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.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Back to school

We have an unusual post today; we are covering some LEGO-branded merchandise. LEGO stationery has been released before, but has it ever been this pretty? More importantly, the range incorporates actual LEGO elements.
We also have a new author: Dr. Richard Jones who hails from Melbourne, Australia. He runs his own LEGO blog, The Rambling Brick, where he rambles on about bricks.

I was excited to be asked to look at these new stationery items. The new gear has a minimalist look: unmistakably LEGO, but not overly decorated. White is the predominant colour – is this now a sign of corporate luxury? First the iPod in 2002, and now LEGO stationery 14 years later: Coincidence? Probably. The colours are kept to a minimum on the whole, but where they are used, they add a touch of class to the line.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Cave of colours

It's been a long time since we looked at a LEGO® Elves set, which are always full of new parts and vibrant recolours. We begin to redress that today with a review by Andrew Barnick of a 2016 set, 41175 Fire Dragon’s Lava Cave.

LEGO Elves may have even surpassed Bionicle as my favorite new theme of 2015, with a fantastic range of colorful and magical-looking sets and a heartwarming story and characters. So I’m happy to return this year with reviews of some new Elves sets. This year’s Elves sets focus on Emily Jones and the Elves’ quest to rescue the Dragon Queen from the evil Elf Witch Ragana, and feature both adorable baby dragons and fantastic brick-built adult dragons to accompany the Elves on their journey. And like last year’s sets, these sets include a plethora of new and rare elements in an array of bright colors that are far less common in other themes. So without further ado, let’s take a look at what 41175 Fire Dragon’s Lava Cave has to offer!

Thursday, 23 June 2016

An odd piece

And now a post about a part I don't yet have! Mostly because I am very excited about it and want to share... but also because there's not much point in getting hold of one to show you what can be done with it, as it is inherently obvious.

Did you think it was a 1x4 panel, like I did on first glance? Hooray, it is a 1x3 panel! The Design ID is 23950 and it comes only in Dark Stone Grey [TLG]/Dark Bluish Gray [BL] at present, for which the Element ID is 6149768.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Recolours for 2016

There's probably no need to introduce today's writer, Chris McVeigh (powerpig) who has been a prolific and influential builder, photographer, designer and entrepreneur on the LEGO® scene for many years now. Chris was a strong supporter of New Elementary from the very beginning (which, by the way, was three years ago yesterday!) and I'm thrilled he has prepared this great post for us detailing the most interesting recoloured LEGO parts recently released. Thanks must also go to Huw Millington once again, for making this information readily available to the community via the Brickset parts database. Huw and I have been a bit worried this year as the LEGO® Group have not updated their online database with many new parts at all this year. However our fears that they would no longer add new parts were unfounded, and a massive update occurred earlier this month. 

The LEGO Group recently published instructions and inventories for its summer sets, and in the process, added thousands of missing pieces. After Brickset added the information to its own database, I sat down with a coffee and gorged myself on the many, many new elements. Now that I’ve had a chance to digest all the information, I’m going to highlight some of the notable part recolours. (New Elementary will examine a number of the entirely new parts in a future article.) Please note that some of these elements debuted with winter and spring sets, but I'm looking at the recent database additions in  aggregate.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

A True Supercar?

I'm excited to have Ryan Welles (merman) return today to be one of the first to review a thrilling new LEGO® Technic set, 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. It is available to buy online from today (June 1st), but in terms of physical stores, is exclusive to the thirteen German and Austrian LEGO stores for the whole of June and July.

For the past couple of years, the LEGO® Technic range has given the aficionados of gears, pins, axles and beams more than they could have possibly hoped for. Still, the adult community committed to this product line which was launched almost forty years ago, is among the most critical of all AFOLs. To most of them a perfect Technic set does not exist and there is always room for improvement. Perhaps that is the charm of being a Technic builder. In recent years, Technic has undergone a massive improvement in both set quality and parts count. But it comes with a price tag as well.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Eggs, balloons and buns

After hating the initial images, I was pleasantly surprised to see some LEGO® Angry Birds sets 'in the brick' recently... full of craziness, fun colours and those cute piggies left me squealing with delight. Now, our angry mummy bird (too many nappies to change now she has twins), Elspeth De Montes, has written a review revealing some of the most interesting new parts included in this range.

It is time for another one of my New Elementary reviews and this time I turn my eyes to 75824 Pig City Teardown. Last time, when reviewing 10247 Ferris Wheel, I had to apologise for not actually building the set but this time I can proudly say “here’s one I prepared earlier…” and show off my own review over on The Brothers Brick. I'll link to the review at the end as I want to show you all the lovely details first.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Enter the Hunter

We return to our LEGO® BIONICLE reviews today and this time it is the turn of Andrew Barnick to look at one of the 2016 sets, 71310 Umarak the Hunter.

Bionicle’s second year may have brought new forms and allies for the heroic Toa, but what are heroes without a villain to fight? Umarak the Hunter is the Toa’s newest foe, and may be one of the most impressive villain sets of the rebooted Bionicle theme. Umarak may share the $19.99/£14.99/19.99€ price point with the largest standalone Toa sets, but at 172 pieces, this set has more parts than any other set in the rebooted Bionicle theme (including more expensive combo sets like last year’s 70795 Mask Maker vs. Skull Grinder or this year’s 71311 Kopaka and Melum Unity Set). And as is to be expected for a new Bionicle set, many of those parts are brand-new designs and recolors. Let’s take a look!