LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle (71043) Pre-Orders Now Available In LEGO Stores In Canada

Towards the end of last week we caught some small bit of news concerning the recently released and heavily wish-listed LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle (71043) micro-scale set. Apparently some LEGO Stores in the US have been processing pre-orders for the set, and LEGO Harry Potter fans were left to wonder, were all US LEGO Stores involved? Did other countries also have the same in-store pre-ordering in their local LEGO brand stores? The answer, as it turns out, is quite positive, even up to north in Canada. LEGO apparently cottoned on to the possibility that in-store LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle (71043) pre-orders will be a good measure to determine demand versus supply for this highly sought after set.

LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle (71043) pre-orders LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle (71043) pre-orders

It’s most likely that LEGO is trying to get a good grip on how to ensure that supplies are enough in relation to the sheer number of LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle (71043) pre-orders, and to preempt complaints like when the LEGO Star Wars UCS Millennium Falcon (75192) kept running out in stores and retailers for months.

The LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle (71043) is already available to VIP members before its general release on the first day of September, which is when all those who have made pre-orders in the US and Canada will receive theirs. One only needs to put down $40 of the $399.99 price and they’ll have a lock on one set of the micro-scale castle in September.


Select Articles from the Newsweek Special Edition: LEGO – The Toy That Changed Our Lives Now Available Online

As July ends, two weeks have passed since a special edition of Newsweek magazine on LEGO was made available. Entitled LEGO – The Toy That Changed Our Lives this issue was loaded with articles and features on everything related to the world’s biggest toy brand, whether it’s on their milestone anniversaries, their various brick-set lines, or even their upcoming media offerings.

Now, this special Newsweek edition is published with the intent of being a media collector’s item. But its contents have been made available by Newsweek itself on its official website, for the benefit of those who can’t get a copy.

So far, at least three featured articles from the LEGO – The Toy That Changed Our Lives special issue have been posted on Newsweek online. They include a special on the 40th anniversary of the ubiquitous LEGO minifigure, an interview with a company executive regarding The LEGO Movie 2, and a spotlight on the LEGO Architecture model-building line.

LEGO – The Toy That Changed Our Lives

All in all, they’ve been nice fluff pieces focusing on several different facets that cement the reputation of LEGO as a life-changing toy experience. From discussing the evolution of the minifigure, to getting inside perspective on how LEGO became a viable film franchise since the first cinematic installment in 2014, to a waxing lyrical of LEGO Architecture set 21017 – Tokyo Imperial Hotel, there’s something to catch dedicated LEGO enthusiasts’ fancy.

As of this posting, the Newsweek Special Edition: LEGO – The Toy That Changed Our Lives is currently sold-out online. So in the event that physical copies of this collector’s edition issue becomes really scarce in our local magazine shops, then the Newsweek website is the go to place. Be sure to check with them every now and then since more might be published soon.

LEGO Architecture Las Vegas (21047) Now Listed in Amazon France

The wait has been long, but maybe it was worth it. Due to an unfortunate real-life incident beyond anyone’s control, LEGO’s Architecture set of the Las Vegas skyline, numbered 21038, was delayed while one of its featured structures, the hotel where the incident occurred, was replaced with a new building. Another delay announced this year pushed the LEGO Architecture Las Vegas set to the latter portion of 2018. In the interim, images of the revamped set, now numbered 21047, popped up in out-of-the-way online sources such as a Korean-language LEGO product catalog. Finally however, we now have the official images of the LEGO Architecture Las Vegas (21047) set.

Amazon France now has a product listing for the new LEGO Architecture Las Vegas (21047). The images there have come a long way towards reassuring LEGO fans that have been waiting for this product that it’s real, confirmed, and will be delayed no longer.

The back of the box reiterates all the Vegas landmarks that are included in this Architecture set. There’s the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, Fremont Street Experience, Stratosphere tower, Encore at the Wynn, the Luxor, and the Bellagio Hotel which replaced the Mandalay Bay from the original 21038 version.

