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.
Throughout Asia, the lion dance is a traditional event in which trained acrobatic performers impersonate the movements of a mythical Chinese lion. Of all the festivities in which the lion dance appears, the most significant is during Chinese New Year celebrations in which they are supposed to invite fortune and luck to businesses, events and festivals. This set was released alongside the 80105 Chinese New Year Temple Fair, both of which can be combined to create a larger atmosphere of a celebration. 80104 Lion Dance comes with 882 pieces, a new rat costume minifigure, and retails for US $79.99 | CAN $109.99 | UK £64.99. Let’s take a closer look at this set to see how it captures the spirit of such a unique event.
Last year, LEGO released sets 80101 Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner and 80102 Dragon Dance to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival, also known as the Lunar New Year (or Chinese New Year). At the time, the sets were only sold in the Asia Pacific region, causing an uproar among fans elsewhere in the world who felt slighted by their regional exclusivity. The extent of this reaction was influential in LEGO’s decision to make this year’s Chinese New Year sets available worldwide. Today, we take a look at this year’s LEGO 80105 Chinese New Year Temple Fair to give you insight into a brick-built celebration filled with fun and beautiful details. The set has been available in the Asia Pacific region since December 26, 2019 but is being released worldwide today. It consists of 1664 pieces and retails for US $119.99 | CAN $159.99 | UK £89.99
2020 has arrived and the floodgates of LEGO have opened with 153 new sets available today. Fans of Star Wars, Technic, Ninjago, City, Architecture, Creator 3-in-1 and even the new Trolls product line have a lot to choose from. The new modular Bookstore is available today as is a new white baseplate. Nearly every LEGO theme has some new sets–it can be a lot to process!– so we have your complete guide right here detailing each and every new set and item.
Some regions have seen these sets on shelves already, but now they are all available online. There are a few sets that really stand out to us, and you can see the complete list of all 153 sets and items after the jump.
The Maneki-Neko, or “Beckoning Cat” is a symbol of good fortune, originally from Japan, but commonly referred to as a Chinese Lucky Cat due to its frequent appearance in shop, business, and restaurant entrances in China, and in Chinatowns across the world. With Chinese New Year approaching at the end of January, LEGO is introducing a Lucky Cat to its Brick Headz range. Read on to see what we thought when we got our paws on a set…
LEGO has revealed two new sets to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year: 80104 Lion Dance and 80105 Chinese New Year Temple Fair. Both sets feature an incredible amount of new prints, recoloring of pieces and a significant amount of minifigures which all combine into a large festival setting. So today we have your first look at the sets and minifigures along with a video for each.
Honoring LEGO’s commitment to offer regional exclusives sets worldwide, the two new LEGO Chinese Traditional Festival models will launch in China and the Asia Pacific region starting December 26, 2019 with global availability beginning January 10, 2020.
Over the past year, LEGO has produced quite a few special sets with limited availability, including regional and retailer exclusives like the Chinese New Year sets and the Darth Vader Bust. Access to these products has typically been extremely limited, forcing many frustrated LEGO fans both in the US and abroad to go out of their way and pay exorbitant amounts of money from scalpers and other sites to obtain the sets. Starting in May, all that is about to change for the better.
There is also a bunch of other gear, costumes, masks and more themed for The LEGO Movie 2, including a new 853874 Emmet Construction Pod. (Also of note, the new “sewer babies” pack is not available online but is now on LEGO Store shelves.)
With the Chinese New Year less than a week away, we’re seeing a number of creations inaugurating the Year of the Pig and a new calendar for over 20 percent of the planet. Joseph Zawada provided a detail-filled scene of how the Lunar New Year is likely to be enjoyed next month in San Francisco, California. Held since the 1860s to celebrate Chinese culture in the United States, this parade draws in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and is the largest Lunar New Year event outside of Asia. The builder recreated a lively portion of the parade in front of the Dragon Gate in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The scene features a ton of popular references to the Lunar New Year, such as dancing dragons and children carrying red envelops containing gifts of money (hóngbāo). There’s even a C-pop float to round off the sensory experience.
As a quick note, Joseph states he recently worked with LEGO China’s Integration and Engagement team and fifteen other builders to highlight the Lunar New Year in LEGO form (including the Nian beast we recently featured). We’re hoping to see many more creations in the days ahead. We wish our readers great happiness and prosperity for the year ahead!
LEGO is giving away a free 40186 Year of the Pig set with eligible purchases over 88 USD, 80 GBP, or 88 CAD. The set celebrates the 2019 Lunar New Year, and comes with a rotating head, movable ears, arms, and legs. Also enclosed is a red money envelope with traditional gold color prints.