May the Fourth Be With You: Tatooine Battle Pack Review

IMG_1519Today is May the Fourth, the day when a pun is allowed to take over marketing of Star Wars related LEGO® sets for a limited time only, with a variety of special offers in place, changing daily.  Check Shop.LEGO.com in your country for details.

Tatooine

“If there’s a bright centre of the galaxy, you are on the planet that it’s farthest from.” – Luke Skywalker

When Star Wars debuted in 1977, Tatooine was the first alien landscape we encountered. A harsh, unforgiving desert planet, bathed by the scorching heat of binary stars, we see people enter a daily struggle against the environment: farming moisture to survive; fending off hostile desert nomads and dealing with diminutive scavengers. We see a variety of exotic megafauna, some just skeletons, some utilized as low maintenance transport in an environment which treats life forms and machine with equal contempt. It is far from the attention of authority: smugglers, gangsters and fugitives make this planet their base of operations. We also see hope: cautious optimism in the face of a deadly environment, a place of refuge from the Empire, and spectacular twin sunsets! It was a long, long time ago, and the locale took us to a galaxy far, far away…

And yet with its exotic locations and importance to the overarching saga- events take place on Tatooine in five of the first six movies- the indigenous races: Jawas and Tusken Raiders remain shrouded in mystery. And indeed , in my opinion,  sadly underrepresented in LEGO Star Wars sets.

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1978 X-Wing Fighter. 3 1/4″Action Figure Scale Luke Skywalker in place, and a makeshift R2D2 in the Astromech slot.

Melbourne, 1977

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75181 Y-Wing Starfighter UCS Unveiled [Preview]

img_0379It is little more than a month out from May the Fourth, and the LEGO Group have officially unveiled the 75181Ultimate Y-Wing Star Fighter.  It goes on sale May 4th at LEGO Brand retail and shop.lego.com. The Australian price will be $299.99.
This will be the second UCS Y-Wing fighter to have been released, the previous being 10134 in 2004, which had 1473 pieces. This is the 10th minifigure scale Y-Wing Starfighter to be released to date… press release after the images.
75181 LEGO® Star Wars UCS Y-Wing Starfighter
Ages 14+.  1,967 pieces.

US $199.99 – CA $279.99 – DE 199.99€ – UK £169.99 – DK 1799.00 DKK

Collect the ultimate long-range Rebel starfighter!

This LEGO® Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series model has an amazing level of detail, including an opening minifigure cockpit for the included Gold Leader minifigure, wheel-activated rotating ion cannons on top, retractable landing skids and space for the R2-BHD astromech droid. This fantastic Star Wars toy also comes with a tilting display stand and informational fact plaque, making it the perfect centerpiece for your collection.

  • Includes a Gold Leader minifigure and an R2-BHD droid.
  • Features highly authentic detailing, opening minifigure cockpit, wheel-activated rotating ion cannons on top, retractable landing skids and space for the included R2-BHD astromech droid.
  • Also includes the Gold Leader’s blaster pistol.
  • Display the model on the tilting stand with informational fact plaque.
  • Makes the perfect centerpiece for any LEGO® Star Wars collection.
  • Part of the Ultimate Collector Series.
  • Measures over 2” (7cm) high, 24” (61cm) long and 11” (30cm) wide, and over 9” (24cm) high mounted on stand.

Whether it’s because it played the underdog at the Battle of Yavin, or merely because it was far easier to fly than the X-Wing in the LucasArts ‘X-Wing’ game in the early 90’s, the Y-Wing has always held a special place in my heart.  It may well be the set that finally triggers the purchase of a UCS set for me.

How about you? What do you think of this latest LEGO Star Wars UCS set? why not leave your comments below.

Until next time, Play Well!

Looking Forward to the rest of the year at the 2018 Melbourne Toy, Hobby and Licensing Fair

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The Rambling Brick, and Friends at the Melbourne Toy, Hobby and Licensing Fair.

The toy fair season is now starting to wind up for now: We have had Nuremberg. We have had New York. Now we have had Melbourne…

The Melbourne Toy, Hobby and Licensing Fair is a bit of a mouthful. Predominantly a trade show, taking place in Melbourne in early March each year, LEGO Australia have a strong presence. There has traditionally been little ‘big news’ coming out of the show, as visitors have not been able to take photographs at the LEGO® booth, a trend that was reinforced at Nuremberg this year.
 I had the chance to visit the Fair last weekend, and visit the booth displaying our favourite Danish Plastic Brick. Once I got past the big displays outside the booth, I had to put the camera away, and make do with words and memories.
After the recent New York and Nuremberg Toy shows, there is little to be seen in left field, unexpected presentations.  Unlike New York, there are no Direct to Consumer sets on display (for example: Hogwarts Great Hall; Ultron Hulkbuster).  There were also no Brickheadz or 40th Birthday Minifigure sets on display.  There were no sets associated with unreleased movies ( such as Jurassic World; Solo; Incredibles 2) , unless they were already on sale (Avengers: Infinity War went on sale the week before the toy fair).
There were plenty of sets on display that are already on the shop shelves, readily available to purchase in real life shops, or on line. And everything else that I saw already has an entry in Brickset’s 2018 database. However, there were some sets from the second half year on display, of which few details have previously been available, or for which some additional clarity was able to be gained. If you wish to avoid spoilers, look away now.  If you have read everything coming out of Nuremberg and New York, there may not be a lot that sounds new… but certainly a few points of clarification.

