There are few toy brands that can boast the longevity of The LEGO Group. They create toys for all ages, capturing the imagination of millions. Not only are their generic LEGO sets massive hits, but their licensed products are as well. LEGO has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, including Disney, Nintendo, and even the Ford Motor Company. The LEGO Technic: Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is a beautiful set ready to capture the imagination of Ford fans around the globe. The question remains: is this set doing the car justice? Let’s take a look.
Unboxing the LEGO Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
To be transparent, it has been a long time since I purchased and built a LEGO set. The most recent LEGO set I’ve had the privilege of building was the LEGO Galaxy Explorer set with a total of 1200 pieces. In comparison, the LEGO Technic Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 has just under half the number of pieces, and yet only has two sets of bags of pieces.
For reference, larger LEGO sets come in bags that are numbered. These numbered bags correspond to specific pages of the instruction manual. In the case of the 1200 piece LEGO Galaxy Explorer, there were 12 total bags. With the Ford Mustang Shelby, there were only two.
The difficulty or suggested age range for a LEGO set is often determined by the number of pieces, as opposed to the complexity. The fewer the number of bags, the easier a set generally is to build. We will get to this later. Also included in the box alongside the two bags and instruction manual is a sticker sheet.
The box itself provides important information on what you can expect when the car is built. It has brief details on the AR App that can be used in conjunction with the set. It also highlights a few of the set’s features. When it comes to LEGO, box information can be important when deciding which sets to purchase.
Putting the LEGO Shelby together
As noted above, fewer bags usually means a smaller set. In most situations, a smaller set means an easier set to build. That was not the case with the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Each set of numbered bags contained about 270 pieces, many of which were small and hard to handle. The box indicates this is a set for 9+, but my 13 year old son had a pretty tough time getting this set together. This level of difficulty is on par with most vehicular Technic sets. The LEGO Technic All-Terrain Vehicle, which was reviewed on our French blog, is very similar.
The thing about Technic LEGO is that it is always harder to build than other LEGO sets. The label ‘Technic’ is generally used when there are mechanical components involved. That usually requires a combination of gears, elastics, and more, all of which need to be perfectly set for the system to work. As the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 has a pull back motor included, I knew even before we started that this was going to take some work perfecting. One piece slightly out of place can make the internal mechanisms fail. This can be especially frustrating when trying to troubleshoot issues later on. Making sure each piece is exactly where it needs to be is vital to this build.
Thankfully, the instruction booklet is well detailed. Each and every piece is accounted for within each page. When something needs to go somewhere VERY specific, the instructions were even more helpful than usual. LEGO understands that Technic LEGO sets are as much pieces of fine art as they are a toy to be played with. While I don’t usually call LEGO sets engineering marvels, I would use that term to describe this car after putting it together.
Is the LEGO Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 worth it?
Ultimately, there are those who will buy the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 to display, and those who will buy it for play. The set fits both needs perfectly. I’ll enjoy displaying this piece on my LEGO shelf—alongside the LEGO Grand Piano and the LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System—just as much as my kids will enjoy playing with it on the family room floor. Because of the excellent build quality, it’s unlikely this will come apart, even after hours of use.
If you have been a part of the LEGO community for as long as I have been, you know the value of a LEGO set can be difficult to measure. There is one group of individuals who value LEGO on a price per piece. In general, $0.10 per piece is considered a fair price, although that has slightly changed with the recent pandemic and rising costs of goods. The Shelby GT500 comes in around $0.12 per piece, which I would argue is a good value.
This value is only increased by the inclusion of the pullback motor. This specific motor is not available to purchase on its own, even from the LEGO store. That means there are only a handful of LEGO sets that include this specific piece. There are also a few other very unique, hard to find pieces included in this set as well. When taking the price-per-piece and the number of unique pieces into account, from a LEGO fan perspective, the value is here is tremendous.
Perhaps the majority of potential consumers really only care about one thing: how accurate is the car? While I don’t own a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, the resemblance to the actual car is uncanny. While one is obviously made of LEGO and not metal, the attention to detail is outstanding. If your plan is to use the set as a decorative piece, you won’t be disappointed.
I just love that LEGO has thought through how to make this fun to play as well. The pullback motor which lets the car self-propel is great. This feature is further made better via the mobile phone application that can be downloaded and used in conjunction with the car. You can race across the floor, creating fastest times and more, all within the application. It really takes the set to a whole other level.
Whether you want to display or play with the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, you are in for a real treat. LEGO continues to wow consumers with their licensed products, and they’ve hit a home run with this one. As a LEGO fan—but not necessarily a car fan—I cannot recommend this set enough.
Shop a variety of interesting LEGO Technic sets at Best Buy today.