Unity x LEGO Game Jam: Ideas Edition Feb 13th 2021

A couple of months ago, we mentioned the new Unity x LEGO microgame platform, now online. Lining up nicely with the 25th Anniversary of LEGO Games, there is now a LEGO Ideas contest in pregress for creators of these games.

And everyone’s a winner! Well, Every participant will receive a custom, limited edition, Unity Minifigure.

But, that has been in progress for a few weeks now. Why the excitement today?

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LEGO IDEAS® Confirms A Supersonic Fan Design Creation: SONIC MANIA™ GREEN HILL ZONE

Sometimes, LEGO Ideas feels like a simple process: a collection of sets reach 10000 votes, and they enter the review process. After 3-4 months, one or two get announced as proceeding towards development as a set. And a year or so later, they appear, in a slightly altered form on the shop floor.

But sometimes we are asked to wait. And so it was last September: the first review results for 2020 were in and, after four months of consideration, the Earth Globe was announced.

But one other Idea was declared to be ‘Still Under Consideration’: Sonic Mania: Green Hill Zone, by toastergrl. Today, four months after that original announcement, the LEGO IDEAS team have announced that this submission is now being developed for release as a set.

Typically, an Ideas submission is released around 12 months after the announcement. However, with Sonic’s 30th Anniversary coming up in June 2021, I find myself wondering if it might arrive a little sooner than early 2022.

Sonic the Hedgehog, a property of SEGA, was previously produced as a minifigure in a level pack for LEGO Dimensions, so the mold for Sonic is already in existence (important to consider, since LEGO Ideas is generally not in the business of handing out fresh molds for successful submissions. Since the LEGO Group have had a previous relationship with SEGA, this may well have made developing the set a little more simple than might be seen for other third party intellectual properties.

Steamboat Willie went from Confirmed to released in 6 weeks.Could Sonic also be on a rapid development cycle?

The previous record for development from announcement of approval to pre release announcement occurred in 2019, when 21317 Steamboat Willie was announced as approved on February 18, and then the final model announced on March 19 – for an April release. I suspect that project was well underway by the time that they announced its approval. Could this be the case here? We may (or may not) find out in the next couple of months.

So the actual news here is that the SONIC MANIA: Green Hill Zone will be made into a set, but at this point WE DO NOT KNOW WHEN IT IS LIKELY TO BE RELEASED. In the spirit of rampant speculation, I would like to imagine that it will be around the middle of the year, but I have no evidence of that, other that the fact that the world will be celebrating 30 years of Sonic the Hedgehog that month.


4th February 2021: LEGO Ideas® today announced they will be bringing SEGA’s® legendary speedster, Sonic the Hedgehog™, to brick form, thanks to a concept design submitted by 24 year-old, UK based, LEGO® superfan Viv Grannell. Viv, also a passionate Sonic fan, created her design as a submission to the LEGO Ideas® platform, a LEGO initiative that takes new ideas that have been imagined and voted for by fans and turns them into reality.

Viv’s design was inspired by SEGA’s critically acclaimed 2017 platformer experience Sonic Mania™, and features iconic characters and environments from the game’s Green Hill Zone level. Once the design was completed, it achieved the prerequisite 10,000 votes from LEGO fans worldwide – before being greenlit to go into production by the LEGO Group.

Talking about the winning idea, Viv Grannell said; “I’ve been invested in the world of Sonic for almost my entire life, and it’s such a perfect fit for the LEGO system that I spent about a year rallying support for it to happen. Having 10,000 people back my design was overwhelming enough, even with friends and family behind me, but having it be selected for further development was the most exciting secret I have ever had to keep!”

The Sonic Mania Green Hill Zone LEGO Ideas® design will now go into the product development phase, in partnership with SEGA® and once finalised will be available worldwide. Talking about the collaboration, Jason Rice, Director of Brand Licensing, SEGA® Europe Ltd, said; “At SEGA, we’ve always encouraged fans to take part in the legacy of the Sonic franchise through their own creations and it’s wonderful to see the tradition continued through the LEGO Ideas® program. We’re thrilled to partner with Viv and the LEGO Group, and hope to inspire fans to continue creating their own unique Sonic the Hedgehog™ experiences for generations to come.”

The Sonic Mania Green Hill Zone LEGO Ideas® design is the ultimate embodiment of Sonic the Hedgehog’s™ past and future as the franchise celebrates its 30th anniversary this June. Featuring a wide variety of elements inspired by Classic Sonic, the set will provide LEGO collectors and Sonic fans alike a truly supersonic LEGO experience.

Hopefully it wont be too long before we see what the finished product was like. Like Mario, Sonic is a character that so many people have grown up with, and unlike Mario, this has the potential to see a collection of favorite video game characters produced in minifigure form.

What do you think of the idea of a LEGO IDEAS Sonic the Hedgehog set? Why not leave your comments below, and until next time,

Play Well!

LEGO IDEAS® 21325 Medieval Blacksmith: Hands-on Review

Despite being a theme that was there In The Beginning, when the Minifigure Era of LEGO® arrived back in 1978, Castle has not been well represented in more recent years. It is probably closer to 10 years since we saw any buildings geared more towards medieval life, rather than warring factions of knights, kings, monsters and castles.

