10279 Volkswagen T2 Camper Van Review

By Marick Hornsveld (SAFOLs Member, Founding member of CapeLUG. Loves Creator vehicles, Harry Potter, and Ninjago dragons. )

Creator fans rejoice, another Volkswagen icon has just been released – the T2 Camper Van. Available in South Africa from the beginning of August 2021, it joins the LEGO Volkswagen line-up which includes the 2008 Beetle, 2016 classic Beetle, and most notably, the 2011 T1 Camper Van – a fan favourite which was available for almost 10 years.

With Creator sets, especially the Creator Expert or 18+ line, becoming ever-more detailed and impressive, I had high expectations of this set, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

The box is enormous and is filled about ¾ of the way. Pieces come in the usual numbered, plastic packets. The instructions and stickers are shipped in a plastic sleeve. The instructions feature some history of the T2 and photos of the designer, Sven Franic, who based the model on his own T2.

The build offers a master-class in SNOT-techniques (studs not on top), and the direction in which sub-assemblies are placed and attached is sometimes quite surprising. The body mainly uses tiles (flat and sloped) attached to SNOT plates, rather than bricks.

The size of the model quickly becomes evident – it measures 42 studs in length, 20 studs in height, and 18 studs in width, and is therefore considerably larger than its predecessor, the T1 Camper Van.

The build starts with the chassis, and once that’s together the frame starts to take shape. The focus then turns to the interior where delightful details are added, including a fridge, sand-green kettle, and folding bench/ bed. Exterior details continue to be added, and eventually the front interior, and nose area is completed. The build up to this point has been very enjoyable, and I’m sad to see that I am nearing the end. Then comes the pop-up roof…

The next 47 pages are dedicated to the construction of the pop-up roof. The mechanism is built mainly with Technic pieces. It is tedious and non-Technic builders will more than likely not enjoy this part of the build. The pop-up roof is completely over-engineered and the amount of parts it takes up does not nearly warrant the resultant operation, which is disappointing at best. I am quite certain that a similar operation could have been achieved with far fewer parts. The inclusion of so many Technic parts to create such a small part of the model is rather perplexing. The piece count could have much rather been used to add details to the dash, such as instruments (represented with only a sticker), more interior details, and better interior finishing, such as on the inside of the doors, and the boot area.

In stark contrast to this, the sliding door is executed brilliantly, and with very few parts. Its movement captures the closing motion of the real VW van perfectly, and it’s the one feature I believe truly makes this model. The two front doors close satisfyingly well – the joints and transitions of the model overall is exceptional with almost no gaps visible.

During the build, a few areas feel quite flimsy, especially because of the pop-up roof which essentially floats on top of the model. Most, but not all, of these flimsy areas are strengthened. Two notable areas that could have been strengthened further is the panel above the left rear wheel – pressing too hard here pops the interior SNOT panel right off and fixing it requires some disassembly. The front-bumper also falls off at the slightest touch. The use of stickers are also disappointing, especially because the colour-matching of the stickers are poor. These are minor gripes, however, and don’t detract from the overall great impression the model gives.

The set also features steering which is connected to the interior steering wheel, and to the front spare tire – a really fun feature.  

The colour combination of white and medium azure is very attractive. The tan and dark orange upholstery is equally attractive, and really gives it that era-specific feel. The chrome hubs with VW-logo adds that special touch. A sticker sheet is also included that allows the builder to customize their bus with flowers and lettering – flower power!

The added surfboard gives it that California feel, and the two folding chairs add another fun detail.

Considering its size and the level of exterior detail, the set feels like good value for money. It is a beautiful display set and offers a great building experience. Younger AFOLS will definitely remember someone who drove a ‘ou, blou Kombi’, while the older generation may even reminisce about driving one of these beauties.

I highly recommend adding this set to your Creator or Volkswagen collection.