The Blocks Review Index now contains our LEGO set review scores from Issue 70. This spooky issue leads with our verdict on the latest Fairground Collection ride, 10273 Haunted House, along with a behind-the-scenes interview with LEGO Design Manager Jamie Berard.
We’ve then kept the theme going by dissecting the third – and possibly final – wave of Hidden Side sets, before opting for some light relief with a pair of Disney sets. You’ll find the scores from those reviews in the tables for each theme, either by navigating to the Review Index in the top menu, or clicking below:
If you haven’t yet spotted our handy Review Index, now is a great time to check it out. You’ll find our numerical verdict for every LEGO set reviewed in the pages of Blocks, along with the issue the review was originally published in. And if you want to read the full reviews, we have plenty of back issues available in our online store, including Issue 70.
Issue 71 of Blocks magazine is also available to order now. The latest edition features a deep dive into the world of LEGO Super Mario, an in-depth analysis of the three Technic supercars released to date, and reviews of all the latest and greatest LEGO sets.
The latest addition to the LEGO Star Wars Master Builder Series takes a trip to the sands of Tatooine with 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina. This is by far the biggest brick-built recreation of the infamous intergalactic watering hole to date, coming in at 3,187 pieces. And it includes not only a full cantina, but even a separate Jawa trading post – along with a dewback, two landspeeders and an incredible 21 minifigures.
Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi are all present and correct, of course – but the LEGO designers have also taken a deep dive into the obscurities of the Star Wars databanks, pulling up a whole host of barely-glimpsed background characters. If the names Labria, Hrchek Kal Fas and Momaw Nadon mean nothing to you, well, you’re probably a well-rounded person with interests beyond Star Wars. But that shouldn’t stop you from heading to Wookieepedia to learn more about these enigmatic aliens, who doubtless all have fully fleshed-out backstories.
75290 Mos Eisley Cantina will be available for LEGO VIPs from September 16 for £319.99/$349.99/€349.99, while everyone else will have to wait until October 1. Signing up to the VIP program is completely free, though, so it’s a no-brainer if you’re ordering directly from LEGO.com.
Check out the full press release and gallery of images below, and keep your eyes peeled for more on this massive Star Wars set in a future issue of Blocks. In the meantime, you can now order Issue 71, which features our own deep dive into the world of LEGO Super Mario, the anatomy of a Technic supercar, and a guide to making your minifigures move.
Comingfrom a galaxy far, far away and into to the homes of LEGO enthusiasts and Star Wars fans across the world – the LEGO Group’s new LEGO Star Wars building set, the Mos Eisley Cantina set, will dazzle adult builders and film fans alike. Bringing to life one of the Skywalker saga’s most iconic locations, the new set is sure to become an instant classic as Rebels immerse themselves in the famous cantina’s world of smugglers, musicians, bounty hunters and Jedi Knights.
The impressive building kit gives adult LEGO fans the chance to relax and enjoy a mindful building experience as they reconnect with their passion for the original trilogy. Intrepid builders can even open up the set’s removable roof to admire its intricate details and act out their favourite Star Wars: A New Hope scenes, using iconic character mini-figures including Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, C-3PO. Additionally, the set features eight character minifigures that have been introduced in LEGO form for the first time, including Ponda Baba, Dr. Evazan, Garindan, and more.
As they embark on their journey to bring Mos Eisley’s quintessential taverna to life, films lovers and Star Wars devotees will be thrilled to discover the set’s special features, such as the attachable buildings, two Landspeeders – one of which has never been built in LEGO before – and a dewback LEGO figure. The LEGO Star Wars: A New Hope Mos Eisley Cantina is also dotted with hidden details throughout, such as a “Wanted” poster featuring R2-D2 and C-3PO, to the kyber crystals hidden in one of the exterior buildings.
Once built, the 3,187-piece LEGO Star Wars Mos Eisley Cantina construction set makes for an extraordinary display piece, standing at over 7.5” (19cm) high, 20.5” (52cm) wide and 23” (58cm) deep when opened.
