Things we're looking forward to in 2017

Lego/DC Super Hero Girls
Lego/DC Super Hero Girls 

2016 has been a year of so many ups and downs, and for many the downs have outweighed the ups. We wanted to recap some of the great things we covered this year, that will actually be happening next year, to ensure you all have things to look forward to.

1. DC Super Hero Girls Lego sets

They are fierce and they are fully-equipped to be superhero role models for our kids. A range of DC Super Hero Girls Lego sets will hit shelves as early as January and while it dashed many a hope for that perfect Christmas present, those with kids born in the first quarter of the year will be rejoicing that there will still be something to buy after the Christmas deluge.

Inspiring kids aged 7 to 10 years to be "smart, courageous and courteous" the line features 11 new female DC characters: Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Supergirl, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Bumblebee, Flash, Eclipso, Lena Luther, Lashina, and Mad Harriet.

It's about time we saw female superhero sets and these look spectacular; these will fly off the shelves in next to no time so make sure you keep an eye out in January.

2. Anne of Green Gables series remake

Anne of Green Gables
Photo: Anne of Green Gables/YouTube

Our hearts will forever belong to Anne of Green Gables, so brilliantly portrayed by Megan Follows. That we are still crying over the death of the beloved actor who played Gil - Jonathan Crombie - is a testament to the story. 

The news that the famous story by Lucy Maud Montgomery will be remade into an eight part series, was met with joy and a little trepidation by old fans, with writer Moira Walley-Beckett saying the stakes are certainly high.

"Anne's issues are contemporary issues: feminism, prejudice, bullying and a desire to belong... her emotional journey is tumultuous. I'm thrilled to delve deeply into this resonant story, push the boundaries and give it new life."

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Filming began in September, with the series slated for public viewing on Netflix next year, and opening with a two-hour premiere directed by Whale Rider director, Niki Caro. expect the new series to remain faithful to the classic story, as well as charting a little new territory as well.

3. Legoland Japan opening in April

LegoLand Japan
Photo: Lego/Legoland

Japan is already a much-loved family destination and it's about to get even better with Legoland due to open on April 1.

The new Legoland is situated in Nagoya (centre of Honshu) and is on the well-worn tourist route, handy to Kyoto (1 hour 20 minutes on Shinkansen) and only 2 hours 40 minutes on a high speed Shinkansen from Tokyo. There will be theme park rides, miniature Lego buildings and cities, a giant reproduction of Nagoya Castle made from 200,000 Lego toy bricks and many outdoor displays.

We can't be there for the grand opening, but maybe you can. Please do share your pictures with us.

4. Season two of Stranger Things

Stranger Things - season two
Photo: Stranger Things/Netflix
 
It was the series that gripped the world, with its intriguing, macabre and frightening mystery set amid a retro 80s backdrop of everything that was dear to us back then. From dial phones and walkie talkies to Dungeons and Dragons, this show is an 80s kid's dream and even those who didn't grow up then were sucked into a vortex of fascination.

The Duffer Brothers' creation is currently in filming for season two and the obsession is now necessarily dormant as we await the new delights to be be served up on Netflix. In October, co-creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, announced the names of two young actors who will be joining the cast.  Aussie Dacre Montgomery, 21, will play Billy, while Sadie Sink, 14, has landed the role of Max.

We're just a bit excited, but keeping it under control.

5. A zoo for Western Sydney

Western Sydney Zoo
Photo: Department of Planning and Environment 

Pending a final decision by the Planning Assessment Commission, Sydney is on the verge of having its very own zoo. The proposal has been recommended for approvalby the Department of Planning and Environment after many months of consultation.

While it's not quite in the bag, the fact that at this late stage approval is recommended is a very good sign and before we know it, we could be seeing creatures great and small in an ecologically sound environment. It will be a boon for those residing in Western Sydney and beyond, with many new jobs created for its planned late-2017 opening.

Fingers crossed!