Building up and catching up

The month is well underway, and now we are up to days seven and eight of 40222:Christmas Buildup. At this rate I will catch up with the rest of the world in time for the eleventh of December.

Day 7: I’m leaving on a jet plane

Many of us spend our holidays travelling: to visit friends and family, see new things or get back where we belong. This great little plane is made of 15 pieces. I particularly like the use of alternating clear and coloured plates to represent the windows, as well as as the red and green lights representing port and starboard on the wings.  It reminds me of the Caravelle Jet – set 687: Initially released in 1973, I remember receiving this set as a get well soon present in 1975 after having my tonsillectomy.  I still have some of the windowed 2×4 bricks with window printing on the sides.  Aaah happy days. I can taste the jelly and ice-cream just looking at it…

Day 8: Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse 

This mouse (or is it a grey squirrel with acorns tucked away in his mouth?) demonstrates a couple of great techniques: the round tiles representing ears and also the ‘tooth’ pieces representing the whiskers. Reminding us once again that a single piece can serve the role of others.  I certainly preferred this build over the dog-monkey beast from a few days ago.


The Build-up Catch-up continues…

Day 5:  Snow Business 

This terrific little snowplough may or may not have a new piece in it. According to brickset’s database, the bright yellow panel 1x2x1 with rounded corners, element ID 6146219,only appears in this set. However, bricklink lists the piece as 4865b and it seems to appear in 37 other sets in yellow.

Closer investigation reveals that these may in fact be element 486524 – essentially the same panel, in bright yellow (TLG) but with square corners. These may be the closest thing to the sole source of this element at present.  That or some online databases have become a little mixed up…

Snow ploughing and Christmas are a little incongruous in Australia. In Melbourne we are the grips of summer at Christmas time, but even in winter it virtually never snows here ( it did once, but that was over 30 years ago), and certainly not enough to justify a vehicle to clear it.  But it’s not all about me!

Day 6: Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Measuring 2x4x6 1/3, this little build is the epitome of Christmas Eve. The fire, mantelpiece and chimney, with plants and a hanging stocking, waiting for Santa. This is a near perfect build, with just 27 pieces. 

Catching up on the Buildup to Christmas

Day 3: do you see what I see?

This bright green gift is made of 24 pieces, including a 3×3 white plate. The model is not quite a cube: three studs Square at the base, would mean it should be six and a half plates tall. A selection of cheese wedges fashions an elegant bow on top.

The great thing about such a cuboid shape is that it provides a great opportunity to demonstrate the differences between using a typical wide angle lens such as that from a phone, and a 50mm lens.  

On the left, the image was captured using the telephoto ’50mm’ lens on an iPhone 7plus.  On the right, the standard wide angle lens was used. 

Do you see how the distortion is reduced when the ’50mmm lens is used?  It makes a huge difference in the shape of the model.  Food for thought, especially if you are planning to take some photos of you minifigure a in the wild, but not lug the SLR around.

Day 4: fauna.

Is it a puppy? Is it a monkey? This debate lasted for a whole day on some forums. I’m going with puppy. Such detail in 26 pieces. Even the tail moves.  I can see where the controversy lies: you may imagine a dog’s nose be set up more as sitting in the end of a snout, rather than on top of the jowls/ mouth like this. But the rest of the build suggests canine. Place your vote here.

 Until tomorrow….

play well.

Building up 40222: The First couple of days…

Yesterday, we had a quick overview of the 40222: Christmas Buildup.  Let’s start looking through the daily builds.  We will have some catch-up for a couple of days. I hope you enjoy finding out about the first two.

Day 1: I saw 3 ships go sailing by.

Well, at least one anyway. This small sailing vessel is made of 19 pieces.  Recently LEGO:Rebrick held a competition looking for microscale builds, and I think this is a great example of what they were looking for. I suspect we will see a lot of these sorts of builds in the run up to christmas, as we often do in the more traditional LEGO® Advent Calendars. The use of bricks with studs on the side to attach portals to, as well as the cheese slopes for the bow and stern introduces SNOT  techniques in a small build.  But my favourite lesson in this model comes from the the grey plates above and below those SNOT bricks: bricks side by  side should be locked in position by other pieces bridging the gap.


