Brickset news archive: November 2012
...which means one thing here at Brickset: we begin our review of the contents of the Advent calendars day by day! This year we'll have more work, what with there being three calendars to open, build, photograph and review every day but, well, it's a labour of love and I know how much you all enjoyed it last time :-).
Last year there was some complaint that seeing them here before you'd opened yours spoiled it for you. I'll probably be posting the articles late afternoon/early evening (GMT) so if you don't want to see them, you can remove them from the news listing by customising your news interests and un-ticking 'Advent countdown'.
Tomorrow's will be posted late evening because I, and all the UK-based staff, are off to the Brickish Christmas party at LEGOLAND Windsor, so check back then for the first installment.
2013 Galaxy Squad, City, Technic and Creator sets can now be ordered from shop.LEGO.com in north America. There are a few new images available as a result, including for most of Galaxy Squad.
There's no sign of anything new in Europe: we won't be able to order until just after the arrive-before-Christmas deadline :-(
Made the jump to Windows 8 yet? No, I haven't either; I'm not sure there's much point on a desktop machine. But if you've just bought a new laptop or Surface tablet with Windows 8 on it, you'll want to take a look at this app that hooks into Brickset's web services.
Brick Hub is a Windows Store app allowing the user to browse information about all old, new and forthcoming LEGO sets and LEGO themes by utilizing online web services. It provides access to set pictures, set information as well as downloadable instructions for each set (where available). Furthermore, it implements searching through the Windows 8 Search charm. And, it allows the user to associate his or her's Brickset account to store and modify personal owned and wanted lists. Finally, it facilitates sharing of set information with other apps and people through the Windows 8 Share charm. You can download it from the Windows Store.
79003 An Unexpected Gathering is, without doubt, the best Hobbit set. It's also the best set of 2012. In fact, I think I agree with Andrew over at Brothers-Brick who said in his review that it could just be the best set of all time.
That is a very bold statement to make but it really does tick all the boxes.
Read on to find out why you have to buy this set...
The number one project on Cuusoo right now is "Space Marines." Will it get to 10k, Yes of course, no question. So why am I wasting your time talking about it instead of some overlooked gem, like the Calamity Jane 2 (see what I did there). The reason is that the current review deadline is this Monday.
Any project that does not reach 10k by Monday will have to wait three more months to even start the review process.
Space Marines accrued 179 votes last week, second only to Female Minifig Set. Unfortunately Space Marines needs to get that many votes in the next four days to beat the deadline.
As you've probably noticed from the section above, the Hobbit sets are now listed at shop.LEGO.com, and they'll be back in the UK shops -- officially this time -- on December 1st, so I had better get my mini-reviews finished...
79001 Escape from Mirkwood Spiders is the second smallest set but it carries a hefty price tag in the UK (£25) and a not-quite-so-hefty one in the USA ($30).
It features 4 minifigs, two giant spiders and two tree-like structures. As you can see from this picture, at last LEGO has started making autumn-colour foliage, but there are only two pieces in the set so to make a decent sized tree you'll need a lot of sets! Other interesting pieces include tan 2x2 dishes printed with a mushroom pattern. There are two in the set, and for some reason a third, spare one, was in mine, presumably it's in them all.
After the limited recall of LEGO Lord of the Rings Xbox game at my EB games store, and my inability to get my Elrond polybag on time, I thought things couldn't get any worse, but I was wrong.
It now appears after waiting for the game to be in stock, my local EB games is claiming they never got any Elrond figures and pre-order or not, they cannot provide me with an Elrond polybag. They even had the nerve to state that it was never part of the pre-order, and I had mistaken the offer for un-lockable content instead.
Have you struck this at your EB? if so, I would highly recommend Canadian users to no longer pre-order at EB if hoping to get any exclusive LEGO deal.
A different but similar story was published at the Buried in Bricks site.
UPDATE: Many apologies to those that feel this post is an attack against EB Games, it was never intended as such. From my perspective this is shopping news that affects all Canadian Lego shoppers. I have since confirmed with EB USA that the poly bags were supplied at limited quantities, pre-order does not guarantee you a poly, first come first served. They however were ready and willing to ship me an Elrond from the USA for my trouble ( did not accept). EB Canada has informed me that Elrond was never part of their offer, even though local staff had assured this, they also offered me a figure (did not accept). In summary perhaps i fell pray to a marketing web glitch, uninformed staff, or just a bad experience, I will be avoiding pre-orders from now on.
I am very sorry to all those that feel this was inappropriately posted.
Jason explains the deal this time: "We just got our hands on some old Star Wars sets and would like to offer them to Brickset readers. The set is LEGO Star Wars 8099, Midi-Scale Imperial Star Destroyer from 2010 which contains 423 pieces and retailed for $39.99 in the US. Our special Brickset promo price is US$25.00. Please use the promo code 8099BrickS to receive this special price. Limit 3 per customer and quantity is limited. At our price that is only $0.06 per piece!"
If you've been reading the forum or have looked around the site menus recently, you will have read about or noticed that we've been able to obtain inventories for around 4,000 sets and information for about 20,000 parts.
