Builders’ Journeys: Ryan Learns To Ride The Rails [7715 Push Along Steam Train]

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday and another of our Builders’ Journeys, where AFOLs recall a set that is special to them in some way, and explain why. Today we hear from Ryan E, from Melbourne. I met Ryan a few years back, where he was bringing Thomas the Tank engine and the Isle of Sodor, to life at Brickvention. Some of you might know from the third series of LEGO Masters Australia. I’d always thought of him as a train guy… it turns out I might not have been alone…

Today, Ryan is going to tell us about the set that brought him along this path.

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Flying High with a Reindeer Battlepack [40499 Santa’s Sleigh – Hands-On review]

Over the years, we have seen many festive LEGO sets released for the holiday season featuring different versions of Santa and his Sleigh. In the past, we have typically had brick-built reindeer. However, after the appearance of a dedicated reindeer in 2020’s Elf’s Clubhouse, the element (6310336) has been almost continuously out of stock on the LEGO Replacement elements website, despite the $AUD8.72 pricetag. So plainly, it made sense to release a set with multiple reindeer. And here it is: 40499 Santa’s Sleigh.


With 343 pieces, the set is already from some LEGO Certified Stores worldwide, with the Australian price of $59.99. €36.99 /$AUD59.99 AUD/£34.99 /$USD36.99 /$CAD49.99. It might feel expensive for just 343 parts, but it feels like great value once you remove the $AUD35 worth of reindeer. It will be released through LEGO.com on October 1st. I was excited for the LEGO group to send this set along for an early review:


So, how does it come together, and how might you display it this year?

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Whatever happened to Classic Town? Part I: 1978-1990

This year, I am looking at how LEGO Themes developed from those early days in 1978. Castle, Town and Space all developed in their own way, and they certainly don’t look the same today as they did back then! So as we take a ramble down Memory Lane, let’s look at how things were and how they have changed: scale, elements, colours and more.

For our first theme to track through time, I am looking at the theme that set out to represent the world around us: Classic Town. Over the years, this theme has evolved, with the LEGO City theme of today looking very different, yet incorporating similar subject matter. This investigation covers material released over more than 40 years. So it might take a little while. In this post, I shall cover LEGO Town from its origins in 1978 to 1990. Next time, we shall look at the System era (1992-1999). Finally, in the future, we will examine LEGO City and see how that theme compares with those in the early days. 

Along the way, we will examine the scale, building techniques, elements and more. There will be lots of pictures, sure to provoke a degree of nostalgia. I’d love to know which sets you feel fondly about and what you enjoyed about these themes.

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10293: Santa’s Visit Unveiled: Designer Walkthrough.

For me, a highlight of every holiday season is the arrival of the LEGO® Winter Village set. Over the years, we have seen a delightful village and its shops, a market, train and gone off site to the North Pole, to visit Santa’s Work Shop, and the Elves Club House. And a gingerbread house.

This year’s set, Santa’s Visit, has been officially announced and returns to the village, where we have a new home being visited by Santa. The set has 1445 pices and will cost €89.99 / $USD99.99 / £79.99 /$AUD159.99 / $CAD139.99. It will be released through LEGO retail channels on October 1st 2021.

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LEGO® Super Mario 64™ ‘?’ Block to hit LEGO® Super Mario™ Universe

We knew something was coming when the LEGO Group teased a large cube like model last night, but I dont think anyone expected anything quite like this.

Its a ‘?’ cube, as featured in Super Mario 64 (celebrating 25 years this year), and from different panels, we have different microscale versions of lands from that classic game! With 2064 pieces, and priced at $289AUD/ $USD169.99/ £159.99 the set will be released through LEGO Branded stores on October 1, and in other retailers in 2022.

