Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Earth Green machine

I don't like cars. Stinky, noisy, destructive machines that constantly made me travelsick as a child. They are of course a necessity of modern life, but I've never learnt to drive, choosing instead to reside in the centre of a metropolis with excellent public transport (and thousands of stinky noisy destructive cars). So it's a little odd I have been so very excited about the release of 10242 MINI Cooper, which is now available for VIP membersicon to order ahead of general release on 1 August. But then this fabulous LEGO® version is neither stinky nor noisy and only destructive if you consider the environmental impact of producing the plastic - or throw it at someone's head.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Fairy Bricks Big Raffle 2014

I'm involved in a charity called Fairy Bricks; the idea of which is to raise money to buy LEGO® sets for children's hospitals and hospices - so far, over £20,000 (US$34,000) worth! It began life as a raffle on Brickset last year and is now a registered charity in the UK, but assists hospitals all over the globe. The Brickset Forum is full of AFOLs who know where to get heavily discounted LEGO, so the funds Fairy Bricks raise is used to get the biggest possible LEGO bang for the buck.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Exo Suit: tease and reveal

Having been starved for the best part of a year, in the last fortnight AFOLs have enjoyed a glut of information about the next LEGO® Ideas set; 21109 Exo Suit, redesigned by LEGO Senior Designer Mark Stafford based on the submission by AFOL Peter Reid. There are already several set reviews online so I'm mixing mine up a bit by interspersing it with a review of the teaser marketing campaign driven by fans.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Firing up Chima

We're reviewing quite a few LEGO® summer sets over the next few weeks and several are from Legends of Chima, as they offer many new parts and colours of elements. Kicking things off today with 70135 Cragger's Fire Striker is builder extraordinaire and actual real scientist guy Tim Goddard, who also tells us of his special relationship with Chima...

When I first saw the Fire and Ice Chima sets it was a bit of an assault on the senses: crazy colours and shapes everywhere, but now that I’m used to it I think it’s rather clever. There are plenty of new bits to get excited about and it gives a nice clear divide between factions, reminiscent of Space themes past.

Friday, 20 June 2014

2014 Inside Tour set: Legoland Train

Every year, The LEGO® Group (TLG) run a few three-day tours for small groups, opening all sorts of secret doors in their headquarters in Billund. Members of the public meet designers and other staff and gain access to incredible sights in the factories, offices, Legoland workshops, staff shop and "The Vault" - where a copy of pretty much every LEGO set ever made is stored. My friend Lee McG went on the first 2014 tour and the final tour finished today, which means he can now tell you about the most exciting gift that every participant received.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Rich 'n' juicy

Although there are so many new summer releases from The LEGO® Group (TLG) to talk about at the moment, I didn't want to let this Friends set from last winter pass by. 41035 Heartlake Juice Bar has 277 pieces and retails for US$29.99 / GB£24.99 / €32.99, joining Heartlake City's four other retail establishments that fall into the US$25-35 price range: the bakery, pet salon, cafe and beauty shop.