The LEGO.com website provides more than product info and an online shop for their many sets and products. It also provides additional services such as building instructions for numbered set builds. That usually works in conjunction with having plenty of LEGO bricks and pieces already. But if you need specific parts then LEGO.com offers you two avenues. One is the Bricks & Pieces customer service. They replace missing or broken pieces from packaged sets. The other is Pick a Brick, where one can buy individual bricks/pieces by quantity. You probably look at those descriptions and think: Don’t these two services basically do the same thing?
Apparently LEGO has been thinking the same, according to German LEGO news source Promobricks. To that end, the company has announced plans to merge their Pick a Brick and Bricks & Pieces pages. A recent series of surveys LEGO conducted online appears to be the impetus for this move. As it turns out, their customers knew of either Pick a Brick, or Bricks & Pieces, but not the other. By combining the two services into a single front-end hub, builders looking for pieces will have easier times exploring. LEGO bricks seemingly exclusive to either service will now be available universally.
The LEGO.com Pick a Brick-Bricks & Pieces merge will also benefit US and Canadian customers. Part of the reorganization also involves opening a new North American-based fulfillment center this month. To facilitate this change, they will temporarily shut down Pick a Brick from January 23 to 25. The combined hub will be soft-launched sometime afterwards, in early (UK, Western Europe) and late (NA, ANZAC) February. LEGO also plans to test a new Build-a-Minifigure service soon, but only for Europe and Asia.
Watching the development of common themes among the 10-K-supported entries of the LEGO Ideas Third 2021 Review Stage is fascinating. Somehow the degree of variety in the submissions might factor into which product ideas might pass review. For the Third 2021 Stage the field of entries is filled with buildings. There is also an ensemble of licensed-IP builds, from both western and eastern pop cultural media. We’ve seen aspiring sets based on American films and TV shows, as well as those from iconic anime series. Therefore we think this new submission with 10,000 supporters, based on a Franco-Belgian comic-book franchise, is a new standout proposal.
Here we have the preview images of Asterix the Gaul, as rendered by LEGO Ideas member Ganpat the Celt. His story-setting build is akin to the Brooklyn Nine-Nine 99th Precinct build of BenFrankhauser. Rather than a full interior, we get a façade of the house of Asterix the potion-empowered Gaul.
His front yard also boasts a who’s who of characters from his comic. Best buddy Obelix is there, as well as the potion-making druid Panoramix, and their other Gaulish friends and neighbors. Not everyone present have some nice intentions though. Three pesky Roman invaders also seek to ruin everybody’s day.
What we have here is Ganpat the Celt’s memorialization of a pillar of Franco-Belgian comic storytelling. The adventures of “Asterix” count among the many properties that made FB comic books internationally renowned. His late creators René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo would have been mighty pleased by this. We can be sure that the 10-K support for Asterix the Gaul came from a solid European fandom. We’re looking forward to seeing how it does under review.
This past weekend saw the release of the newest entry to the LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collectors Series. Standing over 2 feet high and nearly a foot wide, the UCS AT-AT Walker (75313) never fails to impress. The fact that it got launched on Black Friday 2021 just made the hype to get it more overpowering. And being a major LEGO set release, it stands to reason that it’ll get a designer video real soon. Said video premiered on LEGO’s YouTube channel over the weekend. It makes for fascinating viewing for many LEGO Star Wars collectors. That is given the UCS AT-AT (75313) sold out.
Indeed, the news is true according to The Brick Fan. To the determined and grown-up LEGO collector, $799.99 (US) is mere pocket change. LEGO.com US burned through their UCS AT-AT (75313) stock so fast, they don’t expect availability until after the Holidays. So for now, fans may as well watch LEGO designer Henrik Andersen talk about the set’s journey. One can try checking for the new UCS on branded LEGO Stores and maybe LEGOLAND Discovery Centers. At least European LEGO.com in France, Germany and the UK still has them. But nobody knows for how long.
“Monkie Kid! Familiar tales, new adventures!” So goes the first line of the opening song for LEGO’s “Monkie Kid.” This new theme and animated series, a brick-built magi-tech pastiche of classical Chinese literature, has defied the odds. Despite uncertain prognoses, LEGO assured collectors that Monkie Kid is good until at least 2023. The series has a new season planned. New sets were promised, and teased recently at an import fair in China. Speaking of which, LEGO Monkie Kid will get a themed area in the under-construction LEGOLAND Shanghai. MK and his friends aren’t retiring soon. These sets attest to it.