Day 2: Mixel eyes make everything better.

Our second build teaches us the most important lesson about building with LEGO® bricks: You often need to pull apart your previous model to build the next one.  The first step of this build (and every subsequent build) is to pull apart the previous day’s model with the brick separator: the dark grey 1×4 plate from the base of the boat forms the structure of the antlers.  I have also taken artistic license here, and angled the corner plates to take the typically organic antlers off the grid.


I enjoyed both of these builds, and am looking forward to the finding out what is in store next.

What is the highlight of your LEGO® Advent Builds?

Christmas Build-Up: 40222

We all love the build up to Christmas don’t we?

I would like to start by apologising for not starting this article earlier… Taking my own shopping advice, I was attracted to this set, and delayed my order for a few days, until it became available.  Unfortunately, the package containing this great seasonal gift with purchase didn’t arrive at my home until December 5th.IMG_2623.JPG

This set comes in a solid cardboard box, with double folded reinforced ends, similar to the LEGO® Ideas sets.  It feels solid and tangible when you pick it up.  The cover art depicts a selection of the models constructed as part of the great Build Up to Christmas.   When you open it up, there are a few things you notice: There are several polybages containing 250 pieces in total, a brick separator and two instruction manuals.
IMG_2624.JPGThere is an interesting collection of pieces to be found inside the set: balls,  bricks with studs on the side, offset plates and masonary bricks, just to name a few.

And plates.

Lots of plates.


The set promises a new model to build, every day in December up to Christmas Eve… Building up to Christmas: Each day has a small, micro type build. However, not all models can be constructed at a time, and we are reminded of this frequently on the box art.

I will aim to catch up over the next few days, and get the first  few models posted.

I am yet to pass judgment on this set for its quality or content.


I love the box: it feels like a sturdy place to keep the pieces from this set, as well as some of the mystery.  It would be great to be able to build all these models at once.  That said, most of the parts are fairly generic, and not unique to this set. Except one…

Let’s see how things pan out over the next few days…

Come back tomorrow, and I’ll get the building underway.

Play well

50 Years of Ford GT at Le Mans [News release and video]

Overnight AEST, Ford and LEGO® Speed Champions announced the release of  the Ford GT Race Cars that won the 1966 and 2016 (GTE-Pro Class) Le Mans 24 Hour Race.  The project had been hinted at earlier in the year when this video appeared around the inter webs, before the famed endurance race had started. Featuring #66, it was in fact #68 that ultimately took the donors in the GTE-Pro class this year.Untitled1.png

This new set features the #2 GT40 Mark II driven by theNew Zealand Drivers Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon in 1966 and  #68 Ford GT of Sébastien Bourdais (FRA), Joey Hand (US) and Dirk Müller (GER) from 2016.

Looking at both vehicles, they appear to be afflicted with the Speed Champions love of stickers, but unlike the current Ford GT Model, these appear to mainly involve the corporate livery and GT stripes, rather than key mechanical details of the vehicles such as the engine intakes and lights. I commend the design team for this.


The design of the front of the GT40 also features some interesting work to achieve the correct angle (and unfortunately a couple of teeny tiny stickers. There are some fantastic examples of finger blistering details in the construction.

I might even buy this set just for the vehicles…

See an interview with the Design Lead, and rapid assembly of the set in the video below :

Craig Callum: Speed Champions Design Lead Interview


The set will be available to order on 1st March 2017 from  The set will be priced at £29.99 and €34.99 at that time.  Australian, US and rest of the world pricing is yet to be announced.

What do you think of this commemorative car set?  Does it already have you regretting your purchases over Black Friday?


Play Well


The Full Press release can be seen after the break…

Continue reading

Brick Friday Sales: What have you done?

Its the weekend after the United States Celebrated Thanksgiving.  “Black Friday”/”Small Business Saturday”, “Cyber Monday” and the”Can you believe it’s almost Christmas?”  sales are upon us. In this globalised economy, the effects of the beginning of the ‘Christmas Sales Season’ now has effects all over the world.

Even the LEGO® online store has got into the spirit of things.

40223-1.jpgOf course, just how much it got into the spirit of things depends on where in the world you live: the Sales and Deals pages have differing content depending on the location you are in.

