Friday, 14 October 2016

Studs with Studs

For today's instalment in our Parts Festival, we have some analysis. Elspeth De Montes (azurebrick) has noted a similarity between three of the elements and has enlisted help from three little friends to show them to you.

It may be considered slightly controversial to call a 1x1 round plate a ‘stud’ as apparently there are a few other nicknames used by AFOLs. Personally, I only ever knew these to be called studs until recently when I heard other nicknames including ‘dots’ and ‘pips’. I’m not sure if it’s controversial to call a handsome man a ‘stud’ but these fine young male minifigures are happy to be complimented in such a manner.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

The New Black - Huw Millington: Beasties

Today it is the turn of Huw Millington of Brickset to show us his first builds for our parts festival, "The New Black", where we examine a selection of new and recoloured parts that the LEGO® Group have released in Black this year.

The 'Mini Pony Tail' (Element ID 6129476 | Design ID 22411) is a wonderfully organic piece that lends itself well to other animal parts. My first thought was ‘insect legs’, so here’s a small beastie:

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

The New Black - Jonas Kramm: Lamps

Today we have the first results from "The New Black", New Elementary's latest celebration of new LEGO® parts. Selections of pieces (see my previous post to read about them) were sent to various builders and first up we have one of several posts by Jonas Kramm featuring his interesting little builds and observations about the parts. Jonas is well-known as Legopard on Flickr and can now be found on Instagram as @jonaskramm. If you are not already familiar with his work, you must check it out! Recently Jonas has also become the ambassador for German LUG Imperium der Steine.

It felt like Christmas in July when a package from the Royal Mail arrived here in Germany. Luckily, I was picked to test some new LEGO pieces for New Elementary. The brief Tim had chosen was “The New Black” and was obviously affected by the majority colour of the elements. Exceptions were only the two colourless parts in trans-clear.

I was warned that the pieces would arrive unsorted, but that wasn't too bad. Because while sorting I got the first ideas what pieces I could use for what purpose. I was really flashed by the selection Tim has chosen, as it contained a lot of new moulds and recoloured elements that I had totally missed in the part update in June.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

The New Black

Every now and then, world-class LEGO builders experiment with some of the newest LEGO elements to examine their possibilities here on New Elementary. I call these “Parts Challenges” (although I’m less and less happy with this phrase, given that the task is a non-competitive affair. What should we call them instead? Maybe a "Parts Festival"!) Thanks once again to the super support of the LEGO Group we have a new round of posts coming up over the next month or so looking at some new elements from 2016 sets.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Seventh Heaven

Today we have an extensive review of the parts that come in LEGO® Ideas 21307 Caterham Seven 620R, peppered with comments from the designer of the original concept, Carl Greatrix. I could not be happier for Carl, who is a top bloke and a remarkable builder. He’s also fun at parties.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

This is big, Peter, this is very big

Despite having been released way back in January, I've still got a lot to say about the astonishing  LEGO® Ghostbusters 75827 Firehouse Headquarters! Indeed, many of its new and recoloured parts still remain exclusive nine months later, so sit back and discover what I found when sifting through its 4,624 parts.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Triple Trouble

Love it or hate it, LEGO® BIONICLE holds a pivotal and remarkable place in the history of LEGO products. Since November 2014, New Elementary has been lucky enough to have the Barnick brothers writing superb, detailed analyses of selected sets and parts in the relaunched range. It may surprise some readers to hear that many of these posts are among the most popular in this site's history. Today, Andrew Barnick returns to examine some of the sets in what has now been confirmed as being the final wave of the reboot. 

Hello, New Elementary readers! Today I’ll be reviewing three of the summer 2016 LEGO BIONICLE sets: 71313 Lava Beast, 71314 Storm Beast, and 71315 Quake Beast. I apologize for the lateness—this review is somewhat bittersweet for me, with the recent news that this latest wave of Bionicle will be the last one for the foreseeable future. But I would be remiss to let the theme go without offering New Elementary’s audience an assessment of some of these final sets and the unique parts and recolors they contain. Without further ado, it’s time to look at what new elements they have to offer.

Friday, 26 August 2016

One for the bucket list

Now for our final review of the summer LEGO® Technic sets and Ryan Welles has saved the biggest until last: 42055 Bucket Wheel Excavator! It's now available, priced £179.99 / US$279.99 / €229.99.

