Tag Archives: Review

LEGO 10271 Creator Expert Fiat 500 | Review

What’s up guys, this is Balazs from RacingBrick. As you might know, Technic is my favourite LEGO theme but today’s set comes from a different lineup. We’ve seen many iconic cars being released with the Creator Expert badge in the past few years, and the newest one in the family is no exception; say hello to the 10271 Fiat 500!

The box has the usual characteristics of the Creator Expert sets, fairly big but thin. On the front you see the car in a beautiful Italian sunset in front of the Colosseum, and there’s also a nice painting commemorating the exact same scene. On the back you’ll find closeups of the details and the different features.

The set has 960 pieces and cost $89.99 / €79.99 when it launched on March 1st this year. There are 9 numbered bags in the box split into 3 phases, plus there’s a separate bag for the fabric sunroof, and you’ll find the instruction manual with the sticker sheet in another plastic bag.

The manual thankfully follows the tradition of the previous Creator Expert vehicles and provides some extra details and information at the beginning, which I think adds a lot to the building experience. As a nice gesture the text is in English and in Italian, we get some information about the history of Fiat, the birth of this specific model, and the design process of the LEGO model.

Total building time was around 1h and 45 minutes, and the 3 phases within this are more or less distributed equally.

The building process starts with a studded Technic frame, and it has some interesting connections reinforcing the structure. The axles are totally fixed, meaning there’s no suspension – which is not a surprise in a Creator set – but unfortunately no steering either, which was kind of expected as the recent Ford Mustang set included this.

10271 does include an engine that’s a pretty accurate representation of the original one, with some interesting part usage including a black head piece and a flower. The designer also did a great job at the rear of the car, where the real 500’s curved panels are replicated with straight elements, but the whole panel sits on hinges so the shape of the model is a faithful representation of the original car.

Bag 1 finishes with the seat holders being attached to the floor along with the gear shifter, the handbrake and some other accessories, and finally the basic structure of the front bumper.

The front seats follow, built after the rear ones, and there’s a very interesting piece used to connect them to the floor (centre). I’ve never seen this brick before, although I have to admit I’ve never built a Unikitty or Nexo Knights set where it is also available.

Next comes the dashboard with the fuel tank behind it, including a steering wheel with a cool printed Fiat logo. The doors follow and are actually quite complex with lots of details; I really like the ice skate piece as the door handle. There are again some clever building techniques used to connect the different curved parts, and the result is very nice with the doors opening well, despite a small but acceptable gap at the top.

The next item is the rear window, which is quite interesting because it’s actually a regular window used in many City sets, but this time fitted sideways. It might be confusing at first sight as the bottom doesn’t have the same smooth surface as on the top, but when it is built into the model this won’t be visible.

Finally with bag 3 we finish the front of the car with the brick-built logo and another printed tile. The front wheel arches have a similar structure to the rear ones, connecting with hinges to the rest of the body.

After the hood the curved side windows are added, which first appeared in the Manchester United set introduced recently. The roof includes a fabric sunroof, and although the structure appears a bit flimsy before putting it in place it works well.

The final components fitted are the spare tyre, license plates, (with a choice of three, one for Italy, one for Denmark, and one for Germany), the luggage rack (with suitcase), and lastly with the shiny metallic wheel covers the car is finished.

So here’s the finished car! I’d say the overall shape is a faithful representation of the original one, considering the limitation of the available bricks. The colour is an interesting and unusual choice, I wasn’t a fan at first sight but it definitely looks better than the standard LEGO yellow.

I read some complaints online about a few missing details, the most frequently mentioned of which was a missing side view mirror. It is quite interesting because if you have a look at the old photos in the instruction manual, the cars shown don’t actually have a side view mirror. In fact the original car did not have a factory installed side view mirror, it being an optional accessory that only became obligatory in Italian law in 1977. (Plus Italian drivers never use them anyway – Ed.)

So, what is my conclusion? I think the Fiat 500 was a great choice for the Creator Expert line, it is truly an iconic car and the LEGO version is instantly recognizable. The added extras are also really nice, enhancing a great building experience for a reasonable price. My only complaint is the lack of steering – after the excellent 10265 Ford Mustang I was really hoping to see a functional steering wheel in the next Creator Expert car as well.

Overall; 8/10. Recommended.

Thank you to Balazs from RacingBrick for joining us here at to review the new 10271 Creator Expert Fiat 500 set. You can check out the excellent RacingBrick website by clicking here.

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Fast Bricks: Build 6 LEGO Sports Cars! | Book Review

They’re the questions we receive here more than other (apart from your Mom calling to find out if we’re free); “Where can I buy this?” / “Are there instructions?”.

We’ve reviewed a range of books here at TLCB (see here, here, here and here) that aim to answer the questions above, providing parts lists and building instructions to enable readers to create real-world vehicles from LEGO bricks. Today we have another, kindly provided by publisher ‘Brick Monster‘ who have a range of both instructional books and downloadable building instructions available at their website, offering everything from BrickHeadz to dinosaurs.

Fast Bricks: Build 6 LEGO Sports Cars!

