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.

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.

Blocks magazine Issue 74 arrives with LEGO Monkie Kid reviews and more

It’s time for the new issue of Blocks magazine, which comes with a free 2021 wall planner. Issue 74 includes an exclusive feature going behind the scenes of The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, a bumper Reviews section featuring Monkie Kid and a look at LEGO Pirates ships through the years.

Get in the Christmas mood with Blocks magazine Issue 74, available to order now and in UK shops from December 3. This edition of the magazine includes a free 2021 wall planner, which features every Blocks magazine cover on the reverse.

Issue 74 includes a look at the best gifts for Christmas 2020, a review of the charming Winter Village Elf Clubhouse set and exclusive insight into the making of The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special. Lucasfilm’s Josh Rimes reveals how it is destined to be something more beloved than its 1978 namesake.

With those big holiday and January sale purchases imminent, there’s a bumper Reviews section this month, covering the epic LEGO Monkie Kid to see whether this theme aimed at consumers in China has broad appeal. There’s also a detailed look at a US television classic – 21324 123 Sesame Street, the LEGO Ideas set that captures the beloved childhood show. For Star Wars fans, 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina and 75318 The Child are also covered – do they live up to their reputations for wretchedness and cuteness?

As both 31109 Pirate Ship and 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay have set sail this year, there’s no better time to measure up the various LEGO vessels that have sailed the brick seas over the decades. Blocks magazine delves deep into what makes a LEGO pirate ship to see how they have evolved over time, going all the way back to 6285 Black Seas Barracuda.

There’s another blast from the past in Blockstalgia, although this one might not be quite as fondly remembered. Known as Dino Attack in the US, or the more sedate Dino 2010 in Europe, it’s one of the strangest LEGO themes ever released. Re-build tackles the bizarre mutant T.rex, revealing how to recreate it using bricks.

Along with regulars including Month in MOCs, Piece Perception, Technique, Rebuild Challenge and Ideas Showcase, there’s a report from this year’s virtual BrickCon, the top 10 LEGO sets inspired by history and everything you need to know about the LEGO Group’s China strategy.

Be in with a chance of winning one of four 80012 Monkey King Warrior Mech sets! To be entered into the latest prize draw and to get Blocks magazine delivered every month – ahead of the shops – check out the money-saving subscription deals available.

Everyone who subscribes to the print edition by January 1 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.

Blocks magazine announces new Editor

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.

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.

Five must-read LEGO features in Blocks Issue 72

Blocks magazine Issue 72 is available now and while The Mandalorian may steal the cover, there are some can’t miss LEGO features this month including exclusive Ideas Grand Piano photography, a in-depth LEGO House Master Builder interview and look back at Classic Divers.

Here are five of the features that no LEGO fan will want to miss in Blocks magazine Issue 72

Grand piano takes the stage

The LEGO Ideas product that went viral, 21323 Grand Piano, gets its concert hall debut at London’s Wigmore Hall. To illustrate the Blocks review of the set, Graham Hancock visited the storied venue to take photographs of the functional LEGO piano alongside an actual grand piano, on a stage that has hosted thousands of performances. Model Designer Woon Tze Chen reveals what went into designing the set in an exclusive Q&A.

Making magic in LEGO House

Stuart Harris is a familiar face to LEGO fans, as he frequently hosts live streamed tours and fan spotlights from LEGO House in Billund, Denmark. Not only is he the Master Model Builder, who was part of the team developing the Home of the Brick, but he started his career working on LEGOLAND Windsor ahead of its opening before heading to California for the next theme park. He reveals some stories from this epic LEGO career in an extended interview, illustrated by never before seen behind-the-scenes photos.

Introducing the 501st

75280 501st Legion Clone Troopers brings Anakin Skywalker’s elite troopers back to the brick, but did you know where this particular band of troopers originated? The 501st Legion is the costuming group that raises money for charity while dressing up as Stormtroopers, Sandtroopers, Biker Scouts and many other iconic Star Wars characters. George Lucas was so impressed that he incorporated them into the films. In this exclusive interview, Blocks Editor Chris Wharfe finds out more about the bad guys who do good.

Classic Divers

While some classic themes stick in the memory – Space, Castle, Pirates – some slip the mind until there’s a reminder. When LEGO Town went underwater with Divers in the late 1990s, it offered some impressive sets and plenty of seawater creatures. Blockstalgia looks back at the retro sets and shares instructions for building a seafloor with modern elements.  

Building battering rams

Sure, everyone’s built a LEGO castle. But how do you knock that castle down? With a LEGO battering ram. It’s time to take down the castle gates in this month’s Technique section, which offers tips on building authentic battering arms for siege scenes.

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.

Issue 72 of Blocks magazine features The Mandalorian, LEGO Super Heroes and more

Blocks magazine offers a bounty of exclusive LEGO builds this month, with a special feature focusing on Star Wars: The Mandalorian.

Star Wars is returning to Disney+ with The Mandalorian Season 2, so Issue 72 celebrates the show with a special build series. The magazine is available to order now and arrives in UK shops on October 1.

Using the new Razor Crest set as a starting point, a series of beautiful photographs recreate key moments from the show using LEGO bricks. There are also instructions showing how to build a bassinet in scale with the mini LEGO Baby Yoda – ahem, the Child – and a Blurrg that a minifigure can ride.

To mark the release of the 501st Legion Clone Troopers set, Editor Chris Wharfe catches up with the real-life 501st leaders to find out all about the bad guys who do good, and how they went from a fan organisation to appearing on-screen in the Star Wars universe.

Anyone who has visited LEGO House, or watched any of the recent live-streamed tours, will likely be familiar with the destination’s Master Builder, Stuart Harris. Not only did he work with Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen to develop the Home of the Brick, but his LEGO career started as part of the original LEGOLAND Windsor team, and he has been developing attractions and events ever since. He even reveals his personal audio contribution to the Fairy Tale Brook ride…

Blockstalgia takes a look at Town, focusing in on Divers – the first time that real-world underwater exploration was covered by the theme. As well as reviewing specific sets from the 1990s classic, the section includes exclusive building instructions for a whale skeleton as part of a modernised seafloor.

To really show off the Grand Piano, Blocks visits London’s Wigmore Hall to photograph the set and interviews the LEGO Ideas team who took the fan design and turned it into an enormous and functional official set.

History buffs will find plenty to build in this month’s Technique guide, which shows how to build a variety of battering rams – some for minifigures to use themselves and some as part of larger contraptions. Whichever version builders opt for, these knights will be well-equipped to smash into an enemy fortress.

That is just a taste of what fans will find in the magazine’s 116 pages, with this issue also including the top ten LEGO shop sets, a review of Wonder Woman vs Cheetah, instructions to build a Tusken Raider’s Bantha, a look at LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and so much more.

Want to win 71360 Adventures with Mario Starter Course? To be entered into the new prize draw and to get Blocks magazine delivered every month – ahead of the shops – check out our money-saving subscription offers.

Everyone who subscribes to the print edition by November 1 will be in with a chance of winning (existing subscribers will automatically be entered into the prize draw).

Along with the 12-month and 24-month subscriptions available in our store, we now have a 3-month direct debit option available. If you’d like to set that up, get in touch at subs@silverbackpublishing.rocks.