London Toy Fair Report, part 3

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Legends of Chima MuralThis is an interesting 3-dimensional mural of the Kingdom on Chima that was also in the foyer of the exhibition hall.

However, I'm sure what you want to read about is the return of Castle...

Castle

Yes, Castle is back, and it's called Castle, not Kingdoms. There will be five sets which, just like the reversion to the name 'Castle', are a true return to the theme's roots. They feature two warring factions. The lady telling us about them didn't know if they had names, but I can tell you they are blue and grey knights, with lions on their shields -- the King's forces -- and black with red dragons on their shields -- the baddies. It doesn't look as if there is any new armour, helmets or weapons, they all looked familiar to me.

The five sets are

  • 70400 Forest ambush, £8, two knights pulling a cart loaded with gold being ambushed by two baddies from behind a tree.
  • 70401 Horse carriage getaway, £18, red/black carriage being pulled by a single black horse, a small chunk of castle, two knights and a crossbow cart.
  • 70402 Gatehouse raid, £25, a section of castle wall with a gate in it, two knights guarding it, a black/red catapult and two baddies, one on horseback.
  • 70403 Dragon peak, £35, damsel imprisoned in a small prison, which is raised up and reached by a spiral staircase. Two knights with a large catapault, a red/black wizard (I presume) and a red dragon, not unlike those in the fantasy-era castle sets.
  • 70404 King's castle, £80, excellent looking 4-sided castle with drawbridge, three turrets, 3 or 4 knights plus the King, three baddies and a siege machine of some sort.

I am sure Castle fans will appreciate these very much! They are all out in August.

Galaxy Squad

The shock news about these sets is that they are not out in Europe until August, when the entire range will be launched at once. The four sets that haven't been released in the USA yet are:

  • 70706, Crater Creeper, £18, large 6-legged bug, with beetle like pincers, small craft with green spaceman.
  • 70707, CLS-89 Eradicator Mech, £35, two legged mecha, orange and white, two different four-legged bugs.
  • 70708, Hive Crawler, £50, even larger 6-legged bug whose legs move as it's rolled across the floor. Features an egg-flinging mechanism at the back that contains small Alien-like face-huggers. It looked fantastic, and is very clever. Also comes with dark red spaceman in small white/dark red craft. The best of the bunch.
  • 70709, Galactic Titan, £80, blue/white large tracked vehicle with detachable spaceship, long-thin millipede-like bug with a 'bug-fig' on its back.

Super Heroes

I'm not going to write much about them yet. I'll wait until Pete has written his piece at FBTB. He was taking notes as to what minifig was in which set. Very few of the minifigs were on the stand, the sets didn't have names, and neither did half of the minifigs, due to them being spoilers, I presume.

Star Wars

I think I'll leave Star Wars for tomorrow, in the meantime, you can read Pete's resume of them at FBTB.

Lord of the Rings

Four new sets for August, all of which were fantastic.

  • 79005, The Wizard Battle, £12, small set featuring Saruman and Gandalf the Grey.
  • 79006, The Council of Elrond, £30, looks pretty much like I remember it from the film, and features Elrond, Arwen, Frodo and Gimli.
  • 79007, Battle at the Black Gate, £60, which we've all seen and which contains Aragorn, Gandalf the White, Mouth of Sauron and two Mordor Orcs.
  • 79008, Pirate Ship Ambush, £90, quite a reasonable ship using the usual parts. I think it has three mid-sections. Brown sails, nine minifigs: Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, King of the dead, two soldiers of the dead, Pirate of Umbar, which the guy on the stand reckons is supposed to be the one played by Peter Jackson, and two Mordor Orcs.

Very few of the finished minifigs were actually on display so I can't tell you whether the orcs were different to last years.

Part 4, the last part, which I'll write tomorrow morning, will cover Star Wars, Games and Friends.

42 comments on this article

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By in United States,

No love for Superheroes????

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By in United States,

Huw,

Are there missing headings for the different sections in your post? It's hard to follow.

