Product Idea

Toyota Landcruiser 40 Series

Thank you!


With the project closing in on its goal of 10,000 supporters, I wanted to take the opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who supported and shared the LEGO Land Cruiser!

I’d like to make special mention of some key people who raised the profile of the project online and on social media – Iain Reid, Andrew P Collins, Adam Savage, James May, Charlie Kindel, the great people at Land Cruiser World and the Winter School kids – you really turbo charged the project!

To all my friends – including some new friends I made along the way (g’day Macomonaco and Mike W!) – thanks very much for your support. A special shout out to Glenn for all your work sourcing bricks and helping build out the 40 Series range so quickly!

And finally to my family – thanks for your help and encouragement, especially Amelia and Lachie for checking the votes – it’s been a fun ride! 

That’s all for now…. and if I have any news on the project down the track, I’ll share it on Twitter (@matthewinman)

40 Series Family Photo; Feature Requests; and, a Crazy Axle-Under Conversion


The Project continues to gather new support and since the last update we’ve cruised past 9000! (Actually, close to 9500 as I write this update!) Thanks so much to everyone for their support and for sharing the Project so widely!

Here are some recent highlights from social media and the web…

Land Cruiser World continues to provide fantastic support to the Project – thanks so much!

Toyota Cruisers & Trucks Magazine (, The 4x4 Podcast (@the4x4podcast) and The Motor Report (@TMRnews) also showed their support for the Project.

Miller Toyota in Virginia gave the Project a great write-up –

40 Series Family Photo

With all four main versions of the 40 Series built up now for the Project, it’s time for a Family Photo! And as an added bonus, there’s an original brochure from 1984 showcasing “the most wanted 4wheel drive on earth”! (Thanks Glenn!) Remember the ambition for the Project is that from the one set, you’ll be able to build whichever version you want – Soft Top, Hardtop, Utility or Troop Carrier – one colour only, of course :-) 

Feature Requests

There’ve been lots of great comments about the Project and all sorts of ideas about features and modifications – thanks so much for your feedback! And so I wanted to show you a few pictures of how you might want to modify your version once it goes on sale :-) I won’t be including these in the original design though.

Winch – there’s plenty of room around the front bull-bar to fit a replica winch. Here I’ve used some pieces from a LEGO towtruck.

Dual battery – a popular modification in real-life and there is just enough room in this LEGO version to squeeze in a second battery.

Bull-bar design – here I’ve switched the larger bull-bar onto the Soft Top – this one’s for you FNFLeader3!

Crazy Spring-over/Axle-under Conversion

Of course one of the most common modifications would be fitting larger tyres. And in response to a question from keyman356, with this LEGO model, the suspension and axle design closely mimics the original. This means that, with only a few changes, you can reposition the leaf springs on top of the axle which opens up a whole range of options for bigger tyres – a spring-over/axle-under conversion just like in real life!

How big? Well here’s an example that definitely voids manufacturer’s warranty – some monster 107.2 X 62 tyres!! These came from LEGO Set 8466 (4X4 Off-Roader) and this extreme example shows what’s possible when you get your own 40 Series Land Cruiser set to modify! (Thanks Elmo!)

That’s all for now – there might be some more I can share with you about the Project… but I guess that depends on how quickly we gather the next 500 supporters :-) In any case, stay tuned!

Feel the Wind in Your Hair with the Newest Member of the Convoy


The project continues to gain support and we are now cruising towards 9000 supporters!  And there’s been plenty of activity on social media – thanks everyone for sharing and promoting the project!

Some highlights include:

Land Cruiser World continues to give the project great support on Facebook

Karin Marijke & Coen (@landcruising) took time out from their grand adventure to show their support. 

Toyota Motor Corporation (@ToyotaMotorCorp) gave the project a shout out as part of #throwbackThursday highlighting some classic Land Cruisers.

And here’s a link to a video of the blue Utility on YouTube that a young fan of the project made – thanks so much Jo!

The One You’ve All Been Waiting For

Since the project first launched with the short wheelbase Hardtop there’s been lots of feedback requesting the different models of the 40 Series.  The one that’s been missing up until now has been the Convertible – or Soft Top –so I’m really pleased to be able to bring that to you in this latest update.  

Say hello to the Lego FJ40 Convertible!

Of course there’s plenty of room for the family pet!

There’s a cool looking roll-bar

The doors have been cut down to match the lines of the rear of the car

And with only 2 wipers on this FJ40 model, there was room to tweak the design and location of the windscreen wiper motor.

On the bonnet tie-downs have been fitted…

…which means of course you can fold the windscreen forward after a couple of small modifications – just like in real life :)

So there you have it – 4 different models of the 40 Series!  I hope you really like this latest edition and I look forward to your feedback and comments.  And for those of you just catching up on the project, the ambition is that with one set, you will be able to build the model of your choice – the Hardtop or Soft Top short wheelbase, the Troop Carrier or the Utility… 4 in 1 !

Stay tuned as we close in on the project goal!

FJ40 vs F40… or what a difference a ‘J’ can make


Since our last update the Project has now passed another milestone with over 8000 supporters! Thanks to everyone for sharing and supporting the Lego Land Cruiser!

Twitter’s been busy… Here are some of the highlights…

The one and only James May (@MrJamesMay) – “Supported. Car of the people.”

Adam Savage (@donttrythis) gave the Project another great retweet!

Brick Fanatics (@brickfanatics) also gave the Project a great shout out and Bailey of Bristol (@BaileyofBristol) showed their support during the big caravan challenge in Australia.

And, following on from the last update here are some more examples from across the world

Russian -

Hungarian -

Vietnamese -

Mandarin -

Italian -

Dutch -

Also – Flickr – I’ve created an album and have started uploading the Project photos in hi-res… check it out.

YouTube – a young fan of the project has made some videos of the different models of the Lego Land Cruiser – I’ll have a link in the next update.

Now to the F40…

As you would know, I set out to build the Land Cruiser to match up with the Lego Creator Expert vehicles series. So when Lego announced the Ferrari F40 (10248), a month or two back, I knew I’d have to make the comparison. And with some help from Oliver, the F40 is now complete.

Of course these two cars are very different but rather than talk about the differences, I thought I’d try and find some similarities. (And just for the record, in Land Cruiser lexicon the FJ40 is the petrol, short wheelbase.)

Form follows function – Louis Sullivan

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works – Steve Jobs

Less is more – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

The details are not the details. They make the design – Charles Eames

Of course the question remains which one would feel more out of place – an FJ40 at Monza or an F40 on the French Line? :-)

And finally a couple of photos with the Mini Cooper as well.

More to come… stay tuned!



Another Colour and Some Tweaks to the Original Design


The Project has received a lot of new support since the last update and it’s great to see we are over 7000! Thanks for sharing the Project through your networks!

Some more highlights from around the web…

I knew the 40 Series was popular in many different countries but I’ve been amazed at the support that has been expressed through so many languages. Here's a selection…

Polish -,88389,18478564,toyota-land-cruiser-j40-z-klockow-lego.html

Spanish -

Swedish -

French -

Thai -

Portuguese -

Indonesian -

Tweaking the Original Design

First of all, there’s been a lot of discussion about colours and so I wanted to show you the closest I can get to the classic Land Cruiser mustard colour!

It’s not an exact match but you get the idea :-)

One thing on my to-do list before I launched the Project – but I didn’t get to it – was the brown and white striped seats of the BJ42 including the forward-facing rear seat. Now I can tick that one off and I hope you like them! As an added bonus, you can make a direct comparison with the real thing.

Another improvement was finding Trans-Clear 2x2 Round Corner Bricks for the rear corner windows.

On this yellow truck, the aerial has been fitted near the driver’s side door as per original.

Also tracked down some metallic silver wheels which are a big improvement over Light Bluish Grey. They even come with integrated hubs so I won’t need the Technic Half Bushing which I’d been using to represent the hubs.

A minor variation to the rear bumper.

Finally, I’ve also tried swapping out the Light Bluish Grey trim around the bottom of the roof with white Tiles and Door Rail Plates.

I can’t wait for your feedback on the colour and the design tweaks – I think these small changes make some great improvements to the original model!

What’s next? Well with winter on the way out here in Australia, I think it’s time to turn our attention to plans for summer and that means we need one more version of the 40 Series! 

Stay tuned.

A New Colour for a New Member of the Convoy


The project has made great progress since the last update-we’re now over halfway! Thanks so much for your support!

And here’s a couple of highlights from around the web…

Twitter -@TheFJCompany…I pride myself on attention to detail but they take it to whole new level! @TheBrickNetwork…thanks for a great retweet!

This week’s big news

As I hinted previously, the Project has been busy building out the full range of the 40 Series and so now it’s time to introduce the newest member, the Utility!

In some parts of the world it would be called a Pickup Truck, but here in Australia everybody just calls it a Ute. It was sold by Toyota in either the 45 or 47 configuration.

Many of you have asked about different colours and so let me know what you think about this striking blue with light grey interior.

The rear of the tray folds down as you’d expect.

The spare tyre fits underneath.

Ultimately, of course, (unless Lego invents a brick with reprogrammable colour!) there will only be one colour available for you to build the short wheelbase, the Troop Carrier or the Ute. But as you can see we’re having fun exploring different colours as we head towards 10,000! I look forward to your feedback.

So for now… stay tuned! There’s plenty more to come!

Oh What a Feeling!


Very special day with a fabulous article about the Lego Land Cruiser project on the official Toyota website of Great Britain. So proud that the project is getting this recognition-definitely the most satisfying moment of the journey so far!

Thanks Iain!

47, goes to 11… can you guess where this is heading?


