1

LDraw Releases new Parts Update for 2016

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

1

The Brick Fan 2016 Recap

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.

0

The Brick Fan Top 10 LEGO Reviews in 2016

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.


1. The LEGO Batman Movie Collectible Minifigures (71017)

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 LEGO Batman Movie Collectible Minifigures (71017)


2. LEGO Star Wars UCS Assault on Hoth (75098)

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.

LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector's Series Assault on Hoth (75098)


3. LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS (42056)

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.

LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS (42056)


4. LEGO Disney Collectible Minifigures (71012)

The LEGO Disney Collectible Minifigures were pretty popular this year and it seemed that many people read up on my review of them.

LEGO Disney Collectible Minifigures (71012)


5. The LEGO Batman Movie The Penguin Arctic Roller (70911)

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.

The LEGO Batman Movie The Penguin Arctic Roller (70911)


6. LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes Classic TV Series – Batcave (76052)

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.

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes Batman Classic TV Series – Batcave (76052)


7. LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1 & Ecto-2 (75828)

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.

LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1 & 2 (75828)


8. LEGO Creator Fountain (40221)

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).

LEGO Creator Fountain (40221)


9. LEGO Seasonal Iconic Easter Minifigure (5004468)

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.

LEGO Seasonal Iconic Easter Minifigure (5004468)


10. LEGO Classic Creative Building Set (10702)

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.

LEGO Classic Creative Building Set (10702)


0

The Brick Fan Top 10 LEGO Posts in 2016

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.


1. LEGO Winter 207 Rumored Set List

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.


2. LEGO Nuremberg Toy Fair 2016 Set Images

Not surprisingly, the toy fair season has everyone hyped for it since we get our first look at the spring and summer sets.


3. LEGO Ideas Old Fishing Store Achieves 10,000 Supporters

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.


4. LEGO November 2016 Store Calendar Promotions & Events

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.

LEGO November 2016 Store Calendar


5. LEGO Disney Collectible Minifigures (71012) Official List Revealed

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.


6. LEGO London Toy Fair Set Details

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.


7. LEGO Disney Collectible Minifigures (71012) Box Distribution

The distribution of minifigures per full box was revealed ahead of the official release.

LEGO Disney Collectible Minifigures (71012)


8. LEGO October 2016 Store Calendar Promotions & Events

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).

LEGO October 2016 Store Calendar


9. New LEGO Holiday Train Rumored for 2016

This was a very early post in the year where there were already rumors swirling of the Winter Holiday Train (10254).

LEGO Creator Winter Holiday Train (10254)


10. LEGO Disney Collectible Minifigures (71012) Feel Guide

It seems that you guys really like the Disney Collectible Minifigures and hopefully my feel guide helped you find the ones that you wanted.


16

LEGO Brand Store Pick & Build Wall Fan Favorite Survey

LEGO Pick-a-Brick Fan Favorite

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.

I’ve uploaded the Excel sheet of all the LEGO elements which you can download here (129mb) as well as the 2016 Color Palatte which you can find here.

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.

0

Brick Fest Live Announces Philly Brick Fest 2017

Our friends over at Brick Fest Live has released a press release for their flagship LEGO show, Philly Brick Fest 2017.

Philly Brick Fest® LEGO® Fan Convention April 20 – April 23, 2016

Oaks, PA

Philly Brick Fest, the 4-day Fan of LEGO Convention returns to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center April 20th – April 23rd, 2016 in Oaks, PA.

2017 marks the 4th year for Philly Brick Fest. Once again the event will be held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center and will occupy 140,000 square feet of space, making it the largest fan-created LEGO event in North America.

LEGO builders from around the globe are invited to showcase their fan-built creations, learn building techniques from one another, interact with other fans, participate in building challenges and activities, and most of all enjoy a fun-filled weekend with like-minded LEGO Maniacs!

“In 2017 we are doing something different” said Chad Collins, founder of Learn With Bricks Inc., the production company behind Philly Brick Fest and the largest touring LEGO event in America, Brick Fest Live.

“This year, for the first time ever, 100% of all registration dues will be used to build a LEGO-themed classroom in a Kenya, Africa with the charity World Teacher Aid. We are always looking for ways to support great causes and have run several success campaigns with the Make-A- Wish foundation, the 501st Legion, and Extra Life. Now we have a chance to introduce LEGO to a new group of children that have never been exposed to it before. It’s the looks on their faces that I’m looking forward to the most.” said Collins.

Amy Mclaren, founder of World Teacher Aid said “We are honoured, thrilled and very grateful not only to the team at Philly Brick Fest, but also to the many families who will take part in the event. The money raised from this initiative will construct a classroom that will help change the lives of thousands for years to come.”

