The clock tower of the British Houses of Parliament is an English icon known the world over. Oddly enough, the famously named Big Ben is actually the largest of the 5 bells housed within the tower, with the clock tower being properly called the Elizabeth Tower. However, over the last 157 years since the tower’s completion, it’s become globally known as Big Ben. And now it has inspired LEGO’s second largest architecture set ever, 10253 Big Ben, with 4,163 pieces. The set is currently available to LEGO VIP members, and will go on sale to everyone beginning July 1 for $249.99.
The long-awaited third Ghostbusters movie is due to première in about five weeks. The first trailer quickly became the most disliked movie trailer on YouTube and the second trailer strikes me as particularly unfunny too. Oh dear. Of course I’ll have to withhold judgement on whether the movie is any good until after it hits the discount DVD bin. And this is not a movie review site, of course, but there is at least one interesting thing that has already come out of this movie so far: a brand-new LEGO set, 75828 Ghostbusters ECTO 1 & 2.
The set was announced in February, is due for release in the Summer, and will retail in the US for $59.99. The goodie bag I received during my recent trip to Billund contained an early release copy of this set, which gives me the opportunity to review it.
Every once in awhile a LEGO model comes along that makes you pause, a little slack-jawed, and then scramble for your soon-to-be-empty wallet. There are a lot of cool sets in the LEGO lineup, but a rare few are targeted at adult builders with a larger budget and a thirst for a premium experience and finished product that serves as an office-decor talking piece. These are sets that aren’t just large and complex, but sets that can be called a work of art; an ABS sculpture. Few sets that I’ve encountered fit this bill better than the new Technic 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. It has 2,704 pieces, and it’s available beginning June 1 online as well as in select markets. It will hit store shelves in the USA in August, where it will retail for $299 USD.
Now that the buzz from The Force Awakens has assuaged, and the hype for Rogue One hasn’t yet reached a fever pitch, the LEGO Star Wars line can turn its Goliath head toward older or smaller pieces of the franchise. Thus it is that this summer’s Star Wars wave contains elements from myriad sources, including the original trilogy, the prequels, Rebels, the Freemaker Adventures and, yes, even a little of The Force Awakens has snuck in. We’ll be looking at a few of these sets here on The Brothers Brick, starting today with 75150 Vader’s TIE Advanced vs. A-Wing Starfighter. This set is from the Star Wars Rebels line, and retails for $89.99 USD and contains 702 pieces.
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?
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…
This spring the sky is the battlefield between good and evil. Skybound, the theme of the new Ninjago sets, brings the action high above the ground. Our team has already reviewed Zeppelin Raid, Misfortune’s Keep and Tiger Widow Island, which introduced our readers to all the evil characters. Now it’s time to take a look at what good ninjas have to respond with. 70602 Jay’s Elemental Dragon is a medium-sized set of 350 pieces, which includes 2 minifigures and a monkey, and its retail price of $29.99 seems appropriate.
Pieces are distributed between 3 bags: the first one contains parts for the flyer and the body of the dragon, the second bag allows building of the dragon’s head, while the third one contains the largest parts which form a pair of wings and a tail. Surprisingly enough, the instructions are provided in two rather thin booklets, though one medium-sized book would be more convenient to use and to store. Last but not least is a sticker sheet with 14 stickers on it.
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.
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.
LEGO’s newest Ideas set, 21305 Maze, is available starting today. Jason Allemann, the Maze’s creator, has long been known known for helping out fellow fans by providing instructions to many of his models, and this time around, Jason has put together a special Maze website which hosts instructions several alternate maze layouts, and inspiration for even more. Jason has even created a motorized miniature golf-inspired maze (video below).
We got our hands on the Maze last month and had fun reviewing it, but we wanted to know what its creator had to say. Jason was kind enough to speak with us about the Maze, his design process, and how to create a successful LEGO Ideas project.
The first wave of Angry Bird sets have already been released here in the UK, and consists of six sets ranging from Set 75821 Piggy Car Escape (Price UK £11.99/US $12.99) to Set 75826 King Pig’s Castle (Price UK £74.99/US $89.99). You can see the full lineup in our initial news coverage of the Angry Birds sets, and we also got a first-hand look at them at Toy Fair New York last month. The Angry Birds sets are due for release in the US in April and are not available online or within the US LEGO Stores at present. The Angry Birds sets are all colourful and enticing for the ‘recommended’ age range, between 6-12 or 8-14 as the set size increases. For those of us who are perhaps slightly older than this range, fear not…there are a host of new moulds, re-colours and great new printed tiles that will also bring great joy.
The latest product of LEGO Ideas has arrived, and unlike many of the previous Ideas sets, it’s not a pop-culture reference. LEGO Ideas is the company’s crowdsourcing initiative, and this set was originally designed by LEGO fan Jason Alleman. It is a classic two-axis ball maze familiar to kids and frustrated adults everywhere. We highlighted Jason’s original LEGO Ball Maze way back in 2012, and now almost four years later LEGO Ideas 21305 Maze will hit shelves April 1. The Maze contains 769 pieces for $69.99 USD. LEGO has provided us with an early copy to review, so let’s dig in.
By now, everyone is familiar with Ninjago’s new Skybound theme. We’ve already reviewed Zeppelin Raid and Misfortune’s Keep and today, we’d like to share our review of 70604 Tiger Widow Island. The set includes 450 pieces, 5 minifigs, and retails for $49.99. The instructions were clear and easy to follow and, except for the tricky chain connection holding up the “teeth” of the cave, the build was relatively straightforward.