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.

Happy 40th birthday to the first LEGO figures!

Before 1974, LEGO sets were a fairly unpopulated landscape of vacant houses and empty cars. Preceding the iconic minifigure by several years, LEGO released a new kind of figure the year I was born, and some of my first LEGO sets included these figures. Paul Hetherington (Brickbaron) celebrates the 40th birthday of this lesser-known LEGO fig with a lovely double-decker bus.

Lego Figure 40th Anniversary Bus

Paul writes:

I wanted to create a new model that had a distinctly vintage look. My design cues came from some 1970′s Lego trade adverts. I purposely chose a model that used the colors that are incorporated in the Lego logo. In the 1970′s the Lego color palate was limited to yellow, red, blue, white, black, with small amounts of gray and green. On a personal note, I chose the British 1910 B-Type double decker bus because I was born in England and that was were I first came across these figures as a child. As well, if you look at the poster from a distance, red and white are the predominant colors which represents my Canadian upbringing.

Check out more photos on Flickr!

Build your won Ghostbusters HQ firehouse with instructions from Ecto-1 designer Brent Waller

Even though Brent Waller‘s LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set was recently approved as the latest official CUUSOO set, you might be among those disappointed that the beautifully rendered Firehouse in Brent’s original CUUSOO project wasn’t also approved.

But fear not! Brent has just released the step-by-step instructions for the Ghostbusters HQ in LEGO Digital Designer (LDD) format.

Ghostbusters HQ LDD File

You can download Brent’s instructions from his Eurobricks post.

LEGO CUUSOO Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set revealed [News]

Another new set unveiled at ToyFair in New York City this morning is 21108 LEGO Ghostbusters, featuring the iconic Ecto-1 car and the four main characters from the first movie. The final design in the official set retains the level of detail that Brent Waller built into his proposed design.

LEGO CUUSOO Ghostbusters Ecto-1

The set includes four unique minifigs with all their gear:

Official LEGO Ghostbusters minifigs

21108 LEGO Ghostbusters will be released in June 2014 for USD $49.99.

Read the official announcement on the LEGO CUUSOO Blog for complete details.

LEGO 70810 MetalBeard’s Seacow set unveiled at ToyFair [News]

A new LEGO Movie set 70810 MetalBeard’s Seacow has been officially unveiled at ToyFair in New York City. Looks like there’s a different version of MetalBeard in this set from the previous set, which works for me. I must say, I’m pretty excited about this set (though not as much as I am about Benny’s Classic Spaceship, of course).

[EDIT] This set is now available to LEGO VIP members (a free rewards program) at LEGO Shop at Home.
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Here’s the press release and photos:

70810 IN_MA.indd

70810 MetalBeard’s Sea Cow

Ages 14+ 2,741 Pieces

US $249.99 – CA $299.99 – DE 249.99€ – UK £169.99 – DK 2,199.00 DKK
*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.

Help our heroes escape the Micro Managers on MetalBeard’s Sea Cow!

Shiver me timbers, the Micro Managers are approaching our heroes and MetalBeard aboard his wacky Sea Cow ship. Climb the mast to keep a look-out. Fire the powerful shooting cannons from the side of the ship to repel the Micro Managers. And watch out – one has flick missiles and the other can shoot a net! Raise the anchors, spin the rear propellers and steer the ship to safety with the mini version of MetalBeard at the wheel. Includes 4 minifigures: Benny, Emmet, Vitruvius and Wyldstyle, and 2 figures: MetalBeard and QueasyKitty.

Battle 2 Micro Managers with The LEGO® Movie MetalBeard’s Sea Cow with mini version of MetalBeard, 4 minifigures and cow with wings!

• Includes 4 minifigures: Benny, Emmet, Vitruvius and Wyldstyle, and 2 figures: MetalBeard and QueasyKitty

• MetalBeard’s Sea Cow features chimney, 2 anchors, 4 back propellers, 2 huge side turbines, lanterns, 2 gold keys, 2 bottles, bottle with printed ship, box with 4 black coals, hammer, wrench, shovel, gold crowbar and a barrel with 2 rammers. Plus cannon and ammunition deck with 6 cannons and 2 boxes with cannon ammunition (12 pieces), and boiler room with 2 flint guns, 2 flint pistols and 2 swords. Also features captain’s room with treasure chest containing 6 gold coins, 2 red jewels and 2 green jewels, 2 blueprints, 2 maps, globe, sextant, ink vial and quill, and a portrait of MetalBeard

• Also includes a cow with wings!

