One of the most popular toys of all times is perhaps also one of the simpler toys of all times and most of us have probably played with it at some point in our lives. I’m talking about Lego blocks and they come in almost every shape and size imaginable. Children love to get creative with Legos and parents hate stepping on them in their bare feet but in either case, they are a part of our culture that is unmistakable.
Most people think about children playing with Legos but recently, two grown men spent weeks building a Volkswagen T2 Bulli camper van. It isn’t just a miniature of the model, it is full-sized and it looks authentic. Rene Hoffmeister, who is one of the 12 certified LEGOmodel builders from around the world teamed up with Pascal Lenhard and 400,000 Lego bricks to create this masterpiece.
According to their estimates, it took six weeks, sometimes working round the clock to complete the project. It was eventually revealed at the German leisure and tourism fair F.re.e in Munich. Not only does it look authentic, it actually has working headlights, a kitchen unit on the inside, an easy access step and its own Lego spider.
They left nothing out when it came to the details. Even a toothbrush and toothpaste can be found inside and there are pictures hanging on the walls.
The Lego campervan weighs in at 1,543 lbs, which is a world record for the largest Lego camper van ever built. It is a match for the dimensions of the original 1967 Volkswagen campervan at 118 inches tall, 197 inches long and 75 inches wide.
The end result is fantastic but according to Daniel Keppler, the project manager, it didn’t all go as planned.
“With the help of 3D programs, the two builders created a construction plan in advance, from which the exact quantity of bricks required was calculated. The stiffness of the side walls and windows was decisive in order to guarantee stability later.
“The first brick was set quickly, and the start went without a hitch. However, around three weeks into the project 20,000 transparent bricks for the windows of the Bulli were missing and all constructions were stopped for a short time. In spite of the exact pre-planning the two model builders got into time stress, so that the missing time could only be made up by night shifts and weekend work.”
“Essentially, we would have needed a nine-day week,” Hoffmeister said of the hectic schedule “However, as they don’t exist, the only option was night shifts.”
“For the model builders, this meant ‘playing’ with LEGO bricks from morning to night and on weekends. The effort was worth it,” Keppler continued. “In the end, the LEGO camper van was on time. The details of the camper van are mind blowing. Even the refrigerator is filled with things of daily camper life – of course made of LEGO.”
With a Lego building team like this, it will be interesting to see what they come up with next.