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LEGO Responds to Report of LDD No Longer Being Supported

In an update to the news yesterday that LEGO was no long supporting the LEGO Digital Designer (LDD), LEGO Community Support Senior Manager Tanja Friberg has given a clarification on the popular program. Many fans were surprised it was said that LDD was no longer supported but that technically isn’t the case.

LEGO will still continue to support LDD with its functionality but the only difference is that there will not be automatic updates of the elements to the program, however new elements will be added from time to time. There’s no word on when these updates will occur.

Dear Ambassadors, I hope this will help clarify a bit of the confusion and misunderstanding from our end regarding LDD. TLG will remain committed to digital building going forward, in regards to LDD, this means that we will continue to support the current functionality. We will not be doing automatic updates on elements, however elements will continue to be added from time to time. Unfortunately we cannot ensure that all elements are made available. I can see that the message has spread widely in the community since Kevin’s statement and I hope that you will assist us in spreading this message as well. Thank you!

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LEGO No Long Supporting LDD

There’s been much talk on various forums about getting some updates for the LEGO Digital Designer (LDD). Recently, we’ve been updated on the status of the popular program and it looks like LEGO will not be supporting it. However for those who use the program to plan your builds, there are still other programs out there to use including LDraw, Mecabricks, Bricksmith, and SR 3D Builder.

Good Afternoon everyone, I’ve just touched base with one of our Digital Product Specialists within the Consumer Services team. A business decision has been made to no longer allocate resources towards the LDD program / initiative. For now, the program will continue to be offered to anyone interested in utilizing it but please do not expect any updates regarding functionality, the adding of new LEGO elements or glitch fixes. We have decided to pursue other digital experiences. Although this may not be the answer you were hoping for, I hope this information will be of use to your RLUG members. Thank you for your time and continued support for the LEGO Brand and hobby.

**Via Brickset**

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10th Anniversary Contest on Brickipedia

Soupperson1 over on Brickipedia has gotten in touch to let me know about a contest they are holding to celebrate their 10th anniversary. There are some awesome LEGO prizes that are up for grabs for the winners.

First place
70604 Tiger Widow Island
70313 Moltor’s Lava Smasher
60113 Rally Car

Second place
70312 Lance’s Mecha Horse
71306 Pohatu – Uniter of Stone
70599 Cole’s Dragon

Third place
60117 Van and Caravan
70331 Ultimate Macy
41111 Party Train

Head on over to the contest page to see how to enter. There will be new tasks every day contest will run until January 29.

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The Brick Fan 2015 Recap

Well 2015 is in the books and it was another successful year on The Brick Fan so let’s take a look at what happened last year. Prepare to be inundated with statistics so let’s do a little recap of some of the numbers for the site last year. As you can see from the graph below, we saw another increase in traffic last year which went up for about 60% compared to the 2014. Subsequently, other metrics increased accordingly including first-time visitors which went up 56% while returning visitors went up 70%.

There were also some traffic milestones that were achieved in 2015. We finished the year with 17.5 million page views with October 11 being the highest recorded traffic day with 105,085 page views with a majority of it being for the official 2016 images post. That day also gave the most of active number of users on the site with 779. Unless somehow a post goes viral, I doubt that I’ll see a number that high anytime soon. Finally, we ended the year with December being the most visited month of 2015.

In regards to our social media sites, the Facebook Page went from 4,137 in 2014 to 7,513 at the end of 2015.

Over on Twitter, there were 1,526 new followers in 2015 and we ended the year with 5,379.

Finally on Google+, we ended 2015 with 1,856 followers which was a sharp increase from 516 in the beginning of the year.

As far as site popularity, Alexa ranks us 57,780 globally while Quantcast ranks us the 21,445th most visited site, as of this post, in the US. That ranks us higher than such companies like the Starz cable channel (21499), Rotowire (21655), and Fancy Feast cat food (63,398). Note that these numbers are all organic as I don’t buy likes, followers, or traffic.

In 2014, there were 937 posts which averages to about 78 posts a month. This was actually a down year in regards to the posts that went out but they were more quality posts. There was also more engagement with 3,774 total comments on the site itself. I’ve done a recap on the most popular posts as well as most popular reviews so you can check that out.

