Brickset news archive: LEGO.com
5LEGO has reached out to us to let you know that their shopping system will be undergoing maintenance tomorrow and there will be a few issues they'd like you to be aware of:
Brick & Mortar LEGO Stores (between 05:00 – 15:00 GMT / 00:00 – 10:00 EST)
- No VIP point redemption
- No VIP sign-ups
- No VIP points earning displayed on receipt
- No VIP point balance available
Online LEGO Shop (Between 05:00 – 15:00 GMT / 00:00 – 10:00 EST)
- Promotions will not show online
- No VIP sign up or redemptions
- No VIP points simulation in the check-out basket
- No VIP account status online and registration
Web/phone ordering (Between 09:00 – 13:00 GMT / 04:00 – 08:00 EST)
- No Web or Phone orders can be placed – LEGO Shop website offline.
You may recall that in August I introduced a feature to the site to extract set inventories from the LEGO.com customer services replacement parts page (here's the announcement) and display them on the set details page in a form that is more useful to us.
At the time, as you can read in the comments, it was considered to be about as useful as a chocolate tea pot because the LEGO inventories were very incomplete, and included only basic parts.
Over the weekend, shaase emailed to say that he'd noticed that they seemed to have been improved and recent set inventories now include nearly every part, so today I re-ran the script that imports them and he's right, they have been significantly improved. This means the Parts tab on the set details pages is far more useful. Here's an example showing minifig parts, new canopies and everything.
The reason some parts are in the last 'New/Unsorted' section is that the list obtained from LEGO.com is cross-referenced with another list I have that gives colours for each part number. It's a bit old though, which is why new parts are not on it, and why they thus appear in this section.
What this also means is that it would now be feasible to 'crowd-source' the missing information: to cross-check the data at LEGO.com with that in the back of the instructions and add missing parts and colours and also, most importantly, to gather part quantities, which are not provided at LEGO.com.
Don't expect that to happen overnight, but watch this space...
The collectable minifig microsite at LEGO.com has been updated with bios of the series 8 figs and, for the first time since series 5, a new wallpaper and poster.
This of course means we have official pictures and names for them so I will get them added to the database here ASAP.
So, I'll ask again: which is the Spartan, and which is the Crash Test Dummy of this series? :-)
(Thanks to icey117 for the news)
Here's the press release from LEGO HQ. Last week's release was sent out by a different agency, apparently. Note the lack of the 'O' word anywhere in it:
OFFICIAL TEAM GB LEGO MINIFIGURES LAUNCHED
To celebrate the London 2012 Games, the number one selling toy in the UK market* is back with an exclusive special edition line of Team GB LEGO Minifigures.
With less than 71 days to go until the UK’s biggest sporting event of the century, for the first time in history LEGO has launched a special edition range of Team GB Minifigures. The collectible range will only be available in the UK to commemorate this once in a lifetime event for the nation.
The Team GB LEGO Minifigures spark the sporting imagination, so you can stage your very own Games.
At just £1.99 each, the Team GB LEGO Minifigures will be in stores from 1st July 2012 in John Lewis and other good high street retailers.
There are nine exclusive Team GB LEGO Minifigures in the line-up:
- Brawny Boxer Punching his way to the top, this lean machine in blue is ready to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee for Team GB!
- The Stealth Swimmer Like a fish in the water, the Stealth Swimmer is ready to torpedo through the water into pole position.
- Relay Runner Sprinting to reach the winning line, could this give Team GB a relay team victory?
- Judo Fighter Taking down her opponent’s one at a time, this mistress of martial arts knocks down anything in her way to grasp that gold medal.
- Tactical Tennis Player First on the court in his gleaming whites, this tennis ace will knock the white socks off of any competition.
- Flexible Gymnast Balance and co-ordination is the name of the game for this agile Olympic contender.
- Wondrous Weightlifter Powerlifting his personal best, the crowd looks on as this burley guy weighs up his chances of going for gold.
- Horseback rider Riding her way to the last hurdle, this athlete won’t be horsing around when it comes to winning!
- Agile Archer Complete with bow in hand, let’s hope this little fella will be on target on the day!
