Tag Archives: Community

TLCB Recommends!

Lego Cheerleader Red

Here at The Lego Car Blog we receive all sorts of requests for endorsements. Frankly this is as surprising to us as it probably is to you, because we’re idiots, but nevertheless somehow we’ve found ourselves in a position of power. POWER!!

We may have got a little over-excited at this realisation but don’t worry, we were brought back down to earth when we asked our intern to pose for the picture above, with the result being a new entry into the Mis-Conduct Box and a picture of a mini-figure instead.

Back to the task in hand, and it’s probably time to assemble some of our recommendations into one handy guide. So here they are, TLCB Recommends….

Third-Party Bluetooth Control | SBrick & BuWizz

We’ve tested two third-party LEGO-compatible bluetooth products here at The Lego Car Blog, and we’re pleased to say that both earn a recommendation.

Best for programming: SBrick

SBrick ReviewReviewed here earlier in the year the SBrick controller provides Lego models with bluetooth capability, allowing control via a mobile phone, gamepad, or other device. This has clear advantages over LEGO’s own IR control, being unaffected by bright sunlight, and allowing the receiver to be completely hidden inside a model.

Where the SBrick really scores though is the superb programmable app, allowing the bespoke set-up of a model that surpasses even LEGO’s own Mindstorms robotics sets. We tried the SBrick with the LEGO Technic 42030 Volvo L350F set and were amazed by how easy it was to set up, and how beautifully controllable the Volvo became. It’s a new dimension in Lego robotics.

Best for power: BuWizz

Lego BuWizz ReviewLike the SBrick above, the BuWizz offers all the benefits of bluetooth control, but with the added bonus of a built in battery that can provide up to eight times the power of LEGO’s Power Functions system. The BuWizz brick can be programmed too, although we found this far more limited than the SBrick’s abilities, but really this product is all about power.

The BuWizz bluetooth battery genuinely transforms what Lego models can be capable of, and whilst we suspect far more axles, gears and pins will break a result, their owners will be having riotously good fun in the process! Read our review of the BuWizz brick by clicking here and see how fast your model can go.

Books | No Starch Press

No Starch PressWe’ve reviewed loads of Lego-themed books over the years and most are really very good. Our favourite publishers are the guys at No Starch Press who have brought several top-quality building books to print, including some authored by builders who have featured on these very pages.

You can find all of the books we’ve reviewed via the Review Library, and you can check out NSP’s current range via the link above.

LEGO Set Reviews | Brick Insights

Brick InsightsOur ever-expanding Set Review Library has become (and this is a rare thing at TLCB) something that we’re quite proud of. With one hundred sets, third-party products and books reviewed to date, a few of which were written by you – our readers – it’s as good a place as any to find out whether that eBay seller really can charge that much.

However our reviews are only written by us lot here at TLCB Towers (plus a few from you) and, as mentioned previously, we are idiots. Better then to trust an amalgamation of many reviews before you make a purchase decision, and the brilliant Brick Insights does just that. Pulling review information from multiple sources (of which we’re one) you can quickly see all the reviews for a particular set, the average, highest and lowest scores and much more.

You can read our overview of Brick Insights by clicking here and you can check out the site itself via the link above. Don’t buy another set without it.

Builders | Wait, what?

Lego MicrophoneYup, because we’ve been interviewing the very best Lego vehicle builders on the ‘net in our ‘Master MOCers‘ and ‘Become a Professional‘ interview series.

If you’d like to know how some of the greatest Lego model-makers create their masterpieces, and very probably learn some useless facts about them too, then head over to the Interviews pages via the links above. We’ll be adding more builders to this Hall of Fame very soon too!

Other Stuff | Blogs, Creation Sharing, LUGs and more

We’ve a whole heap of references worth your clicks to be found in the Directory, including the sources our Elves use to find creations, rival blogs, games, Lego User Groups and Friends of TLCB.

Take a look via the link above, and remember that your clicks and page visits here at The Lego Car Blog directly contribute to worthy causes around the world, as our limited advertising revenue is dispersed to those who need it more than we do, and that’s entirely thanks to you.

