31 May 2020

LEGO® Star Wars review: 75271 Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder

Ryan Welles returns today with a look at one of the smaller LEGO® Star Wars 2020 sets: 75271 Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder.

LEGO® Star Wars has been around since 1999, coinciding with the release of The Phantom Menace, and the variety of possible subjects for sets has since become broader with every new movie or television series being released. Despite the incredible amount of new additions to the legacy, sets from the original trilogy have proven to be most popular.


This also explains the various iterations released of the same vessel, including the most recent entry, Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder. First seen in A New Hope, the vehicle has seen a total number of four entries as a minifigure-scale set. The 2020 version, set 75271, comes with 224 pieces and is a further improvement of the similar set released three years ago, 75173 Luke's Landspeeder. It makes use of several new bracket pieces released in the meantime.

26 May 2020

LEGO® 80105 Chinese New Year Temple Fair review: the parts

The largest set so far within the LEGO® Chinese New Year subtheme is 80105 Chinese New Year Temple Fair. With 1664 elements, including 14 minifigures, this set was first released in January 2020 priced at £89.99 / US$119.99 / 99.99€. While this is a large set, what's even more exciting are the sheer number of new elements inside the box... so stand by for a veritable buffet of new elements.



Okay, we realise that it nearly June now, so 'new' might seem a bit hopeful, and yet many of these elements remain exclusive to this set. There are also a large number that have only appeared in one other set.  So we definitely felt it was worth dedicating a post concentrating on the new elements, and those of interest either for their rarity or history. Coming soon, we also have an interview with the designer of this set, Markus Rollbühler, where I ask some of the questions that arose during the process of discovering the new elements and building his set.

23 May 2020

Iron Builder: Bryce Dempsey's stud shooter techniques

The Iron Forge contestant from the Iron Builder challenge revealing their LEGO® techniques for you today is Bryce Dempsey (on Flickr, YouTube and Instagram), from California. Appropriately enough for a builder who creates replica guns from LEGO pieces, last week in Round 3 the seed part was part 15391, the Minifigure, Weapon Gun, Mini Blaster / Shooter. 

My favorite of my own builds for Round 3 using stud shooters as the seed part was the soda machine. The build featured 11 stud shooters in total, with many unique uses.


22 May 2020

LEGO® interview: PPE safety masks

It was recently revealed that The LEGO Group (TLG) urgently altered their production to dedicate six moulding machines to create safety masks for Danish medical staff. Some fan media were invited to pose questions by email to LEGO® employees about this project, who kindly took the time to provide more detail about this unusual turn of events. The questions published here are the combined questions from the Rambling Brick, Brickset, BrickFinder, HispaBrick Magazine and of course New Elementary, including some from our kind patrons.

A LEGO employee tries on a completed mask.

Where did the idea for this come from, an employee or senior management… or perhaps a government request?

TLG: In March, one of our colleagues in the Engineering department heard that there was a desperate need for safety equipment for COVID-19 in Denmark. He approached the rest of his team with his idea for a visor and they started to trial production ideas. Approximately 100 LEGO employees have been involved in this project in Denmark and Hungary, from developing the design and new moulds, to working with our supplies to make the visors a reality in just a couple of weeks. 

LEGO® Hidden Side 70436 Phantom Fire Truck 3000: Design Process with Niek van Slagmaat

One of the LEGO® Hidden Side designers, Niek van Slagmaat, recently shared some of his design process for upcoming set 70436 Phantom Fire Truck 3000 in a series of fascinating tweets. Rather than scroll through the twittersphere trying to take in all the details, we have unrolled (and lightly edited) the threads here for you, with permission from Niek.



Niek: The new Hidden Side fire truck was my favorite Hidden Side set to design so far! With it releasing soon, I thought it would be cool to share some of my process on this set. It's important to make it VERY clear that this, as with all LEGO sets, was a team effort. I worked closely with a variety of people to make this vision work, from digital development teams to sparring partners, to quality and building instructions developers.

