Take to the Skies with Bowser’s Airship Expansion Set [71391 Hands-On Review]

Bowser’s Airship plays a major role in a number of the Super Mario Games, and the LEGO form has been long awaited by many fans. I should not be surprised by its popularity, we saw a couple of versions of the airship submitted in our What Next for LEGO Super Mario?’ Competition. The ‘Bowser’s Airship expansion’ is the largest expansion set seen to date with LEGO Super Mario sets, with over 1100 pieces. It will be officially on sale on August 1st 2021.

This set was sent over by the LEGO Group for review purposes, and its certainly quite a different experience to the other sets I have built and played with for this wave. It will be prices at $USD 99.99/€99.99, £89.99 and AUD149.99

We will take a look at the parts, the enemies, and some of the ‘action aspects’ of the set, as well as a playthrough video.

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Visit Lakitu’s Sky World with LEGO® super Mario [71389 Hands-On Review]

There have been a number of characters who have prominence in the Super Mario Universe that we have been yet to see: Lakitu, a small Koopa like creature, who spends his life flying in a cloud throwing eggs at Mario, or presiding as MC in Mario Kart is one. One of the new Expansion sets exploits both the two player aspect of the new LEGO Super Mario game, as well as introduces this enemy to the roster of opponent that Mario and Luigi now face.

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75316 Mandalorian Starfighter: Hands-On Review

I was late to the Clone Wars, only really seeing any of the significant storylines during 2020. I recall the initial Mandalorian arc, seeing Pre Vizla’s Mandalorian fighter fly off, and thinking ‘Gee, it would be cool to have that as a set.’ Now, I am not much of one for thinking about hunting down sets that are around 7 or 8 years old. So I let it be. Then I caught up to the final season, with the return of Bo-Katan Krys, picking Ahsoka Tano up from the Coruscant slums, and heading home to reclaim Mandalore. Flash forward to late 2020, and Bo Katan returns, this time in The Mandalorian. Again piloting the Mandalorian Star Fighter, and this time appearing in scenes with both Slave I and an Imperial Shuttle – both of which feature amongst the 2021 LEGO Star Wars releases.

Set 75316 Will be released on August 1st 2021, has 544 pieces, and has a recommended Retail Price of $AUD 89.99. This set feels like a suitable bridging set in the current release of LEGO Star Wars releases: – featuring in both The Final Season of The Clone Wars, as well as The Mandalorian, as such, it is sure to be a popular set.

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71387 Adventures with Luigi: Hands-On Review

Around 12 months ago, we got our first look at the functionality of LEGO Super Mario. This hybrid game system, borne from the collaboration between the LEGO Group and Nintendo, has brought us the Interactive Mario Brick, which responds to the way it is handled, as well as the environment it is played in.

At the start of 2021, we saw a second wave of sets, as well as further buildable characters.

At the time that Mario was launched, the design team was asked about the possibility of Luigi joining the lineup. The response at the time was a little guarded. No point launching a two player mode until you had established that the platform would be accepted.

And Now Luigi is almost here. Due for release in August, I was fortunate to be able to take part in a preview event along with other Fan Media.

Today, we will take a look at 71387 Adventures with Luigi – the new starter set. We will look at the characters, as well as the landscape and obstacles, as well as the play features.

There is of course one other thing that LEGO Super Mario has coming up with the release of Luigi, and the software update that will accompany it: two player mode. We will take a look at how this is a little bit different, as well as the additional ways you can maximise your score playing with this mode.

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75309 Ultimate Collector Series Republic Gunship [Hands On Review]

When the Republic Gunship won the LEGO Ideas fan vote to determine an upcoming LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series set, I was a little disheartened. I was more of a Nebulon B frigate kind of a guy – this was the vessel where we saw our heroes gathering, healing and planning, after what had been a pretty dreadful time overall in Empire Strikes Back.

However, the size of the fan vote, and the proportion of that vote that was looking for the Republic Gunship (more than 30000 out of 50000 votes) certainly meant that the prequel trilogy and The Clone Wars was certainly meaning something to a lot of people. And then, in 2020, the world locked down, and my son sat me down, and we started watching The Clone Wars. By the time we finished, I had developed a new understanding of the both the prequel trilogy, as well as the importance of the gunship to the next generation of Star Wars Fans. And I probably became a little excited at the prospect of a large scale gunship to be released in LEGO form

The gunship is essentially a troop transport, as well as a low altitude assault vehicle. The contemporary analog would be akin to a Black Hawk helicopter. This version of the model is larger than minifigure scale – probably around one and a half to twice that scale, and provided the design team with an opportunity to increase the level of detail included in the build.

In this review, we will take a look at the build itself, and then consider the fact that the major virtue of this set is also possibly its biggest drawback.

