LEGO® Announce 42109: App-Controlled Top Gear Rally Car

A new LEGO® Technic set, based on a Top Gear Branded Rally Car was unveiled today at the Los Angeles Motor Show.

With 463 elements, including the Technic Smart Hub, as well as both L and XL Technic motors, this set is currently the cheapest way to obtain these elements from LEGO. It is priced at $USD129.99/£124.99 compared with the 4×4 X-treme Off Roader 42099 at $USD249.99/£199.99, although 42099 comes with an additional XL motor. While we don’t have other pricing currently available, I expect that an Australian price might be in the region of $AUD200-250.

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Technic Land Rover Defender Officially Announced.

After a couple of months fighting off leaking images, the new Technic Land Rover Defender is being officially launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2019.

It has 2573 elements and will be priced at $AUD329.99 $USD199.99 GBP159.99. Available 1st October. Read the press release, and see the launch video after the break.

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A Man’s Got to Know His Limitations: Control+ and Powered Up Apps [August 2019]

The New Technic Smart hub became available this week, as part of 42099 X-treme 4×4 Off Roader. This article discusses what we can expect the long awaited Control+ App to do and what it won’t. I also take a look at the ever expanding range of connected apps produced by LEGO A/S today.

The first of August has past and there have been a number of new, released. If you are a Technic Fan, you are possibly curious about the new 4×4 X-treme Off Roader 42099. Certainly, it’s one I have been looking forward to seeing.

I had an opportunity to see this new model, as well as the new Control+ App demonstrated by members of the design team while in Billund, at the Recognised Fan Media days in May this year. Amongst other things, the set features the new Technic Smart Hub, 2 new Technic XL linear motors, and one Technic L linear motor. I am excited to get my hands on this set as soon as possible, to build the set and experience the new Control+ App. I might have to wait until the Australian online store gets more stock.

I also hope to incorporate the new Control+ Hub in a MOC later in the year.

But Not today.

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News from Nuremberg: Technic Control + (Rampant Speculation follows, again)

About a year ago we heard our first information about the new Powered Up wireless control system, incorporated in the latest generation of LEGO City Trains, as well as the App Controlled Batmobile. The Bluetooth controller/phone app interacting with the wireless hub has met with a mixed response, especially in the LEGO railroad modeller community, with concerns about the number of outputs, range and interference from other Bluetooth devices. One thing that was conspicuous in its absence last year was a hub solution that was compatible with LEGO Technic.

Today, we have received news from Spielwarenmesse – the German Toy Fair – of a new control hub to be incorporated in two new Technic sets this year LEGO Technic Control +. One, 42100 – the second half year Flagship model based on the Liebherr R9100 Excavator, the other: 42099, based on a 4×4.

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Bugatti Chiron 42083 Officially Revealed

REVEALED: THE NEW LEGO® TECHNIC BUGATTI CHIRON

Where art, engineering and bricks combine

Billund, 1st of June 2018. LEGO Group and Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. have today revealed the new LEGO® Technic Bugatti Chiron. The 1:8 scale super car will be available from June 1.

The LEGO® Technic Bugatti Chiron model brings together the iconic design heritage of the French ultra-luxury car brand and LEGO Technic elements, with a reimagined version of the latest cutting-edge super car from Molsheim.

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The new model was unveiled at LEGO House at the company’s headquarters in Billund by Niels B. Christiansen, CEO of the LEGO Group, and Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann. The 1:8 scale LEGO® Technic Bugatti Chiron will be available from June 1, only at all LEGO® stores and shop.LEGO.com, then all retailers globally from August 1, 2018. Continue reading

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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Beginning with Boost I: Meet Vernie

In which I recall making models move in simpler times, invest in a LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox set, and set about meeting Vernie the robot.  This article is as much for the beginner, trying to understand where to look for information, and finding out what my personal experience was like with the first couple of models.  In the future I will build some more, and look at the programs involved along the way.

One of the amazing things about LEGO® bricks is that they can be used to construct the most amazing models.  One of the things that lifts LEGO models to the the next level is movement.  For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with the idea of making my LEGO models move.  I just haven’t been particularly good at it!

My first experience with making LEGO move autonomously was using the blue 4.5V motor in the mid 70’s: part of set 100 or 112: to be honest, I am not really sure.  I was probably about five years old at the time.  But being able to make my LEGO crawl across the living room table was pretty amazing.

As life progressed, I graduated to the 181 train set: a black motor brick, with a dedicated battery box in the tender, running behind the engine. There was an additional switch below the battery box, which allowed a raised railway signal to stop the train. Somewhere along the road we found some coloured gears, and simple motorised machines became an option. Then came the Technical sets, with their single drive shaft motor, and optional gearing boxes. I have already written about these early Technic experiences this year.

However, before I could around to exploring monorails, 12V or 9V trains,  I entered my dark ages.  I emerged just as the Power Functions elements were being introduced, along with NXT.  I probably found the Power Functions a little easier to use than NXT, or subsequently EV3, primarily because the construction techniques for Technic – with the square profile beams – perplexed me.  To be honest, they still do.  Turning a  single wheel by myself is something I can deal with.  Having a motor do it for me is extremely appealing.

So, when I heard about LEGO Boost, I became quite excited.  LEGO Boost is a brick based (rather than Technic) robotics system with 3 independent motor channels, as well as a light and distance sensor brick, and an inbuilt tilt sensor, designed to be programmed by a 7 year old with some form of tablet device. Perhaps this would be something I could use in the not too distant future to motorise my models, or introduce a level of interactivity into them. Continue reading