Review: 21054 The White House

Without a doubt, the White House is one of the most iconic buildings in the United States. As the 244th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence is celebrated, I present my review of the latest incarnation of this building in LEGO Architecture form. I don’t fully understand why this set received world wide release in June, with the exception of of North America. I will merely accept the fact, and move on.

The set comes, as one might expect, in a solid black cardboard box, with the now familiar ‘Greebled’ 18+ pattern, this time in white, along a strip at the bottom of the box.

On opening the box, we see several 8×16 plates in Earth green, as well as 8 bags, labelled 1-5. As with all Architecture sets, the instructions give us a potted history of the White House – With the site selected by George Washington, and designed by James Hoban, the original building, was also referred to as the Executive Residence and the President’s Palace, before being renamed the White House in 1906, by President Roosevelt.

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Expanding LEGO Super Mario I: Pirhana Plant Power Slide[71365]

Last week, we took our first look at the 71360 LEGO Super Mario Starter set, Adventures with Mario. Today, we are taking a look at one of the expansion sets, which adds an exciting, dynamic challenge to any level: 71365 Pirhana Plant Power Slide.

This set provides two enemies, some desert landscape, and a Time Bonus box. We also have the eponymous Piranha Power Slide, which can be incorporated in a larger layout, or used on its own in conjunction with the start and finish points. But does that make it a worthwhile purchase? Read on to find out.

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40411: Creative Fun 12in1 – Northern Summer’s Gift with Purchase [review]

Despite the fact that I am based in Australia, 2/3 of my readers seem to be from the northern hemisphere. With this in mind, here is a review of a LEGO Store Gift with Purchase – which seems to line up with the northern summer nicely. Unfortunately, it does not look like it will be available Down Under for the time being… 1st July it looks like it will have Australian availability in July too.

If you live north of the equator, it must almost be time for a summer holiday. From July 1st, the gift with purchase really reflects that, with a new summer themed 12 in 1 building set: 40411 Creative Fun 12 in 1

The set will be available in conjunction with purchases over $85US/£85/€85 from the LEGO store from 1st July to the 26th, 2020. Update: in Australia it will be available from 1-9 July, with purchases over $AUD169. Read on to see what’s inside.

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The Wooden Duck 40501 [Review]

This week, the LEGO House reopens after closure during the COVID19 lockdown. With its reopening, we have a new Limited Edition set released, available exclusively at the LEGO Store at the Billund attraction. The Wooden Duck 50401 was announced last week.

The Wooden Duck occupies an important place in the history of the LEGO Group – with the story of Godtfred Kristiansen trying to save his father’s manufacturing costs being a cornerstone in the LEGO Ethos of ‘Only the best is good enough’

The Wooden Duck itself, in particular the model with the pullalong quacking action, was in production from 1935 through to 1960.

I was fortunate to receive a copy of the set to review, courtesy of the team at the LEGO House. Here’s how it went together…

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LEGO Super Mario: Hands On Experience – Adventures with Mario 71360 [Review]

When the LEGO Group and Nintendo announced the forthcoming release of LEGO Super Mario back in February, the announcement was met with both excitement and concern. Both companies have a history of producing great opportunities for families to play together, but what would a full blown collaboration between the two look like?

I have been looking closely at a few of the sets ahead of their August release, and will present my findings a over the next few posts. I have already posted a first look at the blind character bags – 71360. However, to get any value out of the game play in this theme, you need the Super Mario Starter set – 71360 Adventures with Mario – is essential to enjoy this theme: it is the only set where you can get the interactive Mario Brick.

Today, I hope to be able to bring you an insight into the set, and hopefully get an idea of how the set, and theme work together to incorporate different aspects of both companies core product.

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LEGO Super Mario Blind Bags Revealed [71361 Reveal and Review]

The Rambling Brick has had the good fortune to be invited to become familiar with LEGO Super Mario sets, ahead of release. This week, LEGO unveiled the complete range of sets in the LEGO Super Mario range.

One of these, previously undisclosed, is a series of blind Character Bags 71361. This comes with a brick built enemy for LEGO Super Mario. The Good news is that they each come with an ‘action brick’ – a tile with a pre-applied barcode – which Super Mario can scan and gain coins.

