There seems to be no doubt that when it comes to The LEGO Group’s many publishing partners that produce official licensed books and magazines, one of the foremost is the UK’s Dorling-Kindersley (DK). Many of our past articles on The Brick Show that talks about the hottest LEGO books are mainly about those from DK. And it looks like we have more LEGO-DK published material coming out, these ones being included in a promotional tandem with the Woolworths Supermarkets retail chain in Australia. These are the new LEGO Factivity books and there are six in all to collect. Each can be gotten by adding only two Australian dollars to every purchase of magazines from Woolworths, namely Better Homes and Gardens, and Australian Men’s Health.
These LEGO Factivity books from DK are divided into two prominent themes with two volumes each. The Ninjago Factivity Books include “Ninja & Foes” and “Training & Battles”; LEGO Friends has “Animal Friends” and “Hobbies & Friends”; finally, LEGO City volumes are comprised of “City Jobs” and “On The Move”.
Each Factivity Book contains fun activities and games, trivia about the characters and elements from each of the three featured themes, and some encyclopedic trivia that are relevant to the theme and subject of each book. For example, LEGO Friends “Animal Friends” include animal trivia.
This offer is only available at Australia’s Woolworths Supermarkets, from September 17 to October 28 and while supplies last. Other participating publications include Who, Women’s Health, New Idea, Girlfriend and many more. Only one Factivity Book for each magazine purchased.
One might think it really difficult for LEGO, a brand that is all about building things, to conceptualize sets geared towards girls, particularly of the doll-playing age. But they have done just that with their current LEGO Friends product line, so popular that it gets its own LEGOLAND themed area. When a brand’s particular subtheme is big with customers and name recognition, it makes sense to develop it further. And that’s apparently what LEGO’s planning to do, according to rumor, with Friends. They’re taking a one-off set of sorts like the LEGO Valentine’s Day Heart Box (40051) set from 2013, and making a LEGO Friends Heart Box versions of it.
This rumor, first caught by fellow LEGO news source Brick Fanatics, posits that the LEGO Friends Heart Box sub-theme will have five sets of buildable trinket boxes, including mini-dolls to keep in them. These LEGO Friends Heart Boxes will be styled after the five prominent characters from the product line, the coolest group of girl-friends living in Heartlake City: Mia, Andrea, Stephanie, Olivia and Emma.
That’s not all; there’s said to be an additional Heart Box set in this initial release, serving as the debut of a new Friends character. These Heart Boxes will be mixed in with other conventional LEGO Friends sets that will be arriving in January 2019.
As always, any bit of news we introduce as a rumor will remain so until confirmed or debunked by LEGO itself. We’re still waiting on further news about another girl-centric new LEGO theme, the iCreate jewelry/accessory line rumored since August.
Back when this year was still new, we covered an announcement of collaboration between The LEGO Group and Tencent in order to enhance the former’s online branding in China. Part of the directive is the co-development of videogames through Tencent’s Games division. This September, such a game is nearing launch, with a still to be disclosed LEGO mobile game.
This Wednesday, September 12, the Chinese micro-blog service Weibo was inundated with advertising from Tencent Games about their soon-to-launch new online mobile game that was co-developed with the Danish toymaker. It only mentioned the release date, but it served enough to drum up interest in China’s massive base of gamers.
Tencent Gaming’s ads go: “Today, we announce a piece of good news. After a strategic cooperation in January, Tencent and LEGO Group will unveil a co-developed game on September 19.” This title is slated to be the first of hopefully many LEGO mobile game and Tencent licensed games to China and perhaps the world.
It’s well-known that China is the current (and perhaps, now permanent) gaming capital on Earth. Its reported number of active videogame players is actually larger than the entire population of the US. And Tencent Games is also the biggest videogame company now, despite only owning developers with their own titles and not making their own.
LEGO’s Tencent game, set to be revealed next week, hopes to take advantage of a dearth of issuing new licenses for game titles in the country while the Chinese Communist Party tries to increase its control over the gaming market.
Aside from video games, the LEGO-Tencent team-up also plans to open a LEGO media section on the Tencent Video streaming platform, to host some of its wide library of animated TV and feature films and series.
Source: South China Morning Post
Just this week, we talked about costume label Disguise and their latest wave of officially licensed LEGO-themed costumes released well ahead of Halloween and made available on Target. Not only were the kiddies well-represented, Disguise even went as far as creating costumes that are just the right size for AFOLs. But apparently the Disguise LEGO 2×4 brick costumes on offer at Target were missing one color. Yellow and Blue were accounted for but Red was apparently missing in action. LEGO fans need not worry anymore, as an AFOL-sized Red LEGO 2×4 brick costume was found listed on stock at Amazon.
