Showing posts with label CCBS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CCBS. Show all posts

9 September 2019

2019 Parts Fest #1: Duncan Lindbo kills bugs

Duncan Lindbo returns from the garden today with a rather nasty discovery for our LEGO® Parts Festival.

There I was, out getting some fresh air, when a flash of purple caught my eye. Upon further investigation, it turned out to be some kind of foul alien worm. In an abundance of caution, I put on a pair of thick gloves before handling the specimen.

Nasty little critter, isn’t it?

8 April 2018

The Unlikely Fan

Today's post comes from Dave Foreman (Mana Ramp Matoran), a Bionicle fan since 2004 who nevertheless approached me with an altogether different theme he wanted to review...

By now, we're all familiar with the phenomenon known as LEGO® Friends. It was The LEGO Group's first theme marketed to girls that stuck, and why was that? Well for starters, it was the first theme to really take the full LEGO experience and move it into girl themes, instead of trying to port “Girl toys” over to being LEGO toys. Secondly, girls aren't the only fans of those sets. I myself have three Friends sets to date. Its success lead to the proliferation of bright pastel colors and minidolls into other new themes, and today we're going to be talking about one of those themes – LEGO Elves, with the set 41193 Aira & The Song of the Wind Dragon.


While most wouldn't be shocked to know that male FOLs aren't shy about picking up the “Girl LEGO” sets, there’s one subset of fans that might shock people: the Bionicle/Constraction community. That's right, one of the most testosterone-fueled niches of the AFOL community absolutely adore LEGO Elves sets. Why is that though? To answer this question we have to dive back into the early days of Bionicle history.

20 May 2017

NEXOGON: Wearable LEGO® creation

When selecting builders for our parts festival, one thing I was looking for was the unusual. So I couldn't pass up on Blair Archer's wild idea to add Nexogons to the outfit he was developing for his local LEGO® convention in Portland, Oregon! He shares the ups and downs of this inspiring project with us today. (Oh - and if you haven't yet seen Blair's 1979 ALIEN Xenomorph on his Flickr page, you totally need to check that out too.)


For some time now, I had a ‘wearable LEGO creation’ concept rolling around in my mind and various sketches in my notebooks. I'd been wanting to build a cyberpunk-style Samurai suit of armor/battledress, but was struggling with the fashion design element since LEGO connections don't lend themselves to creating curves or complex polygons very easily (at least not ones that can withstand motion, without being overly rigid/heavy/uncomfortable to wear). I jumped at the chance last year to load up on Mixels joints in bulk, thinking these would be ideal for creating a LEGO wearable piece that could conform to the shape of a human body, and withstand some bending and movement.

30 December 2016

LEGO® BIONICLE® Team Interview

To conclude our farewell to LEGO® BIONICLE® “Generation 2”, we have an interview with three members of the team. This was actually recorded prior to the announcement that the theme would be ending, but of course these guys continue to make Constraction figures with The LEGO Group, so whilst BIONICLE is dead (or perhaps merely dormant), the elements live on!

28 December 2016

Ekimu and Umarak

With 2016 drawing to a close, we are going to spend a couple of posts looking back at LEGO® BIONICLE®, a theme which ended (for a second time) this year. On 30th December we have an interview with the team who were responsible for the sets, elements, story and marketing but to kick things off today, Scott Barnick examines two of the final sets released in the theme.

Hello, New Elementary readers! I’m going to be reviewing this year’s final two Bionicle sets, 71312 Ekimu the Mask Maker and 71316 Umarak the Destroyer. Sadly, these will also likely be the last Bionicle set reviews here on New Elementary for the foreseeable future, since this is the final wave for the current generation of Bionicle.

