LEGO Icons 40681 Retro Food Truck Gift with Purchase: Bold bonus flavor? [Review]

Over the past decade or so of modular buildings, there has frequently been a gift with purchase available early in the year to accompany it, sometimes with a thematic link. The Detective’s Office launch was accompanied by the 40140 Flower Cart bonus polybag that included a hidden barrel of cookies to tie into that modular’s cookie-smuggling story. More recently LEGO 40586 Icons Moving Truck, which includes furniture to be delivered to LEGO Icons 10312 Jazz Club, came out a few months after that modular. This year, LEGO 10326 Natural History Museum broke tradition by coming out a month early, and now for the turn of the year, LEGO Icons 40681 Retro Food Truck contains 310 pieces and 2 minifigures and will be available with some purchases in the new year at and your local LEGO retail store. An obvious note: it’s really hard to give a thumbs up or down on a gift-with-purchase without knowing what you’ll need to spend to get it. So we’re taking a look at the build and will update the review with our recommendation once the threshold is announced.

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

The box and contents 

The box is the now-standard Icons design – the build displayed against a stark black background with the Icons branding, set number and name, and piece count (and the required 18+ age minimum, no matter how silly that seems) in a white mixed-up-piece border on the bottom. The rear has a slightly flipped view of the same side of the truck and also was damaged by the “not for sale” sticker on review sets, so we’re leaving that view in the gallery below.

Inside are four numbered tags (still plastic, at least in our copy), the instructions, and a small sticker sheet. Sets this size still don’t have a good solution for protecting sticker sheets; luckily ours was only a little curled and not damaged.

The build 

Almost from the start of bag one, the details packed into this build are evident – extra condiments line the lower shelves on either side of the cooking compartment. The bright light blue color scheme is bright and cheerful and fits the “retro” title well. Underneath, the use of boat studs to hold the door rail pieces in place while keeping the bottom of the truck not too bulky is interesting. It’s not noticeable in final build, but the first few steps are a bit fragile, making it a mildly advanced building technique.

Moving into bag two, the details keep coming; there is even a bin of fries made with Wolverine claws! Fans of vinegar or mayonnaise on fries can also feel seen here, with other condiments abounding. There’s a nice grille surface with snazzy controls at the rear of the truck. Elsewhere, brackets and SNOT bricks add shaping and some sideways details to the front and rear.

By the end of bag three, the basic body of the truck is done. One stickered element adds some detail to the driver’s side, which would otherwise look a bit plain without the serving window to break it up.

The front and rear are kitted out with lights, mirrors, grilles, a rear license plate bearing the set number, a nice awning motif, and an interesting blank gap above some clips that we’ll come back to shortly.

Bag four adds the final remaining details – roof, awning, wheels, rear truck/fold out table, and the signboard. It’s a great package when done. The front shaping is pleasing, the color scheme is carried through well. You can see an ever-so-slight gap above the front wheel rim, but we’re stretching for complaints at that point.

The awning is put together with a nice little stud reversal technique done by attaching stacks of pieces facing different directions with multiple bar elements. It also makes good use of the new 1×3 rounded plates in white, though it’d have been even better if the red sections could use the same part; we’ll swap out the inner red sections when it’s available. The rear table fills in the aforementioned gap and doesn’t stand out at all when it’s folded up; it’s a fun extra detail for your minifigures to congregate around while waiting for or seasoning their orders. All we can ask for is extra napkins – and if we’re greedy, maybe an LED on the underside of the roof to light up the great details inside!

The minifigures

Two minifigures, for the driver/operator of the food truck and a customer, are provided. The kitchen on this thing must be hot, because the operator is sweating! The red cap doesn’t allow for an alternate face. The customer’s hair would, but one isn’t provided. None of these parts are new or rare, but they still populate the scene just fine.

Conclusion and recommendation 

So is 40681 Retro Food Truck worth stumping up the cash for? As we noted up front: hard to say! But it’s safe to guess that if you haven’t yet bought LEGO 10326 Natural History Museum, it’ll be sufficient and a good match too. If this were a $20 set, it’d be an easy recommendation. The truck is packed with details such as the front curves and features like the fold-down table at the rear. And the color scheme of red, white, and bright light blue is very attractive. It’s a delightful little build and will look at home in cities and layouts all over!

40681 LEGO Icons Retro Food Truck includes 310 pieces and 2 minifigures, and will be available as a Gift with Purchase with some or LEGO brand store purchases in the new year, as long as stocks last.

Check out our full gallery of images:

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