31 December 2018

December roundup... and thanks for 2018

You'd be forgiven for missing some of our posts this month – we've been especially prolific! So as we depart 2018, we thought we'd round up December's posts for you.

29 December 2018

LEGO® Minecraft: BigFigs Series 1

LEGO® Minecraft are taking a different direction in 2019 with the new subtheme BigFigs, which features yet another new scale of Minecraft build. 21148 Steve with Parrot, 21149 Alex with Chicken and 21150 Skeleton with Magma Cube will be released 1st January and we asked Jonas Kramm to investigate the new pieces that come in these sets. 

The trend that LEGO® Minecraft sets are privileged to include new elements continues. Usually these are specific Minecraft moulds such as the tools and heads (which I’ve recently explored) but sometimes also includes pieces that aren’t so specialised, that will be used in other sets and themes afterwards as well. Let’s take a look at the new Minecraft sets called BigFig Series 1, and see what is new.


27 December 2018

LEGO® MOVIE 2 review: 70821 Emmet and Benny's ‘Build and Fix' Workshop!

THE LEGO® MOVIE 2: The Second Part is assembling in cinemas in February 2019, and the tie-in sets have just been released in stores. 70821 Emmet and Benny's ‘Build and Fix' Workshop! is the second set we are taking a closer look at. It has 117 parts, including new Emmet and Benny minifigures, and is now available priced £17.99/ 19,99€/ US$19.99 at Amazon USA and Amazon UK as well as all usual retailers. 

70821 Emmet and Benny's ‘Build and Fix' Workshop! is particularly aimed at preschoolers and young builders. Such sets were previously branded as LEGO® Juniors, now it seems they just carry a large 4+ age mark. The Juniors moniker was introduced for kids who knew they were getting too old for DUPLO and wanted "grown up LEGO"; perhaps the name was dropped as they didn't want something marked as junior either?

Conversely, it seems no grown up is too old for this set.

24 December 2018

LEGO® Architecture: Rok Zgalin Kobe interview

At the Recognised LEGO® Fan Media Days in Billund last summer, we sat down with LEGO Architecture designer Rok Zgalin Kobe to have a chat about the evolution of the Architecture line. The LEGO Architecture theme has so far has spawned 42 building sets and one big ‘do it yourself’ kit – and last week we reviewed another two upcoming sets, 21044 Paris and 21043 San Francisco, due for release on 1st January 2019. 

By now, the Architecture line has pretty much become a mainstay of the LEGO portfolio. Are you surprised by the success the theme has had?

Rok: I would be betting against myself if I said I was surprised! I’m happy that it has the success that I believe it deserves.



It’s very different from the other lines, apart from maybe to a certain extent LEGO Ideas, in that the sets aren’t really made to be played with, they are static objects to be put on shelves, more like exhibition pieces. How does that affect the design process?

Rok: Well, it certainly doesn’t make us exempt from any of the stringent quality standards that the LEGO Group has, so it’s still treated as a child’s toy, with all the safety and quality issues that come with that. You have to be able to do this with it (holds up a pre-built 21037 LEGO House set and shakes it), so it has to be stable, but at the same time, at any point in the building process, you must not be able to injure yourself in any way with it. You always have to imagine a small child falling on top of it, which could be quite bad.

22 December 2018

LEGO® MOVIE 2 review: 70827 Ultrakatty & Warrior Lucy!

THE LEGO® MOVIE 2: The Second Part is assembling in cinemas in February 2019, and we happened to stumble upon a few of the tie-in sets placed on the shelf early in a John Lewis store. We took this opportunity to review some of the sets before their official release starting with 70827 Ultrakatty & Warrior Lucy! This set contains 348 parts and is due for release 26th December 2018 in the UK priced at £24.99/ US$29.99/ €29.99.


Clearly, we have not yet seen THE LEGO® MOVIE 2: The Second Part but from the trailers and the various promotional information we know that it takes place five years after the end of the first movie. We saw some DUPLO characters appear just as the final credits started to roll and it seems those invaders turned awesome Bricksburg into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, now known as Apocalypseburg.

20 December 2018

LEGO® Creator Expert 10268 Vestas Wind Turbine

LEGO® Creator Expert 10268 Vestas Wind Turbine is the latest set to get re-issued by The LEGO Group. How does this monster measure up? We tasked brainy builder Gary Davis with finding out... and managing to fit it all into one photograph.

I liked the 10268 Vestas Wind Turbine set form the moment I first saw it for real.  The completed model has great presence.  With one of its blades pointing straight up, it's nearly a metre tall, and what's more, it moves!  Unusually for a Creator Expert set, the Vestas Wind Turbine includes Power Functions lights and a motor to get those blades whizzing round.  (The model isn't quite as environmentally friendly as the real thing.)


