Earlier in the year, I was excited to see the release of the LEGO® Super Mario range. If might not have been the collectable minifigures, that many people were hoping for, but I believe that the play system, involving the Super Mario Smart Brick, in conjunction with scannable tiles has resulted in a game that we would only see with LEGO® and Nintendo working together. Judging by the responses we had to the ‘What Next For LEGO Super Mario,’ a number of you were quite inspired too!
Today, we get our first official look at the next wave of sets, set for global release on January 1, 2021.
Ghostbusters first hit our movie screens in 1984. We were due to see a new film, following on from the legoacy of the original films earlier in 2020. Ghostbusters Afterlife has now been held back to some time in 2021. It might be March, or it might be June/July: Time will tell.
It would appear that LEGO Had a model of ‘Afterlife’ ECTO-1 ready to launch in conjunction with the the new film, but rather than keep it on the back burner, or in the warehouse until then, it is being released on the 15th November.
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.
The Rambling Brick has had the good fortune to be invited to become familiar with LEGO Super Mario sets, ahead of release. This week, LEGO unveiled the complete range of sets in the LEGO Super Mario range.
One of these, previously undisclosed, is a series of blind Character Bags 71361. This comes with a brick built enemy for LEGO Super Mario. The Good news is that they each come with an ‘action brick’ – a tile with a pre-applied barcode – which Super Mario can scan and gain coins.
Today, the LEGO Group and Nintendo have finally revealed the full product range for LEGO Super Mario. With Game Play based around a real world brick built world, along with familiar friends, enemies, power ups and hazards, LEGO Super Mario is set to change the way players interact with Mario, based on the interactive Mario Brick.
I have had the opportunity to try out some of the new range, as well as take part in a Q&A with Jonathan Bennink – the Digital Design Lead. I will be presenting the results of these over the next few posts. BUT if you want to see the full range of sets, read on. We have pictures of them all, as well as US/ Euro AND Australia and New Zealand Pricing!
Under the old Creator Expert label, we could expect a train set released every few years. In the last decade or so, we have seen the legendary 10194 Emerald Night; the 10219 Maersk Train, the 10233 Horizon Express and the 10254 Winter Holiday Train. It must be time for a new one.
Today, LEGO unveils the 10277 Crocodile locomotive. With 1271 elements, and featuring the 18+ branding, where once we would see Creator Expert, this engine will be available from 1st July 2020. It will be priced at €99.99/ 899.99DKK/ $US99.99/ $AU169.99/ $NZ189.99. In Australia, it will be available from LEGO Branded retail, as well as David Jones department stores.
Unfortunately, no press release was forthcoming in advance of the announcement – so I am just going by what I can see in the photos:
LEGO Mindstorms has been a mainstay of the educational/robotics platform of the LEGO Product line for over 20 years now. Today, the LEGO Group has announced 51515 Robot Inventor, replacing the EV3 set, 31313, after 7 years. Based around the same hub as the Spike Prime ducational system (set 34567) .While Spike Prime is set to remain aimed at the classroom environment, the new Mindstorms Robot Inventor is much more a consumer set. Like the educational equivalent, it the new Mindstorms is programmed using a scratch like language, on either computer, tablet or phone. Unlike the other programmable Powered Up elements- such as Boost, Smart hub, or Technic Smart Hub- once the program is uploaded, the connection to the app does not need to be maintained for the program to run.
Read On for the Press release, and further thoughts:
As kid growing up in Australia in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s TV Viewing was pretty predictable in the run up to the ABC’s evening news: The Goodies, Doctor Who and a music video. In 1981, this changed with an English dub of a Japanese series based on a 500 year old Chinese folk tale. The tales of the stone monkey, along with the fish and pig spirits, protecting a Buddhist priest on his pilgrimage to recover scriptures to save the world from chaos captured the hearts and minds of a generation, as matchsticks became quarterstaves, and you could whistle up a cloud in the schoolyard. And that theme song. Ask anyone over the age of 40. they can probably still sing it for you.
Fast forward forty years, and the LEGO Group is releasing a whole new theme based on the Chinese legend….
The Powered Up platform, which seeks to unify the control interface between the different forms of electronic hardware, has been incrementally updated over the last 18 months or so, progressing from being able to do little more than control sets as they come out of the box, such as the App controlled Batmobile, and Trainsets to become a complex programming environment, tying together the currently available hardware platforms, with a grand unifying interface: The train Smart Hub, Boost Move Hub and the Technic Smart Hub.
This certainly means that they have their work cut out for them. I haven’t covered the latest update for the software here before, but it offers some interesting inclusions, including:
Using infrared output from the Boost Colour sensor to control the old Power functions ( you will need an IR receiver linked between your battery box an motors)
Ability to Map the buttons on the Bluetooth (train) remote to perform more sophisticated functions.
Reading the position of the device you are running the app on (that is, using the accelerometers in your phone to read its position) – allowing it to control your MOC.
Support for using four hubs (potentially of mixed type) simultaneously
The previous update (from December last year) also opened up the Technic Smart Hub (often referred to as the Control+ Hub) and Technic motors for control. This felt like an unnecessary delay between the release of the hardware in early August, which was functionally locked into the Control+ App – which only allows control of the main model from the set, before allowing the LEGO elements to meet their potential.
Members of AFOL engagement team (the team at the LEGO group that operate between the company and Adult Fans) have been taking comments from the Ambassador Network to the powered up team.
It was recently announced that the latest film in the Fast and the Furious Saga – F9 – has been pushed back 12 months, to April 2021. It had been previously scheduled to open in May 2020, but with cinemas around the world currently closed due to the COVID19 Pandemic, this fan favourite series was unlikely to attract the same audience as the previous instalment, which broke box-office records.
While we might have to deal with this setback, in our own ways, the LEGO Group and Universal Studios have announced imminent release of a 1077 piece, LEGO Technic 1970 Dodge Charger R/T. Priced at USD 99.99/€99.99, it will be released in late April.
Given my failure to fully understand cars, I shall let the Press release and the photos speak for themselves.