Rambling Brick Turns Four

On January 30, 2016, the Rambling Brick was born. Four years ago, give or take a couple of hours. Please pardon a little indulgence as I take a quick look through some highlights of the last 12 months.

My most read post in 2019 was in fact one that I wrote back in 2017, looking at Playmobil. Whether this is because people were looking to compare the LEGO Movie and the Playmobil movie, and just stumbled on this, I am not sure. Now that the Playmobil movie is out, perhaps I should revisit this topic.

My next most read article was presenting the first images of the Technic Smart Hub, from the Fan Media Days in Billund, back in May. In fact of my top 15 posts this year, 7 were relating to the Powered Up Platform, and LEGO Boost. Ongoing problems have been reported relating to the lack of documentation for the Powered Up platform might be part of the popularity of these articles.

My most popular review was relating to the second series of Disney Minifigures, published in April last year – looking at changes that occurred in recent sets of Collectable Minifigures. This review was followed up by a building competition, supported by the AFOL Engagement team of the LEGO Group. We saw lots of great entries for this contest, and the bar was raised even further for the Series 19 competition, in October .

The next most popular review was the LEGO Ideas Tree house, which I was able to publish shortly after the set release was announced, thanks to the AFOL Engagement team. This review was told in the form of a castaway family’s point of view, as they built their treehouse.

There were several articles written in 2019 that received a lot of attention, that were not related to Powered Up. In February, I posted an article about Instructions Plus, accessible through the LEGO Life App. I was surprised to discover that this article was being referred to ‘in house’ when I visited Billund in May.

LEGO Pirates celebrated its 30th Birthday this year, and a retrospective of the advertising material published at the time, as well as reviews of several pirates sets were well received.

Finally, after declaring 2019 the year of the story – 40 years since Fabuland, and the 6000 ideas book, as well as 30 years of pirates, with the first named mini figures – I published several articles looking at the adventures of Bill and Mary, the minifigures for the 6000 ideas book. We reviewed the book itself, looked for evidence of long form story telling in LEGO sets, both within themes, and looking for signs of characters moving between themes. I have one more article to publish: Where are they (actually) now. This will be ready soon, and reveal the results of my year long investigation, tracking these characters down in sets today, as well as investigating the likelihood (and, if applicable, identity) of any children…

During the year, I also exhibited Fabuheads – a collaboration I had built with Shelly T – celebrating the 40th anniversary of Fabuland, at the scale of LEGO Brickheadz characters. These were shown at Brickvention 2019, The Sydney Brickshow, and Paredes de Coura Fan weekend in Portugal. It was a great experience, being able to travel around, showing these models around the country and the world. I certainly recommend taking the opportunity to attend an AFOL Networking event, if you have the chance. Its a great chance to meet a group of like minded people along the way.

Finally, my review of the decade revealed a number of trends, including the increased marketing of large, licenced sets, to adult builders (and not just those who identify as AFOLs.)

And what about going forward?

I have a few posts in preparation at the moment – including Old Trafford, the Fate of Bill and Mary and a new theme for 2020. This year represents the 40th year since the introduction of the Erling Brick. Also known and the headlamp or washing machine brick, this element opened up a whole new world of possibilities to the library of LEGO construction techniques, which we shall celebrate during the course of the year.

Thanks for putting up with my indulgent exploration of the last 12 months. I look forward to bringing some interesting articles going forward, as well as some for habitat competitions for this year’s mini figure collections.

Thank you, dear readers, for your support of the Rambling Brick. I continue to be humbled by the readers I meet at Fan Events around the world – I never dreamt that I would be having the audience I do today when I started writing back in 2016.

What sort of articles do you like reading in the Rambling Brick? What do you want to see in 2020?

Are you a regular reader, or did you stumble here by accident? Why not leave you comments below. You can also follow the Rambling Brick on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Until next time…

Play well.

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