The Vikings Are Back: 31132 Viking Ship and Midgard Serpent [Rambling Review]

In recent years, Creator 3in1 seems to be used to revive a classic theme where there are no current plans to revive it: We can look to the 31109 Pirate Ship from 2020, or last year’s 31120 Medieval Castle as examples of this. In 2022, we can look forward to 31132 Viking Ship and the Midgard Serpent. I have been fortunate to have received a copy of this set from the LEGO Group to present to you today.

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71775 Nya’s Samurai X Mech: Hands-On Review.

After taking a semester off to revisit the core of Ninjago: Mechs, Dragons and Vehicles and Temples, we now find ourselves looking at sets related to the 15th season: Crystalized. I am excited to have been received the sets from this wave to review, as there are some great looking sets in this wave. Ninjago, along with the Monkie Kid, hold special appeal to me as being the spiritual successors to both Classic Castle and Classic Space.

Today, I would like to present 71775 Nya’s Samurai X Mech. This set comes with 8 minifigures, a buildable rock monster as well as a 32 cm tall brightly coloured mech, which boasts some of the greatest posability in a LEGO Set of this scale.

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LEGO® Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used To Be… [Guest Review]

Like many people of a certain age, I grew up watching the Original Trilogy of Star Wars Movies as they rolled out in the cinemas. I then set watched the prequels as they played out, around the same time as my kids were born and in their early years. Finally, their first exposure to Star Wars came: not through the movies in the first instance, but through playing the TT Games – LEGO® Star Wars (covering episodes 1-3), LEGO® Star Wars II – Espisodes IV -VI, and then picking up the omnibus Complete Saga, on an alternative platform. This also served as part of their introduction to video games, and as a parent, I preferred this style of gameplay – mixed puzzles and cartoon gunfire, while tethered to each other, and taking the journey together. To be honest, I would have never completed episode VI if it were not for the cooperative play afforded by my son.

Now, 15 years is a long time in video games, but it might have even been a bit longer. Our kids have pretty well grown up (but are still at home), and the closest thing we now have in our house to cooperative regular game play is a game of Trivial pursuit (either via a Nintendo Switch or going old school, using a board, actual pieces and a 6-sided die.).

So part of me was quite excited about the prospect of sitting down again and replaying LEGO® Star Wars, covering the entire saga and spending some quality couch time with Harry. He has spent a little bit of time contemplating Games And Interactivity at university, while focussing on creative writing. I figured I could get him to write a review.

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75341: UCS Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder: Rambling Review

Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder was the first personal vehicle that we were introduced to when Star Wars was first released in 1977. It truly embodied George Lucas’s notion of a ’used’ galaxy – where buildings and vehicles seen on screen had a few years or miles behind them, and were no longer in brand new condition. While the X-34 Landspeeder has been produced in several forms in the past, typically at Minifigure or microscale, it has often been at the expense of being able to brick build the fine details. By producing this set at a larger scale, many of these details are able to be demonstrated without resorting to stickers, except where necessary.

This latest addition to the Ultimate Collector Series has 1890 pieces and will be available from 1st of May, 2022. I was sent a prerelease copy by the LEGO Group for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Without further ado, let’s take a look.

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The Muppets – 71033 Collectable Minifigures: Rambling Review

Across generations, the Muppets have maintained their popularity for over 40 years. Be it in the original The Muppet Show (1976 -1981) or The Muppets (2015) or any of the multitude of movies in between, these characters created by Jim Henson have a place in the hearts of people, transcending generations. And so, when the news arrived that the Muppets were going to get their own collection of Collectable Minifigures, the world seemed to become just a little bit more excitable.

Like recent CMF series, this series contains 12 of the series most endearing characters, although there are a couple of notable ommissions. Does this leave scope for a future series, or other projects? We can speculate on that I am grateful that the LEGO Group sent a box of these figures for review – there are some long anticipated characters, and we have been excited to see how they would translate to minifigure form.

The figures will be officially released on May the 1st, although they have already started to show up in some parts of the world.

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LEGO® Star Wars: Death Star Trash Compactor Diorama [Hands On Review]

When Star Wars was released back in 1977, I did not get to see it straight away. “Wait for your birthday,” I was told in July 1977. My birthday is in March.

And so I read the paperback (ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster), I bought a couple of action figures (Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. My brother got Princess Leia and R2-D2. Eventually, we worked together to buy the Landspeeder, with its authentic floating motion), and started to collect the Scanlen Trading Cards (On license in Australia from Topp’s).