Here are pictures of them all on flickr:
The web team at LEGO has been busy preparing microsites for the summer releases. The Monster Fighters site went live this week which, as is usual before the sets are actually released, is a bit light on content. I believe the sets are due out in August in the UK, so the appearance of it is either very early or an indication that they'll be available before that. (thanks Gandalf1)
The Lord Of The Rings site has been up for a while, but is actually hard to find unless your country at LEGO.com is set to United States. It currently has bios of all the characters in the sets, but not much else.
What do you think of the microsites? Do you take the time to explore them and play the games and watch the videos, or do you, like me, just head for the wallpaper download page and ignore the rest?
The Minifigures microsite at LEGO.com has been upated with series 7 bios. I've grabbed the images and added them here. I don't yet have a set but when I do I'll photograph them for the minifig gallery. (thanks to skipper1101 and others who emailed about this)
If you're a fan of large Technic models you'll be pleased to hear that LEGO has published instructions for the 'B' model for 9397 Logging Truck, a dump truck with plough.
You can download them as two PDFs from technic.LEGO.com.
Although I count myself as a fan of large Technic models I can't bring myself to build the B models: the A models take so long to build and an equally long time to dismantle that I never take them apart. I guess I'll just have to buy two...
(Thanks to Dave Luders for the news)
Here's another press release from LEGO concerning the 'soft' launch of ReBrick. I've been involved in this project for some time, and I suspect many of you have too during its open beta phase. From today, anyone can use it.
The success of the LEGO Group in recent years owes a lot to the dedication and love of the LEGO® brick by consumers and the fan community. ReBrick is a step further along the road of collaboration with LEGO consumers, but now with focus on sharing and celebrating what consumers create with LEGO bricks. We hope that ReBrick will be a source of inspiration for everyone in the LEGO community.
What is LEGO ReBrick?
- ReBrick is a social media platform where users over the age of 13 can share and discuss user-created LEGO content online.
- ReBrick users can bookmark LEGO content from sites, such as Flickr and YouTube and existing LEGO community sites, and have a discussion via comments at the ReBrick hub. It will not be possible to upload content to the ReBrick site, so the traffic will be sent back to the community.
- ReBrick is LEGO Group owned, but the selection of content rests primarily with the user community
- ReBrick will both serve as a social bookmarking hub for easy navigation of the latest and coolest user-developed LEGO content, but it will also enable this content to be pushed to 3rd party social media platforms, LEGO fan sites and other LEGO sites by the users.
- ReBrick is not commercial and won’t be used by the LEGO Group to market LEGO products.
ReBrick amplifies the vibrant LEGO community
There are millions of articles, videos and photos featuring LEGO bricks on the web, and more show up every day. Some fan-made videos on YouTube get millions of views within a few days. Clearly, LEGO fans are already out there sharing and chatting away big time.
But the fragmentation makes it difficult for the casual LEGO fan or those just entering the LEGO hobby to find the content they might be looking for or just browse for inspiration. It is our hope, that ReBrick will make it easier to navigate, enjoy and be inspired by the awesome content created by LEGO fans and also facilitate new connections between people in the LEGO community. ReBrick acts as a hub, gathering the most interesting, off-the-wall and astonishing creations in one place so that fans everywhere can join the conversation.
Millions of user-created LEGO objects are already driving thousands of conversations each day. ReBrick will let the users moderate themselves, with little involvement from The LEGO Group. A set of simple House Rules will ensure that the core values that most consumers associate with the LEGO brand will set the tone for content and conversation. We believe that the consumers themselves know and appreciate these values and will uphold them.
”Always in Beta” mindset
From the early stages, the LEGO user community has contributed to ReBrick, influencing the way it works, the design and the house rules. The LEGO community will continue to be closely involved in the further development of ReBrick. ReBrick will continue to be co-developed with the LEGO community adding new features on a regular basis.
You can access ReBrick at ReBrick.LEGO.com
We mentioned this a couple of weeks ago: HERO Recon is a 'Design By Me' for HERO Factory. It's now live and I've had a play. Basically you start with a HF 'skeleton' then put armour and weapons onto it using a Flash-based web interface. Once you're done you can save it and send it to your cart to buy it. The one I assembled came out at £9.99, which I didn't think was too bad. I don't know if the price varies depending on what you put on it: I suspect not.
