11 December 2017

New 2018 LEGO® flower and leaf elements

Chris McVeigh got his hands on some 2018 LEGO® sets already and gives us a quick look at two exciting new pieces of foliage inside them.

LEGO has introduced a new flower element and matching leaf element, and it looks as though they’ll be quickly rolled into many 2018 sets (including 10260 Downtown Diner). Happily, they’re now hitting shelves in the newest Juniors Friends sets, which I picked up so that I could examine the parts in detail.


7 December 2017

Contest: Kill Teal (Volume 2)

After a long absence, in 2018 The LEGO® Group will be reintroducing teal-coloured LEGO elements (Bright Bluish Green [TLG]/ Dark Turquoise [BL]) and the team here at New Elementary are so excited, we're running a competition!

You may recall the 'Mark Stafford Killed Teal' story (if not, it is reproduced below) which inspired Elspeth De Montes to create this LEGO model recently...


When Jeremy Williams saw Elspeth's creation, he began to wonder about other ways that Mark Stafford might have killed teal and suggested this contest to me. And when Mark Stafford saw Elspeth's model on Twitter, and it raised strange anxieties in him:

So that's what we want you to build for this competition:
How might Mark Stafford kill teal again?

4 December 2017

10256 Taj Mahal

With the surprise re-release of the LEGO® Taj Mahal, fans have been wondering why The LEGO Group settled on this particular classic set, and whether anything has been changed. Sven Franic is here to shed some light on a set containing no new elements or techniques. The 5,923-piece set is now available priced £299.99 / US$369.99 / 329.99€.

What I love most about the Creator Expert theme’s “Landmark” series, or Sculptures as they used to be called back in 2008 when 10189 Taj Mahal was first released, is that they include a low number of lots and very high brick counts. This is great for amassing substantial quantities of bricks of the same type by buying just one copy of the set. This is simply a symptom of a very large and intricate model, but this type of inventory also probably played a major role in the decision to bring it out of the vault after nine years, despite all the conspiracy theories running wild over the internet about what was behind this move. 
To understand why, we have to go back in time for a second.




26 November 2017

70922 The Joker Manor

Somewhere in among designing his latest range of gorgeous Christmas ornaments, Chris McVeigh managed to find the time to crack open THE LEGO® BATMAN MOVIE 70922 The Joker Manor for us and, having assembled its 3444 pieces, dissected it again to locate all the exciting new and recoloured LEGO elements - including its completely new rollercoaster system! The set is now available priced £249.99 / US$269.99 / 269.99€.

The Joker Manor is a sprawling set that imagines Wayne Manor has been overtaken and aggressively remodelled by the Joker (as seen in THE LEGO® BATMAN MOVIE). It’s a brilliant display piece with a glitzy, colourful entrance, oversized spring-loaded boxing gloves, a garish, glaring tower, and naturally, giant “The Joker” branding. However, the real showstopper is the rollercoaster that encircles the manor. With this set LEGO introduces an all-new car and track system that is sure to appear in many upcoming product lines, from City to Creator Expert.


In this article I’ll closely examine the new rollercoaster elements, highlight other new parts, and discuss interesting recolours and reissues.

11 November 2017

Book review: LEGO® and Philosophy

And now for something completely different. We were sent a review copy of an unusual book about LEGO® which piqued my interest. Who better to examine it than our occasional contributor David Alexander Smith, who runs the mind-stimulating blog Building Debates which "takes a look at the LEGO community and the theoretical and aesthetic discussions it raises". But if deep thought about our favourite kids' toy is not your thing, you may instead prefer to revisit the Classic Space Tortoise David made for us!

Neal Stephenson in Seveneves, his 2015 epic speculative novel of human survival following a catastrophic cosmic event – the destruction of the moon – describes the technology that allows the quick assembly of the space craft in terms of an element based kit language reminiscent of LEGO building. In fact he explicitly uses the phrasing ‘LEGO-like’. On this hinges the premise that humanity will endure the worst of times through ingenuity and creative thinking, mediated through the limited resources and components of this restricted technological system. It is an unusually positive assessment as to what our combined intellectual endeavours might achieve in an era often obsessed with the critical appraisal of our species’ actions and the gloomy prognoses that follow.

6 November 2017

10259 Winter Village Holiday Station

Can we talk about Christmas yet? I guess so; LEGO® Creator Expert 10259 Winter Village Holiday Station



 has been available for over a month now (902 pieces, priced £74.99 / US$79.99 / 69.99€). Today, Sven Franic explores the new parts included and gets inspired to build.

A year since we saw the 10254 Winter Village Holiday Train, presumably picking up passengers randomly along the line, a train station is finally here to restore some order to the holiday chaos.



Although the Winter Village Holiday sets are part of the Creator Expert line, there isn't all that much expert in them. This is also acknowledged by the 12+ marking on the box compared to most other sets in the line which are 16+.

2 November 2017

Old Bricks: What is Modulex?

Back in the 1960s the LEGO® Group created a new kind of brick, for adults. Self-confessed LEGO history geek Francesco Spreafico has kindly agreed to translate another of his great articles for us, which he first published in Italian on his excellent blog Old Bricks.

In past articles I mentioned Modulex bricks a few times, but I never fully explained what these bricks actually were; I think that now the time has come to write a brief introduction about them.

At the beginning of the 1960s Godtfred Kirk Christiansen had to design a real building and, as an extension to regular drawings, he created a physical model of the building using LEGO® bricks. Since he had found this process to be very useful, he decided to have a new system developed, a system that was not compatible with the LEGO System, but that was optimised for this kind of architectural design. These new bricks – the Modulex bricks – were put on the market in 1963 and they were intended only for architects, the category they had been created for.


30 October 2017

PdC Parts Festival: More from Peter Reid

Today brings the final post in our current parts festival giving you inspiration for using new LEGO® pieces. Last time, Peter Reid and friends gave us Neo-Classic Space micro spaceships but today Peter's creations are more more eclectic. On that note, where better to start than with a...  

Krablaxian Death Snail

A heavily armoured, bio augmented cybernetic warrior snail, with blip pilot.

Parts used: 2 x 30925