Detroit — Most of the time, automakers want their vehicle unveilings to be the biggest thing going at the North American International Auto Show.
On the opening day of the press preview for the 2016 show in Detroit, though, Joe Hinrichs, Ford president for the Americas gladly oversaw the smallest as he unveiled special Lego editions of Ford's F-150 Raptor pickup and a Lego Mustang.
“Many of us grew up playing with Lego, so this is a dream project for all of us, including our engineers,” he said in a news release about the vehicle introduction.
Lego A/S, the iconic Danish maker of ABS interlocking bricks, had been working on a project to introduce Lego sets of Ford vehicles, with the toys going on sale in March, said Ford spokesman Sam Schembari-Negroni.
Once the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker learned the toy launch was imminent, it decided to give the Lego models the full auto show treatment. So at the end of the first day of the preview, Hinrichs — who normally oversees far larger introductions in front of hundreds of journalists — took to the podium at the front of Ford's main display with Lego lead designer Craig Callum to unveil the two Ford vehicles in the Lego Speed Champions product line.
They even had a very small silk covering over the Legos Hinrichs could pull back for an official unveiling, Schembari-Negroni said.
Of course the Lego versions will retail for far cheaper than the full-size items shown nearby. The 664-piece F-150 set includes the truck, a trailer, a garage, a hot rod version of a Ford Model A and a crew of Ford workers and will go on sale for $49.99. The Mustang will have 185 pieces, the car, a race driver and a racing time board and sell for $14.99