Sopwith Camel press release

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Sopwith Camel

BILLUND, Denmark –The legendary Sopwith Camel, the aircraft flown by WWI aces and one of the most recognisable British aircraft to take to the skies, has been recreated as a LEGO® Exclusive model.

The biplane that took on the Red Baron Manfred von Richthofen and his flying circus has been turned into an authentic model with moving parts that captures the Sopwith Camel’s classic looks.

“Getting to design it was a real treat,” says Jamie Berard, Lead Designer for LEGO Exclusives. “We made a Sopwith Camel in 2001, but that was more of a visual model, beautiful to look at but without any functionality.”

Just like the real aeroplane, the joystick in the cockpit can move the ailerons and elevators using string rather than gears or levers. “The string goes up over the wings and can operate the ailerons on both wings at the same time. It was a real challenge to work on,” says Jamie.

The powerful rotary engine that gave the Sopwith Camel its distinct look has also been recreated and features a rotating propeller and rotating engine cylinders.

The model has 883 bricks and includes rare dark green, dark tan and metallic silver elements. It measures over 15” (40cm) long and has a wingspan of over 19” (50 cm).

The scale was carefully chosen to take account of the size of the large, powerful engine that drove the plane and so that the string could function properly with ailerons. “That allowed us to make a bigger wingspan more true to the original aircraft and a wider body that makes it easy to hold as you fly it around.”

In addition the Sopwith Camel has many sought-after parts including some metallic parts on the cowling and new 1x1 round tiles. “We’re also introducing the 1x1 brick in dark tan, which was on our top ten list of elements that our fans want and we give you quite a few of them,” adds Jamie. “We have tried to avoid stickers wherever possible and have a brick-built rudder in the characteristic red, white and blue of the original. Also included are dark green 8x16 plates and 1x3 tiles in the same colour.”

The 10226 Sopwith Camel is on sale from June 1, 2012 via http://shop.lego.com/ or LEGO Brand Retail Stores. Find your nearest store here: http://stores.lego.com.

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The marketing blurb reads:

10226 Sopwith Camel Ages 14+. 883 pieces, US $99.99, CA $129.99, DE 89.99 €, UK £79.99, DK 799DKK

Relive a classic era of aviation history with the Sopwith Camel biplane!

Recreate your very own piece of aviation history with the historic Sopwith Camel. This detailed replica of one of the most recognizable British single-seat biplanes ever to have graced the skies. Features include a realistic rotating propeller and engine cylinders, hinged tail rudder, realistic tension wires, functioning wing ailerons and tail flaps that can be controlled from the cockpit – just like the real plane! The detail doesn’t stop there; this authentic model has over 880 bricks, including dark green, dark tan and metallic silver elements.

  • Features include a rotating propeller and engine cylinders, hinged tail rudder, functioning wing ailerons and tail flaps that can be controlled from the cockpit
  • Includes dark green, dark tan and metallic silver elements
  • Recreate a piece of aviation history
  • Turn the propellers and see the cylinders rotate
  • Model measures over 15” (40cm) long and has a wingspan of over 19” (50 cm)

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Here's the designer video:

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I've added more pictures to the set details page (10226). I've also been sent a good picture of the mini Sopwith Camel 40049, complete with Belgian buns on its wings :-)

40 comments on this article

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By in Germany,

Does look wonderful... Too bad it's a war plane. :P Wonder why LEGO decided to make it again. :P Didn't LEGO say they never wanted to make an explicit "Army" theme?

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By in United States,

I think there's a big difference between a "war" theme and a collector's item like this. It doesn't include any aggressor to shoot down, it's just a plane.

And a very nice one, too. I'm not usually interested in these models but the Sopwith Camel appeals to me. Should have included a Snoopy minifigure!

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By in United Kingdom,

This looks superb. Love the plane in reality and this seems to be a really fantastic representation of it!

