LEGO.com has kicked off this year’s Black Friday sale. The official LEGO shopping portal has a whole host of deals available to tempt you into buying some goodies ready for Christmas (even if they are for yourself – don’t worry, we won’t tell).
Chris Wharfe is stepping down as Editor of Blocks, the LEGO magazine for adult fans, and Graham Hancock will be taking on the role from Issue 75.
It’s time for the Blocks team to say goodbye to Editor Chris Wharfe, who has delighted LEGO fans around the world by ensuring that Blocks magazine’s content has been varied, engaging and always of the highest standard. Thanks to his journalistic instinct and love of the brick, the monthly title has gone from strength to strength.
During his tenure Chris has introduced new sections such as Blockstalgia and Rebuild Challenge, while refreshing long-running regulars such as Month in LEGO. He has brought dozens of insightful exclusives to the page, from the recent Star Wars: The Mandalorian epic to the inside scoop on rare minifigure collecting. Readers will be well aware that he is leaving Blocks in an excellent position.
“I’ve had a blast working on Blocks,” says Chris. “Putting together a print magazine each and every month isn’t always easy, but when it’s a LEGO magazine, it’s always fun – and I have our loyal and incredibly valued readers to thank for making it possible. Whether you’ve been with Blocks longer than I have or you’ve only picked up the odd issue here and there, it’s your support that’s allowed us to take the magazine to where it is today. I can’t wait to see where Graham takes it next.”
Chris and Deputy Editor Graham Hancock have been working closely together on the magazine’s editorial direction in the past couple of years, so there won’t be any dramatic shift – Blocks will continue to provide exclusive behind-the-scenes features, unique build guides and a healthy dose of nostalgia. Watch out for a few more LEGO pirates lurking around though…
“When I’m not taking silly LEGO photos, I’m usually writing about LEGO, editing LEGO content, building LEGO sets, talking about LEGO or organising my LEGO collection. While sensible people might say that means I need some balance in my life, I am delighted to make the most of my one track mind and take the lead at the world’s finest LEGO magazine,” says Graham.
Graham has been with Blocks magazine since Issue 8 and has spent more than four years working as the Editor of Brick Fanatics, where Chris is now heading to take the lead (that’s right, they’ve pretty much switched roles).
Issue 74 of Blocks magazine, on shelves December 3, will be Chris’s final issue as Editor. Everyone at Blocks wishes him well and we are sure that our readers will do the same.
Given that the LEGO video games have drop-in, drop-out co-op play, they are a great option for families to play together. Or even couples looking for a non-competitive way to play! And we definitely don’t judge people who prefer to play LEGO games alone – there’s nothing more annoying than someone knocking that stud count down…
Here are the games you can get in the deal! The platforms vary, but many older titles have been ported over to modern consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One:
Everything LEGO Harry Potter fans need to complement 75978 Diagon Alley is in Blocks magazine Issue 73 – designer insights, expansion inspiration and an in-depth review.
71043 Hogwarts Castle offered fans the destination that is most important in the Wizarding World. But for intrigue, mystery, fun and whimsy – with a dash of danger – Diagon Alley is the even more compelling location. “Welcome to Diagon Alley.”
While the LEGO Group tackled the set at minifigure scale a whopping 13 years ago with 10217 Diagon Alley, this is a significant upgrade. Taking advantage of the size that LEGO sets can now go to and the advanced techniques they can include, 75978 Diagon Alley offers something on an entirely different scale to what has been done before.
In Blocks magazine Issue 73, Design Manager Marco Bessa reveals how he designed this model himself. There are some fascinating insights – did you know it was originally going to be taller? How was the size determined? And has the design wizard read all of the Potter books?
The full, deep dive review also offers an assessment of the set. At almost £400, it’s not a set to buy without thinking carefully first – and this review is the perfect way to get a better sense of the epic model. There’s also reviews of the rest of the LEGO Harry Potter 2020 wave.
But what if you do buy the set and build it? What then? A special build feature provides tips and inspiration on how to extend the street, adding Gringotts Bank in the same scale to really expand the display possibilities. Once you have added Gringotts, where could you take Diagon Alley next?
A historical marvel has taken the title of biggest ever LEGO set and it’s coming in time for Christmas – the latest 18+ release is 10276 Colosseum.
The latest LEGO set to be revealed is upping the ante, with 10276 Colosseum using 9,036 pieces to recreate the famous historical site in Rome, Italy. You read that right – 9,036.
Built in a similar style to LEGO Architecture sets, but much, much, much bigger, the model is absolutely huge and measures 27cm high, 52cm wide and 59cm deep. Care and attention to detail has been paid to the actual structure to replicate it as a LEGO model.
UK Price: £449.99 USA Price: $549.99 Piece count: 9,036 Release date: November 27
LEGO Designer Rok Zgalin Kobe said: “One of the biggest challenges and one of the most important things was to convey the Colosseum’s monumentality in the LEGO form. I felt that the LEGO model should display a special architectural feature of the original – the rows of columns flanking the arches in different styles. To achieve that, the model is constructed using an effect of vertical exaggeration. The cross-section is therefore far steeper than on the real structure. Hopefully, people will be inspired to learn more about the original through the experience of building the LEGO model.”
With Christmas approaching, this LEGO character is the perfect gift for Blocks fans, with the minifigure sporting a festive jacket and British waistcoat – a nod to Blocks magazine’s home country. As well as featuring a jolly Santa hat, the minifigure comes with an exclusive 2×2 tile. It reads ‘Merry Christmas 2020 from Blocks’, making this the perfect gift this year.
