Why LEGO® DUPLO® bricks are the bridge for better building

It’s a common question many parents have when it comes to introducing their toddler to LEGO® bricks:

Should we start with LEGO® DUPLO® sets or skip straight to LEGO® sets?

The general assumption is that kids are likely to play with LEGO® bricks from toddler to teenage-hood. We often don’t even consider that LEGO® DUPLO® bricks offer the same longevity. After all, their design is compatible with LEGO® bricks and therefore a valuable element in the building process. There are even convertors which allow for LEGO® DUPLO® bricks to be used with other older LEGO® sets.

Adults love LEGO® DUPLO® pieces too

Many adult fans of LEGO® (AFOLs) make use of LEGO® DUPLO® pieces in their MOCs usually to fill out a large structure, since LEGO® DUPLO® bricks interlock with LEGO® bricks and are also the same colours. Brick Blogger expands on how LEGO® DUPLO® sets will grow with you.

This LEGO® DUPLO® cow jumping over the moon is done by Build with me blog.
This LEGO® DUPLO® cow jumping over the moon is done by Build with me blog.

 

 

 

Build with me blog also created this clever version of the woman who lived in a shoe.
Build with me blog also created this clever version of the woman who lived in a shoe.

Kids need to play safely

While we all love LEGO® play, introducing LEGO® sets too young not only poses something of a safety risk for children under three years of age, it also hinders their ability to make developmental progress on their own.

It can be a frustrating process for parents too as the smaller, more intricate LEGO® bricks will require that parents facilitate play, which can interrupt precious moments of discovery for your child.

DUPLO Friends castle, horse and carriage


Shop LEGO® DUPLO® sets


LEGO® DUPLO® bricks helps kids learn

LEGO® DUPLO® bricks are something of a developmental bridge for your child. Here are four broad ways that LEGO® DUPLO® play is beneficial for young children:

Fine motor skills

They offer the opportunity for kids to improve their fine motor skills through repetitive motions using blocks that are designed to aid and encourage play for this very reason.

Toddler building with DUPLO

Social skills

Playing with LEGO® DUPLO® bricks helps kids to build on their social skills through role play, sharing and teamwork.

Figure out the world

Kids spend a lot of time trying to figure out the world through experiments and deductions. LEGO® DUPLO® play encourages these thought processes and gets them to match up things like shapes and colours too.

Creativity and problem-solving

Two absolutely essential aspect of human thought are developed from a young age. LEGO ®DUPLO® bricks offer endless possibilities for experimenting and creating, offering kids the means by which they might follow one train of thought to resolve a burning question about the world, only to pursue yet another thought, seamlessly.

Consider including some LEGO® DUPLO® sets in your collection for a versatile, fun way to bridge the gap for young kids to learn through play and adults looking for great LEGO® building options.


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Clean your LEGO® bricks the right way

From time to time, your LEGO® collection will need some freshening up. We take a look at various methods that people of the web have shared, as well as a few ideas of our own.

What The LEGO® Group says

First off, The LEGO® Group recommends that you wash your LEGO® blocks by hand using a mild detergent (something akin to Sunlight liquid) in water temperature of no more than 40℃. They add that you should take care to rinse the detergent off properly to avoid any discolouration. Let them dry naturally, or carefully dry each brick using a soft dry towel

Using mild bleach

This one is for those badly soiled LEGO® bricks. The LEGO® Group recommends that you use a very mild bleach and perhaps it’s worth also saying that you shouldn’t leave the bricks in to soak for longer than a few minutes.

Brighten up yellowing bricks

Older bricks tend to yellow if exposed to too much sunlight – especially the white, blue and light grey LEGO bricks. You can rectify this using hydrogen peroxide. According to Brothers Brick, the bricks undergo a chemical reaction to the H2O2, that effectively helps to bring the colours back up. You can get 100ml bottles of hydrogen peroxide from Clicks for about R16. Here’s a step-by-step whitening method that AFOL John Tooker swears by.

Darth Vader in the bath

Stick ‘em in a laundry bag and into the washing machine

If you’re pressed for time and needing a quick cleaning solution, then this might appeal to you, however, be warned that there’s a high chance that your bricks will sustain scratches. The LEGO® Group itself warns against putting your LEGO® bricks into the washing machine or dishwasher. But, some LEGO® users attest to this method, adding that they run the machine on a lower temperature wash. This LEGO® cleaning method is probably used most by parents that need a way of getting sticky food stuff off their kid’s LEGO® bricks quickly and with the least elbow-grease.