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By in United States,

"Recreate your very own piece of aviation history with the historic Sopwith Camel. This detailed replica of one of the most recognizable British single-seat biplanes ever to have graced the skies."

Based on this statement, it would appear that the key determining factor is historical significance. As such, I would think that the door is not entirely closed for other potential "military" sets provided they reached either some kind of iconic status or had civilian uses as well. We've already had a few versions of the Sikorski Sky Crane which first began as a military aircraft. We've also got what I would guess is a version of the Boeing CH-47 Chinook with the recent Police Heavy Lift Chopper. I don't recall the aircraft name, but someone in the Forum also mentioned that the Sonic Boom is largely based off of a military design. Personally, I'm hoping for a C-130 Hercules or C-5 Galaxy. :o)

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By in United Kingdom,

Really hope they will make more large scale aircrafts, spitfires still on the top of my list :)

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By in Australia,

how much the TLG will charge us in australia???
$169.99 or $199.99 !@#$%^&*(

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By in United Kingdom,

Looks a rather nice model, too bad I probably won't fond the cash or space for such a set with LOTR, star wars and monst fighters.

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By in United States,

>It doesn't include any aggressor to shoot down, it's just a plane.

Um, remember 10024 Red Baron? AKA Fokker DR 1, German WW1 plane. There's your aggressor! My original Sopwith Camel and DR1 have been shooting each other down for many years. Their stickers may be cracked and peeling but they still look great. :) Cheers.

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By in Germany,

@yellowcastle: So how about a Spitfire, then? :P

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By in United Kingdom,

Lego - TAKE MY MONEY.

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By in United States,

Wow that is nice set. Must have.

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By in United Kingdom,

Having seen it "in the flesh" I can confirm it's a lovely set - a must-buy for me !

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By in United States,

How exactly is string expensive?

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By in United States,

@ShotOnce, String is probably expensive because they buy through a vendor. Whereas, any brick they want can be made easily in-house.

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By in United States,

This is so weird that you posted this. I was just looking at Lego.com and saw this under the new items and immediately ran to their Youtube channel to check the set out.

Definitely a must-have for me too!

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By in Canada,

I'm going to have to give up transformers collecting just so I can buy more lego.

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By in United States,

“We’re also introducing the 1x1 brick in dark tan, which was on our top ten list of elements that our fans want and we give you quite a few of them,”

This statement interested me. How do they track "most wanted elements" and where can I put in my vote?

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By in United Kingdom,

@ShotOnce I'd imagine that _this_ string is expensive because it has the little 1x1 studs attached to the ends. Doing that and being able to take tension has got to be reasonably expensive.

@ninjagoyo We were told at AFOLCON that they periodically track most wanted bricks on bricklink.

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By in United Kingdom,

best exclusive for a long time. beautiful colour scheme.

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By in United States,

I wasn't planning to buy this set, but after seeing the size and functionality, I think I will.

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By in United States,

So, did anyone else hear Jamie mention, in the conversation about the engine (about 2:53), a new "1 x 1 round slope"? Any more info on those?

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By in United States,

@cmrt1014, yeah I heard that too. Wasn't sure what he meant...1x1 round slope? Maybe he misspoke and meant 1x1 round tile?
Beauty of a kit. A must have.
Like others have said, I'm hoping they'd regard WWII as a 'classic/historic significance/nostalgic era'...and I can a nice Sherman tank and/or WWII battleships.

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By in United States,

On the mini Sopwith, it was buggin' me how they did the wing roundels (a nice printed tile would've been great) but with Huw's reference to Belgian Buns just made it....tasty for me...;)

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By in Canada,

I think my old mail carrier retired because he got tired of dragging all these large Lego exclusive sets to my frontdoor. I'm pleased to here it won't be setting me back any more than your average big retail store set. I planned on buying this set as soon as I heard the rumour Lego was building another... price was never an issue.

For me, It'll be the "must have" of 2012... and yes, there's a lot of competition.

