Back in March, following on from the release of the DC Superheroes Collectable Minifigures, the Rambling Brick called on readers to build a minifigure habitat for a hero. Based on an 8x8x8 standard, the brief was to build a habitat for a hero, recognising that not all heroes have capes.
The contest also coincided with parts of the world going into relative lockdown, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, we had a fantastic response, receiving over 50 entries from around the world.
Over the last few years, we have come to expect to see new Harry Potter sets appearing around the middle of the year. In 2018, we saw sets released for The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets. In 2019 we saw sets pertaining to The Prisoner of Azkaban as well as The Goblet of Fire. You might almost think that a pattern was appearing. So you might not be surprised to learn that, this year, we have some sets relating to The Order of the Phoenix, as well as the Half Blood Prince.
We have some locations that we have not seen before, as well as a a few being revisited after an absence of many years. The sets will be released inJune, around much of the world, and August in the USA.
The Powered Up platform, which seeks to unify the control interface between the different forms of electronic hardware, has been incrementally updated over the last 18 months or so, progressing from being able to do little more than control sets as they come out of the box, such as the App controlled Batmobile, and Trainsets to become a complex programming environment, tying together the currently available hardware platforms, with a grand unifying interface: The train Smart Hub, Boost Move Hub and the Technic Smart Hub.
This certainly means that they have their work cut out for them. I haven’t covered the latest update for the software here before, but it offers some interesting inclusions, including:
Using infrared output from the Boost Colour sensor to control the old Power functions ( you will need an IR receiver linked between your battery box an motors)
Ability to Map the buttons on the Bluetooth (train) remote to perform more sophisticated functions.
Reading the position of the device you are running the app on (that is, using the accelerometers in your phone to read its position) – allowing it to control your MOC.
Support for using four hubs (potentially of mixed type) simultaneously
The previous update (from December last year) also opened up the Technic Smart Hub (often referred to as the Control+ Hub) and Technic motors for control. This felt like an unnecessary delay between the release of the hardware in early August, which was functionally locked into the Control+ App – which only allows control of the main model from the set, before allowing the LEGO elements to meet their potential.
Members of AFOL engagement team (the team at the LEGO group that operate between the company and Adult Fans) have been taking comments from the Ambassador Network to the powered up team.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the Erling Brick, also known as the headlight, or washing machine, brick. This was one of the earliest SNOT elements – a brick with a stud not only on top, but also on the side, inset by the thickness of half a plate. Today, I would like to look at one of the first sets to feature this element: the 6627 Convertible.
This set was released in 1980, and celebrates its 40th anniversary since release this year. The set has 37 pieces, and one minifigure. This set is from the third year of LEGOLAND Town sets, and features a few elements that made their debut this year. I purchased mine via eBay this year, with Instructions, but no box, for £13GBP. Perhaps slightly pricier than I would have liked, but it arrived well presented, and in great condition, including the instructions.
Since Technical sets debuted in 1977, motorcycles have been a feature of the range. The level of detail comes and goes, as does the playability. The most recent ‘serious’ motorcycle set was 2017’s BMW R1200 GS Adventure, an off road bike. Since then we have seen a couple of play feature/stunt cycles. We haven’t seen a street or track bike since 2015.
The release of the Ducati is the first track bike released for some years, and represents the new Ducati Panigale V4 R
$59,99/59.99 Euro $USD69,99/59.99€/$AUD 89.99
Measures over 12” (32cm) long, 6” (16cm) high and 3” (8cm) wide
Around the turn of the century, a new type of LEGO® set was released. Star Wars starfighter kits, designed for the AFOL to display, rather than to swoosh around the room. There were two released that year: 7181, TIE Interceptor, with 703 parts and the one we had all been waiting for: the 7191 X-Wing Starfighter was the largest Star Wars Set to have been released at the time.
Twenty years have gone by and almost every major starfighter from the Rebellion and Empire has been represented.
Earlier this year, the AFOL Engagement team sent me a copy of Old Trafford for review purposes. This felt pretty great. But I have a problem. I don’t really engage with soccer, or football…or any other team based sporting codes, for that matter. So, when confronted by a set that would have the potential to give a Manchester United Fan goosebumps, I was worried that I might be left cold. How could I possibly hope to recreate the passion of a die hard fan with an epic Creator Expert Set?
Apparently people like football. Or soccer, depending on where you are. Some of these people are LEGO Fans as well. LEGO have taken a punt on the fact that, probably, there are some Football fans out there who would not mind building an iconic stadium out of the plastic bricks they loved as children.
You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting much lately. As an anaesthesiologist/anaesthetist (depending on where in the world you are), I have been spending time, along with my colleagues, preparing our hospitals and ourselves for a threatened surge in COVID 19 patients.
We are fortunate at this stage, to have not had the same devastating number of cases that has been seen in Europe, UK, China or the USA, although I would be naive to believe that we have avoided any significant problem at this time.
There is no doubt that we are anxious about it here, and we have all heard stories from around the world with regard to the importance of Personal Protective Equipment in minimising the impact the disease has on healthcare workers. We have also heard about industry stepping up to the plate around the world, repurposing tools and machinery towards both PPE and Ventilator production.
As I write this, I am in the closing moments of the Second of April, 2020, Australian Eastern Daylight Time. Although the clock might tick over before I publish. This year, for various reasons, I missed April 1st.. Where I am writing, in Australia , we refer to the date as the date as 2/4/20. If I was elsewhere, I might think of today as 4/2. Oddly enough, I’m not the only one who when hearing those numbers in combination isn’t only thinking about a pice of treated pine used in building construction. When I hear 4×2, I also think of the brick that debuted over 60 years ago, and from there, I make the leap to LEGO in general.