As a matter of coincidence, yesterday I've called the LEGO Customer Service to check if a certain part would be available for ordering.
I was looking for a few more wheel covers from those released with set 8145 (Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano 1:10) in 2007 and never used again into any other set (LEGO ID 4500915; BrickLink Reference 58088). These wheel covers have become very rare and difficult to find at BrickLink, but since they are not so old, I thought there would be a chance to buy them through the customer service still.
When I decided to make the call, surprisingly the girl on the other side of the line, checked the system and told me that this part is actually not available, but it is being produced and it will be re-stocked by the end of the current month (E9).
Suddenly it made a bell ring in my ears... IMO it is very doubtful that TLG goes producing a new batch of such part, just to supply eventual customers claiming for damaged or lost parts to the Customer Service. Even considering the part was introduced quite recently (2007).
This made me think that something requiring this cover, may be on its way to the shelves...
- So if this part is being produced again, what is it for? It seems in time for something quite close in the pipe, to be produced and to hit the shelves already on the 1H2011.
- If it is the case, guess it can be a large (1:10) car only...
- However and looking at historical data, such large Technic models are always released in the 2H, while now we are just approaching the 1H2011.
- Alternatively it could be a car from the RACERS theme, despite these use to debut also in the 2H, but not always. If I remember right the 8674 (Ferrari F1 Racer 1:8), a car in the same class, was released on a 1H.
I believe however, that such item is that kind of distinctive element that may justify to be an exclusive design for a single set (car), even considering all the costs associated with the development of a new part (design, mold, etc...).
We had one exclusive wheel cover set for 8653, Enzo Ferrari 1:10 (BrickLink Reference 50965), and apparently till now, another one only for the GTB Fiorano. Is it becoming to be released into another car?
I'm confused, but expectant! - And you.
Whatever it is and if it really is something, just wish it would be a real Supercar, instead of just another fancy large car.
Still thinking on the 8674 above mentioned, made me remember it was the first official set designed by Nathanaël Kuipers (NK) while he was working for TLG as a LEGO Designer.
Such talent revealed in this and many other great cars he has developed, made me wish he would be still there to help making the best of our dreams come true.