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Lego Big Ben Officially Announced!

Big Ben Front

Lego Tower Bridge (10214) was the set that almost put me off Lego completely. Thousands of similar pieces in unnumbered bags that required sorting into more than 50 plastic tubs and still took hours and hours to build.

Despite that, I am very excited about the official announcement today of Lego Big Ben. I’ve mentioned before how I think the bigger Lego sets are the better, and this certainly fits the bill with 4,163 pieces. And even better – it’s only £169.99 and out on July 1st. That’s the same price as the Minecraft set I posted about yesterday, except this is more than double the size. That’s the difference when it’s not a licensed set.

This set was rumoured earlier in the year, and it’s nice to see they’ve really done it justice. You could quibble and say that they should have included more of the Houses of Parliament, but I think you’d have been looking at an 8,000 piece set at that point. They’ve done well to include a good section of the rest of the building, while still making the Elizabeth Tower the centre piece. And at 60cm high, it’s a big un.

Lego Big Ben Box

Here’s the relevant quotes straight from the Lego press release…

It features a detailed facade with statues, shields and windows, and a clock tower with 4 adjustable clock dials and a removable roof allowing access to the belfry, plus buildable exterior elements including a sidewalk, lawn and a tree depicting the building’s location. This model makes a great display piece for the home or office.

  • Big Ben features a detailed section of the Westminster Palace and the adjoining Elizabeth Tower, 4 detailed clock dials with movable hour and minutes hands, and a sidewalk, tree and grass area depicting the building’s location.
  • Remove the top of the tower to access the Big Ben bell.
  • Put your LEGO building skills to the test!
  • Special elements include 4 printed clock faces.
  • Rare elements include ski poles, flowers and corner plates in molded gold color, and tinted-translucent elements.
  • This set includes over 4,000 LEGO pieces.
  • This set offers an age-appropriate building experience for ages 16+.
  • Big Ben measures over 23” (60cm) high, 17” (44cm) wide and 7” (20cm) deep.

I can’t wait. Of course I have no idea where I’m going to put it…

21128 Minecraft Village now Available for Lego VIPs

Minecraft 21128 The Village

The 1600 piece, £169.99 RRP Minecraft The Village set is now available for sale to Lego VIPs at the official online Lego shop. I’m torn about this set, because while I think it’s too expensive considering the number of pieces, I’m intrigued by it’s ability to connect with other sets in the Lego Minecraft range to create an even larger land mass.

At the end of the video you can see them combine it with The Desert Outpost (21121), The Jungle Treehouse (21125), The First Night (21115) and The Snow Hideout (21120) and create a massive Minecraft world that you just know kids who are fans of Minecraft would love.

One of the reasons I like the modular range so much is because you can connect them all together, so I’m particularly drawn towards the same thing here. If only they were half the price.

Lego Creator 31048 Lakeside Lodge Review

Lego Lakeside Lodge Front

I’ll admit it, I have a soft spot for Lego buildings. My favourite sets are probably the modular range, and I always wish they made them larger and more elaborate.

Lakeside Lodge is of course the complete opposite of that, it’s a 368 piece set that has an RRP of only £19.99, but which Amazon are currently selling for £15.99. At the official price, that’s just 5.4p per piece, and at the Amazon price that’s close to 4.3p. Considering that some of the Star Wars sets are more like 10-15p, and even sometimes close to 20p, this is not only a great value build, but a good way to get some cheap pieces for your own builds in the future.

The model includes the house, a single male minifigure with blue top and beige legs, and a moose. Yes. You read that correctly. A moose. It’s also a 3-in-1 Creator set, which means there instructions for three variations of the house, the one in the box and another two available from the Lego website. I only built the main model, so I can’t talk much about the others, but the build process was very straightforward. It’s aged for 7-12, but a competent builder of younger than that could probably manage without too much difficulty. Since this is a house, you’re literally using these as bricks, so they go together very quickly and easily.

It’s a very similar set to the 31025 Mountain Hut that came out a couple of years ago, and both of them were definitely cut from the same cloth. They each have the same colour palette, and they also both open up on a hinge so you can see the detail inside.

