Nothing stings quite like a broken promise, whether it’s between few people, or between manufacturers and their retailers/customers. Sometimes however, circumstances leave little option. Organizers of pandemic-cancelled events in 2020/21 may have hoped that the following year/s would be better. But COVID-19 keeps reinventing itself with new variant mutations triggering resurgent mass infection concerns. Liberties that were revived late last year are slowing being dialed back all over again on account of the Omicron strain. Already, the 2022 New York Toy Fair announced its bowing to the inevitable last week. Next on the global toy-expo schedule: the Nuremberg Toy Fair.
And again courtesy of The Brick Fan, we learn that Nuremberg Toy Fair 2022 is cancelling its early-February dates. Organizer Spielwarenmesse eG announced it last week, January 13. Much like in New York, COVID-Omicron concerns led to many company exhibitors jumping ship. SeG executive board spokesman Christian Ulrich noted that they “fought hard” to keep Nuremberg 2022 a live event. Unfortunately, pandemic control continues to deteriorate worldwide, making the support of the remaining committed manufacturers moot. As an alternative, the official Spielwarenmesse Digital website will be geared to host an online event. It will run during the original live-fair dates.
That makes it two major international toy expos where manufacturers like LEGO could exhibit their latest stuff for the year. Next on the 2022 timetable-slash-chopping block is London Toy Fair. Their organizers declared, also last week, that the event will push through. Regardless, since London Toy Fair is traditionally closed-doors unlike NY and Nuremberg, getting info there will be troublesome.
LEGO has been making licensed sets based on many different IP franchises for so long now. Their licensed-IP library actually goes far beyond the lines and themes actively getting new sets nowadays. It may be that some licensed LEGO sets may have had a run of several products then stopped. Such would be the case for LEGO Indiana Jones. This particular theme rolled out 19 sets and two videogames from 2008 to just 2009. That’s probably long enough to forget for some LEGO collectors. But LEGO probably hasn’t, if this rumor happens to be true.
German LEGO news source Stone Wars has it that LEGO Indiana Jones may return this year. They note that Spanish online retailer electricBricks.com listed LEGO sets numbered 75571 to 75574, under the product description “Coconut.” LEGO rarely uses codenames for unpublicized upcoming sets. However “coconut” can be traced to the 2008-09 “LEGO Indiana Jones” videogames. The second game in particular required Indy to collect some coconuts in a certain level. It may sound like coincidence, but then again an “Indiana Jones 5” film’s been in the works for years. It’ll premiere in 2023 after being delayed multiple times, including from this year, by the pandemic.
Beyond these LEGO sets 75571-75574 being blanket-designated Coconuts, all we know is that they’re releasing in October. But until LEGO gives us official word, we’re better off considering this as rumor until confirmation arrives later.
LEGO Technic tends to be the showcase line for mechanically-functional LEGO sets. The theme’s sets can range from simple vehicles with prominent mechanical gimmicks, to big brick-built replicas of famous supercars. You may probably remember a notable example of the latter: the Technic Bugatti Chiron (42083). That set from a few years ago was so topical that LEGO went and built a promotional 1:1 scale Chiron. It even made news for a time because the plastic Bugatti could actually go using Power Function engines. Unfortunately the Technic Chiron set’s due to retire. Fortunately, something happened that delayed that planned retirement.
We have the story from Brick Fanatics. Apparently LEGO was planning to release a new Technic set this year. Said set (42143) was (momentarily) advance-listed at the Spanish online retailer electricBricks.com. Its product description goes: “Technic Ultimate Car 2022.” It follows the pattern of LEGO releasing a Technic supercar set every two years. It started in 2016 with the Porsche 911 GT3 RS (42056). It was followed 2018 by the Bugatti Chiron (42083) and 2020 by Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 (42115). Technic 42143’s alleged release date of August 2022 has been scrapped however. Apparently LEGO’s delaying it until 2023. And this development had a seeming effect on the aging 42083.
Nope, the LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron was supposed to have retired when 2021 ended. It was even announced towards the end of last year. But check the LEGO.com listing for 42083. The $349.99 Technic set may be Sold Out there, but it hasn’t been marked as Retired just yet. That’s good, I suppose. As for the Ultimate Car 2022-23 (42143), it looks like we’re waiting until next year. But for now, its existence can be considered rumor for now, to take with grains of salt.
When was the last time we covered a Contest on LEGO Ideas? Apparently it was way back in November. An average LEGO Ideas Contest duration tends to be just over two months. Roughly one month of that time would be spent allowing Ideas members to submit entries. The most recent Contest on the other hand ran twice as long in terms of Idea Intake. We could pretty much understand, given the medium being requested by the Contest. Taking LEGO Star Wars sets/characters and doing brickfilm of them celebrating Earth Holidays “Star Wars” style? It’s a lengthy production process true; but this week it finally ended.
