Brickset news archive: December 2012
Here is some information of a new two-day exhibition in France near Lyon.
Location - Etoile-sur Rhône, 26 and 27 January 2013, Saturday 1400 - 1800, Sunday 0930 - 1700.
Entrance - €2
For more information please visit their website www.brickart.fr.
My UK LEGO Club magazines arrived today. The boys' one is heavily pushing Chima, what with this fold-out image on the cover, a mini-comic and a lenticular 3D sticker.
It appears to be a terrible place to live, doesn't it, what with all that squabbling going on! The comic sheds more light on the story. Apparently the lions store the 'power of the CHI' inside their temple and share it out equally to all the other animal tribes. But, it seems, Cragger, the crocodile prince, has planned a revolt against the lions. There's no reason given as to why he's planning it other than 'he wants to control all of the CHI in Chima'. Here are images of the comic's cover and inside cover for your perusal and edification.
Yes, there's four of them. The three series 3 and the B-Wing from series 4, which isn't supposed to be out for a few months yet.
There's still no sign of any 2013 Star Wars on the shelves in the UK, as far as I know, so I can only assume that LEGO UK hasn't shipped any out yet (unless you know otherwise).
He's kindly going to send me the B-Wing so hopefully I can bring you an exclusive review early next week!
Continuing with our reviews of sets from the highly-anticipated Legends Of Chima theme that's just hit the stores, today I'm going to take a look at one of the smaller sets in the theme, 70001, Crawley's Claw Ripper, which weighs in at £12.99, US$14.99, for 139 pieces and two minifigs.
Like the Eagle Interceptor I reviewed a couple of days ago, this one also takes design cues from the species that drives it, in this case crocodiles.
Although no where near as popular as the MOCs, Cuusoo does allow users to submit a concept for a new part.
Other than the rule stating you can submit parts and a statement that the creator would receive an appropriately sized one time lump sum for their idea, there is very little information on how this would actually work.
Even more so than the unusual MOC project, part projects just can't seem to get any traction with support. This makes sense when you consider that non-hard-core LEGO fans are not likely to see the inherent value in these kinds of projects.
Based on the lack of overall information on the part review process and the difficulties they face, I have decided to just make one showcase of some of the more interesting parts rather than occasionally writing an article about one at a time.
In other news:
For the Zelda fans, there is a new Zelda project: Legend of Zelda: Iron Knuckle Encounter that has received nearly 200 support in less than two days.
And finally, for those obsessed with numbers, I have added a new reporting feature to my blog. The right sidebar includes daily support values for several projects with links to most projects. This reporting feature is still in beta so give me a note if you notice something wonky please.
Spend £50 (UK) or $75 (USA/Canada) at shop.LEGO.com from now until the end of January, and you'll receive a free 30250 Legends of Chima Ewar's Acro Fighter polybag. In the UK, there's free shipping until 14 January on orders over £50 too. Click on the banner at the top of the page to get shopping.
For some reason best known to LEGO, the only 2013 sets available at shop.LEGO.com in the UK at the moment are LoC and Friends, and it's the same in the brand stores too.
I received the paper S@H catalogue a few days ago, which claims that other 2013 sets will be 'available for purchase on 1st January', so hopefully they'll be added overnight. Interestingly, the paper catalogue does not contain TMNT or Galaxy Squad. I hope that's because of a lack of space and not because they won't be available yet.
Grogall has uncovered an online copy of the Italian consumer catalogue which is interesting to see. It doesn't contain TMNT either, and Galaxy Squad is shown as being available in March. It does however show the new architecture set Imperial Hotel and series 2 of the Friends polybags.
addictedtostyrene tells me that "Myer in Brisbane Australia have 2013 Ninjago, Hobbit sets ... as well as CMF series 9" so it looks as if the UK is the last place to be able to buy the new Ninjago sets :-(
I guess we'll have to see what happens overnight tonight...
This morning, at 05:25 EST, the 50,000th member joined Brickset!
Some 15,000 people signed up in 2012, and Urschel in Finland, who joined this morning, is the 50,000th member.
So, welcome, Urschel, and welcome everyone else who's joined recently. Do say 'hi' in the comments and let us know what you think of it here.
Member kelphazard found this new Friends polybag, 30106 Ice Cream Stand, in a Target in Los Angeles, priced at $4.99. The five Friends polybags that were available earlier in the year were highly sought after so if you get the opportunity, go and grab a few of these while you can.
When pictures of Legends of Chima sets first emerged a few months ago, it was difficult to know what to make of them from the small images. Many appeared to be a bit strange, but 70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor stood out as looking like the best of the bunch.
I was therefore very pleased when it was included in the bunch of LoC sets Kim from LEGO sent us to review just before Christmas.
From the initial pictures we saw, some remarked that the legs were a bit fat and un-eagle-like. Read on to find out why they are, and whether I agree.
OK - here we go with the next in our series of Brickset Legends of Chima reviews...
When Huw sent a message to the Brickset staff informing us that LEGO were sending some Legend of Chima sets for us to review I figured it’d be pretty straightforward, so I offered to help. And then Legends of Chima Set 70102 CHI Waterfall arrived in the post and I started to wonder what I’d let myself in for...
There is, what appears to be, a full, televised, and in depth news report on the Cuusoo Summer Review.
It can be found here and starts around 15:15.
Unfortunately, being uneducated I can only look at the pretty pictures and guess what is being said. It is, I assume, all in Danish.
What I can tell you is that each of the models is presented and discussed. I would really appreciate it if someone who knows the language would mind filling the rest of us in on the story.
Cheers and Thanks in advance!
grogall has uncovered this picture of the next modular building, Palace Cinema. The image has come from shop.LEGO.com, as you can see, but it's not for sale there yet and there's no word on official release date or prices. It must be imminent, though, given the picture's been put on the server.
Note the clear 'Creator Expert' labelling, which it's believed will be used for all LEGO Exclusives (that are not obviously attached to another theme) in future.
The image's release was probably inadvertent, so we may be asked to remove it.
The sale has now started and there are quite a few decent offers to be had. In the USA and Canada, a lot of inventory has been reduced by 20%. The reductions in the UK don't look quite as compelling, but you might find something of interest.
Visit the 'Sales and Deals' page at shop (UK | USA | Canada) or use our Quick Shopper, which is easier to use and easier to filter out all the 'tat' (UK, US and Canada data feeds haven't been updated yet).
This is the first of a series of reviews we'll be publishing at Brickset to mark the official launch of the next big thing in the LEGO world: Legends of Chima.
The first set we are going to be looking at is one of the 'construction' sets of the theme, 70004: Wakz’ Pack Tracker
Legends of Chima was originally planned as the natural successor to the popular Ninjago theme, although recently TLG have stated that Ninjago will continue into 2014 so these themes will be sitting on the shelves competing for your attention and cash.
Just like Ninjago, Legends of Chima is going to be backed up by a cartoon show to be aired on The Cartoon Network starting in 2013. This is a wise move I think, given how the Ninjago cartoon drove the sales of the sets, at least in the US (it was not aired in the UK due to strict toy advertising laws).
The world of Chima is said to consist of six tribes, three good: Eagles, Lions and Gorillas and three bad: Wolves, Ravens and Crocs. There’s no sign of any sets containing Gorillas in this wave, I’m assuming they will appear in a later wave, but all the other tribes make an appearance in the first wave.
In Wakz’ Pack Tracker we have a medium sized set containing 297 pieces, 3 minifigures. It costs US 29.99 and is suitable for ages 8-14.
Today's City model is Santa in a snowmobile. The vehicle itself is pretty poor, to be honest, and would have been much better if only the skis were on the ground, and not the 2 x 6 green plate as well. Still, at least it rounds off the calendar nicely.
Yoda last year, Maul this year, I wonder whose turn it will be next year to dress as Father Christmas? :-)
City -- 7, could have been better but a nice end to the calendar.
Friends -- 5, nice hairpiece, but totally inappropriate.
Star Wars -- 10, great, amusing, minifig. Worth the price of the calendar alone!
That is, of course, the end of our Advent calendar review. I hope you enjoyed it.
All that remains then is to wish you all a Merry Christmas! The total number of sets we collectively own is currently 4,139,501. I wonder what it will be this time next week :-)
It will be a quiet day here at Brickset tomorrow but do come back on Boxing Day for the first of our Legends of Chima reviews.
