Fiffh LEGO Ideas 10K Passer for First 2019 Review Stage: Endangered New Zealand Kakapo by FlancrestEnterprises

The First 2019 Review Stage of LEGO Ideas is shaping to be a primarily building-based batch of submissions. Of the four 10-K product ideas awaiting review, three are structures (a historical building, a TV show interior set, and a classic-theme throwback). Only a quirky anatomical model’s the odd bird out.

Speaking of birds, what a coincidence! FlancrestEnterprises on LEGO Ideas has succeeded in getting a product idea up to 10,000 supporters. Said submission is a brick-built model of a very fascinating New Zealand bird. FlancrestEnterprises hopes it can increase awareness of the plight of this rare and critically endangered species.

The Kakapo or owl parrot is a flightless nocturnal parrot, endemic to New Zealand. It’s said to be one of the bird species with the longest potential lifespan. That hasn’t helped the Kakapo population, which is now numbered at less than 150, all named by observers and under close watch.

FlancrestEnterprises designed a brick-built Kakapo, with about 437 LEGO pieces of the birds’ green and brown plumage. Points of articulation include wings and tail feathers, and its printed-tile eyes were repurposed from BrickHeadz sets. Here’s a comparison of the Ideas Kakapo and the real thing.

This set does double-duty as a LEGO display piece (in lieu of creepy stuffed birds) and as an ad campaign for New Zealand’s conservation efforts to keep the Kakapos thriving. Perhaps that will give this work by FlancrestEnterprises some oomph with the reviewers, similar to the feelings of sympathy elicited by the Museu Nacional set, in honor the of the real one which burned down.

“LEGO Hidden Side” Game App and Tie-In Sets Guaranteed to Continue Until Next Year at Least

Before and during the 2019 New York Toy Fair last month, LEGO previewed a new mobile game app that boasts interaction via augmented reality with a new line of sets coming out this year. This is “LEGO Hidden Side,” a fun if horror-themed AR game experience for gadget-using LEGO fans.

LEGO has announced that “Hidden Side,” both in terms of app and tie-in sets, will not arrive until the middle of the year. But the game’s Senior Product Lead Murray Andrews, in interview with Brick Fanatics, reveals that aside from the first batch of Hidden Side tie-ins, more sets are already planned for next year.

“The range is launching in August but we already have plans to release new sets next year,” says Andrews. He adds naturally that nothing can be revealed yet, but promises that more info on the sets, game app and in-universe history of “LEGO Hidden Side” will be shared in time.

Game-related LEGO products have been attempted before. One might recall the console title “LEGO Dimensions” from WB Interactive and Traveller’s Tales. Launched in 2015, it ran alongside regular releases of “packs” with special LEGO minifigures and props, until the product line was cancelled in 2017.

“LEGO Hidden Side” follows two friends (controlled by players) who transfer to a school that transforms into a haunted nightmare town at night. Using a strange phone app, they must contain the ghosts that show up in-game and change the spooky buildings back into their regular forms; the tie-in LEGO Hidden Side sets do transform between mundane and haunted looks.

Murray Andrews assures LEGO fans that the “Hidden Side” game app will also be regularly updated to add more gameplay features and activities, even as more tie-in sets are released. We can see this for ourselves when LEGO Hidden Side arrives later on August 1.

Problems with Misalinged Coloring of Printed Pieces in some LEGO Creator Expert Ford Mustang (10265) Sets

When the LEGO Creator Expert Ford Mustang (10265) came out on March 1, it was positively received by car enthusiasts and collectors. Anyone who did as little as look at the set’s preview images, would agree that it’s a sweet brick-built model. But days after release, some clouds have appeared in the LEG Mustang’s horizon.

Our fellow LEGO news source from Germany, Promo Bricks, has noticed that the LEGO Creator Expert Ford Mustang (10265) they got for review have noticed some inconsistency in the pieces with color prints. For one, the white stripes on the sides of the car aren’t in a straight line from brick to brick (as seen above). The same goes for the hood’s blue central stripe.

