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.

Ask A Lemur – 3rd Party Elements, Raising Children & the Lie that was Susan Williams

Hello again, Dearest Readers!

Stern Lemur

I had a strange experience this last weekend. I had the honor of attending a rather unusual tradition that is practiced in the United States. It was called “Super Bowl”. Josh had a party at his house and invited me to come over. I was very excited to see how big this super-bowl was and what sorts of yummy things it held. Come to find out there is no actual “bowl”. There is a lot of food involved but no bowl. What’s up with that?

So, I was the first guest to show up. Apparently the first one to arrive gets to wash the host’s cars. I’ll remember that for the future as no one else had to wash anything. Anyway, the rest of the evening seemed to involve watching some guys on TV fight over an inflated pigskin. I’m not sure why they were fighting over it, as no one got to eat it when it was all over. But the food was good (Bacon-wrapped Jalapeno poppers, FTW!) and I learned enough to yell at the TV when everyone else was. I’d go again next year, but I’ll try to be fashionably late.

On to your questions!

Why do so many people think that 3rd party items are cool but consider clone bricks to be taboo?

This is a great question and the answers are highly subjective. For those how don’t know, 3rd Party items are made by LEGO fans and intended to complement LEGO. Clone bricks are elements made by companies that compete with LEGO.

In general, 3rd Party Items are intended to fill a niche that LEGO is not supplying. For example, LEGO has stated that they will not make modern weaponry. Several small companies, owned by LEGO fans, have attempted to fill that void. 3rd party manufacturers make a large variety of items that are intended to work with or replace certain LEGO elements but are not meant to compete with or replace LEGO as a whole. The quality tends to be high, though it does vary. Fans of the various 3rd party companies tend to be very vocal and enthusiastic.

Clone Bricks are made by companies that are trying to compete with and replace LEGO itself. They make versions of the exact pieces that LEGO already makes and are trying to convince people to buy their products rather than LEGO. The quality tends to be lower than LEGO, but there are exceptions. The names of clone brick companies are often used as substitute expletives.

There are LEGO fans who won’t touch either 3rd party items or clone brick. There are other builders who will use anything and there is a wide range of people in between. The general consensus seems to be that 3rd party items are okay because they are made by fans of LEGO and are meant to add to LEGO. Along similar lines, clone bricks are bad because they are intended to compete with and/or replace LEGO.

In all honesty, there are problems with the logic of any of positions. It all comes down to personal preference. For the most part, they all taste the same. Arguing over it is silly.

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LEGO Avengers Helicarrier Announced! [News]

Fans have long speculated that a LEGO Avengers Helicarrier was in the works, and today LEGO officially confirmed those rumors. The new set, 76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier, is a gigantic microscale ship which rings in just shy of 3 feet in length. This is the first time LEGO has used tiny microscale figures (originally designed to be trophies) as characters in a playset. The set also comes with 5 regularly-sized minifigures, and can be motorized using LEGO Power Functions (not included). It will be available from LEGO Shop@Home in March.

76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier
76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier

You can see all of the photos of the Helicarrier on the official Brothers-Brick flickr account. Here’s the press release from LEGO, along with the designer video:

76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier


Ages 16+
2,996 pieces.

US $349.99
CA $399.99
DE 349.99€
UK £269.99
DK 2999.00 DKK

*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.

Build and display the huge SHIELD Helicarrier!
Take on the challenge of building this awesome LEGO® model of The SHIELD Helicarrier. Construct the flying aircraft carrier with 2 runways, microscale Quinjets, fighter jets and ground support vehicles. The set also comes with many of your favorite LEGO Marvel Super Heroes minifigures, plus 12 microfigures to display on deck and within the highly detailed interior. Includes 5 minifigures: Nick Fury, Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye and Maria Hill.

• Includes 5 minifigures: Nick Fury, Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye and Maria Hill, plus an iconic SHIELD eagle stand to display them on
• Features 3 microscale Quinjets, 3 fighter jets, a gasoline truck, 2 forklift trucks, 2 runways, 4 road blockades, armored exterior with translucent elements, detailed interior, plus 12 microfigures (Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Captain America, Iron Man and 8 SHIELD agents)
• Also includes a detailed runway
• Weapons include Hawkeye’s bow, Black Widow’s gun and Captain America’s shield
• SHIELD Agent Maria Hill minifigure is new for spring 2015!
• Includes a plaque with facts about The SHIELD Helicarrier
• Add lights and spinning rotors to the Helicarrier with the 88000, 8883 and 8870 LEGO® Power Functions sets (sold separately)
• Rotors can also be turned manually
• Includes a display stand
• Helicarrier measures over 11” (29cm) high, 31” (80cm) long and 17” (45cm) wide
• Each Quinjet measures over 1” (3cm) high, 2” (7cm) long and 2” (7cm) wide
• Minifigure stand measures over 4” (12cm) high, and 2” (6cm deep) and 6” (16cm wide)

76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier
76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier

Ask a Lemur – Loot, Public Displays & the TBB Compound

Greetings and Salutations, Dearest Readers!

