Ah, ‘Orient Expedition’, one of the ‘Adventurers’ sub-themes that we had completely forgotten about. Still, Kevin J. Walter hadn’t, and as such he’s recreated the 7420 Thunder Blazer set from 2003, only his is much, much better.
Johnny Thunder’s wings will no doubt help him to plunder some valuable antiquity of great significance from a vaguely far-eastern culture, and return it to its proper place in the British Museum, where it belongs.
Join the expedition somewhere in the Orient via Kevin’s photostream at the link above.
LEGO have had a few promotional partnerships over the years, many of which appeared long before branded sets became commonplace in the line-up.
One such promotional set was 1985’s 1552 Maersk line Truck and Trailer, which – thanks to certain peculiar fringes of the Lego community – is now worth a silly amount of money. But only to those same peculiar fringes of the Lego community, so we’re happy to ignore both it and them.
Still, Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg decided to reimagine the 1552 set and has made it rather more appealing to boot, using modern parts and techniques to update the over-priced oddity.
ReiMaersk yourself in one of LEGO’s first branded partnerships at Ralph’s ‘1552 Reimagined’ album via the link above.
LEGO’s 5571 Model Team Black Cat set from 1996 is surely one of the brand’s best ever. With nearly 1,800 pieces the set was entitled simply ‘Giant Truck’ in some markets, which is an apt name. But it could be even gianter!…
Cue Havoc of Flickr, who has appeared here previously with his fantastic scaled-up redux of the 5590 Model Team Heli-Transport set, matched to a real world Freightliner cab-over and Bell 206 helicopter.
Like his previous build, Havoc has based his latest work on both an original LEGO set and a real world truck, this being a stunningly detailed Peterbilt 379 that’s also packed with references to its ‘Black Cat’ source material. A detailed interior includes a sleeper (complete with a to-scale 5571 box, road movie ‘Duel’ on the TV and – of course – a black cat (the original set’s hood ornament), plus the hood opens to reveal a replica Caterpillar diesel engine.
There’s much more of Havoc’s Black Cat redux to see at his ‘Peterbilt 379‘ album, plus you can see his previous homage to another vintage Model Team set via the link in the text above.
LEGO’s 928 Galaxy Explorer from 1979 has become something of a legend, being recreated endlessly by countless members of the Lego Community. Here’s another, and it’s done so well we’re forgetting we’re supposed to be a car blog for a bit.
Built by Flickr’s Tim Goddard, this Neo-Classic Space ‘Galactic Explorer’ is a spectacular mesh of superb building techniques, complete with motorised landing gear, a working rear hatch, and a smiling Classic Spaceman at its centre.
There’s more to see of Tim’s brilliant 928 redux at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump to a future version of the future in 1979.
One of LEGO’s weirder themes, Dino Island (basically Jurassic Park meets Indiana Jones without paying the licensing) did feature some rather nice vintage vehicles. 5920 was one of them, and TLCB favourite Chris Elliott has rebuilt it in his trademark style; with beautiful attention to detail and gorgeous presentation. Suggested by a reader, there’s more to see of Chris’s 5920 Redux on Flickr – take a look via the link above.
The year is 1993, mini-figures come in smiling form only, and Octan sponsor just about everything. LEGO also produce some marvellous spring suspension pieces for Town sets too, with all of the above being put to excellent use on the 6648 off-road buggy set, one of three sets to feature this particular vehicular design that year.
Cue TLCB favourite Jonathan Elliott, who has reimagined 6648 some twenty-seven years later. Gone is the smiling mini-figure, Octan sponsorship, and even the marvellous spring suspension, but we still love his homage to the classic Town set. Head to Flickr to see more and party like it’s 1993.
The world could learn something from LEGO’s perennially smiling Classic Spacemen, peacefully conducting whatever research and exploration missions their giant fleshy masters directed them towards.
First featured here over five years ago, TLCB favourite Billyburg has recently updated his 6950 Rocket Launcher redux, and we like it more than ever. Of course this being a Classic Space vehicle the rockets on board Billyburg’s 8×8 transport are not firing Russian implements of death at airliners, rather satellites for, well… we’re not sure, but we bet it’s something wholesome.