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We Got Ninety Nine Reviews, But Yours Ain’t One

Lego Typewriter

Thanks to the geniuses over at Brick Insights, the awesome new LEGO Review Aggregator, we’ve learned that we have reviewed 99 official LEGO sets, books and third-party products here at The Lego Car Blog. From LEGO’s first brick-based offerings right up to their newest releases, there’s something for everyone in our Set Review Library.

However we’d like to make The Lego Car Blog’s Set Review Library even more comprehensive, and to do this we’d like your reviews!

Payment is made in the form of everlasting fame* and TLCB gratitude, and your words will reside in the Library for all time, being read by up to a million visitors a year at the time of writing, which is pretty cool.

If you own a LEGO set that we hasn’t yet been reviewed by our crack team of ‘experts’ and you think it deserves a place in The Lego Car Blog’s archives (for good or for ill!) then get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.

We’re particularly looking for Technic, Model Team and Creator sets from 1990 to current. The Brick Insights team will even automatically add your rating to their Review Aggregator tool so you can see how your thoughts compare with other review sites.

Onwards to triple figures!…

Contact TLCB here

*Not guaranteed.

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Brick Insights | The LEGO Review Aggregator

Brick Insights

Here at The Lego Car Blog our Set Review Library, where almost a hundred LEGO sets and related products have been reviewed by our, cough… ‘experts’, plus a few readers too, is easily the most popular area of the whole site.

Despite an inconsistent scoring methodology, and with some very probably written drunk, the value of the Library proves how important reviews now are. From holidays and restaurants to electronics and sports, there’s probably nothing you wouldn’t buy without checking out the reviews first, and that of course includes LEGO.

But should you trust what we write? Not a chance! Well, not on our own at least. That’s where Review Aggregators come in, pulling reviews from multiple sources to give a far more balanced overall score. The most famous of these is probably the Rotten Tomatoes movie review aggregator, a gem of a tool to peruse before you spend your hard-earned on a movie ticket.

But what if you could do the same for LEGO sets? Well now, thanks to the chap pictured below, you can!

Brick Insights

This is Linus, and we like him already. Clearly anyone who can fall asleep upside-down in a pile of LEGO is one to watch. And so it’s turned out, as Linus has created very probably the most important LEGO-related website of the past decade. Over to the man himself to explain all…

It’s been a while since this picture was taken. I had moved around a lot, gotten married, and we were pregnant with our son, so adulting made LEGO hard to prioritise. I really wanted something to build to relax and fill the time, so I went to the store and browsed the LEGO aisle. And felt really, really lost. Since I was in a grey age I hadn’t followed the latest releases, and I had a hard time figuring out what to buy. I went home, explored a few different parameters that might be important when buying a set, and built a mockup. In my head I called it ‘shouldibuythisset.com’. Not that catchy – really glad I changed the name.

I figured that the easiest MVP I could build while still being useful, is to gather reviews for all of the sets. This way I could figure out what other people thought about the set, and if I knew I trusted one reviewer more than the other, I could pay extra attention to that person.

It all went from there. Eight months later and we’ve got a site that automatically picks up new reviews from qualified reviewers (like TLCB!), calculates average scores for each set, compares them per year and all time, and does other cool calculations too! The long term goal of the site is to help people like me figure out if a set is worth the money. After building my simple prototype I went back to the store and purchased the Ninjago Katana, a set I wouldn’t have looked twice at otherwise. It’s a cool set and I’m glad I picked it up. That’s what I hope the site can do more and more as I continue working on it.

Brick Insights Claas Xerion 5000 Review

We’ve had an early play around on Brick Insights and we’ve come away incredibly impressed. Not only does the site work an absolute treat, making set reviews easy to find, easy to read, searchable by year, by reviewer, and with some deliciously nerdy stats, the site itself looks beautiful. By comparison TLCB looks like it was shoddily cobbled together by a bunch of amateurs.*

Above is the Brick Insights 42054 Technic Claas Xerion 5000 page as an example, with an aggregated score of 94/100 from nine review sources (of which we’re one), and comparisons to the averages across the range and the year in which the set was released. Each of the reviews listed is hyperlinked to the source site, and each reviewer has a page too with their own averages, number of reviews and scoring distribution (we learned that we have 99 reviews, 71% of which are scored, and that our average score is 7.8/10).

