The astromech droid R2-D2 was one of the first characters that we met at the beginning of Star Wars (Episode IV a New Hope to the Younglings). Along with C-3PO, he (why is it virtually always he?) is one of the few characters to be involved in each of the films of the Skywalker Saga. As such, he was felt to be a suitable subject for the set celebrating 50 years of Lucasfilm, as well as appearing in time for May the 4th celebrations this year.
The set will go on sale May 1, exclusively at LEGO Branded Stores, including the online store, priced at 199 EUR/USD – 179,99 GBP – 329.99 AUD – 269.99 CAD.
The AFOL Engagement Team of the LEGO Group sent me a pre-release copy of the new 75308. Join me as we wander through the build, and see if this set has sufficient material to justify an outlay of your money.
He may not be the first character to speak in Star Wars: A New Hope, but he is the second. The feisty droid R2-D2 is the subject of the major release in time for May the 4th.
With 2314 pieces, a minifigure version of R2D2 and a special Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary LEGO Brick, you can expect 75308 R2-D2 to be on sale from May 1st 2021. It will initially be a LEGO.com/LEGO Brand Retail/ Certified Store exclusive, and is priced at €199.99 EUR – $USD199.99 – £179,99- $AUD329.99 – $CAD269.99 .
This new model is similar in size to the 10225 from 2012, but has undergone a dramatic redesign compared to that model, taking advantage of new elements that have become available in the last 9 years, including various curved slopes; there is also a new mechanisism to release R2D2’s central leg.
This is the only set that the 50th anniversary brick, as far as the team have revealed to date. It is a 4x1x3 Brick. Unfortunately, R2-D2 is still devoid of any printing on the back.
If you have followed the Rambling Brick over the last 12 months, you would have seen that we are keen enthusiasts of LEGO Super Mario. Today, the LEGO Group have officially announced the forthcoming Adventures with Luigi Starter Set – the perfect set for fans of Mario’s slightly taller sibling. And it’s available for preorder today!
Due for release on the 1st August 2021, it will cost $AUD89.99/USD$59.99/$CAD69.99/£49.99/€59.99. The set has 280 pieces, and comes with new characters: Pink Yoshi, Bone Goomba and Koopling Boom-Boom. The set features desert (yellow), soda jungle(purple) and tower (nougat) biomes, each of which brings different reactions from Mario and Luigi.
We have a spinning see-saw, as well as flying challenges, and a ‘?’ block for power ups.
At this point, we have no specific indications of other sets coming up, but it would be reasonable to presume we will have some new obstacles to overcome, as well as new suits and collectable/buildable figures.
This is not a post specifically about LEGO® Harry Potter™. This is a post regarding the way in which the LEGO Group have chosen to represent female characters over time. I have chosen to use this theme, as it has had 2 distinct phases of release: first in 2001-2012, a period that ran in parallel with the release of the Harry Potter movies, while the second began in 2018, and continues to this day.
This my the second article is a series, looking at gender distribution of minifigures in licensed themes – themes where the LEGO Group has little say over the content of the source material. The first, relating to such trends in LEGO Star Wars sets can be found here
I thought it would be so simple to predict where this year’s run of Harry Potter sets was going: 2018 – Films 1&2; 2019: 2&4; 2020 5&6. I had been feeling pretty confident believing that this year we would be seeing sets relating the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1&2. It turns out I was wrong. Life’s like that sometimes!
The LEGO Group have just officially announced the sets for the northern Summer 2021
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of LEGO Harry Potter, we see some settings not visited in the current series of sets, as well as a couple of conceptually new sets:
In the collection of sets announced today, we have scenarios from the Philosopher’s Stone; Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban. We also meet some characters, not previously seen in minifigure form. We also have some ‘off minifigure theme’ sets in the form of Wizards Chess, Giant buildable Harry and Hermione and, embracing the spirit of last year’s kinetic Hedwig: a sculpture of Fawkes, Dumbledore’s pet phoenix.
We also see that the six golden minifigures which were revealed on the LEGO Groups social media feeds last weekend in included in some of these sets.
Let’s take a browse through them, and see what we know…
Last year at the height of the pandemic the Lego house is closed to the general public. However the Lego house still managed to keep people engaged during the lockdowns associated with virtual tours of the history collection.
The Virtual History Tours will be returning in 2021, offering 5 presentations between May and November 2021. They will cover everything from the early beginnings in 1932 up until 2020. Each presentation is based on one of 5 important chapters of the LEGO Group’s history. Each tour will be are offered in two sessions per day, with the same content, to facilitate different time zones.
The virtual tour will yet again be hosted by LEGO Corporate Historian Kristian Reimer Hauge, who will take you on a detailed journey of the history of the LEGO Group and who will showcase highlights from the archive in the basement of LEGO House that have not been touched upon in last year’s live tours.
The price for each 60 minutes long virtual tour is 50 DKK, which translates to around $10-11AUD/8USD per session.
