29 October 2014

Plastic pixels

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Mojang's popular video game Minecraft has become a winning partnership for LEGO®. This Saturday a new wave of sets will be released (but are already on shelves in some European Brand Stores) and for the first time these new sets are in minifig scale rather than microscale. Today Tim Goddard (Rogue Bantha) reviews the smallest set in the range: 21113 The Cave which will retail for GB£19.99 and has 249 pieces.

I cannot claim to know that much about the intricacies of Minecraft. I’ve never played it but obviously I have heard of it and have a fair idea of what it’s about. One thing that dominates (for me) most of what I’ve heard about the game is it’s comparison to LEGO. Is it the LEGO of the future, of the digital age? Well, probably not for me. It is undoubtably creative and uses that inspirational part of the brain that we LEGO builders use to create new and exciting things. But sitting in front of a screen for hours on end is not my idea of fun (at least not these days, many hours have been lost to Lara, Wipeout and others). This crossover set is my way into the Minecraft universe.

My favourite thing about the microscale Minecraft sets was that they contained lots of basic stuff; 1X1 tiles, plates and bricks. Yummy. Are the minifig scale sets going to be able to live up this? In many ways yes; let us investigate.

23 October 2014

Play that same song

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In case you're one of those people who have never watched Star Wars, let me explain the location which is the subject of this LEGO® summer Star Wars set, 75052 Mos Eisley Cantina: it's a seedy bar crowded with exotic alien creatures from the wrong side of the space-tracks, a "wretched hive of scum and villainy" where booze-fueled tempers continually boil over into senseless violence, usually resulting in death or dismemberment. In other words: the obvious choice for a child's toy.

19 October 2014

Starting Blocks

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Can LEGO® get any more popular? Er, yes. A few months ago, the pilot issue of a new printed magazine about the LEGO hobby appeared on shelves in UK newsagents, called Blocks. It proved popular enough for the publishers to go monthly, and the first issue will be on shelves this Thursday 23 October 2014. I'm quite excited, as I've contributed, so wanted to give it a plug in case you'd not heard of it.

It's not the first ever LEGO fan magazine of course; brilliant publications like BrickJournal and HispaBrick have been around a long time now. But with its wide distribution, Blocks aims strongly at casual/burgeoning fans as well as the hardcore fans. It takes a broad view of the LEGO world, giving the hobby of collecting equal placing alongside sets, building, and the non-ABS worlds of online and print. Whether it's your cup of tea or not, Blocks is an interesting development that I certainly think will bring awareness of the depth and breadth of the AFOL community to a much wider audience... yay, more AFOLs!

12 October 2014

Carry on caravanning

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It's been the most pleasant and consistent summer in England that I can recall since I arrived here two decades ago, but now October is here it feels like the sun may finally be gone. So it's a great time to hang on to a little sunshine by breaking out a Friends set, 41034 Summer Caravan, which is full of my favourite Friends hue, Medium Azure.