Showing posts with label Architecture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Architecture. Show all posts

24 December 2018

LEGO® Architecture: Rok Zgalin Kobe interview

At the Recognised LEGO® Fan Media Days in Billund last summer, we sat down with LEGO Architecture designer Rok Zgalin Kobe to have a chat about the evolution of the Architecture line. The LEGO Architecture theme has so far has spawned 42 building sets and one big ‘do it yourself’ kit – and last week we reviewed another two upcoming sets, 21044 Paris and 21043 San Francisco, due for release on 1st January 2019. 

By now, the Architecture line has pretty much become a mainstay of the LEGO portfolio. Are you surprised by the success the theme has had?

Rok: I would be betting against myself if I said I was surprised! I’m happy that it has the success that I believe it deserves.



It’s very different from the other lines, apart from maybe to a certain extent LEGO Ideas, in that the sets aren’t really made to be played with, they are static objects to be put on shelves, more like exhibition pieces. How does that affect the design process?

Rok: Well, it certainly doesn’t make us exempt from any of the stringent quality standards that the LEGO Group has, so it’s still treated as a child’s toy, with all the safety and quality issues that come with that. You have to be able to do this with it (holds up a pre-built 21037 LEGO House set and shakes it), so it has to be stable, but at the same time, at any point in the building process, you must not be able to injure yourself in any way with it. You always have to imagine a small child falling on top of it, which could be quite bad.

16 December 2018

LEGO® Architecture 21044 Paris and 21043 San Francisco

We asked New Elementary regular Sven Franic to take a look at the two new LEGO® Architecture sets due for release on 1st January 2019.  Read on to find out the new elements and build techniques within 21044 Paris and 21043 San Francisco.

The Architecture Skyline sub-theme has been running successfully since 2016 and we are getting some of the most recognizable cities in 2019. The most iconic landmark of Paris was featured in a number of previous Architecture sets, which is a good demonstration of the dynamics of scale and progress that was achieved by the introduction of new elements to build up the Eiffel Tower over the years.

26 June 2018

Sand Green Pete Machines: New turtles, robots and more

Who would have thought that not one but two of this year's LEGO® Architecture sets would provide the necessary 3x3 dishes for Peter Reid to create entire new fleets of his iconic robot turtles? Having analysed all the exciting new parts in 21042 Statue of Liberty, I simply had to send the Sand Green elements off to him to see what would happen.

Receiving the parts from New Elementary (along with some gentle bullying by Brickset) meant it was time for another robot turtle. It only seems like a week or two since we got Magenta ones. What a time to be alive.

Tim asked me to make a single Sand Green turtle, but one thing led to another and I ended up developing some additional models, which nobody asked for.

Mk II Liberty Launcher

22 June 2018

LEGO® Architecture 21042 Statue of Liberty: The new parts

Packed with interesting techniques, LEGO® Architecture 21042 Statue of Liberty is my favourite build of the year so far. Today, I'm going to examine the parts that have been provided in new colours in this new set and show a couple of cool techniques that the designer has used.


5 May 2018

21036 Arc De Triomphe

We head back to 2017 today with 21036 Arc De Triomphe, from the perspective of someone who's never bought a LEGO® Architecture set before; Jay Phoenix, who can be found on Flickr and Twitter.

So, first off I’ve got a bit of a guilty confession to make – even though LEGO Architecture’s been around for a decade now and had over 40 sets released… I’ve never actually been interested enough in the theme itself to actually buy any of ‘em before. As someone who’s always been more sucked in by minifig-scale themes like City, Friends, Creator and occasionally more action-y ones like Ninjago, Architecture has always been one of those things I’ve occasionally seen on the shelves, gone “Oh, that looks alright I guess” and continued on my merry way.

So when Tim handed me a shiny new copy of 21036 Arc De Triomphe to rebuild for here, I had a little bit of a think about how exactly I should approach it. Instead of just rebuilding the model into something else like last time, I decided to do a lil’ review of the set itself as an insight into the mind of an ‘Architecture Virgin’, as such (also, note to self: never use the phrase ‘Architecture Virgin’ ever again).

9 May 2017

NEXOGON: Shanghai Tower

Following our run of spaceships utilising the new hexagonal LEGO® part 27255, today Li Li from MOC Recipes returns with a towering example of modern architecture! 

One of the buildings that I’ve always wanted to build is the Shanghai Tower, the world’s second-tallest building after Burj Khalifa. It has a very intriguing twisted shape. I didn’t have a good solution for it — until I saw the Nexogon. It’s perfect for building triangles with concentric centers.