January 13 marked the end of taking entries for the LEGO Ideas “A Galaxy of Celebrations” Contest. While there were little to no Idea Input in the first few days, ultimately over 120 brickfilms were submitted. These videos depict the Star Wars cast celebrating various holidays, from Yuletide to Father’s Day to (naturally) May the 4th. From the final batch of brickfilms, a LEGO Ideas review will select 20 submissions for a fan vote. The fan vote will choose four especially great brickfilms for further review. These will move onto a second fan vote where a grand winner will emerge.
The first fan vote winners (4) will receive a LEGO Ideas tote bag, UCS Republic Gunship (75309) and AT-AT (75288). Of course, all entrants will want to be chosen as the grand winner in the second fan vote. For their efforts the final victor gets the hot UCS AT-AT (75313). That would explain why the brickfilms just exploded well into December 2021. Let’s look forward to this Contest’s first fan vote starting January 27 until February 3. We’ll have an idea on what to expect for our four winners then.
Building with LEGO bricks may be as old-school as play activities can get. Still, even with the timeless appeal of the toy brand, LEGO does keep pace with the advance of technology. One example lies in digital brick-building software. LEGO launched its official digital brick-building utility, LEGO Digital Designer, in 2004. LDD used 3D digital rendering of actual LEGO bricks in real-time. The software would even be used in videogame and film development. Meanwhile, Bricklink launched its own Studio software in 2014, and quickly rose to wide usage itself. The popularity of BrickLink Studio with digital LEGO builders has led to this rather surprising announcement.
The Brick Fan reports that they’re shifting official 3D building software status from LEGO Digital Designer to BrickLink Studio. In a statement last Wednesday, January 12, LEGO declared the end of support for LDD. On the software’s official page at LEGO.com, they warn that LDD 4.3.10 will stop being available on January 31. Presently, the software will also have errors when launched except when working in offline mode. LEGO advises LDD users to download BrickLink Studio instead and import their LDD files. Bricklink will also replace the LDD page at the end of the month.
It’s the end of an era for LEGO Digital Designer, the development of which began as early as 2002. The software’s first-gen producer Tommy Scheer envisioned LDD as a simple digital-LEGO building tool for children with computers. He was impressed by the user community evolving the experience into something greater. This in turn led to Bricklink similarly developing BrickLink Studio. The torch has been passed, and LDD’s retirement on January 31 will make things official.
Way back in September last year, a LEGO set number began floating about online: 76980. It coincided with a change in logo for LEGO Games. The buzz was that the set will be a new addition to the LEGO Overwatch line. Such would be confirmed in the following December, sort of. LEGO announced the coming of LEGO Overwatch 2 Titan (76980). This impressive mech-model set was set to debut this 2022, on February. The source franchise, Activision Blizzard’s multiplayer FPS “Overwatch 2,” has apparently been already delayed to 2023. Now, the tie-in set’s following suit.
Brickset tells us that the planned February 1 launch of LEGO Overwatch 2 Titan set (76980) will be put on hold. LEGO released a statement this past Tuesday saying so, with an explanation that feels rather concerning for the set’s future. Apparently, LEGO is in discussion with Activision Blizzard regarding their licensing partnership. Sadly, this stems from a rash of controversies with the game developer. Until something can be worked out between the two companies however, Titan (76980) won’t be coming out anytime soon. The issues with Activision Blizzard have been going since last year. In fact, collectors were already concerned about whether 76980 will even release upon its reveal.
It would be a shame if the LEGO Overwatch 2 Titan (76980) never saw the light of day. The build is rather impressive. And who can say no to another Tracer minifig (and Mei too)? LEGO Overwatch collectors can hope that at least this set will be available sometime soon.
There was a time when people who have become used to air travel were fascinated with flying faster than sound. Supersonic commercial passenger flight became an aspiration for air carriers since the 1950s. The concept was realized by the former USSR and collaboration between France and the UK. For the Soviets, they rolled out the Tupolev Tu-144; for UK-France, they fielded the Concorde. While supersonic transport was initially cool, problems quickly arose. Wear-and-tear, noise, sonic booms and rising fuel costs led to the retirement of SST aircraft by the 2000s. They never got any successors.
Despite the abortive supersonic experience, SSTs continue to fascinate airliner aficionados long after they retired. That would explain LEGO Ideas member Orbiter88 creating a brick-built Concorde aircraft, and why it just got 10-K support.
“The Legendary Concorde” depicts the Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde which first flew in 1969 and served 1976-2003. The aircraft features retractable landing gear and the signature tilting cockpit nose. It also boasts British Airways livery on its portside and Air France at starboard side.
