Archive for November, 2009

New Collectable Minifigures in 2010?

November 29, 2009

Brickset has a very interesting article posted via Legobloggen.

“In June 2010, Lego will launch a new collectors series with only minifigs. The figures will be of various types, but is reportedly not being those from current themes. They could be anything from cowboys to ninjas or adventurers, etc. The first wave will appear in stores in June, reportedly contain 16 different characters. These will then be replaced by 16 other figures in August.

“Figures will be sold in opaque polybags, so it is chance that determines which figure you get. This is the same approach as in the example trading cards. The bag with the figure will cost 25 SEK. May seem much given to impulse setter costs only £ 5 more and then there is also the accessories. But I suspect that the high price is because the characters will be unique to this collector series and that they will only be produced in two months (at least the first wave).” (thanks et314 for the news and translation)

On we get an even better view of some of the figures.

If this is true it is possibly the coolest thing coming out next year! 🙂

Think collectible cards meets LEGO. I’m rather excited by the concept. Although to be fair Playmobile has been doing that sort of thing for years.

The only difference is the “unknown” factor. But from the look of the figures available even if you do get multiples it would be okay because these are all pretty neat looking and I can see lots of uses for the figures and their respective parts.

No word on if these will be available in the States. In fact there is very little info on these at all. As soon as I know anything I’ll let you know.

It’s Coming — The Pirate Advent Calendar Review

November 28, 2009

Pirate Advent Calendar Review

For all of you who remember last year I posted the daily set of the Castle Advent Calendar so that those who didn’t get a chance to get it themselves might at least see what each door held. Also to make it more interesting I wrote a little story to go along with it to explain why each set came in that order. 🙂

So once again I am diving into this year’s offering — the new Pirate Advent Calendar.

I have to send a great big thanks to my friend CopMike of Eurobricks fame for sending me a set — since once again this set was not available in the States! (An over sight that I hope the LEGO company will not make next year).

Check back on December 1st and see what adventure awaits us . . . 😉

LEGO Store Mini Turkey Build

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving for all of those out there that celebrate it, happy Thursday for all of you that don’t. 😉

If you weren’t able to visit your local LEGO Store this month (like me) I thought I’d show you what it was — a mini turkey. By looking at the picture and what pieces were used, you should be able to figure the model out.

At least that was what the model here in the States and in Germany was, the UK had a pair of firecrackers.

Also has a set of 12 Christmas Model PDFs you can download. Here are my three favorites. Enjoy. 🙂

Into the E-book Age I go

November 25, 2009

Although I self-published my first book “How to Build a Round Ball with Square Bricks!” last year it has only been available in one format — until now. 😀

For all of you out there that prefer a digital copy the PDF version is now available for $8.95.

Learn how to build like the Pros! Written by a former LEGO® Master Model Designer, this series of books teaches kids of all ages the tips and tricks used in LEGO Model Shops all over the world. In this book learn one of the most asked about techniques — the Ball! See Mariann and Kevin take you from concept to a complete brick sphere. Also includes step-by-step instructions for an 18-stud LEGO ball. Packed with full color pictures and easy to understand instructions, learn LEGO building in a whole new way! 30 pgs

You can order the printed book and other products at my online store.

My second book “Beyond the Ball” will be available soon, so stay tuned . . . 😉

Do you have the Brick Factor?

November 24, 2009

Sorry about the late mention of this guys and gals. For all of you that live across the pond in the UK you have the chance to become a LEGO Master Model Builder working at the new LEGOLAND Discovery Centre that is opening up in March of 2010.



OPEN auditions are being held at The Lowry Hotel on 27 November 2009 for a position as model builder at the new LEGOLAND Discovery Centre.

Faced with millions of LEGO bricks when they arrive, auditionees will need to show how skilled they are at building LEGO models by creating an animal model in just fifteen minutes. The successful builders will then pass to the second stage of the auditions when they will need to create a famous face out of LEGO.

The audition aims to find a potential model builder who is skilled enough to be responsible for developing new features, exhibitions and building new models as well as working with the thousands of children expected to visit the attraction.

Neil Crittenden, general manager of LEGOLAND Discovery Centre said: We are holding open auditions to find the most talented and enthusiastic model builders. It is an unusual job available and we hope to meet some LEGO fanatics from the North West. We are looking for someone with a great sense of fun and though that holding an open audition would be the ideal way to find the perfect candidate.

The exciting new role will be based at the unique indoor attraction opening in March 2010.

