July & August LEGO News Roundup
The best LEGO articles, videos, and podcasts from around the web which you might have missed this summer.
We’re taking some time off this summer, so we’ve combined the July and August roundups into one big article. Enjoy!
New at Brick Architect
- History of LEGO Brick Labels
Ever wonder how long I’ve been working on the LEGO Brick Labels project? Inspired by a question from one of my patreon sponsors, I edited the page to make it easier to read, and added links so you can go back and see old versions of the collection all the way back to 2015.
- A new version of LEGO Brick Labels is coming soon…
As with previous updates, the new version will include labels for newly introduced parts and improvements to existing labels.
(I’ll be sharing a preview with patrons soon.)
- October 11, 2021 – LEGO® House Live Tours from History Collection
The next tour is in October, focusing on ‘Introducing new ideas, 1979 – 2001’.
The online event is 50 DKK (About $8).
Exciting new sets for AFOLs
Here are some top sets released recently:
- #10279 Volkswagen T2 Camper Van
The follow-up to the classic T1 Camper van is more detailed, more expensive, and more blue – or rather 322Medium AzurMedium Azure.
2207 pieces, $180, available now at LEGO.com
- #10289 Bird of Paradise
Another beautiful brick-built flower bouquet, this time leveraging Technic componets to great effect.
1173 pieces, $100, available now at LEGO.com
- 2021 Advent Calendars
There will be five advent calendars this year: City, Friends, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and for the first time—Marvel/Avengers
250 to 350 pieces for $30-40 at LEGO.com
Best articles from around the web
I hope you didn’t miss these amazing articles…
- Honey, I Shrunk the National Mall
I’ve highlighted the work of LEGO Artist Wayne Tyler in the past – he built a huge model of the National Mall in Washington, DC. He’s back with a more modest creation, but no less impressive – He re-created the National Mall at a much smaller scale! This article goes into the challenges of building small.
- Why do LEGO sets have stickers instead of printed parts
In a recent AMA, LEGO Designer Mark John Stafford explained why LEGO uses stickers to reduce burden on their warehouses. Brothers Brick added illustrations to his text to make this story come to life.
- SPIKE Essential announced
A simpler LEGO Education set was recently announced, using a smaller programming brick and some new motors and accessories. The set uses fewer Technic connections than it’s older sibling, targeting grades 1-5 and contains 449 pieces for $275. (Spike Prime targets grades 6-8, 528 pieces, 340$)
- The LEGO Prambanan Temple: Building a World Heritage Site
I’m extremely familiar with western architectural traditions, but less familiar with other global styles, especially historic ones. In this interview with LEGO Artist Subagyo Wirjantoro, we get a closer look at Prambanan Temple Compound, a large temple complex in Indonesia dating back to 850 CE.
- Artfully using LEGO as the building blocks of learning
My favorite participants in this season on LEGO Masters USA are definitely Dave & Richard – I love that they are proud dads, and respect how they are using their platform to advance social justice issues. This interview looks at how Dave Kaleta uses LEGO as an art medium, in his kindergarden classroom, and with his son.
- How to Build a LEGO Cottage in the Most Illegal Way Possible
This article offers dozens of advanced building techniques to build very rustic-looking structures using precision-moulded LEGO parts.
- LEGO® Technic Designer Interview: Samuel Tacchi & Milan Reindl
This is an excellent interview about two new Technic sets. Of course, the best part is the discussion of the new parts!
I don’t watch a lot of Video, but these videos caught my attention nonetheless!
- Official LEGO® Star Wars™: The Skywalker Saga Gameplay Trailer 2 (2:01)
Delayed multiple times, the latest in-game footage of the much anticipated LEGO video game looks like a lot of fun… Too bad we will have to wait till Spring 2022!
—Warner Bros. Games
- Steve Mayes Presents: Life as a LEGO® architect (41:40)
LEGO Artist Steve Mayes shares his journey as a LEGO artist in this recorded talk.
—July 31, 2020 at The Common Room of the Great North
- Building with LEGO during COVID (46:36)
BrickJournal editor Joe Meno hosted an informative talk on the topic with several influental guests from the AFOL community.
—ComicCon @ Home 2021
- Architecten bouwen met Lego (1984) (1:22)
Archival video showing what Dutch architects could create within the limits of 1980’s LEGO Bricks!
—Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid
Best podcast episodes:
As always, here are some of the best audio-based stories that I’ve heard recently. Happy Listening!
- #456: Full Spectrum (32:12)
In this episode, we explore the history of culture, art, and architecture through both the intentional use of color, and the decision to whitewash everything.
- #28 The Fans, Devs, and Remake of Real-Time Strategy Classic LEGO Rock Raiders (46:28)
This is a lengthy and nerdy dive into a dedicated community of LEGO fans keeping a 22-year old game alive through patches, custom levels, and a modern remake.
—Bits N’ Bricks
- Jay Ong – Jay’s Brick Blog (59:47)
While host Greg McDonald is taking a break from the podcast at the moment, I’ve been going back to listen to the ones I missed along the way. This interview with Jay Ong, who runs an excellent LEGO blog is worth a listen. I’ve always appreciates his balanced approach in reviews and articles on his website, and this interview really reinforces how thoughtfully he approaches the LEGO hobby.
—For the Love of Brick
- #452: The Lows of High Tech (40:19)
I’m pretty knowledgeable about accessible technology through my work as a User Experience Engineer at Microsoft, but hadn’t fully realized the shift in prosthetic limb design from realistic looking limbs in the 90’s that tried to hide limb differences, to the modern prosthetics which show of their high-tech materials.
- Quiara Alegría Hudes (1:07:18)
In this podcast, host Debbie Millman interviews talented people across a wide range of artistic expression. I was drawn to this episode in particular because of the really thoughtful discussion about finding your authentic self. this discussion is especially interesting since guest Quiara Alegría Hudes has an extremely diverse background that challenges many of my own assumptions.
Brick Architect in the news
Last of all, I wanted to highlight two articles where Brick Architect was mentioned…
- Clutter Wars
In this Washington Post article, the author looks at ways that families get more organized, including families with large LEGO Collections!
—Washington Post (or syndicated at Seattle Times)
- Becoming an AFOL: My LEGO Journey to BrickFair Virginia 2021
In this guest post by my new friend Liz Puleo, she explains how she jumped from directly from being a new AFOL to an well known member fo the community.
Thanks for reading our July/August LEGO News Roundup. Be sure to Subscribe to the Brick Architect Mailinglist to receive the latest LEGO news in your email!