LEGO Stop-Motion Animator Jared “Gold Yeller” Remakes 2018 Buzzer-Beater of Michigan’s Jordan Poole in Bricks and Minifigs

Jared Jacobs, known on Twitter as Gold Yeller, has cemented his rep as LEGO builder and stop-motion animator with his online stock-in trade. He has recreated a lot of awesome game moments from a wide variety of sports and competitions, using LEGO sets in stop-motion and recorded actual play-by-play commentary.

We’ve seen his creative genius ourselves when we covered his stop-motion recreation of a highlight in US College Football, the “Kick Six” which led to Auburn beating Alabama in 2013. He’s since released more awesome videos on his Twitter page, and this is his latest.

Serving as something of a pick-me-up for the University of Michigan following their falling out of contention for the Big Ten this past weekend, Gold Yeller recreated one high point of the Wolverines from the previous year. This was an impressive buzzer-beating 3-point shot delivered against Houston by Jordan Poole.

In the same fashion as his “Kick Six” sequence, we see the March 2018 Michigan-Houston game for the NCAA Tournament’s second round. In the last seconds, the Wolverines launch a determined drive to the Houston side of the court. A pass puts the ball in Poole’s hands, and he launches it in a fade-away that leaves him on his back, but sinking the basket for three as the bell rings.

Additional touches to the stop-motion sequence include animated facial expressions to depict the crowd’s and benches’ reactions. Also caught was the defeated posture of a Houston player who flopped on the floor as Jordan Poole is mobbed by his teammates. And was that Harry Potter?

While Michigan this year will miss the Big Ten, at least they’ll have this Jared Jacobs mini-production to remind the team that they’re still awesome.

LEGO at 2nd Place on “RepTrak 100” 2019 List of World’s Most Reputable Companies

The Reputation Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts has for some time been keeping track of how the world perceives its businesses. Their annual ranking of the reputation levels of major companies in both regional markets and the world has been invaluable to many quarters, and factors into these businesses’ future success.

LEGO undoubtedly is uber enough among multinational brands to be part of the Reputation Institute’s “RepTrak” lists. Last year they were the top reputable company in Europe, and the second in the world. This March, RI has publicized its 2019 RepTrak 100 list, and LEGO is revealed to still be going strong at second place.

Needless to say, The LEGO Group is pleased that they’ve maintained their record for impeccable corporate reputation in the eyes of the world. Their CEO Niels B. Christiansen says in a statement that their high public regard is due to the dedication of their employees to make LEGO the most trusted toy name for children.

Christiansen also made sure to mention how the company bounced back from an uncertain 2017 to become solid again in their latest annual results. He thus shared this momentous triumph will all LEGO employees for making the brand the best for many children, regarding toys.

Reputation Institute works out their RepTrak lists by considering respondents’ opinions on companies’ products/services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship (how well they work with their respective home nations’ governments), leadership and performance (obviously). Public respondents for RI come from 15 countries.

While LEGO is 2nd on the 2019 RepTrak 100, watchmaker Rolex is at the top spot. Following LEGO in ranking order for the top ten are Disney, Adidas, Microsoft, Sony, Canon, Michelin, Netflix and Bosch.

Hereford LEGO Builder Requesting Brick Donations to Complete Old House Model for Brick History Exhibition at Real Old House

In Hereford, UK there’s an old house built during the 17th Century that serves as one of that cathedral city’s main tourist attractions. Constructed in the half-timbered Jacobean style and painted black and white, the Old House – now a museum – is the subject of a LEGO build that’ll soon become part of its own exhibits.

With the Hereford Old House soon to host a LEGO Brick History Exhibition, Shona Ashton has decided to contribute a brick-built scale model of The Old House. Thus far her project has progressed thanks to contributions of bricks from donors in her community; but her build is not yet complete.