21 May 2020

Iron Builder: Stud Shooter LEGO® building techniques

We've been asking the Forge competitors from Iron Builder to highlight the techniques they've used each week with the seed parts. In Round 3 last week the element they all had to use was Design ID 15391, known as the "Minifigure, Weapon Gun, Mini Blaster / Shooter" on BrickLink, "Mini Shooter With Ø3.2 Shaft" on Brickset and "Weapon Gun / Blaster / Shooter Mini" on Rebrickable. Since being introduced in 2014 it has appeared in six colours. Given many would consider this a "specialised element that can only be used for one thing", it was a great choice of seed part by the Iron Builder admin!



Miro78: I found an interesting 'non-connection' with the stud shooters during my Round 3 builds, in the build Zorro where I included some furniture. 


20 May 2020

Iron Builder: Thomas Jenkins' stud shooter techniques

We have another Iron Forge contestant from the Iron Builder challenge revealing their LEGO® techniques for you today: Thomas Jenkins (on Flickr and Instagram), a Welshman living in Japan who has been building with LEGO for over 20 years. Last week in Round 3 the seed part was part 15391, the Minifigure, Weapon Gun, Mini Blaster / Shooter. 

On my first assessment of the Stud Shooter piece, there were two ways to use it in a model: take advantage of the bar that sticks out at an angle from the barrel of the shooter, or utilize the gaps and recesses that are usually used to house the accompanying trigger element.

Techniques using the angled bar of LEGO Mini Shooter With Ø3.2 Shaft, Design ID 15391

The angle of the bar meant that when used in conjunction with more shooters, it was quite easy to reproduce something akin to a spider’s leg. 


The shooters are connected quite simply with a 1x1 round plate with hole. The spanner seed part from the previous round also found its way into this model!

19 May 2020

LEGO® Accessories review: 40419 Harry Potter Hogwarts students

Our second and final review of the new LEGO® accessory packs of minifigures features characters from the Harry Potter universe, as Erik H. from HokayBricks explains. These sets are released 1 June 2020 and Brickset estimates they will cost US$12.99/£11.99 but this is unconfirmed.


This accessory pack includes four minifigures and the pieces and instructions needed to build a small bookcase. The bookcase build is simple but effective. It does not include any new or exclusive parts, but considering that this set is likely to be purchased several times over by some customers I'm sure any number of MOCs could benefit from the parts included here. The interest here, however, is all about the minifigures.

18 May 2020

LEGO® Accessories review: 40418 Marvel Super Heroes Falcon & Black Widow

There are new LEGO® accessory packs featuring minifigures being revealed today and Erik H.  from HokayBricks is here to talk you through them, starting with set 40418 featuring characters from the Marvel Super Heroes universe. (Tomorrow: Harry Potter!) These sets are released 1 June 2020 and Brickset estimates they will cost US$12.99/£11.99 but this is unconfirmed.


This accessory pack includes four minifigures and the pieces and instructions needed to build an energy turret stud-shooter - or in this case, a cylinder-shooter. The build is simple but effective. It includes two full sets of six Transparent Fluorescent Green/ Trans-Neon Green 1x1 round bricks. The build does not include any new or exclusive parts, but the minifigures do!

17 May 2020

Iron Builder: Cab's White Diamond techniques

We have another Iron Forge contestant from the Iron Builder challenge revealing LEGO® techniques for you today. Cab (on Flickr) hails from Germany but lives in California, and turned eighteen recently... "so I don't even know whether to call myself a TFOL or an AFOL". We don't think it matters really, so long as your techniques are awesome!

Hello everyone, Cab here! I was lucky enough to be among the final 20 contestants in this year’s instalment of The Forge. Now, while the final four compete for the prized Iron Builder slot, I thought I would share some techniques and tricks from my main entry in Round 2, a bust of the character White Diamond from the show Steven Universe. 


Adept builders will probably be familiar with many or all of these techniques, but I hope I can contribute to a few builders’ technical arsenals. 

