Brickset news archive: June 2011
Starting today, you can enjoy two great offers from shop.LEGO.com:
- FREE Shipping on orders of $75 or more until July 15th.
- FREE LEGO Kingdoms set with orders of $75 or more until July 22nd.
What's more, you can combine them. Let's hope the summer Star Wars sets appear in time!
Once again it looks as if you guys in the US have the better deal: the Kingdoms set is way better than a police motorcycle!
- FREE Delivery on orders of £25 or more until July 15th.
- FREE LEGO City Police Motorcycle with orders of £50 or more until July 22nd.
What's more, you can combine them. Let's hope the summer Star Wars sets appear in time!
It's that time of year again when all of the major retailers in Australia begin their Mid-Year Toy Sales. There are some good deals to be found - I suggest that you look carefully at the offers in the retailer catalogues.
Of note, Myer is offering 10214 Tower Bridge for AUD 319, which is much less than the Australian RRP of AUD 399. Big W is offering 10212 Star Wars UCS Imperial Shuttle for AUD 448. At these prices, it is worth considering purchasing these massive sets in Australia, rather than shipping them in from overseas (think of the high postage costs!).
Remember, the big retailers all offer extended lay-by facilities during the Toy Sales, which is great if you want to get some of the larger sets for Christmas without the initial large financial outlay!
Here is the summary of the various sales at the large retailers:
Target - Sale starts July 21.
Target's Toy Sale Catalogue has not been released yet.
K-Mart - Sale runs from 30 June 2011 to 13 July 2011.
K-Mart Toy Sale catalogue - refer to pages 40 through 43.
K-Mart also offers a "guaranteed lay-by" facility, where you can go to the in-store layby desk with the catalogue, and point out what items you'd like to place on layby - no more visiting the store to find out they've sold out of the item you were after!
Big-W - Sale runs from 30 June 2011 to 13 July 2011.
Big-W Toy Sale catalogue - refer to pages 58 through 61.
Myer - Sale runs from 23 June 2011 to 24 July 2011. (All LEGO 20%-off during sale).
Myer Toy Sale catalogue - refer to page 3, page 8 and page 32.
Toys R Us is once again holding a Buy One, Get One 50% Off sale on select LEGO sets. It appears that the only exclusions are Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Alien Conquest. As the sale is unadvertised, it's unclear how long it will last or whether or not it will be honored in-store. As always, try to buy similarly priced sets in order to maximize the discount.
UPDATE: The Toys R Us email confirms the three themes above are indeed excluded and that this sale will run through Saturday 7/2/11 both online and in-store. Additionally, the Cars 2 sets are discounted 20% this week so that discount will stack with this BOGO50% offer.
Valid Friday (6/24/11) thru Saturday (6/25/11), Toys R Us is holding a Buy Two, Get One 90% Off sale on ALL LEGO construction sets. This sale is valid both in-store and online. Though many of the direct sets are currently sold out online, we saw last week many instances where they would briefly return to stock. As always, try to match similarly priced sets in order to maximize your discount.
A sale started in the LEGO brand stores today, and also online. There are no spectacular savings to be made, but you might just find something you've been waiting for to be reduced. Click through on the yellow LEGO box on the right, and take a look.
From the LEGO Universe site: "Coming this August a Free-to-Play version of LEGO Universe will be available for download from LEGOuniverse.com! This new, Free-to-Play version of the game will make the game more accessible to new players. Free players will be able to create a character, explore two zones, and build on their own property –giving them a taste of the LEGO Universe experience."
While it might smack of desperation and a last-ditch attempt to get people playing what has obviously not been a success, I think it's actually very sensible and something they should have done from day one. People are far more likely to play, and then pay to play if (a) they don't have to buy a physical product to start and (b) they can see what it's like before paying out for it. This model is hugely successful in the mobile game arena (think Smurfs Village on iPad) and will, hopefully, get more people on board. Now all we need is an iPad version then even I might consider playing...
