LEGO Ideas First 2021 Review Stage Results Announced

Way back in May, LEGO Ideas logged in a record 57 product ideas for the First 2021 Review Stage. A mind-blowing ensemble of original and licensed-IP builds vied for a chance to become an official LEGO set. That’s past tense because the actual review period ended this past weekend, after a few brief postponements. To start off with the results, only three of the 57 submissions survived review. In fact one of them is just a technical passer. Without further ado let’s find out which are the lucky product ideas.

This submission placed runner-up in the “Music to Our Ears” LEGO Ideas contest. If you like Jazz music and don’t mind a static display, Jazz Quartet is an Ideas set to wait for.

Aka the “if at first you don’t succeed” product idea. Jaijai Lewis really wanted a LEGO set based on “The Office.” Twice his work made a Review Stage; twice it ended there. Not anymore; the third time’s the charm. And the Ideas review crew got the hint. The set depicts the US-produced show on NBC however, not the original UK version on BBC.

This Disney-based product idea is a second-timer for the Ideas Review Stages. Unfortunately the reviewers continue to have issues with the submission and have placed it under further review. In other words, the last say on whether the Snow White build passes will wait until Second 2021 Review results.

All in all, the Review Stage netted some nice results. We’ve got new LEGO Ideas to look forward to in the future. We also wish “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” the best to ace its “further review.”

Matthew “Neville Longbottom” Lewis Celebrates the Magic of LEGO Harry Potter’s 10 Years

Just in case you “Harry Potter” and LEGO fans forgot, LEGO reminds you again that the theme’s 10 years old. This 10th 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 10th 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 10th 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.

Rumor of LEGO Creator Expert Modular 15th Anniversary Set: Hotel & Art Gallery (10297)

In 2007 LEGO released a set, the Café Corner (10182).  This was the beginning of a series of LEGO building sets that were modular in function. Since then some 16 sets have come from the “Modular Buildings Collection.” They could be put together to form a city street’s worth of shops and establishments. We got the latest of these, Police Station (10278), way back in January, too. With its start in 2007, it means the Modular Buildings Collection turns 15 years old in 2022. Surely there’s no better way to celebrate that milestone than by a new modular set release.

That, coincidentally, is the subject of this new rumor from German LEGO news source Promobricks.de. Said set, numbered 10297, will have a commonality with the originating product, the Café Corner (10182). That set comprised the aforementioned corner café paired with a hotel. 10297 will also feature a hotel building, only this time it’s paired with an art gallery. In addition, the shape of the brick-built structure tapers off instead of having four 90-degree corners like its predecessors. A comparison can be made to New York City’s Flatiron building, which houses a LEGO Store. The Flatiron also had an earlier LEGO Architecture set adaptation, now retired.

Some specs about this set according to Promobricks are the presence of street arches, nougat-colored pieces, and 6 minifigures. This LEGO Hotel and Art Gallery (10297) will release January 1, 2022 alongside a 15th anniversary GWP (number 40532). Or at least the rumor says so; and that’s what we must treat this info for now.

Rumor of Minifigs on LEGO Education’s “Build to Launch” Series Packaged with 2022 Space-Themed Sets

LEGO Education is one of the global toy brand’s branches that rarely, if ever, engage in visible commercial promotion. Their target customers tend to be schools and educational centers, after all. About last month, LEGO Education introduced “Build to Launch,” a STEAM exploration series. Developed with NASA and centered on the Artemis Lunar Return Mission, this series introduces a cast of minifigure characters. Serving as POVs to this series, these characters, members of the “LEGO Space Team,” have distinct backgrounds and personalities. One expects such details to story themes like LEGO Friends, Ninjago or Monkie Kid. Is it possible that these minifigs could appear in sets coming in the future?

This is an interesting point brought up by Brick Fanatics. Sure, the characters of Commander Kate, Flight Director Maria and more serve to demonstrate the lessons on “Build to Launch.” Yet they look so fleshed out that the LEGO Education STEM series they’re attached to seems too small. Add this to the rumors of new space-themed LEGO City sets due for 2022, and it fits. Or at least it feels like they fit. These minifig astronauts and rocket technicians could perhaps populate the following alleged sets according to Brick Fanatics:

  • Moon Rover (60348)
  • Space Station (60349)
  • Research Base (60350)

Okay, the more fantastical space designs of LEGO City might not sync with the real-life Artemis moon mission. But it’s a nice idea. Or maybe it’s just rumors and the “Build to Launch” cast is stuck in the LEGO Education series. All the same, these characters are interesting enough that if LEGO does release themed sets featuring them, someone might buy.

