Builders’ Journeys: Lisa Hits The Road With 6590 Car And Caravan.

Welcome Back to Builders’ Journeys, where we listen to stories from other AFOLs about a set that inspired them at some time in their life.

Before we start, today, I would like to thank everyone who submitted an entry in our prize draw for the Jumper Plate Minifigures. I really appreciate the stories that people shared, and we will have some great stories to share over the next few months. The winner was drawn randomly from a bowlful of entry numbers, and I would like to congratulate Lisa D from Ireland on winning the prize draw. The minifigures are on their way, and hopefully, the reduced international travel between Australia and the rest of the world does not slow down the delivery too much.

Today Lisa is going to take us back to 1988 when she first opened up 6590 Car and Caravan.

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Just Go With The Floe: 40498 Christmas Penguin [Hands On Review]

I’m not going to lie: when I first saw this set, I was a little baffled. Most of the imagery associated with Christmas holidays refers to the northern hemisphere winter: conifers, reindeer, references to the North Pole. The penguin does not appear very high on this list at all. Harking from the opposite side of the earth, you might understand why. Instead, I embraced this as the Southern Hemispheric attempt to embrace the Southern summer: if you were looking for snow at this time of year, it would have to be on the Antarctic or, at least, a nearby sub-Antarctic island.

I was very fortunate a few years ago to have the chance to travel to the Antarctic Peninsula, via Patagonia. It was January, and the sun dipped beneath the horizon around one am, only reappear around two hours later. Penguins were abundant, of several species, and I found myself wondering if I saw anything resembling the one depicted in this model. More of that later.

But I digress. The 40498 Christmas Penguin is the 4th ‘iconic’ seasonal set released this year, after the Valentines Day Bear, the Easter Rabbit and the Halloween Owl.

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Home Alone Arrives in Time for the Holidays…

The holidays are coming: borders are opening up, family gatherings back on the agenda and it’s time to start rolling out the holiday season movies. While it is unlikely that Die Hard II will ever be immortalised in LEGO form, another holiday film from 1990 has been, thanks to the LEGO Ideas submission Home Alone. Not based on the slightly pretty reasonable Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), and not the lack lustre Home Alone 3(1997). Especially not the direct to video Home Alone 4 (2002) or Home Alone: Holiday Heist(2012). For Goodness sake, it is not even based on the new version – Home Sweet Home Alone, coming to Disney+ in November 2021.

No – this set is based on the original, 1990, Macauley Culkin stranded at home, written by John Hughes and directed by Chris Colombus.

The way it should be.

Based on the LEGO Ideas Submission from 28-year-old Alex Storozhuk, this 3955 piece set is the largest LEGO Ideas set to date. With 3955 pieces, and priced at €249.99 / $USD249.99 / £249.99/ $AUD399.99/$CAD349.99, the set will be released on November 1st, 2021.

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Builders’ Journeys: Okay Y. Looks To 9731 Vision Command

Welcome back to another of our Builders’ Journeys, where we look at sets that were inspirational in setting AFOLs along the path that they have taken. This week, we hear from Okay Y, from the USA. Okay submitted his contribution as part of our Vintage Minifigure Collection Giveaway. (This giveaway is open until October 24 – so you still have a couple of days to get your entries in.)

Okay was heavily influenced by the release of 9731 Vision Command: once of the LEGO® Mindstorms kits released in 2000. With 139 parts, this set came with a USB Digital Camera, along with software that allowed you to integrate simple visual recognition software with your LEGO Projects, including the ability to integrate it with the LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Invention System. You can see the introductory video here. But why don’t I let Okay tell his story:

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Jumper Plate Minifigures: Classic Town Collection [Hands On Review]

When Jay from Jumper Plate software reached out to offer me a set of his Nostalgic Monochromatic Minifigures to give away, I bought another set for my own use. Proceeds from the sale of these figures go to help Jumper Plate to further develop their software which is designed to support the administrative needs for people running LEGO User Groups.

But, there is a market for monochromatic minifigures, and when these figures come with a nicely printed nostalgic torso, harking back to the 90s, I suspect that market might be expanded. I don’t run a LUG, but I know plenty of people who do, and I am happy to help support anything that might make their job a little easier. So, I put my order in (this was pre release) and after a few local postal delays – international air travel is still a bit slow for packages – they arrived yesterday. So did my set to give away. you can read more about that here.

