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 February 23, 2004

Toy Fair Pt. 6

As much as I liked some of the pieces in the first batch of NHL sets, I think they would have been a lot more successful if they'd gone with these sets to begin with. Expanding on what the Soccer and Basketball series did before, the new NHL sets feature playable games that actually incorporate minifigs. The minifigs are mounted to large discs that have hockey blades sticking out of one side. Spinning the attached stick will cause the disc to rotate, minifig and all. Unlike with standard hockey games of this sort, there are no guide tracks to keep the team players from roaming all over the board, so expect games to be a little more freeform than the Soccer and Basketball games.

The two basic sets are the NHL Championship Challenge (4 on 4) and the NHL Street Hockey (1 on 1). The Street Hockey set is the first confirmed sighting of a 4x4 "macaroni" brick. In addition to these sets, the standard array of extras (clocks, watches, and pens) were on display.

Okay, so the big one isn't minifig-scale, but this seemed like the most appropriate place to include it. The Ferrari racing team has signed a 3-year deal with The LEGO Company for the production of sets based on the Ferrari F1 design. The initial offerings include a 1:10 scale TECHNIC car, a 1:24 scale pull-back racer, and a pit stop with crew and a car that appears to be about 1:30 scale.

An odd little thing that I noticed both with the 1:24 scale car and the pit stop car was this prototype wedge piece. The prototype piece appears to identical to this piece, but with notches in the bottom to fit around studs when it's placed on top of other bricks or plates. Apparently this has never posed a problem before, but both of the minifig-scale cars have studs peeking out from the notches in the prototype pieces.

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Toy Fair 2004 (Licensed Minifig Themes)

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