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BricksABillion

A Catablog of Tools, Tips, and Techniques for building with LEGO®
The Lone Ranger LEGO sets coming April 2013

The Lone Ranger LEGO sets coming April 2013

According to the splash page launched today on TheLoneRanger.lego.com, the rumors are true, and we can expect The Lone Ranger LEGO sets starting in April 2013, in advance of the July 2013 release of Disney’s The Lone Ranger movie, starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. These Lone Ranger LEGO sets are the next series in a successful relationship between LEGO and Disney that have given us other awesome LEGO collaborations such as LEGO Prince of Persia, LEGO Toy Story, and LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean.

While there are some LEGO themes that are constants — i.e., there will always be LEGO City, LEGO Space, and LEGO Castle, there are other themes that disappear to return again later. For example, Pirates originally ran in 1989, then had a pretty long run in the 90s, only to sit dormant again until 2009. The Western theme is another that had a run 1996/1997, the most famous set probably being Fort Legoredo – this new Lone Ranger series gives us our first good chance to revisit the LEGO Western theme again.

The Lone Ranger Movie Tie-in


If you haven’t seen this trailer yet, I don’t know where you’ve been. Okay, okay, I used to read my grandfather’s old Lone Ranger comic books, and watch re-runs of The Lone Ranger on TV with my dad, who had seen them new when he was a kid. I get the basic premise of The Lone Ranger, and I think it will be great to bring this to a 2013 audience. And to have it supported with LEGO sets.

New LEGO Pieces in The Lone Ranger Sets

One of the things that keeps us coming back to buy new LEGO sets is all the cool new pieces that come out in every theme. For The Lone Ranger, we haven’t gotten to see any actual sets yet, but there are a few teasers in the posted image today of some possible new LEGO pieces we can expect. Let’s take a look at these:

LEGO Revolvers/Six-Shooters — this appears to be a new design. LEGO has had a couple of standard revolver types of guns that they’ve used in a lot of sets. This redesign is a refreshing approach that is great for this series. Over the last several years, a lot of 3rd party companies like BrickArms and BrickForge have been making more realistic weapons that are compatible with LEGO pieces.
LEGO Money-bag — It appears the this will actually be a LEGO-built sack or money-bag. Look at the indentations at the top — looks like the bag should be holdable by a minifig. [Follow up note 12/10 -- a reader pointed out that this is not the first appearance of the sack -- it was available with the Santa minifig from Series 8 Collectible Minifigs. http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=bb580 -- good to note a couple different uses for this piece]
LEGO Gold Bars — We’ve had LEGO cash and LEGO gold coins, but it looks like we will now have Gold bars! LEGO has done pretty well producing gold-colored pieces the last few years; there were quite a few in the Prince of Persia sets. However, this looks like it may be a slightly different color — not quite chrome, but a bit more “gold” than the normal LEGO gold color. And it also looks like these will fit in a minifig’s hand — a big plus! [Follow up note, 12/10 -- a reader pointed out that these gold bars first became available in the Pirates of the Caribbean sets. http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=99563 -- however, they are still pretty rare, so it will be nice to see them popping up more often]
LEGO Tomahawk — the main wooden part of the tomahawk appears to be a standard lightsaber-blade sized piece but now with grooves. These don’t appear to be printed on, but a new mold.
LEGO Tomahawk blade — the blade appears to be a separate piece that can be removed from the wooden handle. This could make it useful for interchange with other pieces — anything the size of a standard LEGO clip.
LEGO Headdress and Crow — One of the things that has to be new for every new LEGO theme is the minifigs, and their accouterments. Tonto, being the Native American he is (and not to mention a character played by Johnny Depp) would need something to evoke that look, hence this Headdress and Crow. I imagine these come as two separate pieces, and the crow may be connectable to other parts as well.
LEGO Longhorn Skull — we’ve had various skeletons and skulls over the years, but I believe this is the first time we’ve seen an actual western-style longhorn skull. I hope this wasn’t in the picture just for effect — this would be an awesome addition to the available catalog of LEGO deceased pieces, and is the perfect accent for a western theme.
LEGO Silver — if you know anything about The Lone Ranger, you know that his horse’s name is “Silver” and that his cry was, “Hi Ho Silver, Away!” Based on the way Silver is standing, I think it is safe to assume that it follows the new horse design introduced in 2012 with the Lord of the Rings LEGO sets. But this will be the first one that is white.
LEGO Bandit Rope — okay, maybe a long shot here, but these guys are tied up with something. Was this just a prop to make the picture work right, or will we actually having something cool we can tie up the bandits with?