Brick Insights LEGO Reviews

Brick Insights‘ graphics, animations and navigation are top-notch, and each new review uploaded by their chosen sources will be automatically added to the relevant set and reviewer pages, changing the relevant statistics too. You can find The Lego Car Blog’s Brick Insights page by clicking here, and we hugely recommend taking some time to explore the site – it’s going to be worth its weight in bricks.

Brick Insights

*Which it was.

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Lego Speeder Bikes | District 18 Competition | Round-up!

Lego Speeder Bikes

The Lego Speeder Bike Contest ’18 ‘Battle for District 18’ has come to an end! Contest judge and Lego Speeder Bikes overlord _zenn joins us here at TLCB Towers for a full run-down of the competition results. Over to _zenn!

This year we chose a ‘Futuristic City’ theme that evolved into the whole ‘Battle for District 18’ concept, perfect for building speeder bikes and sparking creativity/imagination. Feedback among contestants was front of mind; competitions should encourage contestants to give and recieve constructive criticism in order to become better builders, and to help us to see building from a different point of view or perspective.

And what a turnout it was this year, with a huge 234 bikes and 34 districts entered! On to the results – the toughest part for us at LSB – the judgement of all those bikes. Let’s get into it!

Lego Speeder Bikes Enforce
The ‘Enforce’ (cops) category winner; o0ger‘s Police L.E.V. 5 (Light Enforcing Vehicle – Pursuit Class). With sleek and smooth shaping and impeccable sticker placement, this bike was in all four judges’ Top 3, an impressive feat.
Lego Speeder Bikes Abide
The ‘Abide’ (citizens) category winner; P.B. Deltassius‘s Flying Fisherman Hoverscooter. The toughest category to judge according to all judges due to the huge diversity of entries submitted. P.B Detlassius’s speeder bike stood out ’cause of its whimsical yet believable approach to everyday civilian life occurring throughout the District.
Lego Speeder Bikes RebelThe ‘Rebel’ (criminals) category winner; Djokson‘s Necrohiver. A tight finish with just 1 point difference between the top two entries. What’s more rebelious than a dark bio-mechanic giger-esque styled bike which will claw the cr*p out of you when you come across its path?
Lego Speeder Bikes District 18
The ‘District 18’ category winner; W. Navarre‘s Decades Afterwards. In two words; organized chaos. The sheer amount of detailing is astounding – this one picture doesn’t do the build justice. Be sure to check out Navarre’s photostream via the link in the text above and gasp in utter admiration at this truly incredible creation., and you can see the full top 10 list for each category at the Lego Speeder Bikes Flickr page.
Honourable mentions; You know my style… I like speederbikes that resemble flying motorcycles, the design choice/form has to fit the function yet retain the motorcycle looks – it has to look like they could actually work. Here are five bikes that stood out to me personally.
Lego Speeder Bikes

Clockwise from top left;

1. Guy Smiley‘s Police Speeder. Urban, rugged and bulky, yet incorporating smooth angles on the front and back-end, Guy’s speeder looks ready to make the streets of District 18 a better place.
2. Anthony Wilson‘s Needler X13. At first glance you might think it’s just a pile of bricks thrown together, but take a closer look to see the careful and painstaking planning to layer each part together into one coherent design.
3. Random Vector‘s Steam Denizen. An angled engine consisting of old-school Modulex parts combines with smooth flowing pipes, a Throwbot visor canopy and atmospheric lighting.
4. F@bz‘s Volkswagen Cardinal Speeder Bike. The first time I’ve seen a bike build with flexible spike parts that are actually used when flexed.
5. Graham Gidman‘s Street Devil. Superb stickering and photo editing gives this bike a real sense of speed while dashing through the streets of the District.