This is a re-issue of the almost identical set (4999) from ten years ago.  That was a Limited Edition set only available to Vestas employees, but now it's available to us all.  There are some minor changes between the two sets, for example the Vestas branding has been updated and, reportedly, the mounting of the tower is now more stable. 

19 December 2018

New year... new elements

If you have been following @PrinceGalidor aka LEGO® designer Nick Vas on Twitter recently, you will have noticed a series of cryptic tweets that included images of some beautifully organised LEGO parts and some code-like strings of letters. We have been trying to decrypt his tweets and need your help!

Nick Vas' series of tweets all began in a rather innocuous fashion on 25th November. He tweeted a trippy image with three lines of text:



How curious, whatever could it mean?

16 December 2018

LEGO® Architecture 21044 Paris and 21043 San Francisco

We asked New Elementary regular Sven Franic to take a look at the two new LEGO® Architecture sets due for release on 1st January 2019.  Read on to find out the new elements and build techniques within 21044 Paris and 21043 San Francisco.

The Architecture Skyline sub-theme has been running successfully since 2016 and we are getting some of the most recognizable cities in 2019. The most iconic landmark of Paris was featured in a number of previous Architecture sets, which is a good demonstration of the dynamics of scale and progress that was achieved by the introduction of new elements to build up the Eiffel Tower over the years.

15 December 2018

LEGO® Minecraft animals: Horse and Wolf

Jonas Kramm has been examining the LEGO® Minecraft animals and thinking up inspiring ideas as to how they might be used for something other than blocky animals! 

Welcome to the last lesson of Minecraft Anatomy class. Today we will analyse the horse and the wolf to see what can be done with grey Minecraft moulds.

14 December 2018

LEGO® Minecraft animals: Cat and Rabbit

Continuing his challenge to use the LEGO® Minecraft animal heads in original ways, Jonas Kramm takes a look at another two animals.

In today’s lesson about Minecraft animals we will take a closer look at the moulds of the cat and the rabbit. (If you missed my last class featuring the silverfish and chicken parts, you can catch up here.) We also have a guest builder, my friend Cole Blaq!


12 December 2018

LEGO® Minecraft animals: Silverfish and Chicken

I've always been intrigued by the animal head elements that were specially introduced for LEGO® Minecraft sets. They're highly specialised and don't entirely conform to the System, but their blockiness and intriguing shapes made me wonder what else could be done with them. Who could I challenge to take on such a challenging challenge? The brilliant Jonas Kramm accepted my evil task! Over the course of three posts he will examine six Minecraft animal moulds.

Under the radar of most AFOLs, LEGO® has added several new Minecraft animal moulds to their assortment, which seem to be quite strange on first sight. But in a series of articles here on New Elementary I will dive into the blocky world, analyse the geometry of several Minecraft moulds and show you examples for the capability of these elements.

10 December 2018

New LEGO® colour 353 Vibrant Coral: a speculative look

For the second year running, a new LEGO® hue is being introduced: 2019 sets will include Vibrant Coral, which has the colour ID 353. We simply cannot wait to get our hands on it, so instead we asked LEGO colour aficionado Ryan Howerter to guess how it might look!

Nothing gets me as excited about new LEGO sets as much as brand-new colors, and given The LEGO Group’s modern palette constraints – a color has to be removed from the palette to make room for any additions – that doesn’t happen very often. So it was a pleasant surprise to see salmony parts in the new The LEGO Movie 2 set 70828 Pop-Up Party Bus.
New LEGO® colour 353 Vibrant Coral is in The LEGO Movie 2 set 70828 Pop-Up Party Bus
LEGO has been very good at introducing new colors in a wide variety of basic and specialized parts within the first year after launch, so instead of focusing on the few shapes it comes in so far, let’s explore the potential of the color itself!

8 December 2018

LEGO® Creator Expert 10264 Corner Garage: new parts usage

Now that we have outlined the new elements within LEGO® Creator Expert 10264 Corner Garage it is time to take a closer look at how these parts are used within the set.

New Elements in position

First, lets start with the two new elements. White Turntable 2x2 Female (Element ID 6238334 | Design ID 27448) has a central hole with a small lip around the inside that allows certain elements to snap onto the lip and spin whilst maintaining clutch.

Very few parts actually connect to this hole at the moment; Plate 4X4 Round W. Snap (Design ID 60474), Plate 6X6 Round with Tube Snap (Design ID 11213) and Plate Octagonal 10X10 W. Snap (Design ID 89523) were the three elements I could find. [EDIT: Read the comments for more highlighted by our readers!]

