO have given it a refresh it for 2015 creating the new set 75913.
Included in the revised set are toolboxes with tools, lots of Ferrari-attired mini-figures, a brick separator(?), a Vespa(!) and of course the latest Ferrari F14, complete with a spare nosecone. The F14 seems a fairly accurate mini-figure scale version of Ferrari’s real racer, featuring a couple of new pieces and stickers to create the flowing shape.
As for the truck, LEGO seem to have reused the same Iveco cabin and trailer from last year’s set, and all of the assorted racing paraphernalia can fit inside as before. 75913 will cost you around €100, which is quite expensive for a mini-figure scale set, but there is a lot included for your money.
Joining 75913 in the new Speed Champions range for 2015 are a Mercedes McLaren pitbox with F1 car (€35), two Porsche GT3 Racers in one package (€50) and the other aforementioned supercars including the 75910 Porsche 918 Hybrid pictured above. The complete Speed Champions range will reach stores in early 2015. Start saving!
Featuring, on the best starting grid of all time; Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Spiderman, Cat Women, Poison Ivy, Wonder Woman, Superman and many more! See the full line up at the Okay Yaramanoglu racetrack!
The Elves were thrilled to find that ace car builder Ryan Link has found some bricks to snap together, after a year away. He’s not out of practice either, judging by this beautiful LaFerrari. Welcome back Ryan! Not that you ever really went away… Enjoy all the details of this wonderful build over on the new, improved, reliable-server-and-everything (fingers crossed…) MOCpages.
Our two most recent ‘Featured TFOLs’ – Harry Gravett and Alexander Paschoaletto – recently challenged one another to a classic Le Mans face-off on MOCpages. The Lego Car Blog Elves pay attention to stuff like this, as it’s an easy meal token, so without further ado, we bring you their face-off entries.
This superb photograph of the Circuit de Catalunya pit-lane exit, complete with 2013 Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 car, was discovered on Brickshelf rather brilliantly just after the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix. It was built and photographed by lluisgib, and when we say photographed we mean it – there’s no photoshop trickery here! See how he did it at the link above.
We’ve been posting MOCs towards the larger end of the spectrum recently, so today it’s time for something a bit smaller…
This tiny white transporter is a stretched Volkswagen T1 ‘Renntransporter’, as used by the Rennstall Bunker Porsche Team in the 1960s. Nils O is the creator, and you can see more of his mini-masterpieces on MOCpages.
Two Elves returned together today, each holding one the new Technic sets for 2013 stolen from The LEGO Group’s dungeons. These two are the ‘starter’ sets, and major on robust fun rather than technical functions. As such they feature a new pull-back motor and, er… nothing else. But they do have some new parts and cool stickers, and will no doubt be a great introduction into the world of Technic for younger builders. 42010 and 42011 will join the LEGO Technic line-up in 2013, sitting at the bottom of the range. For details of the other 2013 Technic releases, search our ‘News’ category.
The 2012 Formula 1 Championship kicks off today in Melbourne. ‘Bad Furday’ shows us the new shape for ’12 with his generic Lego F1 2012 MOC on Flickr.
Due to new safety regulations, almost all the cars feature a horrifically ugly ‘stepped nose’ (the lower front wing reduces the chances of the nose riding over another car’s cockpit in an accident). McLaren are the exception, with a beautiful low sweep instead of the ugly step. Judging by their superb 1+2 in qualifying, it proves the adage; if it looks fast, it is fast.
Enjoy the Championship! (Or as much of it you can watch if you don’t have Sky)
Click the link above this picture for Bad Furday's explanations in Lego of the new regulations for 2012
Welcome one and all to the sixth instalment in our series of Lego’s ultimate car sets reviews. The year is 2000, and the ‘Racers’ line is off to a good start with this and the very similar 8461 Williams. With less emphasis on the technical aspects and a more authentic look, these complemented the concurrent 8448 Street Sensation car.
First impressions – This thing is huge! 34 studs wide across the rear track… a surprisingly simple build, given it’s size and apparent complexity. I found it very enjoyable to put together. Still using the old studded beams for the chassis, this is sufficiently stiff to allow it’s suspension to work properly (sort of, but we’ll come to that..) Anyhow, I’ll go through it’s features one by one like I usually do…
Engine: A very authentic for the period V10. Not very authentic for any period, it turns rather slowly when the car is pushed. If ever a car cried out for more noise, it’s this one. Never mind, that’s easily fixed and doesn’t it look lovely ? All those tubes greebling it up to great effect. Real effort was made here, including things like radiators and oil coolers to ogle when you smoothly raise the cover with it’s damped action to show it off.
Suspension: A round of applause please for those wonderful long and thin wishbone pieces… I thank you. These really help give this car it’s realistic appearance, and fortunately are stronger than they look. Another thing to admire is the cleverly contrived pushrod activation of the horizontal springs. I daresay this kit was designed by a knowledgeable F1 fan and it shows. However, although the single hard spring per wheel should be enough, at the front it isn’t. This is because the way it’s all articulated means that there’s very little movement against the spring over the course of the suspension’s travel. This is why it’s too soft and sticky in it’s action. At the rear, where there’s a bit more room, everything works fine.
Steering: Well, it wouldn’t get around Loews’ in one go – nevermind, let’s call it the Silverstone set-up… More of a problem than it’s relatively poor lock is the fiddly operation. Blame the authentically shaped steering wheel and wonder how Hamilton and Co. manage… a secondary control of some kind would have been a bonus but it works well enough.
Transmission: This is where the budget over-run on suspension pieces came from. A single fixed gear that wouldn’t be a problem if only it made more noise! I know, I know, I’ll change the record…
Body: Looking for all the world like a McLaren in it’s spangly metallic silver panels, I can only assume they refused permission to Lego to use their name. It doesn’t matter. Silver Champion is a great name for this, and appropriate given that Mika Hakkinen had won the Drivers’ Championship the previous year. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not a McLaren. It so is, and bravo for that! Biased, me …? Whatever the licencing issues, the fact remains that it looks gorgeous – a surprisingly successful stab at using those multi-faceted complex panels to form a very lean and sleek shape. Just don’t put the horrible, brittle, peeling stickers on it and it’ll look ace.
This car is very definitely not a featuretastic technic supercar. What it is, is a beautiful and functional display object – the perfect gift for the F1 nerd in your life. 9/10.