If you checked out the February 2017 LEGO Store Calendar here in the US, you can see there are two building events to celebrate Valentine’s Day. On February 11, there is a kids event to build a mini rose that they can take home. This event is for VIPs and requires a sign up.
Adults also get to join in on the fun on February 14 as they also have a building night. This event is from 6-8pm and it appears the rose build is the same as the one the kids get. Registration is not required but may be necessary if there is a lot of demand for it so you may want to ask an associate just in case. I know the Fashion Valley location has started taking sign ups so there is demand for it at that particular location.
After over a decade of being online, the official LEGO Message Boards will be shutting down on March 6. This move makes way for more of LEGO’s resources to go to LEGO Life which they’ve started to push more for. The message boards are still active but check out the announcement post for deadlines to do things on there.
To be honest, I’ve been on there once or twice but I didn’t really get into it that much and somehow I don’t think it appealed to adults as it did with younger kids. Were you a part of the LEGO Message Boards and are you surprised that it’ll be closing down in a few months?
After much consideration, a very difficult decision has been reached that the Mods need to share with you all. The LEGO.com Message Boards will be retired on March 6, 2017. The entire community, including all forums and all content within them, will be taken offline permanently.
Just like a LEGO set, theme, game, or site nothing can last forever. In order to make way for the exciting features of the future we must occasionally retire older features. That is the current case with the message boards.
The Mods would like to thank you all for being such amazing community members. Every forum is filled with creative, inspiring, and exciting writings thanks to you! We truly appreciate the passion each of you has contributed to this community and hope that LEGO passion will carry through this transitional time.
If you’re using LDraw as for your virtual LEGO building, you’ll be glad to hear that there is a new parts update that has been released for the program. This update adds 475 new parts to the catalog while adding 572 new files to the core library. Check out the press release below to see the details of this update.
The 2016-01 LDraw Parts Update has been now been released. This adds 572 new files to the core library, including 475 new parts and 43 new primitives. This update also includes updated versions of the colour configuration files (LDConfig.ldr and LDCfgalt.ldr) thanks to enthusiasm of Sven v. Beuningen and the co-ordination of Willy Tschager and Magnus Forsberg.
Thanks are of course due to all the part authors who created or corrected parts for this release, including several first-time authors. The reviewers also play an important role in keeping files moving through the parts tracker and deserve just as much credit.
You can preview the new parts in 2016-01 here, download the zip-file update or Windows install package here. Alternatively you can use the LDView menu option File | Check for Library Updates… to install the update.
Please accept our apology for this being the only parts update of 2016.
The LDraw Team
2016 went by just like that it was a very eventful year here on The Brick Fan. Like with previous years, I’m going to go take a look back at what happened on the site last year. Because I love looking at stats, there will be some of that.
We ended the year with 9,416,861 page views which remained steady from 2015. There was some growth in terms of unique visits which went up 3% from the previous year while first-time visitors also went up by 3%.
Monthly-wise, we averaged about 780.000 views per month with January being busiest month when we hit 1 million page views for the first time ever. Hopefully we can replicate that this year with the Toy Fairs coming up. Our highest recorded day was January 26 when we had 65,906 views.
Since we’re in the age of technology, one new thing that we’re taking a look at is devices used to view the site. Mobile devices used actually increased by 15% from 2015, while desktop and tablet use decreased by 6% and 10%, respectively. This means that many of you are switching to your mobile devices to check out the site instead of the traditional route. I have a feeling that this trend will be continuing for 2017.
As far as social media is concerned, we’ve been a little more active on various sites. Over on our Facebook Page, we ended the year with 11,153 likes which was a 39% increase from 2015.
On Twitter, we had 6,758 which was a 22% increase and we’re happy with that.
One thing we’ve been way more active on is on Instagram where we ended with 4,571 followers.
Finally on Google +, we’re still steadily growing with 2,205 of you guys.
In terms of all the sites on the internet, Alexa ranks us 107,680 which is down from 2015 so we’re not growing as much as non-LEGO sites but I’m still okay with it. Quantcast ranks the site at 18,679 which is better than 2015 when we were at 21,445. This ranks us better than the San Diego Zoo (18752), Poker Stars (18873), and Massdrop (19109) which is always interesting to see.
We’re always striving to grow and I feel that we’ve grown a lot in the past year. We did have 806 total posts in 2016 which was down again from the previous year but again, they are more quality posts and not just fluff to drive traffic. Engagement grew overall with a total of 3,968 comments just on the site alone. I’ve done a recap on the top posts and reviews so you can check those out if you want.
Now on to the other stuff that’s related to the site but not part of it. We’re still part of the LEGO Ambassador Network and we’re still working with the LEGO AFOL Relations & Programs (ARP) team to bring you reviews of various sets as well as LEGO announcements. Thank you to Kim and everyone involved to make everything running smoothly.
