Monday, 27 January 2014

UK Toy Fair 2014 Report

From January 21st to January 23rd 2014 the annual UK Toy Fair took place at the Olympia in London. LEGO were there to unveil the second half of the 2014 range, including regular themes such as City, Star Wars and Minifigures along with new themes such as Mixels and Ultra Agents. Read on for the All About Bricks report on UK Toy Fair 2014.

For lists of which sets will be coming in which themes, click the links below. Skim past these links for a little commentary and some extra information.
Star Wars
Legends of Chima
Ultra Agents
Hero Factory
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

LEGO City is based on Arctic exploration and Trains for the second half of the year. The Trains look good, as usual there is a passenger train and a cargo train . The station is significantly different to the last one, so it may be worth picking up the current one before it disappears. The Arctic sets have that orange colour scheme that the City designers (or focus groups) must love, they include polar bears and huskies.

Friends will see the girls break out of Heartlake City and hit the jungle, which make for some interesting looking sets. The focus seems to be on rescuing and looking after the cute animal characters.

The Bike Shop (31026) in Creator is a highlight - it is essentially a scaled down, child orientated version of the modular sets. LEGO designers seem to really love bike shops, but despite the repetition it's cool to see what a mass-market version of the modulars looks like.

Legends of Chima is taking a huge diversion in terms of story and design, with the battle moving from the jungle to a new world of 'Fire and Ice'. The theme hasn't taken off quite in the way LEGO had hoped yet, but the new 'darker' packaging is hoping to help remedy that. Of all of the Summer Chima sets, Maula's Ice Mammoth Stomper (70145) looks especially distinctive. There are more Speedorz, but it's unlikely they will continue into 2015.

The three Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sets for second half are not based on the TV series, they are based on the new movie as expected. 

Star Wars continues to have a good year, with a surprisingly light smattering of Rebels sets. Jedi Scout Fighter (75051) is from The Yoda Chronicles, suggesting more may be on the way. The mini-figures included are Jek-14, an Ithorian Jedi, a black protocol droid and a black astromech droid. The new Mos Eisley Cantina (75052) looks good, but it's a shame the landspeeder couldn't have been left out to make it a bit bigger. The bar and a couple of booths are included along with a Dewback. The mini-figure roster includes Luke, Han, Obi-Wan, Sandtrooper, Greedo and a couple of the Modal Nodes. The B-Wing (75050) includes Airen Cracken, Ten Numb and a Pilot. The AT-AT (75054) includes three Snowtroopers, General Veers and an AT-AT Driver. Unfortunately the Rebels mini-figures were hidden away with generic mini-figures in their place.

Minifigures will be returning to non-licensed series. After The Simpsons in the Summer, the Winter Minifigures will be 16 new characters in Series 12. This will be closely linked with a new free-to-play online roleplaying game.

There will be four new sets to go along with the new Hobbit movie, and three sets in the Super Heroes range based on Guardians of the Galaxy. As for The LEGO Movie, it was a surprise to see only three more sets out there with a home video release surely around this sort of time? Benny's Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP! (70816) is definitely the one to watch of the three, although they all look suitably wacky. West Designs have a good range of stationery based on The LEGO Movie.

That wraps up a look at what LEGO had to share at UK Toy Fair 2014. The year looks to have a promising line-up, even if it is quite a consistent year for LEGO. Surprises and difference is fun, but since LEGO have been doing things well another solid year is perfectly acceptable.

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