I’ve always been someone who likes to build things with my hands (tongues just don’t cut it) but I’ve never really built that many car model kits. I’m not sure why, exactly. It’s not like the things I did end up building were more significant in any way, but I think maybe I just didn’t have the patience for all the glue and sprues and ewes that model kits involve. Well, happily, our social media entity Peter sent me a fun, quick model kit of a car with a lot of personal significance to me: a yellow VW Beetle. What makes this kit, made by Airfix, interesting is that it uses a sort of hybrid Lego/conventional model kit approach that’s not like anything I’ve ever seen. So, I got my kid, Otto, to lend some hands and help/impair me in making it, all captured on video for your considerable enjoyment. What a world, right?
To understand what I mean by the Lego/model hybrid, take a look at these pieces:
See what I mean? Airfix is using Lego tech as a means of fastening, while simultaneously designing parts just to hide their secret Legosity. This is all possible because Lego’s patents for their interlocking brick system expired a number of years ago, meaning that anyone can make bricks that are compatible with the Lego System, and strange mutants like this model kit are the result.
Want to see how easy it makes it to build a model? Of course you do! And, there’s Beetle fun facts in this video, as well as a determination of what year this Beetle likely is intended to be:
Look at that! It’s so easy! So quick! Even with a kid whose idea of “helping” is loose, at best!
The amount it doesn’t look like Lego when it’s built is impressive, too. Just compare this to Lego’s two previous attempts to make a Beetle model:
While the pure Lego Beetles definitely have their own idiosyncratic charm, if you’re going for visual accuracy, the Airfix hybrid approach clearly has a huge advantage. I gotta say I really like the pixellated look of Lego’s first Beetle kit on the left, though, because I appreciate a good struggle.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy watching my hands manipulate bits of plastic!
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