Tyger Tyger Burning Bright: Majestic Tiger [Hands-On Review]

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, 
In the forests of the night; 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? 

The Tyger, William Blake

Organic forms were, once upon a time, difficult to construct with any significant degree of realism using LEGO bricks. If you were to attempt such shapes in before the turn of the century, you would have created a relatively blocky form. The continuing evolution of elements over the last 15 years has led to the parts palette including a significant number of curves, both along the vertical and horizontal planes of an element’s axis as well as bricks with studs on the side, and a variety of clip and bar connections. These have seen the LEGO System continue to evolve beyond a simple toy and into a model-making medium, allowing these organic shapes to become easier to replicate. Once restricted to fan creations, the 31129 Majestic Tiger brings a demonstration of complex techniques, and downright elemental trickery that would not have been so easily possible in 2020!

This set also has alternative models of a red panda, as well as a koi fish. I will come to these in a subsequent review, but I was keen to share the details of the tiger with you today.

I would like to thank the AFOL Engagement Team from the LEGO Group for sending this prerelease set to the Rambling Brick for an early review.

The set is due for release on the 1st of January 2022, and has 755 pieces. The price is yet to be revealed.

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Reducing Gender Bias in LEGO® Friends in 2022

A few months ago, the LEGO Group announced their intention to eliminate gender bias from their marketing materials, ensuring that no set was going to be explicitly sold as a boy’s set or a girl’s set, but rather as toys for children. At that time we looked at the way that the marketing images in a number of LEGO® themes presented a degree of bias in their lifestyle ‘hero images.’

However, following this announcement, some people were concerned that it might spell the end of LEGO Friends. The theme was introduced back in 2012, as a result of focus groups suggesting that there was a large group of girls not engaging with LEGO Bricks. The theme is now enjoyed by boys and girls alike: embracing the everyday adventures in ‘real world’ settings.

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Builders’ Journeys: Holly and the Harry Potter Castle

Welcome back to Builder’s Journeys, our throwback Thursday feature where we talk to AFOLs and find out about the LEGO Set that put them on the path to make them the AFOL they are today.

Today we hear from Holly from Sydney, Australia. Holly is on Youtube, talking about LEGO Harry Potter, Super Heroes and More at HollyOnFilm

Besides the CLASSIC boxes, my first LEGO set was Hogwarts Castle (5378). I remember opening it on Christmas Day in 2007 and the box was completely crushed as my Grandparents had shipped it from the UK after buying it from LEGOLAND Windsor. I built it instantly and played with it all day. It was my first and only LEGO Harry Potter set for years and those minifigures and pieces went on several adventures being rebuilt into so many different things. Somehow it’s still 98% complete despite all the play, a house move and being thrown into random bins, and now sits on my shelf with my Harry Potter books. I don’t know where I’d be today without it.”

The Harry Potter Castle 5378 was released in 2007, in conjunction with the film ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.’ It has 9 minifigures and 942 pieces. I love the way the Holly has set it up with her books, soft Harry Doll, as well as one of the 2021 sets.

Thanks for sharing this story Holly. And be sure to check out her channel on youtube and instagram.

I’ll be sharing more stories of different Builders’ Journeys over the next few months – Hopefully every week. Recently, life has been interfering a bit too much!.

If you have a story that you would like to submit, based on the LEGO set that set you on your path to AFOLdom, why not drop me a note.

Until next time,

Play Well.

Monkie Kid 80036 The City of Lanterns – Full of easter eggs [Hands-on Review]

Monkie Kid draws its inspiration from the Classical Chinese novel, Journey to the West, and in the closing moments of season 2 of the animated series, that is exactly where the Monkey King told MK and his friends that they would need to go: on a Journey to The West. I presume that the 2022 wave of sets relate to the path that this journey takes.

Today, I would like to present the flagship set of the wave: 80036 the City of Lanterns. with 2187 pieces, and 9 figures, the set presents some highlights from LEGO History, while embracing the spirit of the story.

While the set, along with the theme as a whole is said to be ‘…designed to be a fun, creative way for parents and grandparents to pass on legendary tales of the Monkey King to the next generation.’ This set also sets out to refresh the iconography of LEGO sets from the past, to educate a new market of its history and provide extra inspiration to older people who build it…just in time for the LEGO Group’s 90th birthday!

The set will go on sale on January 1 2022 from LEGO.com, ad branded retail stores. At this stage, I do not believe it will be routinely available from independent retailers in Australia.

