31 January 2020

2019 Parts Fest #2: Eero Okkonen's trio of characters

Well it's been our biggest, longest Parts Festival to date but today our LEGO® building fiesta comes to an end with not one, not two but three incredible characters designed by Eero Okkonen featuring the new 2019 pieces we sent him. You can also see his earlier parts fest builds here and follow his builds on his blog.

Gwathlo of Order of Morning Star


30 January 2020

2019 Parts Fest #2: Mansur Soeleman's kitchen, church and temple

Today sees the return of Mansur “Waffles” Soeleman (Flickr & Instagram) to our Parts Festival, who previously blew us away with his LEGO® Star Wars creations. We have a really varied range of creations from him, using the seed parts we provided.

Life Sized Stove

Exploring the jumper plate-like characteristics of the 'Frozone board' (32627) led me to discover its real life counterpart one morning when I spilled freshly brewed espresso on a stove-top: perfect knobs, unlike the ones I had to clean the coffee from.



29 January 2020

2019 Parts Fest #2: Thorin Finch's Republic Assault

When we sent new LEGO® parts to Alice Finch she got her sons involved in the Parts Festival fun! We saw many of their resulting builds last year but today we showcase an epic Star Wars diorama built entirely by Thorin (aged 16) as well as a gunship.  

Republic assault on an outer rim Separatist science facility


28 January 2020

2019 Parts Fest #2: Pierre-E Fieschi's Imperial Star Destroyer and Chibi Tanks

The LEGO® parts festival we ran in late 2019 was so big and so successful, we didn't have time to finish publishing all the amazing creations our chosen builders came up with! So at last, over the next few days, we will publish the remaining models featuring our selected elements introduced in 2019. Warming us back up is French concept artist and architect Pierre-E Fieschi who showcases more of his inspiring ideas, following on from his Liebherr tunnelling machine and his sci-fi containers and launch pad.

Imperial Star Destroyer


This small Imperial Star Destroyer was a lot of fun to build. The large hook/grappler kind of resembles the trapezoid of the ISD bridge. It is found in the 'Batman bag' (Mini Accessory, No. 10 – 6266155| 40598).

24 January 2020

LEGO® BrickHeadz review: Lucky Cat, Wedding Groom and Bride

Jonas Kramm is here to tell you about some cute new additions to the LEGO® BrickHeadz line for 2020, and whether their inventories might be of interest to builders.


Today we will take a look at three new BrickHeadz, now available: the Wedding Bride and Groom, and just in time for Chinese New Year: the Lucky Cat.

21 January 2020

LEGO® IDEAS review: 21321 International Space Station

The next LEGO® Ideas set to be released is 21321 International Space Station. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the ISS as it has been maintaining a continuous human presence in space since November 2000. It seems apt that it is being enshrined as a LEGO Ideas set this year.


The selection of the ISS as an Ideas set was via a slightly different route as a mark of the 10 years anniversary of LEGO Ideas (originally LEGO Cuusoo) This time, the LEGO Ideas team looked back at all the submissions that had reached 10K but had not passed review, and selected four for fans to vote for to make the final decision. The ISS by by fan designer Christophe Ruge won the public vote. The new LEGO Ideas International Space Station is rated 16+, contains 864 pieces and priced at US $69.99 / CA $99.99 / DE €69.99 / FR €59.99 / UK £64.99 / DK 549DKK from LEGO stores and online from February 1st.
Let's take a look at those new elements...

16 January 2020

LEGO® Friends Review: Series 1 Play Cubes 41400-41404

One of the new concepts that LEGO® has released this year are the Friends Play Cubes - compact, portable little sets that are part of a collectible series and can be stacked together.  Each Play Cube set costs US$9.99/ £7.99/ 9.99€ and there are five to collect in Series 1.



We thought we would take a look at the complete first series of Friends Play Cubes to check out the new elements; in particular to take a closer look at the play cubes themselves.

14 January 2020

Inthert's alternate build of LEGO® Overwatch 75976 Wrecking Ball

Our little fiesta of LEGO® Overwatch 75976 Wrecking Ball finishes today with original alternate models designed by British builder Inhert, using only the pieces found in this set. The set is priced £17.99 / US$19.99 / 19.99€ although perhaps you may now be seeing it on sale. If you missed our Wrecking Ball review by Inthert and Jonas Kramm, check it out here.

