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About CorneliusMurdock

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    Planning for man date 2018
  • Birthday 12/01/82

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    Arthurian Legend
    Lord of the Rings
    Any Isaac Asimov work
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  1. Do you wanna carve a snow gnome? Even though I've been busy lately, the Christmas Raffle is TRADITION! Thanks, CopMike for making it possible again this year.
  2. You're just too much man for me. Can you blame me for being afraid?
  3. I'm not really that tech savvy. Will this work with an IPad? And do I need the dongle thingy since the iPad can already communicate with it over Bluetooth?
  4. I don't have any modulars to compare it to, sorry. I know it's a half baseplate deeper, at least. One thing to remember is that there's both exterior and interior walls. That's where a fair amount of the part count goes to instead of height. The sag is barely noticeable. There's a lot of brick above the lower hinges. The opening feature far outweighs that minor thing. As with anything made of LEGO, you have to be very careful moving it. I've moved it a few times in various build stages in order to photograph it for the review and I don't think it's flimsy or anything. For best results, make sure the roof is on properly and the hinged sides are snapped closed. If you can slide it onto something flat that baseplates can fit on, it might be easier.
  5. Opening, no. Closing it has to be done carefully, though. As long as the lamppost used as a support clears the tiles on the edge of the baseplate, it's fine. Having the roof on helps with a lot of the sagging. I've never broken it while closing it and I've let my kids play with it.
  6. Thank you for designing such a great set! You packed such great details into it. It's an interesting build that makes a set begging to be explored. Merry Christmas!
  7. The issue is much less noticeable with the roof on but even with it off, you just have to make sure it clears the tiles on the edge of the baseplate when closing it. Not that hard. I think hinging the baseplate would actually be less stable in the long run. It's already precarious to pick up and move around, though again the roof helps a bit with that.
  8. Review posted!
  9. Set Info Name: Ghostbusters Firehouse Headquarters Number: 75827 Release: January 2016 Figures: 9 (Plus Slimer and two small ghosts) Pieces: 4634 Price: US $349.99 I EUR €349,99 When I was seven years old I received the Kenner Firehouse as a Christmas present. I loved that thing. I spent many, many hours laying on the floor of my room punching the second-hand Ecto 1 through the playset's front doors as my Ghostbusters raced off to capture another troublesome spook. Or attaching a figure's feet to the platform on the fire pole so they could twirl down to get the equipment needed to fight off the army of ghosts trying to get into headquarters. Sadly those days would come to an end when my little sister pushed one of my cousins into the firehouse, leaving my poor ghostbusters homeless. To make matters worse she flushed the Ecto-plasm down the toilet. (And I'm definitely still not bitter about it today… ) By that time, the Ninja Turtles had arrived to swing by with their party wagon and band together to fight the insidious ghost ninjas that had overrun my room. When I heard about this set, it was if seven-year-old me had just had an unanswered wish come true. Can this set possibly live up to that wildly enthusiastic burst of childhood nostalgia? Let's find out! Box The box is huge. No really. Huge. This is the first set of this price point I've ever owned and it certainly looks worth the money based on box size. If you're walking out of the Lego Store with this beast, the enormity of it should ease the wallet pain somewhat. Mine was beat up somewhat on the express trip from Billund to my house but that's what happens when you strap a rocket to a box, I guess. This is an appropriate time to thank TLG for sending me this set for review and for my fellow staff for letting me do this one. On the front it looks like mass hysteria is breaking out. Cats and dogs living together! Pete and Egon seem to have Slimer under control but priorities, guys. Winston looks to be falling to his death and Ray is being chased by the Librarian ghost. Get her, Ray! Louis and Dana are just hanging out on the roof maybe waiting for Gozer. The top and the back of the box show mostly interior scenes and this is where a lot of the play value is. Three floors of Ghostbuster fun. Oh, Slimer. Manual The manual comes in a plastic bag with the sticker sheets. There's no cardboard in the bag to keep it from getting mashed, though and nothing to keep the stickers from sliding around. Mine was only slightly dog-eared on one corner. For as much as this set costs, making sure the manual stayed nice in the box would have been an excellent thing for TLG to do. And how much does one piece of cardboard cost anyway? The manual itself looks pretty spiffy. The front box art is repeated here with cool borders on both sides. The cover and page thickness is the same as a normal manual rather than the thicker kind