Builders’ Journeys: Sue Ann and the Tea Garden Cafe

Welcome to another edition of Builders’ Journeys, where Adult FANS of LEGO present a set that was, in some way, pivotal in their development as a builder.

Today, we hear from Sue Ann Barber. Sue Ann has been around the LEGO Fan community for many years, and is one of the founders of MUGs – the Melbourne LEGO Users Group. I first met Sue Ann in January 2008, when I attended the public expo at Brickvention with my family. Her passion for the hobby was apparent, and she introduced me to the concept of being an Adult Fan of LEGO, and the concept of LEGO User Groups. As such, she is one of the people I credit with bringing me out of my Dark Ages.

Sue Ann is going to tell us about a set, released in 1974, that inspired her earliest attempts to create a MOC (My Own Creation).

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Returning to Ice Planet, A Builder’s Diary I: Colour and Concepts

Since I wrote an overview of ICE PLANET 2002, I have come to make a realisation: I’ve been a little too focused on news, reviews, and product announcements lately. Not to mention that little podcast thing. Perhaps to the extent that I have started to lose track of what I find to be so enjoyable about LEGO play… the act of creation. I’ve taken a couple of days out from the routine to start playing, designing and MOCing again.

A little while ago, I took a look at the theme ICE PLANET 2002 – a LEGO® space theme from the early 1990s. The theme was set on the Planet Krysto, in the centre of the known Universe. With three different figures, this theme included the first female Space Minifigure, a distinctive colour palette and a return to the values of Classic Space.

I now find myself wanting to explore this world a little further: bringing the United Galaxies back to Krysto, and using this as the basis for some MOCs of my own.

Nearly thirty years have passed since the United Galaxies’ Forces launched their last expedition Ice Planet 2002.

The Odyssey Base has since been abandoned after a computer virus, planted by Spyrius agents, rendered its systems inoperative. The United Galaxies’s rocket research program has been moved to several decentralised locations. A strange, coded signal has been detected coming from the area of the long-abandoned base in the meantime. A code not used by the forces of United Galaxies But from whom, and why? The Space Police say that an uninhabited, abandoned planet is outside their jurisdiction. Others say that the Space Police just want to chase bad guys that they know.

And so a new expeditionary force is set up, drawing upon the expertise of the earlier researchers. Their mission: identify the source of the signal, secure any residual artifacts from the original mission and, finally, establish whether there is any threat to the United Galaxies. If the Union is being threatened, neutralise the source of the problem…with extreme prejudice.

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The Successor to 31313 MindStorms EV3 is 51515, not 41414: Emma’s Summer Play Cube [Unanticipated review]

It was a simple enough mistake.

Anyone could have made it, really. The new Mindstorms Robotics Invention kit has been in the wild for a few weeks now: a new paradigm for LEGO Mindstorms, and I am curious to take a look at it sometime soon. Set 51515 is set to replace the 31313 EV3 as the LEGO Robotics set of choice at some point. Probably when the EV3 enthusiasts have all moved on to using Arduino…

But this wasn’t the problem I found myself with. So… when I was asked if I wanted any LEGO picked up, while a friend was out shopping,, I had a failing in my internal logic. I remembered that the third generation of Mindstorms, EV3 was set 31313. I also remembered thing that the new set followed a similar pattern, and it was the fourth generation.

And so I asked that if set 41414 could be picked up, that I would be grateful.

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Rambling Brick Turns Four

On January 30, 2016, the Rambling Brick was born. Four years ago, give or take a couple of hours. Please pardon a little indulgence as I take a quick look through some highlights of the last 12 months.

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After 6000 Ideas: The Legacy of Bill and Mary 1981-1990

In which we attempt to follow the trail of Mary and Bill, after events of the 6000 Ideas book. We look through subsequent Ideas books and move to the Adventures of Captain Indigo, featured in Bricks n Pieces magazine in the 1980s

Let me tell you a story. It has been a little while since we have visited the world of the 6000 Ideas Book, but I have not forgotten where we are heading. So, here is a recap:

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The Search For Bill and Mary I

Long Term Character Development in LEGO Town and City.

In which we begin our ongoing search for Bill and Mary, by looking through LEGO Town and LEGO City for evidence of long form story telling, beyond the confines of a single set. If we can find it, then we are one step closer to demonstrating whether or not the protagonists of the 6000 Ideas Book could still exist in LEGO City today…

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Recalling the Phantom Menace [20th Anniversary Edition Podracer 75258 Review]

LET ME TELL YOU A STORY May 1999: Episode I, the Phantom Menace is released. After a long wait, there has been quite a lot of hype. I first saw Return of the Jedi when I was 13. I am now 30. Well, when I say it had been a long wait, we had been granted some interim amusement in the form of ‘Spot the Difference’ as we watched the Special editions. Adding new material and music, we kept some of the great ‘head bashing into wall’ bloopers from the original, but they took out some of my favourite tunes. Whatever happened to the great ‘Jub-Jub’ chorus at the end of what felt like it could afford to be considered The Final Film (Now we just call it Episode VI)? What happened to Sy Snootles great puppet performance at Jabba’s Palace? But despite all this, the time had come to sit back, relax, and see how the story panned out. Or at least started…

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6000 Ideas: The Adventure Continues.

In which we continue the story of the 6000 Ideas Book, take in ‘the weird space bit’ and the ‘not nearly weird enough castle bit.’ As our protagonists head off into the sunset, we ask the question ‘Where are they now?’ And set the parameters for our quest…

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Feeling Forty and Fabulous in Fabuland [Review 341/132 Catherine Cat’s House and Morty Mouse]

Let me tell you a story.

This year, amongst other things, we celebrate forty years since the release of the first wave of Fabuland sets. Directed towards children making the transition from DUPLO® to regular system bricks, Fabuland represented the company’s first foray into story telling, and multimedia marketing.

Fabuland started simply in the form of sets: a town, with anthropomorphic animal headed figures, living their lives together. We had the essential services represented: police, fire and hospital, and ice cream. In time it expanded to include school, cafe, local government, transportation and paparazzi.

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