LEGO Welcomes Master MOC-Making AFOL Carter Baldwin as New Product Designer

It seems the LEGO Group is just getting warmed up when it comes to recruiting new talent from its fandom. Last February they extended a company job invite to “Powerpig” aka Chris McVeigh. He’s now in Denmark as part of the LEGO Creator Expert and LEGO Architecture product design teams.

Recently another master MO-Creator with a prominent online presence has been given the opportunity to be an “ascended fan.” The AFOL in question is Carter Baldwin, who showcases his sweet MOCs on Flickr. His creations range in theme from military tech, to fantasy figures, to a scary rendition of the Xenomorph Alien Queen from “Aliens.”

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As reported by our fellow LEGO news source The Brick Fan, Baldwin has been hired by The LEGO Group in appreciation for his building skill. He’s now a product designer for an unspecified LEGO line in Denmark, very much like Chris McVeigh months before him.

Seeing as he’s working for LEGO in an official capacity now, he’s going to be silent about his upcoming projects. Nevertheless his Flickr account looks like it’ll be staying up. That way we can keep on admiring his past MOC work and have a reference for the kind of output he’ll eventually provide for LEGO.

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Large-Sized Decorative LEGO Stud Wall Hangers Available on Amazon

LEGO has taken many of its familiar building elements and turned them into cool accessories. We’ve seen minifigure key-chains before. This one’s merely taking another kind of LEGO element and giving it a practical function. But first, it needs to get bigger; as in big enough to carry a weight.

Take a LEGO stud, the sort used as either a jewelry decoration for brick builds, or as ammo for stud-shooters. Now enlarge them and add a universal mount on the back, and you’ve got a LEGO-themed wall hanger. Yes, these are official LEGO accessory products, aged 3+ and numbered 4016.

LEGO Stud Wall Hangers

Interestingly, these LEGO Stud Wall Hangers (4016) aren’t listed on LEGO Shop@Home. Rather, they can be found on Amazon. The hangers come in three variant packages, each with three stud hangers in varying sizes (S, M & L). Variant 1 comes in Red, Blue and Yellow. Variant 2 has White, Black and Grey. Lastly, variant 3 contains wall hangers in White, Pink and Light Blue colors.

Each box of LEGO Stud Wall Hangers (4016), regardless of colors, is priced at $9.99 on Amazon. This would be just the right aesthetics for a LEGO fan’s room. Hopefully the universal mount hooks used to attach these hangers to the wall are sturdy enough.

UK Superbrands Index Again Names LEGO as British Consumers’ Favorite Brand

Just over a year ago, The LEGO Group proved its brand image to be stronger that their then-ongoing revenue difficulties. An annual survey of UK consumers attested to the industry research institute Superbrands that LEGO is their most favorite brand. This 2019, LEGO made that top ranking into a streak.

Likely because of their remarkable 2018 recovery from their dismal 2017 financial standing, LEGO managed to remain Number 1 in the British Superbrands index. That means many of the 2,000 UK consumer-respondents named the Danish toy giant their favored brand from a pool of 1,500. Criteria for their selections depended on quality, reliability and distinction.

British Airways, the UK airline that LEGO displaced a year before, has since fallen to fifth place. Its own performance somehow couldn’t hold a candle to the 4% global revenue and profit growths that The LEGO Group enjoyed last year.

Part of LEGO’s success has been its ability to draw in licensed IPs from various and often competing franchises. Under LEGO’s umbrella they get turned into fun construction sets and minifigures that are sought after by kids and AFOLs alike.

If you’re curious, here are the Top 10 Superbrands Index entries. Compare from 2018.

  1. Lego
  2. Apple
  3. Gillette
  4. Rolex
  5. British Airways
  6. Coca-Cola
  7. Andrex
  8. Mastercard
  9. Visa
  10. Dyson

Tuesday Marks 20th Anniversary of LEGO Star Wars Product Line

We at The Brick Show and all our fellow LEGO news sources have already shared that this year marks 20 years of LEGO Stars Wars. But when exactly does this anniversary of one of LEGO’s hottest product lines fall? It happened this week, April 9.

This past Tuesday, LEGO kicked off a milestone celebration of their IP franchise partnership, which eventually became one of their bestselling product lines. With over 700 sets released and more than a thousand different individual minifigures too, this is a big celebration. We’ve already seen an earlier beginning to the 20th Anniversary craze with their anniversary-edition LEGO Star Wars sets.

“LEGO play and Star Wars is a dream collaboration for us,” says LEGO Star Wars Creative Director Jens Kronvold Frederiksen. “This 20-year milestone is really a dedication and testimony to our loyal fans who have built, reimagined, battled and shared their LEGO Star Wars adventures with us for two decades.”

