Category Archives: News

Stay current on the latest news and information about LEGO, from sales & deals to new set announcements. We also cover LEGO events and conventions all over the world.

Set Pictures for LEGO Ideas 21110 Research Institute [NEWS]

With the announcement of 10242 Mini Cooper, we missed covering LEGO Idea’s announcement of their next set: 21110 Research Institute, based off of Ellen Kooijman’s Female Minifigure set.

LEGO sent Ellen an advance copy of the set, which she has revealed on her blog. She takes us step by step through the box art, the construction, and includes observations about her profession and the stories the vignettes tell.

I wanted to highlight, too, this fantastic telescope design for the astronomer. I am so excited for this set to come out!

There doesn’t seem to be word yet on pricing or when it will be available, though it appears to be on target for an August release.

LEGO Fusion lets you transform physical models into virtual creations

LEGO has announced the release of a new product line called LEGO Fusion, which is a series of sets containing Lego pieces and a special Fusion brick that works with the camera on a mobile device to capture the creation and import it as a virtual model that one can play games and interact with. Each set retails for $34.99 and will be released in August 2014. Learn more fro the press release:

NEW YORK (June 19, 2014) – LEGO Systems, Inc., makers of the world’s leading construction toys, today introduced LEGO® FUSION, a play experience that combines traditional LEGO brick play with familiar app-based game themes. LEGO FUSION leverages new technologies—and children’s fascination with them—to create an entirely new way to engage in LEGO brick building and app game play for children ages 7 and up. Available later this summer, the LEGO FUSION collection will include four distinct titles: LEGO FUSION Town Master, LEGO FUSION Battle Towers, LEGO FUSION Create & Race and LEGO FUSION Resort Designer.

Each LEGO FUSION experience consists of a distinct set of LEGO bricks, a corresponding free downloadable app and the new FUSION capture plate, a small brick building plate with a printed design that enables a smart phone or tablet’s camera to identify the size and colors of the LEGO bricks built onto it. In response to game prompts, children build vertically in 2-D on the FUSION capture plate, enabling the app to ‘see,’ import and transform the creation into 3-D in the digital world.

“Children have always imagined their LEGO creations as immersive worlds which come to life for hours of role-play and adventure,” said Ditte Bruun Pedersen, senior design manager, LEGO Future Lab. “Recently, smart phones and tablets have become a popular platform for empowering game mechanisms that kids love. LEGO FUSION brings these two favorite play patterns together in an experience where real-life LEGO builds come to life in a virtual game, inspiring creativity, strategy, and the pride of creation.”

To Win, Step Away from the Screen

Once a child’s creation has been imported into the game, a series of challenges and interactions requires that players turn away from the device and return to the real world to use their LEGO bricks to build new solutions in order to move game play forward. Each game encourages this back-and-forth between physical and virtual, keeping children engaged in both worlds.
“In our research, we heard repeatedly from parents that they are constantly battling ‘zombie gaze,’ the experience when their children are immersed in their device screens for large blocks of time,” said Pedersen. “We developed LEGO FUSION with this challenge in mind, creating a play experience that keeps children entertained with the kind of app gameplay they love while giving real reasons to return to the brick pile to creatively build.”

Each LEGO FUSION product offers a distinct play experience. The four products launching this year are:

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LEGO FUSION Town Master
In this simulation game, players create and rule their own LEGO town, first by building it with LEGO bricks, then by capturing it and importing it to the game. Children build everything from houses to a pizzeria, fire station and bike shop while completing errands and missions like catching robbers, fighting fires and skateboarding. To keep the minifigure citizens happy, players solve problems through physical building and earn points to gain access to more structures, and even run additional towns.

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LEGO FUSION Battle Towers
Players build a tower and defend it against attack so they can rule the kingdom. First, players design the Battle Towers with real LEGO pieces, then capture them and import them to the game. Next, players choose tower defenders like wizards and archers and battle against evil warriors, skeleton armies, and more. If a tower is damaged in battle, players can repair the damage with a timed build with the game’s real LEGO bricks.

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LEGO FUSION Create & Race
In this racing game, players get behind the wheel and virtually drive the cars that they create with real LEGO bricks. Once a custom vehicle is digitally designed, physically built, and imported to the game, it can be optimized for success in racing, demolition or stunts. Players learn that every brick shape and color on the vehicle matters for performance. Three themed courses offer endless challenges unlocked by physical LEGO builds, and children can even ghost race against friends to top the leaderboard.