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By in United States,

I thought LEGO had a policy against making sets which have a military background or theme. I once wrote to them as a kid to ask them to produce a military theme which included tanks and planes but got a response that military vehicles do not represent the LEGO company's values. Isn't this plane a former warplane? This seems a bit hypocritical to me so I won't be purchasing this set. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful looking set, but at the same time I wish Lego would be willing to do some modern military vehicles. I think it would be awesome and very profitable for LEGO if they were to produce a theme of various naval ships.

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By in United States,

^bigjsd
You actually got a written response? Its not like LEGO these days...

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By in United States,

@legoDad42 Don't hold your breath on the tank. There's a pretty big psychological difference between an airplane and a tank, even if both are weapons of war. Parents who wouldn't even think twice about complaining about their kid having a warplane are going to get all worked up over a tank. A lot less nostalgia and romance and a lot more in your face close-range killing machine.

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By in United States,

It isn't very often that I see a set that I want to rush out and buy the second it hits the stores, but this is definitely one of them. This will look great in my office!

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By in United States,

Yeah, as far as historical war machines go, it's just a matter of distance for lego. Clearly they've made age of sail ships with firing cannons, medieval catapults, roman warriors . . . Star wars has no shortage of battalions backed up by tanks and artillery.

WWII is just so close to home for so many people though. I imagine we might see some kind of aircraft carrier model someday. I don't think we're ever going to see tanks that drove through the jungles of Asia or the trenches of Europe, though.

And yeah, this set is sweet!! Easily best this this year . . . though if they don't screw the B-wing up there might be some competition.

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By in Australia,

@aresze and other pitchfork wielders; already on the lego australia site for $129.

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By in Germany,

WWI is historized and most of the machinery used in this war looks archaic compared to todays standards. WWII machinery is not only close enough to todays weaponery, but the war is still a lot closer to us, as are the attrocities and war crimes commited. In the public eye, WWI was a much "cleaner" war (WWII = Holocaust, WWI= trench warfare) and especially pilots where considered "knights of the sky", even though this image was never true.
There is no way Lego will produce a Spitfire anytime soon - much less a German Messerschmitt Bf109 - you will probably have to wait another 50 years.
And they will probably never produce a tank, no matter which war it is coming from. The Star Wars "tanks" are not even close to a real tank, so there is no possibility to quickly change the model into something resembling a Churchill or Sherman. And of course the SW vehicles never crushed anyone with family ties to Earth.
As for the model - it is awesome. I will buy it and I hope there will be follow-ups.

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm not really into the "real" vehicles that Lego produces, but this model looks amazing!

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By in United States,

@Mr. Football- "It isn't very often that I see a set that I want to rush out and buy the second it hits the stores" That's every set for me!

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By in United States,

Stoked! Thanks for this one Lego - definite must buy. Please consider making a new Fokker DR1 triplane to go with it!

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By in United States,

Yes Mr. Mini Van I actually got a written response from LEGO regarding my suggestion of a military theme. Keep in mind that was 28 years ago. I was only 12 at the time. I completely understand there reasoning of not wanting to make military vehicles. I do agree with Mickitat that this particular set is based upon an aircraft that is so historical that it certainly does nothing to invoke any kind of image of war. I still think I will pass on this set though, got too many other sets way ahead on the priority list.

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By in Australia,

Well, technically all the cannons, crossbows, catapults and swords are weapons now, they're just antique. With WWI almost a century ago, you could argue the same thing about the Sopwith Camel.

It's listed on the Australian shop.lego site at $129. If that is the case, that's a nice change from the normal mark-ups we get on these sets. Well done Lego.

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By in United Kingdom,

This is going to be a fantastic set, day one purchase for me. I would also love to see the German Fokker DR1, it only seems fair, go on Lego, you know you want too ;- )

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By in Gibraltar,

I'm looking harder now to move to a bigger house so I can buy this set!

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