We first learned about the collaboration between LEGO and Adidas last September when the teaser appeared on social media. Recalling some of the previous LEGO Wear products, the fans rightfully expected nothing more than several pairs of LEGO-themed running shoes in Adidas stores. Although the actual Adidas ZX 8000 sneakers were an instant hit, hardly could we see what the collaboration may bring in the future. As it turns out, LEGO designers saw a unique opportunity to take the partnership to the next level, building an Adidas Superstar sneaker with LEGO bricks. This way comes 10282 Adidas Originals Superstar, a 731-piece model of the most iconic Adidas shoe. The set will be available from July 1 for US $79.99 | CAN $109.99 | UK £79.99. And it’s so much more than just a building set: to understand better what actually this product is, we talked to Florian Müller, Senior Designer, who took the idea from the concept to the actual model in the box.
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
The box and contents
No matter how cool the set is, boxes and packaging often stay the most boring and predictable part of the experience. However, Adidas Superstar is not the case. First of all, the set ships in an actual shoebox. It’s literally a shoebox, just like the one you’ll find in an Adidas shop. The size, the weight, and the quality of the cardboard all create the feeling that you got a pair of LEGO-themed sneakers instead of a LEGO set.
It’s not until you take a closer look when you notice all the smaller details. For instance, the “sticker” on the side actually contains all the regular information you’ll find on any other LEGO set. Instead of the shoe size, there is the piece count, and the hole is made in the shape of a LEGO minifigure’s head.
The bottom of the box features several sketches of the shoe, revealing its actual dimensions. The packaging design team really went above and beyond with this one, and I strongly advise checking out the box in person when you have a chance to — it’s totally worth it.
Obviously, the box opens just like a real one. Now we finally have an image of what the model actually looks like. While the outer shoebox cover isn’t fixed with any sealing, the inner cover is fixed with two pieces of tape. The whole pre-unboxing experience will be a huge wow factor for anyone discovering the product in a LEGO shop.
And just as I was ready for a less exciting view of plastic bags inside, I was amazed to see that the sneakerhead experience goes on. Under the inner cover, there is a sheet of packaging paper straight from an actual shoebox.
It wraps around the bags of pieces and adds a lot to the unpackaging experience; inside, you finally find an Adidas shoe, but you first have to build it.
As for the actual contents, the set comes packed in eight plastic bags. Instructions, a small sticker sheet, and another wedge plate can be found on the bottom of the box without additional packaging.
LEGO has set the bar high with the building guides from recent years. The booklet coming with the set contains several very stylish pages introducing the iconic shoe and telling about its meaning for Adidas’ success. Still, we’d rather not reveal everything, so you have something to discover yourself when building the set. The building guide also has a bit of information about the designer, Florian Müller, who answered our questions about the new set.
As for the parts, the set doesn’t bring many new elements, not to mention new bright colors. However, the good thing is that almost every single pattern of the model is printed. There’s only one sticker that goes onto a plaque on the show stand. All the Adidas logos are printed on tiles and slopes, and you’ll find a bunch of them in the set.
We asked Florian about the new elements, especially the new dome piece that can be found at the model’s toe.
Florian Müller: We have a new element that’s a big 5×5 dome element in the front. It’s a quarter dome element. In this case, it’s printed, but we will see it in the future, probably also in different colors and molds.
Another fascinating discovery is the brand new LEGO fabric piece which is an actual shoelace.
Florian Müller: I’m going to be surprised to see what people will do with it, especially in their own creations. And there might be some surprises when you play around a bit! I would say a minifigure can maybe hold it or have fun with it! So, there are definitely some things you can try to explore here.
And you got it right if you expect one of the building steps to be all about lacing the shoe.
Unlike LEGO cars, houses, or starships, a LEGO sneaker is a bit more complicated than simply throwing doors and guns onto a pre-built chassis. Actually, it all starts with the sole. And with just a handful of wedge plates, it instantly becomes a 1:1 brick-built copy of a real shoe sole. I even put it against my everyday sneakers, and, oh my, the shape fits perfectly.
But one of my favorite parts of the build is the printed labels right under the heel. Fine printing in LEGO always feels a bit like cheating, but in this case, it grants the model some massive bonus points. The assembly starts to feel a bit surreal.
It only takes one more bag with pieces to have all the hopes crashed: no, you can’t actually wear the shoe. The next building step introduced ball-joint connectors for further assembly, and they sit right in the middle of the sole.
