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  • Sara Skahill
    “I’m just going to come out and say it, you guys have run out of ideas and now you’re just repeating yourselves,” Tommy Andreasen says,  wearing a hoodie sitting across from Tommy Kalmar in long sleeves and Michael Svane Knap in a black hat. And he’d know too, Tommy A has been working on LEGO® NINJAGO® since its early days, when it was called LEGO Ninja.
    He is of course referring to the LEGO NINJAGO: LEGACY sets. These sets might seem familiar to long time fans of LEGO NINJAGO—they are updated versions of some of the first LEGO NINJAGO sets.
    “it’s not a matter of running out of ideas, it’s taking the great ideas we had and making them even better,” Michael explains. Michael’s role in LEGO NINJAGO is two part, not only does he build models, he also works in creating the TV show.
    Why LEGACY?
    “When a lot of these sets originally came out, it was back in 2011 and 2012. The way we build with LEGO bricks, the way we actually put sets together, has changed a lot. This means we have new elements; we have new ways of making the build even better.”
    This LEGACY sets also cater to a new audience of LEGO NINJAGO: kids who are watching the series for the very first time but have no way to get their hands on sets which have been off the shelves for years.
    “And of course, for existing fans, it’s re-igniting their love, that is what is what LEGACY is about. It’s a celebration of NINJAGO,” Tommy Kalmar says, who is Story Manager for LEGO NINJAGO.
    Classic Sets with New Minifigures
    “With the Minifigures we want to bring some newness into the line. The first wave of LEGACY is grabbing 1st and 2nd season, so we’re taking the designs of those two, and for the ninjas, mashing those together to create a new NINJAGO design,” Michael goes on.
    The Overlord appearing in  the Golden Dragon is an example of this – he appears as a Minifigure reflecting his different states and bridging different designs.
    70666 the Golden Dragon was a set which was designed to be more affordable and reach more children, but in other cases, the team gets to beef sets up more, such as 70669 Cole's Earth Driller.
     “it wasn’t much in the show, but it was there, and it was awesome. It could fit 6 Minifigures!” Tommy A exclaims.  

    70502 Cole's Earth Driller 2012 vs. 70669 Cole's Earth Driller 2019
    “The original product back in 2012 – it was tiny – It was far away from where it fit in the TV show,” says Michael. The LEGACY model has 3 times as many pieces, although the team lament that it still only fits 2 Minifigures.
    Truer to the TV Show
    The new LEGACY sets are designed to look more like their counterparts in the TV series.
    “During the first year of the TV show, some of the models weren’t fully developed when they put into the series, so the earlier products didn’t always look exactly as they did in the show,” Michael explains.
    This was also an opportunity to release the most iconic location in the world of LEGO NINJAGO: 70670 the Monastery of Spinjitzu. While 2504 the Spinjitzu Dojo was released in 2011, this is the first time the Monastery as a whole has been done.


    It’s so iconic, it’s amazing we’ve never done it,” explains Michael. Afterall, this is the home-base of the ninjas, and where Wu and Garmadon grew up with their father, the First Spinjitzu Master.
     “It’s something that we really saw the potential of putting the love into presenting it as it was in the TV show.”
    Not Done Yet
    There are still mountains of LEGO NINJAGO stuff to do, and despite what Tommy A says, the team hasn’t run out of ideas.
    “We hope to have more launches—we could do ideas from tv show which never made it into products… there’s so many things from the NINJAGO universe,” he adds.
    “I have more locations on my list as well which could be interesting. There are still golden opportunities from the epic final battle to explore and beef up,” Michael hints and smiles.
     

    Tormod
    Dear AFOL Community,
    It has become apparent to us at the LEGO Group that you are dissatisfied with the recent launches of regional exclusive products. We’ve received a lot of feedback on the LEGO festival products to mark the Chinese New Year (sets 80101 and 80102), the LEGO The Movie 2 Brickheadz (41634, 41635,41636 & 41637) in the US as well as the LEGO Star Wars 20th Anniversary Darth Vader Bust (75227). Because of this feedback and concerns from you, our dedicated and most loyal fans, we have decided that regional exclusives launched after May 1, 2019 will become widely available via LEGO Brand Retail stores and LEGO Shop at Home after a limited period of time (3-6 months) of the initial launch. 
    In the following areas we will still be launching products, which will have a certain limitation to availability and production runs:
    Pilot projects, such as Forma, to check out markets and opportunities without being able to make them widely available. Gift With Purchase campaigns through LEGO Shop at Home and LEGO Brand Retail. Products only sold in certain experiences (for example LEGOLAND, LEGO House & LEGO Brand Retail stores). Special Event Sets (Comic Cons, LEGO Inside Tour).  
    NOTE: This was published previously on the LAN Forums. It is being published here now to re-enforce that this is public information coming from The LEGO Group.