Mission_zed who emailed us today about this said "At little disappointed, as only the 2.0 Hero parts/colours are available, plus the special two-tone chest piece. No villain parts or v1 Hero parts, the v1 arm cannons would have been useful. And the naming system is awful...."
The minifigures microsite at LEGO.com has been updated with series 4 bios, wallpapers and so on. This might be a sign that their widespread release is imminent! I see that a few enterprising souls have already listed some on eBay in the USA so they must have escaped somewhere already. (thanks William M)
Update: It seems quite a few microsites went live today as well:
- The Pirates of the Caribbean one looks like it'll be slowly revealing the minifigs, perhaps one a day. (via BrickTuts)
- LEGOSpace.com has info on the NASA sets (interesting how it's a domain in its own right, and not a subdomain of LEGO.com) (thanks Roygal)
- The Cars site is up, but there's not much on it yet.
Around 150 new instruction manuals have been added to LEGO's customer service site today including three from hitherto unknown sets: 30025 Clown Fish, 30052 AAT, and 30053 Star Destoyer. Hopefully these will be future Daily Mirror sets!
Oh, and 20019, Slave I, which we added yesterday, is the latest Brickmaster set.
Cygnet, the Ugly Duckling tells me the Minifigures microsite at LEGO.com has been updated today with mini-bios of the figs so I've taken the opportunity to add images here, and also update the series 1 and 2 images with those on the bio pages. Hopefully we'll see them in the shop at LEGO.com soon but if you can't wait, there's always eBay...
As in recent years, LEGO have launched a website devoted to inspirational model ideas for the upcoming Christmas/Holiday season. There are nine models up already, with a new one promised each week until the end of November. Something to look forward to until you can start working your way through your LEGO Advent Calendar!
You can check out the models on the 'Festive Fun' web page; although the models themselves are quite simple, LEGO have provided downloadable instructions for each one in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. For the LEGO.com download completists out there, it might be be worth grabbing them all during December, before they vanish.
Are you planning to build any Christmas/Holiday decorations out of LEGO this year? The Winter Toy Shop / Winter Bakery combo is an attractive, and popular, choice, but I think I might just build some small models to hang from the tree this year. As always, let us know!
There have been hints of these mini-sites coming on-stream over the last couple of days, but they've now gone live on the US version of LEGO.com. Other regions should follow, but for now the links below should work; if not, you may need to temporarily change your location settings on LEGO.com to English/US.
The two mini-sites are teasers for two new themes expected in December or January, Ninjago and Pharaoh's Quest. As usual for new theme mini-sites, they don't have a lot of content yet; expect them to be expanded over the coming weeks and months, so check them often. Thanks to r4-g9 for emailing this in.
Take a look & let us know what you think !
At around midday today, UK time, LEGO.com received an update and I have to say, I like it! I haven't had time to check it all out yet but the home page is very impressive. The shop pages are the same, just with a new header but we know that LEGO are working on implementing a new system, so that'll no doubt change soon, although to be honest I'd be surprised if they do that this side of Christmas.
Take a look and let us know what you think and if you find anything particularly cool.
Update: Unfortunately the site has gone down in my estimation slightly. I looked at it on my iPad and the first thing the site tells me is that it's 'time to update' because I have an 'old browser'. Excuse me, but it's not old, and even if I wanted to I couldn't upgrade the browser on it. This is of course because the page is very Flash-heavy and Flash doesn't run on iPad and iPhone devices.
However once the message has been dismissed, a version of the page minus Flash loads, which isn't quite as 'flashy' :-) but is perfectly functional, which is 'graceful degradation' as it should be. LEGO should therefore recognise that not everyone can, or wants to, run Flash. At the very least they should detect Apple mobile browsers and not show the message: it is after all not the user's fault they can't run Flash and it could put the millions of iPad users off visiting if it appears every time they do so.
(thanks to Saso and legobob for alerting us!)
Google news alerts threw up this article on BusinessWire today about a deal LEGO has signed with a company to redevelop their online shop. This got me thinking about the current one. It's actually a bit clumsy and slow, particularly when you want to add loads of items to your cart: you have to use the back button a lot, and trying to find what's new as opposed to what they want you to think is new is virtually impossible, which is one reason I developed the New at LEGOshop.com list above.
