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.

76105_Box3_v29

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.

Other iron man sets.png
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

image004
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.

21312-1
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

Return of the Taj Mahal, retreat of the speculators.[Announcement 10256]

The LEGO Group have announced that they are re-releasing 10189 Taj Mahal as set 10256.  Unlike the previous version, it will not supplant the Millennium Falcon UCS as the largest set ever released.  The piece count is almost identical to the 2008 classic, which has been soaring on the secondary market in recent years. This rerelease represents the third major rerelease in the last 18 months (including the Death Star, and Millennium Falcon), and continues the Creator Expert  Landmark series which has seen London Bridge, Westminster Palace/Big Ben and the Sydney Opera House released in recent years.

The set will be available from lego.com on November 27 2017, just in time for an anxiety provoking pre-Christmas order if you are dependent on international shipping! It will cost $AUD 499.95. More images and press release after the break… Continue reading

Gift with purchase survey: Select your Top 5

LEGO Group: Gift With Purchase Survey

Untitled 5

Over the last few weeks, you have been sending in your suggestions for Gift with purchase ideas.

I need to whittle this list down to a top 5 for the LEGO® Marketing team.

Click on the link and select your top 5 preferences by October 30. 

Thanks for your help.

Untitled 6

 

Escape the Space Slug Week 2 Raffle Winners

Modulex Star Wars LogoWhoops, almost a week has gone by since I drew the raffle, and I have failed to tell you all about it! Congratulations to Handoko Setyawan through emailing the blog and @hazatronic on Instagram: you have both won a copy of ‘Escape the Space Slug’, courtesy of the LEGO Community Engagement Team.

Handoko presented a picture of a wedding cake that he had built for a member of his LUG. It was unveiled a couple of weeks ago, after the nuptials had taken place. The rest of the album can be found on flickr, here and is well worth a look. Yes, you may have seen it blogged elsewhere too…

IMG_7726

@Hazatronic presented a fantastic microscale representation of that essential scene in The Empire Strikes Back:

IMG_7727.jpg

Congratulations to you both.

We had a few great entries this week, and while quality of the build played no role in selecting winners, I love the imagination shown in some of the entries.

 

Thank you so much to all of our entrants. I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of the great MOCs people have come up with here. I hope to have a community build in the near future. I am wondering about ‘Micropolis’…

In the meantime,

Play well!