2 September 2016

Triple Trouble

Love it or hate it, LEGO® BIONICLE holds a pivotal and remarkable place in the history of LEGO products. Since November 2014, New Elementary has been lucky enough to have the Barnick brothers writing superb, detailed analyses of selected sets and parts in the relaunched range. It may surprise some readers to hear that many of these posts are among the most popular in this site's history. Today, Andrew Barnick returns to examine some of the sets in what has now been confirmed as being the final wave of the reboot. 

Hello, New Elementary readers! Today I’ll be reviewing three of the summer 2016 LEGO BIONICLE sets: 71313 Lava Beast, 71314 Storm Beast, and 71315 Quake Beast. I apologize for the lateness—this review is somewhat bittersweet for me, with the recent news that this latest wave of Bionicle will be the last one for the foreseeable future. But I would be remiss to let the theme go without offering New Elementary’s audience an assessment of some of these final sets and the unique parts and recolors they contain. Without further ado, it’s time to look at what new elements they have to offer.

8 May 2016

Enter the Hunter

We return to our LEGO® BIONICLE reviews today and this time it is the turn of Andrew Barnick to look at one of the 2016 sets, 71310 Umarak the Hunter.

Bionicle’s second year may have brought new forms and allies for the heroic Toa, but what are heroes without a villain to fight? Umarak the Hunter is the Toa’s newest foe, and may be one of the most impressive villain sets of the rebooted Bionicle theme. Umarak may share the $19.99/£14.99/19.99€ price point with the largest standalone Toa sets, but at 172 pieces, this set has more parts than any other set in the rebooted Bionicle theme (including more expensive combo sets like last year’s 70795 Mask Maker vs. Skull Grinder or this year’s 71311 Kopaka and Melum Unity Set). And as is to be expected for a new Bionicle set, many of those parts are brand-new designs and recolors. Let’s take a look!

1 April 2016

Two Toa

Continuing our 2016 LEGO® Bionicle analysis, we have a review from Scott Barnick of two sets: 71305 Lewa Uniter of Jungle and 71307 Gali Uniter of Water.

Hi again, New Elementary readers! Today, following up on my brother’s review of two of this year’s Bionicle creatures, I will be reviewing the two corresponding Toa. Incidentally, these are also two of the same characters I reviewed from last year’s range of sets. 71305 Lewa Uniter of Jungle has 79 pieces (6 fewer than last year’s 70784 Lewa Master of Jungle) and 71307 Gali Uniter of Water has 87 pieces (the same as last year’s 70786 Gali Master of Water). They retail for the same price in the United States, $14.99, although their price in Great Britain has been deducted from £12.99 to £9.99 (resulting in less of a price discrepancy between the two countries). So what value do they offer in parts, or for that matter as assembled figures? Read on to find out!

22 February 2016

Creature Feature

The Barnicks are back in 2016 with more LEGO® BIONICLE analysis, to alert you to some cool new Constraction and Technic elements and to review how the sets compare to last year's offerings. Kicking things off, Andrew has two of the small £6.99 / US$9.99 sets to examine which include some elemental creatures with frankly spooky sidekicks!

In 2016, the Bionicle theme features the return of last year’s Toa with new designs, masks, and armor. But instead of the humanoid Protectors from last year’s sets, the smaller sets of 2016 are elemental creatures which can “unite” with the Toa, attaching to their backs to grant them additional powers and abilities. I’m happy to be reviewing two of these creatures for New Elementary: 71300 Uxar - Creature of Jungle, and 71302 Akida - Creature of Water. So without further ado, let’s look at the unique new parts these sets have to offer!

4 December 2015

Older and Skully

The return of the LEGO® BIONICLE theme in 2015 appears to have been popular, as have the articles about it written for New Elementary by two of the Barnick brothers. I've been slow at posting this review of five summer releases by Andrew Barnick, so the sets are perhaps old news to some, but Andrew's thorough examination of the available parts and the new characters is always a welcome analysis to have!

