Brickset news archive: July 2013
Brick by Brick, How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry is not, as you can probably tell from the title, like any other LEGO book in the bookstore. I've been sent a copy by the publishers to review.
It's written by David C. Robertson who's a professor at a Swiss business school, who was named the 'LEGO Professor' in 2008 and as such had access to LEGO management, partners and customers, and Bill Breen who's written several other books on business management.
The book's target audience is senior executives and entrepreneurs who, David believes, can learn a lot from the the company's past mistakes and successes, particularly how it turned itself around from its first loss in 1998 to become the largest toy company in the world today by thinking and innovating 'inside the box' rather than out of it.
I wasn't going to cover this in the news because, well, it's old news now, but a lot of people have emailed asking why I haven't mentioned it, so here goes...
It seems that the Architecture Studio 21050 is being marketed at adults and the mainstream media is running stories on it, such as this one on ABC News. Ace at FBTB has written a great review and caperberry's New Elementary blog takes a look at the parts in it.
It's available at Barnes and Noble in the USA already and will, apparently, be available in brand stores and shop.LEGO.com from tomorrow.
By all accounts, the antics of LEGO at SDCC were a shambles that have done nothing but bring the company into disrepute and cause disruption at the event itself.
The distribution of highly desirable minifigures in such small quantities causes frustration for those that that couldn't get to the event and also those who queued for hours to get a ticket only to find they didn't win one.
Now, to make matters worse, it's alleged that LEGO rigged the distribution of tickets, giving pre-determined winning tickets to kids. FBTB has run a story on this where you can read how it was allegedly done.
If this is true, it is shocking and unacceptable, and I hope LEGO considers how it handles such promotions in the future in light of these revelations. It may have been their attempt to prevent the scalpers from getting them but how would you feel if you weren't a scalper and you'd queued for hours to get a ticket only to find out later that you had no chance of winning?
I personally think now would be a good time to stop these promotions altogether, or make them less desirable. I'm not saying that as a collector, since I stopped collecting Super Heroes figures ages ago (because of promotions like this) but because they are damaging the brand and the company's reputation.
What's your view?
A couple of new iPhone apps have just been released that may be of interest to you:
- BrickitNews "is an iPhone RSS READER build for the AFOL community. Don't waste your time looking for LEGO news. BrickitNews brings the latest LEGO articles in your pocket!"
- MyFigs Minifig Collector "is for LEGO fans and minifig collectors of all ages. It is fun and easy to use, and it is all about your own personal minifig collection."
I've given BrickitNews a go on my iPad and it works well, although it's not optimised for that device, unfortunately.
I've just about caught up with adding images of the SDCC and other new sets that were revealed while I was away, including this rather cool micro-scale Bag End.
Those of us not able to fly to San Diego and stay over for the show can have a go at building it ourselves thanks to photos of the instructions posted on flickr by timhook22.
Does anyone know if anyone's done the same for the small JEK-14?
Update: Yes, they are here, on flickr.
Jason from Chowren explains: "Before we get to this month's promo we want to apologise to Brickset fans in Europe as the promo is focused mainly for readers outside of Europe. We are always looking for deals that we can share with everyone, but this item is not as widely available outside of Europe. We want to bring this item at a good price to the rest of the world.
"So, without further ado here is the July promotion for Brickset: $5.00 for 5001121 BR LEGO Minifigure, brand new in sealed bag.
"To order, visit our website and enter promo code: BRICKSETBR at the checkout to get it at this price. We have made 500 available and will limit them to 25 per customer. The more you buy the cheaper the shipping per item will be and any over-charge caused by errors in the shipping calculator will be refunded. The offer is, of course, only available while stocks last, so given it's likely to be very popular I suggest you place your order ASAP.
"Just like previous promotions, you will need to have registered an account in our store in order to use this code."
Probably the set I considered the least interesting prior to the release of this Summer wave of Star Wars sets was 75022 Mandalorian Speeder. The vehicle being recreated appeared only briefly in the Clone Wars television show (or at least a similar vehicle) and the box artwork for the set does not, in my opinion, portray the model or Minifigures in the most complimentary of light.
