London Toy Fair Report, part 1
I'm back home after an exhausting day at the show, and a quick trip to the brand store at Shepherd's Bush afterwards. The weather in the UK is absolutely appalling still but luckily not bad enough today to disrupt transport.
As I said earlier, the exterior of the LEGO stand was much plainer than in previous years and there wasn't much to photograph around it. However, this guy, Laval, and Cragger, were in the foyer.
I met up with 'Big' Pete and Gary Davis, Ambassador of the Brickish Association, and we were taken round the stand by Nigel Warway from LEGO. Part of the reason for the escort is to ensure that we didn't surreptitiously take any photographs. However we did take notes (at least Pete did), and also Pete had his phone voice recorder going throughout so we should get some useful nuggets of information from that once he's transcribed it later.
So let's go through the themes one at a time and I'll recall what I can about the sets. First, it should be noted that the show is targeted at normal retailers, so LEGO exclusives and other 'power' items are never on show.
There are three sets being released in August:
- 31012, Family House, £60 I believe, modern design two-storey house, white with tan window frames. Dark red and brown 33 degree roof, 2 minifigs, small car. Alternate models are a villa and a small factory
- 31011, Aviation Adventures, price t.b.a., yellow, white and blue single prop plane, alternate models are a helicopter and a speedboat. The lady showing them to us was stating how a minifig can be put in each model, but the set doesn't actually come with one.
- 31010, Treehouse, price t.b.a., a very nice looking set: a 16 x 32 baseplate, tree, white treehouse, 1 minifig.
Four sets are to be released, again in August:
- 42001, Mini Off-Roader, a very small model but with full suspension, orange body.
- 42005, Monster Truck, large wheels, hefty tyres, red body, full suspension. Not to my taste but it looked quite cool.
- 42008, Service Truck, £100, absolutely fantastic rescue vehicle, the sort you might see rescuing a lorry from the motorway. Green body, red highlights. Power functions, with motorised lift and outriggers.
- 42009, Mobile Crane Mk II, £150. A ten wheeled monster of a mobile crane which looks superb. Said to be the largest Technic model ever in terms of number of pieces. It's equipped with Power Functions, including one of the new style motors, which look as if they operate all aspects of the crane's movement. I've gone off large Technic models a bit lately, but this is one I will definitely be getting.
Mindstorms EV3 was being demonstrated, and very good it looked too. I won't write anything about it here, I'm not an expert and all that's known about it can be read elsewhere.
Series 11 is out in September. They, and series 10, were not on display. I don't know the full details but it seems there is going to be one 'golden figure' in each box and kids are encouraged to 'hunt the gold figure'. This is obviously very bad news for everyone except LEGO's marketing department. I think this will start in series 11. I suspect Gary or Pete can recall more about this and if so I'll update this article.
Part 2 will cover Legends of Chima, City, Ninjago and The Lone Ranger. Come back for more later...