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Bricking it: model makers in race to finish Lego T2 camper

Lego T2 camper

These days, Lego versions of real cars are like Nurburgring lap records – there seems to be a new one every week. But that doesn’t mean we’ll ever stop greeting announcements of new creations with child-like excitement.

Experienced modelmakers Rene Hoffmeister (great name) and Pascal Lenhard had just six weeks to create a life-size Volkswagen T2 camper, with the clock ticking ahead of the f.re.e trade fair in Munich.

In our heads, the pair had a Lego clock hanging on the wall, with the Countdown music on a constant loop, but this might be stretching the realms of reality.

Lego VW camper

I’ve got 20,000 problems but a brick ain’t one

Unfortunately for the block-building duo, Denmark’s most famous brick company hasn’t produced a step-by-step guide to creating a full-size T2 camper, so with the help of 3D images, the pair formulated a construction plan of their own.

From that, they were able to calculate the precise number of bricks required, along with the rigidity of the side walls and windows. But you know what they say about the best-laid plans?

It soon became apparent that the pair were missing one or two transparent bricks for the T2 windows. And when we say ‘one or two’, we mean 20,000. That’s right, twenty thousand…

Lego T2 camper windscreen

You can’t just nip to the toy shop when you’re 20,000 bricks short. As a result, the T2 project was in danger of missing its Munich deadline. There was a kink in the timeline.

“Essentially, we would have needed a nine-day week,” said Hoffmeister. “However, as they don’t exist, the only option was night shifts.”

As the images highlight, Hoffmeister and Lenhard did manage to complete the T2 in time for the f.re.e trade fair, with the finished Lego camper measuring over five metres in length and standing two metres tall. This height extends by a metre with the Westfalia pop-up roof popped up.

Lego camper interior

The interior features everything from a floor-mounted heater to a transistor radio, along with toothbrushes, toothpaste and spare batteries. There are plenty of seats, although we think some non-Lego cushions might be required if you fancy getting comfortable.

It’s a very, very cool creation, and according to Volkswagen, it’s probably the world’s biggest camper built using Lego bricks. It’s also the reason why your son or daughter may have struggled to find any transparent bricks.

Lego Bugatti Chiron

You could catch a life-size Lego Bugatti at a London shopping centre

Lego Bugatti Chiron

The only thing that’s more amazing than an actual Bugatti Chiron is a life-size model of one made out of Lego Technic. Well, they made one, and it’s going to be on display at the Westfield shopping centres and Bluewater.

We built our very own Lego Bugatti Chiron, albeit a one-eighth scale one, in our office. Watch the video here.

The working 1,000,000-piece model made its debut in the UK alongside a real 1,500hp Chiron at the H.R. Owen Bugatti dealer in Mayfair. The establishment is the only place in the UK where customers can consult directly on the latest Bugatti product.

Lego Bugatti Chiron

In this case, it’s the Lego Chiron, though production is at the very best unlikely…

The Lego car doesn’t offer quite the same level of performance as the real thing. In contrast to the 1,500hp and 261mph capability of the real car, the model packs 5.3hp and will top a heady 18mph.

What powers it? Rather brilliantly, 2,304 Lego Power Functions motors. These are connected to a steel chain, which then drives the shaft at the rear wheels.

So the Lego Bugatti is a rear-wheel-drive Chiron, rather than all-wheel-drive…

Now, the Chiron twins are embarking on something of a tour. Having made their way from H.R. Owen to the Savoy Hotel, they’re heading out to Westfield London, Westfield Stratford and finally Bluewater in Dartford.

Where to see the Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron

  • 1 Nov: Westfield London, outside Sheperd’s Bush Tube Station, 4006 Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 7GF, 10am – 10pm
  • 3 Nov: Westfield Stratford, Second Floor outside M&S, Olympic Park, Montfichet Rd, London E20 1EJ, 9am – 9pm
  • 8 Nov: Bluewater Shopping Centre, Second floor Upper Plaza Car Park, Bluewater Pkwy, Dartford, Greenhithe DA9 9ST 12 noon – 9pm

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Lego DB5

Video: Lego releases James Bond Aston Martin DB5 – with standard ejector seat

Lego DB5

What is the most iconic car ever made? A car that means something to almost everyone – a pop culture hero, a timeless automotive star, almost of its own franchise? This is the question the boffins at Lego asked when tasked with picking something new for their Lego Creator Expert line.

Their conclusion is, we think, a just one – James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 And the version immortalised in Lego has just been revealed. 

For nearly 60 years this car, and subsequent Astons, have been the best-known automotive companions to the world’s most famous spy. The DB5 has served in no less than three outings of the world-famous Ian Fleming character – first in the immortal Goldfinger (1964), then in GoldenEye (1995) and once more in Skyfall (2012).

