30 December 2016

LEGO® BIONICLE® Team Interview

To conclude our farewell to LEGO® BIONICLE® “Generation 2”, we have an interview with three members of the team. This was actually recorded prior to the announcement that the theme would be ending, but of course these guys continue to make Constraction figures with The LEGO Group, so whilst BIONICLE is dead (or perhaps merely dormant), the elements live on!

28 December 2016

Ekimu and Umarak

With 2016 drawing to a close, we are going to spend a couple of posts looking back at LEGO® BIONICLE®, a theme which ended (for a second time) this year. On 30th December we have an interview with the team who were responsible for the sets, elements, story and marketing but to kick things off today, Scott Barnick examines two of the final sets released in the theme.

Hello, New Elementary readers! I’m going to be reviewing this year’s final two Bionicle sets, 71312 Ekimu the Mask Maker and 71316 Umarak the Destroyer. Sadly, these will also likely be the last Bionicle set reviews here on New Elementary for the foreseeable future, since this is the final wave for the current generation of Bionicle.

26 December 2016

Toy Train

Happy Boxing Day everyone! To keep your eyes entertained as you recover on the sofa, Elspeth De Montes (AzureBrick) has a festive review for you from the LEGO® Creator Expert Winter Village theme.

'Tis the season to build LEGO, tra-la-la-la-fah-la-la-la. With the nights now drawn in and the festivities upon us, what better time to review the politically-correctly named 10254 Winter Holiday Train priced at £69.99/US$99.99/89.99 with 734 pieces. The set is rated 12+ and is part of the LEGO Creator Expert line but it is actually a very straightforward build with no new techniques or difficult build portions. I can say this with some authority as I followed the retail description: “Gather the family for some festive LEGO building fun with this charming model…” and built this with my only 12+ family member, my very novice LEGO building partner.

24 December 2016

Assembly Square: part two

Now to review the new LEGO® Modular, 10255 Assembly Square, in a different fashion. Last time I examined all the new and interesting pieces; this time I'll take a look at the build. There is, naturally, too much to talk about so I will limit myself to explaining where the completely new LEGO parts are used and some of my favourite techniques.



21 December 2016

Assembly Square: part one

The new LEGO® Creator Expert "Modular", 10255 Assembly Square, will get 2017 off to a magnificent start. For many fans, Modulars are the highlight of the LEGO year and today we will take a look at all the new parts, recoloured parts and printed parts that come in this amazing set.


18 December 2016

Bravo Three One Eight

I am sure that many people, upon seeing these models, would cite them as proof that LEGO® have lost their way "since I was a kid, when it was just bricks". Whilst these are indeed new parts, the fact is that the changes that brought them into the LEGO System occurred in the 1970s.

13 December 2016

The New Black - Tim Goddard: Blaze mech

Another of our regular contributors has joined in The New Black parts challenge of their own volition! Today Tim Goddard (Rogue Bantha) pens a love letter to one single new part released by the LEGO® Group this year. 

Ah, Plate 1X1 Round W/3.2 Shaft (Design ID 26047). I thought I was dreaming when I first saw it but it was real! The semi-circular end is made for rotating, it allows you to attach anything with a clip any which way you like which is just perfect for the legs on my mini Blaze mech.


11 December 2016

The New Black: Weapon No. 11

I screwed up when I sent the builders the parts for The New Black; I omitted one of the most interesting new elements I had chosen! So I guess it is up to me to tell you about the piece that the LEGO® Group have named "Weapon No. 11" (Element ID 6134781 | Design ID 24144).

7 December 2016

The New Black - Jonas Kramm: Delicious Leftovers

He's been astonishingly prolific but today we have the final contribution from Jonas Kramm to The New Black, our celebration of new LEGO® parts. 

After talking about lamps, fences, furniture, Venice and the Alien, you get now the leftovers that did not fit into one of these categories but could be of interest nevertheless. My first is a small tree in autumnal colours that makes use of the bar holders with clip (Element ID 6015891 | Design ID 11090) and the new bar holder with handle (6143318 | 23443) for the trunk. These connect to each other via pneumatic T-pieces and, in addition, strings make the structure look more organic.