This 4-day Philly Brick Fest experience is open to all LEGO enthusiasts, interested in connecting with other builders and having their creations on display for the public to enjoy during the weekend public hours of Brick Fest Live.

For the first time, Beyond the Brick, the popular YouTube channel dedicated to the LEGO Fan community will be broadcasting from the event. "Beyond the Brick is very excited to be covering Philly Brick Fest in 2017! This will be our first Brick Fest event and we can't wait to meet the amazing LEGO fans that will be at the show. If you’re a fan of Beyond the Brick make sure to say hi if you see us at the show!" said show host Joshua Hanlon.

Registration information for the 4-day event is located at BrickFestLive.com

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Chad Collins

[email protected]

Brick Fest Live LEGO® Experience April 22nd & 23rd, 2017

Brick Fest Live returns to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA on April 22 – 23, 2017. Get inspired, educated, and entertained with LEGO bricks! Play with huge attractions built to set your imagination free and witness mind-blowing creations made entirely of this timeless toy at Brick Fest Live.

With 140,000 square feet of LEGO goodness, Brick Fest Live will have millions of LEGO bricks on display and ready for play. See life-sized LEGO models and cities come to life that are created by world-renowned builders who have been featured in countless books, blogs, YouTube videos, and publications.

“It’s the one show we have circled on our calendars all year long,” said Chad Collins, founder of Learn With Bricks Inc. and producer of Brick Fest Live. “The Philly show was the one that started it all for Brick Fest Live back in 2014.

These events for LEGO Maniacs new and old, to let them experience LEGO in ways that can only be done at these large-scale events. You can see amazing creations built by LEGO fans just like you, and then immediately put that inspiration to work at one of many building stations on the show floor”.

The 2017 spectacle will also feature characters and movie props from several LEGO themes including Star Wars, Back to the Future, and Jurassic World.

In addition to the thousands of creations on display, the event includes hands-on building attractions and the largest variety of LEGO-themed merchandise under one roof.

Attraction Include:

● The Brick Show Experience: Meet popular YouTube LEGO show hosts from The Brick Show and be featured on in an upcoming video

● Brick Fest Derby: Build and race your custom built LEGO derby car down one of our 35-foot long timed tracks

● Collaborative Building Activities: Contribute to large-scale mystery floor mosaic

● Robotics: LEGO and machines collide to create moving remote controlled creations to see and use

● Inspiration Stations: Add to existing LEGO cities and make them your own by building custom creations

● Video Game Arena: Have a favorite LEGO video game? Come challenge your family or make new friends in the Brick Fest Gaming Arena playing your favorite LEGO title head to head

● Mini Golf: A miniature golf course built to inspire! Take your game to the next level on the Brick-Links

● Brick Fest Theater Trivia & Entertainment: Participate in LEGO trivia all while taking a break from what will be an overwhelming amount of awesome

● Jaw-Dropping Mosaics: Help build a Guinness World Record-setting mystery floor mosaic and use 1×1 LEGO bricks to create your own mini-masterpiece

● Shopping: Find new, vintage, rare, and custom LEGO sets and merchandise from any of the many merchants in attendance

Register for Ticket Pre-Sale Now brickfestlive.com

Website http://www.brickfestlive.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/brickfestlive

Instagram & Twitter @brickfestlive

Additional Dates: Nashville, TN (January 21 – 22), Atlanta, GA (February 25 – 26), Charleston, SC (March 18 – 19),

Philadelphia, PA (April 22 – 23), Charlotte, NC (June 3-4), Buffalo, NY (June 24-25), Kansas City, MO (July 8-9),

Pittsburgh, PA (July 15-16), Scottsdale, AZ (July 22-23), Austin, TX (July 29-30), Denver, CO (August 12-13), Portland,

OR (August 19-20), Pasadena, CA (August 26-27), Sacramento, CA (September 23-24), Houston, TX (October 21-22)

More dates added regularly at brickfestlive.com

# # #

Learn With Bricks Inc. is not associated with the LEGO® Group of Companies and is the independent producer of Philly Brick Fest® and Brick Fest Live. LEGO® is a registered trademark of the LEGO® Group. Philly Brick Fest® is a registered trademark of Learn With Bricks Inc. © 2016 Learn With Bricks Inc.

6

The LEGO Group Management Role Changes

Earlier today, LEGO has released two press releases regarding the future of management at the company. The first one is in regards to LEGO appointing a new CEO to replace Jørgen Vig Knudstorp in 2017.

The LEGO Group has announced that Bali Padda, current Chief Operations Officer, is appointed CEO of the company as of January 1, 2017.

