30 December 2013

Nature in tooth and claw

Posted by Admin
I began December by discussing the new ball and cup connectors that I'd received in two new Chima sets (70126 Crocodile Legend Beast and 70127 Wolf Legend Beast) and promised I'd discuss these sets more fully "soon". Well, a horrible 'flu and the general nightmare of All Those Christmas Things to Do put paid to that! But here is the promised post at long last, and it's something to get your teeth into. Ba-doom kissssh. I'm here all week.

Most interesting of all are two new parts that have been based on part 49668, the 1X1 plate with tooth, which appeared a decade ago and has seen wide usage (not only as teeth and claws but also quite random stuff like headlights and ice skates) and been moulded in a surprising sixteen colours. That part has a couple of inherent problems though, each of which have been addressed by these two additional toothed parts.

14 December 2013

When tigers chillax

Posted by Admin

The Friends 'Collectables' range launched one year ago and since then nine cute, small and affordable bagged sets have been released featuring animals in little environments. I've mentioned them once or twice in the past thanks to the appearance of unique elements, and indeed the new one that I am discussing today - Tiger’s Beautiful Temple - got a mention in a recent post (so I'll try not to repeat myself).

03 December 2013

HispaBrick 018

Posted by Admin
A little bonus reading for you today! The nice folk at HispaBrick invited me to write an article, which I was honoured to do as they produce a fine magazine with a professional attitude.

HispaBrick Issue 18 - free PDF download in English or español

I've written a bit about each of my favourite new parts from 2013, which was a nice opportunity as there are many excellent parts that I haven't yet written about here on the blog. This is usually because it takes quite some time to prepare a full post that does justice to the part... time that doesn't always materialise in my life! You wouldn't believe how many half-baked articles lurk in my Drafts box.

You can also see the 13 parts I chose on this Brick Owl Wishlist, although the actual article is hopefully more entertaining. If you've not looked at HispaBrick before, definitely check it out - there's always a diverse range of articles including reviews, instructions and best of all (in my opinion) practical guides on various useful topics. This month there's over 100 pages, and my favourite articles are a tutorial on creating tessellating patterns with Erling bricks from the inspirational Katie Walker, and Simon Liu gives us a primer on using low level lighting to create beautiful effects in model photographs. The previous 17 issues, which are all available to download for free from their site, are a remarkable resource and you're bound to find much of interest. Bueno!

01 December 2013

New legends

Posted by Admin
How does one connect LEGO® parts? The classic 'stud and tube' design is the obvious answer but of course it's not the only technique. A myriad of 'connectors' have been introduced over the decades such as clips and bars, Technic snaps, various hinges - to name just a few - and in 2014 another kind is coming;  a new style of ball and cup connector. We first learnt of these in July this year when the new theme Mixels was announced and immediately caused a sensation - as these new joints have strong friction, so can be positioned at a wide range of angles. I've been dying to get my hands on them, but Mixels is not due out until March. It turns out these new parts will actually first appear in the new Chima sub-theme, Legend Beasts, which are due for a January release but are already available in many countries. The kind folk at LEGO's Community and Events Engagement Team have sent New Elementary two of the Legend Beast sets in advance of this official release so I'm rather grateful to them and rather excited to be able to tell you all about the contents!