LEGO Putting Two Minifigure Characters from “Build to Launch” Series in 2022 Space Mission

Earlier this year, the LEGO Education line announced a partnership with NASA and the planned Artemis 1 space mission. From this collaboration arose their STEM exploration series “Build to Launch.” The series featured space program character minifigures explaining all the stuff that goes into a rocket launch and moon mission. There have also been recent rumors regarding the “Build to Launch” cast featuring in some upcoming LEGO City sets. Said space-themed City sets are supposed to arrive next year. Meanwhile, LEGO has confirmed that two “Build to Launch” minifigs will be physically made and put into an actual space launch.

According to Brick Fanatics, LEGO Education’s “Build to Launch” series is sending two of its characters aboard Orion spacecraft. Said characters have been rendered digitally for the STEM exploration series. But LEGO will make physical versions of Command Pilot Kate and Mission Specialist Kyle. They will be put into the Orion reusable spacecraft to be carried by NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). This mission, Artemis 1, will commence on February 2022. The Kate and Kyle minifigs will take the place of a manned crew in this test flight. LEGO Education President Esben Staerk notes that this event will culminate the “Build to Launch” exploratory series.

The fact that “Build to Launch” characters will be made into actual minifigs seemingly lends credit to earlier rumors. After all, why stop at two when all of this LEGO Education STEM series (animated) cast could follow suit? And maybe they might just show up in the aforementioned upcoming LEGO City space sets? Viewers of the “Build to Launch” series could dream. Anyway, here’s the first video in the exploratory series, so you know how Kate and Kyle look like.

LEGO Titanic (10294) Designer Video is the Longest Yet Made

When one mentions the word (or name) “Titanic,” the context has always been of sheer size. Almost anybody could rattle off the story of the doomed passenger liner that hit an iceberg in 1912. The Titanic was the biggest ship afloat at the time. And well over a century after it sank, LEGO released a massive set for it. Even scaled down, the LEGO Titanic (10294) really makes its size come across. It had to be huge so that builders and viewers could make the details out. In reference to the idea of hugeness, 10294’s designer video is appropriately lengthy.

LEGO set designer videos are on average around 5 minutes long. For the LEGO Titanic (10294), we get treated to a nine-minute presentation of the massive build. No other set video released until now has gone that long. LEGO designer Mark Psiaki explains the minutiae of how the design teams recreated Titanic in LEGO. Intercut with his monologue is a mini-documentary on the actual ship. This part is narrated by Andrew Skinner from the SeaCity Museum of Southampton, UK. That was the port city where Titanic departed on its maiden, and only, voyage. LEGO designers rarely have non-LEGO guests in designer vids. But this is a Titanic set, after all.

Some of the details touched upon by Psiaki about 10294 include the accessory US flag. As a sample, he notes the flag only has 46 stars (only 46 States in 1912). He also points out how the mini-flag’s plastic foil material. They could print the design on one side and it shows mirrored in the other. All these interesting tidbits would surely get deep-pocketed collectors interested in LEGO Titanic (10294). They’ll have to contend with it being temporarily out-of-stock though.

Designer Video for LEGO Ideas Fender Stratocaster (21329) Released

There’s no denying the LEGO Ideas Fender Stratocaster (21329) has become one of the biggest set releases this year. After its October 1 release the Ideas Strat was the subject of a Contest back on LEGO Ideas. Days later, LEGO did a showcase on Tomas Letenay, the Ideas member from Slovakia who originated the build. It was a short video snippet about the man behind the product idea. However, a LEGO designer video it wasn’t. Over a month after its launch however, LEGO finally released the official video for the Stratocaster (21329). The product is so big that three LEGO people would talk about it.

As seen in the video above, two LEGO designers and graphic designer talk the audience through the set’s evolution. Marin Stipkovic and Ricardo Dias reminisce about developing the pieces, such as the tuning keys and the “strings”. This being a licensed-IP set, aesthetic elements such as accurate brand lettering were important. That part gets covered in the video by graphic designer Beatrice Amoretti. One can tell that a lot of love was given to forming the guitar, its accompanying amp, and accessories. Truly, the LEGO Ideas Fender Stratocaster (21329) is a must-have for musically-inclined LEGO collectors, reasonable at $99.99 price.

In other news, the Ideas contest to win a Stratocaster set (21329) and a real Player Strat is nearly done. The idea intake phase, begun back in October 5, times out this November 4. Experts will review the submissions until the 18th, followed by a Crowd Vote on November 25. The winners will be announced next month, on December 2.

New LEGO “Rebuild the World” Promo Video Encourages Imagination with (Parodied) Queen Song

Ever since their first promotional video in late September, LEGO’s “Rebuild the World” 2021 campaign has been expectedly charming. Interpreting the free-form play of LEGO bricks and minfigures as SFX-laden random adventures really grabs the audience’s attention. In addition, the “Rebuild the World” promos sneak some sage advice appropriate for kids and children-at-heart. So how do you top a promo depicting people helping a knight cross a river (with lessons in creative problem-solving)? Why not illustrate how children’s imagination can say “anything goes” when playing with LEGO? And how about spicing it up with a cute lyrically-rewritten song from Queen?

