The LEGO Friends Summer 2020 sets featuring the National Geographic partnership are now available in the U.S. and Canada. The LEGO Friends sub-theme focuses on jungle conservation with sets that feature rescuing baby elephants, pandas, sloths, llamas, and tigers. The sets also feature behind-the-scenes interviews with real-life people who rescue animals and are meant to inspire kids to be more environmentally conscious.
The sets have been available in the UK for a month and were announced they would go on sale elsewhere on August 1st, but it appears LEGO has made them available earlier than intended. The sets feature the National Geographic Explorers logo, and LEGO announced it is also donating to the National Geographic Society to fund grants in species conservation.
Take a look at each LEGO Friends set now available after the jump.
LEGO and National Geographic have announced they are partnering on a new line of LEGO City and Friends sets meant to inspire kids to be more environmentally conscious. The new sets (which have been available in most countries since June 1st–available in the Americas starting August 1st) feature ocean exploration and animal rescue themes. The sets include a menagerie of new LEGO animals including a hammerhead shark, anglerfish, manta ray, baby pandas, sloths, alpacas, and multiple elephants.
The sets feature the National Geographic Explorers logo, and LEGO announced it is also donating to the National Geographic Society to fund grants in ocean exploration and species conservation. As part of the campaign, LEGO has also launched an “Explore the World” website and video series to help kids develop creative ideas to address real-life environmental issues.
Ah, love is in the air! In India, it’s the tail end of the breeding season for the ring-necked parakeets. These sweet birds are busy raising this year’s youngsters, and looking good while doing it! Leave it to Felix Jaensch to immortalize a pair in LEGO. Many times over, we’ve seen gorgeous animals from Felix, but they continue to impress us. For me, I think I’m most appreciative of the fact that he can show us the same bird in twenty different poses, and they’ll all look great. The realism is exceptional.
The mustachioed surrealist artist Salvador Dali inspired this stunningly spindly pachydermal presentation from Dutch builder Jaap Bijl. This was an entry for Innovalug’s ongoing Style It Up! LEGO building contest. This category restricted creations to maintaining 4 studs’ worth of contact with the display surface. Dali’s “Les Elephants” features just the sort of delicately balanced build many of us actively try to avoid. Thanks to the plethora of newer curved slope pieces over the last few years the Daliphant’s shape is well represented, and I’d almost wager it took longer to get the thing to safely stand in place than it did to build.
As related by the builder, this “drawing” is meant to represent the start of the drawing process, the rough shapes and lines only just starting to come together as opposed to a completed, clean rendering. Swooping curves are achieved with whips, katanas, and even a high-pressure sprayer.
Early last year, I wrote an article about a pair of LEGO meerkats and mentioned the species’ vigilance and protectiveness. And it’s true, these little guys are one of the most family-oriented animals in the world. It’s the job of every member to take a fearless rotation as babysitter or sentry, and when there’s danger they act as one “mob” to defend themselves. Quite impressive! When I saw this build by Felix Jaensch, I swore I had seen it before. But maybe that’s just because he’s such an incredible artist of lifelike LEGO art.
I’m always stoked to see how much can be represented with so little. Micro builds always seem easy and gives me feeling of “Why didn’t I think of that??” but in fact, they’re a lot harder to pull off than you’d think, in getting something represented appropriately with the limited number of bricks on hand. The Lesser Adjutant is a species of the stork family found mostly in the regions of Southeast Asia, and Malaysian builder Marco Gan captures the likeness of these birds eloquently, with each made up of just ten LEGO elements.
What says cute more than a LEGO hedgehog? Okay, maybe a real hedgehog, but dang this guy is a cutie! Created by excellent builder Eli Willsea, it’s a great use of that claw element for the spines. Eli says there are almost 200 of them, which comes as no surprise! The trademark curl of the body, little white tummy, and pink toes makes for a loveable build.
From what I remember of evolutionary biology, the closest living relative to the unfortunately extinct Tyrannosaurus rex is the chicken. It’s admittedly disappointing. To go from a towering beast of muscle and razor-sharp 8-inch teeth to a small, rather stupid bird (with no teeth!) is a crushing downgrade. Surely the dinosaurs are rolling in their fossil graves somewhere in disgust. What would old grandpa Rex have to say about chicks these days? Timofey Tkachev brings us that moment of encounter in LEGO form, showing the T. rex confronting its pathetic descendant about its shortcomings.
Of course, as a build, the chicken has no shortcomings; it is the best LEGO chicken I’ve ever seen, from the head, with a Bionicle claw as a comb, minifig hands holding claws for a beak, and blankly staring eyes made with 1×1 round plates with a hole wrapped in a rubber band, all the way to the tail, and all the layered feathers in between. The dinosaur is equally impressive, with plates angled every which way and left studded to create a scaly, organic texture and lots and lots of teeth (though not quite 8-inch razor-sharp ones). The part I love best about the beast is the eye, with the 2×2 round boat slider in trans-yellow gleaming at me in a most lifelike way.
I’m more than one-hundred articles into this gig and I’m still finding things to go absolutely gaga over. My case in point, these adorable animals as rendered by Instagram user Legotruman. It is so hard to pick a favorite so we’ve constructed a composite image showcasing most of the animal renders here. My heart melts when I look at each of these portraits, which totally wreaks havoc on my hard-edged, devil-may-care image, let me tell you.
Travel deep into the jungle and pay a visit to its denizens with City Son‘s stunning LEGO wildlife model. Tigers, parrots, a mandrill, and even a skunk inhabit this overgrown temple.
Figural modeling has always fascinated me. I am always blown away by builders who can create organic models that really capture the essence of living creatures. This is a prime example of how to do it right. Each animal on its own would be a model worthy of notice. Combine them together with some beautiful scenery and you have something truly spectacular.