So You Want to Build a Roller Coaster? Roller Coaster 10261 (Review)

In which I assemble the new 10261 LEGO Roller Coaster, build a couple of white pillars, troubleshoot a skipping chain and consider what I’ve learned. It’s a big set. I wrote a lot.  Why don’t you prepare yourself a drink, sit back and work out whether this is a set that you would like to put together.

IMG_0307-2The appeal of a roller coaster is hard to deny: action, excitement, lights noise, adrenaline, nausea, terror and relief, in various orders. When we first saw the new LEGO® Roller Coaster Track appearing in the Joker Mansion last year, it wasn’t long before people began to speculate about how long it might be before we saw one appear in the Creator Expert Theme Park series.  About eight months it turns out. I’m glad we got that cleared up. When the Roller Coaster (10261) was announced early in May, many people, myself included, were impressed by the build: a moving model almost always has more appeal than a static display. But it raised a number of questions: How easy would it be to power? How stable would it be? How easy might it be to draw inspiration for other Roller Coaster themed MOCs? And just how challenging would it be to build all those white pillars?

Some of of these questions were easily answered. Others might take a little more thought.  [Do you just want to skip forward to my a video of the run? Click here, or scroll through to the end]

I was invited to review the Roller Coaster by the AFOL Engagement team at The LEGO Group, and I hope I might be able to answer a few of the questions posed. Read on and see where this review takes us.

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Series 18 Minifigures: Welcome to the Party

This month sees the 40th Birthday of our favourite plastic persona, the LEGO® Minifigure. The Series 18 Collectable Minifigures celebrate this occasion with a costume party, and we see some of the best costumes for our figures yet.  I am yet to track down the Policeman: a printed modern representation of the policeman that came with set 600, one of the first Town Sets released back in 1978.  As part of the ever circling self referential tips to the past ( in a year when too many historical references are barely enough…), the policeman has a printed tile, with the box of set 600 printed on it.

By now, I suspect you have located a ‘feel guide’ to help identify each figure inside its foil bag, and read the opinions of others about this great series.

Every set has its highlights and lowlights. For this series, I have presented an image of every figure that I have, along with the highlight of the figure for me.  There will be things you prefer.  That’s okay. Who is your favourite?

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I love many of the accessories and head pieces included with this series, but my favourite would be the tile that comes with the young boy: it is printed with as small a representation as you could come up with to be a representation of the packet that the series one figures appeared in years ago. Also up there would have to be the balloon animals. As for my favourite figures? it is a toss up for me between the cowboy, the dragon and the two figures dressed up as LEGO Bricks!

What about you? What do you love about this series? Who is your favourite?  If you could only choose one element from this series, what would it be? Why not leave your comments below.

Now to see if I can find a policeman.

Until I do,

Play Well!

Welcome to the Year of the Dog: 40235

IMG_9956As the Lunar New Year approaches, our minds turn to the Year of the Dog.  Set 40235 has been available in Australian Myer Stores as a Gift With Purchase for purchases of over $AUD88  This is the fourth set in this series, including last year’s year of the Rooster (40234), 2016’s Year of the Monkey(40207) and 2015’s Year of the Sheep (40148). The Year of the Snake set from 2013 (10250) is of a completely different aesthetic: more of the creator 4 in one build able creatures type of set.  I would not include it in the current series. As well as the LEGO elements and instructions, the set comes with an envelope in which to place a gift of money for the recipient of the set. Continue reading

Sand Green September II: Green Ninja Mech Dragon

In which I am confronted with another set that is predominantly sand green in appearance; I need to reconsider ‘Sand Green September’ as a concept and take cues from Lord Business and the Australian Football League. I go to the movies and have mixed feelings but a predominantly positive experience about the LEGO Ninjago Movie.  I build a set and am amazed at the number of relatively uncommon/recently released elements. If you thought you had never seen anything quite like the Green Ninja Dragon Mech before, it might just be because 25% of the 516 elements are fairly new! Now read on…

IMG_7642I recently spoke about the three sets which I am in the process of building, with sand green as a dominant colour.  Sand Green September.  A lofty idea, and I suspect almost unachievable, unless I take a cue from both Wyldstyle in the LEGO Movie (Freedom Friday, but still on a Tuesday), and the Australian Football League.

