LEGO Ideas 21323 Grand Piano Announced

After 18 months in development, the LEGO Ideas 21323 Grand Piano is unveiled today. Appearing on the Ideas platform in 2018, it achieved 10000 supporters in around three months. With over 3600 pieces, this set is aimed predominantly at adult builders. It will be released on August the 1st, 2020 and priced at AUD $529.99 – US $349.99 –CA $449.99 –DE €349.99 –UK £319.99 – FR €349.99– DK 2699.0DKK

The set features a removable 25-key keyboard, authentic hammer action, moving dampers and pedal, and motor. Just like a real grand piano, you can lift the lid, and see the mechanism inside. Hidden beneath the hammer-damper mechanism, there is a motor, which is controlled using the powered up app – which also becomes the source of the music played. The piano measures over 22.5cm high, 30.5cm wide and 35.5cm deep when closed. 

Continue reading

Expanding LEGO Super Mario: 71368 Toad’s Treasure Hunt

Today, I want to take a look at one of my favourite Expansion packs. With 464 elements, this set has a number of elements that makes this a great set to display ( at least, as far as LEGO Super Mario is concerned), has a number of great play features, a range of enemies, and even some friends for Mario to engage with.

Compared with the other expansions we have looked at so far, this one is a relatively large box. I’ll follow the same general format for this expansion as I have for the others I have looked at: The elements, and Build, the features of the landscape, Power up/scoring opportunities, Other Characters and action bricks.

Continue reading

Meeting Jonathan Bennink… Design Lead on LEGO® Super Mario

A few weeks ago, I took part in a Media Event with several other Recognised LEGO Fan Media: Brickset, Blocks Magazine, Brick Fanatics, Zusammengebaut, Hispabrick Magazine, HothBricks, twitch streamer Between the Bricks. Other similar events took place around the same time, with other LEGO Fan Media, as well as mainstream media.

We met Jonathan Bennink – the LEGO Digital design LEAD on the Super Mario series, and he took us through a couple of the sets that were unveiled the next week. He followed up by showing us some additional aspects of the new theme, gave us some gameplay hints and set us some challenges… At the end of the presentation, we were able to ask some questions. Some were answered on the day. Some were followed up subsequently… Read on for More.

Continue reading

Expanding LEGO® Super Mario II: Boomer Bill Barrage 71366

I continue my survey of LEGO Super Mario Expansion Sets today, taking a look at one of the smaller sets, with a clever mechanism incorporated in the game play: Boomer Bill Barrage. This set has 132 pieces, and introduces a new character, as well as a challenging ‘swing platform’.

As with all of the LEGO Super Mario Expansion sets, you need a copy of the 71360 LEGO Super Mario Starter set (Adventures with Mario), in order to get the most play value out of it.

Continue reading

18+ Retro 71374 LEGO® Nintendo Entertainment System™ Announced

Up until now, all of the sets related to the LEGO® Nintendo collaboration have related to the new LEGO® Super Mario theme, as a form of integrated game, aimed at ages 6 and up. But where has the love been for those who grew up with Nintendo, playing Super Mario?

Today, LEGO and Nintendo have unveiled the 71374 LEGO® Nintendo Entertainment System™. A model Retro TV and Nintendo Entertainment System Console, with a scrolling platform display. The TV is also designed to integrate with the LEGO Super Mario Brick, found in the LEGO Super Mario Starter Course.

This set, aimed at adult builders will be released August 1st 2020, through LEGO branded retail this year, with wider distribution in 2021. It has 2646 elements, and will cost AUS $349.99 – NZD $399.99 – US $229.99 – CA $299.99 –DE €229.99 –UK £209.99 – FR €229.99 – DK 1799DKK.

Continue reading

Ikea x LEGO® 2020: Bygglek spotted in the wild

June has been and gone, and for the first time in several years, we have had no news of Bygglek. The collaboration between the LEGO Group and IKEA was first announced at the IKEA Democratic Design Days in 2018, we received more idea of what to expect, last year. Essentially billed as a storage system, allowing children to put a pause on play, while getting their bricks tidied up quickly – which is sure to help please their parents. The trick is then to make it as easy to ‘press go,’ and start playing again, faster than switching on the iPad, and getting it connected to the WiFi. (Read on for more)

Continue reading

What’s Marilyn Worth? A quick analysis of LEGO® Art, and alternatives.

