Set Review: 75880 McLaren 720S (Speed Champions)
Sunday, January 21st, 2018 at 1:46pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
[Source: Nuju Metru]
Today we're going back to 2017 for another set review, one that escaped us before we replaced our calendars in the new year. BZPower Forum Assistant Nuju Metru is sharing his thoughts on 75880 McLaren 720S from the Speed Champions line - a nice small set that's striking in its form and design. Let's go find out if the model is as sweet as the supercar it's based on with Aaron's text and image review!
Hey guys, and welcome to BZPower's review of LEGO Speed Champions set 75880 McLaren 720S! As always, I'd like to heartily thank TLG for giving us at BZP free stuff... I love my job and I love my free LEGO. The opinions expressed in this review, however, are solely those of me, the reviewer. Read on to see my thoughts - captured for you in both a video and a text/image format - on this slick 2017 car. Will this set cross the finish line, or finish in last place? Let's find out!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
It's rather standard. It's a LEGO box. The graphics are nice. Obviously - and fortunately - the first thing that catches the eye is that bright orange car. The backdrop, a clean-looking modern engineering department, makes this car feel like a state-of-the-art stylish racer. It's a nice, subtle way for the packaging to enhance the storytelling of the product.
The back of the box shows off some other views/settings for the car, including a dramatic, rainy road. We also see the car engineer sitting at his desk, coffee in hand, and a look at the real McLaren 720S, which looks a bit less blocky than its LEGO iteration but doesn't upstage the model.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
When you open up the box, a few crinkly bags and an instruction manual come falling out. Just from a first look, you can see 75880 features lots of orange and black bricks.
I won't show you the build process in pictorial form for two main reasons: one, I don't want to spoil these surprises - the kinds of things I enjoy most about a new product - and two, I never look at build-in-progress shots myself when reading these kinds of reviews.
That all said: the most interesting part of the build is probably the back top of the car. A 2x2 rounded slope there gets attached in a very clever and unorthodox way, at a slight angle achieved by a hinge, so that its protruding lip doesn't interfere with a studded surface next to it. Otherwise, the set is a pretty SNOTty exercise, and there's not too much to remark on...
...Except the stickers! For such a small set, this thing uses a lot of stickers for detailing. 18 of them, actually. Most are just swooshy black/greyish lines on orange. I can understand why the design team opted for so many decals, as creating the smooth curves of the 720S at this scale was already very difficult, and some stickered-on texture was an "easy" fix. Nevertheless, I felt very conscious of sticker application during this short build.
Anywho, let's have a look at the finished product.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Before we critique the set from every angle, let's take a look at the most interesting elements included in 75880. They are:
- 4x6 canopy, in trans-black (1x)
- Speed Champions wheel housing part, in orange (4x)
- 2x4 tile, in orange (2x)
- 1x1 round corner tile, in orange (3x, including the extra)
- 1x2 curved slope with facet front R & L, in orange (1x each)
- 2x6 plate with curved corners, in orange (2x)
- 2x2 wedge plates, R & L, in orange (2x each)
- 2x2 wedge plates, R & L, in black (1x each)
- 1x1 round plate with bar attachment, in black (1x)
- Hubcaps 1, in silver (4x)
- Hubcaps 2, in silver (4x)
- Roller skate part, in gold (2x including extra)
But enough about parts. Here's the finished model! First impression: very slick, very orange. The design desk is a great addition, simple but gets its job done. I'm particularly fond of the inclusion of a "model" of the car, that gold roller skate. Let's take a look at the McLaren itself in more depth...
As on the box, the first thing that leaps out about this car is its vibrant color. The orange screams "speed!" and flamboyance; that color choice alone makes the vehicle feel like a world-class sports car. This "orange aura" goes a long way towards selling 75880 - a 6-by-18-stud, roughly rectangular, somewhat blocky LEGO thing - as the McLaren 720S it represents. The touches of black and (loathe though I am to admit it) the subtle shading achieved by the stickers break up the dominant orange, giving more shape to the 720S and making it look dangerously fast, just like the Great White Shark that inspired this car's design (I had to look up the 720S on Google to learn that).
Although the LEGO McLaren is blocky, chunky, and rectilinear by real-life supercar standards, it looks positively sleek within the world of LEGO cars. Minimal studs exposed, plentiful curves, and well-placed angles make this model stand out. I think the strongest parts of the design are the front "face" of the car, achieved with a combination of wedged and curved plates, rounded slopes, and strategically-placed cavities (this is, for me, the most accurate bit of the car), and the back face of the car which, despite its reliance on stickers, comes off elegantly and looks sweet. There's actually an inverted "bumper" part on the underside of the bumper, too, endowing a little more detail.
The interior of the McLaren is nice, done up in black curves and panels. There's even a 1x2 orange plate exposed on the backrest to replicate the striping on the seats of the real thing. It's got room inside for just one driver, and includes ample room for a minifig to sit up straight while inside (without an obtrusive hairpiece). I'm glad for the roominess, and so is our driver. He fits with and without his helmet.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
Most of the play value of this set, aside from how it's fun to roll around the house, lies in its display value. I think the car makes for a striking display item; even with its chunky, brick-built style, the essence of the smooth sports car really comes through. It looks good from all angles, and feels super expensive even though it's just plastic!
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
Well, that's the lot of it. Let's tally things up...
What's to like?
- Bright orange car: striking
- Plenty of orange parts, a handful of interesting ones
- Love the inclusion of the design desk
- Orange was a great choice for "classing up" the model, giving a supercar ambiance
- Car looks super-slick, especially compared to the standard LEGO car
- Minifig can sit upright in a luxurious interior
What's not to like?
- Plentiful stickers that, unfortunately, are integral to capturing feel of source material
- Unavoidably, this is a blocky and rectilinear car; doesn't fully capture fluid lines of slick McLaren
75880 is a fantastic set. It takes a world-class supercar and presents it in brick form; and while some "brickiness" is inherent in the design, this McLaren's vibrant coloration, its smooth lines, and its stickered details contribute to a formidable and striking impression. I'd recommend it to car fans, and even just LEGO fans like me (relatively) uninitiated in the world of automobiles.
Big thanks to LEGO for providing this set and to Aaron for putting together the review (even if he was a bit late ;-) ). We'd love to hear your feedback on the model and the review in either the Talkback topic or the comments on YouTube! And don't forget to keep checking back on BZPower for more LEGO news and reviews!
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