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LEGO Creator London Bus history & review

As we discussed a few days ago, the #10258 LEGO Creator London Bus is now available for LEGO VIP members (regular release will be at the beginning of August). While I don’t have the set, JANGBRiCKS published an excellent video-review (and time-lapse build) of the bus, which clears up some of the questions about the bus when it was first announced. 🙂

While it was fairly clear from pictures that the LEGO Creator London Bus was smaller than previous LEGO Creator Expert vehicles, (the #10220 LEGO Creator Volkswagen T1 Camper, the #10242 LEGO Creator MINI Cooper, the #10248 LEGO Creator Ferrari F40, and the #10252 LEGO Creator Volkswagen Beetle, the official description states that “the model is scaled for shelf display alongside other models in the LEGO Creator Expert vehicle series”. This created some confusion about the actual size and scale of the vehicle. However as you will see in the video-review below, the LEGO Creator London Bus is not even close to the scale of the #10248 LEGO Creator Ferrari F40. So while the previous LEGO Creator Expert vehicles were fairly well sized to each other, the LEGO Creator London Bus is on a scale of its own.

Examining the set pictures some more, it also appeared that the LEGO Creator London Bus might be appropriate for minifigs, especially when looking at the seats. Very similar seat designs can be found in a number of minifig-scale sets, so perhaps the bus might work as a somewhat oversized bus for minifigures. So the second question is, does the LEGO Creator London Bus scaled for minifigures? As you will see in the video-review below, the seats are indeed well sized for minifigs, however placed next to the bus, the minifigures look ridiculously tiny. So it seems like the LEGO Creator London Bus is sort of like Doctor Who’s Tardis with different scales on the inside and outside. I guess that’s pretty appropriate as both the double-decker bus and Doctor Who are British icons. 😀

The third question had to do with which style of the real life bus does the LEGO Creator London Bus represent? When we think of London buses, we usually envision the Routemaster. Introduced in 1956, it was the first London bus with power steering, fully automatic gearboxes and shock absorbers. But the color, style and shape of the bus was established long before the Routemaster ever came to the scene.

The earliest buses on London’s streets were horse-drawn omnibuses introduced in the early 1800s. The first motor-driven buses appeared in the late 1800s, and by 1910, they were mass-produced, and gradually replaced the horse-drawn omnibuses. It appears that London was always fond of red buses, because even in these early days most of them were red. In 1933, the bus service became more organized when the newly-formed organization London Transport took over the running of all London’s buses. Many new vehicles were added to the fleet, and this is also when the enclosed driver’s cap and covered upper deck were introduced, and became iconic features of the London bus.

A number of manufacturers were making classic style buses for London’s streets through the years, but the Routemaster outlasted them all. They were built by the Associated Equipment Company (AEC) and Park Royal Vehicles for London Transport. While the classic Routemasters were finally withdrawn from regular service at the end of 2005, and replaced by modern vehicles, the heritage route in central London still employs the old style buses. The most well-known version of the Routemaster is the one with a half-cab, front-mounted engine and open rear platform (which is what the LEGO Creator London Bus is base on), but other variations were also made; like the coach version with rear platform doors, forward entrance vehicles with platform doors, and a unique front-entrance prototype with the engine mounted transversely at the rear. If you are interested to learn more about these iconic vehicles, check the Routemaster Wikipedia page, and there are a couple of great books you might want to check out (see below).

The Bus We Loved: London’s Affair with the Routemaster by Travis ElborougIn terms of postcards, books, films, and cheap souvenirs, and in the eyes of the world, the Routemaster represents the city just as much as Big Ben. It was the last bus to be have conductors as well as drivers, the last bus to ring familiar shouts that are at least a century old—Fares please, Full up inside but room on top, Next stop the British Museum! It was the last bus, in other words, to be a proper bus. In this fond history, Travis Elborough tells the story of the routemaster’s invention, rise and decline, of the people who worked on it, and of the enthusiasts who were mad about it.SEE BOOK ON AMAZON

The London Bus Story by John ChristopherThe archetypal Routemaster is arguably the most recognized vehicle in the world, as witnessed at the recent Beijing Olympic handover ceremony. Buses have been operating on London’s streets since 1829, originally with horse-drawn omnibuses, and the London Omnibus Company was founded in 1855 to regulate the various services. The first motorized buses made an appearance in 1902 with the LGOC beginning to manufacture the buses itself two years later. For six decades London went its own way with specially designed buses. More recent innovations such as the ‘bendy’ bus have not been popular, but today practicality of pushchair and wheelchair access has consigned the Routemaster to a nostalgic, but much-loved, position. With full-color photographs, this book comprehensively tells the story behind London’s famous red buses.SEE BOOK ON AMAZON

As you can see there is a lot of history behind the LEGO Creator London Bus, and lots of nostalgia people have towards these iconic vehicles. LEGO designers did an excellent job recreating the classic shape and details, even though the scale is a bit odd compared to other LEGO Classic Expert vehicles. Also, while I normally don’t like stickers, the decorations on this bus are really gorgeous, and could be useful for making an English style café, or a biscuit shop maybe?

