Jetro's blog


Brick by Brick

How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Toy Industry

According to the press release from Random House Business Books, “Brick by Brick is the fascinating account of the iconic toymaker LEGO and its rise, perilous fall, and spectacular rise again to become the world’s fastest growing toy company.” The book was written by David Roberson, an innovation specialist, with the help of Bill Breen, a writer who has helped to make the text more accessible.

Despite its brick-decorated cover, the first impression of the book might not make you want to immediately buy it as a valuable addition to your LEGO book collection. The fact that the book is written by a former LEGO Professor of Innovation and Technology Management, published in the Business Books catalogue and that it “details the unique innovation guidance system that allows managers to channel the company’s creative endeavours” may not inspire much confidence that you will actually enjoy the contents.

However, even before turning to the first page there are several hints that the contents are worth reading: David Robertson made more than a dozen trips to Billund and conducted interviews with Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen and LEGO CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp as well as dozens of other senior managers. He also met Adam Reed Tucker (for all intents and purposes the originator of LEGO Architecture) and Steven Hassenplug (one of the first 4 AFOLs who were brought aboard to help in the development of the MINDSTORMS NXT).

Review 79008 - Pirate Ship Ambush

Despite rumours to the contrary, I seriously doubt anyone really believed the Lord Of The Rings theme was finished after a single year. However, none of the early rumours pointed to anything remotely similar to a ship in this theme.  The fact of the matter is that the pirate ships used by the army of the dead are only a marginal (though not unimportant) part of the story as a whole, but a ship allows for a different kind of construction from what we have seen so far in this theme. The piece count is relatively low for the largest set in a theme, but the set contains a number of rather large pieces (the hull parts and sails) that give the set a considerable volume. In addition, the set comes with no less than 9 minifigures, many of which are exclusive to the set.

Bringing LEGO® bricks to Chrome

Thanks to a colaboration between LEGO® Australia and Google we can now enjoy this latest Chrome experiment. The app is called Build and allows you to explore and build a new world of LEGO constructions online.

Build Google Chrome

The LEGO bricks have been created with WebGL, which allows for some powerful 3D in the browser and show the great performance of. It is all connected to Google Maps which puts these LEGO creations in reach of everyone.
For now it is only available for Australia and New Zealand and it is expected to be launched in other countries soon.

 

 

You can start using Build at buildwithchrome.com
 

LDConfig.ldr updated to version 2012-01-06

To those really up to date with LDraw this is of course old news and to those really not that up to date it may seem the kind of information that sounds good, but you are not quite sure what to do with it...

Well, let me explain. The LDConfig.ldr file is a file that contains all the colour definitions that are used by the various LDraw compatible programs. You may remember that some time ago we published an interview with Micael Lachman (at least the initials should ring a bell...) who explained that MLCad would be changed to use LDConfig.ldr for colour definitions. It is important that the file is updated becasue it now reflects the latest incorporations into the palette of colours that LEGO surrently uses (and the new colours use the internal numbers LEGO uses for the colours to make things easier).

New in this version are Medium_Azure (322), Medium_Lavender (30), and Olive_Green (326). Additionally a new internal colour (493) for Magnet materials has been introduced.

The file will be included in the next edition of the All-In-One Installer (AIOI), but should you want to start using it right away, it can be downloaded from the Core Files and Libraries download page. For a full list of colours in a practical format you should visit the LDraw.org colour chart.

And the surprise is.... (MWC -2)

A little later than hoped for, but this is the second part of the collaboration between LEGO, Ericsson and Hispabrick Magazine. A robot (or rather 12 robots) to play a game of soccer..

 

HBM @ MWC

For the last couple of weeks, a number of HispaBrick Magazine collaborators have been preparing for this and we can finally show you what we have been up to. In collaboration with LRoboticas.net and students from La Salle, HBM pis participating in a MINDSTORMS event organised by LEGO and Ericsson at the Mobile World Congress.

During the weekend we have put the finishing touches to the MINDSTORMS robots:

MWC12

 

"The Force” Remains with The LEGO Group

It's a great day for LEGO® Star Wars fans as the ELGO Group has announced the Star Wars lisence has been renewed for the next 10 years. Since 1999 the LEGO® Star Wars theme has been a success with more than 200 million sets sold and over 400 characters of the saga reproduced as minifigs.

