Meeting Mette: LEGO Rebrick at the RLFM Days.[Interview and new Contest]

In which I have a conversation with Mette Hansen about the LEGO® Rebrick program: whats been popular, where in the world you can enter from, and the challenges of running contests when there is a seperate owner of the intellectual property. Of course things have progressed since this interview in June, and with the announcement of the new UCS Millennium Falcon, there is a new contest on Rebrick, with the new set as a prize!

I have mentioned some of the contests featured on Rebrick here previously. As the LEGO® Group’s official contest platform for teenage and adult builders, the prizes on offer for the contests can be quite exciting. As part of the Fan Media Days earlier this year, I had a chance, along with Christian Breinbauer from Revistabricks.com, to meet with Mette Frøkjær Hansen, one of the team who has been working with the LEGO® Rebrick platform.

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Mette Frøkjær Hansen, explaining some of the details about the Rebrick Platform at the 2017 LEGO Fan Media Days.

Rambling Brick: So far we have seen competitions covering multiple themes, from Cars to Batman, Technic, Friends and Modular Buildings. The MiniModular competition, however, offered such an amazing prize pack it appeared to have a lot of interest online.[That is to say, the winner would receive the entire 10 year run of modular buildings from Cafe Corner to Assembly Square.] Was it the most subscribed competition that you have had to date?

Mette Hansen:It was actually the second most popular contest that we have had: the one that was the most popular, and got the most entries was actually LEGO® Bionicle, last year. We had that last fall, as an ode to the theme being discontinued.

Had the fact that the theme was going to be discontinued been announced at that stage?

Show us Your Makuta – entry by TolerantAxe97

No, at that time it hadn’t officially announced, but we wanted to do something for the Bionicle fans, because they are just so amazing, and so creative. The Bionicle contest got over two thousand entries! It’s sometimes hard for us. We have no idea when we publish a contest: will this get two thousand entries, or a hundred entries? Now, we are starting to get some more learnings, because the Rebrick platform has been around for a bit of time now, but it is still relatively new: we launched in March 2016 with this specific contest platform. We are still excited to see which contests will get a lot of entries, which ones are less popular. But for us it is not necessarily about the volume of entries. It’s also about people being excited about the theme, and if only fifty people or twenty people are really excited about the topic and they build something amazing and they contribute and upload and help to inspire the wider community, that’s enough. That’s Mission: Accomplished! Continue reading

Stressed by the Elements: Saturn V, Tiles, Plates and the Legality of Connections.

In which I build the Saturn V Ideas set, almost lose it in a wind gust, consider the legality of the American flag on the moon and Jamie Berard helps us to establish that plates and tiles are more different than we may have previously considered…

IMG_7086I have just been fortunate to complete one of the most satisfying builds I have attempted in recent years.  The LEGO® Ideas Saturn V Rocket  21309 was released on June 1st, to wide accalaim. The Rambling Brick was fortunate to secure a copy on release day, courtesy of of the LEGO® Community Engagement Team.  Any opinions expressed here are, however, my own. The set has been subject to backorder on shop.lego.com for some time, and production continues to catch up with demand.  This may take some time.

IMG_7116Since completing the model, I have been confronted by a severe weather warning, with the possibility of destructive winds – up to 120 km/h (roughly 70MPH).  This is a shame, as the winter sun has been shining brightly today: just what you need to take stirring, outdoor shots of an amazing model.  On setting the model up outside, it became apparant that there are reasons for spaceflights being delayed due to bad weather.  I managed one or two shots before catching the falling bohemoth, as it attempted to attain equilibrium in its ongoing battle with the forces of nature. That is to say, i caught it before it hit the ground.

Perhaps I’ll try again on a less windy day.

