80107: The Spring Lantern Festival – a Masterclass In LEGO® Landscape Design [Review]

For the last couple of years, the larger of the Spring festival sets has been one of the highlights of the building year for me. Last year’s 80105 New Year Temple Fair is one of my favorite sets to build ever, between the details of the maket stalls, the characters , the different produce, and the temple itself.

This year, we are looking at the 80107 Spring Lantern Festival: traditionally on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, it marks the final day of celebrations for the Lunar New Year period. This year (2021) it will fall on February 26th. The lunar new year starts with a new moon – a moonless sky. On the night of the lantern festival, we expect to see a full moon.

I cannot recall any LEGO set that focusses on external landscape in any detail with the possible exception of the LEGO Ideas Treehouse, and in that situation, the landscape, apart from the tree and treehouse itself, was fairly limited. In this set, designer Justin Ramsden presents us with a masterclass in landscape design.

This is a larger set than 80106, with 1793 parts. It will cost $AUD169.99/USD119.99/GBP89.99/CAD159.99. It is due for release in the Asia Pacific region on January 1, and throughout the rest of the world on January 10.

Continue reading

80106: The Story of Nian Review

Over the last couple of years, the LEGO® sets released in association with the Spring Festival/ Lunar New Year have been some of the most delightful sets that I have experienced in recent years. With their bright colours, families celebrating and insights into Asian Cultures, they have been a highlight of the new year releases in 2018-19.This year, we have two new sets: 80106: The Story of Nian, and 80107: The Lantern Festival. I was delighted to be given the chance to look at both of these sets ahead of time. The Story of Nian will be released in Mainland China and the Asia-Pacific Markets on January 1 and rest of the world from January 10th, 2021. It will retail for $AUD109.99/USD79.99/GBP59.99/CAD109.99, and has 1067 elements.

Continue reading

Countdown to the Year of the Pig: Dragon Dance 80102 [Review]

As we approach the eve of the Year of the Pig, I would like to look at another of the sets released for the Chinese ‘Spring Festival’

The 80102 Dragon Dance has been enthusiastically awaited after the initial images arrived last November, and the set has been hotly sought after, in part due to its relative scarcity outside of Asia. In Melbourne, both this set and 80101 Chinese New Year Family Dinner have literally flown off the shelves, with long queues, household limits and disappointed customers being frequent occurrences at the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre store.

I can see the appeal of this set on many levels: as a seasonal set, it is one of the first sets released, outside of the ‘Year of the…..’ series, for this significant day in the Asian Cultural Calendar, touching on subject matter rarely covered previously, featuring bright colours, and a movement function, coupled with limited global distribution to the Asia Pacific Region – this set has very little to be negative about.

This set has 622 parts, and costs $AUD79.99 new. The retail channels for this set have been limited in Australia. Certainly, demand for this set has been high in the rest of the world, and it will be interesting to see what approach might be taken with this type of set in the future.

Continue reading

Countdown to the Year of the Pig: Brickheadz Dragon Dance Guy [review]

With the Lunar New Year just around the corner, I though I might take a look at the Dragon Dance Guy, the first Brickheadz character to be released for this particular seasonal event. The dragon dance is a frequently performed at Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, traditionally to celebrate a successful Harvest. The dragon is thought to bring prosperity and good luck. It is also believed that the dance will scare away evil spirits.

Continue reading

Countdown to the Lunar New Year [Year of the Pig 40186 – Review]

We are now counting down to the start of the Year of the Pig. This year, we have seen a number of sets released to commemorate this event, as the LEGO Group seeks to increase its market share in Asia. We have previously mentioned 80101 New Year’s Eve Family Dinner and 80102 Dragon Dance – these APAC exclusive sets have been in high demand: literally flying off the shelves as soon as they arrive. We have also seen the release of the Brickheadz Dragon Dance Guy, and the Year of the Pig 40186.

This last set is one I would like to look at today. The fifth in the series – following on from previous sets Year of the Dog, Year of the Rooster, Year of the Monkey and Year of the Sheep – 40186 The Year of the Pig is available as a Gift With Purchase at selected locations now. In Australia, it is available through the LEGO Certified Store (GoldCoast), LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Store (Melbourne) and selected Myer Stores (including their online store). Before you get to take it home, however, you have to spend $88 in store. I found mine at Myer Doncater, during the closing days of their stocktake sale ( which meant that most LEGO® sets were selling for 20% off).

Continue reading

The Rambling Brick’s Advent-ure #20

Today we continue out journey through Christmas Holiday seasonal sets with a quick look the 40223 Snowglobe. Released in 2016 as a gift with purchase in 2016, it has 215 parts, and comes with a Santa minifigure. Santa stands on a brick built plinth, along with a Christmas tree, sealed in with white round tiles, which fail to suspend themselves magically in the air, as shown in the box art…

Continue reading

The Rambling Brick’s Adventure #19

Yesterday, I struggled to work out the nature of the the decoration that was unwrapped in yesterday’s Friend’s Advent Calendar, and an astute reader pointed out that his daughter felt it was a micro version of the 40139 Gingerbread House released in 2015. Having had that pointed out to me, I cannot unsee that version of the truth. So today, I thought I’d have a quick look at some of the gingerbread houses that have been produced as seasonal sets over the years.

According to Wikipedia, baking gingerbread was exclusively the domain of specialised gingerbread bakers, except at Easter and Christmas times, when anybody was allowed to bake it! Ginger bread houses became a popular construction in Germany during the early 1800s after the publication of the Brother’s Grimm’s Hansel and Gretel, where the witch’s candied house became the centrepiece of the story. Some food historians claim they were already popular at the time, and the the Brothers were writing about something they had regularly seen.

Continue reading

Welcome to the Year of the Dog: 40235

IMG_9956As the Lunar New Year approaches, our minds turn to the Year of the Dog.  Set 40235 has been available in Australian Myer Stores as a Gift With Purchase for purchases of over $AUD88  This is the fourth set in this series, including last year’s year of the Rooster (40234), 2016’s Year of the Monkey(40207) and 2015’s Year of the Sheep (40148). The Year of the Snake set from 2013 (10250) is of a completely different aesthetic: more of the creator 4 in one build able creatures type of set.  I would not include it in the current series. As well as the LEGO elements and instructions, the set comes with an envelope in which to place a gift of money for the recipient of the set. Continue reading

Happy Holidays One and All

As I write this, we are somewhere between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. In Australia, this period of time is characterized by alternating between retail discounts, blockbuster cinematic releases and spending time with friends and family.

For the rambling brick family, we have been blessed by bright sun, warm days, and many opportunities for extended napping. We have been staying away from the family LEGO collection, but not entirely brick free. I was fortunate to discover NINJAGO City lying on top of my Christmas Stocking. It was never going to fit in. My wife and I were also given the wedding topper, by way of commemorating our 20th Wedding Anniversary during this period. I am currently writing in secret… Continue reading

Building up: day 24

For the last 23 days we have been putting models together and pulling them apart. Some have been related to Christmas, some to winter, and some totally out of left field.

I have really enjoyed it, but there is one conspicuous element in this set which I have not seen before, and not yet used: the Ehite Croissant. I expect that now that it is Christmas Eve, all will be revealed!

You’d better watch out,

You’d better not cry,

You’d better not pout,

I’m telling you why Continue reading