Despite my initial reservations, this has turned out to be a good little set, priced at £24.99 or $24.99 and consisting of 211-pieces. As a Clone Wars set, this will no doubt not be quite as popular as many other sets in this selection, and it will be viewed as good news by some that only two Clone Wars sets have been produced for this Summer wave. I was pleased to see a Clone Wars version of Darth Maul being produced before the end of the Clone Wars sets as a whole, but the Minifigure is a little disappointing in my opinion (although I believe it does look better in person than in photos).
BrickSlopes will be the first LEGO fan event in the Rocky Mountain region of the USA, taking place 1st - 4th May, 2014, in Salt lake City, Utah.
There's a great event lined up already, with games, a meet and greet, and an excellent keynote speaker. The missing ingredient is YOU and the the rest of the LEGO fan community!
If you want to get involved or find out more, check out the event website.
Once again the LEGO recruitment site has revealed the location of a new brand store in Europe. The new store, in Leipzig, will be the second to open in the east of Germany, the other being in Berlin. No word on opening date as yet but we'll try and keep you informed. (Thanks tobyde1984).
As some of you know, I've been in Canada for the last two weeks on vacation/holiday. I was in Halifax, NS for the first week and near St. George, NB in the second, from where I made a couple of trips into the US (to Bangor and Lubec in Maine). My family and I had a great time. I won't bore you with any more details, but here are a few observations:
- Canada is massive! Of course you can tell that from the map but when you're there you appreciate just how big it is and how little of it you can visit in just a couple of weeks. That's not enough time to even see all of Nova Scotia.
- I now know why LEGO is so expensive in Canada. Everything is expensive! With the exception of gas that is, which is about 2/3rds the UK price. The price of food in particular surprised us: bread, cheese, milk, the basics, were about double the UK price. It can't be right that I can buy Canadian cheddar for half the Canadian price here in the UK, can it?
- Tim Hortons is a fantastic institution! Branches everywhere, fast, efficient, good food and great prices. It's almost cheaper to get a toasted bagel and coffee there than it is to buy them in a supermarket. We need something like that here in Europe.
- We have nothing like Sirius XM satellite radio in Europe, it is excellent and made the five hour drive from NS to NB fly by.
My time there wasn't totally LEGO-less. I met Chris McVeigh (aka powerpig) for dinner in Halifax and searched out LEGO in the Bangor branches of TRU, Target and Walmart. The LEGO was certainly cheaper in the latter two, but my suitcase would not permit me to bring much home with me :-(
I'm just about over my jet-lag so will be dealing with the 400+ emails I received while I was away today, and updating the database with new images, etc.
It seems that every time I go away there's some big announcement or other and this time was no exception. SDCC generated a lot of news and I'd like to thank Matthew and kempo81 for posting it in my absence. Thanks too to CapnRex101 for his excellent reviews which have also hopefully kept you engaged over the last two weeks.
I apologise for the downtime over the weekend. The site was behaving intermittently from about 04:00 GMT Saturday to 16:00 GMT yesterday due, it seems, to instability of the host machine of the site's virtual server. Once it had been rebooted, it started to behave.
So, everything's back to normal now, and our regular service has been resumed :-)
Series 2 of the Star Wars Planet Sets (9677, 9678 and 9679) were found at Target Canada Stores for $7.06 Can. each which is 45% off the regular price of $12.99 Can. each.
A great price to get another Lobot, what would Cloud City be without him?
Thank you suckerpunch83 for the news.
Amazon UK now has the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes game available for pre-order with the Iron Patriot Minifigure polybag . Each version of the game has the option to choose the Standard Edition or the Iron Patriot Edition. Doesn't seem to affect the price at all which one you choose. Links below to the main consoles:
Thanks to craigboyo for the news!
A lot of FOLs are upset that the best built projects on Cuusoo don't get recognition while special interest projects achieve 10,000 support quickly like Purdue Pete and ATLAS.
If you would like to see AFOL inspired projects get more attention on Cuusoo, then here is your chance.
Brickset is currently experiencing some technical problems which are causing long waiting times for many users. We are working on the problem, and we hope that full service will be resumed shortly.
Apologies for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience.
