LET ME tell you a story. Years ago, before LEGO® Life, before the internet, and before instructions required us to place only 2-4 elements per step, it was common to find inspirational ideas for further constructions on the back of the box that you bought your LEGO sets in. No Instructions. No parts list. Just a single picture. Sometime several. Town, Castle, Space: all themes from ‘back in the day’ featured these alternate builds. And they provided inspiration to further develop our play ideas.Continue reading
Building Better Thinking with Rainbow Unicorns – 10401
Don’t want to spend the minimum purchase required, just to get the 60th anniversary tile in ‘40290 60 Years of the LEGO® Brick‘ Set? Did you miss the opportunity to get it as a gift with purchase from the LEGO store? (Note: it may well still be available today… but I can’t speak for tomorrow. In Australia it is still available at time of posting). Well, we might well have found the perfect set for filling this gap, at a reasonable price, with a great mixture of elements to boot!
Building Better Thinking
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
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
Classic: Opening the door to a Friendly City. [Review 10703]
Last week we looked at the 2×4 brick, and talked about the fact that it’s a bit harder to come by in new sets than it was back in the ‘olden days’. I was a little surprised to discover it had made its natural home in the world of Minecraft, rather than in the Classic theme.
Classic become the primary non specific ‘creative play’ LEGO® theme in 2014, following on from Bricks and More, Make and Create and in turn, early Creator sets. One of the things that has distinguished Classic from the earlier themes is the variety of colours in the overall LEGO® palette. Over 30 colours may appear in some of these sets (the creative building boxes have around 500-600 pieces each, and recently have featured latest 35 colours over the last few years.
Many Doors and Windows
I recently picked up a copy of the 2017 Creative Building Box 10703, with the box proclaiming ‘many doors and windows…’ Indeed, at least 29 windows, and 5 doors.(This is the volume otherwise occupied by 156 and 120 1×1 bricks respectively.) Last year’s set was a little light on for these features, so I thought an opportunity to increase my supply might be a good thing. I thought this might allow me to rapidly deploy some buildings into my Town landscape.
With 503 pieces, 37 different colours and a RRP of £19.99, €24.00, $AUD39.99 and yet to hit the US market at this stage – but 10702 from 2016 cost $USD29.99; this is certainly a colourful box, with all of the suggested models being buildings. This is a set devoid of wheels or eye-tiles, both of which we had a variety of in last year’s equivalent set. The majority of parts in this set are basic bricks, plates , sloped bricks and windows. There are also a variety of doors – including two angled doors; angled bricks, greebly parts, tiles, fences and arches. Continue reading
Retro Reconstruction – 852 Helicopter 1978
So, last week I wrote about my memories of my introduction to LEGO Technic, which was way back in 1978. Over the recent Easter weekend, I had the chance to visit my childhood LEGO collection. I found some Technical set instructions in the mix: 8860-Car Chassis, and 856Bulldozer. But not for my original helicopter. Then I found the sheet you see here: preserved after 40 years. Not the instructions for the Helicopter, but for the B-Model airplane. I turned them over, and on the flip side were blueprints for the helicopter, at a 1:1 scale.
Now, we ended up owning a fairly broad collection of LEGO for the 70’s-80’s: lots of regular bricks, ancient wheels and parts from 3 significant technical sets (as well as some supplementary sets). I thought to myself: there is a high probability of locating enough parts to put the helicopter together. Perhaps not colour perfect, but structurally so.
And so I set to work…
Red vs Blue: Classic Creative Colour Boxes go Head to Head
The Rambling Brick, and many of our friends are in Australia. In order to distract ourselves from the rest of the world seeing the LEGO® Batman™ Movie this week, while we wait until the cinematic release at the end of March, I present this little diversion… #SameBatTimeAusNZ
When the LEGO® Classic sets were launched in 2015, they promised an invigorated era of sets where bricks, plates and miscellaneous bits were what counted. It felt like a return to the Basic Building Sets of the 70’s, although the evolved part and colour palettes see us now having access to a veritable cornucopia of colours, shapes and opportunities. Not so many options, however, that we don’t need to come up with creative solutions. All of the Classic sets come with an ‘inspiration book’ – typically including a selection of models that can be constructed simultaneously. The boxes are typically illustrated with a rainbow like arrangement of the pieces, according to colour.
