Brickset news archive: June 2012
blueduck37 has uncovered evidence that suggests that a
Captain MarvelShazam minifig will be available at the upcoming San Diego Comic Con. From this schedule (3:00-4:00):
"Join ever-informed, fancentric WAC Podcast hosts George Feltenstein, Matthew Patterson, and DW Ferranti as they give fans a look at the upcoming DVD release of the popular 1970s series Shazam! The series’ own Billy Batson, Michael Gray, will be on hand, and an exclusive, limited-edition Shazam! LEGO figure will be awarded to a lucky number of fans in attendance."
I didn't even know what Shazam! was until I Googled it, but it appears that the central character was called Captain Marvel (but isn't any more--see the comments), pictured. Despite his name, it seems this is a DC property. Confused? I certainly am, but I suspect you'll put me right in the comments...
LEGO has confirmed, in the forum, that there 'will be exclusives' and that they will have an official presence at both San Diego and New York Comic Con this year.
Over the last few years a large number of apps have been written to take advantage of the Brickset API to provide access to Brickset's data, and in some cases, your collection data, on mobile devices.
When I've been made aware of them I've mentioned them in the news but until now there hasn't been a list of them anywhere on the site which has meant finding out about them has been difficult.
So, to remedy this I've created a directory of mobile apps, linked to on the More page.
I think I've listed them all but if you're aware of others, do let me know.
Here's a round-up of news that emerged while Brickset was down:
The Team GB minifigs are now available at shop.LEGO.com in the UK. It states that "A maximum of 9 minifigures may be ordered per address, per household." however if previous experience is anything to go by when they've specified similar restrictions, it won't be enforced. (thanks to thedailybrick)
Loads of people have emailed about BuildWithChrome which will let you populate Australia and New Zealand with 32 x 32 base plates, and build virtual models on them using the Google Chrome browser. It's not something that we'd normally cover in the news but I'll mention it now to stop the emails from flooding in :)
Similarly, news has emerged that LEGO is going to try its hand at another MMOG which is surprising given the fate of their last effort. Hopefully they will take lessons learnt from the failure of Universe and make this one a success. One thing that Universe didn't do but should have, and which it sounds as if this one will, is tie it in with physical products, the collectable minifigures by the sounds of things. I guess this means they will be around for a good few years yet, then... (thanks TooMuchLego)
Given the site was down for a while yesterday and today, I will extend the competition to win a signed Dino set courtesy of ToyAddict.co.uk until Friday at midnight. If you're in the UK and haven't already entered, visit the competition page to do so now.
Finally, from now through July 8, 2012, ThePlasticBrick.com is offering Free Domestic Shipping to all orders over $49.95 in the USA. They have lots of recently added sets that are looking for collectors and playmates. Visit ThePlasticBrick.com and save on your order today.
Nearly 12 hours of downtime is totally unacceptable and I apologise. The servers used to be hosted by Northstar Computer Services, run by Eric who's admin at BrickLink, but he recently sold the business to another company and this was the first time there's been a problem since then. Consequently I wasn't aware of the correct out-of-hours support arrangements and they were not totally familiar with the the server setup.
Anyway, we're back up now, and hopefully, if there is a next time, both they and I will be better prepared to deal with it.
They also have a few reduced sets, for example 5893 Off-Road Power for 499 sek (around 25% off)
If Swedish shopping news is of interest to you, post something in the comments: I have a correspondent that's offered to send it in.
They hit the shops, a couple of weeks before they were supposed to, late last week. Many branches of John Lewis broke the 'embargo' on selling before July 1st but my branch refused to sell them to me. However, thanks to Brickset member richo I now have a set.
It must be incredibly frustrating if you're not in the UK and you want to get hold of them, and I sympathise with you. Unfortunately my mini-review won't make you want them any less because, frankly, they are excellent.
I'm not going to write huge descriptions because the photos below will show you all you need to know. Instead I'll just point out a few things that aren't obvious from looking at them:
- The horse rider's helmet is the only new piece. It's slightly rubbery. The rider has a ponytail, of course :).
- Some pieces appear in new colours, like the weights and the tennis racquet
- Only the judo fighter has a printed back: the Team GB logo in black and a continuation of her black belt
- The relay runner's competitor number is 1948, the year that the Olympics were last held in London
I've photographed them without their medals so you can see the full detail of the torso printing, which is superb.
LEGO has done a magnificent job with these, they are miniature works of art, almost. If you are outside the UK and you want to get hold of a set, you have two choices: you can resort to eBay or BrickLink and pay a bit of a premium for them, or you could post a message in the marketplace topic of the forum, hook up with someone in the UK and sort out a trade. There are, after all, plenty of sets around that are not available in the UK to barter with.
Better late than never, this offer starts today in the UK and runs until 31st July. In addition, there's free shipping on orders over £50 until 11th July. Furthermore, as you can see from the 'New at shop.LEGO.com' area above, the City Mining and summer Ninjago sets are now available. And finally, it seems the Star Wars sets have been reinstated, so there's never been a better time to place an order! Click on the banner to do so.
