LEGO moved away from the venerable Creator Expert theme branding in 2020, transitioning to simple black boxes with set names but no theme branding–which fans have sometimes referred to as 18+ sets due to their age labels which denote their intended adult market. Internally, LEGO continued to use the Creator Expert label for most adult-focused sets, and it still appears as a category on LEGO’s website. Now LEGO has decided to formally retire the Creator Expert theme name and rebrand the category as LEGO Icons. The LEGO Icons theme will encompass Creator Expert sets as well as other adult-focused sets that aren’t part of other existing themes such as Technic. The new branding will be rolled out on LEGO’s website starting June 1, and will appear on packaging starting next year.
Here’s the official press release from LEGO:
From June 1st, 2022, we will be uniting many of our adult focused LEGO® sets under the name LEGO® Icons to help our adult consumers easily to find new, immersive builds or models that link to their interests and passions, particularly when shopping or browsing online. The name LEGO Icons will span all of our sets designed for older builders that are not already part of an existing LEGO theme such as LEGO® Technic, LEGO® Ideas or LEGO® Architecture.
Following up on the LEGO Ideas set 21319 Friends: Central Perk released in 2019, LEGO recently announced LEGO Creator Expert 10292 Friends: The Apartments. Full of details designed to recreate memorable moments from the TV series, the set includes 2,048 pieces with 7 minifigs, and will retail for US $149.99 | CAN $199.99 | UK £134.99. The set will go on sale June 1st, with early availability on May 19 for LEGO VIP members.
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
As reported by our friends over at Brickset, LEGO appears to be making plans to transition away from the use of black backgrounds in instruction manuals. Earlier today, LEGO customer Sam Walker posted an image in a Facebook group of a response he received from LEGO customer service, in which the company states “we’ve been listening to feedback about the background colour in our building instructions. We’ve done lots of testing already and have plans to move away from the black backgrounds entirely.”
The dark backgrounds have been part of the theming for 18+ sets in LEGO’s newly rebranded adult product portfolio that began rolling out last summer. The black manuals have been the source of much frustration for builders, as the low contrast has made it very difficult to discern darker-colored elements, with some disappearing entirely, as we noticed in our review of 10275 Elf Clubhouse.
LEGO has been trying a variety of things to combat the issue, including adding more outlines to elements. Some recent sets, such as 10295 Porsche 911 Turbo & 911 Targa, shipped with black backgrounds in the instruction manual, but the version available for download from LEGO’s website has been updated to include traditional light backgrounds. Other recent 18+ sets, such as 21325 Medieval Blacksmith, included light backgrounds in the printed manual that shipped with the set, though it’s unclear if this is a result of the change already being put into action, or because that set is part of the Ideas product line rather than Creator Expert.
In the response to Sam Walker, LEGO also says that it is working with LEGO designers with color impairment in creating revised manuals.
Behind every great LEGO set, there are always at least two or three talented designers ready to share all the new product’s secrets. The new LEGO 10295 Porsche 911 Turbo & 911 Targa revealed earlier today is no exception. In the latest designer video, Mike Psiaki shares his favorite things about the new model, while Carl Merriam explains how a side-project can become a retail product. Also, element designer Yoel Mazur shows the new elements created for the new Porsche.
LEGO has just taken the wraps off the newest Creator Expert set, 10295 Porsche 911 Turbo & 911 Targa. Ringing in with a massive 1,458 pieces, the set contains the pieces to build a classic 1970s-1980s Porsche 911 in either of two configurations: the wide-fendered 911 Turbo with an iconic whale tail, or the stylish 911 Targa with a removable top. The Porsche 911 follows last year’s light yellow Fiat 500. The set will retail for US $149.99 | CAN $199.99 | UK £119.99 and will be first available to LEGO VIP members starting Feb. 16, with regular retail availability starting March 1.
Did you know that LEGO has been partnering with Ferrari for more than 15 years already? Over the years, the companies presented more than 50 building sets, and in 2021, the fruitful partnership continues with LEGO Technic 42125 Ferrari 488 GTE “AF Corse #51”. This is the third appearance of the iconic 488 GTE in a LEGO product; in 2018, 75886 Ferrari 488 GT3 Scuderia Corsa featuring a minifigure of Danish race car driver Christina Nielsen and 75889 Ferrari Ultimate Garage came with nearly identical mini-copies of the car. The new Technic model, although still being a red Ferrari covered in a ton of stickers, has very little in common with the Speed Champions sets since it consists of 1,677 pieces and is almost half a meter long. The set will be available from January 1, 2021 for US $169.99 | CAN $229.99.
