Upcoming LEGOLAND Discovery Center in San Antonio to Preview Miniland Building Models with “Best Replica” of City Skyline

In the same manner, perhaps, as the exponential increase of branded LEGO Stores, so too has been the pace of opening new LEGOLAND Discovery Centers, small indoor attractions that offer guests an experience of what can be had in the larger LEGOLAND Resort theme parks.

One such LDC is expected to open in San Antonio, Texas by next year. But just because it’s not yet now it doesn’t mean they can’t show off a few things to drum up interest in future visitors. The Miniland area, while not a huge as can be in a LEGOLAND theme park, is sure to draw the city’s attention thanks to its predominant theme.

That’s because the LDC Miniland will include choice buildings from the San Antonio skyline. These include the Alamo, Alamodome and the Tower Life Building. That last one is scaled at 6 feet 6 inches, or as tall as Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs.

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LDC San Antonio general manager Jeremy Aguillen even shared some statistics on the Miniland model buildings’ construction: 24,000 LEGO bricks for the Tower Life Building, assembled in over 300 hours; 180 hours for the LEGO Alamo; and 2,000 minifigures put inside the Alamodome, for starters.

While LEGOLAND Discovery Center San Antonio won’t be welcoming guests until 2019, these Miniland models will be displayed on Wednesday, December 12, in front of The Shops at Rivercenter where the LDC will be located.

They also plan to hold a building competition from January 12-13 next year to select their resident LEGO Master Builder.

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Potential Penultimate LEGO Set Giveaway by Guinness World Records Now Up: LEGO Wright Flyer (10124)

When Guinness Book of World Records featured LEGO sets in its 2019 edition, nobody might have expected them to offer a giveaway of one of those sets to those who answered a trivia question on their website. Then, it just ballooned as one by one the eight prominent “record-holding” LEGO sets from the 2019 book were promoted in the contest.

Now, the Guinness World Records official website is holding one more trivia contest. On the line is the seventh – and probably the penultimate – LEGO set to be given away, not a record-holder itself but based on one iconic recorded event.

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The rather uncommon LEGO Wright Flyer set (10124) is a model build of the historic Guinness record-holder of the first successful flight of a heavier-than air powered aircraft. As anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of history knows, the Flyer was built by the Wright Brothers Orville and Wilbur, who flew the pioneering airplane near Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903.

Once again, the contest is valid only for Guinness website visitors from Canada, Ireland and the UK. They just need to answer the trivia question on the LEGO Wright Flyer info page and add their contact information. The submission deadline will be on Friday, December 14 at around midnight GMT.

UK’s LEGO Shop@Home Offers LEGO City Adventures in the Arctic Bundle (5005749)

Our regular readers here on The Brick Show who have been following the release of LEGO City sets throughout the year would remember the wave of sets that showed a rather un-city-like setting: the LEGO City Arctic subtheme. The awesome sets that showed high-tech vehicles traversing ice shelves and even digging up a frozen mammoth would fire up the imaginations of LEGO explorers. These LEGO City sets together would make for a sprawling brick-built base where one can imagine exploring the subzero cold regions of the uttermost north. And LEGO knows this too if their latest promotional package for Shop@Home UK with the LEGO City Adventures in the Arctic Bundle (5005749).

Included in this bundle are five out of the seven Arctic explorer-themed LEGO City sets that were introduced this year. Furthermore, being sold as a bundle means it’s priced less than all five individual sets in total. The LEGO City sets in this bundle include the following:

Arctic Exploration Team (60191)

Arctic Ice Crawler (60192)

Arctic Air Transport (60193)

Arctic Scout Truck (60194)

Arctic Mobile Exploration Base (60195)

What should’ve been £175.95 is now at a more manageable £130.95 for the LEGO City Adventures in the Arctic Bundle (5005749). And it also heralds a holiday wave of more multi-set LEGO bundles coming out this month. From what we can tell though, they’re only available only in Europe so far, and are also limited in stock so it will be wise to purchase this now, especially if these sets are included in your wishlist this holidays.

LEGO Inks New Publishing Partnership with Chronicle Books

For as long as can be remembered perhaps, LEGO and books have been comfortably complementary partners in the total experience of the toy brand. While independent publishers bring out books having ideas for DIY MOCs, quite the number of printed material comes from publishers partnered with LEGO itself, such as Scholastic and definitely Dorling-Kindersley (DK).

