LEGO collaborations with vehicle manufacturers are awesome. We’ve got some Technic sets and the Speed Champions line to prove that. You think the LEGO-Bugatti team-up that led to the Technic Chiron (and its life-sized version) was sweet? Volvo, specifically its Construction Equipment division, has done great things with LEGO too.
The encapsulation of this collaboration is the Technic ZEUX Concept Wheel Loader (42081). LEGO and Volvo CE then held a contest on LEGO Ideas last year. Contestants were asked to build their vision for the future of heavy equipment vehicles, using Technic. The winner would see their creation being considered for possible testing by Volvo.
Architect Vida Andras, age 27 from Romania, presented the winning design. It’s a multi-purpose construction vehicle with short quadruped legs ending in tracked feet. The manipulator arm has a 3D-printer, allowing it to literally make the materials needed for construction. Andras calls it the Rottweiler.
LEGO and Volvo seem to like it well enough, out of a pool of 122 entries for the Ideas contest. One factor perhaps is that the Rottweiler’s design concept was similar to that of the LEGO-Volvo ZEUX: self-driving capability. If that weren’t a futuristic vehicle element as the contest rules asked for, then what is?
For his efforts, Vida Andras won a LEGO Technic ZEUX (42081) plus several more Technic sets depicting heavy equipment vehicles. His build, along with nine other Ideas submissions, were exhibited at the London Transport Museum. Display lasted until May 16.
In a way, the unveiling of a LEGO Stranger Things tie-in is like the toy-brand equivalent of Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame.” Before, during, and after its product launch this week the hype’s still intense for The Upside Down (75810). It helps that LEGO’s milking the 1980s aesthetic of the Netflix series for some great promotional material.
One of the LEGO teasers was an eighties-style LEGO TV advertisement. It was followed up on launch day by a designer video made up like a talk show. Both featured era-appropriate graininess and bits of static too. The convention is maintained in this latest commercial.
The ad shows the LEGO Stranger Things – The Upside Down (75810) set. This time it looks like an item being offered in a TV shopping channel. While a smarmy commentator talks about the set’s features, a presenter points them out on the rotating display. Static on-screen text adds atmospheric flavor.
But this is a set based on “Stranger Things,” a show that really masters scary moments. The moment the presenter flips set 75810 to demonstrate the “Upside Down” side, the ad cuts out. For a few seconds, the display is left in the dark, with the show’s mood soundtrack playing.
It disappears as quickly as it comes, though. The presenter carries on with the display gestures while the voiceover is briefly confused. Once the Upside Down (75810) segment is complete, the “shopping channel” tries to present the next item only to go into expected static.
You’d think LEGO’s just become the primary toy merchandise manufacturer for Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” True, they said the set’s a one-off tie-in, but you’ve got to wonder with all of LEGO’s effort in promoting it. LEGO Stranger Things – The Upside Down (75810) releases June 1.
LEGO Step 1: Collaborate with Bugatti to create a Technic set (42083) of their Chiron sports car. Step 2: do major promotion of LEGO Technic by using its pieces to build a life-sized fully-mobile Bugatti Chiron. Step 3: Send the brick-built Bugatti on a European tour at test-tracks and car shows. Step 4: Make it into a cross-Atlantic tour instead.
And so, after months on the touring road, LEGO’s incredible life-sized masterwork is coming home, sort of. Following its stints in France, UK and US this Power Functions-driven Technic MOC has been transported to Billund. There it will be put on display at LEGO House.
The exhibition of the 1:1 Bugatti Chiron in Denmark’s Home of the Brick will be kicked off by an event. On May 16, car expert Christian Gau will perform an interview of the LEGO Bugatti building team. This includes the original design guys and the Czech LEGO builders who actually put the Technic pieces together.
Also included in the Thursday afternoon program was a LEGO car-build competition (naturally). Prizes were given away to the best short-notice design. The 1:1 LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron itself is on display at LEGO House in Billund until June 10. What happens to it afterwards hasn’t been shared by LEGO.
Looking at the product ideas making up the LEGO Ideas First 2019 Review Stage, you’d think they were “matching pairs.” About two groups of sets at once share similarities, whether thematically or location-wise. There’s a pair of “historical South American” landmarks and three “TV show” sets. Now, the lone space-themed product idea gets a “friend.”
Ideas member Snelson42 has just succeeded in getting his Space Shuttle build to 10-K support. Said shuttle is the Atlantis OV-104 orbiter, the fourth operational of the NASA shuttle fleet. Snelson42 designed his shuttle Atlantis to be of UCS-level build intricacy. Whether LEGO does label this as UCS should it pass review is anyone’s guess.