Alternate builds are tricky enough with the majority of sets but with 75976 Overwatch Wreaking Ball containing only 227 parts, I was a little doubtful I could make anything half-decent without dipping into my existing collection. As a safeguard against that temptation, I decided to take this challenge on holiday! Four days in a log cabin with LEGO bricks seemed like the perfect setting, with plenty of time to come up with ideas - my thought being I could come up with one alternate build per day.

Day 1: Bipedal Mech



13 January 2020

Jonas Kramm's alternate build of LEGO® Overwatch 75976 Wrecking Ball

Last time, LEGO® Overwatch 75976 Wrecking Ball was reviewed by both Jonas Kramm and Inthert but we had a further task for these two champion builders: create an alternate model using only the 227 pieces in the set! Here is Jonas' creation, and come back tomorrow for Inthert's. The set is priced £17.99 / US$19.99 / 19.99€ although perhaps you may now be seeing it on sale.

For my alternative creation with the pieces from the Wrecking Ball I started with the most prominent pieces: the dishes. I wanted to find a good and creative use for these. First thought was to build a motorcycle, but I couldn't find complimentary pieces to build the wheels. However the thought of building something to ride was still in my mind and so the idea of a hoverbike was born.

11 January 2020

LEGO® Overwatch review: 75976 Wrecking Ball

LEGO® Overwatch 75976 Wrecking Ball is one of the two Overwatch sets released in October 2019, selling for £17.99 / US$19.99 / 19.99€ although perhaps you may now be seeing it on sale. We've taken a different approach to this review: both Jonas Kramm and Inthert received copies and have each built alternate models with the set! But before we reveal those, here is their shared review, starting with Jonas.

The Build

The model represents the playable vehicle from the game, piloted by Hammond, a hamster. Depending on the situation on the battlefield the mech can transform between two different modes.

Gun-Mode


In gun-mode the mech has four stubby legs and deploys two assault cannons on each side.

9 January 2020

New LEGO® Colour 364 Transparent Medium Reddish Violet with Opalescence

It seems that 2020 is not limited to bringing us 362 Transparent Blue Opal, but also 364 Transparent Medium Reddish Violet with Opalescence. We are calling them new colours because they have been given a LEGO Colour ID but it seems that adding the Opalescence effect is not likely to classify this as part of the "one colour in, one colour out policy" as far as we can tell.



One of our readers, BrickoMotion, mentioned that the 1x4 Panel in Transparent Medium Reddish Violet/ Trans-Dark Pink from Disney' 43173 Aurora's Carriage was "weirdly colored" and it seems it was also pearly and iridescent. They were right, so let's take a look at this second new colour.

7 January 2020

New LEGO® Colour 362 Transparent Blue Opal

Following on from the introduction of new LEGO® hues over the last couple of years, it seems that 2020 continues the tradition. In 2018, 107 Bright Bluish Green/ Dark Turquoise returned, 2019 gave us 353 Vibrant Coral and now 2020 brings 362 Transparent Blue Opal.



As far as we know this new colour only appears in two sets, both within the Disney theme. [Edit: there's also a pink version too.] Our thanks to Ryan Howerter for the heads-up. We thought would take a look at this sparkly, iridescent hue.

4 January 2020

LEGO® Employee Gift 4002019 Christmas X-Wing: Build Your Own

Each Christmas, The LEGO Group give their employees all over the world a special gift set. Since this year is the 20th anniversary of LEGO® Star Wars, it seems they have decided to incorporate the theme by designing a Yuletide X-Wing complete with R2-D2 sleigh and Yoda's igloo. The problem with employee sets is that they are are not released for purchase although inevitably a large amount seem to find their way to the secondary marketplaces.



Recognised LEGO Fan Media (like us!) are lucky enough to also receive one and so we thought we would take a look at this exclusive set with the aim of reassuring you that if you want to build it, that is almost entirely possible thanks to the scarcity of exclusive elements in it.

2 January 2020

LEGO® Speed Champions 2020: Designer Interview with Christopher Stamp

Way back in May 2019, we spoke to LEGO® Speed Champions Design Manager Specialist Christopher Leslie Stamp in Billund where he thrilled us with a secret glimpse at the 2020 line and its new elements. Now that the sets are available, we can share our interview with you.


Hello Chris, how long have you worked on the Speed Champions line?

I was on the design team for the first launch, so I was lucky enough to work on those products. I was the main designer on the second launch and I worked on several of the third launch. And that's when we actually first started looking into the 911 Porsche. But we don't just pick a car and do it straightaway. For example, although we started looking into the Porsche in 2016, we thought we'd keep for 2017. Actually, we kept it until 2018 because we kept working on it for so long, and then I went off and I did Ninjago for a little bit.