I’m exhausted, and I barely left my study all weekend [NY Toy Fair Wrap Up]

It’s Sunday evening and I am exhausted. The weekend has been full of unfolding news from the New York Toy Fair: new themes, new sets, new Ideas, new films and new styles of Battle Pack. It’s been an exciting thrill ride. We have touched on a few of these topics over the last few days. However, I think the easiest way to cover the rest of the news is to just wrap it up here. Read on for further details.

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The Rambling Brick’s Advent-ure #23

As I’ve previously stated so many times that its making my head spin, this year represents many significant anniversaries in the the history of the LEGO group: Sixty years of the brick; forty years of the minifigure; twenty years of Mindstorms; fifteen years since the colour change was rolled out, ten years of Architecture…. and Twenty years since the release of the first Advent Calendar. Today, I thought I’s take a look at two of the enduring Advent Calendars: LEGO® City and LEGO Star Wars.


LEGO City, as we now know it, has had an annual Advent Calendar since 2005. Typically rich in minifigures, it has evolved over the years: Initially focussing on showcasing the sub themes of city – e.g. police, fire, healthcare, construction/civic maintenance; mechanics; cooking and domestic life, with a figure and several mini builds (occasionally integrating together to put together a larger build) and culminating with a Christmas type build – either Santa, with some form of transport; or a Christmas tree on the 24th of the month.

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Transparent Stickers In LEGO® Sets: An evolving improvement.

In which one sore point amongst LEGO Fans (Stickers) will result in talking about a sore point for Star Wars Fans (The Last Jedi).  I then proceed to subject some recent stickers to physical abuse and science. My final conclusions catch me by surprise and may well influence my opinions for years to come.  Now read on….

I have been thinking about the stickers provided with some LEGO Sets recently.  And not in a bad way. This has surprised me.  For a number of years I have found myself becoming anxious at the prospect of placing a stickers on a set, defacing a perfectly good LEGO Brick, as well as making a sticker non usable: this is almost counter to the notion of the LEGO System, where you can take a collection of elements, and reuse them, time and again, confident that they will always function as they have been intended, and integrate with elements of the past and future.

I have recently found myself excited at the prospect of using some stickers that have been produced: particularly some of those supplied with the Arctic Scout truck (60194) and the Stygimoloch Breakout  (75927), amongst others.

I would like to apologise if I triggered an angry, anxious or otherwise negative emotional response with that previous statement. In our minds we all have some strong opinions one way or another as far as the Use of Stickers in LEGO Sets is concerned. LEGO Bricks have been adorned with decorations, printed or stickers, for the better part of 50 years.  I still have Minifigures from nearly forty years ago still sporting their original adhesive labels, as well as elements featuring stickers from the 70’s: including these flags. Admittedly, the years have not been kind, but do stickers today last as long?

 

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Clarification: Ultimate Collectors Series vs Master Builder Series

75222_ProdLast week’s announcement of 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City left a number of people concerned as to what the ‘Master Builder Series’ might be, and what implications there might be for the Ultimate Collectors Series line.  There is no doubt that this Cloud City set is a departure in style from last year’s Snowspeeder and this year’s Y-Wing Starfighter. img_037475144_Front_01Clarification of the term was sought from the LEGO® Star Wars team, and they responded via the LEGO Ambassador’s Network this morning:

The Master Builder Series models are large playsets and beside being complex builds they are characterized by having many play features and functions, interior details as well as a range of minifigures. Ultimate Collectors Series will remain highly detailed display models providing complex builds with a focus on authenticity and both Ultimate Collectors Series and Master Builder Series will continue as a way to highlight the unique characteristic of each style of model.

While I suspect there will still be some people who consider this to be a dumbing down of the UCS line, I think it is good that in the future the label will now be reserved for brilliant display pieces, rather than large playsets such as 75159 Death Star and  70598 Assault on Hoth.  What do you think of this conceptually?  Why not leave your thoughts below.

Play well.

