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.

LEGO 76042 SHIELD Helicarrier – Part 1 [Review]

If anything could ever compete with the mighty Star Wars movie franchise, it’s probably going to be the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And this trend may be playing out in the LEGO universe too, with an ever-growing line of super hero sets that is now joined by the 76042 SHIELD Helicarrier.

Like the 76023 Tumbler, it’s aimed at older builders and thus has limited play features. And while LEGO reserves the term Ultimate Collector Series (UCS) for its big Star Wars sets, the LEGO fan community has already started using it to describe these big super hero sets as well, for obvious reasons.


A big set deserves a big review! This review is split it into two parts. In Part 1, I focus on the ship itself, covering the build experience, structural design, and looks. In Part 2, I’ll be exploring the smaller details – including the new microfigs – and of course all the bundled minifigs. In both parts, I will also be exploring one very important question… Does it fly?

If video is not your thing, click below the fold for a written review (…but trust me, watch the video!).

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Reverse Engineering Contest (REC IV)

Got builders block and need a break? Want a challenge? Or just want to test your building know how? Then I suggest you check out the fun little Reverse Engineering Contest. Unlike a lot of LEGO contest that ask you to create something, this one asks you to copy a build. They’re all small and deceptively simple, but once you actually sit down and start playing with it, it’s not always as easy as it seems.

This marks the first, of nine, weekly challenges:
REC Week 1

It starts off simple and gets progressively harder. So why not join in on the action? Stretch your building brain a bit with these building exercises – oh and don’t forget to read up on the rules on how you could win some prizes. Though this contest is one where the best reward is figuring out all the puzzles.

Oh who am I kidding, a Birds set, and most importantly: rare and useful pieces from contest runner Ryan H. (LDM) is a pretty great prize.

Ask A Lemur – Finding Blog-Worthy Builds, Discovering new techniques & The TBB Compound

Tonga sao, My Dear Friends!

Lemur is Snazzy

Here I am, once again, the lemur intern for The Brothers Brick! As you know, I’ve taken it upon myself to answer any and all of your questions regarding the LEGO fan community or The Brothers Brick itself. If there is anything that has been on your mind, please feel free to post it in the comments and I will do my best to answer it.

What crazy fun have you been up to this week? I’ve been so productive! The TBB library needed organized, so I took it upon myself to sort all the books. The library looked so pretty when I was done, with all the books arranged into groups by color. The contributors seemed less than enthusiastic but their moods are very unpredictable. I’m beginning to despair of ever making them happy. Nannan took me aside and explained that most libraries use some system called “Dewey Decimal”. I don’t know who this guy Dewey might be, but he seems to have created a monopoly of sorts. It’s really not fair. Anyway, while I was sorting the books, I stumbled upon Andrew’s antique pipe collection. They are great for blowing bubbles. Don’t I look handsome?

Enough about me. Now for the important part…your questions!

How do you find the images you do on flickr?
As far as Flickr goes, most of the contributors start looking in the LEGO group. If you want the most exposure, put your pictures there. After that they all have their favorite groups that they check out. Most of them also do a search for recent pictures tagged as “LEGO”.

If you want your pictures to be seen, simply building a good model isn’t enough. Good photography is a must, learning which groups to frequent is vital and figuring out what to tag your photos is very helpful.

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Ask A Lemur – Role-play Projects, the “Super Jumper” Challenge & New Contributors

Greetings, Dear Readers! I’m back and I’ve missed you so much!

lemur cheer

It’s been quite a hectic month. I apologize for being off-line for so long. Several things happened to stop me from posting, all of which were beyond my control. First off, groceries and supplies were getting low, here in the TBB compound. Though she knew better, Caylin sent me on a supply run to Costco. They have such an incredible array of samples there! I tried all of them several times, to make sure the quality was good, you know. Just to be thorough, I also performed quality control tests on the playsets, mattresses, office furniture and TVs. You never know when that kind of information might be valuable. That took awhile. Plus they don’t accept paw prints as a valid form of identification. I think that’s discriminatory, but I digress.

After spending a couple of weeks on my supply run, I got back to the compound to find that Iain was performing server tests and needed me to crawl down the Jeffries tubes to check out some problem areas. I did it, but accidentally caused some “downtime”. It’s not my fault all the pretty colored wires look so tasty. Seriously. If you aren’t supposed to knaw on them, they should be more boring to look at.

Apparently this upset the bosses and my internet privileges were revoked. Fortunately I found were Andrew writes down all his passwords, so I’m back! I really have missed you all very, very much.

On to your questions…

What is your opinion on Lego Role-playing games such as GoH, LoR or LOM?