that come in Ideas or architecture sets. With as thick as this is, a spiral binding would have been nice but I don't think they've done that kind of thing recently. It's bigger than the Ecto 1 manual by this much. This shows us what we're in for. 14 sets of bags. 14. It also gives us a preview of when minifigs will show up. They included a couple of pages with movie stills and information. It would be cooler if it wasn't just a summary of the first movie. I've seen the movie, TLG. This set isn't an impulse purchase. There's also a page explaining that this is where the Ghostbusters live. No real interesting information either but the pictures look nice. In between is a full page devoted to showing us the minifig line up. The instructions themselves are nicely done. Part call-outs and highlighting new builds for this step in yellow make it super easy to follow along. No ads for future sets… But we do get this guy! Win or I'll hit you with a wrench. Minifigures Let's get right to it. Here's the front of our heroes. Pete's got slime all down his front and he's also got new head printing. Both he and Winston have the new hair which looks awesome and so much more accurate to their characters. I'll show more of the arm printing in just a bit. Ray and Egon are pretty much the same from the front except for the arm printing. Pete's slime continues onto his back and his alternate expression. His face is so Murray. Their backs are actually different printing than before just showing straps. The arm printing is excellent and, in my opinion, makes these figures Ghostbusters. Sadly lacking in the Ideas set, TLG makes up for it here. Arm patch on one side and a pocket on the other with elbow pads on both arms. Printing is crisp and just right. Winston's hair is perfect now. The texture of it reminds me of the Winston action figure I had as a kid. I'm glad that they made this new piece. While originally made for Finn in Star Wars, this will get plenty of use across most licensed lines. And the back. Here you can see the difference in back printing, too. I think the new one looks more accurate. I'm not sure what that was supposed to be on the Ideas one even though it looks cool. And a comparison of Pete's hair. It's almost like Bill Murray modeled for the new piece. If you want to MOC some of his other great movies, you've got an accurate representation of his hair now. I do wish we had a "regular" Pete torso as well but I can see why TLG making the Dimensions pack version unique would be beneficial for them. Not so much for us, though. The other human characters are all brand new. And super accurate. Even the expressions on their faces remind me of the actors. Louis comes with an extra head, giving him three(!) expressions. His clothing is excellent and while better for his keymaster and being chased scenes, isn't that different from his normal clothes. Janine's design is simple but perfectly done. Despite looking boyish, I don't think her hair could be more accurate, mostly just an unfortunate style in real life kind of thing. Particularly interesting are Dana's legs (insert Bill Murray ad lib here). They're the new dual molded ones but they also printed the slit in the skirt. I almost didn't notice at first, that's how seamless it looks. I also think it looks much better than a cloth skirt would have. Cloth always looks poofy and never lays right. This looks much more toga-like, which is how it looks in the movie. Unfortunately, we don't get her in normal clothes or non-gatekeeper make-up. So we're on our own to find her better garb for earlier scenes. They all have back printing and alternate expressions. Janine's is scared while the others have the possessed red eyes. Slimer! A character that proved so popular that he kind if took over the show. Originally called "Onionhead" in the script, Dan Akroyd apperently thought of him as the ghost of John Belushi, his Blues Brothers costar and friend who had passed away not long before Ghostbusters was made. Given the name "Slimer" in the cartoon, he becomes like a pet and comic foil for Pete. His face here is more accurate to the cartoon than the movies but I like that, especially in a kid's toy. His arms come attached but do move. And they can hold the food the little spud is always trying to steal. His color is spot-on and he can attach to studs pretty easily. Obviously clear pieces look best for this so he can hover. The blue and pink ghosts are nice generic spooks. I think they're the same mold as the Ninjago ghosts and they fit a clear minifig head inside. The Librarian ghost represents the first ghost the team encounters. One side of the head is calm and she comes with two hair pieces, one for the calm face and one for the scary side. If they aren't new in gray and white respectively, they're pretty rare. And useful for aged diversity. The cab driver represents an animatronic puppet that's seen for a minute or so in the first movie. You have to build your own cab for him. Both figs feature back printing. The librarians torso looks good for reuse as a normal librarian. Parts The sticker sheets… So yes, not everything is printed. But as far as stickers go, these are excellent. Small movie details abound. None are hard to apply and they all