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

Winter Village Fire Station 10263 [Announcement]

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LEGO have just released the details of the 2018 Creator Expert Winter Village Set.  Steering clear of another reissue of a previous set, this year we see the release of the 10263 Winter Village Fire Station. With 1166 elements, this set will be released globally on October 1st 2018, with VIP availability at LEGO Brand Retail and shop.LEGO.com from September 13th. It will cost $149.99AUD, $100USD, £84.99 GBP and €89.99 in Germany.

As with previous Winter Village sets, this one appears to be set somewhere peaceful, in the mid 20th century, possibly in the middle of a Rankin-Bass animated Christmas Special. We have seen a number of common elements of these sets over the last 9 years:

Continue reading

Time to Strike Back: Betrayal at Cloud City 75222 [Announcement]

It was a long, long time ago, but not too far away: LEGO Starwars Minifigures still had yellow faces.  Unless they wore helmets.  All except one: Lando Calrissian. Released 15 years ago, as part of 10123 Cloud City.  Lando was the first minifigure to appear in a LEGO set related to movie with a realistic skin tone. He has not been seen in Cloud City since.

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Indeed, there have been very few aspects of Cloud City seen since. We have seen multiple versions of the Twin Pod Cloud Cars (7119 from 2003 and 9678 from 2012) – both of which have included Lando’s right hand man, Lobot. We have seen Ugnauts, along with the Carbon Freezing Chamber in 2016’s 75137. But beyond these sets, and seemingly infinite variations on  Boba Fett’s ship, Slave I (Well, if not infinite, then at least eleven), Cloud City has received very little LEGO love.

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Many of the major settings of drama in The Empire Strikes back have been revisited in the last few years: Attack on Hoth(75098), the UCS Millennium Falcon (75192). And from the current wave of sets:  Yoda’s Hut (75208) and Luke’s Xwing (75218).

It stands to reason that Cloud city is long overdue for a revisit.  Then, we just need to get on board some Imperial Ships, and all will be right with the balance in the Force.

Today The LEGO Group have announced the forthcoming release of the long anticipated 75222: Betrayal at Cloud City.  Following in the footsteps of Death Star 654654. this set is geared more towards being a playset, incorporating a number of important locations:

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Certainly, it does not purport to be a model of Cloud City (perhaps the time is coming to explore an ‘Architecture’ Version?), but many of the key locations are represented: the reception area, recycling centre, the carbon freeze chamber, the dining room and the gantry, where Vader’s revelation to Luke still resonates strongly, after nearly 40 years. I do like the way that the set represents some of the luxurious aspects of the accomodation in this tibanna gas mine, with some nice detailing present in the doors and dining room.

We also see the arrival of a couple of craft, from which you need to choose which one can go on the landing pad: a Twin Pod Cloud Car, and ANOTHER version of Slave I.

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This set includes our main cast of heroes: Han Solo (twice!), Princess Leia (also twice!), Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker ( Dagobah fatigues), R2D2 C3PO, Lando Calrissian, Lobot, two Cloud City security guards, two Cloud Car Pilots, a Stormtrooper, an Ugnaut,  IG-88 (or a similarly shaped assassin droid), Boba Fett and Darth Vader. Many of our main characters have double sided heads. Han features the ‘centre part’ hair piece, first seen in the rebooted Death Star set in 2016. Leia’s formal dress features the new Minifigure Skirt element introduced recently. Luke has a new torso, and the reverse of his head suggests he has fought a couple of rounds with Darth Vader.

The collection of minifigures is terrific, and we have a few figures that have had no representation in modern times, including the Pod Car Pilots, and some new Bespin Guards. Lobot has been only slightly updated since 2012, and the Ugnaut has a new work suit.

Here is the Press Release:

75222 Betrayal at Cloud City™

Ages 14+.2,812 pieces

US $349.99 – CA $399.99 – DE 349.99€ – UK £299.99 – FR 349.99€ – DK 2999DK

*Euro pricing varies by country.Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.

Visit Bespin’s amazing metropolis in the sky—Cloud City!

Relive a world of unforgettable moments from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back or add your own fun twists to the story with this LEGO® Star Wars 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City set. The amazingly detailed set is divided into 4 sections, each depicting scenes from the classic movie. There’s a landing platform complete with Boba Fett’s Slave I ship, a detailed promenade, a dining room with seating for 5 minifigures, a garbage processing room with incinerator, and a sensor balcony for epic Luke vs. Vader Lightsaber duels. There’s also a carbon freeze chamber with a function to ‘freeze’ Han in carbonite, an interrogation chamber and prison cell, a secondary landing platform for the Twin-Pod Cloud Car, and so much more. Add an astonishing 18 LEGO minifigures plus 2 droids to the mix, and you have a set that Star Wars and LEGO fans of any age would be proud to add to their collection.

• Includes 18 minifigures: Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker in Bespin outfits, Chewbacca, C-3PO, Lando Calrissian, Lobot, 2 Cloud City Guards, 2 Cloud Car Pilots, Leia and Han in Hoth outfits, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, 2 Stormtroopers and an Ugnaught, plus R2-D2 and an IG-88 droid.