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By in United States,

^^Yes, but I'm no expert and they were names/models I was not familiar with. Pete's a big fan, he'll see us right :)

^ Er, yes, seems some CSS is not quite right. I'll change them to H4s. Thanks for spotting.

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By in United Kingdom,

Arwen minifig! Yesss! Eowyn at Edoras or in battle gear next please. No tower of Orthanc on display, then?

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By in United States,

Thanks Huw, I see them now.

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By in United States,

^^ No, that has a 102xx number so will presumably be an exclusive.

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By in United States,

^ Yes, but we ignored it. And Duplo. Sorry!

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By in Canada,

So... what is the Council of Elrond? A bunch of chairs around a pedestal for the ring with minifigs?

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By in United States,

^ Yes, pretty much, plus a section of the the surrounding building and a tree.

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By in United States,

Pete had the minifigure names but he ignored what the actual sets looked like.

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By in United Kingdom,

Not sure I'd describe myself as a "big fan" of the Super Heroes sets ... ;) But I've done my best to remember the details over at FBTB!

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By in United Kingdom,

All I would say when it comes to Super Heroes is that more emphasis on DC is required, to me those sets always seem to be of better quality somehow, the Marvel sets on the other hand I find quite boring. Basically, more Batman sets would be welcome in my opinion.

Lord of the Rings sounds excellent, I am very pleased that we get Arwen in particular.

I am very surprised to hear that we will not be getting any Galaxy Squad until August. Castle however sounds superb, although I will never fathom Lego they ended Kingdoms which had such promise.

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By in United Kingdom,

Did you get a look at the castle Damsel minifig? If so, a description would be appreciated.

Really looking forward to the next wave. Wave 1 had a lot of great sets, but this one seems even better. Thanks for all the info!

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By in United States,

The baddies in the Castle theme are minifigs, not skeletons and dwarves?
I will definably buy all the castle sets, except for the actual castle, because of limited room :P

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By in United Kingdom,

Really looking forward to the castle and galaxy squad sets.

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By in United States,

Does anyone have a link to the FBTB Superheroes article? EDIT: Got it http://www.fbtb.net/category/lego-super-heroes/
Also Huw, can you describe at all the torso, prints on Castle. Or was it all preliminary blanck torsos? Also what was the symbol for the baddies or was there none? And lastly was the Lion's gray dark or bley?
@CapnRex101,
Totally agreed about Kingdoms, so much potential then they discontinue it only to come out with recolored Lions and Dragons...

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By in United States,

No news about Friends? Aside from the Advent Calendar, which I think is just fantastic. I loved the one this year, except for the purse. Hopefully they'll have more minidolls in next year's. It would've been nice to hear something more than just "more of the same," though. *Something* had to look different.

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By in United States,

Thanks for the updates, Huw!

Do you happen to remember if the castle section in 70402 Gatehouse Raid can be joined together with the sections (I presume) in 70404 King's Castle? Now THAT would be taking the Castle theme back to its roots!

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By in United States,

@DaveBey,
That would be pretty sweet if they could be connected. :D

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By in United States,

Really wanting to see the LotR Pirate Ship. Well, mainly the Peter Jackson minifig.
Castle sounds pretty cool. Never did get into the Castle themes, but maybe I'll give this a shot. Plus, there's a dragon, and I like dragons.
Galaxy Squad sets sound nice. Want to see the Mech most of all. Gotta love me some Mechs.

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By in United States,

I'm guessing Zod will be in all of the Man of Steel sets mainly because he is the main villain.

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By in United Kingdom,

August???
Way to kill a theme before it's released, Lego. >.<

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By in United States,

^^Superman and Zod will be in all the Man of Steel sets.

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By in United States,

No Pixar theme?

