The day is finally here – 1 June 2016 which means I can finally share my long awaited review of one of the most anticipated LEGO Technic sets this year – the 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS!
You’ve read the announcement and you’ve seen the unboxing of this beast of a Technic set, now strap your seatbelts in and get ready for an exhilarating ride as I take you through a comprehensive review of the Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
Special thanks to LEGO for sending over a review copy! All words and opinions of mine are of my own.
I will preface this review with a confession and/or a bit of a disclaimer – I am not a Technic person. In fact, this is the first Technic set that I remember building. I may have built a few as a kid, but I can’t remember them at all.
I’m approaching this review as a complete Technic newbie and as a regular LEGO enthusiast. If you want something a lot more Technical (heh), be sure to check out Sariel’s review for one of the most authoritative LEGO Technic fan’s take on this set. I’m probably going to miss pointing out some of the nuances of the set as I still don’t really get Technic. I mean I get it…, I just don’t get it.
The LEGO Technic Porsche 911 is unlike most other sets, in that part of its appeal is tied to its unique packaging. It’s almost luxurious, the way everything is laid out. From the high end materials used for the boxes, the matte sheen of the inner boxes and how all the contents are presented. Unboxing it really sets the tone for the entire build and model.
As I opened and unboxed the set, there was a palpable sense of excitement for what lay ahead – something that regular LEGO sets don’t evoke.
In case you missed it, here’s my unboxing video!
As I alluded to in my unboxing post, the instruction booklet is one of the highlights of the set and a core ingredient of what makes the Porsche 911 GT3 RS such a collectible. It’s more than just a bunch of instructions. It’s a tome dedicated to honouring and celebrating everything that the iconic Porsche 911 GT3 RS stands for.
The booklet is massive, and begins with one of Ferry Porsche’s most famous quotes – “In the beginning I looked around but couldn’t find the car I dreamt of, so I decided to build it myself” which thoroughly encapsulates what the Porsche 911 is all about.
Paying homage to Porsche’s German heritage, all the content in the book features German text alongside English. I really liked that they did this to give it more of an authentic feel to the stories told.
The booklet is a joy to flip through if you’re an automotive or LEGO Technic fan. There is a wealth of insight, perspective and stories from the Technic team charged with bringing the Technic Porsche 911 to life, drivers and leaders of Porsche AG, all waxing lyrical about the 911 and its undeniable impact on motoring history.
The photography in the booklet is phenomenal, shot and edited to evoke a very moody and gritty feel. There are also quite a number of stunning Porsche 911 photographs, including some historical shots as well.
As excited as you may be to put together the Porsche 911 when you first open it, I highly recommend immersing yourself in the content of the booklet, to get acquainted with the 911’s rich legacy and the philosophy of one of the greatest sportscars ever designed.
It functions well as a coffee table book, something that you can show off to your guests who will undoubtedly marvel at the finished model. I would’ve really loved it if LEGO had split up the manual to two parts, one a proper hardcover book and the other the instructions but that would’ve probably added significantly to the already high retail price.
The book ends with an invitation to begin building the Technic Porsche 911. Let’s get into it.
The contents of the set are broken down into four numbered boxes, each with numbered bags containing all the elements needed. This is what’s in Box 1, the largest box of the bunch.
One of the highlights of this set is that you build the Porsche 911 from the ground up, closely replicating the actual manufacturing process of real 911s. In many ways, it feels like you’re being led along on a journey, playing the active spectator as the Technic Porsche takes shape.
Each main build section is numbered to correspond to the box that you’re building and starts off providing context to what you’re building which is incredibly useful for me not being familiar with Technic or a hardcore motoring enthusiast.
Box 1 starts you off by assembling the gearbox which houses the PDK dual clutch that actually works.
You then move on to build the drivetrain, which is made possible thanks to a labyrinth of complex interlocking gears and Technic thingamabobs.
Here’s another look at what Box 1 builds you.
Here’s a look at how the steering wheel works. I admit, when I built it, I was quite mesmerised by the motion of the Technic parts and how it all moves in unison.
The highlight of Box 1 is the heart of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, the 4.0 litre, flat six engine. It’s constructed quite faithfully, with 6 moving pistons inside which unfortunately is hidden away from sight.
During the build, I was quite amazed that the pistons could actually move up and down in unison. I’ve never built a Technic engine before, so it definitely made me go wow, and helped me appreciate the mechanical properties of it a lot more.
That said, Box 1 took me a whole night and it was an incredibly tedious affair. Putting Technic parts together isn’t really enjoyable to me and I found myself being quite worn out by the whole process despite the build being quite meticulous and the instructions very clear and well-designed.
Box 2 is where things get a bit more interesting as you build the body and frame of the car. It kinda felt like putting the skeleton of the Porsche 911 together.
