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.

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.

Free 2021 LEGO wall planner with Blocks magazine Issue 74

Blocks magazine Issue 74 is available now and includes a free wall planner – perfect for noting down those LEGO event dates and set releases.

There’s a new issue of Blocks magazine available now (in UK shops from December 3), packed with 116 pages of reviews, builds and features. But that’s not all! There’s also a free 2021 LEGO wall planner for noting down important dates – like when a community event is coming up, LEGO set is launching or new issue of Blocks is being released (actually, we’ve included that last one for you!).

As for the reverse of the wall planner… you’ll find every single Blocks magazine cover on it. Going all he way back to the pilot issue from 2014 right up until Issue 74 that wraps up 2020, all of these covers feature on one epic poster.

Within Blocks Issue 74 you’ll find an exclusive interview revealing how The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special came to be, a look at how LEGO Pirates ships have evolved and a bumper review section including LEGO Monkie Kid, Star Wars and Winter Village reviews.

We’re giving away four 80012 Monkey King Warrior Mech sets! Everyone who has a print subscription set up by January 1, 2021, will be in with a chance of winning this incredible set.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

Decorate your home with LEGO Art

The LEGO Group’s ever-expanding catalogue of ways to part you with your money now includes artwork. The first wave of mosaics launching under the banner of LEGO Art incorporates two existing licensed themes – Star Wars and Marvel Super Heroes – alongside five iconic images.

There are 16 different tiled images to construct in all, across four different sets: Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe can be built in four different colour schemes; The Beatles builds each of the four band members; The Sith builds Kylo Ren, Darth Maul and Darth Vader; and Iron Man builds three different suits. You can also combine three copies of The Sith to build a huge portrait of Darth Vader, or three copies of Iron Man to build an enormous landscape of Tony Stark’s alter ego.

That will constitute a serious investment, though, with each individual LEGO Art set commanding a price tag of £114.99/€119.99/$119.99. Along with the 3,000 or so tiles or plates in each box, you’ll also gain access to a unique soundtrack to listen to while you build.

Check out galleries for each of the sets below, along with the full press release. You’ll be able to read more about LEGO Art in a future issue of Blocks. In the meantime, you can now order Issue 69, which features a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at another brand new LEGO theme, Monkie Kid.

31197 Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe
3,332 pieces
Pop art admirers can now recreate Andy Warhol’s famous bright pink screenprint of Marilyn Monroe from 1967, or reimagine it in three different colours using LEGO tiles. As art and design lovers tailor the tone of their piece to suit their artistic temperament, they can tune in to new insights and details about Warhol from those that know him best.

31198 The Beatles
2,933 pieces
Music lovers can bring Beatle-fandom into the home with a LEGO portrait of their favorite band member, whether it’s John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison or Sir Ringo Starr. Each set can be used to create four unique portraits or collect four and display the full band side-by-side. Fans can get by with a little help from friends of the Beatles as they switch their headphones over to accompanying soundtrack to listen to music and stories about the band as they build.

31199 Marvel Studios Iron Man
3,156 pieces
Super Hero fans can decide between powering their hero up with the MARK III, the HULKBUSTER MARK I or the MARK LXXXV with this 3-in-1 set. After the tough decision is made, builders can recharge by listening to cool details about the set and stories from Marvel Experts as part of the accompanying soundtrack. Fans who want to channel Tony Stark and ‘run before you walk’ can combine three of the same sets into one to create the ultimate Iron Man artwork.

31200 The Sith
3,395 pieces
Celebrate iconic villains from a galaxy far, far away with this 3-in-1 portrait set. Choose between portraits that pay tribute to the Sith, with Darth Vader™, Darth Maul™ or Kylo Ren™, or take the artwork to the next level by combining three sets into an ultimate Darth Vader™ wall piece. The soundtrack means the Force will be with fans as they create their very own piece of wall art while listing to music from the films and fun stories from Star Wars™ creators.

Today, the LEGO Group is launching a new canvas for creative expression alongside a series of much-loved partners. Designed for adults who pride themselves on their love of pop culture, four new LEGO® Art sets give creative adults a different way to transform their passion into art.

Those who love Warhol or Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles or iconic characters from the Marvel Universe and Star Wars™ galaxy can pay homage to their idols by creating their very own LEGO artwork portrait to proudly display in their homes, offices or wherever they enjoy their music, film or art.

The LEGO® Art sets offer adults a new creative experience to help them relax and recharge as they transform a blank canvas (or in this case, small interlinking base plates) using LEGO tiles. Each set can be reimagined in a number of different ways to express the personality of each different builder, and to make it easy and simple for pop culture lovers to refresh the LEGO Art piece on display in their house. All four new sets come with a signature tile unique to the set that is worthy of any true work of art, and a new hanging element to make them easy to hang up and switch around.

With new research from the LEGO Group finding that 73% of adults often research new ways to help them relax, each LEGO Art set comes with a bespoke soundtrack that makes the perfect building companion. Featuring fascinating anecdotes from the creators of Iron Man and Star Wars, or those closest to the stories of Andy Warhol and the Beatles, the soundtracks dive deep into the inspiration behind each design to help adults fully immerse themselves in the building experience and unwind while they explore their love of music, art or film in a new way.

The LEGO® Marvel Studios Iron Man set will be available exclusively from LEGO Retail Stores and LEGO.com in most countries while the other three sets will be available from retailers from 1st August 2020, or from 1st September in the US.

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.