Marvel Collectable Minfigures Revealed.

Today, the LEGO Group have revealed the forthcoming Marvel Collectable Minifigures range. Featuring figures from Marvel TV Series on Disney Plus – Wandavision, the Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki and What If…. There are some characters here that might not feature in sets of their own, but which will certainly inspire creativity amongst builders. There will be 12 figures in the series, which will be released on 1st October 2021. Read on for full-size images and my thoughts.

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It’s Time To Get Things Moving With These New Releases From No Starch Press

Now that the world is opening up, and live fan events are starting to sporadically appear around the world, we are starting to turn our attention to building models for exhibition. There is no doubt that a little bit of movement can help add life to a model – whether it’s an automatic door, a radar dish, or a slowly rotating turntable. These are not so challenging if you have grown up with a bit of basic mechanical knowledge. However, sometimes the right way to achieve such mechanisms using LEGO Bricks can be just a little bit obscure.

But help is readily available, if you know where to look.

I was recently sent pre release samples from the latest books from Yoshihito Isogawa, and I realise that they are now available from the No Starch Press website. Isogawa has been producing simple to read Ideas books for LEGO Technic for a number of years, and these books build on the previous ones, with emphasis in new areas. His latests Books, LEGO Technic Non-Electric Models: Simple Machines and LEGO Technic Non-Electric Models: Clever Contraptions build on his previous books, looking at Technic Ideas, as well as Power function and Boost Ideas (all available from No Starch).

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BrickCon Is Back, In Real Life!

If nothing else, the lockdowns brought on by the pandemic have taught us just how much many of us value the opportunity to get to live, face to face events. I have attended a few events over the last couple of years, all using different variations of online event. While parts of the world are opening up, international travel is still but a dream to many of us. BrickCon 2020 was one of the first international online events that I attended last year, and they are pleased to announce that this year they are running in person, as well as hybrid registrations. Read on for the full story, and registration details. Real life Registrations will be limited to 400, and open AUGUST 1st. Hybrid/online registrations open September 1

BrickCon has announced that its 20th annual LEGO fan convention and public exhibition is coming back to the Seattle Center. BrickCon 2021 will be held Oct. 1 – 3 and will offer adult LEGO builders a full convention featuring displays, awards, classes, workshops, prizes, vendors and more. BrickCon will also offer a limited hybrid virtual ticket for fans who can’t travel.

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75316 Mandalorian Starfighter: Hands-On Review

I was late to the Clone Wars, only really seeing any of the significant storylines during 2020. I recall the initial Mandalorian arc, seeing Pre Vizla’s Mandalorian fighter fly off, and thinking ‘Gee, it would be cool to have that as a set.’ Now, I am not much of one for thinking about hunting down sets that are around 7 or 8 years old. So I let it be. Then I caught up to the final season, with the return of Bo-Katan Krys, picking Ahsoka Tano up from the Coruscant slums, and heading home to reclaim Mandalore. Flash forward to late 2020, and Bo Katan returns, this time in The Mandalorian. Again piloting the Mandalorian Star Fighter, and this time appearing in scenes with both Slave I and an Imperial Shuttle – both of which feature amongst the 2021 LEGO Star Wars releases.

Set 75316 Will be released on August 1st 2021, has 544 pieces, and has a recommended Retail Price of $AUD 89.99. This set feels like a suitable bridging set in the current release of LEGO Star Wars releases: – featuring in both The Final Season of The Clone Wars, as well as The Mandalorian, as such, it is sure to be a popular set.

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Throwback Thursday: A Builder’s Journey

Over the last few weeks, we have spent a little time considering LEGO:Builder’s Journey – a game from Light Brick Studios exploring the ideas of Play, Work and family relationships. This then got me thinking: as LEGO® fans, we are all on our own Builder’s Journey. And somewhere along the way, something happened to get us on that path.

For many of us, there will be a LEGO® set that just did it. It might have been our first set, a set we built with a relative, the last set bought before entering our Dark Ages, maybe even the set that brought us out of them.

Today, I am starting a new series, exploring the sets from the past that have influenced LEGO Fans around the world. And I need your help. I have a set that after 40 years still holds appeal, still sparks my imagination. BUT I’d love to know about the sets that are important to other people. I won’t judge: be it Space or Scala, Clickits or Castle, Star Wars, Technic or Town, I would wager that for just about everyone out there, there is one set that did it, does it, or has a special place in our hearts. It might be big or small, cheap or expensive. For most of us, I am pretty sure they are pretty different sets. The opening picture might be a hint towards mine…

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Build Your own Life-Size Mario with Bricker Builds

Bricker Builds have been producing instructions for life size sculptures made from LEGO® Bricks over the last year or so. Their subject matter extends from Star Wars and Marvel, to more recently, ‘life size’ Pokemon models.

Today, they announced the arrival of of their latest models, Mario, and the Power-Up Mushroom. Based on designs by Dave Holder, former Master Builder at the Melbourne LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, the model stands over 2 feet tall (731 mm), and is built with nearly 5000 bricks. The instructions are now available for purchase from the Bricker Builds online store.

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71387 Adventures with Luigi: Hands-On Review

Around 12 months ago, we got our first look at the functionality of LEGO Super Mario. This hybrid game system, borne from the collaboration between the LEGO Group and Nintendo, has brought us the Interactive Mario Brick, which responds to the way it is handled, as well as the environment it is played in.

At the start of 2021, we saw a second wave of sets, as well as further buildable characters.

At the time that Mario was launched, the design team was asked about the possibility of Luigi joining the lineup. The response at the time was a little guarded. No point launching a two player mode until you had established that the platform would be accepted.

And Now Luigi is almost here. Due for release in August, I was fortunate to be able to take part in a preview event along with other Fan Media.

