October 2022 LEGO News Roundup
While there are only two new LEGO sets coming out at the beginning of November, we also have some big news: two big steps towards a more inclusive LEGO world, and the end of LEGO Mindstorms…
My October kicked-off with BrickCon 2022, the local LEGO convention here in Seattle, WA. The rest of the month breezed by, but not without some new content that I’m excited to share. There has also been some substantial news in the world of LEGO, including multiple significant moves towards greater inclusivity, and the retiring of one of the most influential LEGO product lines of all time.
In the broader LEGO world, the biggest cluster of news this month relates to the November release of the #21337 LEGO Ideas Table Football set. The two big points of discussion being the small size (with just 5 players per side) and the choice to include a huge range of skintone minifigure heads instead of using the iconic (but less inclusive) yellow heads. Slipping a little below the radar is that skintone was not the only type of inclusivity packed into the set; it also included two heads with hearing aids and one with a skin pigmentation condition called vitiligo. It is always good to see more ways to represent yourself using LEGO!
Despite negative initial impressions due to the small size, the initial reviews including this review by Jay (Jay’s Brick Blog) indicate that it’s not a replacement for a full-sized table, but the tiny foosball table is playable and fun. As for the $250 price, it is a bit hard to justify unless you need an army of minifig parts with a diverse selection of skintones. The best sumamry of the diverse minifigure heads available in this set is a different article at Brickset.
On a related note, we finally have news of the long-rumoured reboot of LEGO Friends. As the parent of a 4-year old son, I am thrilled to see less overtly gendered packaging, and a shift to include three boys among the core characters in the theme. They have related the new series back to the original cast in the way that I had anticipated — the five original girls have grown up and will appear in the new series as parents of the eight new kids or other adults in the community.
The best coverage of this development is this excellent Brickset article by Megan Lum. Gender is hardly the only form of inclusivity here… One of the characters has a limb difference (a missing left hand), and the bio for several of the characters suggest multiple forms of neurodiversity.
Mindstorms — the end of an era
In what appears to be a major surprise for the AFOL community, The LEGO Group is retiring #51515 LEGO Mindstorms Robot Inventor, the only current product with the Mindstorms branding. While it hasn’t been formally announced yet, it seems likely that #17101 Boost Creative Toolbox could be next on the chopping block, eliminating all of the consumer-facing products that focus on programming skills.
New at Brick Architect
- Review: 2022 LEGO Advent Calendars
This year we get a fresh batch of five (more expensive) advent calendars to choose from. Let’s find out which ones are worth the higher price.
- BrickCon 2022 LEGO Convention
This year’s convention felt like a homecoming of sorts — packed with positive energy, even more amazing MOC’s, a vibrant after-hours scene, and TV star vibes from a ton of LEGO Masters contestants.
- Review: Wooden LEGO Brick Desk Drawers by Room Copenhagen
Exorbitantly expensive, impractical for storing LEGO bricks, and lower quality than you might expect — there’s an unexpected audience who might want these wooden drawers anyways…
MOC of the Month
It is hard to beat a LEGO model that combines the architectural detailing that I love to see with an artistic, ethereal composition that captures your curiosity. LEGO artist Ralf Langer has creating something truly awe-inspiring here…
A surprise for me was learning that this amazing image is not a digital creation; Ralf is clearly the master of LEGO photography with this crisp, clean image and a perfectly edited backdrop. You can learn more about the model in this discussion at 1000steine (German).
Exciting new sets for AFOLs
With Christmas / Winter Holidays just around the corner, there are just two sets which are being released in November — and both have made waves in the fan community.
- #21337 Table Football (Foosball)
We talked about the latest addition to the LEGO Ideas series already. If you are interested in building your own table, or the selection of diverse minifigure heads, give in a spin.
2339 pieces, $250, available now at LEGO.com
- #76210 Hulkbuster (UCS-sized)
Very few LEGO sets earn truly scathing reviews, but Hulkbuster is one of those sets. Critics (such as Brickset) slammed the set for inaccuracies which are inexcusable at this scale, large gaps at the joints, and an astronomical price tag.
4049 pieces, $550, available November 4 at LEGO.com
Best articles from around the web
Here are some highlights this month from around the web – Happy reading!
“How a mediocre rendition of the Hulkbuster has become the largest and most expensive Super Heroes set ever released, I’ll never know.”
LEGO Masters around the world
Despite a one-week delay due to Major League Baseball scheduling issues, Season 3 of LEGO Masters USA is well on it’s way. So are the articles which offer more insight into what it’s like to be on the show!
“almost like watching a memory bank … We were laughing all the time – it was so much fun doing it.”
I hope to share our own interviews with the LEGO Masters contestants soon, which will naturally focus on: LEGO Storage, building LEGO at home, and the unique experience of being on a prime-time TV show.
Here are a selection of podcasts that I hope you will enjoy.