Suggested Age: 8-14
Casual Build Time: 2 hours
Dimensions: Truck – over 3″ x 6″ x 3″ / Hot Rod – over 1″ x 4″ x 2″ / Trailer – over 2″ x 7″ x 3″ / Garage – over 2″ x 8″ x 3″ / Crane – over 2″ x 1″ x 1″ / Starting Lights – over 4″ x 1″ x 2″
Brand: Speed Champions
It’s been a long while since I last took a look at the Speed Champions kits and I’ve had my eye on this one for a while. It’s one of the larger sets in the range and has a really neat selection of vehicles and objects – how could I resist?
The set contains all the pieces you need to make the two vehicles, as well as a trailer, engine crane and trolley, starting light, team garage and victory podium. It also comes with four minifigures – two drivers, a mechanic and a race official – and a whole bunch of different tools for them to use.
Here are some more pictures of what you can expect to find in the box and the build process:
The set, on the whole, was very easy to put together. The only really fiddly parts were applying the stickers (most of which went on the truck) and getting all the tools to clip into place in the garage. However, perhaps someone with smaller fingers would have an easier time of this.
LEGO vehicles always look great on display, but this set really excels as a toy. Unlike the smaller Speed Champions sets, you really do have everything that you need to host your own race. There are an amazing number of parts and accessories in this set that make it feel fantastic value for money. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
The least exciting parts of the set are probably the engine crane and starting lights. The lights look good, but don’t actually do anything. There’s no moving parts and so they’re really just for show. The crane is a bit more exciting and is just about sturdy enough to hold the engine, but I’m not sure why you’d bother with it. While the engine does fit the hot rod, the spare looks nowhere near as good as the default one that the car comes with. Still, it’s a nice little set piece that helps to further flesh out your garage.
The podium and garage form a rather impressive reversible set piece. On one side are the the flags and a space where you can display the cute gold trophy. On the other there are racks and clamps to hold the staggering number of little tools for your mechanic. I was amazed by how many accessories are include in this kit. There are enough to fill all the racks, drawers and cupboards – it’s incredibly cool!
My least favourite of the two vehicles is the truck, just because it’s a little generic with its solid blue colouring. While the Ford branding does give it character, it just doesn’t look quite as striking as some of the other vehicles on my shelf, such as the Audi and 4×4. However, it does boast a couple of cool features, including its suspension.
Like the Notorious Lowrider, there are a couple of rubber bands wrapped around the suspension of this vehicle which give it a bit of a spring. You can also remove the roof of the truck to easily get the driver into place, making the Raptor very easy to play around with. Yet, most important of all is the fact that the truck is more than big enough to pull a trailer.
The trailer is simple and easily clips into place on the truck’s tow-bar. It’s just the right size to fit the hot rod, as you can see in the picture above. There is also a small dial under the truck which lowers a little block beneath the trailer, allowing it to stand while it is not attached.
The hot rot is by far my favourite part of this set. I mean, just look at it! It’s really unique amongst the Speed Champions vehicles and looks great. I love the flame decals and moulded engine. The front grill was also kind of cool to put together, slotting into itself like the window frames do in the house kits. Like with the truck, you can also remove the roof of the hot rod to easily put the driver in place.
Finally, there are the minifigures. While there is a nice selection of different roles here, I was a bit disappointed to find that they were all chaps. I personally like to get a mixture of male and female characters and, really, there was nothing to stop them including at least one girl in this set. Still, the figures do look the part and I like the Ford branding on the drivers.
Anyhow, in all this set is just great. There are just so many parts to it that it makes a brilliant toy for a car-mad master builder. I am also fond of the hot rod in particular – it really stands out on my vehicle shelf! This is definitely a set that I’d recommend.