It has been long rumored that after the #10244 LEGO Creator Fairground Mixer from 2014, the #10247 LEGO Creator Ferris Wheel from 2015, and the #10257 LEGO Creator Carousel from 2017, the next fairground-inspired set is going to be a roller coaster. 🙂

This rumor was mostly based on the fact that the box images and promotional materials of both the #10247 LEGO Creator Ferris Wheel and the #10257 LEGO Creator Carousel featured a roller coaster in the background. (As a side note, that same images also show a swing ride, which appears to be heavily inspired by the Star Flyer ride of Tivoli Gardens, Denmark. The LEGO version has the same star shaped body as the real ride, and it even features a similar globe on top – except that the LEGO version is shaped like a LEGO Classic Space logo. This may be a hint to another future fairground set.)

When the #70922 LEGO Batman Movie The Joker Manor was revealed last year with a whole new roller coaster track and car system, it became pretty obvious that we are going to get a regular roller very soon. However, LEGO decided to surprise us with not one, but two roller coasters this year. The #31084 LEGO Creator 3-in-1 Pirate Roller Coaster includes a fairly substantial number of tracks, to build a full roller coaster ride, and the set can also be rebuilt into two other fun rides. This will be an excellent and moderately priced introduction (exact price not yet known) to the new roller coaster system.

If you want to go big, however, and build a giant roller coaster for your minifigures, you can look forward to the #10261 LEGO Creator Expert Roller Coaster coming soon. Below is the press-release of the new set, along with pictures, and introductory videos.

Take a ride with the ultimate Roller Coaster! Enjoy the thrills and excitement of the fairground with this chain-lift Roller Coaster featuring a wealth of brick-built details and 11 minifigures. Upgradable with LEGO Power Functions and LEGO BOOST for an added movement sensor and realistic sound effects!

This fully functional chain-lift model comes with 2 trains and an array of authentic features and functions, including a ticket booth, cotton candy cart, concession stand, height marker, and a covered boarding station complete with opening barriers and a control panel. Lower the lap bars to secure the riders into the cars and release the brake to send the train to the foot of the first climb. Then activate the chain lift and enjoy the ride as the gravity-driven cars hurtle through the Roller Coaster’s twists and turns. Upgrade the Roller Coaster with LEGO Power Functions for a motorized chain lift or LEGO BOOST for an added movement sensor and realistic sound effects! This incredible collectible toy has been designed to provide a challenging and rewarding building experience with a touch of nostalgia and charm. Includes 11 minifigures.

  • Build a fully functioning Roller Coaster with 2 trains, lots of big dips and upgrade options.
  • Upgrade with LEGO BOOST and LEGO Power Functions for an even more immersive experience.
  • Includes 11 minifigures: a cotton candy vendor, 2 ride attendants, 2 grandparents with their granddaughter and 5 riders. 8 of these minifigures feature reversible heads to display different emotions.
  • Fully functional chain-lift Roller Coaster model features a classic brick-built sign, control panel, 2 trains—each consisting of 3 train cars with low-friction wheels, and a 44-piece track consisting of 7 different rail elements.
  • Also features a ticket booth, fountain, cotton candy cart, concession stand, waiting area with bench, camera element and a pond with a frog figure.
  • Buy your ticket at the booth and make your way to the covered plaza.
  • No cheating at the height marker—the ride attendant has an accurate measuring stick!
  • Help the riders into the cars and secure the lap bars.
  • Release the brake to send the cars to the foot of the first climb.
  • Activate the chain lift to pull the train cars to the top of the first drop.
  • Move the rails to launch a second train.
  • Serve refreshing beverages at the concession stand or spin some cotton candy.
  • Don’t forget to smile as you race past the camera!
  • Upgrade the Roller Coaster with LEGO Power Functions for a motorized chain lift, or with LEGO BOOST for automated chain lift activation and realistic sound effects!
  • Decorated elements include a ticket, money, arrow tiles, pressure gauge, number pad and a ride control panel.
  • Special new-for-June-2018 elements include a 2x8x6 Rail Slope, 1x2x1 Bow Brick, plant leaves, stalks and flowers. Other elements include a height checker and 2 cotton candy treats.
  • Makes the perfect fairground addition to the #10257 LEGO Creator Expert Carousel and the #10247 LEGO Creator Expert Ferris Wheel.
    Measures over 20” (53cm) high, 34” (88cm) wide and 16” (41cm) deep.
  • Recommended for ages 16+.
  • Includes 4,124 pieces.

The #10261 LEGO Creator Expert Roller Coaster will be released on June first, with early access to LEGO VIP members on May 16th. Prices are as follows: $379.99 US – $479.99 CN – DE 329.99€ – FR 349.99€ – UK £299.99 – DK 2699DKK (Euro pricing varies by country). For further details, please visit the LEGO Creator section of the Online LEGO Shop.

What do you think? How do you like the new roller coaster sets? Are you planning to get either of them? Or both? Do you have the other fairground sets? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

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You might remember that in my review of the #21314 LEGO Ideas TRON: Legacy set (see: LEGO Ideas TRON: Legacy Set Review), I mentioned that the bikes couldn’t connect to the display-stand securely. I originally thought that this had to do with the bikes being too large and heavy to be supported by only two studs, and I experimented with adding additional jumper-plates. It looked like 4-6 studs for each bike provided a better balance between keeping the bikes on the grid securely, while still allowing easy removal. So, I mentioned this in the review, wrapped up my thoughts on the set, and went to sleep…

However, when the following day I was looking at the display again, I realized that the reason two studs couldn’t hold the bikes securely wasn’t because of having too few connection points. It was because the wheels are slightly wider than the chassis, elevating the bikes just a tad. This very small elevation is what allows the wheels to turn freely when on a flat surface. (As you can see on the picture below, the 1×8 color plate at the bottom of the chassis clears the surface by a small gap.)

