The rumoured UCS Hoth Echo Base set is one of the most anticipated sets of the year and is apparently intended for release in October. LEGO Star Wars videos frequently feature upcoming sets and thanks to LegoSW we might have our first look at the upcoming Echo Base in a short animation recently posted on the LEGO Star Wars website.
This video features 75049 Snowspeeder and 75054 AT-AT from last year along with several unfamiliar models. These include the Echo Base North Entrance doors, the ion cannon, the command centre, the Wampa cave, the shield generator and some Rebel gun emplacements. It might be safe to presume that these new models will make up the UCS Hoth Echo Base set.
Personally I am not keen on the ion cannon at all and was hoping that the base itself would be a little more substantial, but otherwise I am quite impressed. What do you think of the set so far?
The final San Diego Comic-Con exclusive has been revealed at BZPower to be a trans-neon green Skull Scorpio mask. The mask is worn by 70793 Skull Basher and 70794 Skull Scorpio in the recently released Bionicle sets, although this is its first appearance in trans-neon green. Presumably this will be given away in clamshell packaging just like the exclusive Tahu mask released at New York Comic-Con last year.
This is slightly surprising news as many were expecting an exclusive based on Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, but I am sure Bionicle fans will welcome another exclusive to collect. If prices are anything like they were for last year's NYCC exclusive, this one probably won't be as expensive as the minifigures typically are.
Classic Space received something of a revival last summer, beginning with the release of 5002812 Classic Spaceman Minifigure and 21109 Exo-Suit. LEGO has continued the trend of remembering such beloved themes this year by producing 5003082 Classic Pirate Minifigure. The Pirates theme was reintroduced in April following a five year absence and as such LEGO has tried to recapture some of the magic of the original sets, just as they did last year with Classic Space.
That set consisted simply of a Spaceman and a small robot, but it effectively conveyed the charm of Classic Space through the building techniques and the appearance of the famous planet logo. In my opinion, this Pirates model is far less successful in that regard, although it is a better set overall, particularly considering that it is free with a purchase of £50 or more at LEGO stores or LEGO S@H.
Pley.com, the leading LEGO rental service, has recently launched PleyWorld.com, a site where you can upload your MOCs for others to vote on, then, once they've received 5000 votes, they will be made into sets that are rented out and sold at Pley.com.
It all sounds very similar to LEGO Ideas, doesn't it, and in principle it is. Of course the end result is not an official LEGO set but it's a fantastic way to share your models and give others the pleasure of building them without the need to do a lot of hard work producing instructions and sourcing bricks.
Furthermore, it's a great way to monetise your designs. Every time your model is rented or sold you receive a commission which adds up quickly. The designers of the first model to be produced in this way, Hipple Dirigible, made over $1700 in the first two weeks!
When models achieve 10,000 votes at Ideas, there's a slim chance they'll be turned into sets, but at PleyWorld, as long as no intellectual properties have been violated, you're almost guaranteed it'll be produced, so there's far more chance of success and financial reward.
The Jurassic World film has received mixed reviews since its release just over a month ago and the associated LEGO sets have been treated in much the same way on the whole. Some sets offer a great deal of playability and even a few innovative building techniques while others are rather lacklustre due to a poor minifigure selection or unreasonably high prices.
Accuracy to the source material is often an important factor in the success of licensed themes so it is difficult to get a full impression of the sets without seeing the associated film. Having now done just that I am offering my views on how the LEGO Jurassic World sets fare when compared with the movie.
It almost goes without saying that this article will contain spoilers after the break, so if you wish to avoid them I recommend not reading any further.
July is a busy time of year for LEGO events. Here's one that's being held in Italy next weekend:
ITLUG is organising a national event, Borgobrick, at Borgoricco, Padova, Veneto, Italy. The exhibition will cover 1000 square meters and will feature different LEGO themes like Star Wars, Technic, Castle and City. It's been put together by about 80 exhibitors and 8 Italian LUGs. There's more information at http://www.borgobrick.it/.