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By in Australia,

bloody hell..
im going to be broke by the end of this year..I thought last year was epic but this is taking the cake!
Lucky none of the Super Hero sets thus far have caught my eye, cause with Star Wars, LoTR and now CASTLE, (not to mention the creator and city sets) I think I need that second job again

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By in United Kingdom,

YEAH!!! Castles!!! so excited... going to be another very expensive Lego year. Glad that there are only a few Lego sets for Star Wars Episodes IV-VI.... and i'm going to save most of them for the Star Wars weekend in May.

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By in Australia,

Basil the Bat Lord return for castle? With Fright Knights?!

GS sounds really good - gonna try and get all of them.

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By in Australia,

Oh, and Huw, would you mind telling me which bugs were in which GS sets? This would be much appreciated. :)

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By in United Kingdom,

Any new City Train sets with track?

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By in United States,

^^

70706: flat-headed bug-fig
70707: no bug-figs
70708: tentacled bug-fig, no wings, plus several 'face-hugger' style
70709: tentacles bug-fig and a winged bug-fig, blue spacemen

Sorry it's a bit vague, I am not familiar with them yet.

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By in Greece,

Actually we have Galaxy Squad sets here in Greece.

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By in Puerto Rico,

The mural looks awesome, however I am looking toward to Pirate Ship Ambush from LoTR, and maybe Dragons Peak.

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By in United States,

Looks like Thundercats mixed with Avatar. Not really digging the Chi sets. Not really many sets, outside of Star Wars, that interest me this year, which is good and bad. The bad is obvious, but the good is that it's nicer on my wallet.

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By in United Kingdom,

LOTR sets sound good this year, certainly getting Wizard Battle for Saruman and the Palantir, and the Black Gate sounds brilliant. I might buy the Pirate Ship if I have enough room for it, but Council of Elrond I will probably pass on. All in all, quite a good summer.

Now to see what 10237 Tower of Orthanc will comprise of later in the year...

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By in United States,

The LoTR sets are awesome I've seen preliminary images of them.

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By in United States,

All out in August?! I'll be dead by then.

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By in United States,

ARWEN! Does she have a hood and cape or hair? Hopefully both. Finally a female LOTR minifig. I can't wait for a set with Éowyn defying the Ringwraith and his foul steed (we already have Merry, but need his Rohan attire for this scene.)

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By in United States,

One of the biggest-name LEGO sites in attendance completely ignores the Hero Factory theme. Typical. =/

While I understand that Hero Factory falls somewhat outside the typical AFOL's realm of interest, I really wish the AFOL community wouldn't simply disregard it. It's a quite popular theme in its own right, and there's a substantial community of people who would have loved to hear a bit of what can be expected for 2013, even if it were something as basic as what color parts the sets seemed to have a lot of. Granted, we know a bit of what to expect thanks to teasers for this year's Hero Factory animated webisodes, but knowing things about some of the new Technic functions would have been nice.

I'm beginning to regret my decision not to go to Toy Fair in New York, since part of what I tried to do with my Toy Fair 2012 coverage for Eurobricks was to report on all themes, even those like Duplo that AFOLs normally disregard (Hero Factory obviously got thorough coverage since my invitation was as a representative of HEROsector01). But I suppose that would have been a poor decision from an academic standpoint (School requires a huge time investment, and last year's coverage taught me that thorough Toy Fair coverage would require the same), and thankfully the invitation I turned down will instead be given to a staff member on BZPower who will be able to give Hero Factory coverage due diligence. Only a couple more weeks...

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By in United States,

I'm not sure if Huw saw my comment so...
Can you describe at all the torso, prints on Castle. Or was it all preliminary blanck torsos? Also what was the symbol for the baddies or was there none? And lastly was the Lion's gray dark or bley?

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By in Australia,

Thanks for this. I'm already anticipating the Castle sets, but it sounds like there will be a few other things I shouldn't miss this year!

I know that some of the adult fans of Castle were hoping for Forestmen or Black Falcons, or at least more civilian sets, but I wouldn't worry; I very much doubt this incarnation of Castle is going to have only one wave, and have even fewer doubts that there will be more incarnations of Castle after it.

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