5 December 2018

LEGO® Unikitty: The 1x3 Inverted Tile with Hole

Sven Franic continues his examination of the new moulds to be found in the LEGO® Unikitty! theme.

Continuing our quest for interesting new elements from the Unikitty universe, it is time for what is probably the most exciting piece from the bunch: Tile 1X3, Inverted, W/ 3.2 Hole (Design ID 35459).

3 December 2018

LEGO® Creator Expert 10264 Corner Garage: the new parts

The anticipation surrounding the next modular building always starts to build in November until the big reveal.  Read on to find out more about the next LEGO® Creator Expert modular building, 10264 Corner Garage, as we look under the hood to find new elements.

10264 Corner Garage is rated for Ages 16+ and has 2,569 pieces, including six minifigures: gas station owner, mechanic, vet, woman, man and a girl, plus bunny, parrot, dog, frog and fish figures.

The model is a three-storey building styled as a 1950s gas station at ground level, an animal clinic on the first floor, a well-equipped apartment on the second floor and finally a rooftop terrace.

29 November 2018

2018 Parts Fest: Tim Goddard's BrickHeadz (and spaceships)

We sent a varied selection of new LEGO® parts from 2018 to some fan builders to build at home, and Tim Goddard (co-author of LEGO Space: Building the Future, plug plug) not only built at home but also down the boozer. Following on from his main builds that we posted two months ago, here are some fun extras.

On the second Monday of every month, London AFOLs hold a gathering in a pub near Euston station. Prosaically, the meeting after I was given this parts selection, London AFOLs had a meetup and that month it was a BrickHeadz-themed evening.

I went prepared, taking this sub-build which uses the interesting hooped minifigure accessory (Element ID 6207840|Design ID 35485) which is only found in LEGO Super Heroes 76100 Royal Talon Fighter Attack and 76103 Corvus Glaive Thresher Attack.

Using the healthy stock of parts provided at the pub I ended the evening with this post-apocalyptic version of myself...

26 November 2018

LEGO® Technic 42080 Forest Harvester

Ryan Welles is back, to review LEGO® Technic 42080 LEGO Technic Forest Harvester which is priced at £119.99 / $149.99 / 129.99€. It is available at Amazon USA.

There were times the LEGO® community dreaded the idea that the Technic Pneumatic system might disappear. The golden years of airtanks, valves, compressors and pumps and at least one set a year that contained Pneumatics seemed long gone. This fear grew with the arrival of Power Functions (which was hard to combine with air pressure) and linear actuators (that had functions similar to Pneumatics, more control over movement and a more challenging building experience). Between the years 2006 and 2009 none of the sets released had Pneumatics. In 2010 there was a revival with set 8049 Tractor with Log Loader, without any new parts. But part innovation was just around the corner.

22 November 2018

2018 Parts Fest: Luc Byard's Walker

We sent a varied selection of new LEGO® parts to some expert fan builders for them to explore techniques and models to share with you. Here's one from Luc Byard (Flickr).

I love Tim; no-one can give you some really awkward LEGO® parts and say ‘build something with those’ quite like he can. The latest bunch included that new minifigure neck bracket with 4 bars (Element ID 6215458 | Design ID 36452) which looks cool… then you try and build with it!

My finished build is a micro Robotech-style walker. And with all that black, I just had to pair it with trans-yellow to give it a Blacktron scheme.


18 November 2018

Old Elementary: The Modulex Integration Explanation Part 2

Ralf Langer is a German builder who seems to have a real knack for integrating Modulex into his LEGO® creations. This is the second part in a two-part series; read the first part here.

1x3 Modulex Bricks & LEGO plates 

Surprisingly, a Modulex 1x3 brick fits any 2-stud wide LEGO plate (except for the 1x2 plate). Better still, Plate 2x2 allows three Modulex 1x3 bricks to connect, and it fits perfectly.


For all plate sizes longer than Plate 2x2, there needs to be gaps as every second Modulex 1x3 brick conflicts with the tubes under the plates. If that's not you want in your model you may prefer to connect multiple 2x2 plates together, as shown above.

15 November 2018

Old Elementary: The Modulex Integration Explanation Part 1

A year ago we published a post by LEGO® history geek Francesco Spreafico about an old LEGO product called Modulex. At the time there were some mixed feelings towards the post, primarily because Modulex is often thought of as incompatible with the LEGO System bricks we all know and love. More recently we came across Ralf Langer, a German builder who seems to have a real knack for integrating Modulex into his creations. Ralf was happy to offer some insight into his methods.


I bought my first Modulex bricks back in June. I'm not quite sure why I finally decided to give it a try but most probably it was Terracotta, a nice muted earth tone. I really like using muted colours and the Modulex colour Terracotta is a tone that seems to be suitable for roofs or decorative strips for houses.