This being Christmas Eve, the obvious choice would probably be one of the "Winter Village" themed builds or an actual Christmas-themed set.
Instead I am going to play up on the good will toward your fellow man aspect that tends to be a common this time of year.
What I have for you today is a very straight forward project. The intent of the Handicapped Accessibility Pack is to package together the parts required to add an accessibility ramp to any LEGO building as well as a wheel chair to go with it.
I think this set really showcases the inclusiveness that I have found and appreciated in the LEGO community that I hope all of you have enjoyed as well.
Please also consider tweeting this project and posting it to pertinent Facebook pages. If you are a firm believer it takes a celebrity for a project to get traction, well, here is one you can tweet a request for support to:
Cheers and Happy Holidays to you all!
City -- 7, slightly boring but a good addition to the yesterday's sledge.
Friends -- 7, a new slant on the traditional LEGO present :-)
Star Wars -- 10, what we all bought the calendar for, right?
So thank goodness tomorrow is the last day of the calendars. I'm running out of interesting things to say about them!
Prompted by Brothers-Brick's list of most read articles, I thought I'd create one for Brickset, which I can do for the first time now that I'm recording article views:
- (No need to) Buy Minecraft now before it's too late... (June)
- New themes for 2013: Speedorz and Legends of Chima (August)
- Swiss toy shop reveals 2013 Ninjago and City sets (October)
- Is this the lineup for series 9? (October)
- 2013 set details coming thick and fast... (September)
- LEGO to release Olympic Team GB minifigs (April)
- Jedi News publishes list of 2013 Star Wars sets (August)
- 10228 Haunted House unveiled today (June)
- The Stig keyring (October)
- Unveiling LEGO Exclusive: 10937 - Arkham Asylum (October)
The list gives a good overview of the biggest stories of the year, doesn't it. It seems that news about forthcoming sets and launches of the LEGO Exclusives create the most interest, which I suppose isn't particularly surprising.
We haven't conducted our own awards ceremony here at Brickset as you will have noticed. We did talk about it but then never got round to it. So, once again I will direct you to our very own DrDaveWatford's blog, Gimme LEGO, where you can read which sets and themes he thinks are the best of the year and also vote for your favourite.
Dave tells me that he's just clocked up his 500,000th page view, which works out to about 7,000 a day since the site was launched two years ago, which he's very pleased about.
The Friends calendar has another seasonal model today. It's interesting that every time a Christmas tree appears in an Advent Calendar, LEGO 'reinvents the wheel' and redesigns it. I don't remember seeing one quite like this before.
The Star Wars calendar contains a nice micro Sith Interceptor. There's not much one can fault with it given the scale. This will be the last surprise in the SW calendar, since we all know what's coming in the next couple of days, don't we? :-)
City -- 6, might be useful, we'll have to wait and see...
Friends -- 8, great tree.
Star Wars -- 8, faultless micro-model.
The official release date for Legends of Chima, in the UK at least, is 26th December, and it's been noticed that some branches of Toys R Us have already started getting displays ready for the launch. However, some shops have started selling them early, including John Lewis and my local branch of Smyths. Why, then, haven't we started posting reviews and images already? Well, LEGO has sent us some sets to review and requested that we don't publish until Boxing Day, so expect a flurry of activity then, both here and at other sites.
In the meantime, to whet your appetite, here are scans of the pages of the instructions of 70000, that I bought yesterday, showing five of the six tribes that are at war. In the blue (good) corner we have lions and eagles, and in the red (bad) corner we have crocodiles, ravens and wolves. It's interesting that the good side does not show gorillas, which are mentioned in the Toy News article. I can only surmise that they are going to appear later in the year, maybe coming to the rescue or something.
I can't say I'm too impressed with today's City 'model'. Not only is it fairly boring, and not fire- or season-related, it was also too difficult to isolate from its background due to the soft round white edges of the dishes, so I didn't bother.
The Friends one though, ticks all the boxes. Seasonal, lots of parts and a decent model. The 1 x 1 flower pieces are always useful to have because they allow you to join certain parts stud-to-stud to others. There are plenty in the bag today, including a few spares.
City -- 5, poor all round.
Friends -- 9, once again, everything a Advent model should be.
Star Wars -- 8 useful army-building figure.
Just 3 days to go now (thank goodness!!)
Yesterday after about seven months of review, Cuusoo revealed Back to the Future (BTTF) - DeLorean Time Machine as the the fourth official Cuusoo product. In the process they also rejected The Western Modular, The Legend of Zelda, and the Eve Rifter.
I found the results a bit surprising but very logical in hindsight. Each time a project is approved or rejected it shows a lot about the Cuusoo process, mindset, and constraints.
What follows is my opinion on lessons learned from this latest batch of project results and a few other opinions.
Updated on 12/23/2012
This is the third of the Friends collectable animals polybags, 41019 Turtle's Little Oasis.
The oasis is actually a very cool beach hut which I'm sure the turtle will be very comfortable in.
I thought the white clam shell was new but it's actually the more common colour according to BrickLink. Nevertheless, it's the first one I have.
Now I've built all three, I'll give you my marks out of 10:
Squirrel -- 9, the best parts pack and most interesting structure.
Cat -- 7, cute kitty but light on parts.
Turtle -- 8, cool model, nice parts.
They are all very good and a welcome addition to the Friends range.
By popular demand, here are some photos of the second of the series one Friends collectable polybag sets, 41018 Cat's Playground.
This one consists of a cat, an 'activity centre' that'll be immediately recognisable to anyone who's had a cat (the likes of which you can see here), a scratching post and a fish supper.
Here's the kitty: isn't she adorable? :-) Actually she's not unlike one of my own cats, Tammy, but with a bit more white on her face. I think Tammy would run a mile if I tried to tie a ribbon on her head though!
There are ten less pieces in this set than in the squirrel house, and overall it seems a lot less substantial, so is not such good value from that point of view. Both sets contained more spare parts than you'd normally see; this one has two extra ribbons and a tan 2 x 2 dish.
The instructions quote the URL http://www.lego.com/friends/animals/ that isn't live yet but will apparently have instructions for combination models using parts from all three sets as well as instructions for alternative models for each set.
Turtle's Oasis coming up next...
Just before Christmas I like to take a look at the usage statistics for the site and see how much traffic has grown over the year. The graph below shows the growth in the number of people visiting the since 2008:
As you can see, there are about 5 times more visitors than in 2008 at this time of year. I wonder how that ties in with the increase in the number of adults that have emerged from their dark ages in that period, encouraged to do so by new LEGO products and licenses? There are huge spikes at this time of the year but the overall trend, as you can see, is still on the increase.
As the table below shows, you looked at 19% more pages than in 2011 and visited 37% more times, and more than a million more people visited. I suspect by the end of the year the number of visitors will reach 5 million, which is a fantastic landmark. Thank you all!
(Figures from Google Analytics) 2012 2011 2010 2009 Page views 58,871,313 49,404,168 40,447,000 25,434,000 Visits 15,656,887 11,408,177 7,926,000 4,556,000 Visitors 4,980,424 3,895,394 2,719,000 1,766,000
You can view the statistics for yourself at Quantcast
2013 sets are appearing in many places now, and I thank everyone who emailed while I was away to report their sightings. They are still thin on the ground in the UK, although my local Smyths (which you recall only opened a month ago) had most of the January Legends of Chima and Friends sets when I looked this morning, including the three polybag sets, which I bought.
They are perhaps the most anticipated of the new Friends line-up because of their interesting pieces and lack of a mini-doll, which has enabled a low price point (£2.99 in the UK).
They are packaged like the Ninjago booster packs, in a heavyweight plastic bag. Inside, the parts are in a regular bag along with the instructions.
It's an elaborate, sturdy structure, built onto a useful array of brown slopes. A brown arched window frame in the centre of the house keeps the roof square.
Doesn't the squirrel look cute with a bow in his tail? Actually I think he'd probably look better without, to be honest. Can you imagine trying to put a ribbon on a real squirrel's tail? You'd probably end up with less fingers than you started with!
This is a nice set that will be a big hit with Friends fans. It fills a gap in the market for pocket money priced sets that girls will want to buy and collect. Furthermore, it contains a useful selection of parts that AFOLs will find useful, at a price point that will encourage duplicate purchases.
Would you like me to photograph the other two sets? Let me know in the comments.
