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    An Analysis of the Volkswagen Beetle - In LEGO and in Life


    The Volkswagen Type 1, or more commonly the Volkswagen Beetle, was one of the offspring of Adolf Hitler’s plan for a car that was cheap to manufacture. The car was manufactured for 62 years (1941-2003), and approximately 21.5 million were made worldwide, a world record.^

    The word “Volkswagen” derives from the German phrase “people’s car”. It was designed under the requirements that it carry 5 people and be able to travel 22 mpg, a stunning number, at the time. Eventually, the car was further developed to drive more efficiently as well as have higher speeds.^

    Despite the changes within the frame of the Beetle, the initial shape stayed the same throughout the decades of production. See below for comparisons:

    1949 Volkswagen Beetle

    1972 Volkswagen Beetle

    2003 Volkswagen Beetle (Last model produced)

    5 years after the final Volkswagen Beetle was produced in 2008, The LEGO Company released a model of the iconic vehicle, featuring 1,626 pieces, and retailing for $119.99 USD.

    The Volkswagen Beetle LEGO model uses primarily bricks with studs rather than curved smooth pieces that could have otherwise been used to recreate the smooth flowing surface and shape of the Volkswagen. Instead, studs are used, which gives the build a more chunky shape, which I think could have been done differently, as it can be difficult to make the iconic curves of the Beetle with bricks.

    This particular LEGO Volkswagen Beetle was based off the 1960 Beetle. After all, the license plate does read WOB-VW 1960. WOB an abbreviation for “Wolfsburg, the ‘home town’ of Volkswagen”*.

    Now, let’s compare the LEGO Volkswagen Beetle to the real 1960 Volkswagen Beetle!!

    1960 Volkswagen Beetle Cutaway Picture

    LEGO Volkswagen Beetle Open Picture

    1960 Volkswagen Beetle Picture

    LEGO Volkswagen Beetle Picture

    I personally think that LEGO didn’t do a great job with this particular set because they could have used sloped pieces, and pieces with curves in order to better recreate the actual Beetle. The LEGO version seems overall much more stout than the actual, and has too much texture to it. The interior of the car, on the other hand, was done well, especially the chairs and dashboard.

    LEGO did manage to include the iconic headlights of the Volkswagen Beetle, but since the LEGO version is so wide, the headlights almost seem out of place. LEGO also could have added chrome “umbrella” pieces as hubcaps instead of the duller silver-gray color that was chosen. The rear-view mirrors of the car were done well, and very creative, which is a nice bonus. Overall, this set visually earns itself 7/10.

    ^http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Beetle

    *http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=14180&#entry242123

    The Volkswagen Beetle has been on a very respectable increase over the past year, and with nearly a 40% increase from $336 last June. Now, let’s look at a few tables that I put together for the Volkswagen Beetle, and the sales in the last 90 days…      

     

     

     

    Based on these numbers, and the average total sale price of sets in the last 90 days, we can guess that the Volkswagen Beetle is worth about $572.20. Now this number does include international sales, which is different from BrickPicker data, so the number you see is an approximate value.

    This means that the Volkswagen Beetle has increased in value approximately 16% over the last 2 months (June-July), or an average of 8% per month, which is a very constant growth, as it grew 7.21% in May 2013, and does show potential as a set to grab for investment, even 5 years after retirement!

    Though the Volkswagen Beetle was not the strongest build, the investment potential and value of the set is high, and definitely a strong contestant in the investment game!!

    I hope you enjoyed this article! :D

     

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