Things are Pretty Cool in LEGO® City

IMG_2816In recent years, the LEGO® City sets released in June have featured an adventuring/exploration theme. The folks from the City have been Exploring the Deep Sea (2015); Volcanos (2016) and the Jungle (2017).  After a stand-alone Arctic theme in 2000, and a successful excursion from the City in 2014, we return, once again, to the polar regions.

I have found myself picking up a couple of sets in this theme, but would like to focus on one particular set: 60194 – the Polar Exploration Truck. As the other minifigures and vehicles might creep into photographs today, I’ll disclose the presence of the 60190 Arctic Ice Glider(RRP $AUD9.99) and 60191 Arctic Exploration Team (RRP $AUD15.99) floating around in the build space as I took some pictures.

There are a few things that I find myself immediately warming to with this year’s Arctic sets: Continue reading

LEGO Creative Lab joins with Indiegogo to test drive new product line.

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Add A Splash of Creativity to your day.

Today, we see the announcement of an exciting collaboration between the LEGO Creative Play Lab and Indiegogo. Rather than just testing ideas out with employees and focus groups, LEGO have announced that some ideas will be developed through public crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo.

GearsThe first range to be developed in this way is the new FORMA series: Based around a Technic core, this range will feature subjects from nature with swappable skins, that can be colored in or changed by the purchaser. Aimed at a young adult market, there is an emphasis on the creative project for display, rather than being a toy. The initial Indiegogo features an articulated fish model, with four different skins/designs available.Model Close Up_move

As you can see, the final result is not a typical LEGO model, but resembles a lego skeleton with literal skins, which can be changed. The sets are priced from $45USD, and $15 for the additional skins.  The opening range includes a Koi, Splash Koi, shark and Ink Koi – to be coloured in by the purchaser!Product_4 skins

You can follow the link to the campaign here.  Currently only available in the UK and USA, in the future there is the possibility of engaging other markets.

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The completed koi model in action. Source: indiegogo.com

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Creator Expert Vestas Wind Turbine Re-released and Sustainability Update [Announcement/Preview]

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In which we get a glimpse of another set re-released after 10 years and have a quick review of some of the recent steps the LEGO Group are taking towards a sustainable future.4999-1

Ten years ago, LEGO® set 4999 was released. A limited release set produced for Vestas®, a company which produces a significant number of wind turbines around the world,  this set was never made available to the general public.  Measuring over two feet high, it does have significant gravitas as a display piece.

Today, at the New York Climate Week,  the LEGO Group has announced the re-release of this set, as 10268 Vestas Wind Turbine. This time, the set will be available to the general public, from Black Friday (November 23). With 826 elements, the count is a little higher than the 803 listed for the older set in the database maintained by Brickset. In Australia, it will cost $AUD329. A full international price list is listed at the bottom of this post.

The Vestas Wind Turbine also includes a Power Functions Battery box, M motor, with a long extension cable, to get the turbine spinning, as well as lights.

Consisting of the wind turbine sitting on a small hill, with a house, service van and three minifigures, this set maintains many of the characteristics of the original.  Most of the elements in that set were readily available, except for one.  A green ‘Large ugly rock piece.’ While these could easily be substituted for one in grey, the green one has gone back into production for this set. The trees in this set are some of the first ‘Plants from Plants’ available for purchase in LEGO sets.  Earlier in the year, a promotional set was available, as a gift with purchase, in some markets.

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Minifigure 40: Classic Castle [Advertising Archive]

In recent weeks we have celebrated the 40th Birthday of the LEGO® Minifigure by looking at the ways in which print advertisements evolved over the years for City, trains and Space.  City had us building what we knew, Space let us look towards an optimistic future, and today, I would like to look at Castle. The knights of the LEGO Castle theme took us back in time. These were stories we already knew: King Arthur, Robin Hood, the Crusades, and now LEGO brought us a way in which to explore and reenact these stories our selves, in the comfort of our own home.

Once again, we visit advertising material from a number of different sources, predominantly European comics. I have had a bit more help with the translations here, as some of the concepts were too much for a simple machine translation engine… Read on and enjoy…

In the beginning:

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Build your own Knight’s Castle. Populate the Legoland castle with small funny colorful figures Just like at King Arthur’s time when Prince Valiant passed the Camelot drawbridge on his adventures.

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Community Corner: BrisBricks Expo at Chandler Arena- 29th September- 1st October 2018

We have had a few community events held around the country recently, and as we head further into spring, they just keep coming. Over the forthcoming Queen’s Birthday long weekend in Queensland, BrisBricks will be holding their sixth Fan Expo at the Chandler Arena. Read on for further details:

BrisBricks returns to the Chandler Arena for its biggest LEGO Fan Expo to date

BrisBricks LEGO® Fan Event is welcomed back to Brisbane’s Chandler Arena on September 29th to October 1st.

