Today, CapnRex101, DrDave and myself along with Mark from Blocks, and Brickish Ambassador Gary had a guided tour of the LEGO stand at the London Toy Fair, courtesy of Norton & Co, its UK marketing/advertising agency.
The toy fair is a trade-only event and access to the LEGO stand is by invitation only. It's a bit like Fort Knox but with tighter security. Photography is not allowed inside the stand and the ceiling is covered over to prevent photography from the balcony above: it's the only stand at the show that has this.
Once inside, you're escorted around to view each product range. At each one, a product specialist tells you about the sets and is happy for you to take notes and ask questions. When we walked round, some areas were busier than others so details of some themes in the following write-up may be less complete than for others, plus of course you don't get all day in there so can't dilly dally for too long at any one area. We were in there for about an hour and a half, I think.
In this report I will tell you about the non-licenced themes that were on display. Tomorrow CapnRex101 will cover the licenced themes. I'll write what I remember and I suspect that the Capn and Dave will pitch in if I forget anything.
None of the sets had their proper minifigs on display, just plain white ones. Each set just had a card with sketches of them next to it so we obviously can't tell you too much about them, other than their names, as a result.
- All prices mentioned are provisional and have been rounded up.
- All sets mentioned here are listed in this query showing unreleased 2015 sets.
- 70791 Skull Warrior (£13)
- 70792 Skull Slicer (£13)
- 70793 Skull Basher (£13)
- 70794 Skull Scorpio (£13)
- 70795 Mask Maker vs. Skull Grinder (£25)
As you'd expect from the names they are all bad guys. They looked skeletal and 'dark'. Although they were each a different 'feature colour' there wasn't much of it used. They feature a lot of new panel pieces that are hard to describe but look like torn cloth or something like that. I suspect those on display were prototype parts because they looked to be spray painted a matt dark grey with speckles in it which might not be the final finish. All are the same size as the Toas.
City - Space Port
Four sets will be available.
- 60077 Space Starter Set (£9) - A small starter set with a lunar buggy and four minifigs, based on a testing facility.
- 60078 Utility Shuttle (£18) - Looked like a short and stubby space shuttle, with a new (I think) moulded nose piece.
- 60079 Training Jet Transporter (£40) - A blue and white jet aircraft on a flatbed truck.
- 60080 Spaceport (£70) - A full-size shuttle on a mobile launch pad complete with medium brown rocket fuel tank which has a new 6-wide cone piece for its nose. Given real space shuttles are retired now it's perhaps surprising that these sets feature them.
These sets are aimed at younger builders, so like last years Arctic sets, they are slightly juniorised.
City - Deep Sea Explorers
These look fantastic and for me were the best minifig sets on display. They are reminiscent of the old Divers theme from 1997.
- 60090 Deep Sea Scuba Scooter (£4) - A small submersible with one minifig.
- 60091 Deep Sea Starter Set (£8) - A remote submersible and three minifigs.
- 60092 Deep Sea Submarine (£25) - A fantastic looking vessel, primarily yellow with dark grey buoyancy tanks.
- 60093 Deep Sea Helicopter (£40) - A very nice looking dual-rotored aircraft, primarily dark blue. It also comes with a submersible to winch into the sea.
- 60095 Deep Sea Exploration Vessel (£80) - A chunky looking vessel with a new shaped hull which probably floats and which is probably something like 16-studs wide. The hull is dark blue, the rest white and yellow. It comes with a small sub that's unloaded from the back of it and a shipwreck, which I thought was quite large and I was surprised the set came with so much in it. The wreck itself looked to be a modern vessel rather than something Tudor, for example.
City - Other
The big surprise was 60097 City Square which, at £140, is much larger than older similarly named sets. It features a two-car orange/black tram, LEGO store and delivery van, garage and breakdown truck, a coffee kiosk, a tram stop and 14 minifigs. The buildings are open at the back and not very deep, 8-studs I suspect.
60098 Heavy Haul Train was not on display.
Three new sets:
- 31037 Adventure Vehicles (£18) - a green and white SUV vehicle. I didn't notice what the alternative models were.
- 31038 Changing Seasons (£40) - a small square-ish house, much the same size as the new beach hut, with a bit of garden with tree and BBQ. It comes with parts to change the season: different colour leaves for the tree, white slopes for the roof, etc.
- 31039 Blue Power Jet (£50) - Dark blue and white, about the same size and similar design to the red/white one from a few years ago. It looked to be based on an F-35 or similar.
