Helping the Blind to See the World through LEGO®

The LEGO® Group to Pilot Audio and Braille instructions for the Blind.

At the Recognised Fan Media days in Billund, earlier this year, I attended a presentation by Matthew Shifrin. Matthew is no ordinary LEGO Fan. He has been blind since birth, and has never seen a LEGO brick. He had a story to tell us, and he delivered it with passion.

Matthew Shifrin prepares to tell the assembled Fan Media about his experiences building LEGO as a child.
A Labour of Love

For his 13th Birthday, a friend, Lilya gave Matthew a copy of 7573 Battle of Alumet, one of the sets tying in with Prince of Persia movie. At the same time, Lilya presented him with a large binder containing step by step instuctions – hand typed on a Perkins Brailler.

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Is this City Xtra set a low key tribute to the LEGO® 6000 Ideas Book?

This year, we have been commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Publication of the 6000 Ideas Book. First published in 1979, this book tells the story of two minifigures: known to some as Mary and Bill, others as Indigo and Polka-Dot. This story unfolds through the town they live in, a visit to a moonbase, and finally visiting a jousting tournament at an ancient castle. All the way, providing inspiration for construction using a six colour palette, and the minifigures you have on hand.

One of the features of this book is the double spread sticker sheet, providing everything from the Minifigures torso designs used by our heroes, as well as signage used around the town.

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Set Sail For Forbidden Island 6270

Recently, I have found myself becoming nostalgic for a childhood I never had.

As I have previously mentioned, this year marks the 30th anniversary of LEGO Pirates. Now, thirty years ago, I had just turned 20 and was well established in my personal Dark Ages: So Pirates essentially passed my by. Or vice versa.

Earlier this year I came across a copy of 6270: Forbidden Island – available locally, for a reasonable price. Set sail with me now as I put the set together, and come to see just what made the Pirates sets so amazing back in their day!

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LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed – Now Open for Pre-registration.

At the Fan Media days in Billund this year, I had the chance to see a presentation from the LEGO Games/ Gamesloft team about LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed, an upcoming mobile game due for release in a month or two. Gathering figures and sets from the past 41 years, it looks set to reinvigorate interest in sets from past. You can read our announcement of the game here.

Today, Gamesloft have opened the platform for pre registration today: you can sign up to pre-register, and have access to great gifts when the game is officially released in the next month or two (I’m awaiting announcement of the release date too). you can sign up for pre-registration here. Read more for further details, and a new gameplay video.

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LEGO Pirates: 30 Years of Buried Treasure

The first LEGO Pirates sets first appeared sometime in the second half of 1989. Maybe July; maybe August. Maybe September. It all depends on where you were standing. Join us as we present some of the Print Advertising Archive, as we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of LEGO Pirates.

The Hunt for the Pirate Treasure: “To win great Prizes”

In 1989, a new series appeared in the LEGO Catalogs.

Until then, LEGO Minifigures had been living in Castle, Space and Town with their permanent, identical smiles always on show. At this time we saw minifigures move into the Caribbean Sea, with the new Pirates theme. With that first range of pirates minifigures, several things changed: Captain Redbeard has a… red beard and eye patch; a hook for a hand and a wooden leg. He has certainly been up against a few things over the years, and yet still has a small on his face. He is also the first minifigure to have an official name.

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All Aboard for the Wonderful World of Disney [Announcement 71044 Disney Train and Station]

Disneyland is often described as the Happiest Place on Earth, and one of the evergreen attractions is the recently reopened Disneyland Railway (following a diversion during the construction of Star Wars Land). Today, LEGO® announce the arrival of the 71044 Disney Train and Station, recreating the Steam Locomotive, Tender, ‘Blue holiday train carriage’, and a Parlor car, as well the American Main Street station. The set comes with five minifigures: Mickey, Minnie, Chip’n’Dale – in new outfits – as well as Goofy: until now, a gaping hole in the Disney Minifigure range.

The 71044 Disney Train and Station is recommended for Ages 12+ and has 2925 pieces. $549.99$499.99 AUD. Available August 21 VIPs, Sept 1 For general release in LEGO stores. [Edit: on release in Australia, the Disney train set seems to be selling for $499.99. That feels like a much better price]

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A Whole New World [41161 Aladdin and Jasmine’s Palace Adventures]

I’ve been a bit distracted, by other things in life, over the last week or two, but I’m starting to get back on track.

If you are the parent of small children, there is a better than even money chance that you have been exposed to one of the Disney adaptations of a Classic Fairy story at some point or another – either animated, or reimagined in real life. Or even, considering the recent Lion King CGI release, Real Life™

Sets related to the Disney Princess branding have been a staple of licensed minidoll sets for several years now, but I have not spent much time with them. Today I have taken a look at one of this year’s sets based on Aladdin: 41161 Aladdin and Jasmine’s Palace Adventures. Is it based on the 1992 Disney Animated film, or the 2019 Live Action remake? This year, we see two of the three sets ever related to this story (ever) released, so I think it is safe to think that perhaps more than a little inspiration was taken from arrival of the new film. Join me as we explore the set, and take a couple of liberties along the way…

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