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Airfix Quick Build Volkswagen Beetle

Airfix No. J6023
Molded Colors: Yellow, tan, gray
Scale: Not listed
MSRP: $16.99
Pros: Great parent-child project, easy to build, finished model looks realistic, no glue or paint required
Cons: A few minor fit issues
If you’ve been through the toy department in any big box store lately, you’ve probably noticed Lego’s sizable footprint. In an effort to capitalize on that existing market and attract the next generation of model builders, Airfix has launched the Quick Build line of autos and aircraft.

Curious how Airfix’s hybrid approach of combining the lines of a traditional plastic car kit with Lego-style construction would work, I asked my son Albert, 6, to build the Beetle. He’s assembled many Lego sets, from basic to appropriately challenging for his age, so he was the right guy for the task.

Though the kit is geared for ages 5 and up, some parental help is necessary. The bug’s wheels, hubcaps, tires, and headlights are attached to sprues, and while the parts could probably be twisted off (cringe), I used plier- and tweezer-style sprue cutters. It’s good to teach proper modeling skills from a young age, right?

After that I turned the project over to Albert, who skillfully negotiated the 32-step instructions, printed in color. The illustrations were well rendered and colors distinct – I wasn’t left wondering if the part shown was yellow or tan.

 stopped in a few spots to point out little things, like how the headlights have a slot on the bottom that aligns with a notch in the housing to orient correctly. Albert finished the Beetle in 20 minutes.

With the finished model in hand, Albert darted away from the kitchen table to show his mom and sister. Then there was that awkward silence parents know all too well.

I quietly wondered if the car fell apart or I put a sticker in the wrong spot.

Albert came back to the table, set the car down, and urgently asked, “Will my Lego Minifigures fit in the car?” Not knowing, I shrugged my shoulders. Before I could blink, there was a pitter-patter of feet going down the hallway, followed by the stirring of Legos.

Seconds later, Albert was back with Batman and The Flash. They’re not quite the infamous Dynamic Duo, but suitable characters to help answer my son’s burning question. The front seats each have four studs, which will hold a Minifigure in place. The back seat doesn’t have studs, but two or three figures will fit. The roof, with window glazing inserted, wouldn’t seat with Batman up front because the ears on his cowl were too tall. However, the Beetle should accommodate most non-superheroes.

Overall, I was impressed with the Airfix Beetle. The parts fit together well and, more importantly, stayed together. There was a minor fit issue along the seam between the bottom of the windows and the top of the doors, but hardly a deal breaker.

I especially appreciated that in the end the finished model looks like a real car that we could plausibly see rolling past our house.        


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