If nothing else, the lockdowns brought on by the pandemic have taught us just how much many of us value the opportunity to get to live, face to face events. I have attended a few events over the last couple of years, all using different variations of online event. While parts of the world are opening up, international travel is still but a dream to many of us. BrickCon 2020 was one of the first international online events that I attended last year, and they are pleased to announce that this year they are running in person, as well as hybrid registrations. Read on for the full story, and registration details. Real life Registrations will be limited to 400, and open AUGUST 1st. Hybrid/online registrations open September 1
BrickCon has announced that its 20th annual LEGO fan convention and public exhibition is coming back to the Seattle Center. BrickCon 2021 will be held Oct. 1 – 3 and will offer adult LEGO builders a full convention featuring displays, awards, classes, workshops, prizes, vendors and more. BrickCon will also offer a limited hybrid virtual ticket for fans who can’t travel.
We first saw images of the new Botanical Series a month or two ago, and today, the LEGO group officially announced the release of these sets on January 1 2020. The main sets in this series, are both priced at $49.99 GBP/Euro/USD and $89.99 AUD. Here is the official Press Release:
Today, the LEGO Group has revealed a new range of mindful models for the green-fingered. The decorative LEGO® Botanical Collection includes a stunning LEGO® Flower Bouquet to brighten the home, and a LEGO® Bonsai Tree for those looking to be more zen in the new year.
The Creator Expert Modular Buildings have been going from strength to strength over the last few years, since the controversial decision to move from the ‘Classic Smiley’ face to a style consistent with the contemporary LEGO Graphic design language. Last year we saw the corner garage, and today we see the announcement of the latest in this series: the 10270 Bookshop. Due for release on the 1st January, 2020; this set has 2504 pieces, is recommended for builders over 16 years of age, and will cost US $179.99–CA $199.99 –DE €159.99 –UK £149.99 – FR €159.99 – DK 1299DKK. This is $USD10 more than the Downtown diner, and as such is probably reasonable to assume that it will be similar to that set’s $AUD250 price tag. Give or Take.
Here at the Rambling Brick, we love a bit of digital diversion in the form of casual gaming as much as the next person. Possibly more, especially if there aren’t any LEGO® Bricks to play with. A good few years ago, I found myself playing Tiny Tower, and Tiny Death Star. I may have moved on from this type of game after a while – perhaps I was distracted by the LEGO Elves games, or perhaps I just got a new phone- but it is about to receive a fresh lease of life, thanks to a new collaboration between the LEGO Group and NimbleBit LLC, the original Game’s designers.
This just in from our friends at Hispabrick Magazine:
We are back with another issue of HispaBrick Magazine: number 31. In this issue you can see how AFOLs enjoy events in different countries like Japan, (Japan BrickFest), Chile (Brickfest Chile) or Denmark (LEGOÆ World Copenhagen). We visit LEGOLAND Japan, Masao Hidaka shows us how you can build a monorail with current LEGO pieces and Julien Ballester tells us about Stuck in Plasticís annual toy photography safari, this time in the city of ParÌs. In our interview section we talk to Jamie Berard, design manager specialist for Creator Expert and LEGO Architecture and we meet Quinten, winner of the 2018 LEGO Ideas Trophy Design Contest. In the KOCKICE Corner we have another instalment of the Minidolls vs Minifigures comparison, a review of LEGO Architecture Skylines and an article about the different animals LEGO has produced. Of course there are also EV3 and Boost tutorials, reviews and much more.
The team at Hispabrick Magazine have also just given their website a revamp and past articles are much easier to locate with their new index! My report from Japan Brickfest is reprinted in this issue, as well as many other great articles.
I have a new post coming out soon… looking to see what we can learn from our new Friends… until then,
This last week, I have been busy gathering my thoughts and photos from Japan BrickFest2018. I realise that a number of interesting news articles have come from a different source over the last week or so. Some has come via the LEGO Ambassador Network:
The LEGO Group’s AFOL Engagement Team have a weekly blog, accessible to the public- typically updated every Friday. There you can find news from the AE Team, the LEGO House, announcements from LEGO® Rebrick as well as reports from different RLUG Ambassadors about recent events.
The Blog is accessible to the public – so feel free to drop by from time to time to get the latest news from the team. You should also be able to sign up for updates.
