Fly into Women’s History Month with the Amelia Earhart Tribute.

Amelia Earhart first learned to fly in 1921. An inspirational aviatrix, she was the first woman to successfully fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932. Taking off from Newfoundland, hoping to land in Paris. Unfortunately, the fates combined with bad weather and she landed in Ireland. She went on to complete many other many other milestones in women’s aviation, before vanishing over the Pacific five years later.

And so 100 years later, as part of Women’s History Month, the Lego group have released a tribute to her achievements in set 40450 which will be available from the fifth of March through Lego brand retail stores as a gift with purchase.

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Into the Wilds with Creator 3-in-1: 31116 Safari Wildlife Tree House [Review]

The Creator 3-in 1 sets are some of my favorite sets: as sets that encourage building, dismantling to build some thing else, againand again, the nature of the 3 in 1 set is the verry essence of LEGO play. I was fortunate to be sent a couple of the new 3 in 1 sets for review – the first, 31116 Safari Wildlife Tree House takes us to the savannah plains of sub-saharan Africa, with a number of fun builds, bringing the variety that we have come to expect from a Creator 3 in1 set.

The set has 397 pieces, and costs $AUD49.99/USD29.99. It comes with two minifigures, and goes on sale March 1st 2021.

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A Rose By Any Other Name [review 40460, 40461]

When we got our first look at the Flower Bouquet, one of the first questions that people asked was ‘Why are the roses that colour? Surely they should be red.’ I should know, I was one of those people!

A few weeks ago, while we were taking part in a round table discussion (along with other Fan Media) with the designer of that set, Anderson Grubb, a few things came up in the discussion:

One of the overarching design goals was for it to surprise people with what subtlety, what simplicity, what elegance we can achieve with LEGO Bricks.  Those are adjectives I don’t think you would hear a lot of people necessarily use about a LEGO toy. Many other positive adjectives (were goals) like elegant, sophisticated – I hope we achieved that. One of the things that came first to mind was that we have this beautiful soft peach colour, and we’ve barely used it. We’ve certainly never used it like this….

Anderson Grubb, designer of the 10280 Flower Bouquet set.

And so, in part that challenge was to drive that set towards surprise, subtlety and sophistication. And while you cannot deny the subtlty of that colour, it is probably not what many people would expect from a rose.

As we approach February, and with that, the 14th – Valentines Day , we find our selves reminded that

Roses are red, Violets are blue

This poem can’t express my Feelings for you

Anon.

And so, at this point our attention turns to roses, and indeed rose buds, which are a traditional gift at this time of the year..

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Ninjagopalooza: Magazine Cover Minifigures

Now, I don’t have the greatest collection of Ninjago sets or minifigures. I just haven’t really focussed on collecting the theme. But I was recently wandering through my local newsagenct, and saw a collection of LEGO themed magazines, mostly imported from the UK, and one in particular caught my eye:

Ninjago Legacy Magazine #7, an alleged special edition. A huge picture of Jai on the cover. But lets be honest, this isnt what caught my eye: it was the attached blister pack of minifigures! It might not be the latest magazine – travel time to our side of the world is often a bit prolonged, but that doesn’t change the personal value of the figures on the cover to me!

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LEGO IDEAS® 21325 Medieval Blacksmith: Hands-on Review

Despite being a theme that was there In The Beginning, when the Minifigure Era of LEGO® arrived back in 1978, Castle has not been well represented in more recent years. It is probably closer to 10 years since we saw any buildings geared more towards medieval life, rather than warring factions of knights, kings, monsters and castles.

Castle sets of the Fantasy Era were one of the mainstays in our house when my children were starting to play with LEGO, around the time that I emerged from my Dark Ages – sets such as the the 10193 Medieval Market Village, and the 7189 Mill Village raid (the sole minifigure scale set to come with not one, but two goats.) were among our favorites. As such, there has been quite a bit of excitement – both in our household, and amongst the AFOL Community regarding the forthcoming release of the LEGO®Ideas 21325 Medieval Blacksmith.

I was fortunate to be sent a prerelease copy of the set for review by the LEGO Group. All opinions are my own. Provision of materials for review does not guarantee a positive review.

