16 January 2018

Skærbæk Parts Festival: Microscale

Okay, it really is happening! Welcome to our Parts Festival, where we gave 60 LEGO® fans an hour to make whatever they liked using a range of new LEGO elements as 'seed' parts for their constructions. I'll post a handful every day for the next nine days. Hopefully some just might inspire you to get building! 

To kick things off I have selected some of the microscale constructions that the participants came up with. Microscale essentially means that the scale of the model is smaller than one that minifigures could inhabit.

To me this looks like a floating industrial island with traditional housing. Look carefully and you'll see that the builder has made use of the 3.18mm bar connection on the Black Fence 1X4X2 W/ Shaft No 1 (Element ID 6195092 | Design ID 32932) giving an impression of 'floating'.

14 January 2018

The new LEGO® 1x2 Rounded Plate

I'm such a tease. I promised to post the first Skærbæk builds today but this post about an exciting new 2018 LEGO® part just came through! It's written by Simon Liu (Si-MOCs), a Canadian builder who is well known for his diverse builds, his enthusiastic participation in conventions and his pivotal role in the popular Flickr LEGO building contests SHIPtember and FebRovery. Welcome, Si!

Fresh for 2018 we have an interesting new piece, shown below left, with Design ID 35480. BrickLink calls it Technic, Plate 1 x 2 with Smooth Ends and 2 Studs. But that's kind of long, and I don't think it's overly accurate so I'm just going to call it a Rounded Plate 1x2 with Through Holes, or 1x2 Rounded Plate for short - as currently there is no other 1x2 rounded plate. Rumour has it this piece was introduced by the Super Heroes team, and some people have lovingly dubbed this piece the "Super Heroes Plate".

11 January 2018

Skærbæk Parts Festival

On the last weekend of each September, the Skærbæk Fan Weekend brings together hundreds of LEGO® fans from dozens of countries for a few fun-filled days in a remote Danish coastal town. 2017's was the biggest yet, and on the Sunday morning New Elementary ran one of our 'live' parts festivals: a special workshop where, thanks to the LEGO Group, 60 AFOLs got their hands on some of the newest LEGO pieces to see what they could build within the space of an hour.

At long last I'm ready to show you what they made! Well, almost. Today I will introduce the parts I chose for the festival.

6 January 2018

Happy New Year

Time for one of those rare 'housekeeping' posts, mostly to acknowledge that things have been a bit quiet here for a few weeks! On top of the usual Christmas madness I've had a trip back home to Australia, so things have fallen behind.

As a result I am going to EXTEND THE DEADLINE for our 'Kill Teal' building competition, because I haven't had much time to promote it or, more importantly, to organise the prizes! I will update everyone with the new deadline once I sort those out, but for the time being you can safely assume you have until some stage in February to design your entries... or to create more. We have had many hilarious, brilliant entries already! All entries will be published when the contest closes.

We have a variety of interesting posts coming up soon including reviews of new 2018 LEGO® parts and sets, a book review and the (now long-awaited) results of our Skaerbaek / London AFOLs workshops. So here's to an exciting year ahead!

Some New Elementarians at Skaerbaek Fan Weekend in September 2017

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.