Getting started with Mining in the City [Mining Team – 60184]

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In which we consider recurring subjects in LEGO Town and City, consider the nature of the LEGO City Starter Sets and realise why they are no longer named as such, investigate a new cohort of mini figures, make a mountain explode and realise that Glow in the Dark Spiders are never going to surprise you by jumping our of the cupboard. Now read on…

It is a year of celebrations and anniversaries: 60 years of the brick, 40 years of the minifigure, 20 years of Mindstorm. Going back a little, we have just celebrated 10 years of modular buildings/ UCS Millennium Falcon and the Taj Mahal, with a tribute, reboot, or reissue for each.

But there are many sets in this year’s city range that call back to sets from the past, 20 and 30 years ago, and we shall look at some of those in greater detail over the next few months.

Today, I was looking at the Mining Team Set 60184, and saw a vehicle that took me back to the early days of LEGO Town:

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The front loader, 607 from 1979 was part of the second wave of LEGO Town sets to be released. A simple vehicle, for a simple time, and bears a remarkable resemblance to the dump truck seen into days set for review. Continue reading

You light up my LEGO – let it glow!

IMG_9977-2One of the great things about the last few months has been sunny weather, and the chance to build outside during the day, rather than just inside at night (Quick reminder for northern hemisphere readers, it is summer here, and holidays finished only a couple of weeks ago). What became apparent is that when building under sunlight, the trans fluoro reddish orange elements (also called Trans Neon Orange on bricklink) tend to become brighter in the sunlight, with an eerie glow. This was not obvious when working under an incandescent lamp at midnight. It turns out that these transparent fluorescent colours are, intact, fluorescing.

What does it mean to demonstrate fluorescence? Continue reading

The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition 76105 [Product Announcement]

Hulkbuster Armour: is it UCS? is it a good reason for last year’s changes in the LEGO Ideas guidelines and house rules? Is it going to occupy valuable display space after March 3? Hopefully these questions will be answered, or at least addressed, in this post.

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At the New York Toy Show today, LEGO Unveiled the 76105 The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition.  Based on the Mark 44 Iron Man Armour, this armour was designed as a contingency, to be deployed from an orbital platform, codenamed Veronica, in the event of a confrontation with the Hulk.  While the relative success in developing such a strategy, along with the ensuing destruction witnessed at the ‘Battle of Johannesburg’ may be argued either way, there is no doubt that the resultant suit looks pretty cool!

With 1363 pieces, and measuring over 25 centimetres tall, and a descriptive plaque, this is a set that fans have been waiting years for. Celebrating the 10 years of Marvel Studios cinema releases, this set will be available from 3rd March 2018, through shop.lego.com or your local LEGO Brand retail store. It will be priced at AU $199.99  – US $119.99 – CA $149.99 – DE 129.99€ – UK £119.99 – DK 1199DKKThere will be no early availability for VIPs.

Ten years of Marvel Studios

76105_1to1_MF_D2C_Iron_ManOn April 14, it will be ten years since the first Iron Man movie was released, heralding the beginning of the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was the first film to be released under the Marvel Studios label, but it was not for another four years that we saw an official LEGO version. The first Iron Man minifigure was a Toy Fair 2012 exclusive, with figures becoming available for the rest of us as part of the sets released in conjunction with The Avengers movie. To date, there have been at least 15 variations on Iron Man mini figures released. And there is a new one included in this set, to say nothing of the forthcoming Avengers: Infinity War sets. Iron Man has also been released as a constructible figure (4529), a micro figure (in the Helicarrier 70642), two BrickHeadz (41492 – San Diego Comic Con Exclusive; and 41590 – general release) and as a brick built  version of the Hulkbuster Armour in The Hulk Buster Smash (76031).  It is this final version which is expanded and elaborated on today.

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Alternative prior (non minifigure) LEGO Presentations of Iron Man: Not to scale…

Is this UCS? Continue reading

Welcome to the Year of the Dog: 40235

IMG_9956As the Lunar New Year approaches, our minds turn to the Year of the Dog.  Set 40235 has been available in Australian Myer Stores as a Gift With Purchase for purchases of over $AUD88  This is the fourth set in this series, including last year’s year of the Rooster (40234), 2016’s Year of the Monkey(40207) and 2015’s Year of the Sheep (40148). The Year of the Snake set from 2013 (10250) is of a completely different aesthetic: more of the creator 4 in one build able creatures type of set.  I would not include it in the current series. As well as the LEGO elements and instructions, the set comes with an envelope in which to place a gift of money for the recipient of the set. Continue reading

Beginning with Boost: Driven to Distraction

In which we look at the steering wheeled base, that is one of the starter platforms with LEGO Boost Creative Toolkit, visit the nomenclature of LEGO Tyres and go out for a spin…Along the way, we go atomic.  Now read on…

IMG_9778The recent announcement of the forthcoming Power functions 2.0 reminded me that it has been a while since we looked at the Boost Creative Toolbox.  I just wanted to briefly touch on one of the starter models from the Creative Canvas today: the Vehicle hub.

