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Blocks magazine celebrates the 10 year anniversary of LEGO NINJAGO

LEGO NINJAGO has done what few original concepts manage and stuck around for an entire decade – the incredible action-adventure theme is celebrating 10 years on the shelves. To celebrate this occasion, Blocks magazine is going behind-the-scenes with the creatives who made it the success story that it is and sharing never-before-seen development art.

NINJAGO all started with a first year of products, including spinners as well as traditional LEGO sets, before an animated special came along. ‘We were always told, “okay, it’s just going to be a special”,’ Executive Producer Dan Hageman (half of the Hageman brothers) tells Blocks in Issue 75’s special feature. ‘Then we were told, “okay, it’s just going to be 13 episodes”. If you look at the pace, we always gave it everything we had.’

That special spawned an entire television series that has continued year in year out, as the adventures of the ninja crew have included fighting undead skeletons, dealing with snake civil wars, understanding ghostly realms, heading inside a video game and visiting all sorts of other far-flung lands. By tying the animated episodes in closely with the sets, the storytelling has been deeper than anything the LEGO Group has done before.

In the exclusive feature, the Hagemans are joined by other creative talents including the LEGO Group’s Tommy Andreasen, Michael Svane Knap and Simon Lucas to reveal just what has gone into making NINJAGO a success over 10 years. From the very beginning, when the team worked on what would become the spinners, to how the theme is revisiting its past today with NINJAGO Legacy… this is the full, in-depth story of the most successful modern LEGO theme.

This celebration of the LEGO NINJAGO 10th anniversary is in Blocks magazine Issue 75 – available to order and in stock right now.

To get Blocks every month – at a discount and earlier than the shops – order a 12-month or 24-month subscription. Direct debit payment options are available too; to find out more get in touch via subs@silverbackpublishing.rocks.

Win LEGO 10274 Ghostbusters ECTO-1 with Blocks magazine

We’re giving away two LEGO Ghostbusters sets! You could own a 2,352 piece LEGO 10274 Ghostbusters ECTO-1 if you win the latest prize draw from Blocks magazine.

Every month, Blocks magazine gives away LEGO sets to print subscribers. Everyone who buys a subscription before February 3 will be in with a chance of winning one of two 10274 Ghostbusters ECTO-1 sets! All existing subscribers are included too.

The set provides a detailed taste of movie magic, as it’s the largest LEGO version of the converted 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance ever released. Details include working steering, a trapdoor, ghost trap, an extending rear gunner seat, a proton pack… for fans of the 1980s classic flick, it’s a must-have (and there’s a review of the set in Blocks 75, if you need any convincing).

But what if you don’t win? Well don’t worry, there’s a new chance every month! We’ve given away Harry Potter, Monkie Kid, Star Wars and Super Mario sets over the past few months.

Print subscribers also save money on postage, get at least one issue for free and get the magazine early every month.

To get Blocks every month – at a discount and earlier than the shops – order a 12-month or 24-month subscription. Direct debit payment options are available too; to find out more get in touch via subs@silverbackpublishing.rocks.

Blocks magazine Issue 75 celebrates 10 years of LEGO NINJAGO and reviews Ghostbusters ECTO-1

It’s time for the latest issue of Blocks magazine, which kicks off 2021 with a celebration of LEGO NINJAGO, an exclusive look at LEGO Braille Bricks and a review of the new Ghostbusters ECTO-1. Issue 75 is available as a single issue or as part of a subscription at www.blocksmag.com and will be in UK shops from Thursday.

There have been many LEGO success stories, but one of the most remarkable is LEGO NINJAGO – the action adventure theme launched a decade ago, became a smash hit and has been running ever since. Blocks magazine has exclusive interviews with the creatives who bring NINJAGO to toy store shelves and television screens, illustrated with never-before-seen conceptual artwork and sketch models.

When the LEGO Group isn’t coming up with new product ranges to capture the imagination of children, the company’s not-for-profit arm is partnering with charities around the world to help enrich the lives of children. A look at Braille Bricks reveals how an adapted version of the classic 2×4 brick is teaching children with visual impairment an essential life skill.

As for the Reviews section, it kicks off with a look at 10274 Ghostbusters ECTO-1, finding out if this LEGO depiction of the silver screen’s most beloved ramshackle car lives up to its reputation and delivers all of the spook-seeking action cinephiles demand. That’s not all though, with the new Star Wars: The Mandalorian 75299 Trouble on Tatooine getting expert consideration along with DC, City and NINJAGO sets.