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Builders’ Journeys: Simon Soars into Space with the Awkward Middle Child [924: Space Cruiser]

Welcome to Builders’ Journeys – our Throwback Thursday inspired, nostalgia-driven look back on sets that have helped to define AFOLS around the world become the builders and LEGO Fans they are today. Today, we hear from Simon (@simonspace70s on Instagram). Simon lives in Mebourne, and recently discovered the joy of exhibiting his own MOCs, during a small lull between lockdowns. Simon has a tale that began back in the 1970s, and was changed for ever when he was given Set 924: Space Cruiser (released in the USA as 487) for his 6th birthday. The Awkward Middle Child of Classic Space sets, this ship seems to be relatively rare compared to 918 (one man Space Ship) and 927 (Galaxy Explorer). And there is just something about the shape of the nose. Perhaps that’s just me. Anyway, read on for Simon’s story.

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Brickvention’s Back in 2022: New Venue, New Dates. Exhibitor Applications Now Open

Brickvention is Australia’s Premier LEGO Fan Event, and was directly responsible for me coming out of my dark ages over 12 years ago. After a year of on-again, off-again lockdowns, the team behind Brickvention have announced the 2022 event. With a new venue, timing and logo this year, a lot is changing! This year, the event has been designated an AFOL Networking Event by the LEGO Group.


The Royal Exhibition Building, home to the event from 2012 to 2020 is currently being used as a COVID-19 vaccination hub and isn’t available. So this year, the event will take place at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) in Albert Park, Victoria. Located on the other side of the City Centre, this venue offers a huge area for exhibiting MOCs, in an appropriately socially distanced fashion.


The timing is also a little different: rather than mid-January, it will take place much earlier in the month: after bump-in (January 6th), there is AFOL Convention Day (January 7th), followed by two days of Public Expo on the 8th and 9th of January.

[more information after the break]

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Tune up and turn your amp up to 11 as the LEGO Group reveals the new LEGO® Ideas Fender® Stratocaster® set

The development of the electric guitar certainly resulted in defining the sound of a generation or two in the twentieth century. The Fender Stratocaster first appeared in 1954, and continues to be one of the most recognisable guiltar shapes in the world. Today, the LEGO Group announces a new Ideas set, not sourced through the standard Submission/10000 votes pathway, but rather as an entry in last year’s LEGO Ideas ‘Music to Our Ears’ contest.

The model brings us a small scale version of the iconic Fender Stratocaster, as well as a fender Princetone Amplifier. There are elements to allow you to construct the body of the guitar in either black or red, as well as 6 string elements, and a Fender-LEGO Print fabric element. I love the way that the designers have replicated the silhouette of the instrument, while including details such as the tremolo arm, tuning pegs and pickups. Likewise, the use of grill tiles captures the texture of the cloth on the front of the amplifier. All packed into a model 31cm long, and 11cm wide.

The LEGO Ideas Fender Stratocaster set will be available from the 1st October 2021 from LEGO Stores and www.LEGO.com/Fender. It has 1074 pieces and has a recommended retail price of $99 / £99 / €99 / 159.99 AUD / 139.99 CAD.

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Builders’ Journeys: Inez Begins with Botanicals [79002 – Attack of the Wargs]

Welcome once again to Throwback Thursday, and our regular Builders’ Journeys. In this column, AFOLs write about a set that had a profound influence on them, and the LEGO® builder they were to later become. Today, we hear from Inez, known as @iv_lego, on Instagram.

Inez lives in the Philippines and has become renowned for crafting MOCs based on real-world flowers, particularly those native to her part of the world. But it turns out that there was one set that showed her the way towards using LEGO bricks as a medium to create these flowers and trees…

When I started with LEGO sets in 2012, I knew immediately that I wanted to build plants and landscapes. At that time, the landscapes included in LEGO sets were still rather drab, and their trees were still very blocky. My first MOCs were trees, but they weren’t all that great. Probably because I didn’t know what I was doing. 

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The Thrilling Adventures of Brick Dad: Book Review

Henry Pinto and Cade Franklin shot to fame during the first season of LEGO® Masters Australia when they brought home the winners’ trophy. With a generous dose of creativity, to say nothing about a fair bit of talent in the ‘building with bricks’ department, Henry and Cade have released a book, in time for Fathers’ Day here in Australia.

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