16 December 2015

Let's get ready to rumble

Posted by Admin
I've nearly recovered from the huge "Brick 2015" LEGO event which took place in London from last Thursday to Sunday - nearly! - and can say that I had a really great time. It was especially wonderful to meet more New Elementary readers, even some from overseas.

The first afternoon was AFOLcon, consisting of a few talks given by fans as well as LEGO Senior Designer Mark Stafford who revealed some of the thinking and the work behind Nexo Knights, the new Castle-meets-Space theme (and TV show) coming in January 2016. There was plenty of chat about the new elements designed for the theme, some of which have a dramatic V-shape which evokes the angular forms of castles and heraldry, whilst also distinguishing the theme from the organic forms of Chima elements.

Mark brought various prototype elements, including some which we couldn't photograph as they did not make it into production, and also brought several development prototypes of 70315 Clay's Rumble Blade. Elspeth DeMontes kindly took these pictures for New Elementary, which are pretty self-explanatory thanks to Mark's fine labelling skills. You'll see many interesting new parts below which we will return to here at a later date, and Mark also described some other fascinating ones from the other sets, such as the new shooter part which consists of just the 'Mixel' ball joint with a short 3.18 bar projecting out... very exciting.

One part from the set fascinated me in particular: the torso piece of the little robots (Element ID 6129994 | Design ID 24078). Check it out! The hollow stud is on its chest (where a 1x1 printed tile goes), the 3.18 bars either side connect to its arms (via an interesting new shoulder piece that we'll discuss another time), the minifigure neck connector is shown at the top of this picture and the bottom shows the leg connectors (which are existing skeleton leg pieces). But wait - it gets much more interesting.
 Its back is an antistud. So that central section is like a brick with the 'chest' stud on top and the 'back' antistud on the bottom. I say 'like a brick' because that is no ordinary 1x1 LEGO brick! It is a perfect cube; not the 5:6 ratio all LEGO bricks are based on. How fascinating... and how irritating that it has all those guffins poking out of it, but then, really quirky LEGO pieces like this can inspire all sorts of creativity.

There's yet another surprising connection in this crazy piece! Look at the minifigure neck connector: it is hollow, designed to take a 3.18 bar. How cool would it be if all minifigure torsos had this hole?

This torso is the same across all of the 'bots' in the Nexo Knights sets - they also come in 70312 (knight) and 70317 (chef!). You can read more and see more pictures in Huw's review of Mark's talk, over at Brickset.

Nexo Knights are released on January 1 2016.

Our thanks to Mark Stafford for bringing this awesome display to Brick 2015 and to Elspeth for the photos.


  1. Thanks for the in-depth analysis! I wish I could've been there, but alas, there was an ocean between us. :P I'd still love to meet Mark Stafford sometime... maybe he could make it to a U.S. convention at some point?

    The new robot torso is interesting, but I hadn't really been thinking of it as a building element—the proportions alone make it a great fig part, that could potentially be used for small Bionicle characters in the event that minifigure-based playsets are ever made again. I hadn't expected the center to be a perfect cube, though! One additional advantage that provides is that the robots can wear minifigure neck wear like quivers, so long as they don't cover the front as well.

    A lot of the other parts offer unique building opportunities, like the 2x3 shield tiles and the robot shoulders (which I could see being used for things like the bend in a drainpipe). I hope to see New Elementary maybe cover some of the potential these parts offer, with examples by MOCists, once these sets are released!

    I've loved the concept of Nexo Knights since it was released, but until this week I'd tempered my enthusiasm due to not knowing whether the story would win me over like Ninjago, Elves, and Bionicle, or elicit groans like Chima. But I loved the TV series premiere this past weekend, so it appears any fears I had were misplaced. Now I've just got to see if I can fit these sets into my budget!

    1. He was here in the fall, I got to meet him briefly at NYCC a couple weeks before BFNJ. He was there a couple days in conjuction with the NK launch and some of the other members of the team as well

  2. I have zero interest in the Nexo Knights sets but I will definatly have to pick up some of the cool parts (especially in trans-neon-orange) from Bricklink (or Bricks & Pieces) at some point...

  3. I don't really appreciate themes and sets as a whole, so owning Clay's Rumble blade does not excite me. On the other hand, getting some of the new elements to build with is much more up my street!

    You can probably tell what sort of LEGO fan I am as I took about twice as much time and effort to photograph some of the new parts and didn't take photos of the 6 variations of the Rumble blade!!

    Sack the photographer...

  4. Also, there is another interesting new piece to come from the Nexo Knights sets. It is a 1X1 pyramid, similar in size and height to a cheese slope.
    --Chaz Fairbanks