Read more: The most popular cars used in films

The DB5 is, and always will be, Bond’s most famous car. That makes it the world’s most famous car and as such, was the perfect next project for the guys at Lego to reimagine in brick form.

Now, the finished product is hitting shelves. We went to the global launch at the UK’s flagship Lego Store in Leicester Square, London.

Video: Lego releases James Bond Aston Martin DB5

Double-0 heaven/Lego paradise

A ride into the city in the back of a sumptuous Aston Martin Rapide S got us in the double-0 mood, as did the stunning full-size DB5 on display outside the shop itself. Walk in, and it’s as you’d expect: a Lego paradise, with an enormous and detailed Lego reproduction of Big Ben looming over the impressive historical Bond installations.

Speak of the devil, that’s the next thing that caught our eye. One-third scale replicas of Daniel Craig’s 007 DB5 – including the actual model used for the explosion scene in Skyfall – are proudly displayed. Even though it’s a scale model, the charred carcass of the DB5 reproduction was enough to muster a wince from us.

Other tidbits included the genuine ejector-seat gear-shifter used in the Goldfinger DB5, a few of modern Q’s bits and bobs (glasses, tea mug), M’s British bulldog and some 60s 007 figurine packaging, complete with a rather over-flattering drawn representation of Sean Connery in character.

“Now to your car, 007.”

It’s something of a masterpiece. Bugatti Chirons and Porsche GT3 RSs are all well and good, but a Bond car is invariably possessed of trinketry not often found on the average car’s options list. Part of what makes the original ‘Goldfinger’ DB5 the ultimate Bond car is the arsenal of gadgets and weapons it featured. Remember them fondly, and find them all faithfully recreated on this new Lego version.

Everything from the bullet-proof shield popping out behind the rear window, to fog light machine guns. The swivelling number plate, interior radar trackers and tyre-destroying wheel blades make useful features on Bond’s company hack. All of which is great, but what makes the Lego DB5 is the inclusion of the ultimate Bond car gadget.

A twist of the central piece of the rear bumper retracts the roof, revealing a seat ready to burst out at your whim. “That was the hardest and most important part to get right in the DB5,” said Lego designer Michael Psiaki.

“We’re really proud of how we worked it all in intricately, without altering the look of the car. We’re also very pleased with how the front end turned out, given the range of functions implemented – from the swivelling number plate to the hidden machine guns.”

Lego DB5

One of our favourite features on the Lego DB5 isn’t actually a moving part. Pop the bonnet, and you’ll find a lovely accurate representation of the inline-six that powers the DB5, complete with inlet hose and chunky cam covers. “When I looked under the hood of a DB5 I originally thought it was a ‘V’ engine, due to the two side-by-side cam covers you see in there. I later found out it was a straight-six – it’s one of the things we’re most proud of in our recreation of this car.”

We collared a representative from Aston Martin and asked if Lego versions of Timothy Dalton’s DBS, Pierce Brosnan’s Vanquish, Daniel Craig’s DBS, DB10 or even his new car due in Danny Boyle’s to-be-titled Bond 25 were in the pipeline. He smiled vividly but declined to comment. Watch this space…

The ultimate Dad-and-lad Lego build project that is the Lego Creator Expert James Bond Aston Martin DB5 is on sale now in store and online for £129.99. It’s a 1,290-piece build, but we’re sure Dads the world over will persevere long after the kids’ patience has dried up. Just as well that it’s a 16+, too. Four months of solid design work from Psiaki might have yielded the coolest Bond toy yet.

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LEGO Bugatti Chiron

Lego Bugatti Chiron: a hypercar in 3,599 pieces

LEGO Bugatti ChironBugatti and Lego have revealed what could be the world’s fastest Lego Technic model: the 1:8 scale Chiron hypercar kit. On sale now through Lego stores, it arrives in all retailers from 1 August 2018. The price? £329.99.

LEGO Bugatti Chiron

Lego CEO Niels B. Christiansen and Bugatti president Stephan Winkelmann revealed the new kit at Lego House in Billund. It was first seen two years ago, but has only just reached production.

LEGO Bugatti Chiron

The Lego Bugatti Chiron kit is full of complex detail engineering, comprising of no fewer than 3,599 pieces. Christiansen reckons “our Lego designers have done an amazing job capturing the details of this iconic Bugatti design. It truly stands as testament that with Lego bricks you can build anything you can imagine… it’s a huge model that I can’t wait to start building myself”.

When Christiansen says huge, he means it. The Chiron model is 560mm long, 250mm wide and 140mm tall…

LEGO Bugatti Chiron

Winkelmann said the Lego Technic Chiron “is an expression of a perfect relationship. I am impressed at the precision and refinement with which our super sports car has been translated into the Lego world and I am sure that fans of both Lego bricks and Bugatti will love this product.”

