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.

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.

LEGO 10278 Police Station announced for the Modular Buildings Collection

The LEGO Modular Buildings Collection will continue on January 1, 2021, with 10278 Police Station bringing the next section to the ongoing street.

Each year, the LEGO Group releases a new exclusive modualr building set at LEGO.com. It offers a building that is roughly in scale with minifigures, fulfilling the type of set fantasy that adult fans had as children. 10278 Police Station provides an old-fashioned police headquarters, measuring 37cm high. Details inside the building include an evidence locker, jail cell, interrogation room and case board with red lines connecting all the clues.

As well as the central police station, the model also builds a donut shop and newstand. Five minifigures are included, with three Police Officers representing different LEGO characters – there’s the grizzled chief, the loose cannon detective and the stoic officer. A civilian and suspicious looking fellow are also included.

10278 Police Station

UK Price: £169.99
USA Price: $199.99
Piece count: 2,923
Release date: January 1

LEGO Model Designer Chris McVeigh said: “We’ve had a lot of fun designing the LEGO Police Station. An architectural gem and treasure trove of quirky features, it’s the perfect place to start building your LEGO streetscape, or a brilliant addition to an existing one.”

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.

Wandering around LEGO Harry Potter 75978 Diagon Alley

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?

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.

There’s a new biggest ever LEGO set as 10276 Colosseum is unveiled

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.

10276 Colosseum

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.”

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.

Who ya gonna call? LEGO Ghostbusters!

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.”

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 73 takes a wizarding tour of LEGO Harry Potter Diagon Alley

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.

The latest issue of Blocks magazine – Issue 73 – is available now direct from www.blocksmag.com and in those UK shops that are open. With lockdown in the UK and other restrictions around the world limiting where fans can buy the magazine, there’s no better time to set up a subscription, with a direct debit payment option now available worldwide.

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.

Be in with a chance of winning one of ten LEGO Harry Potter 75968 4 Privet Drive sets! To be entered into the latest prize draw and to get Blocks magazine delivered every month – ahead of the shops – visit www.blocksmag.com and check out the money-saving subscription deals available.

Everyone who subscribes to the print edition by December 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.

LEGO Ideas 21323 Grand Piano takes the stage at Wigmore Hall

For one night only, LEGO Ideas 21323 Grand Piano made an appearance at London’s beautiful 119-year-old Wigmore Hall for a special Blocks magazine performance.

2020 has been a difficult time for everyone, with the health needs to the public at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Huge measures have been taken so that everyone can protect one another as the world faces a global pandemic like never before.

There has been a knock-on impact from the measures to protect the public though, which is businesses either needing to close or having their activities severely reduced. Activities that were doing well before the pandemic hit are suddenly struggling to survive.

For live performance venues – including concert halls, theatres, comedy clubs and those wonderful grimy rooms where you discover a new band – it remains an extremely difficult climate, with most in the UK still not able to operate at all.

Blocks magazine wanted to share a reminder of the special place that live performance venues are, so took LEGO Ideas 21323 Grand Piano to Wigmore Hall in London, where the model could take the stage. There was no audience of course, but it meant we were able to get some beautiful photographs of the LEGO model alongside an actual grand piano.

Wigmore Hall is 119 years old and every year hosts more than 460 concerts – including soloists, chamber musicians and exceptional young artists. The venue is now livestreaming concerts live on the Wigmore Hall website, providing a taste of classical music to audiences around the world who can’t currently be there in person.

The website also explains how people can donate money to Wigmore Hall, should anyone wish to support the venue. There are many other schemes set up too – if you have a favourite venue or would like to help a life performer, take a look at their website or social media presence to find out how you can donate.

Blocks magazine Issue 72 features exclusive images from the LEGO Grand Piano’s special appearance to support the set review, while in an exclusive interview, Model Designer Woon Tze Chen, Design Manager Sam Johnson and the LEGO Ideas team reveal how the official model came together.

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.

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.

Introducing LEGO Star Wars 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina

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.

Coming from 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.”