27 April 2017

Bricktastic 2017, Manchester UK

The third annual Bricktastic show takes place on the weekend of 1st and 2nd July at Manchester Central. Come along! And tell anyone you know who lives in the Northwest to get there too - it's worth travelling to experience this big, friendly LEGO show with a great atmosphere. Many of the UK's greatest AFOL builders make the effort to be there, because it is run by and in aid of Fairy Bricks, the wonderful charity who raise money to buy LEGO sets for children's hospitals.

I'll be there too! The New Elementary table will feature some of the amazing Nexogon models you're seeing from our talented UK builders, and Elspeth De Montes will be adding some colourful creations, no doubt injected with her colourful sense of humour.

Here's another of the amazing models that will premiere at the show; Jamie Douglas has expanded the official set 10253 Big Ben to show the entire Houses of Parliament!


8 April 2017

Guggenheim, a museum made of LEGO® pieces

The new LEGO® set 21035 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum® has just been released (priced £64.99 / US$79.99 / 69.99€, but at time of writing is cheaper than this at Amazon UK) and today I’m reviewing the build and highlighting the new pieces that come in the set.


22 March 2017

NEXOGON: Coronae Softworks

Another of the 14 featured builders in our parts festival using LEGO® NEXO KNIGHTS™ piece 'Rotor w/ 4.85 hole' makes his premiere today: Christian Benito (a.k.a. Little Brick Root). He lives in Portland, Oregon, as do two other builders I chose... by sheer coincidence!

When my Nexogons arrived, I was in the midst of a pre-convention building frenzy and I barely had time to do a bit of fiddling. With the con behind me, I had a particularly interesting tablescrap that I just didn’t know how to use. It uses Nexogons to make a really interesting shape, but nothing has come of it yet. Then in one of Tim’s articles I saw six Nexogons arranged in a star. A building came together in my head and Coronae Softworks was born.


27 February 2017

Bucking the trend

Today, Elspeth De Montes gets imaginative with 21029 Buckingham Palace, creating some alternate builds for us, as well as analysing the parts that come in this set. Also, sheep.

As the capital of the UK, London has proved to be a popular location for LEGO® Architecture designers; 21023 Big Ben and the Skylines set 21034 London are both from the city. In addition, London landmarks appear in the Creator Expert theme with the huge 4163-piece set, 10253 Big Ben and the even larger 10214 Tower Bridge which has 4287 parts. With 780 parts, 21029 Buckingham Palace was released in September 2016 and is priced at £44.99 / US$49.99 / 49.99€.

17 November 2016

London Skyline: set review and LEGO® Designer interview

The LEGO® Group have released several sets in 2016 that have a British connection (which is handy given that they just so happen to be opening a new flagship store in London's Leicester Square today). We’ve had 10253 Big Ben, 21029 Buckingham Palace, 40220 London Bus as well as 21306 The Beatles Yellow Submarine and 21307 Caterham Seven 620R. Now we can reveal another: 21034 London, part of the ‘Skylines’ series from LEGO Architecture. It is now available from the Leicester Square store (limited to one per customer) ahead of its worldwide release on January 1 2017. It costs £44.99 and the designer of the set is Rok Žgalin Kobe, who I had the honour of speaking to at the special pre-opening event at Leicester Square yesterday, and he mentioned many interesting facts about the model.

10 February 2016

Bledge Khalifa

The managers of the LEGO Architecture range aren't too shy about instituting change; they've tweaked the formula of the sets gently in various ways over the years since launching in 2008. The new set 21031 Burj Khalifa is an interesting indicator of this, being the first set in the range to offer a new version of a building that has been released previously - in this case, 21008 Burj Khalifa from 2011 (on the left in the picture). I absolutely love the LEGO Architecture theme but there are some sets I never bothered with, 21008 being one of them. The model is a pretty enough object but paying £22.99 for the pleasure of stacking 112 round bricks was never something that piqued my interest.

1 December 2015

Skylines

2016 will be the ninth year of the LEGO® Architecture theme; quite a remarkable success. It's a theme that I love, in fact it was responsible for the end of my Dark Age, yet I've felt a bit bored by it recently. The LEGO Group must be feeling the same, as they are adding something new into the mix next year with the release (in January 1st, I believe) of three sets which take a fresh approach: each includes a number of buildings and monuments from a city, rather than a single building. The first three sets represent Berlin, New York and Venice.


