The last week has seen the COVID-19 pandemic declared. Public events around the world have been cancelled, including many LEGO® Fan shows. Even the LEGO House has shut its doors for the time being. Europe has just declared the new epicentre of the pandemic, with borders closing, and quarantine being enforced in many countries. The USA has been declared to be in the grip of a national emergency, and the Australian Grand Prix has been cancelled. Our hearts go out to families around the world that have been affected by COVID-19 – those affected directly the illness, and those whose livelihoods are affected by the economic consequences of the pandemic.
In these troubled, uncertain times, we need someone to turn to. We need a symbol of hope, and reassurance that that although we have a struggle ahead of us, we will get through as best we can as a society.
We Need A HERO!
And so I thought I would take this as a prompt for my next Rambling Brick Habitat Competition.
I’m off travelling for a few weeks: After attending the Fan Media Days in Billund, I am heading to a conference via Hamburg and LEGOLAND Germany, before attending the Fan Weekend at Paredes de Coura, in Portugal.
The Fan Media Days are over now, and I will write up more from then soon, but I a feeling a little far from home.
One of the surprising things at LEGOLAND Billund, is that often new release sets hit the shelves a few days early, and it was here that I found some of the new minifigure packs for the second half of the year, which is almost upon us. They don’t take up too much space in my luggage… so I picked a few up.
Today, I’d like to look at set 40343 – Minifigure Pack. Stop now if you don’t want any spoilers from Avengers Endgame.
Avengers: Endgame is upon us. But before seeing it, I thought I should have a look at Captain Marvel, the second last film in this phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I saw the film a month or so ago, and was excited to build the set, featuring several of the main characters and a quadjet [Think of it as the precursor to the quinjets we subsequently see in the Avengers films].
I’m not going to focus on this set in a traditional review, but rather look at the techniques that the designers have used to get LEGO studs pointing in directions other than up. We often refer to this style of building as SNOT (Studs not on top).
Recently, the Rambling Brick held a contest to win The Ant-Man and the Wasp set, Quantum Realm Explorers.
The Brief was to build a MOC that would exploit AntMan’s ability to shrink or grow – so either build a microscale model, where a Minifigure could look like a giant, or one where the minifigure represented a shrunken AntMan. There is a prize of 76109 Quantum Realm Explorers for the winners in each category. Entrants were required to use a minifigure, but it was not necessary to use an actual AntMan Minifigure in entries.
Entries were open for roughly six weeks, and were accepted from around the world. A panel of judges was assembled from my network – a mixture of builders and community supporters. They were asked to nominate their three favourite MOCs in each category. (Three points for 1st; One point for 3rd). The builders of the MOCs were not identified to the judges at the time of judging.
In which I look at 76109 Quantum Realm Explorers and realise that not only does it have some great minifigures, but it also gives a masterclass in greebles! And there isn’t long to enter our Ant-Man Contest.
When the original Ant-Man film was released a few years ago, I missed seeing it at the cinema, and I missed getting hold of the single LEGO® Set related to the movie. And as such, I missed out getting hold of an Ant-Man Minifigure. A favourite figure amongst toy photographers, there are so many images of this figure exploring the world. A month or so ago I went to see Ant-Man and the Wasp. It was an enjoyable film, full of humour, action and special effects. I have finally got around to building the set, Quantum Realm Explorers. You might have seen posts over the last few weeks, providing an opportunity to win this set in a building competition: I will come back to that later.
Quantum Realm Explorers was released in June 2018, and has 200 pieces, including 3 minifigures. It costs $39.99AUD; or $19.99USD, 24.99€ or £19.99. 10c/part in the US, 10p/part in the UK, 12.5 eurocents/part in Germany and 20¢/part in Australia…
Many people may be looking at this set as an opportunity to pickup the minifigures, and each of the figures included in this set are terrific. We have: Ant-Man, Wasp and Ghost.
They are all pretty close to their movie counterparts. They all have detailed torso printing, front and back, to match their characters, as well as double sided faces. Continue reading →
In which I go to the movies, and open up for entries for a new building challenge.
I recently caught up with the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) offering, Ant-Man and The Wasp at the cinema. I really enjoyed the way that this film was far more human and lighthearted than some of the recent MCU offerings. Not the least of the reasons being the setting ( contemporary earth, immediately prior/in parallel with the events of Infinity War) and the fact that the eponymous heroes of this story are normal human beings, with powers given to them through their suits. It was also an easy film to get into if you missed the previous Ant-Man film, and had a only passing knowledge of the MCU.
Quantum Realm Explorers 76109
Unfortunately, I have missed the last few sets featuring Ant-Man (Ant-Man Final Battle 76039 and Super Hero Airport Battle 76051, featuring both the Micro scale and Gi-Ant Man Figures.) and am unlikely to get my hands on the SDCC 2018 Exclusive 75997 Ant Man and the Wasp. Fortunately, where there is a new MCU film, a LEGO set is sure to follow, and this one is no exception. Quantum Realm Explorers 76109 features figures for Ant-Man, The Wasp and Ghost. The vehicle build looks fun, and I am looking forward to being able to build it at some stage in the next few weeks. (There has been something BIG providing a sizeable distraction, but you will hear about that soon enough.)