What Lone Ranger LEGO Sets we can Expect

We have very little info available yet, though The Brickset website has been able to obtain names and product numbers. I’m going to do a little speculating and see if I can predict what sorts of things we can expect from these sets and how much money you’re going to need to save up if you want the whole series.
  • 79106 Cavalry Builder Set – For this to be a “cavalry builder set” it sounds a lot like what we’ve come to know as “battle packs” from other series, that is, a set that lets you build your army, in this case a cavalry. Being a cavalry, I’d expect to see 1 maybe 2 horses, and then 2-4 minifigs depending on how many horses are included. This will be a common, easily affordable set probably close to the “normal” entry level set size and a price tag around $13.
  • 79107 Comanche Camp — This set should have some Native Americans, some teepees, maybe a campfire. I imagine this one will be the second-smallest set probably around $18-25.
  • 79108 Stagecoach Escape — A very popular factor about LEGO sets is to have cars or spaceships or something else “swooshable.” This Stagecoach is undoubtedly the swooshable set in this series. Expect at least 2 horses, 2-3 minifigs, a rifle or two for the stagecoach “shotgun” rider, and a revolver for a minifig on a horse. This set will probably sell around $35.
  • 79109 Colby City Showdown — This set we can probably expect to have a few store fronts, a “saloon” sign, a barrel for hiding in, a couple minifigs that are in the showdown, and some random town folk minifigs. I’m going to guess this is in the $70-90 price range.
  • 79110 Silver Mine Shootout — this set may have a minecar and a little bit of track, along with the facade of a mine entrance. Needs some dynamite. I’m going to guess this will be the $50 set.
  • 79111 Constitution Train Chase — With a train figuring in pretty heavily in trailer for The Lone Ranger, it would be hard to expect there not to be a train in the series of sets. This set will be around $120.

Lone Ranger LEGO Sets Availability

LEGO has announced these sets to be available in April 2013. That makes them a 2nd quarter release (LEGO releases new sets every quarter each year).  It is likely that Toys R Us will have them available sometime mid-march. Since this is a move tie-in, and the movie plays in July, don’t expect a new series of sets for 3rd quarter. There may be one exclusive hard-to-find set announced after this initial half dozen, and maybe a Toys R Us or Target exclusive, but don’t expect there to be much more than what we already know is available. You should be able to purchase them all summer while the movie is available, but it is doubtful they will be available long after that. Though sets for The Prince of Persia hung around a lot longer than the movie, so there is a chance that you might, or LEGO might scale back its production run so the sets don’t hit the discount shelf.

LEGO Lone Ranger Video Game

I’m just speculating here. It is a possibility, and I think a LEGO Lone Ranger Video Game would be amazing, but the probability is probably low. Don’t get your hopes up.

Credits

This story broke in several places before I published my analysis.
http://theloneranger.lego.com/ (the original source, this is actually on the LEGO company’s website)
Micro Steamship Convoy
Micro Steamship Convoy originally uploaded by 2 Much Caffeine.

All LEGO builders have a comfort zone—those couple of types of things we prefer to build. Whether is is 16×16 Vignettes, Mechs, cars, or castle … your LEGO comfort zone stereotypes what kind of builder you are, and the types of builds you return to time and time again.