Now, this Amazon France listing for the LEGO Architecture Las Vegas (21047) has no info on pricing and release date, though the official LEGO product catalog that first showed images of the revamp says we’ll be getting it in September. We most certainly hope so.

South Africa Welcomes Its First LEGO Brand Store in Johannesburg

Just last week we made mention of a new LEGO Brand Store in North America, which will open November at Greenville in South Carolina, making it the 94th LEGO Store in the North America. And LEGO is obviously not stopping from there, and more upcoming stores are lined up to open their doors to LEGO fans the world over. For instance, this Saturday, South Africa finally had the distinct honor of having a LEGO Store of its own. The country’s first ever LEGO Brand Store in Johannesburg, located in  Sandton City Mall, opened its doors to greet the eager LEGO fans across the city. While the country isn’t out of reach for LEGO products on retail, having a branded store makes things even better.

Not only will LEGO sets, minifigures and assorted merchandise be available at the Sandton City LEGO Brand Store in Johannesburg, the main draw is of course finally giving South Africans a good shot at LEGO’s direct-to-consumer (D2C) products.

LEGO Brand Store in Johannesburg
This brick-built mosaic is displayed proudly inside the LEGO Brand Store in Johannesburg, depicting the country’s ‘Big 5’ wild animals.

It being a notable occasion for LEGO with its first named store in South Africa, the venue was blessed with some pretty impressive displays. Two of the most prominent are a 15,041-piece brick-built mosaic portrait depicting the “Big 5” wild animals of Africa, along with a scale model of Johannesburg built by zaLUG.

We offer a big round of congratulations to South Africa for their first LEGO Store, and more LEGO building fun for many years to come.

DK’s LEGO Animal Atlas Now on Reduced Prices Of As Much As 30% Over At Amazon

We’ve gone over, in the past, a good number of official LEGO books recently published and released by the company’s steadfast print partner Dorling Kindersley (DK). Granted, most of those books that came out were franchise titles, whether LEGO’s own or licensed elsewhere. But there have also been DK LEGO books with more “generalized” subjects. Take for instance this volume, the LEGO Animal Atlas. Released two months ago, it contains a mini-encyclopedia of some of the world’s most familiar animals, along with building tips from UK-based AFOL gurus such as Jason Briscoe, Rod Gilles and Simon Pickard, to help child readers construct LEGO brick-built animals. As a bit of a trivia, the LEGO Store Monthly Mini-Build for the month of August (which is a Toucan by the way) is also featured in this latest LEGO-inspired DK offering.

As if the LEGO animal-building instructions weren’t enough, the LEGO Animal Atlas also takes pages from its licensed-property brethren. But where LEGO Star Wars or LEGO DC Visual Dictionary might have a minifigure included, the LEGO Animal Atlas comes with a 60-piece LEGO brick set, with enough specific elements to build four particular creatures featured in the book.

LEGO Animal Atlas

LEGO Animal Atlas

Currently you can find the LEGO Animal Atlas online at Amazon, where it has recently undergone a hefty price cut of more than 30%. Here’s the full description of the book as posted by Amazon.

LEGO Animal Atlas: Discover the Animals of the World and Get Inspired to Build!

An atlas of animals with 60 bricks to build four exclusive mini-models: panda, penguin, giraffe, and kangaroo.

Discover the planet’s amazing animals with specially commissioned LEGO® models and maps. Which animal gobbles up 4,000 clams in one meal? Where can you find a snail as big as a baseball? The LEGO Animal Atlas has answers to these questions and a whole lot more. The book is packed with fascinating facts, images, and building ideas for more than 110 models of the world’s most awesome animals. 

A detailed LEGO map, dotted with charming micro-build creatures, introduces each of the continents. The maps are followed by colorful spreads featuring up to seven LEGO animals in their habitats. From a cute koala in the Australian outback to a mighty lion prowling the African savanna, this book showcases many of the world’s favorite animals–plus some unusual sights, such as the bizarre blue-footed booby and the mysterious giant squid. 

