75181 Y-Wing Starfighter UCS Unveiled [Preview]

img_0379It is little more than a month out from May the Fourth, and the LEGO Group have officially unveiled the 75181Ultimate Y-Wing Star Fighter.  It goes on sale May 4th at LEGO Brand retail and shop.lego.com. The Australian price will be $299.99.
This will be the second UCS Y-Wing fighter to have been released, the previous being 10134 in 2004, which had 1473 pieces. This is the 10th minifigure scale Y-Wing Starfighter to be released to date… press release after the images.
75181 LEGO® Star Wars UCS Y-Wing Starfighter
Ages 14+.  1,967 pieces.

US $199.99 – CA $279.99 – DE 199.99€ – UK £169.99 – DK 1799.00 DKK

Collect the ultimate long-range Rebel starfighter!

This LEGO® Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series model has an amazing level of detail, including an opening minifigure cockpit for the included Gold Leader minifigure, wheel-activated rotating ion cannons on top, retractable landing skids and space for the R2-BHD astromech droid. This fantastic Star Wars toy also comes with a tilting display stand and informational fact plaque, making it the perfect centerpiece for your collection.

  • Includes a Gold Leader minifigure and an R2-BHD droid.
  • Features highly authentic detailing, opening minifigure cockpit, wheel-activated rotating ion cannons on top, retractable landing skids and space for the included R2-BHD astromech droid.
  • Also includes the Gold Leader’s blaster pistol.
  • Display the model on the tilting stand with informational fact plaque.
  • Makes the perfect centerpiece for any LEGO® Star Wars collection.
  • Part of the Ultimate Collector Series.
  • Measures over 2” (7cm) high, 24” (61cm) long and 11” (30cm) wide, and over 9” (24cm) high mounted on stand.

Whether it’s because it played the underdog at the Battle of Yavin, or merely because it was far easier to fly than the X-Wing in the LucasArts ‘X-Wing’ game in the early 90’s, the Y-Wing has always held a special place in my heart.  It may well be the set that finally triggers the purchase of a UCS set for me.

How about you? What do you think of this latest LEGO Star Wars UCS set? why not leave your comments below.

Until next time, Play Well!

21314 LEGO® Ideas TRON: Legacy

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4905102-Fan_Model_-_Not_Final_Product_-_TRON-FwOzL-hb7QDPFw-thumbnail-fullIn 2010, Tron: Legacy, as sequel to the 1982 movie Tron was released. The original movie was released at a time when home computers were just starting to become relatively common, and its art style and story setting were unlike anything we had previously seen.   In October 2015, BrickBros UK – Tom and Drew – submitted a single Light Cycle, based on the movie TRON: Legacy to LEGO® Ideas. Over the next 17 months, they gained support, reaching 10000 votes in April 2017. The review start in May, with the final review being announced in November 2017. And so, less than 6 months later,  the set is now ready to hit the shelves.

The Light Cycles were iconic elements of both the original TRON as well as TRON: Legacy. The original submission featured one light cycle, with trans light blue details, carefully crafted to minifigure scale.  The final set features two: with the additional light cycle featuring trans orange details, and an additional minifigure.21314_Prod

The look of these cycles, as well as the ‘Grid’ base captures the spirit and styling of this sequence, even if the original TRON was more your thing than its sequel. Continue reading

LEGO® Plants to go Green in 2018

img_0048The LEGO Group today announced that the production of sustainable LEGO® elements, from plant based plastics, has begun.  Sourced from sugarcane, these elements include leaves, trees and bushes.

In 2015, the company began investing 1 Billion DKK in its source for sustainable materials and packaging, including a search for appropriate plastics that were sourced from non-oil based sources.

The first of the sustainable elements are made from polyethylene. This soft and durable plastic, based on sugarcane,  has the same characteristics as the conventional plastics. Indeed these elements have been made of polyethylene, from non sustainable sources, for years and currently account for 1-2% of the total number of plastic elements produced by the LEGO Group.   Continue reading

The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition 76105 [Product Announcement]

Hulkbuster Armour: is it UCS? is it a good reason for last year’s changes in the LEGO Ideas guidelines and house rules? Is it going to occupy valuable display space after March 3? Hopefully these questions will be answered, or at least addressed, in this post.

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At the New York Toy Show today, LEGO Unveiled the 76105 The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition.  Based on the Mark 44 Iron Man Armour, this armour was designed as a contingency, to be deployed from an orbital platform, codenamed Veronica, in the event of a confrontation with the Hulk.  While the relative success in developing such a strategy, along with the ensuing destruction witnessed at the ‘Battle of Johannesburg’ may be argued either way, there is no doubt that the resultant suit looks pretty cool!