Over the last few weeks I've been putting it to good use and gradually adding features to the site that I hope you find useful. There's still a lot more I want to do but I think what's there now is worth announcing. Here's what's new:
- On set details pages, if an inventory is available, a 'Parts' tab is shown at the top which will show all parts and quantities in a compact format. Here's an example for Frodo's Cooking Corner.
- A link to a tabular listing of the inventory is provided on that page, which for the same set, looks like this. You can sort the columns by clicking on the header.
- Parts can be browsed by category or colour. Note that these are official LEGO names, not made-up ones that are used at other sites.
- You can search for parts by part number, design number or name, from the top search box. Here's an example results page.
- In the results, it shows the number of sets each part appears in. Click on one to see the sets it appears in, for example, Sets containing 4212471, Dark Green Angle Plate 1X2 / 2X2.
- Each part has a detail page like this one, that shows information about the part, and also other colours it comes in.
- If you're logged in, you can see sets you own containing a particular part using the 'Your collection' menu on the part detail page.
- As new inventories are added, they'll be listed on the Latest inventories page.
I think that's all... The source of the data is nowhere near complete, and often inventories are missing parts, particularly licensed parts, so the information presented is only as good as the source data. An important next step to take, probably in the New Year, will be to enable you, the site's users, to validate inventories using the one printed in the instructions.
Do you have any ideas about what more could be done with the data? One obvious thing, which you can expect to see in the next few weeks, is some sort of 'My Parts' listing which will show all the parts you own in your sets.
(Thanks to the team over at The Daily Brick for helping with the technology to acquire the inventories)
I finally found a Canadian Cyber Monday/week sale worth noting. Walmart has listed Star Wars: The Malevolence at $99.00, down from $149.99.
I just picked one up for myself. At this price it's worth getting.
The LEGO web team has stared to upload images for the 2013 sets in preparation for them going on sale. There are main and alternate images for many City and Creator sets, and bizarrely, this one Galaxy Squad set. I've added them all here so you can see them easily, and more importantly, find them again easily in the future. (Thanks to Frederick for prompting me to download them all).
Seems they are going to post more images, presumably of the fronts, next Monday.
Thanks to everyone who emailed while I was having my tea!
One of my favorite projects on Cuusoo is the Ambulance (Type 3 / Type III) by SpacySmoke. Sure I love all the giant, crazy, over the top sets too but this project is a ideal demonstration of compact elegant design with fully implemented playability.
The First and most obvious reason to appreciate this build is how accuratly it recreates a Type III Ambulance.
That might sound a bit mundane but the most recent Lego ambulance, 4431, looks a bit like a generic van with a Hospital logo on it, in my opinion. For example, compare it to the Satellite Launch Pad van from 3366.
This build is unmistakably an ambulance though. An ungainly box shape strapped to the back of a van. The use of the cabinet, grilled bricks, and snotted tiles and plates add a lot of nuance to the build. The cheese wedges above the rear tires are a great touch. The brick based stripe of color going down the middle is a fantastic integration.
79004 Barrel Escape is what LEGO call a 'market driven' release which I think means that, other than direct from LEGO, it's only available in a given country when a specific retailer wants it as an exclusive. In the UK it's Toys R Us; I'm not sure about the USA.
Not having seen the movie yet, I can only guess that it's some sort of tavern with a prison cell in or next to it, and going only by the action scene on the box (and the name of the set), it appears that Bilbo releases the dwarves, who presumably are being held captive by the elves, from the cell, and they escape in beer barrels.
The main structure, consisting of a barrel ramp, a bar and the cell, is hinged in two places. The set also contains a weapons rack, table and chairs and a free-standing barrel stand. There are three of those nice gold elven-swords that Elrond brandishes in 5000202, and two spare One Rings. If you have all the LotR sets you'll have quite a collection of spares by now!
There isn't a lot of 'action' in the set. The cell doors can be opened and the barrel ramp can be raised so that the barrels, with dwarves inside, roll down thus making their escape. The only other action involves sitting the figs in the bar and drinking which, while fun for many of us, probably isn't too exciting for kids :-)
This is not a terribly exciting set to play with, then, but it's well designed and full of useful pieces. Although I've only built three of the Hobbit sets so far, I suspect this may be the weakest of them. Nevertheless, the Hobbit completest will need to buy it for the 4 unique minifigs.
Organiser Nannan says " We have raised over $7,000 so far and there's only 5 days left in the fundraiser. As it is Cyber Monday, it would be nice if people stopped by the store and bought most of the MOCs that were donated this year.
"The prices have been reduced to their lowest for all items in the store and we still have over 70 unique items awaiting a new home! "
So, head on over to the C4C store on BrickLink to pick up a unique LEGO model and help underprivileged children while doing so.
Many of you will have come across Rich, aka bricksan, either here at Brickset or at his own blog Brick Fanatics.
Rich has recently taken up running and has set himself a challenge, both to keep fit and to raise money for the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, a UK-based charity).
If you'd like to support this worthy cause and find out more about what he's planning to do, head on over to Brick Fanatics. Good luck, Rich!
(While on the subject, personally I can't run more than a mile or so before I'm puffed out, but I can do a 30 km cycle ride without breaking a sweat...)