Part of the Master Builder series, the new Star Wars building kit is the latest example of how the LEGO Group aims to inspire builders to build, rebuild and get excited by the process of creation. Speaking about the creative process behind the new building kit, set designer Cesar Soares said:
“The first time I watched the Cantina scene in Star Wars: A New Hope, I was just 12 years old. I remember thinking, ‘this is where the adventure starts!’ Years later, when I then became a LEGO Star Wars designer in 2016, this was the first set I built. With this design, we’ve added external buildings like the Jawa shop, refined the details, and chosen an impressive 21 minifigure characters, including all-new alien figures. I love that all Star Wars characters have cool backstories, no matter how briefly they appear, it wasn’t easy to decide which characters to include in the set, but we hope fans will love the entire model and its line-up of heroes and villains.”
LEGO Super Mario leaps onto the cover of Issue 71 of Blocks magazine, available now in UK stores and online. Technic supercars, classic Pirates and moving builds are also packed into this latest edition of the monthly magazine.
Issue 71 gives LEGO Super Mario a full play through, both reviewing the sets and finding out from the LEGO team how they collaborated with Nintendo to come up with this unique technology-driven product theme. A look at Super Mario wouldn’t be complete without a look at that nostalgia-inducing Nintendo Entertainment System set, which gets the spotlight review.
Nintendo’s not the only brand with dedicated fans though, so Blocks takes the Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 for a spin around the review track, before lining it up alongside the Porsche 911 GT3 RS and the Bugatti Chiron to take a deep dive into the design of the special Technic supercar series.
Adding motion to LEGO models can be great fun, so this month there’s a handy guide showing how to put together different mechanisms that can make minifigures move. There’s also tips on building historical weaponry, with plenty of useful ideas that can apply to various LEGO MOCs.
Brickset, the ultimate LEGO database, celebrates 20 years of helping fans keep track of their collection this year, so Blocks catches up with Huw Millington to celebrate the milestone and reflect on how the fan-driven website has evolved over the years.
There’s always room for some Blockstalgia, with this month’s look back at classic LEGO spotlighting Pirates – specifically the beloved Bluecoats. As well as revisiting several classic sets including 6276 Eldorado Fortress, the section includes exclusive instructions for building a mini Caribbean Clipper.
Elsewhere this issue, LEGO Art Design Manager Sam Johnson shares the thinking behind the new theme, the Blocks crew reveal their views on the cancelled Technic Osprey and there’s a countdown of the top 10 videogame sets.
Does your burgeoning LEGO Harry Potter minifigure collection sorely need somewhere to pick up wizarding supplies? Consider it done. The LEGO Group’s design team has waved its collective wand to come up with 75978 Diagon Alley, an enormous brick-built recreation of the famous magical shopping destination.
The full street stretches over a metre wide, and includes Ollivanders, Scribbulus Writing Implements, Quality Quidditch Supplies, the Daily Prophet, Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor, Flourish & Blotts, and Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. With over 5,444 parts and 14 minifigures in the box, this is another show-stopping set for the Harry Potter theme, with the price tag to match: you’ll need to part with £369.99 / $399.99 / €399.99 to get your hands on Diagon Alley when it launches on September 1.
Stay tuned for more on 75978 Diagon Alley in a future issue of Blocks. For now, check out the full press release and gallery of images below – and if you haven’t already, make sure to grab a copy of Issue 71, as we’ve gone behind the scenes on the LEGO Group’s collaboration with Nintendo for LEGO Super Mario.
Launching today, the spectacular new LEGO® Harry Potter® set allows fans to be transported to the most magical shopping street in the world, now in brick form!
Diagon Alley™ is one of the most iconic locations in the Wizarding World. It’s where Harry Potter gets his first glimpse of the exciting new world he is about to join, as he’s guided through the magical shopping street by Hagrid. And now LEGO and Harry Potter fans alike can build and create the iconic street in their own homes.