15 May 2020

LEGO® Monkie Kid: new theme revealed

It's official: LEGO® Monkie Kid is here! The latest theme from The LEGO Group has just been announced and eight sets are immediately on sale in China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong – and worldwide sales commence tomorrow, 16 May 2020. An animated mini-movie and TV series has also been created.


The story is based on the 500-year old Chinese fable Journey to the West but with a modern twist, "authentic to local culture". The press release is not shy about making clear that this is TLG's first big foray into the Chinese market: "Never before has the LEGO Group launched a theme inspired by one culture and with so much attention to local details, values and traits."

13 May 2020

Iron Builder: Jaap Bijl's hummingbird techniques

One of the contestants in Iron Builders preliminary rounds, The Iron Forge, is Jaap Bijl (jaapxaap, found on Flickr and Instagram) from the Netherlands and he is a member of Lowlug and Innovalug. He took part in our 2019 Parts Festival and has now progressed from the Top 20 to the Top 8 in the Forge. We asked him to explain a couple of the techniques involved in one of his Forge builds from last week.

Hey everyone, it’s Jaap here! I’ve been participating into the Iron Forge contest, and made it to the final 20. In that round we had to build using the hammer and/or the wrench minifig accessory pieces. At some point when I was playing around with the wrench piece I found a wrench combination that looked a lot like a bird’s beak to me. So there I started building this hummingbird.


(Yes, for those New Elementary readers who remember it, I also used those big yellow stars from the 2019 parts festival in the flowers!)

11 May 2020

Iron Builder: Hammer & Spanner LEGO® building techniques

It's easy to look at a MOC and think, wow, that's beautiful... without appreciating all the astonishing connection techniques involved. Especially in a LEGO® contest like Iron Builder's Iron Forge where the brilliance is steadily poured into your eyeballs on a daily basis. I find it can even be a bit intimidating: how on earth could I ever build that well? Here's one by #1 Nomad:

So we've partnered with Iron Builder to break things down a little for you and reveal some of the techniques used by these amazing builders in the hope it inspires you, and improves everyone's game. We chatted with some of the talented competitors who made the Top 20 last week to ask how they used the seed parts, which were two classic Minifigure Utensil Tools: the Spanner Wrench / Screwdriver (Design IDs 4006 & 88631) and Mallet / Hammer (Design ID 4522).

07 May 2020

LEGO® NINJAGO™ Review: 71710 Ninja Tuner Car

Back in January, a new wave of LEGO® NINJAGO™ sets was released including today's focus: 71710 Ninja Tuner Car.  The sets tie-in with Season 12 of the Ninjago television series where an old game called Prime Empire is unearthed, resulting in havoc.  No wonder the sets have a definite cyberpunk video game vibe.



Ninja Tuner Car has 419 elements, including four minifigures and is priced at £34.99 / $39.99 / 39.99€. This set caught our eye thanks to its retro colour scheme, like a ski jacket from the 1980s! And of course we were drawn to the new elements underneath that hyper-cool exterior.

06 May 2020

Articles about specialised LEGO® parts

Recently we published a great article by Victor Pruvost examining the highly specialised new LEGO® piece, the 'arcade pod'. However, many of you were soon frustrated as Google had some dumb bug resulting in all the images disappearing. I've now replaced them all, so check it out if you missed it:



Maybe you did see it already? So here's another couple of suggestions from the archives of New Elementary...

03 May 2020

Iron Builder: Round 1 results

The world heavyweight of LEGO® building contests, Iron Builder is underway and the results of the first round in the Iron Forge are in! There were 120 entries from over 60 builders and only the top 20 progress to Round 2, which whittles the 20 down to eight.

The seed part was minifigure legs. Here are the 20 winners in no particular order, other than that we have arranged them into the groups they will be completing within in the next round. Bring on the NPU!

Top 20 builders, Iron Forge Round 1

Ted A.

"Boom! Toasted!"
Some builders are bred for greatness, and others are just bread to be toasted. It's a Wonder some have even made it this far... "Boom! Toasted!"
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