As you can probably tell, I'm back from my travels now. I had a great time on a 'Christmas markets cruise' to Gothenburg, Copenhagen and Hamburg. I managed to find, and visit, the LEGO brand stores in the latter two cities. The highlight of the trip however, was Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg which is the most incredible model railway, the largest in the world. To call it a 'model railway' though is doing it a disservice since it's so much more than that. If you have the chance to visit, I highly recommend it. You'll need a good half day to appreciate it all though, there is so much of it too see. My wife and I spent four hours there: she was fixated by the airport segment in which aircraft taxi, take-off and land. We've now seen enough Christmas markets -- Liseberg, Tivoli Gardens and just about everywhere you looked in Hamburg -- to last a lifetime!
Anyway, onto today's advent calendar windows...
Today's City window contains a wheelbarrow and a shovel for the snow. The wheelbarrow was only introduced this year, so it's useful to get one in the calendar. Not very festive, or 'fire-y', but perhaps tomorrow we'll get a workman to push it.
In the Star Wars window we have another micro-model, General Grievous' Starfighter. It's a pretty good rendition given the scale. I particularly like the way they've managed to get the brown and tan stripes in, like on the larger version.
City -- 8, not too exciting but every city needs more wheelbarrows.
Friends -- 5, could have been better.
Star Wars -- 8, another great micro-model.
I'd like to thank bluemoose for posting the advent articles in my stead. I hope you enjoyed reading his perspective on the models, I know I did. Any mistakes in the construction of the models (like yesterday's Star Wars one) are entirely mine, I did them all in a hurry before I went :-)
LEGO's Community Team have today shared the top line results from their third quarter 2012 survey with LEGO Ambassadors, and you can see the results below. It's interesting to see some data pertaining to specific LEGO-related sites this time round, including Brickset.
"Dear LEGO fan community,
We hereby share top line, aggregated results of the last quarterly LEGO Fan Survey which was conducted in Sept/Oct 2012. This survey was much shorter than the extensive May 2012 survey. The goals for the survey were to gauge fan social engagement and activity online."
Here's a quick summary of the outcome of the review that's just been published:
- Back To The Future DeLorean - Passed!
- Eve - Failed, 'more challenging business case', as many predicted.
- Modular Western Town - Failed, conflicts with The Lone Ranger, as many predicted.
- Legend of Zelda - Failed, too many new moulds, as many predicted.
So, no real surprises I guess. Personally, I think the right set won (as it were) and I look forward very much to getting my hands on one. The BTTF trilogy is one of the finest and most consistently entertaining ever made that can be watched time and time again, and this is a fitting tribute to it. In fact I think I'll go and buy the Blu-Ray box set in celebration!
Here's Tim from LEGO Cuusoo explaining the results:
What can we learn from the result? Does it provide clues as to which other projects waiting review will pass? Let us know what you think in the comments. Glenbricker will post a detailed analysis, and what he believes it means for future projects, later.
Issue 15 of the excellent Hispabrick Magazine is now available for free download. Here's what the team has to say about it:
"A little later than usual, but here we are again. This issue has had to wait for our annual event to finish, images of which you will find inside, but be assured that it has not affected the work we have put into HBM 015.
"In this issue you will find several articles related with flying machines and their history, as well as tutorials on POV-Ray, MINDSTORMS and the MILS system.
"We will tell you about our experience at events like the LEGO Fan Weekend 2012 or BrickCon 2012 and there are several reviews of sets and books."
The aim of HeartlakeFriends.com is to "take an unbiased position to look past the noise of any perceived controversy and celebrate all the positive aspects and outcomes from LEGO Friends."
To help the launch, there are a couple of competitions on the go which you can find out about at FBTB.
Vous informe que suite à une grosse difficulté d'approvisionnement et des rayons vides, les magasins de Toys R us de toute la France, mettent en rayon dès demain les gammes
CHIMA et les Friends 2013
Due to empty shelves and difficulties with supply, Toys 'R' Us in France will reportedly start stocking the Friends and Legends Of Chima 2013 sets as of tomorrow (20th)! These were not due to be put on sale until the 26th December. Let us know in the comments if you have any success in finding these items.
Thanks to Georg for the tip!
Today, the City advent calendar gives us another firefighter, but this guy looks like he's had a pretty busy day and is unwinding with a nice hot cup of tea. The two extra fire helmets are a nice touch.
In the Friends calendar, we get a single element, a handbag. It's a relatively rare part and it has only previously been available in the large Friends Summer Riding Camp. A nice accessory for one of the minidolls, but a single item does seems a bit poor.
Today's mini ship model from the Star Wars calendar, is a Neimoidian Escort Shuttle as used by Nute Gunray in the Prequel trilogy. It's a nice little model, with an interesting build technique and some nice parts (15 in the model with 3 spares).
Overall a pretty good day; the firefighter and Shuttle mini model are excellent, but the handbag lets the side down a bit.
City -- 9, a nice figure with some useful accessories.
Friends -- 3, regardless of what you think of the handbag itself (I think it's pretty neat), a single element is a bit of a let-down.
Star Wars -- 9, a great little model, my favourite of the mini models so far.
A slightly odd model today from the City advent calendar, with a touch of toilet humour ... the fire hydrant is a nice little model (only five elements though), and the dog is one of the modern 'police' dogs with a printed face.
Yet another minfigure in the Star Wars calendar today ... this time it's a rebel trooper, most famously from the start of Episode 4, when Princess Leia's CR90 Corvette, the Tantive IV, is boarded by Imperial Forces.
Overall an okay day; the dog and minifigure are nice, and the two models are okay, with useful parts.
City -- 8, a nice little model, with some useful parts, and a great dog.
Friends -- 7, seasonal and cute, with a couple of nice parts.
Star Wars -- 9, someone to bolster the Rebel ranks.
Just a quick post to say that this LoC set has been seen at WHS Holborn Circus, London, which I think is the first sighting in the wild (unless you know otherwise). There were certainly none to be found in Hamburg today.
Not much more to say than the title. This image is found on the official Cuusoo blog.
Here is my wild and wholly unsubstantiated speculations:
My gut is telling me that the whole reason this took so long was because of BTTF. It seems the most complex negotiation to me while having the highest potential for a novel, viable market. With all the parties involved though, I image they were are pushing a "now or never" agenda on it.
If Zelda is not rejected, I assume it will be postponed to synchronize with a 2014 Wii U Zelda release.
On the face of it I think Eve Online is a great fit for LEGO. However I am not 100% familiar with the IP, so I don't know if it has any skeletons in the closet that would prevent a brand fit.
As for the Western Town, there is no reason to ever reject it. The clear question for them is, do they want to line up with The Lone Ranger or not? Do they think people will buy all The Lone Ranger stuff AND a Western Modular OR do they think it wiser to pace out Western content?
Update: With all the speculation I am a little surprised that nobody has thrown out the idea that they could have finished the second review even. If they did start the September review in, well September there is a possibility it could be done. It is not explicitly clear at this time if they complete one entire review before starting the next one or if they have parallel offset review going on. Regardless, of any outcome, we will learn a lot about the process when this first quarterly review is revealed.
Brickset forum members gofigure19 and yys4u report they have spotted, and purchased, Series 9 collectable minifigures from LEGO bricks-and-mortar stores in Milwaukee and San Diego respectively. Apparently, they were new on the shelf yesterday (Monday 17th Dec). Thanks guys for letting us know.
If you've spotted them in your local LEGO Brand Store, or elsewhere, let us know in the comments section or on the forums. Happy hunting!
Continuing on with the snow-fight theme from yesterday, the City advent calendar gives us a snowball (or toilet roll) chucking device. Not very complicated, or particularly interesting from a parts' perspective.
In the Friends calendar, we get get a cutesy mail box for sending Christmas letters and cards to friends and family ... and Santa, of course. A bit like the City model, it isn't very interesting, but the pink 'cheese' pieces are quite nice.
Now this is more like it; another of the popular mini vehicles from the Star Wars calendar. Today it's the Flash Speeder (from Episode 1), Captain Panaka's ride. A nice little model, but fairly simple (14 pieces). A few nice parts.
Overall, a bit of a slide back from yesterday, but not the worst day.
City -- 3, maybe okay for play value, but a bit of a low-point.
Friends -- 4, again, maybe okay for play value, but not a great model.
Star Wars -- 7, another great mini vehicle model.