Lastly we like to thank The ManifestoeclipseGRAFX and Chrome Block City for sponsoring this year’s contest, and Keith Goldman for being our ‘sideline cheerleader’ as well as Christopher Hoffmann for being our guest-judge. We’d also like to thank also all the blogs/groups/people for getting the word out, and most importantly we like to thank you; the participants/’riders’ out there, for putting such a tremendous effort in time, design and enthusiasm into building all the bikes and displays. We couldn’t have done it with out you!

Courts adjourned, _zenn.

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Group of the ‘Month’ – Lego Speeder Bikes

Lego Speeder Bikes

Yes we know, the ‘month’ bit of this post’s title is ridiculous. We can’t even remember the last time we did one of these and we really don’t fancy stepping into the dark and foreboding Archives Hall to find out. There’s a long-lost band of Elves in there who have turned quite ferrel.

Anyway, today we are featuring a group from the online Lego Community because it’s a rather cool one. Flickr’s Lego Speeder Bikes (LSB) have been showcasing small sci-fi builds since 2009 and now number over 1,000 members. They’re currently running neat contest too, inviting you to design and build a speeder bike for the fictitious ‘District 18’, with four categories to choose from.

Prizes include the very cool-looking Dredd-inspired ‘Vice Hoverbike’ from _zenn above, as well as some official LEGO sets too. The closing date for entries is March 4th, and if you’ve never thought about entering a Lego competition before this could the perfect way to start – as piece count comes very much second to creativity.

Take a look at the Lego Speeder Bikes group on Flickr by clicking here, where you can also find all the details of the District 18 competition, and we may return at the end of the contest with a round-up of the best entries.

Lego Speeder Bikes

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We’re Six Today!*

Lego No.6

November 2011… a gloved hand slid the bolts back on some small metal cages, and little army of cautious, mythical, and often violent creatures slipped out into the shadows…

Tasked with filling the void left by the proper Lego blogs, this unseen, undetectable, and – most importantly – unpaid workforce set out to bring back the very best Lego vehicles from the every corner of the internet.

Housed in the foreboding concrete carbuncle that is TLCB Towers a crack team of writers (or so we’ve been called. At least it sounded like ‘crack’…) then set to work turning these finds into the words that you read here.

Six years, nearly 3,000 posts, and over 4 million visitors later we’re still going, even if we have absolutely no idea how this has all worked.

In that time we’ve reviewed close to a hundred LEGO sets, third party products and books, interviewed nearly twenty of the world’s top Lego builders, and likely been a perennial annoyance to the sites that try to do this whole Lego-blogging thing with professionalism and competence.

As reader you’re one of over a million visitors to this site every year, so whether you joined us at the start or have recently discovered us, thank you for taking the time to stop by this humble little corner of the internet. Without you this site would just be the wayward rambling of some madmen.

You’re also raising money for good causes every time you visit us, as the revenue generated by the limited advertisements we allow to appear here is distributed to those that need it more than we do.

So as the sun sets on another year thank you for joining us, and we’ll try to keep bringing you the best Lego vehicles the world has to offer.

TLCB Team

*OK, last week, we weren’t paying attention. Still, we’ve done better than last year when we missed it altogether.

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Creations for Charity 2017

Creations for Charity 2017

Creations for Charity 2017 is here!

Creations for Charity, the awesome annual fundraiser that provides thousands of LEGO toys to children in need, is now open for 2017! Many of the world’s best builders will be donating creations to the Creations for Charity online store, raising money to purchase LEGO toys for underprivileged children.

Get involved!

You can join this amazing initiative in a number of ways; by publicising Creations for Charity, donating your own creation, or by buying one of the unique creations available via the online store.

Donations are now open – if you’d like to give away a creation that you think could raise money for children who have nothing then get in contact with the Creations for Charity team, they’d love to hear from you!

If you’d like to see some of the amazing creations already donated head over to the Creations for Charity website to take a look, and if you like what you see remember that each of them is available to buy, so you can take any one of the models home!

Creations for Charity 2017

Creations for Charity 2017

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Retro Racing Replicas

Lego Ferrari F189 RoscoPC

TLCB Master MOCers Hall of Fame is the place to find the world’s very best Lego vehicle builders. Fame, glory, and an imaginary trophy await those that make it into the Lego Community’s most exclusive club, and today we recognise the fourteenth builder to enter, joining such legends as Firas Abu Jaber, Sariel, Crowkillers and more.

Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC has appeared here several times in recent months, as he continues to upload his incredible garage of beautiful historic Formula 1 cars to the photo-sharing platform Flickr.

Lego RoscoPC

With new cars in the works, two of which we can exclusively reveal here before their upload (the iconic Ferrari F189 above and the wonderful Renault RS10 below), now seems like the perfect time for Luca to share his Lego story.

Find out how it all started, and how he creates the stunning racing replicas you see here by reading his Master MOCers interview via the link below.

Master MOCers Series 2, Episode 3

Luca Rusconi 

Lego Renault RS10

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And the Winner is…

The Lego Car Blog Competition

The Lego Car Blog’s Review My Set Competition drew to a close last week, and it’s added a whole host of reader-written LEGO set reviews to our burgeoning Set Review Library! Almost 100 individual LEGO sets and third-party products have now been reviewed in total, and we aim to keep this number climbing as the Set Review Library is the single highest viewed page here at TLCB.

We were seriously impressed by the standard of your review submissions, which ranged from LEGO’s most expensive flagships right down to pocket-money sets, and were written by experienced adults and young builders alike.

So how did you guys do? Well it was close. Really close. But we’re delighted to announce that the overall winners are…

Winner

Andrea Lattanzio  |  5591 Model Team Red Bird

 

Runner-Up

Rage Hobbit  |  8070 Technic Supercar

Yup, whilst we said there would only be one winner it really was too close to call, especially if you’re as indecisive as we are, so the assorted loot here at TLCB Towers will be shared amongst both winners!

Lego 5591 Mach II Red Bird

Andrea’s review of the classic 1995 Model Team flagship recorded one of the highest view counts in its first week, and also included bespoke images created by Andrea specifically for his review article.

Rage Hobbit’s entry reviewing the 2011 Technic Supercar flagship accrued the most views over the duration of the competition, and the writing was so in-keeping with our in-house reviewers we could probably have passed it off as our own.

Andrea and Rage weren’t alone at the top though, as many reviewers really impressed us with their writing ability (and subsequent view count), to the point where we’d like to have you on staff!

Congratulations to Andrea and Rage, to all of you who saw your Set Review/s successfully published here at The Lego Car Blog, and if you’d like to write a review for a set that is currently missing from the review archive we’d still love to receive it! Simply get in touch us letting us know the set you’d like to critique and you could see your writing appear here for over one million viewers a year!

Lego Set Reviews Prizes

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Halt the Hits!

Lego Review My Set Competition

The Lego Car Blog Review My Set Competition closed to entries on December 31st and there are just 24 hours for entrants to squeeze in a few more hits before we total up the views and go to the judges to determine a winner! You can see all of the Reader Reviews that were successful in being published in the Set Review Library, good luck to all the competition entrants, and remember that views received after today will not count!

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2016 Year in Review

Lego 2017

We’ve made it to 2017! Here’s our round-up of the year that was…

Yes, we’ve survived another year! 2016 may have been filled with odd politics, scary news stories, and celebrity deaths, but The Lego Car Blog continues to amaze us.

Despite this site being as ropey and incompetent as it’s always been, in 2016 TLCB smashed through the one million views per year mark! A million a year! For those working behind the scenes here in TLCB Towers, and knowing how out of our depth we really are with the whole running a website thing, this is an unbelievable statistic.

Although we have no idea how the annual view count has surpassed a million it is good news for the online Lego community’s vehicle builders, as we hope we’re giving recognition to a genre that a few years ago was overlooked by the proper Lego blogs (who have now joined the party in blogging vehicles too).

It’s also good news for the various charities and aid organisations that we support. Your views and clicks mean that this site earns a small monthly revenue. As most of our workforce is populated by mythical creatures paid in sugar-coated chocolate confectionary we don’t need this, and thus we’re able to pass it on to those that do, thanks entirely to your visits.

In 2017 we may explore updating the site to properly accommodate advertisements, as we do now feel a duty to do our best to maximise our earnings, but we’ll let you know about this should it happen later in the year.