Set 75309 will be released on the 1st of August 23, and has 3292 pieces. It has a RRP of RRP $349.99 / £329 / €349.99 / 579.99 AUD / 479.99 CAD.

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LEGO®: Builder’s Journey [Review]

We have a guest contributor today. While I play a few games on my phone, my son Harry has experienced a far greater range of diverse games iacross a variety of platforms. I thought it would be helpful to get his opinion on LEGO® Builder’s Journey – the debut game from Light Brick Studios. His opinion might be a little different to mine… and that’s OK. Read on for his take on the game…

Lego: Builder’s Journey

Developer: Light Brick Studio

Platforms: PC (Steam and Epic Games), Switch, iOS/Apple Arcade

Genre: Puzzle

Replayability: Low – Medium (depending on future updates)

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Brickheadz Pets: Ginger Tabby, Cockatiel and Hamster: Hands-On Review

There is something about Brickheadz. While they started off as a way to brick-build characters from popular culture, the theme had been showing signs of slowing down in recent years. This year, we have seen the format reborn with the introduction of the Pets sub-theme. We have seen some awesome animal format Brickheadz this year, and this latest wave has me quite excited with an overdose of cuteness. This wave consists of 3 sets: 40480 Ginger Tabby; 40481 Cockatiel and 40482 Hamster

Each of these sets comes with 2 figures: Adult and offspring. As well as a basket or nest for them to hang out in.

The sets are fairly similar in structure, but each feature various techniques that set them apart from the others. As such, we will wander through each set in turn, and then look at other directions that Brickheadz could potentially turn, away from ‘non human’ character representation.

So, read on for my review, and an idea of what might happen if you cross a nostalgic childhood theme with this character format.

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75312 Boba Fett’s Starship: Hands-On Review

The Bounty Hunter Boba Fett first appeared in the Star Wars Holiday Special, all the way back in 1978, but he didn’t really hit his straps until the arriving in The Empire Strikes Backin 1980. His starship, Slave I, has been subjected to over a dozen reimaginings in LEGO® form, from key rings to Advent calendar’s to UCS and all sizes in between. The last version of the ship was released in 2019, as part fo the 20th Anniversary Collection.

Boba Fett has reappeared in the world of the Mandalorian, during the second season, and so the ship has been reissused to fit in with that world, at a smaller scale to some seen in recent years, but more akin to that in the 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City from 2018. We have a new Boba Fett Minifigure, in keeping with his appearance in the Mandalorian, as well as another appearance of the Mandalorian in beskar armor. We can have a chat about the name change on the box later. I saw the set briefly at the Fan Media Days, when Jay, from Jay’s Brick Blog and I had a chat with the LEGO Star Wars Team.

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75311 Imperial Armored Marauder: Hands-On Review

The Northern Summer 2021 wave of LEGO® Star Wars sets focuses almost entirely on sets based on Television Series: Clone Wars season 7/The Bad Batch and the Mandalorian.

At LEGO® Con on the weekend, 3 sets from the Mandalorian were officially revealed – The Imperial Armored Marauder, Boba Fett’s Star Ship (the ship formerly known as Slave I) and the Imperial Light Cruiser. All three of these are integral to key moments in the series, and along with 75299 Trouble and Tatooine, as well as the 75314 The Bad Batch Shuttle shows an ongoing commitment to presenting more LEGO® sets from the newer, Disney managed, faces of the franchise.

The AFOL Engagement team at the LEGO Group sent over a copy of the the new wave to review, including the Clone Wars sets, and today, we will take a look at the 75311 Imperial Armored Marauder. Appearing in the Mandalorian, series 2, episode 4: The Siege, the Armored Marauder is a heavily armoured version of the Troop carrier, seen in the finale to season I.

The set has 478 pieces, and 4 Minifigures. It will cost $59.99 AUD, and go on sale on August 1st. Is this an enjoyable build, or just a big grey box with guns? Read on to find out.

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75314 The Bad Batch Attack Shuttle: Hands On Review

Clone Force 99, also known as the Bad Batch, are introduced at the beginning of the final season of ‘The Clone Wars’, and have subsequently spun off into their own series, following the end of the wars, and the execution of Order 66 by the Clone forces of the Grand Army of the Republic.

As such, the team and their adventures open up a rich new vein of material for LEGO® sets. 75314 the Bad Batch Attack Shuttle is one such craft. The set has 969 elements, and will go on sale on the 1st August 2021. The RRP is $AUD 149.99/USD99.99

I was excited to receive a copy of this set to review by the LEGO® AFOL Engagement Team. I was late to appreciate The Clone Wars, only coming to watch it during the extended pandemic lockdown last year. I am grateful to my son for encouraging me to do so, as the wealth of stories contained within helped me to appreciate the Prequel Trilogy all the more.

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