In Australia, we have some great regular prices on the new LEGO® Dimensions sets (so great, many consider them a glitch), but no discounts other than Pirates Chess(40158) which is normally $79.99 and currently reduced to $63.99.  We still pay shipping on orders less than $AUD200.

US and Europe have %20 discounts on many sets, and free shipping for VIPs on all orders.

There is one thing in common: The Free Gift with purchase Snow Globe 40223.  It is gorgeous.  And you only need to spend $AU120/$NZD140/£GBP60/$US99 or €65.

So I am curious.

Did you by anything from the LEGO® online store between 25th November and 18th December, and what was your motivation? The survey will take the first 100 responses, and has only 4 multiple choice questions.

Click here to take the Survey

Enjoy your Christmas sales season.

Play Well

Coming in 2017: The Future…

Over the last couple of weeks, official photos of many of 2017’s sets have come to light: Creator,  Lego® Technic (celebrating 40 Years), Elves, DC Superhero Girls, City, Disney, Marvel Super Heroes, Nexo Knights, Architecture, Star Wars, and LEGO Batman movie.  I have lost count of the number of reveals that have occurred.

If you don’t like spoilers, look away now.

There has been a steady reduction in the number of unknown unknowns, with an increase in the known knowns, and clarification as to the nature of the known unknowns.

Some of the my highlights in the reveals seen to date:

LEGO® City has 40% female minifigures in the sets revealed so far. [Great for girls and their families who are not fans of minidolls]


The LEGO® Creator Expert 10255 Modular Assembly Square has so many great new pieces.


LEGO® Friends is no longer restricted to the bright pastel palette, and some more traditional colours are coming into play in 41311 Heartlake Pizzeria.  There are 3 male minidolls, and 6 puppies to add to the collection in the sets revealed so far for 2017.friends

LEGO® DC Super Hero Girls will add a some additional heroism, and villianism(?) to our minidoll collections.


This year’s Creator Ocean Explorer 31045 has grown up into next year’s Technic Ocean Explorer 42064


The Creator Mighty Dinosaurs 31058 looks like a terrific landscape parts pack:


Elves continues with Goblins, and Emily’s little sister Sophie. More great fantasy landscapes and transportation


LEGO® Ninjago sets seem to be a little darker this year… mainly in palette


The LEGO® BATMAN Movie will bankrupt many of us with great looking sets and TWENTY, yes I said 20 Collectable Minifigures to collect…



These are the things that have made ME look up and take notice. Many new sets have been previewed on other LEGO® News Websites lately. What has grabbed your attention?

And what other treats may there be to celebrate to 10th anniversary of ‘the really cool sets catering for AFOLs’ such as the first modular building sets, 10181 Eiffel Tower, 10182 Hobby Trains and of course 10179 Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon. I’m sure there is much left for us to see.

What are you looking forward to?


Play well



Play on: LEGO City My City 2

As I browsed through my mobile platform’s App Store recently I came across a LEGO game that was new to me, the somewhat awkwardly titled LEGO City My City 2.  Having missed both the placement of a colon and LEGO City My City 1, I had no idea of what to expect.

Perhaps more correctly LEGO City: My City 2, this is an app bundling various LEGO City  games for your favorite mobile platform.   Unless your favorite platform is Microsoft Mobile… If you prefer to play on desktop, you can find them here.  Th play experience is superior on the mobile platform, as the games are already loaded and ready to go!

Construction missions and Games are based around this year’s LEGO City Subthemes: Police, Prison Island, Fire, Airport and Volcano Explorers.  First you select a mission to complete – a number of bricks are required to be collected to complete these missions – building a new fire training facility, rebuilding an airport and so forth.  There are then a variety of mini games to play in order to gain studs.  Studs are gained by passing over them in the game field, completing the mission in the allocated time, and also a time  bonus.  Studs are converted to bricks at the end of a game.   The current exchange rate seems to be 10 studs to the brick.
img_2371 Continue reading

Didn’t get Lester? 

Dont worry, hardly anyone did!

With only 275 Lester figures available over the first week, and several thousand people in the queue, it was always low odds. We do know some were lucky enough to secure him. Congratulations to all who do: you are very fortunate.

I’ve obscured the number to leave an element of mystery.

In the mean time…. Continue reading