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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

Making Friends, with Fenella and Ricardo: LEGO Friends’ Designers (Interview)

At the start of June, as part of the LEGO Fan Media Days, I had the opportunity to meet Fenella Charity and Ricardo Silva, who are both part of the LEGO Friends design team.  Fenella’s back ground is in industrial design, and Ricardo came to work at LEGO via the fan community. Our conversation rambled over a variety of topics relevant to the Friends line: including storyboarding the  sets and animated stories;  stickers vs printed elements; gender balance; designing Stephanie’s house and starting the trip down a slippery slope by using tan walls  in the pizzeria. But before we started on that path, I had to ask something…

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The LEGO Friends sets have be inspirational for introducing buildings around town that aren’t fire stations, banks being robbed or police stations, as are de rigour in LEGO City. But something I have been wondering… Are we going to see a police station?

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Inside 4000010: The LEGO House Preview

As part of the recent LEGO Fan Media Days, the Rambling Brick had the opportunity to preview the LEGO House.  Located in Billund, opposite the old Kristiansen family home and on the site of the former town hall, the LEGO House will be a place to have a LEGO Experience unlike any other.
The building is complete, and those working inside, or visiting the building are no longer required to wear a hard hat. There is still a little way to before the house will be ready for the public however…
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The inspirations for 4000010: The LEGO House and 42061: Telehandler seen together in the wild.
I had intended to look at set 4000010: The LEGO House, a promotional set available around Billund at present.  However, my luggage has decided to take a slightly more circuitous route than even myself to get back home!
I shall delay that review for early in the week, so long as the Luggage arrives intact…
In the meantime, read on to see what we discovered about the inspiration for that set, the actual LEGO House.

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How Did The Dinosaur Get Its Roar?: Iconic sculptures for an Iconic Space

On the top level of the LEGO House, when it opens in September, you will find the  Masterpiece Gallery: a space filled with models contributed by AFOLs from around the world. This space has eight skylights, arranged as the studs of a 2×4 brick.  In the space between the studs, there will be three round podiums representing the tubes in a 2×4 brick: each with a very special model in position.
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Stuart Harris,Senior Designer for the LEGO House announces the iconic models to go into the Master Piece Gallery in the LEGO House at the recent Fan Media Days.
At the recent Fan Media Days, Senior Designer in LEGO House, Stuart Harris, was able to reveal that the three giant models on the three podiums in the gallery will be a LEGO®DUPLO® dinosaur, a LEGO®TECHNIC® dinosaur and a LEGO® SYSTEM® dinosaur. Building the same dinosaur in these three systems will result in a very different result reinforcing the message about the endless possibilities of the LEGO brick.
Input for these models was received from a group of 26 AFOLs from around the world, and specific aspects of interest to their design was taken to the model design team.  Look out for the Neat Parts Usage in some of the photos below.

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Busy in Billund: The LEGO Fan Media Days 2017

The last week has left me spinning so fast that I cannot think exactly where to start!

So I’ll tell you where I have ended up: in a hotel room in Geneva, overlooking the park near the lake.  It’s just got dark, around 10 pm in evening.  It sounds like there are a few people having a good time over there, and traffic rumbles by under my open window.  What started off as a cold and drizzly morning became a sunny day.  But I missed most of that.  I have been attending a conference. Even learning things! As I sit down to type it is Sunday evening, and my glass is empty.  It only contained water, so I can probably top it up simply enough. Or perhaps I’ll put the kettle on: let’s do that.

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It all started last Tuesday when I arrived in Billund. Eventually. I arrived after only 26 hours of travel.  Melbourne-Singapore-Frankfurt-Billund. In an attempt to see how many characters represented in LEGO I could see in movies, I managed to watch at least some fragments of : ‘The LEGO® Batman™ Movie’, ‘Logan’ (not a bit like that mighty micro Wolverine who was racing Magneto), ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (Disney, 2017), ‘Moana’ as well as ‘Fantastic Beasts, and How to Find Them.’

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Characters from films I had the chance to watch on my long haul flights…

I checked into the LEGOLAND Hotel: not a themed room, but I suspect at this stage I may have been a little overwhelmed by that!

But what was I doing there? Continue reading