Don’t get me wrong—there’s nothing wrong with building the types of things you’re good at … and it helps “build” your reputation as a certain type of builder. But, we all get stagnant, and if we ever want to bring to the table new ideas, and new twists on an old technique, then maybe it’s time to get out of your rut and intentionally build something else for a while. It could help you improve your overall technique and give you some new ideas to bring back to those things you build every day.

Here are a couple cool creations from 2 Much Caffeine. He normally does various vignettes in minifig-scale. Here he is trying is hand at varying degrees of microscale.

Not sure what to build instead? Here are a few ideas ideas to get your started …

  1. Look at the ideas coming through the Flickr LEGO Photostream. Pick the first one you see that you don’t normally build.
  2. Try Fadmasher from Swooshable. Fadmasher has a database of a lot of cool themes and randomly gives you suggestions of two themes to combine for something completely different and new.
  3. Into a good book right? Try building out a scene, or a vehicle, or even just the cast of characters.

What do you do to get out of your ruts? How do you decide what themes outside “your comfort zone” you should build?

After all, isn’t that what we did when we started playing with LEGO toys as a lof? Building out a scene with characters and a plot — perhaps you played out a scene from the Saturday morning cartoons you were watching (I always had my LEGO supply spread out across the living room floor every Saturday morning). Now with all the licensed sets from popular movies, it’s a little easier to make the connection between what you are building and that movie. But what about making up a new story? Bart De Dobbelaer has been doing just that. He recently started his 3rd series of MOC stories.

Diva
Diva, originally uploaded by Bart De Dobbelaer.

In his Flickr Photostream he typically gives some dialog and narrative, though the MOCs are done well enough that the stories pretty much tell themselves.

Also Check out Prometheus and The Life Aquatic with Clumsy Pete.

Awakening
Awakening, originally uploaded by Bart De Dobbelaer, from his story Prometheus .
Seaweed
Seaweed, originally uploaded by Bart De Dobbelaer, from his story The Life Aquatic with Clumsy Pete.

via The Brothers Brick

I am so resisting the urge to go take some LEGO toys out to the sandbox…

Earlier this week I blogged nolnet‘s Power Minors! — his “kid-version” of the LEGO theme Power Miners. Well, he’s been busy building out different sets for each of the characters he introduced. I really like seeing all 4 of the sets together in one place, so I’m pointing here to the 3 new pics, plus the original 2 I already blogged.

Power Minors Pebbles Plow
Power Minors Pebbles Plow, originally uploaded by nolnet.
Power Minors Gravel Grinder
Power Minors Gravel Grinder, originally uploaded by nolnet.
Power Minors Crystal Carrier
Power Minors Crystal Carrier, originally uploaded by nolnet.
Power Minors Debris Driller
Power Minors Debris Driller, originally uploaded by nolnet.
Power Minors!
Power Minors!, originally uploaded by nolnet.
When you say the phrase “LEGO Tools” (other than thinking of all the little tools a minifig could be supplied with) the Brick Separator is the most obvious LEGO tool available. Besides teeth. And many sets of teeth became very happy when this puppy hit the market! Unfortunately, it wasn’t available until after my parents decided I was too old to get any new LEGO stuff, so I did not obtain one until I was an adult. Now I have several, and use them frequently. My favorite is green (probably has something to do with that being my favorite color!).

Uses of the Brick Separator

The Brick Separator has a few different uses, some less obvious than others.

The most obvious use of the Brick Separator is getting one brick off another brick or off a base plate.

A less obvious use is to use two Brick Separators together to get plates and other things apart. Remember how many teeth you broke doing this one? Or how many times you groaned when your LEGO instructions had you put a 1×2 plate on top of another one?

A third use, and probably not nearly as obvious is to use your Brick Separator as a brick, i.e. as part of a MOC.

Cwazy Wendy's Wacky Wacer 

Cwazy Wendy’s Wacky Wacer, originally uploaded by Karf Oohlu.

[EDIT: This post originally ran in July, 2008, but I've recently updated the verbiage and added an illustration for the last point]