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LEGO FUSION Resort Designer

Players help the LEGO Friends design new vacation houses, shops and activities for Ambersands Beach. After building 2-D facades, capturing them and importing them to the game, players can design the interiors of 3-D digital structures, such as an aquarium, surf shop and beach houses. Children can unlock new levels and build more resorts by completing missions like rescuing dolphins, riding horses, surfing and other resort activities.

Beginning in September, LEGO FUSION will incorporate the ability for players to access their digital LEGO creations and game play anywhere. Using their LEGO ID, players can sign in on any compatible device and access their gallery and game play from within the LEGO FUSION app.

Developed by TT Games, makers of the best-selling LEGO video game franchise, the LEGO FUSION Town Master, Battle Towers, Create & Race, and Resort Designer app games are free for download from the Apple, Google or Samsung App Store for Apple iOS and Android.

LEGO FUSION Town Master, LEGO FUSION Battle Towers, and LEGO FUSION Create & Race will launch in August 2014; LEGO FUSION Resort Designer will launch in September 2014. Each will be available for $34.99 in LEGO Stores and Toys”R”Us stores in the U.S., as well as online at shop.LEGO.com and at toysrus.com.

LEGO Unveils New 10242 MINI Cooper Due Out August 2014 [NEWS]

A follow up to their fantastic 10220 Volkswagen T1 Camper Van, LEGO has unveiled the newest “little” brother (sister?) in their car family. Meet 10242 MINI Cooper. This little green beauty enjoys long drives on winding country roads and romantic picnics by sunset.

10242 MINI Cooper

I absolutely loved the Camper Van, so I’m super stoked for this beauty. Gorgeous color aside, the model looks simply amazing!

Check out more photos on Flickr!

Here’s the official press release:

10242 MINI Cooper
Ages 16+. 1,077pieces.
Take this MINI Cooper for a nostalgic drive down memory lane!

US $99.99 – CA $119.99 – AU $149.99 – DE 89.99€ – UK £74.99 – DK 799.00 DKK
*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.

Experience the iconic MINI Cooper first hand, with its classic lines, detailed interior and fun picnic theme.

Take the iconic MINI Cooper for a drive! This beautifully crafted LEGO® brick replica of the classic MINI Cooper Mk VII is full of authentic details, from the classic green and white color scheme with white wing mirrors and racing stripes, to the opening doors, hood and trunk, sporty fog lights, detailed engine and separate spare tire compartment. You can even remove the roof to access a tan colored interior with patterned seats, veneer-style dashboard, turning steering wheel, and moving gearshift and handbrake. And of course, no MINI Cooper would be complete without a picnic basket and blanket, the perfect accessories for a cozy day in the countryside!

• Features opening doors, hood and trunk, spare wheel in separate compartment, detailed engine and 2 fog lights.
• Accessories include a picnic basket, bottle and blanket for nostalgic picnic theme.
• Authentic replica of the MINI Cooper Mk VII.
• Classic green and white color theme with white wing mirrors and racing stripes.
• Lift the hood to reveal the detailed engine.
• Remove the roof and access the detailed interior.
• Go on a countryside picnic with this iconic classic!
• MINI Cooper measures over 4” (11cm) high, 9” (25cm) long and 5” (14cm) wide.

Watch one of the LEGO designers show off some of this set’s unique features and construction:

Countdown to Brickworld Chicago 2014

In two weeks, AFOLs from around the world will be converging on the state of Illinois for Brickworld Chicago 2014 – the biggest, baddest, brickiest LEGO convention in the known universe!

The event takes place at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois. The private AFOL convention runs from June 11th – 15th, while the public exhibitions are on Saturday 14th (10am – 4pm) and Sunday 15th (10am – 3pm). Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Kids 3 and under get in free.

For AFOLs attending the event, there is a wealth of fun and games lined up for you as always. But for those only visiting during public hours, don’t be downhearted, you’ll have access to tons of vendors ready to sell you all kinds of sweet LEGO-related goodies (custom parts, custom sets, the list is endless). Or while you’re in the Schaumburg area, pay a visit to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center.

Our good friends over at Beyond the Brick will be on site to film all the action, including builder interviews and a walkthrough of the entire display. If you’d like to get a copy of their DVD as a keepsake, and perhaps score some other one-of-a-kind goodies as well, go support their Kickstarter project right now! $20 is all it takes to secure your copy.

In fact, as a run-up to this year’s event, Joshua and Matthew recently interviewed Brickworld founder Bryan Bonahoom. Check out the episode below to find out about the amazing story behind how the Brickworld franchise got started, and how Bryan and his team pull off four conventions in four cities every year!