Here is the official description of the set: Take a nostalgic journey with this LEGO Creator Expert replica of the world-famous double-decker London Bus. Grab the hand pole and step onto the open rear boarding deck, complete with a used ticket bin and fire extinguisher. Then take the half-spiral staircase to the sightseeing deck where you’ll find a cozy seating area and a number of other items, including a forgotten umbrella, newspaper, empty beverage can and even discarded chewing gum stuck under a slightly-worn seat. Slide the door to access the driver’s cab with panoramic windscreen, lift the hood to reveal the engine, remove the roof and upper deck to access the interior, and choose your favorite decade with the reversible transit-advertising posters, featuring a 1950s or present-day London promotion. From the distinctive lines and curves of its bright-red bodywork, to its specially made standard-tread tires and destination sign, this beautifully crafted model oozes authenticity and intricate details that capture the character and charm of a celebrated London icon! Measures over 7” (18cm) high, 13” (34cm) long and 5” (13cm) wide. 1,686 pieces. Price: $139.99 – BUY HERE

What do you think? How do you like the LEGO Creator London Bus? Are you planning to get it? Do you have any of the other LEGO Creator Expert vehicles? Which one is your favorite so far? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • DavidH July 23, 2017, 11:58 AM

    The history part was very interesting. It’s great to see that some of the old buses are still used. They really should make the new ones with the same shape and style.

    • admin July 23, 2017, 9:52 PM

      I was actually reading somewhere that they are planning to make some buses using at least some elements of the old style. 🙂

  • LEGOJeff July 23, 2017, 12:20 PM

    Cool set. My favorite part is the curved back end, the stickers, and the red wheels. Curious to see what other sets they are going to use the wheels in.

    • admin July 23, 2017, 9:53 PM

      Yes, those new wheels are going to be useful as they are narrower than similarly sized wheels.

  • kingcobra July 23, 2017, 4:02 PM

    I just wish it would be minifig scale! BTW, did you guys see the school bus in the new Ninjago trailer? Now that’s what I would really like! 😀

    • admin July 23, 2017, 9:53 PM

      We are going to talk about that trailer (and all the other news from Comic-Con) tomorrow, so hold your thoughts! 😀

  • TomTom July 23, 2017, 6:11 PM

    Looks great, but I think it’s more relevant to British Lego fans. Or those who worked or visited the UK. The history section was interesting so thanks for including that. Is that also in the instruction book?

    • admin July 23, 2017, 9:54 PM

      The instruction book does include some history of the bus, and some nice pictures, but of course not as much as the books do. 🙂

  • BLProductions July 24, 2017, 11:57 AM

    I think it’s a very nice looking set. The scale was set, according to the designers, by the 5X5 curved brick from the Beetle, which they wanted to use to form the curve on the back. The set description might mean “scale” in terms of size, but the bus is certainly on a smaller scale than the other vehicles, although the size of the rear platform tries to suggest a similar scale. In that scale, however, those seats are quite short…. 😕
    The thing I dislike most about the bus are those tiles lining the windows – they form ridges that break up the smoothness of the sides and are not present on the real Routemaster as far as I can see. I know there was no other way to properly frame the windows, but it does slightly mar the bus’s appearance, in my opinion. The rest of the set I quite like.
    Thanks for the history on London buses, that was interesting. I hadn’t heard of the horse-drawn buses before. I must say the modern buses look really bizarre compared to the older ones; the old buses had more style.

    • admin July 24, 2017, 1:08 PM

      I’m also partial to older vehicles because they have so much more character and style. Modern cars almost all have the same boring shape! JANG also mentions those ridges on the side as something he was concerned about, but he says they do make the bus look better, and ultimately he likes them. And if you look at the original buses, they have some ridges, although much thinner. I think what LEGO did is a good compromise, although there is always room for improvement. 🙂

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