Categories
Uncategorised

6 top reasons you’ll love shopping with Kiddiwinks

Here are a few ways we’re working to offer you the very best LEGO®-loving experience around!

If there’s one thing 2020 has offered us, it’s the opportunity to reflect on what matters most. And to us that’s you, our amazing customers. So, without further ado, here are the top 6 reasons to choose shopping with us for your LEGO sets.

1. The Kiddiwinks Loyalty Program

Not only do we offer the best value points around – earn R10 for every R120 spent – but it’s also super easy to join! Simply make your first purchase to start collecting your Loyalty Rands, and spend them whenever you’re ready.

2. Consistently good prices

We’re proud to bring you our LEGO offering at reasonable prices so that you can enjoy building LEGO sets for less!

3. Friendly, knowledgeable, and personal customer service

Our team is passionate about what we do and there’s nothing we enjoy more than putting a smile on your face!

4. Our amazing selection of LEGO sets

While we receive exclusive sets a little later (usually 3 – 6 months after release), we always have a brilliant and regularly updated selection of current and hard-to-find LEGO sets. Combine this with our great pricing and excellent service and we believe it’s worth the wait!

5. Community is important to us

From working with schools teaching robotics and competing in the FIRST LEGO League Challenge, to supporting our local AFOLs and LUGs, we love to get involved in all things LEGO-related. Got an idea you’d like to run by us? Get in touch!

6. We’re LEGO-crazy too

Kiddiwinks isn’t just a business. To us it’s a way of life! From grandparents to children, we’re passionate about the LEGO brick and have been since long before we started Kiddiwinks 19 years ago. In fact, our personal collection spans some 2000 LEGO sets and counting!

Hop on over to kiddiwinks.co.za now to get directions and contact details to our 4 shops or simply shop online!

Categories
Community

CapeLUG’s lockdown LEGO® build: Table Mountain

View it outside our shop in Willowbridge Shopping Centre.

While some of us were on the couch catching up on the latest Netflix series, members of Cape Town’s LEGO User Group, CapeLUG, spent much of the lockdown period working remotely to build a scale model of Table Mountain. In total, it took 35 000 bricks, 340 hours and 25 people to build!

We asked CapeLUG member Malcolm Keevy to give us the dirt on how it all came about. 

Since its inception in 2017, CapeLUG’s exhibitions have featured many individual MOCs (Not sure what this stands for?) by its members. The Table Mountain project was conceived as a way to build something as a group.

One of the many exciting MOCs found at past CapeLUG exhibitions.

“We had a few ideas of things that we as a group wanted to build together. In the end we decided on the mountain because it is an iconic feature of Cape Town and we thought it would be a great display and had a number of ideas for features to be added like the cable car,” says Malcolm.

“We also had a good idea about how to go about the process, (like getting a design, figuring out what parts are required, etc.), so that also factored into the decision.”

The building process

The planning was the biggest challenge in the whole process.

“The first phase was designing the build, which we started last year. We did this with mapping data from Google in order to generate the contour elevations and developed a building plan and the parts list we needed to build the model.”

An aerial shot of the completed build. Image courtesy of Malcolm Keevy.

“Then we added colour selection to that to get the feel of the rocky mountain faces and the currents and waves along the sea. We received parts towards the end of 2019 and had two building sessions at the beginning of the year where the group got together. In those sessions we built about 75% of the model.”

The model itself has a horizontal scale of 1:10 000 and an exaggerated vertical scale of 1:5000 to best show the contours. 

CapeLUG members working on the build pre-lockdown. Image courtesy of Malcolm Keevy.

AFOLs make a plan 

Little did the group know that 2020 would throw a spanner in their plans. With a national lockdown implemented from 27 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they had to think of new ways to build together while being apart.

Early stages of the building process. Image courtesy of Malcolm Keevy.

“Once it became clear that we weren’t going to be able to meet for a while we divided the remaining parts and gave individuals blocks to build on their own.  It wasn’t as good as building together, but we also wanted to get the project completed and on display. Most members hadn’t seen each other since the start of lockdown, so even the short visits of dropping off or picking up blocks was a good change. And when building on your own, you still have the feeling of working on a group project.”

