Japan BrickFest 2018 – Event Report

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I have recently returned from Japan BrickFest 2018. The fourth Kobe Fan Weekend took place on Rokko Island, in the port city of Kobe, near Osaka and Kyoto (Just as Geelong is near Melbourne, but with more frequent trains).  Organised by Edwin Knight, and members of the Kansai LEGO Users Group (KLUG), this event is a LEGO® hub event for Asia.  Exhibitor’s attended from all over the world – predominantly countries around Asia, but the USA and Australia were also represented.

I arrived on Friday afternoon and set up in one of the two gymnasiums used for the display, accompanied by the majority of builders visiting from overseas. We shared the space with the Great Ball Contraption,  a brick built monorail and a train layout.  LEGOLAND Japan had a display, and there was also an area to get your hands on some bricks and just build! The other gymnasium had many exhibitors from around Japan, and a theatre had larger scale models from members of the Kansai LEGO Users Group.

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My MOC: NEXO Classic Space

I had taken my NEXO Classic Spaceships. [imagine the 1978-79 Classic Space Sets built with NEXO Knights elements and colours] This was the third time I had displayed them this year, but the first time they had travelled more than 1000 km from home. ….I set about the task of discovering how my models had survived at the hands of international baggage handlers, as well as myself bouncing between multiple railway stations.

I set up my terrain and installed the lighting.  Everyone I met was extremely friendly, offering words of encouragement as my various models were unwrapped in more pieces than I remembered them being in when I wrapped them up.

In the name of ergonomics, I would get up and walk around for a few minutes between rebuilds. In real life I would steal the chance to look around some of the other exhibits in the hall:  Mechs were gathering next to me, tanks behind me and next to me, beside me, were some amazing bricks that opened and unfolded, and played air guitar. In between were an amazing array of characters.

Character builds dominated the exhibition halls: some were BrickHeadz, many were not. Unfortunately, I had no idea who many of them were.  Some were from manga and anime, others from history and video games. Some I suspect were from real life.  There was a remarkable level of attention to detail for relatively small models, and I think there are a number of factors which contribute to this. Continue reading

LEGO® Masters Australia

Are you Crazy About LEGO Bricks and is your imagination limitless?

Do you think you have what it takes to build for glory in the biggest battle of the Bricks that Australia has ever seen?

EndemolShine Australia are looking for passionate builders to take part in a new Television How: “LEGO Masters”

Interested? Go to www.LEGOCasting.com.au for further details. They are looking for teams of two, both adult and minors to take part.

Are you up for the challenge? Why not leave your comments below.

Play well.

News from the AFOL Engagement Team

lan logoThis last week, I have been busy gathering my thoughts and photos from Japan BrickFest2018.  I  realise that a number of interesting news articles have come from a different source over the last week or so.  Some has come via the LEGO Ambassador Network:

The LEGO Group’s AFOL Engagement Team have a weekly blog, accessible to the public- typically updated every Friday. There you can find news from the AE Team, the LEGO House, announcements from LEGO® Rebrick as well as reports from different RLUG Ambassadors about recent events.

The Blog is accessible to the public – so feel free to drop by from time to time to get the latest news from the team.  You should also be able to sign up for updates.

While I am busy working through my images from Japan BrickFest 2018, why not have a look at this post from Jackie Chen, who is one of the Community Managers on the AFOL Engagement Team. He represented the Team at Japan BrickFest, and it was great to meet him.

Other news that came to light this week is the appearance of the LEGO House  – Home of the Brick arriving on Netflix this week. This documentary tells the story of the design, construction and opening of the LEGO House. It was also shown at some of the recent fan events. You can find the program on Netflix now –  There are reports at this stage of it not being available in all markets so check back later if you can’t find it!

I’ll be back over the weekend with some news from Japan BrickFest 2018, but in the meantime,

Play Well!

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

More Powered Up News:

In which previously known unknowns become known knowns, and a previously unknown unknown is revealed.

A quick post, following on from recent PF2.0 posts.

Currently, Fan Media are meeting in Billund (I was unable to attend this year), and the new controller and battery box have been revealed in full. Information has been gathered from our friends at HispaBrick Magazine, as well as Sariel’s LEGO®️ Workshop.

Some Previously known unknowns have been revealed:

  • The battery box requires 6 “AAA” batteries, and measures 4×8 studs x 4 bricks high
  • The controller requires 4 batteries
  • The train motor looks like the old train motor, but with the new 6 strand wire as well as the PF2.0 connector.