You can participate in any of the live tours by buying a ticket via this link. Read on for greater detail about the content:
It was 1977. Already the series was a decade old, and it was screening after school in melbourne. My family had just bought their first colour television, and the theme music started pulsing through the house. The title card promised that the program would be in colour… and it was. I was still of an age where I was somewhat disappointed to discover that the characters were all ‘Live Action’ after the animated titles. But never mind. This was the program that introduced me to the cliffhanger episodeic ending….Tune in Tomorrow: Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel. The program was about as serious as eight year old me could deal with.
But there was, undoubtedly, one thing that made this series realy cool: and extended into the world outside the living room: The Batmobile. This modified Ford Futura allowed Batman and Robin to leap over the door, and into their respective sets. Thank heavens it was never raining in Gotham City! But the really awesome thing was the Corgi Batmobile car: gloss black, with small figures of batman and Robin, as well as an image of Batman embossed on the bottom service of the car. But it had other great play features: push on the radar on the hood, and a blade would flick out ( of course, it was not sharp enough to inflict actual injury) and the rocket launcher. I have no idea what the actual rockets were like that came with the toy. My friends had long lost theirs. Instead, we used matchsticks. It was all fun and games, unless somebody loses an eye…
I never owned that car. That’s OK. With Mint in sealed Box versions going for thousands, and well played with, but restored versions selling for many hundreds, I can live with it. However, I’d be lying if I were to say I was not in any way excited when I discovered this set amongst some that the LEGO Group had sent over for me to take a look at.
The Batman Classic TV Series Batmobile has 345 parts, 2 minfigures and will retail for $USD29.99/ €29.99 / £34.99. It will be available from the usual sources from April 26, 2021. Read on after the break to see how the build comes together.
A few weeks ago, the latest in the LEGO® 18+ ‘helmet’ set was previewed: Marvel’s Carnage (76199). Advertised as a Target Exclusive in the USA, with no other international media supporting its existence, the world became a little anxious: will this be a regional exclusive, associated with an event that never happened (Note: we were reassured 2 years ago that the idea of a regional exclusive was gone, although event exclusives – read Star Wars Celebration and Comic-Con, and retailer exclusive, within certain makets remain).
And then a few days later, Carnage appeared on LEGO.com, along with this year’s Star Wars helmets – Darth Vader and Scout Trooper. We have subsequently seen helmet models for Venom (76187) and Batman (76182 )revealed.
I have been fortunate to reveive a pre release copy of the Carnage helmet for prerelease review – so without any further ado…
Carnage 76199 is perhaps not technically a helmet, so much as an alien symbiote engulfing the body of serial killer Kletus Cassidy, but thwere is no doubt that he has an extremely distintive physiognomy.
The Box is similar in form to the boxes seen for the previous Helmet models, and the black box works quite well here. Carnage is labelled as ‘Assembled from the Spider Man Universe.’ The set has 546 pieces and costs $89.99 AUD; £54.99;€59.99; $59.99 USD It will be released in the USA on April 11, and the Rest of the World May 1, 2021.
Last Thursday, Jay’s Brick Blog and I announced that we are collaborating on a podcast for LEGO Fans – Extra Pieces. Now, in some parts of the world, it was April Fools Day, and some people seemed uncertain as to our actual sincerity.
It turns out that was not a hoax. In our firtst real episode, Jay and I discuss some of the our favorite April fools LEGO gags for 2021, as well as the new Star Wars Helmets, Probe Droid and also discuss the recent challenges faced by LEGO Fans, thanks to the LEGO VIP Program, and how it might change what it means to be a collector of LEGO Exclusive products…
The Empire Strikes Back is regarded by many to be one of the best Star Wars movie ever made. The ominous, speechless opening of the movie as the Empire searches out any hidden enclaves of Rebellion, around the Galaxy, sets the tone as to which team is on the offensive: A New Hope started off with the rebellion on the front foot—smuggling the hidden plans of the Death Star to those who might be able to best exploit any weaknesses. The Empire Stikes Back sees the Imperial Forces taking the initiative with the Probe Droids being dispatched across the galaxy. We see one crashing onto the barren world of Hoth, rising out of the snowdrift like a malevolent cybernetic jellyfish before setting out to scan the landscape. Appearing before a cross to Luke Skywalker on his Tauntaun, in all its stop motion animated glory, make the Imperial Viper Probe Droid the first character to appear in the film.
As such, it is high time to see this droid receive a more detailed treatment than the minifigure scaled brick built versions we have seen across various Hoth playsets, Advent calendars and magazine covers, over the years.
The 75306 Imperial Probe Droid will be released on 25th of April, along with the 75304 Darth Vader and 75305 Scout Trooper Helmets. It has 683 pieces and will cost: $59.99 USD/ €69.99 EUR/ £59.99 GBP / 119.99 AUD / 79.99 CAD.