I’m exhausted, and I barely left my study all weekend [NY Toy Fair Wrap Up]

It’s Sunday evening and I am exhausted. The weekend has been full of unfolding news from the New York Toy Fair: new themes, new sets, new Ideas, new films and new styles of Battle Pack. It’s been an exciting thrill ride. We have touched on a few of these topics over the last few days. However, I think the easiest way to cover the rest of the news is to just wrap it up here. Read on for further details.

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An Idea Right Out of History [The Flintstones 21316 Official Announcement]

In which I ponder the nature of the television sitcom and its broader narrative development, new spinoffs resulting in decades of related programming, changes between fan designer and production art and finally consider whether or not this one’s for me.  By the way, 21316 the Flintstones will be available for VIPs 20th February, and probably having its ‘regular’ release on March 1st 2019.

Memories of after school television in the 70’s

One of my fondest childhood memories is coming home from school, and sitting down in front of the (Black and White) television for a couple of hours. It was the 1977 in Australia, and the typical afternoon television lineup consisted of a collection of 1960’s programs, both live action and animated: Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Get Smart, Scooby Doo and The Flintstones.

With their canned laughter and awkward situations, often caused by miscommunication or zany get rich quick schemes, virtuallyany character development that occurred was reset at the end of the episode. Apart from a different actor playing Darren in Bewitched, as if nothing ever happened, most of these stories followed a simple plot line, with new scenery and characters telling a similar story the next week.

The Flintstones was unique amongst these programs, as it was probably the first show that would be considered to an animated sitcom: certainly a novel concept in 1960, when it was first broadcast. Fred and Barney – with their challenges at work, misunderstandings with their wives, the ritual Bowling tournaments, to say nothing of the Order of the Water Buffaloes.

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“LEGO Jurassic World:Legend of Isla Nublar” Mini Series and Sets Announced [News]

We continue the week of New York Toy Fair, where too much news of new LEGO Sets is barely enough… we have another press release, and announcement of a new theme and media property.

LEGO Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar is set a few years before the events of Jurassic World, and features a new series of 13 episodes.

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LEGO Unveils New Ghost Hunting Theme, Bringing Augmented Reality to Brick Based Play [Preview]

In the run up to this weekend’s New York Toy Fair, a surprise announcement: the release of a new theme: LEGO Hidden Side

On display for the first time at the NY Toy Fair, this new theme takes the physical play of a brick built set, and combines it with an augmented reality game, while our heroes Parker and Jack explore their hometown of Newbury, solving puzzles with the aid of their mobile phones. There will be eight new sets, due for release around August, which can be used in conjunction with the phone app to enhance the play experience.

Kids, LEGO bricks and puzzles to solve: what’s not to love?

What do we know?

Jack and Parker: I love the new hoodie/cap element as well as the beanie/purple hair. New tile prints for the phones are also good to see. And a new dog! I can’t wait to see what else the sets will bring!
  • The LEGO® Hidden Side universe takes place in the fictional town of Newbury
  • The main characters, Jack and Parker, are teenage bloggers; through an app on their mobile phones, they can see the unseen
  • The play mission:LEGO Hidden Side challenges children to join a fearless team of ghost hunters, ​who dare see the unseen ​and help turn a haunted world back to normal​ one ghost at the time. 
  • Through the game, children can explore the hidden, solve mysteries and catch the ghost
  • Ages: 7+
  • The product launches globally, though launch dates may vary depending on markets .
  • iPhone 6s and up; Also on Android
  • The app works on both mobile and tablet devices. However, the play experience has been designed with mobile in mind, to facilitate children’s ability to play with one hand in each world – playing with the LEGO set and holding the device at the same time.
  • More information, as it comes to light on the new theme’s web site: https://www.lego.com/en-us/themes/hidden-side 

Details of the sets, as well as the press release follows the break.

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Flagship Certified Store to open in Sydney in late March

Yesterday, pictures started to surface of a vinyl wrapped store featuring lots of LEGO livery, at the Westfield Centre in Bondi Junction.

Today, we can confirm that we will see a LEGO® Certified Store open on that site in late March – probably in time to coincide with the (delayed, compared to the rest of the world) Australian opening of The LEGO Movie 2.

Image courtesy of David Scalone, used with permission.

While the Sydney’s first LEGO Centre at Birkenhead Point has long closed, the new shop – a Certified Store rather than LEGO Brand Retail – will operate over two floors, with a total floor space of 302sqm.

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The Second Wave of TLM2 sets announced…[preview, potential spoilers]

Ahead of this weekend’s New York Show, the LEGO Group have announced three more sets based on the LEGO® Movie 2, which opened in the rest of the world last weekend. The three new sets announced will be released in May. Some might consider some of the following content to be spoilers… as much as any set can be in the absence of context. Others won’t. Details of the sets, as well as the press release come after the break. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

While I’m here: In Australia, while there were some preview screenings of The LEGO Movie 2 during the world wide opening weekend, we have to wait until March 21st to see the film’s general release here. How can we pass the time? How about some live building of some TLM2 sets. I’ll post details on the Rambling Brick Facebook and Instagram pages when I have a schedule worked out. Stay tuned for further details.

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Duplo 50: Taking the Lead with Characters.

This year, we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of LEGO DUPLO. Basic brick sets first appeared in 1969, but figures were not introduced until 1977. They provided a way to introduce role play into the way that children interacted with DUPLO bricks. These first figures appeared ahead of minifigures, and there were then several ways in which DUPLO figures have led the way with regard to character design compared with minifigures. In this article, I will cover the changes in shape of the basic shape of figures seen in DUPLO sets since they were first introduced. I will not cover the introduction of each colour or hair/helmet mold, but I will cover the important changes that occurred in body design, as well as touch on some of the licensed figures that have appeared over the years…but only some!

1977

While DUPLO debuted in 1969, the first Duplo figures did not appear until 1977, a year ahead of minifigures. These figures were simple, finger puppet style figures, which would fit comfortably over 2×2 DUPLO Studs. With no moving ares or legs, they were similar in some respects to the ‘stage extra’ figures in use in the regular system sets at the time.

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