Creator Expert Vestas Wind Turbine Re-released and Sustainability Update [Announcement/Preview]

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In which we get a glimpse of another set re-released after 10 years and have a quick review of some of the recent steps the LEGO Group are taking towards a sustainable future.4999-1

Ten years ago, LEGO® set 4999 was released. A limited release set produced for Vestas®, a company which produces a significant number of wind turbines around the world,  this set was never made available to the general public.  Measuring over two feet high, it does have significant gravitas as a display piece.

Today, at the New York Climate Week,  the LEGO Group has announced the re-release of this set, as 10268 Vestas Wind Turbine. This time, the set will be available to the general public, from Black Friday (November 23). With 826 elements, the count is a little higher than the 803 listed for the older set in the database maintained by Brickset. In Australia, it will cost $AUD329. A full international price list is listed at the bottom of this post.

The Vestas Wind Turbine also includes a Power Functions Battery box, M motor, with a long extension cable, to get the turbine spinning, as well as lights.

Consisting of the wind turbine sitting on a small hill, with a house, service van and three minifigures, this set maintains many of the characteristics of the original.  Most of the elements in that set were readily available, except for one.  A green ‘Large ugly rock piece.’ While these could easily be substituted for one in grey, the green one has gone back into production for this set. The trees in this set are some of the first ‘Plants from Plants’ available for purchase in LEGO sets.  Earlier in the year, a promotional set was available, as a gift with purchase, in some markets.

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Winter Village Fire Station 10263 [Announcement]

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LEGO have just released the details of the 2018 Creator Expert Winter Village Set.  Steering clear of another reissue of a previous set, this year we see the release of the 10263 Winter Village Fire Station. With 1166 elements, this set will be released globally on October 1st 2018, with VIP availability at LEGO Brand Retail and shop.LEGO.com from September 13th. It will cost $149.99AUD, $100USD, £84.99 GBP and €89.99 in Germany.

As with previous Winter Village sets, this one appears to be set somewhere peaceful, in the mid 20th century, possibly in the middle of a Rankin-Bass animated Christmas Special. We have seen a number of common elements of these sets over the last 9 years:

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Giving the Roller Coaster a Boost

Not satisfied with merely motorising my Roller Coaster 10261, I incorporate the Boost Robotics System, and then add some additional functionality. It’s all fun and games until the batteries stop running at full power…

IMG_0255There is no doubt that the new Roller Coaster 10261 is a magnificent model, worthy of a set piece in any LEGO Layout.  But driving it manually is a little tedious,to say nothing of the roughness of the ride. How can we make it so that we may have the coaster running, and share a drink with friends at the same time, while they marvel at this wonderful set?

Simple motoring using an ‘M’ motor.

Adding a Power Functions medium motor is simple: so simple in fact that you can work out how to do it in the pre release video: plug a motor over the drive shaft, and let it go.

And it goes on… and on… and on until you turn it off.  There is no break in the activity, the constant rumble of the motor.  Don’t get me wrong, this is pretty awesome, and with two trains of coaster carriages running, it can be pretty hypnotic. There is no reason that this should be any harder with the equivalent Powered Up/ PF2.0 motor, when we see it released in the future.

But I wonder if more can be done.

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In fact, adding simple automation to the set using the Boost Move hub, sensor and servo motor is pretty simple, and is described on the final page of the instructions. This is what it looks and sounds like.

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So You Want to Build a Roller Coaster? Roller Coaster 10261 (Review)

In which I assemble the new 10261 LEGO Roller Coaster, build a couple of white pillars, troubleshoot a skipping chain and consider what I’ve learned. It’s a big set. I wrote a lot.  Why don’t you prepare yourself a drink, sit back and work out whether this is a set that you would like to put together.

IMG_0307-2The appeal of a roller coaster is hard to deny: action, excitement, lights noise, adrenaline, nausea, terror and relief, in various orders. When we first saw the new LEGO® Roller Coaster Track appearing in the Joker Mansion last year, it wasn’t long before people began to speculate about how long it might be before we saw one appear in the Creator Expert Theme Park series.  About eight months it turns out. I’m glad we got that cleared up. When the Roller Coaster (10261) was announced early in May, many people, myself included, were impressed by the build: a moving model almost always has more appeal than a static display. But it raised a number of questions: How easy would it be to power? How stable would it be? How easy might it be to draw inspiration for other Roller Coaster themed MOCs? And just how challenging would it be to build all those white pillars?

Some of of these questions were easily answered. Others might take a little more thought.  [Do you just want to skip forward to my a video of the run? Click here, or scroll through to the end]

I was invited to review the Roller Coaster by the AFOL Engagement team at The LEGO Group, and I hope I might be able to answer a few of the questions posed. Read on and see where this review takes us.

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