look excellent when placed. I love the shiny ones for the toaster and mirror and while the parts would be even better chromed, I understand the costs of that don't make it feasible. I'd much prefer this than the much less shiny metallic colors used nowadays. A ton of pieces. I took pictures of all the individual sets of bags and the piles of parts within. If you like that kind of thing, check out the Flickr album. There were two boxes of bags inside that strangely had no markings on them. The loose bags are the last steps and first steps are split into the boxes. The boxes open by punching a tab with your finger. Interesting Pieces! I took a lot of part pictures but I'll only post a few of the more interesting ones here. The big panel here has indentations that made it perfect for part of the main door. It's also a new piece. The star tiles are fun and I can see Captain America MOCs making great use of them. Later on we can see these new printed news tile. And most interesting is the "Brick" magazine tile with the Ghostbusters on it. A closer look here. Both are new and welcome. A few pearl gold round tiles with knobs are included in the set and are used in lamps and in one instance, a shower head. It looks like they've also updated the tool set. I don't know if this is new this year but it's the first set I've gotten. It has much more variety than the old one and I particularly enjoy the socket wrench. The metallic dish is used as the alarm bell to great effect. The cereal box makes its appearance for only the second time according to Bricklink. A little oversized but fun. The pop (soda or cola) can tops are still very rare as well and are used to make plain red cans representing Coke which got product placement in the first movie. It's really too bad that TLG would need to get separate rights to print the actual cans. The brown door is new to this set and two are included. Neither of which are stickered, thankfully. Great for interior doors. Build The Firehouse from Ghostbusters is probably one of the most iconic buildings in modern cinema. The exterior was an actual retired firehouse in New York, while the interiors were filmed at a firehouse in Los Angeles. So two entirely different buildings. The set endeavors to insert the interior into the exterior in an organic way and I think it succeeds pretty well. Bags 1 We start with the base and some lockers for the proton packs. Another excellent color for interior doors and I think they're new coloring combination than we've seen before. But the doors are stickered with the Ghostbusters' names and are the hardest ones to apply mainly because you want them to look consistent across the three doors. Yes, only three. Winston gets left out. I suppose he just wears his proton pack all the time. Speaking of Winston, he comes in this bag, resplendent with his pack, a trap with new printed tile, and a radio. I like the way they space out the minifigs. I know they do it to make them harder to steal but it makes each set of bags more interesting when you wonder what might be next. Bags 2 A lot of light bley in this bag. We're mostly building the walls which are broken up with profile brick bricks. We also build the containment unit (tucked away under the stairs since a basement would require digging through your table) and the back wall that is a wood paneling. Louis comes in this bag. Bags 3 Here we finish up the outside of the first floor. The doors are an interesting build and accurately include a smaller door in one of them. However, they are designed to open in and I think the real ones open out. We'll talk more about this later. The interior walls are finished as well in this step. This is one of three bags along with 6 and 10 that don't come with a minifig. Given the sheer number of bags, the fact that some are skipped isn't surprising. Bags 4 Now we furnish the inside. There's a place with tools to work on Ecto 1, and a spare license plate for some reason. We get some clutter with what I assume are boxes. Janine's desk has some great details on it like the phone, a button for the alarm, and nicely designed lamp, and a computer on which she's playing a game (looks like "Breakout"). The alarm itself has gone on to the wall. Pete's desk is behind a railing. While simplified, that's how it is in the movies. We get some structure to support the upper floors. The hanging lamps are a great touch that will be continued on subsequent floors. Janine comes in this bag presumably to sit at her desk. Outside, we make the "no ghost" sign. While nicely designed, I wish it were bigger. I think 3x3 studs would be the correct size but I don't think there are parts available to do that without putting stickers across multiple tiles. 