Speaking on behalf of Lucasfilm, Licensing VP Derek Stothard answers, “Our collaboration with the LEGO Group remains a huge success because it allows people to explore the Star Wars galaxy in a very unique way. Whether you’re meticulously building the Millennium Falcon for a display shelf or reimagining the battles with LEGO Star Wars models, the LEGO Star Wars range allows us to engage with fans of all ages who find the Star Wars galaxy as special as we do.”

As part of their official press release commemorating two decades of LEGO Star Wars, LEGO released some great promotional images containing factoids about the popular product line over the years. Here we have a sample:720_SW_Fun_Fact_02

And here’s an illustrated history:

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You can find more of them at LEGO’s official website.

Duke University (NC) Senior Records Campus Life with Shoulder-Camera Rig Made from LEGO Pieces

We’ve covered a number of LEGO MOCs in the past that have gone beyond mere play or aesthetic purposes. These builds were of a utilitarian bent, like the wheeled frame for a post-surgery recovering animal, made from Technic pieces. Reading about them certainly reaffirms the sheer function versatility of LEGO.

Now here’s another MOC we found that may be worth talking about. Back when Jeffrey Wubbenhorst started as a freshman in Duke University, North Carolina, he was inspired to try recording his life as a student. His idea was to mount a camera frame on his backpack, pointing front over his left shoulder. His search for a steadying material to mount his GoPro cam led him to using LEGO Technic.

Thus, with his shoulder-camera LEGO-mounting named “Felix,” Wubbenhorst began documenting how he spent his day studying and attending classes at Duke, as well as other activities in between all that.

“I also have some kind of understanding that life at Duke is not normal,” says Wubbenhorst, “and that not-normalcy should probably be preserved for posterity.”

Now a Duke Senior, Wubbenhorst remarks that the constant presence of his recording camera somehow helped him make friends around campus, due to interest in his video-taking and the LEGO rig he uses for it. The fact that footage is constantly being recorded of his interactions has also aided him in keeping his “social consciousness.”

Wubbenhorst has begun uploading some of his video footage on YouTube. Thus far sample footage looks relatively stable for being atop his shoulder, a testament to Wubbenhorst relying on stable construction offered by LEGO sets.

LEGO Designers Make Brick-Built Captain Marvel Statue to Help Promote “Avengers: Endgame”

The Marvel Cinematic Universe will come to an ending that’s been ten years in the making this month. Fans of the franchise and Marvel superheroes can catch that this April 26 when “Avengers: Endgame” premieres. Merchandising partners such as LEGO have already begun releasing their tie-in products. But leave it to LEGO to do extra.

In what’s undoubtedly another contribution to promoting the upcoming MCU movie, the longest running-time of all series so far. LEGO designers have constructed a brick-built statue of one of the heroes involved. It’s none other than Captain Marvel, the superhuman cosmic champion lead character of her own film last month, and the most powerful good guy in the franchise yet.

With possibly all the LEGO-piece resources they could need, LEGO’s pro builders used 17,661 of them over the course of around 165 hours to assemble the brick statue. They even went the extra mile to match the physical dimensions to the character’s actress Brie Larson.

Upon completion, LEGO’s brick-built Captain Marvel statue matched Larson’s height of 5 feet seven inches. The design team even included an Avengers logo for background, making the figure a prime photo-op opportunity for MCU fans.

LEGO hasn’t quite revealed yet where this sweet build will be located for promotional purposes. It’s also possible that it could be located away from an obvious spot like a cinema. The Porg promotional statues during “The Last Jedi” were scattered in London, for example.

“Avengers: Endgame” arrives at last in theaters on April 26.

Brick Formation Introduces Licensed “Homeworld” Spaceship Sets Built with LEGO Bricks

Among the many imaginative constructs that have been designed by LEGO as official products are star-faring spaceships. The most easily recalled example may be the LEGO Star Wars UCS Millennium Falcon (75192), but there are others. Indeed LEGO pieces are prime material for assembling model spaceships. Just ask Brick Formation.

As a company, Brick Formation treads a fine line by taking official LEGO elements and using them to make construction kits of vehicles from licensed properties. The kits are official merchandise to the franchise they depict, but they’re not official to LEGO which doesn’t “sponsor, authorize or endorse” these products by Brick Formation. Confused yet?

Currently Brick Formation has revealed their LEGO-built construction sets based on the innovative PC game series “Homeworld,” developed by Relic Entertainment since 1999 but now IP-owned by Gearbox Software.