I’ve had a pleasure to meet some great folks in the community last year who I’ve known about but haven’t met before, especially during San Diego Comic Con. We’ve also gotten more credibility as far as a LEGO fan media site where we’ve gotten to interview developers and such like for LEGO Dimensions which is pretty cool.
I’ve said this and I’ll say it again, this all wouldn’t be happening if it wasn’t for the readers. You guys are the real Brick Fan. I’ll continue to put out news and reviews as I have done but I’m also looking to expand a little more on the site. What kind of posts do you guys want to see more of in 2017? MOCs, sales? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see what options there are.
Thank you everyone for a great 2016 and I look forward to seeing what 2017 has to bring.
A few days ago, I did a post on the most viewed LEGO posts in 2016 and today I have the most viewed reviews of the year. There were 828 sets released in 2016 and I’ve reviewed 79 different LEGO items from a number of themes although there were a lot more that I wanted to do but didn’t have the time to build.
One of the more recent reviews of the year but still managed to make the top spot was The LEGO Batman Movie Collectible Minifigures (71017). They won’t officially be released until January 1 but you can probably find them in stores now.
The UCS Assault on Hoth (75098) was one of the more controversial sets of 2016 mainly because of the “UCS” tag that it was given. Even so, it was the second most read review of 2016.
My first ever Technic build and review did not disappoint. If you want a set that has everything you could want in a set from design to packaging, then the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is the way to go.
The LEGO Disney Collectible Minifigures were pretty popular this year and it seemed that many people read up on my review of them.
Another more recent review for 2016, The Penguin Arctic Roller is one of my favorite The LEGO Batman Movie sets so far, mainly because of the vehicle build.
One of the largest LEGO Super Heroes D2C sets to be released was the Classic TV Series – Batcave (76052). The minifigure selection is decent and probably my favorite part of the set was the classic Batmobile.
Regardless of whether you like the movie or not, the new LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1 & 2 (75828) is a great set. The minifigures are spot-on and the Ecto-1 itself is a great representation of the vehicle. The Ecto-2 wasn’t necessary but a nice addition as well.
The only gift with purchase set on this list is the LEGO Creator Fountain (40221) and it does not disappoint. The fountain itself is looks nice with the minifigure in the middle and it goes great with the LEGO City Fun in the Park – City People Pack (60134).
Just to note, this review came out when the minifigure was available at Toys R Us and not when it was available during LEGO’s promotion so I don’t consider it as a GWP. The minifigure is a re-release of the Chicken Suit Guy which was first released in 2013.
The Creative Building Set (10702) is actually a real surprise on the list as it wasn’t a review by me but from a local reader and his son.
We’re winding down 2016 and it’s time to continue with my “Top 10” lists and this time it’s for the most viewed LEGO posts of the year. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love to look at statistics. In regards to what the top posts were this year, I was actually a little surprised to see what showed up on my analytics.
As usual, you guys like reading up about some of the LEGO sets that we’ll be getting in the future. This list came out in August so some of the sets have already hit store shelves and online.
Not surprisingly, the toy fair season has everyone hyped for it since we get our first look at the spring and summer sets.
This post really took my by surprise as to how high it is on this list. This project was eventually announced that it will become an official LEGO Ideas set that will be coming out in Fall 2017.
Another post that came out in the second half of the year which many people read up on a lot. Most were excited for the Snowglobe and Nutcracker Ornament GWPs.
The Disney Collectible Minifigures a huge surprise when they were first announced but before that, a list of the characters that would be included was revealed earlier.
This was the first toy fair of the year and there were descriptions of the LEGO sets that we would eventually be getting during the spring and summer.
The distribution of minifigures per full box was revealed ahead of the official release.
Another store calendar post made the list this year and main thing people were looking forward to on there was the Holiday Countdown Calendar (40222).
This was a very early post in the year where there were already rumors swirling of the Winter Holiday Train (10254).
It seems that you guys really like the Disney Collectible Minifigures and hopefully my feel guide helped you find the ones that you wanted.
If you’ve been in a LEGO Brand Store here in the US and have checked out the Pick & Build Wall, you may have noticed some elements on the wall has a decal indicating that they they are “Fan Favorites.” LEGO has announced on the Ambassador Network that the program will be continuing through 2018. The 2017 elements have been already selected but they are reaching out to help find the best selection of elements for 2018.
What LEGO is looking for is for you to suggest your favorite LEGO element(s) which you can find on column F on the spreadsheet and your favorite color(s) on the palatte. Also, they would like to know if you have any ideas, suggestions or feedback regarding the PAB Wall as well as LEGO Brand Retail Stores in general.
Let us know in the comments below and I’ll try to tally up all the suggestions to send over. Note that this survey only affects LEGO Brand Retail North America. The deadline is January 13, 2017.