Thursday, December 23, 2010

LifeLites Tricked Out Sleigh Contest

 Santa needs your help! It seems his sleigh is in the shop just in time for Christmas and he needs you to build him one pronto! So, build your best, wackiest, most tricked out, sci-fi, or anything else kind of sleigh that you can think of and post it to the LifeLites Tricked Out Sleigh Flickr Group and you might win Santa's approval (and a prize)!
You are allowed to use some non-LEGO parts in your mostly LEGO built sleigh.

Prizes will be given away to the best sleigh for the following categories:
Wackiest - The one that makes Santa laugh the hardest!
Most realistic - Let's face it, Santa's sleigh *IS* real!
Most tricked out - Pimp my sleigh!
Crowd Pleaser - Flickr commenters unite!

Entries must be posted to the Flickr Group by 12-31-2010 11:59PM GST.
You may only enter something that you have built and it must have not been built prior to this contest.
You may enter as many times as you wish.
Sleigh must be minifig scale.

Prizes will be kits from LifeLites with a Christmas twist. Good Luck!
Winners will be picked after the close of the contest and will be notified via Flickr mail.

Good luck!

Note: To enter, you need to load your photo in the LifeLites Tricked Out Sleigh Flickr Group. To do that, you need to join the group here.

Thanks to Rob Hendrix for sponsoring this contest!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

LEGOLAND Florida Hard Hat Tour

Today, LEGOLAND Florida is hosting a hard hat tour right now, and BrickJournal has two reporters, Todd Thuma and Robin Werner, onsite. They will be sending a report in the next day, but in the meantime, here are some photos being sent from the tour so far:

The venue for the beginning presentation in Winter Haven, Florida. The presentation began at 10 am, and set up looked a little like this:

Outside the theater

Inside the theater, with models built from the LEGOLAND California Model Shop.

 LEGOLAND Florida General Manager Adrian Jones presenting.

Admission for the park will be $65 adult/ $55 child

The presentation showed artist's conceptions of the various lands being built at the park:

We'll start at, well, the Beginning:
This is the entrance and will have a shop and restaurant.

The next section is 

Next is



followed by


continuing to



and finally

Those attending got a miniland figure:

 Press release will be at!

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Harry Potter Set Due in 2011!

From Julie Stern of the LEGO Group:

10217 –  Diagon Alley™
Ages 14+.  2,025 pieces.
US $ 149.99 CA $ 199.99 UK £ 132.75  DE  149.99 €
Expand your very own wizarding world of Harry Potter™!
No need to pass through the Leaky Cauldron. Now even Muggles can shop in Diagon Alley by building this fantastically magical set that includes 3 extensively detailed buildings and 11 minifigures! Join Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger as they shop for their Hogwarts school supplies. Visit Ollivanders, Borgin and Burkes, and Gringotts Bank. Each Diagon Alley building is realistically detailed. Ollivanders offers an extensive selection of wands, storage shelves and a step ladder that allows Ollivander to gather wands from the top floor.  The front desk has an “exploding” function for those inconvenient times when a spell goes awry.  Borgin and Burkes includes a scary skeleton, “glow-in-the-dark” elements, a fireplace attached to the Floo Network and a Vanishing Cabinet that Dark wizards might use to sneak into Hogwarts. Gringotts Bank is an impressive two-story building with large double doors, and can be opened completely into one large building or closed to create one smaller building. The bank’s interior features a removable vault, along with the Philosopher’s Stone, a clerk’s desk, a chandelier and ‘wonky’ support pillars.  Includes 11 minifigures: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, each with magic wand; Rubeus Hagrid, equipped with his pink umbrella; Fred and George Weasley; 2 Gringotts goblins; Mr. Ollivander; Lucius Malfoy (with Death Eater disguise); Fenrir Greyback; and 4 new, decorated owls.

·       Includes 11 minifigures: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, each with magic wand; Rubeus Hagrid, equipped with his pink umbrella; Fred and George Weasley; 2 Gringotts goblins; Mr. Ollivander; Lucius Malfoy (with Death Eater disguise); Fenrir Greyback; and 4 new, decorated owls!

·       Diagon Alley is made up of 3 extensively detailed buildings: Ollivanders, Borgin and Burkes and Gringotts Bank!
·       Ollivanders features lots of wands, storage shelves and a step ladder that leads to the top floor!

·       Front desk at Ollivanders has an “exploding” function!
·       Borgin and Burkes includes a skeleton, “glow-in-the-dark” elements, fireplace attached to the Floo Network and even a Vanishing Cabinet!
·       Gringotts Bank is a two-story building featuring large double doors!