Time for a challenge:
In the mean time, one of the things that I enjoyed about the film was the way that our heroes were able to change their size, from normal size, to microscopic and indeed to be just a little bigger than you might consider to be healthy.
So… here is that challenge: build a model that exploits one of the varied scales that an Ant-Man minifigure may be confronted with: it might be a giant coffee cup, or a microscale truck or… anything. Just build it to scale with a minifgure representing either a shrunken or enlarged Ant Man.
Builds must be able to fit on a 32 stud square baseplate, but they can be smaller, and some overhang is allowed. Both Physical and digital entries are allowed, but you should include a minifigure to help give a sense of the scale involved. Builds do NOT need to depict a scene from Ant-Man and the Wasp. You may use any minifigure: we don’t expect you to already own an Ant-Man minifigure.
submit a single photo to email@example.com, post it by direct message on our Facebook page ( don’t forget to like and follow it while you are there) or use the hashtag #ramblingantman on flickr or instagram.
There will be two prizes of a copy of 76109 up for grabs, courtesy of the LEGO AFOL Engagement Team. One for a minifigure portraying a giant character, and one for a minifigure portraying a tiny figure.
Entries will be judged according to:
Adherence to the theme
Technical quality of the build.
Judging will be by previous winners of contests and raffles here at the Rambling Brick. They know who they are. Entries will close on 15th August(Extended to) 31st August 2018 at midnight, Australian Eastern Standard Time. The standard rules and conditions apply. There are two prizes on offer. If you enter both arms of the competition, and win one of them, you will be ineligible for a second prize in this contest.
Do you have any questions? Why not ask below. In the meantime, look out for our review of this set in a few weeks.
In which I see Avengers: Infinity War, build a related set and have the dog eat my homework…
Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War has been one of the most anticipated comic book related films of recent years: Drawing together threads established over the past decade, the movie is an exciting, emotional roller coaster. Especially if you have been following the long setup that has been put in play. However, as it has only recently been released, I wish to minimises actual spoilage of major plot points. There will some mild spoilers merely in the form of describing the actual builds. I will not actively give away any plot points, if i can help it.
Avengers: Infinity War – A personal reflection
I saw the film the day that it opened, and I was amazed by the part where ******** and ******** did that ******** to ********. I wasn’t expecting ******** to ******** ********. And I loved the way that ******** kept addressing ******** as ********! The final ******** where ******** ******** came as a ********. Make sure you catch the after credit scene where ******** manages to ******** ********* before ********. Of course there was the inevitable cameo by **** ***, just not where I expected it to be.
With such a stellar range of characters, and so much action, there are not many opportunities for them to develop within the context of this film. As such, this might not be the best film for newcomer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, if you have had some prior investment in the characters and their stories, it pays off big time.
I came home from the film feeling inspired and in a mood to build a related LEGO® set. So I broke open 76102: Thor’s Weapon Quest. This is the second smallest of the sets related to Avengers Infinity War, and yet it is full of character, colour and interesting build techniques. With 288 pieces, and three mini figures, this set works well in the context of the film.
Hulkbuster Armour: is it UCS? is it a good reason for last year’s changes in the LEGO Ideas guidelines and house rules? Is it going to occupy valuable display space after March 3? Hopefully these questions will be answered, or at least addressed, in this post.
At the New York Toy Show today, LEGO Unveiled the 76105 The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition. Based on the Mark 44 Iron Man Armour, this armour was designed as a contingency, to be deployed from an orbital platform, codenamed Veronica, in the event of a confrontation with the Hulk. While the relative success in developing such a strategy, along with the ensuing destruction witnessed at the ‘Battle of Johannesburg’ may be argued either way, there is no doubt that the resultant suit looks pretty cool!
With 1363 pieces, and measuring over 25 centimetres tall, and a descriptive plaque, this is a set that fans have been waiting years for. Celebrating the 10 years of Marvel Studios cinema releases, this set will be available from 3rd March 2018, through shop.lego.com or your local LEGO Brand retail store. It will be priced at AU $199.99 – US $119.99 – CA $149.99 – DE 129.99€ – UK £119.99 – DK 1199DKKThere will be no early availability for VIPs.
Ten years of Marvel Studios
On April 14, it will be ten years since the first Iron Man movie was released, heralding the beginning of the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was the first film to be released under the Marvel Studios label, but it was not for another four years that we saw an official LEGO version. The first Iron Man minifigure was a Toy Fair 2012 exclusive, with figures becoming available for the rest of us as part of the sets released in conjunction with The Avengers movie. To date, there have been at least 15 variations on Iron Man mini figures released. And there is a new one included in this set, to say nothing of the forthcoming Avengers: Infinity War sets. Iron Man has also been released as a constructible figure (4529), a micro figure (in the Helicarrier 70642), two BrickHeadz (41492 – San Diego Comic Con Exclusive; and 41590 – general release) and as a brick built version of the Hulkbuster Armour in The Hulk Buster Smash (76031). It is this final version which is expanded and elaborated on today.