The site may be unavailable for 10-15 mins or so between 9-10am EST (2-3pm GMT) while work is done on the power supply at the data centre where the servers are hosted. I apologise in advance for any inconvenience.
News of a second Hobbit polybag, 30213 'Gandalf' was posted in the forum yesterday. No word yet where it can be obtained, but someone in the USA has a number of them for sale on eBay so I suspect they'll be found in one of the major chains there soon enough.
As you have probably read elsewhere, the figures that'll be in collectable minifig series 10 and 11 came to light yesterday in the forum, and while I'm a bit late reporting the news, I'm glad to see that a new feature of Brickset was used to create the news.
Using our new parts browser, Aanchir found a number of new pieces that are not listed in any inventories at LEGO.com yet, and someone (sorry, not sure who) has put together the parts images in Photoshop or similar and created pictures of many of them, such as this 'bee woman'. You can see them all in a gallery on flickr.
The full lists, which I think originated from the team at The Daily Brick, are as follows:
Series 10 (71001, summer 2013)
- Sea Captain
- Sad Clown
- Bumblebee Girl
- Roman Commander
- Warrior Woman
- Tomahawk Warrior
- Baseball Fielder
- Revolution Soldier
- Motorcycle Mechanic
- Paintball Player
Series 11 (71002, autumn 2013)
- Evil Mech
- Lady Robot
- Jazz Musician
- Holiday Elf
- Bavarian Lady
- Mountain Climber
- Tiki Warrior
- Gingerbread Man
- Dinner Waitress
Valid Sunday November 25th through Saturday December 1st, Toys R Us is running yet another Buy One, Get One 50% Off promotion on All* LEGO. And as is normally the case, All* is a subjective concept with TRU as they are excluding Galaxy Squad, Technic and Ninjago. Additionally, Toys R Us has once again increased its markup just before the Holiday season so buyer beware. As many of you noted in the Forum this weekend, Toys R Us advertised many sets at 40% Off for Black Friday while the actual discount off of MSRP for some was closer to 16%! The practice of artificially raising an item's Sell Price so as to then put it on Sale seems a bit despicable to me but I digress...
This week at Target, All Star Wars, City and Super Heroes sets are also on sale. The highlights are the Republic Striker Class Starfighter (9497), Hulk's Hellicarrier Breakout (6868) and Heavy Duty Helicopter (4439) at 20% Off MSRP.
Lastly, keep an eye on Brickset's Amazon Bargain Watch page as there are already quite a few great deals to be had.
We don't normally clutter up the home page with individual bargains but this one is worth a mention as it's probably the best 'Brick Friday' bargain we'll see this side of the Atlantic. 10226 Sopwith Camel is currently priced at €51 at Amazon.fr.
I've just placed an order for one and the total including shipping came to £48.02 which is a 40% discount, the likes of which is rare to see on a LEGO Exclusive set.
If you're in the market for one yourself, head on over to Amazon.fr before it's too late: you know how fickle Amazon's prices are!
(Thanks to DrDave for the news)
As reported yesterday, TRU in the UK were  stocking The Hobbit sets early. I picked up a couple, including this smallest one, 79000, Riddles for the Ring.
It features Gollum and Bilbo Baggins, a small boat covered with bones and a 'cave'. Both of the minifigs are unique to this set. Gollum has a different face print to that in 9490, with 'narrow eyes'.
The box helpfully reminds us that the 'Boat does not float'.
It's not immediately obvious when you see pictures of the set that the 'cave' is actually quite elaborate. The two front 'rocks' are on hinges that open to reveal the ring, which can be rotated from horizontal to vertical by means of the Technic axle on the side.
Like the Goblin King Battle that I reviewed in depth a couple of weeks ago a lot of effort and pieces have gone into making it irregular in apperance. Consequently, there are a lot of dark grey slopes which you're bound to have use for in your own constructions.
There's not much else to say about this set other than it's a great little impulse purchase and a good introduction to The Hobbit theme.
Jason over at The Brick Show has posted video reviews of all The Hobbit sets on YouTube, which brings me on to a question I have:
We get quite a few people emailing us about video reviews or other LEGO related video content that they've posted on YouTube. Personally, I can't stand the forced adverts and can't really be bothered to sit down and watch them for 5-10 minutes so I don't know if they are any good or not, or whether video reviews are worthwhile.
What do you think? Do you like video reviews? Are they the future, or do you, like me, prefer a few high quality photos and a couple of paragraphs that you can digest in seconds?
Footnote:  It seems that TRU pulled them from the shelves yesterday afternoon, which I can only imagine is a direct result of publicity here and at other LEGO fan sites about their early availability. The 'Brickset effect' strikes again :-)
Today is 'Black Friday' in the US, which means nothing to anyone outside of north America, but it's a good excuse for LEGO to give us some decent 'Brick Friday' offers over the weekend.
In the UK:
- 10% off all orders of £100 or more
- Free Limited Edition Christmas set (3300014) with orders of £50 or more.
- FREE Delivery on all orders of £25 or more.
In the USA and Canada:
- 10% off all orders of $149 or more
- Free Limited Edition Holiday set (3300014) with orders of $99 or more.
