BrickCon Is Back, In Real Life!

If nothing else, the lockdowns brought on by the pandemic have taught us just how much many of us value the opportunity to get to live, face to face events. I have attended a few events over the last couple of years, all using different variations of online event. While parts of the world are opening up, international travel is still but a dream to many of us. BrickCon 2020 was one of the first international online events that I attended last year, and they are pleased to announce that this year they are running in person, as well as hybrid registrations. Read on for the full story, and registration details. Real life Registrations will be limited to 400, and open AUGUST 1st. Hybrid/online registrations open September 1

BrickCon has announced that its 20th annual LEGO fan convention and public exhibition is coming back to the Seattle Center. BrickCon 2021 will be held Oct. 1 – 3 and will offer adult LEGO builders a full convention featuring displays, awards, classes, workshops, prizes, vendors and more. BrickCon will also offer a limited hybrid virtual ticket for fans who can’t travel.

Continue reading

‘Builder’s Journey,’ Light Brick Studio’s LEGO Based Puzzler Comes to Nintendo Switch and PC

A year or two ago, Apple Arcade opened – a subscription model for a games service in the Apple Ecosystem. One of the launch titles, Builder’s Journey, saw a number of AFOLs sign up for the service, and I suspect a few of us failed to cancel our subscription after completing the game.

The game is a puzzle based game, involving the journey of a stylised father and son, exploring a world of LEGO Bricks. The game’s beautiful aesthetics is capped off by the relaxing soundtrack, which also features heavily in the LEGO Games Podcast ‘Bits N Bricks.’ In fact, there is an episode of the podcast dedicated to builder’s journey, which you can find here (episode 6 to be exact…).

This week, the game has been released for PC via Steam, and the Spic Game Store, as well as the Nintendo Game store. These versions, as well as the new version on Apple Arcade, represent an expanded version of the original game.

I’ve set the Household Gamer (ie the game player of our household) the task of working through the new, Steam Based version, and putting together a review for the Rambling Brick – I look forward to hear he has to say about it. I really enjoyed the game on Apple Arcade, when it first came out, and am setting out on revisiting the game with the latest version.

According to the publisher’s website, the game

The LEGO® Group is taking players on an epic, inspirational experience in LEGO® Builder’s Journey, available now on Nintendo Switch and PC. The game follows a father and son on a heartwarming journey through a stunning brick-built universe, filled with geometric puzzles that will surprise and delight players

“When creating LEGO Builder’s Journey, we were inspired by the new movement of games that focus on the overall experience for gamers,” said Karsten Lund, creative director and head of studio, Light Brick Studio. “We chose to focus on the emotional and evocative aspects of storytelling to spark players’ imaginations, and to encourage them to reflect on the importance of play and creativity in all of our lives.”

In addition to the playful themes sewn seamlessly throughout the narrative, the Light Brick team has designed a world featuring graphical upgrades to further immerse players in the game, including ray-traced ambient occlusion, global illumination, reflections, shadows, and other effects that make bricks feel more tactile and movement more fluid.

LEGO Builder’s Journey is available now for $USD19.99 on Steam, the Epic Games Store and the Nintendo eShop. This translates to $29.99 AUD.

To learn more, please visit https://www.lightbrick.com/builders-journey.

Have you played Builder’s Journey? Have you been frustrated by the limited platforms that it has been available on? Did you fall foul of the ‘Signup for the free trial and forget to unsubscribe’ business model that Apple use?

Why not leave your comments below, and until next time,

Play Well.

Returning to Ice Planet, A Builder’s Diary I: Colour and Concepts

Since I wrote an overview of ICE PLANET 2002, I have come to make a realisation: I’ve been a little too focused on news, reviews, and product announcements lately. Not to mention that little podcast thing. Perhaps to the extent that I have started to lose track of what I find to be so enjoyable about LEGO play… the act of creation. I’ve taken a couple of days out from the routine to start playing, designing and MOCing again.

A little while ago, I took a look at the theme ICE PLANET 2002 – a LEGO® space theme from the early 1990s. The theme was set on the Planet Krysto, in the centre of the known Universe. With three different figures, this theme included the first female Space Minifigure, a distinctive colour palette and a return to the values of Classic Space.

I now find myself wanting to explore this world a little further: bringing the United Galaxies back to Krysto, and using this as the basis for some MOCs of my own.

Nearly thirty years have passed since the United Galaxies’ Forces launched their last expedition Ice Planet 2002.

The Odyssey Base has since been abandoned after a computer virus, planted by Spyrius agents, rendered its systems inoperative. The United Galaxies’s rocket research program has been moved to several decentralised locations. A strange, coded signal has been detected coming from the area of the long-abandoned base in the meantime. A code not used by the forces of United Galaxies But from whom, and why? The Space Police say that an uninhabited, abandoned planet is outside their jurisdiction. Others say that the Space Police just want to chase bad guys that they know.

And so a new expeditionary force is set up, drawing upon the expertise of the earlier researchers. Their mission: identify the source of the signal, secure any residual artifacts from the original mission and, finally, establish whether there is any threat to the United Galaxies. If the Union is being threatened, neutralise the source of the problem…with extreme prejudice.

Continue reading

In Color! 76188 Batmobile ’66 Hands On Review

It was 1977. Already the series was a decade old, and it was screening after school in melbourne. My family had just bought their first colour television, and the theme music started pulsing through the house. The title card promised that the program would be in colour… and it was. I was still of an age where I was somewhat disappointed to discover that the characters were all ‘Live Action’ after the animated titles. But never mind. This was the program that introduced me to the cliffhanger episodeic ending….Tune in Tomorrow: Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel. The program was about as serious as eight year old me could deal with.

