Halloween 2023: October 31ˢᵗ – Everybody Can Relax, I Found The Car

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! We’re going to say goodbye to Halloween 2023 in style by building what I believe may just be the finest thing Lego has ever produced. Click the pic and we’ll hit the bricks as we assemble the new centerpiece of my Lego and Halloween worlds, the Lego Icons Ghostbusters Ecto-1!

So I’m going to break with tradition and start today’s article with Halloween 2023’s final Skull Of The Day! Today’s Skull Of The Day is my new skull shaped bottle! I don’t know what I’m going to use it for, but it was an unexpected find and it was entirely too cool not to buy. But despite it’s awesomeness, I had to write about it first. Because after you’ve seen today’s main feature, no skull in the world could possibly be a strong closer. You’re about to take a look at some seriously cool shit.

My brother got me this for Christmas. Yes, I got it early. Yes, I opened it early. Yes, my brother was absolutely cool with all of the above. Why? Because my brother is better than your brother, that’s why. Mind your business.

The building instructions cover is printed in the style of the old Chilton Auto Repair Manuals. Sweet mother of Jesus, this is going to be AWESOME.

Pretty pictures! But there’s no time to waste. This set has 2,352 pieces, so let’s get started!

Above you can see the beginning of the steering assembly. The large gear turns the wheels which will be supported by the ball and socket Technic pieces.

The assembly is attached to the main chassis/frame. In the center you can see the axle that will join the assembly to the steering column. In my experience it is rare for Lego to use triple layers of pinned Technic beams. I can only surmise this means the finished model will be very heavy and extremely sturdy.

The rear axle is split. The two small gears attached to each axle look familiar. I’ve seen this in other automotive Technic sets. It means I’m going to eventually build rear differentials. I cannot fucking wait for this. And just to clarify, all of this was only Step 1. This was thirty-nine pages out of a 309-page instruction book. My erection at this moment is indescribable.

Step 2. This spring loaded hydraulic piston is new to me. I haven’t seen this before.

The gunner’s seat pops out just like in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

The proton pack is built into the chair.

This step was wild. The gunner’s seat mechanism is built of three separate pieces, each of which are complex designs you have to build. But once you build them, you don’t connect them to anything. You build them, then lay them on top of one another without attaching them to anything. Then you build a cage around them to keep them in place. Once the cage is finished, the three pieces work together as one larger mechanism to pop the chair out and spin it around. I have never seen anything like this in any other Lego set I have ever built. I put this together piece by piece and I have to be honest, I still don’t fully understand how it works. It doesn’t seem like it should. But it works perfectly. It even speeds up when the chair spins, just as it does in the movie. This thing is fucking unbelievable.

The only thing I can compare this mechanism to is a gear box, where the gears are all held together by the gear box frame. Take away the box and the gears would just fall all over the place because the box is the only thing holding them against each other. Same idea here, but instead of gears it’s three separate sliding pieces that just push against each other to slide the seat out.

Step 3.

Rear passenger side corner and bumper.

There are some clever techniques in use here. To get the proper spacing for the tail lights they used a silver minifigure goblet. The tan piece with the decorative curl is from the Lego Architecture series. It’s a piece meant to look like decorative elements in Greek and Roman temples. It is there to stabilize the red piece on top of it while leaving space for the foot of the goblet. Pretty clever use of existing Lego elements.

Step 4. We’re starting this step with a cool little panel for the interior.

This is the interior side seat position when the trap door ramp is up.

The seat slides toward the rear when the ramp for the remote control trap is lowered.

Here we have a universal joint connecting the steering column to the steering assembly.

Above you can see an example of how much attention to detail was put into this model. Instead of using a direct connection from the larger gear to the steering column, they used the small black and grey reducing gears to the right. This allows the steering wheel to move the wheels in a realistic ratio, so when you turn the steering wheel, the wheels swing at the same rate they would move in real life if you turned a real steering wheel the same amount. No one in the world would have complained if the wheels moved at an unrealistic ratio to the turn of the steering wheel. But they did it anyway. This is fucking amazing.

The entire steering system.

“Needs some suspension work. And shocks. And, uh, brakes, brake pads, linings, steering box, transmission, rear end… Maybe new rings, also mufflers. A little wiring…”

Step 5. The doors go on.

Another unbelievable attention to detail. This is the front door hinge mechanism. This is the door closed.

This is the door open. If it was just a simple swing hinge the doors would swing 180°. So they included this little counterset hinge that stops the door from swinging further than real car door would. Just fantastic.

The gunner’s seat door DOES swing 180°, just like in the movie.

Goddamned glorious.