Please note: all prices referred to in this article are AUSTRALIAN dollars. Shipping is not taken into account.Prices quoted were accessed on July 4-5 2020, and were only accessed from sites that could supply the full number of elements in a given colour. Individual results might vary. Now read on…

In the last few days, since the announcement of the LEGO® Art Series, one of the most common issues raised in a number of LEGO discussion groups has been the price of each mosaic.

So: a quick recap: There are 4 ‘sets’ in the series, and each set has the option to build several different images: The 31197 Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe, and 31198 The Beatles make 4 versions, while Iron Man and Sith have 3 different images, and a super image – requiring 3 of the sets to build. They are built on 16×16 ‘plates on bricks’ (a new element) – and coloured in with either 1×1 round plates or tiles. The finished mosaics an elegant frame, and comes with a QR code, to give you a ‘soundtrack to listen to while you build. These sets are aimed squarely at adults, who are probably not regular LEGO shoppers.

At $AUD200 each, the price feels higher than I want to pay. Especially if I want to complete the ‘set’ and build all four of the Warhol Marilyn’s (or the Beatles; or 6 copies to build the set of Iron Man or Sith mosaics). The truth is, if you want to channel your recreational income towards LEGO, to build your own creations with, you may not wish to divert $200-$1200 to have on the walls.

So, while I will acknowledge that the LEGO Art Mosaics are expensive, there are two questions that I still find myself asking:

  • Do they offer reasonable value for money? and
  • Could I get a similar same result, with less expenditure?
Continue reading

Review: 21054 The White House

Without a doubt, the White House is one of the most iconic buildings in the United States. As the 244th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence is celebrated, I present my review of the latest incarnation of this building in LEGO Architecture form. I don’t fully understand why this set received world wide release in June, with the exception of of North America. I will merely accept the fact, and move on.

The set comes, as one might expect, in a solid black cardboard box, with the now familiar ‘Greebled’ 18+ pattern, this time in white, along a strip at the bottom of the box.

On opening the box, we see several 8×16 plates in Earth green, as well as 8 bags, labelled 1-5. As with all Architecture sets, the instructions give us a potted history of the White House – With the site selected by George Washington, and designed by James Hoban, the original building, was also referred to as the Executive Residence and the President’s Palace, before being renamed the White House in 1906, by President Roosevelt.

Continue reading

LEGO® Art Series Revealed. Available August 1. $199.99 AUD/NZD

This year has seen a collection of ever expanding opportunities for adults to get engaged with LEGO: Be it super cars, trains, fairground attractions, football grounds, Disney characters, there has been something for everyone. the styles and building techniques have all been quite different and challenging.

And today, LEGO Announces its latest releases for adults: LEGO Art. This series of mosaics, put together over a series of interlinking bases covers a variety of material – both traditional LEGO licences, as well as a new one.

These sets are priced at $199.99 AUD/NZD -US $119.99 –CA $149.99 –DE €119.99 –UK £114.99 – FR €119.99 – DK 1099DKK. There are four different ‘sets’ available, and each allows you to make one of several different images. Each set comes with an associated ‘Playlist/Soundtrack’ for you to listen to while you complete the build. Each mosaic measures 40cm (48 studs) square.

Continue reading

Expanding LEGO Super Mario I: Pirhana Plant Power Slide[71365]

Last week, we took our first look at the 71360 LEGO Super Mario Starter set, Adventures with Mario. Today, we are taking a look at one of the expansion sets, which adds an exciting, dynamic challenge to any level: 71365 Pirhana Plant Power Slide.

This set provides two enemies, some desert landscape, and a Time Bonus box. We also have the eponymous Piranha Power Slide, which can be incorporated in a larger layout, or used on its own in conjunction with the start and finish points. But does that make it a worthwhile purchase? Read on to find out.

Continue reading