Rufus

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About Rufus

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    Schnell! Schnell! Kartoffelkopf!
  • Birthday 04/15/74

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  1. Duplo is all we have available at the moment. I hope that counts!
  2. You mean this?
  3. Thanks everyone for the comments! I'm sorry to hear that. Suggests it's a policy change. My step 60 / page 39 is fine; can you point out which bit you mean? Or provide a photo to compare? No problem Fangy. Mostly they are both sturdy; the roof stuff might pop off the Beetle - the coolbox is only attached by 1 stud and the board is sort of wedged in. On the main body the door mirrors are the weakest part, but they aren't in a position where you might knock them easily. The Mini's roof comes off easily - it's only attached via two studs each side at the back. This can be a little annoying, but it's unlikely to be a major problem. Hope that helps!
  4. Agreed. And a good time to buy things in the UK. Incidentally, it's EUR 104.99 in Belgium and EUR 89.99 in Germany? May trips across the border I think ... The stickers in this case aren't so bad, and they help to keep the price down I guess. Yay! Thanks Fangy Agreed. Probably not too difficult to mod the windscreen, though. Thanks mate! Thanks Sne! Agree about the wheels; they're probably the right diameter, but too wide. The chunky wings don't help. It doesn't take up much room on the shelf, if that's any help Thank you for that very helpful info, brick_wolf! Thanks Mike!
  5. It's 1964. Vietnam is starting. Martin Luther King receives the Nobel Peace Prize the year Nelson Mandela is jailed. Sony introduces the Video Cassette Recorder, and the computer mouse is invented. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor marry for the first time. The Beatles are riding high in international charts, but I want you to put I Get Around by the Beach Boys on your internal gramophone, grab your shorts and the keys to your Bug, and head on over to Californ-eye-ay coz' we are going surfin'! Apparently. The VW Beetle, or Volkswagen Type I, was already over 25 years old in 1964. It was conceived in Germany in 1938, but let's gloss over that part of its history; production didn't pick up until 1945. Over the car's 65 year production span, an astonishing 21 million were built; it is unsurprising therefore that the Beetle was named in 1999's Car of the Century competition as the fourth most influential car of the 20th century (after the Citroen DS? Really?) and that may explain its inclusion as the logical LEGO follow-up to 2014's 10242 Mini Cooper, which came second in that competition. Review: 10252 Volkswagen Beetle This is not The LEGO Co.'s first VW Beetle set. Believe it or not, it's not even the second - many of you will remember the largely studded 10187 from 2008. To find the first, we have to go all the way back to the first year of LEGO mass-produced toys - 1958 - when an ambiguously numbered die-cast metal 260 VW Beetle was available; several iterations of the Beetle featured in the early days of LEGO metal cars, including one from 1964, but I believe 10187 was the first to be built in LEGO bricks. This latest offering joins the Mini in the recently introduced LEGO Creator Expert range. It's a very different bucket of worms to the last Beetle, making use of curves and angles rather than its predecessor's studs-up sculpture, and ascends to the mainstream another peripheral colour: Dark Azure. Set Information Name: Volkswagen Beetle Number: 10252 Theme: CREATOR Expert Release: 2016 Parts: 1167 Figures: N/A Price: EUR €89.99 - 104.99 | GB £69.99 | US $99.99 | AU $149.99 | CA $129.99 | DKK 799.00 Links ... LEGO Shop ... Brickset ... Bricklink The Box Click for a larger full-frontal image The minimalist Creator Expert packaging shares more in common with the Exclusives sets than the main CREATOR range, but it's smart and allows the set picture to dominate. Here a surf-equipped Beetle drives itself (hilarity ensues) down a sandy track. The set manages to stand out even against the similarly-coloured sea; the choice of surf theme for the set really dictates the box art. I wonder whether the set's colour scheme was decided by the reference image, or whether the artist hunted around for a suitable image. If the latter, they found one, and it's displayed on the right hand side: Click for a larger image Judging by the roof rack, I think the set designer must have used this image for inspiration. It also affects the set's historical accuracy: the real-life Beetle here is a pre-1965 model, given the smaller window apertures. On the back of the box, the sentient car parks itself among the dunes, and leans its surfboard against a conveniently-placed inset of the set features: Click for a larger image I love that. The board even casts a shadow on the inset! The insets show off the set's salient features well, though the main image is rather similar to the box front and I would have shown the car's rear off here. The box measures H 279 x W 478 x D 72 mm (11" x 19" x 3" approx) and weighs 1352 g (3 lb). It is tape-sealed . On the underside is the Volkswagen licensing information, interestingly in the official VW typeface. As is customary for CREATOR sets, the set