My order will include nabii's excellent 9448 Samurai Mech, as seen at AFOLCON...
The Minecraft set has sold out in the USA and won't be returning. Brickset reader Dennis received this email from LEGO Direct Consumer Services:
"Thanks for your interest in our products.
"Set#21102 CUUSOO Minecraft is sold out. There were 10,000 sets created, Dennis, and all have been sold! There are not plans to produce any more of the set. Meanwhile, we have a team of experts in Denmark whose job it is to invent new LEGO® toys every year. They spend their time trying to create new and fun toys for children of all ages. You never know though, some of the old favorites sometimes make a comeback, so keep a look out!"
If true, 10,000 seems an incredibly small number, and if they have sold out in a matter of weeks it must surely have set some sort of record for the set available for the least amount of time from LEGO.com.
It's still available in Europe, but probably not for long, so if you intend buying it I suggest you do so soon.
Update: Tim from Cuusoo has stated in the comments "Actually, the message Dennis received is inaccurate. We knew the LEGO Minecraft Micro World would be popular, and though we are temporarily sold out at LEGO Direct, more than 10,000 have been made, and we are planning to meet demand on this item throughout the year."
Update 2: LEGO Direct Consumer Services is now stating "We just got an update on this item last night, Dennis, and we anticipate Set #21102 LEGO Minecraft will be returning. We have forecasted and ordered enough to last us through the holiday this year. We are temporarily out of stock but anticipate replenishment in the future."
So, panic over for now, and the 'Brickset 'effect' has had a positive impact on getting clarification on this.
Here's a round-up of various snippets of shopping news I've been sent this week:
- UK: City mining sets are now available at Toys R Us, and are exclusive to TRU until 21st July (thanks kez)
- UK: Smyths has the summer Star Wars sets in stock now, and I believe they have an exclusive window on them for a while, possibly until early August. (thanks various)
- UK: The new LEGO store in the Meadowhall centre, Sheffield will be situated opposite the Disney store and Body shop at No.1 Park Lane. It will be opening at the end of July. (thanks Meccanotwitch)
- AUS: New Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings, Cars 2 and Creator sets have arrived in Mr Toys/Toyworld, Brisbane, Queensland (thanks Targetonmyback)
Finally, Amazon.fr and Amazon.es have the summer Star Wars sets listed now, and Amazon.de lists them but states they'll be available at the beginning of August. They are very cheap at Amazon.es, who will ship them for a very reasonable price (about €10 for any size of order) to anywhere in the EU, so it is currently the best place to buy them wherever you are in Europe. Here are some examples:
Yes, Jabba's Palace really is just €99, which is the equivalent of about £80, or £40 cheaper than it will be in the UK when available. Get your order in now!
Update: unfortunately, the 'Brickset effect' has caused Amazon to sell out so the prices have gone up due to the stock coming from 3rd-party sellers now.
Answer just one simple question on the competition page to enter. The competition is open to UK residents only and will close at midnight on Wednesday.
It seems that many people have had success buying these in John Lewis which, as far as I know, is the only shop that's selling them early, before the official release date of 1st July.
Unfortunately my branch, Southampton, is not selling them yet, but I'm hopeful of receiving some from a forum buddy mid-week. When I have them I'll add them to the minifig gallery.
The boxes are said, by forum members tom408 and Vegitt, to contain:
- 6 each of the Boxer, Weightlifter and Horse Rider
- 7 each of the Swimmer, Relay Runner, Judo Fighter, Tennis Player, Gymnast and Archer
That of course means there are 6 complete sets in a box, which is good news. Given the box contains 60, it's the best distribution we could hope for. It does however mean that the Boxer, Weightlifter and Horse Rider will command a premium on the secondary market, though...
Thanks to Brickset member sidersdd, I've been able to add the Comic Con exclusive Green Lantern and Batman minifigs to the Super Heroes minifig gallery.
I've also added the new Lex Luthor, so the gallery is now complete.
I've also added the crew of the Black Pearl to the Pirates of the Caribbean gallery so it is now complete, too.
I received my LEGO Batman 2 video game today, with free 30164 Lex Luthor minifig, and very nice he is too.
Unlike the shirtless Darth Maul and the Hulk promotional figures, the actual minifig is NOT made in China so is top quality. I suspect the armour is, but like other similar parts that are made there, it too is top quality.
The only criticism I can make is that his bad-ass gun is waaay too big and heavy that he can't hold it without tipping over. I had to use Blu-Tac to pose him for this picture :-)
I have no intention of playing the game  (too busy playing with real bricks, or maintaining Brickset!) so I bought the cheapest version of it, the PC version, for £17.99. You can order it from Amazon.co.uk.
I'm not sure if it's available in the USA: Amazon.com has the game listed but there's no mention of the free figure.