• Section 1 features a landing platform with a sliding entrance door and Boba Fett’s Slave I ship with an opening minifigure cockpit, movable wings and space underneath to store the Han in carbonite element.

• Section 2 features a dining room with a table, seats for 5 minifigures and a decorative Cloud City micro build; lounge with a transparent sculpture and 2 chairs; garbage processing room with an incinerator, conveyor belt and a deactivated IG-class droid; and a promenade with tree sculpture, mural relief and opening doorways leading to other parts of the model.

• Section 3 features a sensor balcony with railing and swing-out function, plus a maintenance cabin with opening round window for epic Lightsaber duels, plus a carbon freeze chamber with lever-activated ‘freeze’ function.

• Section 4 features a dark-red corridor leading to the interrogation chamber with a turning interrogation chair, plus a prison cell, hangar with a secret trapdoor and tool & weapon rack, and space for the Twin-Pod Cloud Car with opening minifigure cockpits and 2 stud shooters.

• New minifigure details include Leia’s red dress, Han’s Corellian blood stripe, Luke’s dark-tan Dagobah outfit, the Ugnaught’s head decoration and the cloud car pilots.

• Weapons include Han’s blaster pistol, Chewbacca’s bowcaster, Luke’s Lightsaber, Vader’s Lightsaber, Boba Fett’s blaster rifle, IG-88’s blaster rifle, 5 blaster pistols and 4 blasters.

• Accessory elements include a wrench, handcuffs and Lobot’s cybernetic band.

• Stage air-to-air battles between Boba Fett’s Slave I and the Twin-Pod Cloud Car.

• Pull the carbon freeze chamber lever to pretend freeze Han in carbonite!

• Relive unforgettable scenes from the classic Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back movie.

• This amazing set is part of the LEGO® Star Wars Master Builder Series.

• Cloud City measures over 6” (16cm) high, 22” (58cm) wide and 22” (56cm) deep.

• Slave I measures over 4” (11cm) high, 7” (19cm) long and 7” (18cm) wide.

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Cloud City represents the culmination of the drama in Episode V: Lando Betrays Han, Chewbacca and Leia to the Darth Vader, who proceeds to torture them;  Han goes into carbon freeze; Luke arrives to save his friends – unaware of Vader’s trap, discovers the family Legacy and loses his hand in his battle with Vader. That fact the our heroes manage to escape with their lives is remarkable. The arrival of an environment to live out the drama in LEGO form is exciting.

There we have it: coming up for release in October, with early Access available for VIP Customers in mid September: This set provides us with some great new minifigures, and some locations that have rarely been explored in LEGO.  The multiple locations provides some great starting points for developing scenes, and I am sure this will be a set for people looking to explore this.  Plainly, it you were looking for a scale model of Cloud City, you will be disappointed, BUT unlike Assault on Hoth, very little of this is a rehash of frequently presented material. Of interest is the lack of a UCS (Ultimate Collector Series) label, and the mention of the “LEGO Star Wars Master Builder Series” exactly what this means going into the future remains to be seen.

Is this one for you?

Costing $499.99 AUD, would you be looking at an early purchase, or wait until you see some hands on reviews?  Empire Strikes Back was an important film in my childhood – the first film I saw where the Good Guys didn’t win! As such, I personally find it appealing, and might put it on my Christmas list.

Until Next time:

Play Well!

P.Simg_2218.: Would you like the chance to win a copy of 76109: Quantum Realm Explorers, based on material from AntMan and the Wasp? Then check out the Rambling Brick’s Awesome MOC Competition: there is a little over a week left for entries, but I am sure some of you could be appropriately inspired in that time! There are two copies of the set up for grabs, thanks to the LEGO Group’s AFOL Engagement Team!

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

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

Hold Onto Your Hats! Roller Coaster 10261 Unveiled

title.pngThe fairground has become one of the great subthemes of Creator Expert sets over the last few years – Starting with the Mixer, the Ferris Wheel and Carousel. Today we see the unveiling of the 10621 Roller Coaster.

Note: the official photos were released separately to the press release, and they are now attached at the bottom of this article.

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This set has been hotly anticipated since the announcement of the new roller coaster system first seen in 70922 The Joker Manor.  Initially appearing in purple, we have also seen grey track appearing in Speed Champions and LEGO City sets this year, as well as forthcoming in the Creator 31084 Pirate Roller Coaster. Neither 70922 or 31084 have been motorised, although solutions have been demonstrated utilising Technic chain, catching onto an attachment on the base of the cars. Here, we have the full range of track elements available in Bright red. (Ed: Unlike typical Creator Expert press releases, only a 2 stills have been provided by the LEGO Group.  The majority of images have been taken from videos designed to demonstrate the features of the set.)

10261_ProdWith 4124 pieces, this set comes with 11 minifigures, and is easily motorised by either Power Functions or Boost. I love that the use of Boost is being encouraged beyond the Creative Toolbox, to add sounds through the tablet, and to potentially increase the amount of control to be had over the system. The Australian Price at Shop At Home is $499.99

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The roller coaster is designed to be be simple to motorise using Power Functions or Boost

I am impressed by the amount of gearing that goes into driving the train, from the trip up to the top, as well as moving the outside bumpers, to ensure that the train is driven around the first corner, before beginning its freefall ride.  The use of the cam mechanisms here makes me think that the ride up could be just as clunky for our mini figures as it often is in the real world.