The Brickset Team
We've received an email from richpepperell? detailing a new development regarding LEGO Stores in the UK:
Just thought I'd let you know I popped into my local Toymaster today - Thomas Moore in Exeter - to discover that half the shop had now become a "Lego Store". It's all been completely redesigned and looks like an actual Lego Store with the little tables for kids to sit and play at, and they were stocking some sets that I usually consider exclusive to Lego Stores (R2-D2 10522 for example).
They are having a grand opening event this Saturday 27th with 10% of all sets, loads of other events and the unveiling by the Mayor of Exeter of a life-size Star Wars model - it is currently under a a sheet but I could tell it was... Spoilers... Captain Rex.
The local Express and Echo is also running Lego competitions for best Lego house and car models built, with the winners receiving a £50 Lego goody bag - I have the flyer if you want a picture. Prizes also include passes for Legoland, and there also seems to be some sort of deal for free minifigures, but I seem to have missed the date for this.
It certainly sounds interesting doesn't it, and I hope that we will see this rolled out across the UK. I am curious as to whether this store (and others which may follow) will offer VIP points, and run LEGO promotions. I'm not really sure that there is much hope for it if they will be selling at RRP like LEGO Brand Retail, as there are so many other places which offer discounts now...
Have you encountered one of these stores anywhere else?
The Summer sets from Lord of the Rings, Castle, Friends, Creator, Chima, Hero Factory, Star Wars and Technic have finally now all been added to shop.LEGO.com for the UK. You can purchase them, and support Brickset while doing so, by clicking on the image on the left.
Remember, all orders over £50 will ship free of charge!
Rebrick37112 has just written in with the following:
Lego and SDCC sent out a survey asking us to rate the experience at the booth this year. I provided honest feedback on how the experience was poor and that the spirit is gone. The raffle attracts scalpers to the Lego area so they can sell on ebay for profits. On Thursday, they shut down the Lego area due to the raffle and asked kids to leave who were playing with Lego in the interior play area. On Friday, I observed scalpers with up to 15 tickets gained by going through the raffle line multiple times to increase their chances of winning. On Sunday, I won the raffle and felt attacked after picking up the Green Arrow figure. When I walked away from the booth, at least 10 people came up to me asking to purchase the figure. I thought the reason why Lego was there was to promote new and upcoming products, experience the product, and interact with the employees. The Lego employees do not promote the product; they just answer questions about where the raffle is located. I love that Lego participates at SDCC but the spirit is lost due to scalping. I am fine with them selling exclusives like the Back to the Future, Hobbit and Star Wars this past year but the raffle is out of control.
Here is the link to the survey - Let's make a change:
It's certainly refreshing to see LEGO are taking an interest in what people think, and I hope that the results from this survey, along with the complete fiasco that was the SDCC LEGO raffle might provoke them to change the way that future giveaways are handled...
I just picked up Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles Book from Costco Canada.
Priced at $9.99 Can. Regularly $20.99 Can.
Worth it for the Exclusive minifigure: Special Forces Commander.
Stock will vary for each Canadian location.
It would appear that Chapters/Indigo Online has made the 2013 Summer sets available five days ahead of time.
If you're desperate for the new Star Wars sets, here is your chance!
Thanks to Brickset user Jon Brick for the news.
Update: problems with the link, just visit Chapters Online...
In the second part of my review of 79111 Constitution Train Chase, I will take a look at the build and the Constitution train itself. While many licensed sets rely on the Minifigures alone to carry the entire model, in this case I feel that the vehicle more than lives up to the standard of the superb figures.
In the first part I took a look at the Minifigures included and you can read about them here.
Once again, please avoid spoilers in the comments section for the sake of those who have yet to see the film.
As a lifelong LEGO fan I have yet to see a single minifigure reach as high a value as I have just seen on eBay.
Could this be a milestone marker for the value of a minifigure? Did any of us think that another minifigure would ever surpass the going rate for a Mr Gold on the secondary market?
The minifigure I speak of is AZOG, one of which was released at San Diego Comic Con as an Exclusive.
At this time AZOG is going for $1525.00 US dollars.
If you have thoughts, feel free to share... otherwise just sit back and watch history being made.
UPDATE: Final selling price $1650.00 US
Set 79111 Constitution Train Chase was considered a highlight of the Lone Ranger theme by many prior to its release, and is the largest set of the theme, priced at £79.99 or $99.99 and weighing in at 699-pieces. Since the Lone Ranger sets were only released in the UK over the last couple of weeks, I thought it worth composing a review of this excellent set, some three months after the rest of the wave was ably reviewed by Huw and DrDave. As this is such a large set, I have split the review into two sections. In the first of these, I will take a look at the box and the Minifigures, and in the second, the set itself.
