Series 18 Minifigures: Welcome to the Party

This month sees the 40th Birthday of our favourite plastic persona, the LEGO® Minifigure. The Series 18 Collectable Minifigures celebrate this occasion with a costume party, and we see some of the best costumes for our figures yet.  I am yet to track down the Policeman: a printed modern representation of the policeman that came with set 600, one of the first Town Sets released back in 1978.  As part of the ever circling self referential tips to the past ( in a year when too many historical references are barely enough…), the policeman has a printed tile, with the box of set 600 printed on it.

By now, I suspect you have located a ‘feel guide’ to help identify each figure inside its foil bag, and read the opinions of others about this great series.

Every set has its highlights and lowlights. For this series, I have presented an image of every figure that I have, along with the highlight of the figure for me.  There will be things you prefer.  That’s okay. Who is your favourite?

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I love many of the accessories and head pieces included with this series, but my favourite would be the tile that comes with the young boy: it is printed with as small a representation as you could come up with to be a representation of the packet that the series one figures appeared in years ago. Also up there would have to be the balloon animals. As for my favourite figures? it is a toss up for me between the cowboy, the dragon and the two figures dressed up as LEGO Bricks!

What about you? What do you love about this series? Who is your favourite?  If you could only choose one element from this series, what would it be? Why not leave your comments below.

Now to see if I can find a policeman.

Until I do,

Play Well!

You light up my LEGO – let it glow!

IMG_9977-2One of the great things about the last few months has been sunny weather, and the chance to build outside during the day, rather than just inside at night (Quick reminder for northern hemisphere readers, it is summer here, and holidays finished only a couple of weeks ago). What became apparent is that when building under sunlight, the trans fluoro reddish orange elements (also called Trans Neon Orange on bricklink) tend to become brighter in the sunlight, with an eerie glow. This was not obvious when working under an incandescent lamp at midnight. It turns out that these transparent fluorescent colours are, intact, fluorescing.

What does it mean to demonstrate fluorescence? Continue reading

Brickography: On show this weekend only!

Last night I attended the opening of Kale Frost’s Brickography, an exhibition of LEGO based images and MOCs at the Artboy Callery in Greville St, Prahran.

IMG_8473Kale (@frostbricks on Instagram) is a Melbourne based brickartist and photographer who began his Instagram 365 day challenge a couple of years ago and forgot to stop after twelve months. With a keen eye for whimsy, coupled with fantastic building skills, Kale’s MOCs have previously been featured on the Brothers Brick, Blocks Magazine and as inspirational images featured in the LEGO® Life App.

For this weekend only, he has filled the walls of the ArtBoy Gallery with both his own impressive body of images, as well as images from some of the notable LEGO Instagrammers around the world including Brett Willson (@brett_wilson), CJ Simmons (@harleyquin), Luigi Priori (priovit70), Phil Korn (@phil_korn), Arvin Coloma (@nivrana), Andrew Morrey (@cheepjokes) and others.

 

Continue reading

Bulking Up with Bane’s Bigfig: Bane™ Toxic Truck Attack

Larger than life characters need larger than life figures. As such, over the last 18 years, the ‘Bigfig’ has been developed to cover situations where a regular minifigure feel a bit… inadequate. Especially useful for Rock Monsters, Snow Monsters and Trolls, they have also been used to represent super sized villains such as Darkseid, Thanos, Gorilla Grodd, Dogshank and Killer Croc, and heroes such as the Hulk and Maui.

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Bane doing his bit for the ramblingbrick marketing department, holding onto a 1×8 brick in the bottom of his hands

Compared with regular mini figures, they have no leg or neck moment, and only in relatively recent years have they had rotating wrists. What they lack in movement, they make up for with an imposing physique.  The degree of sculpted muscular definition varies, as does the amount of printing.

A great hulking(sic) figure, this version of Bane comes from the second wave of The LEGO Batman Movie sets, specifically 70914: Bane Toxic Truck Attack.  I would like to compare the advantages and disadvantages of the moulding of this bigfig in comparison to the smaller figure, with multiple printed muscles.  Fortunately, this set provides us with one of those as well, in the form of the Mutant Gang leader. We will also compare this figure with the only other bigfig currently active in my collection: Maui from Moana. Continue reading

#LEGOEaster Raffle

FullSizeRender 52The LEGO® Community team have invited those in the Recognised LEGO User Group and Recognised LEGO Fan Media communities to join in the #LEGOEaster Campaign.

To join in, simply take your LEGO related easter photos, label them with the hashtag #LEGOEaster and share them on social media – Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, flickr etc.

To make it a little more interesting, the Community Managers have launched a raffle to go with it.

To enter the raffle: Continue reading

Christmas Build-Up: 40222

We all love the build up to Christmas don’t we?