• The large Micro Manager features fold-up wings with hidden flick missiles, 2 claws and fold-down satellite dish

• The small Micro Manager features a net shooter

• Weapons include 2 flint guns, 2 flint pistols and 2 swords

• Steer the ship with the mini MetalBeard with sword and treasure chest

• Fire the cannons on both sides of the ship to fend off attackers

• Take off the funnel to access the cannon and ammunition deck

• Open the top to access the captain’s cabin and check out the maps, treasure chest, MetalBeard portrait and more!

• Open the doors to the boiler room to access the weapons

• Turn the exhaust to raise and lower the anchors

• Rotate the giant side turbines

• Place a minifigure on the fore mast to operate the mounted guns

• Keep a look-out from the crow’s nest

• Get the fire going below the huge funnel

• Make the rear propellers spin and speed away

• Watch The LEGO® Movie to see all your favorite characters in action

• MetalBeard’s Sea Cow measures over 22” (58cm) high, 24” (61cm) long and 7” (19cm) wide

• The Micro Manager (large) measures over 3” (9cm) high, 4” (12cm) long and 4” (12cm) wide

• The Micro Manager (small) measures over 1” (5cm) high, 2” (6cm) long and 1” (5cm) wide

• Mini MetalBeard measures over 4” (11cm) high, 5” (13cm) deep, and 5” (13cm) wide

• Double-decker couch measures over 3” (8cm) high, 3” (10cm) wide and less than 1” (2cm) long

Available for sale directly through LEGO® beginning
March 2014 via shop.LEGO.com, LEGO® Stores or via phone

Here’s the full set of photos:

Brickmania Track Links roll into production [Review]

Last May, Dan Siskind of Brickmania launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of a new kind of track elements designed to work with LEGO. Early this year, my backer reward package arrived, and I’ve been building (and rebuilding) furiously ever since.

M4 Sherman medium tanks

My new M4A1 Sherman with a dozer attachment is typical of the engineering vehicles used during the invasion of Normandy, with deep wading snorkels that enabled the tank to be dropped off farther from shore and drive mostly underwater on the sea floor. (I think Dan’s design for his early-production M4 Sherman turret can’t be improved, so I replicated his turret design while adding my own gun barrel for consistency with the rest of my tanks.) Both the M4A3 on the left and the dozer tank use two-wide Track Links, while the M4A3E2 Sherman “Jumbo” on the right uses official three-wide LEGO tracks.

In order to switch the M4A3 with the short 75mm gun barrel from its existing three-wide LEGO track to Track Links, I had to rebuild the suspension. As a result, I don’t think this version — possibly my last — shares more than a few bricks with my original attempt at a Sherman that I first posted nearly four years ago.

LEGO currently produces three types of elements that builders use as tank treads, and all of them are hard to get in any significant quantity (and thus fairly expensive). For those of us who build historical or real-world LEGO models, each of these also has unique problems:

  • One-wide Technic chain link: The open chain links don’t look a whole lot like actual tank treads.
  • Three-wide Technic tread: The best official LEGO option for many tanks, but three studs wide is one stud too many for most American tanks of World War II.
  • Five-wide tread with Technic pin holes: Far too huge for anything most minifig-scale applications.

The most significant gap in available parts is the lack of any official two-wide track. Using two parallel sets of Technic chain link (as I did on my M7 Priest) is cost-prohibitive at best, and doesn’t look all that great. From a historical standpoint, German and Russian tank designers realized that relatively narrow track would just sink in mud, miring and thus disabling the tank. As WWII veteran Belton Cooper described in Death Traps, American tank designers didn’t get that memo. To build historically accurate American tanks, LEGO military modelers need something other than the official LEGO options.

The two-wide Track Links tracks work beautifully on American medium tanks like the M3 Lee/Grant, M4 Sherman, and all the tracked vehicles based on their chassis (such as the M7 Priest and most WWII tank destroyers). Dan himself has been replacing the existing track on many of his vehicles with Track Links, including this beautifully camouflage-patterned M3 Grant and M10 tank destroyer.

M10 Tank Destroyer

Just like regular LEGO track, Track Links clip together with small pins on each side, and they work well with a variety of LEGO gears. Both the single-wide and double-wide Track Links wrap around the gears better than LEGO tracks or chain links, and they roll just as well. Here’s my M3A1 Stuart light tank sporting the single-wide Track Links.

M3A1 Stuart tank (1)

On a related note, you’ll notice that many military builders have begun using the new BrickArms M2HB .50 caliber machine gun. I still like my own brick-built .50 cal, but it’s also nice to have an absolutely accurate option that’s consistent with the BrickArms .30 caliber M1919 Browning machine gun.

