LUG Brasil is hosting their third annual Lego convention in São Paulo next weekend. If you’re in the area, be sure to check it out. For most of us who aren’t, you can take a look at LUG Brasil’s website for photos from their previous events.
For the eleventh straight year, the good folks over at Classic Castle are bringing you the biggest Castle event of the season! Prizes include vintage sets, custom items, books, new sets and a mystery prize. Check out the categories and show off your medieval building skills. Compete against the best for the title of Master Builder!
In just over one week, the Mechabrick Kickstarter that Ralph had previously featured has successfully reached its funding goal. That means that Dubreq Ltd. has enough funding to get the game to market, and it also means that there are still 20 days left for funding in order to reach some of the stretch goals.
So head on over to the Kickstarter page and check out the project if you haven’t already. Because it isn’t a question of whether the game will be able to reach the required funding any longer, it is now just a question of which bonus features will be achieved in the stretch goals.
Congrats to Ben Jarvis and the Mechabrick Team from The Brothers Brick.
Congratulations to Peter Reid. He’s having quite the month. Hot on the heels of the release of the No Starch Press book LEGO Space: Building the Future, of which he is a co-author, LEGO CUUSOO has announced the next set that has passed the review process and has been approved for production, his amazing Exo Suit! I know I for one will be lining up in mid 2014 to buy this when it is released.
70401 Gold Getaway is the obligatory carriage/chase scene set from LEGO’s newly rebooted Castle line. With 199 pieces and a $20 USD price-point, it falls in the middle of the scale for LEGO’s carriage sets (Amazon actually has it for less at the time of writing).
LEGO has a long history of prisoner transport wagons, releasing them in 1985, 1990, 2005, 2007, 2010, and now 2013, with this one being one of the larger. Thematically, LEGO’s new castle line syncs with the Castle line from the “Fantasy Era” (circa 2007-2009), since the “CASTLE” logo remains the same, and the heraldry is identical to that of the Crown Knights, though this time there’s a lion emblem in addition to the crown badge.
I’m not sure what’s going on in this set narratively. The title “Gold Getaway” implies a heist of some sort, but the wagon is a prisoner transport wagon (which also carries gold). I would guess, then, that the Dragon Knights soldier has absconded with the Crown Knights’ wagon of gold, but the wagon is clearly in Dragon Knights’ colors. Perhaps the Crown Knights soldiers, which have traditionally been portrayed as the “good” guys, have taken a cue from Dennis Moore and gotten into the highway robbery business. That might explain the scowl on the Dragon Knights soldier’s face.
The box contains 2 numbered bags, the instructions, and no stickers or loose parts. With only 199 pieces, it’s a pretty simple build. Bag 1 constructs the 2 Crown Knights soldiers, the small structure, the ballista, and the horse and tack. The structure is hideous. I’m sure the intent of mixing the brown and grey pieces in the structure was to give it a mottled, weathered feel, but it just doesn’t work. It looks like there’s a piece missing on the top of the back side, although with a structure this small front and back have little meaning. I’m not sure what the structure is even supposed to be; there’s no place to put a figure on top, like a small tower, and the bottom is open, so it’s not a defensible structure. I thought perhaps the instructions would give a hint, but alas, no such luck. I suppose it’s simply a doorway for one of the knights to pop out and surprise the wagon. The ballista is better, however. For all my loathing of flick-fire missiles, I do have to admit that when placed properly, they can work quite well. A good finger flick on the missile piece here sends the missile flying several feet, once you get the hang of it. The ballista carries ammo for 3 shots.