Month in LEGO looks at some of the new releases that are available to buy now, highlighting the most interesting sets for collectors to check out. Technique provides tips on taking out the LEGO trash, showing how to go beyond the rubbish bin element and construct authentic looking dumpsters for LEGO layouts. Month in MOCs travels from the Old West to Geonosis – via Michigan – to share some incredible original builds.

In addition to an interview with Warren Elsmore about his Brick City exhibition, regular sections include Blockstalgia, Piece Perception, Top Ten, This LEGO Life, Ideas Showcase and LUG Spotlight.

Be in with a chance of winning one of two 10274 Ghostbusters ECTO-1 sets! To be entered into the latest prize draw and to get Blocks magazine delivered every month – ahead of the shops – visit http://www.blocksmag.com and check out the money-saving subscription deals available.

Everyone who subscribes to the print edition by February 3 will be in with a chance of winning (existing subscribers will automatically be entered into the prize draw).

To get Blocks every month – at a discount and earlier than the shops – order a 12-month or 24-month subscription. Direct debit payment options are available too; to find out more get in touch via subs@silverbackpublishing.rocks.

LEGO 2021 sets are out now

It’s the big day – hundreds of new LEGO sets are now available to buy! Sets are launching in themes including City, Friends, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel Super Heroes, Super Mario, Art, Collectible Minifigures, Technic, Creator, NINJAGO, BrickHeadz, Disney, DOTS, Minecraft, Minions: The Rise of Gru as well as adult sets like the new botanical models and modular Police Station.

LEGO.com is selling the brand new 2021 sets now, with plenty of new releases across many different themes. For adults, there’s the new 10278 Police Station to continue the modular buildings as well as 10280 Flower Bouquet and 10281 Bonsai Tree in the new Botanical Collection. LEGO Art has two new sets for Disney and Harry Potter fans.

Everyone knows though that adults can enjoy LEGO sets no matter what the age marking on the box says, and there’s plenty to check out whatever your interest. Classic themes like City, Friends, Creator and Technic have new sets launching. LEGO NINJAGO has special new Legacy sets that include exclusive gold minifigures to mark the theme’s 10 year anniversary.

Licensed themes continue to provide new releases, with new sets from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel: Super Heroes, Disney, Super Mario, Minecraft and Minions: The Rise of Gru. The Blocks 2021 checklist has the full run-down of everything that’s available or due for release in 2021.

Blocks Issue 75 takes a look at the new sets in Month in LEGO, picking out the highlights and focusing on key details.

To get Blocks every month – at a discount and earlier than the shops – order a 12-month or 24-month subscription. Direct debit payment options are available too; to find out more get in touch via subs@silverbackpublishing.rocks

Easy plant care with LEGO 10281 Bonsai Tree

The new Botanical Collection from the LEGO Group is offering budding builders the chance to care for a bonsai tree – without the pressure. 10281 Bonsai Tree is the latest 18+ set to offer a relaxing experience for grown-ups.

As part of the new range of 18+ sets for adults who aren’t tempted by minifigure scale buildings or detailed Star Wars spaceships, 10281 Bonsai Tree delivers something different than what fans are used to seeing. The LEGO Botanical Collection is a new area, with collectible plant sets inspired by nature aiming to provide a relaxing experience.

“As adults look for new ways to switch off and relax, we’re delighted to be able to help them seek solace from their busy everyday lives as they immerse themselves in creating these beautiful botanical builds,” said LEGO Design Lead Jamie Berard. “The customisable elements and mindful building experience will hopefully help them express their personality as their creativity blossoms.”

10281 Bonsai Tree

UK Price: £44.99
USA Price: $49.99
Piece count: 756
Release date: January 1

The set can be customised for different looks – the instructions show how to build it with either green leaves or pink cherry blossom. Other sets in the range include 10280 Flower Bouquet, 40460 Roses and 40461 Tulips.

Watch out for the review of this set in an upcoming issue of Blocks magazine.

To get Blocks every month – at a discount and earlier than the shops – order a 12-month or 24-month subscription. Direct debit payment options are available too; to find out more get in touch via subs@silverbackpublishing.rocks.

Say it with LEGO 10280 Flower Bouquet

With the LEGO Group expanding the range of products for adults, there’s a new range launching called the Botanical Collection. It offers sets like 10280 Flower Bouquet, which builds a bunch of LEGO flowers.