4x4 would have the same problem and might be a bit out of scale. Bags 5 We start the main part of the second floor. We start our vast usage of dark red. I like dark red. We also start the brickwork around the windows that ends up being the most repetitive part of the build. It's worth that, though, since it ends up looking so nice. Inside the kitchen and bedrooms get started. I love the cabinets in these colors and the tiles under the table are sweet. the sink actually doesn't attach to anything, it just sits in the space provided. It's still pretty secure and you'd have to turn the whole thing uspide down to even begin to dislodge it (a prospect that becomes impossible when the set is finished). Ray comes in this step. The Ghostbusters don't come with their proton packs now since they're all in their lockers downstairs. Bags 6 Furniture is added in this step along with the now familiar box design as clutter. Food goes on shelves and in the nicely designed fridge. The beds are nice for display but a bit small for practical purposes. My favorite thing is the arcade machine. it's really well built and features the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. His sticker actually goes on a solid white 1x2x2 glass pane. This is the first appearance of the part and it will be used again later in this set so we get more without stickers. The outside continues to be built up. Bags 7 This bag finishes up the walls and gives us more support structure for the next floor. The librarian ghost comes here (to haunt the bedroom? I think they're confusing her with a different female ghost from a later montage) with a book. The sticker gives the title "Magical Paths to Fortune and Power" which is the same book Pete has ordered from Ray's bookstore in the second film. The cover replaces the triangle art with a Lego brick because... they could. The outside looks nice at this point. The upper floors will be mostly more of the same look with minor differences to make up for the hinging parts and cool little details. Bags 8 Bag 8 is a second floor section that has the bathroom. They want us to believe that Slimer caused the mess here since he's included in the bag but anyone who's lived in a dorm with other guys knows that this probably isn't the case. Work on your aim, guys. There's a lot of detail here from the neat way the toilet comes together to cool shower design. Notice the new(er) "arch" piece above the toilet. I love the design of it. This is only the third set it's come in and the second in tan. I want more of them. We get what I assume to be an air conditioner in the bathroom window. I thought it might represent a vent fan, but there's one in the opposite window as well. Bags 9 We skip the final section of the second floor and go right to the main part of the third floor. More tile detail on the floor and we get a clue of where the pool table will go since we get the cues already. The one corner is technically part of the dark room so I assume the shelves have photo-developing supplies. Pete come in this bag. I bet he can't wait until the table arrives. The outside is business as usual. Bags 10 The pool table got here and as a bonus we got a dart board and a lab. The lab is probably more useful but darts are more fun. The lab table is really cool since the table legs actually fit in the jumper tiles underneath. Part geometry that would hurt my head went into that and the end result is that it's at a cool angle but still connected. It also has one of the "Brick" faux Time magazine tiles. The rest of the lab has all the cool stuff we see in the films. Mostly done out here. Bags 11 Support structure is added. We get Dana in this bag perhaps as an homage to her being checked out in the lab earlier in the film. Really I would have switched her with Louis since he's more memorable here. Some excellent outside detail as we reach towards the roof. I really like how the big window finishes up and the corner thingies look great. Bags 12 Now we get the dark room for the third floor. And it's on fire. Bad Vigo! Notice the white window glass. We get five panes, two above the door and three in the window. This is a great detail. They could have ignored the fact of how film is developed and just put in clear windows but they went that extra mile and gave us rare parts at the same time. Egon comes in this bag so he and Ray can discuss what to order for dinner as they investigate the pictures of Vigo. We never find out what type of pizza they would have gotten. I hope they fed them at the mental institution... See, white windows! Bags 13 As we assemble all of the sections, you might notice there was a section of the second floor we missed. That's what we get here since they connect it with the third floor section above. It makes sense to do this since it's a stairwell. When I MOC buildings, I like putting in an actual way the minifigs would get from floor to floor so I enjoy them putting it in here even though there's not really a scene about these stairs in the movies. The cab driver comes in this bag. I guess he likes walking up and down stairs? Zombies like cardio exercise, right? One thing I wasn't expecting was the incredible fire escape. It's neatly done. It's too bad they made the bottom part in gray. And it doesn't look like it's currently available in black. Maybe someday I can upgrade that. Bags 14 The roof is the main thing in this one and it's very plain. All it really has is a barred skylight?