The model can be freestanding on its landing gear, or displayed via a provided adjustable stand. For the most part the build is seamless, like any high-quality plastic-model aircraft.
The Legendary Concorde becomes the second entry to get into the LEGO Ideas First 2022 Review Stage. Its predecessor the Third 2021 Review Stage ended earlier this week with 36 product ideas gaining 10-K support.
The COVID-19 viral pandemic that exploded in 2020 did a serious number on public events worldwide. Conventions and expos, business fairs and festivals; they either resorted to virtual presentations or cancelled outright. The prevailing sentiment from organizers and would-be attendees of these events was that next year will be live again. As it turns out, next year, 2021, wasn’t much improvement, Therefore 2022 became the next target for large events such as the New York Toy Fair to return. If all went as planned, they will go public again next month. As Brick Fanatics tells it however, they won’t.
It’s official. Organizers have cancelled Toy Fair New York 2022, planned from February 19 to 22. Word came out from The Toy Association, which released a statement Tuesday, January 11. Again, concerns regarding COVID-19 (Omicron variant) have sunk the biggest toy and entertainment marketplace in the Western Hemisphere. New York Toy Fair has seen its over-a-century record broken repeatedly by the pandemic. Even with multiple toy manufacturers either pulling out or remaining non-committal, 700 companies expressed interest in going ahead. The organizers however have decided to err on the side of caution.
LEGO is known to be one of the major regular brand presences in the New York Toy Fair. They gave no indication if they were committed to appear if the event continued, or if they backed out. While The Toy Association made no promises for Toy Fair NY 2023, there’s still the Nuremberg International Toy Fair. Their organizers haven’t announced any cancellations for this year’s event, scheduled February 2-6. LEGO is also one of their big stars among toy brands.
The LEGO.com website provides more than product info and an online shop for their many sets and products. It also provides additional services such as building instructions for numbered set builds. That usually works in conjunction with having plenty of LEGO bricks and pieces already. But if you need specific parts then LEGO.com offers you two avenues. One is the Bricks & Pieces customer service. They replace missing or broken pieces from packaged sets. The other is Pick a Brick, where one can buy individual bricks/pieces by quantity. You probably look at those descriptions and think: Don’t these two services basically do the same thing?
Apparently LEGO has been thinking the same, according to German LEGO news source Promobricks. To that end, the company has announced plans to merge their Pick a Brick and Bricks & Pieces pages. A recent series of surveys LEGO conducted online appears to be the impetus for this move. As it turns out, their customers knew of either Pick a Brick, or Bricks & Pieces, but not the other. By combining the two services into a single front-end hub, builders looking for pieces will have easier times exploring. LEGO bricks seemingly exclusive to either service will now be available universally.
The LEGO.com Pick a Brick-Bricks & Pieces merge will also benefit US and Canadian customers. Part of the reorganization also involves opening a new North American-based fulfillment center this month. To facilitate this change, they will temporarily shut down Pick a Brick from January 23 to 25. The combined hub will be soft-launched sometime afterwards, in early (UK, Western Europe) and late (NA, ANZAC) February. LEGO also plans to test a new Build-a-Minifigure service soon, but only for Europe and Asia.
Just because LEGO cranks out set after set, at monthly intervals every year, doesn’t mean they’re perfect manufacturers. Even with all their experience the designers can still make mistakes. Sometimes, that leads to anticipated sets being held back, or worse, cancelled. Late last year we received word of three LEGO Marvel sets for the Mech Armor product line. Unfortunately, LEGO scrapped their planned January 1, 2022 release date and delisted them from their online shop. The company even released a statement explaining how the items “failed quality standards,” with news sources citing bad structural choices. For a time, collectors thought these LEGO Marvel Mech Armors will never come at all.
Not so, according to a report by The Brick Fan. Not only are the missing upcoming Mech Armors back online, they have a new launch date. Marvel fans can get the Wolverine (76202), Iron Man (76203) and Black Panther (76204) Mech Armors months from now. They’re expected to become available at the same $9.99 SRP this April 1st. But wait, you ask. The date’s sus, you say. But in our opinion, LEGO’s not going to use these sets for April Fools. Let’s wait for April 1 to know for sure.
LEGO news site analysis of the quality issues which delayed the LEGO Marvel sets points at flimsy brick assembly. Most likely, the 1×1 plates serving as the Mech Armor’s hip joints would quickly wear down from play-articulation. Thus far, the box images haven’t been altered to confirm if that was the issue which needed fixing. Again, the definitive proof might have to wait until April Fools’ Day, which we’re sure doesn’t involve these LEGO sets.