A few Elves got into the stationary cupboard over the weekend and between them ate four entire glue sticks. The result was some very sticky Elf droppings, and also some fairly trippy Elves, which may explain today’s somewhat spaced-out theme.
These two wonderful Neo-Classic Space builds were built for The Brothers Brick (wut!?), each rebooting LEGO’s ancient ‘Classic Space’ line with the latest parts and a whole lot more detail than the original sets achieved back in the early ’80s.
The first (above) comes from space-building legend Alec Hole, who has taken inspiration from the classic 6970 Beta Command Base set from 1980, with its launch pad, control room, and a funky little monorail thing that moved between the two. Alec’s version uses the same recipe but knocks it up a notch with some incredible attention to detail and enough ‘greebling’ for a model five times its size. We love it, and there’s more to see at Alec’s photostream by clicking here.
Today’s second Neo-Classic Space build (below) forgoes the usual rocket-propulsion system for good old fashioned rotors, creating a spacey helicopter that bears a strong resemblance to any one of a number of irritating drones. With Classic Space’s vintage colour scheme, a trans-yellow cockpit, and a smiling Classic Spaceman at the controls, Tim Goddard’s ‘Dragonfly‘ is much more our bag than annoying people in the park with a remote control helicopter (sorry drone owners). Head to Tim’s photostream via link above to see more, whilst we figure out how to remove some insanely sticky Elf droppings.
Some things are better left alone. Any forum on Mumsnet for example. The comments section of the Daily Mail website. Your Mom’s ‘Special Friends’ chest. However the LEGO Technic 8081 ‘Extreme Cruiser’ set is not one of them.
Reviewed here at The Lego Car Blog by reader Thirdwigg a few years ago, he noted that the 8081 set “taunts you to be creative. It screams at you to improve it; to make it better, and it gives you plenty of the space and a great structure to do so.” Which is handy because 8081 is… well, not particularly good.
Not so this version though. Taking his own advice, Thirdwigg as fully repurposed the decidedly average 8081 Extreme Cruiser set into this most excellent Land Rover Defender 110 style off-roader, complete with four-wheel-drive (which the original set didn’t have), a V8 engine (which the original set didn’t have either), working suspension and steering (which it did), and huge Fischertechnic tyres (which it definitely didn’t).
The result looks marvellous and there’s more to see of Thridwigg’s 8081-inspired 4×4 at both his Flickr photostream and the Eurobricks discussion forum (which, unlike Mumsnet, is forum which won’t leave you terrified for the future of humanity).
As 2019 draws to a close might have found our favourite model of the year so far! The 5590 ‘Wheel ‘n Whirl Super Truck’, thankfully called something far less silly in our home nation, was one of the three sets that launched the Model Team range almost thirty years ago.
Three models in one, 5590 included a cab-over truck, trailer, and helicopter, all of which were detailed beyond any other LEGO sets of the time. Things have moved on a bit since then though, and Flickr’s Havoc has brought the classic Model Team set bang up to date with his incredible reimagining of the original.
Built at a considerably larger scale, Havoc’s 5590 Redux packs in even more detail, becoming a Freightliner cab-over with a working V8 mounted under the tilting cab, a TV screen inside the sleeper area (playing the movie ‘Convoy’!), and even a to-scale box containing 5590 set sitting on the bench, whilst the helicopter also gets taken up a notch, now replicating a real life Bell 206 Jetranger.
Havoc’s stunning redux of one of LEGO’s most important sets is available to view in more detail at his photostream via the link above, where several high-quality images of each part of the build can be found. You can also check out our review of the brilliant original 5590 set that inspired Havoc’s build by visiting TLCB’s Review Library, where it and over a hundred other reviews can be found!
The original set wasn’t really a monster truck (or anything like the real Big Foot for that matter) but it was rather cool, and Havoc has chosen to carry over its paint-job onto a vehicle far more in keeping with the real Ford pick-up based car-crushing monster truck.
