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.
AS we continue Further and further into advent, we continue to look at short lived Advent Calendar themes. While Castle has been a long standing theme since the beginning days of the Minifigure, it has not been an endless source of Advent Calendar based material. this is a shame, as the daily development of accessories and stories works quite well in this context.
There have been two Castle themed Advent Calendars over the years: ‘Castle Advent Calendar 7979’ in 2008 and Kingdoms Advent Calendar 7952 from 2010
Today we continue our our exploration of LEGO® Christmas Celebrations, as a tribute to the 20th anniversary of LEGO Advent Calendars, and will follow it up with a quick visit to today’s entry for the LEGO Friends calendar.
Today’s entry comes from extremely recent history: today in fact! I visited the shop attached to the local LEGOLAND Discovery Centre (Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne), and found this great little collection of minifigures hanging on the shelf, with an asking price of $19.99AUD.
We have Santa, Mrs Claus and a red hatted elf. I could not help but think that they remind me of the figures from the Creator Expert Winter Village set “Santa’s Workshop”10245 from 2014. There are, however, some subtle differences. Are they enough to justify the purchase?
As you can see, the packet is quite generic. What you see above is what you get: there is no back printing. Which is a shame, as the City Santa from the 2017 and 2018 Advent Calendars has a dual printed torso, with a candy cane tucked in under the belt.
Let’s compare our new figures: with those from Santa’s Workshop.
Let’s start with Mrs Claus. The older version has a red dress, while the newer version has a dark green dress. The details on the skirt elements are the same, although the colouring is slightly different on the new torso. Our new Mrs Claus has grey hair, rather than white, with a bun. She is also carrying a pie element, introduced with one of the collectable minifigure clowns, rather than the red sack element.
On the left is the old Santa, on the right the new one. Superfically, they look pretty similar. The torso’s are identical to the one from the 2016 City Advent calendar. Remove the hat and beard however, and we see that the heads are subtly different. Our new version features greying eye brows and reading glasses. How else can he check his list of who has been naughty or nice? This appears to be a new combination, with this head only otherwise appearing in the Fun at the Beach people pack 60153, the 2017 City Advent Calendar, and attached to some European books.
On the right we have our new elf: he wears the same tunic as the Collectable minifigure Holiday Elf, from Series 11, but has red legs and a red hat. I believe this is the first time this ear/hat element has been seen in red.
They all feel, in part like they have come to perform holiday relief work, to allow Santa, Mrs Claus and the Elves a chance to have a well earned break. I hope they wait until after Christmas to take it!
These are a great selection of holiday themed minifigures, and the new elements are an unexpected bonus. What do you think? Perhaps you will be able to pick them up at your local LEGO Brand retail store, or a LEGOLAND park/discovery centre somewhere around the world. If you do, I’d love to see how you use them…
Catching up with our Friends:
Let’s open up door number 5 after the break, and see where it takes us…