Let’s take a trip to the fictional island of Sodor, home of the Rev. Wilbert Awdry’s Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends series of classic children’s tales. If your day trip includes a railway excursion on the branch line from from Knapford to Ffarquhar, you might encounter the titular hero of the stories: Thomas himself. He’s never looked better than in this LEGO version by city son. The cheery little engine’s face is nicely done, with those big Mixel eye tiles a perfect choice. The colourful livery of the original character is captured well, and I particularly like the use of lifebuoys for the front-facing windows and that brick-built 1 on the side. There’s even an accompanying minifigure version of The Fat Controller, or “Sir Topham Hatt” as he was called in the US. All this model needs is a voiceover from Ringo Starr and we’re sorted.
LEGO builder Zachmoe took inspiration from a classic mech model by Adrian Florea from over a decade ago, putting together his own spin on a railroad shunter mechanoid, but using some contemporary pieces and adopting a smaller scale. The result is a great piece of clanking robotics. You don’t doubt this rail-riding mech is strong enough to heft a shipping container on one shoulder, but it also has an undeniable character — it would surely give you a wave as it whizzed past. Those minifigure rollerskates certainly make for excellent eyes, but what caught my attention was the trailing clouds of dust sent up in the robot’s wake — a nice touch which creates a real impression of speed. I distinctly remember Adrian’s original model back-in-the-day, and it’s great to see his idea get such a cool modern makeover.
A new month means new LEGO sets are now available, so here is your TBB New LEGO Set Guide for March 2020. There are 23 new items available (much less than the 153 sets from January but more than the 12 sets from February). New items include the entire new Dots lineup, Fiat 500, Marvel Black Window and Spiderman sets, a few minifigure accessory packs, an Easter seasonal set, and Mickey and Minnie key chains among others.
LEGO is also offering a unique gift-with-purchase to celebrate 40 years of LEGO trains: 40370 Steam Engine. The set will be available March 1st to 15th while supplies last with purchases more than US $99 | UK £99.
For LEGO’s upcoming gift with purchase, 40370 Push-Along Steam Engine, they are diving deep into the archives to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of 7180 The Push-Along Steam Engine set. This set was introduced in 1980 at the dawning of the 12v train era, and it’s quite a rare find these days. If you can find one still in a sealed box, you can bet it will set you back a bit. Lucky for you, this updated version of the model will be free with purchases over $99 / €99 / £99 available March 1st – 15th in LEGO Stores and Shop At Home. We got our hands on a copy before it hits stores to see what it’s all about.
As the population of LEGO Gingerbread Land grows, it’s important for all gingerbread people to know they have options when it comes to gingerbread transportation. If every seat on the Gingerbread Railroad is booked, hop on board CTR69 Bartosz’s delicious-looking Gingerbread Man Christmas Vehicle.
This 10,000 reindeer power hybrid snowmobile-train can haul gingerbread people, supernatural beings, and cargo with ease. Icing drifts are no match for this ride – the giant wheels and treads pack enough power and traction to plow right through anything that comes in its way. But even with all that power and speed, the ride will still be smooth enough to not put out the flame on your giant candle. Don’t hesitate, book your trip to Gingerbread Land today.
Thomas the Tank Engine has had enough of Sir Topham Hatt’s rule over the Island of Sodor, and builder Dvd showcases a well-beloved children’s hero that has literally gone off the rails.
This is absolutely terrifying, and would be the stuff of nightmares if it weren’t for the genius of how it’s put together. The builder utilized some of the smallest LEGO bricks stacked sideways to create the number “1” and the red border on Thomas’ sides. The finger joints on Thomas’ hands are also well built, allowing for this unhinged steam engine to rip up rails and potentially throw train cars.
The level of detail work on the legs and on the back of the body imply a specific mechanical look, as though for all these years the little blue engine we watched on TV had been hiding four limbs within his innocent body. If Dvd can make Thomas look this scary, I can’t imagine with what he would do with a bigger engine like Gordon or Henry.
When I was a kid, I loved riding in the car on the way to my grandma’s house, watching the railroad tracks that were along the highway for much of the way. It was the peak of excitement when I saw a long freight train chugging along, with what seemed like miles and miles of boxcars or coal cars or tanker cars. The best part was always the graffiti on the sides, full of vibrant hues and indecipherable words. The trains I saw were all diesel, as I am waaaaaaaaay too young to have seen steam engines out there in the wild, but I did watch a lot of Shining Time Station on TV, so you might say I am an expert. One can learn a lot about trains from Thomas the Tank Engine! One could also learn a lot about trains from Alexander, I bet, based off this huge display that he and his crew put together for a LEGO show. It’s got everything, with every sort of train, houses, roads, terrain, and even a massive roundhouse. Check out this slick shot of two engines rounding a bend; they’re so pretty!
It’s a pretty typical scene: You’re running late. Trying to make up for lost time you watch the speedometer creep upwards as you race to your destination. If you’re unlucky, this might result in a speeding ticket. If you’re very unlucky, you might end up in a crash. And, if you’re one of the most unlucky people who ever lived, you’re a train engineer in Paris in October 1895. In that last case, you’re unable to brake. Your train runs through the buffer stop. And then it crashes through the upper-story station wall to end up standing on it’s nose in the Place de Rennes below. SEBASTIAN-Z captures this tragic moment, the Montparnasse derailment, in an intricate LEGO diorama.
The Gare Montparnasse terminus has been simplified to a facade, with eye-catching details like the clock made from parts from Big Ben and Santa’s workshop. The broken window makes good use of transparent LEGO elements like wall panels, and 1×2 bricks and plates. The selection of minifigure onlookers are well constructed, and giving one of them a baguette is a nice way to help establish the location.
This particular scene has become a part of popular culture. A similar crash appears in a dream in the movie Hugo, which is where SEBASTIAN-Z first heard of it. Let’s hope wrecks like this stay in the realm of film and LEGO from now on…
LEGO has released a new video featuring the designers of the new 71044 Disney Train and Station. LEGO Design Manager Marcos Bessa and Graphic Designer Austin Carlson both show off the set and its features, and discuss their inspirations and design processes.
Some interesting things to note, the Disney Train is 8 studs wide instead of the standard 6 that LEGO has been known for in order to make space for all the interior details. There are also no new elements in the set aside from Goofy’s head. Marcos also talks about a fun detail that he doesn’t want to spoil, so if you are curious head to the end of our review to find out what it is!
A new month means brand new LEGO sets are now available, and there are a quite a few great ones to choose from. 21319 LEGO Ideas Friends Central Perk set is sure to be a hit, 71044 Disney Train and Station is now available to everyone (read our review), and the new Series 19 Collectible Minifigures is now broadly available. (LEGO Store links for our UK and Canadian readers.)
In addition, LEGO has launched their seasonal line-up including the 40351 BrickHeadz Halloween Ghost, 60203 LEGO City Ski Resort, and four advent calendars including Star Wars, City, Friends, and the new Harry Potter themed one.
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.
What sets are you most excited about?
The modern circus can trace its roots back to the late 18th Century in Philip Astley’s Amphitheatre. By the 1800s, the development of a vast railroad network allowed the circus to hit the tracks, traveling from town to town. In a world before radios and television, the circus was often one of the most highly anticipated entertainment events. Celebrating the spirit of the traveling circus, Ben Spector has built a colorful and fun-looking circus train.
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.