You know how sometimes you’ll get a random, unbidden vision that pops into your head, often in the form of a demonic caterpillar that tells you to do terrible things or it will reveal all of your secret and shameful desires to the entire world via a series of paid Facebook ads? Or, if not that, sometimes just random memories, like what happened to me earlier, as I had a vivid visual and sensory memory of that Lego tow truck and car set up there. I got that when I was a little kid, and loved it, and used the basic way those cars were built as my general template for innumerable small Lego cars to follow. I did add one innovation, though, and I’m not certain if I came up with it on my own or saw it somewhere, but it was very cool. Let me show you.
These lego cars had a lot of important parts, like the 1×1 block with the stud on one side so you could stick a transparent block there to form a headlight or taillight – those were really valuable pieces. Same goes for the doors and windshields, which worked together very well to form an opening hinge for the door.
Speaking of hinges, let’s get to the innovation: by replacing the two 1/3 height 1×2 black Lego pieces that formed the grille of that sporty little car there with a lego hinge piece, you could make a little car with a front-hinged hood that would open!
The hinge face looked plenty grille-like, too – perhaps even more, because of the detailing of the hinge elements in there – and being able to open that hood added all kinds of extra fun when playing with little lego cars.
If I wasn’t so late getting this Cold Start cranked out I’d go dig through Otto’s big Lego bins and find the parts and make one – maybe I’ll update this if I get a chance later today. If not, I encourage you to give it a try, as it’s weirdly satisfying.
Also, regarding that set – I wonder why Lego felt the need to have actual Exxon branding on there? Actually, now that I think about it, Lego and Esso/Exxon partnerships go way way back – in fact, when I was a kid, I had a hand-me-down Lego set from the 1950s (!) that was an Esso station:
What was the story with Lego and Esso – which, I should add, was so named because of S.O., as in Standard Oil! Did you know that? When I learned that I had the same sort of shock when I realized Arby’s was R.B., as in roast beef. This world, she is full of wonders!
I hope your week was dazzling!
Set #6390(and the 10041 reissue) had a car with that very feature
In the ’90s, LEGO used Shell branding for its gas station sets.
LEGO used Shell branding for gas station sets as far back as 1978
in America similar sets were branded as Exxon
I suppose I don’t understand legos anymore. When I was growing up I just had a bin filled with an assortment of bits and I would make whatever I felt like playing with, enjoy it for a couple of hours, and break it back down to the bin. Todays sets are so complex and specific you are almost obligated to build the one thing they were designed to be and then never touch it again. The sets are brilliant and engineering marvels but somehow straddle the line between being models and at the same time toys; without being especially good at either.
The Minecraft sets feel like a return to the old school style Lego sets. They mix in some cool Technic ideas but give you tons of freedom.
“I did add one innovation, though, and I’m not certain if I came up with it on my own or saw it somewhere, but it was very cool. Let me show you.”
Hi Jason, sorry but at least one actual Lego model had this exact hinge/bonnet arrangement:
I had this set in 1984.
It’s amazing how small the scale was of older Lego sets, vs ones even from my childhood 30 years ago. I think I got to Lego age right around the time that sets exploded in size, complexity and cost.
Oh man the tires on those wheels sent me back in time in the most unexpected way.