LEGO Announces VIP Weekend Ahead of Black Friday

For LEGO VIP members, the most recent event for them – a week of double-points – came and went last weekend. Promo periods like these prove time and time again that joining LEGO’s VIP program is a great idea. Points for additional purchases, early access to hot new products and exclusives never run out when you’re a VIP. Already, LEGO is charting out a new special period next month for VIP members to take advantage of. Black Friday falls on November, remember? Expect those VIP events to come one after the other.

As The Brick Fan tells us, LEGO Shop@Home replaced the already-concluded Double-VIP Points event for a VIP Weekend announcement. The event runs one weekend from November 20 to 21. LEGO made no announcements on what to expect in those two days, leaving that reveal for November 15. Of course, we can probably count on a renewed 2x VIP Points period at minimum. Furthermore, considering LEGO’s Black Friday event scheduled November 26-29, VIP weekend could also surprise with an early set reveal. LEGO loves to spring Black Friday exclusive sets on VIP members. The November 15 reveal date might also confirm/debunk the long-rumored LEGO Star Wars Hoth AT-AT (75313). Many possibilities await LEGO collectors next month, doubly so if they’re VIPs.

Returnee LEGO Ideas 10-K Passer: “Naruto” Ichiraku Ramen (20th Anniversary Edition)

While LEGO boasts product theme lines that take inspiration from East Asian cultures, they have few East-Asian licensed IPs. Yes there’s LEGO Super Mario from Japanese gaming giant Nintendo. But look at the rest: Disney, Harry Potter, Marvel, DC, Minecraft…all western IPs. About the only place to push for an East-Asian licensed-IP sets would be in LEGO Ideas. Members David and Diego Escaluna aka DadiTwins used this avenue to propose a set based on the “Naruto” manga/anime. Their initial effort failed to pass a Review Stage, but they only persevered. Now they’re offering their revamped build again, confident that LEGO Ideas might bite this time.

Nobody in this day and age who has read Japanese manga and watches anime would not know about “Naruto.” The story of a lad in a world of ninjas who dreamt of becoming Hokage has inspired generations worldwide. DadiTwins are presenting their “Naruto” set, based on key manga/anime location the Ichiraku Ramen, in time for a milestone. You see, “Naruto” is celebrating its 20th anniversary (start of anime) next year in 2022. Based on recent set releases, LEGO loves cashing in on IP anniversaries. Last August the Ideas Seinfeld set (21328) celebrated the sitcom’s 30th anniversary (2019, two years late). This made 10-K support just a year before Naruto’s 20th.

Ninjas’ favorite Ramen hangout

Compared to their original pitch, DadiTwins’ Ichiraku Ramen set got a size increase as well as added detail. The bigger build means an interior area for more play options. The set even comes with a standalone kiosk to one side. And the minifigures represent both major and minor members of the “Naruto” cast. The golden ninja trio of Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura get to eat some delicious Ichiraku Ramen with their friend Hinata and senseis Kakashi and Iruka. Leave it to shop proprietors Teuchi and Ayame Ichiraku to keep the ramen going, bowl after bowl.

This sweet anime IP build joins an ever-increasing number of product ideas for the Third 2021 Review Stage. LEGO Ideas won’t tell us the results until next year, when more submissions have been added here.

LEGO Pulls City Stuntz Motorcyle Sets Due to “Product Quality Issues”

LEGO minifigures don’t lack for any vehicles to ride in. From cars to boats to aircraft and more, they can go anywhere in style. But two-wheeled transportation comes across as less common compared to the rest. Thankfully LEGO took that into consideration with the new and upcoming sets they have lined up. Sure, we still have to wait for that “The Batman” set with the Batmobile and Selina/Catwoman on a motorcycle (76179). But LEGO City got the two-wheeled vehicle builds covered with their Stuntz sets, released this October. Unfortunately the Stuntz motorcycle sets have been pulled out of American markets.

According to Brick Fanatics, LEGO has pulled out all motorcycle-related LEGO City Stuntz sets from American stores. Even Shop@Home in the US lists them as temporarily out of stock. LEGO then gave a statement explaining the pullout, citing complaints about parts breakdown in sets purchased in the Americas. The affected low-priced Stuntz bike sets have “product quality issues” stemming from parts manufactured in a particular factory. The problem thus far only affects LEGO City Stuntz bike sets released in the Americas. LEGO gave no date as to when to expect these sets back on shelves.

The Stuntz LEGO City motorcycle sets feature a flywheel element assembly that allows the bikes to go long distances after a good push. Depending on the brick-built bike’s position they might do wheelies or zip fast enough to jump gaps. These are the affected sets:

Impressive “Hocus Pocus” Sanderson Cottage Gets 10-K Support on LEGO Ideas

With Halloween coming up really soon, it feels appropriate that the newest LEGO Ideas 10-K submission involves witches. And these are not just any witches, but the most notorious trio of hags from Walt Disney Pictures. Remember the 1993 film “Hocus Pocus”? Watching Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as the comedic yet villainous Sanderson Sisters was a treat. They made you laugh and freaked you out at just the right moments, if you saw the movie. Their memorability not only made “Hocus Pocus” a cult classic, it also inspired this product idea.

