Conspiracy or Coincidence III: Helicopters- from Red Cross to the Star of Life [626/6626 vs 60179]

In which I look at a couple of helicopters, with 40 years between their release dates, consider what happens when a humanitarian organisation reclaims its trade mark and contemplate the special place that helicopters have in the world of LEGO® Vehicles…IMG_9819As has been previously discussed, this is a year for celebrations at the LEGO Group. We have seen sixty years of the LEGO Brick, forty years of the minifigure (celebrated with the release of the series 18 Collectable Minifigures), and twenty years of Mindstorms.

Great vehicles:

While we have the recurrent police theme (even with the new mountain setting), some , miners, as well as last year’s fantastic jungle theme still on the shelves, we also have the ‘Great Vehicles’ sub theme. Now, I recognise that there is a limit to just how many different vehicles might be presented in LEGO Set form over the years. This year however, we seem to have a number of sets that give more than a passing nod to sets that were released twenty, thirty and forty years ago.

IMG_1069IMG_0338Here at the Rambling Brick, we would far rather believe in a conspiracy than a coincidence, and so I would like to believe that these might be a covert celebration of sets celebrating their decennial anniversaries this year. In recent months we have discussed the JetCar and the Helicopter Transport Truck. Today, I would like to compare some  helicopters- specifically the Red Cross Helicopter from 1978 and this year’s Emergency Helicopter. While the Helicopter from 1978 may not be as obvious counterpart to today’s set, compared to the the helicopter carrier and speed record car, there are a number of interesting comparisons between then and now that I would like to make today.

First, let us start with the change in the markings used… Continue reading

Celebrating 60 Years of LEGO Bricks Endless Creativity

January 28 marks the 60th anniversary of the iconic LEGO® brick

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Today, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Patent Submission for the LEGO Brick as we know it today. It is a phenomenal achievement, to inspire children over such a period of time, that only a few iconic brands have achieved.
There are a number of sets that have been released to mark this occasion.
These include the 40210 Anniversary set, which includes microscale versions of a number of classic sets, including :

Too Busy to Build: Visiting the Downtown Diner (10260) in LEGO® Worlds

Without a doubt, the release of the Downtown Diner(10260) as the latest modular has brought about a few interesting discussion points, from the reintroduction of teal, the change of the faces from the Classic Smiley, to the change in the architectural style not being in keeping with the other modular buildings.

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While not coming in the Downtown Diner set, Tara looks like the perfect addition to the setting.

I personally like the change, and particularly adopting a look from 60 years ago, in line with the 60th anniversary of the LEGO® Brick, which we celebrate this weekend.

I am looking forward to taking on this set in real life, however the queue for building  is long, and time is poor. So I did what anyone would do when confronted with this conundrum.

I went to check my social media.

Twitface Snapagram

Continue reading

Normal Service Will Resume Shortly…Recovering from Brickvention 2018

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Test Pattern by Jason Cichon

Normal Service will resume As Soon As Possible…

This last weekend saw Brickvention 2018 take place at the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne. As an exhibitor, with a MOC still being prepared up until the last minute, I have been a little preoccupied. [ I really should highlight the excellent MOC by Jason Chicon which sums up my situation perfectly]

I had the privilege to spend  the weekend hanging out with some extremely talented LEGO artists, renew some old friendships and forge new ones. I also managed to catch up with a couple of the VIP guests, Mariann Asanuma and Bailey Fullerton.

My Mystery Project X even made its debut. Nexo Classic Space. Essentially revisiting 1978-79 LEGO Space sets, using the NEXO Knights parts palette. I’ll post more about that in due course.

It will take a while to process my images, and to gather my thoughts. I have a few other posts waiting on some final tweaks before publication. In the meantime, I recommend visiting Jay’s Brick Blog for an excellent, timely writeup and set of photos of highlights of the event.

Thanks must go to my fellow exhibitors and convention attendees, and the volunteer organising committee for making the event such an amazing experience.

Members of the 501st check out a massive Death Star. (Do you know who built this model? Please send me a message)

A quick random selection of MOCs seen at Brickvention: Tamara Dadswell’s Lumiere; one of Jeff Carroll’s Nexo Knight Inspired Mechs and Darren Reid’s ‘Finding Captain Nemo’.  These are just a few of the incredible displays that I saw. I am, once again, overwhelmed by the talent that exists in our community. I will feature some other MOCs on the Rambling Brick Instagram Channel over the next few weeks… [ @ramblingbrick ]

Did you go to Brickvention? What did you enjoy? Why not leave your comments below. I’ll take a couple of deep breaths, have a bit of a lie down, and be back soon.

Until then, play well!

 

 

Mystery Project X: Let’s Start with a Place for Space.

I am working on a display for Brickvention, our local LEGO Fan Convention- It is now less 2 weeks away, and I feel as though I am more on track than I have been any time in the last 10 years. Admittedly, I have previously done a lot of landscaping with trees flowers and rivers. These last few months I have found myself drawn towards Classic Space. It seems odd to me that it has taken so long. Minifigures were first released in Town and Castle in 1978, and Space reached Australia in 1979- I was about nine or ten years old at the time. I remember the ’78 catalog showing some images of space (coming soon), but perhaps my childhood memory and facts are in slight disagreement. Star Wars (back in those days there was only one) was very much inspiring my imagination at this time

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Our family collection of space was limited to the Space Scooter 885, Space Buggy 886, Radar Truck 889 and the 1981 Moonbuggy 6801 – although I seem to remember that last one as all gray.

So, since picking up a used 918 Space Transporter from eBay, a few things have come together. I was given a bulk lot by a friend: A mixture of Classic Town and Space. I have identified parts for all of sets I once had in this collection.

I gave all the parts a wash in warm soapy water in the summer sun, and set about reconstructing what I found, knew and once had. Continue reading

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

Stressed by the Elements: Saturn V, Tiles, Plates and the Legality of Connections.

In which I build the Saturn V Ideas set, almost lose it in a wind gust, consider the legality of the American flag on the moon and Jamie Berard helps us to establish that plates and tiles are more different than we may have previously considered…

IMG_7086I have just been fortunate to complete one of the most satisfying builds I have attempted in recent years.  The LEGO® Ideas Saturn V Rocket  21309 was released on June 1st, to wide accalaim. The Rambling Brick was fortunate to secure a copy on release day, courtesy of of the LEGO® Community Engagement Team.  Any opinions expressed here are, however, my own. The set has been subject to backorder on shop.lego.com for some time, and production continues to catch up with demand.  This may take some time.

IMG_7116Since completing the model, I have been confronted by a severe weather warning, with the possibility of destructive winds – up to 120 km/h (roughly 70MPH).  This is a shame, as the winter sun has been shining brightly today: just what you need to take stirring, outdoor shots of an amazing model.  On setting the model up outside, it became apparant that there are reasons for spaceflights being delayed due to bad weather.  I managed one or two shots before catching the falling bohemoth, as it attempted to attain equilibrium in its ongoing battle with the forces of nature. That is to say, i caught it before it hit the ground.

Perhaps I’ll try again on a less windy day.

Continue reading