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Promo Bricks contacted LEGO customer service in Denmark itself regarding the badly-aligned printed pieces. Their response wasn’t very encouraging; they say the misaligned stripes across the consecutive bricks in the assembly were not actually misprinted.

LEGO Customer Service has however presented the problem to their Quality Department according to their reply to Promo Bricks. No actual solution has been given yet, though they have proposed a possible reprint of pieces with straight stripes and even stickers to cover the earlier bad coloring job. The company has promised to publicly announce an update to the situation on their website, but nobody knows how long to wait.

Many of the commentators at Promo Bricks have expressed some frustration at their printed set pieces for the Creator Expert Ford Mustang (10265) too. For now the only “solution” they have was swapping and rotating parts to achieve the greatest level of alignment they could. Hopefully an official answer to this problem will come soon.

Creators of “LEGO Star Wars: Freemaker Adventures” and “LEGO Star Wars All-Stars” Appearing in Panel at Star Wars Celebration Chicago

A month from now, a major fan event for the epic space opera franchise “Star Wars” will happen in Chicago. Fans are looking forward to “Star Wars Celebration” because a major Lucasfilm panel there might possibly finally reveal the subtitle for this December’s “Episode IX.” A teaser’s also a possibility.

On a less epic but still-related scale, there’s also going to be a panel featuring the creative teams behind the animated “LEGO Star Wars” productions: “LEGO Stars Wars All-Stars” and “The Freemaker Adventures.” This is also significant since this is the 20th Star Wars Celebration event, synching with the 20th Anniversary launch of LEGO Star Wars line which came out in the same year as “Episode I – The Phantom Menace.”

Bill Motz and Bob Roth, the executive producers behind the two animated LEGO Star Wars series above, will lead the panel for the same at University Stage during Star Wars Celebration. Also joining them at the table will be LEGO producer Jason Cosler and Lucasfilm Senior Creative Executive Leland Chee.

The LEGO Star Wars animation panel is described by host Steve Dunk (from TheForce.net) as going to be “a fun-filled look back at what made [‘Freemaker Adventures’ and ‘All-Stars’] so special and why fans of all-ages love LEGO Star Wars.”

Star Wars Celebration Chicago will take place from April 11 to 15. The LEGO Star Wars animation panel is on Saturday, April 13 at 11:45 AM local time. “The Freemaker Adventures” and “LEGO Star Wars All-Stars” aired on Disney XD.

Teaser for LEGO Ideas Steamboat Willie (21317) Released Less than a Month after Passing Review

It can be amazing how fast LEGO can work sometimes to take a LEGO Ideas review passer and turn it into an official set. Last month, the winners of the Ideas Second 2018 Review Stage were announced. Close to a month later, LEGO is already teasing one of those sets.

Then again, it’s understandable since despite being a fan-submitted product idea, the set’s also a major franchise licensed to LEGO. LEGO Ideas Steamboat Willie (21317), based on the design by Máté Szabó/szabomate90, was teased in a sweet Twitter animation short.

Said video depicts a LEGO tile mosaic being put together, grey and black on a white background. Then the whole thing gets animated into a familiar page-flipping motion, showing Mickey Mouse at the wheel of the titular Steamboat Willie. Disney movie viewers might recognize this as the current logo art for Walt Disney Animation Studios. Then the animated Mickey drawing fades into a minifigure version, still in black and white.

Choosing the classic 1928 Disney animated short “Steamboat Willie” to make an Ideas set out of was natural for Máté Szabó, who works as an animator. While technically not the first animation to feature Mickey Mouse, it’s the first that he showed up in with synchronized sound. In keeping with the aesthetics, the Steamboat Willie product idea was in black, white and gray LEGO pieces. LEGO would probably follow suit.

The other winner of the Second 2018 Review Stage alongside Steamboat Willie (21317) is the Central Perk Café from “Friends,” which has no teaser yet. Similarly, of the two First 2018 Review Stage winners, only “The Flintstones” (21316) has been revealed, not the Tree House.

