Even as fans/collectors worldwide buy their products and make them a global toy giant, LEGO still has a big heart. Sometimes, they might encourage their fans to engage in an activity that they’ll then match in charitable action. But when the chips are down, The LEGO Foundation doesn’t hesitate to lend a helping hand. Promobricks.de has it that LEGO made a near-million-Euro donation to help German families and children affected by severe mid-2021 floods. The disaster, which gripped Europe throughout July, was considered the worst to hit Germany since 1962’s North Sea flood. But now, LEGO is helping them recover.
As detailed on their Twitter November 23, LEGO donated 7.1 million Danish Kroner to the German Red Cross. That’s equivalent to €960,000 ($1,076,616 in direct conversion). LEGO’s donation will help rebuild 10 kindergartens damaged by July’s flooding in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia state. A new family aid center also counts among plans by the German Red Cross, made possible by LEGO’s charity. This is merely the latest in a series of 2021 donations by LEGO. Other beneficiaries this year include children in Afghanistan and Haiti. LEGO has also been prominent in helping address the COVID-19 pandemic. You can expect nothing less from one of the biggest brands ever in all-ages toys.
Want to get a head start on collecting LEGO sets but can’t be bothered to hunt them down individually? You could always keep an eye out for the bundles. LEGO and its retail partners tend to release them every once in a while. Just last month, Walmart gave us three LEGO Marvel “Mech Armor” sets in an affordable 3-in-1 Pack (66671). The arctic base LEGO City sets from a few years ago also got bundled courtesy of LEGO.com UK in 2018. It’s their corner of the LEGO online store that brings us this new collection of sets from LEGO Disney.
Brick Fanatics tells us that LEGO.com for UK now lists a Disney Princess Ultimate Celebration Bundle (5007204). Sounds cool for a Disney fan, huh? Then again, the bundle consists of just one LEGO Disney Princess set. The other sets are from the LEGO DOTS theme, plus two Disney key-chains and two early 2021 VIP rewards. Consider this list of contents:
All these could be had from LEGO UK at £74.99/€84.99. Adding the individual prices of the above gives us the total £92.93/€103.93, so the bundle price is a good deal. The LEGO Disney Princess Ultimate Celebration Bundle (5007204) is available now, ahead of Black Friday. If you’re in the UK and fancy these items then it’s best to get the bundle now. Getting two VIP rewards is a nice bonus.
Our most recent LEGO Ideas updates consisted of official set releases or current developments in their various contests. It’s been over a week since the last product idea to reach the magic 10,000 supporters for review. At last however, a new submission successfully got into the Third 2021 Review Stage. Theme-wise, the new entry significantly ups the brick-building representation for this batch. This submission by xXgGhostXx is also Third 2021’s second “castle” submission. If BrickGallery’s Hyrule Castle is heavy on the licensed IP, then “Castle Outpost” is wonderfully generic. You could almost see this as a classic LEGO theme throwback.
As xXgGhostXx explains in is product idea description, “Castle Outpost” is a revamp of an earlier idea of his. The original design actually still figures in the image gallery (second in the series). The changes he mentioned are evident, from the rear-left round tower to the shape of the towers’ battlements. xXgGhostXx also notes some stability improvements, though as the set images are renders we have to take his word.
The structure features a central well and stable. The towers also have interiors, serving as dungeon, armory, kitchen, and garrison. Functional rotating catapults and nine knight minifigures complete the ensemble.
Castle Outpost can be compared to the Creator 3-in-1 Medieval Castle (31120), but also does its own thing. The sheer nostalgia factor of the design, with modern functional play elements, gives this product idea a solid chance. xXgGhostXx’s work deserves its spot on the Ideas Third 2021 Review Stage. It’ll be taking on comers like Hyrule Castle, The Dojo, Steampunk Explorers and Ichiraku Ramen. Let the better-received build win.
Last Saturday and Sunday the LEGO VIP Weekend gave way some sweet promotional items (GWP or VIP point redemption). One item, Santa’s Front Yard (40484), will return for Black Friday through Cyber Monday. The rest did not…or at least so we thought. One item from that VIP Weekend wasn’t even a LEGO-brick set at all. It was a nifty tin plate, artificially aged, and sporting an old LEGO logo. The LEGO Retro Tin (5007016) required an above-average minimum purchase threshold to be acquired as GWP. Apparently enough people liked it, or there are still leftovers, that LEGO extended its promo.
As Brick Fanatics tells us, redemption of the LEGO Retro Tin (5007016) went beyond the VIP Weekend window. As of this writing VIP collectors can still claim it for a minimum LEGO purchase of over $250. The extended promo will last until this Thursday, November 25. Yes, it’ll end before Black Friday. But the operative word might be “probably,” especially if not enough people are getting the item to clear supplies. Still, there are enough big-priced LEGO sets to get right now to reach $250. Let’s find out if LEGO decides to extend this GWP redemption anew later this week.