We've received the following message from our contacts in LEGO today:
"This is a quick note to let you know that shop.LEGO.com will begin selling 10937 – Batman™: Arkham Asylum Escape beginning tomorrow, 18 December. This will be effective for all European countries. If you would be kind enough to share this with your sites’ readers we would greatly appreciate it.
Please note that the product is still scheduled for a 31 Dec. launch in the U.S. and Canada."
Great news - some people might be lucky enough to get their hands on the set before Christmas!
The latest version of the LEGO consumer catalogue, covering sets available in early 2013, is starting to arrive in eager customer's hands, and it reveals the line up of The Lone Ranger sets. D-Dennis in Germany has sent us some photos of the pages in the catalogue ...
You can see the images here -
Image 1 - Stagecoach Escape & Comanche Camp
Image 2 - Danger in the Silver Mine & Cavalry Set
Image 3 - Colby City Duel & Train Chase
Details taken from the images -
- 79106 - Kavallerie Set, 14,99€ ('Cavalry Set')
- 79107 - Lager der Comanchen, 29,99€ ('Comanche Camp')
- 79108 - Flucht mit der Postkutsche, 49.99€ ('Stagecoach Escape')
- 79109 - Duell in Colby City, 59,99€ ('Colby City Duel')
- 79110 - Gefahr in der Silbermine, 79,99€ ('Danger in the Silver Mine')
- 79111 - Eisenbahnjagd, 99,99€ ('Train Chase')
The sets are listed as being available from May in Germany; but dates may vary by country.
Many, many thanks to D-Dennis for sending the photos to us.
[Set names translated by Google Translate].
Copied from the LEGO Message Board:
"Calling all Ninjago fans!
"Gather round! Beckon all of your friends to gather round, too! We have important and exciting news! Not just any news. Not news about the weather or cats stuck up trees or the price of milk! No, this is news about Ninjago!
“But, what news? What news could be so important? Isn’t Ninjago being discontinued in 2013?!”, we hear you exclaim! Ah yes, young ninja, we sense you are eager to learn more and so shall the news be revealed…
"Because our message boards fans are so awesome and because we know you love Ninjago more than anyone else in the entire world, nay universe, we are giving you guys this information first and exclusively! Check the internet; see if anyone else is mentioning this! They won’t be right now because you’re hearing this from us first and you’re the first to know!Ninjago will continue into 2014"
LEGO has not attempted a blimp since 1999, the 5956 Expedition Balloon which used highly specialized parts. This is unfortunate as these vessels are well and truly part of the pulpy adventure scene.
I think Ssorg's Majestic Airship is just the thing to remedy this long overlooked mode of transportation.
This build is truly majestic, a masterwork of style and engineering.
Update: Project has reached the 1k mark! Only 90% of the way to go!
We've had a number of reports that WH Smith stores in the UK are now selling Series 9 Collectable Minifigures. So far, we've heard that the Smith's in Norwich and London (Oxford Street) have them.
I tried confirming this is person today, in Milton Keynes (which still has Series 8 & Team GB figs), but no luck for me. If you spot them in the UK, please let us know here. Thanks!
Thanks to crazycrisplego and Evil_Do0d for emailing us with the news.
In a break from the fire-fighting theme of the last few days, today the City calendar gives us another welcome minifigure - a young female with snowballs, to go with the young male figure from Day 6. As with many of the other figures in this year's advent calendars, while the figure is technically unique to this set (in that the parts have never been used together to create this specific figure in any previous set), the individual parts are fairly common. Still, a great minifigure!
In the Friends calendar, we get what I assume is a bucket full of snow balls and a broom ... a little bizarre, but there you go. The bucket was originally a Belville piece; while it has been fairly common in Friends sets this year, and has popped up in a few other themes over the years, it isn't a very common piece. The broom originates with the Fabuland theme in the early 1980's, but has been included in many sets in recent years, including many Harry Potter sets, so is now fairly common.
Another of the popular mini vehicles in the Star Wars calendar; today it's the turn of Queen Amidala's Naboo Royal Starship (from Episode 1), a ship that continues to be a curious omission from the regular mini-fig compatible line. A nice little ship, and a great partner to the Naboo Starfighter from Day 7. Also, a nice mix of useful parts - 20 parts in total, including a couple of spares.
Overall a good day, although the bucket and broom still feels like an odd inclusion ...
City -- 8, a nice figure, in the spirit of the season and a great addition to a 'Winter Village' display.
Friends -- 4, a bit odd and not very useful.
Star Wars -- 8, another mini starship for the collection!
I suspect you all thought I was on vacation for a week, but actually I'm on a fact finding mission to LEGO brand stores in Northern Europe :-)
Today I've been in Copenhagen and to the brand store there. Sadly there wasn't much worth buying other than the only unique thing I could find, an 'I love Copenhagen' key chain. No 2013 sets in store at all. However in the two nearby BR toy shops they did have some 2013 Star Wars, Ninjago and a few City Fire sets. Danish prices are 10-20% higher than elsewhere so I came away empty handed.
On Tuesday I will be in Hamburg checking out the store there. I don't suppose they have 2013 sets either but if you know of a toy shop in the city that does, please let me know in the comments.
This is just a big Christmas reminder that Zellers Canada is now in its final days of liquidation and is offering major discounts off what LEGO is left. Many stores are already closed however.
Make sure to check out your local store as I hear you will find 40-50% off sets available.
Today in the fire-obsessed City calendar, we get a third section of wall which follows on from the previous sections received on Day 5 and Day 8. The accessories today can be assembled to create self-contained breathing apparatus for one of the minifigure fire fighters. The model also includes four more of the always welcome 'brick profile' bricks.
In the Friends calendar, we have a third section for Olivia's sledge. The build is pretty simple, but the parts (all 8 of them) are quite nice. How much longer can the sledge get? (The previous sections were from Day 2 and Day 10).
Another minifig from the Star Wars calendar today; not a rare or unique figure but a welcome 'army builder' - an Imperial Snow Trooper. Technically the figure in this particular configuration is unique to this set - the head hasn't been used on a Snow Trooper figure before, but it's the common 'Imperial Minion' head from the 2012 sets.
I feel that today is a welcome 'step up' from the last couple of days, and the scores reflect this.
City -- 7, another section of wall, with some useful accessories for play.
Friends -- 6, another section for Olivia's sledge, with some interesting and useful parts.
Star Wars -- 9, an always welcome addition to the Emperor's forces.
Carrying on with the fire theme, today we appear to have some equipment for practicing putting out fires, just so our miniature firefighters can be prepared for the potential Christmas conflagration ...
There have been a few grumbles in recent days about the lack of weapons for the Star Wars minifigs. Today they make up for that, with a little weapons rack so our Hoth-bound figures can now defend themselves.
Very like yesterday, today feels a bit like a 'filler' day; no minifigures, animals, vehicles or micro-scale ships. Not terrible, but not great either ...
City -- 5, not too bad, a few useful pieces for the firebugs out there.
Friends -- 5, again, not a lot to it, but some rare-ish colour/part combinations.
Star Wars -- 6, an accessory pack, like the other two calendars today, but you can now 'complete' a couple of the previous figures.
As Huw mentioned yesterday, I've taken over doing the reviews for a few days while he takes a well earned break. Huw will be back this time next week, but swing by tomorrow to find out if day 15 is going to be an improvement over the last couple of days. And don't forget to let us know your thoughts on today's Advent Calendar sets in the comments section below.
BrickLink categorises this 'Gonk Droid' as a minifig. I'm not sure I agree, and I'm not sure he looks very much like the Gonk Droid at Wookiepedia either...
City -- 7, not too bad, useful printed computer pieces.
Friends -- 6, not much to it today.
Star Wars -- 6, a cute little fellow.
From tomorrow, bluemoose will be guiding you through the calendars and I'm sure he'll add a fresh perspective to them.
Today we have our second fire person, and for a nice change it's a female. It's good that LEGO is acknowledging that it's not just males that work for the emergency services, but I don't honestly know, do women work on the frontline tackling fires?
There's another unique minifig in the Star Wars calendar today: Hoth Rebel Trooper, Moustache. His component parts are common enough but the combination is unique, so another great figure for the Star Wars minifig completest.
City -- 9, great female minifig.
Friends -- 7, only one piece but a cute piece :-)
Star Wars -- 7, not too exciting but a must-have for collectors.
