Amelia Earhart first learned to fly in 1921. An inspirational aviatrix, she was the first woman to successfully fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932. Taking off from Newfoundland, hoping to land in Paris. Unfortunately, the fates combined with bad weather and she landed in Ireland. She went on to complete many other many other milestones in women’s aviation, before vanishing over the Pacific five years later.
And so 100 years later, as part of Women’s History Month, the Lego group have released a tribute to her achievements in set 40450 which will be available from the fifth of March through Lego brand retail stores as a gift with purchase.
The Creator 3-in 1 sets are some of my favorite sets: as sets that encourage building, dismantling to build some thing else, againand again, the nature of the 3 in 1 set is the verry essence of LEGO play. I was fortunate to be sent a couple of the new 3 in 1 sets for review – the first, 31116 Safari Wildlife Tree House takes us to the savannah plains of sub-saharan Africa, with a number of fun builds, bringing the variety that we have come to expect from a Creator 3 in1 set.
The set has 397 pieces, and costs $AUD49.99/USD29.99. It comes with two minifigures, and goes on sale March 1st 2021.
Almost 12 months ago, we received a note that Chronicle Books, a boutique publisher in San Francisco, was preparing to release a few books that might appeal to LEGO® fans. Recently, I received a couple of books in the mail to review.
Today, I would like to present one of their 2021 books: We Just Click: Little LEGO® Love Stories. Written by Aled Lewis, who also wrote LEGO®Small Parts: The Secret Life of Minifigures, this book is one of those small books, that makes an ideal gift. Particulary to a loved one, at a time when all of the LEGO Roses in the world appear to be on Backorder!
One of the overarching design goals was for it to surprise people with what subtlety, what simplicity, what elegance we can achieve with LEGO Bricks. Those are adjectives I don’t think you would hear a lot of people necessarily use about a LEGO toy. Many other positive adjectives (were goals) like elegant, sophisticated – I hope we achieved that. One of the things that came first to mind was that we have this beautiful soft peach colour, and we’ve barely used it. We’ve certainly never used it like this….
Anderson Grubb, designer of the 10280 Flower Bouquet set.
And so, in part that challenge was to drive that set towards surprise, subtlety and sophistication. And while you cannot deny the subtlty of that colour, it is probably not what many people would expect from a rose.
As we approach February, and with that, the 14th – Valentines Day , we find our selves reminded that
Roses are red, Violets are blue
This poem can’t express myFeelings for you
And so, at this point our attention turns to roses, and indeed rose buds, which are a traditional gift at this time of the year..
Now, I don’t have the greatest collection of Ninjago sets or minifigures. I just haven’t really focussed on collecting the theme. But I was recently wandering through my local newsagenct, and saw a collection of LEGO themed magazines, mostly imported from the UK, and one in particular caught my eye:
Ninjago Legacy Magazine #7, an alleged special edition. A huge picture of Jai on the cover. But lets be honest, this isnt what caught my eye: it was the attached blister pack of minifigures! It might not be the latest magazine – travel time to our side of the world is often a bit prolonged, but that doesn’t change the personal value of the figures on the cover to me!
It was 2011, January, and extraordinarily hot. Brickvention was underway at the Melbourne Town Hall. And there, at one of the vendor’s stands I saw it: a strange new theme: it seemed part ninja, part card/spinner game. I was getting mixed messages. Anyway, I handed over $10 to buy one of the smallest sets in theme: 2516 Ninja Training Outpost. I took at it home, stared at it a little while, and put it in a cupboard. Today, I found it again, stil in the box.
Brickvention is not on this year… not in real life. We will miss out on our regular January fix of AFOL company and fellowship, but there is still time to catch the action with this year’s virtual event: You can find out more at Brickvention.online.
We have been working through the second wave of LEGO Super Mario expansion sets lately, and we are almost at the end. Today I would like to look at 71383 LEGO® Super Mario™ Wiggler’s Poison Swamp Expansion Set. It has 374 pieces, the most of any set in the second wave of LEGO Super Mario, and is has a recommended retail price of 39.99 USD/EUR – 34.99 GBP – 59.99 AUD – 49.99 CAD.
Like all of the sets in this wave, the main biome is the Soda Jungle: purple (medium lilac) tiles and plates. If Mario is left standing on this colour for too long, he become stunned in stages – gradually entering a no-coin state. until the soda is washed off by standing in water, or brushed off by shaking him.
This set is an interesting build, and I found a few new building ideas included, as well as new elements in significant quantities.
In which I reminisce about childhood music lessons, and evening television, build the LEGO® Ideas Grand Piano while listening to some of my favorite piano music. Then I troubleshoot it, with some help from the fan designer.
Somewhere lost in the midsts of time, I spent my Thursday evenings going to piano lessons. My personal progress was approximately in proportion to my lack of commitment commitment to regular practice, but I enjoyed nonetheless. During the early 80’s, I found these lessons to be a little bit of a drag: Doctor Who tended to shown on the ABC from Monday to Thursday: and the final episode of any story (back then they were typically 4 episodes long) would due to screen at the same time as my lesson. No Netflix, no iTunes, no DVDs and the timer in a VCR could easily be disrupted by failing to find a blank tape before I headed off to my lesson.
It’s coming up to the tail end of the year, and we have just had the official announcement that this year’s ‘Winter Village’ set – the seasonal Creator Expert model – is the Elf Club house. Last year, we had the whimsical Gingerbread House, and this year, we continue our journey into the fanciful with our journey to the Elf Club House. A place for Santa’s helper’s to go and hang out when not busy in Sant’s workshop.
I was fortunate to be sent a copy of the set to review, and I’d like to share my impressions with you. I will occasionally drift towards the way that the experience is different to previous Winter Village sets, but I will cover that in greater depth in a few weeks time.
The box adopts the increasingly familiar 18+ design style: along the bottom inch of the box, we have the strip of elements in relief – this time in white – declaring the set number, 1197 elements and a recommended age of 18+.
When I first saw the images of the new 60271 LEGO® City Main Square, I was pretty nonplussed. My first response to a casual view was along the lines of “… another quad bike police chase, another helicopter, a new tram, a recycled limousine, some landscape and a couple of buildings. And they are asking $AUD275/$USD199.99 for this?” Please understand, I actually thought in terms of the currency conversion
“And the characters have names now. What?? In the past decade, LEGO City has been the last stronghold of the anonymous minifigure!” Some of the characters might reappear, but I’ve never had anyone tell me what to call them before.
But after closer examination, there are aspects of this set which are worthy of further attention: drawing on some of the characters and situations seen in the animated series LEGO City Adventures, this is one of the largest LEGO City sets ever produced.
It is being marketed heavily as a set for the family to Build Together. As such, it is aimed a a variety of ages, not just something to leave your adventurous 8 year old to work on by themselves. As such, while some builds may feel overly simple (Aimed at a 6 year old), some represent building styles not seen in LEGO City for many years.
Come with me on a tour through the Main Square of LEGO City. You might not enjoy all that you see, but you might discover some things that leave you pleasantly surprised.