Builders’ Journeys: Stefan M Presents 10228 Monster Fighters Haunted House

Welcome to our first guest post in our series of Builders’ Journeys. We all have a LEGO® set that is special to us for some reason or another. In this series, I am asking readers to send in stories of a set that is important in some way. It might have been your first set, a special present, your first set as an AFOL, or a set you remember building with your school friends.

Today, we hear from Stefan M, from Hamburg, Germany. Stefan is part of the team at Stuck In Plastic, and can be found on instagram as @a_toyphotographer – formerly @herrsm. He was one of the first toy photographers that I encountered on instagram, and one of the first ‘virtual friends’ that I went on to meet in real life, while visiting Billund several years ago. Stefan brings us his memories of his first big adult purchase, and a set that that I know is still the white whale for many of you out there:

First things first: I’m not really a builder. I sure do follow (most) of the building instructions myself. But when it’s down to LEGO and why I’m passionate about it I’ll have to admit that I’m more of an observer. I like sneaking around corners and shooting pics of my favourite toys. But more about that later.

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Visit Lakitu’s Sky World with LEGO® super Mario [71389 Hands-On Review]

There have been a number of characters who have prominence in the Super Mario Universe that we have been yet to see: Lakitu, a small Koopa like creature, who spends his life flying in a cloud throwing eggs at Mario, or presiding as MC in Mario Kart is one. One of the new Expansion sets exploits both the two player aspect of the new LEGO Super Mario game, as well as introduces this enemy to the roster of opponent that Mario and Luigi now face.

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Marvel Collectable Minfigures Revealed.

Today, the LEGO Group have revealed the forthcoming Marvel Collectable Minifigures range. Featuring figures from Marvel TV Series on Disney Plus – Wandavision, the Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki and What If…. There are some characters here that might not feature in sets of their own, but which will certainly inspire creativity amongst builders. There will be 12 figures in the series, which will be released on 1st October 2021. Read on for full-size images and my thoughts.

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It’s Time To Get Things Moving With These New Releases From No Starch Press

Now that the world is opening up, and live fan events are starting to sporadically appear around the world, we are starting to turn our attention to building models for exhibition. There is no doubt that a little bit of movement can help add life to a model – whether it’s an automatic door, a radar dish, or a slowly rotating turntable. These are not so challenging if you have grown up with a bit of basic mechanical knowledge. However, sometimes the right way to achieve such mechanisms using LEGO Bricks can be just a little bit obscure.

But help is readily available, if you know where to look.

I was recently sent pre release samples from the latest books from Yoshihito Isogawa, and I realise that they are now available from the No Starch Press website. Isogawa has been producing simple to read Ideas books for LEGO Technic for a number of years, and these books build on the previous ones, with emphasis in new areas. His latests Books, LEGO Technic Non-Electric Models: Simple Machines and LEGO Technic Non-Electric Models: Clever Contraptions build on his previous books, looking at Technic Ideas, as well as Power function and Boost Ideas (all available from No Starch).

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BrickCon Is Back, In Real Life!

If nothing else, the lockdowns brought on by the pandemic have taught us just how much many of us value the opportunity to get to live, face to face events. I have attended a few events over the last couple of years, all using different variations of online event. While parts of the world are opening up, international travel is still but a dream to many of us. BrickCon 2020 was one of the first international online events that I attended last year, and they are pleased to announce that this year they are running in person, as well as hybrid registrations. Read on for the full story, and registration details. Real life Registrations will be limited to 400, and open AUGUST 1st. Hybrid/online registrations open September 1

BrickCon has announced that its 20th annual LEGO fan convention and public exhibition is coming back to the Seattle Center. BrickCon 2021 will be held Oct. 1 – 3 and will offer adult LEGO builders a full convention featuring displays, awards, classes, workshops, prizes, vendors and more. BrickCon will also offer a limited hybrid virtual ticket for fans who can’t travel.

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75316 Mandalorian Starfighter: Hands-On Review

I was late to the Clone Wars, only really seeing any of the significant storylines during 2020. I recall the initial Mandalorian arc, seeing Pre Vizla’s Mandalorian fighter fly off, and thinking ‘Gee, it would be cool to have that as a set.’ Now, I am not much of one for thinking about hunting down sets that are around 7 or 8 years old. So I let it be. Then I caught up to the final season, with the return of Bo-Katan Krys, picking Ahsoka Tano up from the Coruscant slums, and heading home to reclaim Mandalore. Flash forward to late 2020, and Bo Katan returns, this time in The Mandalorian. Again piloting the Mandalorian Star Fighter, and this time appearing in scenes with both Slave I and an Imperial Shuttle – both of which feature amongst the 2021 LEGO Star Wars releases.