12 November 2018

LEGO® Unikitty: The 4-petal flower

Continuing our exploration of the smorgasbord of new elements from the LEGO® Unikitty™ series, it is time for an unusual element. Sven Franic investigates.



'Design Plate 4X4X2/3' or 'Plant Flower 4 x 4 Rounded Petals' as BrickLink call it (Design ID 35473) is a new element so far only available in Dark Pink [BL] / Bright Purple [TLG] (Element ID 6226524).

8 November 2018

PdC Parts Fest 2018: Half-cone roof tower

At Paredes de Coura (PdC) Fan Weekend in Portugal in June 2018, New Elementary ran a workshop where 25 builders were given 11 of the new LEGO® parts released in 2018 to experiment with. With the clock running, they used these in combination with general part stock (provided from the magnificent collection of Comunidade 0937) to create as many ideas, tablescraps, techniques and small MOCs as they could and we’re sharing the most interesting and useful ones with you.

Today it's the turn of the new textured half-cone called Roof 2x4x4 by TLG, and Tower Roof 2 x 4 x 4 Half Cone Shaped with Roof Tiles by BrickLink. Its Design ID is 35563 and we had it in Earth Blue [TLG]/Dark Blue [BL] (Element ID 6209807) which you will find capping off two LEGO Disney Princess castles this year: 41152 Sleeping Beauty's Fairytale Castle and 41154 Cinderella's Dream Castle. It also comes in Dark Stone Grey [TLG]/Dark Bluish Gray [BL] (6230280) in two LEGO Harry Potter Wizarding World sets: 75953 Hogwarts Whomping Willow and 75954 Hogwarts Great Hall. You'll also find it in Dark Red (6223601) in LEGO Juniors 10762 Belle's Story Time.

The roof tiles on it are really quite beautiful I think. Petal-like and somewhat oversized, they do suggest other applications for the part – but what will our fan builders come up with?


4 November 2018

2018 Parts Fest: James Pegrum's creepy tomb

We sent a varied selection of new LEGO® parts from 2018 to some fan builders, and in an occasional ‘parts festival’ series we are showing you the techniques and models they came up with. 

For some four years I've been plugging away on a certain history-themed project, a key feature being the size of each build which I've restricted to a 16x16-module base.  There's a large number of builds in the series and ideas have sometimes been hard to come by. So when the guys at New Elementary asked if I would like to play around with some new parts it spurred me on to build some new ideas and in the end the final model included each of the parts they gave me.



The final model comprises includes various separate builds and there are three I want to focus on: a base, some flowers and a stained glass window.

27 October 2018

LEGO® Ideas 21315 Pop-up Book

Sven Franic takes a peep inside the latest LEGO® Ideas set, 21315 Pop-up Book, and discovers a set that is beautiful in its design, mechanics and overall creative concept. 



The LEGO® theme without a theme, also known as LEGO Ideas, has given a traditional object a fresh brick-based perspective. Pop-up books embrace a combination of the intricate arts of bookbinding, illustration and origami, resulting in an interactive, palpable storytelling medium. If only there was a toy today that could do that ;) 



6 October 2018

PdC Parts Fest 2018: Triangle tile

At Paredes de Coura (PdC) Fan Weekend in Portugal in June 2018, New Elementary ran a workshop where 25 builders were given 11 of the new LEGO® parts released in 2018 to experiment with. With the clock running, they used these in combination with general part stock (provided from the magnificent collection of Comunidade 0937) to create as many ideas, tablescraps, techniques and small MOCs as they could and we’re sharing the most interesting and useful ones with you.

The triangle tile (Design ID 35787, aka Tile 2X2, W/ Deg. 45 Cut or Tile, Modified 2 x 2 Triangular) was introduced early in 2018 within the Speed Champions theme and is already a firm favourite with fans. Let's see what our fan builders came up with.

Some builders used the tile to represent things... beautiful things!

2 October 2018

LEGO® Fantastic Beasts: new bricks and bits of beasties

We thought that it was time to take a look at the remaining new elements in the LEGO® Fantastic Beasts sets that were released last month as part of the Wizarding World theme. 

There are two sets in the LEGO® Fantastic Beasts range: 75951 Grindlewald’s Escape which has 132 elements, two minifigures and a price tag of  US$19.99/£19.99/29.99€ and 75952 Newt’s Case of Magical Creatures with 694 elements, four minifigures and costs US$49.99/£44.99/49.99€.

New parts in 75951 Grindlewald’s Escape 

Within Grindlewald’s Escape, there are two elements that are completely new moulds and both belong to Thestral, the flying horse creature.

