Category Archives: LEGO

OK, so the one non-technical, non-work thing I’m generally going to put random posts out about. :)

LEGO news

So, in my one non-technical topic here, there’s a little bit of news coming down from the LEGO world. 

From the LEGO sets perspective, I thought maybe the Star Wars sets were done and I was again free from my addiction.  I was wrong.  No sooner had I started entertaining the thought of not having to peruse the LEGO isle at Target or make the obligatory LEGO Store check when I happen to be in the Mall of America when along comes an e-mail from LEGO with information about a new Death Star set coming soon that looks crazy.  It’s a huge set with 24 minifigs and droids.  Unfortunately its in that ridiculously expensive level of LEGO sets that I just can’t justify – $399, like the huge Millennium Falcon coming in at $499.  I will likely never own either of these sets because I just can’t find a way to justify the purchase.  It won’t stop me from drooling though.   🙂

Not long after the Death Star announcement came another e-mail with teasing about upcoming LEGOs sets for the new show/series and movie.  I can’t quite keep track of which of the shows is going to be animated and which is going to be live-action.  But either way, there will be LEGO sets to accompany them.  Go Lucas and the Star Wars marketing machine.  I haven’t seen any of the designs online yet, but there were some quick pics in the boys’ Brickmaster magazine they got this week. 

In a new twist, LEGO is also looking for other ways to creep into the limited amount of time we all have – they’re working on a MMOG.  Yes, a massive multiplayer online game called LEGO Universe.  So far the story is that it will be released in 2009.  There is a bunch of information, concept art, etc at the site to check out.  Just in time for my kids to start playing something like this…  *sigh*

And now, back to your regularly scheduled broadcast…

LEGO Mania

Yes why not, I’ll jump right into the ‘Fun’ category.  I initially wrote this for an internal posting but it turns out it wouldn’t be needed for a few weeks.  So, I thought I’d just post it here for now: 

Friends and family recently tracked down a really cool gift for my birthday – a LEGO set that was out of production – the classic Star Wars AT-AT (4483).  When they told me the story of how they tracked the set down, it got me Google-ing on LEGOs again and lots of fun and interesting stuff turned up. 


So why do I write about it here?  Because there’s some sort of connection between those of us in technology fields and LEGOs – adding Star Wars to the mix doesn’t hurt either.  Take a walk around our office and you’ll find a couple of LEGO ‘shrines’.  I’m willing to bet there are a few other closet LEGO maniacs out there as well.  So, based on that hopefully a few of you will find this interesting. 


First off, where did my friend track down this cool set?  Ebay you say?  Well, that would be a fine choice, but he did one better.  He found a LEGO-only site called BrickLink.  Along the way, he also came across a cool site where you can find a part listing for most every set out there.  OK, that might just be trivia, but it’s still cool. 


So, what are people doing with LEGOs? If you’re familiar with LEGOs, you’ve heard of the more technical side of things found in Technics and Mindstorms.  This guy has taken it a step further and created a Rubik’s Cube solving contraption – amongst other things.  Wow. 


There’s also a more ‘artistic’ creativity being displayed with the building of LEGO scenes.  Want to see an illustrated Bible story?  The Brick Testament was done by a guy that has a LOT of time on his hands and certainly a healthy dose of imagination.  And believe it or not, there’s even a tribute to a recent popular/controversial movie – yep, welcome to LEGO Brokeback Mountain (One image could be considered ‘graphic’, but come on, it’s LEGO).  


Want to play with virtual LEGOs?  You can certainly get some of the licensed LEGO software out there.  Or you can check out LDraw, an open-standard LEGO CAD program to create virtual LEGO models or scenes. 


Just to throw another tangent in here, if you want to check out an entertaining read about technologists, LEGOs and yes, Object Oriented Programming check out Microserfs.  


I’ve always considered LEGOs to be a fantastic educational toy for kids (and kids at heart).  But if you just stick with the easy to find stuff, you’re missing out.  There are a number of sets out there that are little known – frequently sold only through educational outlets – but a BLAST for kids.  Check out the DUPLO Brick Runner and DUPLO Tubes sets.  Then, get youself (uh, I mean your kids…) a NILO table with the 2-sided LEGO/DUPLO mats and you’ll be SET.     


When it comes to LEGO, I’m just skimming the surface of what all there is to play, learn and experiment with.  Check it out and have some fun!