- FREE Shipping on all orders of $49 or more.
There are also some 'Sales and Deals' running over the weekend on both sides of the Atlantic, with 20% discounts on some items, mostly 'Gear'. Nothing to get too excited about, but you'll find a link to all the reduced items on the landing page when you click on the banner above.
Here this year's other Christmas polybag: 40035, Rocking Horse.
It's a bit disappointing, frankly. The horse is a nice shape, but doesn't have a printed eye piece: I've added one here which improves the look considerably.
More importantly it doesn't rock: what's the point of a model of a rocking horse if it doesn't rock! Of course we can guess why it doesn't, because getting it to is actually quite difficult with the LEGO parts palette available.
I played around with bits of technic tubing and other flexible parts yesterday to try and make something that would, and not look terrible, but I didn't succeed.
Do you have any ideas how to get it rocking?
LEGO has added images for The Hobbit sets to their server although as far as I can see they are not actually listed in the shop yet. We therefore have some great alternative images for them now which you can see on the set details pages linked to here.
Toys R Us (UK) seems to have put them on the shelves in most branches before they should. My local (Portsmouth) had four of the six out (no Goblin King or Wargs) this morning. It has been said in the comments to yesterday's article that 79004 Barrel Escape is a TRU exclusive in the UK which is plausible given that neither Smyths nor Amazon are listing it, so we are unlikely to see it at a discount for a while, if at all.
They seem to be available in the USA in many stores as well now, including Wal-Mart, so I'm told. (BTW, Happy Thanksgiving...)
The order I placed on Saturday, including 3300014, the 2012 Christmas set arrived yesterday, which I thought was a pretty decent delivery time, being next working day, particularly given it was dispatched from Zwolle in The Netherlands.
Amongst my order was 40034 Christmas Train, which is a cute little set. It's interesting to note that the official photo omits the 2 x 2 round green plates on side of the engine.
I can't say I'm overly impressed with the open front to the cab though, and one wagon isn't going to be enough to transport all the stuff Santa needs to bring to to my house, so I raided my spare parts boxes and added another three which makes it a far more respectable length.
A fun set and a great 'stocking filler' even if it doesn't have the '16 silver wheels' the description at LEGO.com claims!
Update: Prompted by suggestions in the comments, here's an improved version of the loco: the side windows have been turned to the front thus enclosing it, and four 1 x 1 red bricks have been added to the sides.
Now, I wonder if a black 2 x 4 curved slope would look better for the roof...?
It looks as if they are selling them at RRP, which makes a nice change, and given Amazon has put their prices up now makes them a reasonable buy if you need to have them now :-)
Let us know in the comments if they're on the shelves at your local branch.
I'm glad to see that CupIsHalfEmpty went back to the Canadian TRU and purchased the Galaxy Squad sets yesterday and has posted more scans and photos on flickr.
Included among them is this one that shows the rest of the range. I've cut out the box images and added them to the database.
Having seen them all now, I can have a 'I told you so' moment. Back in September when the 'Galaxy Squad' name was first 'discovered', I predicted that the theme would be influenced by the movie Starship Troopers, which I think is really rather good, although it turned out in the comments to that article that not many of you agree.
Anyway, compare the 'bug' in these pictures and tell me they are not similar ;-)
However I was wrong about them not being an early-in-2013 release, and I'm glad to be...
User ACSpaude reports being able to purchase Technic set 42011 at Toys R Us in Madison, WI, for $21.99. Set contains 158-pieces.
Brickset member CupIsHalfEmpty has found two Galaxy Squad sets in TRU, Winnipeg, Canada, already! He found the smallest 70700 Space Swarmer and the largest, 70705 Bug Obliterator. I've added the images to the database and I've uploaded the full-sized perspective-corrected images to flickr where you can see them in their full resolution glory, below.
CupIsHalfEmpty has added other pictures of what he found on the shelves to his flickr stream.
Another excellent LotR/Hobbit polybag has surfaced in TRU in the USA. 30212 Mirkwood Elf Guard features a minifig that does not appear in any other Hobbit set so it's a must for Hobbit fans, minifig collectors and polybag aficionados. There's a Mirkwood elf in set 79004 but he doesn't have a dark green hood.
Although TRU.com will ship internationally, it appears it won't ship this set, so if anyone would be kind enough to ship some over, perhaps in exchange for some Uruk-hai's, please get in touch!
(via The Brick Life, thanks to TAFOL for the news).
We all know that Toys R Us tend to mark-up their LEGO a bit higher than MSRP. We also know that Walmart Canada tend to sell their LEGO just a bit below MSRP. This bit however, seems a little bigger and is worth noting again when shopping for Christmas.
I could not believe the discrepancy between prices when I looked up The Mines of Moria (9473) at these three locations; I was shocked.
Walmart Canada $84.88 << shop.lego.ca $99.99 << Toys R Us, Canada $109.99
As much as I don't like supporting Walmart (unfair wages, etc.), the price difference between some sets is ridiculous.
If Walmart continues this trend with other sets, I don't think any of us can afford not to shop there.