Overview: Brick Monster’s latest publication, entitled ‘Fast Bricks’, details the step-by-step building instructions and complete parts lists for six real-world sports and performance cars. Each car is designed to match LEGO’s old six-wide Speed Champions scale which, whilst less detailed than the new 8-wide standard, should mean both a plentiful parts supply and that fewer parts are needed.

The book follows the now familiar format that we’ve come to expect from instructional publications, offering a brief (and really well written) introduction to each car, along with a few key statistics – although in this case they are about the model itself rather than its real world equivalent.

Instructions and Print Quality: The bulk of the book is taken by the step-by-step instructions, which are clear and well laid out. Minor sub-assemblies are used every so often and all parts added are highlighted by a contrasting brightly-coloured outline, which is very nice touch. A ‘Bill of Materials’ ends each section, along with the alternate colour schemes available for each build. Unfortunately we have no images of these available to show here, which is something that Brick Monster should look into so that they can showcase this content.

‘Fast Bricks’ is not the glossiest book we’ve reviewed and nor is it printed in the highest quality, but it’s well suited to its purpose, where ultra high quality paper can actually be a hinderance to following building instructions, however beautiful the product looks. On the other hand one area where higher print quality would have been useful was in the instructions for C8 Corvette pictured on the cover, where the dark blue bricks chosen are hard to distinguish against the black lines that surround them. This is never an issue with official LEGO sets and highlights just how good LEGO are at both designing and mass-producing the building instructions found in their products.

The Models: It’s the Corvette that is probably the best model within the book, although all feature a range of excellent building techniques that newer builders may appreciate learning.

However, unfortunately for us in some cases the builds are not particularly recognisable as the car they are purported to be. We could have ten guesses for the Mazda MX-5 and Lamborghini Huracan and we wouldn’t have guessed correctly, with other models having only a passing resemblance to their real-world counterparts.

It’s a shame, because – whilst not really offering anything new – the layout, instruction designs, descriptions, and parts lists of ‘Fast Bricks’ are all pretty good.

Verdict: We wouldn’t have thought there was a need for yet another building instructions book, however the constant requests we receive here at The Lego Car Blog indicate that – as usual – we know nothing, and there remains a significant interest in step-by-step instructions for models.

We’re not sure that any book is the best medium for providing step-by-step instructions anymore, with digital downloads performing the job just as well, but nevertheless ‘Fast Bricks’ take on the book-based instructional formula is another competently engineered addition, utilising well-judged techniques and instructional designs to walk readers from a pile of LEGO bricks to a finished sports car model. We just wish the models found within it looked a bit more like the cars they’re supposedly based upon.

★★★

Buy your copy of Fast Bricks by Gilad Barlev and Brick Monster here.

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Brickworms Jaguar MkII | Review

It’s review time here at The Lego Car Blog, but today’s review is not an official LEGO set. Looking like a car from LEGO’s new 8-wide Speed Champions range – only with considerably more detail – this is Brickworms’ Jaguar MkII kit, one of the many custom real-world replicas available to buy on their website.

With kits from the ‘How to Build Brick Cars’ book by Peter Blackert (one of several books available to buy at the Brickworms online store), plus other vehicles such as this classic Jaguar, aircraft and even animals, there are dozens of models to choose from. But are they any good? Read on to find out!

Our Jaguar MkII kit arrived in a cottony drawstring bag, a neat packaging solution and one we rather like. Inside the pieces required to construct the Jag were jingling happily together, as was a paper instructions booklet, which wasn’t jingling at all.

The instructions booklet for our Jaguar was rather interesting, being printed on standard paper (not gloss), and switching the black parts for a light semi-transparent blue, as you can see below, and clear-trans for yellow. This is presumably to save on ink, but – once you get your head around blue being black – it probably makes the instructions easier to follow, as black pieces can be hard to spot. LEGO have got round this in recent years by applying all sorts of colours to the hidden parts of their sets and via their beautiful glossy instructions manuals, but the Brickworms’ approach, whilst a little odd, works pretty well.

The instructional steps themselves are clear, although more complicated than the over-simplified equivalents from LEGO, with many pieces applied at once. This is also because the Jaguar itself is more complex than LEGO’s similarly-sized Speed Champions sets, with advanced building techniques and a higher level of detail. However, we did feel a bit like Beta testers with our kit…. Continue reading

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Game of Bricks Lighting Kits | Review

The presentation of Lego models has moved on a bit since this particular TLCB Writer started posting creations for the internet to see. Gone are the days when a white sheet and a desk lamp were all that was required to create satisfactory presentation, with high quality cameras, easy photo editing, and a host of custom accessories now available to enhance the visual impact of a model.

One way of making that impact is with custom lighting, both for MOCs and for official LEGO sets, and newcomers Game of Bricks have quickly established a vast range of LED lighting kits to service both official sets and home-built creations. We handed three boxes of their products over to our readers to let you know what they’re like. Over to them!

