Up until fairly recently, Speed Champions did what it said on the tin. The theme features cars – originally in a six-stud wide design, moving to eight studs wide in 2020 – that have one thing in common. From muscle cars that are available to the masses, through high performance exotica that are only accessible to those with the deepest pockets, to racing specials. All are defined by speed.
But recently, two new designs have joined the line-up. While neither of them are slouches in the velocity department, they’re best known for coming from Hollywood rather than a production line in an out of town factory. The first is 76911 007 Aston Martin DB5 that has been James Bond’s most recognisable car since it first appeared in the 1964 film, Goldfinger. The second is the rather-less-refined but equally recognisable – certainly to younger cinema-goers – 76912 Fast & Furious 1970 Dodge Charger R/T from the nitrous-guzzling franchise.
Both have appeared in LEGO form before at larger scale. 10262 James Bond Aston Martin DB5 was part of the Creator Expert line back in 2018 and two years later we saw 42111 Dom’s Dodge Charger appear in the Technic range. Now in a recent interview with Brickset, LEGO Design Manager, Chris Stamp, has hinted that these latest additions to Speed Champions may just be the first in a series of film-inspired cars.
Stamp began by talking about the way the theme had evolved. “Looking back through the development and direction of Speed Champions, we have already expanded to include vehicles other than supercars, including the John Cooper Works buggy, Lamborghini Urus and the Ford Bronco Dakar racer.” He went on to describe the overarching idea behind the range as “collectable, IP-driven, eight-stud-size vehicles which are all in scale when displayed together. There are really no limits on what we can do, as long as they satisfy those flexible parameters.”
There were a number of drivers behind the idea to feature cars from the silver screen, both personal, and market driven. From Stamp’s point of view, he says: “I am a huge movie fan, so I have been moving towards creating these vehicles for the last three years.” But he also has one eye on his audience. He continued, “not everyone who likes cars is interested in racing, so introducing some recognisable film vehicles felt completely natural to me. Broadening the appeal of the theme, without losing what we have already built, is never a bad thing.”
While the LEGO Group may be a behemoth of the toy industry, not all themes within the company are equal. Stamp addressed the issue of finding space in the production process. “Speed Champions is a very small project, among the smallest in the current LEGO portfolio,” he said, “so creating space in the product range for more Speed Champions sets is sometimes difficult. Even introducing the polybag models was considered quite exciting.”
With the range now approaching sixty models, he returned to the idea that there could be more film-based designs in the future, and that careful thought had been given to the choice of both the DB5 and the Charger. “Finding space for two new sets in the portfolio made things even harder,” he admitted, “although developing vehicles which have already been represented in LEGO and achieved proven popularity was helpful.”
As he closed, he indicated his hoped-for direction of travel. “In the case of these movie vehicles,” he said, “I was determined to release more than one product at their launch because I wanted to signal this as the beginning of a collection.”
While nothing is confirmed at this stage, it certainly seems like we could be seeing some iconic cars coming to the Speed Champions range in the future.