I don’t know how he does it, but builder Djokson has managed to breathe life into yet another extinct LEGO Racer with his tribute to 4573 Lightor. We’ve seen prior successes from this builder in the past, but I’m particularly drawn to this one. Maybe it’s that color scheme, all ROY and no GBIV. Maybe it’s the outstanding parts usage, what with these windscreens in orange nested within a dump truck bed for the air intakes on the sides. I mean, those are some awesome side panels! No, I’d say it’s probably the driver. The engineering the make a figure with such character and yet such a skinny cross-section is like catching lightning in a bottle.
The early noughties were a weird time for LEGO. The now ever-present Star Wars line had only just got going, the company had started making action figures with varying degrees of success, and the cheese slope hadn’t been invented yet. The Xalax sub-theme of the Racers line was just another oddity to come out of Denmark during this period, and has been pretty universally derided ever since. Enter Djokson, who has been using his mastery of inventive parts use to redeem the theme over the last year or so. This time, he’s turned his attention to 4569 Warrior.
The use of a Duplo arch brick as a huge air intake makes it look suitably aggressive while the stickers add a futuristic flair. The colour scheme is perfectly executed, and faithful to the original set as well. Red and purple? How retro is that! (All the more impressive when you realize how few parts are available in that now-retired hue simply called “purple”.)
Teal and purple? What’s this, Technic battle bots from the 90s? This bright racer by Djokson is a rebuild of something just as old, if not more obscure. Continuing his rebuilds of the Xalax racers, he this time pays homage to 4568 Loopin, with a look that borrows design elements from popular pieces of pop culture. For example, the racer and pilot is a perfect blend of cyberpunk aesthetic with a bit of rugged and spiky Mad Max flair. It also uses the unique front wheel design of the spinners from the Blade Runner films and the Tumbler from Christopher Nolan’s Batman: Dark Knight trilogy.
Djokson is a master at NPU, especially with Technic and construction elements such as Bionicle. Loopin has less of that but is still old and obscure. Transparent orange electronic sensor piece from the LEGO Dimensions toys-to-life style videogame cover each wheel, bordered by a basketball rim from the LEGO Sports theme. Djokson also incorporated the printed pieces from the original Loopin set, which give this racer fun decals. The fairly new purple-coloured headphone pieces works well as a chin guard for the pilot’s helmet, as do the red accents. Djokson also achieved the small red rings in the tail and wrists of the pilot via unconventional ways: by cutting a ribbed hose. It’s not exactly an illegal building technique, as the instructions of some LEGO Technic sets do require you to cut ribbed hoses as well as pneumatic tubes.
Lastly, because I just have to gush about teal LEGO pieces: the Technic parts in this colour are fairly limited, but work perfectly in this build. I’m just wishing for more pieces.
Big teal Technic supercar when?
As a 90’s kid, I have an unironic love for early 2000’s LEGO products. The classic trendsetters, Star Wars and Harry Potter are well-liked. Others, like Bionicle, may be questionable by some but have their niche following. And then there are Galidor and Jack Stone, which most of the LEGO community looks down on. I love it all since it shaped my childhood and adulthood, and I’m thankful that builders like Djokson feel the same way. His latest creation, Smog Ocean Surfer, looks like just an ordinary, colourful sci-fi bike and rider. It doesn’t have anything to do with the themes I mentioned, right? Maybe a reimagining of Roboriders? Or maybe it’s more obscure…
I hope I wasn’t the only one who recognised the blue and yellow colour scheme with the grey, monster-like, and cute rider. I’m surprised I remembered the long-forgotten Xalax racers… This build is a reimagining of 4567 Surfer, a set from the first wave of LEGO Racers back in 2001. These small Xalax racers were LEGO’s answer to Hotwheels and similar McDonald’s Happy Meal toys with their outlandish nature. With their element and weapon-themed colour schemes, They felt like a non-Technic successor to Roboriders. The pilots were small, goofy chibi monsters were head and shoulders, and the cars had a slammer system to launch them.
I have not been uploading much in terms of LEGO on the internet for the past few months. This was partly because I have not been building much, but also because I did not really photograph or edit much of what I did build. This situation is a bit different from the previous builds in that I got a (in my opinion) neat idea that I knew I could build quickly and wanted to share with the community as soon as I could. The result was Spiky‘s “racing” mech, inspired by the LEGO Racers 2 video game. Some may call LEGO Xalax Racers one of the worst themes of all time (and its place in LEGO history during the company’s worst financial years may be more than just a coincidence), but I loved it. Although I see it through rose-tinted glasses, I believe the theme had redeeming qualities in its unique figures and in tying closely into LEGO Racers 2.