I'll get him added to the Super Heroes minifig gallery soon, along with the Green Lantern and Batman promotional figures that I've been loaned.
 so if you wanna buy the game from me without the figure for a tenner, get in touch :-)
Answer just one simple question on the competition page to enter. The competition is open to UK residents only.
Read on to find out why this is one of the best Star Wars ships LEGO has made...
First, let me thank grogall for this picture of the Team GB minifigs. Secondly, and perhaps more excitingly, they are now available! There are reports in the forum that they have been found in quite a few branches of John Lewis, and they are turning up on eBay (see the side panel on this page).
However, we've heard that WHS will be charging £2.49 for them, rather than £1.99. I don't know the price in John Lewis, perhaps someone can let us know if they too have increased the price.
Now I've seen him for myself I have to agree that he is very cool, and his armour is superbly detailed and painted, but the best ever? Probably not. The main problem is, er, who the heck is he? I'd never heard of him before now, so I don't have any connection with the character, unlike Queen Amidala or Boba Fett.
Anyway, I've teamed up with CapnRex101 again for a review of the set he comes in, and in part one we look at the packaging, parts and minifigs.
Just read this in the Cuusoo blog:
"We're happy to announce that LEGO Minecraft Micro World is now shipping! If you pre-ordered your LEGO Minecraft set on J!NX, they began shipping pre-orders in the order received starting June 13, so if you have not received it yet, look forward to it arriving soon.
"If you haven't gotten yours yet and are you are purchasing other Minecraft-related merchandise, your best bet is to order your Minecraft set from J!NX. If you're ordering other LEGO sets or are building up your VIP Points, you can order from LEGO Shop at Home. LEGO Minecraft Micro World retails for $34.99 / €34,99."
Perhaps more significant (for me, anyway) is that the 21101 Hayabusa will be available from July 8:
"Hayabusa, the second LEGO CUUSOO set, is on sale now in Japan and will be available to order from shop.LEGO.com starting July 8 and will be sold online to all 23 countries that shop.LEGO.com services and retail at $49.00 / €49,00."
Translucent bricks and plates are nothing new: it's been an intermittent problem for several years, in particular white plates, some of which look translucent when held up to the light. The reason for it, apparently, is that insufficient dye is introduced as a cost-cutting measure.
However, it looks as things have taken a turn for the worse. Chris McVeigh (Powerpig) sent me this picture and writes "I just picked up Monster Fighters 9466 (Crazy Scientist and his Monster), which I was excited about because of the new/rare parts in medium blue.
"Well, that excitement was short-lived. Upon opening the set I discovered that almost all of the medium blue bricks were of poor quality.
"The bricks seem to weigh less, have more sheen, are much less opaque, and the colour is slightly warmer than standard medium blue. I suspect these bricks were made in China. It's very, very disappointing, and I can only hope this is a one-off, and not the start of a new trend.
"As far as I can tell, the only medium blue bricks in the set that are of standard quality are the 1x2x2 slopes. Everything else is the poorer plastic."
Now I don't have this set to see for myself, but if you do, did you notice this problem? Does it worry you?
Update: This has proven to be a hot, emotive, topic! Clearly the quality of LEGO is something we are all passionate about.
An unofficial LEGO spokesman has explained in the comments why the bricks may look like this: "Current 2x4 bricks are thinner walled then those made about 5 years ago, this led to more consistent clutch power and in natural light they are supposed to look the same, but of course if you back light them they will be more transparent - in any colour. I'd like to know if the 1x2 or 2x2 had similar issues. Either way if you are not happy, call consumer services. One thing though - not one of these is made in China."
As we've seen in the reviews posted so far, the minifigs in the summer Star Wars sets are excellent. Boba is superb, Amidaia is wonderful and Jabba is, er, I'm running out of superlatives... However I'm told that Darth Malgus in 9500 is even better. I guess I had better build it soon so we can be the judge of that.
In the meantime, take a look at this is a scan of a page from the back of the instructions showing all the minifigs that are in the summer sets (with the exception of those in the Planets, for some reason). Which one is your favourite?
In the final part of the review, we look at the build and the completed model. Words by CapnRex101, pictures by me...
The build takes about two hours and is quite an enjoyable build. Although not many construction techniques of interest are used, most of the build uses traditional bricks and there is very little Technic involved. The way in which the difficult curved outer surface of the throne room has been formed is quite nice as is the large domed roof which looks superb when completed. No SNOT or other techniques really feature in the construction, but it is a fun and traditional build nevertheless and one which would be ideal for younger Lego fans as it is quite easy to put together due to the numbered bags.
When the model is all finished, it looks exquisite. Both the guard tower and the throne room are just about perfect for display and there are a huge number of excellent features to keep younger buyers interested.