Now in its sixth year, BrisBricks annual LEGO Fan Expo at Chandler Arena has over the years welcomed thousands of patrons to be amazed and excited by the visually stunning exhibits and this year will be no exception.

BrisBricks’ energetic team of clever builders and volunteers freely donate their time, displaying their own creations and personal collections that will take children and adults on a magical journey through the ages of LEGO.

There will be interactive displays and play tables; a large train layout covering scenes from a number of movie blockbusters; and much more.

A couple of highlights this year is an impressive Batcave model built by talented master builder Brent Waller (who also worked on some of the model design for last year’s LEGO BatmanTM movie) and a huge Harry Potter display with an impressive Hogwarts castle accessed from Kings Cross station via Hogwarts express.

BrisBricks will also try to regain the Southern Hemisphere record of having the largest number of “Great Ball Contraption” modules on display. These modules work together moving small plastic balls around a track in all ways possible.

The BrisBricks Adult Fan of LEGO (AFOL) community in South East QLD is a not for profit club that has proudly supported many local children’s charities over the years. This year we are proudly supporting the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Long term BrisBricks club member, Russell Bates, said: “The hundreds of hours spent creating a display for a BrisBricks’ Expo is amply rewarded by the smiles on the thousands of appreciative fans of all ages”.

At the Expo patrons will enjoy:

  • Amazing fan built LEGO creations and set displaysCosplayers from Redback 501st Garrison – have your photo taken with a Stormtrooper or a Jedi
  • Getting little hands creating with our LEGO and DUPLO® play area
  • Charity raffle with LEGO prizes
  • Large selection of specialist LEGO retailers, face painting, balloon animals, jewellery made from LEGO, pre-loved LEGO and more
  • VIP session for the fan that wants something extra

EVENT DETAILS

Where:

Chandler Arena, Sleemans Sports Complex, Chandler, QLD 4155. (Corner of Old Cleveland Road and Tilley Road)

Opening hours:

General Public Sessions

Saturday 29 September 2018, 9am – 4pm. Sunday 30 September 2018, 10am – 5pm. Monday 1 October 2018, 9am – 4 pm.

Exclusive VIP Session (Ages 16+ only)

Saturday 29 September 2018, 4:30pm – 5:30pm.

New in 2018 is this session for the fans, who wants a special LEGO experience. Limited session size will allow the VIPs to get closer to the LEGO and have more interaction with the exhibitors and volunteers. There will be other treats as per http://www.brisbricks.org/VIP

Autism Community Session

Sunday 30 September 2018, 9am – 10am.

This session is designed for children and adults that require a quieter, lower lighting event with special considerations made for the Autistic Community. Book this session if it suits your family requirements. Book early to avoid disappointment as this session has less tickets available to accommodate the above needs.

Ticket prices:

Adult (16+ yrs): $12.00

Child (3-15 yrs): $6.00

Children under 3 yrs: free

VIP session: $20

Tickets only available online: http://www.brisbricks.org/tickets

Bringing Down Brother Eye with Batman and Batwoman [Review 76111]

In which I am astounded to find a LEGO Batman set to related to a relatively recent storyline from the comics.  In putting the set together, I reach new highs, new lows and breathe a sigh of relief as I get my hands on a colour I hadn’t seen for a while…

Batman, Batwoman and OMAC. (Oh My!)

IMG_2768The 76111 Brother Eye Takedown set is part of the DC Superheroes line, and was released in the second half of 2018.  I was intrigued by the existence of this set: while an ongoing part of the DC (comics) Universe continuity, Brother Eye and OMAC are not necessarily widely recognised by the non comics reading public. In it’s current guise, Brother Eye comes across as a DC satellite equivalent of Marvel’s Ultron: an artificial intelligence with the ability to take down Earth’s Greatest Heroes.  I was even more intrigued by it’s presence here as I was reading the ‘Lonely Place of Living’ as well as the ‘Batmen: Eternal’ storylines in Detective Comics when I saw the set announced.  Brother Eye, the OMACs and Batwoman play an important part of these storylines. Beyond this I shall not elaborate, as I don’t want to hit you with too many spoilers, and I don’t want to give away the fact that I have misplaced a couple of issues, making a complete rereading of the storyline impossible for me at present.

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Bricklink Announces AFOL Designer Program

Last week, online marketplace Bricklink hinted at a forthcoming collaboration with the LEGO Group, as part of the 60th Anniversary of the LEGO Brick celebrations.

Further details have been released this morning:

The AFOL [Adult Fan of LEGO] Designer Program is an opportunity of AFOLs to submit and original design for a Set, using Bricklink’s digital design software, Stud.io. The software will provide a restricted ‘competition’ palette for entries. Continue reading