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80030: Monkie Kid’s Staff Creations: New Elements, New Techniques

Last week, the new Monkie Kid sets for 2022 were revealed at LEGO.com. Across the range, we see a mashup of old-school space, along with an appearance from classic town. This compares with Ninjago, which often brings more of a mashup of science-fiction/Space and medieval fantasy/Castle vibe to the picture.

Over the next couple of months, I’ll bring you reviews of most of the sets coming up in the new Monkie Kid wave – and it looks like it will have something for everyone.

Today, I’d like to start with 80030 Monkey King Staff Creations. This set has 309 pieces and will retail for $49.99 AUD; $34.99 USD;$44.99 CAD; £24.99 GBP; €29.99. It comes with 2 minifigures: Monkie Kid/MK and Monkey King.

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Taking On A Team Build: 71741 Ninjago City Gardens

Have you ever thought about building a LEGO set as a social activity? Have you given it a try? Join me as I seek the help of a few friends to put together 71741 Ninjago City Gardens.

In Melbourne, we have spent a little bit of time lockdown over the last 18 months (individual definitions of ‘a little’, and ‘lockdown’ may vary). As such, we have spent quite a lot of time unable to catch up with friends In Real Life™. A couple of weeks ago, we regained the privilege to visit friends in their homes. As such, it has been quite exciting.

But first, let’s go back a few years. I have known Andrew, Kris, Dan and Cameron since school. That takes us back to the mid-eighties. We have all headed in different directions in our lives, but have kept in touch. A few of us are married with kids – and as such, around 15 years ago, we started a regular monthly catchup poker game to… reflect on the responsibilities of fatherhood with a jury of our peers. Exceptionally low stakes: no cash, not even jelly beans. After a while, this regular catchup has evolved in a number of directions: late-night geocaching, escape rooms, board games. My professional life seemed to involve a little more weekend work than the others, but I still keep up with the gang when I can. During our lockdowns, we moved over to the virtual catchup – shared online card games and first-person shooters!

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Piotr Takes Us Back To The Beginning…

Welcome Back to Builders’ Journeys, where an AFOL takes us back to remember one of those important sets from their life, that helped them to develop into the builder they are today. Today, we hear from Piotr, a Polish reader, who you can find on Instagram and Youtube, where he runs the channel ’Habit of Bricking. Piotr is the first of our AFOLs to bring a LEGO® Star Wars set to the fore. And it is one of the earliest: 7101 Lightsaber Duel from 1999. It has 2 minifigures and 52 pieces.

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LEGO Super Mario Beachfront Sets Revealed: For Release 1st January 2022

Last weekend, at the 4th CIIE, we not only saw the new Lunar New Year festival sets revealed but also the final sets from the next wave of LEGO Super Mario sets. We saw part of the wave, pertaining to Luigi’s Mansion, unveiled over Halloween.

We have another three sets, in conjunction with a series of Buildable Characters:

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75313 Ultimate Collectors Series AT-AT Officially Revealed. For Release: November 26 2021

The AT-AT is one of those iconic vehicles from the original Star Wars Trilogy, serving up a drubbing to the Rebellion and helping this 12 year old come to terms with the fact the good guys would not always win.

This is the third ‘Major’ LEGO Star Wars release this year. The R2D2 sculpture was not, technically, a UCS set according to the LEGO Star Wars Team. We then saw the UCS Republic Gunship released in August, and no confirmed news about whether we would see another large set: either a UCS or Master Builders Series. This one looks like a UCS, but with 8 minifigures and some other Speeder bikes and an E-Web gun, this set appears to be making up for a lost time, after the last time the UCS range visited Hoth.

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40488 Coffee Cart Gift With Purchase now Live [Hands On Review]

The start of November is a funny time for shopping for LEGO: many AFOLs are waiting to see if there will be great value around Black Brick Friday, with all its associated offers, after the United States celebrates Thanksgiving. Others are holding out to see if there will be an extra special Christmas Gift With Purchase available. Of course, we only have a limited budget for buying LEGO sets, so people want to take advantage of the most relevant offers. When the offers are running in a different direction to local Certified LEGO Stores and more general Toy Shops – I’m looking at you Bricktober! – it can be downright confusing.

And so, on the 8th of November 2021, the LEGO Group has released a new Gift With Purchase, 40488 Coffee Cart. It is available from the 8th November until the 14th, with purchases from LEGO.com or LEGO Brand Retail stores over $140 AUD (just $9 short of the free shipping threshold); / £65 / $65 USD / $90 CAD/ 65€.

So… Is it worth spending something now, or waiting a few weeks, on the off chance that the next GWP will make it worth your while? Let’s take a look.

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