The Botanical Collection Grows with the Bird of Paradise [Hands On Review]

This year, we have seen the launch of the LEGO® Botanical Collection – a range of sets aimed at adults, who may or may not have previously considered building a LEGO set as a way to spend their money or time. The Floral Bouquet and the Bonsai Tree have been perpetually out of stock on LEGO.com since early January, although these early issues seem to be improving, with stock starting to appear on the shelves of Bricks and Mortar stores.

I really enjoyed putting the previous sets together: the techniques, and unique parts usage made both sets exciting to build, and provided a building experience quite unlike any other that I had previously gone through. I was delighted to be able to have the opportunity to look at the next set to be released in this series.

We have a Bird Of Paradise currently flowering in our back yard in suburban Melbourne – hardly a tropical environment – and I was excited to see how this LEGO version would stack up next to it.

The set itself again features that distinguish the distinctive black a cardboard box of sets aimed at an adult market with a picture of the finished model on the front. On the reverse we see an indication of the actual model size, as well as several details of the finished model.

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40496: Voldemort, Nagini and Bellatrix BrickHeadz [Hands On Review]

Brickheadz dominated the LEGO® Collector landscape a few years ago, and then seemed to all but vanish from the landscape. the truth is we have sill seen around 15 figures per year. This year has seen a resurgence, with 21 figures revealed to date in 2021. I would not be surprised if we see more announced over the next few months.

This year, most figures have been released as two packs, particularly animals and their young (so cute!). But now we are re-embracing character builds, with 2 new sets of Harry Potter Wizarding World Brickheadz coming in June. They will cost $39.99 each and are likely to be exclusive to LEGO branded stores. Be sure to check out my review of 40495 now.

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40495 Harry, Hermione, Ron and Hagrid BrickHeadz [Hands On Review]

After a quiet couple of years, it would appear that we are seeing a resurgence in new BrickHeadz sets this year. Today I would like to present 40495 Harry, Hermione, Ron and Hagrid. This set focuses on our first/second-year trio of young heroes, along with their sympathetic ally, Hagrid. Ron Harry and Hermione are depicted as 3 stud wide figures, as we have seen with some smaller characters over the past years. The other Harry Potter Brickheadz unveiled today, 40496, brings us Voldemort, Nagini and Bellatrix Lestrange and you can read my review here.

I feel honored that the LEGO Group have sent me a copy of this set for early review. It will be released on June 1st, at a cost of $AUD39.99.

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New Botanical Collection Set: 10289 Bird of Paradise Coming Soon

We can reveal that the latest addition to the LEGO Group’s 18+ Botanical Collection, the 10289 Bird of Paradise will be released in Europe and the rest of the World 1st June, 2021. Unfortunately, the American release is not until 1st August.

Set box

The set has 1173 pieces, and will cost $AUD169.99/ €99.99/€109.99 (France), £89.99/$USD99.99/$CAD139.99

In the absence of a formal press pack, we have no further images to share at this time.

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VIDIYO Wave 2 Introduces Buildable Stages and More

Earlier this year, we saw the premiere of LEGO’s new Fluid play theme, VIDIYO. Developed in conjuntion with Universal Music Group, VIDIYO enables children to create music videos using augmented reality, in conjunction with themed minifigures, and tiles – which allow you to enhance the activity of your animated Minifigure pop stars with signature moves, sounds and video effects.

One of the criticisms of the first wave of sets was the relative absence of anything significant to build. Beat Boxes, which contained a small selfcontained stage for a single minifigure were rather light on, with only a small 8×8 mosaic area to build on. That said, the figures involved were absolutely crazy and imaginative in their designs. And it would appear that this is unlikely to change at any time in the near future. The new stage models look like something straight out of Cloud Cuckoo Land, mashing up characters with the different themes of the music. The imaginative designs are certainly intriguing. I will be interested to see whether you need to have the stage models build up as they are, or if you can incorporate your own models in the app.

The newly introduced BeatBoxes, and Stage Models will be available from June 1st globally except the United States, where they will be available from August 1st. The new Bandmates will be available from October 1st globally.

The press release, and new set designs (including Australian pricing) can be found below…

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76187: Venom Head Sculpt: Hands On Review

When we saw the Carnage head sculpt unveiled a few weeks ago, the first thing I heard asked was, ‘Where’s venom?’ The next thing we knew, we had Venom appearing in the catalogue, and we were asking, ‘Where’s Spiderman?’ Now, we still don’t have the answer to that one.


I have had the opportunity to build the Venom head sculpt (Helmet is just wrong, and it is not, technically, a bust) thanks to the AFOL Engagement team of the LEGO Group. The set is now available, has 565 elements and costs $AUD89.99;$USD59.99 €59.99; £54.99

Venom is an alien symbiote, who first appeared in Amazing Spiderman #282 in 1984. It integrates with a host, drawing on aspects of their memories and personality, but also granting them great strength.


My first impression was, ‘Hmmm….just like Carnage, except it’s black, there are no stickers, and we have a tongue’ So why did I enjoy building it so much more?


The set comes in the same black box, with a picture of the model on the front. It has some images from the comic on the back, and there are 3 numbered bags on the inside, just like Carnage. And then, almost as soon as Ann started laying elements out on the tray, I could see that there were a couple of things serving to differentiate the sets. Not many, but enough for me to find that my head was flooding over with new ideas.

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52 LEGO® Space Projects From @jeff_works – Book Review

I love a good LEGO® Spaceship. I love looking at them. I love the stories behind them. I would love to enjoy building them, but my spaceship design skills appear to be trapped somewhere in the late 1970’s. As such, I was quite excited when No Starch Press told me that Jeff Friesen’s (aka jeff_works on Instagram) new book was going to offer 52 such models, with extra inspiration and parts lists, in his latest book, LEGO® Space projects. Due for release in June, to coincide with world Astronomy month, it is currently available for pre-order, with a 25% discount on the list price of $USD24.99 (print and ebook). The eBook’s list price is $USD19.99.

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Episode 2 of Extra Pieces is now live

The next episode of Extra Pieces, a podcast collaboration between Jay’s Brick Blog and The Rambling Brick is now live and available through the regular channels:

In this episode, Jay and Richard discuss the fallout From the Ulysses – VIP Centre hiccup; Look at the Looney Tunes Minifigures; Build some Super Heroes sets and hope for a future where Classic Castle sets return.

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify

Or simple RSS feed

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75308 R2-D2: Hands On Review

The astromech droid R2-D2 was one of the first characters that we met at the beginning of Star Wars (Episode IV a New Hope to the Younglings). Along with C-3PO, he (why is it virtually always he?) is one of the few characters to be involved in each of the films of the Skywalker Saga. As such, he was felt to be a suitable subject for the set celebrating 50 years of Lucasfilm, as well as appearing in time for May the 4th celebrations this year.

The set will go on sale May 1, exclusively at LEGO Branded Stores, including the online store, priced at 199 EUR/USD – 179,99 GBP – 329.99 AUD – 269.99 CAD.

The AFOL Engagement Team of the LEGO Group sent me a pre-release copy of the new 75308. Join me as we wander through the build, and see if this set has sufficient material to justify an outlay of your money.

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