It’s that time of year again, when shadowy figures scurry through the night in search of things they didn’t know they wanted. No, not Black Friday, but the annual Elven unearthing of LEGO’s new Technic sets!
One of the ‘lucky’ Elves chosen to be catapulted over the walls of The LEGO Company HQ returned a little while ago with this (and only a few Alsatian teeth marks), which we can now show you following LEGO’s official unveiling. This is the new for 2021 42123 McLaren Senna GTR.
Following the brands’ previous partnership within the Speed Champions line-up, the Senna becomes the first McLaren to become an official Technic set (although it won’t be the only real-world car to be immortalised in Technic for 2021…).
Expected to cost around $50/£45 when it reaches stores, the 830-piece 42123 McLaren Senna GTR looks quite pricey for a mid-range set despite the high parts count, but perhaps the ’10+’ on the box hints at a complexity within that justifies the price of admission.
We’d be surprised though, as 42123 appears only to have working steering, a miniature V8, and opening doors, which is a long way short of what we would usually expect from a Technic set targeted at ages ten and up.
Still, what 42123 misses in working features it attempts to cover (literally) with a great many stickers, with a vast array of printed and be-stickered parts helping to add visual realism to the set’s complicated (and parts intensive) bodywork.
We’re sure that LEGO know what they’re doing and their focus groups have determined that stickers trump features in the minds of ten year olds, but we’d happily trade a few ‘GTR’ decals for working suspension.
The other officially-licensed Technic 2021 set it is then…
No TLCB hasn’t suddenly gone all low-res, that really is a life-size McLaren Senna hypercar, and it really is made from LEGO bricks. Almost a quarter of a million of them.
Over 2,700 hours were required to built it (plus a similar number in design) with the end result weighing around 1.7 tons. That’s considerably more than any real McLaren road car.
This life-size LEGO creation is not entirely bricks mind, as LEGO designer Lubor Zelinka and the team of thirty model model-makers behind it have used actual McLaren Senna wheels and have fitted a real McLaren Senna seat, steering wheel and starter button into the cockpit.
That means this life-size LEGO McLaren can be sat in, and with all 467,854 pieces glued you won’t be able to knock anything off! You can do just that too, as the model goes on tour this summer, including a trip to the Goodwood Festival of Speed where previous life-size builds have featured.
If you’re a UK-based reader of this site, or you fancy a trip to the UK, you can get your tickets for Goodwood here, and if you fancy your own LEGO McLaren Senna, but don’t have a quarter of a million bricks at your disposal, LEGO’s official Speed Champions McLaren Senna set is available to buy now for £12.99.
A few weeks ago a crack team of The Lego Car Blog Elves were dispatched over the perimeter wall of The LEGO Company’s HQ by way of the office catapult. Tasked with uncovering LEGO’s new-for-2019 sets, those that made it back to TLCB Towers would be revered as heroes, whilst their fallen comrades would be mourned for around 15 minutes, before we all moved on with our lives.
Today the lucky survivors able to out-run a Danish alsatian see the fruits of their courageous mission revealed to you, our readers – and what tasty fruits they are! So without any further pointless preamble, here are the brand new 2019 LEGO Speed Champions sets!
LEGO’s partnerships with real-world car manufacturers is (and we may be a bit biased given the title of this website), one of their best ever decisions. The sets resulting from the tie-ups to date have been almost universally excellent, so it’s little wonder that LEGO and other manufacturers are looking to partner. Dodge become a new addition to LEGO universe for 2019, joining the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, Porsche, Volkswagen, Ford, Volvo, Ferrari and others.
Their first set is 75893 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon & Dodge Charger RT, a wonderful dual car homage to Dodge’s fastest products. A brilliant classic 1970 Charger (complete with a huge drag-racing supercharger) competes against the brand’s latest 2018 SRT Demon at a drag strip, with three mini-figures and the drag racing ‘christmas tree’ lights included. Each car looks faithfully accurate – although some of that accuracy is admittedly due to stickers, and with just under 500 pieces 75893 looks to be an excellent addition to the expanding officially-licensed Speed Champions line-up.
Next we have a vehicle from one of the first manufacturers to partner with LEGO – it wouldn’t be Speed Champions without Ferrari! With 198 pieces the new 75890 Ferrari F40 Competizione set marks the entry point to the 2019 Speed Champions range, and brings one of the most famous supercars ever made back into LEGO form after its last appearance as the 1,158-piece 10248 Creator F40 set from 2015.
Although considerably smaller than its predecessor, 75890 is nevertheless a brilliantly accurate little set. This version of the F40 is the Competizione, or racing car to you and me, and thus it features a mini-figure racing driver, an all-important spanner, and switchable parts to convert the F40 from race to road. 75890 will reach stores in early 2019 and will be a roaring success.
LEGO’s third new Speed Champions set brings another previous partner back into the range; McLaren, with their mind-bending track-only Senna. With 219 pieces the 75892 McLaren Senna set is slightly more complicated than the Ferrari above, as is required by the fantastically intricate design of the real car. It’s an aesthetic that doesn’t seem to translate too well to LEGO in our opinion, and – despite what appear to be a few new pieces to help replicate the real Senna’s shape – 75892 looks to our eyes a bit of mess. Nevertheless for McLaren / supercar fans it’s sure to be a winner when it arrives alongside the other Speed Champions sets in January of next year.
Chevrolet first joined the Speed Champions range a few years ago and they return to the line-up for 2019 with the 75891 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Race Car set*. Another single-car set, 75891 brings Speed Champions into the world of NASCAR, although for licensing reasons you won’t find that link anywhere on the box. What you will find are 198 pieces, some of which are uniquely printed, a mini-figure complete with fuel-refill tank and the ubiquitous spanner, and a wealth of stickers to help recreate the ZL1 in LEGO form.
We’ve bemoaned the over-use of stickers rather than bricks to recreate real-world replicas in the past and the same is true here, but LEGO know their market, and also the most cost-effective way to hit the spot aesthetically. 75891 should be hit – especially amongst NASCAR fans!
*Plus an exciting new addition to the 2019 Technic range… but more on that another time!
The fifth and final Speed Champions set new for 2019 brings another old favourite back onto shelves; Mini, with a pairing of the iconic 1960s Cooper-S and a 2018 John Cooper Works Buggy. A tricky thing to make from rectangular bricks, LEGO seem have done a superb job recreating the original Mini in mini-figure scale, and whilst there are stickers present they’re not used to create the shape of the car – bravo LEGO! The classic Cooper comes in rally car spec, complete with quad spot-lights and a roof-rack, and includes a mini-figure rally driver.
The John Cooper Works Buggy isn’t quite as successful, looking not all that much like the real thing. But we’re guessing that if you’re reading this and you’re eight, that won’t matter one bit! Featuring big rubber tyres, a workshop complete with tools, and some cool stickers, if we were eight we’d absolutely love it!
75894 Mini Cooper-S Rally and MINI John Cooper Works Buggy is the largest set in the 2019 range at 481 pieces including four mini-figures and will join the rest of the line-up in stores from January.
Which set is your favourite? We’ll take the classic Dodge Charger and recreate the train-jump scene from the first Fast and the Furious movie, although we’d really need a Speed Champions Toyota Supra to do it properly. Over to you LEGO…