With the Brick History Exhibition kicking off Saturday next week Ashton, a designer from the local New Model in Technology and Engineering (NMiTE) school, has put out a request on the local press and social media. Her LEGO Old House is still several bricks short.

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Ashton’s post on her Twitter page actually lists the specific LEGO bricks and elements she needs to finish her Old House model. From her recent photo of the build, it’s still missing pieces for roof tiles and the white “timber” to fit between the black “posts” on the second floor.

Besides Shona Ashton’s Old House, other models to be showcased by NMiTE builders at the LEGO Brick History Exhibition will be builds of various mobile phones, the DNA double-helix, the Big Bang, and LEGO statues of Martin Luther King and Mozart, among others. The exhibit, launched in partnership with the Herefordshire Council, begins March 16.

Local Owners Ponder Sale of LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort

Through the UK theme park operating company Merlin Entertainments, LEGO lends its name to the various LEGOLAND Resorts all over the world. With eight already open and no less than three more under construction, LEGOLAND is steeping up to be a major international theme park chain. LEGO fans and their families enjoy these resorts greatly.

In Asia, two LEGOLAND parks can be found. One of them is LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort in Iskandar Puteri, Johor District. The original theme park complex opened in 2012, followed by LEGOLAND Water Park in 2016. It boasts being the first LEGOLAND to feature the company’s virtual reality roller coaster attraction.

But for all its hype, LEGOLAND Malaysia hasn’t been getting a lot of visiting guests especially in 2018. According to Bloomberg the park’s Malaysian owner, the state-owned sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, has begun considering options for selling the resort.

Finance insiders shared with Bloomberg that Khazanah is waiting for suitable offers before committing to an announcement of the sale. This was revealed through a recent Kuala Lumpur press conference with the sovereign wealth fund’s managing director Shahril Ridza Ridzuan. No final decision on the matter has been made although interested buyers are already welcome to initiate talks with Khazanah.

If a deal to sell is made soon, the current valuation of LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort is 1 billion Malaysian ringgits ($245 million). This includes the theme park’s debts, exacerbated by low visitor counts last year.

For travelers planning to go to Malaysia (or Singapore, which is closer to Johor than Kuala Lumpur), they can check out booking options for the LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort, LEGOLAND Water Park and the LEGOLAND Hotel at their official website here.

LEGO Re-Promotes LEGO Ideas Pop-Up Book (21315) in Hilarious Ad Parodying Samsung Galaxy Fold

Last month, the South Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung presented a prospective new mobile device of theirs. They’re keen on seeing it revolutionize the development of smartphones and tablet computers. Why? Because their Samsung Galaxy Fold is a smartphone that can “unfold” into a tablet, thanks to a foldable AMOLED display.

This bit of news seems out of place where LEGO is concerned. At least, that’s how it was until LEGO suddenly made an April Fools’ joke weeks early. On their Twitter page they put a promotional image for the “LEGO Fold,” in a hilarious rip of the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

LEGO’s ad is an obvious parody of the Korean folding phone-tablet. Playing the role of the Galaxy Fold was last year’s LEGO Ideas set, the Pop-Up Story Book (21315). The toy brand’s Twitter caption boasted the set’s “5-inch cover unfolding into an 11-inch pop-up storybook.”

For tech-heads, that pronouncement was a send-up to the specs of the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which had a 4.6-in phone display and the 7.3-inch folding tablet-screen. Also gaining chuckles was LEGO’s assertion that its own Fold never runs out of battery charge. Lastly, the Ideas Pop-Up Book (21315) is more affordable at $69.99 than the Galaxy Fold’s alleged $2,000 price.

We’re not quite sure what inspired LEGO to do a parody of Samsung. It is a funny tweet for all intents and purposes. And perhaps they’re advertising that the LEGO Ideas Pop-Up Book (21315) is still available for purchase in retailers and online at Shop@Home.

