Cancelling LEGO® MINDSTORMS is a Sad Thing. But is it a Bad Thing?

For the better part of a generation, LEGO® MINDSTORMS has been considered the premier name in robotics education – both as a school-based educational tool, and as a consumer-level product: Even though I was at peak Dark Ages when the first set was released in 1998, I was aware of its existence, and before I had become engaged with the LEGO Community, I had somehow become aware that the RCX had been reverse engineered, with hobbyists developing ways to program it in ways not initially intended. But I digress. Kids brought up with those early sets are now well-established in their careers, which may in part be due to their engagement with MINDSTORMS at a formative time.

A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that the 51515 LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor, and with it, the LEGO MINDSTORMS Brand, will be retired at the end of 2022 – a little over 2 years since the set’s initial release in October 2020.

This brand, with a pedigree dating back to the 1980s, was being unceremoniously retired. Well, it will be at the end of the year. In part, this retirement means that the app now enters into its sunset phase, where no further development is taking place, but the software is maintained to run on contemporary platforms for two years, as required under European law. But what then?

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All aboard: Power Functions 2.0 with Bluetooth Announced at Nuremberg Toy Fair. Rampant speculation follows.

Editors Note: Lots of information has come to light during the Fall Preview Event in New York.  A followup to this article can be found HERE

 

Lots of exciting news has come out of the Nuremberg Toy fair about upcoming releases for the year, but perhaps the most interesting for me will have a ripple effect that lasts well into the future: After ten years, the Power Functions system which has powering our models is getting an upgrade.

In news coming out from the Nuremberg Toy Fair this week, a new Power Functions system is due to be released later this year.  Reporting from the fair, our friends at Promo Bricks bring news of new train sets arriving later in the year, along with the new system. Unfortunately, photos were not allowed of the  display, so what follows is in part speculation, and interpreting information in the above article.

Featuring similar plugs and cables to those seen with both the WeDO 2.0, as well as the Boost Robotics Systems, the new system also allows for bluetooth control.  The receiver for this system is located within the battery box.  The battery box is a similar size to the current PF battery box currently used for trains, and can fit in the train in a similar way.

RAMPANT SPECULATION FOLLOWS

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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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