You start off building two seats, which I liked because they managed to look like seats despite just being made out of Technic elements.
Here’s a work in progress shot where you can see the frame take shape.
This is where the “marriage” takes place, and you fuse the body to the drive train. Box 2 took a very long time as well (maybe I’m a slow builder) and I was glad that most of the car’s insides were mostly finished.
Here’s a closer look at the driver and passenger seat.
The model so far doesn’t really look like a Porsche 911, but there are slight glimpses of orange which give you a slight teaser of things to come.
Box 3 is really when it all starts coming together as the focus shifts from the interior of the 911 to putting together the body. Most of the orange elements and Technic panels start to appear and the build becomes a lot less tedious. It’s at this point that the end result really starts to take shape as you assemble important parts like the roof, bonnet and side panelling.
Here’s the Technic Porsche 911 after you’re done with Box 3. Still quite skeletal but you can start to see the curves and slopes of the Porsche 911 come to the fore.
Box 3 has you completing most of the back as well as the car’s roll cage.
I was incredibly relieved when I arrived at Box 4. This has been a mostly tedious and tiresome build, exacerbated by the fact that I don’t really find a lot of enjoyment in building with Technic parts. I actually took 3 nights of solid building over the weekend to complete this set.
It’s by far the longest I’ve ever spent on a LEGO set and not one that I’ll be looking to repeat any time soon. Thankfully, Box 4 goes by in the breeze as you put together the finishing touches to the car, and build the rear spoiler as well.
The end result is nothing short of beautiful. Instead of traditional lightbox photography like most of my other reviews, I decided to do a full outdoor shoot of the LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS as I figured it would be a lot more fun and give a lot more character to the car.
Despite the harrowing ordeal putting the set together, I couldn’t be happier with the final model of the Porsche 911. I really hope you enjoy some of the photographs below as I had a lot of fun snapping them.
The first thing that strikes you about the 42056 Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS is how massive it is. It is absolutely monstrous in size which helps replicate many of the signature curves of the actual 911.
The real life version of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is a thing of beauty and I’m very happy that the Technic designers have managed to capture most of the signature curves and shape, shrinking it down to a 1:8 scale.
While it doesn’t completely replicate the look of a 911 when compared to the likes of die-cast models, it definitely doesn’t detract from the overall look.
It’s quintessentially and unmistakably a LEGO Technic model, which is apparent thanks to the noticeable gaps between the panels and some of the harsher edges. I don’t think it’s a bad thing and while I may not have the most sophisticated taste in LEGO Technic, the grandiose scale of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS more than makes up for any minor aesthetic flaws.
In terms of actual utility, I’ll be honest and say I couldn’t care less about the insides and all the complex properties that Technic fans appreciate. My LEGO hobby revolves primarily around displaying sets, which is why I am fully and completely satisfied with the Porsche 911 model – simply because it’s an exceptional display piece.
Here’s a look at the Porsche 911 from the side. The proportions are slightly off but for the most part, it does a great job retaining the 911’s signature curves and overall shape.
The front of the car is by far my preferred view as its from this angle that it looks most like a Porsche 911. The angled headlights are particularly stunning and so is the gentle downward slope on the car bonnet.
I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of the bumpers as there are far too many exposed sections and I also don’t quite like the pointy elements used.
Here’s a look at the Porsche 911 from the front.
Like most sets these days, the Technic Porsche 911 relies on stickers to inject a sense of realism to the car. The tiny sticker that bears the Porsche emblem is placed in the front, although I feel that it’s a little too small for my tastes.
The front bonnet opens up to reveal a space that packs a small Porsche carry-bag. I don’t own a Porsche… so I’m not acquainted with the significance of this bag. I guess it’s a rich people thing – something for you to store your racing gear in and inform everyone that you own a Porsche 911.
Despite there being a number of stickers in the set, all is not lost as the side panels above the wheels have printed details.
I really like the iconic yellow Calipers of the PCCB (Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes) and how they pop against the black wheels. Very legit and realistic, which is something that will delight Porsche fans. The yellow calipers are stickers, but you can’t really tell since they’re mostly obstructed by the spokes anyway.
The exclusive rims are gorgeous as well and there’s a printed RS round tile that’s affixed to the centre for added realism.
Here’s a look at how the Porsche doors open up and also a peek into the driver’s seat, the steering wheel, tachometer and of course the PDK double clutch. You can also put the car in Drive, Neutral and Reverse via the PDK selector/shifter.
The interior also plays host to an exclusive laser-printed tile with a special code that you can input into LEGO.com/technic to gain access to exclusive content. This is one of my favourite things about the set as there’s something undeniably classy about owning a piece that’s uniquely personalised to each set and owner – essentially making no two sets the same.