Now Available: LEGO Minifigure Ceramic Cup (853910), Great for Drinking at Table or While Building

When a toy brand becomes such a multinational behemoth like LEGO, they can extensively diversify their product offerings. They can range from printed, TV and cinematic media; clothing and costumes; to more material stuff like themed accessories such as backpacks and wristwatches. And then we have this new household item.

The LEGO Minifigure Ceramic Mug (853910) is but another development of the manufacture of assorted LEGO goods that carry the distinctive design of the brand’s toys. In this case, the mug is colored and shaped into a standard minifigure head, but drinking-sized. The minifig face is custom painted into a knowing smirk, evoking “Emoji” imagery.

As taken from its name, this is no throwaway plastic mug. The minifigure shape is made out of ceramic, therefore good for hot beverages like milk, coffee and coco. And at 300 ml capacity, you can fill it with a good amount of drink too.

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LEGO collectors can get this Minifigure Ceramic Mug (853910) for $14.99. From its 6+ age rating it’s a great gift for children and might give just a little motivational push with its great design to get them to drink their milk. AFOLs in turn might enjoy the theming and smiley-face, topping it up with their drink of choice while they’re busy set-assembling or MOC-building.

Seeing as the product blurb’s quite short, we’ll include it:

Enjoy your favorite beverages from this LEGO® Iconic 853910 Ceramic Mug. Shaped like an iconic minifigure head and printed with a fun smiley face, this 300ml yellow mug is perfect for when you need to take a break from building your LEGO creations.

  • Yellow ceramic 300ml mug in the form of an iconic minifigure head, printed with a fun facial expression.
  • Measures over 3” (9cm) high.

LEGO Bounces Back from Dull 2017 with Positive Growths in 2018 Annual Results

It’s around this time of the (relatively) new year that major corporations around the world begin to publicize their annual financial reports from the year before. The LEGO Group is no exception, and interested parties have been looking forward to learning what their status is into the new fiscal year.

After all, despite the continuing release of new products and a healthy amount of activity back in 2017, there have been noted shortfalls in their results when The LEGO Group made its annual report then in early 2018. Thankfully, the following financial year seems to have been very good for the company, if their reported revenue growth is any indication.

In a press statement they released after making their annual report for 2018 last Wednesday, February 27, The LEGO Group was proud to announce good growth in revenue, sales and profits; in addition, these positive gains are uniform across three major regional markets: the Americas; Europe, Africa and the Middle East; and the Asia Pacific.

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Speaking of the latter, LEGO was also proud to report that their growth in China, one of their most recent marketing frontiers, has reached “double digits,” better than the already-good increases in other well-established locales.

Translated into hard figures, from the 2017 to 2018 reports, The LEGO Group achieved: 4% revenue growth (DKK 36.4 billion), 3% global consumer sales, a strong cash flow (DKK 9.8 billion), and a 4% increase in profit (DKK 10.4 billion).

Niels Christiansen, CEO of The LEGO Group, noted that the company was determined to improve their financial situation for 2018 after reeling from the figures of year 2017. “We are pleased to have achieved this, and to have delivered modest top and bottom-line growth,” he said. “We’d like to thank our talented colleagues who did an outstanding job executing plans during the peak holiday season.”

For a full accounting of the annual financial report from The LEGO Group, you may check out their official press release about the event here.

LEGOLAND Windsor Season Reopening to Feature “LEGO Movie 2” Experience with Apocalypseburg Replica Display

LEGOLAND Windsor Resort in the UK has been closed to guests for its seasonal break over the past several weeks. However, it will soon be opening its doors again in the middle of March. The staff is looking forward to a surge of visitors who may have been inspired to drop by because of the recently released “LEGO Movie 2.”

And what a treat LEGOLAND Windsor will have in store for them at the start of the new season! On their official website they have announced that they will be offering a “LEGO Movie 2” experience in line with their special “LEGO Movie Days” event during the latter half of March after their post-break reopening.