In the interests of members who have not yet seen the film, it would be appreciated if the comments section could be kept spoiler free just as the review will be.
Before I get on to the review itself, well done to Brickset member coson for being the first to guess (or perhaps deduce) which set I was going to be reviewing after 75019 AT-TE.
In the midst of the excitement (and dread) surrounding the Comic Con exclusives which plague LEGO every year, allow me to bring you a little light relief in the form of a review. It has been far too long since my last Star Wars review, over a month in fact, and now that I am back from my cruise around the Baltic, which was excellent, I can sit back and continue my documentation of this Summer's Star Wars sets.
This Summer, Star Wars sets can be split into two entirely different groups. There are five Battle of Geonosis sets, and five from elsewhere within the films and the Clone Wars television show. The second largest of the Battle of Geonosis sets is the seemingly ever-present AT-TE, now in its third outing at Minifigure scale. Therefore this set, much like many others from this wave, is simply an updated version of a previous model, and no doubt it improves vastly on earlier editions.
The AT-TE played a fairly significant role in Star Wars Episode II, and is certainly not one of those 'blink and you miss it' vehicles unlike some others I could think of (most notably the B-Wing, which now has as many models made of it as seconds it was in the film). This particular edition, 75019 AT-TE, has a slightly inflated price, in the UK at least, over the last incarnation, costing £79.99 or $89.99. The US price has remained the same while the piece count has gone down by a grand total of four parts from the 2008 edition, to 794 pieces. While not initially struck on this set, due to the fact that it is rather more stubby than earlier AT-TE models, I am fairly impressed with this set, and beside its older counterparts, this one is far superior in my opinion. Add five excellent Minifigures to the mix and one has the makings for a great Star Wars set.
Some very weird news from the great white north, at least weird to me that is.
On my ventures, I recently found out that FUTURE SHOP Canada sells LEGO.
There is currently a 20% off sale on selected sets.
For all Canadian LEGO fans another LEGO distributor is always good news.
UPDATE: Online only so far
Instagram user leanalynn has posted a photograph of new LEGO Mixels, which are to be released in March 2014. They appear to consist of named cartoon figures, with each set including a particular character.
The whole theme seems to be based on a Cartoon Network license, however a quick search for 'Mixels Cartoon Network' hasn't thrown much up... I'm sure we'll hear more nearer the time of their release.
What do you think of them? Can anyone shed any light on what they actually are?
Thanks to Shadowedge in the forum for the tip!
UPDATE: An official page is live on the LEGO website: http://www.lego.com/mixels
There is no new information other than an official image (below) and the following legal statement:
LEGO, the LEGO logo, and MIXELS are trademarks of the LEGO Group. © 2013 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved. TM & © 2013 Cartoon Network.
This is interesting due to the fact that it suggests that 'Mixels' may in fact be IP owned by LEGO but developed in partnership with Cartoon Network, rather than simply a new TV series as was originally thought.
As expected, U.S. retailer Five Below has begun selling Series 10 Collectable Minifigures. Unlike with previous series, my local store has the 60-count boxes. I found six at the checkout stations up front. The boxes were stacked with the ones underneath being unopened, let alone unfettered.
It's difficult to discuss Series 10 without touching on Mr. Gold. There has been quite a bit of speculation in the Forum as to the randomness of this Croque Monsieur. If his distribution were entirely random, we should have been seeing him show up multiple times in the same box, let alone in the same store.
Additionally, we could have seen all 5,000 found before all regions and/or retailers had even had a chance at this series. Evidence so far seems to indicate that there has likely been quite a bit of planning involved on how to properly get our gold friend to the market. To date, he has been found from Washington State all the way to Guam and St. Helena. Five have even been found in little Puerto Rico! And these are just the ones that have been registered on LEGO.com. Most expect a good portion of these to stay hidden to the public eye...