In case the excitement of the LEGO VIP weekend this past weekend made you forget: that was only the appetizer. The real highlight of November for shoppers is Black Friday/Cyber Monday. For the year 2021 that runs from November 26 to 29. LEGO’s November 20-21 VIP weekend had some special offers recurring for Black Friday. And of course, let’s not forget the LEGO Star Wars UCS AT-AT (75313) launching that day. We’ll also get new treats, some of which go active only on Cyber Monday. The Brick Fan got the scoop on a Cyber Monday VIP gift. LEGO Shop tells us the rest of it.
About that LEGO VIP item, it was spotted by The Brick Fan first on LEGO Shop Australia. They also posted the Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotions, seconded later by the rest of LEGO.com worldwide. What are we expecting this weekend? These:
- LEGO Star Wars Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber (40483) – GWP with the UCS AT-AT (75313), a Black Friday launch
- Seasonal set Santa’s Front Yard (40484) – GWP with LEGO purchases over $170
- Seasonal Holiday Tree – in-store GWP with LEGO purchases over $40
And here we have the LEGO VIP exclusive offers:
- Rewards Sale – vouchers and discounted VIP rewards starting Black Friday
- VIP Sweepstakes – VIP members can join, no purchases needed; chance to win 1 million VIP points!
Finally, these VIP offers kick in ONLY for Cyber Monday, November 29:
- LEGO Fleece Blanket – GWP with VIP purchases over $200
- $5 discount voucher – get with redemption of 455 VIP points (usual rate at 650 points)
Enjoy your Black Friday/Cyber Monday LEGO shopping! This too is but a prelude for the hectic Holiday rush, after all.
“We’ve sighted Imperial walkers.” So went the dreaded line in the Rebel Alliance’s Echo Base, planet Hoth, during “The Empire Strikes Back.” LEGO-wise, we’ve been sighting said four-legged AT-AT walker in (its latest) brick-built form all month. That was since November 5 when LEGO revealed their impressive Ultimate Collector’s edition of the Imperial AT-AT (75313). The set counts as one of the highlights for LEGO’s Black Friday 2021 event frenzy. It launches November 26 after all. LEGO Star Wars UCS collectors have marked this as a priority acquisition. In the UK, a LEGO branded store is already making necessary preparations.
According to Brickset, the UK flagship LEGO Store in Leicester Square, London is opening very early Friday night. How early? Try midnight on the dot of the 26th of November. Like a midnight book launch, this is to enable Londoners to get their UCS AT-AT (75313) real early. One would expect stocks of the set to run out quickly when the sun rises. As for the midnight sale, it will only run from 12AM to 2AM on Friday. One extra caveat however: would-be early buyers of the UCS AT-AT must first gain a special-access wristband from the Leicester LEGO Store the day before. And they’ll only have 200 to give.
LEGO Store Leicester Square will begin distributing the midnight UCS sale wristbands to customers at 10:30AM, November 25. These early birds will also receive a “special midnight opening gift” alongside their new LEGO UCS set (75313). Hopefully that wasn’t just a fanciful way of referring to Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber (40483). This is already expected as a LEGO Star Wars GWP.
Quite a lot of recently-released LEGO sets could be considered newsmakers, each and every one. But the set that really holds that distinction would have to be the LEGO Titanic (10294). A scale model of one largest early-20th Century ocean liner still translates into one of the biggest LEGO sets. Such is the size of this brick-built Titanic that it could be divided into sections to show off the interior. The insides feature moving parts, from the steam engines to the outside propellers they drive. At first glance the 10294 interior looks too cramped to insert motor functions. But a Reddit user refutes that perception.
Featured on r/lego over in Reddit, user bertr0id showcased a video of his motorization of the LEGO Titanic (10294). Looking at the model’s insides, with the ultra-micro-scale inner decks, it doesn’t seem feasible to put a motor in. One might have to remove some of the 9,090 set pieces to make room. Somehow bertr0id found a way, leaving only the motor battery outside with wires leading in. The motorization makes the steam pistons pump and the rear screw-props spin. However the first setup had the screws rotating in the same direction (they don’t in actual ships). The second attempt, uploaded over the weekend, corrects this.
The LEGO Titanic set (10294) has been a mind-blowingly beautiful and expensive new addition to collector’s wish-lists. The tiny details and the engine-propeller articulation gained much praise from builders. It may never have been meant to be motorized, but the efforts of bertr0id deserve recognition. Interestingly, his Reddit post got removed by moderators. You can still check it there.