The set brings the two worlds together in a magical hybrid: a rich and versatile display model, with a modularity aspect that allows fans to choose how to display the shops (all in a row, swapping them around, or even placing individual shops on different shelves!). Measuring more than a meter wide and made up of over 5,000 pieces, LEGO Diagon Alley features the famed wizarding world shops packed with authentic details from the movies to truly capture the ambience of the street.
Behind magnificent and detailed storefronts lie intriguing interiors, fascinating features and familiar characters. Fans can recreate some of their favourite moments from the Harry Potter film series including; discovering the wands at Ollivanders™ from Harry Potter and the Philosophers / Sorcerer’s Stone dropping in on Gilderoy Lockhart™’s book-signing event at Flourish & Blotts™ bookstore from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; or obtaining a love potion from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes™ from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Marcos Bessa, LEGO Harry Potter Design Lead commented: “I love how faithful the final design is to the architectural details in the film. You can barely see some of these buildings zooming past your screen, but we tracked down different photographs from the sets – some of them from nearly 20 years ago – to make sure everything is spot on. Diagon Alley is the biggest set I’ve designed to-date and I am really proud of how it has come together.”
The set also includes 14 minifigures, including new versions of lead characters Harry, Ron, Hermione and of course George and Fred Weasley who have their own joke shop in Diagon Alley. There are also minifigures of Florean Fortescue and the Daily Prophet photographer, who have never been seen in LEGO form before.
With Christmas just around the corner, the LEGO Diagon Alley set makes an impressive and inspiring gift for Harry Potter and LEGO enthusiasts alike.
The Blocks Review Index has been updated with review scores from Issue 69, including our verdicts on a fresh batch of LEGO sets from a galaxy far, far away. Alongside reviews of 75275 A-wing Starfighter and the entire first wave of 2020 LEGO Star Wars sets, we’ve also taken a look at the two Minions sets that did make it on to shelves this year (despite the movie being delayed to 2021).
You’ll find the scores from those reviews in the tables for each theme, either by navigating to the Review Index in the top menu, or clicking below:
If you haven’t yet spotted our handy Review Index, now is a great time to check it out. You’ll find our numerical verdict for every LEGO set reviewed in the pages of Blocks, along with the issue the review was originally published in. And if you want to read the full reviews, we have plenty of back issues available in our online store, including Issue 69.
Issue 70 of Blocks magazine is now available to order, featuring a review of 10273 Haunted House, along with a behind-the-scenes interview, plus instructions for filling out your fairground with a pavement, shooting gallery, ticket office and entrance.
In an exclusive feature as epic as the games themselves, ’15 years of LEGO videogames’ looks back at every single LEGO game that has come from TT Games since Star Wars set the trend in 2005. Head of Design Arthur Parsons and four of his talented colleagues share unique insights, reflections and behind-the-scenes secrets as they look at the development of the games over the years, from Harry Potter to Marvel’s Avengers and everything in between. They even provide a sneak peek at LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.
Physical bricks are never far from the Blocks crews’ minds though, with attention turning to the incredible Haunted House that recently launched in the Fairground Collection. As well as reviewing the set, Blocks sits down with Design Manager Jamie Berard to find out about the collaboration that went into designing this incredibly tall model. There are images showcasing the various sketch models and prototypes that the design team built, too.
With so many fairground and theme park ride sets now released, what’s the best way to set them up in a layout? A special feature looks at just that, showing how to build complementary models such as a ticket booth, entrance, shooting gallery and walkway. It’s not this issue’s only building guide, with Technique revealing how to put together attractive display bases.
As much as the LEGO hobby is a distraction from the outside world, lockdown has been happening – and now that he’s back in the office, Model Designer Milan Madge reflects on his experience designing a really, really big set away from the LEGO Group’s resources. Working from home might be tricky for anyone, but it’s all the more so with thousands of LEGO bricks to accommodate.
If nostalgia for LEGO themes had a name, it would be Blockstalgia. In this month’s edition, Blocks takes a look at Indiana Jones’ memorable appearance in the brick. Spotlighting three classic sets from the theme and introducing three new vignettes – one for each of the first three films – it’s a celebration of the whip-cracking archaeologist that belongs in this magazine.
