Printed plaque in LEGO Technic 42413 Ferrari Daytona SP3 raises questions about stickers

As the new LEGO Technic 42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3 comes complete with printed information plaque, will other sets follow suit?

Once the preserve of LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series sets, the ‘information plaque’ has, over the past few years, started to appear in more and more ranges.  From 76139 1989 Batmobile to 76042 The Shield Helicarrier it became more common for large, expensive display sets to come with the ubiquitous black rectangle.

But while they covered a range of themes, they had one thing in common – they used a sticker. For those with steady hands , it was a minor niggle in the build process, but for many, a last minute slip, or an unexpected air bubble, and their very expensive set would forever have a blemish that couldn’t be removed.

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So when the recent Ultimate Series Technic Ferrari was unveiled, many picked up on the fact that not only did it come with a plaque, but that the plaque was printed.  Looking across social media, there was a split of opinion, with some taking the view that if this £350 set could have all printed parts – not a sticker in sight, then surely other sets, particularly the large Star Wars UCS sets which can cost twice as much, can do the same.

Others however, defended the sticker, pointing at the Ferrari plaque’s prominent ‘dimple’ in its centre, a necessary part of the moulding process, and saying that a sticker would cover it, giving a more finished look.

The debate is unlikely to go away. Cost is always going to play a part, and with a number of more modestly priced sets now starting to come with plaques it’s fair to assume that the LEGO Group can’t swallow the additional cost of printing for everything. Indeed, as is mentioned in The Sense Of Perfection, the limited edition book that accompanies the new Technic Ferrari, to accommodate printing on an existing 2×1 element, tooling for a new mould had to be developed at considerable cost, so with a serviceable plaque element already in existence, we’re unlikely to see a new, smoothed out version any time soon.

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You can read out review of the the new LEGO Technic 42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3 here, and also our look at the accompanying book, The Sense of Perfection.

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