Havoc’s ‘Big Foot’ uses a Ford F-250 as its base (like the real truck), but switches the famous blue livery for the red-on-white that many Model Team sets have used over the years. Head to Havoc’s photostream to see all the images, plus you can view his past builds and see the official LEGO set that inspired this one via the links in the text above.
Following his lovely 5510-inspired Jeep Renegade CJ5 featured here over the weekend Flickr’s Havoc is back with another Model Team set redux. This time it’s the 5541 Blue Fury set from 1995 that gets the update, becoming a smooth Ford T-Bucket complete with working steering, opening suicide doors, a trunk and an enormous engine. there’s more to see at Havoc’s photostream – click the link to make the jump!
LEGO’s 8880 Technic Supercar of 1994 is one of the brand’s most iconic and legendary sets. The largest model ever sold (at the time), 8880 featured all-wheel-drive, all-wheel-steering, all-wheel-suspension, a working gearbox, functioning steering, pop-up headlights, adjustable seats, and a V8 engine, becoming the blueprint (and inspiration) for probably every Technic Supercar MOC that this site has ever featured.
25 years after the original release, newcomer Hitchhiker has updated 8880 for the modern age, using the latest studless parts and building techniques, whilst retaining the dimensions, colour-scheme and functions of the original set.
Suggested to us by a reader, there’s more to see of Hitchhiker’s stunning 8880 Reloaded via ReBrickable, where a full gallery, video, and the all-important parts list and building instructions are available too. Click the link above to take a look.
Lego Technic is 40 years old this year! Launched in 1977 the Technic range took LEGO into a new world of technical detail, providing advanced construction for older children and adults alike, and bringing with it probably the largest range of new parts in the brand’s history.
It all kicked off with a simple car chassis, a ‘New Technical Set’, 853. The single most viewed page here at TLCB, 853 introduced rack and pinion steering, a working piston engine and an operable transmission to LEGO fans. Its success allowed LEGO to develop the theme and three years later the second generation car chassis was released, this time with LEGO’s first attempt at working suspension, 8860.
Despite being LEGO’s second Technic car chassis, 8860 is often thought of as the daddy of all Technic sets, paving the way for the series of Technic Supercars that followed (of which you can read more in the Set Review Library).
With the Technic theme turning 40 years old this year LEGO have decided to pay homage to one of their greatest products, giving builders the chance to recreate the iconic 1980 set using modern parts found in the 2017 Technic range. Three sets, the superb-looking 42063 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure motorbike, the 42061 Telehandler and the 42057 Ultralight Helicopter provide the pieces required, and building instructions are now available* for free online.
Such is the way with the advancement of technology, LEGO’s modern take on the classic 8860 set packs all the functions of the original into a more compact package, and features working steering, a 4-cylinder boxer engine, an operable transmission (which may well be the first since the 1980s not to use purpose-built gearbox parts) and functioning rear suspension. The design uses straight-forward pieces too, so many builders may be able to build it from parts found within their existing collection.
You can read our previews of the three sets that supply the full parts list to build the 40th Anniversary 8860 set via the links above, our review of the original set here, and you can create your very own 40th Anniversary set by clicking the link to the building instructions below.
With the news that LEGO have designed a new version of their classic 8860 Car Chassis (available via the purchase of three of this year’s new Technic sets), it’s got us wondering what other vintage Technic sets could be re-borne in miniature thanks to the latest studless pieces.
Appie of Eurobricks has been wondering the same thing too, and he’s taken up the challenge by building a small-scale recreation of LEGO’s first full-bodied Technic Supercar, the 8865 Test Car from 1988.
With independent suspension on all four wheels, working pop-up headlights, steering, a miniature V4 piston engine, adjustable seats and a two-speed gearbox, Appie’s little 8865 packs in all the working features of the full size original.
To check out how he’s done it and to view the full gallery of images – including a few showing the model alongside the official LEGO original – make a visit to the Eurobricks discussion forum here.