/vent? thing that serves as a closure thing for the hinged walls. This part is very important since the second and third floor sections have no hinges and thus fall off a lot without this top hinge securing them down. This is so you can lift off the floors easily which I love as a feature. We also get a stoplight that has a really cool design and a trash can for the sidewalk. Little pink and blue ghosties are in this step with clear rods to make them look like they are flying. The instructions want you to remove 1x1 tiles around the windows to insert the clear rods but I just spent hours putting those stinking things on so screw that. Finished It's beautiful. Really beautiful. From top to bottom awesomeness. And that's just the outside. It looks really screen accurate. The stoplight is a nice touch, although for displaying this, it'll probably be better to remove it to save space. The box says dodging the ooze on the sidewalk is a play feature. The back doesn't look great. But if you're going to cut corners, the back is the way to go. Inside, it's glorious! Look, there's a fire pole. I wonder if it works... Both the pole and the handle are new parts. inside the handle tube are little bumps that cause the rider to twirl around the pole. It works great. I don't know what else those particular parts could be used for but I'm sure some of you out there will find a use in MOCs. I have confidence in you. And the all important question: Does Ecto 1 fit inside? Thump! Maybe if we move those boxes... Bonk! Not quite yet... Stop, Ray! Maybe he backed it up a bit far. At this point, it's inside the building but the doors won't close. This is because the doors open in and not out. I'd have to watch the movies for a fourth time this week but I think the doors are supposed to open out. The way the doors are built it makes a lot of sense to flip that around but it does sacrifice the "punch through the doors" play feature. You can close the doors first and then put Ecto 1 in this space if you just want to store it that way. For display purposes, I think having Ecto 1 halfway in looks the nicest anyway (like my title picture). Conclusion I love this set. It's everything a 7 year-old me would want and more. It kicks the Kenner playset's butt. So many more features and details. And it won't stain the carpet with ecto-plasm. Design & Build: 10 - Accurate with some cool building techniques that I'm sure will be helpful in the future. Parts: 10 - While there is a sea of dark red and light bley (not bad things), There plenty of other rare and useful parts. Though I doubt anyone will by this as a parts pack, it has plenty of good stuff in it. Minifigures: 10 - With the arm printing, the main team are great. Add in the new hair for half of them and they're pretty much perfect. Boots would be the only thing lacking. (And I'm sure we'll all start whining for those next, right?) The other characters are all screen accurate with great prints and parts. I can really even fault their choices of other characters. Maybe EPA Peck instead of the cabbie would have been better but instead we get another ghost to bust and not a man in a suit that we could probably all make purist anyway. Play or Display: 10 - Both and very much so. It makes a great display piece if you have the room but with the neat interior and fire pole, there's lots of play value there. My kids (ages 7 and 4) have spent a few hours acting out the two Ghostbusters cartoons that came as a a bonus feature with the DVD set I own. And that's all they know about that universe. Overall: 40/40 - Normally, I'd be hesitant to give this a perfect score but it's so excellently designed all around and appeals to so much of my nostalgia that I can't give it anything lower. Worst part of the set is the steep price but I think it's worth the price tag. Check out all my pictures in my Flickr album. In the commentary, Harold Ramis said that Bill Murray almost didn't clear the railing jump. And added that he probably would have died if he hadn't. Let's be thankful that things worked out the way they did. "This magnificent feast represents the last of the petty cash." (Set sadly does not include the take-out boxes.) "You are so kind to take care of that man. You know, you're a real humanitarian." "I don't think he's human." No ordinary household toaster! Winston is the true hero. Seriously.
  10. Sentimentality warning! The most important thing about a Christmas tree is the family sorrounding it.
  11. And me!
  12. I think Hinck exaggerates my involvement. We talk about other things but it's hard to change the subject when he's a bit obsessed. Mostly my part of the conversation boils down to "there, there. It'll all be over soon". My role was more sanity keeping than scum catching.
  13. New price. 175 shipped within continental U.S.
  14. Found this recently at a yard sale and while it's a nice set, I think I'd like to try selling it. (Though my 4 year old son would rather I didn't. Don't worry, I'll build him another train later.) It is new, in box. Full disclosure, the box has some slight wear. One side is slightly open. it's just the back of the box has come away a bit. The end is still securely on. This where the price tag must have been. And there's a slight crease in the middle here. Otherwise it looks in great shape for the age of the set. I'm asking $220 for it. This includes shipping within the USA. I'm willing to entertain offers from outside the US but we'd have to account to higher shipping rates. If you're interested, drop me a PM. Thanks for looking.