Described as stepping into the biggest box of LEGO in the world, the attraction will host a unique MINILAND, which the successful model builder will need to create and maintain, as well as a number of other features including offer an exciting themed ride, a tour of a LEGO factory where children can help make their own LEGO brick. Plus there will be lots of opportunities to create their own models, race LEGO cars and areas for birthday parties.

The auditions will be held in meeting room seven and eight from 10am – 5pm at The Lowry Hotel in Manchester.

Auditionees need to register in advance by emailing

The tryouts are this Friday, and you need to preregister online. So ramp up your building skills and try out. 🙂

1st Annual FBTB Charity Drive

November 22, 2009 (From Bricks to Bothans) the ultimate Star Wars LEGO Fan site is hosting its first Charity Drive.

FBTB is getting into the holiday spirit! This site, the community, and especially you, the readers, is what I am thankful for this holiday season. And it’s time to channel some of that good will towards a charitable cause.

FBTB is giving away one of these:

and all of these:

to one lucky winner. But wait, there’s more! If you’re not chosen as the grand prize winner, you are eligible to win the consolation prize! The second place prize includes everything in the second picture posted above, basically, everything the first place prize winner gets, minus 8038 The Battle of Endor. That’s 1 MINI Tie Fighter, 1 Chrome Darth Vader, 1 Chrome Stormtrooper, 1 Chrome C-3PO, 1 LEGOLand California 2005 Star Wars Weekend promo brick, and 1 LEGOLand California 2009 Star Wars Weekend promo brick . Sound cool? Here are the details on how you can win. There’s a lot of text, so please read carefully:

* It’s basically raffle where each “ticket” costs $2.00 USD.
* You can purchase your ticket by hitting the donate button below and completing the Paypal checkout.
* You can purchase as many tickets as you’d like. If you are planning on making a large donation, unfortunately, you will have to complete the checkout process each time in $2.00 USD increments. But remember, each time you complete the checkout, you get another ticket into the raffle increasing your chances of wining.
* The raffle is open to anyone in the world able to complete the Paypal checkout process.
* The last day to purchase tickets is 11:59pm December 20, 2009.
* As the donor recipient, I get an email notification for each donation received; that is your raffle entry. You will also receive a receipt of your payment via email from Paypal. You do NOT have to email me or forward me your receipt. There’s nothing more you have to do besides complete the Paypal checkout process.
* All the emails will be filtered into a special folder. After the deadline, I’ll use a random number generator to select the lucky winner numbered in the chronological order received.
* 50% of the first 100 donations will be used to cover the cost of the prize package and postage and handling for prize delivery. The other 50% will go towards the charity. After the first 100 donations, 100% of the proceeds will go towards the charity.
* Prize packages will be mailed out on December 21, 2009 via USPS Express Mail, just in time for Christmas.*

The charity chosen for FBTB’s Charity Drive is Penny Arcade’s Child Play, a non-profit organization raising money and toys for sick children hospitalized during the holidays. For more information on Child’s Play, visit their website: Child’s Play.

I’ve made my donation, so if you would like to be part of the raffle go to the FBTB Charity Drive Page. Good luck! 🙂

LEGOLAND gets ready for the Holidays

November 21, 2009

Even though its not quite Thanksgiving yet, LEGOLAND California is already decked out for Christmas.

Master Model Builders trimmed the Christmas tree in front of the Capitol in Miniland USA this morning in preparation for LEGOLAND California’s Holly Jolly Holidays presented by Western Dental kicking off Nov. 30 following the annual tree lighting ceremony.

The Miniland Washington, D.C. Inauguration scene has been replaced by a LEGO® interactive marching band wearing green and white uniforms with festive red sashes. The animated band marches back and forth while playing “Jingle Bell Rock” and a familiar “ho-ho-ho” can be heard when Park guests push buttons cueing different sounds of the season. Holly wreaths have also been added to the eaves of the Capitol above a 20-inch-tall LEGO Christmas tree trimmed with more than 500 ornaments. Nearby, a line of minilanders wait to sit on a mini Santa’s lap while carolers sing on the Capitol steps. Other holiday models include children building snowmen, an elf workshop, a horse drawn carriage, toy soldiers and, of course, presents under the tree.

The entire theme park is being transformed into a holiday wonderland featuring vibrant holiday decorations including a new LEGO snowman complete with top hat and black coat tails that stands 5-feet tall, features 37,000 LEGO bricks and took nearly 200 hours to build. Children may also pose with a special life-size LEGO display of Santa, his sleigh and two reindeer. The 7-foot tall display features 51,100 bricks and provides a unique photo opportunity during the holidays.

