10293: Santa’s Visit Unveiled: Designer Walkthrough.

For me, a highlight of every holiday season is the arrival of the LEGO® Winter Village set. Over the years, we have seen a delightful village and its shops, a market, train and gone off site to the North Pole, to visit Santa’s Work Shop, and the Elves Club House. And a gingerbread house.

This year’s set, Santa’s Visit, has been officially announced and returns to the village, where we have a new home being visited by Santa. The set has 1445 pices and will cost €89.99 / $USD99.99 / £79.99 /$AUD159.99 / $CAD139.99. It will be released through LEGO retail channels on October 1st 2021.

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LEGO® Super Mario 64™ ‘?’ Block to hit LEGO® Super Mario™ Universe

We knew something was coming when the LEGO Group teased a large cube like model last night, but I dont think anyone expected anything quite like this.

Its a ‘?’ cube, as featured in Super Mario 64 (celebrating 25 years this year), and from different panels, we have different microscale versions of lands from that classic game! With 2064 pieces, and priced at $289AUD/ $USD169.99/ £159.99 the set will be released through LEGO Branded stores on October 1, and in other retailers in 2022.

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Tune up and turn your amp up to 11 as the LEGO Group reveals the new LEGO® Ideas Fender® Stratocaster® set

The development of the electric guitar certainly resulted in defining the sound of a generation or two in the twentieth century. The Fender Stratocaster first appeared in 1954, and continues to be one of the most recognisable guiltar shapes in the world. Today, the LEGO Group announces a new Ideas set, not sourced through the standard Submission/10000 votes pathway, but rather as an entry in last year’s LEGO Ideas ‘Music to Our Ears’ contest.

The model brings us a small scale version of the iconic Fender Stratocaster, as well as a fender Princetone Amplifier. There are elements to allow you to construct the body of the guitar in either black or red, as well as 6 string elements, and a Fender-LEGO Print fabric element. I love the way that the designers have replicated the silhouette of the instrument, while including details such as the tremolo arm, tuning pegs and pickups. Likewise, the use of grill tiles captures the texture of the cloth on the front of the amplifier. All packed into a model 31cm long, and 11cm wide.

The LEGO Ideas Fender Stratocaster set will be available from the 1st October 2021 from LEGO Stores and www.LEGO.com/Fender. It has 1074 pieces and has a recommended retail price of $99 / £99 / €99 / 159.99 AUD / 139.99 CAD.

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10284: LEGO FC Barcelona Camp Nou: Another Entry In The Top Ten Largest LEGO® Sets.

Football Stadia represent the tribal Colosseums of the modern world. In their simplest form, they represent places where your tribal heroes don colours and fight it out with the opposition, in front of their supporters. Of course, we live in a far from simple world, and before long, the trappings of big business and high finance enter the fray.

In 2020, we have seen the Old Trafford football stadium as well as the Roman Colosseum released in LEGO form. These structures are similar in form and purpose, although the nature of the contests within may vary. Perhaps it is only appropriate that this year, as the LEGO Group release a 5500 piece version of Camp Nou, the home base for FC Barcelona, it has been designed by Rok Zgalin Kobe, who has been responsible for the majority of sets released with the architecture badge in the last few years, as well as the Colosseum.

Certainly this model features a part count in between that of 10272 Old Trafford and the 10276 Colosseum, and more blocks of colour than were offered in the Colosseum set!

The new LEGO FC Barcelona Camp Nou set is fantastically detailed. Features include the stands, pitch, team tunnel, media boxes and even the team’s coach. The score board also references the club’s momentous 5-0 win over rivals Real Madrid in 2010 and two of the stands proudly feature the “Mes que un Club” motto that is known by fans around the world.