However, here comes another surprise: inside the shoe, you’ll find a regular 2×3 brick. I’m still not completely sure whether it’s about the LEGO DNA inside an Adidas-branded product, or it’s a joke about stepping on LEGO bricks, but let’s say it’s a nice Easter egg to be discovered by fans.
As the set only consists of 731 bricks, the build is actually very smooth and quick. By the third bag, you’ll find yourself completing the back of the shoe. LEGO arches and curved bricks translate the shoe’s organic shape perfectly, while scarce open studs emphasize the material (i.e., plastic LEGO bricks).
A couple of hinge connectors hold the curved back in place securely. Actually, this is an efficient way of attaching vertical walls in LEGO builds which I enjoy seeing in sets every time.
Next, come the middle section of the shoe. Once again, due to the organic asymmetrical shape of the sneaker, the middle section consists of two slightly different sub-builds. This is where you get to build the iconic Adidas stripes. I must admit, they do look fantastic thanks to various LEGO slopes and tiles available to designers today.
Thanks to a couple of ball-joint connections, the walls of the shoe can be placed at untypical angles replicating the real shoe’s shape. I found this step a bit puzzling; the walls have a bit of movement, and it’s not quite clear how exactly I should place them. Eventually, I tweaked them a bit until I got the shape I liked.
There’s a lot of space inside the shoe, and if it were not for the ball-joint connectors, with enough precautions, I guess, a kid’s foot could fit inside the shoe!
Once the classic Adidas shell toe and the tongue take their places, the shoe only lacks its lacing.
The shoe’s weight and its sturdiness surprised me a lot. It’s a heavy, solid build, with most parts sitting very tightly together. Although it might not be a good idea to lift the shoe, holding it by the tongue and the lace, the sole, the back, and the toe are very robust and let you enjoy the design by safely holding the model in your hands.
The left shoe
To my surprise, the set has everything you need to build a left version of the shoe. Actually, it’s a big wedge plate that comes without plastic packaging and bag #7; you can recreate the left shoes’ symmetrical structure using these pieces. We also asked Florian about it:
Florian Müller: We included the seventh bag with additional bricks. You can get the building instructions for the left side online. And I would really recommend getting them! I tried it myself to build the left shoe without instructions, and it’s really messing with your brain. Everything here is asymmetrical.
And at the end of the building guide, you’ll find additional information about building (and even storing!) both shoes.
The finished model
The finished LEGO Adidas Superstar is a sight to behold. Placed on the stand, it is for sure an excellent interior decoration for many LEGO fans and sneakerheads. Thanks to the actual shoelace made of fabric, looking at the model from 3-4 feet, you won’t even say it’s a LEGO build without taking a closer look.
But, obviously, the shoe’s organic shape doesn’t translate into LEGO perfectly. In my opinion, it’s the side view where the model loses a lot. The gaps between the pieces become apparent, and the model loses a bit of its magic.
But as soon as you move on from the back, the shoe looks as great as from the front. We asked Florian whether it was easy to get the brick-build design approved with Adidas and how many versions did they have to submit for approval:
Florian Müller: A lot! I would say, definitely more than ten! I don’t know the exact count, but it was more than ten. It was due to the fact that capturing the organic shape with LEGO bricks is really something that took a long way. We had to try out and elaborate a lot in terms of techniques, in terms of ways of building. For instance, we had a version that was really clean: no studs exposed, no holes, nothing. Another version was a classic one, built with stacked bricks, looking kind of rasterized. Finally, we decided to go with something in-between. We still have the LEGO DNA in this version, but it has the shoe’s organic shape, which was important for us.
Thanks to the new dome pieces, the iconic shell toe turned out extremely good. I also like how tightly all the pieces around the toe fit together. This is arguably the best part of the model, as bad design choices could have easily ruined the whole build.
Florian also told us about what he expects fans to do with the model:
Florian Müller: I really want to see what people will do with this one because it’s very easy to modify — to change the stripe colour, the back, re-delivering the classic version. So, we encourage for sure the fans to have fun with it!
Conclusion and recommendation
Recommending LEGO 10282 Adidas Originals Superstar is easy: you simply know it if you are going to buy it. After building and reviewing the model, I feel that this set will be a direct hit with its target audience. At the same time, it has no goal of appealing to those who are not interested in either sneakers or unusual LEGO products. If you hesitate, do not be afraid to miss the set; despite being an inspiring build, it doesn’t offer outstanding building value. However, those who plan to get the set will find themselves over the moon thanks to mind-blowing unboxing experiences, which guarantee the product an exceptional place in LEGO’s adult portfolio.
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.
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