Now, Brickset informs us that LEGO.com finally has product listings for the following LEGO Monkie Kid releases next year. We saw one of them at the coverage of November’s Chinese International Import Expo. Finally we get the details on that set and its siblings, and know that they’ll be launching on New Year’s Day 2022. Let’s take a closer look:
309 pieces | 2 minfigures | $34.99
- Build creative confidence – Youngsters can build a mech, race car and airplane and their own versions of Monkie Kid’s Staff Creations with this fun modular toy playset (80030)
- 2 LEGO® minifigures – This building toy includes a Monkie Kid minifigure in a training outfit with a staff, and Monkey King with The Golden Staff to inspire creative play
- Shape-shifting builds – The buildable mech, race car and airplane toys each have easily detachable parts so kids can swap things around and build unique, mash-up models
456 pieces | 4 minfigures | $49.99
- Role-play battle action – Youngsters build Mei’s Dragon Car (80031) and journey with her and Monkie Kid to claim back the Fire Ring from the Shadow Monkeys with this playset
- 4 LEGO® toy minifigures – Mei with a Jade Dragon Blade, Monkie Kid with The Golden Staff and Cloud Board, plus map and compass elements, and Rumble and Savage with a chain hook and spiked staff
- Car toy with a spring-loaded shooter – Mei’s Dragon Car features an ‘energy blaster’ that shoots projectiles from the car’sdragon mouth, an opening minifigure cockpit and storage for Mei’s weapon
- Creative play possibilities – The set also includes a buildable trike toy and orange Fire Ring to add to the storytelling and battle play options
609 pieces | 3 minfigures | $69.99
- A moon goddess for the 21st century – Bring a legendary Chinese character to life for children in a fresh way with the LEGO® Monkie Kid™ Chang’e Moon Cake Factory (80032) toy playset
- 3 LEGO® minifigures – Chang’e, Lunar Rabbit Robot with a carrot gun and Pigsy in a space outfit with a rake and blue Fire Ring, plus Mo the cat and 2 bunny toy figures
- Unlimited role play – Kids can pretend to broadcast from Chang’e’s live-streaming platform, make moon cakes on the factory production line, export moon cakes in the carrot rocket and more
- Bunny mech battles – The set also includes a bunny mech toy, with an opening cockpit for Chang’e or the 2 bunnies, plus 2 stud shooters to attack Pigsy and Mo when they try to steal the moon cakes
893 pieces | 5 minfigures | $79.99
- Legends reimagined – Spark children’s interest in Monkey King tales from the classic Journey to the West novel with this LEGO® Monkie Kid™ toy playset (80033), featuring the Evil Macaque’s Mech
- 5 minifigures – Mei, Monkie Kid, Evil Macaque, Rumble and the first-ever Sandy minifigure, plus weapons and accessory elements including Mei’s 3 attachable Fire Rings and Monkie Kid’s map and compass
- Fully posable mech – the Evil Macaque’s Mech features extra-stable posable joints and a big staffthat the mech can hold or have clipped onto its back
- Golden Staff Cannon – the set also includes a brick-built, stud-shooting toy cannon, allowing children to pretend be Monkie Kid creating things with his Golden Staff
929 pieces | 6 minfigures | $99.99
- Legends reimagined – Let youngsters role-play as legendary characters with this LEGO® Monkie Kid™ battle toy playset (80034), featuring Nezha’s Fire Ring vehicle and much more
- 6 LEGO® minifigures – Nezha, Monkie Kid, Monkey King, Evil Macaque, White Bone Demon and Savage with weapons and accessory elements, including Nezha’s spear and 2 attachable Fire Rings
- Toy vehicle and flyer – Nezha’s vehicle features a big monowheel and 2 flame-energy spring-loaded shooters, and the Evil Macaque’sjet flyer has 2 stud shooters and storage for his staff
- Monkie Kid’s Golden Staff Flyer and White Bone Demon’s throne – The flyer has 2 stud shooters, and the throne has a hanging bone cage to trap Monkey King, plus a cell with a skeleton figure inside
1,356 pieces | 6 minfigures | $129.99
- Buildable rocket toy playset – Let kids reimagine legendary Chinese tales in space with this LEGO® Monkie Kid™ set (80035), featuring Monkie Kid’s Galactic Explorer spaceship and launchpad
- 6 LEGO® minifigures – Monkie Kid, Mei, Sandy and Mr. Tang in space outfits and Shadow Monkeys Rumble and Savage, plus a Robot Mo figure and lots of toy weapons and accessories
- Highly detailed spaceship toy – Features 2 spring-loaded shooters, minifigure cockpit, cabin with space for 4 characters and neat storage for the green Fire Ring, jetpack and moon rover vehicle
