If you’re of a certain generation you may remember this popular prank from when imports first became popular in the U.S. A few guys would pick their buddy’s VW Beetle up by its bumpers and move it to a different parking space or, if they were crueler, place it between two unmovable objects. Cars have been far too heavy (and lacking grabbable bumpers) for decades, so the image of two men lifting an entire 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser made us do a double-take.
Turns out, this 1:1 model of the new Toyota Land Cruiser 70 is so light because it’s made out of styrofoam. The project was executed by artist Masumi Yamaguchi, who specializes in crafting large-scale sculptures out of styrofoam.
The 70-series Land Cruiser is a rugged, utilitarian variant that has been sold continuously in various parts of the world since 1984. It’s been in production for nearly 40 years, returning to its home market of Japan and seeing a major update earlier this year. The real one weighs about 5,070 pounds, however.
Yamaguchi starts with large blocks of styrofoam that each look to be about the size of a fridge. He then cuts them down to size and shapes them with a tool that looks like a large bow, holding it by the limbs and slicing through the foam with the string side. Despite the Land Cruiser’s boxy design, there are plenty of contours, such as in the wheel arches, hood and roof, that require carving subtle curves.
Particularly impressive are the wheels and tires, which each have a tread pattern. They were formed with the help of a stencil, but the result is still impactful. They even spin on an axle so the entire sculpture rolls. Individual wiper blades and grille textures were painstakingly sculpted as well. Like the real body-on-frame Land Cruiser, the body and chassis were built separately, then joined together at the end.
The build obviously took a lot of expertise. Just sanding the thing and sending tiny flecks of static-sticky styrofoam everywhere looks like an absolute nightmare. The result is tremendously impressive, and it’s the only new 70-series that would be legal in the U.S.