·       Open Gringotts Bank completely into one large building and explore inside or close it to create a smaller building!
·       Gringotts Bank features a detailed interior with a removable vault, the Philosopher’s Stone, clerk’s desk, chandelier and ‘wonky’ support pillars!
·       Includes 11 minifigures: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, each with magic wand; Rubeus Hagrid, equipped with his pink umbrella; Fred and George Weasley; 2 Gringotts goblins; Mr. Ollivander; Lucius Malfoy (with Death Eater disguise); Fenrir Greyback; and 4 new, decorated owls!

·       Ollivanders measures 8" (20 cm) high and 5" (13 cm) wide!

·       Borgin and Burkes measures 8" (20 cm) high and 7" (18 cm) wide!

·       Gringotts Bank measures 8" (21 cm) high and 4" (10 cm) wide when closed, 8" high and 9" (23 cm) wide when opened wide!
·       Completed model (depending on how much space is allocated between individual parts) measures 24" (60 cm) long and 12" (30 cm) deep and 8" (21 cm) high!

Available for order directly through LEGO® beginning
January 2011
via or via phone:

US Contact Center                          1-800-453-4652
CA (English) Contact Center         1-800-453-4652
CA (French) Contact Center          1-877-518-5346
European Contact Center 00-800-5346-1111

Friday, August 13, 2010

Celebration V Cube Dudes

DSC01977, originally uploaded by mhuffman.

Angus MacLane's Cube Dudes make another appearance at Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Build London’s famous Tower Bridge!

10214 – Tower Bridge
Ages 16+. 4,287 pieces.
Available in October, 2010

Stretching over the River Thames since 1894, the famous Tower Bridge of London, England is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. Now you can add this timeless classic to your LEGO world buildings collection! Designed with advanced building techniques and rare colors and elements, the Tower Bridge is complete with its iconic paired towers and a drawbridge that really opens. Fun to build and display, it locks together solidly but can be taken apart in sections for easy transport. Includes 4 miniature vehicles; a black London taxi, a traditional red double-decker bus, a yellow truck and a green automobile. Completed model measures 40" (102 cm) long, 17" (45 cm) high and 10" (26 cm) wide.
·         Includes 4 miniature vehicles: a black London taxi, a yellow truck, green automobile and even a traditional red double-decker bus!
·         Features the iconic paired towers and a drawbridge that really opens and closes!
·         Includes unique printed shield!
·         Features hundreds of 1x1 slopes in tan!
·         Many useful arches, angular bricks in tan!
·         Includes 4 blue base plates and over 80 windows!
·         Tower Bridge is ideal for building and display – it can be taken apart in sections for easy transport!
·         Add this amazing landmark to your LEGO world buildings collection!
·         Completed model measures an impressive 40" (102 cm) long, 17" (45 cm) high and 10" (26 cm) wide

Available for order directly through LEGO® beginning
October 2010 via or via phone

VIola and Builder at Brickfair

DSC00067, originally uploaded by jmenomeno.

The viola was built by Cindy English, and this was her first real build. The only non-LEGO elements on the model are the strings.

Monday, July 19, 2010

San Diego Comic Con Exclusive

Sold as a set by lottery. 450 will be available every day. Angus MacLane will also be at the booth to sign at certain hours.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

LEGO Survey...

This is a bit late, but it's been busy at BrickJournal Central...

From Jim Foulds,
Community Operations Manager
Community Dev. Americas & Australia

The LEGO Group Wants to Hear From You!

As Adult or Teenage Fans of LEGO, you bring an important perspective to the LEGO Group. We respect your creativity and passion for the LEGO brand.

Since December 2008, we have done quarterly online surveys to learn more about the needs and wishes of global AFOL (defined as ages 20+) and TFOL (defined as ages 13-19) communities. For your information, we have listed the key findings from the latest survey in April 2010 below. Now we ask you to take the survey again. It include some of the same questions, but also a set of new questions for you.

Please take a few moments to complete this short online survey to let us know your opinion about the LEGO Group.

You might notice that the link refers to the LEGO Kids Inner Circle; this is because Satmetrix, which hosts that site, is also supporting our efforts to track AFOL/TFOL opinions. Rest assured that this survey is for AFOL’s and TFOLs only.

Here are some of the key findings from the first quarter 2010 survey:

· The survey was completed by 3.750 AFOLs and TFOLs. 33% of respondents were TFOLs, 67% was AFOLs. When asked about likeliness to recommend LEGO products and services to friends and family, AFOLs are (consistent with the previous surveys) more likely to recommend than TFOLs.

Several TFOLs this time expressed disappointment with the discontinuation of the Bionicle line. When asked what the LEGO Group can do to improve willingness to recommend, most frequent answers center around request for more complex/modular sets, re-release of classic sets, teen/adult focused section on and better pricing.

