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.

Has LEGO become too violent? [News]

A recent study from the University of Canterbury proclaims that depictions of violence in LEGO set catalogs and the number of weapons in LEGO products has increased significantly as the result of a metaphorical “arms race” between toy manufacturers. The article’s authors include Qi Min Ser, Elena Moltchanova, James Smithies, Erin Harrington, and Christoph Bartneck, builder of the life-sized Unikitty and author of The Ideal Order.

The study looked at LEGO sets produced between 1978 and 2014 (excluding Duplo and Junior lines) and found that nearly 30% of today’s LEGO sets contain at least one weapon brick. It also explained that the chances of observing violence in LEGO catalog pages has increased steadily by 19% each year. Currently, around 40% of all catalog pages have some type of violence. “In particular, scenarios involving shooting and threatening behaviour have increased over the years. The perception of nonverbal psychological aggression increased at a similar rate. The atmosphere of the violent acts is predominately perceived as exciting.” The study concludes that “violence in LEGO products seems to have gone beyond just enriching game play” in attempt to attract more customers.

Insurgents make demands

Turning to the online LEGO community, both the photo above by Brick Police and the one below by Hammerstein NWC use LEGO minifigures and weapons to create graphic, violent scenes that may be considered offensive or unsafe for children. But these images highlight a huge oversight in the University of Canterbury’s study: builders, many of whom are adults, who want to incorporate realistic weapons into their builds cannot get them from LEGO directly. The Danish company refuses to sell such weapons even though there is a high demand for them. Instead, builders must turn to third-party companies like BrickArms, BrickWarriors, Citizen Brick, or Modern Brick Warfare to get their fix of tiny, plastic violence.

Weird War II figbarf Version I

If a metaphorical “arms race” among toy manufactures truly exists, LEGO is finishing dead last. As the Canterbury study pointed out, LEGO competitor Megablocks offers sets based off violent games and films like Terminator, Call of Duty, Halo, and Assassin’s Creed, while LEGO refuses to partner with such franchises. And there are no plans for LEGO to overtake their competitors in the arms race. Mads Nipper, LEGO’s former Senior Vice President in Global Innovation in Marketing declared that “We will never produce realistic toys for playing war.”

There’s no denying the facts of the study. LEGO has included more and more weapons and scenes of violence on their products over the years, starting with the introduction the very first LEGO weapons in the 1978 Castle theme (sword, halberd, and lance) and obviously continuing with trademarked themes like Marvel and DC. But the study leaves several important questions unanswered. Should we shield children from violent toys? Is there a causation between violent toys and games during childhood and actual violent tendencies in adulthood? Should LEGO reduce the number of weapons and scenes of violence in their products? And would such a change impact customer satisfaction positively or negatively overall?

What do you think about all of this? Let us know in the comments!

LEGO Minecraft 21128 The Village [Review]

Ah, LEGO Minecraft… Some consider it the perfect pairing of the physical and virtual worlds of building, while others are left scratching their heads at what they consider glorified basic brick boxes with Minecraft branding. Either way, the latest offering in the LEGO Minecraft line is the largest one to date. It’s a playset version of one possible arrangement of a village randomly generated when loading a new Minecraft world, a recognizable landmark for even an occasional player like myself. How does 21128 The Village, with 1600 pieces, eleven minifigures, and a price tag of $199.99 USD, hold up to a LEGO fan like myself, or to a hardcore Minecraft fan?

Minecraft 21128 The Village

Click here to read the full review

Issue 20 of Blocks Magazine now available [News]

Issue 20 of Blocks magazine is already in subscribers’ mailboxes and will be in shops May 19th. This month there’s a comprehensive look at the new Speed Champions range, including an exclusive interview with the man behind a real life Audi. Elsewhere, Simon Pickard introduces us to his brand new technique for building mind-bending roads, while Daniel Konstanski finds out what goes into a LEGO racing car.

It’s not all about the wheels this month, however, with a look back at some classic LEGO football sets and reviews of the latest Ninjago and Super Heroes releases. This issue also celebrates the premiere of two new blockbusters, with a pair of whimsical Alice in Wonderland builds and instructions for some superpowered X-Men Mighty Micros.

LEGO Creator Expert 10253 Big Ben officially announced [News]

LEGO’s Sydney Opera House was released in 2013, but now LEGO has finally announced their next Creator Expert model of a famous piece of architecture, that grand icon of England, 10253 Big Ben. It will retail for $249.99 USD, and will be available beginning July 1, just in time for Big Ben’s 137th birthday.

10253 Big Ben

10253 Big Ben

Click to read the full press release

LEGO Disney Collectible Minifigures Feel Guide [News]

Now that LEGO’s Disney Collectible Minifigures are available in stores around the world, if you’re anything like us you’ll be furiously digging through cases in the store, trying to feel the blind packs to get full set of the 18 figures, or maybe just your favorites. Never fear, we’re here to help, and having already sorted quite a few ourselves we can offer some tips to help ensure you get the figures you want.

