What’s Marilyn Worth? A quick analysis of LEGO® Art, and alternatives.

Please note: all prices referred to in this article are AUSTRALIAN dollars. Shipping is not taken into account.Prices quoted were accessed on July 4-5 2020, and were only accessed from sites that could supply the full number of elements in a given colour. Individual results might vary. Now read on…

In the last few days, since the announcement of the LEGO® Art Series, one of the most common issues raised in a number of LEGO discussion groups has been the price of each mosaic.

So: a quick recap: There are 4 ‘sets’ in the series, and each set has the option to build several different images: The 31197 Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe, and 31198 The Beatles make 4 versions, while Iron Man and Sith have 3 different images, and a super image – requiring 3 of the sets to build. They are built on 16×16 ‘plates on bricks’ (a new element) – and coloured in with either 1×1 round plates or tiles. The finished mosaics an elegant frame, and comes with a QR code, to give you a ‘soundtrack to listen to while you build. These sets are aimed squarely at adults, who are probably not regular LEGO shoppers.

At $AUD200 each, the price feels higher than I want to pay. Especially if I want to complete the ‘set’ and build all four of the Warhol Marilyn’s (or the Beatles; or 6 copies to build the set of Iron Man or Sith mosaics). The truth is, if you want to channel your recreational income towards LEGO, to build your own creations with, you may not wish to divert $200-$1200 to have on the walls.

So, while I will acknowledge that the LEGO Art Mosaics are expensive, there are two questions that I still find myself asking:

  • Do they offer reasonable value for money? and
  • Could I get a similar same result, with less expenditure?
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Review: 21054 The White House

Without a doubt, the White House is one of the most iconic buildings in the United States. As the 244th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence is celebrated, I present my review of the latest incarnation of this building in LEGO Architecture form. I don’t fully understand why this set received world wide release in June, with the exception of of North America. I will merely accept the fact, and move on.

The set comes, as one might expect, in a solid black cardboard box, with the now familiar ‘Greebled’ 18+ pattern, this time in white, along a strip at the bottom of the box.

On opening the box, we see several 8×16 plates in Earth green, as well as 8 bags, labelled 1-5. As with all Architecture sets, the instructions give us a potted history of the White House – With the site selected by George Washington, and designed by James Hoban, the original building, was also referred to as the Executive Residence and the President’s Palace, before being renamed the White House in 1906, by President Roosevelt.

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LEGO® Art Series Revealed. Available August 1. $199.99 AUD/NZD

This year has seen a collection of ever expanding opportunities for adults to get engaged with LEGO: Be it super cars, trains, fairground attractions, football grounds, Disney characters, there has been something for everyone. the styles and building techniques have all been quite different and challenging.

And today, LEGO Announces its latest releases for adults: LEGO Art. This series of mosaics, put together over a series of interlinking bases covers a variety of material – both traditional LEGO licences, as well as a new one.

These sets are priced at $199.99 AUD/NZD -US $119.99 –CA $149.99 –DE €119.99 –UK £114.99 – FR €119.99 – DK 1099DKK. There are four different ‘sets’ available, and each allows you to make one of several different images. Each set comes with an associated ‘Playlist/Soundtrack’ for you to listen to while you complete the build. Each mosaic measures 40cm (48 studs) square.

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Expanding LEGO Super Mario I: Pirhana Plant Power Slide[71365]

Last week, we took our first look at the 71360 LEGO Super Mario Starter set, Adventures with Mario. Today, we are taking a look at one of the expansion sets, which adds an exciting, dynamic challenge to any level: 71365 Pirhana Plant Power Slide.

This set provides two enemies, some desert landscape, and a Time Bonus box. We also have the eponymous Piranha Power Slide, which can be incorporated in a larger layout, or used on its own in conjunction with the start and finish points. But does that make it a worthwhile purchase? Read on to find out.

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The Lego Group And National Geographic Inspire Kids To Develop Creative Solutions For Real Life Environmental Challenges

You may have noticed that some of the recent (coming in August to North America) releases of LEGO City and LEGO Friends have been cobranded with the National Geographic brand.

The new City: Deep Sea Explorers, as well as Friends: Jungle Rescue subthemes have been developed in collaboration with National Geographic to encourage children to explore the world, and consider their own ways to solve some of the problems that we are facing, going forward.

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40411: Creative Fun 12in1 – Northern Summer’s Gift with Purchase [review]

Despite the fact that I am based in Australia, 2/3 of my readers seem to be from the northern hemisphere. With this in mind, here is a review of a LEGO Store Gift with Purchase – which seems to line up with the northern summer nicely. Unfortunately, it does not look like it will be available Down Under for the time being… 1st July it looks like it will have Australian availability in July too.

If you live north of the equator, it must almost be time for a summer holiday. From July 1st, the gift with purchase really reflects that, with a new summer themed 12 in 1 building set: 40411 Creative Fun 12 in 1

The set will be available in conjunction with purchases over $85US/£85/€85 from the LEGO store from 1st July to the 26th, 2020. Update: in Australia it will be available from 1-9 July, with purchases over $AUD169. Read on to see what’s inside.

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The Wooden Duck 40501 [Review]

This week, the LEGO House reopens after closure during the COVID19 lockdown. With its reopening, we have a new Limited Edition set released, available exclusively at the LEGO Store at the Billund attraction. The Wooden Duck 50401 was announced last week.

The Wooden Duck occupies an important place in the history of the LEGO Group – with the story of Godtfred Kristiansen trying to save his father’s manufacturing costs being a cornerstone in the LEGO Ethos of ‘Only the best is good enough’

The Wooden Duck itself, in particular the model with the pullalong quacking action, was in production from 1935 through to 1960.

I was fortunate to receive a copy of the set to review, courtesy of the team at the LEGO House. Here’s how it went together…

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LEGO Super Mario: Hands On Experience – Adventures with Mario 71360 [Review]

When the LEGO Group and Nintendo announced the forthcoming release of LEGO Super Mario back in February, the announcement was met with both excitement and concern. Both companies have a history of producing great opportunities for families to play together, but what would a full blown collaboration between the two look like?

I have been looking closely at a few of the sets ahead of their August release, and will present my findings a over the next few posts. I have already posted a first look at the blind character bags – 71360. However, to get any value out of the game play in this theme, you need the Super Mario Starter set – 71360 Adventures with Mario – is essential to enjoy this theme: it is the only set where you can get the interactive Mario Brick.

Today, I hope to be able to bring you an insight into the set, and hopefully get an idea of how the set, and theme work together to incorporate different aspects of both companies core product.

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40501: The Wooden Duck – The Next LEGO House Exclusive Set Announced

After the LEGO House announced that they were closing for the pandemic, they made the exclusive sets available through the online store, in some markets. This is in conjunction with the announcement that the Tree of Creativity set is to be retired. With the LEGO House hoping to reopen in the next week, today they are proud to announce the next Exclusive set: 40501 The Wooden Duck.

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LEGO Super Mario Blind Bags Revealed [71361 Reveal and Review]

The Rambling Brick has had the good fortune to be invited to become familiar with LEGO Super Mario sets, ahead of release. This week, LEGO unveiled the complete range of sets in the LEGO Super Mario range.

One of these, previously undisclosed, is a series of blind Character Bags 71361. This comes with a brick built enemy for LEGO Super Mario. The Good news is that they each come with an ‘action brick’ – a tile with a pre-applied barcode – which Super Mario can scan and gain coins.

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