Update: LEGO have announced the release date of the 42110 LEGO Technic Land Rover Defender - it'll be on shelves starting October 1, 2019.
So LEGO's August 1st release date has come and gone, bringing us the Speed Champions 1974 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 and three new Technic sets - the 4X4 X-treme Off-Roader (set 42099), Car Transporter (set 42098) and Compact Crawler Crane (set 42097). With all of these releases though we're left wondering what's happened to that leaked LEGO Technic Land Rover Defender, set 42110 that we saw back in June. Obviously we can assume that LEGO have some releases planned for the fall, so what do we expect to see soon?
Two notable sets we're expecting to see this autumn would be the Defender and the Ideas-based Liebherr crane set. Some crafty searching the web reveals the Liebherr set has been delayed to October and that Jaguar Land Rover have asked some LEGO media sites to take down posts about the leak due to an imminent announcement in September. It's worth noting as well that the set number is very close to the currently released sets, although we've found some rumours that sets like 42109 are listed as 1st half 2020 sets.
For the new Defender, Land Rover have been building hype for a year now and the information we've found points towards an imminent release of the real-world vehicle at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany this September. Some of you may remember the 5 million piece LEGO Tower Bridge model created under the theme of "Follow the Land Rover Brick Road" with Land Rover for the launch of the new Discovery. There's definitely history of Land Rover doing significant promotions with LEGO so we could see a launch event together, or a simultaneous release of the set with the car.
There seem to be two possible outcomes from the information we've found online:
The set could be announced at the same time as the reveal of the vehicle and ship in October - giving it time to build hype and get on people’s shopping list before Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the rest of the holiday shopping. This seems most likely and allows the Defender to come out alongside the Liebherr crane and other holiday releases from LEGO in a wave of press coverage.
Alternatively, the set could be announced in October and either ship immediately or with a slight lead time into November. This would make some sense given that LEGO want to keep tight control of the set's release and publicity to avoid any further leaks. I think it's pretty unlikely that we'd see this set on retail shelves within days of the new Defender’s reveal as no doubt there’s a picture of the production vehicle on the back of the box and in the instruction manual that Land Rover would like to keep under wraps.
We're definitely looking forward to the release of this set and will be picking it up whenever it makes an appearance this fall.