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.

Five Blocks gifts for the LEGO fan in your life this Christmas

We know how it goes – you need a gift for the LEGO fan in your life at Christmas, but they seem to have everything. Well, here are some ideas for the 2020 holiday that might not already be part of that enormous LEGO collection…

Blocks Postman Minifigure

This is the latest exclusive minifigure from Blocks. Who better to capture as a minifigure than the postal worker who brings the magazine every month? The character uses official LEGO parts, including two 2×2 tiles. One of them says ‘happy birthday’, but this gift still works for Christmas too. If the head isn’t to your taste, you can switch it out for another in your collection to customise the character.

Blocks subscription gift packages

What’s the gift that gives the entire year-round? A blocks subscription! Ordering a subscription to the magazine will mean that every month, the brick aficionado in your life will get a fresh magazine packed with exclusive insight into the world of LEGO. The magazines will arrive ahead of the shops and they’ll also be entered into a monthly prize draw!

Two special gift packages include extra items too. The Gift Bundle includes a Blocks t-shirt and minifigure, while the Subscription Bundle and Binder includes a t-shirt, minifigure and binder.

Blocks magazine Binder

That collection of Blocks shouldn’t be haphazardly sat on a desk in a pile, it should be carefully filed away into Blocks magazine binders so it can go on the shelf. Navy storage binders with an embossed Blocks logo are the perfect way to store a Blocks reader’s collection.

Blocks t-shirt – with exclusive minifigure

Blue and black tees featuring the Blocks logo small on the front and large on the back are available in a variety of sizes. They are the perfect way to encourage your LEGO fan to take off that ugly Christmas jumper they insist on wearing. What’s more, each t-shirt comes with an exclusive Blocks magazine minifigure, which uses official LEGO parts.

Blocks magazine Cover Tiles

Sure, your LEGO fan might have dozens and dozens of copies of Blocks, but do their minifigures? These 2×2 LEGO tiles, printed with Blocks covers, are the perfect way to add a bit of Blocks to any minifigure scene. They are the right size to fit into the little character’s hands, so even the minifigures can express their fandom.

For advice on buying any of the items above, contact subs@silverbackpublishing.rocks.

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 LEGO look at Star Wars: The Mandalorian

Star Wars: The Mandalorian is back – and Blocks magazine Issue 72 has everything LEGO fans need to get ready for the new season.

Disney Plus debuted the first ever Star Wars live action series last year – Star Wars: The Mandalorian. The show dominated the social media conversation thanks to the introduction of Baby Yoda, the cutest character since Wicket the Ewok strolled on screen in Return of the Jedi. It wasn’t just The Child who made the show special though, the whole show captured the feel of Star Wars and delivered eight episodes exploring the galaxy beyond the battle between the Jedi and the Sith. In just two weeks, fans will be able to stream Season 2 and find out where Din Djarin and The Child’s journey goes next.

It took almost a whole year for LEGO Star Wars to catch up with the show. 75292 The Mandalorian Bounty Hunter Transport has finally delivered the show’s signature ship, The Razor Crest, and a minifigure scale Baby Yoda character. As soon as the Blocks team saw the set, we knew there was only one thing to do. Taking the set as a starting point, beautiful images take scenes from the show and capture them in LEGO bricks. The moment when Mando finds Jawas dismantling his ship, the Bounty Hunter’s crew riding Blurrgs and the scene when Din meets The Child are all covered.

That’s not all though – you’ll find instructions to build a minifigure scale Blurrg and hoverpram for Baby Yoda within the pages of Blocks Issue 72, plus a guide to converting the Microfighters Bantha into something the right size for a LEGO Tusken Raider. For those who prefer building sets than custom models, the magazine also includes reviews of the latest wave of Star Wars releases.

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.

Blocks magazine launches direct debit option for international subscribers

LEGO fans around the world who want to stay up to date on Blocks magazine can now pay by direct debit, spreading the cost of a subscription across the year.

We know that paying for a full subscription up front isn’t for everyone, so Blocks magazine is delighted to announce that we are now offering direct debit payments to readers around the world. You can get your monthly LEGO fix while spreading the cost across the year.

Subscriptions for addresses in the UK, Europe and Rest of World areas are now eligible for direct debit payments. The payments are taken four times per year, spreading the cost as an alternative to an annual payment.

For those of you who like to just get it paid upfront and out of the way, that option is still available too! Our aim is to give readers as many helpful choices as possible.

To set up a direct debit subscription, email subs@silverbackpublishing.rocks.

To buy a subscription with a one-off payment, visit the Blocks subscription shop.

Subscribers can get a bonus deal right now on the new Blocks Postman Minifigure, which costs just £5.99 using the code postie1 when ordered with a print subscription.

Print subscribers get the magazine early every month*, are in with the chance to win a new LEGO prize every two months and save money compared to buying the issues individually.

Get a taste of what LEGO goodness – including Star Wars: The Mandalorian, Ideas Grand Piano and LEGO House’s Stuart Harris – can be found in Issue 72 here.

*Due to delays in postage as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we cannot guarantee how quickly magazines will arrive at present. They are always dispatched in time to arrive more quickly than they will arrive with retailers.

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.

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.