The project gained a lot of new supporters since the last update-so thank you to everyone for getting behind this Lego Land Cruiser and helping cruise past 3000!


Firstly, some formalities… check out a few highlights from around the web…

Twitter - @Lego_News1 and also @ckindel who is no stranger to the FJ40 -


The Big Reveal

So let’s move on to the big news – the project has been extended so to speak! To do the 40 Series justice, I always knew we couldn’t just stop with the short wheelbase. And of course there’s been plenty of feedback since the project launched on Lego Ideas asking about the elephant in the room…

So here it is, the classic Toyota 40 Series Troop Carrier!

I decided to go with the HJ47 – the last model in the series (plus I do like diesels!).  Earlier models were known as the FJ or HJ45.

Will seat up to 11

Spare tyre fits underneath

There are a few minor tweaks that still need to be made to the design-such as reverting to only two windscreen wipers-but overall, I am very happy with the model and I hope all of you Troopie fans are equally impressed! And thanks Glenn for helping me get so far so quickly!

The ambition here is pretty simple - you buy the Toyota 40 Series Land Cruiser LEGO Expert Creator set and then you decide whether to build the short wheelbase or the long wheelbase. Well it would be pretty simple except of course there’s one thing still missing…

Stay tuned!


1000 and beyond! More pictures and a sneak peek


With your encouragement, this 40 Series has great momentum and we cruised past 1000 supporters this week! Thanks so much for your votes and for sharing the project so widely.

Special shout out to these Toyota groups on the web…

FJ Cruiser Forums


Also-a fantastic writeup at my favourite Lego news website along with some other cool projects-thanks so much!


And 40 Series owner Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame (@donttrythis) retweeted the link to his million plus followers-thanks a million Adam!


Now some more pictures…

If you look closely, you can see the air cleaner at the back left of the engine bay

Left hand drive of course in Australia… but don’t worry, the final design will let you localise your Lego 40 Series

Changing a wheel is a breeze with this 40 series…

Sneak peek…

I’ve received lots of requests for variations… and keen eyed 40 Series fans will see the project team has been busy… more next update :-) 


500 - and a few questions answered


What an amazing few days for this Lego Landcruiser project! I have been so pleased to see the strong response and to have already crossed 500 supporters in such a short time is fantastic! So thank you for supporting the project and for sharing with your friends and family and through various social networks and blogs… let’s hope the project continues to gain exposure and the supporters keep growing!

Your comments have been very encouraging and there have been lots of questions from people wanting to learn more about this project… I will try and address a few of them in this update and get back to you all again soon enough.

Firstly-the dimensions-the vehicle is 16cm high x 14cm wide x 33cm long

Secondly-Colours-fortuitously the Lego tan brick is ubiquitous and matches up well with one of the common colour schemes for the 40 Series. In sourcing the Lego bricks and elements that I needed for this project, I quickly realised that beyond white or tan, it would be impossible to build the model in another colour as the bricks I needed simply weren’t available. Of course there is always Photoshop and I will endeavour to get some images of the alternative colours for a future update

Thirdly-a bit of background to the design process.…

I found the key dimensions of the 40 Series online and then determined some scaling factors that would enable me to create a Lego vehicle that was between 14 to 16 studs in width. This would result in a model that matched up closely to the size of the existing Lego Creator Expert vehicles such as the Kombi (set 10220) and the Mini Cooper (set 10242).

The next step was to search through the range of existing Lego tyres and find a size that fitted within this scale that I had chosen. I found that 62.4 X 20 would be a good match. Some of the tyres around the same diameter had a much wider tread pattern which would have been good for a heavily modified 40 Series but as I was trying to replicate the original vehicle, I wanted a narrower tyre. So on the basis of the diameter of these 62.4 x 20 tyres, I settled on a width of 16 studs for the vehicle and established the other dimensions from there.  And in fact, looking at the photos of the soon-to-be-released Lego Ferrari F40, it appears that this vehicle will also be 16 studs wide…so I think that was the right decision for my project.

One of the major differences between the Landcruiser and the Mini Cooper of course is ground clearance and, as such, the chassis, running gear and suspension are quite visible in the 40 Series and I wanted to be able to replicate that in this Lego version. So I ordered the tyres and wheels plus a bunch of bricks and technic elements and began to play around with creating leaf springs and a basic outline of the chassis.

Once I had gained confidence with some of these components, I switched to the Lego Digital Designer software and continued to build the virtual model. With the software, I was able to comparatively quickly create a first version of the full model and then set about finding the bricks and ordering them from about 20 online stores around the world. Of course once I started to build the real model, I found a number of weaknesses and structural flaws which I amended first in the virtual model and then the actual Lego model. Eventually I had a completed model which was quite solid and strong and incorporated all the details that I had in mind from the outset. It probably took me about five months to reach this point from when I first started with the Digital Designer software.

And for the sake of comparison, here is an excellent example of a BJ 42 that my friend owns.