Starting today, 1 September 2021, LEGO® are running a product pilot in the UK & Ireland that sees a small number of retailers offering new variations of 3 existing LEGO sets, “so we can find out more about the colours and sizes of sets that fans of all ages want to see more of in our portfolio”. This is an exciting development in terms of recoloured elements, but also frustrating for the rest of the world!A few days ago, Francesco Spreafico represented New Elementary in an online roundtable discussion to talk about this pilot with Lena Dixon (Vice President of Product and Marketing) and Mike Psiaki (Senior Designer), together with other Recognised Fan Media.
LEGO Creator 3-in-1 77940 and 77941 Mighty Dinosaurs
Released in green in 2017, will be available in blue and brown versions so 7+ builders can enjoy thrilling prehistoric adventures with a larger flock. Both have 174 pieces and are priced at £12.99:
LEGO Creator 77940 Mighty Dinosaur: features Dark Orange and Sand Yellow/ Dark Tan recolours.
LEGO Creator 77941 Mighty Dinosaur: features Earth Blue/Dark Blue and Cool Yellow/ Bright Light Yellow recolours.
LEGO 77942 Fiat 500
The Fiat 500 has been reimagined in light blue for 16+ builders looking
to add to their celebration of iconic Italian automotive design.
LEGO 77942 Fiat 500 features Light Royal Blue/ Bright Light Blue recolours, has 960 pieces and is priced at £74.99.
LEGO City 77943 and 77944 Fire Stations
LEGO City Fire Station is being released in two new sizes so that 6+ can join in with a range of different firefighting adventures:
LEGO City 77943 Fire Station Starter Set has 239 pieces and is priced at £24.99.
LEGO City 77944 Fire Station Headquarters is a 3-level control centre packed with cool equipment. It has 908 pieces and is priced at £89.99.
First of all: these products will not only be available at LEGO Stores and on LEGO.com but also in other selected stores, because one of the things they need to find out is where people are going to buy these sets. They want to see how these sets work when sold at the same time and at different retailers. The stores are (selected) TESCO, Smyths and on zavvi.com and iwantoneofthose.com. That last one might sell internationally, so keep an eye on it. The pilot is launched today, 1 September, and will run until the end of November.
They chose the UK because it’s a market that’s very representative and it has a great retail landscape. These sets will not be available later, even if the pilot is successful; it’s a strictly limited run.
LEGO Creator 3-in-1 Mighty Dinosaur:
- 77940 (Brown version) available from Smyths (UK/I) and LEGO stores and LEGO.com (UK)
- 77941 (Blue version) available from Tesco (UK/I) and LEGO stores and LEGO.com (UK)
LEGO Creator Fiat 500:
- 77942 (Blue version of LEGO Fiat 500) available from the Hut Group retailers (Zavvi.com and iwantoneofthose.com) and LEGO stores and LEGO.com (UK)
LEGO City Fire Stations:
- 77943 (£24.99 version) available at Tesco (UK/I) and LEGO stores and LEGO.com (UK)
- 77944 (£89.99 version) available at Smyths (UK/I) and LEGO stores and LEGO.com (UK)
If you’re buying from LEGO.com please consider following our affiliate links to get there; New Elementary may earn a commission.
Interview with LEGO about the new UK variations
Here’s a summary of the important or interesting points that came up during the group chat, which come mainly from questions asked by Fan Media.
These models were chosen because they wanted to represent both kids and adults, and also because they wanted some variety (a building, a dinosaur, a vehicle). For the FIAT they asked “The Team Formerly Known As Creator Expert” whether they had something that could be part of this pilot; something where the colour change would be simple – and make sense. The FIAT was the first model the team thought of because they had actually considered a blue version when they had designed it. Only at the very end of the design process they had settled on Bright Light Yellow, so this was really a no-brainer – they’d already talked to FIAT about it, so it was easy from an approvals point of view, and they even had one already on the shelf!
We all know about the colour inconsistencies with the Bright Light Yellow parts in the original FIAT 500... one problem was that you could see the black parts underneath the Slope Curved, 2x2 (6296487) and this problem doesn’t seem to occur with the new colour (6132420), luckily.
The Fire Station is the only set that’s not just a straight colour change. It was updated to look more like the current line; for example the fire engine has been changed to include the Bright Light Yellow stripe that’s now part of the livery on the fire vehicle sets. They didn’t make a completely new product, but still started from an existing one, because since this is a pilot, they didn’t want to use too many resources on it, and that’s why they decided to go with existing things.
An important thing to point out is that this pilot is not the answer to an existing problem, it’s just a way to try and improve what they do. Their plan, if the pilot is successful, is not to produce fewer different sets every year (by adding the colour variants), but only to see if something like this could be a good addition.
Very hypothetically (if this were successful) they could go back to older sets. For example a recoloured Café Corner was actually vaguely talked about, but in the pilot they needed something that required no design changes. Even changing something that looks trivial – like a 1x8 tile being replaced by two 1x4 tiles – would mean starting over all the standard review processing from the beginning, and revising packing stations in the factories, and so on. With the Café Corner there are parts that don’t exist anymore (like the door), and it had no interior… so, should they add some? It’s an interesting concept, so maybe in the future, but most definitely not now.
