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.
New Sets for February
First up, 70840 Welcome To Apocalypseburg is now available widely after its VIP early access. You can read our detailed review here. The set includes 3,178 pieces and 12 minifigures for US $299.99 | CA $399.99 | UK £279.99.
Next up, 71023 The LEGO Movie 2 Collectible Minifigures are now available online. These have popped up early in some retail stores before today, but they are now generally available with all your post-apocalyptic favorites and the quartet from the Wizard of Oz. We have all the details in our hands-on review. They are priced at US $3.99 | CAN $4.99 | £2.99 UK.
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 Zamara 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.
Builder keiichi kamei is no stranger when it comes to building phenomenal LEGO sculptures. Earlier this year, you might recall us sharing his New Year lion dance mask. With 2019 being the year of the pig, keiichi is back with a majestic-looking LEGO wild boar. His boar looks like the real deal, thanks to intricate sculpting of the animal’s body. A combination of curved and angled slopes form the overall shape of the body, which is nearly void of studs. Meanwhile, the positioning of the legs is reminiscent of how boars trot around while they forage for food. Better watch out for those tusks, though!
LEGO announces region specific sets for the China and Asia Pacific Markets that’s slated to be released from January 1st, 2019 onwards. At the moment, two sets showing events from the festivities related during the Lunar New Year’s celebration are featured. The two sets are scenes celebrating the family dinner on the Eve of Chinese New Year, and the famous Dragon Dance. According to Niels B. Christiansen, Chief Executive Officer of the LEGO Group, this is the first time LEGO has made sets for a specific country or region.
We’ve all seen the giant Chinese dragons given life by hidden dancers in their bellies. They’re especially popular in parades surrounding the Chinese New Year. But they aren’t just for fun. These colorful characters are created to honor the beloved creatures of Chinese tradition and culture. Dragons are a symbol of power and luck. They are also said to represent prosperity and strength. This LEGO build, by Vlad Lisin, is a really cool tribute to their beauty.
Vlad has done a great job of bringing the dragon to life with the details of the face. I’m especially fond of the expressive eyes, eyebrows and cheeks.