The latest promotion with a $50 purchase in the US is 30252 Mini VW Beetle. Fans have been waiting for this to complement the 10252 Volkswagen Beetle set issued last year, which was pretty terrific. Does the smaller version measure up?
Having seen all the promos associated with this as a polybag, I was pleasantly surprised when I checked out at the LEGO store to see that the Mini VW Beetle comes in a very attractive box, like the London Bus from last year. The front of the box shows the model in the same setting as the original set, on a coastline very reminiscent of California. Similarly, the back of the box shows the model on the beach, with the surfboard and cooler next to the car.
The box does have one of those annoying thumb tab openings, but it's nothing a sharp knife can't fix. Inside the box we have two unnumbered bags, an instruction booklet and a small sticker sheet.
The build starts with the chassis and I think one of the best parts of the build was remembering how fun the build was for the larger set. I was reminded of this mostly when putting in the 1x2 cheese slopes that function as the back of the seats; as putting together the seats on the larger sets was one of my favourite parts of that build. In the smaller version the front detailing of the VW logo and the license plates are provided by stickers as opposed to printed tiles in the larger set.
Unlike the original set there is no choice offered on the license plates, and we get a classic yellow California license plate, which sort of spells out the first name of the designer -- Melody Caddick.
The rear detailing is also provided with stickers - both the license plates and the rear tail lights. It's a little disappointing to have the tail lights as stickers as I did miss having the red translucent tiles.
The windows are added by using clear tiles and bricks, and just like the original model, stickers are used to show the curves of the rear windows. 1x2 bow tiles are used to finish the curved shape of the roof.
The model is finished by the roof rack and accessories. The surfboard colouring is provided by stickers, which are a little challenging to line up properly.
I think this a great little set for a promo. While the set is free with a $50 purchase in the U.S., this is considered a $9.99 set. At 141 pieces, this is a terrific value. While it's pretty near impossible to recreate all the curves of a VW Beetle on such a small scale, I think the designer has done a good job of recreating the iconic look of the Beetle. I particularly like the details that have been included, from the rear view mirrors to the roof rack and accessories. My only (minor) disappointment is that the tail lights are represented by stickers as opposed to translucent red tiles.
If you're in need of $50 (or £35) of LEGO the beginning of this month (and who doesn't?), this is worth picking up. Though I probably wouldn't wait long - considering the anticipation for this set, it may sell out quickly. It appears it may already be sold out on the U.S. [email protected], so your best bet may be a brand store. For those of you who are Friends fans, there's an opportunity to double up (as I did) - get a Friends set worth $20 or more and you'll get the Friends tic tac toe set - something else that's great for an Easter basket.