New Botanical Collection: Orchid and Succulents revealed in time for Mothers’ Day!

The new botanical Collection debuted in January 2021, and exceeded expectations for introducing a new range of LEGO sets, designed for display around the home. Bringing us 3 sets – The Floral Bouquet, Bonsai Tree and Bird of Paradise Flower – all suffering from ‘hard to getness’ in their first few months – the LEGO Group has now revealed two more sets for release on May 1, available to preorder from 15 April…just in time for Mothers’ Day in some countries (Australia included).

The new sets include an Orchid, designed by Mike Psiaki, and a selection of different Succulents, brought to us by Anderson Ward Grubb, lead designer on the Floral Bouquet.

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Great Scott: 10300 LEGO® Back To The Future Time Machine Revealed!

“You made a Time Machine? Out of a DeLorean?”

After months, maybe years of speculation, the LEGO Group have revealed a large scale model of the Time Machine from the 1980’s Back to the Future Movies. Based on the Delorean car which underwent significant conversion at the hands of Doc Brown in the Universal Movie ‘Back to the Future, ‘ the set is due for release on April 1, 2022 (honestly). It will be priced at £149.99 / €169.99 / 169.99USD / 269.99 AUD / 219.99 CAD

The model is 35 cm long, 19cm wide and has 1872 elements, including two minifigures, as well as an information plaque similar to those seen with UCS Star Wars sets, as well as the Star Wars Buildable Sculptures.

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From Dino Island to Dominion: LEGO® Dinosaurs Across Time

The overnight announcement of the previously unannounced LEGO® Jurassic World Dominion sets left be remembering how I used to want nothing more than a toy Dinosaur. Since then, dinosaurs have become a mainstay of the LEGO range, never taking more than a couple of years off. I take a bit of time surveying the history of LEGO Dinosaur sets, from the mid 90s to the forthcoming Dominion releases.

6-7 year old me would not leave this book behind, ever!

Back in the day, I was dead keen on Dinosaurs. I couldn’t get enough of them. Except, living in a rural town in Australia in the mid-1970s, the best I could hope for was my Ladybird book of Prehistoric Animals and Fossils. Much of the included information is outdated or at least wildly inaccurate except, perhaps, for the fact that the Tyrannosaurus Rex ate meat.

This book strongly recommended trying to get some dinosaur models or toys and building a diorama using chicken wire, papier mache and a few sticks. Of course, these models were not readily available, and it was not until 1976, visiting Melbourne, that we found some plastic model kits. My brother got a brontosaurus(as it was then called) and I picked up an ankylosaurus.

After putting it together and painting it, I glued it to a piece of wood, along with a few pieces of pine bark and a cardboard panel cut from the box, giving some of the animal’s vital statistics. I probably kept it until I was about 30. I can’t find any images of it these days but 7-year-old me was really proud. This obsession with dinosaurs probably lasted until Star Wars was released. But that’s another story.

Fast forward to 1992 and the release of the first Jurassic Park movie, and I remember wondering through Toys R Us, feeling somewhat sad that there were so many dinosaur toys on the shelves. As I was still a struggling student, I avoided diving down that rabbit hole. Now, LEGO® Dinosaurs have a more recent history – with serious sets dating back to around the turn of the century. Join me as we take a look at the Dinosaur sets of the past, before looking at the sets due to be released in April 2022

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Horizon: Forbidden West ‘Tallneck’ Set Announced. Explanation For Non-Gamers Follows…

The latest set announcement from the LEGO Group caught me a little by surprise. What on earth is Horizon Forbidden West, and what does a Tall Neck do? It turns out, I might have been living under some sort of a rock, as the game player in the house looked over my shoulder and muttered something along the lines of “Ok… now you have my attention.”

