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.
It’s not often that a LEGO set transports me back home. But regular readers of The Brothers Brick know that I was born in Tokyo and lived in Japan until I was a teenager, so I was incredibly excited when LEGO announced 21050 Tokyo. I’ve enjoyed each of the previous LEGO Architecture skyline sets I’ve built, but how does this one stack up for someone who calls Tokyo their hometown?
Tokyo was revealed as part of the LEGO Architecture skyline series for 2020, alongside 21052 Dubai. Tokyo is built from 547 pieces and will retail for $59.99 USD | $79.99 CAD | £59.99 GBP. Both sets will be available starting January 1st.
Read our hands-on review of LEGO Architecture 21051 Tokyo skyline
If you’re not a fan of stage performances, but still want to go on a world tour, the new LEGO Architecture sets may find themselves on your 2020 shopping list. Two new sets, 21051 Tokyo Skyline and 21052 Dubai Skyline have just been revealed by Polish retailer Remix Kaja. It’s not the first theme’s visit to the United Arab Emirates, as 2016 saw 21031 Burj Khalifa set. This time, the tallest skyscraper in the world is surrounded by a number of other world-famous buildings. Unlike Dubai, this is the first appearance of the Tokyo landmarks in the LEGO theme. Naturally, the Tokyo Tower and Mount Fuji are here along with other Japanese symbols — both architectural and natural. We expect both sets to be available in stores early January 2020.
Don’t miss the rest of the LEGO lineup for 2020:
Click to check out all the new LEGO Architecture sets