Category Archives: Reviews

The parents’ guide to LEGO Mario – Wave 2 Expansions

So, you’ve got your starter course and you survived the first wave of the expansions. Now your kids are getting bored and bugging you for the 2020 expansions. Well great news because there has never been a better time to stock up – before they start bugging you for Luigi.

parents-guide-lego-mario-wave-2

I am here to tell you what is good and what isn’t.

I’ll be using the same structure as last time, looking at each set and how it appeals to certain kinds of kids.

mario_thecutenessconnoisseur
The cuteness connoisseur – These are the kids that only care about one thing; that the sets are cute. They don’t care as much about how many coins you get or specific play features.

mario_theactionkid
The action kid – These are the kids that love the things that they can slam around, stuff that sends pieces flying across your table.

mario_thecoincollector
The coin collector – The kids who want the highest score possible. The ones who will tweak their layouts to get every possible coin from each run.

Let’s get in to it…

Build the little things

There is a temptation as an AFOL to only really focus on the big flashy stuff, the stuff with 18+ listed on the box or a really high part count. But what if I told you that a $20 set could still provide a compelling experience? What if I told you there were two $20 sets worthy of an AFOL?

build-the-little-things-banner

The two sets that I am looking at today are 40468 Tuk Tuk and 40469 New York Taxi.

31116 Safari Wildlife Tree House – Should you buy it?

Creator is probably one of my favourite LEGO themes. It was the theme that really led me out of the dark ages and as such I’m generally pretty keen on anything Creator that shows up. So the answer to the question of whether you should buy 31116 is obviously going to be yes, right? Well my verdict may surprise you.

sybi-31116

The main build of 31116 is pretty simple. Its a tree house, used for watching wildlife. It’s pretty much all there in the name.

31115 Space Mining Mech – The most controversial set of 2021?

LEGO has dabbled with mining themes and sub-themes before, but in almost all of those past sets there was one thing missing – the native inhabitants who are having their lands ripped apart. The Creator 3-in-1 Space Mining Mech fixes that omission.

31115-space-mining-mech-banner

The set depicts a future where humanity is using mechs to rob alien worlds of their mineral wealth.

Should you buy it? 80106 Story of Nian

The Chinese New Year subtheme has surprised us with some truly incredible sets over the last few years. Is the Story of Nian another hit, or is it the week link in the line-up? I guess what I am trying to say is – Should you buy it?

sybi-story-of-nian

Nice wall, but I wouldn’t call it great

A large part of this set is the wall that forms the backdrop of the scene.

story-of-nian-01

Walls aren’t always super exciting – either to build or look at – but this wall isn’t too bad as it does have some interesting details rather than just bricks stacked on top of each other. The doors in particular are a real highlight.

The Amelia Earhart Tribute should have been a general release

The Amelia Earhart set has come and seemingly gone, which is a shame. I think this set deserved to sit on shelves on its own rather than just left relegated to GWP status.

Firstly let’s talk about the build itself. LEGO is no stranger to planes and I found this one to be a really great build even with limited parts.

amelia-earhart-07

It’s not going to blow your mind but there is a bit of snot work and the way the floats are done is interesting.

amelia-earhart-04

Review: Periodic Table of LEGO Colors

If you are an AFOL there’s a decent chance you have seen the original Periodic table of LEGO colours product. It was kind of all over the internet last year and I know a lot of people grabbed one. The people behind the product – We Love What You Build – have now released a new version.

periodic-table-banner

The WLWYB team was kind enough to send me a copy of the 2021 product and over an exclusive deal for Bricking Around readers that you can find at the end of this article.

The concept of the periodic table of LEGO colours is simple: a chart with all of the LEGO colours. The key to a simple idea is the execution. So have they nailed it? Yeah they have.

periodic-table-08

Spring Lanterns & The Ox’s butthole

80107 Spring Lantern Festival is a celebration of Chinese culture in a set that is beautiful and a great build. It also features a light brick placed inside an Ox statue in such a way that the button becomes the Ox’s butthole.

spring-lantern-festival-banner

Now, I’ll get in to the rest of the set (spoilers – it’s great) but I really want to start with the butthole. Mostly because I’m immature.

Let’s take a minute and think about the internal approval processes the designer of this set – Justin Ramsden – probably had to go through. At each stage I wonder, did they miss the butthole? Were they all in on it?
Look at this!

spring-lantern-butt-press

Lately I have been trying to frame my reviews around the question “should you buy it?” and the answer here is yes. You should buy it. Why? Because the butthole light brick is genius. Genius deserves to be rewarded.

Alright, I’m guessing you probably also want to know about the rest of the set?

Trying on a LEGO Ninjago x Hype t-shirt

Back in November 2020 LEGO sent me an email asking if I would be interested in reviewing a range of LEGO clothing for adults. It sounded like an interesting new range and I excitedly agreed. I was not expecting the LEGO Ninjago x Hype collaboration. A theme I don’t really follow combined with a UK streetwear brand clearly not well suited to overweight guys from Brisbane in their 30s. This is going to be something.

ninjago-x-hype-banner

Should you buy it? 80012 Monkey King Warrior Mech

Ah Monkie Kid. When the theme was first announced I was pretty excited. I haven’t loved every original IP that LEGO has created in the last few years but I thought Monkie Kid was an interesting idea. A mix of a futuristic looking setting and an ancient Chinese fable. No augmented reality just cool looking sets. Then we heard the most feared words a LEGO consumer can hear – no general retail release. What looked like a promising new world was relegated to the discountless shelves of LEGO Stores and LEGO.com.

But in 2021 that is changing – Monkie Kid is coming to retail. So after a lengthy delay today I am looking at 80012 Monkey King Warrior Mech and answering the question – should you buy it?

sybi-monkey-king-warrior-mech