You will notice that today I have not cut the images out and presented them on a white background. That's because from tomorrow, I will be away for a few days, so I had to open all the windows today and get the models photographed before I go, and I didn't have time to do so. I'll be posting tomorrow's, then the rest of the team will (hopefully) get the rest posted in my absence. I hope it hasn't spoiled your enjoyment of them too much :-)
Here's a chance for you to get involved with a forthcoming DK book on minifigs.
Calling all LEGO fans with large collections of minifigures!
Dorling Kindersley, publisher of many bestselling LEGO books, including The LEGO Book and LEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia, is seeking collectors with substantial collections of minifigures.
We are looking for collectors who would be willing to lend their minifigures to be photographed for an exciting new book created in collaboration with LEGO.
The photo shoots will be at the end of January and February in London. All minifigures will be treated with the greatest care and all expenses will be paid. Each collector's name will feature in the credits of the exciting new book.
We are seeking minifigures from sets released in 1978-2000 from the following themes: Town/City, Castle (including Ninja), Space, Sports, Pirates, Train, Aquazone, Freestyle, Time Cruisers, Western, Adventurers, Rock Raiders, Studios, and 1999 and 2000 Star Wars minifigures. We are also looking for any LEGO Brand Store exclusive minifigures.
We are also seeking non-minifigures from sets released in 1978-2000 from the following themes: Duplo, Fabuland, Technic, Basic, Belville, Primo, Scala and Mickey Mouse.
If you can help, please contact Helen Murray at email@example.com and Lisa Sodeau at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know roughly how many minifigures you have within the different themes and sub-themes and then we can take it from there. Thank you for your help!
Actually this is a fairly decent little quad-bike model given the number of parts. I think it would have looked better with some cross-country tyres rather than the slicks.
City -- 9, excellent model that showcases what's possible with a handful of parts.
Friends -- 8, seasonal and cute.
Star Wars -- 5, not immediately obvious what it is, so loses points.
Well, it seems you didn’t hate it, and so as a result, I’m pleased to bring you part 2 of confessions of a serial polybag collector.
Last month I took a look at what classified as a polybag in my eyes and reviewed Ganrash. Since then I haven’t been resting on my laurels, I’ve had quite a busy month cataloguing, purchasing and concluding some trades. I’ve also devoted quite a chunk of time to getting my polybag wanted list on to BrickLink, which wasn’t quite as easy as I thought it would be, especially considering I want over 450 of the things! I achieved this using the fantastic Advanced Query Builder right here on Brickset and in a future article I’ll let you know how I did it.
In this edition, as it’s both Christmas and nearing the end of 2012, I thought I’d take a look at some of the best and worst polybags of the year and bring you a polybag Santa showdown review. I’ll also be starting what will be a regular feature where I’ll be sharing what I’ve picked up in the previous month, I may even share how much of my soul I had to sell to obtain it, this is a confession after all. Finally, there’s a competition to enter to win a rare polybag, so keep reading until the end.
Before I go any further, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone that took the time to comment on my first article, send me an email, or offer to get stuff for me, seriously, you Bricksetters are the best!
City -- 1, useless...
Friends -- 7, cute.
Star Wars -- 4, what can I say...?
Today was not a very good day, was it?
Thanks to everyone who's clicking through on our links to Amazon and eBay over the holiday season. Your support will help ensure Brickset remains on-air for the next 12 months and beyond, and encourage me to continue to upkeep and enhance it.
Unfortunately revenue from the affiliate links doesn't quite stretch to the £170,000 needed for a real Ferrari 458 Italia, so I was very pleased to receive the LEGO version, and the other Shell polybags from Andrew in Singapore, who runs the excellent blog Smashing Bricks, recently.
Checking who on BrickLink has them for sale to get an idea of where they have made an appearance suggests that it's still only the far east and Italy so far, but we know that it will be a global promotion, so we should all be able to get our hands on them in 2013.
I was going to do a bit of a review of it, but I see that Orthobotrex has done an excellent job of reviewing all seven of them, so I needn't bother. Here's his review of 30194 Ferrari 458 Italia. You can find the others in the list of all his reviews.
One of the points of these Cuusoo selections is to show the breadth of projects that are available. Also, LEGO fans all have their own theme preferences. So each week I am attempting to pick projects that are very different than what I have picked before.
First I showed a city theme set, then a castle theme so I guess the natural progression is space.
There are a lot of projects that claim to be "Neo-Classic" space but I think the LL1012-12 NCS-Speeder by T.Oechsner is one of the best examples of this style on Cuusoo.
BrickLink says he's unique, although it's only the combination of torso and head that is; the component parts have appeared in sets many times before.
I do like the new baseball cap with curved brim, so it's great that there's a spare one of those.
In the Star Wars calendar, we have a treat for minifig collectors. Like the mechanic, this 'Imperial Officer, Chin Strap' is unique to the calendar although the component parts have been used often in the past.
So, not a bad day, then...
City -- 8, useful minifig for populating your city.
Friends -- 7, nice parts, perhaps could have done with a few more though.
Star Wars -- 9, unique minifig, although not particularly interesting.
Here's a quick summary of news I've been alerted to over the last few days:
- The next Architecture set will be Imperial Hotel, as revealed by Amazon.fr. I imagine it's going to be the Imperial Hotel Tokyo designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, but I might be mistaken. (Thanks Alexis)
- Amazon.co.uk has just listed a lot of 2013 sets including thirteen Legends of Chima sets. There's no release date given, but we now have an idea of prices.
- The Brick Show team has four of the six TMNT sets and has posted video reviews on YouTube
- LEGO has updated the retiring soon list at shop.LEGO.com (US). It's now quite a long list, which includes Imperial Shuttle 10212 and Diagon Alley 10217. (Thanks dreisbaugh)
- ASDA in the UK has 25% off all LEGO until midnight Monday (Thanks Andrew H)
- TMNT sets are now available from Toys R Us in the USA .
- There's a new brand retail shop opening in Yorkdale Mall, Toronto, Canada. There's a picture, and some discussion about it, on flickr.
- A temporary LEGO store has opened in Stockholm in the Skrapan shopping centre. More info on Facebook.
- ShopForMe has opened a bricks-and-mortar store in Australia at 506 Lygon Street, Brunswick East 3057. More info on Facebook
- If you're in Australia you can enter a competition on Facebook to 'Win a blockbuster LEGO Gandalf Statue'. There's only 10 entries at the moment, so you're in with a good chance of winning! (Thanks altaris100)
I'm not sure why it has a 'roof' and flashing lights on the top though...
City -- 7, model a bit boring but useful parts.
Friends -- 7, ditto.
Star Wars -- 9, a very clever mini-model.
It's quite an interesting set of models in the windows today. In the City calendar we have a remote control fire engine. It was a neat touch making it a minifig scale r/c vehicle rather than a micro model of a real fire-engine.
So, today, my scores are:
City -- 7, quite interesting and well executed.
Friends -- 7, girls will love these accessories.
Star Wars -- 8, best micro-model yet.
This is the claim made by the LEGO senior brand manager in the UK in an article in this month's Toy News magazine.
The article goes on to say that LEGO expects Chima sales to be 30% more than Ninjago's was in 2012, although "Ninjago still remains one of the most successful and popular IPs to date for us [which we] fully expect to continue next year."
The Chima line is said to "include construction play-sets, social game Speedorz, six Hero-Factory style buildable figures and board games, with the latter two arriving in August".
LEGO UK will apparently be embarking on a nine month roadshow known as the 'Chima Challenge' which will include Speedorz contests with national league tables, pop-up cinemas showing the cartoon and chances for kids to meet Chima characters.
The article also sheds some light on the back-story: "a conflict between six tribes -- three good (Lions, Eagles and Gorillas) and three bad (Crocodiles, Ravens and Wolves)."
All in all, it sounds like they are very excited and are going overboard both in terms of the number of products and on promoting it. It looks as if anyone wanting to be 'Chima complete' will need very deep pockets, I believe there are around 36 Chima products due in 2013 alone.
By popular demand, here's a 1920x1080 version of my Company of Dwarves photo that will be suitable for desktop wallpapers.
In the City calendar today, we have a naughty boy with some snowballs.
His green torso is uncommon and has only ever appeared in three Christmas-themed sets for whatever reason.
The spare helmet will come in handy, I'm sure.
In the Star Wars window today, in keeping with the Naboo theme of the calendar so far, we get what must surely be the most boring 'minifig' in the Star Wars universe. Don't we all have hundreds of these already? At least it has a dark red torso, I suppose.
