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.

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Monkie Kid Commences Broadcast/Streaming in Australia

The Monkie Kid LEGO® sets arrived around ten months ago, and the second year’s sets have just been released. and I am excited to discover that the series has recently arrived on Australian television. Last weekend, the Pilot episode was braodcast on 9Go, and is now available to stream using the 9Now app. The series is available in full for New Zealand residents to watch on TVNZ’s on demand website. New Episodes are braodcast on 9Go on Saturday 10:00 am (Eastern Australian Time), and repeated at 4:50am Sunday! They are broadcast as double episodes, back to back. Episodes can be viewed after broadcast the 9Now website/App.

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Meet the Demon Bull King: Monkie Kid’s Fearsome Foe. [80010 review]

This week, we saw the launch of Monkie Kid, the LEGO Group’s new theme, based on the classic Chinese Novel, Journey to the West. While the sets look great, I was even more excited by the fact that there were only 12 hours between the official announcement and the release of sets in the local LEGO Brand stores – both LEGO Certified Stores, and the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre.

I was standing on the doorstep at opening time – third in line, and the only one who wasn’t planning to pick up the Monkey King Warrior Mech 80012. I am looking forward to getting it at some point, but I suspect there will be many reviews online in the next few weeks. So I headed to the antagonist: Demon Bull King 80010. This set has 1057 pieces, three minifigures and sells for $AUD129.99. To be honest, my interest was raised primarily by the colour scheme, as well as the windscreen elements used on his shoulders. I wanted to get a closer look, as the packaging was giving me a Space Police or Ice Planet 2002 kind of vibe. But we will come to that a little later.

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LEGO Group Announces Monkie Kid Theme: Available tomorrow!

As kid growing up in Australia in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s TV Viewing was pretty predictable in the run up to the ABC’s evening news: The Goodies, Doctor Who and a music video. In 1981, this changed with an English dub of a Japanese series based on a 500 year old Chinese folk tale. The tales of the stone monkey, along with the fish and pig spirits, protecting a Buddhist priest on his pilgrimage to recover scriptures to save the world from chaos captured the hearts and minds of a generation, as matchsticks became quarterstaves, and you could whistle up a cloud in the schoolyard. And that theme song. Ask anyone over the age of 40. they can probably still sing it for you.

Fast forward forty years, and the LEGO Group is releasing a whole new theme based on the Chinese legend….

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