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LEGO® HARRY POTTER™ HOGWARTS™ ICONS COLLECTORS’ EDITION CELEBRATES TWO DECADES OF WIZARDING WORLD LEGO MAGIC 

This year sees the 20th anniversary of LEGO Harry Potter sets, and there is an extra special set for those who have wished they were the right size to go with their LEGO Harry Potter sets: Icons of Hogwarts: Hedwig, Spelel Books, Potions and herbology samples; Chocolate frogs, Scarves, a Wand, the Golden Snitch, and of course the Letter of Acceptance.

With 3010 pieces, 73691 LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Icons Collector’s Edition Set will be available from 2nd September 2021 from LEGO Stores and www.lego.com/harrypotter at a recommended price of 249.99 EUR / 249.99 USD / 229.99 GBP / 1999 DKK / 399.99 AUD / 29980 JPY / 449.99 NZD /  349.99 CAD.

Most of the images leaked into the wild a few days ago, but I’ll present them here for completeness.

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75309 Ultimate Collector Series Republic Gunship [Hands On Review]

When the Republic Gunship won the LEGO Ideas fan vote to determine an upcoming LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series set, I was a little disheartened. I was more of a Nebulon B frigate kind of a guy – this was the vessel where we saw our heroes gathering, healing and planning, after what had been a pretty dreadful time overall in Empire Strikes Back.

However, the size of the fan vote, and the proportion of that vote that was looking for the Republic Gunship (more than 30000 out of 50000 votes) certainly meant that the prequel trilogy and The Clone Wars was certainly meaning something to a lot of people. And then, in 2020, the world locked down, and my son sat me down, and we started watching The Clone Wars. By the time we finished, I had developed a new understanding of the both the prequel trilogy, as well as the importance of the gunship to the next generation of Star Wars Fans. And I probably became a little excited at the prospect of a large scale gunship to be released in LEGO form

The gunship is essentially a troop transport, as well as a low altitude assault vehicle. The contemporary analog would be akin to a Black Hawk helicopter. This version of the model is larger than minifigure scale – probably around one and a half to twice that scale, and provided the design team with an opportunity to increase the level of detail included in the build.

In this review, we will take a look at the build itself, and then consider the fact that the major virtue of this set is also possibly its biggest drawback.

Set 75309 will be released on the 1st of August 23, and has 3292 pieces. It has a RRP of RRP $349.99 / £329 / €349.99 / 579.99 AUD / 479.99 CAD.

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10279 Volkswagen T2 Campervan Coming in August [Announcement]

The Volkswagen Kombi is an icon of 20th century automobile design. The LEGO® Version of the T1 Microbus was on the shelves at LEGO.com from 2011 to December 2020, one of the longest running sets on the market in recent years. Of course, the T1 was not the only van produced by Volkswagen. The T2 was introduced in 1967, and featured a single (non split) windshield. And today, The LEGO Group announce the arrival of this version on the shelves in August 2021.

With striking medium azure body work, as well as a slideing side door, this icon of 60s counterculture also features a popup roof as well as a built in kitchenette and a collection fo stickers designed to turn it into a classic Hippy transport vehicle!

10279:LEGO® VOLKSWAGEN T2 CAMPER VAN has 2202 pieces and measures 15cm high, 14 cm wide and 35 centimeters long. It will be priced at 159.99 EUR / 179.99 USD / 149.99 GBP / 269.99 AUD / 249.99 CAD, and available from August 1 2021.

Here’s the press release:

The LEGO® Group has added yet another cult vehicle to its portfolio of cars, with the reveal of the latest version of the ubiquitous LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van, complete with pop-top roof with tent and ready for summer road trip adventures.

The new LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van is based on its namesake of the late 1960s and 1970s and succeeds the much-loved previous LEGO Creator Expert Volkswagen T1 Camper Van, adding many new features in the process. The new set is larger than before and distinguished by a new paint colour, a sliding door, as well as the trademark T2 wraparound Baywindow front windscreen and a new yet instantly recognisable ‘face.’