Set 75316 Will be released on August 1st 2021, has 544 pieces, and has a recommended Retail Price of $AUD 89.99. This set feels like a suitable bridging set in the current release of LEGO Star Wars releases: – featuring in both The Final Season of The Clone Wars, as well as The Mandalorian, as such, it is sure to be a popular set.

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Throwback Thursday: A Builder’s Journey

Over the last few weeks, we have spent a little time considering LEGO:Builder’s Journey – a game from Light Brick Studios exploring the ideas of Play, Work and family relationships. This then got me thinking: as LEGO® fans, we are all on our own Builder’s Journey. And somewhere along the way, something happened to get us on that path.

For many of us, there will be a LEGO® set that just did it. It might have been our first set, a set we built with a relative, the last set bought before entering our Dark Ages, maybe even the set that brought us out of them.

Today, I am starting a new series, exploring the sets from the past that have influenced LEGO Fans around the world. And I need your help. I have a set that after 40 years still holds appeal, still sparks my imagination. BUT I’d love to know about the sets that are important to other people. I won’t judge: be it Space or Scala, Clickits or Castle, Star Wars, Technic or Town, I would wager that for just about everyone out there, there is one set that did it, does it, or has a special place in our hearts. It might be big or small, cheap or expensive. For most of us, I am pretty sure they are pretty different sets. The opening picture might be a hint towards mine…

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Build Your own Life-Size Mario with Bricker Builds

Bricker Builds have been producing instructions for life size sculptures made from LEGO® Bricks over the last year or so. Their subject matter extends from Star Wars and Marvel, to more recently, ‘life size’ Pokemon models.

Today, they announced the arrival of of their latest models, Mario, and the Power-Up Mushroom. Based on designs by Dave Holder, former Master Builder at the Melbourne LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, the model stands over 2 feet tall (731 mm), and is built with nearly 5000 bricks. The instructions are now available for purchase from the Bricker Builds online store.

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71387 Adventures with Luigi: Hands-On Review

Around 12 months ago, we got our first look at the functionality of LEGO Super Mario. This hybrid game system, borne from the collaboration between the LEGO Group and Nintendo, has brought us the Interactive Mario Brick, which responds to the way it is handled, as well as the environment it is played in.

At the start of 2021, we saw a second wave of sets, as well as further buildable characters.

At the time that Mario was launched, the design team was asked about the possibility of Luigi joining the lineup. The response at the time was a little guarded. No point launching a two player mode until you had established that the platform would be accepted.

And Now Luigi is almost here. Due for release in August, I was fortunate to be able to take part in a preview event along with other Fan Media.

Today, we will take a look at 71387 Adventures with Luigi – the new starter set. We will look at the characters, as well as the landscape and obstacles, as well as the play features.

There is of course one other thing that LEGO Super Mario has coming up with the release of Luigi, and the software update that will accompany it: two player mode. We will take a look at how this is a little bit different, as well as the additional ways you can maximise your score playing with this mode.

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75309 Ultimate Collector Series Republic Gunship [Hands On Review]

When the Republic Gunship won the LEGO Ideas fan vote to determine an upcoming LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series set, I was a little disheartened. I was more of a Nebulon B frigate kind of a guy – this was the vessel where we saw our heroes gathering, healing and planning, after what had been a pretty dreadful time overall in Empire Strikes Back.

However, the size of the fan vote, and the proportion of that vote that was looking for the Republic Gunship (more than 30000 out of 50000 votes) certainly meant that the prequel trilogy and The Clone Wars was certainly meaning something to a lot of people. And then, in 2020, the world locked down, and my son sat me down, and we started watching The Clone Wars. By the time we finished, I had developed a new understanding of the both the prequel trilogy, as well as the importance of the gunship to the next generation of Star Wars Fans. And I probably became a little excited at the prospect of a large scale gunship to be released in LEGO form

The gunship is essentially a troop transport, as well as a low altitude assault vehicle. The contemporary analog would be akin to a Black Hawk helicopter. This version of the model is larger than minifigure scale – probably around one and a half to twice that scale, and provided the design team with an opportunity to increase the level of detail included in the build.

In this review, we will take a look at the build itself, and then consider the fact that the major virtue of this set is also possibly its biggest drawback.

Set 75309 will be released on the 1st of August 23, and has 3292 pieces. It has a RRP of RRP $349.99 / £329 / €349.99 / 579.99 AUD / 479.99 CAD.

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