At least in the U.S., Series 10 first hit Toys R Us before gradually appearing in LEGO Stores, Target, Walmart and regional stores like Fred Meyer. Since they started selling CMF, Five Below is often the last to the table. With Series 11 hitting the street in Poland, it would seem like the hunt for Mr. Gold is nearing an end for most of us, at least for those of us that had not already given up.
But with new boxes being put out weekly by retailers and with Five Below now getting into the game, I recommend that you keep on hunting while the hunting is good. You never know when you might wander into a store on a quiet Saturday afternoon, find an unopened box and then on your 27th bag stumble upon a "diamond in the rough", or more accurately, a diamond in the corner of a bag... ;o)
LEGO has revealed two new licensed sets at SDCC! Yesterday the new Star Wars AT-AP (pictured left - click for larger version) was announced. This set contains 717 pieces and will retail at $69.99. It is set to be released from March 2014 in the US. There's no word on global pricing or release dates yet.
Hot off the press comes the announcement of The Hobbit Lake Town Chase, only a short time ago. Set to be released this December, it will retail for $49.99 and includes 334 pieces and these five minifigures: Bilbo, Thorin, Bard, The Master of Lake Town and a guard.
What do you think of the sets? Personally I'm a little disappointed, they seem a little lack-luster for the price...
LostInTranslation just sent word that Tesco Direct are now selling a selection of the Summer 2013 sets from Friends, Castle, Creator, Technic and LoTR, the first retailer to stock them in the UK.
It really is bizarre how LEGO allow their retailers to stock new items before they are even added to LEGOShop.com most of the time...
Have you found these sets anywhere else in the UK? Let us know!
San Diego Comic Con is in full flow, so here's a roundup of what has been going on:
The official event schedules for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are below, click for larger versions.
Below are the minifigures which are being given away to the lucky few:
In terms of other exclusives, there are two available (or not as the case may be!) for sale, a Mini Jek-14 Stealth Starfighter and a Microscale Bag End!
Herman Napierala has just emailed with news that he discovered Series 11 Minifigures on sale in the Leclerc supermarket, Poland, and he has kindly sent in an instruction sheet from them. Click the image for a larger version.
What do you think of them? Personally I'm loving the 'British Bobby' and the Granny with a cat!
Earlier today at the San Diego Comic Con, the next LEGO Cuusoo model, 21103 Back to the Future DeLorean, was unveiled. It became a review qualifier in June 2012 and passed review in December. It's taken just over a year then to be turned into a retail set. In the interim, licenses have been acquired and legendary designer Steen Sig Andersen has turned the original submission into a model suitable for becoming a boxed LEGO set.
I am certain that the LEGO Cuusoo team would have liked today's unveiling to have been the first time the model was seen but unfortunately the LEGO marketing department had other ideas and published a photo on the July store calendar which found its way into the public domain a few weeks ago. Thus we have all had an opportunity to form an opinion on this set and unfortunately much of the talk has been negative. [Note that this review was written several weeks ago before the official images emerged earlier this week.]
Anyway before reviewing the set, let's remind ourselves what the model submitted to Cuusoo, and the car in the movies, looked like...
COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO (July 17, 2013) -- Delighting LEGO® and Minecraft fans across the globe, The LEGO Group today announced it is extending its relationship with Swedish game developer Mojang to build on the blockbuster success of its first LEGO Minecraft building set to add two new models that will be released September 1, 2013.
LEGO Minecraft provides the opportunity to build, reconfigure and create new Minecraft micro-worlds in a physical LEGO way. The two new 3"x3"x3" models, The Village and The Nether, are on display for the first time at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Fans can also enjoy and take pictures with a large interactive 3D mosaic complete with Micromob character props at the LEGO booth (#2829)."
"LEGO Minecraft is a perfect example of how people's passions can be amplified when digital and physical interests are combined, and there couldn't be more synergy between the engine that drives the Minecraft gaming experience and the creative fuel of a LEGO building experience," said Michelle Wilson, senior brand manager for LEGO Systems, Inc. "We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with Mojang to create new Minecraft characters and environments in LEGO form so that fans can get as creative as they'd like in their physical world as in their digital one."
The box art again is the standard City backdrop with a beach in the foreground and displays the set in the most action packed scenario possible, but without the inclusion of someone to rescue. The bottom right of the box features a diagram demonstrating that the 'boat really floats'. I don't particularly care for floating boats as I have yet to work out a scenario when water can be used realistically in a LEGO context, but in this set the inclusion of a floating boat doesn't have any negative effect on the rest of the set as the dinghy piece is widely used anyway.
Thanks to everyone who's emailed pictures of the Cuusoo DeLorean. We won't be posting them here until the official announcement has been made on the 18th, at which point we'll be publishing our hands-on review of the set. So, stay tuned...
Update: You can find the review by following this link.
The Brick Fan, via Entertainment Weekly is reporting that LEGO is to release 17 building sets, along with a video game and many gear items to tie in with The LEGO Movie, which is to be released in early 2014.
LEGO Group Builds Creative Merchandising Program for “THE LEGO® MOVIE”
-First of 17 Building Sets, Playable Video Game Demo to be Displayed at Comic-Con-
SAN DIEGO, July 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL — The LEGO Group today announced that it will produce a collection of movie-inspired building sets celebrating the brand’s premiere as a theatrical film. The company has recruited an impressive roster of global partners to a broad, multi-category licensing program to support the much anticipated animated adventure film from Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures. Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and produced by Dan Lin and Roy Lee, “THE LEGO® MOVIE” is rapidly building buzz following its first released trailer and assembles on the big screen starting in February 2014.
The Coast Guard sub-theme of the LEGO City range is something I have always had a bit of a soft spot for, despite the limited sets released in the past, indeed it was not for nothing that I was originally known as LegoCoastGuard on Brickset.
2008 was the last time we saw any new releases from this sub-theme, so I was particularly pleased when five new sets were announced for Summer 2013 release. I'm pleased to say that I have acquired all five and I have them lined up for review over the next few days.
Today I'm going to crack open the very smallest set, 60011 Surfer Rescue.
GoldJono emailed to say "Just spotted Geoffrey giraffe at TRU in the UK when you spend £15 on Lego:
It looks as if he'll be available until September.
Set (10235) Winter Village Market was officially unveiled tonight at BrickFête in Toronto.
Ages 12+. 1,261 pieces.
Collect and create a fun festive scene with the Winter Village Market!
US $99.99 - CA $129.99 - DE 89.99 € - UK 79.99 £ - DK 799.00 DKK
Bring home the holiday spirit with the Winter Village Market, continuing the popular LEGO® Winter Village Series. Turn the handle and take a ride on the rocking horse as the carousel spins! Visit the carnival booth. Fill up on holiday and fair favorites including a pie, pretzel and croissant at the baker’s stand, chicken and sausage at the grill stand or sweet treats at the candy shop. Celebrate a holiday season full of traditions and building with the Winter Village Market! Includes 9 minifigures with accessories: 3 females, 2 males and 4 children.
- Includes 9 minifigures with accessories: 3 females, 2 males and 4 children
- Features functioning carousel and operator’s booth with moving bucket challenge, baker’s stand, grill stand, candy stand, 2 streetlamps, 3 trees, a bench and 3 tables
- Accessories include cups, teddy bear, a cat, scarf, purse and lots of food elements
- Carousel horses feature new ornamental headwear design
- Turn the handle to make the carousel rotate
- Take a ride on the carousel
- Watch the carousel horses really rock!
- Fill up on holiday treats at the bakery, grill and candy stands!
- Carousel and operator’s booth measure 7" (19cm) high, 10" (25cm) wide and 6" (16cm) deep
- Booths measure over 3" (9cm) high, 3" (8cm) wide and 1" (4cm) deep
- Combine with 10229 Winter Village Cottage for an even bigger winter scene!
Additional photos can be seen on our Flickr stream here.
Available for sale directly through LEGO® beginning October 2013 via shop.LEGO.com, LEGO® Stores or via phone.
Next weekend, the Vancouver store will be hosting a weekend-long event to celebrate the MBA set launch with "MBA classes" being offered for all. The store staff are telling people to arrive very early, as they were sure that the classes would fill up very quickly!
It also appears that currently with a Lego Master Builder set purchase, you will receive a free "MBA-Canadian-Launch" poster.
This piece of Canadian news came from Brickset user John, thanks John for the heads-up.
