5 Licensed Themes We Would Like to See from LEGO
8th February 2022
The Adventures of Tintin
The first theme on our list would be one centred around the adventures of the young globetrotting journalist Tintin and his plucky canine companion Snowy. The plethora of vehicles and destinations featured in the 24 comic books written by Belgian cartoonist Herge would provide ample inspiration for a whole host of LEGO sets. Iconic vehicles that immediately spring to mind are the rocket in Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon, the shark submersible in Red Rackham’s Treasure, and the Unicorn, the pirate ship that appears in The Secret of the Unicorn and the 2011 film adaptation.
There is currently a LEGO Ideas project, which we think provides a very fine depiction of the shark submersible and Tintin, Captain Haddock, and Professor Calculus minifigures. The mini-Unicorn is also a nice touch. There is still plenty of time left to support this Ideas project, so if you are Tintin lovers we suggest you do so!
The cartoon book series also includes several locations that would make for excellent display pieces. The most notable of these is the grand manor house of Marlinspike Hall, which is the family estate of Tintin’s best (human) friend, Captain Haddock. The manor is purchased for Captain Haddock by Professor Calculus and the fabled treasure of Red Rackham is later found in the manor's old chapel, in the cellars. This subterrain level could be recreated in a manner similar to that of the Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets Set (76389).
Another memorable location in the books is The Black Island, which houses a crumbling castle and features as the cover image of the book. The plot of the book is full of mystery and skulduggery which makes it one of Tintin’s most popular adventures. The finale of the book sees Tintin encounter the giant gorilla Ranko on the island, who was inspired by the popularity of King Kong at the time, and who would lend himself well to the proportions of a big fig. A Black Island set would also appeal to LEGO castle lovers, of which there are many, with us included!
We would love to see Thomspon and Thomson twin minifigures, especially when afflicted with the long kaleidoscopic beards, such in the Land of Black Gold when they swallow the “Formula 14” tablets.
Second on our list is the classic British science fiction television series Thunderbirds. The series follows the exploits of the Tracy family who run the secret organisation known as International Rescue who perform various rescue missions using a suite of technologically advanced land, sea, air, and space vehicles. The obvious choice for LEGO sets from this theme would be the main five Thunderbirds that are each captained by one of the five Tracy brothers. Perhaps the most exciting of these would be Thunderbird 2, as this acts as a transporter for other rescue vehicles and equipment which are carried in detachable pods. The ability to swap supporting vehicles, such as Thunderbird 4 and The Mole, in and out of the main body of Thunderbird 2 would be a nice feature and create a fun play model.
There is currently a LEGO Ideas project which does just that and is well on its way to getting the requisite 10,000 supporters. If you haven’t already done so, you can support this project here.
Aside from the vehicles, Tracy Island, the secret headquarters of the International Rescue, could act as a larger scale model. Anyone who has seen the TV series will know that the island is full of engineering wizardry that looks like it could have been designed by Wallace and Gromit. These include a retractable swimming pool concealing the hangar from which Thunderbird 1 is launched, and a false rock face hiding the hangar of Thunderbird 2. The trees lining the main driveway to the Tracy residence also move to transform it into a runway. Building all these into a LEGO model version would provide a challenge for the LEGO designers but we’ve seen sets with some amazing gimmicks come out of the LEGO factory in recent years.
Wallace and Gromit
Speaking of Wallace and Gromit, a theme on the cheese loving inventor and his begrudging sidekick is next on our wish list. The stop-motion series consists of four short films and one feature-length film. Some of the most memorable inventions in the series are the orange spaceship that took the duo to the moon in A Grand Day Out, the motorcycle and sidecar/aeroplane in A Close Shave, and the robotic legwear in The Wrong Trousers. There is also the Austin A35 style Anti-Pesto van which the two use to speed around their hometown.
The Wallace and Gromit residence of 62 West Wallaby Street would provide inspiration for a larger LEGO set. If we thought that the engineering wizardry of Tracy Island would provide some difficulties for the LEGO designers, this would be a piece of cake in comparison to West Wallaby Street. The house contains all manner of comical and crazy contraptions designed to make the inventors' lives more efficient. The easiest of these would perhaps be the revolving pond that activates whenever a speed getaway is required.
There are currently four LEGO Ideas projects on this theme, however they are still a long way away from reaching the 10,000 supporters needed to progress to the review stage.
The theme could also be extended to include the other creations that have come out of Aardman Studios, such as Chicken Run. A Chicken Run theme looks more likely considering that next year will see Netflix release a sequel to the 2000 comedy thriller.
Back in 2014, the Simpsons House was released as the first of the two Simpsons LEGO sets, followed a year later by the Kwik-E-Mart. These were also accompanied by two Collectable Minifigure Series. Over 4 years have passed since these sets left shelves, with no sign of any follow-ups. While we would like to see more from this line of sets, it seems that this theme has evidently run its course.
Therefore, we are turning our heads towards the more realistic prospect of a Futurama LEGO theme for fans of Matt Groening to get their fix. Although Futurama does not share the same universal popularity as the Simpsons, it is still considered one of the greatest cartoons of all time. The animated science fiction sitcom revolves around Philip J. Fry and his colleagues at an interplanetary delivery company, called Planet Express.
The Planet Express ship that the crew use to deliver packages to their clients is synonymous with the series and would likely act as the flagship set. The company headquarters with its multiple floors and quirky rooms and features, such as the Farnsworth Lanes bowling alley and Chamber of Understanding, would also make for a highly unique build. Aside from these, the various interplanetary adventures of the series would lend themselves well to small-scale sets.
The motley Futurama crew which includes several different alien species would certainly make for some unique and interesting minifigures!
The Lord of the Rings
For the last item on our wish list, we would like to see a revival of The Lord of the Rings theme. The editors here at Brick Ranker only started seriously getting into LEGO in recent years and therefore missed out on the LoTR sets. Of course, while these can still be picked up on the aftermarket, they now all come at a hefty price, so you have to be crazy about Middle Earth to justify the expense.
Only 16 LoTR sets were released, which seems rather meagre when you consider the size of Middle Earth and the epic proportions of the Fellowships adventure. There are a number of locations that were left out, such as Minas Tirith, Mount Doom, The Prancing Pony, or Fangorn Forest. We also didn’t get some key characters and beasts from the books and films in minifigure form, such as Éowyn, Faramir, Shadowfax, a Mumak, and The Witch King of Angmar or his winged Fell-Beast.
LoTR also has a huge fan base, which could arguably be said to be rivalling that of Star Wars and Harry Potter. And if aftermarket prices are anything to go by, the sets are some of the most collectible that LEGO has ever released. This coupled with a Minas Tirith LEGO Ideas project being under review, and a whole host of other LoTR LEGO Ideas projects currently vying to enter production, indicates that there would be no shortage of demand for more LoTR sets.
Of the five theme we’ve listed, a reboot of this theme seems the most realistic, given that Amazon are due to release a Lord of the Rings TV series later this year. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and let you know as soon as we hear more on this.
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