ADDENDUM: Thanks to the creator himself, Bert “bertr0id” de Jong, for stating the correct action of the Titanic screw propellers.
The key concept of LEGO has always been that, with any given number of bricks, one can build anything. True, most packaged LEGO sets are to build a specific building/vehicle/etc. They even have instruction manuals so that builders can assemble the pieces exactly as pictured. But ultimately, building with LEGO bricks can be one of the best outlets for creative freedom. LEGO Japan two Saturdays ago demonstrated that fact in partnership with Amazon Japan. The results of that promotional activity on social media would grab attention and ignite builder creativity.
Brick Fanatics brings us this interesting social media activity made possible by the Japanese divisions of LEGO and Amazon. The challenge: How would you combine two different LEGO set builds into a unified creation? LEGO JP’s original Twitter post (November 13, 2021) even provides an example.
The “Before” photo showcases the completed LEGO Technic Off-Road Buggy (42124) and LEGO Monkie Kid Lion Guardian (80021). The “After” photo reveals the Buggy revamped to have the Lion Guardian as a motif. LEGO Japan invites viewers to visit Amazon JP’s page, and post their own two-set fusions in the comments. Let’s go over to Amazon’s Japanese page now.
In the page, we see two LEGO Friends sets, Friendship Bus (41395) and Heartlake City Organic Café (41444). They get fused into a curious double-decker food truck.
Two Ninjago sets – Jungle Dragon (71746) and Zane’s Titan Mech (71738) – fuse into a dragon robot. It looks similar to mecha plastic models by Bandai.
The real Japanese essence of this LEGO-Amazon team-up lies in this particular build. LEGO Ideas Tree House (21318) plus Botanical Collection Bonsai Tree (10281) equals Sakura Tree House. The featured LEGO sets are mostly available on Amazon.jp, or you can just go LEGO.com. They’re very inspiring fusions, right?
Almost two months will have passed since the release of the LEGO Ideas Fender Stratocaster (21329). This set, which builds the iconic electric guitar (in two color options) plus Princeton amp, is undoubtedly a hot seller. To make things easy for collectors, LEGO Ideas launched a contest early in October. Ten lucky participating Ideas members could snag the Stratocaster set (21329). The grand winner will additionally receive not just the Ideas Grand Piano (21323) but a genuine Fender Player Stratocaster. The entry phase ended November 4. Following expert review, LEGO Ideas have put the best submissions to the Crowd Vote.
To emphasize the musical nature of this contest’s prize, LEGO Ideas selected 40 entries during their expert review. It’s a Top 40 countdown, get it? The fan vote started last Friday, November 19, and will continue until this Friday, the 26th. Take a look-see now at these lucky review passers. They’re all brick-built diorama homages to the Stratocaster and its place in rock music history. No coincidence that the 40 entries contain a lot of Jimi Hendrix. You can also spot some Beatles and Buddy Holly, or even Green Day if you want something “recent.”
Of the Top 40 submissions to this LEGO Ideas contest, ten will get the Ideas Stratocaster (21329). Nine of these will be runners-up, with the last claiming a real Stratocaster guitar (#0144502513) on top of things. If you’re a member on LEGO Ideas, why not cast your vote? The winners will be announced December 2.
As 2021 nears its end, space flight fans await February 2022 and the first (unmanned) launch of the Artemis program. This unmanned mission will send an Orion spacecraft on a trip around the moon. The journey will test these all-new space delivery systems in anticipation of carrying a manned crew. But “unmanned” doesn’t mean “unoccupied.” The Orion capsule will carry humanoid test dummies to simulate flight conditions and test for radiation. Extra “passengers” include astronaut minifigures from LEGO, a partner with NASA for promoting the Artemis program. Initial reports noted two minifigs for the mission. Apparently the number’s actually double.
Brick Fanatics reports that there will be four LEGO minifigures going up with the Orion spacecraft on Artemis 1. We already know two of them: animated characters who star in LEGO Education’s “Build to Launch” STEAM exploration series. Their names, if you recall, are Kate and Kyle. Now apparently, they will be joined by two astronaut minifigs from the main LEGO City theme. The names of the new additions: Julia and Sebastian. The quartet gets to follow in the space-flight footsteps of three aluminum-built minifigures aboard the Juno space probe. They reached their destination, the planet Jupiter, back in 2016.
LEGO looks to be harnessing their NASA partnership to synergize their upcoming space-flight LEGO City sets. We already covered the rumored Rocket Launch Pad (60351?) supposed to launch (product-wise) on March 2022. We have to wonder if Artemis 1 “astronauts” Sebastian and Julia are part of that set’s minifigure crew.