According to Brick Fanatics, that’s the gist of “Anything can happen when you put LEGO bricks in kids’ hands.” This new Rebuild the World video again takes viewers on a patchwork fantasy adventure that’s really just kids playing LEGO. It starts normally enough with a girl building a LEGO City rescue helicopter and imagining herself as a rescuer.

Then we see a boy acting out “Star Wars” Imperial Stormtroopers fighting bees. How about a dragon working in the fire department (with his fire-breath replaced with water)? A racecar trying to “reach the stars” finds itself replacing a gondola on the Ferris wheel. With LEGO, you can hear imagination singing Queen’s hit “Don’t Stop Me Now” (with altered kid-friendly lyrics, naturally).

Some key LEGO sets seem to take center stage in this promo-vid. Brick Fanatics points out obvious shout-outs like LEGO City Wildlife Rescue Operation (60302). Even LEGO Vidiyo, the mixed-received AR/minifigure theme, gets a spot here. We don’t know if this promo will reignite interest in Vidiyo products, but that’s neither here nor there. All told, this is a great Rebuild the World video and we can’t wait for more.

Singapore Scientists Test Using LEGO for Re-Growing Coral

How long has it been since we looked into special-interest news involving LEGO, but not necessarily involving The LEGO Group? Here’s one interesting tidbit courtesy of BBC. Usually when LEGO and the sea are mentioned together, one thinks of LEGO pieces polluting the ocean. The nightmare of plastic pollution remains very palpable worldwide, even if LEGO is taking steps towards greener materials. There’s no way LEGO can benefit oceanic life-forms like coral reefs, can they? Well according to researchers in Singapore, some throwaway LEGO bricks can be repurposed to save corals. The island of Singapore has reefs that need saving.

According to the report, scientists from the National University of Singapore found an ingenious method of re-growing corals. Since these creatures need to attach to a solid surface underwater, why not use LEGO bricks? Their research teams scour the reefs outlying Singapore for breakaway pieces of coral. They attach these to LEGO pieces attached to string, and leave them in lab aquariums where they would grow. The grown coral fragments can then be taken back to Singaporean waters for transplanting. The LEGO-piece aquarium growth setup was tested for its utility in vertical farming, growing more coral in limited aquarium space.

Singapore’s usage of anything on hand to salvage their coral reefs is understandable. Their island nation’s waters are home to a third of all 800 coral species worldwide. Their reefs suffered in decades past due to land reclamation. So the usage of LEGO pieces to aid in vertical coral farming is commendable. One hopes the idea works, and probably be looked at by other coral conservation efforts around the globe. A LEGO Ideas submission in the Third 2021 Review Stage might jive with this initiative.

Late Designer Video for LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Icons (76391)

LEGO Designer videos long have been informative sources of information on the development of many major LEGO sets. When a notable set is released, a designer video is bound to follow. The timing however has grown in variation these past few instances. LEGO’s latest video covers a certain LEGO Harry Potter 20th-anniversary set already long released. Shipping delay issues in the Americas notwithstanding, the Hogwarts Icons – Collector’s Edition (76391) has been available since September. So why did LEGO provide a designer video for it only this week? Whatever the reason, it’s available here now, and we thank The Brick Fan for this nice heads up.

Marcos Bessa, LEGO Design Master, serves as our host for the LEGO HP Hogwarts Icons – Collector’s Edition (76391) video. A set designed for this LEGO theme’s 20th anniversary makes epic call-backs to several items from the book/film franchise. Bessa takes us through the set’s elements, from Tom Riddle’s Diary, to Hermione’s potions tray and the magnificent brick-built Hedwig. Let’s not forget the accompanying three golden minifigures commemorating 20 years of LEGO Harry Potter. And yes, filling your name on the blank for your Hogwarts admission letter is an exciting experience.

Potter-fans take heart. The LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Icons – Collector’s Edition (76391) remains available on Shop@Home. Picking it up now also guarantees your gift-with-purchase of the Hogwarts Gryffindor Dorms (40452) modular mini-set. Note that this promo lasts only while there are supplies left, or until November 7, whichever comes first.

LEGO Sponsoring UEFA Women’s EURO 2022

Let’s look at the themes LEGO has been dabbling in, from last year to this one. First, they appear to be really delving into real-world football/soccer, judging from their recent Creator Expert sets. The Old Trafford (10272) in 2020 and Camp Nou (10284) this year are interesting. That’s more so with the rumors of a set for Real Madrid’s home stadium next year. Second, LEGO’s been putting their gender inclusivity initiatives to high gear. Remember the “Get the World Ready for Girls” sub-slogan for “Rebuild the World”? Anyway, it looks like LEGO’s latest move combines these two themes at once.

