Covert Celebrations, Cryptic Documents and Helicopter Carriers

The second part of the story, in which I descend to the depths of paranoia, receive mysterious documents in the refrigerated section of the local supermarket and discover some sets that seem to have surreptitiously slipped into their 30th year with a nod from the designers of LEGO City. Is this planned? An Easter egg for collectors? A covert celebration? Or merely the product of an overactive imagination?

Since I published my first article about covert celebrations in  the 2018 LEGO City sets, I have been on edge. Shadows flickering in my peripheral vision. Mysterious figures in the local shopping strip, there one minute, gone the next.  Facial features indistinct, not staying still long enough for me to recognise them. I am feeling anxious: worried that I am being followed, with unknown intentions.

In case anything happens, I thought I should share my story, so you will know where it started.

A couple of months ago I was shopping in our local supermarket – picking up some extra food for the next week.  Brickvention was just few days away and I was taking a break from preparing my build. Perhaps I was running a little behind.  Perhaps it was a lot. I can’t recall anymore. It was a period of frantic activity, and I was prone to being distracted from non-LEGO building tasks.

And then the envelope appeared.  Dropped into the child seat of my shopping trolley at the local supermarket while I was getting some yoghurt out of the fridge, I never saw who left it. Before I realised what was happening, a person wearing a black hoodie quickly disappeared down aisle 12, not to be seen again.

It was strange: a yellow envelope, addressed to ‘Rambling Brick’ in the style of a 1970’s television cop show ransom letter: with letters cut out from an old newspaper. I unfolded the envelope, and the word ‘Coincidence?’ appeared.Scan 11

I have received external leads for blog posts in the past: private messages on Facebook, unencrypted emails, even the occasional press release. But this was the first time I had received anything using good old fashioned newspaper and glue technology. I mean, who even buys newspapers these days? Surely printing something through a laser printer would ensure a significant level of anonymity!

Scan 9Somewhat rashly, I opened the envelope. Fortunately, there was only a small Instamatic photograph to be found inside.  The picture was spectacularly out of focus, but appeared to be a LEGO catalog with an indistinct circle around three of the sets. There were four numbers glued onto the bottom edge of the picture: 1988.

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Coincidence or Coverup? The Covert Celebrations in LEGO City, 2018 [ Land Jet 7580; Speed Record Car 60178]

In which I postulate a trend of rebooting Classic LEGO Town vehicle sets in a year otherwise chock full of LEGO Celebrations. A conspiracy? A cover up? An unexpected Easter Egg?  Step inside the Rambling Brick House of Advanced Aluminium Millinery and join us on a rollercoaster ride of unfounded supposition, speculation, and imaginary voices calling from inside the LEGO Room as we look at Jet Cars, past and present.

Coincidence or Coverup? The Covert Celebrations in LEGO City, 2018

IMG_9838As has been previously discussed, this is a year for celebrations at the LEGO Group. We have seen sixty years of the LEGO Brick, forty years of the minifigure (to be celebrated next month with series 18 Collectable Minifigures), and twenty years of Mindstorms. The fortieth anniversary of the Minifigure also commemorates the arrival of classic town, space and castle. Now space and castle don’t have individual representation at present, but LEGO Town has Grown over the last 40 years to LEGO City.

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Some of the new Great Vehicles in  the 2018 LEGO Catalogue.

There are themes in LEGO City that recur on a regular basis: Fire, Police, Coast guard. And there also less frequent themes: Volcano, Jungle and Arctic Explorers to name a few.  But fitting in between all of these are some Great Vehicles.  They fit in your city, but are possibly off theme for this year’s main City sets.  And they are sure to return every so often.

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Some of the classic LEGO gets celebrating their 20th, 30th and 40th anniversaries this year? Coincidence? I think not… [Catalog scans from brickset.com]

As I looked through this year’s catalog, I spied some familiar subjects, from catalogs in my youth, ‘classic’ sets on display at shows and a mysterious feeling of delay vu. This year, I believe we are seeing a number of vehicle sets revisited on their 40th, 30th and 20th anniversaries.  I accept these concepts all come and go in LEGO Sets on a regular basis, but with all of the aforementioned anniversaries I am suspicious that some  sets from the past have been revisited and given a contemporary spin on the occasion of their 40th, 30th and 20th anniversaries.

Here at the Rambling Brick, we would far rather believe in a conspiracy than a coincidence, and so I would like to believe that these might be a covert celebration of sets celebrating their decennial anniversaries this year. Over the next few months I am looking to explore some of these past sets which, while not necessarily classics, provide some insight into how things have changed over the last forty years. Continue reading

21314 LEGO® Ideas TRON: Legacy

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4905102-Fan_Model_-_Not_Final_Product_-_TRON-FwOzL-hb7QDPFw-thumbnail-fullIn 2010, Tron: Legacy, as sequel to the 1982 movie Tron was released. The original movie was released at a time when home computers were just starting to become relatively common, and its art style and story setting were unlike anything we had previously seen.   In October 2015, BrickBros UK – Tom and Drew – submitted a single Light Cycle, based on the movie TRON: Legacy to LEGO® Ideas. Over the next 17 months, they gained support, reaching 10000 votes in April 2017. The review start in May, with the final review being announced in November 2017. And so, less than 6 months later,  the set is now ready to hit the shelves.

