75262 Imperial Dropship – Star Wars 20th Anniversary

In which I try to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t attempt to buy Every Star Wars Set Ever, despite a childhood obsession, and come to realise that reissues of sets are useful as elements and building pieces evolve.

LET ME TELL YOU A STORY. If you have read any of my posts about the 20th Anniversary of LEGO® Star Wars, it would become apparent that Star Wars played an important role in my childhood. There was something enchanting, in a fairy tale sort of way, about the way in which the characters moved through the story. I read the novel (Ghost written by Alan Dean Foster) several times before I turned 10. I had a couple of action figures. Some follow me today. My brother and I saved up lots and lots of pocket money, to be able to afford the Kenner’s Landspeeder, with amazing floating action, when it finally became available at our local toy shop in 1978. I had a book mark left in a friend’s copy of ‘Splinter of the Mind’s Eye’, and when our family went to visit theirs, I would read another twenty of so pages. In 1983 I finally finished reading it.

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LEGO rolling back to Classic Instructions[Nostalgia+]

The Rambling Brick was excited to see a copy of the new “Classic Instructions”, being rolled out in forthcoming Minecraft sets.

There has been a bit of talk today about the new Nostalgia+ Business Unit at the LEGO group, and I have just received notice of their boldest initiative yet: a return to the classic format of LEGO instructions.

Earlier today I had the pleasure of talking to Atilla Jogtuyu, from the new Nostalgia+ workgroup. This group is seeking to enhance the quality of nostalgic experiences

Atilla Jogtuyu proceeded to tell me about the me about the development of the final pillar of Nostalgia+, the new instruction format…

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Steamboat Willie Resilience Build; Nostalgia+ Program announced

Today, we see the latest Ideas set 21317 Steamboat Willie hit the shelves. The LEGO® Ideas team have done a great job in preparing this set for release in just under six weeks since the set was announced to be entering the development phase – a new record for the crowd sourced platform. It turns out, however, that they have been hiding something from us…

Introducing the New Nostalgia+ Resilience Builds.

21317R: Steamboat Willie Resilience Build: designed to help developing builders to be satisfied with what they have achieved, and then pull the model apart and try something new – further fostering resilience through play.
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An Idea Right Out of History [The Flintstones 21316 Official Announcement]

In which I ponder the nature of the television sitcom and its broader narrative development, new spinoffs resulting in decades of related programming, changes between fan designer and production art and finally consider whether or not this one’s for me.  By the way, 21316 the Flintstones will be available for VIPs 20th February, and probably having its ‘regular’ release on March 1st 2019.

Memories of after school television in the 70’s

One of my fondest childhood memories is coming home from school, and sitting down in front of the (Black and White) television for a couple of hours. It was the 1977 in Australia, and the typical afternoon television lineup consisted of a collection of 1960’s programs, both live action and animated: Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Get Smart, Scooby Doo and The Flintstones.

With their canned laughter and awkward situations, often caused by miscommunication or zany get rich quick schemes, virtuallyany character development that occurred was reset at the end of the episode. Apart from a different actor playing Darren in Bewitched, as if nothing ever happened, most of these stories followed a simple plot line, with new scenery and characters telling a similar story the next week.

The Flintstones was unique amongst these programs, as it was probably the first show that would be considered to an animated sitcom: certainly a novel concept in 1960, when it was first broadcast. Fred and Barney – with their challenges at work, misunderstandings with their wives, the ritual Bowling tournaments, to say nothing of the Order of the Water Buffaloes.

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Minifigure 40: LEGO® Town [Advertisement Archive]

Untitled 7Forty years ago, we saw the change in LEGO® sets: the arrival of the minifigure.  Now we had articulated figures to bring our models to life: no need to remove the torso for our figures to sit down. As part of #minfigure40 I received access to a large number of media assets: today, I would like to look at some of the features of the advertisements in the LEGO Town/City series, one of the few themes to have been continuously available in some form or another for forty years!  The majority of these advertisements were placed in comics, or magazines featuring comic strip anthologies, and puzzles and kid’s news. They have been published in multiple markets – ands languages.  I have attempted to translate them as well as an online translation engine will allow.

The art style is typically similar to that seen in contemporary catalogs: certainly I suspect the early advertisements were shot at a similar time to the catalogs for that year.

1978: The Minifigure Arrives in Classic Town

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Thirty Years of LEGO® Helicopter Transporters [Review 6357 vs 60183]

IMG_1069Just as Minifigures (Happy fortieth birthday for last weekend folks) bring life to a LEGO® Town layout, so do vehicles.  Sorry for the use of a dodgy  segue there.  And the only thing better than a LEGO set with a vehicle to build, is a LEGO set with two vehicles to build!

This year, as I have previously discussed, we are seeing some interesting parallels between the LEGO city sets, and sets that are 20, 30 and 40 years old.  I have also seen a particularly strong set of coincidences between the Town range of 1988 and that of today, and I would like to explore this further today.

Today I would especially like to look at the helicopter transporter truck.  Just why a highly manoeuvrable flying vehicle needs a truck to take it from Point A to Point B, unless it has broken down, and managed to land in a somewhat controlled fashion without dismembering all on board,  in such a circumstance, I am not entirely sure. However, I am going to jump past that flaw in logic to examine this special class of set, which not only celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year, but also has its tenth representation in a LEGO Set. Continue reading

Getting started with Mining in the City [Mining Team – 60184]

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In which we consider recurring subjects in LEGO Town and City, consider the nature of the LEGO City Starter Sets and realise why they are no longer named as such, investigate a new cohort of mini figures, make a mountain explode and realise that Glow in the Dark Spiders are never going to surprise you by jumping our of the cupboard. Now read on…

It is a year of celebrations and anniversaries: 60 years of the brick, 40 years of the minifigure, 20 years of Mindstorm. Going back a little, we have just celebrated 10 years of modular buildings/ UCS Millennium Falcon and the Taj Mahal, with a tribute, reboot, or reissue for each.

But there are many sets in this year’s city range that call back to sets from the past, 20 and 30 years ago, and we shall look at some of those in greater detail over the next few months.

Today, I was looking at the Mining Team Set 60184, and saw a vehicle that took me back to the early days of LEGO Town:

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The front loader, 607 from 1979 was part of the second wave of LEGO Town sets to be released. A simple vehicle, for a simple time, and bears a remarkable resemblance to the dump truck seen into days set for review. Continue reading