Much like its “brothers” the brick and minifigure costumes over in Target, this Red LEGO costume is made out of 100% polyester, and is put on with a hook and loop fastener at back. Its details replicate authentic LEGO bricks with the brand name printed on all of its studs.
Costumes such as these are all perfect for grownups like AFOLs due to its minimal-fuss design, just a one-piece top you can easily slip into. Much like at Target, the Red LEGO brick suit from Disguise is priced anywhere from $40 to $70, with lower rates available on certain options.
With the rise of social media as a tool for online mass communication over the past decade or so, came the prominence of social media influencers, celebrities with large online followings who are then courted by major companies to advertise their goods, in return getting paid with cash or free products.
Even LEGO gets into this social influencers action, which is why The Drum, a marketing industry website, has called upon it and four other big-brand companies to say their two cents on the latest social media scandal of an influencer campaign gone wrong, according to comments.
UK-based influencer Scarlett Dixon (@ScarlettLondon) posted an Instagram promo for Listerine last August 31, which was eventually bashed by critical commenters for its “obviously staged” and “fake” styling. One heckler even mentioned how they wanted Scarlett to “step on a LEGO” for her “forced acting”.
To this little bit of controversy, The LEGO Group’s Director of Social Media and Search Lars Silberbauer noted that such flare-ups don’t, as detractors claim, herald the death of social media influencers as an advertising force. Rather, the whole model is undergoing an adjustment period. Despite hiccups, he says “It doesn’t change the fact that millions and millions of people all around the world are following and taking inspiration from Influencers.”
Silberbauer also made mention that LEGO also entrusts some influencing campaigns to The Drum to hype their various LEGO products. And recently, the company’s put an ad out for a new Social Influence Manager to work on YouTube. All in all, despite the nightmare unleashed on @ScarlettLondon for her Listerine post, she and her fellow social media influencers still remain…influential.
It’s never too early to plan for a party, and what bigger party for everybody can there be at the end of next month, except for Halloween? We can bet that theme parks across the country have got their own spooky celebration events planned, including the various LEGOLAND theme parks of course. The LEGOLAND yearly Halloween extravaganza is called Brick-or-Treat Party Nights, and guests of the LEGOLAND parks and Discovery Centers across the US can be assured that they’ll be having an awesome monster bash wherever they may be. Each location has its own dates for Brick-or-Treat, so let’s go over these.
First we have LEGOLAND California Resort. They’re having Brick-or-Treat Party Nights as early as September 29, and so on every consecutive Saturday until October 27. LEGOLAND Florida Resort is starting late, but with more dates on schedule including on October 31st itself (though with limited activities and no fireworks display). Their Party Nights will happen in all weekends of October.
True to expectations, the LEGOLAND Brick-or-Treat Celebrations will start at around 5 PM on all selected dates, featuring attractions running from flashy colorful costumes to creepy (yet still kid-friendly) scares. In California, they’ll have a new “Dr. Frankenbrick’s Lab” show that invites its kiddie audience to participate in the Doc’s experiments to animate a slime, with fun science lessons extra.
Other exciting things to look out for are the Meet and Greets, the costume contests, build-and-craft sessions with the LEGO Friends at Heartlake City, and all the yummy candy for sale at treat stations everywhere.
You may book your tickets at the LEGOLAND parks’ respective websites; California even has “Early Bat” limited-time offers in store. Each LEGOLAND Discovery Center in North America has their own Brick-or-Treat days so you can check them for yourself here. Look under “News and Events”.
It is no secret that the LEGO Group has always been an advocate of learning through play, so much so when it is facilitated by the cutting edge technology and creative use of the LEGO brick. This is the impetus behind a particular subtheme of LEGO products which is widely known among schools and the academe, particularly the LEGO Education line of sets. These are non-retail sets and can only be ordered directly from LEGO, or any of its authorized international partners. LEGO takes education and learning seriously that it even came up with a certification program to recognize those dedicated builders who choose to utilize their teaching skills by utilizing LEGO bricks. Earlier this year, TLG introduced a new certification scheme connected to their LEGO Education line, dubbed as the Master Educator Program.
The Master Educator program is a LEGO Education network that brings together primary and secondary educators who effectively use products from the Education line and other LEGO sets as tools for teaching. This is in conjunction with LEGO Education’s objective of promoting hands-on learning for skills development. Already LEGO Education has an initial group of certified Master Educators. In the US they comprise teachers from primary and secondary education – elementary, middle school and high school – that integrate various LEGO teaching tools and methods when educating their students.