LEGO Super Heroes fans get ready... The San Diego Comic Con exclusive minifigures have been announced on USA Today. There will be FOUR exclusive figures, two for DC and two for the Marvel lines. Green Arrow and Black Suit Superman are representing DC, while on the Marvel side there will be an exclusive Spider-Man and a Spider Woman minifig. These four Limited Edition minifigures will be handed out at the LEGO booth next week at Comic Con. The event runs July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center. Take a look at the images here at USA Today.
We were quite literally inundated with messages with this news so thanks to all that provided us with the info! You can also join in the discussion about these over on the Brickset Forum.
Let us know what you think of these exclusive offerings?
My local branch of The Entertainer had the smallest Lone Ranger sets on the shelves this morning, so if you've been waiting patiently to see them 'in the flesh' for yourself, you can now do so. I think their prices are RRP, with no mark-up.
We reviewed the sets back in March so do take a look at the reviews again to see what we thought of them.
See what's new on our new instructions page.
Stephanie Hutchinson, a Ph.D. candidate at Edith Cowan University, Australia is conducting a survey into the motivations behind posting behaviour within a brand community, and given that this is a good example of such a community, has asked me to encourage you to complete it.
To encourage you even more, she's offering an iPad mini to one lucky participant, drawn randomly from all entries once the survey has ended.
You must be over 18 to take part, but can be located anywhere in the world. Here's the link to the survey. Thanks!
Update: Stephanie has now modified the survey to ask for an email address at the end. She apologises profusely to those that have already completed the survey and asks that should you wish to be entered into the draw, that you complete it again.
Crowd-funding seems to be all the rage these days to help people get their ideas off the ground. There is no shortage of LEGO related projects vying for your support, and I know glenbricker has highlighted a few here recently.
Here's another idea that has potential, particularly if you have kids: Christoph Bartneck, who runs minifigure.org and has produced the unofficial minifigure catalogues, wants to raise just over €5000 to be able to create an 'Unofficial LEGO Minifigure Quartet card game.' The money's needed to print 500 sets of cards. If you pledge €15 you'll receive a deck of cards when they've been printed. Interested? Head on over to Indiegogo to pledge your support and to find out more.
To be honest, the book itself is not really what I was expecting given that the definition of chronicle is 'an extended account in prose or verse of historical events, sometimes including legendary material, presented in chronological order and without authorial interpretation or comment.'
I was therefore expecting a story of some sort. Instead, the book is really just about the Star Wars universe from Yoda's point of view: his allies, his enemies, what he does and so on in very simplistic terms. The photography and layout are as good as you'd expect for a DK book, although the majority of it is just stock imagery that has already appeared in their other books.
More of interest then for AFOLs, is the minifig that comes with the book: the Special Forces Commander. I am very happy to say that it's a genuine minifig (all but the helmet is made in Europe or Mexico) which is unusual for figures that come with DK books. It's very well printed on the front and back. Quite what it's got to do with Yoda I don't know. It does get a passing mention in the book but it's not really a key character, is it? Maybe in the cartoon it has some prominence...
In summary, kids will love the book and the figure. AFOLs won't find much to capture their interest in the book itself, but will buy it anyway to get this exclusive minifigure.
It's available from Amazon: £12 in the UK and about $13 in the USA.
If you're in northern Spain this summer, be sure to check out this LEGO exhibition organised by ALE, Asociación de Aficionados a LEGO en España:
ALE presents L-Evolución, a exposition at the Human Evolution Museum at Burgos, from 3th of July until January 2014.
The exhibition consists of ten themed dioramas, each representing a characteristic time of evolution, covering no less than 3,500 million years, from the early Precambrian life forms to the present.
All dioramas include nods to the history of Spain, the city of Burgos and the Museum of Evolution, located in a privileged place, near Arlanzón river in front of the historic city centre.
Visitors who come to see the exhibition may also participate in a competition where they can get, of course, LEGO sets. Admission is free.
This book has just been published by Heel. It's written by Joachim Klang, who was also involved in the The Big LEGO Builders Book, also published by Heel, that we reviewed in October last year.
If you enjoyed that book, you'll like this one too because it's pretty much more of the same. It contains detailed building instructions for the four models shown on the cover, plus a classic car, and a few items of 'equipment' (telephone box, stool and a parts tray). Like the first book, the instructions are very well produced and easy to follow, and full parts lists are provided.