    Sara Skahill
    It was large, it was all white, it was a girl’s head.
    “The initial concept of the big head didn’t have any major features at that time. It was more about creating the idea of a watchful presence of the sister,” Explained Jason Amador Moreno, designer of 70830 The LEGO Movie 2 Sweet Mayhem's Systar Starship!
    “When we received concepts from the movie studio, we usually try and build a 1 to 1 version of it. When we did the head, it was really to have a big look at it.”
    The design was a bold movie from the studio – and a set the designers didn’t expect to fly off shelves based on the first iteration.
    “the LEGO team felt it best to propose something that had more iconography from Sweet Mayhem (her helmet). Thus, many versions of spaceships inspired by her helmet were made.”


     
    But it wasn’t a one way process: while designing the ship, the ship’s colors influenced the colors of Sweet Mayhem’s helmet.


     
     “After presenting to the studio it did inspire them to revise the concept to something a bit more spaceshipy. After that it became a back and forth of cooler versions of Sweet Mayhem inspired helmet spaceships,” Jason said.


    Scaling it down presented new challenges to keep the model true to the movie’s storyline.
    “One thing is the real challenge in the final model. It has a cockpit that fits a Minifigure and Mini-doll, a prison that fits 2 Minifigures, a disc shooter, wings that rotate, storage for heart, star, weapons, AND a roll of stickers! All within a ball, one of the most challenging shapes to make out of LEGO bricks.”
    With all The LEGO Movie 2 sets, designers needed to work in collaboration with the studio to make models which fit the story and make good LEGO sets.  This can result in much back and further and many different versions of a set.
    “One great example is the Apocalypseburg Batmobile. It had gone through many iterations and was approved from both the studio and the LEGO Group. Yet in the end it was cut entirely from the movie due to various reasons. This just speaks to how organic the movie process can be.”



    Sweet Mayhem's Systar Starship! wasn’t just the design of one person, Jason worked with a model coach, creative lead, and other designers to help it reach its final form.
    “We are really appreciative that we could collaborate with the studio in the end to create a super cool movie model but also a fantastic toy.”
    You can view the prototype model of Sweet Mayhem's Systar Starship! At the LEGO House, and purchase it from the LEGO Shop.
    The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is available on digital now and on Blu-ray™ May 7th in the US and Mexico will be available everywhere July 22nd.  
     
     

    Sara Skahill

    Powered Up Update

    By Sara Skahill, in LAN Blog,

    At the request of Ambassadors, we have a short update from the Powered Up team:
    Today the Powered Up Team launched a website dedicated to Powered Up components, where they highlight most important benefits of the platform and show what can be done with components when you buy them separately. There will be also app update where you can newly code your own creations - create your own code, modify it, save it and come back to it. This Mobile app is available in App store or Google Play, but models can be also controlled by Powered Up remote control via Bluebooth.
    Where is Powered Up used?
    LEGO ® Powered Up platform is used in the active lines LEGO® DC Super Heroes App-Controlled Batmobile (76112), the LEGO® City Cargo Train (60198), or the LEGO® City Passenger Train (60197) and it continue to be used in future products
    Can I buy the Powered Up Components Separately? 
    Separate components will be available from 1st of April at LEGO Shop at Home, LEGO Brand Retail and LEGO Certified Stories. All components will be sold separately in see-through packaging (used for example with polybags, gift with purchase)
    What about Power Functions?
    Powered Up platform  is in general replacement for Power Functions components (used until now in some Creator Expert models and some Technic models) which will remain active until end of 2020.
    Exceptions: - 8878 Power Functions Rechargeable battery box → Exited 31.12.2018 and - 45517 Transformer 10V DC  → Exits 31.12.2021
    If you have further questions regarding Powered Up, please leave a comment below and we will pass it along to the Powered Up Team. 

    Kevin Ahn
    Yesterday I was introduced to LEGO PlayStarter developed by LEGO Foundation, LEGO Education & LEGO Community Engagement. The content of this meeting is very applicable to our fan community exhibitions, I would like to share what it was and how you can utilize as well!

    Before going into the program details, we had a message from Kjeld about the importance of play.

    Some LEGO DUPLO bricks and the LEGO duck was prepared for the activities:

    The first activity was to form groups of three to build the tallest tower to hold a water bottle using DUPLO bricks. Thus was bi easy task as it needed to be stable to hold the water bottle.

    The second activity was to build the LEGO duck in 45 seconds - there is no correct duck and everyone built different ducks.

    The last session was to have groups to answer the question from the build. Each person was to select a word and try to explain with the build and answering to questions only with "Yes" and "No".

