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  1. It possibly would come as no surprise that my childhood favourite LEGO theme was Adventurers. Some of my fondest playtime memories are of sprawling bedroom wide Adventurer Expeditions that ranged from the archeologically accurate dig site to a cartoon caper of chasing down the baddies while being chased by the Mummy or jungle tribesmen. The focal figures (literally!) were always Johnny Thunder and Pippin Reed. Johnny Thunder was part of the Theme Logo, he has appeared in eight LEGO video games. This chap was cornerstone enough to feature in The LEGO Movie and have a re-issue in the Super Secret Dropship set. So why don’t we get to know about our be-hatted hero. A Man of Many Names Back in the long ago days of the 90s there were not quite so many linked multi-media goodies for LEGO themes as there are these days. There were some small features in the LEGO Club magazine, the advert-comics that featured in kids magazines and sometimes the odd TV advertisement were all we really had. These might give you a few titbits to broaden the world presented on any bonus pages in the instruction manual or the little sheet that presented the other avaliable sets. Of course, many times you only learned the character names by purchasing the set they came in. With each language and market location there could be differences between the promotional material because no one had any communication or a single platform to access. This led to curiosities like multiple identities for the same character. Johnny also went by Sam Grant or Joe Freeman in other parts of the world. I was introduced to Sam Grant from the back of a cereal box promoting their giveaway (only six tokens and the p&p!) that included our intrepid hero and his desert car the Scorpion Tracker. Despite alll the names he still had his moustache, sideburns and the dimpled chin of a hero! Many Adventures Johnny Thunder and the Adventurers theme appeared in 1998 to 2000 with a revival in 2003. In this time the Adventurers, heroes and villains, travelled to many lands. The tomb filled deserts of Egypt where an undead Pharaoh lurched. Up the Amazon river with jewel thieves and lost tribes guarded gold. To a mystery island that time forgot with dinosaurs to protect from poachers and finally the Orient on the trail of Marco Polo's treasures. Johnny Thunder also gained his first acting credits in LEGO Studios, tumbling through a booby-trapped tomb and being chased by less friendly dinosaurs. Well Stocked Wardrobe As Johnny Thunder had plenty of adventures in a number of places quite sensibly he had a well stocked wardrobe to go with his trademark hat. While the well known tan shirt served well in the desert, the jungle and tracking dinosaurs there were varients for each of the locales of the Orient he ventured to. Classic, India and Tibet outfits. The tan shirt followed the same outfit archetype of the serial-film heroes Indiana Jones was drawn from and the later variations fitted in to the different locations visited in Orient Expidition. The reissue figure for The LEGO Movie follows the classic look with sharper printing, details on the back and the new colours LEGO brought in after Adventurers were no longer in production. This figure is a really nice inclusion on the part of both the Movie team and TLG, a little 'classic' nod to all of us AFOLs and something for my peer group to notice even if they aren't super LEGO fans. Media Man Just like any other superstar, Johnny Thunder appeared in many media ventures, from a simple 'easter egg' to a feature character in games and of course The LEGO Movie. A number of LEGO video games were released during the Adventurer's heyday and plenty of them featured the characters and theme locations to play through. The LEGOLAND game had Adventure Land attractions and features to unlock as you progressed with cutscenes too. The next game to feature Johnny was LEGO Racers as an opponent to race with a number of circuits based on the Adventurers theme. In LEGO Island 2 Johnny and co help Pepper Roni in his mission to collect Constructopedia pages on Adventure Island. In Racers 2 Johnny was once again an opponent in races and also an NPC interaction for mini-games and returned again as an NPC racer in LEGO Stunt Rally. In LEGO Soccer you had to face off against an Adventurer Expidition team made up of characters from the theme and once defeated Johnny became an optional player for your own soccer team. This was a time in LEGO history where a lot of video games were made so of course Johnny would feature often. He was a major LEGO character at the time after all! Once Adventurers ended and slowly left recent and target market memory and game development moved out-of-house to developers