30 May 2019

LEGO® Creator Expert review: 10266 NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander

Revealed today, the spectacular LEGO® Creator Expert 10266 NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander comes with 1087 pieces, and will be available June 1st 2019 for 89.99€/ US$99.99. Sven Franic took this modular module for a spin, and had a blast!



The LEGO Group (TLG) has a longstanding relationship with NASA which has ensured minifigures are no strangers to space travel. They once sent three minfigures as far as Jupiter, just for fun. If the number of NASA-themed LEGO Ideas proposals are anything to go by, there seems to be a recent increase in popularity of non-fictional space sets. The LEGO Ideas 21309 Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket is great for demonstrating the different rocket stages and modules, but despite its impressive size, the most iconic landing module which touched the surface of the moon was tiny compared to the entire vessel.

22 May 2019

LEGO® Braille bricks

New Elementary are spending three days gathering news stories and interviews at the Recognised LEGO® Fan Media Days in Billund, Denmark (thanks in part to the help of our 40 magnificent patrons on Patreon). On Day 1, Stine Storm of The LEGO Foundation showed us a prototype of their new product: LEGO® Braille bricks.




The LEGO Foundation own 25% of The LEGO Group (TLG), and that means that when TLG are doing well, The LEGO Foundation have money for exciting projects like LEGO® Braille bricks, announced earlier this year. The sets will be given to blind and visually impaired children for free, with the first round of markets launching in late 2020. The LEGO Foundation will work with a blindness association in each country to administrate this. Therefore the sets will be owned by individuals rather than schools or organisations. The Foundation hope the sets will be passed from child to child as each progresses from the bricks to regular Braille.

2018 Bricks in Florence workshop: clockwork creations and moustachioed animals

Last November we attended Bricks in Florence Festival (BiFF), hosted by ToscanaBricks in Italy. We ran workshops with fan builders using new LEGO® parts from 2018 – the same seed parts we used at Skærbæk Fan weekend a few weeks prior. 

Robert Gigli "Mechanical Mechanic"

21 May 2019

2018 Bricks in Florence workshop: new part connections

Last November we attended Bricks in Florence Festival (BiFF), hosted by ToscanaBricks in Italy. We ran workshops with fan builders using new LEGO® parts from 2018 – the same seed parts we used at Skærbæk Fan weekend a few weeks prior. Today we're sharing some of the interesting connections our builders noted about the new elements on offer.

Hub Cap, dia. 24, No. 1 (37195)

Cristiano Grassi noted the ball at the tip of levers and walkie talkies sits neatly in the wheel 'spokes'.

20 May 2019

2018 Bricks in Florence workshop: the pantograph, candle and puppy ear

Last November we attended Bricks in Florence Festival (BiFF), hosted by ToscanaBricks in Italy. We ran workshops with fan builders using new LEGO® parts from 2018 – the same seed parts we used at Skærbæk Fan weekend a few weeks prior. 

Candle No.1 (Element ID 6234807 | Design ID 37762)

Here are a couple of microscale ideas using the candle introduced in Harry Potter sets.

Cristiano Grassi 'Future City'


19 May 2019

2018 workshops

This last week we've been showing you creations from the New Elementary workshop at Skærbæk Fan Weekend, and next we'll move on to the one we ran at Bricks in Florence Festival which used the same seed parts. We thought this would be an opportune moment to share some pictures of both the workshops.

Skærbæk Fan Weekend workshop



18 May 2019

2018 Skærbæk Workshop: the lantern and the puppy ear

Two or three times a year, New Elementary run building workshops at AFOL conventions. Attendees use new LEGO® parts with general brick stock to come up with quick, interesting ideas. At Skærbæk Fan Weekend in Denmark last year, 70 builders explored some elements released in summer 2018. Here are some of our favourite creations and interesting techniques they came up with.

Lamp, No. 1 (Element ID 6227901 | Design ID 37776)
Design Plate 1X1, No. 1 (6231382 | 35463) 

Another two seed parts for you today. Lamp, No. 1 first appeared in Harry Potter sets in 2018 in Titanium Metallic [TLG] / Pearl Dark Gray [BL], but the Black version comes in other themes like Disney and Elves as well as the LEGO Xtra polybag 40312 Streetlamps.

As for the other, it's called Tile, Modified 1 x 1 with Tooth / Ear Vertical, Triangular on BrickLink but here at New E we prefer the nickname 'floppy puppy ear'. It is still only found in one set, the dalmatian Prince Puppycorn blind bag from 41775 Unikitty! Collectibles Series 1. Each bag has only one black ear, as the other is white. We gave our builders hundreds to build with.