City -- 9, great minifig.
Friends -- 9, unique mini-doll in festive outfit.
Star Wars -- 5, yawn...
Now I have all the Hobbit sets, and there's publicity around LEGO giving the cast of the movie their minifig equivalents, I thought it would be fun to line up the Company of Dwarves for a photo-shoot. I took my inspiration from this photo of the cast.
Thorin Oakenshield, their leader, is not in that picture for some reason, so here's one, like this one, where he is:
For the final installment of our Holiday Gift Guide, we'll be recommending sets in the rarefied air of $150+ price tags.
Although we should remember there are many other things to be grateful for during this time of year, there is still something to be said about receiving this much LEGO goodness. One's great fortune will likely not be lost upon anyone lucky enough to receive LEGO in this price segment.
For Children: 10188: Death Star (US$399.99, £274.99)
I thought about selecting a LEGO train here since there is a nearly universal love of trains among children and there aren't many more natural holiday pairings than a toy train circling a Christmas tree.
However, train sets have come and gone, and there will always be some version available in the LEGO product line. The same can not be said for the colossal, truly epic set that is 10188 Death Star! If I were a betting man (and I am), this is the last holiday season for the Death Star. Even if that ends up not being the case, whomever gets this due to its selection here can thank me for the extra length of ownership!
Spanning four levels are 14 rooms which depict memorable scenes from the Star Wars movies. Each room is chock full of action elements for the use of the 24(!) included minifigures. The round nature of the model is conducive to multiple children playing at the same time, which should further add to the interaction with the set.
The set is available for purchase at all the usual places. At $399.99, it is tied as the most expensive of any current set, but it's worth every penny. Of course, you don't have to only trust my word, you can reference the flawless ratings by fellow Brickset users here.
For adults: 10225: R2-D2 ($179.99, £149.99)
I apologize if you're choosing a gift for someone that simply has no interest in Star Wars, but there was only a slight moment of deliberation in choosing 10225 R2-D2 over the other sets in this price range. I gave some consideration to 10228 Haunted House or 8043 Excavator, but ultimately it came down to many of the same reasons atkinsar listed when choosing the VW Bus: R2-D2 is iconic, accessible by the general public, and the set is a great build and charming display piece.
If it's not clear what I mean when I say accessible, I can best explain it by the following: if I brought it into work to display at my desk, everyone would recognize what it is, what it was made out of, and want to take a closer look. It would undoubtedly be seen as cool and stir up conversation, which is precisely what a great model should do.
There have been character models given the UCS Star Wars treatment in the past, but IMO they left something to be desired. The LEGO designers absolutely got this incarnation of R2D2 right and there is very little I could think of to improve the model.
Happy holidays and Play Well!
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sets are now up and live at shop.LEGO.com. Their availability is stated as Dec. 17th.
Some great parts but I still don't know what to make of the the sets themselves!
Here's another special deal brought to you by Jason from Chowren Toys: "Thank you, Brickset community for supporting Chowren Toys through 2012. Please check out our latest offer, 8096 SW Emperor Palatine's Shuttle from 2010. Our special Brickset price will be US$55, which is $5 below the original retail price and about $35 less than Amazon. Here is your chance of getting a discontinued set at below retail price.
"Please use the promo code: BrickS8096 to receive this special price. The usual rule applies: 3 per customer and first come first serve while supplies last. We've expanded the quantity to 150 so hopefully more people have a chance to purchase this."
Today is an excellent day for parts in two of the calendars. The tool rack for the firemen might not look like much but the parts are great. You can never have too many of the 1 x 2 profile bricks, and the 1 x 4 plate with two studs in red is uncommon, appearing in only three sets thus far.
In the Friends calendar we have a very nice snowman. The carrot tops in brown are unique to this set; usually they are green of course. What's more, we get a spare!
So, some nice parts in two of them. Now onto Star Wars...
I don't really know what to say about this one. I am a fan of micro-models, but this is taking it too far. 'Mini' and 'Micro' are fine, but not 'Nano'! Although we can all see it's a MTT, and I suppose it's quite cleverly designed, it's just a bit too small, isn't it. So..
City - 7, not much of a model but great parts.
Friends - 9, everything an Advent calendar model should be.
Star Wars - 5, too small, too few parts.
OK, Bricksetters – it’s survey time again… The LEGO Community Team has asked for our help in bringing a new survey to your attention. This one’s quite short and sweet, taking only a few minutes to complete, and focusing amongst other things on your LEGO online habits.
Please click on the link below, and thanks on behalf of the LEGO company for your participation.
Day 5 of our Gift Guide, and I'll be taking a look at sets in the $100-$150 price bracket. Despite the strain most of us feel on our wallets, especially around this time of year, LEGO don't actually release that many sets in this price bracket so the choice is more limited. Any child or adult can consider themselves very lucky to find a set that costs this much under the tree.
We are firmly in main present territory here, and possibly even Christmas and birthday territory! As an aside, the trick to negotiating a good Christmas and birthday deal with your parents is to ensure that there is a large enough gap between Christmas and said birthday so that they've forgotten all about the deal by the time your birthday comes around :-)
So without further ado:
For Children: 9450: Epic Dragon Battle (US$120, £90)
In my opinion. there isn't much competition in this price range for children. 9474 - Battle of Helm's Deep, whilst a good set is I think more appealing to adults than children, and some of the larger Star Wars sets just don't deliver on value for money (e.g. 9515 - Malevolence and 9516 - Jabba's Palace).
For my money, the choice is an obvious one and that's Epic Dragon Battle. I think we're all aware what a great success the Ninjago theme has been, a lackluster (but well received by kids) first wave was followed by some great sets in the second wave that were well received by many.
This set depicts the final battle between the Great Devourer and the Ultra Dragon that takes place at the end of season 2 of the cartoon series. The Ultra Dragon is actually a combination of the Fire, Earth, Ice and Lightning dragons that were released in wave one and were easily the stand-out sets from that wave. For those that haven't seen the cartoon, this set is actually a massive spoiler to what takes place the final showdown of season 2!
Plenty of minifigs are backed up with the huge snake, a massive dragon and a smaller building that will provide hours of fun for a child whilst they recreate the final showdown. I do have some concerns over how the dragon will stand up to vigorous play, if it's anything like my son's Earth Defence Dragon, it may require a fair bit of patching up after each session, but that aside, I have little hesitation in recommending this set for children. This set has seen significant discounts in the UK, including at Amazon where it is currently available for £49 which is a stone cold bargain. In contrast, it is currently out of stock at LEGO Shop@Home in the US, but it can still be ordered and has an outside chance of being delivered before Christmas.
My choice for adults was actually my set of the year for 2011. I loved it when I first saw it, I loved it when I built it, and I still love it every time I walk past it. I'm fairly certain this set will remain on display in my house until the day I die.
The VW T1 Camper Van's only real competition in this price bracket came from the 10223 - Kingdoms Joust which lost points because it really sits somewhere between a play set and a display piece and doesn't quite nail either in my opinion.
The T1 Camper Van on the other hand is firmly in the display piece category and what a display it makes. It has great crossover appeal outside of the normal AFOL channels, a fact brought home to me just yesterday when a large LEGO box turned up in the office and shockingly, it wasn't for me! A work colleague had bought it for his son's Christmas present and I know for a fact he isn't into LEGO (yet!).
What really sets the T1 apart for me is the interior detailing, it's almost like building one of the modulars, you get all the fun little features of the inside of a building, but it's contained within one of the most iconic and classic vehicles that has ever graced our roads.
This set is a LEGO Exclusive and is currently available at LEGO Shop@Home in the US for immediate dispatch. In the UK it is on back order until the 28th Dec but you can still order and they will fulfill the order as soon as they can.
As if I need to ask, but let me know if I chose wisely or poorly in the comments, what would you have chosen in this price bracket?
Toys R Us (UK) has added eleven Friends sets, and states they'll be available on December 26th.
The best of the bunch, in terms of interestingness, price and parts are the three foil-packed 'animals with houses' collectables sets, such as this adorable Squirrels Tree House.
Priced at just £2.99 (even in TRU), they look to be a bargain for what's inside them and definitely worth picking up multiples of. I guess they appear to be better value than other low-priced Friends sets because they don't contain a mini-doll.
(Thanks to number5 for the news).