inventory is displayed on the box top. The Instructions Now, I was under the impression that The LEGO Company had listened to the whinges of its die-hard fan-base, and endeavoured to wrap the instructions and sticker sheets of the more expensive sets to prevent bad things happening. Not so here. My instructions were loose and crumpled in the box. I hope that is just because I have an early promotional copy of the set, and that this doesn't represent a policy change. The single, perfect-bound volume has a cover similar to the box front. There are no technical or historical tidbits, unlike the LEGO Ideas or Architecture sets; I'd like to have seen a bit of information about the Beetle, but not if it would inflate the price of the set. The instruction steps are clear, with part call-outs, and a handy yellow line to show you where new bits are added. This doesn't help when you miss an entire step, as I did! The only other problem I encountered was trying to identify the colour of a 1x1 round stud which looked either white or grey (but probably meant to be flat silver). Sticker Sheet Mercifully, my sticker sheet was only crumpled but not damaged by its journey loose in the box. There stickers are handily numbered, though not unfortunately in the order you apply them. There's a lot of redundancy here, so you can get away with applying as few as 12 of the 24 decals: stickers 13 - 16 are duplicated, and the instructions suggest only applying one of each. You can choose which country's registration to use, though I was delighted to find that there are tiles enough to allow you apply all of them, and change the registration plate to enable a James Bond escape or something. The countries represented are USA, Australia (I think, assuming 'QLD' is Queensland), the UK, and (West) Germany. The Parts The parts are divided into three modules, of 3, 2, and 3 polybags each, as shown here, and the tyres were loose in the box. My first task was to confirm the colour - having not read the official LEGO blurb, I did what I always do when confronted with an unfamiliar colour, which is compare it to a part in a known set. Most of our LEGO is packed away, but fortunately the kids came to the rescue. So Duplo confirms this blue is Dark Azure. The three modules' parts are laid out below. Click each frame for a close-up It's great to see such a large choice of parts in a relatively rare colour, previously found mostly on minifigs and Duplo, or, more recently, in Basic Bricks sets. Prior to this Beetle there were no plates available in Dark Azure. Whether this means there'll be an abundance of regular sets in this colour remains to be seen; I had high hopes for Bright Green after the CITY recycling sets a few years ago but nothing came of that. Unlike, say, Dark Green or Dark Red, I can't see that there'll be much demand for Dark Azure amongst MOCers, though it might make a nice base colour for a re-imagined Classic Space. Otherwise, there are a load of handy SNOT bricks and plates of various kinds, and a few parts of interest: The dark azure corner brick is a new part, ID 24599, and I think would be described as Brick, Round Corner 5x5. Its curvature matches that of the Brick, Modified 1 x 2 x 1 1/3 but it is only three plates high. The 24246 heel-print tile is new this year in a few Mixels sets, and only in white; 23443 bar holder with handle is new, and listed on Bricklink but not yet appearing in any sets. New to me are the 1 x 1 x 3 brick, though it's been around since 2014 and quite common, the Technic axle 3 yellow, and the Ring pull tile, which I can see being very useful. The Round 1x1 tile with gauge featured of course in the Mini and several other sets. The clippy plate is shown only because of the mold difference: both types occur in this set (or my copy, at least) - they are I believe Bricklink types b and d. Then of course there's the new VW print tile. The tile is light bluish grey with a slightly reflective 'negative' print; I would rather have seen a shiny VW 'positive' print on a darker tile, buy hey. There are two spares in this set and I can see these being useful for CITY cars. Finally, there's the vaunted 'updated windshield design': I didn't even notice this until I read the blurb when writing the review: hence the stickers are already on! The mold is a stud less deep, but still quite sturdy; this design would have been quite handy for the Mini whose older design windscreen is also shown here. The Build The build starts with the chassis and is largely pedestrian until towards the end of module one, where SNOT begins to be applied in more detail and things quite suddenly get exciting. In the interest of brevity, I will not describe the build process in detail here, but it is shown in detail on my flickr; I will instead show a few interesting techniques. This is the back end of the car, late in module 1: A large chunk of tan and bley plates and bricks has been inserted, studs facing to the rear, with male and female clips pointing upwards. It's not until module 3 that you find out what the clips are for - they attach the rear window and engine cover. Behind that, a light bley 2x2 SNOT plate tessellates perfectly with a dark bley 1x1 SNOT brick with two 1x1 bley plates: these hold the tail lights; this technique is used in a few places