There are a few interesting techniques used in some of the models, like building the vehicle chassis upside down, so if you've only ever built models from official instructions, it could be a bit of an eye-opener.
Interspersed with the instructions are pictures of the models, often in alternative colour schemes, photographed in LEGO scenes which are generally very good and provide further inspiration for your own models.
This, and all the other new LEGO books that are due to be published this year, are listed on our Amazon books page. In the UK it costs about £12 and in the US, $15.
I have another recently published book, Brick by Brick: How LEGO rewrote the rules of innovation and conquered the global toy industry by David C Robertson, to hand and I'll be reading and reviewing it over the next couple of weeks.
See what's new on our new instructions page.
Brick Fiesta 2013 is currently underway this weekend. It is the Third Brick Fiesta and is unique in that it is the only Lego Convention in the Americas that is operated by a LUG. Additionally, it is the only traveling convention in the Americas. It started in Austin Tx, then moved to Houston, and this year it is in Dallas.
It is a young con so it is still evolving but Huw gave me permission to share some content from the con with you guys this week.
Summer has finally arrived in the UK and consequently it's uncomfortable being in the house playing LEGO and running websites. Luckily, LEGO news has been really slow this last week or so, so like many fan sites, I'm struggling to find things to post on the home page anyway.
I've just about mustered the energy to build this Lone Ranger polybag, that arrived in the week from Denmark, thanks to icey117, where it had appeared on a kids' comic cover as we mentioned the other day.
Mind you, there's isn't a lot to say about it other than the minifig is the same as in all other LR sets (except the mine) and it's a neat little polybag model that'll work well with the Constition Train Chase set (which I still haven't got round to building yet).
Hopefully it will become more widely available in future, perhaps in WalMart/TRU/Target, or with the forthcoming Daily Mail promotion, which we have on good authority is scheduled for August.
Incredibly, LR sets are still not available in UK shops. Amazon.co.uk is selling them although not at a discount yet: I guess they don't need to. I suspect the launch of the new Argos catalogue at the end of July will be their debut on the high street.
See what's new on our new inventories page.
If the inventories contained new parts, they will be listed on the new parts page.
See what's new on our new instructions page.
On the weekend of 13-14 of July, HispaLUG will be holding the second Catbrick event in Catalonia, Spain. More than 20 exhibitors will be displaying dioramas covering Castle, City, Western, Star Wars, and, for the first time, a special Lord of The Rings story-telling diorama.
The event takes place at Complex Esportiu Ricart Sant Adria de Besos in Barcelona. Admission is free and there will be activities throughout the weekend for visitors including a special construction area for the young and not-so-young to build.
Here's information about an event in Toronto, Canada, next weekend:
You are invited to view the awesome LEGO Creations on display and we can not wait to show you what we have built. You may see things like a huge Serenity ship, large working amusement park ride, massive train/monorail layouts, classic space layout with working lights, funky art sculptures and mosaics, classic city, castle, pirate and Viking creations, elaborate war dioramas, various scaled pieces of architecture, working robots and more!!! You will not believe your eyes when you see what our exhibitors can make from LEGO. There is even a brick building area for the kids and you never know when a special character might show up, from Darth Vader to Billy Blue Brick.
Tickets can be purchased online, and is available on the information about the venue BrickFete website.
See you on the second weekend of July -- The Brickfête Team "A festival run by fans, made by the fans, for the fans."
See what's new on our new instructions page.
See what's new on our new instructions page.
This morning's trawl of LEGO customer services instructions page revealed the Iron Man with Iron Patriot armour polybag, the one that'll be free with pre-orders of the Marvel Super Heroes game, in the USA at least. Let's hope it becomes more widely available.
See what's new on our new instructions page.
If you're eagerly awaiting the release of the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes game later in the year, this video will be of interest to you:
There's also a Facebook page with '5 Tips from E3 to Prep You for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes'.
Posted at the request of Warner Brothers.
It seems that LEGO has worked out how to get us to buy stuff at full price from shop.LEGO.com by offering us an exclusive polybag that can't be obtained any other way. This month, it's 40078 Hot Dog Stand that's being offered free with purchases over £50 / $75 to VIP members.
And it looks like free shipping will be available on orders above that threshold for the foreseeable future.