Thursday, October 29, 2015

#LEGO Speed Champions = LEGO #TopGear? Maybe, Maybe Not.

I am a fan of the BBC show Top Gear. Okay, I was a fan of Top Gear, before the ever-popular presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May left the show, due to the BBC suspending or firing Clarkson for a violent incident with a show producer. Perhaps I'm still a fan of the show, as long as they have classic episodes available on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

I cannot wait for the still-untitled Amazon Prime motoring show, starring Mssrs. Clarkson, Hammond, and May -- or Jezza, Hamster, and Captain Slow, if you're in the know. In the final two series of their BBC run, each presenter test-drove one of the three so-called hypercars: The McLaren P1 for Jezza, the Porsche 918 Spyder for Hamster, and the Ferrari LaFerrari for Captain Slow. I don't think they ever got around to racing/testing the three hypercars, side by side (by side). If their official social media accounts are to be believed, then their new Amazon Prime show might feature the big hypercar race that many have been anticipating.

The show is still untitled, with rumors of names like Gear Knobs and whatnot being constantly debunked by Clarkson, Hammond, and May.  Perhaps the title should be a play on their last name initials of C, H, and M, like the show CHiPs was a play on the abbreviation CHP (California Highway Patrol). CHuMs, maybe? No? How about CHuMps? Or CHaMps? CHiMps? CHoMps? Okay, this was a wasted paragraph.

I have to work on making my blog post introductions brief, but the actual intent of this post might be relatively short. I hypothesize that one of LEGO's current line of toys, Speed Champions, was supposed to be a fully-licensed Top Gear theme. This "conspiracy theory" is light on any evidence, like many conspiracy theories, but it's fun to speculate with the following two or three points:

1. LEGO released an officially-licensed minifigure keychain of The Stig. (If you don't know already, The Stig is the mysteriously anonymous professional race car driver/mascot of Top Gear.) Apparently, this keychain was released in 2012 as a limited edition of 10,000 units. On the other hand, the parts to make a minifigure of The Stig are so straightforward that anyone can make one: White helmet, black visor, white minifigure head (like Voldemort or a skull) or really any minifigure head, white torso with white arms and white hands, and white legs.

2. In early 2015, Top Gear produced a computer-animated promo for the now-final Clarkson/Hammond/May series, featuring the presenters as LEGO minifigures. The car models used in the animation were the then-soon-to-be-released LEGO versions of the P1, 918, and LaFerrari.

I received these LEGO hypercars for my birthday ... because I am all of 8 1/2 years old, apparently. They're good fun and awesome toys for anyone at any age -- is what I keep telling myself.

3. LEGO Speed Champions currently features officially-licensed, plastic brick renditions of Ferrari, Porsche, and McLaren (and McLaren Mercedes) race cars, supercars, and hypercars. Perhaps other automobile makers will join LEGO in the future. In any case, Speed Champions is basically Top Gear in all but name. Perhaps the Speed Champions line really was supposed to be Top Gear, but the deal fell through along the way -- which is okay because the prices for these officially-licensed toys are pretty fair (about $15 per hypercar at the LEGO Store), and adding a BBC product license might have increased the prices dramatically.

Other than waxing poetic about Top Gear and LEGO, I have nothing else to write on this post, not even a snappy, quasi-moralizing conclusion. Here's a photo of my LEGO sigfig (signature minifigure) posing with a LEGO MOC (my own creation) that my brother built of a Mercedes-Benz CLA, next to an actual Mercedes-Benz CLA, or at least the front of it:

I only post this to see the picture whenever I google* "LEGO Mercedes-Benz CLA" or "LEGO CLA" or "LEGO CLA250" or some search term like that. No one else has posted a LEGO CLA MOC on the Internet, as far as I know, so my brother's approximation of a CLA just might be the first! (*It's interesting that lower-case g google is a correctly-spelled verb in Firefox.)

Happy motoring!

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