Is 21307 Caterham Seven 620R a great set, or is it simply one of the greatest sets Lego have ever released? Today’s Lego 250 review asks a question that can only be answered by deciding which exclamation you want to throw in front of “YES!”
In its never ending search for new ways to
monetise the shit out of interact with its adult fan base, Lego has made great capital out of its Ideas program. For the uninitiated, Ideas is a website where fans can post their own creations in the hope that Lego will snaffle them up in a production deal, leading to riches, fame, and eventually, some fat bloke in an isolated country town writing a cynical, sarcasm-laden review about your brainchild.
Once you scroll past the 75% of images that come from sad fanboys insisting their version of the Batmobile is better than the several Lego have already produced, and how clearly Lego is just waiting to work out a deal with them instead of the people they already pay to be on staff, any set idea that reaches 10,000 votes is put before the eyes of the Lego brains trust. To date, thirty sets of varying quality and interest have been picked up by Lego.
I have three: I’ve already reviewed the Exosuit, and the Doctor Who set will come along in turn. The Caterham is the third. It’s easily the best.
I’ve been in love with the Caterham ever since I first saw the opening credits of The Prisoner. Like The Prisoner, it epitomises the very heights of late 60s cool: a low-slung, open-topped tourer with equal levels of swagger and insouciance that may as well be called The Dandy Splooshmobile.
Seriously, sexy as all fuck. Even I get moist.
The sexiest car ever to come out of Britain, and Lego. What could be cooler, right?
Except that this set is cool. For a start, it looks freaking great.
As far as Lego sets go, this is as gorgeous as it gets.
The model is a foot and a half long, and every inch of it is packed with astonishingly clever build techniques, odd angles and curvatures, or parts use. That chunky exhaust pipe running along the side of the chassis in the picture above? Held together with lipstick tubes from a Friends set. Look closely at the rear view mirror from the incredibly detailed interior.
I spy with my little eye… wait, what?
Can you see the machine pistol? It’s the central column holding the mirror up.
The entire set is crawling with little moments like that. Check out the engine.
I spy with my little eye… wait. Body parts?
Apart from being beautifully detailed, it contains such things as a whip, a tail-plane, and a minifig head. And the whole build is crammed with parts and techniques that make every step of the building process an utter joy.
The cockpit is stunning.
Honestly, it’s better appointed than my actual car.
The boot is functional: opening to reveal space for the wheel stands and accessories that come with it.
Nothing up my sleeves… nothing inside my head… and yet….
The long sloping bonnet can be removed to show the engine beneath.
Also, check out that angle. You don’t get that angle from bricks with 90 degree corners without a looooot of working things out in pencil…
21307 Caterham Seven 620R is a set that goes against pretty much everything Lego is supposed to stand for. It isn’t for kids. It isn’t a play set. It’s not for touching and exploring. It’s very much a Dad made this and it’s for putting up on a shelf and looking at, so hands off set. And yet…
And yet: it’s absolutely brilliant in every way. Beautiful to look at. Joyous to build. Mind-bogglingly clever in its construction. There simply isn’t anything about it that isn’t wonderful.
Is it the best set Lego has ever released? That’s a big call, and one that may come down to your personal inclinations. But it is definitely* the best set in my collection of pushing-300. It is, quite simply, magnificent.
Splooshmobile is go!
*Opinion is valid until the next set that is definitely the best on in my collection is reviewed. Or the one after that. Or the one after that….
Absolutely magnificent in every way. Unarguably one of the greatest sets ever created.
The League Table of Awesomeness