LEGO Bugatti Chiron

The attention to detail is wonderful. Lego has engineered an impressively convincing replica of the Chiron’s aerodynamic bodywork, including spoked rims with low-profile tyres.

LEGO Bugatti Chiron

The rear wing is a moveable active spoiler and – brilliantly – the kit includes a ‘speed key’ that lets model-makers twitch the position of the rear wing from the handling position to its more streamlined top speed setting.

LEGO Bugatti Chiron

Inside, the cockpit is super-detailed, with Lego even engineering moving paddle-shifters for the eight-speed gearbox. Behind, the mighty W16 engine is faithfully depicted, and this too has moving positions.

Under the hood of each Lego Bugatti Chiron is a unique serial number, which can be used to unlock special content via lego.com/technic. You’ll find another delightful feature hidden there, too – a Bugatti overnight bag.

If you need further justification to fork out £300+ on a Lego kit, check out the presentation set. All models come in an exclusive box, with a coffee table-style collector’s booklet that includes the instructions. Set aside plenty of time, but rest assured, your efforts will be worth it.

In pictures: Lego Bugatti Chiron

Lego Caterham 620R

Bricking it: new Lego Caterham Seven 620R revealed

Lego Caterham 620R

Ever fancied building your own Caterham? The British sports cars are still available in do-it-yourself kit form. However, for a slightly easier challenge, how about the new Lego Caterham Seven 620R?

We say ‘slightly’ because the latest Lego kit consists of 770 pieces, including a fully-detailed replica engine, removable nosecose, opening boot and axle stands that allow the wheels to be removed. Should keep you busy on Christmas morning…

The model Seven was suggested to the Lego Ideas platform – where fans can submit proposals for new Lego sets – by Caterham fanatic, Carl Greatrix. Having gained the requisite 10,000 votes, it was then approved for production.

Lego Caterham 620R

Caterham claims the Lego 620R has a top speed of 6mph, although it admits this figure is “not scientifically proven”. That compares to 155mph in the real 620R, which also hits 60mph in just 2.79 seconds. Eek.

Caterham Chief Commercial Officer, David Ridley, said: “Our army of fans who build their own Caterham Sevens are equally discerning when it comes to the detail and craftsmanship which is central to Caterham, and we worked closely with the Lego team to ensure the model replicated that. It’s really satisfying to know that fans can recreate and build their own 620R with Lego bricks.”

The Caterham Lego 620R is available to buy from October 1st, priced £69. Want a proper 620R instead? That’ll be £49,995.

In pictures: Caterham Lego 620R

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Lego Caterham

Is the LEGO Caterham Seven the ultimate self-assembly toy?

Lego Caterham

Caterham is the king of self-assembly sports cars, so it was only a matter of time before the lightweight heroes were immortalised in LEGO. Soon, kids of all ages will be able to try their hand at building a Caterham Seven.

Later this year, LEGO will launch a Caterham Seven, after the concept was submitted to the LEGO Ideas system. Ideas that receive 10,000 votes of support are considered by the LEGO team, which selects the ideas that will make it through to production.

LEGO builder Carl Greatrix (who is now one of our favourite people in the world), duly submitted the idea, which easily received 10,000 votes between May and September last year. Now the excitement is… ahem… building, as we look forward to the launch of the new set. Although the price and colour scheme are yet to be confirmed, needless to say it will cost a lot less than the £15,995 you’ll need for the entry-level self-assembly Caterham Seven.

Mike McCoy of the LEGO Ideas team, said: “Carl is known in the LEGO community for his photo-realistic models of cars, trains and aircraft. He’s perfectly captured the classic British sports car in LEGO bricks and now you’ll be able to own one too.”

Caterham’s chief commercial officer, David Ridley, said: “The LEGO Company is one of the most iconic toy brands in the world, so to have our car recreated in the legendary bricks is an enormous honour.

“The great thing about LEGO toys is that they are timeless – it certainly isn’t just children you love it; we have a few of our team members who are avid fans despite being well into their 40s. If you know someone who has always wanted a Caterham Seven, you can now tell them you’re getting them one.”

Is this the coolest LEGO set ever created? We think it could be and you won’t even need a spanner or, dare we say it, hammer, in order to put it together. The LEGO Caterham is expected to arrive in toy shops later this year. Clear a space in your garage/toy cupboard.

In the meantime, we’re off to write a letter to Santa. Well, there are only 285 days to go until Christmas…

LEGO Mini

LEGO launches classic Mini Cooper

There’s another heritage Mini out – and this time it’s genuinely mini. Has LEGO already launched the must-have Christmas gift of the year for petrolheads? Quite possibly… Read more