Taking off with Artemis: 60351 Rocket Launch Centre

As I write this, we are awaiting the second launch window for Artemis I, after the mission was delayed earlier this week, as the result of cooling problems. This mission will see an integrated test of the Space Launch System rocket as well as the Orion space craft – which will house the crew when they are taken to land on the moon in 2024.

In Greek Mythology, Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo, as such it seems fitting that this is the name chosen for NASA’s missions to return to the moon, 50 years after the last man stepped foot on the surface.

This year, the LEGO City range has featured a number of sets with a ‘Space’ theme, based on the components being investigated for the Artemis mission. We have previously looked at the Lunar research Base, as well as the Lunar Rover. The Rocket launch centre represents the largest set in the theme, with 1010 pieces, and with a RRP of $AUD249.99. This is a big set, and contains everything you need to set up a rocket launch base. Designed in cooperation with NASA, the rocket bears more than a passing resemblance to the Artemis Space Launch System… But I am getting ahead of myself.

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LEGO® City Missions: 60355 Water Police Detective Missions – Review by the Target Demographic

A little while ago, I took a look at one of the new LEGO City Missions sets, while sharing some insights from the development team. While I looked at the Mission to Mars set, it was unashamedly from the point of view of an AFOL who was also a Classic Space Tragic. However, I was not the target audience for the product and here at Rambling Brick Enterprises, we don’t have any of the 6+ target demographic on hand in the house, and are unlikely to for some years. Unless you consider 20 years old to be somewhat 6+. So I sought out Simon, himself a space tragic, as he also has a member of the Target Demographic around the house. What follows is their story…

Meet Simon and The Target Demographic

The Rambling Brick was kind enough to drop off a copy of the LEGO® City Water Police Detective Mission set for us to review as a family. The logic being we have a household member who is in the target demographic of these sets: a seven year old boy. The Rambling Brick wanted to know what we, and specifically the Target Demographic, made of the set and the app enabled story telling. 

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New Story-Based LEGO® City Mission Sets Revealed

Today, The LEGO Group have announced a new type of LEGO City Set: LEGO City Missions. Following the basic themes of Water Police; Mission to Mars and Wildlife Rescue, the online building instructions, in the form of an online storybook, provides challenges for the builder – encouraging problem solving, and expanding the play available. This takes me back to the days when the Fabuland set Instructions used to be primarily a story book, to take the child on their journey.

For AFOLs, we might also regard these sets as providing awesome parts packs for related themes, including Space. To say nothing of a selection of new animal moulds – including a city scale hare, are well as a baby crocodile (seeing this element move from Marvel minifigures, through to the City range.) Perhaps we should say nothing about the vibrant coral frog.

Read on for more pictures, as well as the press release:

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Taking a Test Drive with the 60348 Lunar Rover [Hands On Review]

The new LEGO City Space sets are drawing heavily on the LEGO Group’s Classic Space Heritage, as well as design mockups for the Artemis Program – the NASA’s planned return to the moon in 2024. As I discussed in my review of 60350 Lunar Research Base, the theme is drawing design cues from Space sets of the 80’s, along with a reimagined Classic Space Logo.

Today, I’m taking a look at the 60348 Lunar Rover – AUD49.99 – which I picked up at a local toy retailer. It is now available through LEGO.com and other retailers. The model is inspired in part by the Habitable Mobility Platform (HMP) proposed for NASA’s Artemis program and it also draws on the traditions of Classic Space rovers from the 1980s. It is the least expensive of the City Space sets currently available.

The HMP is a pressurised rover, with the ability to travel some distance from the proposed Lunar Base Camp, without forcing the crew to spend all their time in bulky EVA suits. Essentially an RV for the astronauts. As such, it should be possible to drive the vehicle in shirt sleeve comfort.