I think they are awesome! Anything that promotes building and strengthens the community is a great thing. For those who might not know, Guilds of Historica, Lands of Roawia, Lands of Mythron are fantasy-based role-playing projects that require the participant to build scenes to advance the storyline of their characters. There are other projects as well, including Space and Super Hero themed role plays. These projects are great for bringing together like-minded builders and encouraging creative story-telling and unique building.

They have a few downfalls, namely that it can be daunting to join, because so much has gone on and it is hard to get a grasp on the previous history of the project. Also the advanced level of building can be intimidating to newer builders. However, this shouldn’t stop those who are interested. Dive right in, it can really be a blast!

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Thank you, come again – LEGO announces 71016 The Kwik-E-Mart

LEGO unveiled a second set from The Simpsons today, 71016 The Kwik-E-Mart, which will be available later this year.

71016_Prod

Click through for the full album.

As a child of the ’90s, The Simpsons was my favorite show, and naturally Lego was my favorite toy. My reaction to the combination of the two was ambivalence; as much as I still love Lego and hold nostalgia for the golden years of The Simpsons, their merging still feels somewhat unnatural, a feeling continuously reinforced by the uncanny valley nature of the bulbous cartoon heads on classic minifig bodies.

All that said, I’m excited for this set. I don’t believe Lego has ever tackled the inside of a convenience store before, and the set is chock full of nicely designed accessories and a plethora of printed and stickered details. But enough of my reaction based on a set of photos, here’s the press release;

71016 – The Kwik-E-Mart

Ages 12+. 2,179 pieces.
US $199.99 – CA $229.99 – DE 199.99€ – UK £169.99 – DK 1699.00 DKK
*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.

Visit The Kwik-E-Mart—Springfield’s favorite convenience store!

Welcome to The Kwik-E-Mart—your one-stop shop for convenience foods at inconvenient prices! This highly detailed and iconic LEGO® version of The Simpsons™ store is packed with more rich, colorful details than a Mr. Burns birthday cake has candles! Walk under the huge Kwik-E-Mart sign and join Homer, Marge and Bart as they browse the aisles filled with beauty products, diapers, dog food, pastries, fruits, vegetables and more—including Krusty-O’s and Chef Lonelyheart’s Soup for One. Then head over to the refrigerated cases where you’ll find Buzz Cola, chocolate milk, various other drinks and snacks… and frozen Jasper! There’s also a Buzz Cola soda fountain, juice dispensers, coffee machine, arcade games, ATM and stacks of Powersauce boxes. At the counter, Apu is ready to tempt you with a variety of printed magazines, comic books, cards, tofu hot dogs, freshly expired donuts and his ever-popular hallucination-inducing Squishees. At the back, there’s a storage closet complete with rat and an exit. On the roof you’ll discover Apu’s secret vegetable garden, while outside this amazing model features bright-yellow walls, 2 phone booths, a stack of purple crates, and a dumpster area with ‘El Barto’ graffiti, opening door and an iconic blue dumpster that also opens. You can also remove the roof and open out the rear walls for easy access. This set also includes Snake (a.k.a. Jailbird), who loves nothing more than stealing cars and robbing the Kwik-E-Mart—but this time Chief Wiggum is hot on his tail in his police car. Capture this bandit and return peace to the town of Springfield and the amazing Kwik-E-Mart. This fantastic set includes 6 minifigures with assorted accessory elements: Homer Simpson, Bart Simpson, Marge Simpson, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Chief Wiggum and Snake (a.k.a. Jailbird).

  • Set includes 6 minifigures with assorted accessory elements: Homer Simpson, Bart Simpson, Marge Simpson, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Chief Wiggum and Snake (a.k.a. Jailbird)
  • Features opening rear walls, a removable roof with secret vegetable garden, Kwik-E-Mart signage, light-blue walls, dusty blue floors, turquoise welcome mat, shelves, refrigerated cases, counter, Buzz Cola soda fountain, juice dispensers, coffee machine, 2 arcade games, ATM, crates of Powersauce bars, surveillance cameras, rear storage closet with a rat, cheese, rat hole and an exit door.
  • Shelves feature beauty products, diapers, dog food, pastries, fruits, vegetables and more—including Krusty-O’s and Chef Lonelyheart’s Soup for One
  • Refrigerator cabinets feature a variety of beverages including cans of Buzz Cola… and frozen Jasper!
  • Counter features a cash register, magazine and card display, lottery machine, hot dog oven, donut display and a Squishee dispenser with 2 Squishees
  • Also includes Chief Wiggum’s police car featuring an opening trunk, removable roof and space for 3 minifigures
  • Accessory elements include Bart’s spray can, Marge’s shopping basket, Apu’s broom and Chief Wiggum’s cuffs and truncheon
  • Snake (a.k.a. Jailbird) is exclusive to this set for fall 2015
  • Removable roof features rare, dark-orange bricks
  • Lift off the roof and open out the rear walls for easy access
  • Drink a Squishee and get that sugar-high feeling!
  • Apprehend Snake before he robs again!
  • Stock up with overpriced convenience goods
  • Discover frozen Jasper!
  • Relax in Apu’s utopian vegetable garden
  • Have a donut…. mmm, dooonuts!
  • Kwik-E-Mart measures over 5″ (14cm) high, 14″ (38cm) wide and 10″ (27cm) deep
  • Police car measures over 2″ (6cm) high, 2″ (6cm) wide and 5″ (15cm) deep

