Minifigure40 II: To Make A Minifigure from Scratch, You Must first create the Universe

Mould prototypes_1976_1977_2To paraphrase the late Carl Sagan, To make a minifigure from scratch, you must first create the Universe. 

Let’s move a few steps down that path. Recently we took a look at some of the prototypes that were passed over on the path to minifigure development. Once you have a design, you need a way to put it together. Today, let’s take a look at the moulds that are in use.

Mold or Mould?

Over the last few years, I have been struggling with the word used to describe the thing that molten plastic is injected into, where it gains its special shape.  Is it a mould or a mold? And which is the spelling that has spores, and was the bane of my bathroom back in my bachelor days?

A quick call out to to the Wikipedia suggested that both spellings would apply to those fungi, depending on where in the world you are standing. (Molds in USA, moulds in the rest of the English speaking world).

But what about the verb meaning to shape/form or the noun referring to the thing used to do the same? It turns out that that is also spelt mold in the USA and mould everywhere else!  I am not about to revise every spelling of the world ‘mold’ over the last two and a half years.  going forward, however, I will endeavour to use the form of spelling that my computer attempts to direct me towards every time. This dialogue from the Australian Writer’s Centre might shed a little light on the subject.

This awesome brick built mo(u)ld was used while prototyping different minifigure prototypes.

Continue reading

Clarification: Ultimate Collectors Series vs Master Builder Series

75222_ProdLast week’s announcement of 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City left a number of people concerned as to what the ‘Master Builder Series’ might be, and what implications there might be for the Ultimate Collectors Series line.  There is no doubt that this Cloud City set is a departure in style from last year’s Snowspeeder and this year’s Y-Wing Starfighter. img_037475144_Front_01Clarification of the term was sought from the LEGO® Star Wars team, and they responded via the LEGO Ambassador’s Network this morning:

The Master Builder Series models are large playsets and beside being complex builds they are characterized by having many play features and functions, interior details as well as a range of minifigures. Ultimate Collectors Series will remain highly detailed display models providing complex builds with a focus on authenticity and both Ultimate Collectors Series and Master Builder Series will continue as a way to highlight the unique characteristic of each style of model.

While I suspect there will still be some people who consider this to be a dumbing down of the UCS line, I think it is good that in the future the label will now be reserved for brilliant display pieces, rather than large playsets such as 75159 Death Star and  70598 Assault on Hoth.  What do you think of this conceptually?  Why not leave your thoughts below.

Play well.

#Minifigure40 Part 1: The Road To Release [Minifigure Prototypes]

Minifigure prototypes from min. 1975-1978

This week, we celebrate the anniversary of the submission of the minifigure design to the Danish Patent office. It was in the following year, 1978,  that we got our first glimpse of the LEGO® Minifigure. However, development of an appropriately sized, articulated figure began sometime beforehand…

The LEGO Group have recently released some new picture, showing historically significant developments in the the life of the Minifigures. Many of the items shown here are on display in the LEGO House, in Billund, but some may not be at this time.  Continue reading

Little Figures: Big Story – 40 years of the LEGO® Minifigure. [patent documents]

IMG_1159This year, we have been celebrating forty years since the arrival of the minifigure.  Here at the Rambling Brick, we have dedicated a number of articles, including a look at the changes in the basic structure of the minifigure; special minifigure features introduced in Harry Potter sets, as well as a look at the 40th Anniversary Costume Party Collectable Minifigures. Not to mention the Covert Anniversary celebrations that we have seen in LEGO® City sets this year.

Today we celebrate the submission of the patent for the original minifigure design, in Denmark in 1977. So…41 years ago, in order to have things ready to roll in 1978!

To commemorate this event, the LEGO Group has released a collection of images of historical interest, including copies of the original patent documents, images of prototype minifigures, moulds, minifigure design sheets and historical advertising material, as well as a timeline of significant  minifigure events.

LEGOminifigure40_infographic

Over the next few posts, we will explore some of these materials, but first, let’s run the covering press release, and take a glance at the patent applications: Continue reading

Great Greebles Ant-Man, Let’s Explore the Quantum Realm! [76109 Review and Competition]

In which I look at 76109 Quantum Realm Explorers and realise that not only does it have some great minifigures, but it also gives a masterclass in greebles! And there isn’t long to enter our Ant-Man Contest.

