The Search For Bill and Mary I

Long Term Character Development in LEGO Town and City.

In which we begin our ongoing search for Bill and Mary, by looking through LEGO Town and LEGO City for evidence of long form story telling, beyond the confines of a single set. If we can find it, then we are one step closer to demonstrating whether or not the protagonists of the 6000 Ideas Book could still exist in LEGO City today…

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Celebrating 20 Years of LEGO® Star Wars: Advertising Archive

In which it becomes apparent that the LEGO group are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of LEGO Star Wars. With some of their Archive material, as well as some of my own, from a simlar era, we look at the Early Days of the Star Wars print ads.

LET ME TELL YOU A STORY. Forty two years ago – a Long, Long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away… Star Wars was released on an unsuspecting world. Fan based consumerism would never be the same again.

A LEGO X-wing fighter, circa 1982. It contains a Kenner Luke Skywalker Action Figure, as well as a brick built R2-D2

Star Wars consumed 9 year old me. I read the novel, again, and finally saw the film at the cinema for my ninth birthday. The Belgrave Cameo Cinea, in March 1978 for those playing at home. Drawings, LEGO models and action figures. I couldn’t get enough. I had a ‘making of’ magazine – covering movie history, the special effects, and some of the concept artwork by Ralph McQuarrie, and more still by the Brothers Hildebrandt. Eventually my brother and I managed to combine LEGO with our actions figures. Fast forward to the future…

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The AFOL’s Guide to Overwatch #6: Watchpoint Gibraltar 75975

In which I reach the end of my survey of the (first wave of?) LEGO® Overwatch sets, find a gigantic gorilla in an armoured space suit, build a shuttle and gantry, discover an interesting property of some dark red elements and return to the ancient history of the LEGO Group as I ask the question “Why does the colour seem a bit off here?” Do you want to know more? Read on.

Let me tell you a story. When I began reviewing the Overwatch sets, I knew nothing of the game, and nothing of the lore. I still know virtually nothing about playing the game, BUT I have come to meet a number of the characters along the way, and appreciate the Lore behind them all. We have seen a number of sets so far: Tracer vs Widowmaker 75070 ; Hanzo vs Genji 75071; Dorado Showdown 75972; Rheinhart and D.va 75973 and most recently Bastion 75974. There is one set left to review: 75975: Watchpoint Gibraltar. This is the largest of the Overwatch sets, featuring a large shuttle launch vehicle, a rocket gantry/launch pad three minifigures and an oversized Gorilla wearing reading glasses.

I asked Harry, the game playing teenager in our house to explain why all these things would want to be put together in a single set, and why we should care?

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Feeling Forty and Fabulous in Fabuland [Review 341/132 Catherine Cat’s House and Morty Mouse]

Let me tell you a story.

This year, amongst other things, we celebrate forty years since the release of the first wave of Fabuland sets. Directed towards children making the transition from DUPLO® to regular system bricks, Fabuland represented the company’s first foray into story telling, and multimedia marketing.

Fabuland started simply in the form of sets: a town, with anthropomorphic animal headed figures, living their lives together. We had the essential services represented: police, fire and hospital, and ice cream. In time it expanded to include school, cafe, local government, transportation and paparazzi.

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Duplo 50: Taking the Lead with Characters.

This year, we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of LEGO DUPLO. Basic brick sets first appeared in 1969, but figures were not introduced until 1977. They provided a way to introduce role play into the way that children interacted with DUPLO bricks. These first figures appeared ahead of minifigures, and there were then several ways in which DUPLO figures have led the way with regard to character design compared with minifigures. In this article, I will cover the changes in shape of the basic shape of figures seen in DUPLO sets since they were first introduced. I will not cover the introduction of each colour or hair/helmet mold, but I will cover the important changes that occurred in body design, as well as touch on some of the licensed figures that have appeared over the years…but only some!

1977

While DUPLO debuted in 1969, the first Duplo figures did not appear until 1977, a year ahead of minifigures. These figures were simple, finger puppet style figures, which would fit comfortably over 2×2 DUPLO Studs. With no moving ares or legs, they were similar in some respects to the ‘stage extra’ figures in use in the regular system sets at the time.

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Anniversary Alert: 50 Years of LEGO® DUPLO® Bricks

We love a good anniversary celebration here at the Rambling Brick, and recently, we have had plenty! Last year we saw 60 years of the Brick, 40 years of the Minifigure, 30 years of the Helicopter Transporter and 20 years of Mindstorms. This year we celebrate 40 years of Fabuland, 30 years of LEGO® Pirates and 20 years of LEGO Star Wars. And one more thing.

Today we celebrate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the first announcement of LEGO DUPLO®. The year of the Moon Landing, Woodstock and the airing of the first episode of Scooby Doo was also the the year that the LEGO Group first released the DUPLO Brick.

Aimed primarily at Toddlers, DUPLO Bricks have been the introduction to the LEGO system of play for millions of families over the last 50 years.

Not the first Big Brick, but possibly the most interesting

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Minifigure 40: LEGOLAND® Space [Advertising Archive]

Celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, LEGO® Space is one of the great evergreen themes of the Minifigure era. One of the terrific aspects of the theme was the way that the overall design would periodically evolve, introducing new colour schemes and minifigure designs.

Ad 1979_64The theme arrived as we saw a resurgence in science fiction and space fantasy entertainment on the screen: led by films such as Star Wars, and on the smaller screen by Doctor Who, Blakes Seven and Battlestar Galactica, our imaginations were primed for journeys beyond the stars. The Space Shuttle Enterprise had been undergoing test flights from the back of a 747 Jet, and a we were excited for a new era of space exploration commencing, with the Space Shuttle Columbia ultimately launching in 1981.

These early series focussed on exploration, mining and the perils of space travel itself. It took 8 years before an enemy faction arrived, providing an outlet for dramatic conflict within the stories that were told.

Join us, as we set about exploring the print advertisements for LEGOLAND Space, and continue through the classic space era. Most of these advertisements are from Europe in a variety of languages.  I have endeavoured to provide translations of these.

In the Beginning

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