LEGO® Super Mario 64™ ‘?’ Block to hit LEGO® Super Mario™ Universe

We knew something was coming when the LEGO Group teased a large cube like model last night, but I dont think anyone expected anything quite like this.

Its a ‘?’ cube, as featured in Super Mario 64 (celebrating 25 years this year), and from different panels, we have different microscale versions of lands from that classic game! With 2064 pieces, and priced at $289AUD/ $USD169.99/ £159.99 the set will be released through LEGO Branded stores on October 1, and in other retailers in 2022.

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10279 Volkswagen T2 Campervan Coming in August [Announcement]

The Volkswagen Kombi is an icon of 20th century automobile design. The LEGO® Version of the T1 Microbus was on the shelves at LEGO.com from 2011 to December 2020, one of the longest running sets on the market in recent years. Of course, the T1 was not the only van produced by Volkswagen. The T2 was introduced in 1967, and featured a single (non split) windshield. And today, The LEGO Group announce the arrival of this version on the shelves in August 2021.

With striking medium azure body work, as well as a slideing side door, this icon of 60s counterculture also features a popup roof as well as a built in kitchenette and a collection fo stickers designed to turn it into a classic Hippy transport vehicle!

10279:LEGO® VOLKSWAGEN T2 CAMPER VAN has 2202 pieces and measures 15cm high, 14 cm wide and 35 centimeters long. It will be priced at 159.99 EUR / 179.99 USD / 149.99 GBP / 269.99 AUD / 249.99 CAD, and available from August 1 2021.

Here’s the press release:

The LEGO® Group has added yet another cult vehicle to its portfolio of cars, with the reveal of the latest version of the ubiquitous LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van, complete with pop-top roof with tent and ready for summer road trip adventures.

The new LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van is based on its namesake of the late 1960s and 1970s and succeeds the much-loved previous LEGO Creator Expert Volkswagen T1 Camper Van, adding many new features in the process. The new set is larger than before and distinguished by a new paint colour, a sliding door, as well as the trademark T2 wraparound Baywindow front windscreen and a new yet instantly recognisable ‘face.’

Under the hood, the set also features working steering. The LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van’s detailed camping interior is also fully equipped for the open road, with opening cabinets, fridge, sink and a gas stove with a teapot. Days at the beach are suitably catered for, as the set comes with a set of folding chairs and of course a surfboard, while a folding rear bench seat provides a comfortable place to stay under starry skies.

Volkswagen Campers are of course synonymous with customisation, and the LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van set is fully prepared for personalisation, with a sticker set including retro decals and a choice of German or US number plates.

LEGO Designer Sven Franic commented: “The Volkswagen Camper is a rare breed of vehicle that commands affection like few others, and we know the LEGO version will bring a lot of fun to people who’ve been lucky enough to have or go camping in one, or always wanted one.

“Though the Volkswagen Camper is no stranger to our LEGO cars collection, this latest iteration brings even more delights for LEGO builders. The meticulously kitted out interior is sure to charm seasoned campers and adventurers alike, while the eye-catching exterior with pop-up roof is a feat of engineering just like the original.”

The T1 10220 was a long lived part of LEGO Catalog, despite the immediate challenges of trying to achieve the form of the microbus within the confines of the LEGO Brick. With lots of curves, both horizontally and vertically, the form can be difficulat to achieve, and the challenge persists with this new version.

Aspects of the model appear a little too square to me, while others, such as the inward sloping around the middle of the body feels too curved. That said, sometimes, the first appearance doesn’t matter and its the reconition of the idea that results in sets being moved off the shelves by happy shoppers.

The set,10279, goes on sale August 1 2021, and will cost 159.99 EUR / 179.99 USD / 149.99 GBP / 269.99 AUD / 249.99 CAD.

what do you think of this new version of a classic Volkswagen Camper?

why not leave your thoughts below and until next time,

Play Well!

40516 Everyone is Awesome [Hands on review]

When the Adult Engagement Team asked me if I would like to review the new set 40516, it was described merely as ‘Merchandise.’ No description was available beyond that. Sometimes that can be a little vague. I was expecting to receive a storage box, a branded bag or an ill-fitting T-shirt ( mainly because nobody asked me my size.)