If you made it to a brand store you've probably already got hold of this year's Christmas giveaway set, 3300014, but if, like me, you're waiting for it to arrive in the post you might be interested to read Rich from Brick Fanatics review which you can read either here or over at Brick Fanatics, and also see it in all its glory on flickr.
I'm looking forward to it arriving, and displaying it with my Christmas set collection which, like yours I suspect, is getting rather large now!
My name is atkinsar and I collect polybags, well not just the bags (because that’d be crazy, right?!) but also the LEGO goodness contained within. There I said it, and I know I’m not alone, there are loads of you out there just like me that have embraced polybag collecting and I thought it was high time to turn the spotlight towards this niche within the LEGO hobby.
Some of you will know me from the yearly polybag Bricklists I used to create and maintain from 2008 onwards. Ever since Huw introduced the fantastic Advanced Query Builder, I have stopped doing so since it’s so easy for you to create your own lists tailored to exactly how you want them, that the time effort to maintain the Bricklists just wasn’t worthwhile any longer.
Each month I hope to explore a different aspect of polybag collecting, and alongside this I will provide mini (or maybe even micro) reviews of any interesting polybags I’ve picked up during the previous month, discuss interesting polys announced and showcase any hard to find/super rare polybags.
Whether this monthly feature takes off or not will be down to your feedback and comments, so please let me know what you think.
Rebrickable is a relatively new site that tells you which sets you can build from the parts you already own, and also how many parts you need to build a particular set.
This functionality complements Brickset's collection management features perfectly so I am pleased to announce that this feature has been incorporated into Brickset.
Here's how it works:
- First, you need to create an account at Rebrickable.
- When you've done so, or if you have one already, login here at Brickset then go to your profile page and select Edit Profile. Enter your Rebrickable username (the email address you registered with) and password in the new section of the form, and press the Check login details link to ensure you've entered them correctly.
- Then, go to your My Sets page, and find the Rebrickable box at the bottom. Click on the Send your sets to Rebrickable link. Your collection will then be transferred to Rebrickable, which will save it in its database. It should only take a few seconds: even my 2000+ sets only took about 1/2 a minute or so to transfer.
- That's it: it's set up.
Now, when you go to a set detail page you'll see a new box in the menu that will tell you the percentage of parts in the set that you have in the sets you already own. There's also a link to Rebrickable that'll provide information about the parts you don't have and also options such as colour substitutions and so on.
At the moment, your collection will not be automatically synchronised with Rebrickable as you make changes, so you'll need to send it across manually from time to time. It is likely that I'll add the option to do so in future, if this feature proves popular.
This functionality should save you having to struggle with other antiquated sites that provide something similar.
As always, let me know if you think this is a useful feature or if you're having problems with it.
Today is an excellent day to do your shopping at shop.LEGO.com. Not only do you get free shipping on orders over a low threshold, you can also get hold of the 3300014 2012 Holiday Set for free, and if you order comes to over over £100/$149 you'll get 10% off as well!
(Note that the UK landing page currently shows monetary values in Euros for some reason, but I believe the thresholds are free shipping over £25, free set over £50 and 10% off over £100). I suspect the page will be fixed in due course...)
Hot on the heels of the highly successful Lamborghini Polizia offer earlier in the month, Chowren Toys has lined up another offer exclusively for Brickset readers.
Here are the details from Jason:
"Thank you for your support on our last promo and special, it was a huge success!
"Here is the new promo on the other product line that we carry, 20% off BrickArms X-series of Sc-Fi weapons! In this promo, you will get all 8 in this special Chowren Toys X-series weapon pack, and there's no limit on how many packs you can buy.
"Please use the discount code Bricksxpac to receive the discount, but note the promo is only on the X-series weapons. However, do please check out our other BrickArms products, especially the popular Mystery Pack V.3.
"A quick note about shipping: We do charge a base shipping and handling fees, so the more you buy the average shipping per items goes way down."
I went into EB games yesterday to get my Xbox 360 version of LEGO Lord of the Rings and the exclusive Elrond minifigure.
I was VERY disappointed to find Warner Bros accidently packaged DEMO versions of the game instead of the full versions pushing the release date back further. If you picked up your game in the last few days, you had better check if you have the full version as this demo issue has affected many. This press release was aimed at the US but it has affected Canada as well.
UPDATE: It appears the press release states that the games were indeed the full versions, just labeled incorrectly. This however is NOT what I was told at EB games, and demo or not, they wouldn't even sell me a game because of the issue.
Please follow the link for the full article at examiner.com:
"Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is recalling a small number of "LEGO The Lord of the Rings" video games that were released for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft to Walmart, Target and Toys 'R' Us in the United States with a disc labeling error. The discs in question are incorrectly labeled as demo discs, but those discs do contain the full game content and are fully functional. This error does not affect any other formats of the game. We are in the process of remanufacturing the discs and will get them to the stores as soon as possible. Consumers who purchased a copy of the Xbox 360 version of the game with the disc labeling error can contact customer support via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 410-568-3680 for a replacement disc."