like Travellers Tales, Johnny Thunder and co didn't feature. However with the launch of LEGO Universe he was back as a member of the Venture League. While the character was intended to be the same Johnny Thunder from the Adventurer theme, he underwent many design tweaks, even appearing in a rather different guise during Beta Testing. Fan feedback (of which I was most certainly a part!) managed to return him to a more classic look as seen above, the only minor changes in accessories and 'printing'. In LEGO Universe the player had to complete missions for Johnny in order to receive Venture League approval and open that faction as a choice to join. Master Builder Of course, now we come to his latest major role. A Master Builder in The LEGO Movie! First spotted early on in a call-back to Indiana Jones, he rescues his hat just before slipping through the perimeter walls to escape the forces of Lord Business. He is present for Emmet's, ah, stirring speech and is seen fleeing the golf ball once again reminscent of Indy. Later, as the citizens of Bricksburg fight the micromanagers Johnny is noticeable riding a horse that is riding a bigger horse. Thus we can conclude that I really am a bit weird and look out for a minor character when watching the movie! I'd love to post some clips but there aren't any to be found online that feature Johnny but if you missed him before we all know that no one needs an excuse to watch the film again! So, Johnny Thunder was and is a pretty cool character and while his moment in the sun might be over and Adventurers was continued in a new guise we can surely look forward to his next heir in whatever form he or she takes.
  2. Today,when I searching the Internet about Lego knock-off brands,I accidentally found this article from can read the article at the URL link below. What's your opinion of the article?
  3. A History Hello Eurobricks users! I am here to explain, educate, inform and entertain with an article on this very subforum you are reading. Whether you are a regular to this section or are here because you accidentaly clicked something on that pesky touchscreen (you could have sworn you tapped that other one, right?) I hope you bear with me and take a look at Action and Adventure Themes. Action and Adventure Themes Here is an elegent and finely crafted timeline-ish of Action and Adventure themes. Spanning 1995 right up to the here and now of 2015 (twenty years..Peppy feels old). Subthemes missed for space, else this baby would be massive-er, Click to embiggen.. Just what is an Action and Adventure Theme? Action and Adventure Themes isn't an official LEGO name, while Pirates, Town and Technic are taken from current or past LEGO branding, Licensed is pretty much self explained and Star Wars is a no-brainer. Action and Adventure came about as a place for some of the outliers that needed a home. Story driven themes that had named characters front and centre with a mission or quest to undertake. Of course, plenty of SciFi themes have a storyline and named characters but Action isn't quite SciFi. Those themes just aren't Skiffy enough to be SciFi or normal enough to live in Town. ATV, Goodguy, Badguy. ATV, Goodguy, Badguy... Giant Space Mantis ATV, Goodguy, Badguy... A Badguy made of Toxic Slime. Sure, there are helicopters and motorboats, even ATVs that would happily fit into a City, but that chap there has a super lazer and he is chasing a man made out of radioactive slime. Not enough spaceships or aliens, but too much toxic ooze and lazers. There are a few more features of an Action and Adventure theme. Take a look at some Classic advertising I have re-discovered.* *X Soft, a big ol' nostalgia bomb! You might have noticed a little something. There was some sort of linking line through all of them that can be found even in the latest (including the one marketed at girls) Action and Adventure themes. Collecting things! Collections and Crystals It is a surefire perfect way to get people buying and buying, or more accurately getting children to ask for/demand all the things. A Collection gimmick. Gotta Catch 'em all! To do that you have to buy all the sets, from that nicely priced set a little pocket money will get, right up to the huge cornerstone big-box build that has a princely sum attached. There are Baddies to be captured, keys in all forms, weapons that grant powers, weapons that will grant a bad-guy a power the good-guys have to stop. They come in pretty colours with printed designs and all fit neatly into something on the biggest set. All of them are unique and only one in each of the sets. Unlock the gates, collect the weapons, stop Pharaoh getting his mummy mitts on the kit! If it isn't unique things to collect it is something a little more basic. Crystals! Lots and lots of