Now, another publishing company will be joining hands with The LEGO Group to bring out a new series of books that will focus on a recently emerging and newly prominent sector of the fandom. While most official LEGO books are geared somewhat towards children, the proposed material from Chronicle Books will be for the AFOLs.

“We are delighted to welcome Chronicle Books into a select group of publishing partners who work closely with the LEGO Group to create books that delight and inspire fans around the world,” noted LEGO publishing director Robin Pearson, elaborating that Chronicle’s past books, filled with unique humor and style, are perfect for an innovative publishing effort leaning towards the older side of the LEGO fandom.

This new LEGO-Chronicle Books partnership will start with seven books scheduled for release in 2020. While initially following other LEGO books such as DK’s and Scholastic’s with puzzle books and such, more upcoming works will comprise art volumes and even non-fiction titles for AFOL consumption.

Hageman Brothers to Leave LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu Series

Even as LEGO continued to bring out one new set after another on its Ninjago line the story of the relevant characters and their adventures have been told in the 3D-animated series Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu (and retold in The LEGO Ninjago Movie). The popularity of the show and its big screen counterpart was thanks to the efforts of the writing team, including brothers Dan and Kevin Hageman. But that status quo is about to change. The Hageman Brothers have shocked the LEGO-media-watching audience that they will be bowing out of the Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu writing team. This was elaborated on in a series of Twitter posts all throughout Tuesday, December 11.

You may follow all these links to read the rest.

Dan and Kevin have been part of the LEGO Ninjago animated adaptation since its beginning in 2011, and while they’re officially leaving the team after the recently-concluded Season 9, their writing contributions are said to be included in the continuing Spinjitzu storyline all the way to its milestone 100th episode.

 

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With the Hagemans going, only David Shayne and Bragi Schut remain on writer credits for Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu. Schut will be stepping up as head writer for the future.

Sad as it may seem, the only possible consolation that we have is the assurance that LEGO’s longest running TV show will still continue to run its course even after the Hageman Brothers are no longer at the helm of its story development. Simply said, LEGO Ninjago will not really be the same without the original, creative minds behind the series.

For the meantime, we can revisit some of the greatest LEGO Ninjago moments with 2019’s LEGO Ninjago Legacy sets slated to be released next year. There’s also a feature-length animated film to be released later next year as announced during the San Diego ComicCon 2018 last July.

2019 to See New Edition of LEGO Ninjago Visual Dictionary

With the wide-ranging releases of LEGO sets and minifigures across different themes and licensed franchises, the publishing of supplementary printed material such as visual dictionaries by the likes of Dorling-Kindersley are a godsend to collectors, and also a great source of entertainment especially for fans of the properties depicted within.

Speaking of visual dictionaries and DK, they first published such a volume for the LEGO Ninjago line way back in 2014. In major LEGO book fashion, the Ninjago Visual Dictionary also included a free minifigure in the cover, that of Zane. Now, four years have passed since that first printing, and an update is welcome.

That’s why DK is bringing out a new edition of the LEGO Ninjago Visual Dictionary next year. In 128 pages of glorious color photographs the book will bring LEGO fans and collectors up to speed with the latest releases on the Ninjago line thus far.

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In addition to the minifigure and Ninjago set images and info, the visual guide will also include a “Beyond the Brick” section detailing how they were conceptualized and developed. An interview with the Ninjago design team and rare concept sketches and artwork can also be found between the book’s covers.

Dorling-Kindersley expects to have the LEGO Ninjago Visual Dictionary New Edition to be released on bookstores sometime in September of 2019. As expected, it’ll also come with a free minifigure, though for now LEGO is keeping mum on the character’s identity. We’ll have to wait for later info. Preorders are also available on Amazon UK.

LEGOLAND California to Celeberate 20th Anniversary in 2019 with Free Admittance to Children Under 12 on their Birthdays

In the shadow of a certain mega-complex of theme parks in Anaheim, California there’s a smaller but no less popular destination in Carlsbad, for families who are fans of one of the world’s biggest toy brands, operating for almost two decades. Come 2019, LEGOLAND California Resort will be turning 20.

So while the bigger theme park complexes are celebrating the birth of the world’s most famous animated mouse (something LEGO also has a hand in), LEGOLAND California for its part is gearing for a most enjoyable promo next year to celebrate their opening back in 1999. What they have in mind will blow guests’ minds.