When I post LU stories, I always ask: are you playing it? Is anyone still playing it having started doing so when it was launched?
Thanks to Alemas for tipping us off on this!
The latest consumer LEGO product catalogue, which I have just received, contains the new set releases due out in the next few months. Included is the Red Cargo Train set 3677 and most of the other new set releases that we already know about here at Brickset.
There was some early debate about whether or not this was a genuine set when news first broke earlier this year after the set had been seen in a display in Denmark. But now we can confirm that it will be arriving at a station near you anytime soon!
When the forum was launched on April 2nd this year I really didn't know whether it would be a success or not. The Internet is after all, full of LEGO forums, and there probably wasn't room for another.
However, it seems my doubts were unfounded because today it's about to get its 1000th member, so clearly it has found its niche as a great place to discuss LEGO, in particular collecting it, with like-minded individuals.
It's also proved useful to me as a place to gather feedback, ideas and suggestions for Brickset and a number of enhancements have already been made as a direct result of interactions in the forum, for example, the Advanced Collection Manager.
So if you're over 16 and fancy becoming the 1000th member, click on the Forum tab above and come and join us!
We've received word of another event in Portugal:
PLUG (Portuguese LEGO Users Group) will again organize its large annual LEGO Fan Event - TOMAR BRInCKa 2011.
The city of Tomar was founded as headquarters of the Knights Templar in Portugal in the 12th century and contains some of the most significant Templar monuments in Europe. This year the event happens simultaneously with the local traditional festivities, which happen every four years in the middle of many flower decorations - "Festa dos Tabuleiros".
The event will take place at the municipal pavilion and will extend over 1.100 sqm (almost 12.000 sqf).
Dates and opening hours: 1.Jul (Fri) > 10:00 - 22:00, 2.Jul (Sat) > 10:00 - 23:00, 3.Jul (Sun) > 12:00 - 18:00
This edition will feature many LEGO creations such as dioramas, models, several city layouts with over 60 sqm (approx. 650 sqf) and demonstrations with LEGO Technic and MINDSTORMS models. Besides the exhibition there will be also a several activities for the kids visiting the event, and a 24sqm (260sqf) mosaic to build with the help of our visitors.
TOMAR BRInCKa 2011, will have also a delegation of AFOLs from The Brickish Association, visiting us and exhibiting some of their constructions.
Other sites have been showing pictures of this for some time, but I thought I'd wait until some official images became available. Skyhopper sent us a link to a German shop that has the set listed together with some hi-res pictures.
And in related news, CDC in Slovenia says that the City Advent calendar is on the shelves already, and it's not even July yet!
First seen two months ago, the SSD was officially revealed 5pm EST today.
Here's the press release:
10221 Super Star Destroyer™ Executor , Ages 16+ 3,152 pieces, US $399.99, CA $499.99, €399.99, UK £349.99.
- Includes four minifigures: Darth Vader, Admiral Piett, Dengar and Bossk
- Also includes IG-88 figure
- Features over 3,000 pieces
- Measures nearly 50 inches (124.5 cm) long and weighs nearly 8 pounds (3.5kg)
- Includes display stand and data sheet label
- Centre section lifts off to reveal command centre
One of the largest and most powerful vessels in the Star Wars™ universe has been created as a LEGO® Exclusive model. The Super Star Destroyer™ Executor served as command ship at the Battle of Endor and as the personal flagship of Darth Vader.
It is the first time that the classic dagger-shaped design has been produced as an official LEGO model.
"The thing I was trying to accomplish with this model was to get as close as possible to the original, both with angles and the whole profile of the model from the side," says LEGO senior designer Kurt Kristiansen.
His biggest challenge with this model was the sheer size. It is the longest Star Wars model made in LEGO bricks, measuring 124.4 centimetres (50 inches). It consists of 3,152 elements and weighs 3.5kg (8 pounds).
"When I was first given this challenge, my first thought was 'this is going to be a tough one'," he said. He planned the model by dividing it into separate sections before beginning to build at all.
