We also have a new author: Dr. Richard Jones who hails from Melbourne, Australia. He runs his own LEGO blog, The Rambling Brick, where he rambles on about bricks.
In this review, I will look at the individual items in their role as stationery and consider some of the more interesting aspects as they might apply to working with LEGO parts in general.
Pens: Write On…
Gel pens are available as a three-colour 'writing' set of black, red and blue, as well as being sold individually. They are also available as a nine-colour pack: red, orange, yellow, lime, green, medium azure, blue, brown and black. These are also the colours that the felt tips and coloured pencils are available in.
The narrow, square gel pen takes a little getting used to holding, but has a soft grip area. It is OK to write with, with easy transfer of ink to paper. However, after a day’s use it can start to feel as if it is rubbing strangely on your fingers.
But none of this is what makes the pencil packs interesting: what does is that each of the LEGO pencil packs contains two pencil clips. Pencil clips? Hang on…
Available in packets of two - a red one and a blue one. There is a 2x4 plate glued to the base of the sharpener piece, and a transparent ‘tile’ embossed with a LEGO logo that forms the lid.
Again, the lid of the sharpener has the external dimensions of a 2x4 tile, but has no clutch. Conversely, a 2x4 tile or plate cannot bind to the top of the sharpener. With the lid on, the sharpener measures two bricks high. Tests in the rambling bricks lab revealed it to work as a pencil sharpener, without any surprises.
If a full foot is not your thing, you can make a 6 inch/15 cm ruler. This is why the two 1x4 tiles are included. The printing on these smaller tiles seems to be slightly lighter than that on the 1x8 tiles. This does not ruin my life. A concern I do have is that the 4x20 plate is quite flimsy, and is readily stressed if removing elements in a less-than-careful fashion. It almost suffered creasing as I removed a plate without a brick separator. (Note to self… next time remove the plates using a brick separator…)
This is one of my favourite elements of this line. The eraser is circular, six studs in diameter and houses a round 2x4 brick in the centre. This brick allows for a multitude of MOC possibilities. An axle through the centre of the brick turns it into a spinning top, and some significant momentum is built up, with the eraser easily spinning for over 30 seconds at a time.
Passing the axle through a modified brick with a hole and into another eraser makes a terrific set of racing wheels: good weight/ diameter, with a narrow contact area with the ground. It seems to maintain momentum and kept rolling further than would be likely with normal LEGO wheels.
Having an elliptical profile, it also looks like it should be attempting to invade the planet.
Interestingly, on reviewing my collection of baseplates, my standard green 32 stud square baseplates have no identifying mark on, while my tan and blue plates are both marked with 3811 on the reverse side. Whether this is a peculiarity of the green plates, or whether there is a ‘giant green plate that gets cut up into other sizes' is unclear, and perhaps a discussion for another time.
The journal also features a ‘building band.’ This incorporates a white 6x24 plate and a strap: red fabric with a small length of elastic to give some stretch.
This does however, provide us with ‘LEGO sanctioned’ fabric and elastic, which in combination with the modified tiles could make an interesting banner or slingshot. Judicious use of a stitch unpicker could also leave you with the uninhibited tile/plate combination: again another potentially interesting project for someone to tackle.
So there you have it.
The lines of the pens do inspire the imagination, however, and as such contribute to the building process, even if you cannot incorporate them well into your model.
The erasers are a great element to play with, and they remind me of the fun I had as a kid, crafting erasers into small animals with the aid of a pen knife and compass, setting them spinning on the end of pencils, and breaking them into small pieces to put into pea shooters. These erasers, however, are more readily used for good, rather than evil.
My personal standouts are the different sized baseplates. I also love the pencil clips, as a way to fasten pencils to a plate, and I also look forward to seeing how these pieces may be used. All of these elements have the opportunity to be used in our MOCs. The fact that bricks and building can now be hidden and incorporated into everyday things is both intriguing and exciting. I look forward to seeing how more creative minds than mine may incorporate them into their builds.
Some products mentioned in this post were kindly supplied by the LEGO Group. All content represents the opinions of the New Elementary and not the LEGO Group.
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