Although LEGO didn’t showcase the new wave of 2018 LEGO Speed Champions last weekend at Toy Fair New York, the full assortment was waiting for us in Seattle upon our return, and we’ll be bringing you reviews of each set over this coming week, ahead of their release on March 1st. We’re kicking things off today with 75884 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback, which includes 183 pieces and will retail for $15.99 (USD) / £12.99 / 14.99€.
The Ford Mustang was first introduced in 1964, and quickly became a favorite among car enthusiasts for its excellent balance of speed, power, styling, and affordability. The “fastback” version is curved from the roof to the tail, and was particularly popular as the stock basis for racecars. This LEGO set depicts the classic 1968 Ford Mustang with curved fastback styling, kitted out in British racing green (complete with a white stripe along the side).
The box, instructions, & sticker sheet
The ’68 Mustang comes in a fairly small box made from the same cardboard that LEGO sets have come in for years (compared to the thinner, tree-saving packaging BrickHeadz come in). The front of the box depicts the LEGO set inside, set against a lonely highway through a desert landscape. Our copy of the set from Billund is in European packaging, and does not show the part count. The back of the box shows the car from several angles, along with a small photo of the real-life ’60 Mustang fastback.
Ripping into the package, three unnumbered bags spill out, along with the instruction booklet folded in half, a loose sticker sheet, and the black chassis piece.
While I don’t necessarily object to a small instruction booklet that has to be folded in half for efficient packaging, I’ll take every opportunity to harp on loose sticker sheets in LEGO sets. This one arrived unscathed, but we’ve seen far too many bent or folded sticker sheets not to comment on it each time.
The 60-page instruction booklet spans 53 steps, and the build itself is fairly quick, as you’d expect from a $15, 183-piece set. The bags are unnumbered, so you start your build with the complete parts assortment in front of you. The Mustang’s chassis uses the standard LEGO car chassis in black, but interesting half-stud-offset and studs-out (Studs Not on Top or “SNOT”) techniques show up very early, enabling later attachments of the car’s bumpers, side panels, and so on.
The rear of the car uses the studs on jumper plates to stabilize 1×2 plates attached sideways to 1×1 bricks with studs on two sides, in light blue. Particularly exciting at this stage is that the Mustang’s 1×1 round gas cap is printed with the iconic pony logo.
The first stickers get applied to the front grill, where the pony emblem appears on a 1×2 cheese slope, with another 1×2 cheese slope with gold stripes below.
The car begins taking shape in recognizable form about 30 pages into the instructions, with the front hood completed, sporting the Ford logo, a LEGO logo, a number, and more striping — all stickers.
Side panels add more structure, with brick-built white stripes that match up with a sticker on a 1×6 tile. Also noteworthy here is the technique used to achieve the unique, ridged look of the brake lights — 1×1 round plates stacked and attached sideways.
The build concludes with the rear fastback section, removable windshield, and more stickers for the gold stripes that extend from the car’s nose to its rear.
The finished model & minifig
Ford & LEGO’s joint press release implies that the car doesn’t depict any particular vehicle, unlike the (utterly fantastic) 2016 Ford GT & 1966 Ford GT40 set released last year. Nevertheless, the racing stripes in gold and white and sponsorship decals all hearken back to a golden age of motorsports.
The inclusion of a LEGO logo above the Ford mark and “Speed Champions” sponsorship branding takes me a little out of the realism that so many of the other Speed Champions cars have achieved. I can imagine, though, that LEGO’s licensing deal with Ford doesn’t cover hyper-accurate sponsorships for partnerships that Ford is no longer part of. (Thus the absence of a Ford GT40 in gorgeous light azure and orange Gulf Oil livery.The Gulf Oil company ran its own team of Ford GT40s at Le Mans in the 60’s and 70’s, and the current licensing deal between LEGO and Ford only covers modern Ford-owned brands and active partnerships, presumably.) Nevertheless, the fact that we get iconic vintage cars out of the deal is a fantastic development in the Speed Champions line and I’ll accept a modicum of fantasy sponsorships in exchange.
My favorite angle on this LEGO ’68 Mustang might be the rear, where ridged brake lights surround the gas cap with the pony emblem, all under the curved fastback styling with gold stripes. Just lovely.
The side panels incorporate both a 1×6 sticker and brick-built white above and below. The gold wheels match the gold racing stripes. And look at all that dark green!
The driver minifig wears the same uniform as the vintage Ford GT40 driver. He doesn’t have any hair under his helmet.
The timing board is that extra bit of build that I frequently don’t bother with in Speed Champions sets unless I’m building for review photographs. The timing board is a 1×6 sticker on the side of a 1×6 brick.
Conclusions & recommendation
As I mentioned above, I love the fact that the Speed Champions theme has begun including more and more vintage vehicles along with their modern counterparts. Ignoring the barely recognizable Model A hotrod in the Ford F-150 set released in 2016, the first explicitly classic/vintage car was the 1966 Ford GT40 released last year. This year’s Speed Champions include this ’68 Mustang as well as classic Ferraris and Porsches (which we’ll be covering separately over the next few days).
Whether you’re going to build and display your ’68 Ford Mustang, customize it (I built a color-swapped ’66 GT40 in Gulf Livery around the core of my black GT40), or just throw all that lovely dark green into your parts collection for building custom LEGO creations, 75884 1966 Ford Mustang Fastback is an excellent addition to your LEGO collection. Ultimately, it’s a really fun, quick build that includes a fair bit of innovative building techniques, resulting in an excellent representation of one of the most popular American sportscars of all time.
75884 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback will be available on March 1st. You can purchase it from all the usual places, and we’ll update this post once those links are live.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.