LEGO Batman Movie Batwing Polybag: Free with Purchase (at one retailer in Australia) + Review

The LEGO Batman Movie coming to DVD/Blu Ray/ 4K-UHD and digital formats! After waiting six weeks from the international release for it to arrive in Australia, it turns out we only have to wait until June 28 –  fifteen days after the US release. Already, we are staring to hear some of the marketing buzz.  In the US, Target already has an edition with Batgirl Polybag (30612) and four post cards. And Walmart is offering a special edition Bluray-DVD-Digital Download and Lunchbox (with removable cape!) pack. We are still waiting to hear if any of these will be coming to Australia. I would be really excited if the Batgirl Polybag makes it, as it does appear to be another different figure to the one that appears in regular sets and different to the one that appears in the LEGO Dimensions ‘Play the LEGO Batman Movie’ Pack .

So, What do we have to look forward to?

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That’s a funny looking minifigure…

JB Hifi have announced that they will have, somewhat erroneously, an exclusive minifigure with all formats including DVD, Blu Ray, 3D, 4K and Ultraviolet!  Erroneously, because they then go on to list the bonus minifigure as being the polybag: 30524: The Mini Batwing.

At least, even though it is not an exclusive minifigure, it is a poly bag, which rarely arrives in Australia out side this kind of promotional exercise.

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LEGO House: Set Review 4000010

So I have been talking about the LEGO House a bit lately.  It’s an exciting project, occupying the centre of Billund, due to open at the end of September. Like all new buildings in recent years of significance to LEGO, it has been immortalised in set form.  Unlike many of the new factory sets, this one is available to purchase at almost all businesses around Billund.  Except the LEGO Shop at the Airport, and LEGOLAND itself. You can pick it up at the bakery, the restaurant, the other restaurant, the supermarket and the LEGOLAND Hotel, just to name a few.  No doubt, many of these businesses have been impacted by the construction, and the chase for this set may be an attraction to get tourists to venture into town.  Now that the LEGO House is nearing completion, due to open in just over three months, the set is likely to have an extremely limited shelf life.

One box...sufficiently dented during the flight home to ensure I would open and build the set!
The Rambling Brick has been informed that it is highly likely that a new set based on the LEGO House will be unveiled once the facility is fully operational. No hints, clues or sneak previews have been presented.  Anything that follows is pure speculation.

But what about the set we have now?

Packaged in the same firm black cardboard box as the Billund Airport and Architecture sets, this one is somewhat unique: It is a LEGO model of a building that had not yet been built, but designed to look as if it were built of LEGO bricks, looking like a LEGO Model. And it does.

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I Can’t Believe It’s Not LEGO: Playmobil, in Competition or Comparison?

I haven’t only played with LEGO in my life.  Back in Christmas 1974 we received our first Playmobil Knights sets.  We were frustrated by the legs being locked together, and I managed to give one of our figures independently moving legs.  It took quite a bit of force!

First Generation Playmobil Knights c. 1974

I hadn’t ever really considered Playmobil to be a competitor with LEGO as I grew up.  One was for building with, one was for role play/ setting up dioramas. That was easy in 1975, before mini figures with silly faces and moving limbs existed. And that seems to be how it has been culturally in Australia.  LEGO is available in most toy shops and department stores, and large retailers (Thinking target, Kmart, Big W)  While Playmobil has almost exclusively been in the domain of the smaller, independent toy shop.  We have continued to pick up the occasional playmobil set, especially for Grandma and Grandpa’s holiday house, where our children would often play with them.  With the exception of a nurse in 1978, be have basically stuck with variations of the medieval theme.

I knew Playmobil had continued to be a thing, but I hadn’t really worried about it.  Then coming home through Belgium in 2016, I saw an orange Porsche 911 on the shelves at the Duty Free Shop in the airport.porsche

This struck me as a little too coincidental. Continue reading

Classic: Opening the door to a Friendly City. [Review 10703]

Last week we looked at the 2×4 brick, and talked about the fact that it’s a bit harder to come by in new sets than it was back in the ‘olden days’.  I was a little surprised to discover it had made its natural home in the world of Minecraft, rather than in the Classic theme.

Classic become the primary non specific  ‘creative play’ LEGO® theme in 2014, following on from Bricks and More, Make and Create and in turn, early Creator sets. One of the things that has distinguished Classic from the earlier themes is the variety of colours in the overall LEGO® palette. Over 30 colours may appear in some of these sets (the creative building boxes have around 500-600 pieces each, and recently have featured latest 35 colours over the last few years.