Castle sets of the Fantasy Era were one of the mainstays in our house when my children were starting to play with LEGO, around the time that I emerged from my Dark Ages – sets such as the the 10193 Medieval Market Village, and the 7189 Mill Village raid (the sole minifigure scale set to come with not one, but two goats.) were among our favorites. As such, there has been quite a bit of excitement – both in our household, and amongst the AFOL Community regarding the forthcoming release of the LEGO®Ideas 21325 Medieval Blacksmith.

I was fortunate to be sent a prerelease copy of the set for review by the LEGO Group. All opinions are my own. Provision of materials for review does not guarantee a positive review.

The set will be released on Febrary 1st 2021. It contains 2164 pieces, and will cost 149.99 USD/ 199.99 CAD 146.99 EUR / 134.99 GBP /249.99 AUD

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LEGO IDEAS® REVEALS MEDIEVAL SET STARRING THE UNSUNG HERO OF THE MIDDLE AGES – THE HONOURABLE BLACKSMITH [Announcement]

A little over eighteen months ago, Clemens Fiedler’s LEGO® Ideas Submission ‘Medieval BlackSmith’ reached 10000 supporters on the crowd-sourcing platform. Finally, we can reveal the official details about this set. Last year, 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay saw classic Pirates given the LEGO Ideas/ AFOL Audience Treatment. This year, the 21325 Medieval Blacksmith sees the same treatment meted out on the Classic Castle/Medieval Market village style sets.

With 2164 pieces, and costing 149.99 USD/ 199.99 CAD 146.99 EUR / 134.99 GBP /249.99 AUD, this set will be released through LEGO Branded Retail on February 1st.

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90th Anniversary of LEGO®: Fan Vote for a Nostalgia Laden, Adult Focussed Set.

The LEGO Group will turn 90 years in 2022. That’s still a year away, but in the mean time, LEGO Ideas are sunning a survey to select a classic theme to be revived as a single set in the Adult/18+ portfolio in 2022. The topic will be selected from a selection of 30 LEGO Themes from over the years. LEGO Ideas ran a similar survey last year, to help select a LEGO Star Wars UCS set for release later this year – we are currently anticipating a Republic Drop Ship.

As I write this, I don’t know the exact themes of choice, but it is probably safe to presume that they will be retired ‘in-house’, unlicensed themes, to be represented with a modern twist – not dissimilar to the Pirates of Bucaneer Bay that we saw released through LEGO Ideas Earlier this year. earlier last year.

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LEGO Ideas X Bricklink Designer Program

Revamped AFOL Designers Program To Give Rejected LEGO® Ideas Submissions A Second Chance At Realisation.

Over the years that the LEGO® Ideas program has been operating, there have been many models that have made the grade to become official LEGO sets, but even many more that have not. During the course of 2020, there has been a record number of submissions to the crowdsourcing platform, and more submissions have been reaching the 10,000 vote threshold for more formal consideration to become official LEGO Sets.

Today, the team are excited to announce a program in conjunction with secondary market place Bricklink, giving some of the unapproved submissions to get a new lease on life:

Appearing on the LEGO Ideas Blog today, the program looks to reach out to the creators of LEGO IDEAS submissions that were ultimately rejected, with a view to developing their designs further for for the AFOL Designer Program. A Pilot of the AFOL Designer Program was run by Bricklink in 2018-2019, and resulted in 11 sets being crowdfunded by the community, and released by Bricklink, as part of the celebration of 60 years of the LEGO Brick. Unfortunately, Ideas that involve 3rd party IP, and others that will not be able to be realised will not move forward to the crowd funding stage. It is anticipated that designers be approached in January 2021 about taking part in this program.

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Won’t you show me how to get…. [LEGO Ideas 123 Sesame Street Announcement]

Sesame Street debuted on American Television in November 1969. That makes it 51 years old in a couple of weeks. For people of my age, it was probably one of the first American programs that we watched as children: learning our ABC, that one of these things not being like the other, and wanting to count because ve love to count. It’s around the same age as DUPLO. give or take a couple of months.

Today we see the announcement of 21324 123 Sesame Street, the latest in the LEGO Ideas range. It is due to be released on November 1, 2020 and comes with 1367 elements. It has a recommended retail price of £109.99, €119.99, $USD119.99, $CAD149.99 and AUD $199.99. With 6 muppet based minifigures, the set has a surprising recommended age range of 18+.

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21323 LEGO Ideas Grand Piano [Review…and more]

In which I reminisce about childhood music lessons, and evening television, build the LEGO® Ideas Grand Piano while listening to some of my favorite piano music. Then I troubleshoot it, with some help from the fan designer.

Somewhere lost in the midsts of time, I spent my Thursday evenings going to piano lessons. My personal progress was approximately in proportion to my lack of commitment commitment to regular practice, but I enjoyed nonetheless. During the early 80’s, I found these lessons to be a little bit of a drag: Doctor Who tended to shown on the ABC from Monday to Thursday: and the final episode of any story (back then they were typically 4 episodes long) would due to screen at the same time as my lesson. No Netflix, no iTunes, no DVDs and the timer in a VCR could easily be disrupted by failing to find a blank tape before I headed off to my lesson.

