71775 Nya’s Samurai X Mech: Hands-On Review.

After taking a semester off to revisit the core of Ninjago: Mechs, Dragons and Vehicles and Temples, we now find ourselves looking at sets related to the 15th season: Crystalized. I am excited to have been received the sets from this wave to review, as there are some great looking sets in this wave. Ninjago, along with the Monkie Kid, hold special appeal to me as being the spiritual successors to both Classic Castle and Classic Space.

Today, I would like to present 71775 Nya’s Samurai X Mech. This set comes with 8 minifigures, a buildable rock monster as well as a 32 cm tall brightly coloured mech, which boasts some of the greatest posability in a LEGO Set of this scale.

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Ninjagopalooza’22: Ninjago Core EVO [71760,71761,71762,71763 Hands-On Review]

This past weekend, we celebrated the 11th Anniversary of the first episode of Ninjago going to air.

The latest drop of Ninjago sets does not specifically tie-in to a current series of the show, but rather returns to the core material of Ninjago: Mechs, Dragons and Vehicles, aimed at a variety of age groups

Today, I would like to cover several sets in the wave, all of which are aimed at a 6+ audience. They represent most of the collected EVO sets of the wave:

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Taking On A Team Build: 71741 Ninjago City Gardens

Have you ever thought about building a LEGO set as a social activity? Have you given it a try? Join me as I seek the help of a few friends to put together 71741 Ninjago City Gardens.

In Melbourne, we have spent a little bit of time lockdown over the last 18 months (individual definitions of ‘a little’, and ‘lockdown’ may vary). As such, we have spent quite a lot of time unable to catch up with friends In Real Life™. A couple of weeks ago, we regained the privilege to visit friends in their homes. As such, it has been quite exciting.

But first, let’s go back a few years. I have known Andrew, Kris, Dan and Cameron since school. That takes us back to the mid-eighties. We have all headed in different directions in our lives, but have kept in touch. A few of us are married with kids – and as such, around 15 years ago, we started a regular monthly catchup poker game to… reflect on the responsibilities of fatherhood with a jury of our peers. Exceptionally low stakes: no cash, not even jelly beans. After a while, this regular catchup has evolved in a number of directions: late-night geocaching, escape rooms, board games. My professional life seemed to involve a little more weekend work than the others, but I still keep up with the gang when I can. During our lockdowns, we moved over to the virtual catchup – shared online card games and first-person shooters!

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New LEGO® NINJAGO® Comic Previewed at Skybound Xpo: Arriving in April 2022!

No sooner did I go to bed this morning and it was time to get up! At the Skybound Xpo Panel, attended by Tommy Andreasson, Creator and producer of Ninjago, as well as Writer/Artist Tri Vuong and Skybound’s Editor in Chief Sean Mackiewicz, we got our first glimpse of the new title due for release in 5 parts, starting April 2022.

Read on to hear more about what was discussed on the panel:

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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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Ninjagopalooza: Magazine Cover Minifigures

Now, I don’t have the greatest collection of Ninjago sets or minifigures. I just haven’t really focussed on collecting the theme. But I was recently wandering through my local newsagenct, and saw a collection of LEGO themed magazines, mostly imported from the UK, and one in particular caught my eye:

Ninjago Legacy Magazine #7, an alleged special edition. A huge picture of Jai on the cover. But lets be honest, this isnt what caught my eye: it was the attached blister pack of minifigures! It might not be the latest magazine – travel time to our side of the world is often a bit prolonged, but that doesn’t change the personal value of the figures on the cover to me!

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Time To Get ‘Powered Up’: Known Knowns, Known Unknowns. And A Little Speculation…

Feeling overwhelmed after a barrage of press releases and new sets being announced by LEGO in New York this week, I attempt to put together what is known about the new Powered Up platform, previously referred to as Power Functions 2.0

60197_LEGO_City_Personenzug_Packung-2This week, at the Fall Preview for the (Northern) Summer 2018 LEGO® releases, there have been a number of exciting announcements, some of which have been vigorously speculated about for most of the year, plus a couple of surprises!

Given that this year respresents (amongst other things) the twentieth anniversary of the LEGO Mindstorms range, and also represents 10 years since we first saw the arrival of Power Functions, it should come as no surprise that we have seen a number of sets featuring the new “Powered Up” platform – previously referred to as Power Functions 2.0.