The set will be released on Febrary 1st 2021. It contains 2164 pieces, and will cost 149.99 USD/ 199.99 CAD 146.99 EUR / 134.99 GBP /249.99 AUD

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Ninjagopalooza III: My First Ninjago Set 2516 Ninja Training Outpost [Rapid Review]

It was 2011, January, and extraordinarily hot. Brickvention was underway at the Melbourne Town Hall. And there, at one of the vendor’s stands I saw it: a strange new theme: it seemed part ninja, part card/spinner game. I was getting mixed messages. Anyway, I handed over $10 to buy one of the smallest sets in theme: 2516 Ninja Training Outpost. I took at it home, stared at it a little while, and put it in a cupboard. Today, I found it again, stil in the box.

Brickvention is not on this year… not in real life. We will miss out on our regular January fix of AFOL company and fellowship, but there is still time to catch the action with this year’s virtual event: You can find out more at Brickvention.online.

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Getting Rid Of The POOP With Marvel Mechs (Hands-On Review 76168,76169,76171)

Back in 2017, The LEGO Group released the NEXO Knights Power suits range. This was essentially a dumbed down range of Mech suits, which incorporated a new cockpit element for the seating of of the pilot. Fast forward to 2020, and there was a new series of inexpensive mech suits featuring Marvel characters: Iron Man, Spider Man and Thanos. I missed these, for no good reason. However, this year, we have another three Marvel Mech Suits released: 76168 Captain America; 76169 Thor and 76171 Mile Morales. the sets have around 120-135 elements, and retail for $AUD19.99/$USD9.99/9.99€/£8.99.

I am grateful that The LEGO Group sent these three over for me to take a look at: I have been curious to learn a bit more about mech building, and I am keen to see what these sets might teach me about designing a custom mech suit in the future.

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Expanding LEGO Super Mario with a trip into Wiggler’s Poison Swamp [Hands on Review 71383]

We have been working through the second wave of LEGO Super Mario expansion sets lately, and we are almost at the end. Today I would like to look at 71383 LEGO® Super Mario™ Wiggler’s Poison Swamp Expansion Set. It has 374 pieces, the most of any set in the second wave of LEGO Super Mario, and is has a recommended retail price of 39.99 USD/EUR – 34.99 GBP – 59.99 AUD – 49.99 CAD.

Like all of the sets in this wave, the main biome is the Soda Jungle: purple (medium lilac) tiles and plates. If Mario is left standing on this colour for too long, he become stunned in stages – gradually entering a no-coin state. until the soda is washed off by standing in water, or brushed off by shaking him.

This set is an interesting build, and I found a few new building ideas included, as well as new elements in significant quantities.

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Expanding LEGO Super Mario: 71382 Piranha Plant Puzzling Challenge [Hands On Review]

As we continue our look at the second wave of LEGO Super Mario sets, we turn to the return of one of Mario’s classic challenges: the Piranha Plant. Can we call it an enemy? Given the fact that it cannot directly attack, or nerf Mario in any way, I consider this level to be an obstacle, with a built in playable challenge. The set is now on sale, has 267 pieces and costs29.99 USD/EUR – 24.99 GBP – 49.99 AUD – 39.99 CAD.

Like other expansion sets, it is built using the instructions included in the LEGO Super Mario App. It is also possible to access the building instructions from the LEGO Building instructions app. The Super Mario App is necessary to update the Mario Brick to accept the latest sets; provide video demonstrations of different aspects of the set, and to get challenges, and share your levels/images to the LEGO Life. It is not necessary to play a timed game, BUT if it is connected at the time, you can get a complete break down of how you gained the coins during your game.

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Cruise Into 2021 In Style With This Great Idea…[Hands On Review 40448]

It’s finally over: the dumpster fire train wreck of a year (at least it feels a bit that way) that was 2020 has come to an end. And with the arrival of 2021, comes a swath of new LEGO® sets to see the new year in. With over 100 new sets available in the LEGO® catalog, and Christmas still a recent memory, the online store, and LEGO Brand Retail stores(but not LEGOLAND parks, discovery centres or Certified stores) have added a little sweetener to entice you to shop. (Let’s hope the stock lasts long enough for the promotion to run its course). The Vintage Car 40448 has come from a LEGO Ideas contest run in 2019, which asked AFOLs to design a vintage car to cruise the mean streets of your Modular City.

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