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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Build your own LEGO® Buckingham Palace

Fancy setting up Buckingham Palace in your living room? How about the seat of the United States Congress, the Capitol building? LEGO® Architecture has released these two sets, and architecture buffs are clamouring to get building. These two much-anticipated LEGO® Architecture sets are finally available in South Africa, specifically, at Kiddiwinks! With the careful attention to detail and microscale design, it’s no wonder that many are so excited.

Adam Reed Tucker tending to his One World Trade Centre replica
Image via Daily Herald.

Since the core concept behind LEGO® bricks is particularly well aligned to the art of architecture, it’s not surprising that the idea to create an architectural range was considered back in the 1960s, but was only revived again when LEGO® connected with architect and LEGO® enthusiast and architect Adam Reed Tucker in the early noughties when he presented a two-and-a-half meter replica of the One World Trade Centre he had built out of LEGO® using pieces from various other sets. This was the building that fully collapsed during the September 11 attacks in New York, and Tucker had created the replica to show technical aspects of the building.

By 2008, Tucker had partnered with LEGO® to become a Lego Certified Professional, launching the LEGO® Architecture range with the introduction of the Sears Tower and John Hancock Center sets – both buildings that are based in Chicago where Tucker is based. A handbook filled with information about each building, from its history to the architect that designed and built it accompanied each set, turning the range into a collector’s dream.

They went on to release the Empire State Building set in 2009, along with the Seattle Space Needle and Guggenheim Museum. But it was only in 2011 that the first set of a building outside of the US was created: the Burj Khalifa, Dubai’s mega skyscraper. This was released in the LEGO® Landmark range.

The following year marked the release of the first British building set: Big Ben. It’s interesting to note that the just-released Buckingham Palace is only the second British building in the range, but it’s certainly no afterthought. In fact, the model has captured the essence of the building and has been favourably reviewed by Brickset for maintaining the complexity of design even on such a small scale.

Expect over 700 pieces in this set, and plenty of attention to detail, right down to the inclusion of a red double-decker bus so common in London and a strong focus on the neoclassical features of the building’s east wing.

The end result is good enough to display in your home or office and will no doubt get you thinking about embarking on a whole collection of the range if you haven’t already.

The Capitol Hill set contains over 1000 pieces, and is sure to be a challenge for even an accomplished builder. The wonderful thing about embarking on a build from the LEGO® Architecture is just how much you learn about the way the architects themselves were thinking when they designed these beautiful buildings. Capitol Hill model is no different and has a strong focus on the neoclassical style façade of the building. In fact, one reviewer using the name JYoung27 on the LEGO® Architecture website called this set the “best model yet”.

Capitol Building LEGO Architecture

“The US Capitol Building model was a surprisingly fun build,” JYoung27 went on to say. “I expected there to be many repetitive steps in it like with the White House or the Louvre, but everything was just a little bit different and kept a fun amount of excitement as you saw how the designers executed the details. The really fun surprise was the detachable dome that reveals the rotunda below with the statues inside!”

Kiddiwinks happens to be one of only two exclusive outlets in South Africa supplying LEGO® Architecture and the only one in the Western Cape. So, what are you waiting for? Get your set of Buckingham Palace and the Capitol building now by going over to shop.kiddiwinks.co.za or visiting one of our three retail outlets.

Happy building!

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Kids get set for FIRST LEGO® League

The study of robotics is making inroads at schools – particularly through LEGO® play. One such school seeing growth in its LEGO® Robotics programme is Forres Preparatory School. So popular is it that the calss has been split into two groups, training on separate days.

One group has been aimed at teaching the ins and outs of programming and building a robot, from the very basic first steps, to more advanced situations like following a line. Excitingly, the other group is now the team that will represent Forres at the FIRST LEGO® League competition in early November.

In the 2016 FIRST LEGO® League Challenge, more than 28 000 teams from over 80 countries will look into the eyes of our Animal Allies, the theme of this year’s competition. The competition is made up of three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and the Core Values. The teams participate in the Challenge by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game), developing a solution to a problem they have identified (Project), all guided by the FIRST LEGO® League Core Values. Among other things, the Forres team has:

  • researched challenges facing today’s scientists,
  • designed, built, tested and programmed robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology,
  • learned to apply real-world math and science concepts,
  • learned critical thinking, team-building, and presentation skills, and
  • learned and practiced gracious professionalism.

firstlegoleague2_600In November the team will compete at the regional competition at the Cape Town Science Centre. From there, 25 teams from around South Africa qualify for the National Competition in Gauteng. The top 2 teams at the national competition then get the opportunity to perform on the international stage.

The competition details are only announced 10 weeks before the competition to ensure that all teams are given equal time to plan. With only an hour-and-a-half training time each week, the kids are putting their all into it. Completing the work needed to compete at the regional level is an achievement in itself.

A version of this article was originally published by Forres Preparatory School.