Okay that’s enough of the stats for the site. On to other stuff that’s happened while because of the site. The main thing is that we are now officially recognized as an Online LEGO User Group and I’m now part of the LEGO Ambassador Network. Thank you to Kim and the rest of the LEGO Community Engagement (LCE) team for all the insight as well as all the LEGO sets that have sent my way for reviews and giveaways.

I’ve also had the pleasure of working with other companies like Blocks Magazine, Bricks/Bricks Culture, No Starch Press, and DK Publishing in reviewing their respective publications.

Back in late April/early May, the site went through a small design change with the logo and background. After that happened, I had many emails asking what happened to the blocks background that I originally had when I first started the site. I was thinking about the change in the beginning of the year and to coincide with it joining the LAN, I made the change at that time.

Everything you see above wouldn’t be possible without you, the readers. Thank you for reading stuff that I write about on my little corner of the internet. I’ve tried to give back last year by holding more giveaways including the San Diego Comic Con 2015 exclusive minifigures. Here locally in San Diego, it’s surprising to meet more readers whether it be in line to pay at the LEGO Store or just me randomly shopping at Toys R Us. It’s still surreal when people come up to ask me “Are you The Brick Fan?” Speaking of the LEGO Store in Fashion Valley, it’s still fun to go there an hang out even though I don’t go as much as I used to. You guys are still awesome.

As for 2016, I’ll just continue what I’ve been doing and bringing you LEGO news while also doing reviews. I know there are more and more sites that have shown up recently but I do appreciate you guys taking the time to see what I’m writing about. Thank you all again.

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The Brick Fan Top 10 LEGO Reviews in 2015

Earlier today, I did a post on the top 10 LEGO posts on the site for 2015. Readers also asked about the most viewed reviews I’ve done this year. There have been over 600 sets that have been released this year and I’ve reviewed around 80 of them, ranging from various themes like Creator to staples like Star Wars and Super Heroes. Note that I do have a lot of sets that I’ve purchased but haven’t had time to build and review like the SHIELD Helicarrier and Doctor Who, just to name a few.

1. LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Millennium Falcon (75105)

The Millennium Falcon is very similar to the 2011 version but with some subtle changes. It is also one of my favorite sets of the year.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Millennium Falcon (75105)

2. LEGO 2015 Seasonal Holiday Exclusive Gingerbread House (40139)

The Gingerbread House was the second Christmas exclusive set that was available at LEGO Brand Stores and on [email protected] during Black Friday weekend. A neat little set with some great details.

LEGO 2015 Seasonal Exclusive Gingerbread House (40139)

3. LEGO Creator Ferrari F40 (10248)

The Ferrari F40 is an iconic car that LEGO has very successfully made into a smaller scale. This set is a great display piece for any car enthusiast.

LEGO Creator Ferrari F40 (10248)

4. LEGO Seasonal Holiday Christmas Train (40138)

The first seasonal Christmas promotional set for 2015 was the Christmas Train which was a neat little set, especially since it’s larger than last year’s Christmas sets.

LEGO Seasonal Holiday Christmas Train (40138)

5. LEGO Ideas WALL·E (21303)

When LEGO first announced WALL·E, I knew it was an instant set to pick up. Unfortunately, there were some issues with the head and neck areas which prompted LEGO to delay the release and issue replacement parts to fix the issues. Overall, it is still an awesome set and it sits prominently on my shelf.

LEGO Ideas WALL·E (21303)

6. LEGO Seasonal Trick or Treat (40122)

For the 2015 Seasonal sets, LEGO released some sets that are in a vignette style and for Halloween we got the Trick or Treat set. In my opinion, this set was actually the worst of all of the Seasonal sets for this year.

