After the dramatic finale to the Crystallized Storyline in the animated series, the first wave of LEGO® Ninjago sets in 2023 returns to the ‘Core’ theme: bringing us the Core elements of the Ninjago theme: Vehicles, Mechs, Dragons and Monasteries. Similar to last year, we see some sets with the ‘EVO’ theme: adding powerups and armour – similar to what we have seen in the most reason season.
Today, we have official details for 9 of the new range of sets, due to ship early next year:
A couple of weeks ago, I subjected some of the forthcoming internal paper bags to some stress testing, to see if they were going to withstand travelling in a ‘deboxed’ fashion, as well as holding together while soaking in water. The bags held together, but waster certainly got into the bags, and I drew the conclusion that the bags were likely to be typically fit for purpose, but might not stand up to floodwaters in the way that plastic bags might.
Readers Sue Ann and Trevor got in touch, and suggested that I might be overselling the ability of the plastic bags to protect the LEGO® elements from flood waters (with their associated stink and filth). And so, I put them to the test.
What did I do? And how did they perform? Read on, after the break
The latest in the World Landmarks collectionhas been officially unveilled today. for release on Novemeber 25,2022, 10307 Eiffel Tower continues with the recently established Black Friday Tradition of ‘Biggest set, in some way’ – started with the 10276 Colosseum (9036 pieces) and continued with 10294 Titanic (9090 pieces – longest ever) .
We can argue about the semantics if you wish. With 10001 pieces this might be the set with the second highest part count ever but I think we can argue that it is the biggest model released as a set using a number of metrics: I dont know that I would call the 31203 World Map a model… wall display/art sure, but not a model.
At a almost1.5m tall, there is no doubt that this is an impressive model. This is the third dedicated build (after 10181 – 2007; and 21019 in 2014) for the Eiffel Tower, but it has appeared as part of a magnet, as well as an Architecture Skyline, and Creator Postcard.
The first sets based on Avatar: The Way of Water were unveilled on LEGO.com today, ahead of the film’s release in December 2022. These sets will be released January 1 2023. Some of these sets feel a little more affordable than those released earier in the year from the first film, so it will be interesting to see how they compare for building experience: I note particularly that the two smaller sets in the first wave of Avatar sets had around 580 pieces, while 75575 has only 179 and 75576 has 259. The minifigures for the new characters, living a more water based lifestyle, are light azure – a little different to the medium blue used for the Na’vi.
While you might wonder the value of a prolonged period of time between the release of the original Avatar, and the first LEGO® sets related to the film, perhaps we should look towards Star Wars where we had a greater delay, as well as new films being released around the same time as the LEGO sets were introduced in 1999. Of course, despite being one of the largest grossing films of all time, Avatar did not have such a profound effect on the popcultural zeitgeist as Star Wars.
The world of Pandora provides a magnificent opportunity to bring all sorts of exciting colours and organic shapes to life, to say nothing of the sand green hardware of the Resources Development Administration (RDA)- represented in this wave by a submarine along with a ‘Crab suit’ diving mech. These contrasts are part of the appeal of these sets, presenting something relatively unique in the LEGO ecosystem at present. I’ll be presenting my slightly delayed reviews of the first wave of sets over the next few weeks. Read on to see the sets coming in January, 2023:
We have now had LEGO®Friends Sets on the shelves for over a decade, and during this time we have seen the girls grow, get rebooted and learn, while seeing each other through good times and bad. The girls who played with those first sets have grown up, and during the second half of the 2022, we have seen our core cast grow up and head off to pursue their dreams: Olivia at Space Camp, Emma at Art School, Stephanie sailing around the world, Mia rescuing animals and Andrea heading out to perform. All of this while welcoming new characters to Heartlake City.
During this time, we have been able to see our own kids grow up, and perhaps there is just a little too much backstory to catch up with, for newcomers to the brand. And so in 2023, we are going to see a new core group of friends, a new logo, and new stories to take place in Heartlake City. This change in direction was teased at LEGO CON 2022, but no further details were forthcoming.
At the recent Recognised LEGO® Fan Media Days, we were treated to a presentation by the sustainability team with regard to progress being made on their various programs. The first part if the presentation was from Therese Noorlander, Senior Director of Sustainability Engagement. She spoke about some of the history of sustainability withing the LEGO Group – taking it back to the the Great Yo-Yo Craze of the 1930s: when the craze ended, leaving the company with boxes of unsold yo-yos, they were cut in half and used as wheels for toy wooden trucks, through to the ongoing research with regard to finding a sustainable material to use for plastic bricks. Most of this information has been published previously, and can be found on the LEGO Group’s sustainability website. However, some of the most exciting news, not previously covered elsewhere, came from Anne Boye Møller, who for the past four years has been the Project Lead for the sustainable prepack. She works with a team based in Denmark and the Czech Republic and was proud to announce that the first generation packing lines are ready to go, and some of the first SKUs(sets) have been packed using these paper bags.
We recently took a look at aspects of the Classic Castle theme, in the LEGOLAND era. Now, in the Rambling Brick household, there is actually a distressing paucity of Castle sets from any era: By the time that the Castle Era was getting under way, with the arrival of the Crusaders and Black Falcons in 1984, I was well on my way to descending into my Dark Ages,
As such, virtually all Castle sets that I own are purchases I have made in recent years.
Today, we are going to take a look at a small set from 1990, 6034 Black Monarch’s Ghost. This set is one of two sets from 1990 that featured the new ghost minifigure. It’s a small set, with only 43 pieces, and features a number of aspects that make it a truly classic Castle set.
I may well get distracted, trying to reconcile the identity of the ghost, with the name of the set.
Over the last few years, the LEGO® Monkie Kid theme has provided us with an imaginative, and somewhat colourful collection of sets, incorporating both fantasy and science fiction themes. However, the animated series has been available in only a patchy fashion in Australia, despite being the home of the animation studio.
A few months ago now, we announced the forthcoming arrival of BrickTales, a Physics puzzler from Thunderful games. Release is coming up on October 12th and we were fortunate to be given the opportunity to take a look at the game, pre-release. Its been a busy few weeks, so I passed the Keys on this one over to our in-house games Reviewer, Harry .
At the recent RLFM days, we were briefed on some up and coming things by the LEGO® Ideas team. They were all treated with cheers, and we can talk about the first of these tonight.
Over the last few years, LEGO Ideas have run contests based on certain prompts – Music to our ears resulted in the LEGO IDEAS Fender Stratocaster. Various Holiday and Travel contests brought us last years’ Sailing ship, and the current Ray the Castaway GWP sets, and more. I’ll hand over to the new Design Manager on LEGO Ideas, Jordan Scott:
“We will we will be briefing the first ever IP on LEGO Ideas. We are looking for Fantastic builds that celebrate 50 years of Dungeons and Dragons.Ignite Imagination, showcase your favorite elements,be they monsters, creatures, places characters, How would you celebrate 50 years of Dungeons and Dragons?
“… As a player and Game Master myself, I am also (like the cheering fan media), incredibly emotional. We expect to see a flood of beautiful creations and crazy creatures and monsters and things that will then be filtered, like we did with foosball table and the music brief, and then be turned into a real product.”