  15. At 2311 Los Robles Avenue in Pasadena, California is apartment 4A. Sometimes referred to as "Nerdvana", this apartment is home to physicists Leonard and Sheldon who show viewers week after week how sometimes relationships and social conventions can be more complicated than elaborate theorems. The set I'm about to review recreates the main living area of 4A, where the bulk of the show takes place. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, the characters eat, game (board and video), and just generally gather here. So how faithfully does the set adhere to the show? And what might an AFOL get out of this set even if they're not a fan of the show? Read on. Set Info Name: The Big Bang Theory Number: 21302 Release: August 2015 Figures: 7 Pieces: 484 Price: GB £??? I US $59.99 I EUR €59,99 I Box The box itself is very well done and what we have come to expect quality-wise from LEGO CUUSOO and now LEGO Ideas offerings. It's the same size as the Ecto 1 box so if you're saving them like I am, they'll fit on a shelf stacked pretty well. The box front has the Big Bang Theory logo prominently displayed as well as the LEGO and Ideas logos. It shows the completed set with a white background that's been watermarked with science-y stuff. I'm sure it will greatly appeal to fans of the show when they come across it. The back continues the white watermarked background. Instead of hyping play features (which this set lacks anyway but more on that later), the insets feature close-up views of the details of the set along with a nice display of the minifigs included. All but Bernadette and Penny are given some item to show off. Penny is waving at least. Or pointing at us. Hard to tell. The sides have a nebulous star field on them. This "actual size" graphic is really the only thing of interest besides the same logos from the front. So that's how big a 1x1 brick is. I wonder how large it would be with a white tile on top so that it'd look like finished take-out box in the set… We may never know. Manual The manual has the same picture and background from the box. The manual itself is nicely bound, though the cover isn't quite as thick as earlier CUUSOO/Ideas sets like the Back to the Future or Ghostbuster sets. The thinness makes it more flexible and allows the manual to stay open to where you're building slightly better. Speaking of the earlier set the manual for this set is taller and wider (though less thick) than those older manuals as well. Only a bad thing is you store them together but worth noting. I wonder if the problems with the Ghostbusters manuals prompted these changes. I haven't bought any of the more recent Ideas sets so I don't know how recent these changes are. Opening up the manual, we're greeted by a summary of the show with this nice production photo of the cast. And look, here are all those people in LEGO form! They also include a little bio of all the characters. It's well written, hitting the important points of the characters without dwelling too much on recurring gags associated with those characters. Spread throughout the manual are these little inserts with a quote from one character. There's one for each character but Raj is my favorite character so I took a pic of his. They're memorable lines that fans will probably recognize. I sort of wish they included more but what they have is nice. As an Ideas set, it was, of course, submitted as a project by fellow AFOLs and as usual a short introduction of how the project came about is included. Thank you Glen and Ellen for making this set possible! Parts The sticker sheet only has two stickers on it. I understand why they're stickers instead of printed since the parts they go on (a door and a tall brick) aren't normally printed and therefore TLG may not have a system in place to print them even if they had wanted to. The top one that goes on the door is a bit disappointing to me. I didn't recognize it when I first saw it because the sticker is missing two pretty big parts of the poster- the Rock 'em Sock 'em robots. The print on the show (I learned from research) s called "The Final Blow" (by Eric Joyner) and depicts one robot belting the other out of the ring. The only thing I can think of why they aren't there could be copyright issues. But you would think TLG could have replaced them with CMF robots or something. TLG has done parodies of art before… Without robots it just looks like a boxing ring and therefore out of place in a geek chic apartment. And how cool would a robot sticker have been? The bottom one is an antique fuse box, probably something in the apartment the show's set decorator correctly thought just looks really cool. I don't recall seeing it used in the show for anything and had to look it up to see what it actually was. (Though I'm familiar with the show, a lot of the small details aren't all that visible when watching it. Luckily there's a wiki article on the apartment itself written by people with sharper eyes than mine that was of great help.) Loose in box we have these three large plates which (SPOILER) will be our floor. The build is broken up into two sets of bags labelled "1" and "2". Lots of LEGO goodness awaits inside... Here's the larger of those two. Some minifigs bits with lots of structural pieces. And the smaller bag has more of the same. Here are the more interesting pieces… The door in this color only appears in one other set so far, the Simpsons House which has six but is pricy. Solid color versions are a bit rarer for this piece and more useful in interiors. Not having bought a lot of the City line, I don't have any of the 1x4 masonry bricks yet so these are very welcome for me. Printed tiles are always nice. We've seen the keyboard before (I can always use more), but the other two are new. The other 1x2 represents a "Spirit of St Louis" vintage radio. Very neat. The 2x2 has a nice picture