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The 1,077-piece Mini Cooper, Lego's latest small wonder

About the author

Editor of BBC Autos, Matthew is a former editor at Automobile Magazine and the creator of the digital-only Roadtrip Magazine. His automotive and travel writing has appeared in such magazines as Wired, Popular Science, The Robb Report and Caribbean Travel + Life. He lives in Los Angeles with his wonderful wife and four-year-old daughter.

 

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On the heels of its 1962 Volkswagen Camper Van replica, Danish brickmaker Lego has unveiled the new Mini Cooper Mk VII set. Brimming with accurate details and a few surprises, the 9-inch-long car is an impressive (and adorable) facsimile of Sir Alec Issigonis' 10-foot-long classic. Just don't call it a toy.

This new (old) Mini joins Lego's challenging Creator series of kits - many of which, by virtue of parts that number in the thousands, are recommended for "children" ages 16 and up. The Mini's box contains a hefty 1,077 pieces (a daunting count to a novice, but a trifle to enthusiasts who survived Lego's 4,295-piece Tower Bridge kit, or 5,195-piece Millennium Falcon kit).

The British racing green Cooper's doors, white-striped hood and trunk open, and the roof pulls off to reveal a nattily trimmed interior, complete with patterned seats and a veneer-style dashboard. Beneath the bonnet, there's a Lego-ized version of Mini's 1.3-litre engine, complete with twin air cleaners for the dual SU side-draft carburetors. At the rear, the boot lid opens to reveal a blanket, a picnic basket and a bottle.

The Lego Mini Cooper debuts on 1 Aug, priced at $99.99 in the US, $119.99 in Canada, $149.99 in Australia and £74.99 in the UK. Check out Lego's video tour of the car below.

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