With 1363 pieces, and measuring over 25 centimetres tall, and a descriptive plaque, this is a set that fans have been waiting years for. Celebrating the 10 years of Marvel Studios cinema releases, this set will be available from 3rd March 2018, through shop.lego.com or your local LEGO Brand retail store. It will be priced at AU $199.99  – US $119.99 – CA $149.99 – DE 129.99€ – UK £119.99 – DK 1199DKKThere will be no early availability for VIPs.

Ten years of Marvel Studios

76105_1to1_MF_D2C_Iron_ManOn April 14, it will be ten years since the first Iron Man movie was released, heralding the beginning of the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was the first film to be released under the Marvel Studios label, but it was not for another four years that we saw an official LEGO version. The first Iron Man minifigure was a Toy Fair 2012 exclusive, with figures becoming available for the rest of us as part of the sets released in conjunction with The Avengers movie. To date, there have been at least 15 variations on Iron Man mini figures released. And there is a new one included in this set, to say nothing of the forthcoming Avengers: Infinity War sets. Iron Man has also been released as a constructible figure (4529), a micro figure (in the Helicarrier 70642), two BrickHeadz (41492 – San Diego Comic Con Exclusive; and 41590 – general release) and as a brick built  version of the Hulkbuster Armour in The Hulk Buster Smash (76031).  It is this final version which is expanded and elaborated on today.

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Alternative prior (non minifigure) LEGO Presentations of Iron Man: Not to scale…

Is this UCS? Continue reading

Celebrating 60 Years of LEGO Bricks Endless Creativity

January 28 marks the 60th anniversary of the iconic LEGO® brick

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Today, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Patent Submission for the LEGO Brick as we know it today. It is a phenomenal achievement, to inspire children over such a period of time, that only a few iconic brands have achieved.
There are a number of sets that have been released to mark this occasion.
These include the 40210 Anniversary set, which includes microscale versions of a number of classic sets, including :

Modular Diner 10260 Announcement: 1950s Style, for 60 years of the Brick

10260_Box1_v39This year, we saw the release of the 10 Anniversary Modular building, the Assembly Square.  This set featured plenty of callbacks to the previous modulars,  with various colour schemes and other design cues.  Now that we are entering the second decade of modular buildings, it appears that there are some changes afoot.  Until now, many of the buildings have had the appearance of buildings dating from the 1920’s or 30’s and the Minifigures all featured the classic smiley face.

10260_Front_Callout_01But we now enter a new era in modular buildings: the downtown diner is drawing cues from the Streamline Moderne style, a style that originated in the late 30’s, but continued to influence architecture for decades to come: a sleek building, with a tiled facade and smooth curves, and we have both in abundance here. In a break with previous modular traditions, the minifigures now have expressions (and the occasional moustache) on their faces, while their dress appears more representative of the 1950’s. Indeed, the pink cadillac and the Rock’N’Roll singer all but confirm that this is a bit of a jump into the future from our previous modular era. (Admittedly, the Brick Bank 10251 from 2016, featured a computer on a desk, as well as an espresso machine in the staff room – not a common feature in the past –  certainly this would be the most anachronistic feature of a modular building to date.) Assembly Square feels as if it might also be from a more recent period in history, if only because of the clothing prints in use by the minifigures. Certainly, we are now entering a new era, with new architectural styles and new minifigure prints.

And Teal.  We have seen evidence of a reborn teal in other sets for 2018, however this set contains more elements in this colour than any other set that we have seen details for. I especially like the use of the 6×6 curves to create the high, sweeping arch. There are also lots of teal bricks in the back wall of the diner.

What do we see on the inside? We have 3 levels, with the diner downstairs, a gym on the 1st floor, and a recording studio upstairs.  The diner features a short order cook flipping pancakes and frying bacon, in the form of a 1×2 grille plate!  The Waitress is on roller skates. The gym is furnished with a boxing ring as well as a punching bag. The Boxer has blue trunks and red boxing gloves.

And then there is the singer, and is that his press agent? record producer? Who knows.  The detail in the recording studio is fantastic.  The stories you can create are endless. He drives a pink, open top sedan, with great fifties styling, and occasional anachronism,.

The style here is a departure from what we have come to expect from modular buildings, but after a decade it is time to move forward. Given that this year represents the 60th Anniversary of the LEGO Brick, it seems appropriate that this year’s modular should include references to the decade when that patent was lodged.

The 10260 Diner is available on the 1st of January 2018. The Australian price will be $249.99. Other currencies in the press release.

The press release follows after the photos. Continue reading

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