Are you a Melbourne LEGO fan looking for a career change? Do you dream of getting paid to build with LEGO all day? The dream job for so many AFOLs is now up for grabs.
As you may know, a new LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is opening later this year in Melbourne. The thing is you can’t have a LEGOLAND Discovery Centre without LEGO Models – and that means Master Model Builders.
In order to find the best candidate for the position a unique LEGO building talent quest called Brickfactor will be taking place on February 11-12, 2017 at Chadstone shopping centre. Brickfactor is a free event where LEGO experts compete in action packed building challenges to earn the role of Master Model Builder at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne.
If you think you can rock the position then head here to submit your application.
To get an idea of what you are in for I’ve included a video of an American Brickfactor competition.
LEGO has used CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas to announce a whole new theme that will bring robotics to younger LEGO Builders. The new theme is essentially LEGO Mindstorms Junior – it uses regular LEGO parts rather than the more complicated Technic elements and programming is done via a tablet app.
The introduction to the theme is called Creative Toolbox. The set allows you to create 5 different powered models; a moving robot, a multi-function rover, a Guitar shaped musical instrument, a robot cat or an automated LEGO building production line.
All of the models look great and show off the different robotic features the set allows for. Those robotic functions are achieved thanks to the LEGO Move Hub as well as an interactive motor and a color & distance sensor.
The Move Hub features Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity, two encoded motors, activation button, internal tilt sensor and a light. The Color & Distance Sensor can detect distance, motion and color.
You can view a gallery of images from the set and read the full press release below. No Australian details at this stage, but as soon as I know more I’ll be sure to share this. Official release date is August 2017.
December 2011 saw the LEGO Friends theme announced to the world, with the first sets officially released in January 2012. Today I take a look back at 5 years of LEGO Friends.
When LEGO Friends was first announced the immediate reaction from a large number of concerned citizens was that these girl LEGO sets were an abomination that enforced outdated gender stereotypes.
The sets were labelled offensive and damaging among other terms. The minidolls were criticised for their slim figures while the sets were judged for their pastel palettes and for being simpler than the boy sets.
Big W’s latest catalogue may proclaim to be all about Back To School, but tucked away in the pages are a few LEGO sets on sale.
It’s certainly not the most amazing sale they’ve ever had but if you have some Christmas gift cards burning a hole in your pockets then there might be something tempting here; a Rogue One set perhaps?
The sale started yesterday (January 2nd) and runs all the way through until February 1st 2017. You can view the catalogue for yourself here, or see the list of sets below.
Full RRP Discount
|60117||Van & Caravan||City||$20.00||$29.99||$9.99||33%|
|60121||Volcano Exploration Truck||City||$20.00||$29.99||$9.99||33%|
|60107||Fire Ladder Truck||City||$20.00||$29.99||$9.99||33%|
|60101||Airport Cargo Plane||City||$20.00||$29.99||$9.99||33%|
|10720||Police Helicopter Chase||Juniors||$10.00||$15.99||$5.99||37%|
|75152||Imperial Assault Hovertank||Star Wars||$39.00||$59.99||$20.99||35%|
|75155||Rebel U-wing Fighter||Star Wars||$89.00||$119.99||$30.99||26%|
|75156||Krennic's Imperial Shuttle||Star Wars||$95.00||$139.99||$44.99||32%|
|41124||Heartlake Puppy Daycare||Friends||$28.00||$44.99||$16.99||38%|
|41128||Amusement Park Space Ride||Friends||$19.00||$29.99||$10.99||37%|
|41129||Amusement Park Hot Dog Van||Friends||$28.00||$44.99||$16.99||38%|
|41123||Foal's Washing Station||Friends||$12.00||$15.99||$3.99||25%|
2016 was a huge year for Bricking Around. In terms of raw numbers there were over 700,000 views from more 200,000 visitors. That is a significant increase over 2015.
I published over 280 articles during 2016. Across those articles there were 691 comments. That figure doesn’t include any Facebook comments or tweets.
The top individual article was the 2016 Toy Sale deals from Big W. Big W has always been a popular retailer and with a disappointing offering from Target this year it makes sense there was a lot of interest in what Big W were offering.
Second place was actually a 2015 article about LEGO Dimensions PDF instructions; clearly the popularity of the game saw lots of people looking for how to build the expansion packs.