If this applies to you, you may be interested in a new book called Brickdiction: A seven step recovery guide for people addicted to LEGO, by Bill Deen
Like all good self-help and motivational books it lays out seven principles and procedures that you can apply to your life, in this case to recover from your plastic brick addiction. It says that 'recovery will be hard, but it is possible. Have hope...'
The steps start at admitting you have a problem and end at sharing your journey to recovery with others once you're over it.
I admit that I am addict myself and, having read the book from cover to cover, I'm seriously considering following the programme to get my life back on track. There, I've completed step one already!
OK, so you've just read that and thought WTF? Am I really reading this at Brickset? Surely we are all addicts and have no wish to 'recover'? Who is this Bill Deen guy anyway? Billdeen... building... sounds like a pseudonym... there's something fishy going on here!
Actually, there is. The book is one big joke: it is impossible to recover from brickdiction and who would want to anyway (so it says on the back cover). Now on to the real book review...
It's a light-hearted tome that gently pokes fun at the world of AFOLs. After laying out the seven steps (which are all written tongue-in-cheek) 'Bill' confesses that he's an addict and explains why, and why he has no intention of ever seeking to recover. At 58 pages long, it's a quick, but fun, read. It would make a great little gift for the LEGO addict in your life. You can buy it as a download, or from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk as a paperback or Kindle edition. Good luck on the road to recovery!
Davetheoxygenman wrote to tell us "Ninjago Hidden Sword Poly Bag (30086) is available in TRU stores!! Also while there, we noticed that the New Harry Potter Book (with minifigure) from DK is for sale as well."
This is the first sighting of it in the USA: previously it had only been available in the UK as part of The Sun's last promotion.
Update: Sorry to eastern European readers! I've been informed that it's also been available in Poland and the Czech republic with Donald Duck magazine...
In this second of three parts to our review of 9516 Jabba'a Palace we take a look at the minifigs. Words by CapnRex101, pictures by me...
There are ten fantastic minifigs, almost all of which are brand new! I will start with heroes.
The least interesting minifig of the entire set in my opinion is Chewbacca, he has been seen plenty of times before but is nevertheless a great addition to the set. His sandwich board style head and torso piece is exactly the same as previous versions, it is cast in reddish brown and has a bit of printing on it, his nose is printed in black and the bandoleer he has slung across his chest is printed in silver on both the front and back which is accurate to the film. His torso is plain reddish brown as are his arms and hands. His legs too are just plain brown with no printing at all. In this set Chewbacca comes with light grey handcuffs as he has been captured and is being ransomed to Jabba at this point.
The next minifig is Han Solo. The figure is very nicely detailed indeed. He is quite similar to the Han Solo minifig included in set 8097, Slave I, but on this occasion his head printing is totally different. The hair is just the standard male minifig hair in brown, it suits the figure and I am very satisfied with this hair piece overall. His head is printed on both sides and I think it is great. On one side he has a concerned expression with brown eyebrows and a chin dimple. The other side has the same eyebrows and dimple, but his eyes are closed as he is in a state of hibernation trapped inside the Carbonite and, following his release, for a while he is blind due to hibernation sickness which is demonstrated very well by this lovely expression. His mouth is slightly open on this face which looks excellent.
His torso is printed with the creased shirt which Han was wearing when he was encased in Carbonite. It has a lot of detail including plenty of creases in the fabric and his open collar which leaves a bit of flesh visible. There is sadly no back printing, but this is forgivable. His arms are plain white and his hands are the standard flesh colour. Finally, his legs are plain reddish brown just like they are in this scene during Return of the Jedi.
A list of series 8 minifigs has surfaced on a retailers' website in the Czech Republic, and are said to be:
- Ancient Thespis
- Pirate Captain
- Enemy Robot
- Evil Female Alien
- Football Player
- Red Cheerleader
- Santa Claus
- Boy in Bavarian costume
It's also said that they'll be available at the end of August. You can read more in the forum.
This is such a highly anticipated and sought-after set so it's important that we review it fully. I've therefore enlisted the help of gold-rated reviewer CapnRex101 to help. He has provided the text and I've taken the pictures. The review will probably be in three parts.
Today we will look at the box, the contents, and Jabba the Hutt. Then, we'll cover the minifigs, and finally we'll take a look at the palace itself.
So, here we go...
This set is based on one of the most famous scenes from the entire Star Wars saga and is an ideal representation of the legendary lair of Jabba the Hutt in my opinion. It is the set I was most excited for of all of this summer’s sets and I am far from disappointed. In fact I am delighted with this wonderful model! The set is a huge step up from the previous incarnation of Jabba's Palace, set 4480, Jabba's Palace which was released in 2003. The model of the building is utterly fantastic, but the Minifigures are even better than that, all ten of the minifigures (I am considering Salacious B. Crumb, the carbonite piece and B'omarr Monk minifigures) are superb, especially the excellent new Jabba the Hutt figure and the brand new Boushh which were both highly anticipated.
