Sunday, 18 July 2021

BlueBrixx to launch huge Star Trek construction toy range

Germany construction toy company BlueBrixx have announced they have secured the license to produce Star Trek building sets, and have already revealed no less than seventeen different sets in the planning stages, spanning ships at various scales, and full scale props! The range so far includes designs based on TOS, TNG, DS9, and Voyager subjects. Continue below to check out what they've got coming. 

BlueBrixx are currently in development on these sets, so most of the images they have released are of digital prototype models, which are still subject to refinements before the final releases. For anyone who has ever tried to built Star Trek ships in Lego or similar building block systems, you will know the spindly gravity-defying arrangements of saucers and nacelles are not the easiest thing to pull off in brick form. Never the less, most of these prototypes look very impressive already. 

The flagship releases of the announced sets so far are two big starship display models. The USS Enterprise-D set will be 1953 pieces, and has managed to translate the organic rounded shapes of the D impressively well out of building blocks.






The other big set is the classic TOS USS Enterprise, which will be 2884 pieces. A nice detail of this is that the marking on the side of the engineering section appear to be brick built!






The first sets that are planned for release are smaller mid-scale starship models. At a smaller scale you can definitely see more compromises in shaping to pull these off with bricks. There are three in the works, which include the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A, at 490 pieces.







The USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D at 467 pieces, which printing or stickers for the saucer windows.






And a Borg Cube with 776 pieces. I feel this is the most successful of the sets at this size, although it's obviously an easier model to pull off than the very rounded shapes of the Starfleet ships!





Also in the planning are six small scale ship mini models. I'm quite impressed with how some of these have turned out, particularly the Klingon Bird of Prey, which has managed to translate many of the details of that ship very well, and includes a cute Klingon emblem stand! This set will be 214 pieces.




Deep Space 9 uses some big gear pieces to pull of the ring shape very effectively. This set will be 198 pieces.





USS Voyager's very organic form was clearly more of a challenge to translate into brick. The 174 piece set does at least have moving nacelles!




Another Borg Cube in smaller form works about as well as the big one. This one is 360 pieces.





I think the shaping of this smaller scale Enterprise-D is much better than the mid-sized version, and does it in just 185 pieces.




And finally for the mini ships is slightly awkward rendition of the TOS Enterprise, using 104 pieces. I really hope they revise the prototype for this one!





Another ship assortment gives us shuttlecraft at minifigure scale. BlueBrixx do produce their own equivalent of Lego-style minifigures, although oddly and disappointingly these ships do not come with any - I would guess there might be a licensing limitation that doesn't let them do this. These models look great though, especially the 584-piece TNG type 6, which had made great use of curved pieces to really translate the design well.






So far the shuttlecraft range extends to two, with TOS's class F shuttlecraft the other release. The boxier shuttle has been effectively translated into brick as well, using 526 pieces.





The final assortment is completely different, full scale props made from bricks. The TOS type-2 phaser is particularly impressive. I wonder if the type 1 separates, or is too built in; images so far don't make this clear. With its display stand, this uses 371 pieces.






This is offered alongside a cute 201-piece brick built communicator.






A Klingon D'k tahg, complete with fold out side blades! This uses 286 pieces.






And finally a TNG type 2 phaser, built from 233 pieces.




As revealed in the following announcement video, BlueBrixx are hoping to have those first three mid-sized ships on the market this year, possibly as early as October. The video is in German of course, but has English subtitles.



Here's a photo of some of those colourful prototype models seen in the video too.


BlueBrixx appear to limited strictly to Germany, where alongside their online shop they have their own national chain of physical shops! I would imagine there's a good chance their license is therefore limited to the German market. They do ship worldwide from their online shop though, so it will be interesting to see if the rest of the world is able to get hold of these, or if they have to turn that option off if there is a license limitation.

They are currently listing all these sets on their site with an "inform me when available" sign up. In the announcement video they seem to be concerned they will not initially be able to produce enough sets to meet demand, so if you're keen to get them at release you'll probably want to get pre-orders in when they go up. There's not yet any indication of pricing, but generally BlueBrixx sets are a fair bit cheaper than similar Lego counterparts.


This is the fourth time a Lego-compatible brand has taken on Star Trek. Mega Bloks had a first shot in 2004 with just one set, the USS Enterprise-D(ad). Hasbro's Kre-O then did a more extensive range(ad) as part of Hasbro's license for Into Darkness in 2011, this included mostly sets based on Into Darkness, plus a few smaller sets and figures from other parts of the Trekverse. Mega Bloks years later owned by Mattel, then returned to Trek in 2016 for a 50th anniversary range(ad) mostly based on TOS, but including a couple of TNG sets too. Will BlueBrixx be able to manage a longer lasting range? What they've already announced already exceeds the extent of the assortments any of the previous brands managed!

I'll post further updates from BlueBrixx as news comes. To look back at those previous building toys, see my construction sets tag, and for more Star Trek toys news in general (there's been a lot lately), check back though my toys tag, or click the "Models, Toys, and Games" button on my 2021 schedule page.




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