- Rocket launchpad – Includes a control area with a decorated computer element, antenna, storage for 4 minifigure space helmets, ladder, fuel tank and tool elements
2,187 pieces | 7 minfigures | $149.99
- Highly detailed buildable city – Children can build The City of Lanterns (80036) in their own way and role-play scenes from the Monkie Kid animated series with this toy playset
- 7 LEGO® minifigures bring the city to life – Monkie Kid in a tourist outfit, Mr. Tang, Mei, Pigsy, Han, Huang and a train driver, plus buildable Citybot A05 and Citybot A16 robots and many accessories
- Lots to explore – A LEGO® toy shop, Lotus Hotel, Speedy Panda store, 2 restaurants, K-TV karaoke booth, bubble tea café, sky train track with a Pigsy-branded train, plus a detachable Fire Ring
- Easy to rearrange – It is easy to detach each building and rearrange the city. The set also includes a buildable ‘hat air’ balloon and portable kitchen for Pigsy, to add to the play possibilities
What a haul! Seven new Monkie Kid sets arriving at the start of the New Year? New minifigs and new characters introduced? Indeed, LEGO Monkie Kid has only just begun to take us all on this wild journey.
Every year the Toy Association honors the best products in the industry through its annual Toy of the Year Awards. It doesn’t take a follower of these events to know that LEGO is a regular nominee and awardee here. Being one of the biggest toy brands in modern history is a perk in itself. Furthermore, many of the sets they release year after year deserve the nominations and wins. The 2022 Toy of the Year Awards is no exception. Of the 16 possible categories, LEGO has representation in at least eight. Some of these categories even have multiple LEGO nominees.
As provided by The Brick Fan which has shared the official Toy Awards website, here are LEGO’s 2022 nominated products:
Collectible of the Year
Construction Toy of the Year
Creative Toy of the Year
Grown-Up Toy of the Year
- Botanical Collection – Flower Bouquet (10280)
Playset of the Year
Preschool Toy of the Year
Specialty Toy of the Year
STEAM Toy of the Year
Vehicle of the Year
It’s amazing that one set from LEGO’s misfiring Vidiiyo theme also made it in. Then again, that would be the Toy Association’s call. Maybe the accolade (and a possible award) may reinvigorate interest in the Vidiyo line. Who can tell? Anyway, we wish LEGO’s 2022 Toy of the Year Award nominees the best of luck.
It’s well-known that LEGO, with the “freedom of building” their products provide, gets plenty of mileage from fan contributions. The most prominent venue of this is LEGO Ideas. Their website invites submissions to fun activities, prize-winning contents and the chance to make their custom builds into official sets. Outside that, LEGO has been known to invite popular builders to join their design teams. They’ve also engaged LEGO media-makers like animators (3D or stop-motion) to do commissioned production work. This particular avenue just gave YouTube LEGO animator Forrest “forrestfire101” Whaley a big break. Here’s his new animated video work, for LEGO.
As Brick Fanatics tells it, The LEGO Group tapped forrestfire101 to do a stop-animation promo vid for LEGO Star Wars. His output, featured on his YouTube channel, features some choice recent-release LEGO Star Wars sets. The setting is the Mos Espa racetrack from “The Phantom Menace.” As for the competitors:
The race starts out similar to the Podrace sequence from “Phantom Menace,” then escalates as only LEGO can. Whaley’s stop-motion visuals make this minute-and-a-half video a non-stop LEGO Star Wars extravaganza. And you might have an idea which of the racers wins. All in all, this is a fun promo vid commissioned by LEGO, one that would excite LEGO Star Wars collectors.
LEGO Speed Champions has been on a wild roller-coaster ride of prominence within LEGO’s many themed lines. It hasn’t exactly released lots of set since debuting in 2015. There have been plenty of rumors that the theme might be discontinued. Then again, Speed Champions became a DLC theme for the 2018 Xbox One auto-racing videogame “Forza Horizon 4.” And last month LEGO assured that more sets will come out through to 2023. The latter news should be quite the relief for Speed Champions collectors. Also welcome for them might be the recent rumors of what famous racecars will get new sets in the coming year.