One major attraction during this period will be a brick-perfect recreation of the locations from “LEGO Movie 2.” As spoiled in the first film, the 3D-animated setting of Bricksburg/Apocalypseburg is actually a real-world LEGO diorama worked on by a family portrayed by several real actors. Therefore, LEGOLAND Windsor guests will be treated to accurate replicas of Apocalypseburg and its environs, done in the same exact scale as how the real-world movie characters might view it.

The Apocalypseburg diorama was realized by LEGOLAND Windsor model-makers with input from Warner Bros. Consumer Products and “LEGO Movie 2” set designers to get every detail right. The whole setup boasts being made up of 62,254 individual LEGO pieces in 31 colors and 628 shapes.

While guests ooh and ah at the display, LEGOLAND Windsor will also have minifigure mascots of Emmet, Wyldstyle and Sweet Mayhem ready for meet and greets. The Miniland area will host a scavenger hunt event; a “LEGO Movie” mosaic build will also be open for participant builders to help complete the project. It’s shaping up to be plenty of fun weekends at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort.

The LEGO Movie 2 experience, which has already opened in other LEGOLAND resorts such as California, will be around throughout this new season in Windsor. LEGO Movie Days in the meantime will take place across the third, fourth and fifth weekends of March (16-17, 23-24 and 30-31) in LEGOLAND Windsor.

LEGO fans in the UK and tourists travelling there by next month can book their theme park tickets and hotel stays at their official website here.

 

New LEGO Survey for AFOLs Wants to Know their Leisure Pastimes, Hobbies and Interests

It seemed like out of the blue late last week when LEGO suddenly put out a survey for its customers. And the target market for the questionnaire was a surprise too, as it asked adults about their LEGO shopping experience. The said survey is still on, lasting until March 22.

But The LEGO Group appears to be in a surveying mood lately. Once again, they need input from AFOLs regarding their personal habits. This time however, their new survey is going to be quite substantial in terms of queries, and answering them truthfully (by reading the items carefully) could take about 30 minutes on average.

The general theme of this survey also touches closer to home than the previous one with its inquiries on shopping habits. Now The LEGO Group is asking stuff about AFOLs’ personal habits: what they do to spend leisure time, what subjects interest them and what hobbies they like to pursue.

Interestingly, this survey has several restrictions. For one thing it has a short shelf life, closing on Sunday, March 3. Next, only survey takers from three countries – the US, Germany, and China – will be accommodated by it. Results of the inquiry will apparently be shared by the LEGO Ambassador Network in April. Meanwhile, here are the links for the survey if you’re interested and live in the three aforementioned markets.

US / Germany / China

New LEGO Greeting Card (853906): Bricks and Minifigure Ensure this Correspondence Will See More Use and Play

From a certain point of view, when one thinks of a greeting card, especially in the US, the mental image of the card will likely carry “Hallmark” as its brand. LEGO probably won’t supplant established greeting card labels like Hallmark with this quirky new product they’ll introduce soon, but brick-buildings fans will surely love it.

Newly revealed by LEGO this week according to German news source Promo Bricks, the LEGO Greeting Card (853906) is exactly what its name entails, and more. Being a LEGO product it has bricks and a minifigure, all part of an interactive greeting that goes beyond mere written words from you.

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The set’s package viewed from the front is half box and half card. You can write your dedications on the left-hand side then unfold it to reveal a background for the LEGO pieces stored at right. These 40 elements assemble to form a stud launcher platform, to shoot the scoring balloons on the provided background.

LEGO Greeting Card (853906) also includes a minifigure with alternate head and hair-pieces to change between male or female characters, and roller skate elements that can attach to the feet. For the most part the carnival theme of the card and set can make it all-purpose for most general occasions.

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If you fancy sending a greeting to a LEGO fan later this year, then you can wait for the LEGO Greeting Card set (853906), priced at $4.99 on Shop@Home to arrive with many other new LEGO products on March 1.