If you have looked at Cuusoo at all in the last couple of days, you have probably seen Architecture: Space Shuttle crawler transporter by Teazza
It was released to Cuusoo on Monday and has, at the point of this writing, garnered over 250 votes.
This is no surprise. It is a fantastic MOC. It is a perfect scale for display while still large enough for details. And what details!
Even the base is a work of art unto itself. It uses a combination of vertical and horizontal brick to great effect. If you look really closely you can see that the crawler is "leaving" tread marks on the road.
The only problem I have with this MOC is that the primary booster of the real shuttle is a dark orange color, not the depicted red. I know, it's a lame complaint.
What follows is a collection of the best "real space" builds found on Cuusoo that could also use your support.
Day 4 of our Gift Guide, and I'll be considering sets in the $50-$100 price bracket. Sets of this price are likely to be a childs's main present from parents or grandparents, so they need a lot of 'bang for their buck' in terms of playability.
The price range is also likely to appeal to AFOL spouses that want to buy their other half a LEGO gift, but without going overboard. So with these scenarios in mind, here are my choices today...
For Children: 4440: Forest Police Station (US$80, £60)
Having considered them all, in the end I chose the forest police station. 'Police' is an evergreen LEGO theme that, based on the fact that hardly a year goes by without a new police station of some sort, must be very popular. The forest theme added an interesting twist to this year's police sets and instead of more-of-the-same, we got something quite different and appealing.
There's no shortage of playability in this set as I noted in my review earlier in the year. It's packed with vehicles, minifigs and even a bear. It's likely to be popular with boys and girls and will provide hours of play.
For adults: 79003: An Unexpected Gathering ($70, £60)
You will already know from my recent review that I consider this to be the one of the best sets ever, so it should come as no surprise that it's my choice for a gift for adults.
Whatever type of AFOL you're buying for, they will appreciate this set: MOC-ers will find a great selection of pieces, minifig collectors will adore the six figures, and those that simply enjoy building a well designed set and proudly displaying it afterwards, will love it.
It's a no-brainer, nothing comes close. But, if you think I've made the wrong choice, take a look at the list and let us know in the comments what you'd have chosen.
Tomorrow, atkinsar, will look at $100-$150 price range, so come back again to find out what he has chosen.
Someone emailed yesterday to point out that the Christmas tree shown on the back of the calendar box had a fairy wand/star on the top and the contents of his day 3 bag didn't include one. The reason for the discrepancy became apparent today!
Today's bag contained the star and some steps to enable our fireman to reach the top of the tree. I'm surprised at the lack of health and safety awareness he has, though: it's not safe climbing to the top rung of the steps when there's no guard rail. If he loses his balance, he and the tree will topple...
I believe they are the same as those we've had with collectable minifigs, aren't they? I can't find mine to check. Whatever, they look great in blue, although the poles are a bit short.
The scores today then, are:
City -- 5, not much to it, and boring parts.
Friends -- 6, just the 4 parts but they are all good and go well with the mini-doll.
Star Wars -- 7, another decent micro-model.
A company called Etadyne has put the kit together, containing all 2186 parts needed to build the ship, which is priced at just $385. It doesn't contain the custom minifigs: they'll set you back another $85.
You can also buy the instructions as a PDF separately for $15.
Interested? Head on over to Etadyne.com to find out more.
'Twas 3 weeks before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a polybag mouse. :o)
At first glance, I imagined that I would be overwhelmed with potential candidate sets in the $25 - $50 price range. However, even with 80+ sets from which to choose, I found myself continually peeking both higher (Attack on Weathertop 9472) and lower (Garbage Truck 4432).
That being said, it seems this is the "Retailer Exclusive" range as I counted at least a dozen in the lot, some of which are "must haves" for the avid collector. And it is from these 12 finalists that I have made my choice.
For Adults: 6857 The Dynamic Duo Funhouse Escape ($39.99 / £39.99)
For a licensed set, the price is very reasonable so long as you're not shopping at Toys R Us. The price/piece ratio is good. The set comes with five iconic minifigures along with a plethora of interesting and rare pieces. The track pieces alone had me desperate to get this set, if not multiples of this set.
Besides the great pieces, figures and price, this set offers a ton of playability. Additionally, it stands well on its own as a display piece for those of us "big kids" who like to keep a set in the office for those quiet times at work. :o)
Whether you're shopping for your nephew or simply nudging the spouse, this is one set you don't want to miss.
The Dynamic Duo Funhouse Escape is currently available from LEGO shop@home.
For children: 6141 My First Farm ($24.99, £19.99)
As a first time father, I have quickly been introduced to (and fallen in love with) Duplo. Throw in our affinity for animals and it was an inevitability that my son would have this farm. :o)
I'm not yet a Duplo afficionado, but I've so far been very pleased with the price points, especially this one. Besides the four animals and great fence pieces, you get a farmer, tractor and a couple of swivel doors/windows. Apparently, the set also came with several flowers but we mostly leave those be. ;o)
One of the great things about this set is the variety of play possibilities. Some days, it's all about stacking as many animals as possible on the car platform. Other days, we're building space ships with fence post wings and swivel door/window cockpits for the pig pilot. As much as we're looking forward to getting the Zoo and Photo Safari, we're honestly never bored with this set.
One thing to keep in mind though, is that once you go Duplo, there's no going back. Like Cheetos and discount Blu Rays, you can't stop at just one. In the wise words of Yoda, "Farm leads to Panda, Panda leads to Hangar and Hangar leads to Safari-ing." The farm set is the path to the Duplo side. ;o)
My First Farm is currently available from LEGO shop@home.
What would you have chosen from this list?
It's very similar to those that have been in previous year's calendars, although having just checked, it's nothing like the one we had last year.
The 2 x 2 x 2 slope at the top is not common, although they don't really have much use other than for the tops of trees, do they...
The street lamp in the Friends calendar is not too bad I suppose, although the decoration is perhaps a bit on the large side, and the lamp post could do with being a bit taller: Olivia could reach up and burn herself on it!
It's a good day for parts. The models are okay but I think their constituent parts are better.
City -- 8, a nice festive model and plenty of big, bulky parts.
Friends -- 7, design could be better.
Star Wars -- 7, complements yesterday's figure perfectly.
If you 'Like' LEGO on Facebook  you may have noticed that they've recently launched an app called 'My LEGO Timeline'. To be honest it's not particularly good, or appealing to 'hardcore' AFOLs but I'm mentioning it here because it uses Brickset's data and images.
The idea behind it is that you search for a set and then enter when you made it and so see your collection on a timeline. It has many limitations, such as not being able to edit or remove entries, but I guess it's an interesting concept and a step in the right direction, and if it draws more people to Brickset, it has to be a good thing, right?
So, that got me thinking: if you've recently found Brickset, maybe via Facebook, I'd be very interested to get your feedback on your first impressions. Is Brickset easy to use and navigate? Does it look outdated? Will you return and use the site again?
I am thinking of reworking parts of the site next year, primarily to make it more appealing to new users (while taking every care not to alienate existing ones) so your feedback will be invaluable. If you prefer not to comment, please email me directly.
Incidentally, the user survey that I usually run at this time of year to solicit feedback from you all will be run early in the New Year.
 I have a lot of LEGO friends on Facebook, but only 5 of them Like LEGO's page. Why is that, I wonder?
While you're waiting for me to review the last boxed Hobbit set, Attack of the Wargs, I thought I'd take a quick look at 30212 Mirkwood Elf Guard, which I now have in my possession thanks to DaveBey.
It's one of the better polybags to have been released recently, for two reasons. Firstly, the minifig is excellent. It's generic which means you can never have enough of them, and it features a piece in a new colour: the dark green cloak hood. It would have been better had it come with a dark green cloak as well, but I guess that would have increased the price too much for a polybag.
Secondly, the parts that make up the tree are all good and useful. Polybags with vehicles in them are all wheels, axles and tyres and not much else, but this one is full of useful slopes, arches, a plant limb and a mushroom top, as you can see from the parts list.
If you're in the US, and you haven't done so already, get on over to TRU and snap some up while you can.
If you're looking for something to occupy the kids (or yourself) over Christmas, have a go at building this Santa and fireplace model that was available in a Toys R Us 'Make and Take' event in Australia over the weekend.
Jason, who attended his local branch, has kindly scanned the instructions which you can download as a PDF. A parts list is provided and all the parts are common so you'll probably already have them in your collection.