And then it arrived, and I opened the box. This set was something totally unexpected: bands of bright colour, with minifigures in single shades. The build looked elegant and straightforward enough. But I found myself thinking: Could this be one of the most significant sets of recent years?


Let me explain.
As you have no doubt seen, the set features 11 bold, colourful stripes on a platform. 11 minifigures stand on the platform, each matching a coloured stripe. Elements of a single colour make up each figure.

A message is sent out with the set, written on the first page of the instructions. It comes from Matthew Ashton, Vice President of Design for the LEGO Group, and designer of this set:


“I wanted to create a model that is a symbol of inclusivity, that celebrates everyone, no matter how they identify or who they love. Everyone is unique, and with a little more love, acceptance and understanding in this world, we can all feel free to be our true AWESOME selves! This model is to show that we care, and that we truly believe ‘Everyone is Awesome’! We hope you’ll build this model and display it with pride. It’s a celebration of love, a celebration of you!”

Matthew Ashton, VP of Design, The LEGO Group

I read it. I paused. I read it again. I have been trying to work out how best to respond. As a white, straight male, I feel almost unqualified to do so.

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40156: Everyone is Awesome LEGO® Set Celebrates Fans’ Diversity

Matthew Ashton, VP of Design at the LEGO Group, has been teasing a new set for the last week or so on Twitter. … one different coloured 2×3 brick at a time.

Today the LEGO Group has unveiled set 40156: Everyone Is Awesome. This set features 11 various coloured stripes, along with a unique monochrome minifigure for every stripe, a celebration of individuality and inclusivity, love and acceptance.
The final model is relatively small, being a little over 10cm tall with a footprint of 22×16 studs. It has 346 pieces and has a recommended retail price of $AUD59.99 / €34.99 /£30.00 / $USD34.99 / $CAD44.49. It goes on sale through LEGO Branded stores and LEGO.com on June 1, 2021, commemorating the start of Pride Month.

The company has long espoused the virtues of diversity and inclusivity, particularly amongst its employees, but to express it in the form of an actual product is a huge statement to both the fan community as well as the community at large.

Alternatively, here’s a set with some really cool monochromatic minifigures as well as some elements in hard to find colours. It looks pretty.

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Daily Bugle 76178

Today, The LEGO Group Announce the largest Marvel Super Heroes set to Date! The LEGO® Daily Bugle 76178. With 3772 Pieces, this set spreads the action across three floors, the roof and an alley: Just perfect for creating adventures in the Spiderverse. The Final model measures 82 cm tall, and has lots of great details, as well as 25 minifigures. Yes: 25.

Unfortunately, the press pack only included a few. However, I was able to enhance the end of the box to get all characters in one shot….

The set will be released on the 26th May for VIPs, and June 1st for everyone else, and cost €299.99/ £274,99 / $299,99/499.99 AUD/399.99 CAD

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New Botanical Collection Set: 10289 Bird of Paradise Coming Soon

We can reveal that the latest addition to the LEGO Group’s 18+ Botanical Collection, the 10289 Bird of Paradise will be released in Europe and the rest of the World 1st June, 2021. Unfortunately, the American release is not until 1st August.

Set box

The set has 1173 pieces, and will cost $AUD169.99/ €99.99/€109.99 (France), £89.99/$USD99.99/$CAD139.99

In the absence of a formal press pack, we have no further images to share at this time.

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Carnage 76199 [Hands On Review]

A few weeks ago, the latest in the LEGO® 18+ ‘helmet’ set was previewed: Marvel’s Carnage (76199). Advertised as a Target Exclusive in the USA, with no other international media supporting its existence, the world became a little anxious: will this be a regional exclusive, associated with an event that never happened (Note: we were reassured 2 years ago that the idea of a regional exclusive was gone, although event exclusives – read Star Wars Celebration and Comic-Con, and retailer exclusive, within certain makets remain).