    It was very interesting and lots of creativity was kicked in, like Michael Jackson below😂
    )
    After the activities, we were introduced to the LEGO Foundations five skills to holistic development:
    Emotional, Cognitive, Creative, Physical, Social.
    The activities included all the skills and some focus areas. I found the activity very beneficial, and it would be easy to execute in our fan community events, where we can introduce the visitors to the value and skills which can develop through the bricks.This activity can be introduced in many ways, to friends, teachers, parents, colleagues and more.

    I highly recommend you to try at our gatherings and exhibitions!
    For more details and information please reach out or leave comments, I will try to answer you in the best possible way 😃
     
     
     
     
     

    Sara Skahill
    It’s really during the AFOL Engagement Team’s monthly Celebration Breakfasts, in which we build a small LEGO® set and do a small challenge, that you can clearly separate out the budding LEGO photographers from everyone else.
    I’ll skip to the chase, Ana  is the photographer with talent here. The rest of us, well, we tried. Points for effort.
    For this month, we built The LEGO Movie 2™ 70841 Benny’s Space Squad and The LEGO Movie 2 ™70822 Unikitty’s Sweetest Friends EVER! and used photography to tell a story.
     
    Alyssa and I took Unikitty and her friends on a sweet tour of the LEGO Enfield Cafeteria. Benny met a familiar and unfamiliar face around the campus.



    Mette decided to take Benny’s friends out exploring.



    Tormod  took some of the extra pieces in the sets to tell the story of Gwinny.


    Yun Mi  decided to have her sig fig “try on” the spacesuits, with a friendly reminder from Batman in the background.

    And then, Ana decided to make us all look bad with her photography skills.




     
    Overall it was a fun activity for us to engage in across multiple offices, and we look forward to see what will be in store next month!


    Jan Beyer
    LEGO® House dinosaurs is the new exclusive set

    Three giant LEGO dinosaurs greet visitors when they climb the stairs to the Experience Zones of the LEGO House. Available from April 17th as a retail set.

    Positioned in The Masterpiece Gallery the three iconic dinosaurs are the stunning centrepieces of the room. Each model has a metal skeleton inside to support the LEGO bricks, the height of each models is 2,92 m (without podium) and the total piece count of the three models is more than 600.000 LEGO bricks. Now LEGO House has taken on the challenge to convert the three giant dinosaurs into a retail product.

    The retail product, LEGO® House dinosaurs, will be launched at the LEGO Store in LEGO House this summer. And if everything goes as planned the first boxes will already be for sale from 17th April.

    The LEGO model is a great reproduction of the giant dinosaurs capturing all the most iconic features in a rescaled version.

    Designer Nina Koopman says: ”One of the biggest challenges with the new model has been to capture all the details from the big models. Especially since the models in Masterpiece Gallery were all built of the three different building systems LEGO DUPLO, LEGO Technic and LEGO System. You see it especially with the yellow dino where we eg. have used gear wheels, and ventilator elements to get the “Technic feel” into the product.”

    The three dinosaurs have been on their way for roughly a year and is the third exclusive product that LEGO House launches. The others being Tree of Creativity (4000026) and the LEGO House Architecture set (21037).

    In the new product it has been important to underline that it is both a toy for playing and a display model. Nina Koopman explains: “The aim was to make a stunning product and at the same time, we have worked with integrating moveable parts in the heads, arms and legs to enhance the play experience. Also the construction of the three models has deliberately been made different from each other in order to create three different building experiences, and you can remove the dinos from their podium.”

    Each of the three models within the new product has a podium that resembles the real podium in Masterpiece Gallery. This pays reference to the fact that Masterpiece Gallery in itself is a giant LEGO brick – just 862 times an ordinary LEGO 2x4 brick – and the three podiums are the tubes of that LEGO brick.

    The model is exclusively available at LEGO House in Billund and the retail price is 599 DKK. (Maximum 3 boxes pr. person).


     
    Product overview

    Name of product

    LEGO® House dinosaurs

    Product number

    40366

    Period for sales

    April 2019 – Jan. 2021

    Piece count

    864 incl. a brick seperator

    Release date

    17th April 2019

    Box size

    38,2 cm x 26,2 cm x 7,05 cm

    Hight of built model

    App. 15 cm

    Elements in yellow model

    217 + podium 62

    Elements in red model

    238 + podium 63

    Elements in green model

    216 + podium 67

    Decorations

    Sticker sheet included

    LEGO Designer

    Nina Koopmann

    Available for sale

    LEGO House, Billund, Denmark.