But as a UCS product idea, this LEGO shuttle Atlantis has all the expected jazzy details. We have opening payload-bay doors, moving landing gear, adjustable flight surfaces, and detailed cockpit. The payload-bay has the CANADARM robot arm. Speaking of arms, the build comes with a display stand, with a sturdy arm to support the weight.
Interestingly, Snelson42 notes he was inspired by “Star Trek” to build the shuttle. He was even originally going to call it Enterprise (orbiter OV-101). That plan was scrapped after discovering the shuttle Enterprise (named after the starship) never got space-borne.
All that said, the UCS Shuttle Atlantis is now the latest addition to the LEGO Ideas First 2019 Review Stage. Now the more modern SpaceX BFR / Starship & Super Heavy by Albinolan won’t be the only-spaced themed product idea.
“LEGO Masters” from the UK’s Channel 4 has proven itself as a popularly entertaining reality show. Seeing LEGO-building teams compete in elimination until one is crowned is a surprising audience magnet. Endemol Shine must’ve realized the potential when it licensed the show for overseas adaptation, Australia’s Nine Network among them.
“LEGO Masters Australia” has finally concluded its inaugural season this week on Nine. The finale which aired Tuesday, May 14, saw the final three teams go head to head. Their final task was to create their own brick build, with all the tech skill and visual storytelling they can muster.
In the end, the best-mate duo of Henry and Cade, both in their mid-thirties, triumphed. They created a diorama of a robot-Greek God Poseidon attacking a ship in a stormy sea. Their work was praised by judge Ryan “Brickman” McNaught, Australia’s top LEGO Certified Pro (LCP). Unfortunately, some viewers dissented.
On social media, these “LEGO Masters Australia” fans expressed their opinion that runners-up David and G (officemates) should’ve won. Their team created a large theme-park build with rides and attractions that moved via LEGO mechanics. They also flooded an opinion poll in Nine Network’s Twitter, up-voting David-G over Henry-Cade and the third-place team of Jordan-Miller.
As for David-G’s “theme park” final challenge, Brickman did have a significant criticism regarding the overuse of green LEGO elements. As for team Henry-Cade, he described them as playing to their strengths with impressive brick-sculpting.
While the decision is final, to the critics’ disappointment, the incident hasn’t been controversial enough to endanger “LEGO Masters Australia.” Nine Network has already renewed the reality LEGO-building program for season 2, with Brickman McNaught and host Hamish Blake returning.
So, how’s that LEGO Stranger Things hype, huh? It’s now a day since the late-night/midnight launch events in NYC and London. The Upside Down (75810) was a massive hit with everyone who saw it. And attendees of the respective events had a great time with the crowds, spectacle and entertainment.
Part of the activities offered during the launch of 75810 was a Make-and-Take event. Those who joined in got the opportunity to build a miniature of another famous landmark from “Stranger Things.” Who can resist the sight of Castle Byers, the little fort in the woods? Can anyone not be charmed by a LEGO interpretation?
A Reddit user has done LEGO and “Stranger Things” fans a solid by posting the Make-and-Take build’s instruction sheet. Like all M&Ts of the sort, the instructions are but two pages long. They should be easy to follow for curious builders who couldn’t be there for the actual launch events.
Even if a LEGO fan needs to hunt down some parts listed online, he won’t need to spend much. A calculation done on the Reddit post claims the total for all bricks to be roughly $5 only. About the only details permanently missing from self-builds of LEGO Castle Byers are the label-stickers for the signs.
Back with the star of the shows last Tuesday-Wednesday, VIPs can get LEGO Stranger Things – The Upside Down (75810) now. The rest will have to wait until June 1. We also invite you to look back at the nifty and fun promo teasers LEGO presented before/after the set’s official reveal.
LEGO has so many irons in the fire, figuratively, that they can announce a wide variety of products simultaneously. While their fandom is still digesting the LEGO Stranger Things set, LEGO has been announcing smaller stuff like Minifigure Packs. These little collections of minifigs and accessories serve as nice “population boosters” for other, bigger sets.
While we were featuring the new LEGO Ninjago (40342) and City (40344) Minifigure Packs, sharp eyes may have noticed something. The Hoth Bricks source article had among its images some minifigs and props that weren’t part of the others. Is it a separate Minfigure Pack?
Yes it is. And now we know it to be a second LEGO City Minifigure Pack, numbered 40345. If you thought pack 40344’s summer theme clashed with the latest City set announcements, this one’s more appropriate. You will recall that the newest upcoming for LEGO City is a space exploration theme. This pack fits in.
