Sixty years ago Friday, the first Mercedes-Benz Universal-Motor-Gerät -- or Unimog, as we've since come to know them -- rolled off of an assembly line in Germany. But now, a brand-new Unimog can roll off an assembly line located in your own living room, provided you don't mind it being one twelfth the size and made entirely of Lego pieces.
For six decades, the now legendary Unimog has been earning its keep working worldwide by being a versatile do-anything, go-anywhere vehicle that’s used by farmers and soldiers, alike. As part of the celebration of Unimog’s Diamond Jubilee, Mercedes and Lego announced the famed construction toy company will be selling a replica of the Unimog U400 as part of its Technic line. And what a replica it is -- according to Lego, the U400 kit builds a 1:12-scale replica, consists of nearly 2048 pieces, and is the largest Lego Technic kit offered to date.
The 15.2 inch-long Lego Unimog appears to be highly realistic. In typical Technic fashion, the engine has movable pistons, and the model sports electric and pneumatic power sources to motivate a number of accessories. For instance, the model's derrick crane is fully functioning (and rotates almost a full 360 degrees), as is the winch up front. Both accessories can also be torn down and rebuilt into a snowplow -- something thousands of Unimogs wear each winter around the world.
Mercedes-Benz and Lego have yet to announce whether the Lego Technic Unimog U400 will be available in North America (presently, the actual Unimog isn't available here, although Daimler did toy several times with officially importing the do-it-all vehicle stateside, including a short stint from 2002-2007). Across the pond, the Lego Technic Unimog U400 will go on sale for a tidy 190 Euros (or roughly $275 at today's exchange rates).
While pricey, it’s not inconceivable for Unimog lovers across the rest of the world to be able to import their very own Lego Technic Unimog once it goes on sale. While the Unimog has been in production for sixty-years now, there‘s no sign of letting up. After all, there are still plenty of fields to be plowed, roads to be built and battles to fight -- even, apparently, in the small, brick-based world of Lego.