But there was, undoubtedly, one thing that made this series realy cool: and extended into the world outside the living room: The Batmobile. This modified Ford Futura allowed Batman and Robin to leap over the door, and into their respective sets. Thank heavens it was never raining in Gotham City! But the really awesome thing was the Corgi Batmobile car: gloss black, with small figures of batman and Robin, as well as an image of Batman embossed on the bottom service of the car. But it had other great play features: push on the radar on the hood, and a blade would flick out ( of course, it was not sharp enough to inflict actual injury) and the rocket launcher. I have no idea what the actual rockets were like that came with the toy. My friends had long lost theirs. Instead, we used matchsticks. It was all fun and games, unless somebody loses an eye…

Source: Wikimedia, user PDpH under Creative Commons.

I never owned that car. That’s OK. With Mint in sealed Box versions going for thousands, and well played with, but restored versions selling for many hundreds, I can live with it. However, I’d be lying if I were to say I was not in any way excited when I discovered this set amongst some that the LEGO Group had sent over for me to take a look at.

The Batman Classic TV Series Batmobile has 345 parts, 2 minfigures and will retail for $USD29.99/ €29.99 / £34.99. It will be available from the usual sources from April 26, 2021. Read on after the break to see how the build comes together.

Continue reading

Extra Pieces Episode One Now Live

Last Thursday, Jay’s Brick Blog and I announced that we are collaborating on a podcast for LEGO Fans – Extra Pieces. Now, in some parts of the world, it was April Fools Day, and some people seemed uncertain as to our actual sincerity.

It turns out that was not a hoax. In our firtst real episode, Jay and I discuss some of the our favorite April fools LEGO gags for 2021, as well as the new Star Wars Helmets, Probe Droid and also discuss the recent challenges faced by LEGO Fans, thanks to the LEGO VIP Program, and how it might change what it means to be a collector of LEGO Exclusive products…

Continue reading

Facebook Vs Australia

So… very little LEGO® content in this post:

The Australian Government are having a robust discussion with Facebook on the subject of paying charging the platform for distributing Australian generated content. This will predominantly benefit large media organisations such as Newscorp, Fairfax and SevenWest.

As part of upping the ante, Facebook has blocked Australian users from accessing any news sites, as well as blocking overseas access to Australian news sites through Facebook. Facebook’s definitions of news might vary from yours. At times today, it included emergency services and the Bureau of Meteorology.

As such, the typical LEGO Fan’s experience on Facebook is a bit broken.

At present, the following Australian Recognised LEGO® Fan Media Sites have had their Facebook pages blocked. For some of these sites, you cannot even share links from their page on Facebook. This block even prevents these Australian Facebook pages from being viewed overseas. You can read Jay’s take on the subject HERE. Facebook will not let you share, at all.

Australian Facebook users are also prevented from seeing some of the international LEGO® fan media, such as Brickset.com and the Brothers-Brick.com

This may be over tomorrow, or never.

If you wish to ensure you see our latest posts, why not signup for our mailing lists, bookmark our links in your favorites, put us in your RSS feed or follow us on other social media platforms. If you want to share a link with us, do it using Twitter, Instagram or Good Old-Fashioned Email.

Facebook’s algorithm seems to approach things in an unpredictable manner: as such, while the Rambling Brick Facebook Page is currently blocked, links to my page can still be shared. For NOW.

Thanks for your time. More great content is being prepared including discussions with LEGO designers, set reviews and some rebuilds and creative projects, coming soon

Until then,

Play Well!

The Rambling Brick can be found on twitter @ramblingbrick

The Brickbuilt Facebook logo based on a design by Tiago Catarino

We Just Click: Little LEGO® Love Stories [Book Review]

Almost 12 months ago, we received a note that Chronicle Books, a boutique publisher in San Francisco, was preparing to release a few books that might appeal to LEGO® fans. Recently, I received a couple of books in the mail to review.

Today, I would like to present one of their 2021 books: We Just Click: Little LEGO® Love Stories. Written by Aled Lewis, who also wrote LEGO®Small Parts: The Secret Life of Minifigures, this book is one of those small books, that makes an ideal gift. Particulary to a loved one, at a time when all of the LEGO Roses in the world appear to be on Backorder!

Continue reading

Brickvention Online is Now Live

It has been a busy week. But not for the reasons it might normally be at this time of the year. Normally, I’d have been busy putting together last minute touches for my creation at Brickvention – Australia’s Premier LEGO® Fan Event. The reasons that my week has actually been busy don’t really matter right now. What does matter is that Brickvention 2021 has gone the way of the pandemic, and is a totally online event. The great news is that you can experience all of the activities for the weekend for free.

There will live streams, and a variety of tutorials going live on YouTube over the course of the weekend. Tomorrow, there is a full lineup of Special Guests from around the world.

You can find full details of the the online event at http://brickvention.online.

Continue reading

2020 LEGO® House Fan Day: Now Online. Registrations Open.

At the end of September, the Annual Skærbæk LEGO® Fan Weekend was to be taking place. In conjunction with this, there was to be a Fan day at the LEGO House. It was at this event in 2017 that the house was officially opened.

Continue reading

Q&A with the LEGO Covid Face Shield Team

Back in April, we reported on the LEGO Group producing eye shields for health care workers, looking after patients with COVID-19 in Southern Denmark. In my ‘day job,’ I work as an anaesthesiologist. The availability of Personal Protective Equipment for health workers has been a topic of conversation amongst my colleagues for a few months, and I was excited to hear of the development. While we have had little to worry about in Australia, I realise that PPE remains an important issue in many parts of the world, as supply chains get re-established.

A group of Recognised LEGO Fan Media – including Brickset, New Elementary, Hispabrick Magazine, Brickfinder, as well as myself – had the opportunity to put some additional questions to the team responsible for the production of these face shields….

Continue reading