Arkham Asylum was revealed 'in the flesh' at an event in Portugal on Saturday. Alexolim, who built it for the display, has posted a great pictorial review over at comunidade0937.com.
It sounds like it's another 'must have' purchase for the New Year...
He has a complete box, and it appears that there are only two complete sets in a box which he seems to think is a good thing. Personally I think it's terrible. I like to buy a box, keep two sets and sell on another. It looks as if this won't be possible this time.
The box contents are, apparently, as follows:
2: Waiters, Hollywood starlets, roller derby girls, fortune tellers, forest maidens, plumbers
4: Roman emperors, Chicken suit guys, Judges, Mermaids, Battle mechs, Mr Good/evil
6: Cyclops, Knights, Policemen, Alien avengers
So, completing three sets will be difficult
There's no doubting that series 9 is an excellent set of figures, but with the news that distribution has been messed with, maybe it's time to stop buying them. What do you think?
Being a fan of fantasy novels and old school RPG, I have always been a fan of the Traveling Performer Troupe. That being the case, I am a huge fan of Bobsy's Medieval Travelling Theatre (*).
So right off, great concept and one that has not been investigated by LEGO (that I know of). Also, this design has just the right level of details to make it at home in any number of scenes. I could see this wagon parked outside/inside any LEGO Castle, entertaining royals at the Kingdoms Joust or the common folk of the Castle Medieval Market Village, or even perhaps with one of AlexP's masterworks.
Quite why he's chopping logs though, I'm not sure. Perhaps he's making toilet rolls :-)
Olivia gets a cool sledge to play on today which comes with one of those 1x2 modified tiles that LEGO calls a 'Foot, Plate'.
Their sole purpose is to solve the problem of the mini-dolls not having holes in their backsides to secure them when seated (stop giggling at the back...). The piece wedges between their feet and keeps the doll seated.
In the Star Wars calendar we have our first minifig: a Gungan soldier. Luckily it's a generic one and not our friend Jar Jar. It's the same as that which appeared in 7929 from 2011.
So handy for army builders wanting to recreate the Battle of Naboo.
Marks out of 10 for today's offering:
City -- 5, nice model but light on pieces.
Friends -- 7, nice parts, just right for Olivia to sit on.
Star Wars -- 6, a decent minifig, one you can probably never have too many of.
The Lord of the Rings polybag set 30211 "Uruk Hai with Ballista" will soon be available in Toys R Us in Canada! Our Brickset source Bonzai informed us that we should be seeing them as soon as Dec. 7th for $4.99.
Sadly for me, this news comes about a week to late as I just paid big bucks on eBay for them :-(
Yesterday's trawl of LEGO.com's instructions page revealed two new Galaxy Squad polybags along with new instructions for 2013 sets which, as always, you can see listed on our new instructions page.
30230, pictured, is called 'Mini Mech', and 30231 'Space Insectoid'.
Furthermore, inventories for the Hobbit sets have been added to LEGO.com. Links to them are on our new new inventories page.
In the second part of our gift guide, I'm going to pick two sets in the $10-$25 price range, the sort of thing you might buy a nephew, or maybe even a not-quite-an-AFOL friend who needs a bit of encouragement to become one!
So I've picked a set for my imaginary nephew and one for my imaginary 'on the brink of becoming an AFOL' friend.
For children: 9441: Kai’s Blade Cycle ($14.99 / £12.99)
At first I didn't 'get' many of the sets but once I'd seen the cartoon it all clicked and I found myself wanting, and buying, most of them. If it had that effect on me, I reckon boys in the target age group will be very pleased to receive this set.
A few of the sets don't get much air-time in the cartoon but the four vehicles that the Ninjas morph into for transportation certainly do, and Kai's motorbike is one of the coolest (along with Cole's 4-wheeler).
It's a sleek looking thing, full of interesting angles, and a neat 'big blade attack function' activated by pressing down just in front of the handlebars.
Rattla and his Hypnobrai staff in a 'shrine' complete the set to give Kai a serpentine opponent and provide hours of play opportunities.
For adults: 4434 Dump Truck ($19.99, £14.99)
There are so many excellent sets in this price range (this BrickList shows them all) so it was very difficult to choose one set that would appeal to my not-quite-an-AFOL friend.
An obvious choice would have been a licensed set, of which there are plenty in this price bracket, but in the end I chose this City truck.
Licensed sets are great, but they are expensive for what you get in terms of number of parts, and are not necessarily the best introduction to LEGO due to their specialised nature.
This truck, on the other hand, is one of the best City sets to have been released in recent years and showcases everything that's good about LEGO: realistic; recognisable to everyone; lots of parts (222); interesting and not too difficult to build; fun to play with and great to look at and display. For that reason I think my NAFOL will soon become a AFOL once he's built this...
What would you have chosen from this list?
Having just got back from our Christmas party at LLW (which was great BTW), I've just read through my RSS subscriptions and was shocked to see that every Tom, Dick and Harriet are doing Advent countdowns on their blogs this year!
It will be interesting to read their take on the models but with my photographs and your comments, together we'll make sure Brickset's is the best on the 'net :-)
For day one of the City calendar, we have a fireman. I'm not a big fan of emergency services sets but this year the fire minifigs are so much more realistic than in previous years with their high-vis outfits, printed legs, and dark red helmets.
The bag contains a spare helmet and 'megaphone'.
This one is, I believe, Olivia, who's sporting a lovely festive jumper. There's not much more to say about her, but hopefully in the coming days we'll get some neat models for her to interact with.
Overall then, all three calendars are off to a good start. My scores out of 10 for each are:
City -- 8, nice fig, spare hat.
Friends -- 8, unique festive mini-doll.
Star Wars -- 7, good effort, maybe a bit on the small side.
Adding to the great polybag debate, it appears Toys R Us Canada is offering three Mini Star Wars sets for $4.99 each.
These had been hard to find in Canada until now. Great stocking stuffers.
Imperial Star Destroyer, MTT, and Tie Fighter.
Perhaps the only thing more joyous than receiving LEGO during the holidays is gifting it!With that in mind, we've compiled the Brickset Holiday Gift Guide, highlighting our picks for the best offerings from LEGO to help repair your reputation from the ugly sweater you gave last year.We've chosen various price points to suit your gift giving needs, from stocking stuffers to sets so large you'll run out of wrapping paper! Within each price segment, we'll identify two sets: one appropriate for children, and one appropriate for children-at-heart.
"Stocking Stuffers": $10 and underFor Children: 3936 Emma's Fashion Design StudioIf you're operating under the misguided notion that a small set can't be big on fun, Emma's Fashion Design Studio will set the record straight.Though it has just 79 pieces, the majority are in rarer pastel colors and the unique elements such as the laptop, camera, and printed tiles are going to be standouts in a child's burgeoning collection.Don't be surprised if this stocking stuffer steals the show from all the larger gifts under the tree.The set is currently $9.99 USD from LEGO shop@home, and to absolutely cement this pick as a winner, there's currently a promotion for a free 30101 Skateboarder Mia ($4.99 value) with this qualifying Friends purchase.For Adults: 9676 TIE Interceptor & Death StarI didn't quite know what to make of the Star Wars Planet Sets when they were first unveiled; the planets seemed gimmicky and yet another redirection of cost towards non bricks that I could do without.But if ever there was a LEGO set that could pull double duty as an awesome tree ornament, it would be this Death Star "planet"!Nearly as iconic as the Death Star is the TIE interceptor, and the included mini-model is well-executed and dare I say "cute".Completing the triumvirate is a sinister looking TIE Fighter pilot, who again, is every bit as adorable as the vehicle he commands.What better gift can you give a Star Wars fan than an instant rebel-scum-ridding kit for them to make swooshing noises through the froth of their hot cocoa on a glorious Christmas Day?Do you have other gift suggestions in this price segment? Feel free to share them with everyone in the comments section. And tune in tomorrow for our picks in the $10-$25 range!
Starting today, you lucky folks in the USA and Canada can grab some freebies from shop.LEGO.com:
- FREE Exclusive LEGO Friends Set (30101) with any LEGO Friends purchase, valid Dec. 1st – 11th.
- FREE Gandalf the Grey minifigure (30213) with the purchase of 3920 The Hobbit Game. Valid Dec. 9th – 31st.
- FREE Shipping on all orders of $99 or more. Valid Dec. 1st – 18th.
- Offers Combinable – No Code Required
If you're in the USA, click on the banner and get shopping! If you're in Canada, please use this link.