in the set. Interesting SNOT abounds (*thinks of children* ). Here the rear (centre) and front (right) seat uprights are made; the rear one makes use of a stack of headlight bricks alternating studs right/studs up to make a stud reverser that is exactly 3 plates wide; when combined with the left and right halves, this makes 20 plate-heights or exactly 8 brick widths - so the seat rear fits neatly in the gap. I'll remember that technique! The front seats use 1x1 bricks with studs on two sides; these seats are slightly wider than 4 bricks each as they don't need to fit into a confined space - see here (you can also see where I missed a step - the bley plates either side of the rear seat should be a brick higher ). The entire front end of the car is initially attached only via the front axle, and at a half-stud offset: This is then corrected with the judicious application of jumper plates. You'll be able to see more when we look at the underside later. More delightful SNOT-work builds the front wings, including a repeat of the tessellation I pointed out earlier: The small construction I have removed here contains a SNOT plate that is used to correct the sideways-facing studs shown in the picture. I love that sort of thing! You can also see how the headlights are attached, with a technique similar to the Mini's. You'll be able to see more when we come to the features, or check my flickr. The Finished Car I've chosen the German plates for my car, partly because it's a German car, and partly because I put the British number plate stickers on badly. Plus I built it left-hand drive before thinking about it (you can very easily convert it). It does also mean that I can point out The Significance Of The WOB. The bonnet boot luggage compartment cover (from now on, it's 'luggage cover' and 'engine cover', mkay?) has popped open in the above picture, which happens all too easily. Here it is from the reverse angle with the cover closed: The designer has gone to extraordinary lengths to recreate the challenging curves of this iconic vehicle. Look at the nearside headlight: below it is a SNOT-mounted 1x2 cheese wedge; above it a regularly-placed 1x1 cheese next to a 1x3 bow; the contour these form almost perfectly matches the curve of the new 5x5 cover piece forming the wing. The entire wing then marries reasonably neatly to the luggage cover, itself a two-part design attempting to recreate the curves of the real thing. Conscious as I am that the stuff on the roof distracts from the car itself, I removed it: You can see a bit more clearly how the wing curves of the 5x5 corner bricks matches the 1x1 modified bricks at medial ends of both front and rear wings. Strangely, without the roof stuff, the wheels and wings themselves start to look a little too chunky to my eye, but we'll do a formal comparison shortly. Note the use of the new bar with handle parts to mount the door mirrors. From this view, the problem with the car's windscreen is becoming increasingly apparent. There's something I just don't like about it, but it's hard to put my finger on what. Here's a comparison shot of a '64 Beetle: Image from photogallery.classiccars.com It's not a perfect comparator. The wings are indeed a little too chunky on the LEGO version, but that's not the problem with the screen; '64 Beetles had flat screens with an arch shape, which the dark bley tile above the screen fails to recreate convincingly. Let's look at it in more detail from the side: Image from lehnan.hol.es The rake of the windscreen is too steep. It's a small difference, and it ought to be subtle, but combined with the relative loss of curvature of the front end of the roof, it has a dramatic effect making the windscreen look more like a Citroen 2CV than a Beetle. However, aside from the chunky wings and steep windscreen, the overall shape is otherwise remarkably good. Let's move rearward, where things start to get better again. The wonderful curves continue towards the engine compartment: You can see how the tapered door pillar gives gradient to the side of the car, and the 4x4 corner slope helps to smooth the lines from the wider sides to the narrower rear. This part sits, incidentally, on one of these, which defines the slope of the rear window. The engine cover uses a SNOTty construction to achieve a half-plate step, giving the (faint) illusion of a lateral curve. The curves of the rear wings are a little fussier than the front ones, but they still create nice effect even if they are not quite as flared as the real thing: Image from foundonthestreet.net The LEGO version uses grille tiles to depict the iconic air-cooled engine intakes; the effect is not entirely successful, and I wonder if they might have been better off using these (or even these, if they were still available). I do like the rear lights; I'm tempted to replace the deeper of the two bley 1x1 plates under the amber light with a body-coloured one (there are spares in the set!). Front-on, the gap between the luggage cover and bodywork starts to show, but this is the only angle from which it's noticeable. The windscreen, again, looks odd, but the wing curves look great. The tyres are possibly a little too wide. This view isn't quite so forgiving of the rear, which looks better from oblique angles, but I still think the rear