Light kit for Ford Mustang 10265 | Review by Andrea Lattanzio | Norton74

I must admit I’m not so much into lighting LEGO sets or MOCs, but when TLCB offered me this chance I was curious to test out one of the lighting sets from the Game of Bricks company. I requested the 10265 Creator Ford Mustang kit because it’s one of the few official sets I own and because it’s probably one of my favourite LEGO sets ever. Within a few days I received the pack with the lighting kit and soon I got to work fitted it on the Pony;

    1. Pack.  The Game of Bricks lighting kit comes in a very elegant black box. You probably won’t throw it away after installing the kit, as you can use it to store the smallest LEGO parts from your collection. Inside the black box another surprise, a plastic container (transparent) in which you’ll find the lighting kit neatly stored inside three little bags, a very well-finished pack.
    1. Building process. The Game of Bricks lighting kit for the 10265 set give you two kinds of kit, the ‘standard’ and the ‘advanced”’ I started with the standard version, fitting it to my Mustang set in about half an hour, and something more for the ‘advanced’ version. To install the kit there are video instructions to follow, which consist of a step-by-step video manual. It’s quite easy follow the steps although you do have to stop the video many times because it’s quite fast. To install the entire kit you have to disassemble few parts of the car as well as change a few parts for the new ones which have the Game of Bricks LEDs installed. It surprised me that the kit is all-in-one, the single lights are linked via the same wires, so you have to hide many wires through the bricks. Although the threads are very thin, it is not easy to hide them all completely within the bricks of the set, so in the end some pieces of cable will still be visible. You have to be very precise and patient, but you can do it and it is fun, and the ‘advanced’ kit does ask you to take apart more parts of the car than the ‘standard’ one. 
    1. Instructions. As above, the instructions are basically two step-by-step video manuals, one each for the ‘standard’ and ‘advanced’ versions. The steps are easy to follow and you can stop the video when necessary.
    1. Final result. Even if I personally prefer the 10265 Ford Mustang set as LEGO made it, the Game of Bricks lights are quite fascinating, especially for my kids and wife. I’m sure about this because both my kids and wife said ‘WOW!’ when I shown them the shining Mustang set at night!

Personally, I prefer the ‘standard’ version of LEGO’s 10265 set, both with and without the Game of Bricks kit. However there are two shades of light, warm and bluish and honestly I don’t know why, as I would have preferred everything with the warmer hue. Overall though it’s a good kit and if you are a lighting fan you must get your Game of Bricks set; you won’t be disappointed.

Town Street Lighting Kit (plus a few extras!) | Review by Anonymous via TLCB on Facebook

I bagged myself some Game of Bricks goodies via The Lego Car Blog’s Facebook page, not having heard of the brand before but intrigued to see what they had on offer. Plus who turns down free Lego stuff?!

I requested the Game of Bricks Street Lighting kit, as I don’t own many new Technic sets and I prefer to keep them original. However I do build LEGO City and the working street lights looked like they would make a cool addition to modular buildings.

A small black box arrived a few days later with ‘Game of Bricks’ embossed on the top. It’s pretty high quality packaging and to my surprise it contained not just the street lights I had requested to review, but light sabres and multiple ‘daisy chained’ 1×4 lighting bricks, each with a row of LEDs hidden inside them. Continue reading

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Build a LEGO Mustang | Book Review

Lego-building legend Sariel has appeared here multiple times over the years. He’s part our our ‘Become a Pro‘ series, is the author of some excellent Lego books, and his beautiful fully remote controlled Mustang GT350 is one of the the finest models we’ve ever published.

Today we’re privileged to share a piece of work that combines all three of the areas above, as the awesome guys at No Starch Press sent us a copy of their new book written by Sariel; ‘Build a LEGO Mustang‘. And not just any Mustang either, it’s the same glorious 1960s GT350 fastback that first appeared here almost two years ago, with remote control drive and steering, LED lights, a 2-speed transmission, opening doors, hood and trunk, and a V8 engine. So, what’s it like?

Firstly, as with all the No Starch Press Lego products we’ve reviewed, ‘Build a Lego Mustang’ is a very well published book. High quality, glossy, and with excellent full colour imagery throughout. Unlike previous publications though, ‘Build a Lego Mustang’ is not coffee table art, a Lego history, or varied model showcase. Instead it’s an instruction manual, detailing the 420 steps required to recreate Sariel’s Mustang masterpiece.

Running to 110 pages, Sariel’s book provides the building process to create his amazing Ford Mustang GT350 for yourself, using a presentation and process that will be familiar to anyone who has built an official LEGO set. Like LEGO’s own instructions, ‘Build a Lego Mustang’ includes a complete parts inventory at the start, followed by the traditional ‘spot the difference’ steps that turn a pile of bricks into a complete model. Continue reading

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Game of Bricks – Light Kit (42078 Mack Anthem) | Review

The Lego Fan Community is a marvellous thing. Like all the best products, LEGO has the scope – and the adaptability – to allow for improvement, with bluetooth remote control, custom decals, and even bespoke mini-figures available through third party providers to help builders to personalise their own creations and official sets.

One area that LEGO themselves dabble in is LED lights, with a pair available through their Power Functions range. But what if you want more? Like, lots more?