So there's certainly scope for improvement. What do you like and dislike about the current one? What features do you think should be added to the new site?
I'm a bit late telling you about the Christmas themed mini models instructions available on LEGO.com: they were mentioned by someone in a comment before they were published but I forgot all about them until I read the Mostly Bricks blog today.
So if you have a memory like a sieve like me and haven't checked them out yet either, head over to the Christmas gift shop for some cool instructions for snowmen, Christmas trees, angels and so on.
It's been a long time coming, but finally, from tomorrow, you'll be able to pre-order LEGO Universe. By pre-ordering, you'll be guaranteed to have the Game DVD in home on the day the game is officially live. Additionally, if you get in quick you'll receive an Exclusive LEGO Universe Minifigure and code card that will unlock its digital counterpart within the game.
Click on the banner in the menu to find out more. I can't see an actual launch date on the site but presumably it is imminent.
The small print:
- Pre-Orders will be accepted in all LEGO Shop markets with the exception of Australia / New Zealand & Asia / South Korea.
- The offer is limited to 5 per purchase
- The LEGO Universe Game (DVD) will only be offered in: English (US); English (UK); French (Canada); German (Central Europe).
- Offer is valid starting May 14, 2010 while supplies last only. Offer is available only by purchasing LEGO® Universe Massively Multiplayer Online Game DVD. Premium consists of one exclusive LEGO Universe Astronaut Minifigure and one Code Card, which may be used to access an exclusive in-game accessory. One exclusive Minifigure and Code Card per customer. Minifigure and Code Card are available exclusively through this offer; additional Minifigures and Code Cards cannot be purchased. Minifigure and Code Card will ship with DVD. Offer is valid in LEGO Stores, through LEGO Catalog and on shop.LEGO.com. Offer is not valid at LEGOLAND® Parks and LEGOLAND Discovery Centers. The LEGO Group reserves the right to cancel or modify this promotion at any time without prior notice. Minifigure value is approximately $2.99 (US) / 1.99 € (DE) / £1.49 (GBP).
The Toy Story and Atlantis sites have been updated this week. There is some cool wallpaper to be had at nice high resolutions. But I wish they made some of them widescreen: surely most people have widescreen PC monitors these days don't they?
Some of the other sites are in dire need of an update: Star Wars for example still has wallpapers from products that have been obsolete for years. (Thanks to Hamish for the news)
Check it out but there's not much there yet except an embedded trailer. I believe the sets are due out in April so I guess more content will appear this month. I've asked LEGO whether it's safe for me to repost the set images now :-)
(Thanks nandj and merljin for the news)
The Harry Potter teaser microsite is up at LEGO.com! There's not much there yet except for 30 boxes: one showing Harry and the other 29 blank. I imagine one will be revealed every day for the next month, when perhaps the proper site is launched.
Thanks to louie, chazz and refriedbeans for alerting us to this!
The Hero Factory microsite at LEGO.com has been updated recently and now contains wallpapers, information about the products (including instructions), as well as all the usual cool stuff that LEGO put in their product microsites.
I guess this means their release is imminent -- the UK retailers' catalogue says August so we could be looking at a mid-July release from LEGOShop.com.
Thanks to whung, who pointed out the the recently discovered limited edition set, 7179, is included on the site as well.
The Star Wars microsite at LEGO.com has been updated, at least it has if your country is set to United Kingdom. The summer sets are listed although if you click through on the links to the shop you get a 'not found' page. Sadly the supporting content -- wallpapers in particular -- is woefully out of date still.
Thanks to Kyle, the Ugly Duckling, for the news.
If you haven't had enough of me harping on about how good the PoP sets are and still need persuading to part with your hard-earned for them, you can now check out the Prince of Persia microsite on LEGO.com, which went live today and which features some very cool animations, wallpapers and animations.
Thanks to the eagle-eyes of Brickset member michaelvader ... the Collectable Minifigures minisite is now up & running at LEGO.com, offering images, character biographies, downloads (wallpapers, posters, etc.) and a couple of on-line games (only one of which is currently playable).
The excitement is certainly building !!!!