Bailey Fullerton “Lantern Speeder"

"Every part is a spaceship part", be it thrusters...


17 May 2019

2018 Skærbæk Workshop: wheel hub

Two or three times a year, New Elementary run building workshops at AFOL conventions. Attendees use new LEGO® parts with general brick stock to come up with quick, interesting ideas. We’ve fallen a little behind at presenting the results to you so it’s time to play catchup! Just wind your clocks back to last September at Skærbæk Fan Weekend in Denmark where 70 builders spent a good couple of hours exploring some elements released in summer 2018. Here are some of our favourite creations and interesting techniques they came up with.

Hub Cap, dia. 24, No. 1 (Element ID 6227156 | Design ID 37195)

The Metallic Silver [TLG]/ Flat Silver [BL] hubcap is still only found in one set at present, 10262 James Bond Aston Martin DB5. Especially interesting are the illegal connections some people found.

Anne Jeppesen “Drone”

15 May 2019

LEGO® Stranger Things review: 75810 The Upside Down - New Elements

The LEGO Group has just announced its first ever product collaboration with Netflix, LEGO® Stranger Things: 75810 The Upside Down. The set was revealed today in launch events in New York and London with special midnight opening. It has 2287 pieces and RRP is US$199.99 /CA$269.99 / DE€199.99/UK £179.99. It is available now for LEGO VIP members, with a full release coming June 1.


14 May 2019

2018 Skærbæk Workshop: the candle and the inverted tile

Two or three times a year, New Elementary run building workshops at AFOL conventions. Attendees use new LEGO® parts with general brick stock to come up with quick, interesting ideas. We’ve fallen a little behind at presenting the results to you so it’s time to play catchup! Just wind your clocks back to last September at Skærbæk Fan Weekend in Denmark where 70 builders spent a good couple of hours exploring some elements released in summer 2018. Here are some of our favourite creations and interesting techniques they came up with.

Candle No.1 (Element ID 6234807 | Design ID 37762)
Tile 1X3, Inverted, W/ 3.2 Hole (6223491 | 35459)

Two elements to focus on today. White Candle No.1 only comes in White so far and appears in three sets in the Wizarding World theme as well as BrickHeadz 40348 Birthday Clown and 10264 Corner Garage. The candle is made up of two sections; a 3.18mm diameter bar that is 3mm long and a wider 5.8mm hollow portion that accepts 3.18mm bar connections in its base.

White Tile 1X3, Inverted, W/ 3.2 Hole (Element ID 6223491 | Design ID 35459) was first introduced within the Unikitty theme last year but can be found within many sets now including 21043 San Francisco and 21150 Minecraft Skeleton BigFig with Magma Cube.


Rafal Piasek “Line Jumper"



12 May 2019

2018 Skærbæk Workshop: the pantograph shoe

Two or three times a year, New Elementary run building workshops at AFOL conventions. Attendees use new LEGO® parts with general brick stock to come up with quick, interesting ideas. We’ve fallen a little behind at presenting the results to you so it’s time to play catchup! Just wind your clocks back to last September at Skærbæk Fan Weekend in Denmark where 70 builders spent a good couple of hours exploring some elements released in summer 2018. Here are some of our favourite creations and interesting techniques they came up with.

3.2 Shaft Element, No. 1 (Element ID 6226706 | Design ID 37494) 

Called Hinge Train Pantograph Shoe on BrickLink, this is a relatively rare part as it only appears in two train sets and only in Black at the moment. You will find one in 60197 Passenger Train and two in 60198 Cargo Train. It's used as the pantograph to conduct electricity from overhead lines but we thought the plentiful 3.18mm connections and unusual angles would make it ideal for a parts festival.

Paul Lee "Micro post apocalyptic rover with steering and roll bars"

11 May 2019

Bricks & Pieces: Jonas’ Highlights - April 2019

With a new month comes new pieces on “Bricks & Pieces”, The LEGO Group’s service for purchasing individual new LEGO® elements. My highlights for April are here and while the list is short I still made some interesting findings. As always you can find my list here:
BnP.jonaskramm.com


Most new parts come from the LEGO 4+ theme this month and therefore are quite big such as the new 1x8x3 Slope (Design ID 49618) and the new POOP: 1x4x3 Brick (49311). The latter is pretty useless for the AFOL community but the former will definitely find some use. Its angle is 25° in TLG's nomenclature or 33° if you prefer BrickLink's. It is only found in Toy Story 4 10767 Duke Caboom's Stunt Show at present.