Bag 2 completes the set, containing the pieces for the wagon and the Dragon Knight soldier. The wagon is an OK build, but uninspiring. It’s a single horse wagon, with an immobile grate on one side, and a barred-door on the other. It carries a treasure chest on the back. The base contains several hidden tiles. I thought as I was building it that this was to enable the prison section to be removed from the chassis to create a standalone structure. Upon completing the build though, I discovered this wasn’t the case, and the wagon is firmly built as one piece. The only other reason I can determine is that this particular arrangement of pieces means that there are no plates stuck completely within the underside of the larger grey plate where LEGO’s brick separator can’t remove them. I don’t recall LEGO being shy about this in the past, but as long as it doesn’t hamper ingenuity, I think it’s a good idea. The roof is removable, more as an access point than as a play feature. The red 1×1 “cheese” slopes on the roof look like an afterthought. The main play feature of the wagon, however, is the explosive bolt on the chain over the door. Push a Technic axle protruding on the opposite side, and a flick-fire missile to which the chain attaches flies out, “unlocking” the door. It works well, though I think the “lock” 1×1 round tile (which is a neat print) would be better placed on the chain than on the door, since it’s the chain that really unlocks. The unlocking mechanism, cool though it may be, isn’t really necessary though, since any prisoner can easily escape through the gaping hole in the back of the wagon. The wagon’s pearl dark grey wheels are a welcome change from 30 years of brown wheels, and are currently unique to this set. The horse tack is brick-built to take advantage of the new style horse’s ability to rear while in the harness, instead of using the classic harness piece. I thought that maybe with the new style horses, that classic piece might be phased out, but it appears in many sets that use the new horse. This was the first set I’ve gotten that includes the new style champron (that’s the armor piece that goes on a horse’s head). Here’s a comparison shot between the 3 styles of champrons LEGO has made. The two older styles only work on the old horses, and likewise the new one only works on the new horse. I like all 3, and I think they will all have their places. The chest on the back of the wagon contains 3 gems and 6 “coins,” which are 1×1 pearl gold round tiles. Now, I love the new 1×1 round tiles, so I’m always happy to get more of them, but they make lousy coins compared to the chrome ones LEGO has been using for years (and which they recently redesigned). Since the chrome coins do appear in other sets in this line, I’m guessing the substitution here was to shy away from using chrome parts, which are famously expensive.
The minifigs are all solid. LEGO has determined over the past few years that kids really identify with the minifigs, and that they are a strong selling point in any set, so they’ve been slowly working more detail into each figure, regardless of theme. All 3 minifigs have detailed front and rear torso printing. One of the Crown Knights soldiers is in full plate armor, while the other is wearing a tunic. The minifigs are definitely the highlight of this theme.
All in all, this set is very underwhelming. It’s just one example of many from this wave of Castle sets that shows that the general increase in the quality of construction we’ve seen in most sets for the last 6 years or so isn’t immune to hiccups. Compared to the preceding Kingdoms line, this wave of sets is a profound disappointment. This CASTLE line is reminiscent of Knights Kingdom I, which wasn’t the worst Castle line LEGO has produced, but it’s far from a compliment. The parts in this set are fair, and unlike the KK1 line, it isn’t full of large simple pieces. So ultimately, it’s a passable parts pack, and the minifigs are excellent, but I can’t recommend Gold Getaway as a set.
This evening at BrickCon in Seattle, LEGO Designer Jamie Berard unveiled the latest set in the modular building series, 10243 Parisian Restaurant. The set includes 2,469 pieces — with lots of the new olive green everyone is obsessed with — and will be released in January 2014.
See more photos in The Brothers Brick photostream on Flickr.
Here’s the complete press release from LEGO:
10243 Parisian Restaurant
Ages 16+. 2,469 pieces.
Have an unforgettable evening at the amazing Parisian Restaurant!
US $159.99 – CA $189.99 – DE 149.99 € – UK 132.99 £ – DK 1299.00 DKK
It’s very busy in the Parisian Restaurant. As a scooter zips by, inside the waiter rushes between the tables as the nervous young man gets ready to propose with the ring! It’s just as hectic behind the scenes, with the chef busily preparing the food. This beautifully detailed building is the setting for so many stories and is a great addition to the modular building series. The Parisian Restaurant has a fully-stocked, blue and white tiled kitchen with tableware as well as a cozy apartment with pull-down bed, kitchenette and fireplace. On the top floor is the artist’s room with a studio that includes a cast iron heater, easel, paintbrush and two works of art by the aspiring artist. Outside, stairs lead down to the roof terrace lined with hanging lanterns and flowers where the diners eat alfresco-style. This amazing Parisian Restaurant model even includes a facade with croissants, clams and feather details that recapture the feel of Paris. Includes 5 minifigures: chef, waiter, girl and a romantic couple.
