Yesterday, myself, DrDaveWatford, 'Big' Pete from FBTB, and Gary, the Brickish Ambassador, visited the LEGO stand at the London Toy Fair. I got back late and was tired hence not posting this until today.
It's the first toy fair of the season (Germany is in a couple of weeks and New York a couple after that) and for reasons I've never been able to fathom, LEGO does not allow photography which is rather odd given that in a couple of weeks, they do. Also, much of the what's on show is very much pre-production with blank minifigs standing in for the real ones, prototype pieces in the models and so on. Nevertheless, you can get a good impression of what's coming and in this article I will attempt to remember what I saw and give you my opinion on it, with the help of set listings from All About Bricks who have done a great job of capturing prices and other details.
So, here goes...
75048 The Phantom £19.99
75049 Snowspeeder £34.99
75050 B-Wing £49.99
75051 Jedi Scout Fighter £59.99
75052 Mos Eisley Cantina £64.99
75053 The Ghost £69.99
75054 AT-AT £109.99
75055 Imperial Star Destroyer £119.99
The original trilogy sets look pretty good. The Cantina was perhaps a little on the small side, but does come with three band members, Greedo, Han and a couple of other figures. It's a 'concertina' design so can fold into a square building, or fold out into a long wall. It comes with a sandspeeder which looks much the same as all the others but featured new 'salmon pink' parts.
The snowspeeder and B-Wing looked okay, but much the same as previous versions, the ISD was smaller than the previous minifig one but, according to DrDave, a much sturdier design. The other 'extended galaxy' sets were just plain weird and did not appeal at all. The AT-AT was also smaller than previous versions.
Legends of Chima
More Speedorz and constraction figures which AAB has listed but which were of little interest to me, and
70141 Vardy’s Ice Vulture Glider £17.99
70142 Eris’ Fire Eagle Flyer £24.99
70143 Sir Fangar’s Sabertooth Walker £34.99
70144 Laval’s Fire Lion £39.99
70145 Maula’s Ice Mammoth Stomper £69.99
70146 Flying Phoenix Fire Temple £89.99
Apparently a crack has formed in the earth's crust and the Chi has fallen into it. Thus the lions and eagles are battling with long-extinct animals, mammoths and sabretooth tigers that has been awakened (or something like that!). It looked pretty awful and far too abstract if I'm honest although it did have some cool figures, including a mammoth but they were only visible in pictures.
41030 Olivia’s Ice Cream Bike £9.99
41031 Andrea’s Mountain Hut £9.99
41032 First Aid Jungle Bike £12.99
41033 Jungle Falls Rescue £17.99
41034 Summer Caravan £19.99
41036 Jungle Bridge Rescue £24.99
41059 Jungle Tree Sanctuary £24.99
41038 Jungle Rescue Base £44.99
41058 Heartlake Shopping Mall £79.99
The girls have taken to the jungle. There were some interesting new vine pieces evident, but not many actual animals: just monkeys from the CMF series (IIRC) bears and pandas, so God only knows what part of the world it's set in!
The Animals collectables looked interesting and series 6 will feature a lion, seal and panda.
70160 Riverside Raid £9.99
70161 Tremor Track Infiltration £17.99
70162 Inferno Interception £24.99
70163 Toxikita's Toxic Meltdown £34.99
70164 Hurricane Heist £49.99
70165 Ultra Agents Mission HQ £79.99
The return of the popular and, it seems, successful, Agents theme. However I was very disappointed with them. There was no coherent design or colour scheme that had made the previous theme appealing, they were just a mish-mash of odd-designed vehicles in strange colours. The big selling point seems to be not the contents of the sets but an 'augmented reality' mission based app that is activated using codes in the boxes.
70727 X-1 Ninja Charger £34.99
70728 Battle for Ninjago City £89.99
I can remember nothing about the former set but the latter looked pretty similar to the last Ninjago temple, a oriental-style building set on a rock and thus fairly boring.
