Price: £69.99/$99.99/€89.99 Pieces: 1,167 Available: July 14 (VIPs only), August 1 (wide)
This year’s Creator Expert follow-up to 10220 Volkswagen T1 Camper Van and 10242 Mini Cooper first graced brick form in 2008, with the gloriously blocky 10187 Volkswagen Beetle. Its modern namesake, 10252, is a perfect example of just how far the LEGO Group has come in only a few years.
Almost every surface of the new set is smooth, with only a handful of studs on display to remind you that this is actually still LEGO. It’s also far more compact than the original set, but losing the bulk is no bad thing when it means streamlining that unique shape. The build experience is similarly distinctive, cramming in details and interesting techniques galore. LEGO cars don’t really get the love they deserve outside of the Creator Expert range, so it’s great to see that this is now becoming a subtheme all of its own.
The base of the model comes together quickly, with large bricks and Technic pins giving it a solid foundation on which to build the beautiful shell. The azure blue is striking, and a perfect choice for the vehicle after the red, white and green colour schemes of its predecessors. There are a few odd part choices that seemingly inflate the piece count without really adding much structurally – the top of either door, for instance, which uses four 1×1 bricks with studs on their sides, rather than a single 1×4 brick – but the relatively cheap price of the Beetle means you really won’t mind. There are a number of cool prints, too – not least the 1×1 Volkswagen logo tiles.
The interior is fully decked out with front and back seats, a steering wheel, speed dial, handbrake and gear stick, though there is a curious lack of pedals, despite ample room to include them. The doors, bonnet and boot all open, with the latter two concealing an oddly smaller spare wheel and the car’s engine, respectively. The rear seats also fold forward, with a beach towel hidden in the storage space behind.
Adding some variety to the build – and a splash of colour – are the surfboard and cooler that sit atop its roof. Inside the cooler, you’ll find a can and a couple of bottles, plus some trans-blue cheese slopes that very coolly stand in for ice cubes. While the box attaches to the roof via studs, the surfboard is instead held in place via a pair of rubber Technic connectors, which can be frustrating to line up, but do allow the board a level of realistic flexibility.
Some of the curvature around the side windows and windscreen is achieved via stickers, though it’s so minimal that you may not notice if you don’t apply them. Annoyingly, the stickers in our review copy arrived loose in the box, and thus inevitably folded in half. Spares are included for the rear window stickers, though the reason isn’t entirely clear, beyond perhaps them being slightly more difficult to align. You also get a choice of stickered number plates in black, yellow and white, with the main yellow choice not-so-subtly making reference to the set’s designer, Mike Psiaki.
With a satisfying and challenging build experience and a beautiful finished model that truly captures the car’s unique design, 10252 Volkswagen Beetle is an absolute home run of a set. At just £69.99 in the UK, it also provides a much cheaper way of getting into the Creator Expert line than, for instance, the modular buildings. What’s not to love?
You can get your hands on a copy from this Thursday (July 14) if you’re a VIP, or August 1 if not, exclusively from the LEGO store.
This product has been provided by the LEGO Group.