Unlike the rest of the world whose financial year ends in March, in Australia it ends at the end of June. It seems that retailers there have sales to liquidate their stock just beforehand, which I don't think happens in the US/UK.
Here are a couple of such sales that have been brought to my attention:
End of Financial Year Sale at ORTCo.
It's the end of another big financial year at Outer Rim Trading Co. and they'd rather sell their stock than count it all on June 30th so it's the perfect time to have what could be Australia's biggest LEGO sale!
Starting at 12:01am AEST Monday June 18 until 11:59pm AEST Sunday June 24, they will be offering a massive 30% off RRP on not just a few lines, but on every single product currently in stock (excluding gift vouchers). That's almost 300 items from LEGO, DUPLO, TECHNIC, books, DVD's and storage - all 30% off RRP. Stocks are limited, sorry, no rainchecks.
Giant toy sale at BigW and Target
KangoJack writes: "this year the sale starts on the 28th June, but you can preorder from the 21st June online. They have some great bargains, including 20% off all LEGO. The major item is the 10221 Super Star Destroyer which has a whopping 33% off the RRP (now only $498AUD)". You can find out more in the forum.
Www.shopforme.com.au has a huge sale coming up on Wednesday 20 /06 that they call the BLITZATHON. Theyheavily discount 1 LEGO set each hour starting from 11:00am till midnight. The sale includes LEGO exclusives sets and the current range, so there’s huge bargins to be had!
Valid Sunday 6/17 through Saturday 6/23, save $10 on Any LEGO construction set purchase of $50 or more. As always, by "Any", Toys R Us is excluding Star Wars, Super Heroes, Ninjago, Friends and Technic. Unfortunately, TRU is currently marking sets up so much higher than MSRP, these types of promotions rarely save you any money. That being said, the last time TRU tried this same discount, they ended up giving you $10 off every set online so long as you had crossed the $50 threshold. We'll only have to wait another 10 minutes to see how it behaves this time.
Also this week, you can receive a free Batman LEGO set with a purchase of the LEGO Batman 2 video game which releases on Tuesday. The "free" set can either be the Catwoman Catcycle City Chase (6858) or any of the larger DC Superheroes Construction figures (4526, 4527, 4528).
This set comprises an AT-ST, an AT-ST driver and the forest moon of Endor. It has 65 pieces and like the others costs £9.99 or US$9.99, so it's very expensive for what you get.
The AT-ST driver is new. It is similar to the only other one that's been made, in 7657 from 2007, but does have a new torso print, and a new reversible head print, too.
The other side of the head is, I believe, the same as the other version's.
A couple of news stories caught my eye in my Google News 'LEGO' alerts this morning:
- The Independent has an excellent article about the current profitability of the company entitled We just click: How Lego keeps building on its success. You will be familiar with much of what is said, about how the company was losing its way in the mid-2000s and had to refocus to survive, but something that I don't think I have seen written anywhere before is that 'Adults made up nearly 5 per cent of Lego's customers last year, a number that is increasing annually' (here's a link to the easier to read print version)
- The other one that caught my eye is M**a Brands to battle with Lego in construction toy aisle with new products. It seems the Canadian copy-cat company is bringing out a range of construction sets for girls next year, with a Barbie license. Their CEO says "If we have the right content, whether they're interested in Lego or an action figure or a vehicle, we think they're going to choose M**a B***s." Yeah, right...
The last LEGO Inside Tour ended yesterday, so I have reinstated the photo of the set attendees were given, 4000012. Please, no complaints this time!
This, then, is 9677 X-wing Starfighter and Yavin 4. On first glance it's not as interesting as the cloud car one, and on closer inspection it's even less interesting. Read on to find out why...
The minifig is a generic X-wing pilot. BrickLink claims it's a new figure, but everything but the helmet is the same as Dutch Vander in last year's Y-Wing set. The helmet has appeared many times before, I believe. So, all in all, pretty boring.
The Cuusoo team has made an appeal for people to share their tips and tricks about how to build and promote Cuusoo projects.
It's an open call for people to blog their best tips for using LEGO CUUSOO. Submissions will receive a link back to them from the Cuusoo site.
I haven't submitted anything so I'm not best placed to post any tips, but here's my two cents' worth anyway:
Promote, promote, promote: Submitting a project to Cuusoo is just the start, not the end. If you don't promote your project every way you can it will languish in the low hundreds of supporters, those who happen to stumble across it. It's not sufficient to just promote among LEGO fans: you need to reach out to other audiences relevant to your project.
Think outside the box: Don't bother submitting anything that's remotely like what LEGO is already producing, or is likely to. Come up with something new. Modular building are great, and there are some excellent examples on Cuusoo, but ultimately they will fail because LEGO has its own agenda for producing them. Same goes for Star Wars. LEGO has this covered already and won't let a Cuusoo project disrupt their existing plans. The LEGO birds project is an excellent example of something new and original.