crystals. Amass more than the enemy or enemy factions, collect them with a cool play feature or fight it out with a game mechanic. They came in all sorts of colours and finishes, shapes and sizes and reasons to collect. Power source or valuable commodity, you have to get more crystals than the other guys. A gemstone. A Chi Crystal While some in-story were more generic and had less of a reason to collect them (or it was outright unexplained) those Action and Adventure theme factions sure loved their crystals. Like I mentioned earlier, these were not just lying around to be picked up. Sometimes you have to play a little game. Game on! Another thing that sets Action and Adventure themes apart from the more mundane of real-life roleplay are games to build and play. A section of the game, complete with a nifty plane! While Time Cruisers was the first Action and Adventure theme to have a board game, the game itself was separate from the sets and came with some LEGO as playing pieces. The Adventurer's Orient Expedition Theme had a trio of linkable game-boards and playing cards included in the three larger sets. Through a combination of item collection and challenges you earned points to win the game. Game Cards featuring heroic characters After quiet a hiatus filled with Video Games and an increasing internet mini-game presence a new Action Theme arrived with a new and exciting game. Ninjago! Spinjitzu Warrior Combining the age-old game of battling tops (gasing pangkah - look it up!) and playing cards, with the popular characters of colourful Ninjas, Ninjago has been going strong for four years. While there has been a spinner-less gap of late, it is set to make a return to a battle game later this year. There isn't much more to be said about this subject, something I am sure other members could tell me more about! Card Games On Motorcycles! With the success of the Ninjago theme there was another attempt to combine a toy and card battle game with Legend of Chima. Flywheel powered Speedorz, launched along by the rip-cord, can navigate obstacles to win Chi crystals. After a slightly unfortunate redesign of the 'fairing' no further speedorz are coming along and Chima is ending, but not every theme can last as long as some. Videogames As well as the good old chunks of plastic pitted against each other in competition, Action and Adventure Themes have a number of computer games to go alongside the storys told in comics and internet material. There have been many LEGO Multimedia games and characters from Action and Adventure themes have featured in them in varying roles. However Rock Raiders was the first Action and Adventure Theme to have a game to itself. *I miss the old LEGO Media bit, that soundbite! On Playstation and PC, you collected the energy crystals to help the heroes escape the mystery planet and return home. Alpha Team was next to get the game treatment, with a PC and Gamboy Colour release. (Aaand now I have to go and sit in a corner and feel old, have a video.) *I miss the old LEGO Media bit, that soundbite! **and that is why Cam and Dash are my LEGO OTP More recently Ninjago has been bringing the goods with the Battles strategy game, Nindroids and upcoming sequel Shadow of Ronin. The RPGs supplied to us by Travellers Tales, purveyors of fine LEGO gaming experiences since 2005. So Now you Know and Knowing is Half the Battle. I hope this article has informed and entertained. Action and Adventure themes have always been my favourite. Fun, strange, sometimes packed with radical new ideas. Certainly loaded with colourful characters and colourful parts. Action and Adventure themes cane burst into life and fizzle out quickly or have a staying power no one expected but always pack in plenty for us to remember. Who knows what will be coming up? Will we dive down to the seabed again or dig out some crystals? Is there a daring Explorer ready to venture out into the unknown? Or some new and unexpected direction to give us even better prints, parts and colours to enjoy? Whatever it is, I hope we all get to come along for the ride!
  4. http://www.theguardi...ting-toys-shell A child expert made this article about how LEGO is harming children in more ways than just the current topic of Shell.
  5. TheLegoChronicler

    Interesting Article on Lego Space Factions

    Came across this article about the old Lego themes. Found it interesting as it appears to be written by a literature student who is not an AFOL. He is starting an analysis of the Lego space factions from a story telling perspective. I wanted to share as I though some other AFOLs out there might be interested, especially those of us who are a bit older and can remember the days as far back as Blacktron I and Futuron when the factions got kicked off. Link is below: