May 2022 LEGO News Roundup
This month we see exciting developments from an inclusive perspective, disappointing changes to building instructions, and some interesting new sets. Check it out!
The month of May has been packed with great LEGO content from around the web, not to mention two reviews right here at Brick Architect that I hope you enjoy. There are also a lot of interesting sets that are coming out on June 1 (and an exclusive book for serious collectors). Unfortunately, several of the sets (including the Great Pyramid of Giza) aren’t available in North America until August, which will surely dissapoint a lot of readers.
I also wanted to call out a troubling development that The LEGO Group announced this month. “As we are gradually replacing single-use plastic bags with paper-based bags in our boxes, other in-box materials such as the cover of Building Instructions have also been re-designed for a visually consistent unboxing experience.” —The LEGO Group
When they say consistent, it looks like they are aiming to be consistently mediocre. I believe that the building experience is enhanced by well-designed instructions that reinforce the theme or IP partner. For an even more strongly worded response to this statement, check out Richard’s biting critique at Rambling Brick. (He closes by asking if he is just being an “old fuddy duddy”, but I agree with him… building instructions should enhance the building experience!)
New at Brick Architect
- Review: #21058 Great Pyramid of Giza
Can a LEGO set based on an undecorated pyramidal shape earn the Architecture label? Possibly — especially when placed into the context of the era when it was built.
- Review: #71741 Ninjago City Gardens
The third installment in the popular Ninjago City series follows in the footsteps of one of the greatest LEGO sets of all time — can it compare, and should you pick it up before it retires?
MOC of the Month
I don’t know if I will keep this up or not, but I absolutely loved the following model which is based on the cutest minfig from the most recent CMF series and wanted to share it with you!
- June 18, 2022 – LEGO® Con 2022
Advertised as “Bigger, better, brickier!” — This year’s LEGO Con is aimed squarely at kids and families. That said, there are a few sections which may be of interest to AFOLs: a session on creativity with Pixar’s Angus Maclane, a LIVE LEGO Masters challenge, and a collaborative Minecraft build.
Free online event at LEGO.com
Exciting new sets for AFOLs
There are some interesting sets coming out in June — although you may be very dissappointed if you live in North America…
- #42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3
This is the fourth in the series of 1:8 scale LEGO Technic Supercars. (I really enjoyed building the Bugatti Chiron a few years ago.)
3778 pieces, $400, available June 1 at LEGO.com
- Book: Ferrari Daytona SP3 The Sense of Perfection
This wildly overpriced book is a limited run of just 5,000 copies. I’m going to try and purchase a copy for the rare behind-the-scenes look at designing new parts and designing building instructions for an iconic AFOL-oriented set. (More info at brickset.com)
$80, available June 1 at LEGO.com
- #21058 Great Pyramid of Giza
If you don’t live in North America, you can pick up the Great Pyramid of Giza in June. (Link to our in-depth review above…)
1476 pieces, $130, available globally on June 1 (August 1 in North America) at LEGO.com
- #31206 Rolling Stones (LEGO Art)
Here’s your chance to build the iconic tongue logo using LEGO Bricks. Be prepared to actually mount it on the wall, since it doesn’t lean up very easily. The best review is at Brothers Brick; parts overview at New Elementary.
1998 pieces, $150, available globally on June 1 (August 1 in North America) at LEGO.com
- #60346 Barn & Farm Animals
I rarely highlight sets aged 4+ in my roundup, but this one is getting a lot of attention for the removeable sheep fleece, and range of new animal moulds. Jay’s review of the set offers a ton of great photos of the new animal moulds. (The North America pricing for this set is especially bad.)
230 pieces, $70, available June 1 at LEGO.com
- #21333 Vincent van Gogh – The Starry Night (LEGO Ideas)
This is why LEGO Ideas was created; who would have thought to re-create a famous impressionist painting using LEGO. Based on reviews at Jay’s Brick Blog and others, the set is a triumph!
2316 pieces, $170, available June 1 at LEGO.com (early availability for VIP).
