Italian Student Builds Magnificent LEGO Scale Model of the Duomo Cathedral in Florence, Italy.

In this day and age, one of the best media expressions of architecture has come in the form of scale versions of structures built using the very ubiquitous LEGO blocks. There have been countless stories about famous buildings and monuments being given the replica treatment.

The most recent build of note is in Italy, where a high school student and avid LEGO builder decided to realize his vision of the Duomo, also known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. The result is an astoundingly accurate rendition that, for a time, will be a local tourist attraction.

Giancinto Consiglio, a 17-year-old student from Italy’s Puglia region, was inspired to do a LEGO scale model of the Duomo cathedral following a tour of Florence, the capital of Tuscany region.

Impressed by the majesty of the 11th-Century cathedral building and the adjoining baptistery, Consiglio would use a CAD program on his home computer to generate a 3D model of the structures, and concluded that, to translate the CGI into a real model, he would need a total of 20,000 LEGO bricks, in 400 various shapes and ten different colors.

Once preparations were complete, Consiglio would return to Florence to construct the LEGO model of the Duomo, working inside the nearby Grand Museum. His attempt was promoted by museum staff as a special event, the work made open for viewing by visitors.

The budding Master Builder was helped by members from various AFOL groups such as Toscana Bricks, the Italian LEGO Users Group (ITLUG), and many interested builders from the area.

Ultimately the scale LEGO Duomo, standing 150 cm x 60 cm x 65 cm, was finished in one day. It will stay in the Grand Museum as a special free-view exhibit until November 9, when it will be moved to the Bricks in Florence Festival the following November 11 to 12.

For more details on this amazing project, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site. Image credits to La Repubblica.

Last LEGO Store Calendar of the Year Now Available!

UPDATE: The official December LEGO Store Calendar is now up on LEGO’s servers. I’ve updated the images below to include those that are actually found on the calendar.

LEGO caps off the year with a string of promotionals that you can find in the LEGO December Store Calendar. This year’s last LEGO Store Calendar offers a mix of freebies coming from the LEGO Ninjago, Creator and Star Wars themes. Plus, it gives us an early access to some of LEGO’s 2018 sets. Check the images below, or you can download the entire calendar in PDF format right here

December 1 to 7: Free Master Wu Keychain (5004915) with a purchase of $35 or more of any LEGO products.

As we previously reported, the Master Wu Keychain is part of the series of freebies tied-in with the LEGO Ninjago Movie, earlier announced last July. Frankly speaking, there not much of a difference between this keychain counterpart of Master Wu as compared to those included in three TLNM sets: Master Falls (70608), Green Ninja Mech Dragon (70612), and Destiny’s Bounty (70618) so I expect that this will not be highly sought out for as compared to the LEGO Ninjago Movie Kendo Lloyd (30608) polybag.

The free Master Wu Keychain is valid from December 1 to 7 or until supplies last.

December 5 to 6: VIP Monthly Model Build is a Train (40250).

To reserve your spot, simply register for the December MMB by visiting starting November 15. The LEGO MMB is meant for children ages 6 to 14, and must be completely built in store.

December 8 to 10: Double VIP Points on Everything.

If you still have time for some last minute Christmas holiday shopping rush, then you may want to go over your LEGO Christmas shopping list once again. For three days, you can earn those double VIP points while bagging those sets included in your LEGO wishlist. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed for that UCS Millennium Falcon.

December 8 to 17: Free LEGO Creator Mini London Bus (40220) with a purchase of $75 or more, or while supplies last.

Rolling out of its garage is the LEGO Creator Mini London Bus (40220), and it is back once more as a free promotional for a price point of $75 and more. It’s kind of nice of LEGO to bring back this younger sibling of the LEGO Creator Expert London Bus (10258) and have it offered once again with the same qualifying purchase when it first went live in 2016.

If you can hold on to that next LEGO purchase, and if you can add $40 worth of LEGO sets in your shopping bag, then this freebie is a better offer than that of Master Wu Keychain earlier mentioned.

December 15, 2017 to January 14, 2018: Free LEGO Star Wars Darth Vader Anniversary Pod (5005376) with a LEGO Star Wars purchase of $60 or more.

This fifth and latest promotional pod is a nod to Star Wars’ 40th anniversary, with the iconic Sith Lord being the highlight of this minifigure promotional. This latest minifigure version of Darth Vader seems to be a redesign over previous ones, and bagging this freebie is the best way of adding him to your collection. The smallest set by far in which you can add the Sith Lord in your roster of LEGO Star Wars minifigs is thru the Darth Vader Transformation (75183) set retailing for $25. For a price point of $60 and above of any LEGO Star Wars products, this is certainly a good catch.

Lastly, LEGO certainly knows how to end the year with a bang, with several 2018 sets being available as early as November 25. I am particularly excited for the LEGO Creator Modular Skate House (31081) which is a part of LEGO’s early reveal of its 2018 LEGO Creator line-up. Of course, we also have the re-released LEGO Creator Expert Taj Mahal (10256) – the now 2nd largest LEGO set ever made, having been bested from its throne by the UCS Millennium Falcon (75192) – scheduled for another run starting November 27.

