LEGO® Set Review: 5541 Blue Fury
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Model Team / Model

Blue Fury (us)
Fureur Bleue (fr)
Furia Azul (es)
Hot Rod (da)
Hot Rod Speedster (de)

Ages 9-16 / 419 Pcs
32 page manual. 2 models: 28 steps for main model, 25 steps for secondary model. ©1995
Price Range: US$39.50 (S@H); US$35.95 (most stores); Paid US$30.92 at K-Mart (20% off)
Special Features / Compatibility
Extra Elements
Decals:
Scale:
Errors:


Conclusion
Buy this for the office or for the display shelf and everyone will be impressed. It is definitely a good-looking and “finished” looking set. Great piece selection with many possiblities for use in other LEGO sets. Not really a toy for use with other LEGO sets.

Description

The main model is a “hot-rod” style automobile primarily in blue with a red seat, chrome dual exhaust pipes and black and grey chassis and trim. It is approximately nine inches long and looks both authentic and “polished” when complete. This is a set designed to be built and displayed. The secondary model is also a blue racing vehicle. It looks vaguely look a “formula Vee” car with a rear-mounted engine.

All the “model Team” series appear to have good piece counts and the Blue Fury is no exception. With 419 pieces and a sale price of $30.92, it works out to seven cents a piece. In addition, almost the entire set is built of plates and curved pieces. It has many 1x2 plates and [1x1 Round Plates] (“buttons”).

Impression

Making the seat a real two-person wide bench seat or moving it to the left would have made the model both more realistic and more “playable.” It is still the closest The LEGO Group has come to offering wheels for the Belville series. Scale is right even if the seating isn't.

Ratings

Set Rating:Must-Have

The LEGO “Model Team” series are a strange hybrid. While officially part of the "LEGO SYSTEM," the sets have many features more in common with LEGO Technic. This set is no exception. The instructions picture pieces needed for each step and start off with a rod-measuring chart. The instructions definitely feel like technic instructions. Assembly is complicated and requires close attention to the illustrations and constant checking and re-checking. While I do not think the average 12-year-old would have trouble with this, it would be real challenge for many 9-year-olds (the low age given on the box).

The focus of the set is on realism. As a result, it has few “working” features. The steering is smooth rack-and-pinon but the motor is for looks only, the rear wheels have no differential and no suspension.

Model Rating:Excellent

Very realistic and neat-looking when finished. In fact, from the steering-wheel front, the car has almost no exposed knobs in the finished model!

Playability Rating:Fair

Compatibility is a real problem. The scale doesn't quite match any other LEGO sets—which makes me wonder how it could be part of the LEGO SYSTEM. The seat is a particular problem. In scale it would appear to match the Belville adult scale of 4 inches height for adult (technic [figures] are 3-and-a-half inch scale, Belville children are 3 inches). But the seat is too wide and centered and there is no room under the steering wheel for feet. The steering wheel is also too small. If you put a Belville adult in the seat with her back against the seat, she can't reach the steering wheel and she ends up straddling the floor-mounted gear-shift (ouch!). Put her to the left and her feet don't fit. Smaller LEGO figures don't fit at all. It is difficult to see how any child could “play” with this set once built since it does not appear to really work with any other sets. That is why I have rated the playability only fair.

Elements

Special Elements

The chrome “pipes” which form the dual exhausts are the obvious special pieces. The chrome headlights are also unique, although they are obtainable through LEGO Dacta. The back of the seat is formed with two-brick-high, 4x base, 2x top slope pieces. These are rare; the princess' dress is made of one of these in the King's Mountain Fortress. The set has four blue and two red “noodle” pieces and numerous curved pieces that help model the fire-wall and rear fenders.
Reviewer Information
Reviewer Name Age (at review) E-Mail WWW Favorite Product Lines/Themes
Wes Loder 50 MWL2@psuvm.psu.edu --- Trains and associated town stuff.

My Job: Academic Librarian with the Pennsylvania State University, Schuylkill Campus.


Copyright

Copyright 1995. Wes Loder. Obtain permission from me before re-publishing.
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