9 May 2019

Fabuland Lives On: the colours

This year marks 40 years since The LEGO Group (TLG) launched the FABULAND® theme, with ran until 1989. To celebrate this, we're going to run an occasional series of articles here at New Elementary called Fabuland Lives On! We'll examine the surprising legacy that this theme for 3-7 year olds has had upon the elements and colours of the LEGO System, and the hearts of fans. Kicking things off, we have LEGO® colour expert Ryan Howerter.
Note, in a departure from our usual convention for naming colours, in this article we use the TLG official colour ID and name (followed by the more well-known BrickLink name in brackets, where it differs to the official).

In today’s episode of Fabuland Lives On, to celebrate the history and legacy of everybody’s second-favorite theme, we will take a look at perhaps its most undersung and lasting contribution to the LEGO universe: earth-toned colors!

If we ignore the color anarchy that was The LEGO Group’s first few years of plastic production, the company built its brand around three unwavering primary colors: 21 Bright Red (Red), 23 Bright Blue (Blue), and 24 Bright Yellow (Yellow). Add 1 White and 26 Black, occasionally 28 Dark Green (Green) and 2 Grey (Light Gray), plus a few transparent colors, and you have effectively the entire color palette of the company’s first 29 years. Great for playful, high-contrast models, but not representative of the real world by any means.

Every color used in the entire Fabuland theme. 'Regular' LEGO System colors are in the top row, and new colors used by Fabuland are in the bottom row. Test bricks from the collection of Ryan Howerter. 

When Fabuland was introduced in 1979, it came with new tones that more effectively represent the natural world: 13 Red Orange (Fabuland Red), 18 Nougat (Flesh), 12 Light Orange Brown (Earth Orange), 19 Light Brown (Fabuland Orange), 4 Brick Red (Fabuland Brown),  and — in later Fabuland waves — 5 Brick Yellow (Tan) and 14 Pastel Green (Fabuland Green). These were used not only for the animal figures’ heads but also for wooden utensils like brooms and tables. 25 Earth Orange (Brown), which had come out the year before in LEGO System sets, was barely used until Fabuland came along.

6 May 2019

The Newer New Dark Red?

LEGO® colour 154 has had a bit of a bumpy history, and it seems it might not be over yet... now Sven Franic has noted a change for 2019, and is wondering what's going on! [Editors note: This article has been updated to incorporate The LEGO Group's comments on changes to Dark Red in late 2018.]

Somewhere around 2009 - 2010 there was a secret switch from “old” Dark Red to New Dark Red. During the transition period, when 10182 Café Corner was still occupying store shelves, you might apparently get a mixed batch of old and new Dark Red pieces in the same set. Judging by the backlash of the AFOL community after the big 2004 colour changes (when TLG transitioned from BASF’s pre-coloured ABS pellets to in-house pigment mixing) it is not surprising they would avoid attracting attention to subtle changes in the tone and texture of elements if it was not clearly noticeable or did not affect the build experience. BrickLink never differentiated between the two shades of Dark Red – and neither did TLG externally. Internally they retained its colour ID – 154 – although they changed its name from Dark Red to New Dark Red.

4 May 2019

75253 LEGO® Star Wars™ BOOST Droid Commander announced

For this year's Star Wars Day, The LEGO Group have just revealed a really cute new set, 75253 LEGO® Star Wars™ BOOST Droid Commander. This is the first time the company have combined their LEGO BOOST coding technology with a licensed product.

The set has 1,177 pieces and will be available globally on 1st September 2019 to tie in with the release of Star Wars Episode IX. Prices were not provided.


The set comes with the Mouse Droid, R2-D2 and the GONK Droid – "with their own personalities, skills, and authentic Star Wars sounds and music" – in order for each of them to complete over 40 missions.

There's a new mould on R2's head; 4x4 quarter domes. Teal fans will be on a mission to get their hands on those nice new large parts in Bright Bluish Green [TLG]/ Dark Turquoise [BL] – I believe I see 2x14 plates and an 8x16 tile.

2 May 2019

AFOL Designer Program: The LEGO® Story

It has been a couple of months since the 16 finalists in the AFOL Designer Program, hosted by BrickLink and supported by The LEGO Group, were revealed. We know two of the finalists well and asked them both to tell us a little about their winning designs. Last time Jonas Kramm described his Wild West Saloon, and today we have another Jonas K! – namely Jónás Kovács, a Hungarian university student living in Serbia, known online as BrickJonas.
Hopefully most of you have already seen The LEGO® Story, which is a limited edition set designed by me and packed and delivered by BrickLink. I sent this LEGO set idea to the AFOL Designer Program and was one of the 16 builders who entered the final, pre-order phase in the program. Today, I would like to talk a little bit about my submission, and show you some interesting details in it.