Star Wars Backlog Building I: 75423 Slave One: 20th Anniversary Edition

I have been feeling a hankering for Mandalorians, following the series finale of ‘The Mandalorian’ on Disney+ last week. Unfortunately, I have been unable to secure either of the sets associated with the series at this time. So I had a look through my shelves and found the next best thing: a set with Boba Fett: the 75423 20th Anniversary Slave I. The LEGO® AFOL Engagement Team sent this set to me last year, along with other sets in the 20th Anniversary range (20th anniversary of LEGO® Star Wars that is). However, by the time I got those sets built, I was a little exhausted by LEGO® Star Wars – and so I put the set on the shelf for a while, awaiting inspiration. And today inspiration had finally arrived, so I opened up bag 1 and started to build . All opinions are my own.

Slave I is one of the spaceships from Star Wars most frequently represented in LEGO® form. Despite having less than 2 minutes of screen time between 1980 and 2000, Boba Fett’s spaceship has appeared in at least 10 sets – 1 UCS, 5’minifigure’ scale and 4 microscale, 2 magazine cover gifts, a keychain and two Advent Calendars. Certainly it has a distinctive shape, and is readily amenable to representation in LEGO bricks, at any scale. That said, none of these representations is perfect.

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Brickvention 2020 – Passes to Give Away.

It’s only two weeks to go before Brickvention 2020. Held at Melbourne’s historic Royal Exhibition Building, the event’s public exhibition will takes place on the 18th and 19th of January.

Once again, you can expect to see lots of great models by hundreds of LEGO fans from around Australia, New Zealand and around the world. trains, castles, spaceships, the Great Ball Contraption – and much much more,

WIN Tickets!

Once again, the Rambling Brick has been given some double passes and a family pass to the public exhibition on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th of January (you choose the day)!

For your chance to win, leave a comment below, or on the post announcing this contest on Rambling Brick’s Facebook Page or Instagram. Tell me what you hope to see at Brickvention 2020 to go into the draw. You need to be able to attend the event in Melbourne on the 18th or 19th of January. I’ll draw the winners at random next weekend- entries close at midnight, 11th January.

If you don’t want to take chances, you can be tickets for your preferred entry time now, RIGHT HERE.

I hope to see you there. I’ll be around over the weekend: if you see me, come and say “Hi!” Until then…

…Play Well!

While you are here…

You have probably heard about the current Bushfire Emergency, affecting the Eastern many of the states of Australia. My friend Jay, of Jay’s Brick Blog is running a fundraiser for the Australian Red Cross, who are helping to provide relief during this time, and in recovery.You can read about Jay’s Appeal Here, and make a donation – he has some great prizes as well. [I have also contributed to Jay’s Prize Pool]

A Little Something Xtra For The Garden. [Xtra Botanical Accessories 40310, 40376]

I was recently sent some examples of the new Xtra sets for 2020. These can be great little parts packs to enhance the quality of a small vignette, but perhaps can be expensive compared with other ways to increase your supply of the elements enclosed. I compared the new 40376 Botanical Accessories with 40310, from 2018.

The older set has retired in some markets from (including Australia), but you might still find it in your LEGO Branded Stores. The new pack was released on 1st January 2020.

When we look at the bags side by side, you get a pretty good idea of what you are getting yourself into, with all elements illustrated on the front.

The original version had a large and a small tree, a shrub, some examples of the ‘new flowers and leaves’ as well as a white picket fence, and some spurs of 3 leaves. In addition to these parts, we also receive 2 frogs in yellow.

In the new version, we have two small conifer trees, as well as a small brick built tree in blossom. Again there are two fence elements (in reddish brown) and some of the relatively new ‘curly grass.’ We also have some of the new flowers in light royal blue and the new daisy design. We have two ‘bamboo elements’ used for the base of the flowers, although the 2018 leaf is included, in both bright green and orange. We also have 2 small 2×3 foliage elements in white.These can be substituted for the bright yellowish Green ones on the tree, for a more wintery feel. I like the addition of the buildable tree to this set – it feels as though there is a little more to it than the set from 2018.

Here are elements included in each set, initially as they are in the bag, and then after putting together the flower stems and the like.

Its all very well having these parts around the place, but what can we do with them. I think each pack works quite well as a way to create a lilt garden/pice of parkland:

Perhaps I would have been better off aiming for a wintery tree instead of using the white elements here… but I thought they both work quite well as a way to provide some scenery for a simple minidoll.