“For 20 years, we have been creating new ways for children to combine technology and LEGO building, starting with the introduction of LEGO MINDSTORMS®, a robotics toolkit that pioneered the idea of a ‘smart toy,” said Michael McNally, senior director brand relations for the LEGO Group. “With Powered Up, we’ve established a flexible connected platform to enable innovative new play experiences that merge digital and physical play in natural ways that will delight and inspire the builders of today and tomorrow – while still focusing on the core physical play proposition of our System of Play – the LEGO brick.”

We have also seen some exciting announcements to go with LEGO Boost.

Powered Up: Power Functions 2.0 Known Knowns.

Back in February, we presented information about the new power functions platform. We were aware that we have a new combined Bluetooth receiver and Battery Box, as well as a motor unit suitable for trains. We knew that the new cables featured the same connections as the WeDo 2.0 platform, as well as Boost.We also knew there would be a new remote and that the platform could also be App Powered.

This new platform, and all of the other Motorised LEGO Elements now fall under the broader banner of “Powered up,” and includes CITY Trains, app driven vehicles, Boost and the DUPLO Cargo Train.

Trains

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Looking Forward to the rest of the year at the 2018 Melbourne Toy, Hobby and Licensing Fair

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The Rambling Brick, and Friends at the Melbourne Toy, Hobby and Licensing Fair.

The toy fair season is now starting to wind up for now: We have had Nuremberg. We have had New York. Now we have had Melbourne…

The Melbourne Toy, Hobby and Licensing Fair is a bit of a mouthful. Predominantly a trade show, taking place in Melbourne in early March each year, LEGO Australia have a strong presence. There has traditionally been little ‘big news’ coming out of the show, as visitors have not been able to take photographs at the LEGO® booth, a trend that was reinforced at Nuremberg this year.
 I had the chance to visit the Fair last weekend, and visit the booth displaying our favourite Danish Plastic Brick. Once I got past the big displays outside the booth, I had to put the camera away, and make do with words and memories.
After the recent New York and Nuremberg Toy shows, there is little to be seen in left field, unexpected presentations.  Unlike New York, there are no Direct to Consumer sets on display (for example: Hogwarts Great Hall; Ultron Hulkbuster).  There were also no Brickheadz or 40th Birthday Minifigure sets on display.  There were no sets associated with unreleased movies ( such as Jurassic World; Solo; Incredibles 2) , unless they were already on sale (Avengers: Infinity War went on sale the week before the toy fair).
There were plenty of sets on display that are already on the shop shelves, readily available to purchase in real life shops, or on line. And everything else that I saw already has an entry in Brickset’s 2018 database. However, there were some sets from the second half year on display, of which few details have previously been available, or for which some additional clarity was able to be gained. If you wish to avoid spoilers, look away now.  If you have read everything coming out of Nuremberg and New York, there may not be a lot that sounds new… but certainly a few points of clarification.

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Minifigure Gender distribution: 2017 update

A little over a year ago, I wrote up an analysis of gender distribution in LEGO® Minigures in the post friends era.  In the years since LEGO Friends had been released, there had been some positive trends towards an equal balance, after starting from a pretty low base line (around 11% in 2012) up to 30% in the Volcano Sub-theme of LEGO City in 2016.

As well as supporting the regular themes, 2017 has been a big year for LEGO tying in with cinematic releases, with both inhouse and external IP.  By the end of the year, we will have seen a new Star Wars movie, Wonder Woman and Justice League movies, The LEGO Batman Movie and LEGO Ninjago Movie released.

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The LEGO Ideas set: 21312 Women of NASA.  Real Life STEM role models in LEGO Form.  This set is due to be released this week from LEGO retail stores.

This post was provoked, in part after reading a comment about the relatively low female representation in the Collectable Minifigure sets recently released. I thought it would be interesting to revisit the question of gender distribution in some popular LEGO themes, and see if there were any significant shifts in trends over the last 12 months, when I last reviewed the numbers. The impending release of the Ideas set ‘Women of NASA’ is also of interest, as it certainly demonstrates a desire to see inspirational female role models immortalised in LEGO form.

I would like to look specifically at LEGO City, overall, as well as broken down into its major sub themes; The LEGO Batman Movie; The LEGO Ninjago Movie, and also LEGO Friends. I would also like to look at LEGO Star Wars sets released since the Force Awakens… Continue reading