Whatever Happened To Classic LEGO® Themes? Part I: Prelude

The last time I was having a chat to adult visitors at a public exhibition (remember those?), something came up on more than one occasion: LEGO® Themes these days are not what they used to be. It used to be pretty simple – you’d build the set (and it was probably Town, Space or Castle. Unless you were a bit younger – then it may well have been a Pirates set) – and you’d pull it apart and build something else. It might be one of the alternate builds on the back of the box, it might be something completely different. It may not have even been related to the original theme.

These days, many sets thrive on 3rd party IP, and the majority of the in-house, story-driven themes are tied in with either an animated series or an overly complicated app.

For those of us yearning for a simpler time, in a world where things have become increasingly complicated, things are looking bleak! Unless you want to go straight to the 4+ sets.

Continue reading

Builders’ Journeys: @danishspaceprogram Takes Us To Ice Planet 2002

Thanks for joining us for another Throwback Thursday, in which we take a look into our reader’s personal Builder’s Journeys. Take that old set that is important to you for some reason, and write up a paragraph or two about why it is important to you: was it your first set, the set that brought you out of your dark ages, or something else entirely?

This week we hear from Greg M aka @danishspaceprogram over on Instagram. Greg lives in Indiana, USA, and has graciously shared his story today, where he takes us to Iceplanet2002 to revisit at 6896: Ice Sat V.

Continue reading

75315 Imperial Light Cruiser: Hands-On Review

This Imperial Light Cruiser forms the base of operations for Moff Gideon during the second season of The Mandalorian. The minifigure selection in this set is based on that final confrontation between the Mandalorian and Moff Gideon, with several other supporting cast from the season also included. This review might contain some spoilers for the episode.

The set has 1336 pieces, and 5 minifigures. It went on sale on August 1 2021, world wide. I was fortunate to be sent a copy by the LEGO Group for review. So, how does the largest regular set of the August 2021 wave stack up? Read on to find out.

Continue reading

Builders’ Journeys: Learning To Swoosh.

Back in the mid 1970’s, I was prone to bouts of tonsillitis, and, as was the fashion back then, I went into hospital for a tonsillectomy. Apart from a spectacular bout of coughing up blood a few days later, everything was unremarkable.

But that’s not what I remember most vividly.

Certainly the diet of jelly and icecream were a highlight, but within 6 months I had forgotten them.

I remember receiving 687 Caravelle Aeroplane around this time. The wings were the first ‘non rectangular’ elements that I owned, the printed bricks were terrific as a way to represent the windows, and the wheels. They offered a special challenge.

Continue reading

Take to the Skies with Bowser’s Airship Expansion Set [71391 Hands-On Review]

Bowser’s Airship plays a major role in a number of the Super Mario Games, and the LEGO form has been long awaited by many fans. I should not be surprised by its popularity, we saw a couple of versions of the airship submitted in our What Next for LEGO Super Mario?’ Competition. The ‘Bowser’s Airship expansion’ is the largest expansion set seen to date with LEGO Super Mario sets, with over 1100 pieces. It will be officially on sale on August 1st 2021.

This set was sent over by the LEGO Group for review purposes, and its certainly quite a different experience to the other sets I have built and played with for this wave. It will be prices at $USD 99.99/€99.99, £89.99 and AUD149.99

We will take a look at the parts, the enemies, and some of the ‘action aspects’ of the set, as well as a playthrough video.

Continue reading

Marvel Collectable Minfigures Revealed.

Today, the LEGO Group have revealed the forthcoming Marvel Collectable Minifigures range. Featuring figures from Marvel TV Series on Disney Plus – Wandavision, the Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki and What If…. There are some characters here that might not feature in sets of their own, but which will certainly inspire creativity amongst builders. There will be 12 figures in the series, which will be released on 1st October 2021. Read on for full-size images and my thoughts.

Continue reading

75316 Mandalorian Starfighter: Hands-On Review

I was late to the Clone Wars, only really seeing any of the significant storylines during 2020. I recall the initial Mandalorian arc, seeing Pre Vizla’s Mandalorian fighter fly off, and thinking ‘Gee, it would be cool to have that as a set.’ Now, I am not much of one for thinking about hunting down sets that are around 7 or 8 years old. So I let it be. Then I caught up to the final season, with the return of Bo-Katan Krys, picking Ahsoka Tano up from the Coruscant slums, and heading home to reclaim Mandalore. Flash forward to late 2020, and Bo Katan returns, this time in The Mandalorian. Again piloting the Mandalorian Star Fighter, and this time appearing in scenes with both Slave I and an Imperial Shuttle – both of which feature amongst the 2021 LEGO Star Wars releases.

Set 75316 Will be released on August 1st 2021, has 544 pieces, and has a recommended Retail Price of $AUD 89.99. This set feels like a suitable bridging set in the current release of LEGO Star Wars releases: – featuring in both The Final Season of The Clone Wars, as well as The Mandalorian, as such, it is sure to be a popular set.

Continue reading

ALQUEMIE GROUP AND THE LEGO GROUP ANNOUNCE FIRST LEGO® CERTIFIED STORE IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Alquemie Group and The LEGO Group today announced that Western Australia’s first LEGO® Certified Store will open in late 2021.

The landmark new store will be situated in prime position at Karrinyup Shopping Centre as a signature LEGO brand immersive retail experience.

Richard Facioni, Executive Chairman, Alquemie Group said the new store would capitalise on the enduring appeal of the renowned LEGO brand and bring a world-class retail concept to WA.

Continue reading

Brickheadz Pets: Ginger Tabby, Cockatiel and Hamster: Hands-On Review

There is something about Brickheadz. While they started off as a way to brick-build characters from popular culture, the theme had been showing signs of slowing down in recent years. This year, we have seen the format reborn with the introduction of the Pets sub-theme. We have seen some awesome animal format Brickheadz this year, and this latest wave has me quite excited with an overdose of cuteness. This wave consists of 3 sets: 40480 Ginger Tabby; 40481 Cockatiel and 40482 Hamster

Each of these sets comes with 2 figures: Adult and offspring. As well as a basket or nest for them to hang out in.

The sets are fairly similar in structure, but each feature various techniques that set them apart from the others. As such, we will wander through each set in turn, and then look at other directions that Brickheadz could potentially turn, away from ‘non human’ character representation.

So, read on for my review, and an idea of what might happen if you cross a nostalgic childhood theme with this character format.

Continue reading

75311 Imperial Armored Marauder: Hands-On Review

The Northern Summer 2021 wave of LEGO® Star Wars sets focuses almost entirely on sets based on Television Series: Clone Wars season 7/The Bad Batch and the Mandalorian.

At LEGO® Con on the weekend, 3 sets from the Mandalorian were officially revealed – The Imperial Armored Marauder, Boba Fett’s Star Ship (the ship formerly known as Slave I) and the Imperial Light Cruiser. All three of these are integral to key moments in the series, and along with 75299 Trouble and Tatooine, as well as the 75314 The Bad Batch Shuttle shows an ongoing commitment to presenting more LEGO® sets from the newer, Disney managed, faces of the franchise.

The AFOL Engagement team at the LEGO Group sent over a copy of the the new wave to review, including the Clone Wars sets, and today, we will take a look at the 75311 Imperial Armored Marauder. Appearing in the Mandalorian, series 2, episode 4: The Siege, the Armored Marauder is a heavily armoured version of the Troop carrier, seen in the finale to season I.

The set has 478 pieces, and 4 Minifigures. It will cost $59.99 AUD, and go on sale on August 1st. Is this an enjoyable build, or just a big grey box with guns? Read on to find out.

Continue reading