The Light Cycles were iconic elements of both the original TRON as well as TRON: Legacy. The original submission featured one light cycle, with trans light blue details, carefully crafted to minifigure scale.  The final set features two: with the additional light cycle featuring trans orange details, and an additional minifigure.21314_Prod

The look of these cycles, as well as the ‘Grid’ base captures the spirit and styling of this sequence, even if the original TRON was more your thing than its sequel. Continue reading

Customize Your GO-KART for LEGO® Rebrick

The race is on to create your own LEGO® Friends GO-KART racing scene! What sort of GO-KART can you create for  Olivia, Mia, Andrea, Emma, Stephanie, and their other friends in Heartlake City? Create the ultimate scene for a chance to win!

After visiting the Melbourne Toy Hobby and Licensing Fair last week, I was really excited to see the new Friends GO-KART sets due to be released in the second half of the year.  Now LEGO Rebrick has announced a competition to win all of the second half year’s Friends sets (with just the Go-Kart sets for the runners up…), as well as a LEGO Shopping Spree.

 

720x540Ready… Set… Go…

To enter, build a vignette depicting a racing scene – no more than 8×12 studs, and include a GO-KART.  Your entry should fit into the Heartlake City universe, and not include any mini figures, or cross over into any other IP licenses from 3rd parties or LEGO (so… no Superheroes, Disney Princess, Star Wars, HJarry Potter, NEXO Knights, LEGO Elves, Ninjago etc.

You have until May 5th to take photos of your model, and submit up to 5 of the best to the Rebrick Website.

SmallerPrizes:

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Bursting with Power, Superman & Krypto Team-Up [76096]…with Lobo

In which we explore the power bursts which can be found in the 2018 Super Heroes sets, put together the Kryptonite Prison and Lobo’s Spacehog and, finally, consider the nature of just who is teaming up with whom…

When we first saw images of some of this year’s LEGO Superheroes sets, they were declared to be coming with ‘Power bursts’ – an intriguing concept which was never quite fully explained in the accompanying text.  But now we know: Appearing as a pack of 10 assorted elements, Power Bursts are available in a number of transparent colours, and are appearing across the DC Super Heroes and Marvel Superheroes Ranges.

Power Bursts

Zap, Pow, Crunch! If you hit your enemy hard enough, words will spontaneously form in the air above them. But while this may be true in several Batman Incarnations, it does not always appear to be the case.  Sometimes, you need some form of artistic device to allow the transfer of energy, or the danger posed by that ray beam, the roar of the engines, or the Thwack of that punch! The comic book artist might convey such impacts with speed lines, or spiky star shapes or streaks of flame.  In this year’s super hero sets, we have Power Bursts!

IMG_0259.jpgThese elements of impact are currently available in transparent bright green; transparent light blue and transparent bright orange. Continue reading

Looking Forward to the rest of the year at the 2018 Melbourne Toy, Hobby and Licensing Fair

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The Rambling Brick, and Friends at the Melbourne Toy, Hobby and Licensing Fair.

The toy fair season is now starting to wind up for now: We have had Nuremberg. We have had New York. Now we have had Melbourne…

The Melbourne Toy, Hobby and Licensing Fair is a bit of a mouthful. Predominantly a trade show, taking place in Melbourne in early March each year, LEGO Australia have a strong presence. There has traditionally been little ‘big news’ coming out of the show, as visitors have not been able to take photographs at the LEGO® booth, a trend that was reinforced at Nuremberg this year.
 I had the chance to visit the Fair last weekend, and visit the booth displaying our favourite Danish Plastic Brick. Once I got past the big displays outside the booth, I had to put the camera away, and make do with words and memories.
After the recent New York and Nuremberg Toy shows, there is little to be seen in left field, unexpected presentations.  Unlike New York, there are no Direct to Consumer sets on display (for example: Hogwarts Great Hall; Ultron Hulkbuster).  There were also no Brickheadz or 40th Birthday Minifigure sets on display.  There were no sets associated with unreleased movies ( such as Jurassic World; Solo; Incredibles 2) , unless they were already on sale (Avengers: Infinity War went on sale the week before the toy fair).
There were plenty of sets on display that are already on the shop shelves, readily available to purchase in real life shops, or on line. And everything else that I saw already has an entry in Brickset’s 2018 database. However, there were some sets from the second half year on display, of which few details have previously been available, or for which some additional clarity was able to be gained. If you wish to avoid spoilers, look away now.  If you have read everything coming out of Nuremberg and New York, there may not be a lot that sounds new… but certainly a few points of clarification.

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LEGO Ideas Missing ‘Hidden Figure’ explained?

When the “Women of NASA” LEGO Ideas set was released, many wondered why Katherine Johnson was not featured, despite inclusion in the original submission….

To Celebrate International Women’s Day, Mattel has announced a number of Barbie Dolls based on real life, inspirational women. As well as Katherine Johnson, we also see Pioneer Aviatrix Amelia Earhart and Mexican Artist Frida Kahlo. Further global role models (16 in the initial series) will be rolled out over the coming months.

Does this explain why Ms Johnson’s likeness was not released to LEGO for the Women of NASA set? I’m not sure, but if plans were already in motion, I reckon it’s a better than even money chance. However, I am glad she has been made available as a role model for Children around the world.

Even if not in Minifigure form.

(Via geek wire)