The build also posed a few problems, though: "When you are developing a model, if you change something at one end of, you have to change it all the way down to make it fit. That's a challenge on something this big.
"I think Star Wars fans will love this model because it is the first time ever that the Super Star Destroyer has been made as an official model. The thing that makes this model authentic with the movies is the shape, but also the detail on the top. It is like a small city with streets and alleys."
A section of the top of the model can be removed to show a representation of the command bridge where Darth Vader and the other minifigures can be displayed. The model includes four minifigures: Darth Vader, Admiral Piett, Dengar, Bossk and an extra figure, IG-88.
The Super Star Destroyer is on sale from September 1, 2011 via http://shop.lego.com/ or LEGO Brand Retail Stores. Find your nearest store here: http://stores.lego.com
I've added all the extra pictures to the set details page, so click on the picture to check them out, and there's an interview with the designer on YouTube.
Valid this Wednesday (6/15) through Saturday (6/18), Toys R Us is having yet another Buy One, Get One 50% Off promotion, but this time on All sets and games. Please note that there is not the ususal * after "All" as this sale applies to everything! I know I've cried wolf before, but this may very well be the best sale ever. There's good news and bad news and good news. The good news is that nearly every set offered online by TRU was in stock at the stroke of midnight last night. The bad news is that several of the direct sets quickly depleted. The Death Star, Fire Brigade and Medieval Market lasted less than 30 minutes and were quickly followed by the Emerald Night and Tower Bridge. Overnight, it appears the only notable losses were the Emporium and the Cargo Train. But there's still more good news. As of right now, the NXT 2.0, AT-OT, Imperial Shuttle, Technic Excavator, Imperial Flagship, Tantive IV, Diagon Alley, Hogwarts and Queen Anne's Revenge are still in stock. And there have been occasions where depleted sets return to stock, so keep checking!
Update 8:30am: Well, that didn't take long. The Imperial Shuttle, Diagon Alley, and Imperial Flagship are now depleted.
Update 9:45am: Tower Bridge, Fire Brigade, Death Star, Cargo Train, Flagship, and Emerald Night now back in stock!
We're experiencing an issue with the server that hosts our set images and they are currently unavailable. Normal service will, I hope, be resumed soon.
Update: normal service has been resumed :)
This week at Toys R Us, you will receive a free Creator Lighthouse polybag (30023) with any LEGO set or game purchase of $30 or more. Target, on the other hand, is having a sale on Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, and select NinjaGo sets. The sale is in-store only and the exact particulars seem to vary by region. In my area, the sale is "Buy One, Get One 30% Off" while in other areas, the sale may be "Buy One, Get One 50% Off" or "Buy Two, Get One Free." I personally can't recall ever seeing a BOGO 30% sale let alone these kinds of variances by region. Leave it to Target, who previously introduced us to the 5% sale, to keep pushing the envelope. As always, try to buy similarly priced sets in order to maximize the discount.
Of particular interest to us are the excellent photos of the series 5 minifigs, both assembled and disassembled, and the Technic Unimog. See them all here.
Although this series looks like it could be the best yet, I have to say I'm getting a bit 'minifig weary'. It's such a nuisance having to track them all down and worry whether you'll get them all. Just when you've completed one series, another one comes along...
After all that event news, let's have some new set news, shall we?
Here's another Cars polybag set that surfaced on the Czech AFOL site Kostky.org a couple of weeks ago. The set is a free gift available in Adidas brand stores, given with the purchase of kids wear (and not a escapee from the factory as originally suggested!).
(Thanks to Martin for telling us about it).
As mentioned a few posts again, we're heading into a fairly concentrated period of AFOL-organised events; we reported on Brick Fiesta a while back when it was first announced, but there's now only three weeks to go!
This event is organised by TexLUG, the Texas fan group, and is the usual style of event - the first couple of days are an AFOL-only 'convention', followed by a public exhibition over the weekend. You can find the full information here - http://brickfiesta.com
This is sure to be a great event, as Texans are known for their hospitality, so make sure y'all visit if you possibly can!