27 September 2018

2018 Parts Fest: Steve Guinness in space

We sent a varied selection of new LEGO® parts to some fan builders to explore techniques and models. This time we have the talented Steve Guinness: one half of the team who won Series 1 of Channel 4's LEGO Masters who now undertake commissions as The Brick Guys.

Clockwork Robots 

When I saw the 1x3 jumper plate (Design ID 34103) I liked the unusual pattern on the underside, as it has no anti-studs or pegs. The tiny triangles reminded me of teeth so I came up with these Clockwork Robots.


22 September 2018

LEGO® Unikitty: The 3x5 Cloud

Today we start a series of four posts where Sven Franic examines some fascinating new elements from the LEGO® Unikitty! theme.

The piece used as a collectible minifigure stand for the 41775 Unikitty! blind bags is called 'Design Plate 3X5, No. 1 Tile' by TLG, and 'Tile, Modified 3 x 5 Cloud' by BrickLink. The Design ID is 35470 and it comes only in White as Element ID 6223667

. I guess that's because the weather is always gleaming in Cloud Cuckoo Land which, if you ever watched The LEGO Movie, you will know is a very vibrant place gushing with rainbows and covered in ice cream sprinkles. 



19 September 2018

2018 Parts Fest: Tim Goddard's Engaging Elements

In addition to our Portugal workshop we also sent a varied selection of new LEGO® parts from 2018 to some fan builders, and in an occasional ‘parts festival’ series over the next month or two we’ll be showing you the techniques and models they came up with. First up, our good friend Tim Goddard, co-author of LEGO Space: Building the Future.

At Bricktastic in Manchester this year Tim J mentioned he had a selection of new parts and would I like to explore them for New E. Being the parts monkey that I am, I of course said yes, and what an interesting selection of parts I got!


Let's start small... possibly the smallest LEGO element to date (I am saying this knowing that New E readers will correct me if I am wrong) are the Infinity Stones, which I was supplied with in Transparent Yellow (Element ID 6223002 | Design ID 36451).

16 September 2018

Fairy Bricks: Bikes to Billund!

In order to raise money to buy LEGO® sets for sick children, four LEGO fans (including two New Elementary contributors) are cycling all the way from London, UK to Billund, Denmark! That's nearly 1000 km (620 miles). They leave this Thursday 20 September and at time of writing are close to raising £3,500 – let's get them to £4,000!



All this is in aid of New Elementary's favourite charity, Fairy Bricks.

"Fairy Bricks has one very simple objective: to give LEGO to children in hospital. When we tell people that, they often pause before they respond, anticipating for us to say something else but that really is it."
Kev Gascoigne, Founder

15 September 2018

PdC Parts Fest 2018: Neck bracket with 4 bars

At Paredes de Coura (PdC) Fan Weekend in Portugal in June 2018, New Elementary ran a workshop where 25 builders were given 11 of the new LEGO® parts released in 2018 to experiment with. With the clock running, they used these in combination with general part stock (provided from the magnificent collection of Comunidade 0937) to create as many ideas, tablescraps, techniques and small MOCs as they could and we’re sharing the most interesting and useful ones with you.

Today we look at a very unusual new part; a new neck bracket for minifigures that comes in Black (Element ID 6215458 | Design ID 36452) which BrickLink call 'Minifig, Neck Bracket with 4 Angled Handles' and TLG 'Mini Back Plate,W/3,2 Shaft'.

Here are three of them attached together with two straight droid arms (Design ID 59230). The shape from which the bar connectors project is roughly pentagonal, but sadly not perfectly. However there's a reason for this, and it's to do with the System.

11 September 2018

LEGO® Harry Potter and the Enlightening Elements

Following on from our in depth look at the Wanderful Wand and Spurious Sprue, Elspeth De Montes takes a look at three enlightening new elements that appear in the recent LEGO® Harry Potter Wizarding World releases.

Appearing for the first time is Lamp, No. 1 “lantern” in Titanium Metallic [TLG] / Pearl Dark Grey [BL] (Element ID 6234116 | Design ID 37776). This was actually introduced in three Elves sets released this summer: 41157 Rapunzel's Travelling Caravan, 41195 Emily & Noctura's Showdown and 41196 The Elvenstar Tree Bat Attack which all contain one Black lantern element and it also appears in the new 40312 Xtra Streetlamps polybag released this month.



8 September 2018

LEGO® BrickHeadz: Marcos Bessa interview part 2

In the first part of this interview with LEGO® BrickHeadz design lead Marcos Bessa, Are J. Heiseldal asked him about the advantages and the complexities of working with multiple intellectual properties (IPs), and the inherent limitations of the BrickHeadz concept itself. Today he asks about the new and recoloured parts as well as the production process... and which character is Marcos' favourite!