Lego Lakeside Lodge Open

I have that other set too, and I’m interested in the possibilities in combining the two of them together on a larger baseplate, extending the water, and putting a forest or flower field between the two of them. A mountain range at one side and the sea at the other. The upcoming 31051 Lighthouse Point could be a further extension of that.

This kind of set is easily overlooked in a sea of Star Wars and Super Hero releases, but the value proposition is just so much better here I can’t help but recommend it. The play proposition is definitely there too, especially if you’ve got a few other minifigs, with plenty of opportunity to combine it with other sets like the 4×4 with Powerboat we reviewed, or any camping or outdoor related sets and turn it into a real holiday cabin near the lake.

Yes I like Lego buildings, and this one is no different. Now can we have some larger and more elaborate ones please?

Giant Lego Imperial Star Destroyer

Lego Imperial Star Destroyer

I saw this a couple of weeks ago but for some reason I never got around to posting it. This is the most ridiculous Star Wars build you’ll ever see, an absolutely gigantic Imperial Star Destroyer built by doomhandle.

Imperial Star Destroyer Front

Everything about this is amazing. The size and scale of the entire build requires that you take a look through all the photos just to get a sense of it. And just when you think it can’t get any better, you find that it’s built in a modular fashion, and you can take panels off to reveal the fully detailed interior…

imperial Star Destroyer Interior

This is the kind of build that any Lego fan should aspire to creating.

Disney Infinity Discontinued… more brands for Lego Dimensions?

Disney Infinity

Disney have announced that they will be no longer producing any games in their “toys to life” Infinity series. They had already announced there would be no new game this year, just a large expansion pack, but it is a bit of a surprise that they’ve decided to completely exit the market. You can’t go into any toy shop and not see the large selection of Infinity figures on offer, and my understanding was that they were selling well.

How is this related to Lego?

Well Lego Dimensions is obviously a newcomer into this arena, and is a combination of all the different brands that Lego have the licensing for – except for Star Wars and Marvel, because Disney was using them for the Infinity series. Hopefully this means that Lego will now get these licenses and later on this year we’ll be seeing Star Wars and Marvel level packs and figures. It’s certainly a hole in the current Dimensions line-up considering how popular those Lego brands are.

This is decision was no doubt made within Disney a while ago, and these toys to life games tend to have yearly releases shortly before Christmas. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it announced by Lego later this year (perhaps at E3?) that they were expanding it with those characters.

At which point the amount of commercial licensing clout in that game will be quite something. And Lego understood at the start what Disney Infinity never did, these games need to be about story, and they need to let you put all of these brands together however you want.

Lego City 60085 4×4 with Powerboat Review

Lego 60085 4x4 with Powerboat Review

I have a soft spot for Lego City vehicles, because I think they’re a great way for younger kids to get started with Lego. They’re often quite cheap (this one is £24.99, but you can easily get it for less than £17) and they never have too many pieces for small hands to put together (this one has 301).

The 4×4 with Powerboat is the latest in a long line of vehicle/boat combinations in the Lego City range, and this one comes in a very natty orange and black colour scheme. There are three separate models, and three instruction booklets. First you build the 4×4, which has some really nice chunky wheels, then the trailer, and finally the powerboat itself. There are also two minifigs, male and female, one of them to drive the car and one of them to pilot the boat.

None of these are particularly complicated builds, there’s not enough pieces involved for them to be. The car isn’t a whole lot different from any other recent Lego City car, but it rolls well and has room for a minifig inside. The powerboat also has room for a minifig inside, and is largely made up of a single piece orange hull, onto which you stick various other pieces to add some detail on the top. I know that the aim here is that it can actually float, but it does seem a bit of a cheat when a Lego piece is literally the shape of a boat.

Everything is covered in stickers of various shapes and sizes, including details on the roof of the car, on the sides of the trailer and all over the boat. I don’t think these stickers look like they’re going to be waterproof, so if you do take Lego at their word and play with the powerboat in the bath or sink, you may find it’s not long before you’re covered in the shredded remains of a number 21.

But let’s not be too harsh. This is a cheap toy designed for kids, and Noah is going to have great fun playing with this for a while before it gets recycled for parts. It’s unlikely to be the kind of set an AFOL is going to put on show, and it’s not designed as such.

It’s easy to scoff and say that Lego could do something more interesting than the endless array of boats and cars, but I have no problem with them. Boats and cars are the staple diet of Lego lovers of all ages, and this one can be loved by your kids just the same.

Lego Cover for Apple Laptops


As an Apple laptop user and a Lego fan, the Brik Book is the perfect laptop case. It clips (no glue) on to the back of either a Retina Macbook Pro or Macbook Air and gives you a standard Lego studded surface that you can then build on. The cover is $49.99 and does ship to the UK for about $20, so you’re looking at less than £50 if you want one.

As well as selling the cover, they also sell ready made designs and packs of 100 single stud bricks in various colours so you can make your own.

Very cool.

UCS Assault on Hoth Hatred

Lego Assault on Hoth

The Assault on Hoth (75098) is one of the most hated sets in a long time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many scathing reviews of what should have been another flagship set in the Lego Star Wars Ultimate Collectors Series.

At £219.99 and just 2144 pieces, this is an incredibly expensive set at more than 10p per piece. And what you get for that is what looks like a random collection of Hoth related elements, without an AT-AT, or any Imperial forces that would make it possible to use this as a playset and make it more recognisable as the battle from the movie.

Jangbricks have done a video detailing the set, including the reasons why it’s been the subject of such disdain…

Lego Ideas First Review of 2016 – The 9 Qualifiers


The Lego Ideas blog has announced that 9 submissions have qualified for the first review of 2016. These are the models that were submitted to the Lego Ideas website in the hope that they would be turned into actual sets, and which received 10,000 votes between January and May. Which of these should Lego release?

The models are Particle Accelerator (meh)…

Jurassic Park Visitor Center (not bad)…

Jurassic Park Visitor Center

Jedi High Council Chamber (meh)…

Jedi Council Chamber

Fossil Museum (meh)…

Lego Fossil Museum

Rolling BB-8 (cool just because it rolls)…

Lego Rolling BB-8

Gingerbread House (would be cool at Christmas)…

Lego Gingerbread House

Old Fishing Store (love this)…

Lego Old Fishing Store

Modular Train Station (my love of modulars means I want this too)…

Lego Modular Train Station

Johnny Five (playing to my nostalgia, but I’ll bite)…

Lego Johnny Five

They also announced that the results of the third review of 2015 should be coming out soon. The one I hope they make out of those submissions (although I doubt they will) is the Victorian London Christmas

Lego Victorian London Christmas

Lego Disney Minifigures are Here

Lego Disney Minifigures

The latest series of Lego Minifigures is here, and this time around they’re all Disney themed. Released on May 1st, there are 18 to collect and each one retails for £2.50. They’re blind bags, which means you have no idea which one you’re getting until you open the bag – unless you can work it out from standing in the shop and giving them a good feel.

The 18 figures are…

  • Mickey Mouse
  • Minnie Mouse
  • Donald Duck
  • Daisy Duck
  • Alice and the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland
  • Peter Pan
  • Captain Hook
  • Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty
  • Ariel and Ursula from The Little Mermaid
  • The Genie and Aladdin
  •  Stitch
  • Mr Incredible and Syndrome
  • Buzz Lightyear and Alien

We managed to get a hold of 5 bags a day early, and did a video of us opening them up and discovering what we got.

The Mickey Mouse figure was disappointing because he seems lacking in an detail at all, having a completely bare chest, but the rest of them were nice. We were unlucky to get two Alice’s, but that is the first time I’ve seen a skirt on a minifigure before (I’m sure it’s not, but they’re obviously rare enough that I’ve not had one).

Not sure we would attempt to collect the full set. At £2.50 each, you could buy 18 of them at £44 only to find you had a whole bunch of doublers and have to go back and buy more. But I have no doubt these will fly off the shelves.