(Thanks to TooMuchDew for keeping us up to date yet again).
Valid this Friday (6/10) and Saturday (6/11) only, Toys R Us is running a Buy One, Get One 50% Off promotion for all LEGO Atlantis and Pharaoh's Quest sets. As always, be sure to buy similarly priced sets in order to maximize the discount. As with most BOGO sales at TRU, the promotion will likely be valid both online and in-store.
Here is a link to the flyer.
The biggest fan run LEGO event in France, the FANA'BRIQUES event in Alsace, starts on Friday 24th June and runs over that weekend. You can read the full details on the event website, here -
The opening times are :
Friday 24th : Evening from 7pm to 11pm
Saturday 25th : From 10am to 6pm
Sunday 26th : From 9am to 5pm
It's an international event with about 100 exhibitors from several countries. If you plan to attend, do let us know how it goes!
Seems like we're really hitting event season! This weekend is the 'Arte em Pecas' fan event in Paredes de Coura, Portugal, organised by the '0937 Community' fan group.
You can read all about it here - http://www.arteempecas.com/ (set the language option to English or your preferred lingo).
Brickset readers are invited to Ontario, Canada this summer for our inaugural LEGO Fan Convention for the adult hobbyist on July 28th to July 31st at The Assembly Hall, Toronto, Canada.
Our list of events includes plans for:
- Build Challenges
- Live auctions
- Prize raffles
- RC racing and,
- TWO Mindstorm’s Robot challenges.
Come display with us and enjoy the company of other AFOLS. Perhaps be a vendor and sell some of your awesome LEGO items. Watch, or better yet, participate in games and challenges! What better way to challenge your robot building skills than to build a robot to try to race to an OPEN FLAME before the other robot gets there?
Brickfête’s Public Day
The general public is invited to view the awesome LEGO creations on display on July 30th, 2011 – 10am until 5pm at the Assembly Hall – tickets will be sold at the door.
We can't wait to see you there,
The Brickfête Team.
“A festival run by fans, made by the fans, for the fans.”
To register for the four days visit the official website at http://www.brickfete.com.
Valid this Wednesday (6/8) and Thursday (6/9) only, Toys R Us is running a Buy One, Get One 50% Off promotion for all LEGO City and DUPLO sets. As always, be sure to buy similarly priced sets in order to maximize the discount. The promotion is valid both online and in-store and most if not all current City sets are in stock online, including both trains and the new Summer sets. Additionally, nearly all of these sets are still listed at MSRP. Here is a link to the flyer.
Note: For some reason, the new Police Station isn't flagged for this promotion online but that doesn't necessarily mean it won't register.
Just a reminder that Brickworld Chicago starts next week; Wednesday 15th through Friday 17th are the 'conference' days, open to pre-registered attendees only, whilst Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th are the 'public' exhibition days, with tickets available at the door.
You can get the full info on the website here, including the very full looking program of events - http://www.brickworld.us/chicago/
Are you planning to attend, either for the full AFOL experience, or just for the public days? Let us know!
From the Ambassador forums, an update on #10231 'Shuttle Expedition', the replacement for #10213 'Shuttle Adventure', which explains some of the reasons for the replacement, and gives details on the differences between the sets ...
