June 2022 LEGO News Roundup
This month we touch on upcoming LEGO price increases, a roller coaster that does flips over its predecessor, and some great articles exploring advanced building techniques.
We are seeing continued signals in the US and globally that inflation is stubbornly high, and we’ve recently learned about The LEGO Group’s plans to increase prices between 5% and 25% later this year. And to be clear, this is not just an increase in prices for new sets released after that date, but rather a price increase across the full range of currently available sets. This is highly unusual for The LEGO Group – price increases for existing sets are practically unheard of.
On some sets we will not alter price, on others there will be a single digit increase and on larger, more complex sets the percentage increase will be higher.
The LEGO Group
The short term effect of increased prices are straightforward; fewer people will be able to afford the LEGO Sets they want to buy. The long-term effects are less clear… Will increased prices combine with a potential recession to undermine TLG’s recent growth? Will this be a boon for resellers, whose overpriced retired sets will feel like a better value compared to jacked-up prices for new sets? Will folks abandon the hobby completely due to rising prices?
In the meantime, it’s a good time to purchase existing sets that you want to add to your collection before the prices increases take place. It might also be a good time to take stock of your current collection, especially your backlog of unbuilt sets — you can also avoid paying higher prices by building sets you already own, or taking time to organize your collection better so you can build MOCs with the pieces you already have instead of buying new sets.
New at Brick Architect
- Review: #10303 Loop Coaster
For just $20 more than the previous LEGO Roller Coaster, this new version with two loops is much more satisfying!
- Review: #40519 New York & #40654 Beijing Postcards
Let’s take a closer look at these brick-built souvenirs. I see them as a playful re-interpretation of the LEGO Architecture Skylines series — but for a younger audience!
- Review: #21056 Taj Mahal
The jewel of Mughal architecture is beautifully captured in this intricate LEGO set. The only real question is whether it’s fun to build (and if there are any surprises hidden within).
MOC of the Month
It’s no surprise given my fondness for architecture and design that I’m smitten with this amazingly realistic MOC by Ted Andes. The use of fabric teepee elements for the lamp shade is an inspired choice, and the table and accessories are expertly crafted. (In case you were wondering, this isn’t his only brick-built lamp design!)
Exciting new sets for AFOLs
It looks like a lot of sets are coming out in August, but there are two exciting July releases worth noting…
- #10303 Loop Coaster
If you haven’t read our review of this super exciting set, start there… To make a long story short, the elevator mecanism is a bit finicky, but it is so much fun to play with.
3756 pieces, $400, available July 1 at LEGO.com
- #21334 Jazz Quartet
This is expressive LEGO IDEAS set features a bunch of well-designed brick-buit figures jamming out some jazzy tunes. They look really into what they are playing, and judging from this review at Brothers Brick, you will probably be jazzed about it too.
1606 pieces, $100, available June 28 at LEGO.com
Best articles from around the web
Here are some highlights this month from around the web – Happy reading!
- Hidden Math: The Numbers That Make LEGO Work
This article uses popular sets like this year’s #10297 Boutique Hotel to show how to use math to achieve interesting angles in your models.
- 75334 Obi-wan vs. Darth Vader – LEGO wants to charge $50 for this!?
The LEGO Group is claiming that they will raise prices by 5-25% in September, but recents sets like this one suggest that they are already trying on increased prices (for what in this case seems to be a profoundly boring set).
—Jay’s Brick Blog
- Interview with Milan Madge, designer of 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle
A lot of fans are clamouring for the release of 10305 in August. Learn more right now in this designer interview.
- LEGO Collectible Minifigures Packaging is Changing from Bags to Boxes in 2023
Under the guise of reducing their environmental impact, The LEGO Group has annouced a change from “blind bags” which fans can feel tthrough to identify the figures they want to buy to Blind Boxes. I don’t buy very many CMF’s, but doubt that I will buy any once this change occurs since I only collect very specific figures. Many sites covered the news, but Jay offered some of the most interesting analysis.
—Jay’s Brick Blog
- Interview with Mike Psiaki, designer of 10497 Galaxy Explorer
We also get an interview with the designer who re-created the classic Galaxy Explorer set at 1.5x size.
- 15 Ways to Build a LEGO Roof
Here’s another classic BrickNerd article containing more than a dozen different techniques to build a beautiful roof for your LEGO model.
- Exclusive look at the 2022 LEGO inside tour set – #4000037 LEGO Factory AGV
The LEGO Inside tour is a very expensive tour that takes superfans behind the scenes to various aspects of the LEGO headquarters in Billund. Each year, a very rare set is created just for participants. This is your best opportunity to learn about this year’s set!
—Jay’s Brick Blog
- BRICK.IT Magazine English Version 01
Looking for an English language LEGO Magazine with an international perspective. The Italian LEGO magazine is now available to download in English for €5.
- LEGO statement on the price increase from September 2022: Prices for over 100 sets will rise (German)
Stonewars found before-and-after pricing for 100 sets, giving a better sense what the 5-25% price increase will look like in Europe.
LEGO Masters around the world
Season 1 of LEGO Masters New Zealand has finished, and we got to see a short “teaser” episode of Season 3 of LEGO Masters USA – although it’s worth noting that two Canadian teams have infiltrated this year’s competition.
- LEGO Masters (USA) Season 3 “Preview” Episode
If you live in the US, you can watch a short preview of season 3 (which will debut this fall) in this half-episode. It promotes the Jurassic World Dominion movie — the episode was probably released now to meet a contract obligation with Universal Pictures.
- Interview with the winning team from LEGO Masters NZ.
The detailed explanation of how the final build took place over 3 days, and they ways that they prototyped aspects of it in advance were interesting to read.
Here are a couple videos that might catch your interest, too…
- LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation (01:44)
It does not look good, but it will probably be fun, especially for younger viewers.
—Star Wars @ YouTube
- LEGO Con 2022 (02:28:14)
Want to revisit LEGO Con 2022 – it’s available on demand.
—LEGO @ YouTube
- How We Built Beyond the Brick | Brickworld Chicago 2022 Keynote (38:10)
Joshua and John Hanlon explained how they created the popular YouTube channel in their Brickworld Keynote presentation.
—Beyond the Brick @ YouTube
Best podcast episodes:
We’ve got just one audio story to highlight this month…
- The Rights of Rice and Future of Nature (44:31)
Our modern societies are built on an assumption that land and other resources can be owned and exploited. I found this exploration of other ways of thinking about ownership fascinating..