I think I prefer the versatility of the new set over the old: the 3-leaf plants feel quite different to the current generation of LEGO flowers. Personally, I am not a fan of the bamboo leaves under the flowers, but there are plenty of other elements to use with the flower stem.

At $USD3.99/€3.99/£2.99/AUD6.99 each, I would not recommend these as a way to buy these parts in bulk, with the possible exception of the trees. The floral elements, as well as the new leaves in green I have found in pick a brick walls at our local certified stores.

I was sent a copy of the 40376 Botanical Accessories by the LEGO group for review purposes, and had a copy of the earlier set floating around, looking for an opportunity to escape from its polybag. With the exceptions of a couple of polybags, that may not find their way into routine retail channels, the Xtra sets (and classic Blue/Green boxes) are some of the only sets available this year with a RRP less than £5/$USD5. I give both of these backs 3/5 Arbitrary praise units. As a way to quickly enhance a small scene, they are great BUT they are not necessarily the best way to bulk up your supplies of the smaller elements.

What do you think of these two sets? Do you prefer the old or the new? Leave your comments below and until next time,

Play Well.

While you are here,

You have probably heard about the current Bushfire emergency, currently engulfing the eastern states of Australia. Over 11 million hectares has been affected by the fires.

My friend Jay, over at Jay’s Brick Blog, is running a fundraiser, with proceeds going to the Red Cross, to help with relief efforts. You can read about it here:

Looking Back on the last decade with 2020 Hindsight…

Happy new year: Welcome to 2020. I rediscovered playing with LEGO Bricks as my kids were growing up. When we attended a Fan Event in 2009, I discovered that being an AFOLwas actually a thing you could do! I now realise that I have been an AFOL for a little over 10 years, and during that time we have seen a number of changes – this coincides with the opportunity to have a look at some of the changes we have seen with the LEGO sets being sold to us over the last decade.

It feels as though the number of sets has ballooned, and that the number of parts in a set has also increased over that time. And what about Licenced themes: Some days it feels as though they have been taking over the LEGO shelves in the toy stores. But have they really proliferated that much?

Now that we are at the end of the 2010’s, I thought we could approach the decade with 2020 hindsight: Let’s take a look at the data in the Brickset Database, and take a year by year look at the number of sets being produced, as well as the number of sets with high part counts (lets define that as over 1000).

We’ll look at the number of themes over this period as well: how many are related to a single intellectual property (IP)? Some themes relate to multiple IPs, while others remain home grown, within the LEGO group, and are dependent on nothing except the imagination of the designers.

Who knows what else we might stumble across along the way. Grab a coffee. There will be graphs. Lots of graphs…

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Here comes the 40383: Bride (and 40384: Groom) Brickheadz.

The new Brickheadz 40383 Bride and 40384 Groom sets arrived just in time to sit down and build them together with my wife on our wedding anniversary. Do they have everything we need to customise a happy couple on their wedding day? Read on to find out…

I would like to share a little bit of personal news with you. It’s not directly related to LEGO bricks, but stay with me. I’m sure we can find a way to bring it around.

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Preparing for the Year of the Rat…With Lucky Cat

No sooner is Christmas in the immediate past ( as I write this, it was yesterday), but the LEGO Group have a new range of seasonal sets to release. Back in October, it was announced that following the unprecedented success of the Chinese New Year/Spring Festival sets last year, that there would be a follow up this year as well, focussing on the Temple Spring Market and Lion dance. These are now available in the Asia Pacific markets, with global release following in January.

But wait, there’s more. Just as last year we had the Brickheadz Dragon Dance Guy, this year we have another Asian cultural icon, 40436 Lucky Cat. Perhaps the relative paucity of BrickHeadz sets in 2019 was a correction, after filling the market with licensed characters. Perhaps the seasonal Brickheadz, with the occasional licensed character will be the new norm. This set is due for release on January 1st, and I was fortunate enough to have been sent a preview copy by the AFOL Engagement team of the LEGO Group.

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Binge Building the 2019 Advent Calendar: Day 24: Epilogue. And a little something Xtra

In which we will see the contents of the final compartment of the 2019 LEGO City Advent calendar, and have a look at the LEGO Xtra 40368: Winter Accessories.

This is the third post this year looking at the LEGO City Advent Calendar for 2019. You can find the previous posts Here and Here. Today, we have but one remaining door to look behind.

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