Bali Padda takes over from Jørgen Vig Knudstorp who will head up the new entity LEGO Brand Group.

Bali Padda has been with the LEGO Group for 14 years and is at present heading up Operations while at the same time being overall responsible for people and organisational development. During the past ten years, he has been a member of the LEGO Group’s top management.

Commenting on the appointment of Bali Padda as CEO, Niels Jacobsen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the LEGO Group, says:

“Bali Padda has a fantastic track record in the LEGO Group with more than 14 years of experience especially within supply chain functions, but more recently also focusing on people and organisational development. Bali has demonstrated an ability to drive the changes required in operations through the significant growth we have experienced during the past years. I am confident that Bali will continue to develop the company in close cooperation with management.”

Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, fourth generation owner of the LEGO Group, comments:

“Bali possesses the right LEGO mindset. He has a deep knowledge of our entire company, a very clear sense of what we need to do to take the company to the next level, and he is a true ambassador for the LEGO® Idea and the LEGO brand.”

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp is very pleased to hand over the management of the LEGO Group to Bali Padda:

“I have learnt a lot from Bali’s great leadership and execution which he has displayed through all of his career here. I have worked closely with Bali for many years and I am confident that we will continue to build on that close collaboration in our new roles,” says Knudstorp.

Commenting on his new role as CEO, Bali Padda says:

“I am extremely honoured by this opportunity. It is a huge and exciting task, and I look forward to the challenge. I have a strong passion for our product and brand, and I look forward to continuing the strategic direction we have set for the company. With the great collaboration in our management as well as the support from Thomas and Jørgen, I am confident that we can continue the success of the LEGO Group and reach many more children in the future with high-quality play experiences.”


The other press release that LEGO put out today is that current CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp will be moving on to a new LEGO brand entity to focus on the long-term brand potential.

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp to head up LEGO brand entity to increase focus on the long-term brand potential

Based on a strong commitment to continued active family ownership, the Kirk Kristiansen family, owners of the LEGO® brand, have decided to establish a new entity, the LEGO Brand Group.

The LEGO brand is built on a simple idea with endless possibilities; an idea that has proven its durability and timelessness, not least demonstrated by the unparalleled growth the LEGO Group has achieved over the past 12 years. With this in mind, the owner family firmly believes that there is still untapped potential in the LEGO brand.

“Our family ownership is deeply rooted in the LEGO Idea, which is about learning and development through play and a unique, creative play system that offers endless possibilities. With our recent growth and globalisation come new and exciting opportunities for the brand, and we establish the LEGO Brand Group to look into these new opportunities,” says Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, fourth generation owner of the LEGO Group.

The LEGO Brand Group will thus facilitate the owner governance of all LEGO brand related activities. This includes activities such as the LEGO Group and LEGO Education, and also how the brand is being expressed by entities such as LEGO Foundation and in LEGOLAND® attractions (by Merlin Entertainments Group). Therefore, the purpose of the LEGO Brand Group is also to protect and develop the LEGO brand.

Current CEO of the LEGO Group, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp will chair the new entity in close partnership with deputy chair, Thomas Kirk Kristiansen.

“It has been very exciting to make these preparations for the future – not just for the next generation but also for generations to come. I am very pleased about the partnership between Thomas and Jørgen because I am convinced that their joint efforts and skills support our mission to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow in the best possible way,” says Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, third generation owner of the LEGO Group and Chairman of KIRKBI A/S.

As a consequence of his new role in the LEGO Brand Group, the Board of Directors of LEGO A/S will nominate Jørgen Vig Knudstorp to become Chairman of the Board in May 2017.
Niels Jacobsen, present Chairman of the Board of Directors of LEGO A/S, will continue in his role as Deputy Chairman in KIRKBI A/S. Commenting on Jørgen Vig Knudstorp’s new role, he says:

“Over the past 12 years, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp has developed an outstanding knowledge and understanding of the opportunities and challenges for the LEGO Group and the LEGO brand. Now is the right time to use Jørgen’s capacity in a broader role. I look forward to continue working with Jørgen in the future and to continue my work with Kjeld and Thomas Kirk Kristiansen in the KIRKBI A/S Board of Directors”.

Commenting on his new role and the new entity, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp says:

“I really look forward to this new challenge together with Thomas. I have enjoyed being the CEO of this great company, because I have a lifelong passion for the LEGO Idea. The role and the job have changed very much over these years, and this is the natural next step, as I am a firm believer in the value of active family ownership.”

Bali Padda, currently Chief Operations Officer in the LEGO Group, has been appointed to replace Jørgen Vig Knudstorp as CEO, and he will take on his new role as of January 1, 2017.

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