Getting Rid Of The POOP With Marvel Mechs (Hands-On Review 76168,76169,76171)

Back in 2017, The LEGO Group released the NEXO Knights Power suits range. This was essentially a dumbed down range of Mech suits, which incorporated a new cockpit element for the seating of of the pilot. Fast forward to 2020, and there was a new series of inexpensive mech suits featuring Marvel characters: Iron Man, Spider Man and Thanos. I missed these, for no good reason. However, this year, we have another three Marvel Mech Suits released: 76168 Captain America; 76169 Thor and 76171 Mile Morales. the sets have around 120-135 elements, and retail for $AUD19.99/$USD9.99/9.99€/£8.99.

I am grateful that The LEGO Group sent these three over for me to take a look at: I have been curious to learn a bit more about mech building, and I am keen to see what these sets might teach me about designing a custom mech suit in the future.

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Expanding LEGO Super Mario with a trip into Wiggler’s Poison Swamp [Hands on Review 71383]

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.

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Maximise your time playing LEGO Super Mario [Time Bonuses]

The arrival of new sets and software updates means that there are more ways than ever to extend your play time with LEGO Super Mario. However, these are poorly documented. While the traditional game runs for ‘around a minute’ I have found that it is possible to extend your game play to closer to three or more… Read on for more.

With the recent Christmas Break seeing families open new toys, I hear people talking about how they wish that they could play each game of LEGO Super Mario for longer, so that they can play through more and more of the collection of expansions that they own. True, the 60 seconds offered by the Green Warp Start Tile can be enough to play most levels through, but it is barely enough to play through Bowser’s Castle. Let alone other levels.

So… How can we maximise the time we have to play? And what is the longest time available to play, if all goes well?

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Spider Man Swings Into Action In 2021 (Hands On Reviews)

There is no doubt that Spiderman is a popular hero. Indeed, he is the LEGO Marvel equivalent of Batman. What I don’t really understand is why he seems to be almost always presented in LEGO form with some form of vehicle or another. There are three new sets containing the traditional Spiderman figure, each with vehicles.

We are going to take a look at 3 of the sets released on January 1 2020, with a variety of villains, allies and vehicles. Some of which feel appropriate. Others less so…

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Create A LEGO® Vase For The Chance To Win The New LEGO® Botanical Collection

The recently released LEGO® Botanical Collection has certainly got a lot of people excited about having a bunch of flowers on their shelf that won’t require water to to keep them looking fresh and colourful. But, One thing became apparent to me: Being able to arrange them in a vase is just as important.

There are so many ways in which flowers can be displayed, as my Mum’s collection of vases demonstrated the other day. But, when your flowers are going to live forever, you perhaps shouldn’t remove the valuable glassware from circulation permanently. And so I would like to launch my first competition for the year:

Build a vase, using LEGO bricks to suit LEGO Flowers: builds can be real or digital, and should suit the LEGO Flower Bouquet. You don’t need a copy of the set to enter. Digital entries should be rendered as .jpg or .png files.

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Expanding LEGO Super Mario: 71382 Piranha Plant Puzzling Challenge [Hands On Review]

As we continue our look at the second wave of LEGO Super Mario sets, we turn to the return of one of Mario’s classic challenges: the Piranha Plant. Can we call it an enemy? Given the fact that it cannot directly attack, or nerf Mario in any way, I consider this level to be an obstacle, with a built in playable challenge. The set is now on sale, has 267 pieces and costs29.99 USD/EUR – 24.99 GBP – 49.99 AUD – 39.99 CAD.

Like other expansion sets, it is built using the instructions included in the LEGO Super Mario App. It is also possible to access the building instructions from the LEGO Building instructions app. The Super Mario App is necessary to update the Mario Brick to accept the latest sets; provide video demonstrations of different aspects of the set, and to get challenges, and share your levels/images to the LEGO Life. It is not necessary to play a timed game, BUT if it is connected at the time, you can get a complete break down of how you gained the coins during your game.

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Cruise Into 2021 In Style With This Great Idea…[Hands On Review 40448]

It’s finally over: the dumpster fire train wreck of a year (at least it feels a bit that way) that was 2020 has come to an end. And with the arrival of 2021, comes a swath of new LEGO® sets to see the new year in. With over 100 new sets available in the LEGO® catalog, and Christmas still a recent memory, the online store, and LEGO Brand Retail stores(but not LEGOLAND parks, discovery centres or Certified stores) have added a little sweetener to entice you to shop. (Let’s hope the stock lasts long enough for the promotion to run its course). The Vintage Car 40448 has come from a LEGO Ideas contest run in 2019, which asked AFOLs to design a vintage car to cruise the mean streets of your Modular City.

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Building the Botanical Collection II: 10281 Bonsai Tree

Earlier this week, we got our first official look at the new LEGO 18+ Botanical Collection. Having already taken a look at 10280 Flower Bouquet, today I would like to look at the 10281 Bonsai Tree: also released on January 1 2020, with 878 pieces, and priced at $AUD89.99/USD/GBP/Euro 49.99.

One thing I have appreciated about the 18+ sets over the last 12 months is that they have provided a little more focus on the designers than in times gone past. The set was designed by Nicolaas Vás. Nico has designed a number of Bonsai models in the past, but predominantly used aournd the various LEGO offices, as well as on the promotional material for the LEGO Ninjago Movie. The manual also offers a selection of ‘way out’ techniques that could be used to explore the design of a LEGO®Bonsai tree, with different trunnk and leaf structures, as well as completely different themes…

The build appears relatively simple and elegant at a distance, but will it promote an opportunity to enter a state of mind where it becomes the total focus? Read on, as I explore the set in this hands-on review.

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Building the Botanical Collection: 10280 Flower Bouquet [Review]

One of the big changes to the way the LEGO® sets have been marketed to AFOLs during 2020 has been the introduction of the 18+ branding on sets that are predominantly aimed at AFOLs. This labelling has been applied to sculptures, vehicles, Fairground rides, UCS Star Wars, Modulars, Mosaics and even the Winter Village. Most of these have had precedents in previous ranges. After releasing 23 sets during the course of 2020, I wonder if we should brace ourselves for an onslaught of such sets in 2021.

On January 1 we will se the first sets in a new 18+ ‘Collection’: the Botanical Collection. Designed for adult builders, not so much because of the technical challenge, but more the subject matter, these sets have around 750-850 elements, and will retail for around €49.99/$USD49.99.

The first of these, 10280 Flower Bouquet, presents us with a 756 part set, and the makings of five different flowers, as well as some ornamental leaves and grasses. The designers, Anderson Grubb and Astrid Sundorf Christensen came to the project in different ways: Anderson is a designer with the LEGO Group. Astrid has been involved in making brick built decorations, including flowers, in LEGO headquarters, as part of a return to work program. Her involvement here led to becoming involved with this project.

I was fortunate to be sent copies of the first two releases in this collection for review, by the LEGO Group. We will look at the parts included in the sets, the individual flower builds, and the challenges in making all these flowers sit in a regular vase.

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Let Creativity Bloom With New Botanical Builds From The LEGO Group

We first saw images of the new Botanical Series a month or two ago, and today, the LEGO group officially announced the release of these sets on January 1 2020. The main sets in this series, are both priced at $49.99 GBP/Euro/USD and $89.99 AUD. Here is the official Press Release:

Today, the LEGO Group has revealed a new range of mindful models for the green-fingered. The decorative LEGO® Botanical Collection includes a stunning LEGO® Flower Bouquet to brighten the home, and a LEGO® Bonsai Tree for those looking to be more zen in the new year.

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