LEGO Event “Brickish Weekend” at UK’s National Space Centre in Leicester this Saturday

While a member of the European Space Agency (ESA), the UK has a national space agency all their own: the executive-level UK Space Agency (UKSA). In addition, there’s an educational resource museum in Leicester, the National Space Centre that exhibits a number of historical spacecraft plus related technologies and facilities.

The NSC also has a partnership with the UK-based LEGO-building AFOL community the Brickish Association. For nine year past they have hosted an annual event called the Brickish Weekend, where they fill the National Space Centre with a colorful exhibition of awesome tabletop builds of various subjects and tile-mosaic art.

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For this year, the tenth Brickish Weekend event at the NSC will take place right at this weekend, from March 16 to 17. Once more the Brickish Association builders will put their best foot forward with their anticipated LEGO exhibits.

Their displays will include a dedicated gallery featuring official and MOC space-related LEGO sets and builds, fitting for the venue. Whether based on real spacecraft or the fancies of the imagination, these exhibits will form the central core of the event, which will also feature official and custom creations of every other LEGO theme available.

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Brickish Weekend will offer guest activities too. Visitors will be able to play with LEGO bricks at provided building tables. A LEGO mosaic will also get guests to contribute tiles to complete the giant image.

This annual tradition at the National Space Centre in Leicester will definitely enhance the space history experience that the museum is already famous for. Tickets for Brickish Weekend can be booked at the official website.

Nifty MOC Featured on Reddit: Nintendo Switch-Shaped Game Card Storage Case

LEGO and the Nintendo Switch might be one of the best “unexpected” cross-brand interactions ever. Last year we ran a feature on how LEGO pieces (traditional bricks and Technic components) can be used as sturdy alternatives for the cardboard building material used in the Switch’s innovative “Labo” gaming-construction toy platform.

This new MOC we’ve found may not be not have as “active” a role as the LEGO-brick Labo components before, but it certainly looks snazzy. Redditor Squid50s posted on the Nintendo Switch subreddit his LEGO creation: a carrying case for Switch game cards, shaped like the Switch unit with Joy-Cons.

Squid50s apparently got his flash of inspiration for this MOC when he realized that Switch game cards are just under the size of a 3×2 LEGO brick. Working off on that, he designed a container part with four game card-sized compartments using some very uncommon flat and bracket-shaped LEGO elements.

The container is secured by a swinging LEGO-built lead that’s secured by a single peg at the bottom. Constructs of the red and blue Joy-Cons on either side, with black circle pieces, complete its image of a LEGO Nintendo Switch replica. Even the green interior of the storage space was a copy of a real Switch unit’s internal circuit board.

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On a follow-up Reddit post, Squid50s also revealed that he only managed to complete his project thanks to LEGO itself. He needed some blue 3×3 corner plate pieces and inquired with LEGO online to buy some. The company revealed that the pieces were discontinued, but they were willing to send his needed bricks for free.

Comments on Reddit are concerned that a LEGO-built Switch game card case isn’t made for longtime carrying around, but will at least look nice to keep within reach of one’s Nintendo Switch unit.

The limited capacity comes from the fact that Switch games are available either on hardcopy or digital form, so this is for gamers who prefer their game titles in a tangible format. Those interested in recreating Squid50s’ MOC can look for the LEGO-piece list and possible instructions on the Reddit post’s comments.

Anniversary Dance Party with New Minfiigure Mascots for 20 Years of LEGOLAND California

Before going into a period of accelerated expansion in the current millennium, the LEGOLAND theme parks were a rare sight. While the original resort in Billund, Denmark was opened in 1968, it wasn’t until the nineties that more were built. LEGOLAND California in 1999 was the third, and the first in the US, outside Europe.

Next week, LEGOLAND California Resort will be two decades old. While special treats have already been announced, like free admission to children aged 3-12 on their 2019 birthdays, the Merlin Entertainments-run theme park has only just begun. More attractions for the anniversary are still coming.

For example, starting this weekend on March 16 until September 1, there’s going to be a special dance party attraction in LEGOLAND California. Even better, it’s going to be headlined by two new minifigure character mascots for the resort. They’re a pair of everyday minifigure teens named Jake and Emily.