Revamped October 2021 LEGO Store Calendar Removes LEGO Harry Potter GWPs

As September came to an end, LEGO gave us a glimpse of this month, on their official LEGO Store Calendar. The promotions we expected for October 2021 looked like a well-varied ensemble. Original themes like Creator Expert Winter Village and LEGO Friends were side-by-side with licensed IPs. These included “Super Mario” and “Harry Potter,” the latter of which was celebrating 20 years. No less than two LEGO HP gifts-with-purchase awaited buyers on LEGO Stores according to the October calendar. Well in the middle of this month things underwent an abrupt change. The Brick Fan has alerted us to this development.

Take a look at the new October 2021 LEGO Store Calendar, as presented on LEGO’s servers. Take a peek at the original edition here for comparison. Yes, the LEGO Harry Potter GWPs are just gone. Hermione’s Study Desk (30392) and Hogwarts Gryffindor Dorms (40452) both just disapparated from the calendar promos. The new, bigger LEGO Friends GWP spot comes across as very jarring without Gryffindor Dorms beside it. The removal was quite surgical too. Both LEGO HP GWPs were to become available starting October 25, the last day of the month. And LEGO doesn’t look like it’s willing to explain.

Honestly, it’s a shame that 30392 and 40452 have been shafted, at least for the rest of October. Gryffindor Dorms, being a revamp of an early-days LEGO HP set, would have been a sought-after special offer. Collectors perhaps might be able to pin the blame on supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic. They messed up the arrival of Hogwarts Icons (76391) in North America; they could do the same for these GWPs. Hopefully they’ll finally be available next month.

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.

“LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” File Size Spoiled by Xbox Store?

“LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” is the most ambitious LEGO Star Wars videogame ever. How else would you describe a game combining three movie trilogies (plus “Clone Wars”) in one package? The game worlds seemed big enough in the first two games in 2005 and 2006 (adapting the Prequels then the Original). The year 2007 brought a “LEGO Star Wars Complete Saga” combining the previous ones. But Traveller’s Tales and WB Interactive have gone for broke with “Skywalker Saga,” considering the content from nine films and a massive animated spinoff. Somebody on social media just discovered just how big.

Brick Fanatics reports Twitter’s “Freakishly Geek” (@freakgeek_yt) saw data for the Xbox version of “LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.” On the Xbox Store, the file size for the game apparently came to a massive 52.16 GB. @freakgeek_yt notes that the game data was for Xbox Series (“Skywalker Saga” also has an Xbox One version). He later updated his tweet, dated October 13, showing that the Xbox Store has erased the file size. It’s now blank along with Release Date. For comparison, the now-cancelled “LEGO Dimensions” videogame, featuring multi-IP crossover characters, only measured 16.13 GB. To coin a very old meme, “Skywalker Saga” is “XBOXHUEG.”

WB Interactive and TT famously delayed the release of “LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” from late 2020 to 2022. They claimed improvements to the game experience as one reason. That was no idle boast when one looks at its recent trailers. What is curious is Xbox Store abruptly removing the file size from its title data. Were they trying to keep it under wraps, or was 50+ GB a mistake. Hopefully we won’t have to wait until early next year when “Skywalker Saga” releases. Ah, and no file size info was reported for the other major game console versions.

NBC’s “Tonight Show” and “SNL” Mention LEGO Creator Expert Titanic (10294) (and its Price)

The moment LEGO officially announced its existence what came next on TV media could be considered inevitable. The LEGO Creator Titanic (10294), with 9,090 pieces, is already a 1:200 scale model of the massive doomed ocean liner. But that scale conversion still leaves it as one of the biggest LEGO sets ever made. It needs that size to visibly show its amenities and mechanical features, all lovingly recreated in brick form. The price tag also caught a lot of attention. Perhaps that factor serves as the primary contributor of the ribbing LEGO Titanic’s been getting.