The 116 pages of Blocks Issue 70 are rounded out with a guide to LEGO Super Mario, reaction to LEGO Art and an interview with the designers of the exclusive LEGO House Wooden Duck. All of the regulars are in there too, including Top Ten, Month in MOCs, Rebuild Challenge, Ideas Showcase and Piece Perception.
Everyone who subscribes to the print edition by September 1 will be in with a chance of winning (existing subscribers will automatically be entered into the prize draw).
LEGO Ideas is hosting a public vote to determine the angle of its first ever book for AFOLs, which will focus on the history of the brick.
There are three options on the table: The LEGO Brick Museum, LEGO History in 100 Bricks, and The Secret Life of LEGO Bricks. Each of these ideas offers a different take on showcasing the variety of LEGO elements released over the past few decades, acting as a springboard to reveal insights from LEGO designers, managers and technicians.
The new title has apparently been developed with input from AFOLs, but it’s the author’s name Blocks readers will recognise. Our US Editor Daniel Konstanski is taking the lead on the book, which is a joint project by LEGO Publishing, the company’s global publishing partner AMEET, and crowdfunding publisher Unbound.
The vote is now live on LEGO Ideas, and will run until August 9, 2020 at 3.00pm BST. Once the winning title has been announced, the book will launch on Unbound’s crowdfunding platform, with bonus rewards for those who back the project. Not only will you get your name printed in the back of the book, but you’ll also get the chance to pledge for ‘additional must-have rewards’, according to the press release.
Robin James Pearson, Head of Publishing at the LEGO Group, said: ‘We are thrilled to be working closely with the AFOL community to identify, co-create, and publish unique books that satisfy the great thirst for knowledge of our adult fans. There have been a number of books published about The LEGO Group and the LEGO brick over the years, but this is the first time we have had the opportunity to work directly with the adult fan community to discover what titles that they would like to see on their bookshelves.’
The LEGO Group’s latest Ideas set is literally music to our ears. Donny Chen’s Playable Piano project has finally materialised in 21323 Grand Piano, which is billed as the first ever playable LEGO piano. That means the fan designer’s magic has been woven into the final product, with keys that genuinely play sounds – as long as you’ve got your phone switched on.
The key (if you’ll forgive the pun) to making the enormous piano sing is connecting it to the companion app, which acts as its speaker. Strike one of the keys in user play, and you’ll hear the corresponding note. String your notes together, and you can effectively play the model like a real piano. If you’re less confident in your musical ability, choose auto play, and the app will blare out one of four different melodies.
It’s not just the keys that replicate their real-life function, either. There are also moving dampers, a pedal, working hammers for each key, a fallboard and an adjustable bench. Can it teach you to play piano? Probably not, but at least it’s slightly cheaper than an actual grand piano, ringing in at £319.99/$349.99/€349.99 for 3,662 pieces. You can order it directly from LEGO.com (or pick it up at LEGO Stores) from August 1.
Check out the full press release and gallery below, and look out for an interview with the Grand Piano’s designer in a future issue of Blocks. For more immediate behind-the-scenes access, order a copy of Issue 69, which takes a deep dive into the development of Monkie Kid with the LEGO Group’s Senior Creative Director Simon Lucas.
And while you’re here, don’t forget to check out our subscription deals. Subscribers get the magazine early, free copies of the mag, and exclusive entry into our bi-monthly subscribers’ prize draw. Signing up between now and September 1 will put you in the running for 80009 Pigsy’s Food Truck.
21323 LEGO® ǀ Ideas Grand Piano
Ages 18+. 3,662 pieces
US $349.99 – CA $449.99 – DE €349.99 – UK £319.99 – FR €349.99 – DK 2699.0DKK
*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.
