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5 Things You Didn’t Know Could Be Done With LEGO

Everyone loves LEGO. They’re fun, colorful and offer a world of possibility. It isn’t all about cool toy buildings and LEGO spaceships, either. Here are five things you didn’t know could be done with LEGOs!

LEGOs are a great way to exercise creative and out-of-the-box thinking. It’s no surprise that we have many cool and interesting creations both from the LEGO company itself and from fans. Some people, however, managed to make incredible things with these plastic interlocking bricks. In no particular order, here are five of them to show you, courtesy of BrickPals.com!

A LEGO Harpsichord

The LEGO Harpsichord is a full-sized, fully-functional musical instrument made by Henry Lim. The harpsichord is an older version of the piano, smaller and simpler, which makes it a perfect candidate for LEGO bricks. This build is entirely made of LEGOs, the only non-brick pieces being the strings themselves. You can check the build in Henry Lim’s official website, which includes a sound sample. This isn’t the only musical instrument made of LEGO: there are others out there, including a ukulele.

Other than the harpsichord, Henry creates full-sized sculptures of various things, such as dinosaurs and people, out of LEGO.

The LEGO Car

This creation isn’t just a life-sized LEGO car. It actually works! Made entirely of LEGO bricks (including the engine) except for some structural parts such as wheels and tires, this car moves on compressed air and can reach speeds of around 15 to 20mph. Steve Sammartino and Raul Oaida, with the help of 40 patrons and over 500,000 LEGO bricks, designed and built the car themselves. Raul Oiada, a teenager from Romania, built it and then shipped it to Melbourne, Australia, to an undisclosed location. Once there (and after some repairs due to damage to the pieces), the car took to the streets, a full-sized success.

A Starbucks Coffee Machine

Yes, it makes real coffee. Yes, it’s made of LEGOs. This amazing design does use some extras, mainly SAM Labs’ motors for some of the mechanisms, and it includes a heating coil for the water and coffee. It uses powdered instant coffee, so it’s not exactly the same a just-ground coffee, but for a LEGO creation, it’s pretty impressive nonetheless.

A Full-Sized House

This LEGO house was a full-sized, fully functional home. Located in Denbies, Surrey, over a thousand volunteers put the house together with over 3 million LEGOs. From chairs to goblets, from a bed to a hot shower and working sink and toilet, the full thing was perfectly livable! It even included a little LEGO cat and decorations. Unfortunately, this fantastic feat of LEGO creativity came to an end in 2009. Attempts to sell it to Legoland failed due to shipping costs, and conflicts over building permits caused the house’s demolition.
James May, who initiated the project to build the house, later hosted the James May’s Toy Stories where he talked about favourite toys of the past and how they came to the modern world.

A Functional 3D Printer

Yes, you read that right. This isn’t 3D printing LEGO bricks; it’s making a printer out of the bricks themselves. Surprisingly, there are several LEGO 3D printers out there, and some designs are available for anyone to build for themselves, but we found this one particularly interesting. In this design, developed by Arthur Sacek, the printer carves any 3D design out of floral foam. The only part of it that isn’t LEGO is the drill.

So there are some remarkable things that can be done with LEGOs. Did you know of them? Do you know more? Let us know!

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LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 Announced!

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 has been officially been announced!

The LEGO brand gets a new game every year, so an announcement like this was bound to happen sooner or later. This time we will be venturing back into the Marvel universe. Take a look at the teaser trailer below.

The full trailer will be released on May 23rd, 2017 so we’ll have to wait till then for more details. But, we can tell a few things from the marketing materials that have been released to far.

The story will span multiple time period and multiple realities. This will allow the developers to include some very deep cut super heroes like a wild west version of Captain America and Spider Gwen. The villain this time around will be Kang the Conqueror. He is a time traveling villain who is perfect for this sort of story because of his time and reality bending technology.

We can tell some of the characters that will be in the game already thanks to the cover art and the teaser.

The heroes announced so far are:

  • Rocket Raccoon
  • Baby Groot
  • Spider Gwen
  • Spider Man 2099
  • Doctor Strange
  • Captain Marvel
  • Black Panther
  • The Hulk (in Planet Hulk armor)
  • Wild West Captain America

We will obviously see more characters as we get closer to the release date on November 14th of this year. It will launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. A Switch version will launch later in the year.

 

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Dear Parents,

I am writing this to express my deepest condolences for the loss of your bank accounts.  I hope that you will move forward after this and keep them alive in memory.

Very Truly Yours,

Stephen Duetzmann

EngagedFamilyGaming.com

 

I’ll cut to the chase here folks. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, and The LEGO Group announced LEGO Dimensions. What is that you ask? It is their entry to the already crowded toys-to-life market that will release this fall. Even better? It will release for all major consoles on September 27th to kick off what is looking like it will be a VERY intense holiday season. Check out the announcement trailer below:

 

LEGO Dimensions certainly looks interesting.