In the meantime we’ll aim to keep bringing you the very best vehicular creations, set reviews, LEGO news, and builder interviews, and we look forward to another year being totally puzzled by the fact that people actually come here to read the inane nonsense we publish.

Wishing you all the very best for 2017

TLCB Team

P.S. The Lego Car Blog is on Facebook now too! Click here to stay in touch via Mark Zuckerberg’s bank account.

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Review My Set Competition – Now Closed!

TLCB Review My Set

Running over the past 6 months or so we’ve been asking you, our readers, to submit your reviews of LEGO sets that you thought should be in the Set Review Library. We’ve published loads of your entries (which can read by clicking the link above) and we now have the tough job of shortlisting, via the view count figures, those who will go to the judges’ vote.

Some say we only embarked on this exercise to increase the Set Review Library’s stock without paying anyone. And they’d be right. But we do have prizes up for grabs, made up of the loot that we have acquired here in TLCB Towers over the past year.

We’ll be announcing the winner of the aforementioned swag in the New Year, in the meantime a huge thank you to all those who have entered the competition, and if you’d like to submit a review for the Set Review Library here at The Lego Car Blog you still can (only you won’t win anything). If you have good written English and creative writing skills then get in touch!

Lego Set Reviews Prizes

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Black Friday – Nothing to See Here

Lego Zombie

Black Friday is upon us once again, that unique time of year when people are willing to trample their fellow man to death to secure a discount on an electrical appliance. We hate Black Friday.

As has become traditional, unlike the proper Lego blogs we’re not taking part in the annual greed apocalypse, and instead we’re offering some alternatives to help you to avoid becoming just another mindless, soulless zombie with an unquenchable thirst for acquiring ever more pointless landfill.

Lego Creations for Charity

The awesome Creations for Charity campaign is back for another year, with some incredible fan-built models available to buy and where all proceeds are used to provide LEGO sets for underprivileged children. There’s just one week to go – to see what’s available and make a real difference to a child this Christmas visit the Creations for Charity 2016 page here.

Oxfam, Tearfund, Christian AidUnicef

Finally of course, just by being here you’re doing a little bit of good. All profits generated from the advertising you see here at The Lego Car Blog are donated to those who need them more than we do, including the charities above and also at a more local level around TLCB Towers. A huge thank you for your clicks – they mean the world to us.

TLCB Team

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3 Million!

Lego Mini-Figures

Earlier in the week, whilst we weren’t paying attention, something amazing happened. The little hit counter that sits largely unnoticed in the corner of the office quietly ticking away surpassed…

3,000,000!

Yup, three million. With twenty-thousand of you joining us each week. Considering how amateurish we are here at TLCB this is nothing short of remarkable. So to each and every one of you that visits The Lego Car Blog, thank you, we really could’t do this without you.

TLCB Team

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A $1,000 Thank You

Lego Nurse

Some time ago WordPress, our landlords here at thelegocarblog.com, selected us as a pilot for their WordAds programme. Up until this selection TLCB was, in contrast to the proper Lego blogs, entirely advertisement free. Since then we have allowed the appearance of one or two advertisements per page (you can probably see one now, either above or below this post), managed through the WordAds programme.

These advertisements generate a small amount of revenue, and as we operate with an unpaid mythical-creature-based workforce our overheads are nice and low, even once we’ve paid for the Executive Washroom and Sauna.

This leaves us with a bit of a surplus, and because it’s a privilege to write for a million visitors a year, we don’t really feel like we need to keep it. And thus we owe all of you a huge thank you, because your visits, clicks and comments here at TLCB have – from one little ad – generated over $1,000 for good causes around the world so far.

The money raised through your visits has been used for projects as diverse as building essential facilities in India, children’s homes in Romania, the Syrian refugee crisis, the Red Cross, Unicef, and many more.

We’re mooting whether to restructure this site to allow a similar quantity of advertisements to show as the proper Lego blogs ($1,000 is great, but $20,000 would be better!), but we’re not sure about that yet. In the meantime, we’ll keep blogging, please keep clicking, and between us we can keep on doing a little bit of good : )

TLCB Team

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