Thanks to the new LEGO Remix pool on flickr I’ve uncovered not one, but two excellent builds made using only the pieces from one or two set. Alternate set builds are a great way to get creative without access to a lot of bricks like when you’re on holidays. Cole Blaq‘s Rat Rod (above) is made from 5867 Super Car while Jim Devona’s (anoved) Asymmetrical Starfighter (below) is made from sets 8969 and 8630.
The mid-2009 LEGO sets are now available from The Official LEGO Shop online, including the brand-new LEGO Space Police theme — a theme that has the fingerprints of Mark Stafford and Adam Grabowski all over it.
Two of the smaller sets make it easy to get a couple of the unique new aliens from this theme.
The VTOL police vehicle below includes an alien with four arms.
LEGO Castle fans are sure to shout for delight at the availability of the newest sets, including this massive fortress full of goblin and troll minifigs, along with a couple smaller sets.
The newest LEGO Power Miners sets feature a massive drill (8964 Titanium Command Rig) and the new, larger rock monsters.
LEGO Agents gets a reboot in LEGO Agents 2.0. With the cool minifigs that I love this theme for, the line includes a hilariously awesome mecha.
Finally, five new LEGO City sets are also available, including 7641 City Corner with its six-wide city bus.
Here’s a partial list of new sets that are available:
|LEGO Space Police
Just in time to add regular LEGO sets to your reduced-price Pick A Brick order, the LEGO Shop online is holding a fairly huge sale, with many items 50% off or more.
LEGO Star Wars 10186 General Grievous™ is down to $30 from $90:
- 5587 LEGO® Basic Bricks with Fun Figures: The perfect gift for those friends and coworkers who constantly tell you, “It’s so hard to get LEGO sets without all those specialized parts these days!” ($10 down from $20.)
- 5598 Dino Valley: Perfect for all your meatpunk creations. ($20 down from $50.)
- 7646 ETX Alien Infiltrator and 7649 MT-201 Ultra-Drill Walker: Okay, so the Mars Mission sets weren’t perfect, but this is your chance to get some great minifigs (not the aliens), white, orange, and black elements on deep discount.
Sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads are $10 off in LEGO Agents 8633 Mission 4: Speedboat Rescue:
Check out all of the discounted LEGO sets now!
Well-placed sources in the United States government have recently revealed that LEGO blogger and alleged poet Andrew Becraft is in fact the same person as international super-spy and beloved raconteur Steven Andrew Ogilvy.
Leaked technical specifications reveal that the LEGO minifig, or so-called sigfig, that Becraft carries with him on his travels contains a 3D micro-camera, long-range stereo microphone, 2-terabyte flash drive, and spring-loaded poison darts.
This and other as-yet-undisclosed technology has enabled Becraft — codenamed “Dunechaser” — to surveil high-profile locations such as the UK Houses of Parliament with impunity. An anonymous MI5 agent is quoted as saying, “The unprecedented access Becraft was able to obtain using a few pieces of heavily customized Legos [sic] is astounding.”
Motives behind the exposure of “Steven Andrew Ogilvy” remain as unclear as the value of the intelligence Becraft was able to gather on his “business trips” to Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland, and New Zealand.
Fellow agents interviewed for this article (speaking on condition of anonymity) assert, “Everybody at the CIA already knew that the British Museum has lots of Egyptian statues, and that there’s a bust of James Joyce on St. Stephen’s Green. Oh, can you edit out the part where I mention the CIA?”
Others suspect that Becraft’s promotion of Danish toy maker LEGO’s Agents series may have run afoul of protectionist elements in the American government.
Ricardo Silva (evildead1980) has built an awesome little vignette with the new pirates. The use of flaming hair from the Agents sets as a cannonball is positively inspired. The long thin base is also a nice trick, it gives a nice sense of scale.
The Agents of the Imperial Crown contest is certainly contributing to an uptick in the number of LEGO steampunk creations I’m seeing. Here’s a quick roundup.
V&A Steamworks goes airborne aboard HMS Earl Grey:
Jason “JasBrick” has been posting awesome custom steampunk minifigs for a while:
The Brothers Brick: What sets have you made?
Then Agents 8632 Swamp Raid, 8630 Gold Hunt, and 8635 Mobile Command Centre. A Mars Mission set: 7648 MT201 Ultra Drill Walker. Power Miners 8957 Mine Mech and 8961 Crystal Sweeper. Later in 2009 I have another Power Miners model and three of the new space line [!] sets, and I’m already working on 4 sets for the first half of 2010!
TBB: What themes have you worked on? And which would you like to work on?
Mark: I started at LEGO on a theme that never made it through development, then went to Mars Mission for a few months, where none of my models made it into sets. Then Exo-Force, Agents, Mars Mission, Power Miners, the new space theme, along the way contributed sketch models to Castle, Batman, City and currently — I can’t say… but it’s exciting!
I like working on any Sci-Fi theme and Space is my favourite, but I like to change it up and don’t want to get bored, so if something new comes along I’ll complain like a wuss for a bit then knuckle down to getting the job done well.
TBB: How big a change was it to go from a hobby with limited restrictions to a job with many restrictions on your designs? Did you ever find it frustrating?
Mark: It’s a challenge, no doubt about it, the biggest adjustment is the obvious one of piece count/price.
We have to build to a price, we do this by making sure the cost of the parts does not exceed the price limit we’re given for that model and the internal price of parts is not always obviously logical either.
For example (and I don’t think this will help our competitors), internally a 4 stud long cross axle costs more than a 5 or 6 stud long one. This really bugged me for ages and I asked our Project Supporter to investigate why.
It took a long time to get an answer but it turns out the mould for the 4 long axles is an older one and every time it cycles it only produces half the amount as the 5, 6 or 8 long cross axles’ moulds. The machine has to run for longer, be monitored more and therefore it makes it twice as expense to make the part, hence the apparent discrepancy in the internal price. And every single part, all 6000+ of them have similar considerations, so getting a model to price can be interesting sometimes!
The most frustrating period was the first six months, I then began to accept why LEGO models are built the way they are, rather than the way fan MOCs are. I still have to keep reminding myself that if the model can’t be built from instructions by a seven year old and played with by his/her friends (who did not build it) without breaking too much, then I’m not doing my job!
TBB: I remember that you often built your personal models as toys as well as standalone models (the Big Boys Toys springs to mind). Do you think this helped you make the adjustment?
Mark: Definitely. I only began to move into a more AFOL style of intricate SNOT building in the last year or so before I was hired and my building style was still a very studs up ‘LEGO’ way of building, plus even as a fan I was building with kids in mind!
My favourite fan event is LEGOWorld in The Netherlands, because every day for six days they have 10,000 visitors and more than half are kids, from the first year I attended I always tried to build models that would make these kid visitors amazed, do something fun (like the Big Boys Toys) and illicit a round of applause (to the annoyance of neighbouring AFOLs).
I wanted to make models that would inspire and make kids happy, and now that’s my job as a toy maker!
In part 3, we’ll talk to Mark about some of the differences between building as an average LEGO fan and designing sets for LEGO.