According to The Brick Fan, LEGO just announced itself as an official sponsor for the UEFA Women’s EURO Championship. Originally slated for this year, COVID pandemic troubles pushed this women’s football tournament for 2022. England from July 6 to 31 will play host to 16 European women’s teams duking it out. And LEGO is acting as national sponsor, in line with their “Ready for Girls” campaign under “Rebuild the World.” We can thus expect some initiatives to be launched by LEGO in line with this major sporting event. However, they won’t tell us more about it until sometime next year.

We don’t know yet exactly what LEGO has in mind to celebrate sponsoring the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022. At least LEGO is giving us this neat promotional vid, released ahead of the Final tournament draw this Thursday. Putting together LEGO building, football, and girls? It’s an interesting combination at least.

Real FMX Stunt Team Copies LEGO City Stuntz (Custom-Built) Jumps

Ever since the LEGO City Stuntz bike sets debuted in the middle of 2021, they apparently fired players’ imaginations. After all, this City sub-theme encouraged custom builds of stunt courses that the brick-built vehicles, especially bikes, can traverse. Thanks to their fly-wheel assembly enabling them to maintain hand-pushed acceleration, those stunt-bikes can theoretically clear those brick-built jumps. To further promote the sets, LEGO engaged the services of a freestyle motocross (FMX) team. The Bold Dogs FMX thus stars in this new promotional video from LEGO, interpreting the City Stuntz…well, stunts.

As shown in the vid (shared courtesy of Brick Fanatics), the Bold Dogs take on some custom-build submissions using the LEGO City Stuntz sets. Jumping an ice-cream truck while shooting a ball at the standing hoop on top? It took a few tries, but they did it. Clearing both the ring of fire from Stunt Competition (60299) and a City Fire Truck? The Bold Dogs send two of their riders to replicate it IRL.

Their third stunt copy: a multi-vehicle jump including a truck like in Stunt Show Truck (60294). Again the riders gamely duplicate the brick-built stunt, including a forklift carrying a (prop) shark. The last stunt duplication is a four-bike jump over a helicopter and light plane; easy.

One can’t help but think the timing of this LEGO City Stuntz sets promo is somewhat deliberate. For the Americas, LEGO pulled at least four sets from store shelves and Shop@Home due to “product quality issues.” Then again, the Bold Dogs FMX is a UK-based team and that market along with Europe suffered no pullout. Who can tell? Hopefully LEGO manages to fix the Americas-only problem soon, since these stunt sets really are quite awesome.

Matthew “Neville Longbottom” Lewis Celebrates the Magic of LEGO Harry Potter’s 20 Years

Just in case you “Harry Potter” and LEGO fans forgot, LEGO reminds you again that the theme’s 10 years old. This 20th anniversary celebration for “LEGO Harry Potter” is happening all year long. We’ve been getting new sets and new LEGO Store promos (or at least there were this October). And LEGO also has been getting famous figures attached to the “Harry Potter” franchise to say hello. Their latest guest is actor Matthew Lewis, aka Neville Longbottom. That’s right: destroyer of the last Horcrux (and tragic prequel character) and “technical” savior of the Wizarding World.

Yes, look at the thumbnail of that video, released last weekend on YouTube. Matthew Lewis had a massive glow-up from his chubby freshman and unassuming 7th-year looks, eh? But what has LEGO planned for his guest video? Why, Matt’s being challenged to build his 20 favorite scenes from the “Harry Potter” films, using the 20th anniversary LEGO sets! And boy did it look like he was having fun doing just that. One reason might be that Lewis was also sneaking side-commentary on what his own character was doing. Indeed, Neville slaying Nagini the last Horcrux is (in Matt’s POV) better than Harry killing the Basilisk.

We’ve got to hand it to LEGO, with their deft promotion of their LEGO HP 20th anniversary sets here. Matt Lewis got plenty mileage using Chamber of Secrets (76389), Hogsmeade Village (76388) and more to build his scenes. The Hogwarts Icons – Collector’s Edition (76391) sitting to his left during his introduction still takes my breath away. About the only thing missing are, again, the October LEGO Store promos that got scrubbed recently. They better be in the November calendar schedule.

Creator Expert Pickup Truck (10290) Designer Video Now Out

The LEGO Creator Expert Pickup Truck (10290) had one of the earliest set reveals recently. We first learned about it in July, well before it officially released this past October 1. It being a rather key LEGO set release, it was just a matter of time before we got the designer video. And so we have, this past Wednesday, on the 13th. The arrival of this video felt comparatively late. LEGO Queer Eye – Fab 5 Loft (10291) got its designer video October 5; note the numbering. But that may be just semantics at this point.

As seen above, LEGO designer Pierre Normandin takes us through the paces of this set’s features. AFOLs who have been around since the 1950s would likely find the descriptions of this vehicle as nostalgic. The time period also lends to the Easter egg that is the LEGO logo on the tailgate. It uses the logo font from that particular decade. The Creator Expert Pickup Truck (10290) also boasts some of the mechanical interactivity one might expect from a Technic set. Having a steering wheel that can turn the front tires and an adjustable rear-view mirror makes the set feel “real.” This set is a prime candidate for immediate purchase by LEGO VIPs this week, with Double Points still in effect.