That’s where Game of Bricks come in, a new start-up offering tailored lighting kits for existing LEGO sets. The guys at GoB contacted us to see if we’d like an early test of a one of their kits, and a box for the huge 42078 LEGO Technic Mack Anthem set duly arrived here at TLCB Towers. So how did it fair? Read on to find out!

Packaging & Product

First impressions were excellent, with the Game of Bricks Mack Anthem kit arriving in a secure and rather nice box, with a mass of wires and lights neatly packaged within it. Unpackaging it undoes much of that neatness unfortunately, as a lot of lights means a lot of wires, but more on that in a bit.

The wires themselves are extraordinarily thin, so much so we feared breaking them, but it turns out they’re remarkably robust, and their slim profile allows them to (mostly) fit between bricks without issue. Attached to these are the lights themselves, each glued inside a non-Lego brick that replaces the non-functional light pieces on the model. These non-LEGO replacements are a good match, although their clutch power is slightly variable, and each has a hole drilled through it to allow the ultra-thin wires to pass through.

Power comes from a battery box (or two in the case of our kit) that takes AAA batteries and plugs into the wires via a USB connection. This makes disconnecting the battery boxes to change them an easy process, plus you can plug your lights into a USB port should you wish. So far, so good.

And then we got to the instructions… Continue reading

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From an Idea to LEGO | Book Review

Here at The Lego Car Blog we’re definitely towards the more adult end of the Lego fan spectrum (not that you’d necessarily know that from our writing ability or professionalism…), however it’s worth remembering that LEGO is, first and foremost, a toy.

It’s therefore with great pleasure that today we can share with you a book aimed exactly at LEGO’s core audience, and on a topic that we’re surprised has taken so long to be published. From Lowey Bundy Sichol‘s ‘From an Idea to…’ series, this is ‘From an Idea to LEGO’.

Lowey’s ‘From an Idea to…’ series of books explore some of the world’s most famous companies, explaining to children aged 8-12 how they were created whilst teaching entrepreneurship and business along the way. They are in fact the only books in the world that provide biographical business studies to kids, which – in a world filled with ‘influencers’ teaching children little more than how to open boxes of free things – is a wonderful alternative.

‘From and Idea to LEGO’ runs to around 100 pages and is filled with lovely illustrations by C. S. Jennings, fun facts and pop-out text (more on that in a bit). Printed in black and white on non-glossy paper the book is typical of those aimed at children (and a price point) so don’t expect another glossy coffee table publication of the type we usually review, as that’s not the point of this book.

Lowey charts LEGO’s history from carpenter’s shop and the invention of the plastic brick, via near bankruptcy to its position today as the world’s largest toy maker. The language is easy to understand, yet still detailed enough to educate, and when a new piece of business terminology appears it’s printed in bold and accompanied by a small pop-out explaining what it means, examples being ‘Patent‘, ‘Brand Equity‘, ‘Profit‘, ‘Revenue‘ and so on.

It’s this aspect of ‘From an Idea to LEGO’ that we particularly like as, whilst it’s well written, the history of The LEGO Company has been detailed many times before. What hasn’t is the business acumen behind the story, particularly in a format that children can understand. Lowey’s explanations are well-judged, clear, and will undoubtedly help readers to join the dots between having an idea and turning it into a profitable business. Lowey’s ‘Lemonade Stand’ example in the book may be slightly cliche, but it communicates the basics brilliantly.

If you’d like your kids to begin their understanding entrepreneurship, and perhaps to fuel ambition beyond becoming a YouTuber, then the books  from ‘Lowey Bundy Sichol’s ‘From an Idea to…’ series are a wonderful way to start. That one of the four books published so far is about our favourite plastic bricks is a bonus!

Read more about the ‘From an Idea to…’ series here.

‘From an Idea to LEGO’ is available to pre-order now.

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42078 Technic Mack Anthem | Review

Lego Technic 42078 Mack Anthem Review

It’s review time here at The Lego Car Blog and this time we’ve got a big one. Literally. This is the 42078 Mack Anthem Technic set, and it’s huge. Very possibly the longest Technic set ever(?), 42078 consists of two separate models, and one large white shipping container.

Inside all of that bigness there are no motors, no electronics, and no pneumatics, just lots of cogs and gears. This is an old-school Technic set. Apart that is, from the way it looks.

There’s been a trend within the Technic range in recent years to add ever more visual realism, sometimes to great effect, and 42078 continues this but takes it to a whole new level. Sort of. We’ll explain…

The Truck

The Mack Anthem truck is a realistic replica of the real deal, being officially licensed from Mack and including some of both the biggest and smallest stickers ever fitted to a Technic set to help achieve the desired look. It’s also festooned with lights and intricate detailing (including a unique golden bulldog mascot piece), contains a fully equipped interior that even includes a bed in the sleeper portion of the cab, and features… well, not all that much Technic.

It’s a trick that the Lego Community has used for years, adding working functions to visually realistic creations, to get the best of both worlds. LEGO have definitely taken this approach with 42078, and we think they may have started with the look and added functions afterwards, which is probably the opposite to the way Technic sets were designed in the past.