TheAmbrinator presents this “Hocus Pocus” Sanderson Sisters Cottage set, which has gained 10,000 supporters. An earlier edition of this product idea did not pass a Review Stage despite outside media attention. Now TheAmbrinator’s determined that this updated build will go through. With all the crazy details to be found here, how could it not? Optional elements can convert the set between the 17th Century Sanderson cottage or the 1993 Sanderson Witch Museum. Key props include the Black Flame Candle, Sanderson spell-book, cages, potion cauldron and a manually-operable waterwheel. Even the grave of a key character is conveniently located close by.

What a cast!

The Sanderson Cottage also boasts a massive minifigure ensemble. Winnie, Sarah and Mary Sanderson fly way of course in their (modern) broom, mop and floor-polisher respectively. Their target: Dani Dennison with her bro Max and his girlfriend Allison protecting her.

The reanimated corpse of Billy Butcherson could turn the tide of this horryfing chase. The black cat Binx guides Dani and the gang to survive. He used to be a 17th-Century boy cursed into his current form after failing to rescue his sister Emily. Oh, and those neighborhood toughies Jay and ErnieIce make up the comic relief.

At 2,992 pieces, this Hocus Pocus Sanderson Cottage is a massive set. Hopefully this revamped product idea gets its day in the sun this time.

Hogwarts Gryffindor Dorms (40452) Product Listing on LEGO Shop@Home Australia

For LEGO Harry Potter fans, the removal of the 10th anniversary GWPs from LEGO’s October 2021 store calendar sucked. There’s just no mincing of words for how collectors must feel. They could wait if they want for October 25. LEGO Harry Potter Gryffindor Dorms (40452) was supposed to launch as GWP that day. But if LEGO went so far as to reissue their store calendar with the promo excised, then too bad. We can only hope that they’ll be present for November 2021, since the promo was supposed to cross over. At least we have these nice images of it.

LEGO Shop@Home Australia beats all others in putting up a product listing for Hogwarts Gryffindor Dorms (40452). We can now discern clearly that the minimal dorm set features two four-poster beds for Harry and Ron each. They also get a trunk, a letter piece, a candle and their wands (naturally). As already revealed earlier, their dorm back wall is a space to display LEGO Harry Potter’s Wizarding World trading-card tiles. Four random tiles are packed in every LEGO HP 10th anniversary-release set, including this GWP. Now if only it will come out this November, along with Hermione’s Study Desk (30392).

Hogwarts Gryffindor Dorms (40452)

AU$29.99 (Free Item/Gift with Purchase) | Age 8+ | 148 pieces | 135 VIP points (Australia only?)

Harry and Ron in the Gryffindor™ dorm with 2 beds and magical accessories. Also includes 4 random wizard card tiles and a 16-card display plate for a growing collection.

“Ninjago” Series Recasts Cole for 2022

One of the greatest challenges of any ongoing production is what to do when a major cast member dies. Marvel Studios definitely has a significant challenge in developing Black Panther in the MCU. His actor Chadwick Boseman passed away in mid-2020, though not before finishing some last voice-work in Disney+’ “What If…?” The LEGO “Ninjago” animated series tackled the same problem when Cole’s voice actor Kirby Morrow also died last year. True, he completed his own voice-work for the seasons that released this 2021. But after those seasons finished, now what? Is Cole going to disappear? Become mute? Get recast?

Brick Fanatics reports that “Ninjago” show-runner Tommy Andreasen released a statement concerning Cole’s future in the series. The late Kirby Morrow gave the Black Ninja of Earth a distinctive voice. Next, Cole is a main character. Finally, the LEGO theme and its animated adaptation are cleared to continue until at least 2023. The options the production had for Cole were to write him out, reuse past-season dialogue, strike him mute, or recast. Ultimately they opted to give Cole a new voice courtesy of Andrew Francis, taking over in seasons starting 2022. Francis previously voiced Elemental Master Shade and the Ghost Morro from previous “Ninjago” seasons.

“We hope you will greet and support Andrew and welcome him with open arms and a hearty NIINJAAAAA-GO!” says Andreasen in his statement. “We are confident we made the best possible choice and the voice recordings for 2022 has crystalized our faith completely in Andrew as a worthy successor to Kirby.” The Danish-Canadian co-production will ease Francis into the role, starting with several “Ninjago” shorts airing in 2022, then moving onto the next full season.

“LEGO Star Wars Castaways” Announced for Apple Arcade this November

When it comes to adapting the LEGO Star Wars theme into gaming, one can expect plenty of possible genres. Always to the forefront would be the adventure-driven videogames developed by TT Games and published by WB Interactive. Fans have also gotten quirky titles like the RTS/defense-oriented “LEGO Star Wars Battles”. This particular title launched recently on Apple Arcade after a rough start as a standalone mobile app. Now, Apple Arcade is gearing up to introduce a new LEGO Star Wars game. How do you feel about “LEGO Star Wars” meets reality show “Survivor” minus the shifting alliances and cutthroat interactions?