Jake and Emily are, as stated, young LEGO minifig characters wearing “I *L-brick representing a heart* LEGOLAND” shirts. Their names are taken from a survey of the most popular children’s names in the US from 1999, when LEGOLAND California opened.

The 20th Anniversary Dance Party will see Jake and Emily leading a troupe of dancers in a medley of musical numbers, complete with bubble showers and a 7-foot tall anniversary cake made out of LEGOs. Oh, and on March 20 (opening anniversary date), the first 1,000 children to visit there will receive a set of minifigure costume hands absolutely free.

For other events being added to LEGOLAND California, there will be a new “LEGO Friends: Better Tomorrow” show as well as another movie for the 4D cinema, “LEGO City 4D – Officer in Pursuit.” For more details on all these, visit LEGOLAND California Resort’s official website.

“LEGO Marvel Collection” Videogame Compilation Released in the US

Over the past months, LEGO and its game software partners at WB Interactive and Traveller’s Tales have been inviting their fans to take a walk down memory lane. This is through their recent release of a past videogame compilation like “The LEGO Harry Potter Collection.”

These compilation titles not only bring back games with re-mastered graphics like the above, but also includes all DLC ever created for them in one fell swoop. WBI-TT is set to do that again with another LEGO franchise license: Marvel. Announced last month, “The LEGO Marvel Collection” has arrived on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

“The LEGO Marvel Collection” consists of 2013’s “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes,” 2016’s “LEGO Marvel Avengers” and 2017’s “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2.” All games have thematic synergy with the Marvel Cinematic Universe films in terms of minifigure appearance, while the first “LMSH” title is the only one featuring the X-Men and all their related characters.

And as stated already, this big 3-game bundle will also come with all the DLC packs WB Interactive and Traveller’s Tales cooked up for them, adding stuff from then-recent MCU premieres like “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Black Panther.” The “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes” games, distinct from “LEGO Marvel Avengers,” are direct story sequels to one another with a storyline crafted by Marvel Comics writer Kurt Busiek.

Lastly, GameStop has its own special LEGO promo going on for the release of “The LEGO Marvel Collection.” All purchases with them in-store will receive – until supplies last – one of two LEGO Marvel minifigures: Iron Patriot (30168) or Silver Centurion (5002946). This is a game compilation that’s hard to beat.

With all that said, we’ll leave you with the compilation’s official launch trailer here. Enjoy!

Australia Getting New LEGO Store Certified in Sydney

With LEGO such a big toy brand the company has been able to flex its corporate muscle by not solely relying on toy retailers to move their products. At present they have over a hundred LEGO Stores around the world, reaching every major regional market.

In Australia, there are already two LEGO Certified Stores open to serve fans of the brand in that country. Both are in major cities: Brisbane the capital of Queensland state and Melbourne the capital of Victoria. The latter is even part of a LEGOLAND Discovery Center, a mini-LEGOLAND theme park.

This month a new addition to LEGO’s retail footprint will open in New South Wales’ capital, Sydney. The upcoming LEGO Certified Store will occupy two floors of space at the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping center.

It will be launched on March 21 by Alceon Group, the shareholding firm that has been awarded by The LEGO Group the rights to operate LEGO Certified Stores not only in Australia but New Zealand too. Unlike with the majority “branded” LEGO Stores, customers at LEGO Certified Stores can’t avail of the global LEGO VIP program. Fortunately, its LEGO product offerings are of the full range plus applicable exclusive items.

Features of this Sydney LEGO Store, which will be 302 square meters in total area, include the signature “Pick a Brick” building wall and a possible LEGO Minifigure Factory unit. Decorating the store are the expected brick-built models of local landmarks, so shoppers can expect the Sydney Opera House and nearby Harbour Bridge beautifully replicated.

The Alceon group adds that their store will also have an activity area that can be booked for children’s parties, plus a service to personally engrave LEGO bricks for identification. Sydney LEGO fans can rest assured that the Westfield Bondi Junction’s LEGO Certified Store will be all that is awesome when it opens March 21.