    Price

    599 DKK


     

     
    Facts about the three large dinosaurs in Masterpiece Gallery in LEGO House


     
      Number of elements

    Brick weight

    Weight total

    Production  hours

    Duplo

    50.940

    536 Kg

    1997 Kg

    671

    System

    253.274

    432 Kg

    1779 Kg

    1372

    Technic

    298.431

    447 Kg

    1694 Kg

    1002







    Jan Beyer
    From April 5 - 7 Kim and I visited the 2nd edition of Kockice Convention in Zagreb, Croatia. The event welcomed about 100 AFOLs from 13 different countries and 2000 public visitors saw high quality MOCs on display.
    The social factor of the event is very strong and Ed Petrac and his team took very well care of all and created a very enjoyable program for the participants including several presentations held by AFOLs and LEGO Friends Designer Antica Bracanov, a New Elementary parts festival, a gokart and brick building activity, a visit to the local LEGO Certified Store as well as a nice AFOL dinner and guided tour around beautiful Zagreb.
    We had a lot of good talks with international AFOLs, great impressions and a lot of fun so I can strongly recommend to add the Kockice Convention to your Event travel list.









    Sara Skahill
    It all started with two very iconic mice.
    You see, the LEGO® Ideas team was facing a hiccup in their plan – they couldn’t release 21317 Steamboat Willie without Mickey and Minnie. However, the Collective Minifigures team were already planning to release black and white Mickey and Minnie in Disney Collective Minifigure series 2.
    “Normally the Collectable Minifigure line has exclusivity of their Minifigures,” Explained Sanne Dollerup, Project Manager on the LEGO Ideas team.  “They were very reluctant to have us ‘borrow’ those Minifigures, but we convinced them we could do some alternations.”
    But how to change the Minifigures in Steamboat Willie to make them different, while keeping them black and white to fit the rest of the set?
    “From that, the idea arose – what about adding silver? Doing this very exclusive, unique, retro thing.”
    So now, the Minifigures you see in the Steamboat Willie set differ from the ones in the Disney Collective Minifigures series – they have some reflective silvery printing.
    “After we started doing the packaging layout – we thought how about we do the packaging in silver as well?” she explained.


    This was trickier than expected.
    The supply chain wasn’t prepared for it. The silver printing, or foil, on the box wasn’t standard.  It had to be sourced from Germany and sent to three vendors in the individual regions. The vendors prepared the packaging and then distributed it to our packing facilities in Jiaxing, Kladno and Monterrey.


    “The project team, very usually, was in close dialogue with the three factories to see what they were capable of,” Sanne said.
    Originally, they had plans of making all silver parts on the model appear silver on the box, but quickly they had to scale down their ambition.
    “If we were to print silver on the packaging to reflect the silver decorations of the model (Minifigures) it would require a specific printing method –e.g.  print the silver, then print the dots of the skirt on top of the silver—that not all three vendors could confirm,” Sanne goes on. After that was scaled down, they found printing on a small surface area, such as the piece count in the North American version of the set, in silver foil was impossible. All versions of the packaging of the set – the North American version, the European version, and the Chinese version, had to be aligned on the placement of the silver foil.
    “The company and our vendors were not familiar with silver foil on packaging before, so it was hand carried all the way through and we had to postpone production ready date two times. It was a tough project and quite amazing that we were successful without any impact on planned launch.”
    And in case you were wondering, no, the silver packaging did not contribute to the price of the set.
    Check out the silver packaging (and the rest of the set!) on 21317 Steamboat Willie, now available for sale.  
    Also if you’re in the able, stop by and get your copy signed by fan designer Máté Szabó at:
    3rd April, 2019 - Orlando, Florida, USA
    Time: 5 PM - 8 PM
    Location: The LEGO Store at Disney Springs (Store locator)
    6th April, 2019 - Paris, France  
    Time: 10 AM - 1PM
    Location: The LEGO Store at Disneyland Paris (Store locator)

    Internally, the Community Team couldn’t agree if this kind of silver packaging has been done before – certainly not in recent memory. If you can recall a past set with silver foil, please let us know in the comments below!

    Jan Beyer
    Past Friday we welcomed 60 AFOLs from 14 different countries to the LEGO House Fan Evening around the 20 years anniversary of LEGO Star Wars.
    I asked my colleague Kim Thomsen to be the host as he is a true LEGO Star Wars expert and we built a great program with a mix of interviews (James Burns from Jedi News, Morten Sonne who is a long time LEGO Star Wars Fan and MOC builder and of course Jens Kronvold and Kurt Kristiansen representing the LEGO Star Wars Design Team) as well as some building fun and a LEGO Star Wars themed prize draw.
    We also had guest from the Danish Garrison of the 501st Legion who helped to "guard" the activity.
    The evening went very fast and all networked, asked their questions and learned a lot as well as had a great time together. 
    Thank you very much to all participants and colleagues.
    I hope to see you soon in LEGO House.





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