The Brothers Brick will also be in attendance at Brickworld Chicago this year. Brothers Chris, Simon, Carter and Iain (that’s me!) will be there to take your abuse. I will also be live tweeting all of the shenanigans and goings-on, for your amusement. And we’ll be giving away some swag! But to get it, you’ll have to find us first, and then say the secret pass phrase ;-)

Amazon BOGO 40% promotion includes sale items

Amazon is currently having a buy one get one 40% off promotion that includes Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, Star Wars and Castle themes. The promotion includes items already on sale. To qualify for the sale, you have to check out with just 2 items in your cart from the qualifying themes. The sale price will show up on the last page of check out. Below are some items worth noting and their sale price with the promotion applied:

LEGO Castle Forest Ambush ($6.39)

LEGO Star Wars Clone Troopers vs Droidekas 75000 ($8.63)

LEGO Star Wars AT-RT 75002 ($13.85)

LEGO Star Wars A-wing Starfighter 75003 ($15.35)

LEGO LOTR 79006 The Council of Elrond ($17.67)

LEGO Lord of the Rings 79012 Mirkwood Elf Army Building Kit ($20)

Lego Castle Dragon Mountain – 70403 ($34.63)

LEGO LOTR Battle at The Black Gate 79007
($35.99)

LEGO Lord of the Rings 79014 Dol Guldur Battle ($41.26)

Wet and wild!

This weekend saw the grand opening of the Legends of Chima water park at LEGOLAND California. The layout and design of the park looks awesome. But instead of having to pore over a mere 2D map of the place, wouldn’t a brick-built 3D version be even more awesomer-rer? Well that’s what LEGOLAND master builder Joel Baker thought, so he designed one!

Joel was actually pool-side as he relayed some cool facts to us about the creation:

“This was built in one week by myself and four other master builders. It weighs 60 lbs and has roughly 55,000 pieces. It is currently part of a media tour and has made it’s way through several cities including New York, Boston, Texas, and Arizona. I hope it ends up in the park, as it would be our first brick built map – I believe the kiddos would enjoy figuring out where they are and where they want to go by pointing at LEGO instead of the usual (but still cool) paper!”

LEGO Minecraft The End 21107 coming in June

The next set from LEGO Minecraft depicts the dimension known as The End. It will be released in June and retails for $34.99. Here’s the product description:

Once you’ve equipped yourself for the ultimate battle, you’re ready to enter The End. The Ender Dragon is a fearsome foe, and you’d better be prepared for anything when you enter his domain. Now you can relive the adventure of The End with this LEGO micro-world set. The set also includes the Buildable Ender Dragon and Enderman Micromob figures.

LEGO Minecraft The End (21107)LEGO Minecraft The End (21107)

Via The Brick Fan

70816: Benny’s Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP! [Review]

As most regular readers know, I am a big fan of LEGO space. Like most fans of 80s LEGO space, I loved the character Benny in the LEGO movie, and was excited to see that his ship would become a set. Even better, fellow Brother Brick Simon found this set for sale at his local LEGO store, ahead of the launch date for my part of the world. He kindly sent me a copy, so that I could bring you this review. First, let me get the obligatory “spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP!!! out of the way.”

Benny's Classic Spaceship!! 01

I have to admit that it has been a long time since I built an official LEGO set. I tried to build and review the Palace Cinema, but only managed one floor. Sifting through bags of parts to find the right one is something of a chore, compared to my sorted collection. Coupled with that, I’m no great fan of following instructions. The instructions for this set did recall a bit of a peeve, which is that LEGO seems fond of putting multipliers for assembly instructions at the end. The first few pages of the instructions are for the detachable little ships on the wing, and at the end, an exciting “X2″. Fortunately, it wasn’t the nightmare that the same treatment in the original ISD caused. None of this was enough to keep me from building this entire spaceship, though, and I must say that it was worth it.

Parts
Space builders are going to want to pick up a few copies of this set, which is sure to kick of a new frenzy of Neo Classic Space creations. First off, we’ve got three new pieces in transparent yellow. All three are great windscreen parts (I never thought I’d see the UCS X-Wing canopy in another color!), or useful to build large enclosures. There are a lot of new elements used throughout the ship, though I don’t think most are exclusive to the set. We also get three slopes with the Classic Space logo printed on them, which look fantastic. Speaking of that logo, we also get it printed on four stickers with clear backing!! Here’s a shot of an original printed logo next to the new incarnations. The sticker sheet is just outstanding, as it also includes sticker versions of classic space computer screens and buttons. It does rain one complaint, and a bit of an idiosyncrasy for the set. That is the placement of stickers on slopes. I never feel like stickers adhere well or long to most LEGO slopes, due to their textured surface. I suspect that LEGO may feel the same way, as they printed the logo on three slopes for this set. Even so, I’m generally happier with clear-backed stickers than I am with printed parts these days, so I’ll take it. In fact, I didn’t apply most of the stickers, because I want to use them on my own creations.