I managed to work out for myself that Horizon Forbidden West is the sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn, released in 2017, initially on PlayStation, then in 2020 on PC. The scenery and cinematics associated with the game are truly awe-inspiring. But I’m a bit out of the loop with the story, so I invited my son, Harry, to explain why this matters…

(Spoiler warning: if you are likely to play Horizon zero dawn, a game released in 2017, best go and take a look at another site. But if like me, this is unlikely, you have been warned.)

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LEGO® Digital Designer Replaced by LEGO BrickLink Studio as the LEGO Group’s official Digital Building App 

It feels a bit like The LEGO Group is tidying up the house in preparation for its 90th Birthday later this year: Last night we heard about the merging of Bricks and Pieces into Pick a Brick, and this was followed hours with news that LEGO® Digital Designer – a stalwart of many fans of digital building – is going to have support discontinued, to be replaced by ongoing development of LEGO BrickLink Studio, as the group’s officially supported digital building application.

Studio has been on the rise over the last few years, particularly with the rise of interest in LEGO building during the pandemic, its integration with BrickLink and the Bricklink Designers Program. On the other hand, LEGO Digital designer has been getting fewer and fewer updates with new elements over recent years.

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Skybound Xpo Is Almost here. LEGO® Project To Be Revealed

A few months ago, Skybound Publishing announced that they were launching a LEGO® related title in 2022. We are now less than 24 hours out from their annual ’reveal event’, the second Halloween Xpo.

Part of the event, which kicks off at 10am Pacific Time on Friday 29th October is a ’ Top Secret Skybound and LEGO Panel’

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Tune up and turn your amp up to 11 as the LEGO Group reveals the new LEGO® Ideas Fender® Stratocaster® set

The development of the electric guitar certainly resulted in defining the sound of a generation or two in the twentieth century. The Fender Stratocaster first appeared in 1954, and continues to be one of the most recognisable guiltar shapes in the world. Today, the LEGO Group announces a new Ideas set, not sourced through the standard Submission/10000 votes pathway, but rather as an entry in last year’s LEGO Ideas ‘Music to Our Ears’ contest.

The model brings us a small scale version of the iconic Fender Stratocaster, as well as a fender Princetone Amplifier. There are elements to allow you to construct the body of the guitar in either black or red, as well as 6 string elements, and a Fender-LEGO Print fabric element. I love the way that the designers have replicated the silhouette of the instrument, while including details such as the tremolo arm, tuning pegs and pickups. Likewise, the use of grill tiles captures the texture of the cloth on the front of the amplifier. All packed into a model 31cm long, and 11cm wide.

The LEGO Ideas Fender Stratocaster set will be available from the 1st October 2021 from LEGO Stores and www.LEGO.com/Fender. It has 1074 pieces and has a recommended retail price of $99 / £99 / €99 / 159.99 AUD / 139.99 CAD.

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10284: LEGO FC Barcelona Camp Nou: Another Entry In The Top Ten Largest LEGO® Sets.

Football Stadia represent the tribal Colosseums of the modern world. In their simplest form, they represent places where your tribal heroes don colours and fight it out with the opposition, in front of their supporters. Of course, we live in a far from simple world, and before long, the trappings of big business and high finance enter the fray.

In 2020, we have seen the Old Trafford football stadium as well as the Roman Colosseum released in LEGO form. These structures are similar in form and purpose, although the nature of the contests within may vary. Perhaps it is only appropriate that this year, as the LEGO Group release a 5500 piece version of Camp Nou, the home base for FC Barcelona, it has been designed by Rok Zgalin Kobe, who has been responsible for the majority of sets released with the architecture badge in the last few years, as well as the Colosseum.

Certainly this model features a part count in between that of 10272 Old Trafford and the 10276 Colosseum, and more blocks of colour than were offered in the Colosseum set!

The new LEGO FC Barcelona Camp Nou set is fantastically detailed. Features include the stands, pitch, team tunnel, media boxes and even the team’s coach. The score board also references the club’s momentous 5-0 win over rivals Real Madrid in 2010 and two of the stands proudly feature the “Mes que un Club” motto that is known by fans around the world.