This information we have thanks to Promobricks.de from Germany. No less than five new LEGO Speed Champion sets are coming in 2022, four of them in March. Their prices are expected of Speed Champions, with one featuring two cars. Let’s have a look at what sets are supposed to arrive:
All the above sets except 76909 are alleged to be released on March 1, 2022. Do note that they are just mere rumors at this point. Take them with a grain of salt until LEGO gives us official word.
Hey Bat-fans, did you enjoy the reveal of LEGO’s “The Batman” tie-ins this past weekend? You must have marveled at the featured Batmobile sets, showcasing a different-looking ride for the Dark Knight. A stock car-like chassis for the Batman’s buggy really stands out after fans have gotten used to jet-engine supercars. The larger LEGO The Batman Batmobile is notable due to being a Technic set. And in the wake of its unveiling rumors have arisen about other LEGO Technic releases, particularly for 2022. One such batch of speculated Technic products was shared last month, but there are more of course.
As Germany’s Promobricks.de would have it, there is quite the number of LEGO Technic sets due for next year. While they have the same set numbers as the earlier reveal from Instagram’s bricksmelody, they have different names. Now, one name from the old rumor list does describe several of the sets listed by Promobricks, but that’s all. Let’s look at the alternate enumeration to compare:
- BMW M1000 RR K66 (42130)
- Chopper (42132)
- Telescopic Loader (42133)
- Monster Jam Megalodon (42134)
- Monster Jam El Toro Loco (42135)
- “John Deere 9R (?)” (42136)
- Formula E Porsche 99X Electric (42137)
- Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (42138)
- All-Terrain Vehicle (42139)
- App-Controlled Transformation Vehicle (42140)
- Formula 1 Racecar (42141)
So there we have a different listing for LEGO Technic sets running from 42130 to 42141. As with the bricksmelody version, these are mere rumors until confirmed or debunked by LEGO. Note that we didn’t list The Batman Batmobile (42127) because it’s confirmed.
The Upside Down (75810), a LEGO set tie-in to hit Netflix series “Stranger Things,” retires at the end of 2021. Granted, we don’t have to worry about it being the only LEGO Stranger Things product. There’s that social media post last May to consider. But anyway, the Upside Down (75810) counts as one of the most memorable sets to come out in recent years. Changing one’s viewpoint by flipping the whole thing upside-down is a brilliant idea. That idea is being latched on by LEGO Ideas in their latest Activity.
Yep, LEGO Ideas presents the activity “Upside Down.” To be frank, it’s not strictly a “Stranger Things” theme here. In fact, this challenge carries the usual Ideas Activity reminder to tone down on IP use. Then again, the only prize for a LEGO Ideas Activity is seeing your submission shared by LEGO on social media. The activity instruction goes thus: “Is your build the right way up? Or should we tilt our heads? Build something, but upside down!” The steps do come across as rather vague, but that’s part of the fun. Are you a LEGO Ideas member with an idea for a build that “might” be upside-down? Then try your luck with this one.
This activity runs only for a week on LEGO Ideas. Interested builder participants must have their contributions submitted to the Activity Page by October 19.
Given how many different LEGO sets there are at any time, actively collecting them isn’t exactly cheap. That’s why one needs to keep an eye on the pricing too, especially when one purchases from retailers. Recently there was a buzz in some European countries about LEGO planning to up retail prices by 2022. German LEGO news sites such as StoneWars.de and Zusammengebaut.com then published an official statement from The LEGO Group. Initially it sounded like the company was hiking some recommended retail prices (RRP) in Europe next year. However a short time later LEGO issued a follow-up clarification, as reported on by Brickset.com on Wednesday.
Now, LEGO is saying that there will be no RRP increase in European markets in 2022. Their original statement mentioned upping the recommended/suggested pricing for retail partners (even if the retailers have final say). This was supposed to be a move towards “continuity” and “transparency” with retail partners. After all, LEGO offers “good value for money.” The follow-up announcement has LEGO insisting that there will be no RRP hike. It was simply to bring a consistency in retail pricing across multiple countries in Europe. So while some LEGO sets might get pricier, others could actually become cheaper. And the RRP adjustment is just for Europe.
With that in mind, LEGO retailers in the Americas, Asia and elsewhere need not worry for now. Other unaffected sectors are the LEGO Stores and LEGO Shop@Home. While the company did not give a list of affected LEGO sets in European retail markets, there are rumors. One product named by StoneWars to allegedly get an adjusted RRP next year is LEGO Marvel Infinity Gauntlet (76191, seen above). Much as the idea of European LEGO retail prices changing in a finger-snap is hyper-imaginative, let’s just wait.