Light up your LEGO #1

There is no doubt that adding lighting to a LEGO model will enhance it’s appearance – it adds a degree of life to it, enhancing lines, lightening shadows and highlighting features which may otherwise be a little obscure.  LEGO have offered lighting for at least 50 years, originally in the form of a light brick, with the options of a filter, and more recently with power functions, providing a pair of LED lights.  We now also see self-contained light bricks in recent sets.IMG_0691-2.jpg

While earlier  LEGO® sets used standard filament bulbs,  more recently builders have been able to look to Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) to provide versatile lighting solutions. Recently,  LEGO builders have been incorporating lighting into their builds more often than ever before.

The systems used vary from simple ‘bulb and battery’ solutions, through to custom solutions for individual LEGO Sets.  There are also sophisticated, microprocessor controlled solutions available, providing preprogrammed sequential lighting patterns.  Miniaturisation of  LEDs means that they are now able to be incorporated in LEGO builds, with minimal rebuilding required for wiring.

Today, I would like to present a couple of simple options for cheap and easy lighting solutions, that can enhance your models.  In the future, I will present some examples of other, more sophisticated lighting solutions. Continue reading

31058 Mighty Dinosaurs: Enough Teasers. Here’s My Review

I have referred to the new Creator 3-in-1 Set 31058 Mighty Dinosaurs several times in the last month.  I like it. A Lot.  It has taught me about unfamiliar elements, as well as demonstrates the use of some of the new SNOT elements that have appeared over the last year or so.

img_9671The box art features a yellow border, introduced this year after a few years absence.  The feel is delightfully retro, and extends across the Creator 2017 range.  The from demonstrates the 3 main models: a tyrannosaurus rex, a pteranodon and a triceratops.  The back of the box shows alternate views of these, as well as a picture of a brachiosaurus – with instructions available on line.  The box is secured with security tape, so with a quick flick of my penknife we were in.

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Last Year’s Creator Sets Grow Up

We interrupt the run up to Brick Factor (Melbourne) and The LEGO Batman Movie to present an irrelevant, personal observation…

Two of my favourite, small Creator Sets from 2016, the Ocean Explorer (31045, 213 pieces, $AUD 24.99) and Super Soarer (31042, 100 pieces, $AUD 15.99) have grown up.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say they were revamped, bulked up and given a new lease of life as Technic Sets.

Read on for further details after the jump…
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Nostalgia, Family Holidays and Christmas Presents: VW Beetle (10252)

It’s a New Year! Welcome to 2017.

What I did on my Holidays

I have spent my Christmas Break in the company of my extended family by the beach.   It’s been a bit of fun.  We had a Boxing Day Sail, but no Boxing Day Sales were attended.  I’m sure I missed out on a bargain or two, but it has been enjoyable recharging the batteries of the soul at the end of a busy year.

Our first few days after Christmas were warm and sunny: around 35ºC( 95º F).  This was great for getting out and about, and enjoying the weather.  Early morning sunrise walks with awesome light – just the place to take some minifigures for a photo shoot.  You may have seen some on the Rambling Brick Instagram Feed.


While the first few days after Christmas were great for outside activities, the third was a little different. The day started grey.  There was no sunrise, and a light drizzle.  No good light.  Photo opportunities were seriously curtailed.  The rain got a little heavier and I made an executive decision:  I would build all the LEGO sets that I received for Christmas.

This is not as hard as it seems.  I received only one LEGO® set for Christmas: the Creator Expert Volkswagen Beetle (10252).

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Building up to terror!

Our Christmas buildup continues today with a dragon. Or lizard man. Both are cool.

Great use of SNOT bricks, red cheese and green plates, to say nothing of the cone and mixel eyes, means that this character is just about perfect.

He compares pretty favourably with the lizard mascot figure from the collectable minifigures: 

This build does many things right in many different ways. I give it 5 out of 5 arbitrary praise units.
Play well

Gaining Character While Building Up

Day Eighteen has a nineteen IMG_2876.JPGpiece 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.

Play Well!

