Reasons to be cheerful ? Well, a solid City and Creator line up for starters. Then there's a couple of licensed properties - Cars and Pirates of the Caribbean - which I freely admit to not initially thinking I'd be interested in but have had to revise my opinion of after seeing pictures of the sets. Plus there's a brand new theme - Alien Conquest (pics below - thanks FBTB !) - which looks very promising, harking back to some of the LEGO Space sets from past eras but with some interesting new twists.
|Alien Mothership from the Alien Conquest theme|
|Earth Defense (sic) HQ from the Alien Conquest theme|
But first things first - what of the Summer 2011 LEGO Star Wars sets ? Well, I have to admit that the first wave of 2011 Star Wars sets left me a bit cold. When it comes to Star Wars I'm a traditional kinda guy, worshipping the Original Trilogy, liking Episodes I-III more than most, but with only a passing interest in the Clone Wars and next to no interest in the Expanded Universe. Consequently, I didn't recognise the ships making up the bigger sets so far this year - the Bounty Hunter Assault Gunship and the T-6 Jedi Shuttle - and therefore found it hard to get too excited about them. The Summer 2011 Star Wars sets are largely back to basics, however. Most of them are remakes of older sets from Star Wars Episodes I to VI, which is great for newer collectors but perhaps not so good for me who already has multiple versions of some of the sets. We're getting a new System Scale Millennium Falcon, for instance. This will be the third System Scale Millennium Falcon that LEGO have produced, following in the footsteps of Set 7190 (from 2000) and Set 4504 (from 2004), and the sixth LEGO Millenium Falcon that I own when you include Mini, Midi and Ultimate Collector Series versions. In fact, when you add the Millennium Falcon Bag Charm to the list that's seven overall....!
|Set 7965 Millennium Falcon : come in Number Seven - your time is near....|
|Set 7962 Anakin's and Sebulba's Podracers|
|Set 7961 Darth Maul's Sith Infiltrator|
So what of the pleasant surprises awaiting us later this year ? Well, I'd largely written off the Cars theme as kid's stuff, but now I've seen some decent pics I'm not so sure. OK, so they certainly are aimed squarely at the younger market, but I can't help finding them quite neat... On the basis of first impressions, my favourites so far are probably Set 8487 Flo's V8 Cafe and Set 8677 Ultimate Build Mater (pics below, with thanks as ever to the wonderful Brickset), although there are really quite a few cool sets. I can certainly see myself buying a few of them, although not perhaps all 14 sets which are apparently on their way.... Merchandising tie-ins - don't you just love 'em ?
|Set 8487 Flo's V8 Cafe|
|Set 8677 Ultimate Build Mater|
|Set 8486 Mack's Team Truck|
And then there's Pirates of the Caribbean, another theme which I didn't think I'd be that fussed about. Except that some of the minifigures, such as the multiple versions of Captain Jack Sparrow, look superb, and a few of the sets such as 4195 Queen Anne's Revenge (pic below) look decidedly interesting....
|Set 4195 Queen Anne's Revenge|
So, an expensive 2011 awaits, I fear - in addition to the sets above there are some other potential gems on the horizon such as Set 5770 Lighthouse Island and a LEGO Star Wars advent calendar, not to mention new Harry Potter stuff and the new set I'm waiting for with the most excitement of all - Set 10219 Maersk Train which will be with us on 1st April 2011!
|Set 10219 Maersk Train - now officially announced and on it's way....|