4 December 2016

Old Bricks: Jumbo Bricks

I came across a new blog the other day, Old Bricks, which I thoroughly enjoyed even though I was reading Google Translate's version of the original Italian! The author, Francesco Spreafico, is the Ambassador for ItLUG, the largest and oldest LEGO® User Group in Italy. I like to examine old parts on New Elementary, but rarely find the time. Thankfully, Francesco is fluent in English and has kindly translated a post for New Elementary readers.

A few days ago I bought some Jumbo Bricks on eBay, so I thought to devote a few words about these strange, old LEGO® bricks, since all the information about them I could find is scattered all over the web and I haven't found a good roundup.

The LEGO Group (TLG) has always been interested in pre-school toys... now we have DUPLO bricks, which are twice as big as regular LEGO bricks and compatible with them. But before that? There were a few predecessors... among them, these so-called Jumbo Bricks that were marketed in America by Samsonite starting in 1964 up until the end of their contract with TLG in 1972.

30 November 2016

The New Black - Peter Reid: Blacktron Assault Tanks

I asked readers to send in pictures of models they've created that use some the LEGO® parts featured in our current parts festival, The New Black. Perhaps having got the bug when he took place in our previous parts festival, Nexo-Classic Space, Peter Reid (legoloverman) surprised me with some microscale tanks he built especially for New Elementary readers.

Blacktron Wolverine Assault Tank

The latest addition to Kazak's army of darkness, the Wolverine assault tank is a remote-controlled, mobile missile launcher. Each unit carries a devastating payload of eight tactical nuclear missiles.


25 November 2016

The New Black - Jonas Kramm: Alien



Jonas Kramm has already created many models using new LEGO® elements for our parts festival, The New Black, and today I'm honoured to present yet another remarkable creation from him; a model of the Alien based on H. R. Giger's creepy design. The detail Jonas has achieved at this scale is incredible and the new elements he used are perfect for the model.

20 November 2016

The New Black - Chris McVeigh

After all that London-based excitement, let's get back to our global parts festival, The New Black, with a trip to Canada. Today it is the turn of the multitalented Chris McVeigh (powerpig) to get inspired by some of the new parts and recolours that the LEGO® Group have released in 2016.

I was thrilled to be asked to participate in The New Black parts festival, but due to work demands, I wasn’t able to take on that challenge until this past week. I really wish I’d gotten to it sooner – I had an absolute blast! I love part challenges because they encourage me to build things I just wouldn’t attempt otherwise; figuratively and literally, The New Black gave me a chance to spread my wings.

Swing Set

18 November 2016

LEGO® Leicester Square

You've most likely seen many pictures already of the new flagship LEGO® Store in Leicester Square, but I thought I would share mine too. These were taken the day before the official opening at the AFOL-only VIP event.

My favourite thing in the shop is this incredible diorama.


It's not flat; sections of it project outwards.

17 November 2016

London Skyline: set review and LEGO® Designer interview

The LEGO® Group have released several sets in 2016 that have a British connection (which is handy given that they just so happen to be opening a new flagship store in London's Leicester Square today). We’ve had 10253 Big Ben, 21029 Buckingham Palace, 40220 London Bus as well as 21306 The Beatles Yellow Submarine and 21307 Caterham Seven 620R. Now we can reveal another: 21034 London, part of the ‘Skylines’ series from LEGO Architecture. It is now available from the Leicester Square store (limited to one per customer) ahead of its worldwide release on January 1 2017. It costs £44.99 and the designer of the set is Rok Žgalin Kobe, who I had the honour of speaking to at the special pre-opening event at Leicester Square yesterday, and he mentioned many interesting facts about the model.

13 November 2016

The New Black: Venice 1486

Having already designed many small models that highlight new LEGO® parts for The New Black parts festival, Jonas Kramm returns today with a fully-fledged MOC, which he built with another Jonas!

The parts festivals here on New Elementary are all about sharing ideas with the community as top how new parts can be used, and it is always great to see builders with unique building styles and ideas use the given parts in different ways.

