News from the AFOL Engagement Team

lan logoThis last week, I have been busy gathering my thoughts and photos from Japan BrickFest2018.  I  realise that a number of interesting news articles have come from a different source over the last week or so.  Some has come via the LEGO Ambassador Network:

The LEGO Group’s AFOL Engagement Team have a weekly blog, accessible to the public- typically updated every Friday. There you can find news from the AE Team, the LEGO House, announcements from LEGO® Rebrick as well as reports from different RLUG Ambassadors about recent events.

The Blog is accessible to the public – so feel free to drop by from time to time to get the latest news from the team.  You should also be able to sign up for updates.

While I am busy working through my images from Japan BrickFest 2018, why not have a look at this post from Jackie Chen, who is one of the Community Managers on the AFOL Engagement Team. He represented the Team at Japan BrickFest, and it was great to meet him.

Other news that came to light this week is the appearance of the LEGO House  – Home of the Brick arriving on Netflix this week. This documentary tells the story of the design, construction and opening of the LEGO House. It was also shown at some of the recent fan events. You can find the program on Netflix now –  There are reports at this stage of it not being available in all markets so check back later if you can’t find it!

I’ll be back over the weekend with some news from Japan BrickFest 2018, but in the meantime,

Play Well!

IKEA and The LEGO Group announce a forthcoming collaboration

This week sees the Democratic Design Days in Älmhult, Sweden, where IKEA have just announced a number of collaborations with other companies to come over the next few years. Included in this list are sporting goods company Adidas, home sound system developer Sonos, designer Virgil Abloh and our favorite producer of interlocking Plastic Bricks – the LEGO Group.

While nothing firm has been announced, it will be interesting to see how the Swedish Giant of flat packed furniture approaches the problem of “the wonderful mess that play brings”

Will it be furniture for families to play with LEGO Bricks together? Will it be storage containers? We expect to find out sometime in 2019. Certainly, if these old parts were properly wrangled, back in the day, they might not look quite so beaten up!

Read on for the press release.

Continue reading

Giving the Roller Coaster a Boost

Not satisfied with merely motorising my Roller Coaster 10261, I incorporate the Boost Robotics System, and then add some additional functionality. It’s all fun and games until the batteries stop running at full power…

IMG_0255There is no doubt that the new Roller Coaster 10261 is a magnificent model, worthy of a set piece in any LEGO Layout.  But driving it manually is a little tedious,to say nothing of the roughness of the ride. How can we make it so that we may have the coaster running, and share a drink with friends at the same time, while they marvel at this wonderful set?

Simple motoring using an ‘M’ motor.

Adding a Power Functions medium motor is simple: so simple in fact that you can work out how to do it in the pre release video: plug a motor over the drive shaft, and let it go.

And it goes on… and on… and on until you turn it off.  There is no break in the activity, the constant rumble of the motor.  Don’t get me wrong, this is pretty awesome, and with two trains of coaster carriages running, it can be pretty hypnotic. There is no reason that this should be any harder with the equivalent Powered Up/ PF2.0 motor, when we see it released in the future.

But I wonder if more can be done.

A Little Boost
In fact, adding simple automation to the set using the Boost Move hub, sensor and servo motor is pretty simple, and is described on the final page of the instructions. This is what it looks and sounds like.

Continue reading

Going to Great Heights to Build: Cute Pug 30542

In which I find a local source of LEGO poly bag sets, select one and construct it mid flight, before returning my tray table to the upright position.

I’m on a journey. I am currently travelling to Japan to attend Kobe BrickFest.

I left home early this morning and have a couple of connecting flights, with the main leg between Brisbane and Tokyo taking around eight hours. And around that there are a couple of connecting flights.

One of the neat things about travelling to Japan compared to Europe is that the time difference is only one hour in the past. However, as such I should probably aim to keep my body clock on track. So inbetween the LEGO Ninjago Movie and other inflight entertainment, I thought I’d put together a little LEGO set.

I picked up a copy of the Cute Pug 30542 at the supermarket late last week. Now I have bemoaned the general availability of polybags in Australia in the past. However this year, I noticed some of the polybags surfacing in the incredibly small toy section at our local supermarket. (Fun fact: in Australia, LEGO polybag sets can now occasionally be found in your local supermarket). Not feeling inclined to add to my City, friends or Ninjago collection this week (whoops: left my ninja minifigures at home though!) I selected the creator set. I dropped it into my cabin bag with a ziplock bag and waited until I was somewhere between Port Moresby and Tokyo and unpacked it onto a serviette on my tray table.

As a polybag, this is a small set, it does however contain an interesting range of elements including tan bows, some black inverse bows, two tan 1×1 modified bricks with studs on adjacent sides and four round stud with bar.

Instructions come as 10 year old me remembers them: on a single sheet of paper, but with a few more steps than I remember. That’s no so bad: it makes it easier to get the building right. There is a panel referring to online instructions for the two alternative builds. As internet access is not available on Airbus A330-300 I am travelling on today, they won’t get built on this flight!

We start by building the body of the pig, revealing poseable rear legs, as well as a tiltable head. A misplaced plate during construction resulted In a little improvisation with the nose.

Once we have put the dog together, we move on to a fire hydrant. I was challenged here as I lost the red 2x2rojnd brick with peg holes under my chair until later in the flight…

The major challenge to building a small set on the tray table is than small parts have a tendency to fall off the edge. And when the final model is 4x 6.5 studs in size, you can imagine that a significant number of pieces will be small. Ultimately we get a small and, as advertised, cute pug!