“There was quite a lot of coordination required, but eventually we got everything built and then we were able to meet up (albeit with limited numbers) to put it together and make the final adjustments. It was amazing to see the individual block sliding together (and all lining up!) to give us the finished model.”

You can view CapeLUG’s scale model of Table Mountain outside our shop at Willowbridge Shopping Centre.

The final build before it was carefully transported to Willowbridge Shopping Centre. Image courtesy of Malcolm Keevy.

While the group still has to finalise plans for events into 2021, you can expect a few exhibitions and hopefully another group build. 

About CapeLUG

CapeLUG creates a space for Adult Fans of LEGO (AFOLs) to get together and share their love of building. When safe and possible, they get together to share information and techniques, work together on projects and just hang out.

Interested in joining? Find out more at capelug.co.za/join

Categories
LEGO® Super Mario™

Why we’re excited about LEGO® Super Mario™

The launch of the LEGO Super Mario theme might just be the tonic we need in 2020.

Super Mario was a hit back in the late 1980s and early 1990s when parents and kids alike took to their gleaming new Nintendo consoles, inserting the then state-of-the-art game cartridges to begin playing Super Mario Bros. The theme song will forever bring up memories of sitting together with friends, curtains drawn, eyes glued to the TV screen and thumbs feverishly working the controllers while the melody blipped cheerfully in the background.

Sound was a big deal in the game. Oh, the triumph when the “ding!” sounded as Mario collected the coins from floating boxes on the 2D set, the shot of adrenalin at the tempo change as Mario entered Bowser’s lair and the feeling of annoyance (“ding-DING!”) when our parents insisted we pause the game. This was how we spent many a school holiday afternoon (and morning, and possibly, even evening!) over at least one or two primary school years.

Enter LEGO Super Mario stage left

With those carefree days long gone, and a grim reality before us, the re-emergence of the jaunty plumber in LEGO form has certainly warmed this millennial heart.

It took 4 years of painstaking co-development with Nintendo before The LEGO Group felt it could bring the theme to market. LEGO Lead Designer and co-developer of the theme, Jonathan Bennink, calls it “a never-seen-before way to play and interact with LEGO bricks”. And he is right!

How LEGO Super Mario works

A core set called the “Starter Course” is where your LEGO Super Mario adventures begin. It’s also the only set with LEGO Mario himself – a clever way to ensure everyone starts in the right place.

The Starter Course features a few key details – including sound! – to ensure the experience maintains an air of authenticity, as Bennink explains:

“Since it is the entry point into the LEGO Super Mario theme, it needed to be iconic and instantly recognisable.”

For example, the LEGO Mario figure shows a variety of iconic reactions on the built-in LCD screens in his eyes, mouth and belly. An in-built speaker offers those signature sounds – like the “ding!” when he collects a coin – keeping the feel really close to the original game. The figure also has sensors which read colour and action bricks as you move through the course – so there’s no cheating!

A great collab

In our opinion, the LEGO aspect of this theme very much enhances the digital concept. For one, it’s physically interactive, encouraging team play and offering players a chance to hone their problem-solving skills. There’s also the nostalgic aspect which the developers paid very careful attention to. And better still, those little nostalgic indicators aren’t gimmicks; they’re really part of the game.

You can also build on and create more complex courses with expansion sets – a feature which obviously didn’t exist in the original game and which means that participants can now be “game developers” too.

To help you along and keep you engaged, there’s a free app too which helps with pointers to make building easier and suggests creative ways to build and play, as well as offering a safe forum to share ideas with friends.

The question is, has Bennink and his team thought of everything? Quite possibly, though we’re a little disappointed that LEGO Mario doesn’t actually fly when he’s got propeller power!

Order your Adventures with Mario Starter Course (71360) now!

Categories
Women of LEGO®

9 LEGO® sets featuring awesome women

Celebrate female representation in LEGO sets this Women’s Day.

Let’s face it, 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride we’d all rather get off, but one thing we think it has offered is some pause for thought – a big ask in today’s fast-paced, demanding world. Women’s Month and the representation of women and girls in LEGO sets is where we’re pausing.