One the one hand, having the ability to combine diverse characters from far-flung franchises is exciting. The fact that there are no restrictions and that any characters will be able to enter any level and play feels like a direct shot fired at Disney Infinity (which suffers from some pretty significant play set restrictions). The LEGO company and WB Interactive have a massive pool of licenses to pull from in order to make expansions, characters packs, and stages. DC, Lord of the Rings, and the LEGO Movie properties are enough to keep people busy for a LONG time. Adding in Ninjago, Back to the Future, and the Wizard of Oz just feels like a deliberate attempt to show the depth and breadth of their catalog. Theey plan to announce more as the release comes closer and I can imagine that we’ll see some crazy stuff!

On the other hand, it feels like this game should have come out years ago. I can’t help but feel like this is going to struggle in some ways to find purchase in the market with so many families already heavily invested in Skylanders and Disney Infinity. I’m not usually a pessimist when it comes to exciting new video game properties, but the toys-to-life category was already full and now it will be bursting. One thing is for sure: it will be very interesting to see the sales numbers after the game releases.

LEGO Dimensions starter pack

The LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack Looks like a party!

The starter pack itself will come with the LEGO Toy Pad and three LEGO minifigures including Batman, Gandalf, and Wyldstyle from the LEGO Movie. They will also release multiple add on content packs at retail stores on the same day that will feature additional levels, challenges, and minifigures based on other WB licensed properties. They may start with only a few that have been announced so far, but Warner Brother’s licensing arm is massive and includes Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, all of the classic LEGO worlds, and much more. Truthfully, the LEGO Dimensions game is almost as expandable (in not arguably more so) than Disney Infinity.

LEGO Dimensions

LEGO Dimensions has INFINITE (LOL) possibilities!

Keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming as we get closer to the release. This is going to be a big one and we are going to be spending a lot of time talking about it!

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Our friends over at FamilyGamerTV posted a video to YouTube this week where they discuss the possibility of a LEGO video game based on the Scooby Doo series.

I don’t know about all of you… but I would play that like crazy. Take a look at their article and sound off in the comments. Do you think it will happen?

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We got our friends at Family Gamer TV to unbox a whole huge pack of Lego Minifigures. The kids were more than a little excited, as were the parents!
Lego Minifigures are huge! Not literally huge mind you, but they’re incredibly successful in their own right, with kids and parents regularly buying up all the packets they can find on store shelves. With the release earlier this year of Lego Minifigures Online, kids (and some adults no doubt) can get even more value from their purchases by unlocking their Minifigure collection in a fully fledged online game.

The latest Series of Minifigures, Series 12, introduces us to another varied selection of characters, containing everything from a Genie to a Pizza Delivery Guy. However, with Minifigures sold in blind bags, it can often be a challenge to collect the full set or just get that one specific figure that’s your favourite. Thankfully, Lego provided us with a full box to open, to show you the full collection in more detail. With individual packets in a box and 16 characters to collect, odds are good that we’ll complete our collection, but just how many packets will we need to open to do so?
Watch the video above and see if they get all of these Series 12 figures:
Space Miner
Battle Goddess
Wizard
Dino Tracker
Swashbuckler
Jester
Piggy Guy
Hun Warrior
Fairytale Princess
Pizza Delivery Man
Video Game Guy
Spooky Girl
Prospector
Genie Girl
Rock Star
Lifeguard
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Holiday shopping is getting more and more difficult every year. Parents used to have to worry about “the hot toy,” but now there are so many video games released each year that it can be very confusing for parents.

The following is a list of some of our recommendations for parents who need a little bit of help to make sure they make the most of their holiday dollars.

“The Games”

Below will be what we consider to be the most important family friendly games available.

Multiplatform

  • Minecraft (If you are buying your child a new Non-Nintendo console this should probably be the first game you buy to go with it.)
  • Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
  • Skylanders: Trap Team
  • Disney Infinity 2.0
  • Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare

Nintendo WiiU

Mario Kart 8 or Super Smash Bros. For WiiU

Nintendo 3DS

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire or Pokemon Omega Ruby

Microsoft Xbox 360

Forza Horizons 2

Microsoft Xbox One

Forza Horizons 2

Sony PlayStation 3

LittleBigPlanet 3

Sony PlayStation 4

LittleBigPlanet 3

Sony PS Vita

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Board Games

Squashed Family Board Game 

Full Disclosure: We have no reviewed this game yet, but a full review is on the way!

This is an interesting strategy game that involves moving pawns around the outside of a cube. The goal is to outmaneuver your opponents as the cube rotates. You want to be the last player with a pawn on the board. This one looks interesting just for the unique game board itself.