Below the official press release:

Installing LDraw Parts Update 2011

In the previous blogpost I talked about the 2011-2 Parts Update and mentioned how easy itis to install it using the windows executable (.exe) that is available on the LDraw.org website. However, I forgot two important details I must mention.

First of all there is the location of the LDraw folder on your hard disk. Traditionally LDraw parts and programs were installed to C:\LDraw. However, the All-In-One-installer (AIOI) uses a different default location C:\Program Files (x86)\LDraw. This cretaes a conflict between the LDraw.org Parts Update executable for the 2011-2 update and the files installed by the AIOI. Nothing serious though. You simply need to remember to change the installation folder the LDraw.org executable proposes to match the location the AIOI used, but it is an important detail.

Secondly, there is another, possibly easier, method to update your parts library: by means of LDView (included in the AIOI). If you open LDview and go to File>Library Updates... a window will open informing you of the progress the application makes checking your parts library and downloading and installing any missing files..

However, there is a small problem with this method if you are using Windows 7 as this Operating System won't allow LDview to make changes to the installation folder! To solve this minor issue you need to open the windows explorer and go to the LDraw installation folder (which the AIOI by default sets to C:\Program Files (x86)). Once there you need to right-click on the LDraw foñder and select "Properties". In the window that opens you need to uncheck the "Read only" check box and agree to all the questions the you will be asked. After this yu will be abel to use LDView to update your LDraw Parts Library.
 

LDraw.org 2011-2 Parts Update

A new update of the LDraw Parts Library has been made available recently. It is the second update of 2011 and contains 786 elements, with a total of 474 new parts.

The update can be downloaded from LDraw.org and the new parts that are aincluded can be seen on the preview page.

The All-In-One-Installer (AIOI) will be updated shortly to include these new parts. In the mean time, even if you are doing a completely new installation, including the update is very easyas the update is available as a windows executable, making automatic installation very easy.

*** MLCad V3.40 ***

Michael Lachman has just announced a new version of MLCad on LUGNET:

 

Hello all,

I would like to announce that there is a new version of MLCad available!

MLCad V3.40

What's new:

 

  • Implemented basic undo functionality (might be a bit slow, but should work)
  • Improvements for network installation or installation under Windows Vista and above. MLCad now doesn't write to its installation path anymore.
  • Save pictures in more formats, now supporting Bitmap, Jpeg, Gif, Tiff and Png.
  • Serveral bug-fixes

More detailed information is available in the release notes and on the web-site:

http://mlcad.lm-software.com

 

I wish you fun with the new release and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Best regards,

Michael

BYFMTWW (II)

Having the 11th of Decembre as a reference for BYFMTWW can be a little cponfusing this year: is Sunday the first or the last day of the week?laugh

In any case, this week is nearing its end so I'm leaving you some of the pictures that were taken for the Bring-Your-Favourite-Minifig-To-Work-Week:

 

 

Minifigures Serie 6

Hispabrick Magazine is pleased to present the new minifigs of the 6th series. The collectible minifig series 6 uses grey as its distinctive colour both on the box and the bags.

As you can see there isn't any code to help identify the content of each bag.

Without further ado, we will have a look at all the minifig. The best way to do that is by showing a picture of the front and back of each one as well as of the parts. In some cases we have added a shot of an interesting detail.

Novelas gráficas de Ninjago

 Aunque la información es de hace ya un mes, no ha sido hasta ahora que nos ha llegado. Se trata de una nota de prensa anunciando novelas gráficas para la línea Ninjago, publicadas por Papercutz, editorial que también publica las noveñas gráficas de BIONICLE®

Official Press Release

Last May, Papercutz, the graphic novel publisher of GERONIMO STILTON, THE SMURFS, BIONICLE®, and DISNEY FAIRIES, announced that its newest series of licensed graphic novels would be based on the red-hot toy line LEGO NINJAGO. Three short months later, Terry Nantier, the publisher of the Papercutz, details that pre-orders for the first LEGO NINJAGO graphic novel, LEGO NINJAGO #1: The Challenge of Samurkai ($6.99) “are the strongest we’ve ever seen.” So strong in fact, that the pre-orders top 150,000 copies. This is a record-breaking achievement for Papercutz.

Video de LEGO CUUSOO

Para entender qué es LEGO CUUSOO echad un vistazo a este divertido vídeo: