Toy Fair in New York City in mid-February is usually the first time each year when LEGO unveils its planned sets for the summer and fall. However, Toy Fair NYC is preceded by industry events in London and Nuremburg, where often LEGO puts small signs banning photography next to some of its new sets while showcasing them at a public event. This tactic is apparently proving particularly ineffective this year, as numerous photographs continue to emerge from both shows, such as the LEGO Technic 42056 Porsche test car set revealed earlier this week (in that video, the LEGO rep is clearly pointing things out to the camera, so they’re obviously ok with some photography).
TBB and other LEGO news sites like FBTB will have full, professional coverage of New York Toy Fair in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime, here are a few highlights from London and Nuremburg, given LEGO’s apparent change in policy and public unveiling schedule.
Brickset has just posted box photos (photos of boxes, not the official high-res box art) for a number of summer 2016 LEGO sets. Making the rounds of news outlets this week is 60134 Fun at the Park, a LEGO City minifig-oriented set that features a minifig in a brand new LEGO wheelchair, a new LEGO baby, and the hotdog bun first noticed in the forthcoming LEGO Angry Birds sets — plus a whole bunch of useful new minifigs.
Following our previous story about rough pictures taken of the German LEGO catalogue for 2016, we now have the genuine article from LEGO in PDF form, this time in English.
This is a carbon copy of the printed catalogues that will appear in stores. There are dozens of new sets, including a new wave of Elves featuring dragons, plenty of new City, Creator, and Friends sets, new Batman V Superman and Marvel pantheon Superhero sets, and a lot more.
Click here or the image below to view the PDF in full.
For 2015, LEGO is rolling out 3 themed Advent calendars: Star Wars, City, and Friends. As with previous years’ Star Wars Advent Calendars, an exclusive holiday-themed Star Wars minifig is included. This time it’s C3-P0 dressed as Santa Claus, riding a sleigh pulled by an R2-D2 with reindeer antlers. The City calendar has a mini Santa train and loads of toys, while the Friends calendar includes parts for a small hockey match and a lot of accessories – both pretty par for the course.
I don’t know whether it’s the scene, the yellow background or the combination of the two, but Piazza Maria by Andrew Tate has a distinctly Southern-European flair.
In fact, I’ll be a bit more specific. The model wasn’t specifically intended to be Italian, despite the name, but the colours on the buildings are spot-on and the gelateria really do remind me of a square in Udine, where, on a work trip to Italy, I had some wonderful ice cream a fair few years ago. I don’t remember a living statue there, but I don’t mind. It could easily have been there.
In recent years, LEGO set design has been going from strength to strength. However, as far as I am concerned, some of the sets I had as a child are really hard to beat. Build techniques have obviously moved on and new parts have been introduced, but particularly city sets from the late seventies and early eighties were design marvels. They may have been fairly simple and built using primary colours, but they also had lots of character.
We haven’t featured models by Are Heiseldal (L@go) very often, but in recent years he has been steadily building his own updated interpretations of some of these classic sets from his (and my) childhood, of which I am going to share a few favourites. LEGO set 675 “Snack bar” was released in 1979.
I never actually owned the oddly-named set 6694 “Car with Camper”, but remember poring over the 1984 catalogue to work out how to build the caravan. Are’s updated version seems to offer somewhat more privacy to the occupants.
Finally, the latest model that he has uploaded is a modern reinterpretation of set 6689 “Post Station”.
These models may not be spectacular in terms of build techniques, but I love them. There is enough of the original in them to ensure that a single glance is enough to trigger nostalgia. Furthermore, like the originals, if you look closely you’ll see that they are chock full of clever features. If you too get a warm and fuzzy feeling about these, I suggest you check out Are’s flickr album with more of his updated classics.
Rod Gillies created this lovely steampunk harbor town for Brick2014 in London. I love the whimsical, compact look he has going on. It’s also got all kinds of motors and lights and what-not, as seen in this video taken at the convention. I love the use of the Lava Lamp. That’s some creative thinking outside the brick!
You have to check out the domed roof on this lovely building by Pete Strege. The curve of the roof is so perfectly smooth, I can’t believe it. So very, very nice. But I also really like the colors of the building and the overall architectural style. It reminds me a lot of Vista House, an observatory that my wife and I used to visit in the Columbia Gorge.
I love this micro city-scape by LoctiteGirl. It is simply perfect. The backdrop brings your eyes in to the city, the lighting illuminates some parts and shadows other, creating a sense of mystery about the whole build. The congested city looks clean and symmetrical but every building is unique and has it’s own special features. This is masterpiece and I wish I could see it in person.
At least, it is for the residents of Miro Dudas’ (miro78) Lego world. His beach side fruit stand captures a nice tropical flavor. The small scene is packed with little details that take one to the islands. I think my favorite is the inclusion of a scooter, which brings me plenty of beach associations.
The police state will soon be able to look in on you from the skies, thanks to this creation by Galaktek. The folding, rotating, runway on the back of the truck looks awesome, and fun to play with. It’s like a mini aircraft carrier! The idea of a hovering vehicle, which launches flying vehicles is preposterously fun, too. Make sure you check out the other creations in this series in his photo stream, especially the robot dogs.