I would like to start by apologising for not starting this article earlier… Taking my own shopping advice, I was attracted to this set, and delayed my shop.lego.com order for a few days, until it became available.  Unfortunately, the package containing this great seasonal gift with purchase didn’t arrive at my home until December 5th.IMG_2623.JPG

This set comes in a solid cardboard box, with double folded reinforced ends, similar to the LEGO® Ideas sets.  It feels solid and tangible when you pick it up.  The cover art depicts a selection of the models constructed as part of the great Build Up to Christmas.   When you open it up, there are a few things you notice: There are several polybages containing 250 pieces in total, a brick separator and two instruction manuals.
IMG_2624.JPGThere is an interesting collection of pieces to be found inside the set: balls,  bricks with studs on the side, offset plates and masonary bricks, just to name a few.

And plates.

Lots of plates.

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The set promises a new model to build, every day in December up to Christmas Eve… Building up to Christmas: Each day has a small, micro type build. However, not all models can be constructed at a time, and we are reminded of this frequently on the box art.

I will aim to catch up over the next few days, and get the first  few models posted.

I am yet to pass judgment on this set for its quality or content.

 

I love the box: it feels like a sturdy place to keep the pieces from this set, as well as some of the mystery.  It would be great to be able to build all these models at once.  That said, most of the parts are fairly generic, and not unique to this set. Except one…

Let’s see how things pan out over the next few days…

Come back tomorrow, and I’ll get the building underway.

Play well

Taking Legography to the Next Level.

Instagram is full of people taking photographs. Some of them take photos of LEGO Minifigures. Some of the most intriguing of these involve the juxtaposition of LEGO Minifigures with the surrounding environment.  Indeed, you can find groups meeting with their Minifigures in the great outdoors spending their time together capturing images and discussing techniques.

But should images be confined to a camera? Or indeed a phone? How often do you actually generate some prints from your Instagram stream?

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 Legographer Brett Wilson, about to encourage me to upgrade the quality of the camera in my phone at the opening of ‘a BC of Bricks’, in Melbourne last weekend.

Brett Wilson, (@Brett_Wilson on Instagram, and part of the arts collective ‘100% Stuck in Plastic’) has taken his legography to the next level. Last weekend, I had the opportunity of attending the opening of ‘a BC of Bricks’ at the A Gallery in Preston, located in Melbourne’s northern suburbs . Wilson has taken some of his favourite Legography works, put them onto paper, and on display.  This show is a collaboration between Brett Wilson and Christoffer Östberg from Sweden.  Brett has discussed his journey to the exhibition on the Stuck in Plastic Blog, and it makes for an interesting read.

Simply presented, with the aid of pushpins into the wall, the displayed images take on a new life: Their subjects bursting out in the larger format than traditionally allowed by an Instagram stream on a smartphone screen.  The juxtaposition of a minifigure into the natural environment is intrinsically strange. The precise shapes and surfaces of LEGO pieces contrast with the fractal nature of the environment, and produce a dissonance that at once both amuses and disturbs one’s soul!

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In bringing his pictures up to size however, the technical limitations of telephone driven photography became apparent, and several images were reshot with an SLR.  One of these, entitled ‘Walkies’ shows a Gamorrean Guard taking the Rancor from Jabba the Hutt’s basement dungeon for a walk along the beach, just as the sun is rising in the background. The show combined serious, thoughtful images such as this with humorous delights, such as the wheelbarrow race between the Gamorreans and the Tusken Raiders, and the despair of the zombie sailor, still lost at sea.  The stories behind these pictures almost write themselves.

On the opposite wall, Östberg’s work  particularly on light and shadow, as well as a great variety of photographic techniques.  Featuring predominantly Superheroes and Star Wars Minifigures and Vehicles, some images are intriguing. These include  the AT-AT struggling though a river, and the stormtrooper covered in bubbles. Others provoke thought on what lies beneath the helmet that’s been captured through the macro lens. There is a lot of interplay between shadow and light, and I find Östberg’s images are of a very different style to Wilson’s.

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It is a small, thought provoking exhibition, in an inviting space. The two displays are separated by a table covered in LEGO bricks, to allow your personal creativity to express itself while  If legography is an art form  that interests you, there is inspiration to be gained from seeing these images hanging on the wall, rather than just looking at a photo stream on your mobile device. It would be remiss of me not to mention that there are limited prints of all images displayed available for purchase.

If you wish to meet up with others interested in this type of photography, look for a #brickstameet near you. Details for a forthcoming #brickstameets can be found at brickstameet.com.

‘a BC of Bricks’ is on display at the ‘A Gallery in Preston’, 2016 Tyler St Preston. Open 4-7pm Wednesday, Friday and Sunday through to the 23rd of October, 2016.

 

 

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Play Well.