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Whatever Happened to Classic Town? Part 2: 1992-2000

Welcome back to our occasional series examining ‘Whatever Happened to Classic LEGO Themes?’ Previously, we took a look at the Classic town sets from 1978-1990.

We examined the way that the theme was defined by certain colours, shapes, and how a gradually expanding parts palette resulted in an evolution in the design of sets during this period. In 1978, when the LEGOLAND branded sets were first released, along with LEGO Minifigure, this was the theme set in the present, the real world, containing subject matter that kids could relate to: LEGO Town was set in the contemporary world, bringing kids experiences they could understand.

In this article, we shall trace the development of these ’Real World’ LEGO sets during the ‘System Era.’ The ‘System’ label, with the red 2×4 in place of the arm on the letter ‘T,’ was used to distinguish the other brick systems used in LEGO construction toys at this time: DUPLO and TECHNIC. The mark appeared in the upper left corner of the front of LEGO Boxes, to the right of the LEGO logo. This label appeared on LEGO Sets released from 1992 to 1999.

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The Faces of LEGO 2021: Setting A Baseline For Gender Representation In Marketing ‘Hero Shots’

Earlier this week, the LEGO Group celebrated the UN’s International day of the Girl by releasing new research revealing that girls are ready to break free from traditional gender stereotypes, while the rest of society perpetuates these stereotypes. I shall post the press release at the end of this article.

Essentially, girls are ready to take on most of the activities in society, but there are societal stereotypes that result in both parents and their male peers potentially holding them back. This can potentially influence the career paths that they may embark on as they grow up.

Following up from this information, The LEGO Group have committed to making LEGO Play more inclusive, and ensuring that children’s creative ambitions are not limited by gender stereotypes:

“We know there is work to do which is why from 2021 we will work closely with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and UNICEF to ensure LEGO products and marketing are accessible to all and free of gender bias and harmful stereotypes.”

“We acknowledge our responsibility in having contributed to gender stereotypes over the years, which is why we’re actively addressing the challenges that gender biases create and we’re committed more than ever to do our bit to put it right. “

In this article, I will aim to look at the current gender biases present in the Hero Shots as depicted on LEGO.com in October 2021.

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Share Your Builder’s Journey, For Your Chance To Win A Set Of Nostalgia Filled Minifigures

It looks like people have been enjoying the Builder’s Journeys column – our Throwback Thursday feature where we ask AFOLs to name a set that has a special meaning to them.

So far we have heard about sets from the last 50 years, from the LEGOLAND Bakery from 1973, through to the Hobbit. You can find all of the previous articles here.

If you have been thinking about making a contribution – there is no better time than the present. All submissions received by the 23rd of October will go into a draw for a great nostalgia laden prize from Jumper Plate.

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“Boat does not float in water” 10294 Titanic Officially Revealed

In April 2022, we will remember the 110th anniversary of the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic. Stuck by an iceberg on its fateful maiden voyage from England to America, over 1500 lives were lost in one of the greatest maritime tragedies ever.

Today, the LEGO Group has revealed one of the largest LEGO Sets ever released. Certainly the longest! Due for release on the 8th of November, the 10294 Titanic is a huge model: well over 160 studs long, or 135cm x 16cm x 44cm (95,040 cm^3). With 9090 elements, this set contains 54 more elements than the 10276 Colosseum, released last year[9036 elements, 82,836cm^3].

The set will be available for Preorder on 1st of November, and in store on the 8th. It will be priced at €629.99 / $USD629.99 / £569.99/ 999.99 AUD/799.99 CAD.

Read on for more details and pictures.

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Setting the Scene With (A different) Jay

Sorry we missed out on a column last week: Research for a presentation at BrickCon overtook all else. You will get to read about it heat in a month or two. In the mean time:

Welcome back to Builders’ Journeys, where AFOLs share a set that was influencial in them becoming the LEGO Fans that they are today. If you would like to share your story, send a note to ramblingbrick@gmail.com

Today, we hear from Jay, an AFOL from Wellington, New Zealand. Jay has been involved in the local community for some time now. As a child growing up in the 1990s, the seeds would be sown for his large town display ‘Brickton.’ But I should let him tell that story…

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