Building the ultimate LEGO car

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Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 400

LEGO seems to be getting a lot of coverage of in the mainstream media these days. Two articles at newspaper websites were brought to my attention this week:

MrFootball found a piece in the Wall Street Journal titled For Some Grown-Ups, Playing With Legos (SIC) Is a Serious Business which is an article about LEGO Certified Professionals making money from the hobby.

lbh1876 pointed me at an excellent write-up and video about building the ultimate LEGO car (the Mercedes Unimog) at The Telegraph's website today, which you can watch below:

(I've embedded the script but it's not showing for me, if it isn't for you either, click here to view it).

It makes quite interesting viewing seeing how a non-AFOL tackles the build. Tipping all the parts on the table like that for starters is a sure-fire way of increasing the build-time considerably. I can't remember how long it took me to build but it certainly wasn't 9-and-a-half hours!

I suspect if you've been wondering whether to buy it or not, after watching the video you may well be going out to get it tomorrow!

22 comments on this article

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By in {Unknown country},

My first thought when seeing this was: his back must hurt from hanging over the table like that! I guess that's why he sat down on Monday... But yes, a definate must-get when it's on discount somewhere.

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By in United States,

If you love Unimogs, big sets, or want a fun challenging set then I would get this.

Its a great price for what you get, plus it's got resale value :)

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By in Canada,

^^ Good point. I have a bench at kitchen worktop height, as I much prefer building while standing, for some reason!

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By in United Kingdom,

"I can't remember how long it took me to build but it certainly wasn't 9-and-a-half hours"

I estimate it will take me a good 15 hours - I am ashamed to say! Two of those would be spent on the stickers alone!

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By in Germany,

@Huw: Everyone has their "style" of building. ;)

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By in United Kingdom,

"Bits falling off it, that can't be good..." I cracked up when he said that... if there's bits falling off it then it ain't built right!

As I recall it took me about 7 and a half hours... and I consider myself pretty experienced with Technic. Also, I usually build on my bedroom floor, but I was pretty lucky with the Unimog to claim the dining room table... I could really do with standing up though because looking for bits is hard when you're stuck in a chair...

And yeah, you should definitely get this one if you're a Technic fan. It's a work of genius. I actually found it an easier build than 8043 from last year - the gearbox was so much more complex in that case.

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By in Netherlands,

I'm so lucky to have this outstanding model. It's a real WOW!! And maybe the best thing is that it only was €130 when I bought it. I was so lucky with all the sales (30% and 15% off).
But I'm keeping the box closed untill Christmas Holiday: it's so hard to not open it (A)

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By in United States,

I have to admit that this video has greatly increased my desire to try this set out. However, the video seems to showcase a ridiculously loosey-goosey suspension. Is that just how this model is? Is it a problem? Seems like putting anything of significant weight into the bed would make it lean to a side.

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By in United States,

No!! Don't wait till tomorrow, Get it Now!!

Great video, definitely not a FOL!!
Not quite sure how long it took me, I spent 3 or 4 evenings and 2 mornings building.

@odindusk: Not really, I put 2 AA battery boxes on one side and it doesn't sway significantly.

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By in United Kingdom,

Well he certainly got his money's worth out of the build. But I must say it took me about 6 or 7 hours in front of the TV.
For me, the only thing that lets this set down, is the lack of motor drive to the four wheel drive system. I feel it was a missed opportunity to make a great set into the best of all time.

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By in United Kingdom,

took me about seven and and a half hours to build mine, in stages over a weekend, using the dining room table, where it still lives, a further hour and a half to build the snowplough attachments once I had bought the parts.

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By in United Kingdom,

"However, the video seems to showcase a ridiculously loosey-goosey suspension. Is that just how this model is? Is it a problem? Seems like putting anything of significant weight into the bed would make it lean to a side."

Just like the real-life truck. Skip to about 40-45 seconds to see the suspension at its exteme.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaaT5H08Lvg&feature=related

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By in United States,

You weren't kidding - thanks.

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By in Canada,

My longest build was around the 9-hour mark, but it was for the 8421 Mobile crane. Since the Unimog has more pieces, I could see it taking a while to complete.

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By in Germany,

@flump: Good grief, that's some SERIOUS flex! :P

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By in Canada,

^^ The unimog does take a while, and I can't remember exactly how long, but one advantage it has over similarly sized Technic sets is that the parts are divided into 4 subassemblies so you don't have to root through them all, and that's what can take a lot of time.

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By in United Kingdom,

My record is 7 hours for the first time I put 8480 together - I look forward to topping that when I (eventually) get the Unimog.

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By in United States,

^^Yes, but about half the pieces are in bags numbered 1.

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By in United States,

Dang, that man has NO lego experience! Standing up, tipping out every last bag. What a n00b. :P

@flump, DANG! That guy had some serious bad luck!

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By in United Kingdom,

my longest build was about a weekend, but that was rebuilding loads of sets then making a town which still stands to this day, half it find the picies!

and that feel of needing a wee but wanting to finish the build and then play with it, Join the club you overpaid underworked reporter who has nothing better to do than play with lego all day!!?!

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By in Australia,

i have the black crane truck, 599 ferrari, the block version of the f1 ferrari, excavator, unimog and ucs millenium falcon all in boxes waiting to be built. first i have to finish the house extensions! part of the extension was an "office" that is 5m x 5m with a 1.2m deep closet.

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