LEGO® Super Mario Series 3 Character Packs Revealed.

The LEGO Group today has revealed the third wave of LEGO Super Mario Character Packs on Twitter. These figures are due for release due for release on 1st August. As with the last few waves, I expect they will be fun, affordable characters, so long as you can find them in store!

The new characters include: Galoomba, Parachute Bob-omb, Crowber, Boo, Amp, Torpedo Ted, Bony Beetle, 1-Up Mushroom, Scuttlebug and Swoop.

I really enjoy the way that LEGO Super Mario provides a fresh way for playing with LEGO, while tying in to the nostalgic video game franchise. I hope to be able to continue reviewing the new expansion sets during the next wave, and am excited to find out what’s coming soon. Hopefully, will will see the full wave revealed at LEGOCon, later in the month.

I presume the majority of characters will be worth a single coin when scanned, in keeping with previous collectable figures, but there are always a couple of characters in each set that exhibit special behaviours:

Read on for closer images, as well as my predictions as to their ‘in game’ behaviour.

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SKYBOUND ENTERTAINMENT PARTNERS WITH AMEET PUBLISHING IN NEW LEGO® COMIC BOOK DEAL

Over the years, a number of LEGO® themes had had their stories added to in Comic form – be it the continuing adventures of Indigo and Polka dot in ‘Bricks and Pieces’ in the 1980’s, through to ongoing stories relating to LEGO themes in the now discontinued LEGO Club magazine, or the monthly titles currently offered for Ninjago, City and Friends. To say nothing of Exo-Force and Bionicle titles along the way.

Today, Skybound Entertainment, who brought us such titles as The Walking Dead and Invincible have announced that they are partnering with publisher AMEET – who currently produce a large number of LEGO Titles – to launch a LEGO branded comic book in 2022

Will this be telling stories related to current themes – Ninjago, City, Friends – or developing new themes? Even with the LEGO Group’s current exploration of material for adults, I cannot see them looking to develop material based on the Walking Dead or Invincible. The current LEGO Licensed themes are all essentially owned by either Warner Bros or Disney, both of whom own significant Comic publishers. As such, I suspect there might be something new afoot – either a new licence, a new in house theme… or it might simply be a new arrangement for the monthly magazine publishers.

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Blocks Magazine Opens Up Entire Back Catalogue To Subscribers. Issue 80 On Its Way.

Two pieces of news from Blocks Magazine today: Issue 80 is now on its way to subscribers, and the team have now opened up the complete digital back catalog to subscribers.

Issue 80 of Blocks, the LEGO® magazine for fans, goes behind-the-scenes of 40516 Everyone is Awesome with Matthew Ashton, reveals how LEGO Masters went global and delves into the history of Looney Tunes. 

Blocks magazine Issue 80 is available worldwide as a single issue or as part of a subscription at www.blocksmag.com now and will be in UK stores from June 6. Subscribe today to be in with a chance of winning one of five 76182 Batman Cowl sets.  

Graeme Hancock, Editor at Blocks, reached out to me recently to tell me about their latest initiative for subscribers: if you are a subsciber, you gain access to their entire back catalog online. This is great news. I hate reading magazines that might make occasional references to their past issues, but without those issues being readily available.

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New Botanical Collection Set: 10289 Bird of Paradise Coming Soon

We can reveal that the latest addition to the LEGO Group’s 18+ Botanical Collection, the 10289 Bird of Paradise will be released in Europe and the rest of the World 1st June, 2021. Unfortunately, the American release is not until 1st August.

Set box

The set has 1173 pieces, and will cost $AUD169.99/ €99.99/€109.99 (France), £89.99/$USD99.99/$CAD139.99

In the absence of a formal press pack, we have no further images to share at this time.

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VIDIYO Wave 2 Introduces Buildable Stages and More

Earlier this year, we saw the premiere of LEGO’s new Fluid play theme, VIDIYO. Developed in conjuntion with Universal Music Group, VIDIYO enables children to create music videos using augmented reality, in conjunction with themed minifigures, and tiles – which allow you to enhance the activity of your animated Minifigure pop stars with signature moves, sounds and video effects.