And then a few days later, Carnage appeared on LEGO.com, along with this year’s Star Wars helmets – Darth Vader and Scout Trooper. We have subsequently seen helmet models for Venom (76187) and Batman (76182 )revealed.

I have been fortunate to reveive a pre release copy of the Carnage helmet for prerelease review – so without any further ado…

Carnage 76199 is perhaps not technically a helmet, so much as an alien symbiote engulfing the body of serial killer Kletus Cassidy, but thwere is no doubt that he has an extremely distintive physiognomy.

The Box is similar in form to the boxes seen for the previous Helmet models, and the black box works quite well here. Carnage is labelled as ‘Assembled from the Spider Man Universe.’ The set has 546 pieces and costs $89.99 AUD; £54.99;€59.99; $59.99 USD It will be released in the USA on April 11, and the Rest of the World May 1, 2021.

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Hunt the Rebellion on Hoth with the Imperial Probe Droid [75306 Hands On Review]

The Empire Strikes Back is regarded by many to be one of the best Star Wars movie ever made. The ominous, speechless opening of the movie as the Empire searches out any hidden enclaves of Rebellion, around the Galaxy, sets the tone as to which team is on the offensive: A New Hope started off with the rebellion on the front foot—smuggling the hidden plans of the Death Star to those who might be able to best exploit any weaknesses. The Empire Stikes Back sees the Imperial Forces taking the initiative with the Probe Droids being dispatched across the galaxy. We see one crashing onto the barren world of Hoth, rising out of the snowdrift like a malevolent cybernetic jellyfish before setting out to scan the landscape. Appearing before a cross to Luke Skywalker on his Tauntaun, in all its stop motion animated glory, make the Imperial Viper Probe Droid the first character to appear in the film.

As such, it is high time to see this droid receive a more detailed treatment than the minifigure scaled brick built versions we have seen across various Hoth playsets, Advent calendars and magazine covers, over the years.

The 75306 Imperial Probe Droid will be released on 25th of April, along with the 75304 Darth Vader and 75305 Scout Trooper Helmets. It has 683 pieces and will cost: $59.99 USD/ €69.99 EUR/ £59.99 GBP / 119.99 AUD / 79.99 CAD.

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New 18+ Star Wars Helmets and Imperial Probe Droid Announced

Last year, we were introduced to LEGO® Star Wars Helmets – the first sets to be labelled 18+, introducing a new subtheme of LEGO Star Wars Sets. Today, we get our first official look the new LEGO Sculptures for 2021, aimed at the adult market: Two helmets – And a droid.

We have 75304 Darth Vader, 75305 Scout Trooper and 75306 Imperial Probe Droid. These sets will be available to pre-order in some markets from today, and are due for a general release on April 25, 2021.

Along with a number of other Recognised LEGO Fan Media, I took part in a roundtable discussion with some of the LEGO Star Wars Design team – , including Jens Kronvold Frederiksen – the Creative Driector of LEGO Star Wars. We covered a range of topics – which included discussion of the new helmets, and the Probe Droid.

There were a number of interesting things to learn about these models:

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Q&A with the White Noise Creative Team

A few weeks ago, the LEGO® White Noise playlist was released on Spotify and other music streaming/digital download platforms. After spending some time listening to the tracks, I found myself with a number of questions: Was this designed to play while building LEGO sets (where the ‘searching sounds’ might be reduced, due to presorting elements?) or as a way to drown out other sounds, to provide that white noise interference to allow your mind to focus on whatever activity you have at hand.

As a recording to listen to, I found the sounds nostalgic, but I did not find myself getting lost in the listening experience. My personal emotional response to the recording was limited: while the sounds are familiar, there is something about it that didn’t get me lost in the experience. BUT I don’t think that is the point of using this playlist. It perhaps serves a stronger role as a source of random frequencies, at relatively unpredictable rhythms – white noise is typically used to try and block out extraneous sounds, rather than elicit a true emotional reposnse.

I reached out to the AFOL Engagement team at the LEGO Group with some questions, and Primus Manokaran, the Creative Director for the Project, was kind enough to send through some answers:

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