Monthly Archives: September 2007

How Ben Ellerman survived Castle 2007

Back in April, I posted about LEGO Ambassador Mark Sandlin’s involvement with the Mars Mission theme. With Castle 2007 out for several months and anticipation building toward next year’s sets, Ben Ellerman takes some time to look back and reflect on his involvement in the development of the current Castle theme.

Here’s Ben in the LEGO archives in Billund, Denmark:

You can read all about Ben’s contributions to the Castle theme on LEGOfan.org.

More 2008 LEGO Castle, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars set pictures [News]

Well, it’s that time of the year again. Fans everywhere are running across better and better pictures of upcoming sets. Eurobricks is famous (dare I say notorious?) for finding leaked pictures, and this latest batch is no exception.

Bearing in mind that we don’t yet know if these are just prototypes, and that LEGO has not yet confirmed that these are even “official,” here are a few of my favorites (see Eurobricks for bigger pictures and several more I didn’t include here):

7622 Race for the Stolen Treasure:

7620 Motorcycle Chase:

7668 Rebel Scout Speeder:

7036 Dwarfs Mining:

7048:

Of particular note for Castle fans:

  • Trolls in brown and green.
  • Green dragon with armor.
  • Two new helmets for the goblins and two more for the dwarfs.
  • A new sword for the goblins and a new club for the trolls.
  • Two new beard designs for the dwarfs.

BrickForge Barnyard Animals [Review]

Josh’s post earlier today reminded me that I hadn’t gotten around to posting a review of the new animals from BrickForge. Let’s get started.

Three animals are available from BrickForge:

  • Cow (in screen-printed Holstein and black varieties): $5.00
  • Pig (in pink, black, and white): $3.00
  • Sheep (in white and black): $3.00

You can also buy white horns for $0.50 a pair, and pink udders for $0.50 each. (The brick and plate on the Holstein and the saddle on the steer are from my own collection.)

The Cows
BrickForge cows are comparable in size to official horses, but with shorter legs. Like LEGO horses, there’s a slot on the back where you can put a saddle (rodeo!), a hitch, or bricks to fill in the space. Unfortunately, you can’t put a barding on a cow. I tried.

The head, which is articulated, includes two holes where you can put any standard rod-sized element, such as Viking horns — and the BrickForge horns fit in holes of the same size on official elements:

Moo! Frat Boy

The Holstein and the black cow integrate well with official LEGO, though they both feel a little lighter than a LEGO element of equivalent size. Without horns, the holes for horns look a little weird on the side of the head, but I’d rather have holes in my cows’ heads than no way to put horns on them! I think the Holstein looks great with an udder (which I haven’t tried removing, so I don’t know how easy that is), and the black cow looks great with a saddle or hitch.

Pigs and Sheep
BrickForge pigs and sheep are about the same size as LEGO dogs. Like dogs, they don’t have any articulation, but their feet fit on any sequence of 1×3 studs (or any pair of studs one stud apart). They look and feel very much like LEGO. I especially like the pink pig, and all the pigs’ curly tails:

Summary
The same fundamental criterion I used in my review of BrickForge weapons applies to these animals: “How well do these custom elements fit into my existing LEGO collection?”

My life would still be complete without historically accurate weapons or modern guns (though I think both BrickForge and BrickArms make some amazingly cool stuff), but I’ve been wanting more animals from LEGO for many years. Not only do they fit in well with my collection, these latest additions to the BrickForge product catalog fill a real gap in what’s been released so far by The LEGO Company. I wholeheartedly recommend them.

Finally, be sure to check out Mark Larson’s review on BrickZone.net, the discussion on Classic-Castle.com, and Martin Jaspers’ review on Brickshelf. Martin’s review includes color comparisons I couldn’t do in the poor lighting I’m stuck with at the moment: