Product Idea |

Technic Van for Minifigures. Loaded With Functions.

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The inspiration:

Tourists come to Iceland and want to see glaciers, and the spectacular landscape. To be able to do that they have to travel with experienced guides, that drive such modified off-road trucks. These trucks have suspension lift, and have to have big balloon tires so that they do not sink into the snow on the glaciers, and so that they can easily cross unbridged rivers.

I started by creating the front axle, suspension and steering mechanism, of the van. This determined the size of the rest of the model. I decided to build it so that the minifigures could fit into it since it increases the play value of the model, and my kids, especially my daughter, are endlessly playing with it.

The driver, guide and passengers are just random volunteers from my kids LEGO assortment, and apparently one of them has superpowers.


The off-road van:

  • The LEGO Technic van has dependent suspension, both in the front and back. It is said that dependent suspension is more rugged for off-road trucks, since the axle is sturdily built, and can handle bumping into rocks when crossing a river.

  • Two longitudinal locating links hold the front and back axles in place, on each side, and are firmly attached to them, so that they can not wobble horizontally on the axle. This, and the spring suspension, prevent the wheels from moving side to side.

  • All of the wheels can move up and down, independent of the other wheels, because of the ball joints on one end of the locating links. This ball joint enables the links to rotate even though the other end is firmly attached to the axle.

  • The van has steering that is linked to a knob on the back of car.

  • All of the doors can be opened, and also the doors at the back, where the luggage is put in the trunk/boot.

  • The "roof" and "window" can be lifted in the front of the van so that the driver and guide can be seated.

  • Two of the seats in the back of the van can be tilted forward, so that the passengers in the row behind them can get to their seats.

  • All of the seats in the back can slide, a little bit, back and forth like in a real car.

  • The van has a winch with a 90 cm long "cable", that can be retracted by turning the small 8 tooth wheel.

  • The winch also has a automatic locking mechanism that has to be lifted in order to extend the cable.

  • Under the car, on each side, are steps for the passengers, and driver, so that they can climb into the van. These steps fold under the van when they are not in use.

  • The small steering wheel in the front can be tilted back and forth, and the gear lever can move in any direction, so that the mini figure that drives the van can hold them.


The camper trailer:

  • The camper trailer has independent suspension arms for each wheel, that are connected to horizontal springs on each side.

  • By turning the two knobs, on top of the trailer, you can open the sides of it, to reveal beds that are made from felt sticker sheets. Two minifigures can lay in opposite directions in each bed.

  • The two chairs in the trailer can be tilted back and forth. This makes it easier to put the minifigures in the chairs, and also enables them to lean back comfortably.

  • The trailer has a mini fridge that could also be a stove, depending on your imagination. It also has a fire extinguisher, a small sink, and two propane tanks.

  • The back door of the trailer can be opened, and there are stairs, under the door, that fold under the trailer when they are not in use.

  • The camper trailer also has a jockey wheel, that can turn and rotate, and folds under the trailer when it is connected to the van.

  • The camper trailer has a chain, like real trailers, in case it gets loose from the tow ball.


Why I think this would make a great LEGO set:

  • It has a lot of functions, even though it is very small.

  • It has great play value.

  • It is easily recognizable.

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