· In this survey we asked some questions specifically about online behavior. Interestingly we found that both AFOLs and TFOLs are more creative and conversational than average online population. They are very active on forums, blogs and social network sites, but not using Twitter much. Putting the data into the Forrester Social Technographics Ladder, we got the following results:

o Around 40% of AFOLs/TFOLs fit the categories of Creators and Conversationalists (average for US online population is around 30%). We compare to US online population just because we do not have comparable numbers for e.g. Europe or Asia.

o Around 70% of AFOLs/TFOLs fit the category of “Critics” (average for US online population is less than 40%). Surprising?:-)

Very interesting findings, so we will follow up with some more questions about online behavior in this 2nd quarter survey.

Thank you,
The LEGO Community Team

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Alex Taylor: Crane Builder

Occupying one of tables by the wall at Brickworld was a couple of cranes built by Alex Taylor.

His models are neat because they are functioning cranes, with pulleys and turntables and drives to work them. A couple of years ago, he built a crane with a span of over five feet! This year, though, he decided to be a little more portable.

These are to minifigure scale, and the model above was lit with LEDs from Rob Hendrix (Brickmodder). The dumper works and is kept closed with magnets. A pulley opens up the dumper when needed. The controls can be seen behind the crane...two Power Functions remotes put together.

Alex's next project (he's thinking) will be another crane, but larger. Much larger. A car will easily fit in the dumper of the next one!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Build on the Spot Results

When last we left Brickworld, there was a competition going on with the robotics builders....

The rules stated that points would be given to the blocks moved to the score zone, and stacked. However, it quickly became clear that the rules were a little 'fuzzy.' Two strategies were used for most of the robots: move as many of the blocks to the score zone, without stacking, and stacking in small stacks.

There were a couple of unique robots. One, built by team college students Jay Kinzie, Peter Ehrlich, and Jessica Reams actually stacked a group of small blocks. The other, built by MINDSTORMS builder Steve Hassenplug, had a box that had sloped sides and a catapult. The box was moved to the score zone and the catapult threw blocks in. This was a clever solution, however, it did wreak havoc on the rules, as it brought to question what defines a stack.

The scorekeeper was Brian Davis, who unfortunately, didn't see the rules given scores became a messy thing, as they were determined by multipliers and stacks and...

The competition went late into the night, and the winner announced at the awards ceremony was the Jay's, Peter's and Jessica's stackerbot. In terms of construction, it was the most complex of all the bots in terms of tasks, although there was another that used the table side to slide along and stack blocks built by Ron McRae.

All in all, it was neat to see robots for a challenge built within a few hours - and it was cool to see different solutions used.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Build on the Spot Robotic Challenge at Brickworld

Thursday was the day that the Build on the Spot (BOTS) challenge happened.

This was a competition that was open for MINDSTORMS builders and had the following rules:

Entrants brought in their own parts and NXT components and came in with no completed models. All models were to be built in the span of approximately 5 hours.

Robots had to be able to move blocks of two different sizes from their edge zones on the tables to the middle zones adjacent to them. Points were awarded to blocks in the scoring zone, and if stacked, more points could be gathered. A few of the smaller blocks also were multipliers if stacked. All of this was done in a timeframe of 2 minutes.

After the rules were explained and clarified, the room suddenly became full of activity, as you can see below:

There were more than ten teams, and all of them had different approaches to solving this challenge. Some focused on getting as many blocks to the scoring zone. Others believed that a stackerbot would be able to get the points for a win. Regardless, it would take some time to build.

From there, it became a matter of practice and testing, as seen below.

Stacking proved to be difficult, as a first block had to be placed to stack on. From there, others were placed on top. The general strategy for the stackers were to only drive forward to place, then reverse to get another block. The teams could not bring a stack of blocks and place them in the score zone...they had to be done one by one.

A much easier strategy was to just have the bot push the blocks to the score zone, making the score based on quantity of blocks, as opposed to having a stack.

These strategies had to be determined and bots built within the few hours of the construction phase. That night, the competitions were done at another table in another room...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Minifigures 3

So there's more minifigures in Series 2, so here's some more pics...

Lifeguard! The initials on the suit are those of one of the sculptors who worked on these. In fact, many of the names of the designers were slipped on the minifigs... The rescue float is a new part.

And with lifeguard, a surfer dude. With new surfboard.

Skier - with new skis and ski poles. What's really neat about this guy is that the skis fit together so they can be held by one minifigure hand, and the ski poles attach together and can be held by the other.

A better look at the Karate Kid. And his trophy.

And the pharoah. With scepter.

This isn't a complete listing of the minifigures coming out, as I took more pix. Look for them soon at the BrickJournal website!