 

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]

city

The LEGO® Creator Expert 10255 Modular Assembly Square has so many great new pieces.

new-elements-10255

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.friends

LEGO® DC Super Hero Girls will add a some additional heroism, and villianism(?) to our minidoll collections.

dc-shg

This year’s Creator Ocean Explorer 31045 has grown up into next year’s Technic Ocean Explorer 42064

oceran-explorer-creatoroceran-explorer-technic

The Creator Mighty Dinosaurs 31058 looks like a terrific landscape parts pack:

creator-dinosaur

Elves continues with Goblins, and Emily’s little sister Sophie. More great fantasy landscapes and transportation

elves1elves2

LEGO® Ninjago sets seem to be a little darker this year… mainly in palette

ninjago

The LEGO® BATMAN Movie will bankrupt many of us with great looking sets and TWENTY, yes I said 20 Collectable Minifigures to collect…

batman-movie1batman-cmf

 

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?

 

Play well

 

 

Taking a Trip Down Memory Lane on a Double Decker Bus…(RetroRebuild 40220)

Previously on the Rambling Brick…

After obtaining set 40220 London Bus as part of the shop.LEGO.com promotion in November, the Rambling Brick was duly impressed, and put all of the stickers onto the set.  But there was a bonus sticker sheet in the set that featured Lester, the LEGO Minifigure Mascot for the New Flagship LEGO Store in Leicester Square.  This led to a tenuous link between Tim Brooke Taylor, Monty Python and the store’s opening week giveaways.  Overcome by a wave of nostalgia, he started imagining that he was back in 1976…

NOW read on….

An unhealthy fix of nostalgia.

As I looked at the 40220, and considered it’s design, it reminded me of all of many vehicle sets from the mid-nineteen seventies. The vast majority of LEGO Vehicles were four studs wide: whether a police car, an excavator, a bus or container lorry.

fourstud-wonders
Just some of the vehicles featured in the 1976 LEGO Catalogue.  Ignore the racing car: it is the exception that proves the rule. – Source  Brickset.com
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London: A Happening Place (London bus 40220).

So I recently placed a shop.LEGO.com order, primarily because the small London Bus img_793140220 was being offered as a free gift with purchase over $AU120. And I am glad I did.  It cannot be a coincidence that there has been a rush on nifty London based sets appearing this year.  Any Day Now (well… November 17th) will see the opening of the LEGO Flagship Store at Leicester Square.  This promises to be quite a store, indeed one of the largest in the world.

So in 2016 we have seen the Creator Big Ben (10253); Buckingham Palace  in the Architecture range (21029) and now the iconic Double Decker London Bus (40220) has made an appearance, along with the teasing images of Lester, the minifigure mascot for the new store.

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Why would you ever buy LEGO at full price from the LEGO store?

Double VIP points.

Free Gift with Purchase over $AU120

Free Shipping on purchases of $AU200.

This is what I was hearing from the shop.LEGO.com banner ads as October 2016 got underway. Should these statements affect whether or not I go to the online LEGO store? I sat down to work out a solution to this conundrum, and who knows, it might just influence my behaviour in the future…

[Editors note: the principles of calculating the best value time to purchase from shop.LEGO.com, or your local LEGO store are consistant, however individual thresholds for shipping and the value of special offers vary between markets. You should always make your own decisions regarding your own money.  The LEGO Group is sure to release something else that you wish to buy in the future, so don’t worry if you can’t spend all of your money at once. Now read on…]

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Conscious that I had not place a shop.LEGO.com order for some time, the LEGO Group offered this bonus gift with purchase over $120.  My will crumbled instantly.

The shop.LEGO.com promotion for October, if ordering from Australia, was the London bus set (40220).  Initially revealed around the same time of the ‘Big Ben’ Creator set, it instantly appealed to me.  Decidedly smaller than minifigure scale, it reminded me almost instantly of the sets available in my childhood.  In those days, many ‘LEGOLand’ vehicles were 4 studs wide, whether they were a go-cart, family car, a fire truck, and earthmover or a semi-trailer. This is a set that I was terribly keen to get my hands on.

And it got me thinking: What should encourage me to make a purchase from shop.LEGO.com, when many of my local major retailers regularly offer 20% purchase price? Continue reading