But LEGO is keen on growing the number of Master Educators under their Education label. If you’re a schoolteacher who loves LEGO and are interested in learning how to make the best use of them for education, you can sign up for the Master Educator application. You’ll be notified by LEGO Education on when in 2019 their application process begins.
Looks like Target has been getting some LEGO love lately. We already covered that they now have available a set of themed costumes from Disguise that are directly licensed from LEGO – bricks and minifigure bodies. As if that weren’t enough, there’s a certain set spotted that’s apparently a Target exclusive. The said LEGO-Target exclusive comes in a bright yellow box that calls to mind LEGO’s Plants for Plants (40320) gift-with-purchase set released last month. The LEGO Bean There, Donut That (40358) comes in at 146 pieces and features an outdoor coffee-donut shop that would go nice with LEGO City sets.
Word of this set was first spread on Reddit, and picked up on by LEGO news source and set guide Brickset. It’s said to be sold on retail at target for $19.99 but is also believed to be part of a later promotion. That “exclusive to Target” tagline on the box indicates that only the retailer has it, or there may be other sets with different packaging made available elsewhere.
This Target exclusive LEGO Bean There, Donut That (40358) looks great with its shop stall, but is also a great source of donut props and LEGO mugs. It also comes with a bike and Dalmatian figure. The set’s simple but visually appealing design brings to mind similar minibuild vignettes from last year such as the Romantic Valentine Picnic (40236), Easter Egg Hunt (40237), Thanksgiving Harvest (40261) and Christmas Train Ride (40262) just to name a few.
You can try looking for this set yourself outside of Target if you like through the product’s DCPI, 204-00-0606. Otherwise, it’s time to visit your local Target store to see if they’ve got it stocked.
LEGO, for all the brand recognition muscle its name might bring, doesn’t seem like the first thing in mind when thinking of costumes for Halloween. Still, there is a market for children who want to go as LEGO minifigure characters or even LEGO bricks. And believe it or not, LEGO has obliged these. They’ve got licenses out for official LEGO costumes from its proprietary series like Ninjago to other franchises like the DC heroes in LEGO movies. What’s more, they’re not just for kids. Even grownups can get in the Halloween costume fun too with this recent collection of LEGO costumes for AFOLs or Adult Fans of LEGO.
For those interested, these officially licensed LEGO costumes for AFOLs are from Disguise, and are now available at major retail chain Target. Of the newly released adult-sized costumes, shoppers can choose from blue or yellow 2×4 LEGO bricks, the generic red-shirted LEGO minifigure guy, plus LEGO Batman and LEGO Joker from their hit 2017 film.
The minifigure LEGO costumes come in torso with arms (ending in the distinctive C-hands) and a minifigure head (with eye-painted visor). Prices range from $40 to over $60 each. These LEGO duds from Disguise were timed to celebrate (naturally) all of LEGO’s milestones this 2018, which is also a great way for you to show your love for the brick.
What’s your choice of LEGO props this Halloween? Let us know in the comments below.
Not so long ago, the LEGO news community – us included – shed a collective spotlight on the rise of some very suspicious fake LEGO shopping sites online. The insidious thing about these LEGO marketplaces are either their aping of the official shop.LEGO.com web design or the unbelievably low prices on offer.
We at The Brick Show have joined our contemporaries in telling all LEGO fans and collectors who read our news to stay away from these fake LEGO shopping sites. And now, our voices are being joined by the final authority in these things, The LEGO Group itself, in the form of an official statement about these posers.
LEGO’s word on the matter:
We are aware of the existence of websites that mislead consumers in different ways and we take all of these incidents very seriously. While we cannot comment on our specific actions, what we can say is that when we are made aware of or observe any situation where consumers are misled and our intellectual rights are violated we always take the appropriate actions to protect consumers as well as our brand.
We believe that consumers should always be aware of when they are purchasing a genuine LEGO product and when they purchase something else – and they should not be misled during the process of purchase.
We are aware that it may be difficult to identify a fake website, but if in doubt, consumers can be certain that the official LEGO shop on http://www.shop.LEGO.com is genuine.
Remember, shop.LEGO.com and trusted market platforms like Amazon are the only online places you can be sure to buy and get genuine LEGO sets at the right prices. As a rule of thumb, if the prices mentioned in any of these questionable, fake LEGO shopping sites are too good to be true, then they’re probably are. Making your purchases over LEGO Shop@Home and Amazon via our affiliate links also helps legit, LEGO-oriented blog sites such as ours to be up and running.
Yes, everyone wants the most out of their hard-earned bucks, but the investment that you will put on genuine LEGO sets will ensure that you receive a true product guaranteed to last years of play.