Step 6. This step was pretty basic. Nothing structural, but a lot of detail which makes this car really look like a 1959 Cadillac full of ghostbusting equipment.

The back seat.

The largest part of this step was the fins, which really makes this thing look like an old Caddy.

The tail light assembly is goddamned perfect.

Step 7. I was confused when I saw rubber bands in the parts bag, but they’re belts that go on the engine! Turn any of the three wheels and the belts make the other two spin. This is an insane level of detail considering that this will be almost completely hidden when the car is finished.

Engine in place.

Headlights and running lights.

The grille is formed by stacked silver minifigure roller skates. I’m in heaven.

Now that then engine and front end are in place, we put on the hood.

“Yeah, it’s a Cadillac.”

Steps 8 & 9. The dashboard goes in first.

“How ’bout a little music?”

The rear door.

With it opened you can see the recessed area in the floor where the remote ghost trap will be stored for deployment.

The side panels are completed and the windows and windshield go on.

These curved cockpit canopies used as rear windows are one of the details that make this such a quality build. This thing looks like it drove straight out of Mayberry.

Everything so far.

Step 10: the roof.

There’s a secondary steering column attached to the main steering gear. It goes up to the roof here, and lies flush with a hole. I’m guessing you’ll be able to steer the car by turning some of the ghostbusting equipment on the roof rack.

Consider the roof raised.

Look how smoothly the roof curves down to the rear door. It seems almost impossible that this was assembled from Lego bricks.

Remember the gears on the split rear axle? I thought they were going to be differentials, but I think I was wrong. There is another drive shaft that comes up from these gears to the roof. I think when you roll the car, those gears on the rear wheel will spin drive shafts that move the equipment on the roof.

Yeah, we host our own video clips now. I’m not bragging or anything. Just pointing out that I’m super cool and all the single ladies should feel free to slide into my DMs. Or my pants. Your call.

Step 11: the roof-racked ghostbusting equipment. I was right! The drive shaft moves the antennae. The different size gears and that locomotive drive I showed you in the video make the various devices move at different speeds, so it looks like they are driven by separate motors.

Some of these things are made with Lego pieces I have never seen before, or by ones that only look vaguely familiar. The chemical sniffer – the thing with the two red barrels – doesn’t rotate 360°. The locomotive drive makes it oscillate from side to side. Outstanding!

I was right about this, too! The little clear radar dome (or whatever it is) turns the wheels and the steering wheel from the top of the car. I love it!

Some more cool looking details.

The old 1950s whip antenna is just magnificent. I’ve only ever seen these twice: on the Ecto-1, and on the police cruisers in The Andy Griffith Show. This long flexible antenna is another piece I’ve never seen before.

Even the rear view mirrors are incredible.

They look even better from the front.

Step 12. The big finish. First we complete the quarter panels and add the electrical conduit.

Next we assemble the the remote trap and nestle it down in it’s launch bay.

It’s so adorable!

Rear flood lights and light bars.

Front flood lights and light bars.

Just so pretty.

I love these printed Cadillac hubcaps. This was a clever design. The rims are white, but are largely hidden by the hubcaps, which gives the overall impression that the tires are white walls. Just one more slick piece of design from the Lego team.

Next the roof rack ladder is attached. This design is pure Lego. These are just window frames stacked to make the panel dividers look like rungs. Not a difficult design element, but absolutely a classic one. More than anything else on this whole model, the ladder made me smile and feel like a little kid again. This is exactly the way I built back in the day. It may seem incredibly simple, and it is, and that’s really the point. It’s something a kid would do. It’s something I would have done as a kid. It just hit all the right feels.

The rear driver’s side whip antenna goes on next, along with those weird blue hoses that have been on Ecto-1 since 1984. I still have no idea what the hell they’re supposed to be.

There is no other way I know how to say this: this thing is absolutely fucking beautiful.

Never before have I put together a set of this size and found that every single step in the process was a joy. This isn’t just an amazing model, it was incredibly fun to build. At no time did I tire of making this. In my experience with Legos, which is extensive, this is unparalleled. The Lego Icons Ecto-1 is, without exception or qualification, the single best Lego set I have ever owned. The single best Lego set I have ever constructed. And the single best Lego set I have ever played with. I don’t believe in perfection, but, yeah… this thing may be perfect. I have truly never built anything like it.

Thank you all for joining us this Halloween season! Thank you for your patience during my sickness, and thank you for your interactions and your universally good natured comments. I would probably write my little Halloween musings even if I knew that no one in the world would read them. It’s just my thing. But knowing that you guys are out there and are enjoying these things along with me keeps me inspired. Thank you so much! And, as always…

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