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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.

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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.

Issue 67 of Blocks magazine is now available

The latest issue of Blocks is now available to order.

A detailed behind-the-scenes feature looks at the development of the latest LEGO Ideas set that is soaked in classic LEGO Pirates nostalgia – 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay. The salty crew behind the incredible build reveal how they decided to sneak two models into one set, the challenges in recreating vintage packaging and why there’s a trophy in Captain Redbeard’s cabin. Concept models illustrate the feature, showing how it went from the fan design to the finished set.

After taking a trip to the pirate island, the Review section gives the LEGO Creator Expert Fiat 500 a test drive, as well as checking out Collectible Minifigures Series 20 and a selection of the latest Marvel Avengers sets.

Sitting down for an in-depth conversation is Ekow Nimako, a Canadian artist who builds exclusively in black. He discusses sculpting with bricks, representation within his creations and whether LEGO builders are also artists, in what makes for a fascinating and thought-provoking interview.

Blockstalgia turns back the clock to 2002 (or should that be 1993) for a look back at Ice Planet, the LEGO Space subtheme set on a frozen world. As well as putting the original sets under the spotlight, the Blocks team reimagines 6814 Ice Tunnelator, with exclusive instructions for building a modern version.

There are more tips and tricks in Technique, which this month offers a guide to building birds. From puffins to eagles, this will have your avian builds looking more lifelike and authentic than ever.

Due to the impact of coronavirus on the world, the Brickman Experience did not get to stay open for long during its UK debut. To provide a taste of LEGO Certified Professional Ryan McNaught’s exhibition, Blocks magazine shares an exclusive interview with the Aussie builder and a look at some of the models in the exhibition.

That’s by no means all though, there is plenty more packed into Blocks Issue 67’s 116 pages –including Top Ten, Month in LEGO, Mod Squad, Rebuild Challenge and Month in MOCs.

To get Blocks magazine delivered every month – ahead of the shops – check out our money-saving subscription deals. Everyone who subscribes by July 1 will be in with a chance of winning 75277 Boba Fett Helmet (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.

Issue 66 of Blocks magazine is now available

The latest issue of Blocks is now available to order.

This month’s cover is given over to the LEGO Ideas International Space Station, with an in-depth review of the set inside the magazine. LEGO Design Master (yes, that’s his job title) Mike Psiaki explains how he developed Manchester United’s stadium and shares a peek at some of the concept models for LEGO Creator Expert 10272 Old Trafford.

A spotlight is shined on some of the talented LEGO fans on Instagram, as some of the prominent photographers who are showing off their beautiful images reveal the inspiration behind their creativity. Blocks also pays a visit to the Natural History Museum, where imaging expert Dr Steen Dupont is using marvellous LEGO contraptions to photograph the millions of tiny specimens that are housed within the insect collection.

Johnny Thunder makes a dramatic entrance in Blockstalgia, swinging over chasms, springing booby traps and uncovering Egyptian artefacts. He even has a new ride, with exclusive instructions showing how to build a modern rendition of the classic Scorpion Tracker.

Elsewhere in the magazine’s 112 pages, readers will find the next stage in the LEGO Star Wars UCS Star Destroyer mod project, a debate on the new LEGO Night Mode concept, a surprising use for a BIONICLE minifigure arm and much, much more.

You don’t need to head outside to get your hands on the latest issue. Simply order it online, or set up a subscription, and it will come straight to your front door. 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.