Although originally designed by Mike, the dinosaur was recoloured by Morten Rauff, who came up with the crazy colour combination of Bright Light Yellow, Dark Blue and Sand Blue! Mike claims he is “a lot more boring” and more realistic… so we won’t be seeing a pink Saturn V any time soon (as suggested by Andres from Zusammengebaut).
Now let’s get to the questions New Elementary asked.
Even though this is a marketing test, we all know that most AFOLs will probably see these as regional exclusives (something that TLG agreed to cease doing a few years ago after AFOL backlash about issues such as scalpers). We asked if they’re aware of the certain backlash from the rest of the world, and if the results of this test will be reliable – given many people buy the sets only to resell them abroad.
They answered that they hope to reduce the problem by putting a limit on how many sets can be bought (one for the FIAT, three for the other sets). And they know about the backlash, that’s why they’re having these conversations. But they really need to make pilots like these to understand whether ideas work or not. They’re very sorry, but they hope that we all will benefit from their learnings, in the end.
We also asked if they’d considered putting the new recoloured parts on Bricks & Pieces and Pick-a-Brick walls, to make it easier to replicate the sets for people who won’t get it, but no; the parts won’t be there. But they will probably reappear in other sets in the future, as generally happens with most parts.
Given how unpredictable and uncertain parts availability on Bricks & Pieces is, we really hope these rare elements might appear there after all! [UPDATE 7/9: It's not looking good! One of our team just had various phone calls with LEGO Customer Services trying to order the bricks from the Fiat, but no joy. "A limited test run, so no distribution of the exclusive pieces on B&P."]
Recoloured parts in the new LEGO dinosaurs and blue FIAT 500
Frustrating as it is that these may end up being rare, expensive parts on the secondary market, the New Elementary team can’t help being excited about the colour-changed elements in these new sets. Here are some we spotted, let us know if you see any more!
LEGO 77942 Fiat 500
Thanks to a quick Rebrickable scrape by TobyMac, we can confirm the FIAT features these Light Royal Blue/ Bright Light Blue parts; 'Color Error' indicates a new recolour. Click/tap to enlarge.
The Dinosaurs and Fire Stations
As for the other sets, here are the brand new recolours we reckon we spot:
- http://rebrickable.com/parts/60478 Plate, Modified 1 x 2 with Bar Handle on End - Closed Ends in sand blue
- http://rebrickable.com/parts/47755 Wedge 4 x 3 Open with Cutout and 4 Studs:
- in sand blue
- in Reddish Brown
- http://rebrickable.com/parts/92013 Technic Brick Special 2 x 2 with Ball Receptacle Wide and Axle Hole in Reddish Brown
- http://rebrickable.com/parts/30357 Plate, Round Corner 3 x 3 in Dark Orange
- http://rebrickable.com/parts/3747b Slope, Inverted 33 3 x 2 with Connections between Studs in Bright Light Yellow
- http://rebrickable.com/parts/3660 Slope, Inverted 45 2 x 2 in Bright Light Yellow
- http://rebrickable.com/parts/6636 Tile 1x6 new in Bright Pink!
As for rare parts in those sets, here’s some we spotted:
- http://rebrickable.com/parts/41769 & 41770 Wedge, Plate 4 x 2 in Dark Orange both last seen in 2004
- http://rebrickable.com/parts/61678 Slope, Curved 4 x 1 in Dark Orange last seen 2012
- http://rebrickable.com/parts/43712 Wedge 6 x 4 Triple Curve in Dark Orange last seen 2014
- http://rebrickable.com/parts/15712 Tile, Modified 1 x 1 with Open O Clip in sand blue - only introduced this year in Super Mario
- http://rebrickable.com/parts/4032b 2x2 round plate very rare in sand blue - not seen since 2002!
- http://rebrickable.com/parts/64448 1x6x5 support rare in red - last seen in 2012 and only in 2 sets
Help New Elementary keep publishing articles like this. Become a Patron!
Massive thanks go to our 'Vibrant Coral' patrons: Chuck Hagenbuch, Joe Fontana, Elspeth De Montes, Megan Lum, Markus Rollbühler, Mevits Bricks, Font Review Journal, Baixo LMmodels, Andy Price, Anthony Wright, Chris Cook, London AFOLs, Gerald Lasser, Big B Bricks, Dave Schefcik, David and Breda Fennell, Huw Millington, Neil Crosby, Antonio Serra, Beyond the Brick, Sue Ann Barber & Trevor Clark, and Kevin Gascoigne. Vale Iain Adams, a great supporter of New Elementary.
LEGO® Shop at Home
USA: Save up to 30%. See what's on sale!
UK: Free delivery when you spend £50 or more at LEGO!
Australia: Discover the latest promotions and offers on LEGO.com
All text © New Elementary, all images © 2021 The LEGO Group.