Considering the topic is “birthdays”, on 2019 LEGOLAND California will allow free admission to children age 3-12 if they visit the theme park on their birthdays. To quote LCR general manager Peter Ronchetti, “2019 is our 20th birthday and we’re proud to announce that all year in 2019, children of 12 and under will come in free on their birthday.”

This promo is effective in LEGOLAND California Resort from January 1 to December 31, 2019. Parents can avail this for their birthday celebrant children by presenting a document to prove birthdate (original birth certificate, passport or government ID). The free admission tickets are for Sea Life aquarium, LEGOLAND + Sea Life Aquarium, and LEGOLAND + Sea Life + Water Park.

Of course, in the event that a child’s birthday falls on a day when LEGOLAND is closed, there are two options available: the celebrant can go to Sea Life Aquarium for free instead, or they can come back on the closest date to the birthday when LEGOLAND California is operating.

These free admission tickets for children under 12 are non-transferable, though the terms and conditions may change without notice throughout the year. As for children age 2 and under, they’ve always been admitted free to LEGOLAND, and that won’t change.

LEGO Seasonal Year of the Pig (40186) Set Revealed

About three weeks from now, the year will change from 2018 to 2019. And just over a month after January 1, 2019 there will be another year change, this one for the Chinese zodiac calendar. From the Year of the Earth Dog, it’ll be the year of the Earth Pig. We’ve been getting signs of the coming Year of the Pig even in LEGO sets, particularly the pig guy minifigure included in the Chinese regional LEGO set Dragon Dance (80102). But even mainstream LEGO is getting on the act with one 2019 seasonal LEGO set to welcome the piggy-ness; and thanks to Brickset, we now have our first look at this lucky piece of a brick-built set, the LEGO Seasonal Year of the Pig (40186) set.

As expected, LEGO has in readiness one new Chinese zodiac figure (40186) of the coming year’s Animal, a wide-eyed and plump pink piglet carrying the now-familiar yellow LEGO hóngbāo. The big guy’s even standing on a circular platform with growing veggies fit to go into a New Years’ pork feast.

Since this set’s immediate predecessor, the LEGO 2018 seasonal Year of the Dog (40235) was the first made available worldwide (after being an exclusive to the Chinese market), we can expect the Year of the Pig (40186) to follow in terms of availability, likely in LEGO Shop@Home. With this, six out of the twelve Zodiac animals have already been interpreted in LEGO, and with more to probably come in the following years.

LEGO Launches the ARKit2-Powered LEGO Playgrounds App – Now Available at the App Store

LEGO may have the dominant position in terms of customizable building toys worldwide, but it’s also bringing that experience into the virtual world, as it were. We at The Brick Show have featured quite the number of mobile apps co-developed with LEGO that featured computer-generated brick builds that could be imposed on a real background with physical LEGO sets through the “magic” of augmented reality. In fact, we covered the development of such an app between LEGO and Apple, to be rendered on their Augmented Reality Kit 2 or ARKit2 system in June. This month, the result of their work has now been released on the App Store for iOS dubbed as LEGO Playgrounds.

LEGO Playgrounds can be considered the successor of the company’s previous AR-based building app LEGO AR Studio. This one brings the latest advances in augmented-reality interaction, to the familiar system of mixing real and CGI LEGO sets.

Again, like LEGO AR Studio before, this app will be gradually loaded with CG renditions of actual LEGO sets. The first products to be converted thus in LEGO Playgrounds are two sets from LEGO Ninjago: the Dieselnaut (70654) and Dragon Pit (70655), with the promise of more to come in time. LEGO Playgrounds runs on iOS 12, and is now available for download on the App Store. Here’s the official press release from The LEGO Group.

LEGO® PLAYGROUNDS – FIRST EVER PORTAL TO DISCOVER AND PLAY WITH THE LATEST LEGO MIXED REALITY EXPERIMENTS

December 6, 2018: LEGO® Playgroundsan app-based channel delivering a variety of experimental LEGO play experiences and scenarios is now available in the App Store.

The portal is one of the latest LEGO digital innovations aiming to enhance the LEGO play experience and provide fans with a fluid and experimental interaction, which unifies the digital and physical LEGO worlds.

Tom Donaldson, Vice President of Creative Play Lab at the LEGO Group said: “Children today are mastering the art of finding new moments and forms of play and LEGO Playgrounds will provide a ‘live’ opportunity to test and learn directly with them. It’s truly a unique way to engage with them in a fun and experimental way and bring them close to our innovation process. Having this direct-link to users creates a win for everybody – sharing the latest play experiences is great fun for children and highly useful for our LEGO design and development teams who can take their feedback and use it to make launch experiences even better and more engaging.”