For the moment, Brick Formation only has three “Homeworld” ship sets ready for orders. Each are worth at least $250, so they’re incredibly pricy stuff. But it only makes sense considering there will only be 100 of each set being produced. Instant collector’s items, these sets:

Hiigarans

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Frigate_thumb

Destroyer_thumb

Aside from Gearbox’s “Homeworld,” Brick Formation is also looking for more licensing partners to make their LEGO-built sets for. In a way, their “official-for-this-franchise” but “not-official-for-LEGO” approach is novel, though it does sort of give some IP franchises that tend to be passed over by LEGO to get their own toy merchandise made out of LEGO’s iconic building bricks.

Note: Much obliged to Doug Rass for the correction offered.

Christmas Comes Early as LEGO Previews 2019 Holiday Minifigure Ornaments

We’re roughly getting to the middle of springtime this year. But thanks to a recent product announcement by LEGO you’d be forgiven to think that Christmas is coming again. Then again, it’s pretty much standard for the toy giant to start advertising their seasonal products ahead of their associated seasons.

So for the 2019 Holidays we can look forward to getting these cool large-minifigure hanging ornaments for your Christmas tree. As before, these licensed ornaments are officially manufactured by Hallmark for LEGO. They’re making large hanging minifigs based on “LEGO Movie,” “LEGO Batman Movie,” and “LEGO Star Wars,” the third one in line with their 20th Anniversary celebration this year.

LEGO Movie/2

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LEGO Batman Movie

  • Robin – Since Joker was made into an ornament for Christmas 2018, this is a natural progression

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LEGO Star Wars

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And there’s one original LEGO minifigure ornament not tied to any line or licensed property. Here’s Santa Claus:

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These hanging minifigure ornaments are priced at $16.99 and will become available starting October 5. However you can now add them to your wish list at Hallmark’s official website, to reserve yours for that day. We can thank LEGO for letting us see what our Christmas 2019 might look like.

A Look at LEGO’s April Fools Prank for 2019

We decided to write this stuff after the day in question itself to make sure its true nature is known. Anyway, yesterday was April Fools’ and that means there were plenty of zingers for suckers both in real-life and online. LEGO’s an old hat with this in their social media.

If you might recall, last year the LEGO Twitter page “introduced” a “brick vacuum cleaner” for sucking up loose pieces. This year they’re continuing the April Fools’ theme of wacky tools for managing LEGO. Now the problem being ostensibly addressed is helping builders find the right pieces in a pile.

To “help” with that they announced the “Find My Brick,” a phone app that obviously rips off similar apps on the market. At least LEGO’s trying to put spins on the joke. Find My Brick apparently uses some AR offshoot, where users select a particular brick on its online database and points the phone-cam at a pile of LEGO bricks.

As seen in the image above, the app would scan the brick pile and pick out the bricks matching the selection made in the app. They even get glowing outlines on the screen like a standard sci-fi HUD. Frivolous? Yes. Self-indulgent? Yes. Funny? Definitely yes.

Comments on LEGO’s April Fools Twitter entry even contain some posts that feel the Find My Brick spoof app to be potentially useful. They even asked the toy giant to make it real. For this writer that indicates the one-day gag just works too well.

Third-Gen LEGO Owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen Leaving LEGO Holding A/S Board of Directors

What’s quite impressive of the global toy brand LEGO was that for its worldwide reach it never needed to go as a publicly trading company, but one that remained a true family business. To this day ownership of LEGO ultimately rests with the Kristiansen family of founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen.

In the latest development concerning the Kristiansen family, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen has announced his departure from the board of directors for LEGO A/S effective next month. The now 71-year-old grandson of the original LEGO founder is leaving his son Thomas Kristiansen as deputy chairman of the board, again passing the family baton, generation to generation.

Kristiansen tells The Financial Times that his stepping down from the LEGO board of directors is part of the whole family’s procedure on maintaining generational ownership of the global toy company. With this step complete, the only position Kristiansen still holds is the chairmanship of their investment firm KIRKBI A/S.

His successor Thomas Kristiansen became a board member of LEGO back in 2007, and was appointed to the deputy chairmanship two years ago. His presence ensures the Kristiansen family retains a voice among the directors as “the most active owner.”

Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen took over as LEGO CEO following the death of his father Gotfried in 1979. He stepped down from active management of the company in 2004, replaced by the first non-family CEO of LEGO, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp. He himself was replaced by Niels B. Christiansen, though he remained chairman. Knudstorp and Thomas Kristiansen are now selecting candidates to replace Kjeld on the board.