Find a kid-friendly IP, or no IP at all: Related to point 1 above, success is more likely if you can tap into a new fanbase, which generally means basing it on an intellectual property. But, you have to be careful to make sure it's LEGO- and kid- friendly. The bigger the IP the better, and they don't come much bigger than Apple, which is a good example of an ideal property with a massive fanbase. Having said that, if your project is not based on an IP, but is something that nevertheless has wide appeal, you won't have to worry about whether LEGO can secure rights to it. LEGO birds is an excellent example, again!
Write a back-story: Use the project description to tell readers why they NEED the model you are promoting to compel them to support it. If there's a back-story to your model, tell it. Lots of good quality photos help, too. It's not sufficient to add one photo and one sentence: "Here's a model of xxx. Please support it..."
- Think one model at a time: Proposing themes or series of sets is not what Cuusoo is for: it's for single sets that can be produced one at a time, and stand alone as worthwhile models in their own right. It's OK to think ahead to what could be done once success has been achieved, but the project should focus on one model only. Having said that, although the LEGO birds one breaks this rule and proposes several models, I think it's OK in this case because when it's successful, LEGO can take its pick from them.
Now it's your turn: use your blog to post your hints and tips, particularly if you've submitted projects, and when you've done so, submit your link to LEGOsupport@cuusoo.com with the subject "CUUSOO Tips Blog Post" by the end of Sunday, June 24.
We usually have a heated debate in the comments to Cuusoo-related articles, so bring it on... :-) Oh, and if you haven't already supported the LEGO Birds project, please do so now. I believe it has a very high chance of success and acceptance, as you can probably tell...
- Promote, promote, promote: Submitting a project to Cuusoo is just the start, not the end. If you don't promote your project every way you can it will languish in the low hundreds of supporters, those who happen to stumble across it. It's not sufficient to just promote among LEGO fans: you need to reach out to other audiences relevant to your project.
9678 Twin-pod Cloud Car & Bespin is a series two planet set and is the same as the series one ones in that it consists of a hollow planet, a minifig, a mini-model and a base to display them on. In the UK it costs £9.99 and in the USA it will be US$9.99.
The box can just about be flexed enough to remove the planet without tearing it. There's nothing in the box except the planet containing the parts, and the instructions booklet.
This is a quick build. The anchor is the new type introduced last year in the PotC sets, but this is its first apperance in blue.
Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are new. Obi-Wan has a new torso and head. Qui-Gon looks the same as the one in 7961 Sith Infiltrator...
This morning's Desert Skiff review was a bit brief, for which I apologise. It had slipped my mind that the summer SW sets are not yet out in the US, so many of you are eager to know more about them before their release so you can make informed purchasing decisions. So I'll take my time with them\ reviews from now on...
Next up then, is 9499-1 Gungan Sub. This is one of the more iconic vehicles in Episode 1, and this has obviously been released to coincide with the 3D version of the movie hitting the theatres this year.
The set also contains one of the most iconic characters from Episode 1: Queen Amidala. A minifig version of her in full ceremonial regalia has been anticipated since the original release of the Episode 1 sets in 1999.
It's likely then, that you'll want to buy this set...
This is the second Gungan Sub to be made, the first one being 7161 from 1999. It looks very crude in comparison to the new version. One definite improvement you can see straight away, is that the three minfigs all fit in the cockpit, which wasn't the case for the old one.
Here's the back of the box showing the craft and the minifigures.
Being from the original Star Wars trilogy, this was one of the most anticipated of the summer Star Wars sets. A reworking of a Desert Skiff was long overdue: the last one (7104) was released in 2000 and is very crude compared to this version which does now look something like the prototype.
The set also comes with Sarlacc which is quite cool: you can fit a minifig inside the jaws, which snap shut.
Lando is much better than the last 'in disguise' version of him in Jabba's Sail Barge: the helmet looks to be the same design but has been painted this time.
We haven't had a Kithaba minifig before so he's all new. As someone has mentioned in the flickr comments to this picture, his red trousers stand out a bit much, don't they. Dark red would have been preferable. I think Luke is just sporting a new torso print.
One thing I noticed with this set is that the instructions are printed in a much higher quality paper than other 2012 sets: it's thicker and shinier so is less prone to creasing as you flick through it. It's no doubt more expensive, too.
Overall, a nice set, if a tad expensive, but then which Star Wars set isn't these days...
That's all I have time to write at the moment but for an excellent in-depth review, check out the one written by CapnRex101.
As you can see from the 'New at shop.LEGO.com' ribbon above, Monster Fighters have made an appearance at shop.LEGO.com in the UK. Whether they are supposed to have or not, remains to be seen. Better get your order in before LEGO changes its mind again, like they did with Star Wars two weeks ago...
Since then LEGO has continued to up its game, and we've had more excellent figures, including the Elite Clone Trooper in this year's battle pack.
