Build your own Volvo wheel loader – in Lego
It has been called “possibly the greatest intra-Scandinavian alliance ever” – the collaboration between world-leading toy maker LEGO® Group and Volvo Construction Equipment. No surprise the result is spectacular: a highly sophisticated remote-controlled miniature L350F wheel loader that can also be converted into a hauler.
While the real L350F is being manufactured in only one place in the entire world – the Volvo CE core plant for wheel loaders in Arvika, Sweden – its miniature copy will undoubtedly be built by happy Lego and Volvo fans all over the world.
“Not only will the L350F/A25F be our star machine for 2014 – it may even be our best seller ever,” says Niels Henrik Horsted, head of marketing for Lego Technic. “Like Volvo CE, our reputation has been built on yellow machines – and the Volvo L350F carries on that tradition in style, pushing the boundaries of creativity and functionality even further.”
Just like the real thing
In order to capture a true likeness of the L350F wheel loader, the designers studied the Volvo machines in great detail at the Eskilstuna plant, visited a construction site and did test drives.
As a result, the L350F miniature drives, steers and the robust model’s loader arm can lift more than 1kg – the bucket is the largest individual element ever created by Lego Technic. In addition, the filters can be removed, the radiator swings out, the pistons move and even the engine is painted green – just like a real Volvo L350F.
“The Volvo team readily offered helpful suggestions and gave us greater insight into how the real machines are built and operated. Both parties are perfectionists who are keen to get it right,” says Lego Technic design manager, Jeppe Juul Jensen.
Watch the Lego Technic TV commercial being aired this autumn.
Visited the home of L350F
The real-size L350F weighs in at over 55 ton and consists of over 5,000 pieces, requiring the hand of highly skilled operators. The Lego model, arriving in shops in August, will now allow youngsters from approximately 11 year and up to take on the challenge of putting over 1,600 individual pieces together to build one’s own yellow giant.
When the Lego marketing and design teams recently visited the home of the L350F in Arvika, they met with the Volvo staff and showcased their attempt to copy the plant’s largest product. Lego’s efforts were immediately approved – the model received attention worthy a rock star. Within a week over 200 Lego orders had been placed from the proud Arvika staff.
“Many of us are very fond of Lego and we are of course both proud and happy that they have chosen our L350F to be their next star”, says Jon Höglind, Head of Assembly at Arvika Plant.
Premium meets premium
Lego Technic is a 37-year-old sub-brand of the Lego Group, popular for its innovative and technically-advanced models. In contrast to the main Lego lines, the bricks are supplemented with a wide variety of interconnecting plastic rods and parts, including gears, axles, pins and beams, to create complex movable elements. The models aim to replicate both the form and function of their real-life counterparts as closely as possible.
“Volvo CE and the Lego Group together create a perfect match. Not only are we both premium brands, we’re also share similar cultural mindset and what we try to achieve in our products, says Mats Bredborg, global director of brand management at Volvo CE.