Toy Fair isn't just a place to discover new playthings and see what's hitting toy store shelves over the coming year. It's also an excellent place to compile a shopping list. Here are ten new building sets I saw during my LEGO booth tour this year that will be mine.
1. 60124 Volcano Exploration Base
824 Pieces -- $US119.99 ($169) -- Available August
I don't know if it was my childish fascination with volcanoes bubbling to the surface or the whimsical juxtaposition of one of nature's most destructive forces with translucent orange globes that burst forth from a LEGO volcano.
Oh wait, I know what it was. It was both of those things, coupled with the morbid possibilities of combining this set with...
2. 60134 Fun In The Park City People Set
157 Pieces -- $US39.99 ($56) -- Available August
A relatively simple set, Fun in the Park is perfect for building a diorama of little LEGO people having some innocent fun, be it in the park or, say, on the side of an active volcano.
Don't worry, little LEGO baby. LEGO Billy Mays will save you!
Oh look! A LEGO baby! I am a monster.
Speaking of me being a monster...
3. 76057 Spider-Man Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge
1,092 Pieces -- $US99.99 ($141) -- Available August
Spider-Man loves bridges. Nothing bad has ever happened to Spider-Man on a bridge. And while this one has LEGO versions of the Lizard, Scarlet Spider, the Green Goblin, other Spider-Girl, Kraven the Hunter and what looks like Aunt May, there is no indication that it includes Gwen Stacy, so everything should be peachy.
Tony Stark is Lion Man. Not really.
4. 76047 Black Panther Pursuit
287 Pieces -- $US29.99 ($42) -- available March
You know that scene in the Captain America: Civil War trailer where the Black Panther is chasing the Winter Soldier through a parking structure? I love how LEGO escalates it.
If this chase isn't half the movie I will be sad.
I am picturing how this goes in my head. Bucky jumps on the motorcycle, thinks he's made a clean getaway, then here comes the Black Panther in his black and purple aeroplane, because that's the sort of thing the Black Panther has all the time.
5. 70595 Ninjago Ultra Stealth Raider
1,093 Pieces -- $US99.99 ($141) -- Available August
I'll be honest here: I have absolutely no idea what the hell this thing is. I know it's Ninjago, but other than the fact that the series has ninjas my knowledge is lacking.
What I do know is the moment I saw this magnificent thing, with its gorgeous curves and ability to split into four different vehicles, I knew I had to have it in a box in a bag in my office come August. I am a slow builder.
6. LEGO Elves Dragons. All of Them
Various Sizes -- $US19.99 ($28) to $US69.99 ($99) -- Released Staggered From March To August
Despite the freakish-looking figures accompanying the fantasy spinoff of the LEGO Friends line, the LEGO Elves line has produced some beautiful sets. I own everything but the Pegasus Chariot and Castle sets so far, so it's pretty much a given that the colourful dragons coming out this spring through summer will flock to the un-LEGO'd spots in my office.
Pardon the focus, I was having an epiphany.
I almost thought I was done with the Elves line, but then translucent wings, cool colours and crystal accents dragged me right back in.
Perfect for Dragonriders of Pern role-play. Oh no, my blue dragon is in heat!Don't worry, so is my purple dragon! You say there are no purple dragons on Pern? Shut yo mouth.Imagine a real minifigure here.
7. Mixels Waves 8 And 9
Various Piece Counts -- $US4.99 ($7) Apiece -- Wave 8 In June, Wave 9 In October
Speaking of lines I thought I was over, LEGO's stupidly affordable Mixels line has come a long way over the past couple of years. The latest themed sets are amazing, and waves 8 and 9 look to follow suit.
LEGO -- not knowing what a fire truck looks like since forever.
Each Mixels wave consists of three sets of three buildable figures, each group combining to form a bigger guy if you're into that sort of thing. I bought three I was missing from wave 5 while visiting New York for Toy Fair. Clearly I have a problem.
The new half-rounded rectangle pieces that make up the one on the right's teeth are going to be in high demand.Insert some sort of theme here.Wait, pirates AND ninjas? Best waves ever.There go those rounded rectangles again. Perfect for fingernails.
8. 75157 Captain Rex's AT-TE
972 Pieces -- $US119.99 ($169) -- Available June
So fresh they had to use placeholder minifigures for the display, Captain Rex's AT-TE is one of the coolest vehicles from the second season of Star Wars Rebels. The idea of an old clone commander and his cohorts retired and living on a walker is just brilliant.
Plus I own all the other Rebels sets except for the Wookie Dropship, and I'll probably get that this weekend.
9. 70323 Jestro's Volcano Lair
1,186 Pieces -- $US119.99 ($169) -- Available August
While the new NEXO Knights line is still growing on many fans, the combination of future tech and dark magic has me hook, line and LEGO Necronomicorn. Problem is I've run out of room for the smaller sets, and only have one spot left for something bigger. This lava-gushing castle will do nicely.
Packed with little mechanical features like spinning bits and trap doors, it looks like the engineering team from my beloved Chima line is creating these, and I need that.
10: 31052 Vacation Getaways
792 Pieces -- $US69..99 ($97) -- Available August
Part of the LEGO Creator line, this camper can also be built into a yacht or a beach house. I'm sticking with the camper though, because I've affectionately nicknamed this set LEGO Bear Attack and I can't see a bear attacking a yacht or beach house.
Don't worry, Billy! OK, maybe worry a little.
And that's 10 new LEGO sets that will definitely be put together by my old and callused hands. Consider the rest of this year's releases "almost definitely."