The Botanical Collection is the latest attempt by the LEGO Group to appeal to more adults than ever before, with replicas of plants hoping to pull in people looking for a relaxing hobby. “As adults look for new ways to switch off and relax, we’re delighted to be able to help them seek solace from their busy everyday lives as they immerse themselves in creating these beautiful botanical builds,” said LEGO Design Lead Jamie Berard.  “The customisable elements and mindful building experience will hopefully help them express their personality as their creativity blossoms.”

10280 Flower Bouquet will be available at a wide range of stores including LEGO.com when it launches on January 1.

10280 Flower Bouquet

UK Price: £44.99
USA Price: $49.99
Piece count: 878
Release date: January 1

Flowers in the set include snapdragons, roses, poppies, asters, daisies and different grasses, which once built can be arranged in different ways. Other sets in the range include 10281 Bonsai Tree, 40460 Roses and 40461 Tulips.

Watch out for the review of this set in an upcoming issue of Blocks magazine.

To get Blocks every month – at a discount and earlier than the shops – order a 12-month or 24-month subscription. Direct debit payment options are available too; to find out more get in touch via subs@silverbackpublishing.rocks.

A message from Blocks magazine to our readers

With the year we’ve all had, Blocks would like to share a message with every LEGO fan who has supported us over the last 12 months.

Hello everyone,

This is a message to every single person who subscribes to Blocks, buys the occasional issue or just tells other LEGO fans about what we do.

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. It’s been really hard. With all of the difficulties we have faced, the most immediate being concerns about the health of our families, friends, communities and selves, then on top of that the huge knock-on impact on businesses, employment and income, there has been a lot of uncertainty and worry.

When all of the shops in the UK and many other countries around the world closed, reduced their hours and became more difficult to visit, Silverback Publishing put in place a plan to make sure that LEGO fans could still get their monthly magazine to provide a bit of a break and be a welcome distraction. I feel very thankful that we have people behind us who were ready to make that happen.

The biggest thank you I want to give though is to you, our readers. When you couldn’t get Blocks from the shops, you came online to order individual copies or subscriptions. You didn’t just shrug and forget about Blocks, you came to our website and placed an order. We’ve even had people buying up every back issue we have in stock!

Your support means that Blocks will continue to bring you a monthly LEGO fix that you can only get in the pages of this magazine.

Thank you again for your support. It really does mean the world to everyone here. We love putting this magazine together for you and are delighted that we are in an excellent position to continue to do so.

If you know someone else who would love the magazine or hasn’t checked it out in a while, be sure to let them know what they’re missing out on!

2020 has been a tough year, and there might be more tough times to come, but a bit of LEGO can help brighten the gloomiest of times – and there will be better days at the other side of this.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and New Year. In case I haven’t stressed this enough; thank you.

Graham Hancock
Editor

graham@blocksmag.com

P.S. I can’t wait for you to see Issue 75, we have some fantastic features lined up! Did you know a certain theme is 10 years old in 2021? Who knows what we’ve lined up to celebrate that…

Need a last minute Christmas LEGO gift?

We know how it goes – it’s days from Christmas day, there’s not much chance of an online order arriving and the shops have barely any LEGO sets left on the shelves. A subscription to Blocks magazine is the perfect last minute Christmas LEGO gift!

LEGO fans can be difficult to buy for – they have loads of sets already, they buy loose bricks in bulk from websites you’ve never heard of and they keep treating themselves to new LEGO boxes right up until Christmas. Then there’s the shortages that always happen around Christmas time, when the shops sell out, Amazon jacks up the prices and online orders might not arrive in time.

So here is the perfect last minute Christmas LEGO gift – a subscription to Blocks magazine. What makes it such a great present is that it keeps giving all year round; every single month, the LEGO fan in your life will find a new 116 page magazine land on the doorstep. This LEGO magazine, made by fans for fans, is packed with build inspiration, set reviews and incredible behind-the-scenes exclusive features revealing what goes on in the LEGO headquarters.

With a print subscription to Blocks magazine, you get;

  • 12 or 24 issues of the magazine delivered to the address of your choice
  • the magazine before it arrives in the shops
  • free entry into a new prize draw every month, with LEGO sets up for grabs
  • it’s cheaper than buying single copies of the magazine

How do you share this Christmas gift with the recipient if the big day is just days away? Design a nice certificate and print if off – or use a blank Christmas card to write a nice message revealing that their first issue of Blocks magazine will be coming soon!