Last week the LEGO community team asked me to find out if there were any members in Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania that were active on the online AFOL scene, or a member of a LUG in their country. So, I took a look in the member database and found there to be around 50 registered members in those countries. I took the liberty of emailing them to ask if they knew if there was a LEGO 'scene' in their country.
The replies were generally the same: "not that I know of, but I wish there was and if you find out that there is, do let me know."
Unfortunately then, there doesn't appear to be any LUGs in those countries but the will to start them looks like it's there.
So, I wondered whether posting something here so that like-minded individuals could get to know of each other's existence might be a good catalyst to get things moving. If you're up for it, post something in the comments -- there might be more AFOLs around where you live than you know! I don't know for sure, but I suspect the LEGO community team are keen to work with you for mutual benefit.
This is my latest polybag acquisition: 30059, MTT. It cost me an arm and a leg to buy on BrickLink from a seller in Japan, which is the only place it's known to be available.
Now, excluding the 7 Shell sets that will be hitting UK shores any month now, I need just 6 polys in the 30xxx number range, one of which (30036) has only been sold once in the last 6 months on BrickLink so I guess there's little chance of getting it any time soon.
It got me thinking, why do many of us go to great lengths to buy and trade polybags? Often the sets are not that great, and this one certainly isn't worth the 30p per piece I paid for it. I have my own theories but I'd be interested to hear yours.
King of the polybag collectors among Brickset staff, atkinsar, will shortly be contributing regular articles about this aspect of the hobby so look out for his debut article in the coming days.
The latest to catch my eye are a couple of Galaxy Squad ones, which you can see better pictures of at Hoth Bricks.
The insect-y chap on the right looks just like those in the cartoon picture from the club magazine.
I'm not going to cast assertions as to how the seller obtained them: I will let you make your own mind up. As far as we know these sets are not even due for release in January, unless they are not destined for regular retailers which would explain why none are listing them yet (and why they are not in the Jan-May 2013 retailers' catalogue).
Nevertheless they look very cool and I look forward to being able to buy them legitimately.
Amazon.co.uk has reduced the price of all LotR sets by 25%, and also has four of The Hobbit sets available for pre-order at a 25% discount. That makes An Unexpected Gathering much more palatable at £45 instead of £60. There's no expected delivery date given but I suspect it will be around 1st December.
All the sets are now listed on the Bargain Watch page.
This follows the image Dr. Splitz that appeared in the Polish club magazine a week ago.
2 down, 14 to go :-)
Update: to save being bombarded with hundreds more emails about the alien trooper that popped up in a video, here's alink to it at GrooveBricks.
13 to go...
The grand opening event at the store at SoOuest near Paris starts tomorrow and lasts for four days, until Saturday. It looks like Friday is the day to go if you're after the 3300003 brand store model that we reviewed back in May. Thanks to Brian for the news.
Thanks to grogall and murphquake in the forum we now have pictures of the set that'll be available when you spend a certain amount over the Thanksgiving weekend at the end of November.
3300014 features a horse pulling a sleigh, a snow scene and four minifigs, so it's a pretty good freebie!
The qualifying spend is believed to be €75, £50 and $99.
Update: Instructions for this set have been posted at LEGO.com Customer Services.
Amazon.comhas some Toys & Games Lightning Deals going on today, many of which are LEGO. It looks as if there's one deal an hour, starting at just before 9am PST.
Click on the banner to see what's available. I hope you get lucky!
10233 Horizon Express won't be available until January, but LEGO has kindly provided us with one to review and Bluemoose has done the honours this time. Read his in-depth pictorial review to find out what he thought of it, and whether you'll need to save some of your Christmas money back for it.
As usual, when you've done so, let us know what you think of it in the comments.
One of the most common questions asked in the forum is "when is set xxx being retired?" Of course none of us know the answer, although we can all speculate.
I think the new page will be worth keeping an eye on if you want to be sure to catch particular sets before they disappear for good. (via Toys N Bricks)
Update: We've received the following clarification from LEGO about the list:
- This is a trial for the USA and Canada to begin with to see what impact it has on Customer Service issues regarding retiring / retired products.
- Yes the items on this list really are going to retire soon as in once the quantities we have are gone, they’re gone. They won’t be going on back order and we will not be producing anymore. This is not a sales trick, we’re legitimately trying to inform people that this is their last chance!
However news just in, suggests that some Fred Meyer stores in the USA have already started selling the sets.
Meanwhile in the UK, Toys R Us has listed four of the sets, which it says will be available on Dec. 01:
Let's hope the 10% TRU markup is included in those prices.
It makes a refreshing change to see new superstores opening in out-of-town retail parks when we are more accustomed to seeing their closure. It's even better when it's a toy store, and it's about a mile from your own house :-)
Smyths Toys originated in the Republic Of Ireland but have been rapidly expanding into the UK over the last few years, mostly in the north of England and around London. Their newest branch opened today in Fareham, Hampshire. It's good that they are making inroads into what was previously Toys R Us territory because they are so much nicer than TRU in every way.
- It's tidy: sets are arranged by theme and not scattered randomly wherever there's space. And, it's all in one place - not all over the shop, at the end of aisles and at the front in a special promotions area.
- It has almost every retail set that's currently available.