The models are built with mostly standard bricks, and tips and breakdowns will inspire children to create their own animal models. A combination of clear photos, authoritative text, fun facts, and classic LEGO humor helps children learn as they build and play their way around the animal world.

Rolls-Royce UltraFan – The Ultimate Jet Engine Qualifies for LEGO Ideas’ Second 2018 Review Stage

For those who have been keeping up with us on our coverage of new Product Ideas on LEGO Ideas that have passed the 10,000 support mark, they might think the initial trend of “high-techie” aspiring official sets was broken with Steamboat Willie and the M&M Dispenser. But now the prevailing theme’s back in full force with the next LEGO Ideas project gaining the 10K thumbs-up of approval from LEGO fans: the Rolls-Royce UltraFan – The Ultimate Jet Engine.

This next Review-ready Product Idea is courtesy of LEGO Ideas member DanCodd. Instead of perhaps yet another tableau to the glory of the private aerospace company SpaceX, we get a pure intricately technical model of a  new, energy efficient, jet engine.

Jet aircraft history buffs can tell us all about Rolls-Royce being one of the top jet engine designers and manufacturers in the world, and their UltraFan is subtitled by DanCodd in his Product Idea as “The Ultimate Jet Engine”. That’s no exaggeration since the Rolls-Royce UltraFan – The Ultimate Jet Engine has more than 20,000 pieces to boast of! Now just to be clear, if ever this project sees the light of day as an actual LEGO Ideas set, then the designers will have a bit of a challenge in their hands on how to compress this mammoth MOC into a viable. trimmed down, LEGO set.

Rolls-Royce UltraFan - The Ultimate Jet Engine

Look at the structure of the UltraFan in these photos. From the fan-blades to the engine interior, the whole setup is mind-blowing. And DanCodd claims that his proposed project for LEGO Ideas is overly simplified as it already is! It also features a handle mechanism that actually turns the blades when cranked.

With the support gained by the Rolls-Royce UltraFan – The Ultimate Jet Engine, the number of Product Ideas that’ll go to the Second 2018 Review Stage for future LEGO Ideas sets have grown to six. DanCodd’s submission has some heavy competition in this batch, but his set’s ready for the challenge.

LEGO Star Wars Porg (75230) Official Images Spotted at Ukrainian Online Retailer

Remember back in the early days of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in UK cinemas, when brick-built statues of those adorable Porg creatures popped up in the streets of London? Horrendous as they may seem for some, most LEGO Star Wars fans however, simply loved the idea of having a LEGO Porg set that they can bring home with them. We are also aware that the LEGO Star Wars Porg (75230) is really going to happen when back in June, a Dutch online retailer listed the set in their database. And this time around, we finally have a glimpse of their official images.

The LEGO Star Wars Porg (75230) involves perhaps one of the most breakout popular alien creatures ever conceived in the latest Star Wars franchise. It’s amazing how many times before we managed to get tangible documentary proof of announced but unrevealed LEGO sets from some far-off sources. This time, the one that showed photos of the original box for LEGO Star Wars Porg (75230) for everybody’s consideration, was discovered by Promobricks at an online toy retailer in the Ukraine.

LEGO Star Wars Porg (75230) There’s also an image of the completed Porg (75230) model, which also gets a standing plaque similar to the LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collectors’ Series sets. The most fascinating features of the model are its articulated flippers, a mouth mechanism to open and shut that meme-worthy mouth, and flipping wings. The back of this avian model is impressively detailed as well.

And that’s about it. The Ukrainian retailer hasn’t put their price for the LEGO Star Wars Porg (75230), where elsewhere it’s listed as €80/$95, before images were even shown. But now we know what the Porg model looks like, so it’s up to LEGO Star Wars fans if they’re up to getting this set. It does look purposely hilarious.