- Includes 5 minifigures: chef, waiter, girl and a romantic couple
- Also includes a rat, seagull and 2 clams
- Kitchen features blue and white tiled floor, lots of kitchen units and a variety of utensils
- Second-floor apartment features a pull-down bed, kitchenette and fireplace
- Top floor features an opening roof revealing an artist’s studio with heater, easel, paintbrush, palette and artwork
- Includes lots of food items for the customers including croissants, a pie, 2 cupcakes, 2 grapes, 2 hotdogs, turkey, cheese wedges, milk carton and colored bottles
- Also includes hard-to-find white croissants and bricks in olive green, dark blue and dark red
- Intricate exterior details include facade with croissant detailing, bus stop, sidewalk, scooter and even a dumpster and trash can at the back
- Put up the printed restaurant sign and menu to entice the customers in
- Collect and build an entire town with the LEGO® Modular Buildings collection: 10224 Town Hall and 10232 Palace Cinema!
- Measures over 11” (30cm) high, 9” (25cm) long and 9” (25cm) wide
Available for sale directly through LEGO® beginning
January 2014 via shop.LEGO.com, LEGO® Stores or via phone:
Here’s the designer video featuring Jamie Berard
Things might be a little quieter here on Brothers-Brick.com over the next four days, because about half the TBB team will be in Seattle for BrickCon 2013.
One thing I’ve learned about BrickCon over the years — this will be my eighth BrickCon since I first attended in 2006 — is that it’s an experience that you just have to be there for. Unfortunately, that means we haven’t been covering every single day of BrickCon like we did back in 2006-2007.
Nevertheless, you can still follow along at home through the photos, tweets, and blog posts by various attendees. First, there’s the BrickCon photo pool on Flickr, where you can follow along as people add photos of setup, events, and the LEGO models everyone comes to see.
Second, here are the Twitter users we’re aware of who are tweeting from BrickCon 2013 (when the awful data connection in the venue permits…):
(I’ll add to this list later as I find out who’s at BrickCon and who’s posting while they’re there.)
Traveler’s Tales Games just contacted us regarding new job openings in their LEGO department. They specifically thought of our readers in regards to the Junior LEGO Model Artist position. As many of you know, TT Games is the powerhouse behind the line of highly successful LEGO video games, including the various Star Wars, Batman, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones games, just to name a few. Whoever ultimately lands the job will have the opportunity to work on upcoming titles. It seems like quite the opportunity for the right person. Below is the information relating to the Model Artist position. Check out this link for details on all the LEGO-related positions, as well as the other job openings currently available. They have hired other Adult Fans of LEGO in past, namely Carl Greatrix and the Arvo brothers…you could be next!
Junior LEGO Model Artist
We are looking for a Model Artist to join our highly skilled and motivated team. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work on the ever expanding range of acclaimed LEGO titles across all major development platforms. The role available is based at our Knutsford development studio.
- The design and modeling of LEGO models and vehicles
- The design and creation of 2D texture decals
- Optimization of assets to support each game platform
Skills & Qualifications:
- Good knowledge of LEGO elements, connections and advanced building techniques
- Excellent communication and organization skills
- 3D modeling experience in Autodesk Maya & Photoshop an advantage, however training can be made available
- Practical and methodical approach to both technical and creative problem-solving
- Demonstrates dependability and commitment to projects / tasks
- Flexible approach with the ability to adapt with change
- Ability to work under pressure and to strict deadlines
In return we offer a competitive salary with paid overtime and bonus scheme.
If you’re interested in this role, please contact jobs(AT)t-tales.com using LEGO Model Artist as the Email subject.
The fifth annual Creations for Charity is now accepting donations of Lego creations from anyone wanting to help raise money to buy Lego for underprivileged children. From now until November 15th, anyone can donate a Lego creation for sale in the fundraiser. All you have to do is fill out a form and be prepared to ship the creation directly to the buyer. For the budget builders, you can still choose to be reimbursed for the cost of making your creation, and as usual there are unique gifts to reward your help. It is always my pleasure to invite you to participate in the Lego community’s tradition of giving back!
For those of you in Brisbane, next weekend (Oct 5th-7th) will see the BrisBricks LEGO Convention out at Chandler. Details below.
Saturday 5th October 2013 – 9:00am-5:00pm
Sunday 6th October 2013 – 10:30am-5:00pm
Monday 7th October 2013 – 9:00am-4:00pm
Autism Community Session:
Sunday 6th October 2013 – 9:00am-10:30am
Child (3-15yrs): $5.00
Under 3yrs FREE
Book tickets online:
To book tickets click here http://www.trybooking.com/DDJR
Tickets sold at door:
Limited tickets will be available at the door. (cash only)
Book online to avoid disappointment as sessions often reach capacity
Pre-paid tickets will take priority entry