According to the instructions, you then suppose to use the same 1×8 color plate at the bottom of the chassis to attach the bikes to the display-stand, which is completely smooth except for two studs for each bike. As you will discover, connecting the bikes to the studs this way is simply impossible because of the slight elevation of the chassis created by the wheels. This small gap between the chassis and the surface prevents a secure connection and makes the bikes precariously teeter on top of the two studs.

You can push down on the bikes to try to create a stronger connection, which is probably what most people would naturally do before realizing what the real issue is. Or, you can add more studs like I did when I first ran into the problem of the bikes falling off. However, both of these methods will put stress on the parts by unnaturally bending them, which can result in eventual cracks. And we don’t want to have cracks on those beautiful wheels, do we? So, it’s best to just leave the bikes loosely sitting on top of the studs, or if you are more adventurous, you can redesign the grid by either elevating the jumper-plates by the height of at least half a plate, or create grooves for the wheels to drop into.

While there are solutions to fix the loosely connected bikes, my bigger question was why did LEGO design the set like this in the first place? The elevation of the chassis seemed purposeful as this allows the wheels to turn. So, it doesn’t seem like LEGO designers didn’t notice that there was a slight gap under the chassis which prevented the bikes from connecting to the grid. In addition, LEGO sets go through rigorous testing and review to make sure there is no stress on any of the parts and there are no dodgy connections. However, we have never seen a LEGO set where pieces are expected to just teeter on top of studs, nor is it pointed out in the instructions that the connection between the bikes and the display-stand is meant to be only half a stud deep. So, was this design a mistake that just slipped through, or was it on purpose? And if it was on purpose, why?

I eventually reached out to the LEGO Ideas team as well as representatives of other LEGO fan groups through the LEGO Ambassador Forum to understand what was happening with the LEGO Ideas TRON set. It turns out that other LEGO fans also noticed the unusual connection between the bikes and the display-stand, and both and mentioned it in their reviews. In addition, I have also contacted LEGO’s customer service to see if they have an official explanation. Eventually, we heard back from the LEGO Ideas team with the following response:

Having conferred with the design team, we can assure you that the TRON: Legacy set has been through and passed all the usual and rigorous model quality tests as any other LEGO set available today; tests that ensure that we deliver the highest quality product and experience. Our LEGO designers are continually pushing the boundaries of the LEGO building system as elements evolve and this affects our building techniques and guidelines for doing so. Particularly through LEGO Ideas products we’re not shy about pushing these boundaries (no doubt inspired by how fans build sometimes) in order to bring the most innovative and cool products to market that will please both AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) and other fans. In this case, the decision was made to allow this connection as it would allow for an easier removal of the Light Cycles from the base.

So, now we know that the connection between the bikes and the display-stand was indeed very much on purpose. As I mentioned at the beginning, the slightly elevated chassis allows the wheels to freely turn, and LEGO deemed the light connection between the chassis and the display-stand suitable for keeping the bikes easily removable. I don’t necessarily agree with the building technique of using only half a stud for the connection, as this keeps the bikes much too loose, however I do appreciate LEGO designers continuing to push boundaries and develop new techniques.

I just hope that in the future, when LEGO designers use new and never-before-seen techniques, they will clearly point them out in the instructions. This way, they won’t be missed or misinterpreted by LEGO fans, resulting in incorrect building or usage. In the case of the #21314 LEGO Ideas TRON: Legacy set, it is very easy to make the mistake of pressing down on the bikes too hard to try to connect them to the base and thus put stress on the elements (particularly the edge of the wheels). The instructions don’t point this out, but the bikes suppose to just hover over the surface and slightly sit on top of the two jumper-plate studs – sort of like how the Light Cycles seem to hover over the grid in the film. 🙂

If you have any questions or concerns about the update from the LEGO Ideas team in regards to the #21314 LEGO Ideas TRON: Legacy set, post them in the comment section below, and I can forward them on your behalf. Also, you are welcome to discuss your thoughts on LEGO designers using interesting new building techniques. Are there any other unusual techniques you found in recently released sets? Feel free to share! 😉

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2018 LEGO Jurassic World sets overview

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Guide to feeling for LEGO Minifigs Series 18

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(Written by William) Ever since the LEGO Collectible Minifigure Series was introduced back in 2010, some of the most popular minifigs were always the ones in costumes. This includes the Gorilla Suit Guy from Series 3, the Lizard Guy from Series 5, the Bunny Suit Guy from Series 7, the Chicken Suit Guy from Series […]

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Building curved roads with LEGO bricks

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If you like building LEGO cities, you know that roads have great importance. They provide a solid surface for your buildings and vehicles, and they also make your city feel more tied together and realistic. LEGO offers a selection of thin baseplate road-plates with straight sections, 90-degree curved sections, T-intersections, and crossroads. These are quite […]

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LEGO Monthly Mini Model Builds for 2018

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As we discussed just about a year ago (see: Discover a Unique Section of the LEGO Shop), the updated version of the Online LEGO Shop has a section titled “Discover”, that gives you quick access to the websites of the LEGO Life app, LEGO Education, LEGOLAND Parks, a list of recently retired sets, and instructions […]

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