Once Upon an Idea [Announcement 21315]

21315_Front_01Once Upon a Time, there were two LEGO® Fans who had an Idea.  

Grant had the Idea first, to make a pop-up book out of LEGO bricks.  Then he reached out to Jason, who had an Idea before.  They told their friends about the Idea, and those friends told their friends. Eventually, a Lot of People said that the Idea was good.

This meant that the Idea was taken to be read and reviewed by the wise people, who had to work out if the it could be made Real.  After much thought, it was announced to be so. The designers went to work: taking the Idea, and striving to produce a set that more than ten thousand people would want. Continue reading

Creator Expert Vestas Wind Turbine Re-released and Sustainability Update [Announcement/Preview]

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In which we get a glimpse of another set re-released after 10 years and have a quick review of some of the recent steps the LEGO Group are taking towards a sustainable future.4999-1

Ten years ago, LEGO® set 4999 was released. A limited release set produced for Vestas®, a company which produces a significant number of wind turbines around the world,  this set was never made available to the general public.  Measuring over two feet high, it does have significant gravitas as a display piece.

Today, at the New York Climate Week,  the LEGO Group has announced the re-release of this set, as 10268 Vestas Wind Turbine. This time, the set will be available to the general public, from Black Friday (November 23). With 826 elements, the count is a little higher than the 803 listed for the older set in the database maintained by Brickset. In Australia, it will cost $AUD329. A full international price list is listed at the bottom of this post.

The Vestas Wind Turbine also includes a Power Functions Battery box, M motor, with a long extension cable, to get the turbine spinning, as well as lights.

Consisting of the wind turbine sitting on a small hill, with a house, service van and three minifigures, this set maintains many of the characteristics of the original.  Most of the elements in that set were readily available, except for one.  A green ‘Large ugly rock piece.’ While these could easily be substituted for one in grey, the green one has gone back into production for this set. The trees in this set are some of the first ‘Plants from Plants’ available for purchase in LEGO sets.  Earlier in the year, a promotional set was available, as a gift with purchase, in some markets.

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AntMan Building Contest Winners Announced

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Recently, the Rambling Brick held a contest to win The Ant-Man and the Wasp set, Quantum Realm Explorers.

The Brief was to build a MOC that would exploit AntMan’s ability to shrink or grow –  so either build a microscale model, where a Minifigure could look like a giant, or one where the minifigure represented a shrunken AntMan.  There is a prize of 76109 Quantum Realm Explorers for the winners in each category. Entrants were required to use a minifigure, but it was not necessary to use an actual AntMan Minifigure in entries.

Entries were open for roughly six weeks, and were accepted from around the world. A panel of judges was assembled from my network – a mixture of builders and community supporters.  They were asked to nominate their three favourite MOCs in each category.  (Three points for 1st; One point for 3rd). The builders of the MOCs were not identified to the judges at the time of judging.

Without further ado – here are the entries. Continue reading

Minifig40 III: Printing Our Minifigure Elements and Putting Them together.

minifigure_production_funbuildToday we continue our 40th Birthday Exploration of the Minifigure’s journey: We have previously looked at the structural prototyping and moulds used for our minifigures.  Today, we will take a special look into the LEGO Factory at Kladno, in the Czech Republic,  The LEGO Group have sent The Rambling Brick (and other fan media organisations) some fantastic photos, taken by Jan Branc, as well as a video demonstrating some of the processes that our minifigures go through in the Kladno Factory, located in the Czech Republic.

Let us look at torsos, arms and hands; heads and, finally, the legs.

Shake Your Body:

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Minifigure40 II: To Make A Minifigure from Scratch, You Must first create the Universe

Mould prototypes_1976_1977_2To paraphrase the late Carl Sagan, To make a minifigure from scratch, you must first create the Universe. 

Let’s move a few steps down that path. Recently we took a look at some of the prototypes that were passed over on the path to minifigure development. Once you have a design, you need a way to put it together. Today, let’s take a look at the moulds that are in use.

Mold or Mould?

Over the last few years, I have been struggling with the word used to describe the thing that molten plastic is injected into, where it gains its special shape.  Is it a mould or a mold? And which is the spelling that has spores, and was the bane of my bathroom back in my bachelor days?

A quick call out to to the Wikipedia suggested that both spellings would apply to those fungi, depending on where in the world you are standing. (Molds in USA, moulds in the rest of the English speaking world).

But what about the verb meaning to shape/form or the noun referring to the thing used to do the same? It turns out that that is also spelt mold in the USA and mould everywhere else!  I am not about to revise every spelling of the world ‘mold’ over the last two and a half years.  going forward, however, I will endeavour to use the form of spelling that my computer attempts to direct me towards every time. This dialogue from the Australian Writer’s Centre might shed a little light on the subject.

This awesome brick built mo(u)ld was used while prototyping different minifigure prototypes.

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Clarification: Ultimate Collectors Series vs Master Builder Series

75222_ProdLast week’s announcement of 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City left a number of people concerned as to what the ‘Master Builder Series’ might be, and what implications there might be for the Ultimate Collectors Series line.  There is no doubt that this Cloud City set is a departure in style from last year’s Snowspeeder and this year’s Y-Wing Starfighter. img_037475144_Front_01Clarification of the term was sought from the LEGO® Star Wars team, and they responded via the LEGO Ambassador’s Network this morning:

The Master Builder Series models are large playsets and beside being complex builds they are characterized by having many play features and functions, interior details as well as a range of minifigures. Ultimate Collectors Series will remain highly detailed display models providing complex builds with a focus on authenticity and both Ultimate Collectors Series and Master Builder Series will continue as a way to highlight the unique characteristic of each style of model.

While I suspect there will still be some people who consider this to be a dumbing down of the UCS line, I think it is good that in the future the label will now be reserved for brilliant display pieces, rather than large playsets such as 75159 Death Star and  70598 Assault on Hoth.  What do you think of this conceptually?  Why not leave your thoughts below.

Play well.

#Minifigure40 Part 1: The Road To Release [Minifigure Prototypes]

Minifigure prototypes from min. 1975-1978

This week, we celebrate the anniversary of the submission of the minifigure design to the Danish Patent office. It was in the following year, 1978,  that we got our first glimpse of the LEGO® Minifigure. However, development of an appropriately sized, articulated figure began sometime beforehand…

The LEGO Group have recently released some new picture, showing historically significant developments in the the life of the Minifigures. Many of the items shown here are on display in the LEGO House, in Billund, but some may not be at this time.  Continue reading