28 January 2015

Through the arched window

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With the Nuremberg Toy Fair happening this week, we're being treated to loads of dodgy pictures of LEGO® summer sets. I'm enjoying playing "spot the recolour", which is quite challenging given the low lighting and white balance issues that the photographers are facing. (The best pics I've seen to date, via Brick Fan, have been taken by Andres Lehmann for But even more, I'm enjoying playing "spot the new part". I've seen a handful so far, many quite obvious, and they might come to be reviewed here in the fullness of time. But there's one that I found really exciting and was interested to see if you guys think I've got the right end of the stick. It appears in the rather thrilling 41101 Heartlake Grand Hotel.

21 January 2015

Yes, We Have No Bananas

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Fresh from his adventures in Sector Eleven, Exo Suit designer, bestselling author and talented voice actor Pete Reid rejoins us for an exclusive look at a brand new LEGO® DC Superheroes set, 76026 Gorilla Grodd Goes Bananas.

The box art is very exciting. There's all sorts of stuff going on. An invisible aircraft is about to smash into the ground, a fruit truck is being torn apart by a furious gorilla, the Flash is jaywalking really quickly between the legs of the Bat Mech. I can only hope there are no civilians nearby. It's a health and safety nightmare.

The set comes with four numbered bags, plus Gorilla Grodd in a separate bag. It also contains two instruction books, a tiny sticker sheet and a comic.

15 January 2015

Technic(al) matters

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Today we have our first ever proper examination of new Technic parts, courtesy of Ryan W. (merman) who is a member of Dutch LEGO® User group, Lowlug. Aside from his long-standing appreciation of Technic, Ryan is also the proud owner of every Modular building and, since he is also a film critic, some big Star Wars and other movie-related kits, such as The Lego Movie.

As a kid I was an avid fan of LEGO and as I entered those confusing teenage years, I shifted my attention from City and the occasional Space to Technic in the mid-eighties. To me there was an immense fascination emerging from the use of axles, beams, pins and especially gears. Then those notorious Dark Ages sifted in and when I got out of them I was a university law student and Technic had all changed. Sometimes I visited toy stores, not quite ready to spend my scholarship on plastic toys. But I left the store overwhelmed with questions. What happened to those famous studded beams? Why did LEGO decide to let their Technic line-up be dominated by flexible axles, hoses and those hideous panels? Soon everything got better and Billund not only improved their dreaded panels, they were improving Technic as a whole. The Dark Ages were over after I purchased 8285 Tow Truck. And studless building turned out not only to be more compact and complex, requiring you to think ten steps ahead, but also the overall look of the sets had improved considerably, making the old studded Technic sets from my childhood look blocky.

09 January 2015

That soft, rubbery look

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How do you like the feel of a woman's soft hair? No, really, the LEGO® Group (TLG) would like to know. They are seeking feedback from fans on those soft rubbery hairpieces used in the Friends and Disney Princess themes since 2012.

Kim Thomsen from CEE explains: "Feedback can range from touch and feel to usability and play value. All is valid, we want the negative and positive feedback. The purpose is to supply LEGO Quality with valuable insights on the soft hair elements from high affinity consumers (that's YOU - our experts)."

So this is your chance to tell them what you think about such elements. The deadline is by end of play this coming Monday, 12 January 2015.


07 January 2015

Six for the proud walkers

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Our first Star Wars review for 2015 comes from the multi-talented Jeremy Williams (Bricking It), who examines one of the smallest new sets of the range.

The Star Wars films (including the Clone Wars animated series) continue to provide The LEGO® Group (TLG) with plenty of source material for small ‘battle pack’ sets. These typically include four minifigs (often with at least two duplicates) and some additional hardware. Today I’m reviewing a 2015 set in this series: 75089 Geonosis Troopers.

Let’s start with the minifigs: two pairs of clone troopers (a regular pair and an airborne ‘paratrooper’ pair) all clad in camouflage (or are they just dusty?) dark orange armour.

02 January 2015

The claw... it moves.

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To blast off 2015, Space builder and author Tim Goddard (Rogue Bantha) comes down to Earth to see what he can dig up in new City set, 60075 Excavator and Truck, which has 311 pieces and retails at £34.99 / US$49.99 / €39.99.

This is the first 2015 set I’ve got my hands on. Playing to old favourites, this set will appeal to younger children but I think looks good enough for older City fans and has a few things to offer the AFOL builder as well.

The designer of this set was clearly a Classic Space fan. Just look at the truck; a blue cockpit with a light grey main body. It even has trans-yellow up the front. There is a fair amount of black and yellow around too, for a bit of classic Blacktron.