Now, with the release of 9496 Desert Skiff, LEGO has improved Boba, as you can see by comparing the new Boba with the old version, right. The helmet and torso are identical, as far as I can tell, but the main criticism of the old one -- that the legs weren't printed -- has been addressed. His blaster looks more convincing too.
Surely then, this has to be the best minifig ever? Can they get any better?
I think I'll crack open 9499 Gungan Sub next to see if Queen Amidala, who must take the prize for the most anticipated fig ever, surpasses it...
Here, then, by popular demand, is the All super-heroes minifig gallery!
I'm happy to take suggestions for groupings, but because of the way the page is coded (it's generated from the database) the groups need to have the same names across all three separate galleries (Batman, Spider-Man and Super Heroes)
Sorry I can't get the Hulk to appear in the same group as the rest of the Avengers: it's because the size of the image, which is to scale with the minifigs, messes up the layout if it's included with them.
I've just completed the Super Heroes minifig gallery for your enjoyment. It includes them all except for the Batman and Green Lantern Comic-Con exclusives, which I don't have.
These two highly sought-after figs can be yours: I'm giving them away in a competition! Keep an eye out over the next few weeks for full details.
The Haunted House, that was inadvertantly revealed in the Town Hall designer video a few months ago, has been officially unveiled today, at the 20th Anniversary of The Mall of America LEGO store celebrations.
When I first saw the pictures yesterday, I was taken aback by how stunning this is. It looks fantastic from the outside, like the archetypal haunted house featured in countless movies, with boarded up windows, peeling plasterwork to expose the bricks underneath and broken shutters and railings. But it doesn't end there: it's a proper 4-walled building that's hinged on one side to reveal a highly-detailed interior complete with kitchen, bedroom and attic.
If that's not enough to get you excited, it features 6 great minifigs: male and female vampires, a zombie chef, a Frankenstein's monster-like butler and two of the new glow-in-the-dark ghosts. The rest of the Monster Fighters range doesn't do much for me, but I will definitely be getting this. Unfortunately we have to wait until September before we can buy it :-(
You can see all 23 images that LEGO provided on the set details page.
Here's the description from LEGO:
Enter the Haunted House at your peril!
The crooked Haunted House is home to the scariest ghosts and monsters. Tremble in fear as you open the gate, go weak at the knees as you step onto the porch and gasp in horror at the fireplace, kitchen, office, folding staircase, bedroom, potion room, music room and collection of other creepy objects. Dare you enter the Haunted House?!
- Add to your LEGO® Monster Fights Collection with the first officlal LEGO® Haunted House!
- Includes 6 minifigures: 2 glow-in-the-dark ghosts, Vampyre, Vampyre's Bride, Zombie chef and butler
- Features unique ‘crooked’ design featuring boarded up windows and working front gate.
- Haunted House opens to reveal detailed interior with 3 floors.
- First floor features fireplace that swings open and displays a ship in a bottle on the mantle.
- Cook up a ghoulish meal with the Zombie chef in the kitchen complete with old-style stove, jars and table.
- Write letters from the Vampyre’s haunted office.
- Pull the lever hidden in the chimney to release the drop down staircase and access the top floor.
- Top floor features gramophone, records and newspaper LEGO® elements.
- Customize the Haunted House with new stickers for wall hangings, spider webs and curtains.
Measures 15.4” (39cm) high, 9.4” (24cm) wide and 7.5” (19cm) deep
If you're in New Zealand, it's your turn to get a free 'Shirtless' Darth Maul: all you need do is spend $50 in Toyworld on Star Wars LEGO. It looks as if they have the summer sets in stock now, so that shouldn't be too hard...
(thanks Butcha-Forsale for the news)
The Star Wars Dark Bucket project on Cuusoo, which achieved 10,000 supporters over the weekend, has been rejected already. No surprises there, since LEGO hinted it would be when it achieved 5,000 supporters, but it is surprising that they waited so long to do so. The 'license conflict' that's mentioned in the comments had been acknowledged for some time, after all.
I am sure this would have been a great seller, even if the price was, let's say, $2 per minifig = $200.
The location of a second brand store to open in the UK this year can now be revealed: It will be in the Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield.
There are a number of job vacancies listed at the LEGO recruitment site.
We've heard rumours there may be another two coming to the UK before the end of the year, too...
(thanks to martyn for posting the news in the forum)
Update: There will also be a new store opening in Essen, Germany this year, too. The manager's job vacancy is here. (thanks Eiffelturm)
I am indebted to Jason from Chowren Toys for providing more information for box sizes, weights and US barcodes for the Brickset database, for retail sets released between 2004 and 2006. We now have this information for around 1200 sets, from 2004 onwards.
Chowren Toys LLC is an authorized LEGO e-Commerce Retailer, with the world's widest selection of brand new factory sealed, old and discontinued LEGO sets for sale, so if there's something you're after, they are bound to stock it, so check them out...