For those without a classical Victorian Education, the AFL (and Previously VFL) Grand Final is  traditionally played on the last Saturday in September. Today in fact. This ‘One Day in September’ was immortalised in song by Mike Brady  in the early 1980’s in the theme song for Channel 7’s Big League.  Of course, occasionally, this one day in September occurs in October ( I am looking at you 2011, 2015 and 2016.  I could look at 2010 in accusatory tones as well, except the Grand Final in October was a replay of the drawn match from the previous weekend. The AFL have taken steps to ensure this does not ever happen again…)

Yes… we are looking at the final instalment of Sand Green September being released in October.  But I digress.

And I shall again.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie

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Seeking Inspiration With ‘NEXO Knights: Build Your Own Adventure’ [Review]

covers.pngEvery so often a builder runs out of ideas.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a child or an adult. Now and again you say to yourself ‘I don’t know what to build!’

This might be becoming a more and more frequent complaint as we enter a culture of building a set and leaving it built. The creative spark almost extinguished as the direct result of years of targeted marketing and passing through the education system and getting a job.

Certainly, entering life as an AFOL, I found it harder than I should have to dismantle sets that I had built from the instructions.  Some have never been dismantled.  Admittedly, included in this number are the Cafe Corner and Green Grocer, so some would suggest I would not be blamed for leaving them intact.  But I have accumulated a good number of city, and regular creator sets over that time to establish a functional supply of bricks. Sometimes I feel inspired to build,other days it is a hard slog.

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Making Some New Friends (The design drafts and review): Stephanie’s House 41314

sh 41314 drafts2.pngWhen we last met, we caught up with Fenella and Ricardo, from the LEGO Friends design team, and we spoke in part about the preliminary models from Stephanie’s house, and how some things came and went during the design phase.

Today, I thought we would put this set together, and look at some of the features that make these sets so popular with the target demographic.

This is one of the larger sets in the first wave of  Friends sets to be released in 2017.  It has 613 pieces, and a recommended retail price of $AUD99.99/£64.99/$US69.99/€69.99. It comes with 3 minidolls: Stephanie, her mother Alicia  and father James. It is laden with accessories and play features, as one would expect with a Friends set of this size. Continue reading

LEGO Batman Movie Batwing Polybag: Free with Purchase (at one retailer in Australia) + Review

The LEGO Batman Movie coming to DVD/Blu Ray/ 4K-UHD and digital formats! After waiting six weeks from the international release for it to arrive in Australia, it turns out we only have to wait until June 28 –  fifteen days after the US release. Already, we are staring to hear some of the marketing buzz.  In the US, Target already has an edition with Batgirl Polybag (30612) and four post cards. And Walmart is offering a special edition Bluray-DVD-Digital Download and Lunchbox (with removable cape!) pack. We are still waiting to hear if any of these will be coming to Australia. I would be really excited if the Batgirl Polybag makes it, as it does appear to be another different figure to the one that appears in regular sets and different to the one that appears in the LEGO Dimensions ‘Play the LEGO Batman Movie’ Pack .

So, What do we have to look forward to?

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That’s a funny looking minifigure…

JB Hifi have announced that they will have, somewhat erroneously, an exclusive minifigure with all formats including DVD, Blu Ray, 3D, 4K and Ultraviolet!  Erroneously, because they then go on to list the bonus minifigure as being the polybag: 30524: The Mini Batwing.

At least, even though it is not an exclusive minifigure, it is a poly bag, which rarely arrives in Australia out side this kind of promotional exercise.

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