While I am busy working through my images from Japan BrickFest 2018, why not have a look at this post from Jackie Chen, who is one of the Community Managers on the AFOL Engagement Team. He represented the Team at Japan BrickFest, and it was great to meet him.
Other news that came to light this week is the appearance of the LEGO House – Home of the Brick arriving on Netflix this week. This documentary tells the story of the design, construction and opening of the LEGO House. It was also shown at some of the recent fan events. You can find the program on Netflix now – There are reports at this stage of it not being available in all markets so check back later if you can’t find it!
I’ll be back over the weekend with some news from Japan BrickFest 2018, but in the meantime,
“We are very happy and honoured that LEGO Life has been granted with this award – not only getting recognition by experts in the digital field but also by the public vote. It is truly a testament to the fact that it is possible to provide safe digital spaces for children in a playful and fun way”, said Rob Lowe, head of Kids Engagement at the LEGO Group.
Digital layer to physical play
Since the launch of the app in January 2017, LEGO Life has been downloaded more than 6 million times, and roughly one million children share content through the app every month.
In 2010, Tron: Legacy, as sequel to the 1982 movie Tron was released. The original movie was released at a time when home computers were just starting to become relatively common, and its art style and story setting were unlike anything we had previously seen. In October 2015, BrickBros UK – Tom and Drew – submitted a single Light Cycle, based on the movie TRON: Legacy to LEGO® Ideas. Over the next 17 months, they gained support, reaching 10000 votes in April 2017. The review start in May, with the final review being announced in November 2017. And so, less than 6 months later, the set is now ready to hit the shelves.
The Light Cycles were iconic elements of both the original TRON as well as TRON: Legacy. The original submission featured one light cycle, with trans light blue details, carefully crafted to minifigure scale. The final set features two: with the additional light cycle featuring trans orange details, and an additional minifigure.
The look of these cycles, as well as the ‘Grid’ base captures the spirit and styling of this sequence, even if the original TRON was more your thing than its sequel. Continue reading →
Recently, we have seen images of the new LEGO Friends Sets for 2018, and there have been a few interesting surprises. Not only the presence of teal, but our protagonists have had a bit of a makeover. In fact, this is possibly the most obvious aspect.
All sorts of theories have been bandied around: colored contact lenses, eye damage due too much time in the tanning salon, extreme perms, but perhaps the most simple answer is that after five years, the line is getting a bit of a refresh…
Here is the official word from the Friends Design Team about the new looks that we are seeing in 2018:
Every year we strive to innovate and make our products even better for children all over the world. A lot of effort has gone into the development of the LEGO characters and universes across our entire product range, so it makes us very happy when changes are noticed.
LEGO Friends in 2018 looks a bit different than what it has in the past. To be specific, the 5 main characters have a slightly different look but also the city and the citizens of Heartlake City have changed.
But what are the reasons for the change?
Firstly, we want to assure you that all 5 friends are still there in 2018.
Andrea, Mia, Emma, Stephanie and Olivia – they all still exist! Also the character’s main interests and personalities remain mainly unchanged.
What you will see in 2018 is an evolution of LEGO Friends, a progression of the story and characters to make sure children get an even greater play experience. Every year more than a million children and parents reach out to us and share what they love and what they would like to change. In the LEGO Friends range children told us that they would like even more differentiated characters and also suggested improvements to Heartlake City.
We always take great care to listen to input from children, and the LEGO Friends team has worked hard to make even more engaging and relevant experiences for children – and also make the LEGO Friends universe more true to the actual world children live in.
Taking a starting point in reality, we’ve made the characters more diverse in their appearance and have added more depth to their personality. And of course, they still live in Heartlake City. But just as the characters have changed, Heartlake City has become more differentiated and rich. There are different districts and there are other citizens that play a more active role in the story.
The changes we have made does not change the fact that previous and new LEGO Friends sets will cater for great building and play experience in 2018 and beyond, and we hope to inspire even more stories and play opportunities for children in the future.
While we can think what we like about the changes, it will add to the ongoing diversity in our characters. For the last five years, Heartlake City has been a relatively homogeneous town- it will now go on to reflect more closely on the world that the target market wish to play in. For those of you who who have a Minidoll based city layout, you have a whole new collection of faces for the town.
Personally, I like the fact that we now have vintage Friends Minidolls to collect. What do you think about the new look? Why not add your comments below, and follow the Rambling Brick for new stories, updates and random opinion.