is the car's best side. Note the bumpers, made with modern curved pieces, with a hinge to help at the rear; they are nice (but they're crying out for some chrome). I'm conscious at this point that I'm being quite critical. Take a look at this shot from above: Look at the apex of the luggage cover at the front, and follow the ovoid line of the bodywork backwards, round to the side, and in again at the rear, and then back again; then look again at the curves of the wings, especially at the front; then compare to the schematic: It is a remarkable feat to get anything near to the shape of this delightfully contoured car in LEGO. And back down to earth, quite literally: The underside is remarkable for one point, which I alluded to earlier: the axles are not threaded through the chassis as you might expect, but attached almost independently until the structure is built around it. You can also see how the front end of the chassis sits at a half-stud offset, I think in order to accommodate the spare wheel. Features Now let's have a look in a bit more detail. We saw this earlier, but here's another look at the elaborate work going in to get the wings looking as smooth as possible. It's not the most elegant solution, perhaps, and not perfect, but reasonable. Behind the wheel you can see some studs facing outwards - these are from two inverted brackets that form the walls of the luggage compartment; the studs don't connect to anything. Talking of which ... ... here it is, and looking roomier than in real life. The black bit with the VW badge is the fuel tank. The spare wheel just sits there; it rattles around a bit. Being the same size as the Mini spare wheel, it's also too small when compared to the main tyres! Some fiddly jumper plates go to make the door attachment, but the result is smooth and surprisingly sturdy, if a little unsightly. The seat construction is gorgeous, and I like the telephone door handles. The gauge behind the steering wheel is the sole instrument on the dashboard. No radio? I've removed part of the roof to give a better view of the interior. Again, the seat construction is highly effective; it's not obvious here but they are mounted on jumpers to give a brick-wide gap between in which sits the handbrake. Towards the front is a gearstick, made simply from a classic space aerial, but which sits on a semicircular curved brick representing the transmission tunnel ... ... and which continues to the rear: Both front and rear seats flip forward; behind the rear seat is a luggage shelf - true to life - in which the Picnic Rug is stowed. Note further clever SNOT supporting the door pillars. I alluded to this earlier, but here is how the rear window and engine cover are fixed: The upward-pointing male clips hold the window; the two flat silver (these are the ones that caused me trouble in the build) 1x1 studs prevent the window collapsing in. It looks fiddly, but it comes together easily and is remarkably durable. And here's what's in the rear: This is a simple but reasonable facsimile of the VW aircooled engine of the original Beetle. It looks like it might be a rotary engine but it's actually a flat 4; the larger wheel looks like it might be the fan, but it's actually the fan pulley - the fan being in the round black thing behind. In case you wanted to know! I think the LEGO version works really well. Finally, there's the window-dressing: A cool-box containing two green bottles and a green can with a ring-pull top, nicely made with simple but clever SNOT, and a surfboard that looks a little thrown together - I think it would be possible to make it without the white protrusions at the tip and the tail, but it's a minor thing. You might also just be able to make out the lip of a white 1x1 tile in the exact centre of the board - why they didn't use a plate here, I don't know. It all fits snugly on the roof rack, the box via one stud, the board by being wedged between the edges and those black rubber cheating-pieces: Comparison to 10242 Mini Cooper I don't have the 2008 Beetle, and anyway this set's immediate ancestor (and main competitor) is 2014's Mini Cooper. How do they compare? Next to the clean Mini, the Beetle's lines do look a little fussy. The Mini also highlights another minor complaint about the Beetle - the lack of chrome (or metallic silver, at least); though I understand that the Beetle would require a lot of silver parts or it would appear mismatched. The front end of the Mini is so good that meaningful comparison is lost; the Beetle is, after all, a much more difficult shape to render in LEGO. This really isn't a fair comparison! Everything about that Mini is spot on - probably the only thing about it I would change is the tinted windows. So how do they sit together on the shelf? Pretty well, actually, though the scale is off, and the Mini is noticeably larger than it ought it be compared to the Beetle (I estimate it would need to be 3 studs narrower to be at the correct scale). But who cares about that when they look so good! If you had to choose, which would you buy? The Mini, despite slightly fewer pieces, is more expensive, though only just - this may be a licensing issue. The Beetle is a more interesting build, even if the end result isn't quite so good. Here is how I would sum up this comparison: people