LEGO Creator 40517 Vespa Scooter – “Sembra una vespa!” [Review]

On April 23rd, 1946, Enrico Piaggio filed the patent for the first Vespa. Now, over 75 years later, LEGO is celebrating this iconic scooter with a pair of brick-built tributes. The Creator Expert 10298 Vespa set we reviewed yesterday features a powder-blue Vespa 125, while the LEGO Creator 40517 – Vespa Scooter showcases a smaller, more modern version in red. Like its larger cousin, this 117-piece set will be available March 1st from the LEGO Shop Online for US $9.99 | CAN $12.99 | UK  TBD . Let’s take a ride together and see what this set has to offer!

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.

Unboxing the parts, instructions and sticker sheet

This set comes in a small tab-sealed box. The front and back are pretty similar, with a central image of the Vespa seen from either side. It’s interesting that there aren’t any product shots or teases for any of the other smaller Creator sets, like the 40518 High-Speed Train. Seems like a wasted opportunity.

There’s a bit of licensing on the bottom of the box, where a small holographic sticker identifies this set as an official Vespa product. This practice has been around since at least 2018, when we saw one on the packaging for the Speed Champions 75890 Ferrari F40 Competizione.

Inside the box are two unnumbered parts bags, a staple-bound, 40 page instruction booklet, and a small sticker sheet.

Our review copy saw both the manual and the sticker sheet arrive with some pretty heavy bending. The sticker sheet suffered the most, with one sticker having slid completely off the sheet.

The parts

For a small set, there are some interesting pieces to be had. The rounded corner slopes in red are new for this set, as is the red modified brick with Technic connection. It also includes a couple of the new 1×5 plates that are complicating the lives of overly-organized LEGO part sorters worldwide. (I love ’em, but now I have to shift all my plate storage bins. I know…Whine, whine, whine.)

The build

The build for this set is quick and easy, taking advantage of some SNOT connections to create a nicely rounded body.

The detailing is sticker-based, which is fine for a smaller set like this. The rear license plate has the Vespa logo and “1946” – the year of the Vespa’s patent.

The front of the scooter also has a sticker-based Vespa logo and a lot of smooth curves created from tile and sloped brick.

The floorboards have an interesting connection – they’re clipped onto modified 1×1 round plates to create a smooth angle from the front cowling to the rear of the vehicle. There is no steering to be had, though, as the front attaches solidly to the main body with a 5l Technic rod. On the plus side, this fixed front wheel means that the model can sit upright without needing a kick-stand.

The finished model

The quote “Sembra una vespa!” (“It looks like a wasp!”) is attributed to Enrico Piaggio’s first impression of the scooter’s design. That look has carried forward since 1946, as this version of the Vespa has the same antenna-like handlebars and streamlined shape.

The scale of this Creator set is great for stand-alone display, but it doesn’t mesh all that well with minifigures. Unless you’re into hilariously oversized prop vehicles.

When you compare this model to the Creator Expert 10298 Vespa 125, you can see how the design has evolved over the years. Personally I like the wider cowling of the red scooter, but that powder blue makes me smile just a bit more. Hopefully LEGO will eventually release all the parts from this set in other shades, so fans can create their own hybrid models.

Conclusion and recommendation

If you’re looking for a budget version of the 10298 Creator Expert Vespa 125, you’re going to be pretty happy with the Creator 40517 version. This updated Vespa stands out with its bright color scheme, realistic detailing, and reasonable sticker usage. The minor downside is that this is more of a display piece than a playable vehicle, as the scale doesn’t match up well with any current minifigure offering. But if you’re looking for a cute little dust catcher with a lot of character, pick this one up.

LEGO Creator 40517 – Vespa Scooter will be available March 1st from the LEGO Shop Online for US $9.99 | CAN $12.99 | UK TBD . It may also be available via third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.

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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