FEEL THE RHYTHM WITH THE SPECTACULAR FAN-DESIGNED LEGO® IDEAS GRAND PIANO SET
Imagined by an avid LEGO builder, the LEGO Group’s brand-new LEGO® Ideas Grand Piano is a show-stopping set for adult music lovers and builders – available from 1st August from LEGO.com and LEGO Stores.
A dazzling idea from a keen LEGO builder and music enthusiast, has now been brought to life after receiving overwhelming demand from the public – as the LEGO Group launches the brand-new LEGO® Ideas Grand Piano™ set. The latest product is part of the LEGO Ideas collection, which conceptualises and produces the creative wonders imagined and voted for by LEGO fans themselves.
Designed with the intricate elements of a real grand piano, this brand-new set is a fully immersive build. With a clever motor and working keys, when the set is combined with the LEGO Powered Up app, fans can become musical maestros one brick and one note at a time – making it The LEGO Group’s first-ever piano set with the ability to play music.
Talented builders can try their hand at creating their own masterpiece on the LEGO® Ideas Grand Piano™ using the LEGO Powered Up app, which allows them full control of the musical notes and piano keys. Alternatively, those looking to sit back and relax can choose to select ‘auto-play’ and enjoy the dulcet tones of one of the ten pre-set songs available.
The brand-new set is a masterpiece of craft and innovation, featuring all the makings of real-life grand piano to give an authentic musical experience in LEGO brick-form. These authentic features include a removable 25-key keyboard, a top lid that can be propped up, an authentic hammer action and a moving damper and pedal, which help to make the LEGO® Ideas Grand Piano™ as beautiful as it is functional.
Once built, the 3,662-piece LEGO® Ideas Grand Piano™ is made to take centre stage as a spectacular display model for any room, measuring over 8.5” (22.5cm) high, 12” (30.5cm) wide and 13.5” (35.5cm) deep when closed.
The new grand piano set is part of the LEGO Ideas collection, which offers fans the opportunity to submit their own brick creations with the chance to have their concept brought to life with the help of LEGO master designers and a share of the profits. Other recent LEGO Ideas sets inspired by LEGO fans, include the LEGO Ideas Pirated of Barracuda Bay and the LEGO Ideas Friends Central Perk.
Imagined by music teacher and LEGO aficionado Donny Chen, this set was designed as a way for him to combine his passion for music with his passion for building. To add to the excitement and personal feel of the build, the LEGO® Ideas Grand Piano™ even features a music sheet composed by Donny himself.
Speaking about the process, Donny Chen said: “When I’m not building with LEGO bricks, I’m teaching, tuning or writing music on my piano. So, when I first discovered LEGO Ideas, I knew I wanted to build something that not only combined my two passions, but also looked visually stunning. It’s truly an honour to see my idea brought to life by the talented people at the LEGO Group and I hope it brings joy to all the other music fans who voted for the idea on the LEGO Ideas platform.”
Federico Begher, VP of Global Marketing at The LEGO Group added: “We get so many amazing concepts submitted through our LEGO Ideas platform, but when we saw Donny’s piano design it really stood out as something extraordinary, with great potential to become a truly unique LEGO set.
The accompanying images and video submitted by Donny really sparked some ideas within the team. We believed that including power functions as part of the model to enable the set to play real music in real life would elevate the design even further. We simply could not pass on the opportunity to create the ultimate LEGO Ideas Grand Piano model for music and LEGO fans alike!”
The new LEGO® Ideas Grand Piano™ set is the latest example of how the LEGO Group aims to inspire builders of all ages to build, rebuild and get excited by the process of creation.
LEGO® Ideas Grand Piano™will be available directly via LEGO.com and LEGO Stores from August 1st
Everyone knows Mr. Gold fetches a pretty penny online, but he’s far from the rarest LEGO minifigure out there. Just ask Shawn Storoe, the man behind minifigpriceguide.com. Or, better yet, let us do the hard work for you by picking up the latest issue of Blocks magazine.
In a special in-depth feature, we chat to Shawn about how he built the Minifigure Price Guide, what constitutes a truly rare minifigure, and how collectors manage to get their hands on them. Some of these tiny plastic people are so ridiculously rare that they don’t appear for decades after they’re manufactured, while others can command eye-watering five-figure sums.
