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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LEGO House: Set Review 4000010

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.

One box...sufficiently dented during the flight home to ensure I would open and build the set!
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.

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Classic: Opening the door to a Friendly City. [Review 10703]

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.

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Many Doors and Windows. The window panes come in trans clear, trans yellow, trans light blue and sold white.

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

Whatever happened to the 2 x 4 Brick? Minecraft: The Ice Spikes 21131

The humble 2×4 brick.

If any element over the years has been used to represent the concept of the LEGO® system of play, this is it.IMG_5070

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. IMG_5066While 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