Did you hold off buying the Boutique Hotel on January 1 because there was no interesting gift with purchase, beyond a couple of City and Friends polybags? Were you able to hold off through January, because you didn’t weren’t sure about collecting the Chinese Zodiac Animals sets? Well, wait no longer! Starting with the 28th of January, and extending until February 13th (or the ubiquitous ‘While Stocks Last’) the LEGO Group is pleased to bring you the 183 piece Vintage Taxi, set 40532. [This set is also available through the Australian Certified stores, with a 279.99 AUD buy in)
According to the LEGO.com website, this is ” a classic version of the 1930s Citroën Traction Avant.”
Available with a purchase of $200USD, £200, €200 or $279AUD this set has 183 pieces and one Minifigure who appears a little bit familiar…
What do we get?
As with all gifts with purchase, this set features no unique elements. However, the grill (element ID 6347651) has only previously appeared in one set, in titanium metallic: 76180: Batman vs. The Joker: Batmobile Chase, from 2021. The part has been available in other colours, however, since 2012; and the chassis (6170384) is a relatively new element that can potentially be mimicked with existing parts. The mudguards had appeared throughout 2021, in superheroes and VIDIYO. The roof has appeared in a few other sets with cars from 2020-21, but has appeared in a number of other colours over the years.
The element that contributes the most in this set as far as design is concerned, however, is the downwards bracket, 1x1x2 in black, which is new in 2022, having already appeared in some LEGO City sets.
As such, there are a number of hard to find elements, in these colours, but others might be possible to build.
The build is simple and straightforward and takes us through stashing a secret treat in the Minifigure’s briefcase, building a small piece of road scape with a taxi stand. We add a bin, complete with some rubbish in situ. Feel free to incorporate aspects of this in your modular set…
Then we start on the car itself. the main challenge for the designer has been the running boards and wheel arches, which wrap around the existing mudguard elements.
Along the way, we build the boot/trunk, but it does not open and is only accessible from the inside. The cabin itself is only four studs wide and accommodates a Minifigure through the use of panels. There is a room for our Minifigure to fit in the driver’s seat, with another behind. As is typical in CITY scaled, 6 stud wide cars (especially with a 4 stud wide cabin), there are no functional doors: figures enter the car via an open roof.
Before it was revealed to specifically be a Citroën Traction Avant, I investigated some American options:
I was wondering if the set resembles a DeSoto Airstream, and other large cars of the 1930’s/early 40’s – these were commonly used as TaxiCabs, however, I have been unable to source an image in the same livery as our new set has:
The details might not be perfect, but the distinctive curve over the wheel arches certainly captures the spirit of vehicles from this era, as does the front grille.
But, in real life, this is the vehicle in question:
So, be it USA or Europe, this car can fit in with the distinctive looks of either.
I really appreciate the fact that this set does not have any stickers included, and printed elements are not really necessary to convey its purpose.
With regards to the Minifigure: We have a moustachioed face, with sideburns, which has appeared in many places previously. The torso – a light blue shirt under a dark red, lined jacket has also been seen about a dozen times since 2018. He wears a flat cap, as is the fashion amongst cab drivers of this era.
Now, the cab driver looks very similar to this young doughnut thief found in the Modular Police Station in 2021. In those days he just had a bit of stubble. has he gone straight, and taken up cab driving? Or is the driver here his responsible older brother, who by virtue of having a regular job, is eating a well-balanced diet, rather than doughnuts.
As I look over to my modular buildings, I see the Doughnut Thief is leaving the Police Station, where he has been assisting officers with their enquiries. I presume his older brother has arrived to pick him up and take him to the boutique hotel to cool off for a few days. Planning to upskill as an art thief? Looking for a chance to go straight? Or part of something a whole lot shadier?You be the judge.
The buy in to obtain the GWP is relatively expensive: 200USD/Euro/GBP or $279AUD. This is about the price of the modular: 199.99; USD and Euro. Odds are, any purchase will be rounded up. However, in the UK, the modular is priced at £134 – significantly less than the threshold for the GWP. If you cannot justify the enhanced spend at present, the set will be available in late March, as a GWP with a modular building.
Now, last year, we saw a LEGO Ideas car made available on January 1 as a GWP, ideal for the Police Station. On this occasion, it would seem this is a month later. I wonder if this was to allow for uncertain delivery schedules, in the face of global supply chain issues, and whether it was for the arrival and distribution of the GWP, or the boutique hotel itself.
Both the car and the driver evoke the era of the Boutique Hotel. But will it make you pull the trigger on the purchase? I think it is the best match for the modular that we have seen for a few years, and given the fact that this is the 15th anniversary of modular buildings, a fitting tribute.
Overall, I love the look of this car. The colour scheme is delightfully contrasting, and I love the ability to throw a suitcase into the trunk. The wheels spin really freely, and it runs nicely across the kitchen flor.
I’ll have to admit: to me, the biggest problem is the relatively high buying price to secure the model. It does feel unnecessarily excessive. That said, word on the street has it that this set might get another run as a GWP towards the end of March, with a modular purchase as the buy-in price.
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Do you like the look of this set? Is it exciting enough to encourage you to spend up big at LEGO.com?Why don’t you leave your comments below, and until next time,
This set was provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes: all opinions are my own.
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