A new feature on the remote has been revealed: the control switches can be rotated, so that it may trigger ‘left or right’ rather than forward/ back, as seen in this image of 2 controllers, courtesy of Lluís Gibert from HispaBrick Magazine (used with permission).

Sariel’s LEGO®️Worskshop has a nice video showing the new Powered Up components, which can be found here

As the train sets are due for release shortly, we should start getting some hands on news ‘real soon now’…

In the mean time, I am preparing to go to Japan Brickfest next week, and am excited to attend my first overseas Fan event, and meet some AFOLs from around the world! I expect there may be a post or two before then….

Until next time,

Play well!

Reducing the Known Unknowns? 2018 Train Box / Controller Images.

I don’t normally pounce on every piece of news regarding official box art, but this particular box is well related to my recent article about the forthcoming LEGO Trains.  What does it add to our list of Known Knowns?

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After summarising what was known about the Powered Up Platform three days ago, we now confirm that the Battery Hub has dimensions of 4×8 studs. We now have visual, consumer level, information that there will be an app available, as well as the remote.  The Bluetooth remote will not be backwards compatible with Infrared trains, but this will not surprise many.  I can see the value of including this information however, as families with pre-existing trains may have certain expectations. Whether the Train App looks like this when ultimately released, or can be customised, remains to be seen.

Also confirmed on the box art is the availability of new straights and curved rails packs.

Does this add to our previous ‘known unknowns? Not in a significant way.  Videos from the Fall Preview reveal the as yet not officially seen connectors on the Battery Hub, being the same as that seen on the Boost and WeDo.

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Previously discussed and speculated version of the Move Hub. WE DO NOT Know exactly how many bricks tall it is, but I suspect it will be a similar height to the previous train battery box.

The big remaining unknowns about the Move Hub is exactly now tall it will be, as well as the number and type of batteries required. I’m sure this will be confirmed soon enough.

The trains are due for release in ?July/August, depending on your market.  The Australian Prices have been confirmed as $AUD199.99 for the Passenger train and $AUD299.99 for the Cargo Train.  This is great news for australian consumers, as this represents a price drop for the Passenger Train, and a price freeze for the Cargo Train.  The previous versions were released in 2014.

Are you excited for the new train sets or other sets incorporating the Powered Up platform?  Why not leave your comments below.  Until Next Time,

Play Well.

Time To Get ‘Powered Up’: Known Knowns, Known Unknowns. And A Little Speculation…

Feeling overwhelmed after a barrage of press releases and new sets being announced by LEGO in New York this week, I attempt to put together what is known about the new Powered Up platform, previously referred to as Power Functions 2.0

60197_LEGO_City_Personenzug_Packung-2This week, at the Fall Preview for the (Northern) Summer 2018 LEGO® releases, there have been a number of exciting announcements, some of which have been vigorously speculated about for most of the year, plus a couple of surprises!

Given that this year respresents (amongst other things) the twentieth anniversary of the LEGO Mindstorms range, and also represents 10 years since we first saw the arrival of Power Functions, it should come as no surprise that we have seen a number of sets featuring the new “Powered Up” platform – previously referred to as Power Functions 2.0.

“For 20 years, we have been creating new ways for children to combine technology and LEGO building, starting with the introduction of LEGO MINDSTORMS®, a robotics toolkit that pioneered the idea of a ‘smart toy,” said Michael McNally, senior director brand relations for the LEGO Group. “With Powered Up, we’ve established a flexible connected platform to enable innovative new play experiences that merge digital and physical play in natural ways that will delight and inspire the builders of today and tomorrow – while still focusing on the core physical play proposition of our System of Play – the LEGO brick.”

We have also seen some exciting announcements to go with LEGO Boost.

Powered Up: Power Functions 2.0 Known Knowns.

Back in February, we presented information about the new power functions platform. We were aware that we have a new combined Bluetooth receiver and Battery Box, as well as a motor unit suitable for trains. We knew that the new cables featured the same connections as the WeDo 2.0 platform, as well as Boost.We also knew there would be a new remote and that the platform could also be App Powered.

This new platform, and all of the other Motorised LEGO Elements now fall under the broader banner of “Powered up,” and includes CITY Trains, app driven vehicles, Boost and the DUPLO Cargo Train.

Trains

60197_LEGO_City_Personenzug_Produkt-2 Continue reading