Archive for June, 2007
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It is with a heavy heart that I write of the passing of Eric Brok, the LEGO fan who designed 10190 Market Street. He succumbed in his sleep after a battle with cancer. For more than ten years, Eric has served as an inspiration to the worldwide LEGO community. Our thoughts go out to his wife, family, friends, and everyone who had the opportunity to meet him.
We’ll leave this post up for a few days — now doesn’t seem to be the time for mecha, ninjas, and interstellar starfighters. If we learn of anything the community can do for his family, we’ll let you know.
What’s wrong with this picture?
The answer is that these are a brand of construction toys from China called “Enlighten.” No, they’re not LEGO® brand building bricks. What’s the difference between Enlighten and construction toy brands that advertise themselves as “compatible with the leading brand,” such as Mega Bloks, Best-Lock, and Tyco? These latter companies all design and sell unique sets with distinct figures, while Enlighten manufactures almost-exact copies of LEGO sets with direct copies of the LEGO minifigure. Bear in mind that set designs are copyrighted, and that the LEGO minifigure is trademarked. In other words, Enlighten products are illegal.
So, pirated pirates? Yes indeed. To spot the differences, note that LEGO never produced chrome cutlasses, chrome flintlocks, brown rifles, yellow parrots, or wizard beards that don’t cover the minifig’s mouth. Of course, most Enlighten boxed sets we’ve seen aren’t labeled “LEGO,” so that makes spotting the pirate a bit easier.
If you’re traveling overseas and see some “cheap LEGO,” make sure you’re not buying illegally copied sets.
There, I’ve said my piece. Head on over to the Minifig Customization Network for an ongoing discussion.
This could all just be hearsay, but a short article on CoolToyReview.com claims LEGO will be producing sets based upon the upcoming Indiana Jones IV film. Does this mean Johnny Thunder’s adventures are over?
The “Cafe Corner neighbor” that’s been generating quite a bit of excitement lately is now available (without any notable fanfare and without a pre-order period) on LEGO Shop@Home:
Prices seem to vary by region: In Europe, it’s €89.99 (UK: £59.99); in the United States, it’s $89.99; and in Canada, it’s $130.
A couple LEGO fans have been building microscale versions of classic LEGO sets lately.
Thomas Main gets things going with microscaled versions of several sets from the 1970s:
This is something I’ll have to try with my favorite childhood sets. :-D
His latest project is a large retro rocket:
Nicholas’ rocket is a central component of a massive “Great Ball Contraption” assembled by LEGO fans in Singapore. Here are a couple pictures from LEGO Ambassador Diana Wong:
Perhaps it’s simply because we have hippotam (and now nexus7) over at Klocki to tell us that certain builders are from Poland, or the near-sweep in the recent Castle Contest, but it seems like the worldwide LEGO community has taken notice of the Polish LEGO community in the last few months.
The latest builder I’ve learned is from Poland is Noddy.
In addition to a great series of bikes, don’t miss his retro-futuristic robots:
The pad to the rider’s left is apparently a “portable food synthesizer with voice command.” Heh heh, cool. Oh, and Tim “Spook” Zarki also posted a cool little hardsuit:
Sorry to stray from my usual territory but I had to highlight this one… Brickshelf user Olog (edit: Florea Adrian on flickr and presumably real life) creates an incredible moon rover for Aaron Sneary’s Moon Rover contest. The inverted tyres are great but my favourite part is using some old weird springy parts from soccer sets to do the suspension. Brilliant parts use.
Got this in my Inbox from LEGO earlier today:
THE LEGO GROUP ANNOUNCES LEGO UNIVERSE AS OFFICIAL TITLE FOR BRANDED MMOG
BILLUND, DENMARK – June 7, 2007 – The LEGO® Group today announced LEGO Universe as the official title for the upcoming MMOG being developed by NetDevil® to further engage the company’s dedicated and active community. LEGO Universe, currently planned for launch in the fourth quarter of 2008, is designed as the first MMOG professionally developed for LEGO fans and supported by community members from around the world.
“LEGO Universe ties together all aspects of our community and line of products in an online environment that can be enjoyed by LEGO fans of all ages,” said Mark William Hansen, Director of Business Development, LEGO Universe. “By merging the online world of social interaction with the LEGO concept of play, LEGO Universe will provide our community with an entirely new way to experience LEGO and connect with other players in a fun and imaginative setting.”
The full featured MMOG will be complete with character advancement, expansive social and community features, and provide a child safe alternative to other MMOGs on the market. As a player, you’ll be able to customize your mini-figs and interact in the universe as any character you choose, providing unique opportunities for players to expand and explore with their creations.