Hong Kong MTR Celebrates the LEGO Brick’s 60th Anniversary

Just to remind all LEGO fans out there, this year marks the 60th Anniversary of the LEGO Brick; and though the major celebrations for it might have already passed, there’s still enough places in the world where LEGO can be found announcing their milestone in a very memorable way. In Hong Kong for example,  The LEGO Group has partnered with the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) system to launch a special express train decked out in LEGO décor and fanfare. Particular Hong Kong MTR trains will sport its special LEGO 60th Anniversary theme from Friday, July 27, to August 15 next month.

From the walls, to the seats, to the sliding doors, Hong Kong MTR commuters to this express on the Tsuen Wan line will be greeted by some LEGO CMF Series 18 characters, as well as the ubiquitous 2×4 LEGO brick.  Warm wishes for LEGO’s 60th anniversary are also plastered everywhere.

Hong Kong MTR

The temporary decking out of this LEGO-inspired Hong Kong MTR train was arranged by Troy Taylor, LEGO general manager for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. The cheery, generally yellow motif of the express’ interior was carefully chosen to, in Taylor’s words, “make sure it is fun and engaging.”

Another collaborative work by LEGO, this time with Facebook, has led to the development and launch of an AR filter featuring the minifigure characters and designs from the tricked-out LEGO Hong Kong MTR express. So far, the filter seems only available for Chinese users. Watch how it works in the  video clip below.

LEGO’s New Advertising Campaign Concept Invites Fans to Imagine and Build the Future

Being a well-established toy brand with a wide reach across the globe, LEGO makes sure that its brand and image remains easily remembered and recognizable the world over, not just for its wide variety of products but also for its distinctive spirit of play. That’s why they spare no expense when it comes to developing new advertising campaigns that are sure to grab everybody’s attention. And this new campaign, courtesy of the Ogilvy & Mather agency in Bangkok, looks beautiful, artistic and full of LEGO meaning. They were conceptualized by O&M Senior Art Director Asawin Tejasakulsin, and are divided into two slogans: Imagine and Build the Future.

The Imagine LEGO ad posters feature some magnificent brick builds that are integrated into an ordinary room’s furniture, creating something more magical than mundane. See that LEGO King Kong brick-build turning a speaker tower into the Empire State? How about a dragon providing fire for that stock pot? With LEGO, imagination simply becomes reality.

Build the Future

Meanwhile, Build the Future gives an inspiring message for the little kids who love LEGO and whose time spent playing with them might inspire their careers tomorrow. The message can’t be any clearer with the children making brick-build “shells” of what they might want to be when they grow up.

Build the Future

While we’re looking forward to the day when LEGO will release these posters on a new ad campaign for their brand, you might as well want to check the rest of Asawin Tejasakulsin’s Imagine and Build the Future ads.


LEGO Brand Stores Reportedly Accepting Pre-orders for the LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle (71043)

We always try to bring you all the LEGO news that’s fit to share here, but these past days the only bit of news that gets talked about is the official reveal of LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle (71043), and all the nitty-gritty details and secrets its micro-scale structure holds. There’s really not much more to tell about 71043 that hadn’t been told before. It arrives on August 15 for LEGO VIP members, and September 1 for everybody else. The set’s already listed on too. But perhaps this little update warrants attention: some LEGO brand stores are now accepting pre-orders for the LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle (71043). Reports have been coming in from LEGO shoppers that certain LEGO brand stores they’ve been to lately have notices put up at their front doors. The message, apparently, is quite clear: “Ask us about how to Pre-Order our new Exclusive.”

pre-orders for the LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle (71043)

Our fellow LEGO news source, The Brick Fan, has also picked up on this news. On their official Facebook page, at least one happy LEGO fan has confirmed that his local LEGO Store has been accepting pre-orders for the LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle (71043), with a receipt snapshot to prove it. It’s real.

This would have to be one of the nicest things LEGO has done for the fans yet. Now, the only thing left to clarify is if the 71043 preordering is good for all LEGO Stores or just a select few. We suggest Potter-fans who want this epic set contact their nearest LEGO Store in their area for confirmation.