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.