QUIRKY WORLD ... Lego toys with building blocks of reality

Lego is giving children a chance to put their own blocks on the screen with a product that copies their creations into phone and tablet games-

QUIRKY WORLD ... Lego toys with building blocks of reality

The Lego Fusion line will launch in August in the US. Each $35 (€25) box will contain about 200 bricks and a special plate to build on.

Creations made on the plate can be photographed with Apple or Android phones or tablets and imported into free, downloadable games.

There are several Lego-themed games already, but this is the first time it has blended real and virtual. Many toy companies are going down that route, trying to capture some of the attention — and money — being diverted from physical products to iPhone and Android games.

In Lego Fusion Town Master, children build house facades on the plates and import them into a game that simulates a small town, inhabited by Lego figures.

In Battle Towers, they build sections of a medieval-style tower and defend it against flying monsters.

In Create and Race, they build cars and race them on a virtual track. Different designs yield cars that differ in speed, durability and handling.

FLUFFY FLAMINGOS

ENGLAND: Record numbers of chicks are being reared at Europe’s largest greater flamingo flock.

A total of 35 fluffy chicks are being raised at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire. The wetland centre’s flock is the largest in Europe with 245 birds, and the number of newborns has helped smash the record of 25 set in 2010.

Mark Roberts, aviculture manager, said: “It is really quite incredible as the wet weather in May certainly made rearing challenging for them.”

Four of the world’s six flamingo species are classed as ‘vulnerable’ or ‘near threatened’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

ELECTRIC HARLEY

USA: Harley-Davidson is to unveil its first electric motorcycle — a sleek, futuristic bike that hums like a jet airplane taking off.

Harley plans to show handmade demonstration models at an invitation-only event in New York on Monday. The company will then take several dozen riders on a 30-city tour to test-drive the bikes and provide feedback. It will use the information it gathers to refine the bike, which might not hit the market for several years.

MEMORY LANE

ENGLAND: Fans have been given their first glimpse of the new Thunderbird 1 as the classic children’s show is revived — and it looks almost exactly as it did nearly five decades ago.

The much-loved series is due to make a comeback as International Rescue flies to the aid of a new generation next year.

Thunderbirds Are Go! is being screened by ITV and features a number of well-known names who will portray the characters who were first seen when the series was originally launched by the late Gerry Anderson in 1965.

Rosamund Pike will voice Lady Penelope, while Kayvan Novak from Channel 4’s Facejacker plays inventor Brains and Thomas Brodie-Sangster — teenage clairvoyant Jojen Reed from Game Of Thrones — will be John Tracy.

USA: A US man says police violated his right to free speech when they cited him for holding a sign warning motorists to turn if they wanted to avoid a police drink-driving checkpoint.

Douglas Odolecki, of Ohio, held a sign in Parma that said: “Check point ahead! Turn now!”

Parma police say city lawyers believe the part of the sign telling motorists to turn is illegal.

It is not the first time Mr Odolecki has used the sign. Police arrested him in 2012 for having a knife in his pocket while holding it and he did community service after admitting disorderly conduct.

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