Matt Hocker has been an avid LEGO fan since the age of 4, when he received a box of his father's 1960s era LEGO bricks. In addition to being a builder at heart, Matt is passionate about LEGO history and has amassed a sizable collection of LEGO ephemera to provide context for the LEGO story. Matt's collection forms what he likes to call the Library of the Brick, and he lives by the slogan "building history one stud at a time." He invites you to ask him any questions you might have about the hobby or the history behind the brick.
Live from the show floor at Toy Fair New York, we have close-up images of 75292 The Razor Crest and BrickHeadz 75317 The Mandalorian & The Child. Over the past two weeks, LEGO unveiled its upcoming sets based on The Mandalorian, Disney+’s popular series placed within the Star Wars universe, and now we have a hands-on look.
The BrickHeadz set consists of 295 pieces, and the Razor Crest consists of 1,023 pieces, including a Baby Yoda minifigure. They are slated for release on Aug. 1st and Sept. 1st respectively, though the Razor Crest is currently available to preorder for US $129.99 | CAN $159.99 | UK £119.99 and will be a LEGO Store and Amazon exclusive when it releases Sept. 1.
LEGO Education is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and we are exploring the history of this unique division of the LEGO Group. Part 1 presented an early history of LEGO Education, while Part 2 outlined the development of the first LEGO robotics platforms. In our 3rd and final installment, we dive into the story behind the game-changing release of LEGO Mindstorms.
Year after year, the LEGO city keeps expanding with plenty of houses, modular buildings, vehicles and, of course, fire & police stations. All that development is bound to attract legions of minifigures — it’s only a matter of days before the plastic trash begins to pile up. To keep up with this issue, LEGO has released several garbage trucks over the years, but what happens when baseplate streets become filthy? You need a good street sweeper, but the last street sweeper to appear in LEGO City was carted around by a minifig 12 years ago. That’s a long time for discarded 1×1 plates to accumulate alongside the curb. The wait is over because LEGO is back to keep the brick-built highways clean with set 60249 Street Sweeper. The set consists of 89 pieces and is available now via the online LEGO shop for $9.99 USD | $13.99 CAD | £8.99 GBP
LEGO Education is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary! As a birthday gift, we are commemorating the occasion with a three-part history feature on this special division of the LEGO Group. Part 1 provided an overview of the history of LEGO education from the 1980s through 1990s, but we left out an important component of the story. Part 2 picks up where we left off, covering the beginnings of LEGO’s programmable robots in the classroom and at home. These were the precursors of LEGO Mindstorms!
Chinese New Year is fast upon us, and this year’s celebrated zodiac animal is the rat. What if another rodent got in on the game, though? Last week’s proposal was the Year of the Guinea Pig. This week, CK Ho suggests the Year of the Hamster. Specifically, this adorable duo represents characters from the hit children’s manga and TV show, Hamtaro. The little red pouches they’re holding likely represent the red packets given out to children during the holiday. That and the kumquat trees are especially festive.
I’ve never watched the show but enjoy the sculpting of each character. Sausages used as eyebrows allow them to clearly emote, with one looking happy while the other seems a bit nervous. What’s there to worry about when both of you have packets?
Chinese New Year is little more than a week away and, according to the Chinese zodiac, we are entering the Year of the Rat. When it comes to heavenly rodents, Ian Hoy has another cute critter in mind. Of course, I’m talking about the guinea pig! This little guy is beautifully sculpted with angled and curved slopes to capture the adorable chunkiness of domestic itty-bitty piggies. The facial expression is priceless. As for that bit of yellow in his hands, if you thought it might be a morsel of cheese, you would be sadly mistaken. It’s actually yuanbao, a gold ingot that was used as a form of currency in China from the Qin Dynasty through the Qing Dynasty. I wouldn’t mind dropping a few yuanbao myself if it meant this little fellow could join the colorful cast of zodiac animals.
LEGO bricks have long been considered an educational toy, but it wasn’t until 1980 when The LEGO Group formally established an educational division. Known today as LEGO Education, the division is celebrating 40 years of collaborating with and developing educational tools for teachers around the world, with products ranging from Duplo to Mindstorms. Here at The Brothers Brick, we are taking a closer look at LEGO Education with a series of articles, and what better way to observe a 40th anniversary than with a history of the subject?
To get everyone pumped up, LEGO created a special video highlighting some of the key points behind the history of LEGO Education. Think of the video as a preview of the history we are about to cover here. Get ready, because it’s time to dive deep into LEGO Education 101!
Entering a new decade has left me feeling nostalgic for my youth and, since I group up in the ’90s, I was amused when I saw Qian Yj’s LEGO version of an early cellphone. Back then, such phones were such phones were nicknamed bricks due to their tremendous size. This particular model is about as close to a 1:1 replica as you can get, as illustrated by this image of Qian Yj holding the brick in-hand. His replica looks spot-on, from the numbered buttons to the thick antenna protruding from the top. Lime green tiles form the screen and are a perfect choice given the then-state-of-the-art LCD technology.
Isaac Snyder has created a LEGO room that feels so welcoming, it may as well be a snapshot lifted from a modern living magazine. The fireplace looks warm and inviting, as does the seating arrangement in front of it. It’s the perfect spot to read a book, and the bookshelf is just a few steps away. I love the recesses in the wall for the shelving and storage of logs for the fire, and the staircase is minimalism at its finest. That modern clock hanging on the wall is pretty spiffy, too. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to turn off the lights and take a nap on the couch. Zzzzzzz
Throughout Batman’s illustrious career, he has driven a wide range of Batmobiles — and LEGO fans have built several wonderful representations over the years. While many people might point to the 1989 Batmobile as their favorite, mine would have to be Adam West’s ride from the 1960s Batman TV series. Custom car legend George Barris owned the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car and modified it into a bat-classic. Therefore, I squealed like a bat with glee when I saw Lucas‘ LEGO version of this iconic car.
Nearly ten years ago, working in China allowed me the opportunity to visit Hong Kong for the very first time. The primary focus of my trip was to visit LEGO fan event Bricks Adventure 2011 at City University, and I was floored by both the hospitality and building skills of the city’s LEGO enthusiasts. I was equally impressed by the beauty of the city itself, so much so that I made two more trips to Hong Kong in the coming months. Therefore, when I saw this artful LEGO depiction of the city built by Hong Kong native Eric Mok, it triggered a wave of happy memories. Eric captures a view of Hong Kong Island from Kowloon, set inside a gold-trimmed sea scallop — it’s a lovely nod to Hong Kong’s nickname as the “Pearl of the Orient.”
I’m a firm believer in the tried and true mantra, “good things come to those who wait.” While we didn’t know it, we had to wait a full year for this formidable looking fire gorgon built by Andrew Steele; that’s how long it took him to build the beast! It’s no wonder either, because at 1.4 m (4.6 ft) in length the fire gorgon is as big as some children! Building big allows for more detailing, and the sculpting of this creature’s body is phenomenal.