To get Blocks every month – at a discount and earlier than the shops – order a 12-month or 24-month subscription. Direct debit payment options are available too; to find out more get in touch via subs@silverbackpublishing.rocks.

How Blocks magazine has listened to readers in 2020

It’s been a very rewarding year at Blocks; it’s been an exceptionally strange one, but our readers have rallied around to support our work and we have ended 2020 providing our monthly LEGO magazine to more fans than ever before.

We’d like to take this moment to blow our own trumpet a bit and highlight some of the things we have done this year – most of these have been in response to reader feedback, some of these are just to offer our readers a better experience…

Improved paper quality

One consistent thing we had been hearing was that the magazine needed better quality paper, so in March we went to thicker paper to improve the pages within Blocks magazine. It’s now much nicer to flick through and the images really ‘pop’.

Perfect bound magazine

To really give Blocks a premium feel and match other monthly magazines on the market, we introduced perfect binding. In non-magazine industry speak, that means that each issue now has a spine and looks even better when sat on the shelf.

Monthly subscriber giveaways

Subscribers get every issue of Blocks early, but we wanted to deliver something extra. We started offering a bimonthly prize draw, giving away a LEGO set to one print subscriber. After some really positive feedback, we upped the ante and are now giving away multiple prizes every single month as a thank you to subscribers for supporting what we do.

Direct debit payment option

We know that it can be tricky to pay for a full year, or two years, upfront. For some people, it’s better just to get it out of the way. Following feedback, we have introduced an alternative payment option that means subscribers can set up a direct debit for quarterly payments (contact subs@silverbackpublishing.rocks for more info).

New Blocks minifigures

We have been asked time and time again for new Blocks minifigures, and we are finally getting back to providing these collectible LEGO characters. So far we have had the Blocks Postman Minifigure and the Blocks Christmas Minifigure, with more to come next year.

Redesigned website

If there’s one thing we heard loud and clear, it’s that the old website was not user friendly. With this new website, we had one mission; allow our readers to buy the magazine or renew their subscription with minimal fuss. We’ve achieved that and now we’re enchancing the website further, providing a repository of our review scores and news on the latest LEGO reveals.

Now that’s what we’ve introduced in 2020, but that’s just the beginning of the journey. Please keep getting in touch and giving us feedback – whether it’s something you love or something you think could improve – and we’ll keep listening, to bring you the best possible LEGO magazine every single month.

LEGO A Really Cool World arrives in London’s Covent Garden

To tie in with the big Christmas advert this year, the LEGO Group has presented A Really Cool World in Covent Garden, London. Blocks magazine has been along to check it out and give fans a taste of what the installation has to offer.

The LEGO Group has teamed up with Covent Garden, London’s tourist destination, to offer a special outdoor experience – A Really Cool World. It’s inspired by the new Christmas advert that sees children building with LEGO bricks, before their imagination blows it up to be something bigger and more epic than what’s in front of them.

Each enormous model or oversized element in the exhibition is accompanied by lyrics from the adaptation of It’s a Wonderful World used in the television ad. It starts with a Christmas tree growing sausages, moves on to a mosaic of a blue horse before paying a visit to Iron Man who is dramatically blasting off. Then there’s a princess knight – up for a fight.

Another display depicts the ad’s car chase, before a giant model shows a dinosaur avoiding a meteorite. A smaller model sees the AT-AT taking a nap, while the grandma’s LEGO duck moment is captures by a bath filled with blue bricks. The big closer is a LEGO DOTS dancefloor, designed as a video or photo op.

Some of the models have appeared elsewhere before, but it’s free to visit – you just need to book an advance ticket at the Covent Garden website. What’s more, for those who aren’t local to London, there’s a virtual walkthrough version so everyone can enjoy it.

Elsewhere in Covent Garden, there’s a LEGO Christmas tree nestled among the real ones, as well as models of LEGO Super Mario and Santa Claus himself. It’s not all LEGO bricks though, as there is also the enormous Christmas tree to admire and decorations all around the square – while much of Central London has a nice holiday atmosphere, Covent Garden is one of the very best spots for feeling festive.

To get Blocks every month – at a discount and earlier than the shops – order a 12-month or 24-month subscription. Direct debit payment options are available too; to find out more get in touch via subs@silverbackpublishing.rocks.