While assembling the latest and the biggest LEGO Technic set ever, I came up with countless versions of the introductory paragraph for this review. However, once I turned this thing on and spend some time operating it, it became clear that none of my paragraphs work better than raw facts about the set which speak for themselves. So, here is LEGO Technic 42100 Liebherr R 9800 Excavator, the biggest LEGO Technic set ever with 4,108 pieces, among which are 7 Powered Up motors and 2 smart-hub. The finished model weighs around 6 kg / 13.2 lbs (including the weight of 12 AA cells). This is a fully motorized copy that can be controlled via a smartphone or a tablet and it is all as good as it sounds. With impressive numbers comes an impressive price tag; the set is available for US $449.99 | CAN $549.99 | UK £399.99. And here comes the most important question: is the set worth the money? Let’s build it, test it and find out.
The LEGO Star Wars line’s latest massive set in the Ultimate Collector Series is 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer, clocking in at a whopping 4,784 pieces and two minifigures, with a price to match the part count (US $699.99 | CAN $849.99 | UK £649.99). Depicting Darth Vader’s flagship Devastator seen at the end of Rogue One leading into the first moments of A New Hope, this is the first UCS ISD since 10030 in 2002 and the first UCS set since 75181 Y-wing Starfighter nearly 18 months ago. But is there more to this huge LEGO set than gray wedge plates? Let’s find out…
We recently brought you our in-depth review of the LEGO Collectible Minifigures Series 19 (71025), and that may have helped you decide if you want to pick up a set of the characters. But as always, the 16 unique figures are randomly packed in blind bags. So how to ensure you a full set, short of buying a full case or paying a premium to have someone else do the searching? The key, of course, is to feel the bags before you purchase, and we’ve got our Feel Guide to help you do just that.
The Winter Village series is always highly anticipated, keeping LEGO fans on their toes regarding what the next set will be in the ever-growing storybook town. The series is celebrating eleven years of beloved Christmas scenes, the first of which was introduced in 2009. Now, fans of the theme can build the Winter Village Gingerbread House. Minus the re-release of the very first Winter Village Toy Shop in 2015, this is the tenth set in the series. It consists of 1477 pieces, the second-highest piece count in this series after the Winter Village Cottage (1490 pieces). Set 10267 Gingerbread House is priced at US $99.99 | CAN $139.99 | UK £89.99 and will be available on the 1st of October.
LEGO’s long-running collectible minifigures theme is back again with its third wave for the year. The last few waves focused on IP tie-ins, bringing a second wave of Disney, The LEGO Movie 2, and the Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts series. 71025 LEGO Collectible Minifigures Series 19 returns to the classic formula with a wide variety of non-branded characters from all walks of life and lore, and it’s a refreshing change of pace even for those who loved the latest several series (I particularly enjoyed the Harry Potter figures). Series 19 is also the smallest set in the past year, returning to the standard 16 figures that were the trademark of the line until recently. As usual, they will retail for USA $3.99 | CAN $4.99 | UK £2.99 per figure and are packed in blind bags. With characters ranging from a Fright Knight to a guy in a pizza costume, let’s dive in and take a look at Series 19.
For those of us who watched Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, and Joey live out their lives on TV as the show Friends aired between 1994 and 2004, there’s much more nostalgia attached to this television series than to something like The Big Bang Theory. But for those of us who don’t necessarily consider ourselves life-long, hardcore Friends super-fans — I personally do not own an officially licensed Central Perk coffee mug — it hasn’t been clear what we had to look forward to with the new LEGO Ideas 21319 Central Perk set released today ($59.99 US | $89.99 CAN | £64.99 UK), which includes 1,070 pieces and 7 minifigures. Let’s dig in and find out.