1 June 2014

Trevi review



It's been known about for some time now, but the newest set in the 2014 Architecture line has been officially announced today; 21020 Trevi Fountain. More accurately, the set is the Trevi Fountain plus the façade of the Palazzo Poli, the palace that sits behind it. LEGO®'s Community and Events Engagement Team kindly organised an advance review copy for New Elementary but before you ask; I don't yet know the release date or price. [Edit: now listed on UK LEGO site at £39.99; same as 21006 The White House.]

6 May 2014

House of bricks


Today I cracked open 4000010 LEGO® House and figured I'd review it - given that the set is not readily available, has a rather interesting inclusion, and of course to shoehorn in a reminder that New Elementary's LEGO House competition closes in 9 days! Fret not - I didn't open the copy sent by the Community and Events Engagement Team which remains safely mint in sealed box for the winner. It's another copy I bought on a recent trip to Billund, which is the only town on Planet Earth where the set has been made available for sale. This limited release is a gesture from The LEGO Group (TLG) to local businesses, in light of the disruption being exacted in the centre of town to construct the real LEGO House which will be a museum, or rather an "interactive experience centre" in modern-day parlance. When I was there, the last of the existing buildings on the site were being torn down.

19 January 2014

The sum of its parts


I'm ending my series of posts about the Architecture theme today with a rather different post, littered with data tables rather than pretty pictures. See, I like numbers too. I thought I'd try to examine the question of how 'valuable' Architecture sets are, because I often get my knickers in a knot when other AFOLs moan about the cost. I shouldn't, because they're usually right, but I'm just overly defensive of this range that I enjoy so much.


13 January 2014

Return of the Trans-Light Blue

The official LEGO® Architecture website used to run polls where visitors could vote which building, from a list of ten options, should next get the official treatment. It was a rather odd idea, given that they clearly stated that there was no guarantee the 'winners' would actually get made into sets, which was indeed the fate of one of them. And as it turned out, two of the least popular inclusions have been turned into sets (The Leaning Tower of Pisa and The Eiffel Tower). Stranger still was the inclusion of some religious buildings, a subject which LEGO have steadfastly avoided releasing (aside from an innocent church in the 1950s) but given these didn't win, no embarrassment ensued.

10 January 2014

United by SNOT

© 1987 UN Photo/Lois Conner. Some rights reserved
Next in my little run of Architecture reviews is a set that was released in October 2013, 21018 United Nations Headquarters. Personally I think it was a great choice of subject for this line; although it's not as well known as some of the other buildings in the Landmark series, it's a truly international building. It sits on land granted to the United Nations by the US and was designed by a team of architects from across the globe (most notably the modernist heroes Niemeyer and Le Corbusier). Whether or not you know of or have visited it, this is a great model to build. And now I'll definitely go to see the original if in New York City!

7 January 2014

A tour of the Eiffel

I'm having a bit of an Architecture phase at the moment, building some of the recent sets in this line which have been burning holes in my shelves for weeks, or even months. I've always been interested in architecture - both my parents were architects - and I suppose it is true to say the LEGO® Architecture line is my favourite theme, and that creating my own microscale architecture is my favourite building pastime. This is partly because 21005 Fallingwater was my conversion set, but it's not just sentimentality. As the legend on the boxes says, "Enjoy your building experience." That's a cheesy bit of commercialese, but I almost always do enjoy them. The packaging is superb, the booklets have interesting facts and the finished models make great display pieces.

The builds usually also contain stuff you wouldn't see in a regular kids' set, and hopefully these next few posts will highlight what sets Architecture apart for me. In this post I'm looking at 21019 The Eiffel Tower which was officially released on January 1, although it has been available for a few weeks in France.


20 July 2013

Like a virgin

The mysterious 21050 Architecture Studio has just surfaced. There has been little info about this set but the general assumption online was that it would be exclusive, at least initially, to US Barnes & Noble stores who are running special LEGO® Architecture Studio store events from 25-28 July 2013. But no; a single copy was spotted and bought by 'Miro78' at Legoland California today.

It doesn't build anything in particular, there are no instructions. In fact there's an amusing and crazed disclaimer on the box stating, "Picture for inspiration only. Model cannot be built from the pieces in this box. Model shows pieces not included in this set. See side panel for full parts listing." Even more amusing if you read that out loud in the voice of a Dalek.

Miro78 has posted this helpful picture of said side panel on his Flickr, so look at the pic here and ask yourself - would I pay $US149.99 for these parts? There are 76 different elements, none are new or rare, and the total count is 1,210 pieces.