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...

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.

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…

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.