Several months ago, we reviewed LEGO Education’s new product, SPIKE Prime. And just a couple weeks ago, we featured news about the latest addition to the Mindstorms theme, the SPIKE-esque 51515 Robot Inventor. This new generation of programmable robotics brings bright colors and fresh ideas to the table. We’re already seeing some awesome builds coming from the education community, like this bike by the folks at Creator Academy Australia and Project Bucephalus. What’s so awesome about it? It’s self-balancing. This little guy can ride along on its own without tipping over (as long as there isn’t a wall). Click the link below to see it in action!
Last week we had a first look at the June-December German consumer catalogue images of the upcoming Summer 2020 LEGO Technic sets. Today we get to have a look at the actual box art as revealed by the retailer Meinspielzeug. While we still do not have the regional pricing,? part counts are now available for all three sets. These will be available August 1st 2020. We will update the US, UK and Canadian retail prices as we get more information.
LEGO Ideas has revealed that three fan-submitted projects will become official sets including a mechanical typewriter and two sets based on TV and film properties Seinfeld and Home Alone. The three projects were chosen from a selection of 12 submissions to the LEGO Ideas platform between September 2019 and January 2020 which achieved 10,000 supporters. Notable brands not chosen as future LEGO sets include Zelda, Futurama and Ratatouille.
Happy Pride week! While we usually celebrate Pride all month in June, this particular Pride Month has been quite fraught and politically difficult. For the last several weeks, many LGBTQ+ people have postponed their month-long celebrations of Pride to make room for other marginalized voices, namely Black Lives Matter. I think that’s important and I stand by this stance myself. So now it’s time for us to join our voices with the national conversation.
Disclaimer: For this story I am speaking from my own experience as an LGBTQ+ LEGO fan that has risen to a bit of prominence in the LEGO world due to being on LEGO Masters. I don’t claim to speak for the LGBTQ+ community as a whole or even for the whole LGBTQ+ LEGO community. All I know is what I have experienced, heard and observed in my time with this hobby and this is what I share with you now.
The passenger pigeon went extinct in 1914, the victim of deforestation and overhunting. Matt Goldberg pays tribute to this lost species with a beautiful LEGO recreation. This build is a complex mix of Technic, Bionicle, and System parts, with overlapping panels recreating organic curves. Minifigure arms help shape the head, and small radar dishes and 1×1 round plates give this bird just the right mournful eye line. I also like the inclusion of some props to give some context to things. The perch may be a simple build, but the tan creates a nice color contrast for the plumage. It’s a somber image, but a lovely one.
Birds are a popular subject for LEGO builders. For more avian goodness, check out some other featured models.
The Fujifilm X100 Series is an iconic camera line, and builder John Huang has given it an equally iconic LEGO treatment. Curved slope tiles in grey and black give the housing clean edges and lines. A minifigure frying pan makes a great stand-in for the viewfinder selector switch, and a Technic gear forms the shutter speed dial.
As nice as those details are, the viewfinder on this one is really a cut above. It’s also cool to see the lens housing rotated and sitting at a tilted angle; it makes this feel even more like a functional piece of camera equipment. I’m just loving all these 1:1 scale LEGO cameras lately, but this one makes me particularly happy.
Although I admit to watching “Japan Rail Journal” on NHK World (doesn’t everyone want to learn about the last sleeper car rolling stock on the Sunrise Izumo line?), I’m not really much of a train aficionado, except as a convenient mode of transport that the United States lags far behind the rest of the world in. So, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what a crocodile locomotive was until LEGO recently announced the upcoming set 10277 Crocodile Locomotive. This newfound knowledge allows me to appreciate the hilarity this crocodile-themed crocodile locomotive driven by a crocodilian engineer, built by Stuart Crawshaw. Stuart’s locomotive features teeth on its forward and rear sections, while the train as a whole sports reptilian livery in shades of green. The presentation is completed by the locomotive displayed on a rail line through a swamp.