The rear spoilers look pretty cool as well and you can adjust them at different angles.
Here’s a look at the back of the car, where you can see the GT3 RS sticker and the back lights as well. Unlike the front, the back is a lot cleaner and has a more organic, natural look to it.
The back lifts up as well to give you a glimpse of the flat 6 engine.
Here’s how the Porsche 911 looks like from above.
The Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS is an undeniable beauty. As a display piece, I had a blast taking photos of it outdoor, making full use of the gorgeous Australian Autumn colours as a backdrop to my photos.
It’s unlike anything I’ve ever built before and I am most definitely going to display this set for a long, long time, if not permanently – mostly because it looks fierce as hell and I like Porsches.
The Lava Orange colour scheme is quite a contentious issue, but I quite like it as it’s bright, vivid and pure eye-candy. It makes the Porsche 911 stand out in a way that only a bright orange colour scheme can pull off.
When I say that it’s a large model, I am not exaggerating. Here’s the Technic Porsche 911 next to the VW Camper and a couple of smaller LEGO vehicles for scale.
What I liked:
- Packaging, intruction manual/coffee table book and overall premium experience
- An incredibly faithful homage to one of the best sportscars ever
- Set is just perfect when on display
- Really well designed and contains plenty of cool Technic engineering built into it
- It’s massive
What I didn’t like:
- The build was absolutely painful and not enjoyable till the second half
- Some parts like the rubber elements are quite flimsy and pop out while transporting it
Final thoughts: Despite Technic not being a traditional interest of mine, I have to say that I (for the most part) enjoyed the heck out of the LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
Everything about this set screams amazing and it’s truly one of the most exceptional LEGO Technic sets that have ever been produced. The Technic Porsche 911 is ambitious, bold and overwhelmingly pushes the envelope of LEGO Technic as a medium – mirroring the impact and influence that the 911 has on automotive history.
I’m not a Technic fan, which is probably why I didn’t really enjoy or appreciate the build. It took me three long nights of casual building (while watching Netflix) and I would guesstimate that the entire process took at least 15 hours in total. I also discovered that Technic is quite a painful and punishing experience, since you’re constantly having to push pins inside holes, which literally hurt my hands.
That said, it gets a lot better after Box 3 and you’re at the end, putting the finishing touches to the car.
As a regular LEGO fan, I actually developed quite a keen appreciation of LEGO Technic and the model as I was building it. It didn’t instantly transform me into a Technic fan, but I can definitely see the appeal with fans. I just couldn’t enjoy the process and I toiled all the way to the end.
Thankfully, the end more than makes up for the sleepless nights building the majestic LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS. This set is pure eye-candy. You can tell that the design team truly put their hearts and souls into the Porsche 911 to best capture the iconic elements that made it into one of the most beloved sportscars of all time.
It’s such a stunning display model and extremely photogenic to boot. I would venture that this is one of the best display pieces in my entire collection.
The LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS is truly an experience that’s unlike any other. From the moment you hold the massive black matte box, lift the lid and peer into the contents, flip through the book and build the set to completion, it feels like a complete, enriching and awe-inspiring experience. I definitely developed an even greater love for the Porsche 911 after this.
A lot of fans are undoubtedly going to baulk at the AU$500/US$300 price tag and that’s perfectly understandable since this set isn’t for everyone – the same way that a real Porsche 911 GT3 RS isn’t for everyone.
If you’re an adult LEGO fan with sufficient disposable income, or if you’re a huge Technic fan, this set is a no brainer. You will absolutely enjoy all that the Porsche 911 GT3 RS has to offer, possibly even more than me!
That said, if you’d like to experience a LEGO set unlike any other, I highly recommend this set. It will completely alter what you would typically expect from a retail LEGO set and open up your eyes to the complete LEGO experience at its finest. Like a luxurious sportscar, it comes down to the entire experience – the emotion, prestige and pure exhilaration that can only be evoked by a Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
As a collectible, this is one of those sets that are definitely going to increase in price, purely because of its design and the Porsche 911’s notoriety amongst motoring enthusiasts.
That concludes my review of LEGO 42056 Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS! I hope you enjoyed the photos (and words) as much as I did taking them!
The Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS should be on sale from LEGO.com now. If you’re on the fence about the set, I urge you not to wait as this is possibly one of the most heavily anticipated Technic sets of all time and will definitely sell out incredible quickly.
Are you going to buy the Porsche 911 GT3 RS? Let me know what you think of this amazing set in the comments!
Special thanks to LEGO for sending me a review copy. All words are of my own and are not influenced in anyway.
PS: so sorry if I’ve been unresponsive and haven’t posted much. Have had the busiest week with work but things have gotten back to normal (hopefully) so I should be back to producing regular content!