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2011-06-02 12:18

TIMELESS APPEAL: Facing up to a boring rainy weekend? Building one of these will be the perfect tonic.

If you're looking for a the world’s most capable civilian adventure and rescue vehicle it has to be Mercedes-Benz’s Unimog.

The problem with owning one is that they are rather large and don’t really fit into most suburban garages.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2011, Mercedes-Benz decided to commission the world’s greatest toy engineering brand to pay homage to Unimog - and allow brand fanatics to (finally) park a Mog in their living room without too much hassle.

ULTIMATE OFF-ROAD TOY

The result is Lego’s new Unimog U 400. Built to 1:12.5 scale, it’s the Danish toy brand’s biggest product yet at 408mm bumper-to-bumper and 232mm tall, consisting of 2048 modules.

Featuring electric drive and a range of pneumatics, thanks to a joint-venture technology transfer with Mercedes-Benz, this ultimate Lego truck’s loadbed-mounted crane unit (with grip arm) is powered by on-board pneumatics and can rotate and function through a full 360-degree of motion.

As one would expect from a Lego/Mercedes joint venture, attention to detail is magnificent. The engine construction is accurate down to the actual piston lay-out and, just like the signature portal-axle drivetrain of the life-size Unimog, the Lego version has a special gear unit that ensures it has unmatched ground clearance for a build-it-yourself toy.

Set to go on sale by August 2011 at a price of around R2000, the Lego U400 ‘Mog is sure to delight fathers as much as the sons for which it will, at least ostensibly, be bought.

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