We were ushered in early, still wiping the sleep out of our eyes and using copious amounts of tissues as we adjusted to the temperature controlled environs of The Javitz Center after braving the chill of a February in New York City. The dudes with the superhero t-shirts and NFL sideline cameras, you know, the monsters with lens the length of a 12-year-old’s extended leg, those guys went straight for the Star Wars section, a 30 foot wall running the entire width of the booth and featuring all 25 of the forthcoming LEGO Star Wars sets. 25! That’s a lot.
I too got caught up in the fervor and muscled my way into press row to snap a few of the sets with my ‘it’s not the size of the boat, but how it handles the waves’ Samsung NX300 and the itsy-bitsy, super crisp 30mm pancake lens attached. I was the big guy with the tiny camera. And I didn’t know what in the hell I was taking pictures of. Stormtrooper? Where’s Luke? This is Star Wars, right?
But it wasn’t just Star Wars that I saw! I was fortunate enough to have a special looksee at all of the 2014 LEGO sets, even some of those still under wraps (hello, Guardians of the Galaxy!). Below is a mostly photographic look at what is in store for LEGO fans this year. Enjoy this sneak peek!
LEGO STAR WARS & STAR WARS REBELS
Here’s the bulk of the LEGO Star Wars and Star Wars Rebels lineup for 2014. With a few exceptions, all of these sets will be available in August.
Same story as Star Wars here, as most of what you see below will be on shelves in August, with some of the small Poly bag / 40 piece Friends sets arriving in April. I dig the new direction for the Friends in 2014. They are getting out of Heartlake City to be adventurous and helpful for jungle animals. Real nice sets!
Really cool and quick aside — LEGO Friends has teamed up with Girls on the Run for a partnership that’ll incorporate an activity adapted from the LEGO® Serious Play® methodology into the Girls on the Run curriculum which is designed to further develop girls’ social, psychological and physical skills. Girls in grades 3 through 5 will engage in solo and group building challenges that will tap their creativity and hone their problem-solving, critical thinking and social skills.
Girls on the Run teaches life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event. Yay 5K! The goal is to build confidence and establish an appreciation of health and fitness. AWESOME! Any program that combines tactile building skills, develops story-telling capabilities AND nurtures a love of physical fitness and the outside world is A-OK in my book. Good on you, LEGO Friends! Find out more about Girls on the Run on Facebook.
LEGO SUPER HEROES, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES & LEGO MOVIE
Okay, not a ton of photos here because I wasn’t permitted to snap any of the Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy sets — which look incredible! So here’s an assortment of LEGO Movie, TMNT and Super Heroes sets due out in ’14, with the X-Men sets due in June and the TMNT stuff pictured here in April (with additional sets Turtle Lair Invasion 79117 and Big Rig Snow Getaway 79116, in July)
I was most excited about the new Creator set (I believe Creator is LEGO’s best line of construction sets — see below) and Mixels, a new partnership with Cartoon Network. The collection of characters exudes joy and hilarity and a lightness that is unlike anything else in the entire LEGO lineup. Plus, they are color coordinated, easily ‘mixed up’, and so very fun to play with, with terrific joint articulation. Play games and make your own wacky Mixel combinations on the official Mixels site.
LEGO ULTRA AGENTS & CUUSOO GHOSTBUSTERS
The nostalgia of Ghostbusters is alive and well in this beautiful set. And the excitement over Ultra Agents centers, for me, around fun spy culture and some badass female characters. We’ll have to wait until August for the Ultra Agents sets. Oh, also, LEGO The Simpsons Minifig blind packs will be out in May!
LEGO CITY, CREATOR, ARCHITECTURE & JUNIORS
Come August, LEGO CITY will have a High-Speed Passenger Train line and our nation still will not. Ugh. The Eiffel Tower LEGO set is out now and is quite lovely to look at. The Creator Bike Shop & Cafe is SO great and is a terrific addition to an already wonderful line of 3-in-1 construction sets (also out in August.) The new Juniors line is brilliant to bridge the gap between DUPLO and toddlerhood and the big boy (and girl) LEGO sets, meaning the 4-7 year old circuit now has something all for themselves. The super smart thing about Juniors is that there are some licensed pieces, giving young fingers access to TMNT and Batman and Princess, with regular LEGO Minifigs.
*All photos taken with the amazing Samsung NX300 as part of their Imagelogger program.