One of the criticisms of the first wave of sets was the relative absence of anything significant to build. Beat Boxes, which contained a small selfcontained stage for a single minifigure were rather light on, with only a small 8×8 mosaic area to build on. That said, the figures involved were absolutely crazy and imaginative in their designs. And it would appear that this is unlikely to change at any time in the near future. The new stage models look like something straight out of Cloud Cuckoo Land, mashing up characters with the different themes of the music. The imaginative designs are certainly intriguing. I will be interested to see whether you need to have the stage models build up as they are, or if you can incorporate your own models in the app.

The newly introduced BeatBoxes, and Stage Models will be available from June 1st globally except the United States, where they will be available from August 1st. The new Bandmates will be available from October 1st globally.

The press release, and new set designs (including Australian pricing) can be found below…

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75308 R2-D2 Officially Revealed.

He may not be the first character to speak in Star Wars: A New Hope, but he is the second. The feisty droid R2-D2 is the subject of the major release in time for May the 4th.

With 2314 pieces, a minifigure version of R2D2 and a special Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary LEGO Brick, you can expect 75308 R2-D2 to be on sale from May 1st 2021. It will initially be a LEGO.com/LEGO Brand Retail/ Certified Store exclusive, and is priced at €199.99 EUR – $USD199.99 – £179,99- $AUD329.99 – $CAD269.99 .

This new model is similar in size to the 10225 from 2012, but has undergone a dramatic redesign compared to that model, taking advantage of new elements that have become available in the last 9 years, including various curved slopes; there is also a new mechanisism to release R2D2’s central leg.

This is the only set that the 50th anniversary brick, as far as the team have revealed to date. It is a 4x1x3 Brick. Unfortunately, R2-D2 is still devoid of any printing on the back.

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Second Wave of LEGO® Super Mario Announced.

Earlier in the year, I was excited to see the release of the LEGO® Super Mario range. If might not have been the collectable minifigures, that many people were hoping for, but I believe that the play system, involving the Super Mario Smart Brick, in conjunction with scannable tiles has resulted in a game that we would only see with LEGO® and Nintendo working together. Judging by the responses we had to the ‘What Next For LEGO Super Mario,’ a number of you were quite inspired too!

Today, we get our first official look at the next wave of sets, set for global release on January 1, 2021.

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43179: Mickey and Minnie Buildable Figures Announced

Continuing with the ongoing strategy of marketing direct to AFOLs with the 18+ packaging, the LEGO Group and Disney today announce the forthcoming release on July 1 of their latest Direct to Consumer set: 41379 Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse Buildable Characters. This set has over 1700 elements, building two figures, and accessories. Each figure is over 30cm tall.

43179 LEGO® ǀ Disney Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse Buildable Characters Ages 18+. 1739pieces US $179.99 –CA $229.99 –DE €179.99 –UK £169.99 – FR €179.99 – DK 1399DKK- AUD $279.99 – NZD $319.99

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Advanced Build, 10277 Crocodile Locomotive Announced.

Under the old Creator Expert label, we could expect a train set released every few years. In the last decade or so, we have seen the legendary 10194 Emerald Night; the 10219 Maersk Train, the 10233 Horizon Express and the 10254 Winter Holiday Train. It must be time for a new one.

Today, LEGO unveils the 10277 Crocodile locomotive. With 1271 elements, and featuring the 18+ branding, where once we would see Creator Expert, this engine will be available from 1st July 2020. It will be priced at €99.99/ 899.99DKK/ $US99.99/ $AU169.99/ $NZ189.99. In Australia, it will be available from LEGO Branded retail, as well as David Jones department stores.

Unfortunately, no press release was forthcoming in advance of the announcement – so I am just going by what I can see in the photos:

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The Magic Continues to Build: 2020 Wizarding World Sets Announced. Available for preorder April 30

Over the last few years, we have come to expect to see new Harry Potter sets appearing around the middle of the year. In 2018, we saw sets released for The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets. In 2019 we saw sets pertaining to The Prisoner of Azkaban as well as The Goblet of Fire. You might almost think that a pattern was appearing. So you might not be surprised to learn that, this year, we have some sets relating to The Order of the Phoenix, as well as the Half Blood Prince.

We have some locations that we have not seen before, as well as a a few being revisited after an absence of many years. The sets will be released inJune, around much of the world, and August in the USA.

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