- The prices are not marked up. In fact there are some real bargains to be had, which is becoming uncommon for bricks-and-mortar shops (apart from when they are running 3-for-2 offers).
Furthermore, you are not persecuted if you enter the shop with bags. It's altogether a much more pleasant experience, and you don't feel 'dirty' once you've been in it.
So as you can probably tell, I'm happy to have a branch so close, and I can see I'll be visiting every time I pass by (which I foresee will be often :))
Do you have a Smyths near you? What do you think of it? If you don't, remember you can keep an eye on their bargains using our Smyths Quick Shopper.
We have the largest of the yet-to-be-released The Hobbit sets, 79010 The Goblin King Battle to hand and we're pleased to bring you an exclusive review of it!
Read our in-depth pictorial review to find out if the set is as ugly as the Goblin King, pictured, or whether you need to spend yet more money on LEGO this year.
When you've done so, let us know what you think about it in the comments.
The relatively hard-to-find polybag 30019 that I was getting excited about earlier in the week has turned up in New Zealand as part of a fund raising appeal for Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. Westpac is a multinational financial corporation which sponsors the rescue helicopter service in New Zealand.
It has stickers attached to the bag to enable you to 'brand' the model once built.
Geoff in NZ says "The Queen Street branch in Auckland is the first to have them, although I just picked one up at the Ponsonby Rd branch."
In the spirit of posting any sale over 20% off, Toys R US Canada is offering 30% off Lego 7962
valid November 9-15, 810-pieces at the reasonable price of $83.97 CAD.
Argos has confirmed on their Facebook page that they will be running another 3-for-2 on toys promotion from tomorrow until Tuesday. If I were you I'd reserve now for collection tomorrow.
Also, it has been reported in the Brickish forum that Toys R Us will be running a 3-for-2 offer from next Wednesday, the 14th.
The question is, do you still have sets left to buy, and money to buy them with?! It's a shame the Hobbit sets are not out yet: I guess by the time they are in December, the shops won't be running any more promotions like this.
As you may have read in the forum, whung found images of all the TMNT sets on the LEGO image server and posted the links on Eurobricks earlier today, including this 'recently discovered' set Baxter Robot Rampage which is likely to be a 'limited edition' set available only in certain stores.
I've added the 'out of box' images to the database, you'll find them in the TMNT theme browser.
The minifig lineup is believed to be as follows:
- 79100: foot soldier, Michelangelo, The Kraang (in some slug-like guise)
- 79101: foot soldier, Donatello, Shredder
- 79102: foot soldier, Raphael, Fishface
- 79103: foot soldier, Leonardo, Raphael, Splinter, Dark Ninja
- 79104: foot soldier, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Dogpound, The Kraang
- 79105: Donatello, Raphael, April O'Neil and Baxter Stockman (thanks to commenters for providing their names).
This 220-page paperback is a second edition of the book that was first published in 2005, when 3rd party books on LEGO (as opposed to Mindstorms) were few and far between.
The main difference between this second editon and the first is that it's now in full colour, but it's also 100 pages shorter. I'll tell you what's been missed out in a minute.
The book can be considered a 'LEGO building for Dummies' in that it starts right at the beginning and assumes you don't know your bricks from your plates. It explains the different types of LEGO parts, the basics of fitting them together and then considers various styles of building, such as minifig-scale, microscale, sculptures and mosaics. It's written in a light, breezy style and it's a good read.
The LEGO Adventure book, written by Megan Rothrock and published by No Starch Press has been highly anticipated since first announced a few months ago. I received a copy today to review ahead of publication, so read onto find out that it’s like and what I thought of it.
It’s a hardback book and printed on high quality paper. Its 200 pages are full colour throughout.
The premise behind the book is that a minifig representation of the author (Megs) builds a home base and transportation (in chapter 1), along with a companion (a small robot) then travels around the world visiting MOCs and their builder’s minifig representations, which are mostly shown in a photo-strip like presentation. It is therefore an unconventional approach and not exactly what I was expecting, but it does seem to work and prevents the book from becoming a dry read.
Jason from Chowren Toys says "It is listed in our store right now for $80 (selling for way more on eBay andAmazon.com), but for Brickset members it will be discounted to $60. We are limiting it to 2 per customer. There is a limited quantity so it will be on first come first served basis. Please go to our store and enter the promo code: BrickS8214 at the check out to receive $20 off each set."
Interested? Order it today.
This picture of a Jekyll/Hyde minifig has appeared in the Polish LEGO club magazine in an advert for collectable minifigs. I guess he could be the Dr. Splitz that's in the alleged list of figures that'll be in series 9.
Thanks to nori for news and scan.
If you're a polybag collector you've probably had trouble finding this one, unless you're in Benelux or Iran. So you'll probably be pleased to hear that it's now available packaged with a selection of three DK books. It's available in WalMart in the USA, and also from Amazon.co.uk (for about £11). The only picture of it I can find is at Penguin Books Australia.
The three books are:
- The LEGO Book: (Excerpted Edition)
- LEGO City: Emergency Services Ultimate Sticker Book
- LEGO City: Busy Workers Ultimate Sticker Book
(Thanks to bobj21 for the news)
Products that are discounted are shown in the new Smyths Quick Shopper page (linked to on the menu of the home page) and prices will also be shown under the 'For Sale' tab of set details pages, such as this one (which incidentally is almost half price!).