The result is rather a pleasing one as the truck looks great, certainly better in reality than it does in the pictures. The hood opens up to reveal a miniature straight-6 piston engine (of the sort the Lego Community has been building for years) driven by the rear wheels, the doors open to reveal a very realistic interior, there’s steering via Hand-of-God that also turns the steering wheel (although not much – surely as you’ll never steer this set from inside the cab it could have a realistic steering wheel ratio LEGO?), and a working fifth wheel. And that’s it.

So not a lot if we’re honest, especially considering its size, but just enough to qualify it as a Technic set. And then we come on to our earlier-mentioned ‘sort of’; the trailer…

Lego Technic 42078 Mack Anthem Review

Continue reading

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How to Build Dream Cars | Book Review

How to Build Dream Cars with LEGO Bricks

There’s one question we get here at The Lego Car Blog more than any other; ‘Can I have instructions?’. Mattia Zamboni, author of the previously reviewed ‘Tiny LEGO Wonders‘ and previous bloggee ZetoVince have decided to respond to the call, and recently sent us their latest book that claims to provide the answers…

Thunderbay Press’s ‘How to Build Dream Cars with LEGO Bricks‘ aims “to deliver accurate car models of epic cars”, and it really does feature some epic cars. From legendary American classics like the Ford GT40, Dodge Charger and Corvette Stingray, through European supercars such as the Lamborghini Countach and Porsche 911, to modern-day exotic hypercars like the Pagani Zonda.

Lego Porsche 911 Instructions

Epicocity achieved then, but how about accuracy? Well Mattia is so confident in the realism of the builds within ‘How to Build Dream Cars’ that the contents page doesn’t name them, or even feature colour, instead showing simply black and white renders of each of the models featured. It works too, creating a beautifully clean look that is maintained throughout the book.

The models are indeed instantly recognisable, at least for car fans which we suspect you’ll be if you’re reading this. LEGO’s own Speed Champions sets are too of course, and we’ve loved seeing each new release in this line-up as LEGO create more partnerships with real-world car manufacturers. However there are many brands that LEGO have not yet partnered with (and may never), and often the sets can be quite sticker-heavy, making recreation from spare parts at home impossible.

‘How to Build Dream Cars’ manages to accurately recreate some of the world’s best known cars without a single sticker, whilst using more advanced techniques to achieve greater realism than LEGO’s Speed Champions sets. Let’s take a look at how!

How to Build Dream Cars

Each model starts with a description and image of the real car, including the all-important fact sheet that all car fans require. The instructions continue the black and white theme and add colour simply via the bricks used in the build. Like Mattia’s ‘Tiny LEGO Wonders’ book, these are slightly more complicated than those found in an official LEGO set, both because the techniques themselves are, and because LEGO have simplified their own steps, sometimes to the point of adding just one piece at a time.

‘How to Build Dream Cars’ feels more like LEGO instructions did a decade or so ago, being noticeably more advanced, and using more monochrome piece colours. This means that there are few contrasting-colour pieces in hidden places (as LEGO now use to make them easier to find/identify), which is appropriate given most builders will be creating these models from their own parts and black/grey is a safe bet.

How to Build Dream Cars with LEGO Bricks

Ingeniously the book also contains a complete parts list (which can be dropped straight into Bricklink should you need to buy them) and video instructions for each model, accessible via the QR Codes printed inside. This makes creating the models in ‘How to Build Dream Cars with LEGO Bricks’ a properly interactive experience should you wish it to be, and makes us wonder why LEGO haven’t done this themselves.

Graphics are excellent, and whilst black-on-black isn’t quite as easy to follow as LEGO’s white-pages the instructions are well laid out, clear, and printed in high quality, with good visuals for sub-assemblies and piece positioning. Most importantly the results are superb, successfully mixing System and Technic parts to recreate the iconic shapes of some of the world’s most famous dream cars, such as the AC Cobra pictured below.

Lego AC Cobra

LEGO are a roll right now with their ever-expanding line-up of officially licensed vehicles. However there are many more amazing cars out there not yet licensed to become official LEGO sets.

If you’d like to expand your own car collection by building some stunning real-world replicas that LEGO haven’t yet created themselves (and that are more detailed and more advanced to build to boot), ‘How to Build Dream Cars with LEGO Bricks’ fulfils the brief brilliantly. From vintage classics to modern supercars, Mattia and Vince have created an excellent instructional guide to building your own dream cars at home, with enough technical specs and vehicle history to keep car fans happy too.

That the book also contains complete parts lists, video instructions, and looks beautiful is the icing on the cake. Highly recommended.

Visit Brick Passion to buy your copy.

Lego Ford GT40

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The Lego Move 2 Review

The Lego Movie 2 Review

It’s been five years since the smash-hit ‘The Lego Movie‘ reached cinemas, garnering Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, winning the Bafta for Best Animated Film, and earning a 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Since then the pretty good Lego Batman Movie and pretty average Lego Ninjago Movie have followed, whilst we’ve waited for a proper sequel to the film that started the franchise.

