Way back in April of last year, LEGO Education announced the launch of 45678 SPIKE Prime, a new Scratch-based tool in classroom programming. After some delay from the original August 2019 release, it’s now available for purchase and we’ve been fortunate enough to receive a copy to review. We’re excited to see what we learn about this fascinating new set! LEGO Education 45678 SPIKE Prime is available now from the LEGO Education shop for $329.95 USD.
Additionally, with the 40th anniversary of LEGO Education this week, we’re also sharing loads of cool information about the history of the department and its contributions to STEAM learning (Covered over multiple articles). It’s not every day we get to dive deep into a set from a division of the company that has been mildly separated and not intended for general distribution. This division of LEGO is really getting into its stride lately, and the future holds exciting things!
Click to take a closer look at this cool set!
Give Eero Okkonen a challenge and he delivers. In a New Elementary competition, builders were tasked with using the latest marine-life parts to create something interesting. He definitely didn’t disappoint with this lovely character. She’s a fan for another of his figures, a speederbike rider. The coral creatures adorn multiple areas of her costume, but the best parts usage might be the clever placement of shark surfboards to create a skirt!
Eero also recently created an entirely different character with a hockey stick beard. And perhaps one of my favorites is his version of the extraordinary Captain Nemo.
Santa is going to give the reindeer the day off this year because his sweet new ride is horse-powered instead! Sylon-tw, an excellent ship builder, decided to use his skills this holiday season to give Santa something slick to deliver presents with. His new sleigh is complete with a sleek body shape, thrusters, and plenty of cargo space. He’s even got his own chauffer, the builder’s sig-fig!
While you’re in the spirit, take a look at a Santa macro-figure as well as this year’s advent calendar!
There are some individuals who find sorting LEGO pieces therapeutic, but most of us loathe the task. And there are entirely non-LEGO machines that could do it, although what fun is that? Some people have tried to use LEGO to build sorting machines, yet their limitations have been quickly apparent. Enter Daniel West and his incredible Universal LEGO Sorting Machine! This baby uses Artificial Intelligence, with the most extensive index to date, to sort parts at a speedy one brick every 2 seconds!
Watch a video of the sorting machine in action!
How did the holidays sneak up so fast? Thanksgiving is almost here! While it has already passed for some, the American holiday arrives in less than a week! For many, there is more to this holiday than thankfulness and feasting. People gather from all around to appreciate the world-famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as well as the American National Dog Show. And builder Christian Giomo is ready to take the win (whether he intended to or not). This West England White Terrier is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
The pup is full of expressive character, with eager eyes, open mouth, pink ears, and luxurious brick-build locks of fur. The shaping of the complex face is exceptional. Bonus: the head can twist to the side to give it that delightful head-tilt that makes dog lovers swoon! Speaking of which, if you love dogs, take a look at these former canine champs, as well as a few everyday heroes.
The latest wave of Jurassic World sets are based off the new LEGO TV series, Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar. Most of them have already been on the shelves since spring, with this exception: 75938 Jurassic World T. Rex vs Dino-Mech Battle. While the set has, in fact, been on shelves in other parts of the world since the beginning of June, it’s making its North American debut on August 1st. Whether you’ve seen this one around and couldn’t decide whether or not to get it, or if you’re learning about it for the first time, we thought we’d take a look and share what we’ve discovered! The set has 716 pieces and retails for US $89.99| CAN $119.99 | UK £79.99.
Although watchtowers are meant to be a lookout for warding off foes, this one by Ayrlego is a bit different. With its colorful trees and clever archway, it’s rather inviting, and I can’t decide which of the two features I like better! The window coverings are also a lovely touch, with tasteful stickers that play off of the doorway curves.
Ayrlego is skilled at creating a whole picture and story in a scene. Just take a look at this period-traveling Wainwright House or a vine-laden jungle lookout.
The LEGO Movie 2 was recently released on DVD and Blu-ray, so we thought we’d take a look at the special features and let you know what we think! To be clear, this review is not of the movie itself. If you’d like, you can read a separate article about The LEGO Movie 2‘s box office performance and what several of our contributors thought of it. If you haven’t watched it yet (seriously???) and you are trying to decide if you should, check out spoiler-free The LEGO Movie 2 review.
Click to read more about the special features!
Imagine being a pirate and looking along the horizon to see the flagship of the royal navy barreling your way. Say, Stephen Chao‘s Royal Guardian, for example. With more than enough canons to knock the wind out of anyone’s sails, it’s a sight to behold. To be honest, I like history but I’m not a huge history buff; yet I can’t imagine there was ever a pirate ship as formidable (except in movies). I suppose its only downfall would be the speed it would lose with the weight of those canons.
Logistics aside, this build is well detailed and impressive in more ways than one! It’s very busy but clean at the same time. And not only does it look realistic and have superb shaping, it’s also fully furnished. Because, go big or go home, right? The mammoth ship comes complete with captain’s quarters, a galley, a full arsenal, and more.
Like the kind of ships that sail upon the oceans blue? Check out this unique swashbuckler, or maybe another with a gorgeously sculpted stern.
If you’re looking for a video game villain to rule all, look no further. Anthony Wilson’s centipede mech will leave you squirming in your seat. This thing is filled will all sorts of nasty, from its menacing claws to what can only be described as egg-filled hatchling pods. The overall color scheme is phenomenal and the parts usage is superb.
Every inch of the build is filled with cool techniques, from its numerous varying legs, up its spine, and to its terrifying head, complete with serrated swords for pinchers. The design truly brings it to life. Now, it’s important to realize how big this thing is. It would be scary enough small, but it’s over 50 studs tall, not including the upper arms. That’s 40+ centimeters, or nearly a foot and a half. Imagine if it was human scale compared to a minifig. Shudder.
Posing is everything when taking pictures of a build like this, and Anthony has nailed it here. While it’s a completely different kind of build, he also did a great job posing his coffee-loving dragon.
The two most immediately eye-catching bits on this scene are the smoke and cloaks–well, capes, actually; 8 to be exact. Kevin Peeters does a nice job incorporating them into this lovely windmill. But that’s not the only great part about this build. The cobbled-together look of the stone building and rooftops makes for a great medieval homestead.
The foliage, including the fall-colored tree in the back are also nicely done. But my favorite part might just be the white snake element used for the wisp of smoke from the chimney, a technique we never tire of.
If you’re a fan of the medieval theme, check out some other cool architecture, like a seaside market, floating castle, hero’s cottage, or micro kingdom.
Crocodiles are one of the toughest animals on the planet. Makes sense, considering their ancestors were around during prehistoric times. So why not create a mech in their image? This excellent mecha croc by Mitsuru Nikaido is one of the coolest I’ve seen. All of the plating and fine detail make for a handsome and fierce opponent.
As a big animal person, I’m always impressed by lifelike body-shaping, and I’m not sure it could be done better here, especially considering it uses a plethora of pieces to give it that mech look. To me, that seems more difficult than building a realistic croc. I love everything about that head, including the lever based used for the eye. The back legs and perfect taper of the tail are also noteworthy.
Mitsuru Nikaido is no stranger to impressive animal mechs. Just take a look at his chameleon (scroll down), lemur, dragonfly, and crane and grasshopper duo.