of the Golden Gate bridge. Or is it? The actual picture on the wall is another Eric Joyner art print. "The Incident" features a giant robot (that looks like the Series 6 Clockwork CMF) sitting next to the bridge with a donut in it's hand. This substitution is understandable, though, since the part is printed and a more generic bridge painting will be much more reusable in other sets. I really like it despite it's sad lack of robots. "Cinnamon" (Raj's dog) is the exact same as the chihuahua from the CMF line. So… rarer but not exclusive and not a show-accurate Yorkshire Terrier. No new molds rule, I guess. And now, more bags! The largest has a bag of the food items from the Friends line. Always welcome. Also lipsticks, which are used as dry erase markers. And more pieces that will become details in the apartment. A lot of different colors of small plates, tiles, and jumpers which will be used as books. And more interesting pieces. Lots of printed tiles. The newspaper is a reuse but nice. Not shown (it was flipped over when I looked through the parts for some reason) is what will be, I assume, the thermostat or a light switch. Also seen before. The 4x4 with 4 studs is a dry erase board that depicts a game of Pictionary Sheldon was playing. Hilarious inclusion! H(hydrogen molecule) + (Pigs - Pea) = Higgs Bow + (General Zod trapped in the Phantom) Zone = Boson Pear + Tickle = Particle The 1x2 tile is supposed to be a poster of Tesla's lab but being as small as it needed to be, I can see why they simplified it a bit. The 2x4 is Sheldon's dry erase board. I can't remember what the significance of the stuff written on it is so I guess I have to watch the whole series again. Also of great delight are the take-out containers. NIcely printed, they will be completed with a 1x1 white tile later. My only complaint is that there should be more. Hopefully, they'll be reused in future sets because I'm guessing getting extras will be more expensive than what they're worth to me right now. The minfig statue parts represent collectible action figures or super hero knick knacks that Sheldon and Leonard have on display. First seen in the CMF line as awards, they've now been printed in a few sets most notably as a voodoo Jack Sparrow and Helicarrier inhabitants. I believe that this is the only set that they appear in these colors without printing. And here's the complete parts listing from the back of the manual. Minifigures Now we come to the real meat of this set. As a general rule, these are spectacular. The "1" bags give us Howard, Bernadette, and Amy. The figures each capture the essence of the characters. Though I love the dual molded legs, I wish they'd given Bernadette (printed and molded) short legs instead. Her height is a recurring joke in the series and she's definitely the shortest of the group. The Ideas project had height variation to the figures and that's one big change when it became a set that I miss. It's sweet that Howard and Bernadette ended up in the same bag. Amy's the third wheel. Awkward… They all have back printing and a second expression. Bernadette and amy have special molded "boots". Amy's look better than Bernadette's only because the printing on the latter's legs didn't transition to the back. I want more legs like these, please, TLG. The "2" bags have all the pieces of the rest of the cast. Though no leg printing, the excellent design of the rest of the figures more than makes up for it. The only change I'd make is giving Sheldon the taller legs the submitted project had. Sheldon is tall. Leonard being the same height in minifig form doesn't quite feel right. Back printing once again. The alternate faces here are all outstanding. Penny's and Leonard's confused faces are perfect. Sheldon's "Bazinga" face is great and Raj's nervous/speechless face is spot on. If you're not a fan of the show, the parts of these minifigures are all still excellent. All the torsos besides Penny and Bernadette can be used on yellow-toned LEGO citizens since the don't show skin on the print. All of them would be excellent as citizens in a modern era Licensed MOC. Build And the building begins. In the first bags, we get all of the structure out of the way along with the details in the window area. The minifigures apparently are doing a very awkward conga line that doesn't actually touch. Here at step 8, we have the footprint of the set. It only gets taller from here. The only exceptions, as we see later, are a chair and dry erase board and I think these are only left out due to lack of floor space. The back shelves are nice. l love the radio and the books. I think the library card catalogue piece (to the right of the desk) ends up looking more like a plain dresser. I think it would look a little better wider but I don't think any more detailing would be possible at this scale without printed tiles. Sheldon's desk has a lamp and desktop computer on it. the computer does use the printed keyboard, but the screen is a blank black 1x2 tile. It looks okay from the side if you can't see the tile is blank, but from any other angle it looks a bit cheap. This door with the poster is a closet. For some reason it opens the wrong way. They even put a stud for a handle on the other side. Not sure why that is, really unless someone thought it was the apartment's front door. For those not familiar with the show, the front door would actually be to the left of the set on an angled wall. The "2" bags give us all the rest of the detail of the set. All the chairs, the couch and the large shelves are built now. The minifigures continue the awkward conga. Or maybe it's the hokey pokey. The carpet is very nicely done. It's an odd number of studs both wide and deep to achieve the pattern. I like getting 1x1 tiles in sets as well and this carpet alone accounts for a good deal of them in this set. From a technical standpoint this