So I was glad when I got visited by the talented Jonas (Brick Vader) one weekend in August to talk about the LEGO hobby and to inspire each other. We started building a small scene from the game “Assassin's Creed 2” that takes place in Venice in 1486 and it turned out to fit perfectly some of the details I already built with the new moulds. In addition we added further details that also feature these new parts.

11 November 2016

The New Black - Tim Johnson: Skeleton

Just a quick follow-on from yesterday's post by Tom Poulsom for The New Black where he was inspired to use the new LEGO® part Plate 1X1 Round W/3.2 Shaft (Design ID 26047) as feet. I had exactly the same thought, so this seems like an appropriate moment to post my version.

10 November 2016

The New Black - Tom Poulsom

Our parts festival, which consists of experiments with some new Black and Transparent [TLG]/Trans-Clear [BL] LEGO® parts (as well as some Black recolours) continues today. I'm glad to welcome British builder Tom Poulsom (detomaso77) who is best-known for designing LEGO Ideas 21301 Birds but likes to turn his attention to all manner of things including cars, trains and all manner of animals, as you are about to discover...

I was very kindly supplied with some brand new LEGO elements by Tim and was really excited when I received them, as I am regularly on Brickset to keep an eye on what fancy new pieces and colours LEGO have to offer. I was sent all sorts of exciting new elements, and you can see what I used some of them for below.

Animal parts

4 November 2016

The New Black - Jonas Kramm: Indoor items

Jonas Kramm is back with his third instalment for "The New Black", our celebration of a selection of new and recoloured LEGO® parts here on New Elementary. The ones Jonas picked for this post can be seen to the right, and as you can see he branched out to include the two Transparent [TLG]/Trans-Clear [BL] elements that I sneakily added into the mix, just because they're so lovely.

After talking about building outdoor objects in my last two posts, it's time to go indoors.

Most of the new elements used here feature the 3.18 bar attachment, which allows for a lot of possible connections when combined with clips. Some of these possibilities were used in my first idea, a chair design that was based on using the recoloured handlebar (Element ID 6078610 | Design ID 98397) as legs. This part is the centrepiece of the chair as it holds not only the arm rests but also the seat, which are made of a square street sign (Design ID 30258).


30 October 2016

With Groove

Let's take a break from all that New Black and add a splash of colour! All together now; “We all live in a Bright Yellow [TLG]/Yellow [BL] Submarine, a Bright Yellow [TLG]/Yellow [BL] Submarine, a Bright Yellow [TLG]/Yellow [BL] Submarine.” That song is in your head now, isn't it.


21306 The Beatles Yellow Submarine is the result of Kevin Szeto's successful LEGO® Ideas submission adapted by LEGO designer Justin Ramsden. It will be released on 1 November with an RRP of £49.99/ US$59.99/ €59.99. I don’t have much affection for the animated film on which this design is based (or indeed the song) but it certainly was seminal for its time and the style defines the hippie trippy age of animation.

28 October 2016

The New Black - Jonas Kramm: Fences

Jonas Kramm returns today for another instalment of "The New Black", our celebration of a selection of new LEGO® parts. Builders have been challenged to come up with interesting uses for the (mostly) Black parts from 2016 (mostly) that I chose, and the ones Jonas used in this post can be seen to the right.

After my first idea, to create some lamps, the next theme that popped up in my mind was fences. This idea was heavily inspired by the wish to use the new skeleton leg (Element ID 6124849 | Design ID 23769) as it just screamed to be used as a fence. To do so I only had to add a 4L bar in Black, and furthermore I played a bit with the stone wall that frames the fence segments.

25 October 2016

The New Black - Jason Briscoe: Milagre Hoverbike

When I launched The New Black, our latest parts festival here on New Elementary, I welcomed anyone to let me know if they have built stuff using the parts I selected. I'm glad to say we already have some great images from people and so I will post some of them during the festival. Today we have one from the lovely Jason Briscoe (bizzabricks), who also was a part in our previous festival, Nexo-Classic Space.



Space ranger Nino speeds majestically across the vast capim grass plains of Milagre.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.