With Phil Lord and Christopher Miller back in the writers’ chairs, exactly half a decade on the sequel has arrived. But is everything still awesome in Bricksburg?

Synopsis:

‘The Lego Movie 2, The Second Part’ picks up exactly where the first ended, and exactly five years afterwards too, meaning real time and Bricksburg time are aligned. That’s quite important, but more on that later.

Finn, the boy whose imagination built the first story, has had allow his sister access his father’s impressive LEGO collection in the basement. The resultant Duplo invasion has led to the destruction of Bricksburg, and Emmett, Lucy (aka Wildsyle), Uni-Kitty, Batman, and a multitude of minor characters now live in the post-apocalyptic ruins under the constant threat of further invasion.

Emmett – hankering for the life he once knew – builds himself and Lucy a cottage outside the city, and unwittingly attracts the attention of one of the invaders, who promptly kidnaps the rest of the characters a departs through the ‘stairgate’ into another dimension…

The Lego Movie 2 The Second Part Review

TLCB Verdict:

Picking up exactly where the first instalment left off has a certain Back to the Future vibe, one that makes itself more apparent as the film progresses. Much of the original cast reprise their roles, with the addition of a slew of new characters joining them, voiced by Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Richard Ayoade, and many others.

The animation remains frenetic and joyous, quite unlike any other computer-animated franchise and all the better for it. There’s more time spent in ‘the real world’ too, with Maya Rudolf joining Will Ferrell in parental duties.

There are jokes aplenty, with more perhaps aimed at the adults in the audience than before, and there’s a wealth of movie references, from Mad Max, Mary Poppins, Superman and – as mentioned above – Back to the Future.

It’s this last reference that provides the story with its genius moment. We were wondering how ‘The Second Part’ could capture the twist of the first, and it’s safe to say that it does – with such surprising depth that we suspect it’ll be lost on The Lego Movie 2’s core audience, but we’re glad it’s there all the same.

The Lego Movie 2 Review

Overall ‘The Second Part’ could never hope to appear as fresh and counter-cultural as the original ‘The Lego Movie’ did five years ago. However the ingenious explanation for Bricksburg’s troubles, a decision that Emmett must make that will resonate with every adult watching, and some of the catchiest (and cleverest) songs that cinema has ever created, make The Lego Movie 2 a gloriously enjoyable watch.

Watch it with an eye on the metaphors too, and you’ll be thinking it over for some time afterwards.

★★★★

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42065 Technic Tracker Racer | Review

LEGO Technic 42065 Tracked Racer

We’ve been a bit lazy on the reviewing front here at The Lego Car Blog of late. We do have a large review coming, but in the meantime our pals over at, er… BrickPals, have joined us to add another LEGO set to our ever-expanding Set Review Library (which is now contains over 100 reviews!). Over to Jack from the BrickPals team….

Hey guys, Jack here, and today I’ll be bringing you a review of LEGO’s 42065 Technic RC Tracked Racer, a set first released in 2017. Featuring some 370 pieces, 42065 retails for £74.99 in the UK, $99.99 in the US and 79.99€ in Europe and comes with a range of Power Functions parts; an IR receiver, a remote control, a battery box and 2 medium motors. With that in mind it seems like great value, but how good is the racer itself?

The Box

This is your pretty standard Technic box with the orange Power Functions strip on the side. Opening it up you’ll find three bags. Two have parts and smaller bags in them, and the other contains the Power Functions components. Interestingly, the battery box was not included in this bag and instead is loose inside the box.

The Build

You start off by building the base of the racer. This is very straightforward and provides no real interesting building techniques but a sturdy support for what’s to come.

Next, the battery box, receiver and two medium motors are added. I was a bit surprised that the receiver was mounted on top of the battery box, but this does not interfere with the removal/inserting of the battery pack.

After this, we start to build the outer layer of the racer. This is built separately from the existing build and uses white and green panels to achieve the desired shape. A few interesting techniques are used when constructing and angling the ‘bonnet’. Two clear pieces sit at the front and represent lights – I was impressed with how well the angles line up to the triangular green pieces. There are nine stickers to be applied to the racer, and these are all added on to this green shell. This is somewhat frustrating as it means many stickers applied one after the other, due to no stickers being placed on the chassis of the car.

The completed and be-stickered bodywork is then attached to the chassis of the car at the front, where it can hinge roughly 160 degrees at the point it sits above the battery box.

LEGO Technic 42065 Tracked Racer Review

Playability

This was a very straightforward build, predominately for one reason – this set’s main purpose is to be a remote control car, unlike other Technic sets which attempt to replicate different functions of a vehicle.

So how does it drive? There is one medium motor which powers the left track and another medium motor powering the right. These are connected to the IR receiver which is connected to the battery box. The remote control communicates with the receiver.

There are two levers on the control, and they each control one motor. To go forwards, both levers must be held in the forward position. To go backwards, both leavers must be held in the backwards position. This is pretty simple, but what happens if you want to turn? Assuming the racer is driving away from you, only holding down the left control will make it turn right (so you’re essentially ‘dropping power’ on the side you want to turn). If the racer is coming towards you and you want to turn right, you hold down the right control. The opposite applies in both cases for turning left. Anyways, it takes a while to get used to the steering – especially for someone like myself who’s built RC cars where one motor does all the turning and the other powers the two back wheels.

