What an Idea? Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of ‘Friends’ at Central Perk.

So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job’s a joke, you’re broke
Your love life’s D.O.A
It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month
Or even your year…

The Rembrandts “I’ll Be there for You”

This year, we celebrate 25 years since the debut of Friends. Of course, this is the nineties sitcom Friends, and not the line of girl focussed LEGO sets ‘Friends’ which first appeared back in 2011.

Another set in the Ideas line, this submission by Aymeric Fievet depicts the coffee shop Central Perk, one of the popular recurring locations from the series.

Bringing us mini figure depictions of the core characters, as well Gunther, the long suffering manager of the cafe, this set will be released on September 1 2019. It contains 1070 parts, and will be on sale for $AUD89.99 – $NZD109.99 – US $59.99 – CA $89.99 – DE €69.99 – UK £64.99 – FR €59.99 – DK 649DKK.

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In search of Bill and Mary II:

Evidence for character development within and between LEGO Themes.

In which I go in search of changes that occur to characters within LEGO themes, and in search of characters moving between themes – as we continue to look out for evidence that the central characters in the 6000 Ideas Book: Bill and Mary to some, Indigo and Polkadot to others, can be seen to continue their life in LEGO City today.

The LEGO Ideas Book 6000 was released in time for Christmas, 1979. As such, I am celebrating its 40th birthday throughout the year. I have been particularly curious to see whether the main characters of this delightful childhood memory could possibly exist in LEGO City today. I would expect to find them much older than they were 40 years ago, to say nothing of a possible variation in how they dressed. However, LEGO City is not quite the same as LEGO Town. SO: I have been looking for evidence of specific characters appearing over multiple years within a theme, or potentially changing themes. If a character has been around for years, I have been looking for evidence of development – physical, or chronological. Do they look older? Have they changed in any way – sporting evidence of long term injury and so forth.

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LEGO Ideas Tree House 21318 Review: A Tale of Castaways

In which we briefly consider the joys of treehouses, and then find ourselves stranded on a desert island, with only the native flora and fauna, and the parts we salvage from our shipwreck to make shelter. Somewhere along the way I review the LEGO Ideas Tree House 21318

Almost a year ago now, we first heard that the Ideas Submission by of a Tree House was approved I started to reflect on why treehouses have such appeal. As a youngster, I always like to keep my feet firmly on the ground. However, as we entered our teenage years, by brother, and a friend of ours took to a large pine tree in my parent’s back yard with a ladder and a couple of beams of wood. After some careful bolting on, additional planks were added, and after a few weeks, they had constructed a platform to escape from the world and hang out, free from the demands of secondary school, even if only for an hour or two.

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Magnificent in Monochrome: LEGO® Ideas 21317 Steamboat Willie Announced

It seems like it was not even a month ago that we heard about Maté Szabo’s submission to LEGO® Ideas being selected to be made into an official LEGO Set. And now it is due to be released on the First of April.

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An Idea Right Out of History [The Flintstones 21316 Official Announcement]

In which I ponder the nature of the television sitcom and its broader narrative development, new spinoffs resulting in decades of related programming, changes between fan designer and production art and finally consider whether or not this one’s for me.  By the way, 21316 the Flintstones will be available for VIPs 20th February, and probably having its ‘regular’ release on March 1st 2019.

Memories of after school television in the 70’s

One of my fondest childhood memories is coming home from school, and sitting down in front of the (Black and White) television for a couple of hours. It was the 1977 in Australia, and the typical afternoon television lineup consisted of a collection of 1960’s programs, both live action and animated: Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Get Smart, Scooby Doo and The Flintstones.

With their canned laughter and awkward situations, often caused by miscommunication or zany get rich quick schemes, virtuallyany character development that occurred was reset at the end of the episode. Apart from a different actor playing Darren in Bewitched, as if nothing ever happened, most of these stories followed a simple plot line, with new scenery and characters telling a similar story the next week.

The Flintstones was unique amongst these programs, as it was probably the first show that would be considered to an animated sitcom: certainly a novel concept in 1960, when it was first broadcast. Fred and Barney – with their challenges at work, misunderstandings with their wives, the ritual Bowling tournaments, to say nothing of the Order of the Water Buffaloes.

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Once Upon an Idea [Announcement 21315]

21315_Front_01Once Upon a Time, there were two LEGO® Fans who had an Idea.  

Grant had the Idea first, to make a pop-up book out of LEGO bricks.  Then he reached out to Jason, who had an Idea before.  They told their friends about the Idea, and those friends told their friends. Eventually, a Lot of People said that the Idea was good.

This meant that the Idea was taken to be read and reviewed by the wise people, who had to work out if the it could be made Real.  After much thought, it was announced to be so. The designers went to work: taking the Idea, and striving to produce a set that more than ten thousand people would want. Continue reading

Getting the full picture: Upgrading the light box

In which I supersede my soft light box with a quick trip to the local hardware shop, for less than the cost of medium size LEGO set…This gives me a place to take pictures of Voltron, who has learned some new moves.

Over the last couple of years, I have used a number of techniques to light and photograph LEGO Models and minifiugres here at the Rambling Brick.

I started out using a relatively minimalistic set up, using a phone, a foldable light with baking paper as a diffuser, and a piece of white paper.

Before too long, I started using a small, reliable ‘Soft box’ – with two compact fluorescent tubes, some diffusing fabric and folding up into a convenient carry case. This has been my mainstay of LEGO® photography over the last few years. It is pretty good for most smaller, which have a footprint of less than a square foot.

A Sizeable Challenge

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Short of breaking Voltron down and stacking the individual lions, I was never going to make this set fit in this box, all at once.

Voltron 31211: this set challenged my sensibilities with regard to what I could fit in the light box. In real life, I don’t have the space for a dedicated studio, with large lights. A bit of bench space in my build room is all I have. (you can read my review here)

But it was time to revisit my photographic setup, ideally while maintaining enough budget to pick up one of the new Powered Up trains. Perhaps I will need to look at the passenger train rather than the freight train now. I took my inspiration from my friend @frostbricks, who recently shared images of his kitchen table photo studio on Instagram.

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