IMG_2708When the original Ant-Man film was released a few years ago, I missed seeing it at the cinema, and I missed getting hold of the single LEGO® Set related to the movie.  And as such, I missed out getting hold of an Ant-Man Minifigure.  A favourite figure amongst toy photographers, there are so many images of this figure exploring the world. A month or so ago I went to see Ant-Man and the Wasp.  It was an enjoyable film, full of humour, action and special effects.  I have finally got around to building the set, Quantum Realm Explorers.  You might have seen posts over the last few weeks, providing an opportunity to win this set in a building competition: I will come back to that later.

Quantum Realm Explorers was released in June 2018, and has 200 pieces, including 3 minifigures.  It costs $39.99AUD; or $19.99USD, 24.99€ or £19.99. 10c/part in the US, 10p/part in the UK, 12.5 eurocents/part in Germany and 20¢/part in Australia…

The Figures

Many people may be looking at this set as an opportunity to pickup the minifigures, and each of the figures included in this set are terrific. We have: Ant-Man, Wasp and Ghost.

IMG_2693IMG_2695IMG_2700They are all pretty close to their movie counterparts. They all have detailed torso printing, front and back, to match their characters, as well as double sided faces. Continue reading

Expansion of Shop.LEGO.com in Europe:

ribbonThe Official LEGO Shop has had exciting news this year, as its expanding into 5 new countries, including Slovakia, Greece, Latvia, Estonia and Slovenia.

This expansion marks 29 countries globally – where shoppers can enjoy the full LEGO Shop experience, including access to the full assortment, exclusive products and promotions each month, extended line items and other unique services like Pick-A-Brick.

To commemorate this milestone, LEGO Shop is running a promotion in the new stores with an opportunity to “Win a one-of-a-kind buildable flag”. This extremely limited and rare set is not available for purchase anywhere. To enter simply make a purchase  from one of the new stores and you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win (alternatively, you may send an email to WinaFlag@LEGO.com, no purchase neccessary). Hurry – this special promotion ends September 23rd. Visit the URL’s below now to learn more!

The URLs for the competition details can be found following the links below.

NOTE: entry is only open to residents of these countries.

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Slovakia https://shop.lego.com/en-SK/lego-shop-slovakia-competition?icmp=HP-SHM-P-MT-flagsw-955

Greece https://shop.lego.com/en-GR/lego-shop-greece-competition?icmp=HP-SHM-P-MT-flagsw-953

Latvia https://shop.lego.com/en-LV/lego-shop-latvia-competition?icmp=HP-SHM-P-MT-flagsw-954

Estonia https://shop.lego.com/en-EE/lego-shop-estonia-competition?icmp=HP-SHM-P-MT-flagsw-952

Slovenia https://shop.lego.com/en-SI/lego-shop-slovenia-competition?icmp=HP-SHM-P-MT-flagsw-956

 

I see that the Rambling Brick receives occasional visits from these countries.  Each year, the online LEGO shop seems to expand: However, there are still a few European countries without access, as well as much of Asia. Is this exciting news for you?  Why not leave a comment below.

Until next time,

Play Well

Families That Play More Are Happier, But Even Children They Are Too Busy For Fun And Games (2018 LEGO® Play Well Report)

Untitled 3The LEGO Foundation recently commissioned a cross cultural survey looking at attitudes and behaviours related to play.  Families in China, Denmark, France, Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States were surveyed during February and March 2018.  The resulting Play Well report was released today.

The report looks at four key areas: of the benefits of play for parents, children and families; preferences and barriers to play, the importance of lifelong learning through play and the role of play in developing skills for the future.

The report makes for interesting reading, and it is apparent that some of the common issues that we feel that we face in Australia such as increased programmed time with activities; dedication to digital based play, and the struggle experienced by families to spend quality time together are part of the global parenting experience.

If you wish to download the report, which also breaks down the responses by country, for further perusal, you can do so here. In the meantime, please enjoy this infographic summary of the report. Continue reading