2020 has been a weird year. By ‘weird’, we mean ‘total crap’, and thus we completely understand those who choose to leave it all behind and head out into the wilderness.
Two of the best vehicles for ‘overlanding’, as it is known, are the Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Wrangler, recreated here brilliantly in mini-figure scale by Christian Cowgill of Flickr. Well, we say ‘overlanding’, but the Jeep does look to have an enormous gun on the roof, so maybe these mini-figures are expecting something a bit more end-timesy than a trip the wilderness would first suggest.
They’re probably right too.
Join us preparing for the inevitable apocalypse at Christian’s photostream via the link above.
The world’s most vibrant cities have often been defined by their public transport system. London’s red Routemaster bus, Tokyo’s Toyota Crown with its amazing self opening doors, Hong Kong’s wonderful Star Ferries, and – perhaps most iconic of all – New York City’s yellow cabs.
Checker sedans and Ford Crown Victorias were long part of NYC’s street furniture, and were big, softly sprung, and almost ridiculously inappropriate for taking one or two people a short distance at a low speed.
Despite their thirst, pollution, and unnecessary size, to a tourist they were somehow rather wonderful, however recently (and probably rightly) their days were numbered.
Today few cities have their own bespoke taxis. The cost of developing or adapting a vehicle for just a few thousand sales a year is too great, thus New York’s yellow cabs can now be one of any number of mainstream vehicles that are about as interesting as a white sock. Even if they’re yellow.
Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg, whose glorious classic Checker NYC cab appeared here a few days ago, has now updated his brick-built taxi fleet inline with New York’s recent changes, building this excellent (and incredibly boring) Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
We’re sure that Toyota’s large SUV makes a far better taxi than the Ford Crown Vics and Checkers that preceded it, but when it’s the very same car used to collect Tommy and Ashleigh from school, it’s somehow not better at all.
There’s more to see of Ralph’s NYC Highlander at his ‘LEGO NYC Taxis’ album on Flickr, where you can also find his Lego recreations of a few other real-world yellow cabs that might not be as good, yet are somehow better in every way.
This is a Toyota Stacker, or ‘Forklift Truck’ as it’s known here at TLCB, and it’s been built rather brilliantly in Model Team form by recent previous bloggee Andre Pinto.
As the U.S Election hangs on the postal votes yet to be counted, the ballots inside the containers carried by this forklift are off to the counting centre, where they could well decide the outcome. Or they could be heading for a river if Donald Trump has anything to do with it, claiming first that postal Republican votes were dumped there, and now – ironically – that we should cease counting and dump the uncounted postal votes.
Whoever ends up in the White House we’re glad we’re far, far away here in TLCB Towers.
There’s more to see of Andre’s excellent Toyota Stacker at both Flickr and Eurobricks. Open the containers and start counting via the links above.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is the world’s infamous off-roader. Which means in some corners it’s very probably the most infamous vehicle of any kind. This is the 70-Series, produced since 1984 and which is still being manufactured today, specifically the medium-wheelbase ’76’ passenger version, recreated brilliantly in Technic form by previous bloggee Kevin Moo.
Wonderfully accurate on the outside, Kevin’s Land Cruiser is packed with remote control functions too, allowing the model to navigate the wilds of his back garden with ease. A third-party SBrick provides the 76 with programmable bluetooth control, with all-wheel-drive, steering, and LED lights, plus the build includes working suspension, and opening doors, hood and tailgate.
Full details of Kevin’s awesome Toyota Land Cruiser 76 can be found at the Eurobricks forum by Eurbricks discussion forum, where a link to building instructions can also be found so you can build your very own! Click the link above to take a look, or below to see Kevin’s brilliant build in action.
This is the Toyota 2000GT, Japan’s first supercar, and surely one of the most beautiful cars ever made. Produced from 1967 to 1970, the 2000GT was developed in collaboration with Yamaha, a relationship the two firms have maintained ever since. Only a few hundred units were built, including two special convertible versions for the James Bond movie ‘You Only Live Twice’, and the car was raced extensively, setting multiple speed and endurance records in the late 1960s.
Toyota 2000GTs command an enormous sum today, but thanks to Matthew Terentev you could still get your hands on one, as his stunning Technic version is currently on LEGO Ideas vying to become an official LEGO set. Matthew has recreated the GT’s incredible bodywork superbly too, with his model every bit as swoopily gorgeous as the real thing. Working steering, the coolest pop-up headlights on a car ever, and a detailed engine and interior also feature, and there’s more to see at Matthew’s ‘Toyota 2000GT’ album on Flickr here, where you can also find a link to vote for it on LEGO Ideas.
There’s clearly one vehicle that’s the most famous from the ‘Back to the Future’ movie franchise, even though it was actually a fairly poor car and one mired in one of the greatest auto industry scandals of all time.
Far less famous, but a far better car, was Marty McFly’s Toyota Pick-Up (that’s all they called it) SR5 in ‘Back to the Future – Part III’, which Eurobricks’ RM8 has recreated brilliantly in Technic form using his previously blogged Toyota Hilux as a base.
An XL motor powers all four wheels whilst a Servo controls the steering, with a third-party SBrick allowing the model to be controlled remotely via bluetooth. Solid axle suspension features front and rear, as do opening doors, hood and tailgate, working LED headlights, plus the model features a removable body and cargo bed.
