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At a LEGO store I saw a box advertising the "LEGO Master Builder Academy". It came with a book and a code for online registration, and mentioned a subscription fee.

What is this "Academy"? What do I get with the set? How much does it cost?

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Seems to be US only –  JP Hellemons Oct 30 '12 at 14:29
    
They'll be bringing the line over to Germany soon. I recently participated in translating the instructions for three kits, and other accompanying materials, from English into German. –  RegDwight Dec 24 '13 at 1:43
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up vote 20 down vote accepted

Basically, it's a program in which LEGO Master Builders share and impart their LEGO building knowledge to members. If you remember LEGO BrickMaster, MBA is sort of a successor to that.

There's a Guide section in the LEGO MBA site that answers your questions. Specifically, from What is LEGO MBA?:

What is this "Academy"?

LEGO Master Builder Academy is an in-home and online experience in which real LEGO Master Builders share the tips and techniques of basic through advanced building, creativity and design with kids (ages 8 or older) who want to become better builders.

What do I get with the set?

The first annual subscription includes LEGO MBA kits 2-6, with one kit delivered every 2 months, plus unlimited access to the members-only LEGOmba.com website! Each LEGO MBA kit includes an 84-page Designer Handbook teaching LEGO Master Builder techniques, plus articles, building instructions full of Master Builder tips, LEGO bricks to create 3 new models (one at a time), and exclusive minifigures or accessories.

How much does it cost?

The subscription, which includes kits 2-6, is $69.99 and available for purchase online or by phone.

This "about" page and the rest of the site should answer some other questions you might have.

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It's what replaced the old "BrickMaster" program where Lego company would send a comic book and a new small Lego set every month.

There are pro's and con's the the new program but it's about the same except the first set is a much bigger "starter" set and the building books are more detailed (and I think the comic part is gone but I may have just missed it . . . I've just been getting them and putting them in the closet and not doing much with them).

  • PRO: The new books do a better job of explaining how to build the model and have details about why.
  • PRO: The books are real books and not pamphlets.
  • PRO: Each set builds off the prior sets

  • CON: It's more expensive

  • CON: It's all on the same "space" theme for now whereas the old program you would get a set from the different series like City, Star Wars, Creator, etc.
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This answer is incorrect; only the first theme is a space theme. It also doesn't provide any information about the costs or what the online aspect is. –  user23 Oct 25 '11 at 20:03
    
@JoeWreschnig The first set is the only set that is out. And all of them in the set are the space theme whereas the old brickmaster program every other month you got a completely different series. –  tooshel Oct 25 '11 at 20:07
    
The second set, which is out, is microbuild themed with an airport and race track - not space. (It does include a space shuttle, but those aren't "space lego" usually.) The next sets are robot, flight, creature, and car. –  user23 Oct 25 '11 at 20:13
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