The sets in the 2015 winter wave of Bionicle featured a dearth of foes for the Toa to fight besides the omnipresent Skull Spiders, so a wave consisting almost entirely of larger villain sets was in high demand. While the Toa sets from the winter wave were all based on characters from the classic theme, the figures from the summer wave all represent brand new antagonists. I’m happy to say that these sets don’t disappoint, either in terms of their builds or their vast selection of new and recolored parts. Read on to get a taste of what these sets have to offer!

15 December 2014

BIONICLE 2015: Protectors


Scott Barnick (Aanchir) comes to the end of his thorough examination of the return of BIONICLE.

Hello, New Elementary readers! Today I’ll be reviewing the last three BIONICLE sets I received from the LEGO Group: 70778 Protector of Jungle, 70780 Protector of Water, and 70781 Protector of Earth. The six Protector sets will each cost $9.99 US/£9.99 GBP when they are released on January 1, 2015. This makes them the smallest sets currently revealed for the 2015 BIONICLE range, but they still boast some very interesting parts and colors that will greatly boost their appeal.

9 December 2014

BIONICLE 2015: Lewa and Gali


Scott Barnick (Aanchir) resumes his examination of 2015's return of BIONICLE with set reviews of two more masters of the elements.

Today I’m bringing you a review of two more of the new Toa from next year’s LEGO® BIONICLE range: 70784 Lewa Master of Jungle and 70786 Gali Master of Water, both of which were generously donated to us by the LEGO Group. Each of these two sets will cost $14.99 USD/£12.99 GBP when they are released on January 1, 2015. As such, they can be considered fairly average-sized models for the new BIONICLE. But average-sized doesn’t mean boring! Read on to see just what new elements and techniques these two Toa have to offer!

20 November 2014

BIONICLE 2015: Kopaka


As part of our BIONICLE 'season', Scott Barnick (Aanchir) now turns his attention to some of the actual 2015 sets and how they compare to the originals.

Hello once more, New Elementary readers. Today I am here to bring you this site’s first true LEGO® BIONICLE set review! 70788 Kopaka Master of Ice is one of the larger BIONICLE sets for this upcoming wave, with 97 pieces and a $19.99 USD/£14.99 GBP price tag. This price might seem a bit steep for fans that are used to the prices of more traditional LEGO building sets, or even for BIONICLE fans that are used to Toa costing between $7 and $13 apiece, but this set’s price per piece is actually fairly consistent with many Toa sets of the past.


15 November 2014

BIONICLE 2015: masks & weapons


Continuing our fiesta of constraction, Scott Barnick (Aanchir) furthers his examination of new BIONICLE parts by discussing the Toa’s weapons, masks, and a little bit about the enemies they’ll be facing in 2015.

As creative director Cerim Manovi said at the BIONICLE panel at New York Comic Con, “A Toa without weapons is not a Toa”. BIONICLE has always featured lots of ornate mechanical weaponry, and this year’s sets are no different. Also, taking cues from the weapons of the Toa Nuva sets from 2002 and some of the Toa sets from 2004, most of the characters’ weapons perform a dual function, which sometimes involves combining two weapons into one or separating one weapon into two. Typically, one of these modes will be combat-oriented and another movement-oriented. In the new sets, the designers call these “battle mode” and “adrenalin mode”.

8 November 2014

BIONICLE 2015: new parts

Regardless of how you feel about the LEGO® Group's constraction themes there's no denying the appeal and success of BIONICLE, which ran from 2001-2010. To mark its return we have a series of articles from mega-fan Scott Barnick (Aanchir). Today is the first of two parts that share the exclusive insight he recently gained into the new elements coming in 2015, and explains LEGO's interesting Character and Creature Building System.

It’s easy to overlook in certain corners of the online LEGO community, but lately there has been a LOT of hubbub surrounding the impending return of one of my all-time favorite LEGO themes: BIONICLE. The new LEGO BIONICLE theme is a reboot of the classic storyline, so many things have been changed, but some of the theme’s most timeless story elements and design principles have been retained or re-imagined for a new generation of fans.