LEGO Collectible Minifigures Disney Series

As we mentioned in our review of the Disney Collectible Minifigures, they come in a case of 60, with each case containing three full sets plus some extras. A case breaks down like this:
Three each of Aladdin, Alice, Ariel, Buzz Lightyear, Captain Hook, Cheshire Cat, Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Maleficent, Minnie Mouse, Peter Pan, and Ursula.
Four each of Genie, Mickey Mouse, Mr. Incredible, Stitch, Syndrome, and the Toy Story Alien.

Click to read the feel guide for each figure

BrickUniverse convention coming to Columbus, Ohio August 19-21, 2016 [News]

BrickUniverse is expanding to Columbus this August where you can attend this 3-day weekend convention featuring MOC displays, games, presentations and more. Registration is free for participants who display their creations, and you can register or purchase tickets to the exhibit on the BrickUniverse website.

LEGO Star Wars sales & deals for May the 4th 2016 [News]

The LEGO Shop online has just kicked off their annual “May the 4th” Star Wars celebration.

The Force Awakens poster
LEGO is offering the following deals and freebies:

  • Free shipping on all orders (not just over $75)
  • Double VIP points on all LEGO Star Wars purchases
  • Free First Order Stormtrooper minifig polybag
  • Free The Force Awakens poster (shown above) with all LEGO Star Wars purchases

LEGO sent me the stormtrooper and the poster last week, and both are lovely. The stormtrooper has a unique torso print (which you can see in the image below) with a bracket for the back, to which the printed 1×1 tile from the jetpack stormtrooper is attached (with an extra 1×1 tile in the polybag).

The new 75098 Assault on Hoth was released this week, and a bunch of LEGO Star Wars sets are also on sale, including the lovely 75094 Shuttle Tyderium and the 75140 Resistance Troop Transporter I reviewed before the movie came out.

As always, when you click through from Brothers-Brick.com, a portion of each sale goes to support The Brothers Brick (at no additional cost to you).

Celebrate LEGO Star Wars with Exclusive Offers and Free Shipping!îborder=

Nine projects qualify for the first 2016 LEGO Ideas review [News]

The official LEGO Ideas blog has just confirmed that nine LEGO Ideas projects have hit the 10,000 votes required to go on to the first review of 2016.

The nine projects include two Star Wars based ideas – a rolling BB-8 and the Jedi high council chamber.  There are four minifigure scale buildings: an old fishing store, modular railway station, Jurassic Park visitor centre and a gingerbread house. The movie based project this time is Johnny Five, a model of the eponymous robot. Finally, in the science themed section we have a fossil museum display of dinosaur skeletons and a functional model of a particle accelerator.

Readers: Which projects have captured your attention, and which do you think will go on to pass the strict LEGO review criteria and become an actual LEGO set?

See a short description of each project by the creator after the jump

LEGO Speed Champions 75875 Ford F-150 Raptor & Ford Model A Hot Rod [Review]

The entire Speed Champions line needs to work really hard to get my approval because I’ve been in, around, and under cars all my life. So it fell to me to review 75875 Ford F-150 Raptor & Ford Model A Hot Rod. This set, retailing for £39.99 / $49.99 / €49.99  is the second most expensive 2nd wave Speed Champions product after 75876 Porsche 919 Hybrid and 917K Pit Lane. Let’s see how it stacks up…

Click here to read our review

LEGO Collectible Minifigures Disney Series [Review]

LEGO’s new Disney series of Collectible Minifigures is probably the most hotly anticipated series yet, and LEGO’s sent us a case to review. They will retail for $3.99 USD like other recent series, but this time there are 18 unique figures to collect, instead of the typical 16. Some lucky folks have already found them for sale, but they should be widely available May 1.

LEGO Collectible Minifigures Disney Series

The Disney figs come in a case of 60, with each case containing three full sets plus some extras. Our case broke down like this:
Three each of Aladdin, Alice, Ariel, Buzz Lightyear, Captain Hook, Cheshire Cat, Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Maleficent, Minnie Mouse, Peter Pan, and Ursula.
Four each of Genie, Mickey Mouse, Mr. Incredible, Stitch, Syndrome, and the Toy Story Alien.

Click to read the full review of each figure

Reminder: Days left to win 75105 Millennium Falcon from TBB!

A couple weeks ago I watched The Force Awakens again after a gap of several months, and I loved it all over again. While it’s not a “perfect” movie, it’s certainly a true Star Wars movie in ways that I still say the Prequel Trilogy movies were not. And Rey has leapfrogged many classic Star Wars characters to become one of my favorite characters — right up there with Han. In case you missed it, we’re celebrating the release of the move on home video this month by giving away 75105 Millennium Falcon.

75105 Millennium Falcon

To enter, check out our Facebook page and click the Contests link in the left-hand navigation area.

And yes, we realize there are social media sites other than Facebook out there — check out our presence on all of them in the header above. What kinds of contests or giveaways would you like to see on our other sites?

LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS officially revealed + LEGO Designer Interview [News]

LEGO and Porsche have announced the brand new LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS, the new flagship model for the Technic line. It will have 2,704 pieces, and will be available starting June 1 via LEGO.com and select LEGO stores in Germany and Austria. It will see wider release in retail stores beginning in August. It will retail for $299 USD.

42056 LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Click for more pictures and information