LEGO® Set Review: 2556 F1 Ferrari (Shell Promotional Set)


[2556 Set Photo] F1 Ferrari (Promotional Set)
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Model Team / Model

597 Pcs
24 page manual: 1 model, 30 steps. ©1997
Price Range: Estimate $60-70 retail.

Review Written: 11 July 1998 by Bill Bradley
Special Features / Compatibility
Extra Elements
  • 3 1x1 round plates (one each of grey, red, yellow)
  • 1 1x1 tile (blue)
  • 1 1x1 "joystick" (grey/grey)
  • 1 Technic bushing
  • 1 Technic half-bushing
  • 1 Technic half-connector peg
  • Decals: Yes
    Scale: As mentioned above, the 2556 seems scaled to match Technic figures. I have not tried to put a Technic figure in the cockpit yet, but it obviously wouldn’t fit due to lack of leg room. If you took off the figure’s lower legs (can you even do that?), it would probably fit just fine.

    Ratings: Set: Very-Good Models: Must-Have Playability: Excellent

    Breathtaking LEGO rendition of real-life vehicle, and a wonderful introduction to the Model Team genre. Must-have set for any fan of both LEGO sets and F1 auto racing.


    Completed model is a red F1 race car with white trim and yellow seat. Decals feature heavy use of the Ferrari and Shell logos. Engine hood is removable to display V-10 engine. Traditional Technic rack-and-pinion steering.

    Front and sides of box display completed set from various angles. Back of box displays set with engine cover removed to show engine.


    In the past, I have had little interest in the Model Team sets. Being a Technic collector, I viewed them as simple and mechanically boring. However, when I first heard of the “Shell Promo Ferrari” on, I pulled up its photo on the Pause Magazine Site, and immediately started to drool. (The fact that I am a big fan of F1/CART/IRL auto racing certainly had something to do with this.

    Having finally acquired one via a trade for some Classic Space sets, I immediately put it together, one lunch hour at a time. I was not disappointed.

    The completed model is of the Ferrari F310b Formula I race car. It is roughly 13" (41 studs) long and the body is around 5" wide (16 studs) at its widest point. In fact, it is about the same size as the Technic set 8440 Formula Flash. Like the 8440, it seems scaled to match the jointed Technic Figures. However, being a Model Team set, it is far more detailed than the 8440, featuring realistic appearance over mechanics.

    The box mentioned two URL’s. The first was (of course), but the second was, the web site of Shell-Ferrari racing. If you look through its photo gallery, the 2556 looks just like the actual F310b, with a few minor exceptions. (Ads from other team sponsors are only shown as colored boxes on the 2556.) Having never built a Model Team set before, I was astonished to see how true-to-life the completed model appeared to be.

    The 2556 features many half-arches and sloped pieces to model the curves of the actual car. Two 1x6x3 half-arches are mounted sideways off the side of the car just behind each front wheel to represent air deflectors. At first, this seems odd-looking and out of place, but a quick peek at a photo of the real car shows these to be accurate.

    The driver's seat is made almost entirely out of yellow tiles and 1x2 grill pieces, and is reminiscent of the seats from the 8880 Super Car. Front-wheel steering is accomplished via a normal technic rack-and-pinion mechanism. Each wheel is mounted on a technic axle next to a medium technic pulley, which represents the car's brakes.

    The engine hood rests on tile pieces, and lifts off to reveal a V-10 engine made of 1x1 round plates and 1x2 grill pieces. Being used to oversized Technic engines (2x2 engine blocks, moving pistons, etc.), I found this to be very elegant and quite realistic-looking.

    The car looks quite nice from just about any angle, but my favorite view, oddly enough, is from the rear. The back of the 2556, like the back of the real F310b, is low, flat, and sleek...and knowing the way I drive, it would be the only view of a real F310b I’d ever see! ;-)


    Set Rating:Very-Good

    I give the 2556 a Set Rating of Very-Good because it adds a number of new pieces to my (predominantly Technic) collection, and is a nice variety of pieces by itself.

    Model Rating:Must-Have

    It most certainly deserves a Model Rating of Must-Have. The 2556 is sitting on my desk at work, and everyone who sees it is impressed. After looking at photos of the real F310b, I am awestruck how true-to-life it appears to be.

    Playability Rating:Excellent

    Its playability rating of Excellent comes from two things. First, it is (of course) fun to roll it around making “vroom vroom” noises. Second, though; this set simply screams out to be motorized: there is a nice empty area in the nose section, put a micromotor there to control the steering; take out the V-10 engine, put in an 8735 motor and a few gears, and voila! I will try this idea once I take it home from work. Without this inspiration, I would have only given the 2556 a Playability Rating of Very-Good.


    My greatest dislike about this set, like the 8440, is the DECALS! The 2556 features a whopping 30 decals, fifteen of which span multiple pieces! In addition, four of these decals in particular are very large (over 1" on each side). However, being familiar with the actual car this models, it would detract from the final appearance to not have these decals.


    Special Elements

  • Four 2-inch Technic air-filled wheels (same as wheels from #8440)
  • Lots of red half-arches (1x2x1.3, 4x2x1.3, 1x3x2, 1x6x3)
  • 1x2x2 brackets (ten red, two black)
  • 4x6 plates w/ 3x4 tile area (two red, two black)
  • 1x3-2x3 vertical-slope pieces (eight “left”, eight “right”, all red)
  • Two 1x2x2 round-topped window frames; One black lattice window to fit


    Large / Cover-Multiple-Bricks
    Reviewer Information
    Reviewer Name Age (at review) E-Mail WWW Favorite Theme
    Bill Bradley 30 --- Technic / Technic Build

    I collect Technic sets, preferring the larger, more complex sets. My favorite sets include 8480, 8880, 8868...and now, 2556. :-)

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