Minifigs
This set doesn’t skimp on the figs. Most of the figs are unique to the set, and they’re all awesome. I’m going to consider astronaut Unkitty a minifig, but we should remember that she’s made of parts, which include a 1×3 arch printed with the CS logo, and gold 1×1 plates. That arch has tons of potential for use in space creations, and I hope they end up being affordable on Bricklink, though I rather doubt it. This set’s Emmet has wrapped his face and the Piece of Resistance in foil, which makes for a pretty bizare looking minifig head, and a pretty awesome silver brick. I don’t remember Wildstyle changing into a different outfit for the spaceship scene, but it’s pretty cool seeing the graffiti style applied to a classic space uniform, and it gets us her hood piece in blue. The bad-guy robot has a pretty cool space suit, with an Octan logo in the center.

Finally, we have Benny, now available outside of the Sea Cow. I don’t have the budget for the Sea Cow, and hadn’t actually seen a Benny fig in person yet. While I love the Character for nostalgia, the fig himself doesn’t wow me. The scratched up logo on his chest is in worse shape than anything from my childhood collection, and I’m not sure I can see myself using it in a creation. I’m also not sure I see much utility for the “broken” helmet, though the cover of Inherit the Stars springs to mind. LEGO went all out with Benny on the nostalgia factor, though, and printed a classic smiley face on one side of his head. Bravo!!

Benny's Classic Spaceship!! 03

Playability
This is another spot where this set really shines. First, it’s very strong, built with technic frames locked in place by plates. This means I can swoosh it with one hand. I feel confidant that I could let my three year old play with it, and while I’m sure some fins and antennas would come off, the main body of the ship would probably be fine. I’ll have to remove all the shooters, so his baby sister keeps her eyes, though (they sure plaster the don’t shoot your eye out emblem everywhere, don’t they?). Second, the set has many of the play features we expect in Classic Space sets. There are little robots to deploy, single-fig fighter/scouts to detach and fly away, rotating radar dish, and an internal lab. Of course, the set also has four spring loaded projectile launchers (two are the new 1×4 brick launchers, which are surprisingly strong), as well as the ubiquitous flick-fire missiles. Finally, you can push one of the engines forward, to open the wings wider, revealing two of the guns. The motion of this feature is quite smooth, and the mechanism is simple and effective.

The set also comes with a little bad-guy fighter, so you can play out your own dramatic battles. It’s small, but has a nice shape to it, and a fairly clever SNOT technique in the nose. Compared to Benny’s ship, it’s rather tiny, but it got enough attention that it’s not merely a throw-away model. It’s swooshable, and has a few lasers, so you can fly both ships around and go “pew pew pew!” Honestly, what more do you need?

Overall:
My overall impression of this ship is that it was a fun and interesting build, with plenty to hearken back to the Classic Space sets of my youth. The ship has the gray engines, gray wings, blue body, and trans yellow windscreens we all love. It has a little lab inside, a radar dish, and some helper robots, just like old times. The set has tons of play features, some interesting construction techniques, and is SWOOSHABLE. It’s a bit pricey ($100) but the 980 part count helps with this, as do the bevy of unique figs and elements. I intend to buy a few copies, and if I ever catch it on sale, I might go nuts.

Brickfête Jul 17-20, 2014


Janey Gunning asked if we could share the following press release in regards to this year’s Brickfête.

This is a call out to all AFOL, LEGO collectors, builders, hobbyists, and enthusiasts within walking, driving or flying distance of Toronto, Canada. The Brickfête Team is looking for exhibitors and would love to see you and what you have built. Join us for some good times completely focused on our beloved obsession with the brick.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT! To register for the four days visit our AFOL portion of our site… http://toronto.brickfete.com/toafol/Registration

Our new hotel venue is awesome! Incredible hotel rates have been secured and there is free parking for all Brickfete guests. Time is running out for this super room rate at a 38% savings.

Some families are planning a vacation by taking advantage of the great room rates and the awesome location near exciting venues such as the Science Center or the Toronto Zoo.

Our list of events are being posted and there is something for everyone to get involved with.

Build Challenges
Live Auction
Prize Raffles
Games
Contests and Activities
And more to come…

Display with us and enjoy the company of other AFOLS. We can’t wait to see you on the attendees list and to see what you have built.