75181 Y-Wing Starfighter UCS Unveiled [Preview]

img_0379It is little more than a month out from May the Fourth, and the LEGO Group have officially unveiled the 75181Ultimate Y-Wing Star Fighter.  It goes on sale May 4th at LEGO Brand retail and shop.lego.com. The Australian price will be $299.99.
This will be the second UCS Y-Wing fighter to have been released, the previous being 10134 in 2004, which had 1473 pieces. This is the 10th minifigure scale Y-Wing Starfighter to be released to date… press release after the images.

75181 LEGO® Star Wars UCS Y-Wing Starfighter
Ages 14+.  1,967 pieces.

US $199.99 – CA $279.99 – DE 199.99€ – UK £169.99 – DK 1799.00 DKK

Collect the ultimate long-range Rebel starfighter!

This LEGO® Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series model has an amazing level of detail, including an opening minifigure cockpit for the included Gold Leader minifigure, wheel-activated rotating ion cannons on top, retractable landing skids and space for the R2-BHD astromech droid. This fantastic Star Wars toy also comes with a tilting display stand and informational fact plaque, making it the perfect centerpiece for your collection.

  • Includes a Gold Leader minifigure and an R2-BHD droid.
  • Features highly authentic detailing, opening minifigure cockpit, wheel-activated rotating ion cannons on top, retractable landing skids and space for the included R2-BHD astromech droid.
  • Also includes the Gold Leader’s blaster pistol.
  • Display the model on the tilting stand with informational fact plaque.
  • Makes the perfect centerpiece for any LEGO® Star Wars collection.
  • Part of the Ultimate Collector Series.
  • Measures over 2” (7cm) high, 24” (61cm) long and 11” (30cm) wide, and over 9” (24cm) high mounted on stand.

Whether it’s because it played the underdog at the Battle of Yavin, or merely because it was far easier to fly than the X-Wing in the LucasArts ‘X-Wing’ game in the early 90’s, the Y-Wing has always held a special place in my heart.  It may well be the set that finally triggers the purchase of a UCS set for me.

How about you? What do you think of this latest LEGO Star Wars UCS set? why not leave your comments below.

Until next time, Play Well!

Escape the Space Slug Week 2 Raffle Winners

Modulex Star Wars LogoWhoops, almost a week has gone by since I drew the raffle, and I have failed to tell you all about it! Congratulations to Handoko Setyawan through emailing the blog and @hazatronic on Instagram: you have both won a copy of ‘Escape the Space Slug’, courtesy of the LEGO Community Engagement Team.

Handoko presented a picture of a wedding cake that he had built for a member of his LUG. It was unveiled a couple of weeks ago, after the nuptials had taken place. The rest of the album can be found on flickr, here and is well worth a look. Yes, you may have seen it blogged elsewhere too…

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@Hazatronic presented a fantastic microscale representation of that essential scene in The Empire Strikes Back:

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Congratulations to you both.

We had a few great entries this week, and while quality of the build played no role in selecting winners, I love the imagination shown in some of the entries.

 

Thank you so much to all of our entrants. I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of the great MOCs people have come up with here. I hope to have a community build in the near future. I am wondering about ‘Micropolis’…

In the meantime,

Play well!

 

 

Escape the Space Slug Winner: Week 1

Modulex Star Wars Logo
Dirk Plug’s Modulex Mosaic.  Modulex was a smaller scale brick, produced by the LEGO Group.

I would like to thank everyone who submitted entries for the first draw of the Rambling Brick’s ‘Share something Star Wars’ raffle.  Names went into a hat and I would like to congratulate Steve Reynolds on holding the lucky ticket.51E52DF4-D41B-423A-A018-CD9B676CE671

Steve shared this terrific build of the Mos Eisley Cantina, populated with extra scum and villainy from throughout the LEGO universe.

Over on Instagram, congratulations go to @lukeelk who presented this amazing Classic Space – Classic Star Wars Mashup Vehicle MOC.

Both have a copy of ‘Escape the Space Slug’ on the way to them.

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Don’ forget, there is another week, and another two chances to win – by email, or on Instagram.  Details for entering by email can be found here. It’s been great seeing what people come up with.

Here are some of the other great images: Continue reading