is probably the most interesting part of the build. I believe in the submitted project two different colored soft hose pieces were used. They may not have been stable enough for the official build. TLG's solution is very stable and I think looks enough like the DNA helix model that it is immediately recognizable. About the whole build, it really doesn't feel like you're building a set when you're constructing it. It feels a lot like following someone's directions for a small vignette. And that's basically what it is. Personally, I enjoyed that aspect of it. I build a fair number of vignettes myself and this is a pretty decent one. If you've never tried to make a small scene in LEGO, this gives you a basic idea of how that's done. There's no real play features besides positioning the characters in the space. And there's not a lot of room for that. It really works for what it is: a small vignette to display The Big Bang Theory minifigures. Most of these sets will be built to display on shelves or desks. And here's what we have when we're done. The dry erase board and chair don't really have enough room in the set as is. I'll probably make mine slightly deeper to fit them in. The color is also wrong on the chair. In reality, it's a wooden dining room chair with arms. The shaping is okay, but it would definitely look better in brown. On the shelves, we can now see all the cool stuff on the shelves. On the top from left to right are: A plasma ball (like in the poster to the right of the door) An action figure- these change throughout the series. dark red could be Flash related. A celestial globe- in the project submission, they suggested a print on it. Here you kind of have to use your imagination bit. I wonder why they couldn't have used a space helmet printed version. I think a Harry Potter set had one that might have worked adequately. Model rocket - they have set some off before, one of the few outdoor activities they allude to. A "Limited Edition Green Lantern Lantern"- Formerly Raj's, he uses it to bribe Sheldon into being his wingman in an episode. I believe the last item is Leonard's model of the miniature City of Kandor- A replica of a Kryptonian city that Brainiac miniaturized for some reason. If they'd printed the 1x1 round brick, they could have reused it in the Superhero line. it looks nice anyway but I think that's a wasted opportunity on TLG's part. The lower shelves are all tiles or jumpers depicting books or games. The main couch is accurately represented along with the chair that Leonard normally sits in. I love the lamp on the end table. The telescope is excellently built here as well, though I wish there were room closer to the window for it. Probably the one thing I'll modify is to include the front door of the apartment. I think that would add a lot more options for displaying the minifigures in scenes from the show. Extra Parts. Lots of little tiles here but the real standout extras are the one extra statue in each color. There's also almost enough parts to make a second rocket. Completed The minifigures do all fit in the scene but it seems a tighter squeeze than I expected. I think thematically, the men would let the women have seats on the chairs and couch but it was really hard to place them there (though not impossible obviously) because of their hair interfering with the seat backs. Plenty of room for three people on the couch, which is nice. They guys all fit quite nicely in a less crowded display if you want to recreate a scene like what happened more frequently in the early parts of the series. Conclusion I really like the set. There were a few little bits that I was probably too tough on, but I think it looks really good. The build wasn't spectacular. I didn't really learn any interesting techniques or think "So that how the did that!" It was all pretty straightforward but it was neat to see the apartment coming together. I can't say enough good things about the minifigures themselves. I'm excited to get them in LEGO form and when I finally run out of ways to recreate scenes from the show, the parts themselves will definitely find their way into original MOCs. All that being said, I think it seems small for $60. Part of that is the sheer number of small pieces that are used for the shelves and carpet but most of that cost can probably be attributed to the minifigures. There aren't a good amount of rare pieces either outside of a few printed tiles, so it's not a parts pack by any means. Most of the parts could be acquired much more cheaply elsewhere. When I saw the set, I wanted it. But… if I didn't get it to review, I don't think I would have been able to purchase it. There are so many great sets out there right now that had a slightly higher priority for me. Having it in my hands, though, I'm glad I didn't miss out on it. If I wasn't a fan of the show, I don't think I would have hesitated passing on it. I think that, for most of us, that's what it will come down to. AFOL fans of the Big Bang theory will most likely purchase it. Non fans won't have a real need unless they really want the minifigure parts for something. Design & Build: 8 - Mostly on the design side. The build wasn't spectacular but the end result is very pretty and, for the most part, accurate. Parts: 7 - Not a lot of cool parts. Thankfully, this set is definitely more than the sum of it's parts. Minifigures: 10 - The small flaws I pointed out aren't enough to make me take points off. They're all instantly recognizable as the characters they represent. Play or Display: 9 - DIsplay rather than play. There's not enough room or features to really play but with a few modifications, this'll absolutely find a spot on my shelf for a while. Overall: 34/40 - The quality of the box, manual, and set are all really excellent. It's exactly what you'd expect an Ideas set based on the BIg Bang Theory would be like.