LEGO V.I.P. Gala
LEGO celebrates 50 years of the LEGO System of Play. The name alone brings many childhood memories of fun. And fun is what it was all about at the V.I.P. Gala on February 19th at Toy Fair. It all started with the special invitation minifigures sent out in January of either Anakin Skywalker or Luminara Unduli inviting the recipients to the LEGO showroom in New York.

The party kicked off at the end of a long day and reporters and photographers alike were invited to tour the showroom, see and even play with some of the new Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith sets that are due out in stores starting in April. Attendees were encouraged to photograph all the new sets, even getting a chance to play with them and try out to new light-up feature on some of the minifgures. A sample of the upcoming LEGO STAR WARS video game from Eidos was hooked up, which features characters and scenes from the entire Prequel Trilogy. As an added bonus, the lead designer of the entire LEGO Star Wars line attended the party, to answer questions and the discuss what goes into the creation of the company's first licensed product line since 1998.

2005 Line
There are 11 new items coming this year, two of which were released earlier this month as part of a sneak preview assortment. You can check out the new line in the LEGO Product Catalog gallery, which was given out on CD during check-in.

The 2005 line-up includes:

  • #7250 Clone Scout Walker
  • #7251 Darth Vader Transformation
  • #7252 Droid Tri-Fighter
  • #7255 General Grievous Chase
  • #7256 Jedi Starfighter and Vulture Droid
  • #7257 Ultimate Lightsaber Duel
  • #7258 Wookiee Attack
  • #7259 ARC-170 Clone Fighter
  • #7260 Wookiee Catamaran
  • #7261 Clone Turbo Tank
  • #7263 TIE Fighter

  • Initially, the Clone Turbo Tank was not on display, because the team at LEGO was desparately behind closed doors putting it together! This set was well worth the wait, featuring some very cool features and several minifigures.

    As you can see, the majority of the 2005 line focuses on Revenge of the Sith, and rightly so. However, several vehicles from the Classic Trilogy will be released as well. We've already seen a new version of the TIE Fighter, and other sets will feature the Toys R Us exclusive Imperial Shuttle (#7264 Imperial Inspection) and perhaps the largest set of all...Death Star II!

    Over 2 feet in diameter, this set will also include a miniature Imperial Star Destroyer, display base, and laser cannon. Look for this to be released in the fall.

    Special guest: the lead designer for the entire Star Wars line appeared to talk about the upcoming sets, show off some models for the minifigures, and talk about what the future may hold for LEGO (Sandcrawler, anyone...?)

    One of the many announcemnets at the party was that there will be a Star Wars Weekend held at LEGOLAND, California on April , the week following Celebration III. Many of the displays will be brought over for this event, allowing fans another chance to participate in the fun.

    Celebration III Contest
    There will be a special Celebration III contest for media. LEGO is looking for teams to compete for a chance to prove who has the best LEGO builders! Teams of 10 members will compete in a race against the clock and each other in building the Ultimate Star Destroyer. Who can build it the fastest? With over 3,000 pieces, this could prove to be quite a challenge!

    All team members will recieve a t-shirt with either a Jedi or Sith design. All teams will compete against each other until there is a single Jedi team and a single Sith team. Then, a true "Jedi Vs. Sith" battle will commence, with the winning team not only bringing balance to the Force, but taking home some cool exclusive prizes! Each member of the winning team will win a Darth Vader medallion, limited to 10 in the world! Plus, the team will win a special one-of-a-kind Darth Vader statue, although splitting it up among team members will be up to them. Each team will receive a free Star Destroyer set to practice on before the show, in order to perfect their skills. Stay tuned for more news on this.

    LEGO Star Wars - The Video Game
    The Eidos LEGO Star Wars video game was set up for guests to play, featuring characters from The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. A Consumer Press Kit was available, featuring screencaps, character designs, and other promotional images for the game.

    Check out two small movie clips from the game here.

    LEGO Star Wars - The Movie
    Following the anticipated success of the video game, Cartoon Network will show an exclusive animated movie starring the LEGO Star Wars characters!

    The Showroom Floor
    The next day, we headed over to the main showroom floor and discovered the LEGO booth, which was invitation only. While we didn't take the tour, we were able to shoot a few photos of the display. In another location, we learned of the Writing Systems and a special Toy Fair contest to guess the number of LEGO bricks used in the construction of a life-sized R2-D2. Winners were chosed each day of the show and prizes were the entire 2005 LEGO Star Wars line! Check out the Showroom Floor gallery for more photos.

    Special Gala Gift
    As a special gift for attendees, LEGO created a limited edition (only 75 produced) unique slipcase housing the Darth Vader Transformation set, which can be seen in our Photo Archives here. The set is the same as the standard release, which will be out on April 2nd.

    For more images of the LEGO display and V.I.P. Gala, click here and here.