Visit our online store to find a wide selection of awesome LEGO® products


Keep clear LEGO® pieces shiny

Since tiny scratches show up more on the transparent LEGO® pieces such as windshield, so do keep them separate when you give your LEGO® bricks a good clean. To restore these pieces back to a shinier version of themselves, someone has discovered the wonders of wood floor cleaners. Andy Taylor has written an entire post on the subject over at The Brick Blogger, offering a step-by-step guide using Pledge WoodCare. It is the liquid acrylic that you want, which Andy later explains is “a clear very dilute acrylic medium based floor polish.”

Cleaning those minifigures

LEGO Minifigure doing his laundry

In order to keep the printed details of your minifigures intact, it’s critical that you take the utmost care when you go about cleaning them. Ebay has a great post on how to clean vintage minifigures, which is worth applying to newer minifigures.

Got any other LEGO® cleaning ideas up your sleeves? Share it with us in the comments section below.

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Another LEGO® film release for 2017: NINJAGO™

The LEGO® Batman Movie hit the silver screen in February 2017 and there’s little doubt that fans of the LEGO® films are in their element. But, in case they – or anyone else – thought that was enough, think again. This year is set to see the release of another LEGO® film: The LEGO® NINJAGO Movie.

If you haven’t yet been to watch The LEGO® Batman Movie, then the following trailer is sure to convince you to book your tickets. It’s on until early March, so you can get your fix.


Seen the film already? Tell us what you thought in the comments section below.


Earlier this month, The LEGO® Group announced that a NINJAGO™ film is on its way, set for release in September 2017. With a voice-over cast of Hollywood stars including Jackie Chan, Justin Thoreux and Olivia Munn, it’s another big one for LEGO® fans.

And if the latest trailer is anything to go by, it’s set to be laugh-out-loud hilarious in the LEGO® movie comedy style. Watch the trailer:


Are you looking forward to The LEGO® NINJAGO Movie release? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.


Check out the latest NINJAGO™ sets at our online store.

Kiddiwinks LEGO Ninjago footer

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Kiddiwinks joins Expresso to talk about The LEGO® Batman™ Movie

We joined Expresso early on Friday, 10 February, to talk about the release of The LEGO® Batman™ Movie.

Ernest De Wet of Kiddiwinks Willowbridge took Expresso presenters Katlego Maboe and Ewan Strydom through the building the The Joker™ Balloon Escape LEGO® set.

The set itself is a re-enactment from a The Joker’s escape scene in the film itself, complete with his detachable balloon backpack, and Batman’s grappling gun.The Joker Balloon Escape LEGO setThe LEGO® Group has released approximately 15 different sets for The LEGO® Batman™ Movie, many of which you will find over at our online store.

Kat and Ewan were in competition to see who would complete the set first, with Ewan saying he is thankful that he has spent time building LEGO® sets with his son, because it means he has an advantage on Kat, who appeared to be struggling to keep up.

Watch the videos below to find out who completed the set first.
Pay a visit to our physical stores situated at Blue Route Mall, Willowbridge Mall and Palmyra Junction to get your favourite LEGO® sets.

Get the store addresses and contact details.

LEGO® terms and phrases you should know

Cape Town has its very own LEGO® User Group. Launched by Marick Hornsveld, this young organisation’s guiding principle is simple: to create a platform where enthusiasts can share their passion with one another.

“We aim to promote LEGO® as a hobby and learning tool for young and old and grow LEGO®’s footprint in South Africa.” – CapeLUG

Read more about what to expect at CapeLUG.

In celebration of its launch, we take a look at a few concepts and phrases commonly used in LUG circles:

LUG – LEGO User Group

Known in the LEGO® community as LUGs, groups like this act as a way likeminded individuals can share and learn about the vast possibilities around the humble brick.

RLUG – Recognised LEGO® User Group

LUGS are standardised by the LEGO® Ambassador Network into “Recognised LUGS” using three main requirements, namely, that the group be organised for a full 12 months, have no less than 20 members, and lastly, that it participates or hosts a few exhibitions, displays or conventions. The benefits of being a Recognised LUG (RLUG) will mean support for relevant projects and events that the RLUG does.

AFOL – Adult Fans of LEGO®

Adult fans constitute a significant part of the LEGO® community around the world. AFOLs are builders and collectors of LEGO® rather than passive admirers. IF you’re a fan of LEGO® but not quite an adult, then you’ll be known as:

KFOL – Kid Fan of LEGO®
TFOL – Teenaged Fan of LEGO®
YFOL – Young Fan of LEGO®

AFOLs, KFOLs and TFOLs also have names for friends and family that aren’t necessarily as enthusiastic about LEGO® as they are:

NLF – Non-LEGO® Friend
NLSO – Non-LEGO® Significant Other
NLS – Non-LEGO® Spouse

TLG – The LEGO® Group

Even the LEGO® Group has its own abbreviation.