The summer Star Wars sets have all been removed from shop.LEGO.com in the UK. Firox 5000 says that he posted on LEGO's wall when Jabba's Palace disappeared earlier in the week and was told they shouldn't have been put there in the first place. Luckily I got my order in early and they arrived today...
It seems as if the best place to order them now is Amazon.es where most of them can be had for cheaper than in the UK anyway. Postage to the UK is usually very reasonable, too, I am told.
LEGO is looking for a graphic designer and has asked us to post this:
Do you have a keen interest in the LEGO Group’s products, toys and cartoons? And would you like to be part of the team responsible for developing the graphics on our models, minifigures, decorations and labels from start to finish?
If so, then the Graphic Designer position in Billund, Denmark is probably what you are looking for. Check out LEGO.com and if you are interested then feel free to apply as soon as possible.
Good luck if you apply!
EVE Online Ships - Rifter - by czar
Back to the Future DeLorean Time Machine - by m.togami
The Legend of Zelda - by MINGLES
Modular Western Town - by mb_bricks
Secondly, the My Little Pony project has been archived. LEGO's comment reads: "Since the property is owned by Hasbro we've decided it’s neither a brand fit nor a strategic fit for the LEGO Group to pursue a My Little Pony license, and so we will not consider My Little Pony projects on LEGO CUUSOO any further." This of course a shame for the project submitter and its supporters, but it was inevitable...
It looks as if the Star Wars dark bucket will hit 10,000 supporters today; it needs just 150 more votes as I write. However LEGO has pretty much said they can't make it as it is in their comments, but the fact it too wasn't archived along with MLP suggests that perhaps there's a remote chance something could be produced. In any case, it's just missed the deadline for review this quarter so we'll just have to wait until the next review in September to find out more.
Update: the Star Wars dark bucket hit 10,000 votes overnight!
There were a total of 301 entries and all but 5 people got the answer right. The correct answer for the year LEGO Star Wars sets were first released was of course 1999, answer C.
- the winner of the family ticket to LDC Manchester is Daniel Milburn
- the winner of the family ticket to LDC Chicago is Sean Moon
Congratulations to you both, I'll be in touch for your address so I can get the tickets sent to you.
Lots of goodies were added to shop.LEGO.com yesterday, as you'll see from the ribbon at the top of the page. In addition, images for 9525 Pre Vizsla's Mandalorian Fighter and 9526 Palpatine's Arrest have been added to the server although, as far as I can tell, they are not available to buy yet. The latter looks like a great play set. I'm not so sure about the Mandalorian Fighter but I suspect I'll end up buying it anyway...
I was sent a copy of it by the Cuusoo team last week and I've had the opportunity to build, photograph and play with it.
Read my thorough pictorial review to find out if you need to buy it!
When you've decided that you do, you can order it from shop.LEGO.com, for immediate shipping:
Let me know what you think of the set, and my review, in the comments...
LEGO has given its instructions and spare parts customer services pages a long-overdue overhaul, which has caused me a few headaches because I have a script that automatically 'uses' it to look for new additions once a day. Thankfully, the script's author, super-coder Brent, has modified it to work with the new page already, just in time for the 1st of the month when LEGO traditionally publish a lot of new ones.
Lo and behold, when I ran it for the first time this morning, a very large number of new instructions were revealed, including for most of the summer sets but also some for previously unknown sets. I've added them to the database and you can see them here. I've attempted to download the PDFs for the new sets but a number of them are missing from LEGO's server, hence not having images for them all.
- New polybags for Monster Fighters, LotR and Mining. 30211 looks like a great army-builder for beefing up the dark forces at the Battle of Helm's Deep!
- New range of Ferrari-licenced small Racers cars, presumably to fill the void left by Cars.
- Instructions listed for the Inside Tour sets 2011 (moulding machine) and 2012 (still a secret :-) ) but they are missing from LEGO's server, unfortunately...
As usual, no word on availability of the new sets, but stay tuned to Brickset to find out as soon as we know.
It's the 1st of the month, so it's all change at shop.LEGO.com. The free Hulk minifig offer has ended but there are some great ones in its place:
(Note: as I write this at 9am UK time, shop.LEGO.com hasn't been updated so the offer links below are not yet active)
In the USA:
- FREE Shipping on orders of $75 or more, June 1-15
- FREE Exclusive 40049 Mini Sopwith Camel on orders of $75 or more, June 1-30 (or while supplies last)
- The Sopwith Camel is also now available, priced at $99.99
- FREE Shipping on orders of $75 or more, June 1-15
- FREE Exclusive 40049 Mini Sopwith Camel on orders of $75 or more, June 1-30 (or while supplies last)
- The Sopwith Camel is also now available
In the UK:
- Absolutely nothing!
- The sale continues although nothing new has been added.
- The mini Sopwith Camel offer WILL be available in the UK, but not until July.
- There is some good news, however: the summer Star Wars sets are now available!
- The Sopwith Camel is also now available, priced at £79.99