The 17101 BOOST Creative Toolbox represents the latest initiative from LEGO to introduce children to the worlds of engineering, robotics, and computer programming. LEGO recently expanded their range of supported devices, so we’re finally able to bring you a review without purchasing a brand new iPad. LEGO has targeted the 7- to 12-year-old age range for the BOOST product, one of the youngest demographics for a LEGO robotics kit. Unlike the MINDSTORMS series of products that features Technic, BOOST liberally incorporates LEGO SYSTEM brick (in addition to Technic) as the mechanical parts of the robots.
For this review, I engaged the services of an appropriate expert: my 6-year-old daughter, Artemis. Overall, she had few difficulties building the Vernie model, although she occasionally lacked the hand strength to push the Technic pins in holes (particularly when seating multiple pins at once).
Who has two thumbs, builds robots, and won’t eat broccoli? This girl!
Read our Boost review after the jump
Looking back, it felt as though 2017 was a year full of minifigures sporting cool hairstyles. I imagine the release of The LEGO Ninjago Movie Collectible Minifigure Series had a key role in supplying these modern hairstyles, along with Batman and the odd Star Wars eclectic hairstyle. I thought it would be interesting to step inside LEGO’s minifigure hair salon to take a look back at some of the more interesting styles that LEGO introduced for our little friends last year.
Cars are the very essence of the LEGO Technic philosophy. Supercars, buggies, Formula 1 cars or wild futuristic concepts — there’s no car you can’t build with LEGO Technic pieces. And it’s not just about the design, but also about the models’ functionality; any car can be equipped with a gear box or all-wheel drive. This season 42077 Rally Car hits the store shelves — an amazingly well-balanced set that can serve both as a brilliant display model or as a very clever choice for anyone who’s just getting to know the world of Technic mechanisms. The set consists of 1005 pieces and retails for $109.99 / 99.99€ / £89.99.
Click here to read our review of the set…
For a couple of years now, LEGO has been re-issuing some of the more popular minifigure characters as separate custom box sets. This began with the re-issue of the Chicken Suit Guy from Collectible Minifigure Series 9 and we later had the Gingerbread Man from Series 11 for Christmas. The most recent characters are a somewhat off-season Cave Man and Cave Woman similar to those from Series 1 and Series 5, respectively.
This year we get something a little different and unique altogether: 5005249 Easter Bunny Hut with a new character similar to the Bunny Suit Guy from Series 7. Make no mistake, the original Bunny Suit Guy is still one very hot collectible and sought after figure, so it’s quite interesting to see that this re-issue takes a different direction with new prints but keeping the same head accessory.
Click here for a closer look at the Easter Bunny
It’s rare that a LEGO set on its own serves as a major spoiler for a movie. From the now-classic Indiana Jones sets to Jurassic World sets more recently, LEGO sets provide characters, vehicles, and locations without revealing much more than a character’s name. But 75201 First Order AT-ST reveals several fundamental plot points of a major scene late in the movie. The set includes 370 pieces with 4 minifigures. Beyond just our usual criteria of design and value, is the set worth the spoilers?
We’d normally add a SPOILERS! warning here before the jump to the full review, but hey, LEGO has already spoiled several key plot points by releasing the set, so let’s just dig in.
Read our full review of LEGO Star Wars 75201 First Order AT-ST
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been out in theaters for nearly a month, so we’re circling back to some of the LEGO sets released to support the movie. 75200 Ahch-To Island Training retails for $29.99 (US) with 241 pieces and features Luke Skywalker, Rey, and a porg.
We hope you’ve had an opportunity to see the movie, but fair warning that we’ll be discussing the movie’s plot freely, so consider this your standard SPOILERS! warning.
Read our full review of LEGO Star Wars 75200 Ahch-To Island Training from The Last Jedi
It’s been nearly a year since The LEGO Batman Movie hit theaters, but LEGO is continuing to create tie-in items for the moderately popular film. In November, we got the excellent 70922 Joker Manor, which impressed us with its complex techniques and new roller coaster system. Now the latest series of Collectible Minifigures is revisiting the world of LEGO Batman with 20 all-new minifigures. 71020 The LEGO Batman Movie Series 2 minifigures retail for $3.99 and are available now from Amazon, the LEGO Shop Online, BrickLink, and eBay.
Each January, LEGO releases a new Creator Expert modular building. Last year’s 10255 Assembly Square looked to the past and celebrated the 10th anniversary of the line, beginning with 10182 Café Corner. With 10 years full of European-style architecture, replete with curlicues and fluted columns, the line heads in a new direction this year with 10260 Downtown Diner, taking obvious inspiration from the American West of the 1930’s through 1950’s rather than pre-crash Paris or London (or even New York or Boston). 10260 Downtown Diner includes 2,480 pieces with six minifigs and retails for $169.99 in the US (with the usual regional price differences elsewhere).
What does this change in direction bode for the theme, and what do we think of the new design aesthetic?
Read our hands-on review of 10260 Downtown Diner
Each year LEGO reveals new ideas for holiday ornaments, and this time it’s an adorable 853663 LEGO Iconic Holiday Magnet consisting just of 45 pieces. The set is offered for $9.99/€6,99, and the reason for it to be a little bit pricey is a pair of modified bricks with magnets — somewhat peculiar pieces in uncommon color. At the same time, colours are what make this build a very pretty thing to decorate one’s dwelling with.
Click here to continue reading…
Heading into 2018, LEGO’s city skyline series is growing again, with LEGO Architecture 21039 Shanghai available on January 1st from the LEGO Shop Online (and available now in some local LEGO stores). The set features many iconic buildings on the Huangpu River, including the Chenghuang Miao Temple, Longhua Temple and Pagoda, HSBC Building, the Customs House, Radisson Blu Hotel, Oriental Pearl Tower, World Financial Center and the Shanghai Tower. The Shanghai skyline contains 597 pieces and retails at $59.99.
While the set is technically the second largest Architecture skyline set by piece count (one less than 21028 New York City), Shanghai is largest by any other measure, ranking as the tallest, widest, deepest and heaviest of the skyline series so far.
Click to read our full review of the Shanghai skyline.
Stop for a moment. Let’s go back to the very beginning of 2017. What were your expectations for new LEGO sets in 2017? Most of us had no idea what the LEGO company was preparing for us fans. Little did we know that in 2017, the top 11 largest LEGO sets of all time would all be available for purchase from LEGO simultaneously. These are exciting times, with more large LEGO sets targeting adult fans than ever before, and we’ve had the pleasure to review many of them for you. And while we can’t yet tell what 2018 will bring us, let’s have a look at our Top 10 most popular reviews during the last 12 months.
It’s no surprise that several of these sets also made our 10 Best LEGO sets of 2017, so be sure to also check out that list to see what we think are the very best LEGO sets of the year.
Click to see the Top 10 Reviewed Sets for 2017