"Dear Ambassadors,Since its release in 2010, 10213 Shuttle Adventure has proven to be very popular! Although the model was designed for a 16+ target audience, our consumer call center has brought to our intention that many younger children have been building and playing with the model. As a result, the Direct team has decided to look at the model once more to see what changes could be made in order to provide a better build and play experience for a slightly younger target audience.10231 Shuttle Expedition may look similar to Shuttle Adventure in many ways, however its build is very different and offers several advantages.- The fuel tank has been reinforced with supports to strengthen the assembly- The landing gear is strengthened to function better across many different floor types- The Cargo doors can now be more rigorously opened and closed- The entire build has been reworked to limit opportunities for misplacing elements- Astronauts now have wigs in addition to their helmets (1 male, 1 female). Face prints are also different.- The new set now has 1,230 elements- New Satellite can be securely positioned on the new mechanical arm10231 Shuttle Expedition has already gone on sale in LEGOLAND Billund and will soon be available across all LEGO brand retail stores and on LEGO.com.Kind regardsLEGO Direct Team"
One often requested feature is to provide the ability to record additional information about the sets you own, such as their condition, how much you paid for them and so on. Many times in the past I have mentioned an 'Advanced Collection Manager' as being the means by which I'd implement this, and now, at last, it's ready for you to use. There's a link to it on the My Sets page in the 'Sets You Own' box.
I won't go into a lot of detail about it here, because you can read about it, and the further enhancements that I'll be making, in this forum discussion. I hope you find it useful...
Spotted by a couple of Brickseters and posted on the forums, LEGO are advertising for a Store Manager and Assistant Store Manager for a planned new store in Liverpool, England. The store will be in the Liverpool One shopping centre, and based on previous new store schedules, it's likely the store will be opening in September.
We're sure this news will be received with a huge cheer by many in the UK, but will spark the usual frustrations in those countries and areas currently poorly supported by LEGO ... however ... there's also four job adverts for 'Procurement Manager - Retail Facility' (one each in Enfield (US), Slough (UK), Munich (Germany) and Billund (Denmark)), which state that LEGO "have about 60 brand stores and expect to expand significantly", so there is likely to be more good news over the coming months.
I had a great LEGO-related day yesterday. In the afternoon I was invited to visit Duncan Titmarsh, the UK's only LEGO Certified Professional at his workshop in Surrey to find out more about LCPs and the work that he does. I'll be writing an article about that in a few days time.
Then, myself and DrDaveWatford went along to the evening session of the Eurobricks Event 2011 at a hotel near LEGOLAND Windsor. I'm not a big Eurobricks user myself but I thought it would be a good opportunity to meet some of the members and admins over there, who had come from all over Europe, to strengthen the ties between our two communities.
After a swift beverage in the bar, at 7pm we headed off to a fancy conference room for a presentation by root admin bonaparte that included the history of Eurobricks, how they deal with underage users, how their classic Pirates forum's 'parts wish-list' produced a couple of years ago appears to have influenced LEGO (e.g. we now have LEGO globes in PotC), the reviewers' academy, and what plans they have for the future of the site. copMike, who represents the site as LEGO Ambassador then did a presentation on the role of Ambassadors.
What impressed me most was how the the current admins have managed to turn the site around from being the scurge of the online community a few years ago and the source of virtually every new product leak to being highly respected by its users, peers and, more importantly, by the LEGO company.
During the evening I had an opportunity to chat to one of the tutors in the reviewers' academy, Rufus, about how we can improve the links to thier reviews from here and we came up with a plan that will make it possible for academy members to maintain the links themselves. I'll also be making some other changes, such as showing who the reviews were written by.
So, I'm really glad I went and was able to put some faces to names, and to learn from their experiences of running a massive online forum. You can consider the ties between Brickset and Eurobricks well and truly strengthened.
Finally, during his presentation bonaparte asked those present what they liked most about Eurobricks and what they didn't. I thought it would be interesting to ask you the same question here. If you're a EB member what do you like best about it? What needs improving? If you're not a member, why not? I'm sure he'd be interested to know.
This long-awaited book was released in the UK this week (although it's been available in other places for some time) and I now have my hands on a copy.
It is similar to LEGO Star Wars, the Visual Dictionary, both in size and content. It's about 2cm thick, 96-pages long and follows DK's trademark page layout of full colour photography on a clean white background with minimal text. It comes with an exclusive minifig, Harry Potter in formal dress robes, that is mounted in the front cover of the book.
However, there is a difference between this and the SW book and that is that this one appears to be complete: every set and every minifig is featured which is something that wasn't possible in the SW one because of the number of sets and figures.