Many Doors and Windows

I recently picked up a copy of the 2017 Creative Building Box 10703, with the box proclaiming ‘many doors and windows…’ Indeed, at least 29 windows, and 5 doors.(This is the volume otherwise occupied by 156 and 120 1×1 bricks respectively.)  Last year’s set was a little light on for these features, so I thought an opportunity to increase my supply might be a good thing. I thought this might allow me to rapidly deploy some buildings into my Town landscape.

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Many Doors and Windows. The window panes come in trans clear, trans yellow, trans light blue and sold white.

With 503 pieces, 37 different colours and a RRP of £19.99, €24.00, $AUD39.99 and yet to hit the US market at this stage – but 10702 from 2016 cost $USD29.99; this is certainly a colourful box, with all of the suggested models being buildings.  This is a set devoid of wheels or eye-tiles, both of which we had a variety of in last year’s equivalent set.  The majority of parts in this set are basic bricks, plates , sloped bricks and windows.  There are also a variety of doors – including two angled doors; angled bricks, greebly parts, tiles, fences and arches.   Continue reading

Finally Sorted: 40th Anniversary 8860 Redux: The Classic Technic Car Chassis Renewed and Reviewed

Sorted

At last it has happened: I have pulled apart my Microlight Helicopter 42057 , torn down the Telehandler 42061, and dismantled the BMW Motorrad Concept Hoverbike, the B-model of 42063 .  I then sorted their component parts, in to compartmentalised boxes.

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Not all of these elements are from the sets purchased this year: they have arrived from a variety of sources. But they are now sorted!

With Extreme Prejudice.  Lots of compartmentalised containers: connectors in one; beams in another; gears and axels and panels. And random, hard to define, parts all in one flat box. I could have probably worked with several more compartments, or indeed boxes, but the process seems to have worked.

So. Many. Elements. Between these sets, we end up with around 1060 pieces, give or take.  Of these, approximately 570 are used in this model. This is the first time I found myself with so many technic pieces in one place.  This was not helped by incorporating the other technic elements which had made their way into the house over the last few years. I was amazed at how few of these pieces were ‘gears’: I’m sure the the gears what I remembered being the big thing that distinguished those early technical sets from LEGOLand and universal building kits.

This is the first time that I have built from instructions for a set I don’t own, with parts so immaculately sorted. It was a strange feeling. Knowing that all the parts were there, having built the original models, and pulling them apart directly into the sorting box was  anathema to my normal building style.

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K2SO Rides to Adventure on May the Fourth: BMW R 1200 Adventure (42063)

I never understood the joy of Technic Motorcycles. And yet here I am, staring at the box of one. I would never have bought this set were I not aiming to put together the  Reimagined Technic Car Chassis 8860 .  But people seem to be interested in it.  Every time I attend my local LUG, somebody else is putting it together.  And they seem to be enjoying it. And they aren’t all the people I expect to see putting Technic sets together! So what is the appeal?

But surely it’s just two wheels, a fuel tank, engine, handlebars, and a bit of trim?  How much variation can you get out of it? The first Technical Motorcycle was set 857 Motorbike with Sidecar, released in 1979.  This vehicle featured the same wheels ultimately used in 8860 (albeit only 3 of them).  The single cylinder piston engine attached to the rear wheel via a chain drive; the ride was a little rough due to lack of suspension, and the front forks were 6 studs wide, and built from a multitude of bricks and plates. The seat was wide and comfortable and the fuel tank extremely chunky. A side car made a third wheel necessary!857-1.jpg

How on earth could any of that be different? I mean that first set had a massive 409 pieces, with lots of red, black, grey and blue. However, here we have a very different vehicle: with only 197 pieces more than the first one! It has a recommended retail price of $AUD89.99 (just under 15¢/piece).  It has been around during recent 20% sales in Australia shops.

And so I set about putting it together.

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Missing out and optimism: Not quite the 40252 Mini VW Beetle

Over Christmas I built the Creator Expert VW Beetle, and found it to be a most enjoyable thing to take to the beach. So,40252_alt2
I was quite excited when it was announced that there would be a small version of the model available earlier in the year (40252).  Decked out in Dark Azure, just like 10252 (I sense a numbering pattern), I knew I was going to want to get it.  I also knew it was going to prompt me to place a shop.lego.com order when it became available.

And so April came.  Free gift with purchase over $60 was announced.  I was excited. And then the triple VIP points were added.  This period of the year coincides with school holidays in many states of Australia, and many of our major retailers have LEGO® Sets reduced by 20%.  Some stores were excluding Collectable Minifigures,  Some excluded The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Sets, and one excluded The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Collectable Minifigures.

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