Revealed today, LEGO is returning to Disneyland with a brand new set, 71044 Disney Train and Station. LEGO’s history with Disney goes back a long way, but few sets have focused on Disney itself rather than its franchises. Of course the first was the gigantic 71040 Disney Castle from 2016. Now the Disney Train and Castle takes us once again to the magical kingdom with one of Walt’s most beloved attractions. Based on the C. K. Holliday steam locomotive on the Disneyland Railroad in the original California park, the train is motorized with LEGO Powered Up! components. Including the train, track, and station, the set has 2,925 pieces and 5 exclusive minifgures, with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Chip and Dale, and Goofy. It will retail for USA $329.99 | CAN $379.99 | UK £299.99 and will be available starting August 21 for LEGO VIP members, with general availability on Sept. 1.
LEGO has gone all out to promote the new LEGO Stranger Things 75810 The Upside Down set released earlier this summer, with a hilarious retro designer video, and a contest on LEGO Ideas (don’t miss TBB’s own Darker Hawkins LEGO contest). These are all things that every LEGO builder can enjoy together, but LEGO has also released two items to much more limited audiences — Will’s fort Castle Byers (a small build given away only to attendees of launch events in London and New York City) and fan-favorite Barb (a unique minifigure only available at San Diego Comic-Con). Both of these are now only available at exorbitant prices on the secondary market. The Brothers Brick picked up each of these so we could bring you a hands-on review.
Here is a simple truth: these days LEGO remains one of those few common activities that give you a rest from a smartphone. For me and for many of our readers, building with LEGO has always been a pastime that requires no downloads, installing or updates; you open a box and the play begins. Obviously, winning over modern-day kids who love digital entertainment and touchscreens is a tough challenge for a toy manufacturer. They say if you can’t beat them, join them, but LEGO thinks differently: if you can’t beat them, build them into the play experience. Along comes LEGO Technic Powered Up — the first generation of LEGO Technic electric elements that bring smartphones and tablets into play. With a whole lot of sensors and features, the new smart hub and motors are among the most advanced LEGO pieces ever produced. LEGO Technic 42099 4×4 X-treme Off-Roader introduces the new play system. The set includes just 958 pieces, but the new expensive electric elements are to blame for the price tag of US $249.99 | CAN $299.99 | UK £199.99. It is available starting today, so we are building and testing the model in an attempt to discover the limits of the new Powered Up system and Control+ smart app.
No doubt, cars are among kids’ most favorite toys. And if you have a few toy cars the best thing you can do with them is to transport them using an even bigger car, or a car transporter. These trucks make for an excellent toy with a lot of playability, and LEGO has even released a DUPLO one, not speaking of many other sets released across various themes. This year, yet another car transporter comes as a LEGO Technic set. 42098 Car Transporter seems to be the longest LEGO vehicle ever released yet, reaching more than 3 feet/1 meter with the rear ramp lowered. The set consists of 2,493 pieces and will be available starting August 1 for US $179.99| CAN $229.99 | UK £139.99.
The latest wave of Jurassic World sets are based off the new LEGO TV series, Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar. Most of them have already been on the shelves since spring, with this exception: 75938 Jurassic World T. Rex vs Dino-Mech Battle. While the set has, in fact, been on shelves in other parts of the world since the beginning of June, it’s making its North American debut on August 1st. Whether you’ve seen this one around and couldn’t decide whether or not to get it, or if you’re learning about it for the first time, we thought we’d take a look and share what we’ve discovered! The set has 716 pieces and retails for US $89.99| CAN $119.99 | UK £79.99.
It’s another summer of Harry Potter, and we’re continuing our reviews of the new sets available now, following our review of 75948 Hogwarts Clock Tower. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry faces the evil jailers known as Dementors, against which only the “Expecto patronum!” spell is effective. 75945 Expecto Patronum captures the moment in the Forbidden Forest when Harry fends off hundreds of Dementors attacking Hermione Granger and Sirius Black. The set includes 4 minifigs and a stag Patronus with 121 pieces and retails for US $19.99 | CAN $24.99 | UK £19.99.