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LEGO Space: Hope, Optimism and Dreams for the Future. [Review 6970/60228]

The recent launch of the the Space X Falcon9, successfully delivering astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken aboard their Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station has renewed public interest in the space program. And at a time when there are so many other problems affecting the world, a little excitement and optimism is what the world needs.

Space exploration has often been associated with this hope and optimism, as we see parts of the universe through new eyes, and discover that we can achieve things that had previously only been dreamt of.

A child excited by the the dream of space travel today might look at the range of LEGO City ‘Mission to Mars’ sets from 2019, and be inspired by such a future, as some of us were 40 odd years ago, when we first saw LEGOLAND Space.

Back in those days, we started with spacemen on a planet somewhere. They had a spaceship, a rover or a base. Or all three. They were all working together: no fighting, just cooperation in achieving the teams goals.

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In Search of La Dolce Vita, with Pasta, Wine and Some Very Bad Photoshop [Review: Nuova FIAT 500]

In which a global pandemic interferes with the Italian holiday plans of my wife and I. So we take a virtual trip, with the aid of a LEGO® Creator Expert Fiat 500 and some very bad Photoshopping.

In a COVID-19 free parallel Universe, my wife and I are currently flying from Rome to Singapore. We have been away for two weeks, arriving in Milan, visiting Cinque Terre, and Venice along the way. Probably catching up with some friends in the Italian AFOL Community as well. After a few days in Rome, we are on our way home, well rested: our first holiday away together for 4 years or so.

Of course, we do not live in that universe. But we were planning to be in Italy this month: Ann and I booked our tickets last November, back when our world was a vastly different place.

Subsequently, the world has been dramatically changed by the effects of the coronavirus. COVID 19 was just starting to reach epidemic proportions in northern Italy the week that the Creator Expert 10271 Fiat 500 set was announced. The launch event at the Fiat factory was reduced to a live stream. Since then, much of the world has been in varying degrees of lockdown, and we are starting to come out the other side. So, while we are not able to travel from Australia to Italy, I thought we might take a virtual trip in search of La Dolce Vita – the sweet life – by constructing the Creator Expert 10271 Fiat 500, an icon of Italian design; and some bad photoshop involving our planned destinations. Along the way, I might have a bowl of pasta…

So, pour yourself a short black coffee, find a seat in the sun and read on…

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Meet the Demon Bull King: Monkie Kid’s Fearsome Foe. [80010 review]

This week, we saw the launch of Monkie Kid, the LEGO Group’s new theme, based on the classic Chinese Novel, Journey to the West. While the sets look great, I was even more excited by the fact that there were only 12 hours between the official announcement and the release of sets in the local LEGO Brand stores – both LEGO Certified Stores, and the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre.

I was standing on the doorstep at opening time – third in line, and the only one who wasn’t planning to pick up the Monkey King Warrior Mech 80012. I am looking forward to getting it at some point, but I suspect there will be many reviews online in the next few weeks. So I headed to the antagonist: Demon Bull King 80010. This set has 1057 pieces, three minifigures and sells for $AUD129.99. To be honest, my interest was raised primarily by the colour scheme, as well as the windscreen elements used on his shoulders. I wanted to get a closer look, as the packaging was giving me a Space Police or Ice Planet 2002 kind of vibe. But we will come to that a little later.

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Swoosh-Swoosh, Pew-Pew: Child’s Play on May the Fourth

Last year, we saw the LEGO® sets aimed at younger builders shift from the the ‘Juniors‘ branding, to their respective themes, but with the added labelling of 4+. These sets feature the nifty aspects of the Junior sets: easy to build, no stickers, some cool minifigures, but with out the stigma of build specifically aimed at ‘Junior Builders.’ Now you can be 8 years old, and confident in the idea that these sets are OK for you to get: 8 is still on the plus side of 4. Previously, these sets had been limited to LEGO’s in-house ranges (City, Friends, Ninjago), as well as Disney Princess, Marvel Superheroes, and DC Superheroes. With this change in labelling, we have also seen LEGO Star Wars enter the fray, with a range of spaceships labelled 4+. Quick to assemble, and easy to start playing around with, these sets feature some large elements, which might be described as POOP: Pieces that could/should be made Out of Other Pieces.

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