might say of the Beetle, 'Wow, that blue LEGO car looks like a Beetle!' But they would say of the Mini, 'you know, that Mini model is actually made of LEGO!' But is that a good thing? Maybe it's all down to the Battle of the Picnics: Conclusion This has been a really difficult set to review. Inspired in no small way by the joy that is the Mini, I was eagerly anticipating this set, and really wanted to love it. I like it, but do I love it? I'm not so sure. The parts selection is interesting and useful, and largely in an unusual colour. The build is fun and instructive. The way those curves are achieved is delightful ... but it's just not quite accurate enough. I've been spoiled by the Mini's near-perfection, and this is a much more difficult and less forgiving original, so it's understandable - but disappointing all the same. Design 7 It's just not quite a Beetle, though it's close. Parts 8 A useful selection and unusual colour. More chrome or silver would be welcome. And what's with the crumpled instructions, TLG? Build 9 Fun, engaging, and instructive. Features 7 Opening compartments, doors, folding seats, picnic stuff, but this is a display set, really, and the cool box and surfboard are actually a bit of a distraction. Give me chrome instead! Value 9 At under £70 this is really good value - in the UK, at least. Overall 80% My Score 7/10 Do I like it? Yes. Do I love it? No. Would I buy it (if I didn't already have it)? Oh yes. Do I want to see more classic vehicles? Absolutely. I just wish they'd tilted that windscreen ... Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the review. Comments welcome. Rufus Resources 1. VW Beetle on Wikipedia 2. VW air-cooled engine My flickr album
  6. Still alive! Pandy and I are very much hoping to come, with the kids, plus 2 other AFOL adults if there's still space! I suspect we'll make our own arrangements for accommodation.
  7. Trying to get his life back

  8. I had a similar problem in my copy of the set, which I noted when I reviewed it here. Two of the stickers had come off completely; I've stuck them back on in this picture. I suggest call LEGO Customer Services and they may send you a replacement; as it's a discontinued set they might not be able to, but I've managed to get them to send replacement parts for long-discontinued sets before so it's worth a try.
  9. You're welcome, but please don't forget to thank Julie and the CEE team from The LEGO Group - the contest was their brainchild and without them this wouldn't have been possible.
  10. Winners are announced! I'll close this thread now - please use the winners thread if you have any further questions.
  11. The Turtle Contest Prizewinners are announced! The LEGO Group's expert judging panel have determined the prize winning entries of the Turtle Competition. Click the banner to see the results in the Special Themes Forum!
  12. Turtle Contest Prizewinners are announced! The LEGO Group's expert judging panel Peter Reid, Mark Stafford and Karen Frost Sørensen have determined the winners of the turtle competition. They are as follows: 1st Place #136 SpaceySmoke 2nd Place #32 Yatkuu 3rd Place #4 Devid We have decided to award an extra prize (a signed Exo Suit) for Crowd Favorite to: #58 Siercon and Coral The winner of the raffle is: #17 MECHALEX. We don't yet know which turtles will make the poster, as that's now been left to the designer, so we can't announce that as of yet. Everyone whose turtle makes the poster will receive a copy of the poster. Expect an announcement with the poster winners later this month. The prizes will be sent out at the end of the month, after the Fan Weekend in Skærbæk, Denmark, when we will have Peter and Mark on hand to sign the boxes that the winners will receive. Please would winners send a PM to julochka containing your postal address and contact telephone number including country code. Thank you to everyone who took part! We have never seen such a huge number of quality entries in a contest here on Eurobricks. This was the first such direct collaboration between The LEGO Group and Eurobricks and it is great to see such a fantastic response. Julie (TLG) and Rufus (EB)
  13. Voting is now closed. Thank you to everyone who has voted. The contest will now go to judging and we will keep you informed.
  14. Last chance for you to vote in The Turtle Insanity Contest! If you haven't yet voted, now's the time! If you have voted already: please check your vote follows the rules or it won't count. Click the banner to see the amazing entries and make your vote in the Special Themes Forum!
  15. Official ruling on Licensed parts There has been extensive discussion on Eurobricks and at The LEGO Group, and is has been decided that Licensed parts will be allowed provided they do not explicitly represent the Licensed Theme from which they are taken. This means that the turtle shell in entry number 25, and all the entries listed in the posts above are allowable, but unfortunately the Batarang in entry number 71 is not. Entry number 25 is henceforth eligible for the shortlist. You may of course change your votes up to the voting deadline. Any further queries will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Thanks for your patience: this contest is the first time such a collaboration has taken place.