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Minifigure Gender distribution: 2017 update

A little over a year ago, I wrote up an analysis of gender distribution in LEGO® Minigures in the post friends era.  In the years since LEGO Friends had been released, there had been some positive trends towards an equal balance, after starting from a pretty low base line (around 11% in 2012) up to 30% in the Volcano Sub-theme of LEGO City in 2016.

As well as supporting the regular themes, 2017 has been a big year for LEGO tying in with cinematic releases, with both inhouse and external IP.  By the end of the year, we will have seen a new Star Wars movie, Wonder Woman and Justice League movies, The LEGO Batman Movie and LEGO Ninjago Movie released.

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The LEGO Ideas set: 21312 Women of NASA.  Real Life STEM role models in LEGO Form.  This set is due to be released this week from LEGO retail stores. 

This post was provoked, in part after reading a comment about the relatively low female representation in the Collectable Minifigure sets recently released. I thought it would be interesting to revisit the question of gender distribution in some popular LEGO themes, and see if there were any significant shifts in trends over the last 12 months, when I last reviewed the numbers. The impending release of the Ideas set ‘Women of NASA’ is also of interest, as it certainly demonstrates a desire to see inspirational female role models immortalised in LEGO form.

I would like to look specifically at LEGO City, overall, as well as broken down into its major sub themes; The LEGO Batman Movie; The LEGO Ninjago Movie, and also LEGO Friends. I would also like to look at LEGO Star Wars sets released since the Force Awakens… Continue reading

Escape the Space Slug Week 2 Raffle Winners

Modulex Star Wars LogoWhoops, almost a week has gone by since I drew the raffle, and I have failed to tell you all about it! Congratulations to Handoko Setyawan through emailing the blog and @hazatronic on Instagram: you have both won a copy of ‘Escape the Space Slug’, courtesy of the LEGO Community Engagement Team.

Handoko presented a picture of a wedding cake that he had built for a member of his LUG. It was unveiled a couple of weeks ago, after the nuptials had taken place. The rest of the album can be found on flickr, here and is well worth a look. Yes, you may have seen it blogged elsewhere too…

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@Hazatronic presented a fantastic microscale representation of that essential scene in The Empire Strikes Back:

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Congratulations to you both.

We had a few great entries this week, and while quality of the build played no role in selecting winners, I love the imagination shown in some of the entries.

 

Thank you so much to all of our entrants. I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of the great MOCs people have come up with here. I hope to have a community build in the near future. I am wondering about ‘Micropolis’…

In the meantime,

Play well!

 

 

Escape the Space Slug Winner: Week 1

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Dirk Plug’s Modulex Mosaic.  Modulex was a smaller scale brick, produced by the LEGO Group.

I would like to thank everyone who submitted entries for the first draw of the Rambling Brick’s ‘Share something Star Wars’ raffle.  Names went into a hat and I would like to congratulate Steve Reynolds on holding the lucky ticket.51E52DF4-D41B-423A-A018-CD9B676CE671

Steve shared this terrific build of the Mos Eisley Cantina, populated with extra scum and villainy from throughout the LEGO universe.

Over on Instagram, congratulations go to @lukeelk who presented this amazing Classic Space – Classic Star Wars Mashup Vehicle MOC.

Both have a copy of ‘Escape the Space Slug’ on the way to them.

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Don’ forget, there is another week, and another two chances to win – by email, or on Instagram.  Details for entering by email can be found here. It’s been great seeing what people come up with.

Here are some of the other great images: Continue reading

Share Something Star Wars and Enter the Draw To Win ‘Escape from the Space Slug’

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Lets celebrate the release of the largest version of the Millennium Falcon (75192) ever released as a set by giving away the set containing the smallest Millennium Falcon ever produced in a set…

Now, thanks to the LEGO® Community Engagement Team, The Rambling Brick has some copies of Escape the Space Slug (6176782),to give away.  This is an exclusive set from 2016 that was previously only available as part of a VIP  event. This set contains the smallest official rendition of the Millennium Falcon, depicting her thrilling escape from the mouth of the Exogorth, in The Empire Strikes Back. While containing only 161 pieces, predominantly in light grey and dark tan, it is a limited edition of 3500 worldwide. Creative microscale modelling sees a recognisable Millennium Falcon, despite only six elements used in its construction.

Entries open on 16th September, 2017, and Close at midnight 30th September 2017.

How to Enter:

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