Robot Turtles

We reviewed this one earlier this year and it is still one of the coolest learning experiences you can play with your kids. It actually manages to teach some of the basics of coding while playing a simple board game. We highly recommend it!

Qwirkle

This strategy game intended for players six and older is simple to learn and will remain fun for a very long time. In it players place wooden tiles on a flat play area and match them up in rows by either color or shape.

There is even a travel version that is great for parents on the go (and is great for teaching colors to even younger players)!

Spot It!

This game is simple, inexpensive, and portable. Oh! And your Preschooler has a decent shot at beating you in it.

Ticket to Ride

This was one of the first board games we reviewed. It is among the best family games on the market. If your family has been entertaining the idea of starting a family game night, then this is, bar none, the best game to start with.

Forbidden Island

Most board games that families are used to playing are competitive. Forbidden Island bucks that trend by being a perfect entry point into the realm of cooperative gaming.

Minecraft Stuff

LEGO Minecraft

Minecraft is a phenomenon. It has been described as “digital LEGOs” since it arrived on the scene. It actually stunned me that it took so long for LEGO to actually get in on the action. There are tons of different sets out there.

Minecraft Hoodie

I know the stereotype is that kids hate to be given clothes for presents, but this hoodie from ThinkGeek might just fix that.

Minecraft Sheet Magnets

There is a ton of Minecraft merch out there and I dug through a lot of it to make this list. I don’t know why but something about these really sung to me. Nothing screams “perfect gift” than something that will result in lots of little magnet squares attached to the fridge. This is probably most Mom’s personal nightmare right? Aunts and Uncles looking for vengeance gifts take note. (Full disclosure: My wife made me add that last bit since she basically hates these things.)

Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection

The various Minecraft handbooks are a great way to encourage kids to get excited about reading by engaging with Minecraft while they aren’t at the keyboard. The information in these books is very useful. Some of the details will likely be out of date relatively quickly as the game is patched, but the theory will be useful.

Miscellaneous Gaming Gifts

LeapFrog LeapTV Educational Active Video Gaming System – $149.99

No one should call this a knockoff. The LeapTV won’t be able to unseat any of the big name consoles, but its games are guaranteed to be child appropriate.

This may be a great option for households with a significant separation between older and younger siblings. This would be one way to keep the younger sibling away from a teenagers games.

The Bag of Holding (ThinkGeek.com) – $59.99

If you get this reference… you will want to buy this thing.

Parents: It’s ok if you don’t get this reference. This will be hysterical to your son or daughter if they play Dungeons and Dragons. Trust me.

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Each year Toys “R” Us releases their “Hot Toys List” to help parents identify what some of the best new toys are for each holiday shopping season. The following are the highlights of the list that are relevant to us here at Engaged Family Gaming. The rest of the list (including a pretty awesome NERF Bow and a very cool new ImagiNext play set) can be found here.

Kurio Xtreme

The Kurio Xtreme is a Toys“R”Us exclusive 7” Android tablet that comes with a suite of motion based children’s apps. It is built with children’s web safety in mind. This is straight from the product description: “Parents can rest assured their kids are web surfing safely with the Kurio Genius technology, which includes time controls, app management and allows for up to 8 individual user profiles.”

Kid friendly tablets aren’t all about web services though. The Kurio Xtreme comes with a rubber bumper that is designed to help protect it from the inevitable drops.

LeapFrog LeapTV Educational Active Video Game System

The LeapTV is a new video gaming system built to teach through motion. “With a library of 100+ LeapFrog educator-approved game cartridges, game downloads and videos, kids never run out of fun!”

The LeapFrog system is built around educational programing. It features over a hundred educator approved cartridges designed to teach reading, writing, and mathematics. Game types include:

Body Motion: No controller required – the Microsoft Kinect-ish camera captures kids’ moves as they explore Disney Sofia the First’s world or dance in LeapFrog Dance Party.

Pointer Play: Swivel one end of the controller out to transform it into a wand controller to let your children play as Jake from Disney Jake and the Never Land Pirates, or bowl a strike in LeapFrog Sports.

This system does its best to capture some of the magic other other gaming systems at a fraction of the cost. I am hard pressed to believe that it will be as high quality as the other systems, but it’s collection of purely educational games is hard to match.

Lego Fusion Town Master

Ok. Real talk. This sounds real cool. Lego Fusion Town Master is a Toys”R”Us exclusive playset that lets kids build a town and then scan it building by building into an iOS or Android app. This takes all of the random free to play city building games on the market and turns then on their head. I am a very big fan.

Skylanders Trap Team Starter Pack

Of course Skylanders are on the list. This year’s release isSkylanders Trap Team. This iteration of the title gives players the ability to capture villains and fight with them alongside their (likely massive) collection of figures.

The new release will come with a set of new figures that your children will want to add to their collection including new Skylanders Minis.