LEGOLAND California’s Holly Jolly Holidays starts with a bang with its annual tree lighting ceremony Nov. 30 at 5:30 p.m. featuring special guests Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott and a performance by one the hottest children’s entertainment groups, The Jumpitz™. Spelling and McDermott are currently in production for the fifth season of their popular and record-breaking reality series “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood,” scheduled to premiere in Spring, 2010 on Oxygen.

The world’s largest LEGO Christmas tree stands more than 30-feet-tall, is made of more than 245,000 forest green DUPLO® bricks, adorned with more than 240 LEGO ornaments and surrounded by packages and LEGO friends the whole family can enjoy.

LEGOLAND California’s Holly Jolly Holidays runs through Dec. 31 and guests can enjoy festive entertainment every weekend including carolers, strolling musicians and nightly fireworks Dec. 26 through Dec. 30. From Dec. 3 through Dec. 24, a child will randomly be selected to help pull the switch that lights up the LEGO Christmas tree during a fun ceremony right before the Park closes each night.

Also, the sparkling musical “Let it Snow” returns with exciting songs, dancing and a holiday story to warm guest’s hearts. The musical holiday show features the Park’s signature song, “Season of Imagination” and runs every weekend from Nov. 27 through Dec. 13 and daily Dec. 19 through Dec. 25.

The holiday season concludes with the one-and-only Kids’ New Year’s Eve party in southern California on Dec. 31 with festivities beginning at 4 p.m. For more information on the LEGOLAND theme park, event schedules, hours and prices visit or call (760) 918-LEGO.

Christmas was one of my most favorite times at LEGOLAND. I was the one that decorated and designed the scenes in Miniland at Christmas for 4 years. You can even see the candy canes I designed in the picture.

So, if you are in the area, stop by and check out LEGOLAND for their Holly Jolly Holidays celebration. 😀

Kids Build Giant BMW X1 out of LEGO

November 20, 2009

Have you ever wanted to make a life-sized LEGO car? Europe seems to be the land of giant LEGO models what with James May’s full scale house and the Giant LEGO Man that washed ashore in the Netherlands, it just seems to happen.

Now it Germany, they’ve made the next life size model — a BMW X2.

As everyone who has played with the famous colored bricks knows, with LEGO, nothing is impossible. Not even a full-size replica of a BMW X1 that was created by 800 children aged between 5 and 13 years old (with a little help from the Bavarian automaker’s staff of course) who visited the BMW Welt in Munich last week. The build of the yellow-colored X1 took four days and approximately 165,000 LEGO bricks to complete.

Although not as smooth looking as the LEGO Volvo XZ90 that was made over in the Enfield, Connecticut Model Shop, it still is really impressive. Especially because the XZ90 was made by Master Model Builders and took 3 months to make.

You can see more pictures of the event here.

Getting a Head of a build.

November 18, 2009

LEGO Girl Head 1

Creating a realistic LEGO face is one of the harder aspects of building sculpture. When I was working at LEGOLAND this was unfortunately one type of sculpture that I didn’t get a chance to do much of. So last week I decided to brush up on my skills by creating this.

The model took me about 6-8 hours. I honestly don’t know the exact time. Making the face have a good expression and “life” is the trickiest part. And of course working in the size of 6″ also was a fun challenge. I used a lot of jumpers to get the face right and used almost all of my 1×1 plates to design the hair.

LEGO Girl Head 4

She will most likely appear in an upcoming book or two. The model is a stylized sculpture of my online avatar Model Gal. 🙂

LEGO Atlantis #8958 — Guardian of the Deep

November 17, 2009

Front of Box

The wait is over! Well at least if you were wondering what set I found at Toys R Us yesterday. 😉 In case you didn’t read the title of this post, I got Guardian of the Deep. The other LEGO Atlantis set the had was #8056 Monster Crab Crash.

Here you can get a close up of the diver and the new ring element
Diver with Ring Element
The ring element reminds me a lot of the old Insectoid crystals and it has a similar connection on the back. There are five different colored rings with different images on each ring.

There are a couple other new elements
New elements

The built set looks like this
Diver with Shark 2
The shark’s tail look ridiculous, but I can’t complain too much since you get two 1×12 yellow plates to make that tail. 🙂

All in all, for $15 (USD) its a great set. You get lots of the new larger tooth element in both white and black. Diver has decorated printing on the front and back of his torso and also on his legs and feet! And finally, the ring element is just cool, even if it doesn’t seem to have a purpose. 😀

I did a full review with more detailed pictures on Eurobricks.