Today, we will take a look at 71387 Adventures with Luigi – the new starter set. We will look at the characters, as well as the landscape and obstacles, as well as the play features.

There is of course one other thing that LEGO Super Mario has coming up with the release of Luigi, and the software update that will accompany it: two player mode. We will take a look at how this is a little bit different, as well as the additional ways you can maximise your score playing with this mode.

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75309 Ultimate Collector Series Republic Gunship [Hands On Review]

When the Republic Gunship won the LEGO Ideas fan vote to determine an upcoming LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series set, I was a little disheartened. I was more of a Nebulon B frigate kind of a guy – this was the vessel where we saw our heroes gathering, healing and planning, after what had been a pretty dreadful time overall in Empire Strikes Back.

However, the size of the fan vote, and the proportion of that vote that was looking for the Republic Gunship (more than 30000 out of 50000 votes) certainly meant that the prequel trilogy and The Clone Wars was certainly meaning something to a lot of people. And then, in 2020, the world locked down, and my son sat me down, and we started watching The Clone Wars. By the time we finished, I had developed a new understanding of the both the prequel trilogy, as well as the importance of the gunship to the next generation of Star Wars Fans. And I probably became a little excited at the prospect of a large scale gunship to be released in LEGO form

The gunship is essentially a troop transport, as well as a low altitude assault vehicle. The contemporary analog would be akin to a Black Hawk helicopter. This version of the model is larger than minifigure scale – probably around one and a half to twice that scale, and provided the design team with an opportunity to increase the level of detail included in the build.

In this review, we will take a look at the build itself, and then consider the fact that the major virtue of this set is also possibly its biggest drawback.

Set 75309 will be released on the 1st of August 23, and has 3292 pieces. It has a RRP of RRP $349.99 / £329 / €349.99 / 579.99 AUD / 479.99 CAD.

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75309 LEGO® Star Wars: Ultimate Collector Series Republic Gunship Revealed.

You’re going to need a bigger coffee table!

Over recent years, there has been a tendency for the LEGO Star Wars Ultimate collector series to be getting bigger and bigger.

The latest offering, the Republic Gunship is no exception. The model was chosen by a fan vote conducted on LEGO Ideas, and there was an unprecedented response, with over 50000 votes, of which around 30000 were for the Gunship. [Me, I was an Original Trilogy kind of a guy, but I have come to unterstand the role that the prequels are playing in the lives of the next generation, who have grown up watching those films as ‘Their’ Star Wars.]

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10279 Volkswagen T2 Campervan Coming in August [Announcement]

The Volkswagen Kombi is an icon of 20th century automobile design. The LEGO® Version of the T1 Microbus was on the shelves at LEGO.com from 2011 to December 2020, one of the longest running sets on the market in recent years. Of course, the T1 was not the only van produced by Volkswagen. The T2 was introduced in 1967, and featured a single (non split) windshield. And today, The LEGO Group announce the arrival of this version on the shelves in August 2021.

With striking medium azure body work, as well as a slideing side door, this icon of 60s counterculture also features a popup roof as well as a built in kitchenette and a collection fo stickers designed to turn it into a classic Hippy transport vehicle!

10279:LEGO® VOLKSWAGEN T2 CAMPER VAN has 2202 pieces and measures 15cm high, 14 cm wide and 35 centimeters long. It will be priced at 159.99 EUR / 179.99 USD / 149.99 GBP / 269.99 AUD / 249.99 CAD, and available from August 1 2021.

Here’s the press release:

The LEGO® Group has added yet another cult vehicle to its portfolio of cars, with the reveal of the latest version of the ubiquitous LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van, complete with pop-top roof with tent and ready for summer road trip adventures.

The new LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van is based on its namesake of the late 1960s and 1970s and succeeds the much-loved previous LEGO Creator Expert Volkswagen T1 Camper Van, adding many new features in the process. The new set is larger than before and distinguished by a new paint colour, a sliding door, as well as the trademark T2 wraparound Baywindow front windscreen and a new yet instantly recognisable ‘face.’

Under the hood, the set also features working steering. The LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van’s detailed camping interior is also fully equipped for the open road, with opening cabinets, fridge, sink and a gas stove with a teapot. Days at the beach are suitably catered for, as the set comes with a set of folding chairs and of course a surfboard, while a folding rear bench seat provides a comfortable place to stay under starry skies.

Volkswagen Campers are of course synonymous with customisation, and the LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van set is fully prepared for personalisation, with a sticker set including retro decals and a choice of German or US number plates.

LEGO Designer Sven Franic commented: “The Volkswagen Camper is a rare breed of vehicle that commands affection like few others, and we know the LEGO version will bring a lot of fun to people who’ve been lucky enough to have or go camping in one, or always wanted one.

“Though the Volkswagen Camper is no stranger to our LEGO cars collection, this latest iteration brings even more delights for LEGO builders. The meticulously kitted out interior is sure to charm seasoned campers and adventurers alike, while the eye-catching exterior with pop-up roof is a feat of engineering just like the original.”

The T1 10220 was a long lived part of LEGO Catalog, despite the immediate challenges of trying to achieve the form of the microbus within the confines of the LEGO Brick. With lots of curves, both horizontally and vertically, the form can be difficulat to achieve, and the challenge persists with this new version.

Aspects of the model appear a little too square to me, while others, such as the inward sloping around the middle of the body feels too curved. That said, sometimes, the first appearance doesn’t matter and its the reconition of the idea that results in sets being moved off the shelves by happy shoppers.

The set,10279, goes on sale August 1 2021, and will cost 159.99 EUR / 179.99 USD / 149.99 GBP / 269.99 AUD / 249.99 CAD.

what do you think of this new version of a classic Volkswagen Camper?

why not leave your thoughts below and until next time,

Play Well!