Dom's Dodge Charger: LEGO, Amazon US
I was in my local Wal-Mart this past Sunday afternoon picking up some quarantine supplies. While in there, I happed to go by the LEGO aisle. I always check this aisle because sometimes you can find sets on clearance at a good discount. I didn't find any good discounts, but I happened to see this set on the shelf all by itself. I knew it was coming out in April but I didn't remember when. I was not all that interested in this model when I saw the announcement on Facebook, but I had a feeling that I might have stumbled across it on sale a few days early. I have found sets on sale early at this particular Wal-Mart before, but the last time the set was only on sale a day early and it wasn't even in their cash register system. I scanned this model using the Wal-Mart app on my phone and found out that it was listed as costing $99. Ok, I guess maybe they released it. I'll buy it.
I get home and check on the release date of this model. It isn't supposed to be released for 3 more weeks! I've never found one on sale that early! I thought it would be an interesting little find so I posted a photo on the Facebook LEGO Technic Group. It blew up! Several people claimed my photo was Photoshop as a site that checks for Photoshop fakes incorrectly identified it as fake (it was not) and that Wal-Mart's Point of Sale system should not have let me buy it that early. I wasn't planning on building it right away, as I was in the middle of building another set, but there was so much requests for more photos and more information on the set, I opened it up. After posting some more pictures, the skeptics on Facebook finally believed me that it was real. I set out to open it up and start building it so everyone else could get an early look at it. Here's what I found.
- 1077 pieces including a few spares of the smaller pieces
- 8 bags, numbered 1 through 4
- 4 rubber tires
- A large frame
- Instruction manual
- Sheet of stickers
All in all, this was a pretty easy build. The numbered bags greatly reduce the number of pieces you have to search through to finish each stage of the build. I often have trouble with Technic models that contain a lot of gears, but this one did not have that many, so it was no problem. There were a couple of places where the instructions had you insert pieces into weird angles. I rarely come across sets that require these weird steps, but this one definitely had a few. There were also a couple places where the instructions don't show clearly what needs to be done, so I had to guess based on visually comparing the before and after photos. This particular problem happens way too often in LEGO instructions.
- Very well done 8 cylinder engine with working pistons
- Chain driven camshaft
- Spring loaded suspension on all 4 ties
- An impressive LEGO differential on the back two tires
- All 4 doors, plus the trunk and hood open and close.
- Fragile front grill easily falls apart
- Weak wheelie bar barely supports the model's weight
- Thin, unstable, uneven front hood.
- Weird, Technic design for the window frames on the doors
- Steering wheel is not connected to front tires so doesn't move when tires are turned in different directions.
This is a fairly cheap model of a cool hot rod car. I really like the design of the engine and suspension, but I don't like the car's body. I'm not a big fan of Technic designs that looks overly 'hole-y' wit lots of gaps in them. This model definitely qualifies as one of those. The entire body is full of holes. This set would serve as a good base for a hot rod model, but toss the ugly body. I much prefer the more clean look of the non-Technic Ford Mustang model. If you like Technic models, it's a fun build, if you prefer the more clean lines of traditional LEGO models, skip this one in favor of the Ford Mustang model.