The 2019 LEGO Speed Champions line includes a diverse range of new and classic cars, many of them packaged as pairs in single sets. We recently reviewed 75894 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally and 2018 MINI John Cooper Works Buggy, which depicts two specific historical vehicles. Although 75893 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and 1970 Dodge Charger R-T doesn’t appear to depict specific race-winners, it certainly rivals the Mini Cooper set for sheer length of the set’s name! The set includes 478 pieces with three minifigs, and retails for $29.99 in the US (£34.99 in the UK and $39.99 in Canada).
The box, packaging, and sticker sheet
As with other LEGO Speed Champions sets, the front of the box for this set features the two cars in a dynamic racing scene (drag-racing, to be specific in this case), with the back of the box featuring the set’s play features and photos of the real-life cars.
The set’s parts come in three numbered bags. Like the Mini Cooper set (and many other two-car LEGO Speed Champions sets), each car gets a bag, plus the parts for the standalone play feature. Unlike the Mini Coopers, each car gets its own instruction booklet
No surprise — there’s a large sticker sheet for the various stripes and other details on both cars.
The build & parts
In contrast to the curvaceous European supercars, boxy American muscle cars yield fairly straightforward LEGO builds when scaled down to Speed Champions models. As a result, the core of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is mostly a studs-up affair with some half-stud offset using the relatively new 1×3 plates with two studs (so-called “double-jumper” plates).
The 2018 Challenger’s rear lights are built from a set of printed 1×2 curved tiles (four for the lights and one extra in the set).
Another new piece in this set is a set of four hubcaps that widen the tires — we’ll take another look at these later in this review.
The first bag completes the 2018 Challenger, yielding a bright yellow box with black stripes.
Like the 2018 Challenger, the 1970 Charger is fairly square and boxy, though the Charger incorporates a bit more in the way of interesting techniques to achieve the extended rear deck with inset lights as well as the square, wrap-around chrome bumper around the grill on the front.
The 1970 Charger includes a unique printed tile as well — a 1×1 (square) tile printed with the R/T logo.
When complete, the front bumper stands out nicely from the black body, though we’re always keen to see more actual chrome rather than light bluish gray.
The finished models
Like the real-life cars, both the LEGO Speed Champions Dodge muscle cars are very square. Nevertheless, both cars make use of curved slopes for side panels and other parts of the cars that are curved. One obvious difference from the real-life cars is that the cabs are only four studs wide, spanning only three quarters of the width of the LEGO cars, with a sharp platform along each side of the cabs.
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is an $83,000 car especially built with 840 horsepower to drag race (though it’s street legal). True to its name, the Demon has a devil logo on its side, and the driver in her black jumpsuit also features the same logo.
Where European supercars look sleek and fast, American muscle cars look mean and strong (and, I guess, fast). Even though I’m revealing an obvious bias that prefers the look of European supercars (and adorable Mini Coopers), I’ll wholeheartedly acknowledge that the LEGO 2018 Challenger captures the “mean and strong” look perfectly, as though it’s ready to chew up the road.
The rear of the Challenger features rounded tail lights beneath a small spoiler built from 1×2 cheese slopes and dual exhausts built from 1×1 round plates with holes.
The front hood features a scoop, integrated very nicely between rounded slopes (black in back and yellow in front with a black sticker).
The new hubcaps we mentioned earlier include an outer section that widens the tires’ profile.
The roof is removable so you can put the driver into the car.
The 1970 Dodge Charger is much more to my personal liking. The car featured prominently in the original Fast & Furious back in 2001, and a black 1968 Charger indistinguishable in LEGO form from this 1970 R/T (minus the logos) appeared in Bullitt, chased by Steve McQueen in his dark green 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback.
The R/T logo stands out prominently on each door, as well as inset within the front grill and between the tail lights.
The roof is a simple 1×4 plate that pops off so you can drop the driver inside.
The front grill is particularly nice looking, with bracket pieces built sideways on each side, and more brackets extending forward from within the hood.
To achieve the look of the Charger from The Fast and the Furious, you can pop off a short section of the hood and drop in the supercharger.
The supercharger looks awesome, though frankly rather ridiculous (as real superchargers do as well).
It gives the Charger an even meaner look, like it’s ready to suck the breath out of you as well as chew up the road.
Most larger LEGO Speed Champions sets include some type of standalone play feature, such as part of an auto shop or race track. This set includes a starting light, also known as a “Christmas tree”.
The lights themselves are attached to black Technic axle/pin hubs, which act as levers when you press the light gray split axle/pin connector down along the Technic axle at the back. This pops the lights up in sequence, and you can almost hear the “boop… boop… boop… BEEEEEEP!!!” to start the race. It’s a rather ingenious device, and one of the more fun non-vehicle portions of a Speed Champions set in a while.
This set includes three minifigs — a male Charger driver, female Challenger driver, and a female race official. The Charger driver wears an R/T logo T-shirt under a light blue jacket, while the Challenger driver wears an all-black racing jumpsuit with the Demon logo. Her jumpsuit’s design also extends down to her legs — the only minifig in this set with printed legs. The official wears a gray hoodie over a red shirt.
The minifigs’ jacket, jumpsuit, and hoodie designs all extend around to their backs.
Conclusions & recommendation
I’ve already revealed my preference for European supercars over American muscle cars earlier in this review, but setting aside my personal biases regarding the source material, both vehicles in this set are well executed, faithfully recreating the look and feel of the 1970 Dodge Charger R/T and 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.
Each car includes some unexpected printed pieces, and the conversion of the Charger into the version featured in Fast & Furious is particularly charming. With the inclusion of the drag-race Christmas tree, this is a truly fun Speed Champions set that is greater than the sum of its parts.
LEGO Speed Champions 75893 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and 1970 Dodge Charger R-T includes 478 pieces with 3 minifigs. The set will be available January 1st, 2019 from the LEGO Shop ($29.99 in the US | £34.99 in the UK | $39.99 in Canada), Amazon.com, BrickLink, eBay, and elsewhere.
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.