Taking On A Team Build: 71741 Ninjago City Gardens

Have you ever thought about building a LEGO set as a social activity? Have you given it a try? Join me as I seek the help of a few friends to put together 71741 Ninjago City Gardens.

In Melbourne, we have spent a little bit of time lockdown over the last 18 months (individual definitions of ‘a little’, and ‘lockdown’ may vary). As such, we have spent quite a lot of time unable to catch up with friends In Real Life™. A couple of weeks ago, we regained the privilege to visit friends in their homes. As such, it has been quite exciting.

But first, let’s go back a few years. I have known Andrew, Kris, Dan and Cameron since school. That takes us back to the mid-eighties. We have all headed in different directions in our lives, but have kept in touch. A few of us are married with kids – and as such, around 15 years ago, we started a regular monthly catchup poker game to… reflect on the responsibilities of fatherhood with a jury of our peers. Exceptionally low stakes: no cash, not even jelly beans. After a while, this regular catchup has evolved in a number of directions: late-night geocaching, escape rooms, board games. My professional life seemed to involve a little more weekend work than the others, but I still keep up with the gang when I can. During our lockdowns, we moved over to the virtual catchup – shared online card games and first-person shooters!

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LEGO Super Mario Beachfront Sets Revealed: For Release 1st January 2022

Last weekend, at the 4th CIIE, we not only saw the new Lunar New Year festival sets revealed but also the final sets from the next wave of LEGO Super Mario sets. We saw part of the wave, pertaining to Luigi’s Mansion, unveiled over Halloween.

We have another three sets, in conjunction with a series of Buildable Characters:

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75313 Ultimate Collectors Series AT-AT Officially Revealed. For Release: November 26 2021

The AT-AT is one of those iconic vehicles from the original Star Wars Trilogy, serving up a drubbing to the Rebellion and helping this 12 year old come to terms with the fact the good guys would not always win.

This is the third ‘Major’ LEGO Star Wars release this year. The R2D2 sculpture was not, technically, a UCS set according to the LEGO Star Wars Team. We then saw the UCS Republic Gunship released in August, and no confirmed news about whether we would see another large set: either a UCS or Master Builders Series. This one looks like a UCS, but with 8 minifigures and some other Speeder bikes and an E-Web gun, this set appears to be making up for a lost time, after the last time the UCS range visited Hoth.

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40488 Coffee Cart Gift With Purchase now Live [Hands On Review]

The start of November is a funny time for shopping for LEGO: many AFOLs are waiting to see if there will be great value around Black Brick Friday, with all its associated offers, after the United States celebrates Thanksgiving. Others are holding out to see if there will be an extra special Christmas Gift With Purchase available. Of course, we only have a limited budget for buying LEGO sets, so people want to take advantage of the most relevant offers. When the offers are running in a different direction to local Certified LEGO Stores and more general Toy Shops – I’m looking at you Bricktober! – it can be downright confusing.

And so, on the 8th of November 2021, the LEGO Group has released a new Gift With Purchase, 40488 Coffee Cart. It is available from the 8th November until the 14th, with purchases from LEGO.com or LEGO Brand Retail stores over $140 AUD (just $9 short of the free shipping threshold); / £65 / $65 USD / $90 CAD/ 65€.

So… Is it worth spending something now, or waiting a few weeks, on the off chance that the next GWP will make it worth your while? Let’s take a look.

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Builders’ Journeys: Russell Tows Us To LEGO® Town.

Welcome back to our Throwback Thursday column, where we look at LEGO Sets that were influential in setting people on the path to becoming the LEGO Fan that they are today. Today, we hear from Russell C, who lives in California. He submitted his entry as part of our recent Jumper Plate Minifigure giveaway and would like to talk to us about a town set. This time, it is one from 1980: 6363 Auto Repair Shop.

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A Simple Holiday Project (ion)

Halloween is greeted with varying enthusiasm by Australians. From an awesome opportunity to dress up and beg neighbours for lollies, through to downright detestation of Imported Celtic/American rituals and celebrations.

I am probably somewhere in between.

However, many of my neighbours appear to be a little more enthusiastic, with the houses and gardens being decorated with spiderwebs plastic pumpkins and skeletons for some time in the weeks running up to October 31st.

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New LEGO® NINJAGO® Comic Previewed at Skybound Xpo: Arriving in April 2022!

No sooner did I go to bed this morning and it was time to get up! At the Skybound Xpo Panel, attended by Tommy Andreasson, Creator and producer of Ninjago, as well as Writer/Artist Tri Vuong and Skybound’s Editor in Chief Sean Mackiewicz, we got our first glimpse of the new title due for release in 5 parts, starting April 2022.

Read on to hear more about what was discussed on the panel:

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Builders’ Journeys: Lisa Hits The Road With 6590 Car And Caravan.

Welcome Back to Builders’ Journeys, where we listen to stories from other AFOLs about a set that inspired them at some time in their life.

Before we start, today, I would like to thank everyone who submitted an entry in our prize draw for the Jumper Plate Minifigures. I really appreciate the stories that people shared, and we will have some great stories to share over the next few months. The winner was drawn randomly from a bowlful of entry numbers, and I would like to congratulate Lisa D from Ireland on winning the prize draw. The minifigures are on their way, and hopefully, the reduced international travel between Australia and the rest of the world does not slow down the delivery too much.

Today Lisa is going to take us back to 1988 when she first opened up 6590 Car and Caravan.

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Just Go With The Floe: 40498 Christmas Penguin [Hands On Review]

I’m not going to lie: when I first saw this set, I was a little baffled. Most of the imagery associated with Christmas holidays refers to the northern hemisphere winter: conifers, reindeer, references to the North Pole. The penguin does not appear very high on this list at all. Harking from the opposite side of the earth, you might understand why. Instead, I embraced this as the Southern Hemispheric attempt to embrace the Southern summer: if you were looking for snow at this time of year, it would have to be on the Antarctic or, at least, a nearby sub-Antarctic island.

I was very fortunate a few years ago to have the chance to travel to the Antarctic Peninsula, via Patagonia. It was January, and the sun dipped beneath the horizon around one am, only reappear around two hours later. Penguins were abundant, of several species, and I found myself wondering if I saw anything resembling the one depicted in this model. More of that later.

But I digress. The 40498 Christmas Penguin is the 4th ‘iconic’ seasonal set released this year, after the Valentines Day Bear, the Easter Rabbit and the Halloween Owl.

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Builders’ Journeys: Okay Y. Looks To 9731 Vision Command

Welcome back to another of our Builders’ Journeys, where we look at sets that were inspirational in setting AFOLs along the path that they have taken. This week, we hear from Okay Y, from the USA. Okay submitted his contribution as part of our Vintage Minifigure Collection Giveaway. (This giveaway is open until October 24 – so you still have a couple of days to get your entries in.)

Okay was heavily influenced by the release of 9731 Vision Command: once of the LEGO® Mindstorms kits released in 2000. With 139 parts, this set came with a USB Digital Camera, along with software that allowed you to integrate simple visual recognition software with your LEGO Projects, including the ability to integrate it with the LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Invention System. You can see the introductory video here. But why don’t I let Okay tell his story:

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