In addition to the sets we already know are coming in March, there will be two more in the Summer:
- 41077 Aira's Pegasus Sleigh (£35) - a sleigh hauled by two white horses with wings. There must have been more to it than that given the price but I can't recall. Comes with figures Azari and Aira.
- 41078 Skyra's Mysterious Sky Castle (£75) - On a c.16x32 green baseplate, primarily tan but with plenty of purple and light purple/lavender pieces. Has some sort of portal in the front of it, presumably the way back for the human character, Emily, in the story. Comes with Naida, Emily and Sky Lady figures.
The friends now have a pop star friend called Livi. Five sets revolve around her: a recording studio, dressing room, stage, telescoping tour bus and limo. They are predominantly white, black and magenta in colour rather than pastel.
41101 Grand Hotel (£100) looked pretty good. I didn't get a good look because the area was crowded but what from I remember it was tan with lavender highlights, had a lot of pillars at the front and two bedrooms upstairs.
Legends of Chima
Chima's three year cycle comes to an end this year so the three summer sets will be the last to be released. There are pictures of them here. The bear-mech with big wheels looked absolutely ridiculous. Perhaps it's just as well it's the end, before they go down hill too much.
Series 5 and 6 were on display and I have character names for them all which I'll add to the database later. Tribe names were not given on the mock-up packaging unfortunately, so I can't tell you what they are. I can however tell you their colours:
- Series 5: brown/gold, blue/medium blue, yellow/red.
- Series 6: purple/lavender, yellow/grey, green and lime green.
They all looked great but the purple/lavender ones stood out for me. The brown and gold ones have a definite Steampunk vibe to them.
There was too much to take in on the Ninjago stand. Three of the sets are dragons and one features two mechs. Master Wu's Dragon is a white brick-built 4-legged beast while the others are dark blue and a very light green that was hard to identify in the lighting. It was a very striking colour scheme, that's for sure.
The 'Airjitzus' are interesting. They consist of a small brick built handle, a rip cord and a flying disc/rotor that flies upwards when the cord is pulled. A minifig is mounted on top inside a new clear canopy piece that screws into place, kind of a bayonet fitting, like a camera lens.
- 42040 Fire Plane (£45, 578-pieces) - A white with red seaplane, maybe 30cm wingspan whose single propeller turns as it's pushed along the ground. A lever on top controls the ailerons and elevators. It also comes with trans blue 2x2 round bricks that can be ejected onto a fire below.
- 42042 Crawler Crane (£110, 1401-pieces) - a very large and impressive motorised crane which, refreshingly, is blue and not yellow. The boom must have been 1m long.
- 42043 Mercedes Benz Arocs 3245 (£170, 2793-pieces) - A stunning vehicle featuring power functions and pneumatics. The cab is white, the tipper grey. It has a pneumatically controlled red arm with an opening scoop at the end. The arm has a new rack housing at the end of it that solves the problem of it being too thick when brick-built. It comes with a large motor, 4 pneumatic cylinders, a blue pump cylinder and 4 valve controls. There are three types of cylinder which might all be new. On the box they are labelled as 2/11, 1/11 and 1/5. The 2/11 is, presumably, 11 units long and 2 wide, the 1/11 was 1 unit wide and, well, you can guess the other one. The Mercedes logo is printed on a 2x2 boat stud. The alternative model, a flatbed truck, looks as good as the main one. This was easily the 'best in show' as far as I'm concerned.
Three new sets will be released in the summer. I must confess that I can't tell you much about them because while the rest of the group were being told about them I was busy recording names and colours of Mixels which I felt to be more important. However, the largest set, 70173 Ocean HQ looked great. It's a sizeable boat, probably 12" or so long. The most impressive thing about it was that it has a brick-built hull. I suspect there are loads of doors and features on it which are typical of Agents sets.
Update: (CapnRex101) - The large ship did indeed have a brick-built hull which was quite nicely shaped, with opening hatches reminiscent of those on the original Agents Mobile Command Centre. Other sets included a small, jet flown by an electricity-themed villain and a base for Antimatter, which was based on an oil platform. The purple and black colour scheme looked great, although I generally felt it was a bit insubstantial given that this is the hideout of the ultimate villain.
Back to Huw:
In summary, the must haves for me were Technic, Deep Sea Explorers and Mixels. I can take or leave the rest.
So there you have it. Chris will cover licensed themes including Jurassic World, Scooby Doo, Super Heroes, Star Wars and more, tomorrow.
Feel free to ask questions, we'll try and answer them if we can.