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.

New additions to the Blocks Review Index: Haunted House, Hidden Side and Disney

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:

Creator
Disney
Hidden Side

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.

Issue 71 of Blocks magazine features LEGO Super Mario, Lamborghini Sián and more

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.

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.

New additions to the Blocks Review Index: Star Wars and Minions

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:

Minions
Star Wars

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.

Issue 70 of Blocks magazine features Haunted House, LEGO videogames and more

The latest issue of Blocks magazine is now available to order.

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).

Along with the 12-month and 24-month subscriptions available online, 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.

What are the rarest LEGO minifigures?

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.

How LEGO Monkie Kid adapts Journey to the West

Monkie Kid is the LEGO Group’s latest big bang launch, intended to cater specifically to its fastest-growing market: China. That doesn’t mean the sets are off-limits for everyone else, though, as you can now order them from LEGO.com wherever you are in the world. But if you’re not familiar with the Chinese tale of Journey to the West that inspired the new theme, you might find some of the characters and designs a little bizarre.

Fortunately, Blocks magazine is here to help. In our latest issue, which is now available to order (and, as shops reopen around the world, available to buy at all good stockists), you’ll find everything you need to know about LEGO Monkie Kid. As well as a primer on Journey to the West, we’ve gone behind the scenes on the theme’s development with Senior Design Director Simon Lucas, who also spearheaded the incredible The LEGO NINJAGO Movie range.

In a special eight-page feature, Simon reveals how he took his design team to Shanghai to learn more about Chinese culture, how a 500-year-old novel is still instantly recognisable today, and how the LEGO Group came up with its eponymous character. We also dig deep into the origins of all the LEGO characters, including the surprisingly dark backstory behind Pigsy.

That’s not all, though, as we’ve also spent time chatting to LEGO designer Justin Ramsden about how he brought 80012 Monkey King Warrior Mech to life. The enormous mech boasts the largest quantities of drum lacquered gold elements of any LEGO set, but Justin also reveals how another rare LEGO colour worked its way into the model. It’s all illustrated with exclusive behind-the-scenes concept art and imagery, which you won’t find anywhere else.

To find out more about LEGO Monkie Kid, you’ll need to get your hands on 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.

New additions to the Blocks Review Index: Architecture, CITY and Speed Champions

The Blocks Review Index has been updated with review scores from Issue 68, headlined by LEGO Speed Champions‘ shift in scale to eight-wide cars. If you haven’t picked up the issue yet, the vehicular mayhem continues with a batch of CITY reviews, before we go globetrotting to take in the latest Architecture skylines.

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:

Architecture
CITY
Speed Champions

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.

Issue 69 of Blocks magazine is now available to order, featuring reviews of all the latest Star Wars sets – including 75275 A-wing Starfighter – and our verdict on LEGO Minions.

Issue 69 of Blocks magazine is now available

The latest issue of Blocks is now available to order.

It’s time to take a look at the LEGO Ultimate Collector Series A-wing, with the set getting pride of place on this month’s cover. The in-depth review goes over this long-awaited release, sitting alongside more Star Wars reviews and a look at LEGO Minions.

LEGO Monkie Kid has arrived, developed especially for the Chinese market. Senior Design Director Simon Lucas explains just what that process was like, revealing how far he and the team went to infuse the new action-adventure theme with Chinese culture, before Justin Ramsden details his experience making the Monkey King Warrior Mech. The features are illustrated with never-before-seen concept art and sketch models.

That’s not the only deep dive this month, as Blocks takes a look at collecting rare minifigures. Two of the world’s most knowledgeable minifigure collecting experts reveal just how hardcore the hunt can get as they highlight the real obscurities that are out there.

For those who have wondered why the colours of LEGO parts can vary, this month’s magazine provides the answers. Looking at the production of LEGO bricks over the past two decades, Blocks reveals how changes in the manufacturing process led to inconsistent shades of certain elements.

Mod Squad turns its attention to the Creator Monster Burger Truck, revealing how to take the wacky new set and turn it into a more City-friendly burger truck – or even a monster-themed burger stand. Technique offers building tips on putting together microscale castles, so readers can try out building their own fortresses at a size that fits on a shelf.

There’s always time for a dose of Blockstalgia, with Time Cruisers being the very appropriate theme for this month’s turning back of the clock. As well as remembering everything that was great – and weird – about the short-lived theme, the section unveils an updated version of 6492 Hypno Cruiser with an aesthetic that fits the modern era.

Plenty more can be found within the 116 pages, including Month in MOCs with classic van instructions, Top Ten Battle Packs, Month in LEGO, Ideas Spotlight, Piece Perception, Rebuild Challenge and LUG Spotlight.

There’s a new prize for Blocks magazine subscribers – LEGO Monkie Kid 80009 Pigsy’s Food Truck. To be in with a chance of winning, and to get Blocks magazine delivered every month – ahead of the shops – check out the money-saving subscription deals available in our online store.

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).

Along with the 12 and 24-month subscriptions available online, 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.