M8 Scott howitzer motor carriage (1)

In addition to Track Links and a .50 cal, my M8 Scott 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage (with a gun that elevates/depresses and an ammunition trailer) includes several other custom elements:

  • Brickmania armored division minifig
  • BrickArms shells
  • Citizen Brick diamond plate tiles

Will Chapman gave away several prototype M2HBs at BrickCon, and now the production version is available from resellers like Brickmania and G.I. Brick. One difference between the initial prototype and the final production version is that the ammunition canister is a bit looser. It won’t fall out, but it does have a tendency to flop around a bit. Based on the high quality we’ve come to expect from BrickArms over the years, I’m confident that a bit of retooling will address this minor issue soon.

Brickmania Track Links are available in three colors — black, steel, and reddish brown (great for mud/rust) — on Brickmania.com, along with the new BrickArms M2HB.

I’ll also be posting reviews of several Brickmania kits that include Track Links over the next week or two, so check back here for more.

Full of sly humor, The LEGO Movie is a must-watch for all LEGO fans – especially adults [Review]

I’ll admit it: I had very low expectations for The LEGO Movie. The first trailers were annoying more than anything else, and — out of context from the movie — I wasn’t especially impressed with the corresponding sets (which LEGO sent us to review a while ago — they’re actually pretty great parts packs). But this evening I joined scores of local LEGO fans, press, and others at an early screening, and the movie won me over from the first moments on screen.

The LEGO Movie

Written and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (whose previous writing/directing collaboration is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), The LEGO Movie begins when Emmet (Chris Pratt) wakes up one morning and heads to his construction job, following instructions every step of the way. You can infer most of the lessons that the movie will convey from that premise alone — yes, there are plenty of nods to creativity, teamwork, and other wonderful sentiments. But there’s a lot more to this movie than bang-you-over-the-head morals in the vein of Toy Story 3.

The LEGO Movie: BatmanFirst and foremost, the movie is full of subtle references to LEGO arcana from the past 35 years. I won’t spoil any of the surprises, but the inclusion of a blue Classic Space minifig with a cracked visor should be evidence enough that this isn’t just a movie for boys aged 6-12 whose idea of LEGO is Ninjago and Legends of Chima.

Similarly, and less obscurely, well-timed cameos from completely unexpected parts of the LEGO universe (no, not that LEGO Universe) had the audience roaring with approval. The voice acting is impressive, but don’t go looking up the credits yet or you’ll spoil many of the surprises. And forget Ben Affleck, I want Will Arnett as the next Batman.

The animation style is rather striking. Unlike the flat, uniform style we’ve all gotten used to in LEGO video games, the move essentially looks like it was animated with real bricks. More interestingly, the pieces — especially the minifigs — show lots of play wear. The minifigs also move with the limitations inherent to their form; you’ll never see a minifig bending at the knee or flexing a claw hand.

The LEGO Movie: Blue Spaceman

There’s a final plot twist that comes as a complete but totally natural surprise. With plenty of foreshadowing, this final twist fits perfectly with what you’ve seen throughout the rest of the movie — an indication of good writing by Lord and Miller. Even better, it’s clear that they’re very aware of patterns of thinking among adult fans.

Overall, I can unreservedly recommend The LEGO Movie. This isn’t a movie about LEGO the beloved brand or corporation. Nor is it really a movie about bricks or even creativity. Fundamentally, The LEGO Movie is a movie for LEGO fans and about LEGO fans. It’s also just plain entertaining. Set aside your preconceptions and go see it.

The LEGO Movie opens this Friday, February 7th.

As a final note, I’m interested to learn how LEGO builders we know were involved in making the movie — Facebook lately has been full of subtle references to recent projects with a forthcoming reveal and early cast & crew screenings. Watching the credits, it was great to see designer Matthew Ashton get an Executive Producer credit.

I’d love to hear what you think, too. Feel free to discuss your thoughts in the comments, but please keep the discussion spoiler-free through opening weekend.

LEGO to Make Official Ghostbusters Set [News]

Ghostbusters will be the next official Cuusoo set, LEGO announced today on the blog for the Cuusoo site. Cuusoo is a LEGO website that allows fans to submit ideas to LEGO. If an idea garners 10,000 votes, LEGO will examine if they are able to turn the idea into an official set. Several sets gained the requisite votes in the last review session, but thus far only fan Brent Waller’s Ghostbusters project has been confirmed for transformation into an official set. Another Ghostbusters project also reached the 10,000 vote mark, but LEGO has decided to only pursue Waller’s project, since it reached the vote threshold first, and the model designers liked the car better.

We don’t know yet what the final set will look like, since, as is the case with all Cuusoo projects, it is the idea, not the specific model, that LEGO has agreed to produce. Pictured above is Waller’s Ghostbusters model.

LEGO Officially Announces 71006 The Simpsons House [News]

Presumably in response to this week’s unofficial release of images of the upcoming Simpsons House, LEGO has officially unveiled the set, which will be available in February. Below is the official press release.