At New Elementary, we love new parts so the two new types of glasses that we got in the Go Brick Me set are particularly interesting for us. What can you tell us about the development process of those?
Marcos: The brief for the BrickHeadz line actually came with a request to do something like this. The idea for the Go Brick Me set came very early, in early 2017, so the brand was just about to come out officially on the market. We were already planning what to do for 2018 and so the importance of customisation, allowing people to represent their features was of key importance for this. So we immediately started looking into what that would mean in terms of new elements –  how to make glasses, do we need something new? I started exploring and came up with a whole lot of variations of new elements that we could make, trying to come up with something that would work and fulfil the brief for this purpose, but become a versatile enough element that it could become interesting for other uses. And I think we ended up finding something that is pretty cool for what we do in the set, but also offers a lot of other opportunities, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes out of it.

6 September 2018

LEGO® BrickHeadz: Marcos Bessa interview part 1

LEGO® BrickHeadz first popped onto the scene as four exclusive sets, each containing two figures, for the San Diego Comic-Con in July 2016 but 22 more sets were added in 2017. Now, more than 70 different figures have been released and by the end of the year the number will be rapidly approaching 100, featuring figures from more external intellectual properties (IPs) than in any other LEGO product line. Are J. Heiseldal sat down with BrickHeadz design lead Marcos Bessa in Denmark to talk about the apparent smash hit.


BrickHeadz differ from a lot of other current LEGO lines in that it’s actually a new, in-house, brick-built concept, and you still deal with a lot of external IPs. What’s it like to be covering new ground like that?
Marcos: On a personal level, for me, it’s been a great challenge, because it’s a very different approach from any other product line that I’ve worked on. It has the similarity of dealing with IPs, which I have been doing for a while, but it’s in a whole different medium, with a whole different set of restrictions and challenges, and also with a whole different purpose. And my role in this product line as a creative lead has also allowed me to be much more involved in the strategy behind the line, the IPs that we bring on board, the character selection, the price point discussion, and so on. So it’s no longer just on the field, working as a designer and creating a model, I’m also more involved in other levels of discussion on the product line, which has been greatly appreciated from my side, as a growing professional. On the product line, in terms of challenges, it has been great to deal with all these different IPs, very challenging at times, there have been days and weeks when things seem to all be going south and wrong and then suddenly things get picked back up and go back on track. So it’s a fun journey. It doesn’t get boring.

4 September 2018

LEGO® BrickHeadz: Harry Potter, Frozen and Star Wars

The LEGO® BrickHeadz theme continues its domination of all known and imagined universes by bringing us collectable characters from some of today's most popular franchises. Sven Franic sees how this latest batch get along, including its introduction of a new template for smaller BrickHeadz characters.



I had the chance to review the first batch of BrickHeadz more than a year ago. I never would have guessed at the time that Marcos Bessa’s standard for chibi characters would gain so much popularity. There is a high standard of quality behind the sets, considering the price range. Despite their blocky outer appearance, it takes a lot of tiny slopes and tiles to capture the spirit of a character. All decorations are printed and applied generously, and the sets tend to come with a lot of freshly re-coloured pieces.



1 September 2018

PdC Parts Fest 2018: Front Fender / Grille Guard

At Paredes de Coura (PdC) Fan Weekend in Portugal in June 2018, New Elementary ran a 'parts festival' workshop where 25 builders were given 11 of the new LEGO® parts released in 2018 to experiment with. They used these in combination with general part stock (provided from the magnificent collection of Comunidade 0937) to create as many ideas, tablescraps, techniques and small MOCs as they could and we’re sharing the most interesting and useful ones with you. Huge thanks to Andrew Tipping for taking the photographs.

Today's piece is Design ID 35654 which comes only in Black (Element ID 6207258), largely in LEGO® CITY sets. TLG named it "Fender, Front, No.1" and BrickLink call it "Bar 1 x 4 x 1 2/3 (Grille Guard / Push Bumper)" but I call these things bullbars... is that just an Aussie thing?

This builder saw the piece as none of those things, but as wings of some sort of techno-insect and made use of both of its available connection points which are 3.18mm bars.



28 August 2018

The LEGO® Minifigure at 40: Inside the factory

The LEGO® Group have sent us these amazing images to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the LEGO minifigure and we just had to share them with you.

How are LEGO® minifigures printed? And as the elements that make up their torsos and legs are moulded separately, how are they then assembled? These pictures come from the production line of the LEGO factory in Kladno, Czech Republic. Tap/click any image to enlarge. And scroll down for video!

LEGO minifigure heads being printed


Wheee! Heads will roll... and then they'll get printed.

The LEGO® Minifigure at 40: Moulds

The LEGO® Group have sent us these amazing images to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the LEGO minifigure and we just had to share them with you.

