Every 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.
When 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 →
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?
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.
So I have been talking about the LEGO House a bit lately. It’s an exciting project, occupying the centre of Billund, due to open at the end of September. Like all new buildings in recent years of significance to LEGO, it has been immortalised in set form. Unlike many of the new factory sets, this one is available to purchase at almost all businesses around Billund. Except the LEGO Shop at the Airport, and LEGOLAND itself. You can pick it up at the bakery, the restaurant, the other restaurant, the supermarket and the LEGOLAND Hotel, just to name a few. No doubt, many of these businesses have been impacted by the construction, and the chase for this set may be an attraction to get tourists to venture into town. Now that the LEGO House is nearing completion, due to open in just over three months, the set is likely to have an extremely limited shelf life.
The Rambling Brick has been informed that it is highly likely that a new set based on the LEGO House will be unveiled once the facility is fully operational. No hints, clues or sneak previews have been presented. Anything that follows is pure speculation.
But what about the set we have now?
Packaged in the same firm black cardboard box as the Billund Airport and Architecture sets, this one is somewhat unique: It is a LEGO model of a building that had not yet been built, but designed to look as if it were built of LEGO bricks, looking like a LEGO Model. And it does.
Last week we looked at the 2×4 brick, and talked about the fact that it’s a bit harder to come by in new sets than it was back in the ‘olden days’. I was a little surprised to discover it had made its natural home in the world of Minecraft, rather than in the Classic theme.
Classic become the primary non specific ‘creative play’ LEGO® theme in 2014, following on from Bricks and More, Make and Create and in turn, early Creator sets. One of the things that has distinguished Classic from the earlier themes is the variety of colours in the overall LEGO® palette. Over 30 colours may appear in some of these sets (the creative building boxes have around 500-600 pieces each, and recently have featured latest 35 colours over the last few years.
Many Doors and Windows
I recently picked up a copy of the 2017 Creative Building Box 10703, with the box proclaiming ‘many doors and windows…’ Indeed, at least 29 windows, and 5 doors.(This is the volume otherwise occupied by 156 and 120 1×1 bricks respectively.) Last year’s set was a little light on for these features, so I thought an opportunity to increase my supply might be a good thing. I thought this might allow me to rapidly deploy some buildings into my Town landscape.
With 503 pieces, 37 different colours and a RRP of £19.99, €24.00, $AUD39.99 and yet to hit the US market at this stage – but 10702 from 2016 cost $USD29.99; this is certainly a colourful box, with all of the suggested models being buildings. This is a set devoid of wheels or eye-tiles, both of which we had a variety of in last year’s equivalent set. The majority of parts in this set are basic bricks, plates , sloped bricks and windows. There are also a variety of doors – including two angled doors; angled bricks, greebly parts, tiles, fences and arches. Continue reading →
If any element over the years has been used to represent the concept of the LEGO® system of play, this is it.
One of the original elements in the LEGO brick parts palette, it is the first piece that springs to mind when many of us think of LEGO® Bricks. The favourite element of many large scale builders, if you have enough of them, you can build almost anything! It is one of those pieces that brings memories flooding back to those of us raised on basic sets back in the early to mid 1970’s. Before the advent of the minifigure, this brick was the cornerstone of LEGO construction, being a significant component of the Basic/ Universal Construction Sets that were commonly played with in this era. While allowing an incredibly versatile method of construction, there is no doubt that that they contributed significantly to the chunky aesthetic that is associated with LEGO® design and construction in my childhood. When your parents say “In my day, it was just bricks,” this is what they are talking about. Continue reading →
I never understood the joy of Technic Motorcycles. And yet here I am, staring at the box of one. I would never have bought this set were I not aiming to put together the Reimagined Technic Car Chassis 8860 . But people seem to be interested in it. Every time I attend my local LUG, somebody else is putting it together. And they seem to be enjoying it. And they aren’t all the people I expect to see putting Technic sets together! So what is the appeal?
But surely it’s just two wheels, a fuel tank, engine, handlebars, and a bit of trim? How much variation can you get out of it? The first Technical Motorcycle was set 857 Motorbike with Sidecar, released in 1979. This vehicle featured the same wheels ultimately used in 8860 (albeit only 3 of them). The single cylinder piston engine attached to the rear wheel via a chain drive; the ride was a little rough due to lack of suspension, and the front forks were 6 studs wide, and built from a multitude of bricks and plates. The seat was wide and comfortable and the fuel tank extremely chunky. A side car made a third wheel necessary!
How on earth could any of that be different? I mean that first set had a massive 409 pieces, with lots of red, black, grey and blue. However, here we have a very different vehicle: with only 197 pieces more than the first one! It has a recommended retail price of $AUD89.99 (just under 15¢/piece). It has been around during recent 20% sales in Australia shops.