26 November 2017

70922 The Joker Manor

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Somewhere in among designing his latest range of gorgeous Christmas ornaments, Chris McVeigh managed to find the time to crack open THE LEGO® BATMAN MOVIE 70922 The Joker Manor for us and, having assembled its 3444 pieces, dissected it again to locate all the exciting new and recoloured LEGO elements - including its completely new rollercoaster system! The set is now available priced £249.99 / US$269.99 / 269.99€.

The Joker Manor is a sprawling set that imagines Wayne Manor has been overtaken and aggressively remodelled by the Joker (as seen in THE LEGO® BATMAN MOVIE). It’s a brilliant display piece with a glitzy, colourful entrance, oversized spring-loaded boxing gloves, a garish, glaring tower, and naturally, giant “The Joker” branding. However, the real showstopper is the rollercoaster that encircles the manor. With this set LEGO introduces an all-new car and track system that is sure to appear in many upcoming product lines, from City to Creator Expert.

In this article I’ll closely examine the new rollercoaster elements, highlight other new parts, and discuss interesting recolours and reissues.

11 November 2017

Book review: LEGO® and Philosophy

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And now for something completely different. We were sent a review copy of an unusual book about LEGO® which piqued my interest. Who better to examine it than our occasional contributor David Alexander Smith, who runs the mind-stimulating blog Building Debates which "takes a look at the LEGO community and the theoretical and aesthetic discussions it raises". But if deep thought about our favourite kids' toy is not your thing, you may instead prefer to revisit the Classic Space Tortoise David made for us!

Neal Stephenson in Seveneves, his 2015 epic speculative novel of human survival following a catastrophic cosmic event – the destruction of the moon – describes the technology that allows the quick assembly of the space craft in terms of an element based kit language reminiscent of LEGO building. In fact he explicitly uses the phrasing ‘LEGO-like’. On this hinges the premise that humanity will endure the worst of times through ingenuity and creative thinking, mediated through the limited resources and components of this restricted technological system. It is an unusually positive assessment as to what our combined intellectual endeavours might achieve in an era often obsessed with the critical appraisal of our species’ actions and the gloomy prognoses that follow.

06 November 2017

10259 Winter Village Holiday Station

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Can we talk about Christmas yet? I guess so; LEGO® Creator Expert 10259 Winter Village Holiday Station

 has been available for over a month now (902 pieces, priced £74.99 / US$79.99 / 69.99€). Today, Sven Franic explores the new parts included and gets inspired to build.

A year since we saw the 10254 Winter Village Holiday Train, presumably picking up passengers randomly along the line, a train station is finally here to restore some order to the holiday chaos.

Although the Winter Village Holiday sets are part of the Creator Expert line, there isn't all that much expert in them. This is also acknowledged by the 12+ marking on the box compared to most other sets in the line which are 16+.

02 November 2017

Old Bricks: What is Modulex?

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Back in the 1960s the LEGO Group created a new kind of brick, for adults. LEGO® history geek Francesco Spreafico has kindly agreed to translate another of his great articles for us, which he first published in Italian on his excellent blog Old Bricks.

Page contents

  1. History of LEGO Modulex
  2. Where to buy Modulex bricks  
  3. Resources and information about Modulex

In past articles I mentioned Modulex bricks a few times, but I never fully explained what these bricks actually were; I think that now the time has come to write a brief introduction about them.

History of LEGO Modulex

At the beginning of the 1960s Godtfred Kirk Christiansen had to design a real building and, as an extension to regular drawings, he created a physical model of the building using LEGO® bricks. Since he had found this process to be very useful, he decided to have a new system developed, a system that was not compatible with the LEGO System, but that was optimised for this kind of architectural design. These new bricks – the Modulex bricks – were put on the market in 1963 and they were intended only for architects, the category they had been created for.