How does 42065 perform on different surfaces? The racer works best on smooth surfaces but it also works well on carpet, being able to negotiate obstacles (or TLCB Elves, Ed.) and climb small inclines (or over TLCB Elves… Ed.). Continue reading

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75887 Speed Champions Porsche 919 Hybrid | Review

Lego 75887 Speed Champions Porsche 919 Hybrid

It’s Review Time here at The Lego Car Blog, and for those of you who’ve been reading reviews of LEGO’s large expensive sets and wondering ‘But what about something I can afford?’, this one is for you!

75887 is another result of LEGO’s tie-up with Porsche, which most famously brought us the 42056 Technic 911 GT3 RS set. Aimed at ages 7+, measuring just 6-studs wide, and costing around $15/£12, 75887 is a very different offering to the enormous 911, but it’s no less authentic.

Based upon Porsche’s Le Mans winning 919 Hybrid racing car, 75887 is a mini-figure scale homage to the race-winner, complete with an accurately printed mini-figure driver, a traffic light pole, a laptop piece, and a lot of stickers. We’ll come on to those in a bit…

The build itself takes only around 20 minutes, and includes some lovely SNOT techniques to create the smooth, almost studless aesthetic. As always the instructions are beautifully clear, if a bit over-simplified as has become the way with them these days, and they utilise a few odd-coloured pieces in hidden places, presumably to make the images easier to follow. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, as it possibly means builders will acquire a wider range of parts in their collection quicker, but was it really that taxing when everything was black or grey in the old days?

The resultant shape is pretty good, with any strange colours perfectly hidden from view, and a wide array of curves, bows and tiles used to recreate the 919’s bodywork with reasonable accuracy. The authenticity is further enhanced by no less than twenty-four separate stickers, some of which are no bigger than a stud, and the placement of which takes up around half of the 20 minute build-time.

Applying these may be a little tricky for those at the younger end of 75887’s age range, and to be honest the set probably doesn’t need all of them, but it’s nice that LEGO went all-in!

After much peeling, placing and sticking you’ll have really rather lovely replica of the Porsche 919 Hybrid, (even if it’s a bit stumpy when compared to the real car), that can be zoomed beautifully across a desk and will survive the inevitable plummet to the floor intact to boot.

75887 is probably not the most accurate officially-licensed vehicle in the Speed Champions range, but it’ll be good enough for the target audience, it’s a fun (and reasonably technical) build, and if you like stickers (and what 7 year old doesn’t?) it has them in abundance! A worthwhile starter set, 7/10.

Lego 75887 Porsche 919 Review

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We Got Ninety Nine Reviews, But Yours Ain’t One

Lego Typewriter

Thanks to the geniuses over at Brick Insights, the awesome new LEGO Review Aggregator, we’ve learned that we have reviewed 99 official LEGO sets, books and third-party products here at The Lego Car Blog. From LEGO’s first brick-based offerings right up to their newest releases, there’s something for everyone in our Set Review Library.

However we’d like to make The Lego Car Blog’s Set Review Library even more comprehensive, and to do this we’d like your reviews!

Payment is made in the form of everlasting fame* and TLCB gratitude, and your words will reside in the Library for all time, being read by up to a million visitors a year at the time of writing, which is pretty cool.

If you own a LEGO set that we hasn’t yet been reviewed by our crack team of ‘experts’ and you think it deserves a place in The Lego Car Blog’s archives (for good or for ill!) then get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.

We’re particularly looking for Technic, Model Team and Creator sets from 1990 to current. The Brick Insights team will even automatically add your rating to their Review Aggregator tool so you can see how your thoughts compare with other review sites.

Onwards to triple figures!…

Contact TLCB here

*Not guaranteed.

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Brick Insights | The LEGO Review Aggregator

Brick Insights

Here at The Lego Car Blog our Set Review Library, where almost a hundred LEGO sets and related products have been reviewed by our, cough… ‘experts’, plus a few readers too, is easily the most popular area of the whole site.

Despite an inconsistent scoring methodology, and with some very probably written drunk, the value of the Library proves how important reviews now are. From holidays and restaurants to electronics and sports, there’s probably nothing you wouldn’t buy without checking out the reviews first, and that of course includes LEGO.

But should you trust what we write? Not a chance! Well, not on our own at least. That’s where Review Aggregators come in, pulling reviews from multiple sources to give a far more balanced overall score. The most famous of these is probably the Rotten Tomatoes movie review aggregator, a gem of a tool to peruse before you spend your hard-earned on a movie ticket.

But what if you could do the same for LEGO sets? Well now, thanks to the chap pictured below, you can!