To really customise the minifigure, you can of course swap out the head with others from your collection. We’d love to see the scenes you build and incorporate the minifigure into!
Prices for this exclusive Blocks minifigure start at £11.50 – this special edition character is available to buy now.
For those ordering a print subscription, there’s a special deal – using the code Xmas1 at checkout, Blocks Postman Minifigure costs just £5.99 within the UK and gets a hefty discount for international fans.
Harry Potter takes the cover for Blocks Issue 73, but there’s more than a stroll down Diagon Alley to be found in the latest issue of the LEGO magazine. The new issue also contains exclusive interviews with the LEGO designers responsible for Friends sets and new elements, a look back at LEGO Western and top tips for building LEGO items to use around the home.
How to build LEGO coasters, tissue boxes and household items
That’s right! The latest how-to guide provides a look at decorating the home with LEGO builds. Why settle for that boring and flimsy tissue box from the shop, which doesn’t look great, when you can turn it into an oversized LEGO brick? And wouldn’t it look better to whip your business cards out of a smart LEGO holder? Find out how to put these fun items together – they make for a perfect lockdown project.
Nostalgic LEGO advertising
LEGO advertising has drastically evolved over the years, with this special feature looking back at some classic print advertisements from back in the day – several of which are reproduced as full pages. As advertising evolves through the decades, it becomes increasingly apparent why classic LEGO Castle and Space themes are no longer part of the mix.
How the LEGO Friends team designed a jungle adventure
In an exclusive interview, LEGO Friends Creative Director Fenella Blaize-Charity reveals how her team of creatives came up with the latest adventure for the Heartlake City gang. From designing organic shapes and rope bridges to deciding the new animals to include, Fenella shares fascinating insights into what goes into coming up with an adventurous subtheme like Jungle. We even sneak in a few questions about the Summer Fun Water Park set…
Back to the LEGO Old West
LEGO Western has a special place in the hearts of many fans, which will make this month’s Blockstalgia feature a real treat. The Sheriff minifigure is back in town as the Blocks team looks back at these classic sets, picking out some favourites and highlighting what made LEGO Wild West such a memorable range. The section also includes brand new instructions showing how to build cacti, a campfire and a saloon table – all in a modern LEGO style.
Updating LEGO elements
How does LEGO part design work? It’s a question we all want the answer to but is hard to answer in the abstract. To reveal the secrets of element design, the LEGO Group’s designers reveal how they took the Technic projectile launcher and redesigned it to better fit the sets that it is used in today. It’s a great example of how some parts, rather than simply disappear, evolve into something new.
It’s time for a new LEGO Ghostbusters set, with 10274 Ghostbusters ECTO-1 due to arrive on November 15 – just in time for Christmas.
A new exclusive LEGO set has been announced, with LEGO.com and LEGO Stores due to start selling 10274 Ghostbusters ECTO-1 on November 15. It’s inspired by the new Ghostbusters: Afterlife film, which was originally planned for release earlier this year, but has been delayed until next year.
The classic vehicle has appeared as a LEGO set before, but never as a detailed model of this size. It features authentic details suck as the paranormal chasing equipment on the roof, the ECTO-1 licence plate and Ghostbusters logo on the doors. Functional aspects are included too, including the gunner seat that was introduced in the classic Kenner toy and will appear in the new movie.
LEGO 10274 Ghostbusters ECTO-1
UK Price: £179.99 USA Price: $199.99 Piece count: 2,352 Release date: November 15
LEGO Designer Master Michael Psiaki said: “I love creating LEGO vehicles and having previously designed the LEGO James Bond Aston Martin DB5, I loved the challenge of working on the ECTO-1. This is the largest and most detailed version of this car that we have ever created, It is crammed full of authentic features and easter eggs, that I’m excited for builders to discover as they put this model together.”
With the new LEGO Harry Potter 75978 Diagon Alley offering an enormous, detailed recreation of the unforgettable location, Blocks magazine takes a tour with LEGO Design Manager Marcos Bessa and provides an in-depth review of the new set.
Once the LEGO Design Wizard Marcos Bessa has provided a tour of 75978 Diagon Alley, the set gets a Blocks review along with the other new LEGO Harry Potter releases. That’s not all though, as Blocks demonstrates how to build Gringotts Bank at a scale to match the new set so that the street can be extended.
A look back at how advertising has evolved – and how the LEGO Group has kept up with it – reveals why classic themes like Space and Castle do not exist today. It’s not just a fascinating read, it’s illustrated by classic LEGO print adverts from decades gone by, reproduced as full pages as they would have been back in the day.
LEGO Friends returned to the jungle this year, introducing animal pieces including updated elephants and all-new sloths. LEGO Creative Director Fenella Blaize Charity reveals how the team came up with this latest animal adventure subtheme and developed creatures that would add to the LEGO menagerie.
It’s not just the set designers who play a key role in the world of LEGO product development though, as the all-important Element Designers also make a huge impact on the building experience. In an exclusive interview, Blocks finds out how a classic shooter element is redesigned to make it better fit within the system.
This issue also includes top tips for building elegant household items using LEGO bricks, including coasters, business card holders and tissue boxes – these will serve as great entry point projects for those spending more time at home over the next few weeks.
Blocks Issue 73 contains plenty more fantastic LEGO content, including a look back at LEGO Western in Blockstalgia, an upscaled Joker minifigure model in Month in MOCs and Avatar: The Last Airbender in Ideas Showcase.