How are LEGO® minifigures made? Here are all the different moulds that make the parts needed for one LEGO minifigure. Click/tap any image to enlarge.


The LEGO® Minifigure at 40: development prototypes

The LEGO® Group have sent us these amazing images to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the LEGO minifigure and we just had to share them with you.

Meet the minifigures before minifigures. Here are three of the original minifigures released in 1978 alongside their rather spooky developmental stages. Tap/click any image to enlarge.

Development of the LEGO® police minifigure



  1. I'm glad they ditched ol' lumpy-squarehead guy pronto. 
  2. The second one you probably recognise, as this non-moving style of minifigure was released in sets in the mid-1970s. It is interesting to note the filenames of the images we were sent indicate these are called "stage extras", a name I've never heard before.
  3. Amusing that it took until 2013 for TLG to release the third one, but pretty cool that they did!
  4.  The final figure as released in 1978 – note the stickered torso. Boy did I hate those as a kid! Sort of charming now though.

25 August 2018

LEGO® Harry Potter: 71403 Hogwarts Castle

LEGO® have just released their second largest set ever, 71043 Hogwarts Castle, so Elspeth De Montes thought we would take a look at the new elements. With 6,020 parts and a £349.99/ US$399.99/ 399.99€ price tag, perhaps we should warn you to pop the kettle on a get yourself a cuppa as there are quite a few magical elements to uncover in this huge set.

To start, there are three interesting new moulds all introduced in Brick Yellow [TLG]/ Tan [BL].



The first two are currently exclusive to 71043 Hogwarts Castle, and have an important role in depicting the microscale arched windows of Hogwarts’ Great Hall.

19 August 2018

PdC Parts Fest 2018: Rounded Plate 1x2

At Paredes de Coura (PdC) Fan Weekend in Portugal in June 2018, New Elementary ran a 'parts festival' workshop where 25 builders were given 11 of the new LEGO® parts released in 2018 to experiment with. They used these in combination with general part stock (provided from the magnificent collection of Comunidade 0937) to create as many ideas, tablescraps, techniques and small MOCs as they could and we’re sharing the most interesting and useful ones with you. Huge thanks to Andrew Tipping for taking the photographs.

Today we look at the curved 1x2 plate which we chose in Black (Element ID 6210270 | Design ID 35480).

The ability to interconnect many of them into a chain allows for many interesting sculptural possibilities, like this balloon animal!



13 August 2018

LEGO® Minifigures: Tara Wike & Austin Carlson interview

The LEGO® Minifigures theme has given us a great deal of interesting new parts, particularly minifigure accessories, since the arrival of the first blind bags eight years ago. At the Recognised LEGO Fan Media Days, Are J. Heiseldal sat down for a chat with designers Tara Wike and Austin Carlson to see if we could make them spill the beans on what the future holds (not really).

You represent a very successful line – since the beginning in 2010, and I did some counting, there’s been 441 figures released…
Tara: Oh my God. I lost count after we reached the 300 mark. I stopped counting then.

That’s 55 per year, pretty much one per week, for eight years. Are you going to slow down?
Austin: I don’t think so.
Tara: Not if I have anything to say about it.

7 August 2018

LEGO® Ideas 21311 Voltron: the parts

Chris McVeigh takes a look at what makes up Voltron, Defender of the Universe; the newest set from LEGO® Ideas. Set 21311 has 2,321 pieces – including lots of silver ones – and is now available priced £159.99 / US$179.99 / 179.99€.

Leandro (Lendy) Tayag’s winning LEGO® Ideas submission blasts its way to market as 21311 Voltron. The towering robot defender comes to life by combining five mechanized lions, each which is a separate model in this set. So how does Voltron stack up (both literally, and in terms of new elements)? Let’s take a closer look!

4 August 2018

LEGO® Harry Potter and the Spurious Sprue

While some fans will be thrilled at the return of LEGO® Harry Potter, we were more excited about the arrival of the new wand element (Design ID 36752) which Elspeth De Montes examined recently. But as she now explores, there is more to the element than simply two wonderful wands: there is a little piece of plastic designed to hold them neatly together in the mould – the sprue.

Due to numerous reader questions, comments and ideas across social media, we’ve decided the wand sprue is worth a closer look. It is anchor-shaped and approximately half the depth of a tile, with a flat side and a slightly rounded side.


1 August 2018

LEGO® Technic 42082 Rough Terrain Crane

New sets from the LEGO® Technic range are available as of today, and first up Ryan Welles takes a look at the biggest of the bunch – 42082 Rough Terrain Crane. It's got 4,057 parts and retails for US$299.99 / £229.99 (at time of writing it is 12% off at Amazon UK).