Here is the First Video: showing humans interacting with the new set:

There are some interesting additions to this set serving to add life to our amusement park, including the cotton candy stall: the beehive piece (recoloured pink) has been used in conjunction with a head to make a marvellous stick of cotton candy/fairy floss. There is a map of the park, as well as a bench: just the place for a grandparent to take a moment to relax, and consider the wisdom of their choices.  If you are looking for a healthier beverage option, there is a juice bar as well! The gates at the entry of the roller coaster are manually operated, and the ride operator has a measuring stick, in case of any small children sneaking onto the ride, past the initial measuring sign!

Here is a stop motion movie , showing life from a mini figure’s point of view…

Here is the Press release:

war3.png10261 LEGO Creator Expert: Roller Coaster

Ages 16+. 4,124 pieces.

$379.99 US – $479.99 CN – DE 329.99€ – FR 349.99€ – UK £299.99 – DK 2699DKK

*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.

Take a ride with the ultimate Roller Coaster!

[Summary]war2

Enjoy the thrills and excitement of the fairground with this chain-lift Roller Coaster featuring a wealth of brick-built details and 11 minifigures. Upgradable with LEGO® Power Functions and LEGO BOOST for an added movement sensor and realistic sound effects!

[Detail]

Capture the speed, thrills and excitement of the ultimate fairground attraction with this incredible LEGO® Creator Expert 10261 Roller Coaster. This fully functional chain-lift model comes with 2 trains and an array of authentic features and functions, including a ticket booth, cotton candy cart, concession stand, height marker, and a covered boarding station complete with opening barriers and a control panel. Lower the lap bars to secure the riders into the cars and release the brake to send the train to the foot of the first climb. Then activate the chain lift and enjoy the ride as the gravity-driven cars hurtle through the Roller Coaster’s twists and turns.

war1Upgrade the Roller Coaster with LEGO Power functions for a motorized chain lift or LEGO BOOST for an added movement sensor and realistic sound effects! This incredible collectible toy has been designed to provide a challenging and rewarding building experience with a touch of nostalgia and charm. Includes 11 minifigures.

  • Build a fully functioning Roller Coaster with 2 trains, lots of big dips and upgrade options
  • Upgrade with LEGO® BOOST and LEGO Power Functions for an even more immersive experience
  • Roller Coaster model measures over 20” (53cm) high, 34” (88cm) wide and 16” (41cm) deep
  • LEGO® Creator Expert building toys are compatible with all LEGO construction sets for creative building
  • Includes 11 minifigures: a cotton candy vendor, 2 ride attendants, 2 grandparents with their granddaughter and 5 riders. 8 of these minifigures feature reversible heads to display different emotions.
  • Fully functional chain-lift Roller Coaster model features a classic brick-built sign, control panel, 2 trains—each consisting of 3 train cars with low-friction wheels, and a 44-piece track consisting of 7 different rail elements.
  • Also features a ticket booth, fountain, cotton candy cart, concession stand, waiting area with bench, camera element and a pond with a frog figure.
  • Buy your ticket at the booth and make your way to the covered plaza.
  • No cheating at the height marker—the ride attendant has an accurate measuring stick!
  • Help the riders into the cars and secure the lap bars.
  • Release the brake to send the cars to the foot of the first climb.
  • Activate the chain lift to pull the train cars to the top of the first drop.
  • Move the rails to launch a second train.
  • Serve refreshing beverages at the concession stand or spin some cotton candy.
  • Don’t forget to smile as you race past the camera!
  • Upgrade the Roller Coaster with LEGO® Power Functions for a motorized chain lift, or with LEGO BOOST for automated chain lift activation and realistic sound effects!
  • Decorated elements include a ticket, money, arrow tiles, pressure gauge, number pad and a ride control panel.
  • Special new-for-June-2018 elements include a 2x8x6 Rail Slope, 1x2x1 Bow Brick, plant leaves, stalks and flowers.
  • Other elements include a height checker and 2 cotton candy treats.
  • Makes the perfect fairground addition to the 10257 LEGO® Creator Expert Carousel and 10247 LEGO® Creator Expert Ferris Wheel
  • Measures over 20” (53cm) high, 34” (88cm) wide and 16” (41cm) deep.

This is a spectacular looking set, and I look forward to seeing it in real life. It is certainly not inexpensive, and has an impressive footprint.  This is a relatively simpler design, based on steel frame roller coasters, rather than the old fashions, scary wooden ones of old.  It would be relatively some to customise, similar to the pirate theme seen in the creator 3-in1 set coming out later in the year (or indeed with the theme of your choice)  Why not use it to reconstruct your favourite ride at a LEGOLand Park?

Why not leave you thoughts and special project ideas in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out the Rambling Brick on Instagram. Until next time,

Play well!

goingup

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!