We’ve also spoken to LEGO minifigure fanatic Samuel Burkhardt, who you might know on Instagram as @rarest_lego_minifigures. Samuel currently owns a handful of those ultra-rare characters, including some highly sought-after metal Star Wars minifigures. Samuel reveals how he started amassing his one-of-a-kind collection, and gives a few tips on how you can get started.
To find out more about the world of rare minifigure collecting, you’ll need to order a copy of Issue 69. Alternatively, check out our subscription deals, which can be started with Issue 69. Subscribers get the magazine early, free copies of the mag, and exclusive entry into our bi-monthly subscribers’ prize draw. Signing up between now and September 1 will put you in the running for 80009 Pigsy’s Food Truck.
LEGO Super Mario isn’t the end of the LEGO Group’s collaboration with Nintendo – it’s just the beginning. 71374 LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System is a retro-fuelled take on the partnership between the two companies, giving builders the chance to construct a replica of the Japanese giant’s 1980s console.
The nostalgia doesn’t end with the NES and its iconic rectangular controller, because they’re accompanied by a brick-built CRT TV on which to play the included Super Mario Bros. cartridge. Okay, so you can’t actually play Super Mario Bros., but the LEGO Group has come up with the next best thing: a scrolling screen, activated by turning a hand crank on the side of the TV, which sends a flat 8-bit Mario figure through a prebuilt level.
The 2,646-piece set doesn’t stand entirely alone from the LEGO Super Mario range, either. Slot the digital Mario figure included with 71360 Adventures with Mario Starter Course into the top of the TV, and he’ll react to the on-screen obstacles, power-ups and enemies. You’ll be able to get your hands on both 71374 and 71360 from August 1, from both LEGO.com and in LEGO Stores.
71374 LEGO® Nintendo Entertainment System™ Ages 18+. 2646 pieces
US $199.99 – CA $299.99 – DE €229.99 – UK £209.99 – FR €229.99 – DK 1799DKK *Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.
Recreate the Nintendo Entertainment System™ in LEGO® style!
Do you love video games? Did you play Super Mario Bros.™ back in the day? Or do you just enjoy a hands-on, creative activity in your spare time? If so, this nostalgic LEGO® Nintendo Entertainment System™ (71374) model kit is perfect for you.
Authentic and interactive The brick-built NES is packed with realistic details, including an opening slot for the Game Pak with a locking function and a controller with a connecting cable and plug. The console comes with a buildable retro TV, featuring a flat 8-bit Mario figure on the scrolling screen, plus an action brick to scan with LEGO® Mario™ (figure not included; find in the LEGO® Super Mario™ Starter Course set – 71360) so he reacts to the on-screen enemies, obstacles and power-ups just like in the Super Mario Bros. game.
Creative fun This unique set is part of an inspiring collection of LEGO building sets for adults that make fabulous gifts for yourself and hobbyist friends who enjoy DIY challenges and proudly displaying their creations.
• Trigger nostalgic memories as you build this wonderfully detailed LEGO® brick Nintendo Entertainment System™ (71374) and interactive, 1980s-style television displaying the classic Super Mario Bros.™ game. • The TV has a handle-operated scrolling screen and if you scan the action brick by placing LEGO® Mario™ (figure not included) in the slot on top, he will react to the on-screen enemies, obstacles and power-ups. • Authentic details of the NES console are recreated in LEGO® style, including a controller and an opening slot for the buildable Game Pak with a realistic locking function to delight Super Mario Bros.™ fans. • Whether you were an NES gamer back in the day, a fan of retro stuff, or are just looking for an immersive, fun, creative DIY project to leave you feeling revitalized, this 2,646-piece model building kit is ideal for you. • The buildable TV measures over 8” (22.5cm) high, 9” (23.5cm) wide and 6” (16cm) deep, and alongside the NES model makes a cool display item for your home or office. It also makes the best LEGO® gift for gamer friends.