This is the only LEGO Technic set released in the second half of 2016 which is not a model of a licensed property, and I also applaud the Danes for experimenting with something different to the countless number of regular excavators and other yellow construction vehicles. 42055 Bucket Wheel Excavator is also the biggest LEGO Technic set ever produced, not only in size but also in piece count. There is a natural limit to how big sets can be, considering the flexible qualities of Technic parts, and with this set this limit seems to be nearly reached...

Friday, 19 August 2016

Neo-Nexo Ice Planet Knights

It fascinates me that, when planning the LEGO® NEXO KNIGHTS™ theme, the LEGO Group seemingly took inspiration from AFOLs. Specifically, the idea of building new models using the colour schemes of olden-day LEGO themes, such as the Neo-Classic Spacers do. The colour scheme the designers chose for Nexo Knights in 2016 clearly riffs on the LEGO Space theme from 1992 called Ice Planet 2002.

This made me wonder what a modern-day AFOL of super Space-building skills... say, Tim Goddard... might create for Ice Planet using Nexo Knights pieces. Thanks (once again) to the excellent support of the AFOL Relations & Programs team at the LEGO Group and Tim's incredible building skills, the idea has now come to fruition... so let's see how he got on!

I was given an interesting brief for this article: “the Nexo Knights range has a definite flavour of Ice Planet 2002: explore”. There is no denying the colour palettes overlap greatly; you just need a little white to mix with the blue and orange shades and you are almost there, albeit with a medieval twist to the theme. So I have created a few models investigating how the new pieces in the range can be used to add a bit of frostiness to spacey creations, how useful these new moulds are, plus a few other observations along the way.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Claas Act

Time to review another summer LEGO® Technic set: 42054 Claas Xerion 5000 TRAC VC. We have a new guest contributor too: Steve Jarratt is an editor and writer who has launched many gaming and technology magazines including Edge and T3. More importantly, he has been a LEGO fan since receiving 055 Basic Building Set as a kid.

Even though it’s been a while since LEGO Technic visited agricultural vehicles, tractors have played a key part in the line since its inception in 1977. The current trend seems to be that TLG is revisiting old sets and remaking them, only larger and with more sophisticated functions. As 2009’s 8258 Crane Truck is a forerunner to last year’s 42043 Mercedes Arocs, and the brilliant 42009 Mobile Crane II is a sequel to the 8053 Mobile Crane of 2010, so the Claas Xerion could be seen as an update of 8049 Tractor with Log Loader, also from 2010. But what an update…

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Dark Azure Immersion

The release of 10252 Volkswagen Beetle marks the third year in a row that the LEGO® Group have released a large-scale vehicle under the Creator Expert banner (following 10248 Ferrari F40 last year and 10242 Mini Cooper in 2014) plus of course there have been others in 2011 and 2008, both Volkswagen vehicles. Let's hope this annual tradition continues, as these are absolutely wonderful sets for many reasons - I'll hand over to Elspeth De Montes (azurebrick) to describe why, once she's out of the bath.

I am on a Dark Azur (TLG)/Dark Azure (BL) high at the moment following my total immersion in my favourite colour with Creator Expert 10252 Volkswagen Beetle. This 1,167 piece set is now available priced £69.99 / US$99.99 / €89.99. The VW Beetle has been immortalised in LEGO form before, back in 2008 with 10187 Volkswagen Beetle, which contained 1,626 parts and had a studs-on-show look that now looks somewhat ‘retro’, but nevertheless sells well above its original recommended retail price.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Pump it real good

Time for another of the amazing new LEGO® Technic sets, so we turn to Ryan Welles (merman) to give us the run-down on what makes 42053 Volvo EW160E so different. The set is released on 1 August.

2016 already seems to be a record year when it comes to licensed Technic sets. Whereas one licensed set a year seemed to be the rule, in 2016 alone we have a staggering three sets involving some form of partnership. The smallest of these is 42053 Volvo EW160E, a wheeled excavator that the Swedish vehicle manufacturer introduced rather recently. The set contains 1166 parts, relies heavily on the new V2 pneumatic system that came with last year’s 42043 Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245 and retails for £69.99/US$119.99. Now, do we actually pay loads for the license or is this a pretty good deal... and is it an interesting build? Let’s find out.