LEGO Playgrounds will bring selected LEGO sets and experiences to life in mixed reality experiments and other playful scenarios directly in the app store.

LEGO® NINJAGO® AR – the first to feature as a LEGO Playgrounds experiment
Using the popular LEGO NINJAGO theme, this first playground uses AR technology to detect selected physical LEGO NINJAGO Dragon
Hunters sets and bring them to life with exciting effects, animations and interactions.

The game uses the multi-user support in Apple’s ARKit technology, allowing two players to connect and play together in the same shared play space.

Users can connect and team up with a friend to battle against the Dragon Hunters, share power-ups and 3D assets, create strategies to withstand the endless waves of Dragon Hunters and even compare high-scores with friends.

LEGO Playgrounds is intended for all ages. However, the first LEGO NINJAGO AR playground is recommended for ages 9+ due to the game-play and storyline complexity.

The LEGO NINJAGO AR Playground uses two sets from the LEGO NINJAGO Dragon Hunters theme: the LEGO® NINJAGO® Dieselnaut (70654) and the LEGO® NINJAGO® Dragon’s Pit (70655).

LEGO NINJAGO AR Playground key play features:

  • Bring Physical LEGO Sets to Life with exciting AR effects, animations and games
  • Play with Friends in the same shared AR space around your set
  • Explore Physical LEGO sets and discover new interactions.
  • Place & Share Objects in AR to create unique game areas with friends.
  • Unlock Power-Ups and level-up your character.
  • Test Your Ninja Skills & Strategies to keep the enemies away and survive as long as you can. What is your high-score?

For the current LEGO Ninjago AR experience available in LEGO Playgrounds, there is an option to play 5 levels without a physical LEGO set. The app will simply look for a flat surface and allow you to play in AR only. Naturally we do encourage players to go beyond and unlock the fun around their existing physical LEGO sets.

The LEGO Playgrounds app will be free to play. There will be no in-app purchases or any ads or marketing messages.

The AR technology utilized in the app will require an iPhone 6s and above, with the latest iOS updates.

The LEGO World of Warcraft Theme May Actually Happen

It seems that the future of a LEGO and Blizzard Entertainment partnership is now getting better and better. After the reveal of the LEGO Overwatch theme a couple of months ago, and with Blizzard’s smash hit first-person shooter game now getting the official LEGO treatment, Blizzard fans have another exciting collaboration to look forward to.  Now, while most of us are still swooning on the first batch of LEGO Overwatch sets, making theipre-orders and basically waiting for their release on January 2019, we’ve now gotten wind of rumors that a LEGO and Blizzard collaboration may be on the horizon. Another Blizzard game might be officially rendered in LEGO bricks, and all signs are now pointing at a possible LEGO World of Warcraft theme sometime in the future.

This comes out the mouth of Matt Beecher, Blizzard Vice President of Consumer Products, in an interview with Forbes. To him, seeing more Blizzard properties being interpreted as LEGO sets are within the realm of possibility. The next, most likely game from the company for that privilege is World of Warcraft. When asked about the likelihood of another Blizzard game turned into an official LEGO theme, Beecher answered,

“It needs to be the right time and place for both parties. I mean, we would definitely be interested in discussing that. With World of Warcraft,there’s a hundred million-plus people that have touched that experience at some point in their life, so there’s a very broad and diverse audience around the world that supports World Of Warcraft. But it obviously would be a mutual decision. We need make sure there’s enough indicators pointing to that it would be a great idea.”

Originating as a real-time strategy game series, Warcraft became a juggernaut franchise with the release of its MMORPG spinoff World of Warcraft last decade. Beecher intimated that Blizzard is interested in discussing the prospects of a LEGO Warcraft line of sets.  According to Forbes, however, Blizzard’s enthusiastic pronouncement was not answered by any comments from LEGO.

But to World of Warcraft players whom most are LEGO fans as well, that sounds like a perfect idea. Imagining minifigures of personages from the games like Arthas, Jaina, Sylvanas, Thrall, Tyrande, Malfurion and so many more, plus set recreations of famous locales and battles, is enough to sate the imagination until such time the proposal is confirmed by LEGO and Blizzard. We’ll just have to wait and see if this will click as much as LEGO Overwatch.

So what do you think brick fans? Are you looking forward to see a LEGO World of Warcraft theme? Let us know in the comments below.