New LEGO Star Wars Tantive IV Set Is Coming In May

If you are building your Star Wars LEGO fleet of spaceships, check this one out. The newly announced LEGO 75244 Star Wars Tantive IV set is headed our way. Also known as the Blockade Runner, it is the Corellian Corvette that carried Princess Leia at the beginning of the original Star Wars movie.

The set is one of many LEGO Star Wars sets announced at this year’s Star Wars Celebration event. This is actually the third LEGO version of this ship. The first was the Ultimate Collectors’ Series (10019) set from 2001, the second was a playset (10198) released in 2009. The new LEGO 75244 Star Wars Tantive IV has more parts than the original, with 1,768 pieces.

It looks a bit sleeker than the previous versions too. This version has an elongated hull, detachable escape pods(because that’s how the adventure starts), an elevating gun, cargo hold, 11 engines, and a removable hull plate that reveals a 2-minifigure cockpit, conference area with table, weapon rack and a control console with a pair of seats. Obviously, this LEGO set is not to minifig scale, but it’s still pretty detailed and cool looking.

The set also comes with five minifigures: Bail Organa, Princess Leia, Captain Antilles, C-3PO, Rebel Fleet Trooper, and R2-D2. It will hit stores on May 4, 2019 for $199.99.

LEGO Probe Droid Ready to Alert the Empire to Your Presence

Man, some of the LEGO builds out there just look so amazing that they barely look like LEGO at all. Take this Imperial Probe Droid based on the droid from The Empire Strikes Back. It was made by Lino Martins, who is obviously a master LEGO builder.

Lino put a lot of great details in this droid considering the medium. I would buy this in a second if it were an official set. If any of you have built a Hoth rebel base out of LEGO, this guy would be a perfect addition. It’s pretty much action figure quality.

I would contact Lino and ask if I could buy it, but I’m pretty sure he smashed it right after the pictures were taken because he didn’t want it alerting the Empire to his location. That’s a wise move. You always shoot the probe droid. Always.

I wish I was this good with LEGO. I can barely build a LEGO house. Lino needs to put this up on LEGO ideas, because it is a masterpiece. Or at least give us all some instructions so that we can make one for ourselves.

[via Brothers Brick via Mike Shouts]

LEGO Education Spike Prime Brings Blocky STEM Learning to Classrooms

LEGO has unveiled its latest building system aimed at classrooms. The new building kit is called LEGO Education SPIKE Prime, and it is a hands-on learning approach for the classroom aimed at STEM education. The Spike app is used for programming robotic creations that students make with the kit and uses the SCRATCH coding language.

Aimed at grade 6-8 students, the app includes lessons aligned with existing educational standards, and many of them can be finished in a 45-minute session. LEGO says that makes it easy to integrate Spike into the classroom.

The LEGO Education Spike Prime set is for ages ten and up and includes 523 bricks and mechanical parts. The kit will start shipping in August 2019 for $329.95, and includes everything needed to start lessons in the classroom.

LEGO Celebrates 80 Years of Batman: The Brick Night Rises

Can you believe that Batman just turned 80 in March? He looks like he hasn’t aged a bit. To celebrate, LEGO has revealed six new sets. It’s a Batman and LEGO fans dream come true.

There’s the massive 1,037-piece Batcave Clayface Invasion set (76122), the 200-piece Mr. Freeze Batcycle Battle (76118), the 342-piece Batmobile: Pursuit of The Joker set (76119), the 489-piece Batman Batwing and The Riddler Heist set (76120), the 171-piece Batman and The Joker Escape set (76138), and the Batman vs. The Riddler Robbery set (76137) with just 59 pieces.

That’s a lot of LEGO Batman! The Batcave is obviously the set we all want most. It comes with the Batcomputer, a workout area, weapons room, trophy room, a transformation tower, and jail module. There’s also a sweet Bat-Tank and Clayface himself. You also get several minifigures like Two-Face, Catwoman, Robin, Batwoman, Bruce Wayne and Batman.

The Batcave Clayface Invasion and the rest of these sets will grace store shelves on August 1, 2019. The Mr. Freeze Batcycle Battle is exclusive to Walmart in July. So get ready for some Batman LEGO fun later this year thanks to these fun sets. This is a heck of a way to celebrate the Dark Knight’s birthday.

[via Brothers Brick via Mike Shouts]

Review: Brick Formation Homeworld Custom LEGO Kits

LEGO enthusiasts who are fans of the Homeworld franchise will be happy to know that there’s now a series of officially-licensed collectible kits inspired by the classic real-time strategy video game series. These are the first ever models to be created by Brick Formation, a new startup focused on making premium, limited-edition models using authentic LEGO components.

The initial series of models were designed by LEGO artist Aaron Fiskum, and inspired by the Hiigaran fleet in Homeworld 2. They include a 500-piece, 12″ long Interceptor, a 705-piece, 15″ long Ion Cannon Frigate, and a 20″ long, 1365-piece Destroyer, each approved by the folks at Gearbox Software. Each spaceship is made to closely resemble the digital models from the video game. Parts come packaged in resealable Ziploc bags, which are not numbered, increasing the challenge of the build.

Given the shear number of parts, I was curious to know how Brick Formation ensures all the right parts are picked and shipped in each kit. It turns out they work with BrickVibe, a US-based BrickLink store to source all of the bricks to match their design specs, then hand-sort and count each and every part, verifying their work through a strict quality control process.

As is often the case with spaceship models, there’s a sea of grey bricks to work with, which also adds to the difficulty level of the kits. There’s just a splash of color here and there, like with the orange parts used to make the turrets on the Hiigaran Destroyer.

The build instructions that Brick Formation includes are easy to understand, and use colorful hot pink highlighting to indicate exactly which parts are being added during the current step. As is often the case with LEGO instruction books, it’s sometimes a little hard to tell the difference between shades of grey, so it’s important to look carefully before picking your bricks at each step. I made a couple of mistakes along the way using dark grey instead of light grey pieces, and had to backtrack to fix my errors.

The exterior of each spaceship is packed with texture, using a variety of smooth-faced LEGO parts attached to longer baseplates. This gives the models a look as if they were built from sections of tile, along with the various bits of mystery tech that dot the outside of every sci-fi vehicle.

As I got further into the build of the big Destroyer model, it became clear that the design was very well thought out, not just for aesthetics, but for structural stability. For example, the numerous short beams you build to hold the two main side panels of the ship together provide excellent support.

Each model includes a sturdy display stand too, along with a display card that lists specifications for the ship on the back of the card. Since they’re being made in very limited quantities, these kits aren’t cheap, with the Hiigaran Interceptor going for $250, the Ion Cannon Frigate selling for $300, and the Hiigaran Destroyer priced at $575. Just 100 of each model is being produced, making them extremely collectible.

The models are definitely not for beginner LEGO builders, with a medium to medium-high level of build complexity. I’d say that’s mostly due to the volume of very small pieces, along with the monochromatic color scheme. But with time and patience, they’re definitely do-able. In the end, it took me about 8 hours to build the 1365-piece Hiigaran Destroyer model from start-to-finish.

All three of the initial Homeworld models are available on the Brick Formation website. They plan on releasing additional models from the Homeworld universe in the near future, including more spaceships, as well as vehicles from Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak. They also hope to launch other licensed kits down the road as well.