Lemur Peeking

I, the TBB intern, am here, as always, to answer any and all of your questions about LEGO, the fan community and The Brothers Brick. How was your week? Mine was outstanding.

Master Andrew informed me that I had been here long enough now to qualify for a day off. That’s right! An entire day to do whatever I wanted! Aren’t you jealous? Who gets something like that? This is such an awesome place.

It took me some time to figure what I wanted to do but then Carter pointed out that the next town over has a 24-hour All-You-Can-Eat Buffet. All-You-Can-Eat! Let me tell you, they hadn’t met me. It was the most awesome experience. I hitch-hiked over there and found the flickering neon sign. After paying Lois (“Have at it, Hon”, she said), I dove right in. It was so scrumptious. The massive fruit bar, the crusty little shrimps, the warm chocolate fountain, the texture of the napkins…it was the place of my dreams. I still haven’t fully recovered. Lemur has a big belly!

Anyway, that was my week. On to your questions!

You at the brothers brick are always giving away prizes, and holding contests. Where do you guys get your loot?

For the most part, funding for the “loot” that we give away comes from readers like you. The site is paid for by the Amazon and LEGO affiliate ads in our sidebar. Every time you buy something via our ads, the website receives a commission. It doesn’t matter what you buy and nothing is added to your purchase. We simply get a “cut” for directing you to there. Once the overhead of the site is covered, the remainder is funneled back into the community in a variety of ways. One of those is by providing prizes for our own contests or sponsoring contests that others run.

The more you click on our ads, the more we can sponsor events and such in the community. They also buy me more fruit and other yummy things but I’m not supposed to talk about that. Don’t worry about me, I’m fine!

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LEGO Avengers: Age of Ultron sets revealed [News]

Official set photos of the new wave of Avengers sets are now available. Marvel’s next big blockbuster, Avengers: Age of Ultron, releases on May 1, and we can expect these sets to hit stores shortly before that. The 5 sets in this lineup range from a small to large, and while pricing isn’t yet available for them, it’s a safe bet that they’ll range from $12.99 for the small set to somewhere around $70 or $80 for the Quinjet.

76031 The Hulk Buster Smash

Hulk has been trapped by the powers of Scarlet Witch and she is ready to fire an electrical bolt if he tries to escape! Place Iron Man in the cockpit of the humungous Hulk Buster suit and rush to the rescue. On the way you must fend off aerial attacks from the flying Ultron.
Adjust the Hulk Busters arms and legs to create fearsome battle poses and grab the villain with the powerful hands. With Ultron safely in the mechs grip, attach Iron Man to his Super Jumper. Then take out Scarlet Witch with an accurate jump and free the imprisoned Hulk!
Includes 3 minifigures with assorted weapons and accessories: Iron Man, Ultron and Scarlet Witch, plus a Hulk figure.

76031 The Hulk Buster Smash
76031 The Hulk Buster Smash

See the rest of the sets after the jump.

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LEGO Scooby-Doo sets announced, Mystery Machine revealed [News]

[Updated] LEGO is officially picking up the Scooby-Doo license. First announced at the London Toy Fair, we’ve now got an official image of the most iconic Scooby-Doo set, 76902 Mystery Machine. The set will include 301 pieces, and retail for USD $29.99, and features a new mold for Scooby. The new line will hit stores this August, along with a 22-minute special cartoon in which Scooby and the gang will be LEGO-ized.

75900 Mummy Museum Mystery – $14.99
75901 Mystery Plane Adventures – TBA
75902 Mystery Machine – $29.99
75903 Haunted Lighthouse – TBA
75904 Mystery Mansion – $89.99

76902 Mystery Machine
[via USA Today]

UPDATE: We’ve received the official press release from LEGO, which you can read after the jump.

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Ask a Lemur – Brick Separators, Mold Variants and Twerking Squidbots

Gidro aho, Dearest Readers!

lemur face & tail

As you know, I am the intern for The Brothers Brick. Yes, I am a lemur and I’m here to answer your questions regarding LEGO, the fan community and inner workings of The Brothers Brick. Talking to you all is truly a highlight for me. I look forward to it all week long! I have finally gotten caught up on my backlog of lemur loot. I just put the last pile on Simon’s desk and will ask him to mail it out tomorrow on his way to the airport. He is heading out to get ready for his weekend with the lucky winner of our “Win a Weekend with Simon” promotion. It was one of our most popular events yet. We had to set aside the conference room for entry overflow because the mail room couldn’t handle the flood.

Remember to post your questions in the comments. Each week I will be sending some loot out to the people who ask my favorite questions!

Now on to the good stuff.

Are you aware of any plans for a new brick separator tool?