Brick Insights

This is Linus, and we like him already. Clearly anyone who can fall asleep upside-down in a pile of LEGO is one to watch. And so it’s turned out, as Linus has created very probably the most important LEGO-related website of the past decade. Over to the man himself to explain all…

It’s been a while since this picture was taken. I had moved around a lot, gotten married, and we were pregnant with our son, so adulting made LEGO hard to prioritise. I really wanted something to build to relax and fill the time, so I went to the store and browsed the LEGO aisle. And felt really, really lost. Since I was in a grey age I hadn’t followed the latest releases, and I had a hard time figuring out what to buy. I went home, explored a few different parameters that might be important when buying a set, and built a mockup. In my head I called it ‘shouldibuythisset.com’. Not that catchy – really glad I changed the name.

I figured that the easiest MVP I could build while still being useful, is to gather reviews for all of the sets. This way I could figure out what other people thought about the set, and if I knew I trusted one reviewer more than the other, I could pay extra attention to that person.

It all went from there. Eight months later and we’ve got a site that automatically picks up new reviews from qualified reviewers (like TLCB!), calculates average scores for each set, compares them per year and all time, and does other cool calculations too! The long term goal of the site is to help people like me figure out if a set is worth the money. After building my simple prototype I went back to the store and purchased the Ninjago Katana, a set I wouldn’t have looked twice at otherwise. It’s a cool set and I’m glad I picked it up. That’s what I hope the site can do more and more as I continue working on it.

Brick Insights Claas Xerion 5000 Review

We’ve had an early play around on Brick Insights and we’ve come away incredibly impressed. Not only does the site work an absolute treat, making set reviews easy to find, easy to read, searchable by year, by reviewer, and with some deliciously nerdy stats, the site itself looks beautiful. By comparison TLCB looks like it was shoddily cobbled together by a bunch of amateurs.*

Above is the Brick Insights 42054 Technic Claas Xerion 5000 page as an example, with an aggregated score of 94/100 from nine review sources (of which we’re one), and comparisons to the averages across the range and the year in which the set was released. Each of the reviews listed is hyperlinked to the source site, and each reviewer has a page too with their own averages, number of reviews and scoring distribution (we learned that we have 99 reviews, 71% of which are scored, and that our average score is 7.8/10).

Brick Insights LEGO Reviews

Brick Insights‘ graphics, animations and navigation are top-notch, and each new review uploaded by their chosen sources will be automatically added to the relevant set and reviewer pages, changing the relevant statistics too. You can find The Lego Car Blog’s Brick Insights page by clicking here, and we hugely recommend taking some time to explore the site – it’s going to be worth its weight in bricks.

Brick Insights

*Which it was.

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42063 Technic BMW R 1200 GS Adventure | Review

Lego Technic 42063 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure Review

It’s time for another LEGO Set Review here at The Lego Car Blog! It’s big, it’s blue, and it’s an officially-licensed replica of an awesome real-world vehicle. OK, it isn’t that big blue officially-licensed Technic set, but it is quite an exciting product nonetheless.

BMW’s Motorrad division has made some mighty products over the years, from the ridiculous 200bhp S1000RR (until recently the fastest production motorbike in the world) to some of the finest long-distance adventure bikes ever made. It’s the latter LEGO have chosen for the 42063 set (although we hope an S1000RR will follow!), and since our Set Preview back in 2016 we’ve been itching to get our hands on it.

The R 1200 GS Adventure is BMW’s best-selling bike, and in TLCB’s home nation it’s the best selling bike, which seeing as we have no deserts or tundras to cross is somewhat of a surprise. LEGO must be hoping for a similar success, but does the 42063 set deserve it? Let’s find out…

Lego Technic 42063 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure Review

Containing 600 pieces 42063 joins LEGO’s ever expanding line-up of officially-licensed replica vehicles, a range that we think is the best decision LEGO have ever made. The instructions feature exactly 200 steps to turn a pile of blue, black and grey into an authentic replica of BMW’s desert-crossing motorbike.

Well, not just blue, black and grey, as like some of LEGO’s other recent Technic sets 42063 contains pins, connectors and axles in almost every possible colour. There’s even a brown one! This is to make finding said parts easier (with the side benefit that the instructions are clearer to read too), and it doesn’t impact too much on the finished aesthetic, but this TLCB Writer is from a time when every single Technic part was either black or grey, and he managed OK. What’s wrong with teaching kids perseverance?

Anyway, upon emptying all that lot on to the floor it seemed that around a third of the parts were black Technic connection pins, which may help to explain the decision above. In fact there are 123(!) of them, which we suspect might be the greatest ratio of pins to bricks of any Technic set ever.

As always the instructions are masterfully designed, combining single-part steps with more complicated sub-assemblies, and they make the building of 42063 both pretty fun and reasonably challenging too. There’s a 3-hole Technic beam printed with the 40th Anniversary of Technic decal (which is pretty pointless but a nice easter egg) and a cool-looking sticker sheet with a raft of BMW/GS/R1200 decals so there can be no mistaking what you’ve built.

Lego Technic 42063 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure Review

The build flows nicely and begins to look quite bikey fairly early on. As it progresses though that huge pile of black pins seems to hardly diminish at all, leading you to wonder what the hell they’re all for. Continue reading

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