Chibi Volkswagen Beetle MOC by Gerald Cacas & Wacky Benedicto
TL;DR Summary : Great mini build that captures the very essence of the new VW Beetle with man details to pay homage to it’s big brother. Excellent effort to also include a very nice semi professional build guide which gives it the complete feeling of an official set! If you’re a mini vehicle collector, this is not one to miss!
LEGO is known to release a miniature version or Chibi version of their past few CREATOR sets such as the Mini Cooper and Mini Camper Van. This MOC release by Gerald seems to fit that theme very nicely. It captures the very essence of it’s giant brother in stores now. Let’s explore it a little more!
Gerald collaborated with Wacky to create the photography type instructions. What’s unique is that Wacky put together almost like a LEGO style themed release where it talked about the VW Beetle history a little and how the MOC came to be. Gerald used good lighting a sharp photography to give the step by step instructions. One must understand that doing this and having the patience to do so is all together another skill set that not MOCers have. So its a delight to see a collaboration between two folks who enjoy what they do best, one MOCer and another Photographer.
Although it was quite clear from one step to another, I did find it hard to decipher a couple of steps due to obstructed elements or confusing steps due to the ‘illegal’ build steps. Some of these would do better if the angle of the photos taken are a little lower, to show the parts that may be blocked - especially if they are black elements. For some of the more challenging parts, Wacky included some descriptives and written steps of what needed to be done, so that certainly helped. One difference I noticed between photo instructions and LEGO official are the mirror parts build. LEGO will show you each side of a build (i.e left door / right door) whereas Photo Instructions tend to leave it to you to reverse the mirror build where appropriate. While this is totally understandable and may not affect all builders, but if you’re in for a no-brainer mode (end of a long day of work) you just want the instructions to do the talking and not your brain thinking if you get my drift.
Score 4/5 - Very excellent. Nice effort on booklet development. Always areas for improvement.
At a total of 186 elements the MOC came in two baggies. One for all the Medium Azur Blue (MAB) as I call it and one for the rest of it. Gerald/Wacky Bricklinked 3 colors to my understanding, the original MAB, Red and White. And separating these baggies are a logical way to break it up for those who are interested in other colors. I just love the MAB color as it almost seems like edible candy! It really took many a different element to get this finished look, from transparent tiles and even a rubber band thingy as the engine belt. A little special surprise was given as Gerald Bricklinked two set of car plates. you could either have the Back to the Future plates, or the ECTO-1. As a BTTF Fan, I didn’t have to think twice! Color wise, the ECTO-1 in yellow would be a better fit.
Score 4/5 - Great assorted parts to make it interesting 4/5
The one unavoidable weakness about Chibi builds are what I would like to officially coin the term now “One-Stud-Wonders” (OSW). What exactly is a OSW? It’s basically making things stick together with one-single stud and this is usually a need for such a small build, but the sacrifice is huge. The downside of this is that everything breaks down easily - fixing another part of the build will tend to break another unless you are very careful. And these OSW parts are quite dependant on the clutch power between that two particular elements, and sometimes, if you’re unlucky, two elements that don’t want to hug each other as other parts due micro manufacturing differences, you’re in for a hard time.😔
For me I had a couple of these especially at the base of the build with the back seats. The only other build which I felt more frustration was the Optimus Prime Chibi by Eric Tsai. Not many of these here, but one has to be more patient that normal with such a MOC.
Details - The Likes!
Gerald included quite a many details to pay homage to it’s big brother. I don’t own nor have built the large set, but I’m going to highlight the parts which probably stands out
The Hood - the hood doesn’t stick on but it just rests of the front body of the car. You can store a few accessories in this “boot” which depicts the real car!
The Engine - though it’s hidden, the boot flips open! Gotta love it! Gerald took the time to build a mini-engine to emulate the larger build. Hidden details are always a nice touch.
Removable roof - The rooftop of the car is removable just like it’s bigger sibling. It hosts the red water cooler and yellow surfboard which is a nice touch of detail, but once again it’s not mounted to any stud anywhere. I would have preferred it to be mounted somehow. But one big advantage of the removable roof is that it instantly becomes a convertible! Sweet if you want this vehicle to be part of your city, with a minifig thrown in, it looks perfect cruising down the road or a beach!
Side mirrors - nothing to say except I just love that detail though it’s an illegal build but it works!
Details - The (personal) dis-likes!
While Gerald tried to capture the original build as much as possible, removable parts, hidden engine, surfboard and cooler and all - I personally prefer parts that all have been locked down instead of parts that are removable. Again, this is just a personal preference to make it more swooshable! But it’s admirable how he managed to capture all of those features to emulate the large build - commendable effort!
Headlights - I found the headlights a little weird and wonder if there’s any other approach to make it better in terms of overall look.
Windscreen - The final part is the front windscreen which uses the black ‘barrier’, which I think is somehow out of place. Again, this is probably a tough build but if there was any way to incorporate the usual transparent windshields, it would be perfect!
Surfboard - I would have used a Minifigure Surfboard instead of a element type at this size, but I think both works!
All in all, the best part about MOCs or LEGO is that whatever you dis-like, you fix it your own damn-well self! So this may well turn into a nice side project to improve your own thorns in the sides with your own creativity.
Score 4/5 for the very well though out details and process
The overall look is great and captures the real essence of the 10252 VW Beetle. However, because of the limitation of the elements, I find that it does not have the smooth curves of the car that one would expect it to have. It almost seems like it takes on a robotic version with the many angles on the bricks especially on the hood and boot covers. But hey, even the original 10187 looked like an 8-bit version of the 10252 this is a great compromise. You’ve got to hand it for the effort and outcome put into this. Will LEGO ever come out with a version of theirs? I somehow doubt so like the Mini Cooper or Camper Van. The Beetle is a tough build to emulate with the amount of curves on it.
Score 4/5 - It’s a very nice display model beside for your full sized Beetle!
I can’t wait to get my full sized Beetle and experience the build! Thanks again Gerald and Wacky in getting this together. I hope there’s more to come and look forward to them!