The December LEGO Store Calendar also gives us another treat by giving us a peek of one of the 2018 Nexo Knight sets which is the Berserker Bomber (72003). It was previously reported that the Nexo Knights theme was given another year, with six additional sets slated for next year accompanying a new story arc.  We’ll talk more about that later in my next post.


How To Build Your Own LEGO Toys R Us Bricktober Mini BB-8.

This is something that fell off my radar during the past weekend. After the successful launch of this year’s LEGO TRU Bricktober Minifigures, Toys R Us officially concluded this year’s Bricktober promotions with a build and take home event last Saturday at all local TRU stores in the US. KFOLS had the chance to build and bring home a brick-built mini version of one of Star Wars favorite droids, none other than BB-8.

If you missed out this event, and wish to try your own mini BB-8, then you’ll be glad to know that the instructions to build this miniature droid is now available online courtesy of The Brick Fan. You may download the building instructions directly as a PDF file and see if you have the necessary parts to build it, or you may just click on the images below.

Frankly, this particular build is not really that impressive. Pardon me, but I can’t help but think that it actually ended up looking like a roll-on… lol! I feel that BB-8’s head section can be improved even with very limited parts. Here’s how the final build looks like, with photo credits to Rebel Scum.

But who am I to complain, it’s free LEGO after all – and any free LEGO is always a good catch.

Legoland New York Project Launched – Will Open in 2020.

LEGO is such a major toy and media brand all over the world that it is no surprise that they have gotten their own line of theme parks, starting with their first at Billund in Denmark (near the original LEGO factory site). Today, Legoland is a major tourist destination, with no less than eight theme parks under that banner in seven countries.

Merlin Entertainments, the UK-based theme park company that is the majority owner and operator of the Legoland parks, has three more projects underway: two in Asia and the third stateside, Legoland New York which has just started construction.

LEGOLAND New York Official Announcement

We are happy to present to you our official announcement for LEGOLAND New York! Thank you to the wonderful community of Orange County, New York who made this possible! Building memories in 2020!

Posted by LEGOLAND New York on Wednesday, October 25, 2017

It was Merlin Entertainments CEO Nick Varney, who declared the official launch of Legoland New York. Construction would begin soon at the proposed site at Goshen in Orange County, New York following the approval of the town board.

Once building is completed sometime in 2020, the park, located due south of the former Arden Hill Hospital, is expected to open seasonally from April 1 to November 1 and will be the ninth Legoland in the world. While the theme park itself is seasonal, Merlin Entertainments is also erecting a nearby Legoland Hotel, one that will be open all year round.

The Legoland parks pride themselves on being a world of fun and adventure for families with young children. Their rides and attractions are mostly being given educational and learning elements, geared for child guests of ages 2 to 12. The same can be said of the Legoland Hotel, with its interactive environment featuring plenty of LEGO models and brick-themed guest rooms.

The New York theme park will join with its older Legoland siblings in Denmark, UK, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Dubai and the US (Carlsbad and Florida). A tenth Legoland in South Korea is also in the works with a 2019 completion date.

UK Toys R Us Stores Holding LEGO Ninjago Movie ‘Make and Take’ Event this Saturday.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie hit cinemas around the globe last month, but LEGO is going to keep the hype for the film going long after the box office has run its course through its many tie-in products. As it seems, toy store chains that carry the LEGO brand are only happy to help out.

This usually takes the form of hosting “Make and Take” events, where skilled little builders can bring home their individual creations, and UK’s Toys R Us in the UK will be having one of these on the weekend, October 28.

As announced via TRU UK’s official blogsite, the LEGO model to build and bring home is a variant of the technically impressive LEGO Ninjago Movie Ice Tank (70616). Though the blogsite didn’t mention exactly what particular Ice Tank variant that children can make and take home this Saturday, our best guess is that it could be the Ice Tank (30427) polybag, or even a smaller version of it. TRU is known for offering its unique versions of smaller LEGO sets during these building events, so this is exciting to see.

Will this be given away this weekend at select TRU UK stores? We’ll just have to wait and see.

So if you happen to be near at any Toys R Us branch in the UK, then be sure to drop by this Saturday before noon (from 11AM to 1PM) to take part in this make and take fun. Take note though that not all TRU UK branches will be running the event.

For your guidance, the LEGO Ninjago Movie Ice Tank Make and Take Event will NOT be available in the following stores: Northampton Weston Favell, Nottingham Victoria Centre, Hemel Hempstead, Peterborough Serpentine Green, Blackburn, Sunderland, Glasgow The Forge, Edinbugh Fort Kinnaird, Craigleith, Carlisle, Crystal Peaks, Chester Broughton, Cardiff Queen Street, Staines, Derby intu, Aberdeen Union Square, Doncaster Frenchgate, Kingston and Banbury.