Bigger, stronger, faster: these seem to be the adages of the LEGO® Technic design team for the past couple of years. Nearly every year, Technic sets get bigger and more impressive. Where once a 1,800 piece kit was considered a rather stellar feat, now a multitude of parts seems to be the rule rather than the exception with the product range's flagship models. Earlier this year, 42083 Bugatti Chiron was the second biggest set in piece count after 2016's 42055 Bucket Wheel Excavator. But hardly two months later, the number one position has been seized by this year's flagship model: 42082 Rough Terrain Crane.

The mere size of this crane urges the question: how much pressure and force can ABS actually take? And it holds up surprisingly well. There have been a number of large cranes produced over the years and this 2018 behemoth does not offer groundbreaking or original functions. What future lies ahead?

29 July 2018

LEGO® Harry Potter: A Wanderful New Element

LEGO® Harry Potter has returned once more, along with Fantastic Beasts, within the overarching theme of Wizarding World. While we are busy exploring all the details of the new sets, in this initial post Elspeth De Montes introduces a very small item that is essential to any wizard: a wand. 



23 July 2018

LEGO® Ideas 21311 Voltron: Exclusive Niek van Slagmaat interview

Voltron is the latest set from LEGO® Ideas. Niek van Slagmaat (pictured below at San Diego ComicCon) designed the set based on the original fan submission by Lendy Tayag (pictured below in the picture in the picture) and you can read our review of the parts here. Meanwhile, Are J. Heiseldal met Niek in Billund to find out how the largest LEGO Ideas set to date came about.


What kind of response are you expecting from the big Voltron fans when this comes out?

Niek: I myself come from the fanbase, so if I was looking at this from that point of view, what I would probably immediately check out is whether it matches the original fan submission. We very much wanted to try and get the set as close as possible to the image that the original fan designer submitted. With LEGO, we have very rigorous quality standards, so we have to make sure things are stable and can last for the ages. This model has been going through an incredible amount – I’m fairly sure it’s a record amount – of long-term testing, because it was such a hotly debated topic within the company. But I’ll be mostly looking forward to seeing if people like the proportions, because for me personally, super robots are all about proportions, and for Voltron specifically, because it’s all animation, proportions change a lot from frame to frame. I’ve been working very closely with Lendy Tayag, the fan designer, to check in with him – he really knows his Voltron stuff, so he had a lot of feedback about the head designs for the lions and the general shaping and use of finishing elements like slopes and stuff in certain areas. So I’m very interested to see if they like the general expression of the model, if you like. That’s a very long answer to a very simple question.

18 July 2018

LEGO® 10262 James Bond Aston Martin DB5

Each summer the LEGO® Creator Expert theme release a large scale vehicle, such as last year's 10258 London Bus. This year, the subject remains frightfully British: today The LEGO Group revealed 10262 James Bond Aston Martin DB5. Sven Franic took an early look to find all the new parts and of course, to play with the gadgets!

The latest LEGO® Creator Expert car model is an acquired taste. To be fair, the slick Superleggera design is not easily translated to brick form. I learned to love this model through the building experience and it turned out to be one of the most ingenious LEGO model designs I have ever come across.

12 July 2018

Alt Star Wars: Kev Levell's mothership and fighter

We set Kevin Levell an epic task: to come up with his own original build using only the parts found in the latest wave of LEGO® Star Wars sets. That's seven sets with over 3000 parts at his disposal! Kevin shows us today what he's come up with and describes the creative process.

The challenge was to build something from the newest wave of LEGO® Star Wars sets but throughout the building process, one of the biggest temptations for me has been to sneakily/subtly add to the available selection of parts from my collection. I have remained disciplined, using only the parts contained within sets 75206, 75207, 75208, 75209, 75210, 75211 and 75212.

I had a number of ideas I wanted to explore, and I experimented extensively with various building techniques along the way in order to try to realise some of them. What I have finished up with for my main build is a long way from where I started out.


7 July 2018

Sustainable LEGO® elements: 40320 Plants from Plants

Here at New Elementary we usually talk about new shapes and colours of LEGO® elements but today we’re looking at a new material from which some botanical elements are now being made. By 2030, The LEGO Group (TLG) intend to use sustainable materials in all of their core products and packaging.

This article is a collaboration between Are J. Heiseldal who met TLG employees Matt Whitby (Environmental Responsibility Engagement) and Bistra Andersen (Senior Materials Platform Manager) at LEGO Fan Media Days in Billund, Tim Johnson, and Elspeth De Montes who has her hands on the limited edition gift-with-purchase set, 40320 Plants from Plants.

LEGO plastics

The first bricks made in 1949 were made from cellulose acetate, which warps over time. After some research by plastics companies, TLG replaced it in 1963 with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, used to this day.