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September 2009
A Case for Castle
Ben E. 28 IX 09

Over the years “LEGO Castle” has been labeled in numerous ways such as LEGOLAND Castle, LEGO System, Castle, Knights Kingdom (one and two) and finally LEGO Castle. Each of these names encompassed multiple sub-themes/factions comprising the castle lineup.

While later boxes were branded with logos of “Black Knights”, “Dragon Masters”, and “Fright Knights”, they always came with the familiar rolling Danish hills and yellow and orange background with the sun blazing in the sky. Catalogs proudly waved the castle banner for all of these sub themes.

Sadly, the Lego Group often values the desires of major toy retailers and their incessant need of the “new” above fans that see the long tradition of core product themes. Gone are the days when one Castle sub-theme gradually receded while a new wave of factions arrived. Old factions are faithfully given the axe every three years.

Products from one year to the next should build on each other as a child grows. A yellow City crane from four years ago works in sync with a new construction site released this year. Castle sets should strive for this high level of continuity.

There is no harm in keeping the LEGO Castle name. Expand the theme with new faction emblems, names, and box decorations. But keep the name Castle, which represents the quality, longevity, and tradition of one of your most beloved products.

Kind regards,

Ben Ellermann
LEGO Ambassador of

Editor’s note: The opinion above is a response to the leaked information implying that the “LEGO Castle” theme name may be changed for 2010. The author’s opinion is his own and may not represent all Castle fans. Please see the discussion thread for all of the fan comments.

MMMV - Micro Medieval Market Village
Bruce 24 IX 09

In the Mini Castle Contest V there is a category to take an existing castle set and redo it in microscale. This reminded me of an excellent MOC from earlier this year that I didn't get around to featuring, so let's rectify that by taking another look at the micro 10193 by Erik Eti Smit, or eti in our forum. He says he doesn't really remember what inspired this MOC, he was just playing around one night and it started coming together. It took him a little reworking to get the colors right, but he successfully included all of the varied elements of the Medieval Market Village. The buildings even have interiors and swing closed! He said he hasn't done a lot with microscale before, but is getting more into it as his LUG is starting a Micropolis project. Hopefully we'll also see some more castle MOCs from him at this scale.

Eti comes from Utrecht in the Netherlands and is active in the Dutch group Lowlug. He's also a member of CC, Eurobricks, 1000Steine and the Builders Lounge. He only came out of his dark age a couple of years ago, but he's created a variety of great MOCs, all of which can be found in his Flickr and MOCpages galleries.

Announcing the Mini Castle Contest V!
Dan J. 19 IX 09

September comes around again, and the leaves begin fall. I take a walk in the brisk morning air, enjoying the colours, sounds, and feel. And then suddenly I make a loud exclamation and run back inside because I totally forgot about getting the ball rolling for the...

The Mini Castle Contest V.

The deadline for entries is midnight (CC server time), October 31st. This contest ends just as the CCC VII starts. of luck ya'll. If you have any questions please post them, I will try to get them as quickly as possible.

Weekly Set Review: Skeletons' Prison Carriage
Ben E. 14 IX 09

Join the weekly Classic Castle set review discussion. Please post your opinions on the set play ability, piece selection, design, etc. Which sets stand up to our catapult of critique and which ones crumble in shame!

This week’s set is 7092 Skeletons' Prison Carriage .

Skeletons' Prison Carriage was released in 2007 for the Skeletons. One good knight attempts to rescue a fellow soldier. A black skeleton drives three skeleton horses while two white skeletons defend the wagon. Various accessories such as weapons, torches, and a whip are included.

Miracles of Agostino Novello
Bruce 10 IX 09

Mautara is an Italian AFOL from Venice who only recently came out of his Dark Age. He works in a museum and is surrounded each day by artists of the Italian Renaissance such as Bellini, Giorgione and Titian. He likes using artists as inspiration for his LEGO building, as it gives his MOCs more of an artistic feeling. While in Siena, he saw this altarpiece painted by Simone Martini in 1324. The scenes depict miracles attributed to the saint Agostino Novello, three of which mautara has already illustrated in LEGO form: saving a child from a fall, saving a child from a wolf and saving a knight who fell in a ravine. He says we can expect an illustration of the fourth miracle sometime soon. You can read more about the life of Agostino Novello in this article. Mautara enjoys these illustrations of the saints zooming in to save the day - which he compares to a sort of medieval version of a Superman comic.

Mautara is a member of ItLUG and EuroBricks. All of his creations can be found in his Brickshelf gallery

Bruce 3 IX 09

One of the newest members of our forum is Tanager, or Sandy Cash. Sandy hails from Durham, North Carolina, where he is a member of NCLUG. If you've seeen any pictures from the recent BrickFair gathering, you've surely already seen pictures of his Brickistan layout. He's been working on this project for almost two years, inspired by his interest in Islamic architecture and the history of central Asia and India (which he's visited several times). The empire of Brickistan is "not meant to represent a specific site or year, rather [he wanted] to evoke a general feel for a dusty Central Asian medieval khanate. But [he] pulled influences from both Mughal India and Mamluk Egypt, among others, so [he didn't] feel bound to this or that particular substyle." He plans on building more in this theme, perhaps a university or some more civilian town structures, so watch out for more in this general theme. He's also excited about the upcoming Prince of Persia line and anticipates incorporating new figures and elements into his MOCs. All of Sandy's creations can be found on Flickr and Brickshelf. Check these out and also welcome him to our little corner of the Legoverse.

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