Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Awesome All About Bricks Awards 2014

Especially re-named for one year only, it’s time for the Awesome All About Bricks Awards (taking alliteration to unnecessary lengths, and not guaranteeing awesomeness).  There are the usual awards and some fun ones, so let’s round out 2014 with a bit of reflection on the year in LEGO.

Award for the Best New Theme: Disney Princess

As soon as LEGO acquired the Disney license, minds turned to the back catalogue of Disney movies and what potential there was for great sets. Fans might have preferred mini-figures to mini-dolls, but that’s not enough of a negative to stop these from being fun sets. Cinderella’s Castle (41055) is the highlight of the range, but each build includes great attention detail allowing for plenty of playability. 

Award for Most Unnecessary use of Plastic: Brick Separator

No-one begrudged it too much the first couple of times the new orange brick separator turned up in a few high end exclusive sets, but these are being put into regular release sets now left, right and centre. We all have enough! Throw a few extra bricks in instead! When one of these starts turning up with every Collectible Minifigure we’ll know we’re in trouble… 

Award for the Best City set: Auto Transporter (60060)

It’s hard to get excited about more Police sets, and the Arctic sub-theme didn’t really feel all that City. The Auto Transporter may seem like a small, insignificant set to be the best of the year, but it has a nice, sturdy, clean design and is a vehicle that hasn’t been seen before in the modern City range.  With how nicely the cars fit onto the transport, it’s a great use of the ladder pieces. A vital addition to City layouts.

Award for Pleasure in Wackiness: Star Wars Microfighters

Last year this article criticised the Planets line, suggesting that we have had too many Mini Star Wars vehicles over the years. Microfighters would have been easy to dislike back in 1999, these strangely proportioned vehicles that seat a mini-figure. After fifteen years of LEGO Star Wars, however, anything new is a treat. It’s better to have creatively designed representations than more of the same. So this collectible line deserves some recognition for at least being something different.

Award for Best Star Wars set: Mos Eisley Cantina (75052)

Of course the Sandcrawler (75059) would have been a worthy winner, but the exclusives always have a head start in terms of size and piece count, so this year the regular release Cantina is the winner. This is not a perfect set, whether the included Landspeeder was necessary is debatable, however it’s such an iconic location in Star Wars that it was due a re-release. Rather than going for greater size the set aims instead for details and the right ‘feel’. But where’s Wuher? Hanging out with Aunt Beru?

Special Award for 2014: The LEGO Movie

We knew when we saw the trailer that we were in for something more than a glorified toy advert, which was a legitimate fear. But Lord and Miller pulled off the most inventive animated comedy in years. With excellent design, razor sharp writing and a great twist The LEGO Movie has been enjoyed by both children and adults, with extra little nuggets in there for the dedicated LEGO fan. Not only has the film been successful in and of itself, but the accompanying toy theme is fantastic, and it seems to have pushed up sales of all LEGO products. Everything is Awesome. 

Thanks for reading All About Bricks and thanks to the wider LEGO community for making this such a great hobby.  There is lots of great LEGO to look forward to in 2015, and there’s not long left to wait!

Click here for the All About Bricks Awards 2013.

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