New Dehli had the Hindustan Ambassador, London the FX4 and New York the Checker Marathon and the Ford Crown Victoria. All of these taxis became instantly recognizable icons for their respective cities. What about Tokyo, you may wonder? On a visit Japan, you will occasionally see modern MPV-like vehicles, but the typical Tokyo taxi is a boxy contraption called the Toyota Comfort. They seem to be everywhere. I must have taken about ten taxi rides during my own trips to Japan and I’m pretty sure all of those were in a Toyota Comfort.
Toyota started building them specifically for use as taxis for a whopping 22 years, starting in 1995. You may expect them to be high tech, but these cars are actually fairly basic. A particularly Japanese exception is that the driver can open and shut the rear doors at the push of a button, from behind the wheel. The doors are an important part of the build, of course. On most of my LEGO cars, the rear doors cannot open without the front doors being opened first. However, I wanted this particular model to look good with the rear doors opened. They are attached to a little arm that slides in and out and I have added appropriate window frames. I also added a “Kawaii” passenger. The Comfort may not be as iconic as London black cab, but my collection of Japanese cars would be incomplete without one.
When you’re having a bad day, sometimes it’s nice to just sit down and watch a fun science fiction movie like The Fifth Element. There are great characters, an engaging story, and a universe that is willing to give us flying cars. Davdup brings that love of the vehicles into LEGO form with renditions of a police cruiser and Korben Dallas’ taxi. Slightly bigger than minifgure scale, these beauties feature smooth curves, complex angles, custom stickers, and build details straight from the movie.
The police car is a solid build (I love the grille tiles in the window) that accurately captures the utilitarian vehicle. Davdup has chosen to also include a window-delivered to-go order from McDonald’s, giving us a great callback to the movie. The interior is also pretty sweet, using a Technic pilot’s yoke for the steering wheel. Continue reading
Next to towering skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty, New York City has also long been identified with streets full of yellow taxicabs. LEGO car builder Pixeljunkie chose to represent a classic Checker cab, complete with its characteristic black and white checkerboard-style trim. While the car itself looks great, it is further enhanced by the gritty scenery which includes a knocked over trash can. Meanwhile, the irritated-looking minifig driver sitting cross-legged adds an extra dash of personality.
If you love the Checker cab, you will probably also enjoy Pixeljunkie’s chopped Model A Ford hot rod. It packs some serious muscle in the engine and behind the wheel, and the whitewall tires give it a strong sense of style.
We’ve featured Martin Redfern‘s impressive retro-styled vehicles previously, notably this 50s Police Cruiser, and more recently a cool LEGO dispatch bike. This curvy taxi makes an excellent addition to the fleet — a delicious yellow and black colour scheme complete with checkerboard stripe, beautiful chrome trimmings, and all executed in Martin’s trademark chunky aesthetic.
The model features opening doors and trunk, a detailed interior, and an engine lurking beneath the bonnet. As well as including all this, the builder has gone to the trouble of putting together an appropriately atmospheric poster for his taxi service. I don’t care what price he’s charging, I’m a willing passenger on this ride.