Today we’re getting our first look at the City 2020 lineup, starting with eight new sets from the emergency services divisions of Police and Fire, thanks to variousretailers. With six new Police sets and two Fire sets, LEGO City will certainly be active next year. The lineup even includes real flying helicopters thanks to a ripcord launcher system similar to those used on other themes like Ninjago. Each of the sets will be officially available starting Dec. 26, 2019, and while we don’t have full USD prices yet, we can confirm approximate euro prices.
Two builders who go by the names of Brick Rebel and Monstrophonic have put their noggins and considerable skill together to build this exquisite Steampunk city layout called LEGO Steam Company. What is Steampunk exactly? It’s a sci-fi sub-genre that takes into account if H.G. Wells and Jules Verne were right about their Victorian-Era visions of the future. Zeppelins, steamboats, copper robots and steam-powered trains abound in this genre where everyone from an airship mechanic to the mayor look fantastic in a top hat and copper goggles. The builders tell us this layout features an array of moving elements including a steam power plant with tall chimney, the Steam Rail (moving train/monorail), skyscraper with functioning elevator, the Department of Dirigibles (with working revolving door and searchlight on the roof), a ‘flying’ zeppelin with whirling rotors and cabin lighting. There is also a city park with a botanical garden, a restaurant with robotic waiters and various other buildings and figures in Victorian Steampunk style.
Fire engines are serious business, with each one being built to the specifications of the fire department placing the order. When building a LEGO version of a fire apparatus, you almost have to see it in person to analyze all the details that make it unique. Last year, Sven’s vacation in New York City landed him the opportunity to ride around in the Harlem Hilton firehouse’s Engine 69. The experience left such an impression on him that he had to make his own version of the truck and, as you can see, it is packed with plenty of detail. The proportions feel just right, as does the greebling of the gauges and switches. Finishing off the model are some phenomenal custom decals, allowing the LEGO truck to faithfully represent its real-life counterpart.
Flipping the engine around reveals that Sven’s model can be appreciated from multiple angles. The only thing that’s missing are some minifig firefighters! Perhaps they’re taking a needed break from fighting fires to fire up the grill and eat some burgers.
The sensible thing to do when you see a bunch of terrified people running is to run with them (unless you are in Pamplona; then the sensible thing to do is to stay out of the street, away from the bulls in the first place). I have seen enough movies where something is attacking a city and the populace is running, or a disaster is striking and everyone hopes to get to safety to know what to do. I don’t know what kind of strange goo is creeping around the corner and through that door in this scene by Yuri Badiner, but by the look of those minifigures’ faces, I am not sticking around long enough to find out. Some sort of radiation must be leaking at the power plant, and in real life radiation does NOT turn ordinary people into superheroes.
What makes Yuri’s build special is the cinematic feel of the photograph more than the construction techniques on display (not that those are bad, mind you — I love the use of the ingot tiles). The light coming through the doorway, the green slime streaming through the air and pooling on the floor, the minifig posed in mid-leap, plus the perfect selection of anxious and terrified faces, makes this a special shot. There is even a touch of foreground and implied space with the hook and chain hanging from the invisible ceiling. It pays to go the extra mile and make the picture perfect, rather than to spend all of one’s effort on complex building techniques that can’t be seen because the build is poorly lit or the picture is grainy. I just hope that green stuff washes off the LEGO bricks and doesn’t stain the ABS!
Crazy swingin’ cool are the cats in the city
over the fence and down the ally, walking kitty.
Ol’ Dane Erland blows into a dented saxophone
a sweet melody under a bright lonesome moon
and conspires with a hep BrickNerd named Tommy.
In the back alley we share our hopes and dreams
with anyone who’ll listen, even a rat if you please,
if it’s not much trouble to spare some cheese.
Bicycles and dreams ain’t damaged out here,
they just got more character, more stories to tell.
In the ally, a fire escape doubles as a patio
where we lay down beat poems, can you dig it, Daddy-O?
Libraries are more than book repositories; they also provide educational services and activities for their surrounding communities. Thanks to Łukasz Libuszewski’s, the little citizens of LEGOLAND can now enjoy everything a library has to offer. It looks both modern and inviting, complete with enough glass to let the sunshine in. The library sports a modular design, in which sections can be removed to reveal the service desk and bookshelves. Especially impressive is the motorized glass elevator. Be sure to watch Łukasz’ video to view the library from all angles, the interior and elevator in action. You might even want to sign up for a library card!
In terms of freebies, there are three offers from LEGO. 40270 BrickHeadz Bumble Bee is free with purchases of $65 or more and 40186 Year of the Pig is free with purchases of 80103 Dragon Boat Race, both available through Sept. 8 or while supplies last. The Hidden Side 40336 Newbury Juice Bar will be free with purchases of $50 or more starting Sept. 2.
As a parent, there are some things I don’t want my kids to see. Most of them are things like violence, sex, or drugs on TV, or scary and frightening scenes. Yet there are other things, too, but for different reasons; in this latter category I count this amazing collection of custom-made fire trucks by Steven Asbury. I can already hear the clamoring and whining, “Daddy, I want ALL of those fire trucks! Build them!” But I can’t. For one, I don’t have enough red pieces to build all those trucks, and for another, I don’t posses Steven’s vehicle-building skills. The scaling between trucks and alongside minifigures looks amazing, with details surpassing the LEGO Group’s official fire trucks. This particular grouping of trucks makes up Fire Task Force 3, modeled after Los Angeles’ Task Force concept. From ladder and search & rescue trucks to ambulances, there is pretty much everything you would need to respond to just about any emergency in your city.
Who built this city? He built this city! He built this city of bricks and plaaaaaaaates! Pardon the parodied lyrics, but Paul Hetherington’s latest masterpiece makes me want to rock out. Like many of Paul’s previous works, this creation is pleasing both when viewed as a whole and when you zoom in to view the details.
Viewed from a distance, it really does look like a city being built by a giant robot. Look closely though, and you’ll see fun scenes playing out, along with Paul’s trademark checkerboard patterns, and a façade inspired by Piet Mondrian’s Composition with Red Blue and Yellow. The colour combinations are my favourite aspect here. While many LEGO cities and towns are rife with greys, browns, and tans, Paul ignores those and leans hard into bright colours in complementary shades, creating yet another beautiful work of art.
LEGO has revealed all of this year’s holiday season Advent calendars with new images and they’re now available on Amazon US for pre-order. This year we have an addition of Harry Potter to the regulars of City, Friends and Star Wars. The same prices are holding as previous years: $29.99 USD each for City and Friends, while Harry Potter will be priced at $39.99 along with the Star Wars set. They will be released on September 1, but if you want to make sure you’re good and ready before Christmas, you can pre-order them at Amazon right now.
The brand new LEGO Hidden Side augmented reality product line is available starting today, as well as more than 50 new sets from Architecture, Harry Potter, City, Friends, Jurassic World, Technic and more. LEGO fans in the U.S. have had to wait patiently for this new wave of sets which has been available in Europe for a few months now.
Amazon Prime Day is just around the corner, and we’ve already spotted some good deals. These are great deals if you don’t already have the LEGO sets in your collection.
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