Win LEGO with the TBB Server Downtime Contest! [News]

Here at The Brothers Brick, we run the site in our spare time, funded by our loyal readers who support costs like our servers and bandwidth by clicking through from here when you make LEGO Shop and Amazon.com purchases. For months at a time, our servers just hum away happily, until something goes terribly, horribly awry. Since last Thursday, the site has gone down four times, with total downtime of nearly a day. Yikes!

Linus TorvaldsWe’re all a little sad about this here at the TBB Compound (especially that pesky Lemur, who gets particularly mopey), but you can help cheer us up by building or drawing something funny that illustrates TBB server problems.

By the way, that’s Linus Torvalds on the right. TBB runs on Linux, Apache, MySQL, and the rest of the usual Open Source stack. Linus invented Linux and named it after himself. I’m pretty sure our downtime isn’t his fault, but I’ll use this minifig of him to illustrate this post anyway.

To enter, submit your photos or artwork to the TBB Server Downtime Contest pool on Flickr. Questions? Ask away here or in the discussions on Flickr…

Here are the prize categories:

  • TBB is Down Again! Build or draw something showing what happens when Brothers-Brick.com goes down. What’s happening behind the scenes at the TBB Server Farm on the TBB Compound? What do you do yourself?
  • 404 Page Not Found Build or draw something illustrating the age-old website error.
  • A. Lemur did it! Build or draw something putting the blame squarely on A. Lemur. It’s probably his fault anyway…

Stern LemurUnlike most LEGO-related contests, we welcome brick-built creations, well-rendered virtual creations, and artwork — if you’ve spotted A. Lemur in the wild, we want to know!

We’ll run the contest through the end of the month, and the top prize will get a LEGO set in the $100 range, to make this worth your while (with more cool prizes for the other two winners).

Get building!

Young LEGO Fan shows incredible generosity [News]

The Brothers Brick alumni Paul Lee shares with us the following heartwarming story:

Like most boys his age, Zachary Rogers, age 9, is a huge LEGO fan and a huge Minecraft fan. So when LEGO started a Minecraft line, you can be certain he was excited. According to his mom, Jill, he had been saving up for some time to buy the largest set in the Minecraft line, 21118 The Mine. He had saved $120 in total, which would have been more than enough.

But then, earlier this week, the school held an assembly for Pennies for Patients (http://www.penniesforpatients.org/). Pennies for Patients is a youth program from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in which students are encouraged to collect spare change to help their mission to ”cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.”

This hit particularly close to home because, in the last year, his friend, Jordan Williams, a fellow LEGO mega fan, lost his life to leukemia. So, on his own, in an incredible act of generosity for a 9 year old, Zack donated the entire $120 he saved to Pennies for Patients. His mom says, “I love that he decided to help kids instead of spending money on himself.”

It’s good to know there are really amazing kids with good hearts out there like Zack. If you want to help, you too can donate to Pennies for Patients.

Oh, and what about little Zachary and his dream of a LEGO Minecraft set? Our friends at Bricknerd will have a special review from him. Though Tommy is tight lipped on what set he’ll review…

TBB cover photo: March 2015

This month’s winner of our informal TBB cover photo contest is Tim Schwalf, with this delightful scene entitled “When Life Throws You A Curveball“. There’s lots of great details and techniques throughout this build, but the cleverest bit has to be the use of a brick separator as a baseball cap.

Remember, you can keep up with the Brothers Brick by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter. And for occasional extra goodies, you can also follow us on Flickr or subscribe to us on YouTube. And keep those cover photo submissions coming!

HELP! The Brothers Brick needs a new cover photo

I knew hiring primates as interns would come back to bite us – literally. After following a bizarre trail of blue droppings through the Brothers Brick compound this morning, I discovered the Lemur had gone and eaten our Facebook cover photo! I checked our other websites too, and they’re all gone. At least he got a tummy ache, so hopefully this will be a learning experience for the pesky little fellow.

So this seems like a great time to revive the TBB Cover Photo Contest. We’re asking you, dear readers, to submit photos of your original LEGO creations to be featured across all Brothers Brick social media. At the start of each month we will pick one new image to use across our Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Google+ and YouTube pages.

Find out how to enter →