I am not aware of any plans for a new official brick separator. LEGO upgraded their separator recently and I doubt they would change it again so soon. But, really, you never know. The new version is interesting. It feels a bit more flimsy than the old one but it has new features, such as being able to use the end of the handle to remove tiles and having a short technic axle on the back so you can push pins out.

I recently found out about a third party brick tool called The Brick Popper. I haven’t gotten my paws on one yet but it looks like it could be rather useful, especially for removing plates. Anyone out there have one? I’d like to hear if it is any good. I’ve been using my teeth to remove really troublesome plates and the contributors are getting irritated by the teeth marks.

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Breann Sledge wins 24k gold grand prize in the Bionicle Battle for the Golden Mask Contest

This mask was up for grabs in a multi-site contest, designed to welcome back the Bionicle theme. Each of the sites involved ran a contest and the winners went head-to-head for the grand-prize.

Breann Sledge won the gold mask with this highly detailed bad boy, Akutahn the Makuta of Okoto. I think I detect a bit of Breann’s Alaskan roots in that name. Standing over 20 inches tall and loaded with all the awesome detailing and posability that we expect from Breann, this top-notch villain is totally a winner.

Akutahn, Makuta of Okoto

Check out the other incredible finalists after the break!
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LEGO Movie snubbed by the Oscars, then wins Critics Choice award ...all in the same day [News]

Yesterday the 2015 Oscar nominations were announced, and The LEGO Movie was notably absent from the list of nominees for best animated feature. In response to this news, the movie’s writer and director Philip Lord tweeted “It’s okay. Made my own!” accompanied by a photo of a brick-built Oscar trophy. In reality, the uncredited creation was the work of brick artist Nathan Sawaya, although Lord did later admit that he just grabbed the image from a Google Image search.

 

LEGO fans everywhere were no doubt dismayed at the lack of an Oscar nod for this critically acclaimed and commercially successful movie. But later that very day, the critics themselves came to the rescue when the movie won Best Animated Film at the Critics Choice Awards!

 

As the saying goes… Every dark bluish gray cloud has a light bluish gray lining.

Ask a Lemur – LEGO Certified Professionals, Extra Pieces & Glued Models.

Noana aho, friendly readers!

lemur thumbs up

Another week has gone by. I’m hoping it was a good one for you. It was a great one for me! This week the contributors held their annual five day conference to figure out the vision for the year and such things. I wasn’t too interested in the meetings themselves. Andrew said that there were lemur issues on the agenda, which got me rather concerned. I looked it over and didn’t see anything. Maybe some got on his copy. Anyway, the real highlight was the catering. It was so incredibly scrumptious and they just kept bringing in more and more! They even had a table in the corner just for me! It was set up in the middle of a lovely blue tarp, which made it so much easier to take the leftovers back to my room at the end of each day.

I love this place!

Anyway, enough about me. Let’s get to your questions.

What is a LEGO Certified Professional?
LCPs are builders who have made a full-time job out of their LEGO building and are jumped through the proper hoops to be certified by LEGO. They are not employees but have a business relationship with the company. I believe there are currently 12, but the number is subject to change. Each LCP runs their own business but it has to fit within certain guidelines from the company.

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Ask A Lemur – Running LUG Meetings, Minifig Customization and Lemur Pics

Salutations and Salivations, Dearest Readers!

lemurbrickchew

It is I, the TBB Lemur! Here, once again, to answer all those questions about the LEGO fan community that you have been too afraid to ask. There are no stupid questions here.

You know this week was pretty exciting. We got in a truckload of Lemur Loot! I have postcards with my handsome self on them, TBB pins and custom-printed bricks! The gnomes down in the mail department will finally be able to catch up on the backlog. They’ve been sending out some rather nasty memos. Hopefully those will stop now. Not much can give me indigestion but those memos tasted funny. Josh will be contacting the people who have asked the questions that I have answered, to get their addresses. I will personally be signing postcards to each one as well as sending them each a pin and brick. It’s so exciting! I’ve never signed autographs before. The contributors often get mobbed by autograph hounds when they leave the compound but this is a first for me!

Anyway, onward and upward.

How should I go about [running] it so that the LUG meetings don’t drag on and get boring?
The first thing to remember is that LUG (LEGO User Group) meetings aren’t about you. It’s about whatever the entire group wants. Meetings generally get boring and drag on for one of two reasons.

The first is if one person hogs the time and won’t be quiet. I get really hungry when that happens. The second is if no one is talking at all. Find out what your group wants to talk about and figure out some activities that most are interested in. For example, talking about local LEGO Sales and Deals for an hour won’t go over well if no one is planning on buying anything new right away, but it could be really interesting if people have money to spend. It depends on the group.

Personally, I find LUG meetings with agendas and such to be a real downer. I prefer time to talk and catch up, perhaps a “show and tell” time to let people show off the features of whatever creations they have brought and an activity or two. Good activities might be drafting a small set or running a build challenge such as 101 bricks. Just remember to find out what your members want and then do that.

Another thing that helps LUG meetings along is snacks. Lots and lots of snacks.

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