Hello and welcome to another LEGO guest review by Greg McDonald from the For The Love of Brick podcast. Greg runs a fantastic LEGO podcast, where he interviews plenty of interesting guests from all across the LEGO spectrum.
He’s on hiatus currently, but Greg has been gracious enough to contribute another guest review to the blog – on something that’s quite far out of my comfort zone – LEGO Technic, specifically the 42125 Ferrari 488 GTE “AF Corse #51” released earlier in the year.
Special thanks to LEGO for providing the set for review
42125 Ferrari 488 GTE “AF Corse #51” Set Details
Name: Ferrari 488 GTE “AF Corse #51”
Set Number: 42125
Price: AU$299.99 | US$169.99 | £169.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [UK] [Amazon] [Amazon Australia]
Exclusive to: N/A
Release Date: 1 Jan 2021
I was very much looking forward to reviewing and photographing this set as it is the closest I will ever get to a Ferrari! I decided to take some photos of it without the stickers first, so I could get a sense of how the stickers affect the look of the car.
You can compare the looks with my Before and After photos in case you don’t want to commit to applying the stickers.
The Box and stickers
The bold black of the box looks nice against the contrast of the red Ferrari. The box catches the eye and it makes it feel like you are purchasing the LEGO equivalent of top shelf liquor.
The use of black is more successful in the packaging of the Ferrari as opposed to other sets e.g. Winnie the Pooh.
This set contains twelve bags of LEGO spread across five numbered bags and two blank bags.
The set has two sticker sheets with 57 stickers and thankfully they were placed inside the book, meaning they are unlikely to get wrinkled.
This stage of the build is spread over two bags and consists of building the engine and the rear drive train of the car. This stage has some nifty build techniques like how to build a functioning motor.
I have never built a motor that has moving pistons so I was really impressed with how this is done. I also enjoyed the rear suspension assembly.
This first bag really lets you jump straight into the building experience and you can quickly see how big this car is going to be. Like all Technic sets, take your time as it’s easy to miss or bungle an important step. This resulted in me not noticing I missed a step until something didn’t fit ten pages down the track, and I would spend ages backtracking to figure out my mistake. In saying that, the instructions are fairly clear (for Technic) so mistakes shouldn’t happen that often.
This stage of the build has two bags consisting of the the rest of the chassis and the front end steering.
Again I like how the suspension was done – it’s simple but effective, and the steering was also a treat to see
You get three bags to work on the front body of the Ferrari. The printed headlights on a transparent LEGO
element is a nice touch.
I will try lighting the headlights up in the future to see how well they work. At this stage, the car is starting to take shape and you get a real sense of how big this bad boy is going to be.
This particular section requires careful attention to detail when building the front end. When I was building this section, the front grill didn’t look flush and it was simply due to a L-shaped lift arm being flipped the wrong way around, throwing out the entire front.
In bag 4, you have two bags to build the rear and attach the back panels. I love the rear wheel panels, they
help enhance this car’s curves.
You have three bags in the home stretch. This part of the build focuses on the doors, roof and rear wing, as well as the wheels. It all comes together fairly easy at this point. The Ferrari looks sweet once completed, as you can see from the photos.
This part of the build did highlight some real concerns for me about the build that had been niggling at me throughout the entire build. The car does feel a bit flimsy i.e. it flexes more than I thought it would.
An example is if you pick the car up from the roof, it feels like it will pop off or you will knock out the flex tube. Or you feel like you might knock out the driver’s seat if you pick it up from underneath.
I also discovered the rear spoiler constantly falls off.
My last gripe is a pronounced door gap when the door is closed (see in the pic below). My solution to this was adding a red 1×5 lift-arm to the front of the door hinge to close this gap and moved the two top panels
on the door forward.
Closing the gap makes it look so much cleaner, however this technique doesn’t maintain the curves of the car at this section, but for a quick fix it will do. I’m sure some smart Technic cookie
will figure out a better way to do this.
Things I liked:
- The car photographs really well.
- It is a good display set for a wall or shelf.
- They captured the feel and look of the 488 relatively well given they were restricted by the Technic part palette.
- It looks great with or without the stickers, but my preference would be no stickers.
Things I disliked.
- It feels like it would fall apart easily and it does.
- The door gap deterred from the overall look.
- Stickers but for this type of car and set, stickers are an absolute must.
If you want to dip your toes into the Technic car range, this is a good starting point. Even though it is not cheap, it is one of the more affordable sports cars and it will defiantly spark your interest in the genre.
Technic has come so far from when I was a kid and if I was a car head, I would be in financial trouble.
Is this set the most realistic and largest LEGO Technic car set? No. But is it still a beautiful and inspiring car to look at?
Yes it is. This will definitely stay in the “not getting pulled-apart pile” for a while.
On a more personal note, About a week before my little boy Alby passed away, we went into a LEGO store, I felt him tugging on my shorts, he had seen the Ferrari set.
His eyes lit up and I swear I saw some drool. I asked him what he thought of the car and he said it was beautiful, then asked, ‘ can I play with it?’ I told him he will get to play with it soon, we were just waiting on the postman to deliver it. It arrived about two days after he passed.
About Greg McDonald and For the Love of Brick
For the Love of Brick is a podcast for people, young and old, who love LEGO. Join Greg McDonald, a fellow LEGO enthusiast, as he interviews people from all over the world about their love of LEGO and explores the different ways it features in people’s lives. We will meet builders, artists, health workers, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between. For the Love of Brick celebrates people and their unique connections with LEGO.
For the Love of Brick is currently on hiatus, but you can catch up on past episodes wherever you get your podcasts from.
Thanks for the great review, Greg – it was great to get a different perspective on sets, and I hope you enjoyed this guest review. Be sure to go check out the For the Love of Brick podcast!
Would you like to see more guest contributions? Perhaps you’d like to try your hand at reviewing LEGO sets? If you’d like to submit a guest review, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Special thanks to LEGO for supplying this set for review.