Why is that important? Well, gender equality is an important goal to work towards in all aspects of our lives, and gender representation in toys is an important aspect of this. Not only does it offer kids (and adults) the chance to identify with and benefit from the developmental advantages LEGO building has to offer, but it embeds the idea in all our minds that girls (and women) can enjoy playing and building with LEGO bricks too.

Without further ado, here are 8 sets we think feature some pretty awesome women:

1. LEGO Star Wars: Rey (75113)

This buildable action figure is an amazing display piece honouring the latest Star Wars female character, Rey. With posable limbs, cloth desert outfit, staff, pistol and a wheel-activated arm-swinging battle function, this LEGO action figure is ideal for intense action play. If anything screams “girls can do it too” it’s this!

View now on our online shop: https://shop.kiddiwinks.co.za/Theme/StarWars/75113-Rey

2. LEGO Ideas: Women of NASA (21312)

Astronomer and educator Nancy Grace Roman, computer scientist and entrepreneur Margaret Hamilton, astronaut, physicist and entrepreneur Sally Ride and astronaut, physician and engineer Mae Jemison are the pioneering women in science featured in this set conceived by AFOL Maia Weinstock. Sadly, it is no longer in production, however, we felt it deserved an honourable mention!

3. LEGO City: People Pack – Space Research & Development (60230)

This one is inspired by NASA careers and features minifigures in different jobs relating to space travel and exploration. It has some decent female representation with a few astronauts, a rocket engineer, a mechanical engineer and a botanist in the mix. A good one to get if you missed out on the LEGO Ideas: Women of NASA set.

View now on our online shop:
https://shop.kiddiwinks.co.za/Theme/City/60230-People-Pack-Space-Research-and-Development

4. LEGO Friends: Dolphins Rescue Mission (41378)

We love the merging of two important causes in this sweet LEGO Friends set: championing strong women and saving the planet! Stephanie and her friend Kasey save a trapped dolphin and go on to find hidden treasure. While the set is by no means a conscious “women’s power” sort, it still has a really positive message demonstrating that strong girls can save the day!

View now on our online shop: https://shop.kiddiwinks.co.za/Theme/Friends/41378-Dolphins-Rescue-Mission

5. LEGO Ideas: The Flintstones (21316)

It goes without saying that Wilma and Betty are by far the level-headed and strong-willed characters in the cartoon series The Flintstones. The two long-suffering wives deal with their bone-headed husbands’ antics one episode after another. This LEGO rendition of the cartoon features the 2 couples and the Flintstones’ home in minute detail. Yabba Dabba Doo!

View now on our online shop:
https://shop.kiddiwinks.co.za/Theme/Ideas/21316-The-Flintstones

6. LEGO Powerpuff Girls: Bubbles’ Playground Showdown (41287)

This list wouldn’t be complete without including the Powerpuff trio. Bubbles, Blossom and  Buttercup became feminist icons during the airing of the cartoon in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The  LEGO The Powerpuff Girls Bubbles’ Playground Showdown has Bubbles take on the spoilt and resentful Princess Morbucks. We love it and think everyone should grow up on a healthy diet of these superheroes. 

View now on our online shop:https://shop.kiddiwinks.co.za/Theme/PowerpuffGirls/41287-Bubbles-Playground-Showdown 

7. THE LEGO MOVIE 2: Introducing Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (70824)

THE LEGO MOVIE 2 taught us that not only is everything awesome, but that we can all get along, whether we’re a tough action minifigure, a short and dumpy LEGO DUPLO figure or a doll-like LEGO Friends or LEGO Disney figurine. So, it follows that everyone should have a Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi in their LEGO collection. Bonus: she’s the least evil queen around!

View now on our online shop:https://shop.kiddiwinks.co.za/Theme/the-lego-movie-2/70824-Introducing-Queen-Watevra-Wa-Nabi 

8. LEGO DC: Wonder Woman vs Cheetah (76157)

Named a UN Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls in 2016, Wonder Woman is an iconic figure in women empowerment. She embodies a feminine sense of peace, justice and emotional intelligence combined with that classic superhero charisma. With this set, young superheroes can relive the movie as Wonder Woman encounters her archenemy, Cheetah, at the transmitter tower, setting the scene for an epic battle!

