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New Star Wars Lego Sets For 2011 - Clone Wars Ships, Battle Packs and More
By Inger Fountain
Star Wars has to be Lego's most successful franchise and it's not hard to see why. The almost too-good-to-be-true combination of the best building toy in existence with the world's biggest Sci Fi franchise (sorry Trekkies) is a fan's, not to mention a toy-maker's, dream.
Over the last ten years Lego has released an awesome range of Star Wars Themed sets, from all six movies as well as the Clone Wars television series and the occasional Extended Universe ship. In 2011 they will continue to come up with amazing sets, if initial images of the first wave is any indication.
Due for release in January 2011 the latest Star Wars sets are heavily focussed on the Clone Wars animated TV series. After the success of previous battle packs, Lego will focus on army builders form the Clone Wars by releasing a Clone Wars Battlepack (7913) and a Mandalorian Battle Pack (7914) both priced at $10.99.
The Clone Wars Battle pack will contain four figures; Clone Trooper, ARF Trooper and two Bomb Squad Troopers which is a nice mix of clones and differentiates this set from earlier clone trooper battle packs. The Mandalorian Battle Pack will come with four of these famous Star Wars clan-based characters, as featured in Season two and three of the Clone Wars cartoon. Each battle pack also comes with a small vehicle.
Vehicles are also featured in this first Star Wars Lego 2011 wave. Set 7915 is the Imperial V-Wing Star Fighter, already the subject of a Lego set back in 2006 (Set 6205) but this latest version comes with a black color scheme for both the ship, pilot and astromech droid.
Set 7929 entitled The Battle Of Naboo is the first Episode One set for some years. It features a large amount of figures, mainly battle droids and a couple of Gungans. The set also comes with a droid carrier featuring a dark red color scheme instead of the rather drab brown versions of the past. The new Gungans look to be more varied and detailed than the versions from 10 years ago. One of the Gungans is, of course, Jar Jar Binks and his headpiece is painted and looks absolutely beautiful.
The Bounty Hunter Gunship (Set 7930) was featured in the Clone Wars Television series Season Two Episode 17 entitled, appropriately, "The Bounty Hunters". The ship is dark green in color with accents in yellow and gray which blend in nicely with the episode's location, Felucia. Widening the scope of bounty hunter minifigs this set comes with the long awaited Aurra Sing as well as Embo, Sugi and an Assassin Droid who were all featured in the episode.
The last set of this first Star Wars Lego wave for 2011 is the T6 Jedi Shuttle (7931) also known as a Jedi ambassador shuttle as featured in episode three of Season two "Children Of the Force". The distinctive semicircular shuttle looks very nicely done and comes with some highly anticipated figures. Finally fans can add the Jedi Quinlan Vos, Shaak Ti and Saesee Tiin to their collection as well as another Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Overall this first Lego Star Wars 2011 wave looks wonderful and contains some notable Star Wars figures that fans, new and old, will be eagerly awaiting.
Inger loves stories and loves to write. As a librarian in a previous life she also has an insatiable thirst for general knowledge. You can visit her latest website which takes a look at the best Learning Toys including Lego, Playmobil and the new Leapster Explorer console from Leapfrog.
Lego Blocks - Why Have They Successfully Endured The Test Of Time
By Kevin R Burns
Lego blocks were originally patented on January 28th 1958 - that's more than 50 years' ago. Yet, did you know that you could still use any Lego building bricks you might have bought from that year with the company's current-day bricks?
In to-day's throw-away society, very few products can boast such a remarkably long shelf-life, and the durability of these attractive, colourful blocks is just one reason out of many for their outstanding popularity. But, before we consider the other reasons, let's take a brief look at the beginnings of this renowned plastic brick...
Origins Of Lego
The original founder of today's colourful plastic building brick was a Danish carpenter named Ole Kirk Christiansen who, at first, concentrated on making wooden toys.
In 1934, the carpenter named his company "Lego", from the Danish "leg godt" which, roughly translated, means "play well". However, it wouldn't be until the year 1940 that the company started to offer plastic toys. And, it wasn't until nearly 10 years' later - in 1949 - that interlocking bricks were introduced, sporting the now-famous round studs on one side, and rectangular hollow on the other.
Reasons For Their Success
When originally introduced, the little building bricks were not particularly versatile. Also, plastic was not considered in a particularly favorable light when compared to wood. However, the Company, with its motto of: "Kun det bedste er godt nok", or: "Only the best is good enough", continually worked on and improved its toy.
Nowadays, it's renowned Worldwide, perhaps being fairly unique in the fact that it pleases both children and their parents: kids derive hour upon hour of fun from it; whilst Mom and Dad recognize that playing with the toy is developing their offspring's creativity, dexterity, as well as problem-solving faculties.
Here are just a handful of other reasons for the never-ending popularity of the bright little bricks:
• Safe, suitable, and fun for children of all ages... adults too!
• Versatile - most ranges are compatible with each other.
• Durable - you can even pass them on from one generation to another.
• Value-for-money - once purchased, they could last longer than you!
• Easy-to-clean - just wash in warm, soapy water.
• Easily-obtainable - from local stores, the Internet, or eBay.
• Environmentally-friendly production and marketing.
• Many different styles - from the ordinary building bricks through to boxed, up-to-date themes such as Harry Potter, Star Wars and Space Police, which include all people and items to fit the particular theme.
The Company continually strives to improve its product. Nowadays, you'll even find Lego Education Centers, complete with qualified instructors, and fun, Legoland Parks, where you and your family can enjoy castles, dinosaurs, pirates, wild animals, and even water parks.
Fads come and go but, one thing's for sure... Lego blocks are definitely here to stay!