It helps to know a few of the acronyms and abbreviations associated with the actual LEGO® pieces too:

Brick

Refers to a typical LEGO® piece used to build.

Stud

The protruding nodule on a brick that is used to fit another brick in the building process.

Plate

The base on which a LEGO® model is built. Surface area can vary, but is always a third of the height of a single brick.

Minifig

The famous LEGO® figurine. LEGO minifigure walking

MOC – My Own Creation

Refers to the LEGO® models that are designed and built by LEGO® fans.

LEGO® is filled with abbreviations for all kinds of terms. To find out more of them, visit lego.wikia.com or thebrickblogger.com

Got any terms you think are essentials for LEGO® enthusiasts to know? Tell us in the comments section below.

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5 LEGO® stocking fillers under R150

The excitement is building for those youngsters anticipating a visit from Father Christmas. No doubt, that means that you’re running around trying to find a few key gifts to bring a bit of that Christmas magic home these holidays. If you’re after ideas for smaller gifts to fill those stockings, then you’ve come to the right place.

Here are 5 LEGO® items that will have your gift recipients squealing for joy and which will keep them suitably occupied so that you can put your feet up and enjoy the silly season too:

Friends Party Sets

LEGO Friends Party Styling

These small scenario sets are fun to build and play with. Jewel the cat gets ready for a birthday party in the Party Styling set, while bunnies need to go gift shopping for a friend in the Party Gift Shop set.

Cost: R75 each

Action play

Bionicle Reboot Uxar Creature of Jungle

If construction is something of a fascination, then this Bionicle Reboot star is certainly going to be a hit. Uxar Creature of Jungle has green, sonic crystal wings and posable joints for hours of action-packed playtime.

Cost: R136 each

Key chains galore

LEGO minifigure key chain

For those in the family that remain children at heart, these are a great memento to unwrap at Christmas. Be it Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars, Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter, a plain LEGO® brick or even a LEGO® Santa, you’ll find a key chain for everyone.

Cost: R69 each

Magnetic minifigures

minifigurescitypolice

“Stop! Police!” Will be the phrase you’ll be hearing a-plenty with this three-piece police minifigure magnet set. They’re a great way to get the kids interested in the charts and tables you set up during term time, so are a must for those parents looking to do a little more planning in 2017.

Cost: R146 each

Mixels of amazingness

LEGO Mixels Lewt

These fun-loving creatures ignite the imagination and make for great collectibles too. Get one or two Mixels and see the fun begin! We’re personally hoping for the treasure hoarding Mixel Lewt and the one-eyed flying horse type creature Paladum to land up in our stockings this Christmas.

Cost: R55 each

Order any of these items at our online store.

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Spend at Kiddiwinks and earn back some luxury bucks

In 2015 Kiddiwinks joined Legacy Lifestyle, a premium rewards programme that has over 200 high-end partner stores and counting.

The developers of this programme have taken care to make it as easy as possible to earn points with a simple registration process and no need for a card. In fact, when you register with Legacy, your own cell phone number becomes your membership code which you enter during your transaction at a partner store.

It’s a hassle-free way to make the most of your shopping spree, which is exactly why Kiddiwinks is now a partner store.

Whenever you spend at a partner store like Kiddiwinks, you earn points known as Lifestyle Rands. Each partner store sets the percentage of Lifestyle Rands you can earn with them. The value of 1 Lifestyle Rand is equivalent to R1. For example, Kiddiwinks has set its percentage at 4% which means that for every R100 you spend at our stores as a Legacy Lifestyle member, you earn 4 Lifestyle Rands.

Members also benefit from exclusive promotions, deals and competitions that aren’t available to regular shoppers, not to mention being able to get a hold of super LEGO® sets at great prices thanks to the Lifestyle Rands you’ll have earned.

In fact, Legacy is running a giveaway right at this moment. Members need to earn or spend Lifestyle Rands at Kiddiwinks or other kids partner stores before 11 January 2017 and you could WIN a family weekend stay at Kruger Park Lodge. Get all the info here.

To register, simply visit the website and go through the 5-minute process or if you happen to find yourself at one of our stores, why not ask for assistance to register right there using the credit card terminal? You can also get the app, which will enable you to track your points, personalise your profile and view the latest promotions on your mobile.

Once you’re ready to redeem your points, enter your cell phone number (which also happens to be your membership code) and secret 5-digit pin into the credit card terminal, and voila! It’s as easy as that.