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews. Continue reading →
Today, the LEGO Group redefines the idea of a truly massive building set once again. The new 10276 Colosseum is a huge copy of the ancient Roman stadium consisting of whopping 9,036 pieces. The previous record of 7,541 pieces set by Star Wars 75192 UCS Millennium Falcon was not that long ago thought to be an unbreakable achievement, but now it is about to go down. Despite being almost 1,500 pieces bigger than the Kessel runner, the Colosseum will retail for US $549.99 | CAN $649.99 | UK £449.99; in the US, this is $250 less than the original 75192 Millennium Falcon price tag. The set will be available starting November 27.
Reported by the LEGO Star Wars fan group on Facebook today, the building instructions for Star Wars SDCC exclusive 77904 Nebulon-B Frigate set are available right now from LEGO.com. The 459-pieces model was originally designed as the exclusive set for San Diego Comic-Con 2020. With the cancellation of nearly all in-person events in North America due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this set expected to be available online later this year sharing the same fate as Star Wars Celebration exclusive 75294 Bespin Duel. Although the price and the availability are yet to be announced, we expect the price to be around $50 USD, if not higher.
Just like 75294 Bespin Duel, the new mini-version of the iconic ship features an exclusive plaque commemorating the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back release. Other than the plaque, which is a sticker, the set seems to include no unique or limited pieces, so anyone can try and build their copy.
The holiday season is around the corner, which means it’s time for LEGO to reveal this year’s addition to the Winter Village line, 10275 Elf Club House. The perfect sequel to 2014’s Santa’s Workshop, the Elf Club House includes 1,197 pieces, four minifigures, a reindeer pulling a sleigh, toys, gifts, and a Christmas tree. Earlier today we brought you a full, hands-on review of this brand-new set, but here are the official images and press release, along with an interview with set designer Chris McVeigh.
As reported by our friends at Brickset, the building instructions for the upcoming LEGO Star Wars 75294 Bespin Duel set is available right now from LEGO.com. The design of the building guide reflects its 18+ positioning, with the adult Star Wars fans as the target audience of the toy. The set was meant to be a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive, but due to the event being canceled, the future of the product isn’t clear. We presume the set might be available elsewhere, but for now, you can study the instructions and probably try to build your own version of the iconic scene.
LEGO and Nintendo have partnered to reveal 71374 Nintendo Entertainment System, a buildable NES console and a retro CRT “tube” TV that comes with a Super Mario Bro. cartridge and a scrolling level reminiscent of World 1-1. The instant nostalgia trip is made up of 2,646 pieces and even comes with an 8-bit Mario.
The NES will be sold exclusively by LEGO through the end of 2020 then expand to other retailers starting in 2021. The set will sell for US $229.99 | CAN $299.99 | UK £209.99 beginning August 1st, the same day that the other new LEGO Super Mario sets become available for purchase.
(Edit: LEGO originally listed the purchase price of US $199.99 online and in its press release and then updated the online price to US $299.99 and then updated it again to US $229.99. We have received confirmation from LEGO that US $229.99 will be the final price.)
LEGO Designer Pierre Normandin is no stranger to trains–he grew up loving them and has designed many of the LEGO City trains available the past few years. He recently shifted within LEGO to the Creator Expert team and had the chance to flex some building muscles by designing the recent Fiat 500 and now an even more detailed train! In this designer video, Pierre talks about his love of trains, why the Crocodile Locomotive is so iconic, and how the set started off larger and eventually grew to be 7 studs wide to include more detail.
10277 Crocodile Locomotive set comes with 1,271 pieces used to create the brown electric locomotive, a buildable display base, an informational placard, and two conductor minifigures. It is now available from LEGO for US $99.99 | CAN $149.99 | UK £89.99. Make sure to read our interview with LEGO Design Lead Jamie Berard about the creation of this LEGO train and the design effort that went into it.