There also seems to be a lot of interest in the Dreamworld LEGO store, with that announcement being the third most read article of the year. There should be plenty of interest when it opens.
The outbound traffic on the site always gives an interesting insight into what people are interested in checking out further.
Unsurprisingly the Australian online LEGO store was the top link; it’s still your only source for a lot of exclusives and their bonus offers can be tempting.
Second place this year was taken by eBay. The combination of retailer offers stacking with eBay offers for impressive discounts explains this one. There was more than one opportunity to get 28% off via eBay in 2016.
Third place was Myer, beating out all of the other retailers.
A year of sales
I’ve done up what I hope is an interesting visual to show just how many sales there were during 2016. This sales heatmap comes from the sales data that was posted here during the year, so it doesn’t include every sale from every retailer as there were possibly some that I missed. You can click on the picture for a larger version.
Looking at the diagram shows that despite the big toy sales taking place in July it was April that had the first bulk lot of sales for the year. This year there was also a heap of sales right before Christmas. The sales marked on the image are a mix of selected set and standard percentage off deals.
According to my data there were 18 days in 2016 were there was no LEGO on sale. That number may actually be less as a few of them are in August; not long after my first child was born. It’s certainly possible I was distracted and missed a sale or two. Even still, just 18 days without some sort of LEGO sale. It goes to show that buying LEGO in Australia isn’t all bad.
On to 2017…
I’ve got big plans for 2017. I have been a bit slack in my event coverage, and I’d love to be better at covering these and making sure people get out to see their local shows.
I am also aiming to launch a new “Buy LEGO” page. I don’t want to give away too much just yet but I hope the new page will be a valuable tool for all LEGO buyers.
I also have a few secret projects that may or may not eventuate, so I don’t want to give anything away.
Of course all the regular LEGO coverage you come for will be here.
Do you have a young LEGO Friends builder in your house? LEGO are currently running the ultimate competition for Friends fans.
Just design your very own LEGO Friends set to be in the running for this amazing experience. Is there something you’ve always thought was missing from Heartlake City? Now is your chance to see it made.
One lucky Grand Prize Winner can be treated to a trip with their family to the LEGO Group headquarters in Billund, Denmark and collaborate with the LEGO Friends designers to turn the winning idea into a real LEGO Friends playset. The winning child will even be made into a mini-doll as part of this playset.
The contest is open to all children aged 6-12 and runs from December 26th 2016 – February 28th 2017.
To enter or learn more head to https://friendsdesignerapp.lego.com/en-au
Looking for something to do this New Years weekend? Head along to Brickfest At The Bay 2017.
Back for its 7th year the show features 60 tables of exhibits as well as a Minecraft Build Area for the kids to build. Then they can display their creations on the Minecraft landscape built for them to display on.
There will be workshops twice a day for you to learn how the builders create some of the features on display. Plus there will be “find the Minifigs” and “Speed Build” competitions, as well as a Raffle.
DATE: Friday 30th December 2016 – Monday 2nd January 2017
TIME: 10am – 4pm
VENUE: Tomaree Education Centre, Salamander Way & Leisure Drive, Salamander NSW 2316
COST: $4 a person/$10 a family
It’s good to see another small LEGO retailer getting in on the Boxing Day savings.
Melbourne based Shopforme are offering an impressive 25% off site-wide today only.
There’s really not a lot more to say – get shopping.
Thanks to the few people who shared this with me.
Big W are getting in on the Boxing Day sales with an offer that is likely to be great for some and disappointing for others.
Rather than a sale on all LEGO they have 16 sets with prices up to 40% off. It’s a fairly limited selection but some good prices.
This sale runs until January 4th 2017, but stock may sell out before then. The website states that this is online only but you could certainly try matching those prices in-store (I’m not promising anything).
You can view the range online here or see the regular information below. Note that with the table below discounts are calculated based off RRP, not Big W’s regular price.
Did you think it was only the major retailers that got in on the Boxing Day sales? I got an email tonight from Michael at ORTCo about their offer.
Starting from midnight tonight (Brisbane time) they will be having a 24hr Boxing Day sale where you can take an extra 20% off the listed price on all in-stock LEGO (excluding gift vouchers).
Simply enter the coupon code TAKE20 when you go through the checkout.