Looking Forward to the rest of the year at the 2018 Melbourne Toy, Hobby and Licensing Fair

The Rambling Brick, and Friends at the Melbourne Toy, Hobby and Licensing Fair.

The toy fair season is now starting to wind up for now: We have had Nuremberg. We have had New York. Now we have had Melbourne…

The Melbourne Toy, Hobby and Licensing Fair is a bit of a mouthful. Predominantly a trade show, taking place in Melbourne in early March each year, LEGO Australia have a strong presence. There has traditionally been little ‘big news’ coming out of the show, as visitors have not been able to take photographs at the LEGO® booth, a trend that was reinforced at Nuremberg this year.
 I had the chance to visit the Fair last weekend, and visit the booth displaying our favourite Danish Plastic Brick. Once I got past the big displays outside the booth, I had to put the camera away, and make do with words and memories.
After the recent New York and Nuremberg Toy shows, there is little to be seen in left field, unexpected presentations.  Unlike New York, there are no Direct to Consumer sets on display (for example: Hogwarts Great Hall; Ultron Hulkbuster).  There were also no Brickheadz or 40th Birthday Minifigure sets on display.  There were no sets associated with unreleased movies ( such as Jurassic World; Solo; Incredibles 2) , unless they were already on sale (Avengers: Infinity War went on sale the week before the toy fair).
There were plenty of sets on display that are already on the shop shelves, readily available to purchase in real life shops, or on line. And everything else that I saw already has an entry in Brickset’s 2018 database. However, there were some sets from the second half year on display, of which few details have previously been available, or for which some additional clarity was able to be gained. If you wish to avoid spoilers, look away now.  If you have read everything coming out of Nuremberg and New York, there may not be a lot that sounds new… but certainly a few points of clarification.

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Beginning with Boost: Driven to Distraction

In which we look at the steering wheeled base, that is one of the starter platforms with LEGO Boost Creative Toolkit, visit the nomenclature of LEGO Tyres and go out for a spin…Along the way, we go atomic.  Now read on…

IMG_9778The recent announcement of the forthcoming Power functions 2.0 reminded me that it has been a while since we looked at the Boost Creative Toolbox.  I just wanted to briefly touch on one of the starter models from the Creative Canvas today: the Vehicle hub.

All you need is a little patience.

Towards the end of 2017, Boost became supported on new platforms including the iOS smartphones, and Windows 10- no longer limited to tablets (iOS, Android and Kindle fire).  There is also an up to date compatibility list available from the Unofficial LEGO Boost Community Facebook page. Continue reading

Giving NEXO Knights a Boost…

A quick post this morning to demonstrate how easy it is to get a fun result from LEGO Boost, with very little style or skill. I really believe that the Boost Move Hub is the successor to the motor bricks of the 1960’s and 70’s.

For reasons best known to myself, I recently built the NEXO Knights Knighton castle set. It was an interesting build, demonstrating the 2017 NEXO Aesthetic, with lots of dark blue, orange, trans neon orange, dark stone grey and bright blue for the trim (being King Halbert’s colour). But I bought it for the parts. Reasons shall become apparent with time, or perhaps on Instagram…

In pulling it apart, I thought, wouldn’t this look great if it were mobile, like the Fortrex. Then I realised I had not yet dismantled the walking base which I discussed last week. To make the project a little easier, I removed the tail, head plate and gun: I am here for a good time, not a long time. I reconstructed a tower and moved some of the other components from the caster to produce something a little like this…



So… a few elements onto the walking base, a short ‘Walk forward’ Program, and voila: a moving MOC that is just a little more interesting than anything I might have produced with the castle elements alone, or indeed the Boost. The Classic knight was terribly impressed with the changes that had occurred since he was a young lad.


The program I used is extremely simple: Play; Walk forward at speed 50 for 30 seconds; And Stop.

Mercifully, I have not mixed elements too much, and returning my sorted Boost to its natural state should not be too hard.

And now I return you to our normal viewing…

What would like to make move with Boost? Would you build a more comprehensive castle to move? Why not comment below, and follow the Rambling Brick on WordPress or Facebook. Until next time…

Play Well!

Beginning with Boost II: Walking Base

Last week we met Vernie, one of the hero models that is part of LEGO Boost.  Today I wanted to just quickly look at the walking base, a creative platform designed to be built on with your own bricks.

The instructions are included in the app, and accessed through the secret portal…

finding walker
Diving into the vortex behind the curtain reveals both the walking and driving platforms.

The build took me about 45 minutes, with a few distractions in the room. The build was made much easier by the fact that I had sorted elements after dismantling Vernie last week.

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Beginning with Boost I: Meet Vernie

In which I recall making models move in simpler times, invest in a LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox set, and set about meeting Vernie the robot.  This article is as much for the beginner, trying to understand where to look for information, and finding out what my personal experience was like with the first couple of models.  In the future I will build some more, and look at the programs involved along the way.

One of the amazing things about LEGO® bricks is that they can be used to construct the most amazing models.  One of the things that lifts LEGO models to the the next level is movement.  For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with the idea of making my LEGO models move.  I just haven’t been particularly good at it!

My first experience with making LEGO move autonomously was using the blue 4.5V motor in the mid 70’s: part of set 100 or 112: to be honest, I am not really sure.  I was probably about five years old at the time.  But being able to make my LEGO crawl across the living room table was pretty amazing.

As life progressed, I graduated to the 181 train set: a black motor brick, with a dedicated battery box in the tender, running behind the engine. There was an additional switch below the battery box, which allowed a raised railway signal to stop the train. Somewhere along the road we found some coloured gears, and simple motorised machines became an option. Then came the Technical sets, with their single drive shaft motor, and optional gearing boxes. I have already written about these early Technic experiences this year.

However, before I could around to exploring monorails, 12V or 9V trains,  I entered my dark ages.  I emerged just as the Power Functions elements were being introduced, along with NXT.  I probably found the Power Functions a little easier to use than NXT, or subsequently EV3, primarily because the construction techniques for Technic – with the square profile beams – perplexed me.  To be honest, they still do.  Turning a  single wheel by myself is something I can deal with.  Having a motor do it for me is extremely appealing.

So, when I heard about LEGO Boost, I became quite excited.  LEGO Boost is a brick based (rather than Technic) robotics system with 3 independent motor channels, as well as a light and distance sensor brick, and an inbuilt tilt sensor, designed to be programmed by a 7 year old with some form of tablet device. Perhaps this would be something I could use in the not too distant future to motorise my models, or introduce a level of interactivity into them. Continue reading