So imagine my surprise as I entered a local retail space and saw boxes crowded together, labelled LEGO® Classic, but having a limited spectrum of colours featured in the box art. Now, it didn’t take me long to work out what was going on: I was aware that there were Green, Yellow, Red and Blue Creative Boxes coming out this year, but I had missed their arrival on shop.lego.com and hadn’t bumped into any reviews of them. (Read on after the break… for more )
Moving Along with the Christmas Build Up
During the holidays, people like to move around to catch up with their friends and family. They may use boats (day 1); airplanes (day 7); Trains (day 16) or some form of road based vehicular transport, which is how I interpret today’s build.
Using round 1×1 plats as wheels, a transparent cheese slope and plate for the windows, you know you are really moving with this one!
Gaining Character While Building Up
Day Eighteen has a nineteen piece build which goes where none of the builds in this set have gone before.
I see a child, with a beanie on, blonde pigtails in a skirt, with what appear to be impractical shoes for snow play. A great brick built figure, this is elegant in its simplicity!
This is a whole new style of build for the set, and I wonder if we will see a few more before Christmas arrives.
The Build-up Catch-up continues…
Day 5: Snow Business
This terrific little snowplough may or may not have a new piece in it. According to brickset’s database, the bright yellow panel 1x2x1 with rounded corners, element ID 6146219,only appears in this set. However, bricklink lists the piece as 4865b and it seems to appear in 37 other sets in yellow.
Closer investigation reveals that these may in fact be element 486524 – essentially the same panel, in bright yellow (TLG) but with square corners. These may be the closest thing to the sole source of this element at present. That or some online databases have become a little mixed up…
Snow ploughing and Christmas are a little incongruous in Australia. In Melbourne we are the grips of summer at Christmas time, but even in winter it virtually never snows here ( it did once, but that was over 30 years ago), and certainly not enough to justify a vehicle to clear it. But it’s not all about me!
Day 6: Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!
Measuring 2x4x6 1/3, this little build is the epitome of Christmas Eve. The fire, mantelpiece and chimney, with plants and a hanging stocking, waiting for Santa. This is a near perfect build, with just 27 pieces.
Coming in 2017: The Future…
Over the last couple of weeks, official photos of many of 2017’s sets have come to light: Creator, Lego® Technic (celebrating 40 Years), Elves, DC Superhero Girls, City, Disney, Marvel Super Heroes, Nexo Knights, Architecture, Star Wars, and LEGO Batman movie. I have lost count of the number of reveals that have occurred.
If you don’t like spoilers, look away now.
There has been a steady reduction in the number of unknown unknowns, with an increase in the known knowns, and clarification as to the nature of the known unknowns.
Some of the my highlights in the reveals seen to date:
LEGO® City has 40% female minifigures in the sets revealed so far. [Great for girls and their families who are not fans of minidolls]
The LEGO® Creator Expert 10255 Modular Assembly Square has so many great new pieces.
LEGO® Friends is no longer restricted to the bright pastel palette, and some more traditional colours are coming into play in 41311 Heartlake Pizzeria. There are 3 male minidolls, and 6 puppies to add to the collection in the sets revealed so far for 2017.
LEGO® DC Super Hero Girls will add a some additional heroism, and villianism(?) to our minidoll collections.
This year’s Creator Ocean Explorer 31045 has grown up into next year’s Technic Ocean Explorer 42064
The Creator Mighty Dinosaurs 31058 looks like a terrific landscape parts pack:
Elves continues with Goblins, and Emily’s little sister Sophie. More great fantasy landscapes and transportation
LEGO® Ninjago sets seem to be a little darker this year… mainly in palette
The LEGO® BATMAN Movie will bankrupt many of us with great looking sets and TWENTY, yes I said 20 Collectable Minifigures to collect…
These are the things that have made ME look up and take notice. Many new sets have been previewed on other LEGO® News Websites lately. What has grabbed your attention?
And what other treats may there be to celebrate to 10th anniversary of ‘the really cool sets catering for AFOLs’ such as the first modular building sets, 10181 Eiffel Tower, 10182 Hobby Trains and of course 10179 Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon. I’m sure there is much left for us to see.
What are you looking forward to?
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