All you need is a little patience.

Towards the end of 2017, Boost became supported on new platforms including the iOS smartphones, and Windows 10- no longer limited to tablets (iOS, Android and Kindle fire).  There is also an up to date compatibility list available from the Unofficial LEGO Boost Community Facebook page. Continue reading

Moments in Space: Voting Now Open

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[NOTE: Voting has now closed…]

A couple of weeks ago, we brought you news of the LEGO Ideas ‘Moments in Space’ contest: The goal is to design a set that would be appropriate for a gift with purchase, to be released next year, the 40th anniversary of the Global launch of the Classic Space theme.  Over one thousand entries have been submitted. It is now up to the public to vote for their favourite submissions.

The 25 submissions with the most votes will be reviewed by the judges, with the grand prize winner’s model being considered for development into a Gift With Purchase set by LEGO designers for release next year.

You can find a link to all of the entries HERE

Why am I mentioning this here? I don’t normally go in for discussion of LEGO Ideas submissions in progress.  In fact, I generally don’t even mention them until they are about to be released.

The Significance of Space

Classic space inspired the imagination of ten year old me to look towards a positive, cooperative future. In 2019 that will be forty years ago.  I will be turning… well you can do the maths! I think this is an important anniversary. Just as forty years of Technic was last year, 60 years of the Brick this year, 20 years of Mindstorms this year, 40 years of the minifigure this year (as well as classic Town and Castle Themes).

But with this contest, we have been asked to give an indication of what we would like to see done as part of the celebration, and I think this is an important example of the LEGO Group engaging with their fan base, on a topic about which many are particularly passionate.

This excited me enough to produce some submissions, based on Classic Space sets from 1979, and reimagine them with a contemporary parts palette, specifically that from NEXO Knights.  We have recently had news that NEXO Knights is ending its run with the current wave of sets.  I thought it appropriate to farewell this theme with a call back to my favourite era of LEGO Space sets. Let us refer to this as NEXO Classic Space…

NEXO Classic Space.

I am not an especially talented designer or builder, however I have submitted my take on the 891/442 Two Seater Space Scooter; 886 Moon Buggy and 889 Radar Truck.  The latter two were sets that we had about the house as we were growing up.

The Two Seater Space Scooter is, however, my favourite.  Conceptually, it is one of sets that led me down the Classic Space rabbit hole last year, when it appeared as part of the Classic Space DLC for LEGO Worlds: Here we have both Classic and Modern Space Explorers sharing a moment –  talking about their hopes and dreams; how things of changed over the years, and how they will change in years to come. With larger engines than the previous version, it can fly further and faster than the classic version, and with its yellow and black stripes you know there is a nod back to Classic Space.  And the model is, of course, extremely swooshable!

If you would care to vote for it, click here to be taken to the page.

While I would love to see Blue/Grey/Trans Yellow Classic Space reappear, it is not what I need.  LEGO Space inspired a generation raised during the Cold War to believe in an optimistic future, where people would work together to expand their knowledge and experience of the universe around us, striving towards a common goal. I would love to see a set which aspires to these values to be the one to win this competition.

I don’t need it to be mine.

My submissions can be found here:

While I have submitted these, that are part of a larger project, where I have been working to develop a reworking of that first series of LEGO Space sets from 1978-79 using the NEXO Knight’s parts palette. But more on that soon.

Have you submitted an entry in the Moments in Space contest? Why not share a link in the comments below.  And why not subscribe to the Rambling Brick: our publication schedule will been a little disrupted over the next few weeks, and I’d hate you to miss the next few posts.

Until next time,

Play Well.

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We will talk more about NEXO Classic Space in the next few weeks. Here is part of the finished display from Brickvention Australia, January 2018.

Building Better Thinking with Rainbow Unicorns – 10401

Don’t want to spend the minimum purchase required,  just to get the 60th anniversary tile in ‘40290 60 Years of the LEGO® Brick‘ Set? Did you miss the opportunity to get it as a gift with purchase from the LEGO store? (Note: it may well still be available today… but I can’t speak for tomorrow. In Australia it is still available at time of posting). Well, we might well have found the perfect set for filling this gap, at a reasonable price, with a great mixture of elements to boot!

Building Better Thinking

Continue reading