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Whatever Happened To Classic Town IV: Welcome to LEGO City

When Minifigures arrived on the scene in 1978, we were presented with three settings: Castle, Town and Space – The Past, The Present and The Future. Through the 1980s, these themes developed in their own ways, fairly independent of each other. During the 1990s, we saw the themes diversify in different ways: Space brought us a new hyperfluorescent faction each year; Castle changed a little less frequently, but introduced an increasing amount of magic. In the meantime, Town diversified: no longer the sole home of contemporary lifestyles, we saw different themes split off, containing subject material based on the contemporary real world: Divers, Paradisa, Outback, Race, Space Port, ResQ, Team Extreme, and Sports. The ‘core material’ – which we first saw back in 1978 – police, fire and construction – became increasingly juniorized. Having been further dumbed down for younger builders with the introduction of Jack Stone, and other 4Juniors sets, we saw a return to more mature material with LEGO World City.

However, both the 4Juniors and World City themes featured alleged models of modern vehicles that bore minimal resemblance to the real-world equivalent. After the LEGO Group’s financial crisis, a number of themes were discontinued, and the company set out to return to its core business. A revitalised town theme was introduced – but things were on their way to being a bit bigger; expectations were greater: Town just wasn’t going to cut it anymore: we were presented with LEGO City.

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LEGO® Stuntz Demolition Bike: Much More Fun Than I Expected.

Stuntz, the latest subtheme of LEGO® City was officially released on 1st of October. This theme brings flywheel powered motorbikes to a world of monster trucks and jumps. At this point, we have limited availability on shop shelves. However, I was able to pick up 60927 Demolition Stunt Bike. This set has only 12 pieces, including a minifigure and a motorcycle only. Let’s take a quick look at this set, and see what it has to offer.

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The Word on the Streets…[Vale LEGO City Road Baseplates]

Over the last few weeks, we have started to see images of next year’s sets, and there are some changes afoot for LEGO City. The images, revealed by a Dutch retailer, and republished throughout the LEGO Fan Media, show a new design of LEGO Road based on a new modular plate system, rather than the traditional baseplate. I’ll look at the new system later, including a best guess simulation, as well as a new use for your old plates. But first, let’s remind ourselves of what we have known over the last 40 years or so.

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60271 LEGO® City Main Square: Time For Adventures

When I first saw the images of the new 60271 LEGO® City Main Square, I was pretty nonplussed. My first response to a casual view was along the lines of “… another quad bike police chase, another helicopter, a new tram, a recycled limousine, some landscape and a couple of buildings. And they are asking $AUD275/$USD199.99 for this?” Please understand, I actually thought in terms of the currency conversion

” Meh.”

“And the characters have names now. What?? In the past decade, LEGO City has been the last stronghold of the anonymous minifigure!” Some of the characters might reappear, but I’ve never had anyone tell me what to call them before.

But after closer examination, there are aspects of this set which are worthy of further attention: drawing on some of the characters and situations seen in the animated series LEGO City Adventures, this is one of the largest LEGO City sets ever produced.

It is being marketed heavily as a set for the family to Build Together. As such, it is aimed a a variety of ages, not just something to leave your adventurous 8 year old to work on by themselves. As such, while some builds may feel overly simple (Aimed at a 6 year old), some represent building styles not seen in LEGO City for many years.

Come with me on a tour through the Main Square of LEGO City. You might not enjoy all that you see, but you might discover some things that leave you pleasantly surprised.

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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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Binge Building the LEGO City Advent Calendar 2019- Part 1

This year, I have felt as though I have been busier than ever. Sometimes when life gets busy, it becomes harder to find a little time to sit down and dedicate regular time to a project.

Just As I am now more likely to binge watch a television program via a streaming service, rather than a weekly viewing commitment, I have decided to take this approach with the LEGO City Advent Calendar this year.

Looking at the box, however, it seems to give us a great idea of what to expect as we open the windows: minifigures, vehicles and other snow based activities. In previous advent calendars, we sometimes see sequential builds develop into a larger structure, or to tell a story – for example, presents under the tree, while the family gather around the fire. Perhaps there are some hints to this as we look at the front cover of the box.

As I proceed with my binge building, I am curious to see whether the daily builds contribute to the build from the previous day, in one long narrative, or if we will see stories with parallel threads, waiting to be drawn together at the last minute? Let us start, by taking a look through door number one.

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