One of my favorite sets this year is the #10252 LEGO Creator Volkswagen Beetle that was released recently. My family had a Beetle just like the LEGO version, so I was particularly excited to build this set. Below I will share with you some of my thoughts on it, and I will also include the video-review by JANGBRiCKS so you can see it in more detail. 🙂

#10252 LEGO Creator Volkswagen Beetle Box

Let’s start with the official description: Head for the beach with the VW Beetle! Build a LEGO Creator Expert replica of the world’s most popular automobile. This beautifully crafted LEGO model is packed with authentic details that capture the vehicle’s character and charm, including an azure-blue color scheme, curved fenders, white rims with distinctive hubcaps, round headlights and wing-mounted turn signals. Lift the hood and you’ll discover a spare tire and fuel tank, while in the trunk you’ll find a detailed 4-cylinder air-cooled engine. You can even open the doors or remove the roof section to access the detailed interior. Tilt the rear seat forward to reveal a storage compartment with beach towel. And of course, no 1960s VW Beetle would be complete without a surfboard and a cooler box, the perfect accessories for a fun day at the beach! VW Beetle including surfboard and cooler measures over 5” (15cm) high, 11” (29cm) long and 4” (12cm) wide. 1167 pieces. Price: $99.99 – BUY HERE

#10252 LEGO Creator Volkswagen Beetle

The shaping of the LEGO Creator Volkswagen Beetle is so much more accurate and sophisticated than the #10187 LEGO Volkswagen Beetle from 2008. While the older Beetle was more like a somewhat abstract sculpture, the new version is a lot more realistic recreation of the real vehicle. This is mostly possible because of all the new curved bricks LEGO has been releasing in recent years, including the large curved fender pieces that were specifically made for this set. Brackets, and bricks with studs on their sides also helped with creating the iconic look of the vehicle.

#10252 LEGO Creator Volkswagen Beetle Real

The LEGO Creator Volkswagen Beetle is instantly recognizable as a replica of the classic Beetle, so obviously LEGO designers did an excellent job. However I do have a few minor criticisms, where I feel LEGO could have done better. The real-life Beetle is well-known for its curved windows. The back passenger side-windows include stickers to help curve at least one of the edges. If these stickers would be just a bit bigger, they could have rounded two of the edges, or maybe even three. The windshield is rectangular, with nothing helping to make it look more round. The same is true for the front side-windows. There are a couple of small stickers at the sides of the windshield, which could have been curved a bit to give the illusion of more rounded side-windows. The same thing is true for the stickers on the back window, which are simply two blue stripes. If those stickers would have been a bit curved, they could have rounded the back window to make it look more accurate. Minor detail, but if LEGO decided to use stickers, why not make them the right shape?

#10252 LEGO Creator Volkswagen Details

I really like the shaping of the hood at the front and the trunk at the back. Some masterful techniques are used at both. The only thing I didn’t like is that at the back 1×2 tiles are used to smooth down the cover of the trunk. Tiles have very prominently visible edges, which makes them look a bit weird in this application. I have replaced some of them with tiles with grills, to create a second row of vents (some real-life VW Beetles have these as well).

#10252 LEGO Creator Volkswagen Beetle Modification

While those new large curved pieces definitely help create the fenders, they did not make the designer’s job easier. What’s behind the fenders (especially the front ones) is one of the most impressive assembly of advanced building techniques I have ever seen. A great example of the mad engineering skills of LEGO designers. I sometimes take off the large curved pieces just to marvel how these sections were built.

#10252 LEGO Creator Volkswagen Beetle Details

But my favorite part of the Beetle is the interior. Building the seats was a very pleasurable experience, and I was surprised how they all came together and how good they look. The front seats can fold over to let the back passengers in and out, and the back seat can also fold to reveal a little hidden compartment (just like on the real Beetle). The addition of the beach-blanket is a nice touch. The only thing missing in the interior are the pedals, but you can just add a couple of cheese-slopes to simulate them. Also, if you are in the UK, it would be easy to switch the steering-wheel to the other side.

#10252 LEGO Creator Volkswagen Beetle Top

The roof is another section that I think looks great. It can be removed easily, and both the surfboard and the cooler are nice additions and interesting builds. I did add a couple of additional studs to hold down the roof section just to make it more secure.

#10252 LEGO Creator Volkswagen Beetle Review

Besides the window-stickers I mentioned above, there are also four sets of license-plate stickers for California, Germany, Australia, and the UK, and you can choose whichever you like. And you get a full set of extra window-decals, as well as an extra sticker for the cooler. The only printed part is the Volkswagen logo on a small 1×1 tile, which is unique to this set. There are two used in the set officially; one on the hood, and one on the gas-tank. And you also get two extras. I added one to the steering-wheel and one to the engine.