Click on this image to see the full gallery of photos.
71006_prod

71006 The Simpsons™ House

Ages 12+ 2,523 pieces
US $199.99 – CA $229.99 – DE 199.99€ – UK £179.99 – DK 1,699.00 DKK
*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.

D’oh! The Simpsons™ House has been turned into LEGO® bricks!

Build The Simpsons™ House with detachable roof, modular design, car with dent, the famous family couch, 6 minifigures and so much more.

Recreate hilarious scenes from the classic animated TV series with The Simpsons™ House. Taken right out of Springfield, this amazing model is crammed with tons of LEGO® brick detail. Lift off the roof and open up the house to discover Homer and Marge’s big family bedroom including bed and Maggie’s crib, Bart’s room with his skateboard and Krusty the Clown poster, Lisa’s room with her favorite books, jazz poster and more, and bathroom with shower, toilet, sink and mirror. Lift off the top floor to reveal the fully-fitted kitchen with dining table, chairs, yellow and light-blue tiled floor and lots of pots, pans and other accessories. Then it’s into the living room with couch and TV playing Itchy and Scratchy, purple piano and more. Next to the house is the detachable garage, complete with workbench, tool rack, vacuum cleaner, broom, toolbox, tools and the family car, complete with dent (because only in a LEGO world are dents a plus!), opening trunk and ‘radioactive’ bar from the nuclear power plant. Step outside onto the terrace and you’ll find loads of cool items, including a grill, wheelbarrow and air conditioning unit with ‘Property of Ned Flanders’ decoration, sausages, 2 garden loungers, flowerpots, a shovel, 2 fruit cocktail glasses, Lisa’s camera, Bart’s skateboard ramp with ‘El Barto’ graffiti and an antenna on the roof. The Simpsons™ House is the perfect collector’s item for fans of all ages. Includes 6 minifigures: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and Ned Flanders.

• Includes 6 minifigures: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and Ned Flanders

• First floor includes yellow and light-blue tiled floor, sink, oven and stove, drawers, cups, pot, pan, bowl, mixer, plates, cake tins, cutlery, dining table and 4 chairs

• Living room features TV playing Itchy and Scratchy, couch, boat painting, telephone, carpet, purple piano and staircase to the second floor with family photos

• Bart’s room features a bed, night lamp, desk with pin board, chair, Krusty the Clown poster, skateboard, shelves with books, radio and a cap

• Marge and Homer’s bedroom features a bed, 2 side tables, Maggie’s crib and Marge’s bag
• Lisa’s room features a vanity mirror with hairbrush, stool, bed, table with lamp and cup, shelves with books, magnifying glass, backpack and a jazz poster on the wall

• Bathroom features a shower, toilet, sink and a mirror

• Detachable garage features the family car, tools, workbench, tool rack, vacuum cleaner, toolbox and a broom

• Family car with space for 4 minifigures features a dent in the front and an opening trunk to store Homer’s suitcase and a ‘radioactive’ bar from the nuclear power plant

• Outside area includes a grill, wheelbarrow and air conditioning unit with ‘Property of Ned Flanders’ decoration, sausages, 2 garden loungers, flowerpots, a shovel, 2 fruit cocktail glasses, Lisa’s camera, Bart’s skateboard ramp with ‘El Barto’ graffiti and an antenna on the roof

• Can you spot all the items Homer has “borrowed” from Ned Flanders?

• Remove the roof and top floor to access the different rooms inside

• House is hinged in the middle for easy access

• The perfect set for fans of LEGO® brick building and The Simpsons™!

• The Simpsons™ House measures over 9” (23cm) high, 16” (42cm) wide and 9” (24cm) deep

71006_Couch

Unveiled: 71006 The Simpsons House [News]

The first images have escaped into the wild of the flagship set for the upcoming official Simpsons line of LEGO sets.

UPDATE: Official information about 71006 The Simpsons House is now available.

71006 The Simpsons House is the cartoon family’s Springfield home, a sprawling suburban manor. The set includes the five Simpsons family members: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, as well as their neighbor Ned Flanders, each with their awkward amalgamation of uniquely-molded head and classic minifig body. The house looks straight from the pages of the Creator theme of domiciles, though this one is a bit bigger, clocking in with an enormous 2523 pieces, which puts it easily in the $250 price range, although the price has not been confirmed yet. The residence hinges open to reveal a full interior, complete with tiled floors. It’s hardly an inspiring design for the LEGO aficionado, but it is, I suppose, fairly accurate to the Simpsons’ humdrum suburbanite existence, and fans of the show will likely find lots to love. Let us know in the comments what you think: Is this set a hit or a miss?

71006 The Simpsons House
71006 The Simpsons House