Prices will be updated every day. They are not alerted in the same way that Amazon prices are, but they probably could be (along with Argos for that matter) if you felt it would be useful.
The coveted 'shirtless' Darth Maul (5000062) can now be obtained readily in the USA from ToysRUs.com. All you need do is spend $25 or more on Star Wars sets. Click on the image and grab 'em while you can...
(Thanks to Margot for the news)
Here's today's little set, 30210, Frodo with cooking corner, which is quite cute and, just for a change, is conflict, crime and weapon-free.
My only criticism is that the sausage doesn't fit in the pan on the stove properly: a couple of 1x1 round plates to raise the hood would have fixed that.
So, that's the end of that then, well, until the next one, probably in May, anyway!
They clearly are popular and good sellers if this much shelf-space, just inside the entrance and not tucked away at the back of the shop with the rest of the kids' books, can be dedicated to them. The book shop is even selling LEGO sets!
I'm hesitant to say it, but I never buy books on the high street any more, even at buy-one-get-one-half-price as was the case here, you know they'll be cheaper at Amazon, which is where our new book lists for AFOL and kids' LEGO books come in handy...
The Uruk-hai minifig is definitely the reason why, and in full armour he really does look great, and an excellent 'army builder' figure of which you can never have too many.
The ballista has some nice pieces in it, particularly the brown 1x4 curved brick which is not very common.
My WHS was fairly calm today, and in common with every other day, there was no limit on the number of papers I could buy, unlike some branches, it seems. Mind you, by 10am they'd run out of papers but still have loads of polybags left.
I hope you all managed to get as many as you wanted.
Here is today's Sun set: 30085 Jumping Snakes. The minifig is Jay ZX, who appears in five other sets. You can have too many of him, but the rest of the parts in the bag are definitely worth having plenty of, particularly the snakes, although the lime green one is the most common, appearing in four other sets.
As you can see from the instructions image, the fire-box-thingy (what is it supposed to be?) on the left has a mechanism that ejects the snakes out from the top. It's not much of a model to look at, but it's jolly good fun :-)
How have things been in your WHS? Mine has been civilised every day so far. I wonder if that will change tomorrow when the best set of the batch is on offer. Mind you, to 98% of the population, it's just another LEGO set isn't it, so I don't suppose it'll be any different...
They look like an updated version of 1998's Insectoids, which is no bad thing, and interesting because I believe Mads Nipper, Executive VP Market & Products, LEGO Group, said at AFOLCON that his favourite LEGO theme was Insectoids :-)
I certainly like what I see, it has a lot of potential, and if LEGO_Nabii has been involved they are bound to be great!
I'm sure you've worked out already that I'm rather partial to a good LEGO book. Suspecting that many of you are too, I've added a couple of new pages to the site that list LEGO books available at Amazon.
Although you can search for 'LEGO' in books at Amazon the results are not presented in any useful order and you get a load of random results thrown in for good measure.
So, to make it easier to see what's available -- and what's missing from your bookshelf -- I've created two pages, one listing LEGO books for AFOLs and one listing those for kids. Of course nearly all LEGO books are aimed at kids, but some are more suitable for AFOLs than others, hence the two lists.
If you're in US, UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany or Spain the pages will show you listings from your local Amazon, and you'll also see a random book on the home page menu. I'll leave that there until Christmas. If you're not in one of those countries, you'll see Amazon.com listings, because I believe Amazon.com will ship books anywhere in the world.
While doing this, I was surprised by the number of kids books that have been released lately, many with minifigs and other parts attached to the cover. I guess they should really go in the database. A job for a rainy day :-) It's likely that I've missed some, so if you know of others, let me know the ISBN10 number and I'll get them added.
I hope that's of some use to you...
Today's Sun offering is 30152 Mining Quad. This set has been available in the USA at TRU and also in Belgium and Holland as part of promotions there.
As with most vehicles of this size that you find in polybags, it's all wheels and not much else. Once again the minifig is the main attraction. His helmet is particularly nice, and new to this year's City Mining sets.
Definitely worth a trip to WHS in the pouring rain for.
Not much for us this month, I'm afraid:
- FREE Delivery on orders of £50 or more, Valid: 1st Nov –18th Dec
We will however enjoy a 'Brick Friday' offer at the end of the month: expect an announcement in a couple of weeks.
Another month, another set of offers:
- FREE Shipping on orders of $99 or more, Valid: Nov 1 – Dec 18th.
- FREE TC-14 Minifigure with purchase of 10227 B-Wing Starfighter, Valid: Nov 1 – Dec 31st. or while supplies last.
- FREE Reusable LEGO Tote Bag with any LEGO DUPLO Purchase, Valid: Nov 1- Dec 31st. or while supplies last.
- 20% OFF LEGO® Star Wars™ Advent Calendar, this has been marked down 20% and will remain so for the rest of the year.
Stay tuned for an announcement of the 'Brick Friday' special offers in the middle of the month.