#10252 LEGO Creator Volkswagen Beetle Hood

Speaking of the engine it is a very simple but cleverly built part of the Beetle. It was so satisfying to see it come together. Under the front hood there is a spare tire, which is actually too small for the vehicle, because the tire is smaller. So make sure your Beetle doesn’t get a flat tire, otherwise it will be wobbling along.

#10252 LEGO Creator Volkswagen Beetle Trunk

With almost being a foot long, the model is quite large and substantial, but not excessively. It looks good on a shelf all by itself as a focal point. It can also be displayed with some of the other LEGO Creator vehicles, although I should point out that they are not really on the same scale. It is a fairly good match with the #10220 LEGO Creator Volkswagen T1 Camper Van, but not so good with the #10242 LEGO Creator Mini Cooper, which looks much too large next to the Bettle. Also, you might find it interesting that while none of these LEGO Creator vehicles are made to be standard minifigure scale, they are a good fit for the old LEGO Belville and LEGO Technic figures – just case you want to add a driver. Below is the video-review so you can see the set in more detail.

All in all I’m very happy with the LEGO Volkswagen Beetle. I normally shy away from LEGO sculptures and display-models that are not minifig scale, as their play-value is less and they tend to just collect dust. However the Beetle has enough interesting features on its own, and with a couple of LEGO Belville (or similar size) figures it can also be great for play. It is definitely sturdy enough and could handle some rough riding – just like the real Beetle. And the price is surprisingly good for such a large and detailed model. You can find it at the LEGO Creator section of the Online LEGO Shop.

Shop LEGO Creator Cars

So what do you think? How do you like the LEGO Creator Volkswagen Beetle? Did you get it already? Or are you planning to? Feel free to share your own review and thoughts in the comment section below! 😉

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Back in the spring, we featured the work of LEGO fan and model designer Elspeth De Montes with a collection of theatre scenes (see: Famous Theatre Scenes in LEGO). Today I wanted to show you another series of LEGO vignettes by Elspeth, titled Then and Now. The series was originally built for an article in Bricks magazine, highlighting the contrast between life in 1966 and 2016. I think you will like it. 🙂

LEGO Life of Doris by Elspeth De Montes 1

Here is what Elspeth says about the series: “Meet Doris. On the left it’s 1966, and she is a young vibrant lady in touch with the latest fashion, technology and trends. On the right, time has passed and it is 2016 and Doris has to cope with new technology, innovation and the changes in society.” In the old days Doris could simply take her bag of trash outside to the one trashcan. Nowadays she is confused about the number of choices between all the different recycling bins. While I do own a few LEGO trashcans, I never realized it was available in so many colors!

LEGO Life of Doris by Elspeth De Montes 2

In 1966 people had to move antennas around to find that one sweet spot to get good reception on their televisions. In 2016 Doris is trying similar methods to get the bars up on her mobile phone. Take a look at all the well-designed furniture pieces!

LEGO Life of Doris by Elspeth De Montes 3

Back in the days, the park was a place of tranquility, the laughter of children, picnics on the grass, and kites in the sky. In 2016 Doris looks on with concern as kids are riding Segways and operating drones. Notice the really nice landscaping techniques used in both scenes.

LEGO Life of Doris by Elspeth De Montes 4

Elspeth says that in 1966 Doris was using a Vita-Master Vibration Belt Massager (I had to look that up as I had no idea what it was). I guess the loosing-weight-with-no-effort craze was well and alive even back then. In 2016 Doris is using a virtual obstacle-course to stay in shape. That’s probably more effective, isn’t it? And more fun too! She doesn’t seem to be particularly happy with either though.

LEGO Life of Doris by Elspeth De Montes 5

In the first scene, Robert Atkins had just announced that you could lose weight eating bacon, butter, sausages and steak and Doris decided to give this highly publicized new diet a try. Just as ridiculous is the Oxygen & Vitamin Shot diet in 2016. But diet fads never die. I’m jealous of how many of those new printed wallpaper bricks Elspeth got!

LEGO Life of Doris by Elspeth De Montes 6

The last scene in the series shows Doris’ blind date woes back then and now. Elspeth writes: “In 1966 Doris felt that this new culture of blind dating was a high-risk gamble; it seemed that Frank was far more enthusiastic than his invitation to meet up for a coffee suggested. In 2016, Doris had finally relented and agreed to a blind date with Arthur after he promised to take her to a swanky restaurant and show her his new wheels – these were not exactly the wheels she envisioned.”

As you can see all of Elspeth’s scenes are characterized by excellent parts-usage, a clean design, and great story-telling in fairly simple scenes. It is worth studying the pictures to catch all the small details. If you would like to see more of Elspeth’s work, you can visit her flickr gallery for more.

What do you think? How do you like these LEGO vignettes? What other scenes you think could be added to the series to show the differences between life fifty years ago and now? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below! 😉

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