LEGO Seasonal Trick or Treat (40122)

7. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Avengers: Age of Ultron Attack on Avengers Tower (76038)

Avengers: Age of Ultron came out in theaters earlier this year and there were LEGO sets based on scenes from the movie. The Attack on Avengers Tower had a number of play features that made it a good set to pick up.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Avengers: Age of Ultron Attack on Avengers Tower (76038)

8. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Avengers: Age of Ultron The Hydra Fortress Smash (76041)

Coming in next is another Avengers: Age of Ultron set with The Hydra Fortress Smash. This was a pretty mediocre set with the some exclusive minifigures in Quicksilver and Baron von Strucker.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Avengers: Age of Ultron The Hydra Fortress Smash (76041)

9. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Avengers: Age of Ultron The Avengers Quinjet Chase (76032)

A third Avengers: Age of Ultron set makes the list with The Avengers Quinjet Chase. Again there are some exclusive minifigures with Vision and Ultimate Ultron. The Quinjet was a great build with some nice features.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Avengers: Age of Ultron The Avengers Quinjet Chase (76032)

10. LEGO Ideas The Big Bang Theory (21302)

Finally, we have another LEGO Ideas set with The Big Bang Theory. Fans of the show will definitely love the set as it stays true to the original project by Alatariel and GlenBricker which includes lots of little details from the show.

LEGO Ideas The Big Bang Theory (21302)

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The Brick Fan Top 10 LEGO Posts in 2015

Today is the last day of 2015 which means that best of lists are popping up all over the internet. I’ve gotten a few requests from avid readers regarding some of the “best of” things from The Brick Fan.

First off is the most viewed posts from this year and since I love statistics, this was a no-brainer. A majority of you guys really liked seeing what’s in store for 2016 in regards to set names and images as well as LEGO exclusive sets. There’s also that little April Fools joke that had the LEGO community buzzing for a little bit.

1. LEGO 2016 Official Set Images (Partial)

A lot of the LEGO fansites had the images up for a short time but LEGO requested they be taken down even though they were official images.

2. LEGO Bringing Back Retired Modular Buildings With New Revival Theme

Ahh the good ol April Fools Day joke that got a lot of people excited but also broke a lot of hearts. The fake press release that I conjured up really made it sound official but I’m sure some people saw past it. I have no idea if joke had any impact on LEGO actually re-releasing this year’s Winter Toy Shop (10249).

3. LEGO 2015 Advent Calendars Available for Pre-Order on Amazon

Many people took heed of this post for this year’s LEGO Advent Calendars back in August. It wasn’t a surprise since they are very popular and sold out a few months after they were released.

4. First Look at LEGO Creator Ferris Wheel (10247)

I was at Philly Brick Fest 2015 when this post was created and many people were excited to add the Ferris Wheel (10247) to their amusement park setting.

LEGO Creator Ferris Wheel (10247)

5. LEGO Creator Ferrari F40 (10248) Officially Revealed

Car enthusiasts clamored for this post when LEGO officially announced the Ferrari F40 (10248) to the Creator line. It was a great set and it’ll be part of another list which I’ll talk about later.

LEGO Creator Ferrari F40 (10248)

6. Possible LEGO 2016 Set List?

Again, rumor season was in full swing for the LEGO 2016 sets and there was a list that was available for a short time which was eventually taken down.

7. LEGO 2016 Set Name Listings on Amazon.de

You guys really like lists and this was another post that had more info and corresponded to the previous list but again, it was removed by request.

8. LEGO Collectible Minifigures Series 15 (71011) Official List

Although this post was in October, it doesn’t really seem like that long ago. In this post, Amazon France gave out the names of the characters for the Series 15 LEGO Collectible Minifigures (71011) which will be coming out in February here in the US.

LEGO Collectible Minifigures Series 15 (71011)

9. LEGO at the 2015 Nuremberg Toy Fair

The Nuremberg Toy Fair happened in January and this was out first look at some of the sets that came out in the spring and summer.

10. New York Toy Fair 2015 Set Images

A month after Nuremberg was the New York Toy Fair which showed off some more sets from this year.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!

I like to wish every Brick Fan a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays! May your tree and stockings be filled with stuff that’s been on your wish list. I hope everyone is able to spend some time with friends and family. Take some time to enjoy the simple things in life and most of all, stay safe. If you got some LEGO this holiday season, happy building!

The Charlie Brown Christmas tree above was created by Chris Maddison.

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