• Toy Department - February 2011

    1 February, 2011

    Lego Model 10197

    Guess what I got for Christmas!

    Well after reading the Club magazine and seeing Lily had received two model kits from Santa, I just had to brag about my Christmas present.  My wonderful daughter Elise knows how much of a old and New Beetle fan I am and after we spotted this on a recent overseas trip she knew it was just the gift for me.

    Unfortunately it’s too large box to bring home on the plane, so it was purchased on-line from USA.  It arrived in one piece or should I say, in 1,626 pieces in one large box and on the box it said Suitable for 16+ years, so I guess that includes me.

    To measure 41cm long and 18cm high upon completion, with doors, boot and bonnet that all open. It is the European 1960 model - Charlotte - with left hand drive. Licensed by Volkswagen and it took some time for this process, from exploring different models of vehicles, presenting them at a fan event in Germany, building design on computer and refining to achieve 100% authenticity before approval was given by VW. All this done by big adult kids of course.

    Inside the box was an outstanding 24 bags of big & small pieces, larger pieces, wheels and tyres, a steering wheel and much more. Some 183 different size, shape & coloured parts of which one of the smallest parts had one of the largest number of pieces 80. The box says ‘Contains Small Parts’ and they were not kidding. All this to occupy me for many hours/days during the Christmas holiday period.

    Thank goodness it came with an instruction book (with pictures and in English) of some 56 pages and, then a second one the same size, which I thought was just a product catalogue. Pieces of Lego from one end of the dining table to the other and sorting them is taken forever. A Do Not Disturb sign put up so I could focus, concentrate and most importantly not lose any pieces...or could they be eaten by Billy the dog.


    So the mammoth effort began; where do I start? Just like the real thing I guess, building a vehicle from the bottom up, and so the rear exhaust tailpipes were the first to be made. Then the floor pan, axles, the tunnel & front wheel arches – up to page 37 in the instructions. Then the tiny radio, foot pedals, gear lever, seats and these all move like the real thing.

    The engine is next, looks just like the real thing, but for the oil leaks, and with a tiny moving fan belt would you
    believe. Wheel arches, all the lights, doors, body & bumpers were assembled whilst painstakingly searching for that elusive  tiny part, it had to be somewhere! Rear vision mirrors, number plates, driving lights, wipers even a
    spare wheel and all has to be assembled in the correct order one piece at a time. All showing great detail typical of a VW Beetle despite this being a round circular car made from mainly square pieces. The design is a tribute to Lego and to VW.

    Nearly complete , only the roof to go and finish the front end. Many hours later and still going not so strong, but the end is near. The pieces are running out, the phoenix has risen and we can have our dining room table back to eat from. Oh no, it appears a few parts are missing so have to make do, now doesn’t this sound like assembling a real one!



    Door handles, blinkers, the spanner, master cylinder, bumper bars, tyres, wheels and even hubcaps have to be individually assembled piece by piece. Finished ..... It rolls along, slowly & smoothly just like the real thing.  24 parts leftover of the 1,626 but still looks & goes well, just like the real thing !

    Paul Cheetham