Welcome back to our continuing journey through the decades of the history of the LEGO Group, as we approach the 90th anniversary of the company on August 10, 2022.
Today, we enter the 1990s, the so called System Era, where we started to see playthemes diverge from the standard Town, Castle and Space. The company also starts to introduce new technologies, as well as embarking onto the World Wide Web.
The recent arrival of the 2022 LEGO City Space sets has left some people myself included, wondering if the spirit of Classic Space has returned, while others remained unsatisfied, stating reasons of not enough blue and grey, an absence of transparent yellow, or that the blue in the windscreens was just not dark enough. But what does Classic Space actually mean?
Virtually everyone will agree that the period began in 1978, with the release of the first LEGO Space sets to feature minifigures. But when does it end? And what is it that makes those sets ‘Classic Space?’
When Jay from Jumper Plate software reached out to offer me a set of his Nostalgic Monochromatic Minifigures to give away, I bought another set for my own use. Proceeds from the sale of these figures go to help Jumper Plate to further develop their software which is designed to support the administrative needs for people running LEGO User Groups.
But, there is a market for monochromatic minifigures, and when these figures come with a nicely printed nostalgic torso, harking back to the 90s, I suspect that market might be expanded. I don’t run a LUG, but I know plenty of people who do, and I am happy to help support anything that might make their job a little easier. So, I put my order in (this was pre release) and after a few local postal delays – international air travel is still a bit slow for packages – they arrived yesterday. So did my set to give away. you can read more about that here.
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.
This year is the 20th Anniversary of LEGO® Harry Potter, and like the 10th anniversary of Ninjago, there will be a selection of golden minifigures included. these were revealed on the Wizarding World Instagram Page this evening. Golden figures include: Young Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione, as well as Professor Snape, Lord Voldemort and … Professor Quirrel!
This weekend, we received news that Jens N. Knudsen passed away. Jens was a designer at the LEGO Group between 1968 and 2000, and was responsible for the design of the LEGO Minifigure. His name is there, on the patent document, next to Gødtfred Christiansen. After the successful introduction of the minifigure, he was made Chief Designer.
This year, I have felt as though I have been busier than ever. Sometimes when life gets busy, it becomes harder to find a little time to sit down and dedicate regular time to a project.
Just As I am now more likely to binge watch a television program via a streaming service, rather than a weekly viewing commitment, I have decided to take this approach with the LEGO City Advent Calendar this year.
Looking at the box, however, it seems to give us a great idea of what to expect as we open the windows: minifigures, vehicles and other snow based activities. In previous advent calendars, we sometimes see sequential builds develop into a larger structure, or to tell a story – for example, presents under the tree, while the family gather around the fire. Perhaps there are some hints to this as we look at the front cover of the box.
As I proceed with my binge building, I am curious to see whether the daily builds contribute to the build from the previous day, in one long narrative, or if we will see stories with parallel threads, waiting to be drawn together at the last minute? Let us start, by taking a look through door number one.
The first LEGO Pirates sets first appeared sometime in the second half of 1989. Maybe July; maybe August. Maybe September. It all depends on where you were standing. Join us as we present some of the Print Advertising Archive, as we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of LEGO Pirates.
In 1989, a new series appeared in the LEGO Catalogs.
Until then, LEGO Minifigures had been living in Castle, Space and Town with their permanent, identical smiles always on show. At this time we saw minifigures move into the Caribbean Sea, with the new Pirates theme. With that first range of pirates minifigures, several things changed: Captain Redbeard has a… red beard and eye patch; a hook for a hand and a wooden leg. He has certainly been up against a few things over the years, and yet still has a small on his face. He is also the first minifigure to have an official name.
As we approach the eve of the Year of the Pig, I would like to look at another of the sets released for the Chinese ‘Spring Festival’
The 80102 Dragon Dance has been enthusiastically awaited after the initial images arrived last November, and the set has been hotly sought after, in part due to its relative scarcity outside of Asia. In Melbourne, both this set and 80101 Chinese New Year Family Dinner have literally flown off the shelves, with long queues, household limits and disappointed customers being frequent occurrences at the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre store.
I can see the appeal of this set on many levels: as a seasonal set, it is one of the first sets released, outside of the ‘Year of the…..’ series, for this significant day in the Asian Cultural Calendar, touching on subject matter rarely covered previously, featuring bright colours, and a movement function, coupled with limited global distribution to the Asia Pacific Region – this set has very little to be negative about.
This set has 622 parts, and costs $AUD79.99 new. The retail channels for this set have been limited in Australia. Certainly, demand for this set has been high in the rest of the world, and it will be interesting to see what approach might be taken with this type of set in the future.