Large-scale display pieces catering to the nostalgic adult fan have long been a mainstay of Disney merchandise. Whilst some LEGO Disney sets have flirted with the memorabilia audience before now (notably 71044 Disney Train and Station and 21317 Steamboat Willie) the latest Disney set — 43179 Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse Buildable Characters — has its sights set firmly on the hearts (and wallets) of adult Disney collectors and enthusiasts. The set contains 1,739 pieces and features the iconic couple as large-scale figures, clad in their signature outfits, and with a range of accessories. It will be available from July 1st, retailing for?US $179.99 – CAN $229.99 – UK ?169.99.
Let’s see how LEGO’s tribute to Hollywood’s most famous power couple stacks up…
Some LEGO fans primarily collect sets; others focus on building their own creations. I’m very much in the latter camp. That doesn’t mean I don’t collect anything LEGO-related, though. I don’t just build for the sake of building and sharing pictures on-line. Most of my models fit into collections, like my Japanese cars, that I display at shows. Because they are part of a collection, I tend to keep them around for a long time. However, as a result, by now some of my vehicle models are so old that their real-world counterparts were retired years ago.
Case in point: the Dutch Chevrolet Express Ambulance that I built in 2009, as part of a collection of Dutch emergency vehicles. If I were to display this at a show, some of the children there might not even recognise that an ambulance used to look like that. So, even though there aren’t any shows in the foreseeable future, due to the pandemic, I felt my Dutch LEGO paramedics could do with a new set of wheels. The current type in North Holland, where I live, is the Mercedes Sprinter. All its doors, including the sliding doors in the sides, can open, to give access to a detailed interior. The lights on the roof have a snazzy aerodynamic shape, which was fun. I particularly enjoyed building the colour scheme. Ambulances in the Netherlands are yellow, with a complicated pattern of diagonal red and blue stripes. As I did with the old Chevy, I recreated this using stacked plates. Stickers would have given me a cleaner look, but to me this looks more authentic as a LEGO model. It is good to go for a few more years.
While the societal unrest recently has made it seem like everything is on fire, it’s not quite true. Lots of things are not burning, like the bread in my toaster. Oh wait, that’s burning, too. Well, shoot. Josiah Durand, currently using the Flickr alias of General 尓àvarre, seems to have a similar problem with fire in this LEGO build. While it might be rather flat and mosaic-like, the build is particularly stunning in its flame effects, with the lit-up trans-orange making a beautiful contrast with the tattered black flag. It looks like Josiah used every type of black element in his collection for the flag, too, expertly creating the ragged fringe. But that uneven warm glow, just like the embers in a fire, is what make this great. Now that’s what I call playing with fire!
If you haven’t seen the new live-action Star Wars show, The Mandalorian, streaming on Disney+, you need to stop reading this right now and go check it out. Seriously. Okay, you’re back? Great, let’s continue. One of the coolest things about the show, in my opinion, is the hero’s ship. The Razorcrest looks amazing on the show, due in part to the fact that it is a model, a real-life hold in your hands and swoosh across your bedroom model. Now you can build your very own Razorcrest chibi style, thanks to these instructions by hachiroku24.
While I know the quote I used for the title is from the wrong movie, I do love this build of the Jenny Haniver from Mortal Engines like I love my peas and carrots. Built by Markus Ronge, it’s a gloriously red airship from that post-apocalyptic movie by Peter Jackson that most people didn’t see (including me) judging from the box office results. But just because the movie was a flop doesn’t mean the LEGO build is. In fact, with the many angles of the cockpit, the custom wing sails, and the full interior, not only does it look true to its on-screen counterpart, but it also looks awesome in its own right.
I love seeing really old pieces in builds, so the tiny windows that are part of the forward cockpit are a treat to behold. The sliding doors on the side actually work, and the whole thing comes apart to access the interior. Because an airship home needs an interior, right? A place to eat some peas and carrots before starting an attack run on London…