- #10302 Optimus Prime
Re-create the iconic character from the Transformers universe. It’s overpriced for what you get, and has some flaws which are outlined in this review at Brothers Brick.
1508 pieces, $170, available June 1 at LEGO.com
Best articles from around the web
Here are some highlights this month from around the web – Happy reading!
- Why LEGO’s new minifigure with a prosthetic leg is so important for representation
The title pretty much says it all… but I want to say it again for folks in the back row… Representation matters! — Gender, race, and ability differences are central to people’s identity, so it’s critical that LEGO minifigures capture the broadest possible range of human experiences. I love seeing this type of diversity and want to ensure it is part of my son’s play brick.
—Jay’s Brick Blog
- This is the new LEGO skin tone colour, 371 Warm Tan.
Speaking of representation, The LEGO Group quietly added a second new skintone this year in #75325 The Mandalorian’s N-1 Starfighter
—New Elementary (via Instagram)
- Every Type of Plastic Used By LEGO
I knew that a wide range of plastics are used to create different LEGO parts, but have never seen an inventory of the various materials that’s as thorough as this one.
- Old Elementary: 10 years of LEGO® Friends
LEGO Friends has evolved from very basic sets to compelling builds in it’s 10 year history, and so have the minidolls themselves. Learna bout the transition in this excellent summary.
The company … is looking for talented Engineers, Product Managers, UX/UI Designers, Technical Program Managers, Digital Security Specialists and Data Scientists to join the challenge.
The LEGO Group
- The LEGO Group set to nearly triple size of digital team to accelerate digital transformation
It’s about time! The LEGO Group is not known for consistently good digital experiences, but they are apparently poised to expand this skill with a new Copenhagen office for up to 400 tech employees.
—The LEGO Group
- Melbourne Central’s new LEGO certified store – Flagship Experience!
One of the most interesting observations is the new staggered clear pick-a-brick bins. It looks like they can fit more of them in the same amount of space – who knows if these will be common in other new stores?
—Jay’s Brick Blog
- Phondly EnBo PU battery pack for LEGO Control+ HUB
There is a lot of interest in a continuous power solution for the new Powered Up products. This ambitious (and expensive) project aims to replace the AA battery pack with a Li-Ion rechargeable that can power your MOC when connected to large battery pack or wall outlet via a modern USB-C connector. (I do not endorse this product and do not think it represents a good value. Remember, with Crowdfunding projects you might never receive the product or it might not work as advertised.)
- LEGO® Cloth Fest: Áron Gerencsér
While I don’t think about cloth elements very often, they do represent a distinct niche within the LEGO Hobby. This article offers a great overview!
- LEGO Technic parts review: 42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3
This article offers a deliciously nerdy look at the geometry of the new parts debuting in this year’s LEGO Technic Supercar.
LEGO Masters around the world
Season 1 of LEGO Masters New Zealand is underway. With just 6 teams total, we really are getting a lot of screen time to see them models and get to know the participants – a really different viewing experience from the highly-produced USA show.
Speaking of USA – Season 3 participants have been announced and we will get to see a special preview of the show on Jun 5. Lastly, Season 4 of LEGO Masters Australia has finished. (…but I’m not caught up, so no spoilers—please!)
- LEGO Masters (USA) Season 3 Contestants Revealed
I’m eager to see how the contestants do, and am rooting for the two participants that I know pretty well!
—The Brick Fan
- Exit interviews for the First and Second teams to leave LEGO Masters NZ.
The interviews include lots of interesting insights into what it would feel like to participate in, and get sent home from a LEGO Masters show..
Here are a couple videos that might catch your interest, too…
- The first campus built by Google | Bay View and Charleston East (4:58)
You may find this new Google building interesting, not only for the unique architectural form and environmental characteristics, but also because it is designed by none other than Bjarke Ingels / BIG, who also designed the iconic LEGO House museum in Billund.
—Google @ YouTube
I don’t think I smurfaggerate when I say that Jonas Kramm really has smurfed a smurftacular build…