60032 Arctic Snowmobile £4.99
60033 Arctic Ice Crawler £9.99
60034 Arctic Helicrane £24.99
60035 Arctic Outpost £34.99
60036 Arctic Base Camp £69.99
Now things start to get a bit more interesting. These sets are not unlike the previous Arctic range from 2000. They are predominantly orange and the designs look realistic, particularly the ice crawler. The story here is that the Arctic is being mined for crystals found in blocks of ice. It features polar bears, the same as the new-style bear, and huskies which were very cute.
60050 Train Station £49.99
60051 High-speed Passenger Train £99.99
60052 Cargo Train £139.99
Train fans will be pleased by the news of a new range of City trains but I suspect will be disappointed by their execution. The station in particular was very disappointing and like no station I've ever seen. The passenger train consists of three cars which are white. It uses a new huge great nose piece for the front and back and thus stylistically looks the same as every other City passenger train we've seen over the last 10 years or so.
The cargo train, however, was much better. The locomotive is blue and yellow and based on US-designs, like the Maersk and BNSF locos. It comes with three wagons, one for carrying cable drums, one for containers (in this case a small tank which fits on the back of a truck) and an open cattle truck complete with cow. While this looked great there hasn't been anything even remotely like it on European railways since the 19th century. It also features an overhead gantry crane a bit like this one, track, motor, battery and remote control.
31023 Yellow Racers £19.99
31024 Roaring Power £19.99
31026 Bike Shop & Café £64.99
The first two are 'more of the same' but the bike shop and cafe were quite interesting. They are a bit like mini modular buildings, fairly realistic with a lot of internal details. They are hinged so can fold into square buildings or out to a single wall.
All 27 mixels from the first three series were on show and to my mind they were 'best in show'. They are innovative, cheap, highly collectable and most of all fun. The first series features red, yellow and black creatures, the other two contain purple, lime green, blue, brown, orange and another colour that I can't remember. Apparently the cartoon will air in the UK, on the Cartoon Network. To be honest, these were the only sets I saw that I can't wait to get hold of.
44023 ROCKA Crawler £8.99
44024 TUNNELER Beast vs. SURGE £8.99
44025 BULK Drill Machine £12.99
44026 CRYSTAL Beast vs. BULK £12.99
44027 BREEZ Flea Machine £12.99
44028 SURGE & ROCKA Combat Machine £24.99
44029 QUEEN Beast vs. FURNO, EVO & STORMER £34.99
The second half of year HF sets see our heroes heading underground to battle with fearsome creatures. The most interesting aspect were 'cocoon'-like pieces that the HF minifigs can be put inside once captured.
Three sets will be available in October. They did not have names. One was a small rock piece, the middle-priced one was another part of Lake-town, a tower IIRC, and the largest featured Smaug. It was a nondescript structure made predominantly from sand green. I'd like to tell you what minifigs are included but I can't remember.
There are two different Turtles series -- actually three if we count the one coming out in the 'Juniors' range -- this year: sets based on the cartoon which feature bright colours, and sets based on a movie coming out later in the year. These were just labelled 'Ninja Turtles' and were 'darker' than the cartoon ones: even the turtles, which are dark or olive green.
Two ranges of Super Heroes were on display which I didn't much attention to to be honest. Under cover, but revealed to us were the three Guardians of the Galaxy sets. As usual with SH sets they looked to be very minifigure-focussed with weak supporting vehicles, although the largest, some sort of blue and yellow spacecraft, looked fairly interesting. These are apparently out in June.
Three sets to be released in the summer: a bulldozer, a 4WD pickup truck and a Volvo-licensed remote-controlled trench digger.
The LEGO Movie
Just the three sets we already have pictures of. Benny's Spaceship looked bigger than expected and will cost £70, IIRC.
That's just about it. By all means ask questions but don't expect me to remember every little detail, but hopefully DrDave will be able to pitch in too.