Photography on the plane was limited in its utility, but it gives you a general idea of how the set comes together. As you can see, white balance on the phone was a bit unreliable.i

For $5, it’s a good assortment of interesting Black and Tan elements. I give it 4/5 arbitrary praise units.

What’s the most awkward place you have built a LEGO set? Any hints for constructing within a confined space? Why not leave your comments below. Until next time, play well.

Australia/ New Zealand Only: A chance to win a limited Jurassic World Set

In recent weeks, news has come to light of a previously unannounced Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom set, featuring an Orange T-Rex.Today I received this news from LEGO Australia:

From June 12th – July 12th 2018, you can WIN a Limited Edition Rare T.Rex Survival Set valued at $70, simply by purchasing any LEGO®️ product from the participating retailers and completing an entry form. The exciting part is that there are less than 500 sets available globally! Toyworld AU will be giving away 8 sets, Toyworld NZ will be giving away 5 and both the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre and LEGO Certified Store are offering 3 – meaning it truly is a limited, once in a lifetime offer.

With another, ultra rare dinosaur for collectors, this limited opportunity is bound to get a bit of attention.

What do you think? A cool set?

Great color for a T. rex?

Leave your thoughts below. In the mean time,

Play Well

Bugatti Chiron 42083 Officially Revealed

REVEALED: THE NEW LEGO® TECHNIC BUGATTI CHIRON

Where art, engineering and bricks combine

Billund, 1st of June 2018. LEGO Group and Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. have today revealed the new LEGO® Technic Bugatti Chiron. The 1:8 scale super car will be available from June 1.

The LEGO® Technic Bugatti Chiron model brings together the iconic design heritage of the French ultra-luxury car brand and LEGO Technic elements, with a reimagined version of the latest cutting-edge super car from Molsheim.

The new model was unveiled at LEGO House at the company’s headquarters in Billund by Niels B. Christiansen, CEO of the LEGO Group, and Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann. The 1:8 scale LEGO® Technic Bugatti Chiron will be available from June 1, only at all LEGO® stores and shop.LEGO.com, then all retailers globally from August 1, 2018.

42083_Technic_2HY18_Detail_Unique Number “Thanks to their proven design and technology expertise, the LEGO Group and Bugatti are the epitomes of their brand segments. The LEGO Technic model of the Bugatti Chiron is an expression of this perfect relationship. I am impressed at the precision and refinement with which our super sports car has been translated into the LEGO world and I am sure that fans of both LEGO bricks and Bugatti will love this product.”

42083_Technic_2HY18_Detail_InteriorThe 1:8 scale LEGO® Technic Bugatti Chiron replica model – measuring over 5” (14cm) high, 22” (56cm) long and 9” (25cm) wide and featuring 3,599 pieces – is packed full of intricate details and immersive touches. These include aerodynamic bodywork with an active rear wing, spoked rims with low-profile tires, detailed cockpit with movable paddle gearshift, and detailed W16 engine with moving pistons.

Open the doors and you’ll discover that there’s more to the cockpit than first meets the eye, featuring a LEGO Technic 8-speed gearbox with paddle gearshift and a steering wheel bearing the iconic Bugatti emblem.

Each individual model comes personalised with its own unique serial number, carefully stored under the hood to unlock special content on LEGO.com/technic. The set also features a speed key which enables you to switch the active rear wing from handling to top speed position.

Hidden discreetly under the hood, you will also discover an additional authentic Bugatti Chiron detail – the stylish Bugatti overnight bag.

42083_Technic_2HY18_Detail_Bag_02Staying true to Bugatti’s heritage, the model features the classic duo-tone blue color scheme reflecting the brand’s signature colour, and a set of identifiable stickers for additional detailing and authenticity of the build.

Delivering a final ’artistic’ touch, the set comes enclosed in an exclusive box and includes a ’coffee table’ style collectors booklet with comprehensive building instructions. Fans can also dive deep into the inspiration behind the design with series of nine exclusive podcasts featuring Bugatti and LEGO experts.

See the Designer Video:

Here is the Product Description: Continue reading

More Powered Up News:

In which previously known unknowns become known knowns, and a previously unknown unknown is revealed.

A quick post, following on from recent PF2.0 posts.

Currently, Fan Media are meeting in Billund (I was unable to attend this year), and the new controller and battery box have been revealed in full. Information has been gathered from our friends at HispaBrick Magazine, as well as Sariel’s LEGO®️ Workshop.

Some Previously known unknowns have been revealed:

  • The battery box requires 6 “AAA” batteries, and measures 4×8 studs x 4 bricks high
  • The controller requires 4 batteries
  • The train motor looks like the old train motor, but with the new 6 strand wire as well as the PF2.0 connector.

A new feature on the remote has been revealed: the control switches can be rotated, so that it may trigger ‘left or right’ rather than forward/ back, as seen in this image of 2 controllers, courtesy of Lluís Gibert from HispaBrick Magazine (used with permission).

Sariel’s LEGO®️Worskshop has a nice video showing the new Powered Up components, which can be found here

As the train sets are due for release shortly, we should start getting some hands on news ‘real soon now’…

In the mean time, I am preparing to go to Japan Brickfest next week, and am excited to attend my first overseas Fan event, and meet some AFOLs from around the world! I expect there may be a post or two before then….

Until next time,

Play well!