As told by Brick Fanatics, The LEGO Creator Expert Titanic (10294) has been the subject of TV media scrutiny. Last weekend the set got mentions in two NBC programs: “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Saturday Night Live”. In the former, host Jimmy Fallon pointed out the $600+ price tag and claimed Titanic was part of LEGO’s “Horrific Disaster” collection. He also name-dropped the Hindenburg and Fyre Festival as part of that “theme.” The latter isn’t even a disaster in the “crashed/sunk passenger vehicle” sense.

The same deal went on at “SNL”. During the Weekend Update, hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che also mentioned the LEGO set 10294 (and fired shots at the pricing). One mean gag the show made about the Creator Expert Titanic was the assertion that the pieces used to assemble it are “frozen Irish minifigures.” The actual passenger liner was built in Belfast, Northern Ireland (1909-11), and some of its doomed passengers had been Irish too.

Hopefully the $629.99 asking price of the LEGO Creator Expert Titanic (10294) doesn’t scare off all collectors. It really is an impressively put-together model. Pre-orders will begin on November 1, though LEGO has yet to confirm its official release date.

Ideas Designer of Fender Stratocaster (21329) Set Showcased in LEGO Video

When a major LEGO set gets released, there’s a chance that they’ll be featured in a designer video. If the release was a LEGO Ideas set, then there might sometimes be a twist in the presentation. Sometimes the designer video would have the official LEGO teams that finalized a winning product idea into the set. But there have been instances when the LEGO Ideas member who originated the build would be honored. The sweet Fender Stratocaster set (21329) came out in October 1. Now, nearly two weeks later, LEGO showcased a video of its Ideas original creator, a contest participant.

Tomas Letenay is a Slovakian architect, LEGO fan and music aficionado as seen in this video. Uploaded to LEGO’s official Twitter page, the showcase sees photos of Letenay and a short narration of his life. From his schoolboy dream of buying an electric guitar grew his ambition to own the legendary Fender Stratocaster. Building one out of LEGO bricks was the next best thing for him. Now his passion project is one of the most sought-after new LEGO sets around. Yet still Letenay continues to strive to one day own a real Stratocaster for himself.

If you like rock and roll but either can’t play guitar or afford one, this Ideas set’s your chance. With its accurate details translated into LEGO pieces, you’d genuinely fall in love with it. The Ideas Stratocaster (21329) comes with a brick-built amplifier, alternate-color body, and Fender sticker. It costs $99.99 and is newly available, so get it now, in stores or online at Shop@Home.

LEGO Resolves Products, Marketing Inclusivity; No Gender Bias

A decade or few back in the history of LEGO, it was perceived as a toy line for children. Rather, LEGO was primarily marketed for boys. But girls did enjoy playing with LEGO too, and eventually calls were made for girl-oriented products. The company complied, both with licensed IPs like Disney and original themes. The latter took several iterations, from LEGO Belville in the 1990s-2000s to LEGO Friends, introduced in 2012. That was fine at first. But at present in a world pushing for more inclusivity and less gender bias, that must change. And LEGO plans to lead in change.

The company made their intentions known on Monday, October 11, aka the United Nations International Day of the Girl. Through a statement on their official website and a new “Rebuild the World” video, LEGO charted a new direction in their product marketing.

Play inclusivity will be a guiding watchword, and the limits of gender stereotypes will be removed. Of course, these announcements also provoked some intense debate and even pushback. In response to a particularly nasty rumor that LEGO’s gender-bias removal means discontinuing LEGO Friends, the company had a counter-statement. No, LEGO Friends will not end. Its predominantly-female character cast will simply gain more male additions starting 2022, for balance.

Yes, put the torches and pitchforks down now. LEGO Friends isn’t going away. The theme’s celebrating its first decade next year! LEGO will however implement inclusive measure that goes both ways. Guys will simply appear more in Heartlake city. In turn, girls will become more common for upcoming LEGO minifigures in general, outside the licensed-IP themes. That’s one way to remove gender bias and stereotypes without benefiting one at the other’s expense. We’ll see how LEGO holds true to that with next year’s product releases.