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LEGO® Ideas: AFOL Focussed Book Title Announced. Crowdfunding Open.

A few weeks ago, LEGO Idea’s called for input from AFOLS regarding a new, history focussed book, to be written by Daniel Konstanski, and published by Unbound. The votes are in, and the book to be produced will be the Secret Life of LEGO® Bricks. The publication is now open for crowdfunding support and will continue to accept pledges into 2021, with publication expected around (northern) spring 2022.

There were three titles up for selection on LEGO Ideas: the Secret Life of LEGO® Bricks, The LEGO® Brick Museum, and LEGO® History in 100 Bricks. I suspect, ultimately, regardless of the title of the book, this was going to be about important LEGO® elements from over the years – and I am looking forward to seeing the completed book in 2022.

Unbound is excited to announce a major new initiative with AMEET, the LEGO Group’s global strategic publishing partner, to launch the first official direct-to-consumer book created in partnership with Adult Fans of LEGO®️(AFOLs).

Developed with input from a group of AFOL ambassadors and voted for via a public competition on LEGO®️ Ideas, The Secret Life of LEGO Bricks is a LEGO history like no other. Showcasing the extraordinary variety of LEGOelements, from monorail tracks and wheels to smart bricks, the Mask of Life from BIONICLE®️, and many more, The Secret Life of LEGO Bricks will feature interviews with the designers, managers and technicians who brought them to life, as well as artefacts from the LEGO Archive in Billund, Denmark.

The book will be written by Daniel Konstanski, the US Editor for Blocks Magazine and a passionate, lifelong LEGO fan. He is an ardent student of the LEGO Group, its portfolio of beloved products, and the AFOL community, having researched and written hundreds of articles covering every aspect of the hobby. Daniel is considered one of the most knowledgeable and authoritative voices in the fan community on the company and its products. 

This is an exclusive, once in a lifetime opportunity to own a piece of LEGO history; The Secret Life of LEGO®️ Bricks will only be available through Unbound, and every fan who pre-orders will get their name printed in the back of the book. A range of additional must-have rewards from the LEGO Group include a print of the famous LEGO wooden duck dating from 1958 and retired LEGO sets retrieved exclusively from the ‘LEGO basement’, with more to be revealed.

Robin James Pearson, Head of Publishing at the LEGO Group, said: ‘We are thrilled to be working closely with the AFOL community to identify, co-create, and publish unique books that satisfy the great thirst for knowledge of our adult fans. There have been a number of books published about the LEGO Group and the LEGO brick over the years, but this is the first time we have had the opportunity to work directly with the adult fan community to discover what titles they would like to see on their bookshelves.’

Unbound CEO Dan Kieran said: ‘Unbound is a global publishing platform where superfans can come together to fund books that are too niche for the conventional mainstream marketplace. Along with the book itself, Unbound and their partners also create exclusive merchandise, experiences or tickets to events that will not be available in any shops. We’re thrilled to be opening up Unbound to an iconic, global brand like the LEGO Group.’

AMEET Vice President and Publisher Eric Huang said: ‘This collaboration with Unbound allows AMEET to expand its publishing to a new audience, reaching adult fans for the first time. We hope this is the start of a long and successful publishing venture.’

The crowdfunding campaign will launch on Monday 17th August at 3pm BST and will be accepting pledges until early 2021. Books are expected to arrive with pledgers by spring 2022. This truly is a book for AFOLs, by AFOLs, with the full support and involvement of the LEGO Group.

More details can be found at the project page on Unbound here:

https://unbound.com/books/lego/

Personally, I am surprised to see this project going ahead with a crowd funded model. I would have thought the LEGO Group would have had confidence in the market to have supported this book through one of its established publishing partners, such as DK. However, the crowd funding model helps to ensure that the print run is appropriate, so that we don’t see excess copies being sold off in remainder bins for less than the cost of the paper used to print them. It also gives us, as AFOLs the opportunity to be engaged with the project – particularly with those supporting the project having their names printed in the back of the book, to say nothing of some teasing with regard to potential rewards available to backers, from hard to get sources. I’m sure we will have more information about this available from unbound.com in the coming days.

What do you think of the final choice? Was it your preference? Do you find the idea of learning more about LEGO history appealing? Why not leave your comments below, and until next time,

Play Well.

LEGO®️ Ideas launches fan vote for a new LEGO book aimed at AFOLs

In this day of online this and streaming that, a lot of us still like to sit down with a good book to entertain and educate ourselves. Regular readers of the Rambling Brick might know that we have a slight nostalgic leaning towards history of LEGO bricks. As such, the latest activity from LEGO Ideas might be of interest for you:

LEGO Publishing, a division of the LEGO Group, is excited to announce a public vote on LEGO Ideas to choose the direction for a new book celebrating the rich history of the iconic LEGO brick, made in collaboration with AFOLs. 

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