Around eight years ago, shortly after I emerged from my Dark Ages, I visited LEGOLAND California with my family. The Aussie Dollar was running at 90US¢ to A$1: the best exchange rate in years. We got to the store. What followed is a bit embarrassing, but suffice to say it included Cafe Corner and the Grand Carousel 10196. Despite currency fluctuations, the pricing model used meant we could afford these 2 sets, and some more, as well as some luggage to transport them home, and still come out in front. Unfortunately, this involved unboxing these sets prior to returning home. Once the box is broken, you might as well build them, don’t you think? If I knew then what I know now, I would have also picked up a Millennium falcon UCS, and transported them home in fur-lined gold plated shipping container instead. Aah: hindsight. It gives me 20-20 vision.
The Grand Carousel had a huge footprint with a 48 square, green baseplate. It had an interesting 16 sided construction and rotation was afforded by a spring-loaded wheel turning the outside – just like the real carousel’s that would tour country Victoria going to annual town fairs. Not only did it rotate, but the horses bounced up and down as well. And then there was the sound brick ,providing the joyous sounds of a Calliope, and invoking a nightmare flashback in any kid scared by carnival clowns. This set has appreciated significantly over theirs, with new sticker sheets selling for more than $70 on Brick link, and the sound brick for more than $200!
In more recent years, the Lego Creator Expert team have been producing exceptional sets based on Fairground rides, providing a challenging building experience and great play and display features. In 2014, we saw the release of the Fairground Mixer 10244, followed up by the Ferris wheel 10247 in 2015. Last year it was the Friends turn, with a whole sub theme. The Amusement park Roller Coaster41130 was a highlight for many here! Builders have not been content with with merely adding motion to this to these rides. Lighting has also become popular, with some spectacular third party lighting kits now available especially for them. But I didn’t stop writing this post for the purpose of becoming over whelmed with nostalgia, continuing to chart my descent from a regular human being into an Adult Fan of LEGO, but rather to present the announcement of the latest fairground set, at Play-Time in New York today.
The press release: more pictures and discussion follow . Continue reading