Are LEGO® Marvel Mechs The New Mixels? 76198 Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus Mech Battle[Hands On Review]

Do you remember Mixels? Crazy, chaotic pocket money sets that were released a few years ago. With each wave, we got a collection of small, interesting elements in previously unexplored colours: arches, greebly bits and of course ball joints. The characters had their appeal, but many AFOLs typically considered them to be awesome parts packs. And then, they were gone.

Earlier in the year, I reviewed some of the new Marvel Mechs: Thor, Captain America and Miles Morales. From my point of view, they were interesting enough, but not too startling. And, to an extent, the choice of characters in that selection felt a little odd: a Super Solder and a Norse God are characters for whom a mech feels to be more of a hindrance than a help, unless they were acutely robbed of their powers! For Miles Morales, it feels more like an enhancement of his powers. But only just. Overall, they felt like they were missing a bit of excitement and drama.

And now, along comes 76198: Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus Mech Battle. Something has happened in the last few months that left me not only excited, but wanting to explore them more. I am left wondering if these sets are now occupying a segment of the market previously occupied by the Mixels range…

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SKYBOUND ENTERTAINMENT PARTNERS WITH AMEET PUBLISHING IN NEW LEGO® COMIC BOOK DEAL

Over the years, a number of LEGO® themes had had their stories added to in Comic form – be it the continuing adventures of Indigo and Polka dot in ‘Bricks and Pieces’ in the 1980’s, through to ongoing stories relating to LEGO themes in the now discontinued LEGO Club magazine, or the monthly titles currently offered for Ninjago, City and Friends. To say nothing of Exo-Force and Bionicle titles along the way.

Today, Skybound Entertainment, who brought us such titles as The Walking Dead and Invincible have announced that they are partnering with publisher AMEET – who currently produce a large number of LEGO Titles – to launch a LEGO branded comic book in 2022

Will this be telling stories related to current themes – Ninjago, City, Friends – or developing new themes? Even with the LEGO Group’s current exploration of material for adults, I cannot see them looking to develop material based on the Walking Dead or Invincible. The current LEGO Licensed themes are all essentially owned by either Warner Bros or Disney, both of whom own significant Comic publishers. As such, I suspect there might be something new afoot – either a new licence, a new in house theme… or it might simply be a new arrangement for the monthly magazine publishers.

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Blocks Magazine Opens Up Entire Back Catalogue To Subscribers. Issue 80 On Its Way.

Two pieces of news from Blocks Magazine today: Issue 80 is now on its way to subscribers, and the team have now opened up the complete digital back catalog to subscribers.

Issue 80 of Blocks, the LEGO® magazine for fans, goes behind-the-scenes of 40516 Everyone is Awesome with Matthew Ashton, reveals how LEGO Masters went global and delves into the history of Looney Tunes. 

Blocks magazine Issue 80 is available worldwide as a single issue or as part of a subscription at www.blocksmag.com now and will be in UK stores from June 6. Subscribe today to be in with a chance of winning one of five 76182 Batman Cowl sets.  

Graeme Hancock, Editor at Blocks, reached out to me recently to tell me about their latest initiative for subscribers: if you are a subsciber, you gain access to their entire back catalog online. This is great news. I hate reading magazines that might make occasional references to their past issues, but without those issues being readily available.

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Travel put firmly back on the map with huge new LEGO® Art Set [Announcing 31203: World Map]

Travel has been off the books for the better part of a year now (maybe more, depending on where you are going to and from), but the latest LEGO Art release will help you keep an eye on where you might want to be going!

While you might not be able to get on a plane to travel, your LEGO can take you there.

The LEGO® Art World Map (31203) has 11695 elements – the highest part-count of any LEGO set to date. It will be available from LEGO.com, and LEGO Stores globally from 1st June 2021, priced from [EUR 249.99/ $USD249.99/£229.99/ $AUD399.99/ 349.99 CAD] and will become available from other retailers globally from 1st August 2021.

With the high part count, and I presume a 5×8 grid of 16×16 backing plates (that’s over 10200 pixels), this set will take some time to put together. You might need something to help take you through it, and there is an extensive soundtrack to accompany the build, bringing you tales of travellers and adventurers from around the world.

The opportunities for customising this set are a little less varied than for the first wave of LEGO Art Sets – the prescribed builds include 3 versions, with different continents in the centre of the map.

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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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The Botanical Collection Grows with the Bird of Paradise [Hands On Review]

This year, we have seen the launch of the LEGO® Botanical Collection – a range of sets aimed at adults, who may or may not have previously considered building a LEGO set as a way to spend their money or time. The Floral Bouquet and the Bonsai Tree have been perpetually out of stock on LEGO.com since early January, although these early issues seem to be improving, with stock starting to appear on the shelves of Bricks and Mortar stores.

I really enjoyed putting the previous sets together: the techniques, and unique parts usage made both sets exciting to build, and provided a building experience quite unlike any other that I had previously gone through. I was delighted to be able to have the opportunity to look at the next set to be released in this series.

We have a Bird Of Paradise currently flowering in our back yard in suburban Melbourne – hardly a tropical environment – and I was excited to see how this LEGO version would stack up next to it.

The set itself again features that distinguish the distinctive black a cardboard box of sets aimed at an adult market with a picture of the finished model on the front. On the reverse we see an indication of the actual model size, as well as several details of the finished model.

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40495 Harry, Hermione, Ron and Hagrid BrickHeadz [Hands On Review]

After a quiet couple of years, it would appear that we are seeing a resurgence in new BrickHeadz sets this year. Today I would like to present 40495 Harry, Hermione, Ron and Hagrid. This set focuses on our first/second-year trio of young heroes, along with their sympathetic ally, Hagrid. Ron Harry and Hermione are depicted as 3 stud wide figures, as we have seen with some smaller characters over the past years. The other Harry Potter Brickheadz unveiled today, 40496, brings us Voldemort, Nagini and Bellatrix Lestrange and you can read my review here.

I feel honored that the LEGO Group have sent me a copy of this set for early review. It will be released on June 1st, at a cost of $AUD39.99.

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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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VIDIYO Wave 2 Introduces Buildable Stages and More

Earlier this year, we saw the premiere of LEGO’s new Fluid play theme, VIDIYO. Developed in conjuntion with Universal Music Group, VIDIYO enables children to create music videos using augmented reality, in conjunction with themed minifigures, and tiles – which allow you to enhance the activity of your animated Minifigure pop stars with signature moves, sounds and video effects.

One of the criticisms of the first wave of sets was the relative absence of anything significant to build. Beat Boxes, which contained a small selfcontained stage for a single minifigure were rather light on, with only a small 8×8 mosaic area to build on. That said, the figures involved were absolutely crazy and imaginative in their designs. And it would appear that this is unlikely to change at any time in the near future. The new stage models look like something straight out of Cloud Cuckoo Land, mashing up characters with the different themes of the music. The imaginative designs are certainly intriguing. I will be interested to see whether you need to have the stage models build up as they are, or if you can incorporate your own models in the app.

The newly introduced BeatBoxes, and Stage Models will be available from June 1st globally except the United States, where they will be available from August 1st. The new Bandmates will be available from October 1st globally.

The press release, and new set designs (including Australian pricing) can be found below…

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