View now on our online shop:
https://shop.kiddiwinks.co.za/Theme/DCSuperHeroes/76157-Wonder-Woman-vs-Cheetah

9. LEGO Art: Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe (31197)

Pop artist Andy Warhol helped immortalise Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe when he created his 1962 diptych of her. Now you can build it yourself with the recently released LEGO Art collection! It’s the perfect creative project if you’re after a little bit of escapist me-time whilst celebrating and learning about two incredible artists. As you build, listen to the included soundtrack and immerse yourself in a world of art and creativity as you hear unexpected details and audio stories linked to the set.

LEGO Art Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe

View now on our online shop:
https://shop.kiddiwinks.co.za/ReleaseDate/August2020/31197-Andy-Warhol-s-Marilyn-Monroe

Which LEGO sets do you believe have good female representation?

Let us know in the comments below.

Categories
LEGO® DOTS

9 reasons you’ll love the new LEGO® DOTS

We take a close look at why LEGO DOTS is one of the coolest things out right now.

Arts and crafts meets design and build with this brand new LEGO theme. LEGO DOTS is based on multiple shapes and colourful tiles that can be used to design and decorate both wearables and surfaces, making it a fun and versatile theme for a whole new group of young and old alike!

Here are 9 reasons we love the new LEGO DOTS theme so much:

#1 LEGO DOTS is all about self-expression

It’s truly about personalised play. After extensive research, The LEGO Group found that kids are wanting ways to express their own creativity. With its open-ended play and yet variety of accessories to help guide creativity, LEGO DOTS answers this in a big way.

#2 LEGO DOTS is design chic

Camille Walala might just be one of the coolest designers around and she happened to collaborate with LEGO DOTS to create the House of DOTS to showcase the amazing versatility of this brand new LEGO theme. The house is made of more than 2 million LEGO tiles and took 800 hours to assemble. It boasts 150 square meters of DOTS structure inside! No one can deny that this collab is an inspiring example of what can be done with LEGO DOTS.

Walala describes the House of DOTS as “a creative canvas for social, self-expressive play with endless, ever-changing patterns, colours and designs.”

#3 LEGO DOTS encourages creativity and boosts confidence

The LEGO Group rose to this desire in kids and has created a form of play that gets kids and adults alike to use their imagination and create their own pattern and colour combinations.

#4 LEGO DOTS helps develop your design ability

With that boost of confidence comes the opportunity to explore your ability to create more complex designs, find ways to understand design concepts and grow your own skill set. 

#5 There are no rules with LEGO DOTS

One of the best things about LEGO DOTS is that it is a blank canvas. If you can dream it, you can make it. We’ll quote The LEGO Group here and say that “play is limitless.”

#6 LEGO DOTS is for everyone

It will appeal to everyone aged 6 and up. Build creations as a family, or go solo with individual creations. Collaborate in a team or work one-on-one – it doesn’t matter, LEGO DOTS play will work in a variety of scenarios.

#7 LEGO DOTS is bite-size fun

You can satisfy your arts and crafts urge in a few minutes for an immediate sense of achievement… or sit down and enjoy creating for hours on end!

#8 Enjoy guided fun or make your own creations 

If you’re unsure of how to begin, LEGO DOTS has your back. You can follow the steps to make a bracelet or decor piece and have something awesome to show for your time. As your confidence grows you’ll be tempted to free-style it and dream up your own amazing designs, jewellery, decor pieces and more!

#9 LEGO DOTS is collectible

Aside from the bracelets and decor accessories that you can collect, there are also the cool tile shapes, colours and designs to look out for. In addition to the many shapes and colours available, over 30 mood tiles are also being introduced, including facial expressions, a music note, cosmic planet, starry night, paw prints and rainbow poo.

Find LEGO DOTS at any of our 4 shops or browse and shop online at shop.kiddiwinks.co.za