In the absence of a colour picture book, streaming services, Blu-Rays, DVDs or a VHS copy of the film, the next best way to visually experience the movie was to collect these screen shots. As far as I can tell there were at least 4 series releated to the film subsequently known as a New Hope. I only ever found the first in our local shops. Back in the day, I am pretty sure that I collected all of these blue bordered cards, as well as the series of 144 Battlestar Galactica cards, and subsequently the Return of the Jedi Cards. As a kid, It made no sense to try and purchase an entire box. Why would I do that? I only wanted one piece of bubble gum. Unfortunately, I do not know what happened to my series of Star Wars or BSG cards. I still have those from ROTJ, and secretly hope that there will be a diorama related to that in the future, so I can wax nostalgic about them…

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Greebling is Good. 75329 LEGO Star Wars Death Star Trench Run Diorama: Hands-On Review

This year seems to be the Official Year of the Diorama, with 3 LEGO® Star Wars dioramas announced last week, as well as one in Jurassic Park. Last week we took a look at the new LEGO Star Wars Diorama Dabobah Jedi Training Ground. With a clearly defined border, an exclusive R2-D2 minifigure, along with Luke and Yoda, this set gave us a glorious rendition of an organic swamp landscape, with different earth tones, greens, a swamp of varying depths and plant life. Today, I would like to go the the other extreme in design for these Star Wars models: occupying the same footprint as Dagoboh, the 75329 LEGO Star Wars Death Star Trench Run diorama features 3 visible colours in the scenery, a more induction, inorganic design than Dagobah as well as no minifigures, 2 TIE Fighter’s; Darth Vader’s Advanced TIE and an X-wing fighter – All in microscale.

So, how does it fare? Is it a reasonable build, with interesting details? Or is it a big slab of grey, missing all of the things that made the Dagobah set such a highlight in the release calendar for the year? Read on, and perhaps you might decide that this is the set you have long been waiting for. Or not…

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76956 T. Rex Breakout [Hands On Review]

It’s the mid 90’s, Ann (Knoller-in-Chief and fundamental emotional support for The Rambling Brick) and I are visiting some friends: she is a former work colleague of Ann’s. He is an audiophile, and has just bought a brand new CD Player, sound processor and a sub-woofer. We are listening to a demonstration CD including a collection of recordings, including amongst other things, the 1812 Overture – one of the gold standards up to this time for testing the bass response of your Hi-Fi system. Included on the CD is an audio extract from Jurassic Park – from around the 1 hour, 2 minutes and 10 second mark. The sound of running water – the rain – and a low frequency boom. Another. And Another. The glass of wine on the table starts to vibrate, and I am taken back to that night in the cinema a few years earlier. Lightning flashes, thunder sounds, and the Dinosaur roars before the track ends and the sound shifts onto the Blue Danube. At least I think it was the Blue Danube. It was a while ago and I was having a delightful evening.

But that scene: drama and danger, screaming and the shouting preceded by a low ground vibration remains one of the iconic scenes of the film. The T.Rex breaks through the no-longer-electrified fences, scaring the kids, eating the insurance company’s lawyer and knocking the car hither and tho. This new set, available in late April/early May, 2022 (pre order now on LEGO.com in some markets), has 4 minifigures and 1212 pieces. I am grateful to the LEGO Group’s AFOL Engagement team for sending me a copy for early review.

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Playsets Grow up with 75330 LEGO® Star Wars™ Dagobah™ Jedi™ Training Diorama [Hands-On Review]

I’d be fibbing if I were to say that this new range of dioramas did not take me by surprise. Of course, I’d also be fibbing if I were to say they made no sense. The history of movie scenes displayed at LEGO conventions has involved AFOLs setting up scenes from their favourite films and television series for the audience to admire. And so it was only a matter of time, given the current targeting of the Adult Market, before the LEGO Group started to produce fan favourite scenes from movies they share a licence to. This new range of dioramas presents the source material in a more appropriate fashion than might be expected in a playset, laden with play features, but not specifically designed to present us with comprehensive scenery.

This new range of dioramas brings us highly detailed vignettes, in a relatively small space, using techniques that you might have only previously find tucked away in the darkest corners of flickr, with occasional elevation to the front page of the Brothers Brick or Eurobricks.

There are three dioramas available for preorder at LEGO.com: 75329 Death Star Trench Run; 75330 Dagobah Jedi Training and 75339 Death Star Trash Compactor. We currently expect 75330 and 75339 to be available from April 28 while The Trench Run has been delayed for delivery on May the 5th 2022.

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Retro-Review:928/497 Galaxy Explorer. A Set That Defined A Generation

There are a lot of classic LEGO® sets. There are a good number of LEGO Space sets that might be declared to be classic. But there is probably only one set that is almost universally recognised as being emblematic of not only Classic Space, but perhaps the entire early Minifigure era. Bringing together a ship, a buggy and a base, along with 4 astronauts, 928 Space Cruiser and Moon Base, also known as 497 Galaxy Explorer was not the first playset of the era: you might consider the 374 Fire Station or the 375 Castle as being the other sets with this position – and they were released a year earlier, in 1978. And they contained more elements. Galaxy Explorer was not even the first of the space playsets – we had the 483 Alpha-1 Rocket Launching base come first. But still, there is something about the set which just says ‘This is Classic Space’.

I would dare to say it might even be iconic!

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