That seems to be the promise of “LEGO Star Wars Castaways,” another addition to Apple Arcade. StarWars.com tells us that this Gamesloft title will see players as people from all over the “Star Wars” Galaxy, stranded on a mysterious planet. They can customize their minifigure avatar and interact with fellow “castaway” players in various activities.

Fancy a dance party or a buildable Microfighter race? Cool! Castaways can also explore the planet, unlocking secrets of an ancient civilization with ties to the “Star Wars” mythos. What mysteries about the Galaxy does this planet hide?

“LEGO Star Wars Castaways” will go live exclusively on Apple Arcade next month, November 19. Players must have an active Apple Arcade account and pay a $4.99 monthly subscription. They do have the option of a 1-month free trial. Apple Arcade is available on iPhone, iPad, iMac, and Apple TV.

Rumors of Contents for LEGO Collectible Minifigures Series 22 (2022)

In addition to the brick sets themselves, just as essential to the LEGO experience are the minifigures. While minifigs included in sets are great, collectible ones are even more so. They tend to come in grouped series following themes or licensed IPs. Most recently we got a LEGO Marvel series (71031) depicting characters from the MCU. They served as neat extras to series already aired (“WandaVision”) and whetted appetites for “Loki” and “What If…?” Moving on from Marvel, we have a new LEGO CMF series coming, allegedly by next year.

German LEGO news source Promobricks.de dropped the first info on LEGO Collectible Minifigures Series 22 (71032). Now, even if this CMF series is spot on, we have no idea what minifig characters will be included. To that, Promobricks gives us this rough description of the 12 minifigs that come in the set. Take them with the customary grain of salt:

  • Moon warrior
  • Girl in raccoon costume
  • Forest spirit
  • Man with racing wheelchair
  • Insect alien
  • Woman in chilli costume
  • Snow warrior
  • Figure skater
  • Robot

Now those sound like very far-out personas even for LEGO CMFs. But there are three minifigs of the Series 22 (71032) that are designated as “new molds.”

  • Girl with foal
  • Bard
  • Researcher

We’re supposed to expect the LEGO CMF Series 22 (71032) on the first day of the New Year. Note that we’ll have to wait until LEGO confirms the above to know for sure if it’s rumor or not. Still, they do sound like interesting collectibles.

LEGO/Adidas/NBA Shirts, Pants, Shoes Etc. Launching Today

While not exactly a massive newsmaker, the collaborative efforts between LEGO and Adidas have given fans some interesting stuff. LEGO rolled out limited-edition brick sets of signature Adidas shoes. In turn, Adidas had produced merchandise with LEGO imagery, sometimes mixed with the NBA too. Samples of these Adidas shirts with minifigure NBA superstars first appeared in the Philippine Adidas online store, last September. At the time it felt like the LEGO-Adidas wear might only see regional releases. That assumption’s no longer the case. Adidas online stores worldwide now carry these items, and added more gear.

The Brick Fan reports that the LEGO-Adidas collection went live for Adidas worldwide early this week. Where before the only merchandise the PH Adidas store carried were t-shirts, this wave includes hoodies, sweatpants and shoes. The shirts and hoodies continue to feature NBA stars Donovan Mitchell, Damian Lillard, James Harden and Trae Young (as minifigures). In the latter case, we get cool close-ups of the minifig heads beaming some nice smiles. Then we have the Adidas Dame Extply Sulley Shoes, as seen in the top image and this shoebox. All these Adidas goodies are available in children and adult sizes, so there’s no buyer missed.

As of this posting the LEGO-Adidas clothing collection should finally be available. Pick your choice of NBA minifigure player on your shirt or hoodie. Slip on your choice of shorts or sweatpants. Finally, lace up your Adidas shoes. Their prices range from $25 to $95.

SpaceBrick54’s The Dojo Gains 10-K Support on LEGO Ideas

Going over the results of the LEGO Ideas First 2021 Review Stage meant running into other Ideas-related news. By that we mean another product idea gaining 10,000 supporters. While a completely original creation, this build by SpaceBrick54 wouldn’t out of place in LEGO Ninjago. For future consideration by the Ideas Review crew, here’s “The Dojo.”

At anywhere from 2,700 to 2,800, the Dojo by SpaceBrick54 is an intricately designed set. Every detail, from the blooming cherry blossom tree to the nearby brook/river is gorgeous. Its complement of minifigures gets really busy too. Pedestrians walk by (or ride in rickshaws).

Students practice out in the dojo’s open yard, or spar against one another inside. Even animals like birds and cats add to the ambiance. And again, you can add this to a LEGO Ninjago neighborhood build and no one would be the wiser. We could swear the cherry blossom leaves could fall naturally from the branches.

The Dojo is the seventh product idea to join the LEGO Ideas Third 2021 Review Stage. For all its intricacy, it could face tough competition from a fellow structure build in Hyrule Castle 30th Anniversary. LEGO Ninjago fans would probably love it if the Review crew gives it a pass.