Like the SW book, there's a timeline at the front showing all the sets and when they were released, from 2001 right up to the three sets that have just hit the shelves.
The bulk of the book then covers a single topic per double page, either featuring a minifig (e.g. Harry Potter), a scene or location (e.g. Hagrid's Hut) or a specific set (e.g. Durmstrang Ship). 'Data file' boxes on the pages provide details about the sets illustrated such as number of parts, year released, minifigs included and so on. Nothing you can't find out here at Brickset but it's nice to have it in book form.
The last section 'Beyond the Brick' features an interview with the LEGO design team, and sections on the Harry Potter computer games, merchandise (key rings, etc.) and finally, right at the back, a gallery showing every minifigure. I'm not sure that it's entirely accurate since I've spotted an error already: Harry Potter from Privet Drive (4728) is shown with tan legs whereas he has light grey legs in the actual set. Nevertheless, it's great to see them all on the same page even if there may be some small errors.
Although the latest three 2011 sets are mentioned at the back of the book and in the timeline, that's as far as it goes. For example, the page about the Knight Bus doesn't mention the new one and the minifig gallery doesn't feature the new figures from these sets, so it's already out of date. But that's a problem all reference books have, isn't it?
Apart from that, there is nothing not to like about this book and at the low online price of $13 and £10 I can think of no reason not to buy it. It's definitely a 'must have' for all fans of Harry Potter LEGO.
You can buy it from Amazon, and when doing so you help keep Brickset running:
Around 50 instructions have been added to the LEGO.com customer services site today, including Star Wars and the Pet Shop. To save you the trouble of finding them there yourself, as usual you can see them all listed on our new instructions page.
Several of them are for sets that haven't been released yet, including this Fire Temple and other Ninjago sets.
The Burj Khalifa and Farnsworth House Architecture Series sets have been available from UK LEGO Brand Stores for a few weeks, but the White House and Rockefeller Center sets have now finally joined them on the shelf in the UK ... and also a 3rd set, which isn't exactly new ...
LEGO have rereleased the #21000 'Sears Tower' set, rebranded as #21000 'Willis Tower' to reflect the change of ownership and name of the real Chicago landmark tower. I've added it to the database as set #21000-2. We'll add a set image as soon as we have one available.
We at Brickset don't often get an opportunity to get excited about Technic sets, despite it being one of my favourite themes, having been brought out my dark ages by 8868 Air-Tech Claw-Rig way back in 1994. I've bought virtually every technic set released since then and I am particularly looking forward to this, the largest Technic set ever with over 2000 pieces.
It's getting coverage over on several real vehicle news sites this week because as it turns out, it's a Mercedes-Benz licenced product being released to celebrate the Unimog's 60th anniversary. Read what's being said over on Car and Driver blog, and then see it dissected for new parts at TechnicBRICKs.
The article says 'The kit goes on sale in August and will be available from both LEGO and Mercedes-Benz for £190, or about $275 at current exchange rates' which makes it the most expensive Technic set as well!
What do you think: your dream set, or way too expensive?
(thanks DLuders for the news)
There's been a slew of new LEGO Harry Potter books released this week, the best of which is this Building the Magical World book which includes an exclusive Harry Potter minfig.
There is also not one but three sticker books, which are like the Star Wars and minifigure ones that were released last year. I received mine last week and two of them appear to be a subset of the third, the 'Ultimate sticker collection'.
My Building the Magical World is currently in the post so I'll write a review as soon as I have it.
At last! Details for the Hoth Rebel Base have emerged -- but only in German! The Star Wars page on the German LEGO.com site has photos and a description, but the set disappears if you change the site's locale to USA or UK.
If you can't read German, head over to Smashing Bricks for a translation. It looks as if it comes with 8 minifigs, no doubt some of which will be exclusives.
Through the Ambassador programme, we've been told that although the MBA is currently US-only, if it is successful it will be rolled out across Europe as well; no word on timescales or other regions at this time, sorry.