Under the hood, the set also features working steering. The LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van’s detailed camping interior is also fully equipped for the open road, with opening cabinets, fridge, sink and a gas stove with a teapot. Days at the beach are suitably catered for, as the set comes with a set of folding chairs and of course a surfboard, while a folding rear bench seat provides a comfortable place to stay under starry skies.

Volkswagen Campers are of course synonymous with customisation, and the LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van set is fully prepared for personalisation, with a sticker set including retro decals and a choice of German or US number plates.

LEGO Designer Sven Franic commented: “The Volkswagen Camper is a rare breed of vehicle that commands affection like few others, and we know the LEGO version will bring a lot of fun to people who’ve been lucky enough to have or go camping in one, or always wanted one.

“Though the Volkswagen Camper is no stranger to our LEGO cars collection, this latest iteration brings even more delights for LEGO builders. The meticulously kitted out interior is sure to charm seasoned campers and adventurers alike, while the eye-catching exterior with pop-up roof is a feat of engineering just like the original.”

The T1 10220 was a long lived part of LEGO Catalog, despite the immediate challenges of trying to achieve the form of the microbus within the confines of the LEGO Brick. With lots of curves, both horizontally and vertically, the form can be difficulat to achieve, and the challenge persists with this new version.

Aspects of the model appear a little too square to me, while others, such as the inward sloping around the middle of the body feels too curved. That said, sometimes, the first appearance doesn’t matter and its the reconition of the idea that results in sets being moved off the shelves by happy shoppers.

The set,10279, goes on sale August 1 2021, and will cost 159.99 EUR / 179.99 USD / 149.99 GBP / 269.99 AUD / 249.99 CAD.

what do you think of this new version of a classic Volkswagen Camper?

why not leave your thoughts below and until next time,

Play Well!

Going On A Builder’s Journey With Light Brick Studios [Fan Media Round Table].

LEGO® Builder’s Journey, the game from Light Brick Studios was updated a couple of weeks ago. It delivers new content to a broader audience – extending from Apple Arcade to Nintendo Switch and PC (on Steam and Epic Games Store). Having completed the game in its first iteration, I sat down to replay it. The game follows the adventures of a father and son, initially hiking together, and playing. Then they get interrupted while the father goes to work.

I decided to extend this metaphor, by engaging the services of Harry, our household games consultant (ok… its my son!), to provide a review. I’m a dab hand on the iPhone, but as far as understanding PC gaming, I’m at a loss.

We subsequently attended a round table discussion with representatives the Light Brick Studios, LEGO Games and other Recognised LEGO Fan Media – Racing Brick, Cafe Corner, Bricksfanz, Blocks Magazine and ADFL.it.

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21328 LEGO IDEAS Seinfeld Announced. Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That.

Today marks the anniversary of the first episode of Seinfeld going to air in 1989. This show about nothing in particular set the standard for sitcoms in the 1990’s, although, like Friends, it has dated, but maintains a loyal following.

The set, based on Brent Waller’s LEGO Ideas submission will be released later this month to VIPs, and essentially incorporates the studio set for Jerry’s Apartment, as well as the stage of the comedy club where the iconic opening and closing monologues took place.

Set 21328 has 1326 pieces, 5 minifigures and is priced at €79.99 / $USD79.99 / £69.99/ 129.99 AUD/ 109.99 CAD

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21327 LEGO Ideas Typewriter Announced. Q&A with the Ideas Design Team.

After a tease earlier in the week, the LEGO Group today announce the forthcoming release of the LEGO Ideas typewriter. Set 21327 has 2079 Pieces, and measures 27cmx26cmx12cm. It is based on the design by Steve Guinness, who has been involved in the process with the Ideas Design Team.

The set will cost $AUD329 USD199.99 €199.99 $CAD 269.99. It will be available from June 16 to via VIP early access from July 1 through LEGO branded retail channels.

A stalwart of many offices in Days Gone By, this model is based on machines of a certain vintage, and is sure to have appeal for a wide audience, but especially those to whom a vintage aesthetic appeals.

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