The new LEGO City Minifigure Pack (40345) has four characters. We’ve got two astronauts in different spacesuits, a scientist and a hard-hat technician. The scientist and one of the astronauts are female too, for balance. Their accessories include a metal detector, jackhammer, wrench, laptop, camera, space rocks, and laboratory table.
One could picture this set of minifigures as a team of experts for returning space missions. They’d examine soil samples from the moon and Mars taken back by the astronauts. The “green rock” elements look mighty interesting under the “microscope.”
It’s likely a sure thing that LEGO City Minifigure Pack 40345 will come out at the same time as all the rest of its brethren. Minifig hunters ought to love collecting them for LEGO-set populations.
Observers might have noticed that while LEGO was great with MCU tie-in sets, they haven’t been as focused with Warner-DC. “Avengers: Endgame” had sets and so will “Spider-Man: Far from Home.” Still, what of “Shazam!” which premiered last month? Sure it had a DLC pack for “LEGO DC Super-Villains,” but where are its tie-in sets?
A new product listing by Bricklink reveals that there is one after all. It’s no boxed LEGO building set; instead it’s a minifigure polybag. Numbered 30623, the character inside is pretty much obvious. It’s Shazam himself, smarmy smile and all.
French LEGO news source Brick Heroes even noticed something about the minifigure design for LEGO Shazam! (30623). It’s a retool of the Shazam minifig in “Batwing and the Riddler Heist” (76120), from the “Batman 80th Anniversary” sets. The body’s the same, but the hooded cape accessory and head (evoking current comic-book design) have been replaced.
Now the 30623 minifigure version has a high-collar cape (like the movie) and a LEGO-rendition of Zachary Levi’s face. All told, the film Shazam does look better and more heroic.
There’s no word yet on the polybag’s availability, either for sale or as a gift-with-purchase thing. We can surmise however that the cape looks like other minifigure clothing accessories. That means they’re probably stored in a smaller bag within the main polybag. Once the LEGO Shazam! (30623) minifigure is gotten, the usual caution is expected when tearing the bag open.
One thing about being a popular LEGO fan-boy is that there’s a chance the company might notice. Then there’s the probability of becoming an ascended fan by working for LEGO. The downside is that, if one has been making money from their LEGO MOCs then that’s no longer an option.
That was the story for Chris “Powerpig” McVeigh in February. Last month, AFOL MOC-er Carter Baldwin also got hired by LEGO. So far, his MOC-filled Twitter account remains up. Fans can continue to be in awe at his creations, from “Aliens” Xenomorphs to “Blade Runner” flying cars. That latter project has suddenly come to prominence.
Baldwin’s rendition of the Spinner from “Blade Runner 2049” is an incredible model. Scaled to minifigure size, it can seat two in its cockpit. The mechanics are pretty sound too, as are the details. The Spinner MOC even has a stand to simulate flight mode.
LEGO MOC blog and online market Bricks on the Dollar now hosts the Spinner’s building instructions from Carter Baldwin. It’s free of charge and has a sequential series of images showing how to assemble. The needed LEGO pieces and elements are presented so that interested builders can look for them.
The last word regarding Baldwin was that he’s part of the LEGO design teams that work on superhero franchises. Sooner or later an official LEGO set will release with his input, though we probably won’t know if he’s involved unless he does a designer video.
By now, the facts are all laid out. In LEGO Stores at the Flatiron district and Leicester Square the eagerly-awaited set has come. LEGO Stranger Things: The Upside Down (75810) has been everything it was hyped to be and much more. Check out our coverage of it to be sure.
We probably don’t need to reiterate much from our feature article. Everybody now knows the intricate detail and snazzy design mechanics of The Upside Down (75810). The promotional blitz LEGO unleashed ahead of its reveal has done wonders. And now, it’s time to wrap up our coverage of that too.
One last teaser that came out before the launch events on both sides of the Atlantic appeared on LEGO’s Facebook. We see a brick-rendered recreation of the wall-alphabet communication rig used by Joyce. Lights played by LEGO stud pieces spell out an urgent message from the company, meant for fans.
The real kicker however is the non-routine designer video for LEGO Stranger Things – The Upside Down (75810). Remember the earlier LEGO teaser with the retro-grainy 1980’s TV commercial? They carry over the aesthetic for the vid featuring set designer Justin Ramsden. The bonus: it’s set up like an eighties late-night talk show with a host!
You can see more details of the LEGO Stranger Things – The Upside Down set (75810) on its Shop@Home listing. It’s priced at $199.99 and will become available on June 1. As for the hit Netflix series it’s based on, season 3 of “Stranger Things” will arrive for streaming July 4.