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10279 Volkswagen T2 Campervan Coming in August [Announcement]

The Volkswagen Kombi is an icon of 20th century automobile design. The LEGO® Version of the T1 Microbus was on the shelves at LEGO.com from 2011 to December 2020, one of the longest running sets on the market in recent years. Of course, the T1 was not the only van produced by Volkswagen. The T2 was introduced in 1967, and featured a single (non split) windshield. And today, The LEGO Group announce the arrival of this version on the shelves in August 2021.

With striking medium azure body work, as well as a slideing side door, this icon of 60s counterculture also features a popup roof as well as a built in kitchenette and a collection fo stickers designed to turn it into a classic Hippy transport vehicle!

10279:LEGO® VOLKSWAGEN T2 CAMPER VAN has 2202 pieces and measures 15cm high, 14 cm wide and 35 centimeters long. It will be priced at 159.99 EUR / 179.99 USD / 149.99 GBP / 269.99 AUD / 249.99 CAD, and available from August 1 2021.

Here’s the press release:

The LEGO® Group has added yet another cult vehicle to its portfolio of cars, with the reveal of the latest version of the ubiquitous LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van, complete with pop-top roof with tent and ready for summer road trip adventures.

The new LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van is based on its namesake of the late 1960s and 1970s and succeeds the much-loved previous LEGO Creator Expert Volkswagen T1 Camper Van, adding many new features in the process. The new set is larger than before and distinguished by a new paint colour, a sliding door, as well as the trademark T2 wraparound Baywindow front windscreen and a new yet instantly recognisable ‘face.’

Under the hood, the set also features working steering. The LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van’s detailed camping interior is also fully equipped for the open road, with opening cabinets, fridge, sink and a gas stove with a teapot. Days at the beach are suitably catered for, as the set comes with a set of folding chairs and of course a surfboard, while a folding rear bench seat provides a comfortable place to stay under starry skies.

Volkswagen Campers are of course synonymous with customisation, and the LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van set is fully prepared for personalisation, with a sticker set including retro decals and a choice of German or US number plates.

LEGO Designer Sven Franic commented: “The Volkswagen Camper is a rare breed of vehicle that commands affection like few others, and we know the LEGO version will bring a lot of fun to people who’ve been lucky enough to have or go camping in one, or always wanted one.

“Though the Volkswagen Camper is no stranger to our LEGO cars collection, this latest iteration brings even more delights for LEGO builders. The meticulously kitted out interior is sure to charm seasoned campers and adventurers alike, while the eye-catching exterior with pop-up roof is a feat of engineering just like the original.”

The T1 10220 was a long lived part of LEGO Catalog, despite the immediate challenges of trying to achieve the form of the microbus within the confines of the LEGO Brick. With lots of curves, both horizontally and vertically, the form can be difficulat to achieve, and the challenge persists with this new version.

Aspects of the model appear a little too square to me, while others, such as the inward sloping around the middle of the body feels too curved. That said, sometimes, the first appearance doesn’t matter and its the reconition of the idea that results in sets being moved off the shelves by happy shoppers.

The set,10279, goes on sale August 1 2021, and will cost 159.99 EUR / 179.99 USD / 149.99 GBP / 269.99 AUD / 249.99 CAD.

what do you think of this new version of a classic Volkswagen Camper?

why not leave your thoughts below and until next time,

Play Well!

Shanghai’s Chinese International Import Expo Sees New Spring Festival Sets, And More Revealed.

Over the last few years, we have seen the LEGO Group make an increased push into the Chinese market – opening over 200 Certified Stores; introducing sets commemorating the Spring Festival/Chinese NewYear and drawing on traditional stories to fuel the Monkie Kid Theme.

This week, the Chinese International Import Expo has provided an opportunity for companies looking to sell into the Chinese market to showcase their ware for the coming year. In the previous years, we have seen sets relating to the Spring Festival/Chinese New Year announced. This year, we see two new festival sets, and more!

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