Find out more right over here.

Solve the world’s problems one LEGO® brick at a time

It’s no secret that there is an ongoing need for engineers, scientists, problem-solvers and those who just know how to get the job done.

It’s also widely known that in many countries, children are not performing as they should in math, science and technology – subjects critical to their and our future in this ever-advancing world. We know, for example, that the USA has seen a major drop in math and science skills in school over the past few years. In South Africa, the situation is dire, with a vast majority of school-goers having little math and science skill.

“[Science] is more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world…” – Former President of USA, Barack Obama, March 23, 2015

It’s a situation that needs to be rectified, and that’s exactly what FIRST founder Dean Kamen and LEGO® group owner and deputy chairman Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen set out to do in 1998 when they started FIRST LEGO® League.

Every year, 28 000 teams of students aged 9 to 16 from many countries around the world are given a real-world challenge that they are required to solve using science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills. The challenge not only helps them develop those important skills, it also gets them involved with others young people, teaching them presentation skills and helping them to learn how to tackle problems constructively.

This year, the teams were briefed to identify a real-world problem surrounding the interaction between humans and animals and then set out to solve it.

The brief describes the process in detail: “They will also build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game.  Throughout their experience, teams will operate under the FIRST LEGO® League signature set of Core Values, celebrating discovery, teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism®.”

South Africa is one of 11 countries from the Africa and the Middle East that’s involved with FIRST LEGO® League and currently, regionals for 2016 have just taken place, with the Kiddiwinks Dream Team taking an overall fifth place in the Western Cape regionals on 5 November. Kiddiwinks was also involved in coaching the Forres Preparatory School team #MadScientists.

The Dream Team investigated the threat of American Foulbrood disease on bees in South Africa and proposed a solution that involved exposing the bees to phage therapy that would kill the disease and result in the hives not having to be burned.

Forres’s #MadScientists went local and looked at how to improve the lives of the rabbits at their school by encouraging more interaction from the kids, by planning rosters and moving their pen to a more central location.

Forres Preparatory School Kiddiwinks #MadScientists First LEGO League South Africa

Both teams performed exceptionally well with the Dream Team taking the Robot Programming Award as well as placing third overall, and #MadScientists receiving the Robot Performance Runner-Up Award and Research Presentation Award as well as placing fifth overall.

Both teams are into the FLLSA finals which will take place in Johannesburg later this month. The winner of this national competition will qualify to attend the international FIRST LEGO® League competition.

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Make your own LEGO® Pokémon Pikachu

It was the biggest mobile game to hit the world in 2016. Yep, there’s no doubt about that Pokemon GO’s virtual reality software has captured the imagination of young and old alike. These days, it’s not unusual to see people walking around in public parks, stabbing frantically at their mobile screens.

If you’re a big fan of the augmented reality game, and you happen to be a LEGO fan, then it’s about time you created your very own LEGO® Pikachu.

Watch this Brick 101 video to get a step-by-step instruction on how to make your very own Pikachu.

It’s a great activity for the upcoming school holidays, so be sure to bookmark this page.

We’d love to see your interpretations of this cute feisty Pokemon, so be sure to post a photograph of your creations on our Facebook page when you’re done. Happy building!

We all live in a yellow submarine!

The Beatles fans can rejoice because LEGO® Ideas have at last released images of its latest amazing model: the Yellow Submarine.

The design also includes minifigures of original band members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr to turn this exciting release into a collector’s dream. The set contains 550 pieces and these four wonderful minifigures.

“The Yellow Submarine is bright, fun, and colourful, which also made it a good subject to translate into LEGO® form.” – Kevin Szeto

LEGO® fan Kevin Szeto is the man behind the creation of the set. “The creation of the Yellow Submarine model was really my way of showing my affection for The Beatles, as well as trying to pay a small tribute to The Beatles phenomenon,” he explained in a recent article on the LEGO® Ideas portal.

Kevin’s idea was refined by LEGO® designer Justin Ramsden, who is just as enthusiastic about The Beatles, adding “to see The Beatles in LEGO® form is a dream come true.”

Those eager to get their hands on a set will have to be patient as the release date has yet to be finalised, but is set for some time in November and in South Africa, it will be available exclusively at Kiddiwinks!

LEGO® Ideas is a great initiative that gives LEGO® fans all over the world the opportunity to offer up their own ideas for new sets, vote for their favourite designs and then stand the chance of seeing these designs become official sets by LEGO®.

Watch the video here:

Be sure to keep an eye on our online store for the release in November as only limited stock will be available.

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