If your family hasn’t taken the Skylanders plunge for lack of a home console there is even atablet edition.

Disney INFINITY: Marvel Super Heroes 2.0 Edition

Disney Infinity was new to the toys-to-life model last year, but it was a massive success. We knew from the outset that this was intended to be a platform for all of Disney’s properties and it only took a year for them to unleash Marvel superheroes on the world.

Disney INFINITY: Marvel Super Heroes 2.0 Edition  features the Avengers as well as Spider-Man, the Guardian’s of the Galaxy, and multiple villains. More will certainly be released throughout the year, but the starting lineup is excellent. If your children are Marvel fans than this will likely be a must-own.

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO Group have announced LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. It will release during the fall of 2014for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo WiiU, Nintendo 3DS, and PC.

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is the next installment in the LEGO series of games that has sold more than 100 million units worldwide. Simply put: These games are HUGE and there is no sign that they will slow down.

LEGO Batman 3 looks like it will build off the momentum from last year’s Smash hit LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. This time around we will see the massive cast of characters from the DC universe jump into the action! TTgames has confirmed that the adventure will include over 150 member of the DCU cast including members of the Justice League and several LEGO big figures like Killer Croc and Solomon Grundy!

We will obviously hear more as the release comes closer. Keep your eyes here at Engaged Family Gaming for all your LEGO game news!

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By: Stephen Duetzmann, editor in chief

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is looking more and more like it is going to be one of the highlights in family gaming this holiday season. The demo is releasing on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC this week. The actual game will hit retail shelves next Tuesday.

We all know that kids can get attached to certain heroes and refuse to play games or use action figures when they aren’t involved. Take a peek below for a full list of the characters that are available in the game. (Note: This list is VERY long since the game includes all of the major characters and a lot of fringe characters that casual fans have likely never heard of.)

Heroes

  • Spider-Man
  • Captain America
  • Thor
  • Wolverine
  • Black Widow
  • Nick Fury
  • Iron Man
  • Cyclops
  • Mr. Fantastic
  • The Thing
  • Jean Grey
  • Emma Frost
  • Storm
  • Rogue
  • Psylocke
  • Invisible Woman
  • Human Torch
  • Iceman
  • The Hulk
  • Thundra
  • Hawkeye
  • Deadpool
  • Silver Surfer
  • Iron Fist
  • Luke Cage
  • Ghost Rider
  • Moon Knight (My personal favorite!)
  • Black Panther
  • Blade
  • Nova
  • Dr. Strange
  • Daredevil
  • Elektra
  • Ms. Marvel
  • U.S. Agent
  • Gambit
  • Nightcrawler
  • Black Cat
  • She Hulk
  • Black Knight
  • Doc Samson
  • Wonder Man
  • Tigra
  • Ka-Zar
  • Misty Knight
  • Scarlet Witch
  • Quicksilver
  • Colossus (!!!!!!!)
  • Namor
  • Cloak
  • Dagger
  • Photon
  • Quasar
  • Hercules
  • Mockingbird
  • Quasar
  • Ant-Man
  • Wasp

Villains

  • Dr. Doom
  • Loki
  • Ultron
  • Amora The Enchantress
  • Baron Mordo
  • Venom
  • Carnage
  • Magneto
  • Kang The Conquer
  • Bullseye
  • Abomination
  • Super-Skrull
  • Mystique
  • Toad
  • Avalanche
  • Blob
  • Pyro
  • Hydro-Man
  • Mysterio
  • Electro
  • Sandman
  • Vulture
  • Baron Zemo
  • The Juggernaut
  • Sabretooth
  • The Wizard
  • Trapster
  • Klaw
  • Titania
  • Moonstone
  • Warlord Krang
  • Byrrah
  • Attuma
  • Tiger Shark
  • Absorbing Man
  • Taskmaster
  • Living Laser
  • Green Goblin
  • Hobgoblin
  • Mole Man
  • Wrecker
  • Thunderball
  • Piledriver
  • Bulldozer
  • Skurge the Executioner
  • Blizzard
  • Batroc the Leaper
  • Red Skull
  • Whirlwind
  • Dreadknight
  • Crimson Dynamo
  • The Mandarin
  • Dormammu
  • Mad Thinker
  • Beetle
  • Arcade
  • Egghead
  • Constrictor
  • Ringmaster
  • Swordsman
  • Plantman
  • Malekith the Accursed
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By: Stephen Duetzmann, Editor and chief

Funcom released a trailer for a new MMO based about LEGO properties called “LEGO Minifigures Online.”

We are short on real details, but the trailer they posted on YouTube today shows off a very ambitious product. There are a TON of different LEGO worlds included here. The timing for this can’t be much better considering there is a LEGO Movie coming out next year.

Take a look at the trailer and sound off in the comments. What do you think?

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