Giving the Arctic Scout Truck a BOOST [60194/17101]

In which I struggle with the ideas of combining two sets into a completely seperate model, attempt to answer the riddle “What do you get if you combine a truck with a LEGO Robot?”, and find a sticker sheet that I really really like……

A couple of weeks ago, I brought you the first part of my look at the 2018 LEGO City Arctic Scout Truck. As a medium sized city set, I thought it was pretty nifty: a bit of landscape, a dog and polar bear, a few different figures and  cool (Ahem!) truck, with drive wheels and caterpillar tracks. How could it be improved on?

Now, some days I worry about the kind of LEGO builder I have become. The idea of taking a recently built set, and combining it with another set, featuring a similar colour palette caused me a little consternation. Both sets would now be potentially irreversibly combined. Or uncombined. I found myself lacking the necessary motivation to carefully seperate both sets at the end of the exercise. Perhaps this is a clear signal to continue the sorting exercise which I began last year, before getting a little… distracted. Again. Continue reading

Things are Pretty Cool in LEGO® City

IMG_2816In recent years, the LEGO® City sets released in June have featured an adventuring/exploration theme. The folks from the City have been Exploring the Deep Sea (2015); Volcanos (2016) and the Jungle (2017).  After a stand-alone Arctic theme in 2000, and a successful excursion from the City in 2014, we return, once again, to the polar regions.

I have found myself picking up a couple of sets in this theme, but would like to focus on one particular set: 60194 – the Polar Exploration Truck. As the other minifigures and vehicles might creep into photographs today, I’ll disclose the presence of the 60190 Arctic Ice Glider(RRP $AUD9.99) and 60191 Arctic Exploration Team (RRP $AUD15.99) floating around in the build space as I took some pictures.

There are a few things that I find myself immediately warming to with this year’s Arctic sets: Continue reading

Minifigure 40: LEGO® Town [Advertisement Archive]

Untitled 7Forty years ago, we saw the change in LEGO® sets: the arrival of the minifigure.  Now we had articulated figures to bring our models to life: no need to remove the torso for our figures to sit down. As part of #minfigure40 I received access to a large number of media assets: today, I would like to look at some of the features of the advertisements in the LEGO Town/City series, one of the few themes to have been continuously available in some form or another for forty years!  The majority of these advertisements were placed in comics, or magazines featuring comic strip anthologies, and puzzles and kid’s news. They have been published in multiple markets – ands languages.  I have attempted to translate them as well as an online translation engine will allow.

The art style is typically similar to that seen in contemporary catalogs: certainly I suspect the early advertisements were shot at a similar time to the catalogs for that year.

1978: The Minifigure Arrives in Classic Town

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Time to get moving: first steps into the Powered Up system [Review: Passenger Train 60197]

img_2285In which I finally get my hands onto some of the new Powered Up components and find myself dealing with a system full of immense potential. I compare the Powered Up system with the old Power Functions system for driving the train, draining the batteries in the process. And I start to wish for a little bit of magic…

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Powered Up App: Puppy Preview

Over recent weeks, the LEGO® Powered Up App has become available, initially with programs for running both the  new Passenger train and Cargo Train Sets, and now also the Powered Up Batmobile.

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As well as controlling the speed of movement, there are also a number of sound effects associated with the app.  The sound effects are played through the phone/tablet speakers, rather than the powered up brick itself. While exploring the app at the breakfast table one morning, Mabel the Cavoodle hopped up to join us.  She was more engaged with the sounds made by the Batmobile App than the City Passenger Train App. Except for the one that sounds a little like our front door bell. Her responses were captured for your enjoyment.

I have a more comprehensive review of the passenger train coming up in the near future. In the mean time, don’t forget about our Antman and the Wasp MOC Competition, open until the 15th of August. Until next time,

Play Well!

Reducing the Known Unknowns? 2018 Train Box / Controller Images.

I don’t normally pounce on every piece of news regarding official box art, but this particular box is well related to my recent article about the forthcoming LEGO Trains.  What does it add to our list of Known Knowns?

train controller

After summarising what was known about the Powered Up Platform three days ago, we now confirm that the Battery Hub has dimensions of 4×8 studs. We now have visual, consumer level, information that there will be an app available, as well as the remote.  The Bluetooth remote will not be backwards compatible with Infrared trains, but this will not surprise many.  I can see the value of including this information however, as families with pre-existing trains may have certain expectations. Whether the Train App looks like this when ultimately released, or can be customised, remains to be seen.

Also confirmed on the box art is the availability of new straights and curved rails packs.

Does this add to our previous ‘known unknowns? Not in a significant way.  Videos from the Fall Preview reveal the as yet not officially seen connectors on the Battery Hub, being the same as that seen on the Boost and WeDo.

speculation
Previously discussed and speculated version of the Move Hub. WE DO NOT Know exactly how many bricks tall it is, but I suspect it will be a similar height to the previous train battery box.

The big remaining unknowns about the Move Hub is exactly now tall it will be, as well as the number and type of batteries required. I’m sure this will be confirmed soon enough.

The trains are due for release in ?July/August, depending on your market.  The Australian Prices have been confirmed as $AUD199.99 for the Passenger train and $AUD299.99 for the Cargo Train.  This is great news for australian consumers, as this represents a price drop for the Passenger Train, and a price freeze for the Cargo Train.  The previous versions were released in 2014.

Are you excited for the new train sets or other sets incorporating the Powered Up platform?  Why not leave your comments below.  Until Next Time,

Play Well.

Time To Get ‘Powered Up’: Known Knowns, Known Unknowns. And A Little Speculation…

Feeling overwhelmed after a barrage of press releases and new sets being announced by LEGO in New York this week, I attempt to put together what is known about the new Powered Up platform, previously referred to as Power Functions 2.0

60197_LEGO_City_Personenzug_Packung-2This week, at the Fall Preview for the (Northern) Summer 2018 LEGO® releases, there have been a number of exciting announcements, some of which have been vigorously speculated about for most of the year, plus a couple of surprises!

Given that this year respresents (amongst other things) the twentieth anniversary of the LEGO Mindstorms range, and also represents 10 years since we first saw the arrival of Power Functions, it should come as no surprise that we have seen a number of sets featuring the new “Powered Up” platform – previously referred to as Power Functions 2.0.

“For 20 years, we have been creating new ways for children to combine technology and LEGO building, starting with the introduction of LEGO MINDSTORMS®, a robotics toolkit that pioneered the idea of a ‘smart toy,” said Michael McNally, senior director brand relations for the LEGO Group. “With Powered Up, we’ve established a flexible connected platform to enable innovative new play experiences that merge digital and physical play in natural ways that will delight and inspire the builders of today and tomorrow – while still focusing on the core physical play proposition of our System of Play – the LEGO brick.”

We have also seen some exciting announcements to go with LEGO Boost.

Powered Up: Power Functions 2.0 Known Knowns.

Back in February, we presented information about the new power functions platform. We were aware that we have a new combined Bluetooth receiver and Battery Box, as well as a motor unit suitable for trains. We knew that the new cables featured the same connections as the WeDo 2.0 platform, as well as Boost.We also knew there would be a new remote and that the platform could also be App Powered.

This new platform, and all of the other Motorised LEGO Elements now fall under the broader banner of “Powered up,” and includes CITY Trains, app driven vehicles, Boost and the DUPLO Cargo Train.

Trains

60197_LEGO_City_Personenzug_Produkt-2 Continue reading