Toyota have been fiddling with their BMW-platformed A90 Supra, most notably by jumping power by around 10%, so it finally surpasses the old A80 version. SP_LINEUP has been fiddling with his A90 Supra too, and it looks even better in white than it did in blue. Instructions are available and you can find them and more of SP’s brilliant Speed Champions creations via the link above.
We round off today’s creations with one of our very favourite vehicles ever, the Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40. Created by TLCB Regular Simon Przpiorka (aka SP_LINEUP) this gorgeous 1:24 Lego replica of the legendary 4×4 evolves his previous tan version with the addition of a bright blue paint job, one of the FJ’s most iconic hues, and there’s more to see at his photostream via the link.
Toyotas don’t always have the most fortunate names. There’s the ISIS, the BJ, and the perfectly-acceptable-until-recently Corona. Which is now a deadly virus. Oops. The name Corona actually means ‘crown’, just like Toyota’s Corolla, Camry, and, er… Crown.
It’s the Crown we have here, which means essentially the same thing as Corona, but doesn’t evoke the ongoing mass morbidity of the elderly. This Lego version of the Crown comes from Ralph Savelsberg of Flickr who has recreated the Japanese saloon in Tokyo Police specification, complete with authentic decals and the odd raising light-bar on the roof.
There’s more to see of Ralph’s Toyota Crown police car at his photostream via the link above, which has gotta be better than a Corona. Probably not a BJ though…
We’re not sure where the term ‘ricer’ came from in America, but today it’s defined as ‘Race Inspired Cosmetic Enhancements’, which means it seems to have transcended any xenophobic origins and can be used to describe any car modified in a ‘ricey’ way.
What we do know is that three favourites recipients of the term, at least according to the internet, are the Toyota Supra (specifically the Mk4 variant), the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, and the Honda Civic, each of which has been recreated brilliantly in lightly-riced form by TLCB regular SP_LINEUP.
Each includes opening doors and hood, plus a detailed interior and engine bay, and some can be bought from SP in kit form too. Click the link above to visit SP’s photostream to see more of each build and the rest of his extensive back-catalogue.
Cream is an unusual colour for Lego vehicles. Probably because it’s an unusual colour for real vehicles too, being associated with the German taxis, blandness, and the elderly.
We think cream gets an unfair rep though, because it can look awesome. Toyota’s legendary FJ40 Land Cruiser used the hue extensively, and it’s this colour that Flickr’s SP_LINEUP has chosen for his excellent commissioned 1:24 scale FJ40 model. It’s also the colour chosen by fellow previous bloggee Arian Janssens for his beautifully detailed classic DAF FAS 2600 truck, complete with a brick-built curtain side flatbed and drawbar trailer.
There’s more to see of both creations at each builder’s photostream. Click the links above to head to Flickr and cream yourself.
Toyota’s Land Cruiser has been the go-to 4×4 for decades. Sold over multiple generations, bodystyles and configurations, there have been so many derivatives it’s hard to pin down if any are representative of the name. If there is one though, it’s not FJ55, which – despite being on sale for 13 years – is often forgotten in the Land Cruiser’s history.
We love the slightly odd looking FJ55 though, particularly in blue and white two-tone as depicted here by Jonathan Elliott‘s wonderful Lego recreation. Jonathan has captured the 1970s Land Cruiser brilliantly and there’s more to see of his superb FJ55 on Flickr – click the link above to make the jump.
Many cities and countries are known for having an iconic taxi. London has the Black Cab, although it’s now vastly outnumbered by Prius Ubers, New York had the Ford Crown Victoria, until it was replaced by Nissan vans, Camrys and the Prius, and Mexico had the Volkswagen Beetle, now superseded by boring Asian boxes including, you’ve guessed it, the Prius. There’s a theme here…
Fortunately (and perhaps ironically) Japan still has its iconic taxi cab, the Toyota Crown Comfort, complete with its amazing automatically opening rear doors. Built right up until 2017, the Crown has served as Japan’s taxi for over two decades. It’s finally being retired though, replaced by a bespoke Toyota taxi design that will probably end up becoming even more iconic, and which owes more than a little to its London counterpart.
The Comfort will be around for a while yet though, weird doors and all, and you can hail a ride in Ralph Savelsberg‘s brilliant Miniland scale replica via the link above.
It’s everyone’s favourite animated space-themed pizza restaurant! We’re not sure that ordering a Pizza Planet delivery would be quite as fun as visiting the restaurant in person and winning a three-eyed alien from the grab machine, but the pizzas sure get a fun ride. Previous bloggee November Juliet has recreated Toy Story’s famous ‘Toyota’ pizza delivery truck in 6-wide form and you can place your order on Flickr via the link above.
This is a Toyota Quick Delivery Hybrid, as used by Japan’s ‘Yamato’ delivery company. Plus there are some monks for some reason*.
Built by TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg, the Quick Delivery (it does what it says on the tin we suppose!) is not our usual fodder, but it’s a most excellent build. Ralph’s trademark blend of superb techniques have allowed him to recreate the odd asymmetric Toyota brilliantly, including its sliding cab doors and a fully racked cargo area.
There’s more to see of Ralph’s Yamato-liveried Toyota Quick Delivery Hybrid on Flickr via the link above, you can hear today’s title song by clicking these words, and you can find out what that *asterisk is referring to by clicking here.