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Review: 10199 Winter Toy Shop


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#1 Svelte

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 04:32 AM

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Set Name: Winter Toy Shop
Set Number: 10199
Theme: Exclusives
Number of Pieces: 815
Minifigs: 7
Price: $US59.99, $AUD109.99, EUR59.99-69.99, GBP39.15
Year Released: 2009
Links: Brickset, Bricklink, S@H

1. Introduction
The last Exclusive release of the year, the 10199 Winter Toy Shop, is a treat for Christmas and Town fans alike! Featuring an all-new tree design, an exclusive minifig head, and lots of wonderfully detailed mini-toys, this set is sure to be the centrepiece of many festive Lego layouts. But is this just a treasure trove of parts or is it destined to be a design classic? Read on and find out!

Mr WhiteFang Esq. requested I review this set, so this one is dedicated to him! :wink:

2. Box Art, Parts, Instructions

The front of the box shows the contents of the box in all their glory:
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The back of the box shows beautifully detailed set close-ups and all the figs. I really like the wintry night sky - it definitely adds to the mood of a chilly festive eve:
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Some close-ups of the action. In this one, the Toymaker picks up a cat by its tail, much to the horror of the little boy outside:
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The Toymaker sweats as a glowing orb downloads PDF building instructions for the yellow 8169 Lamborghini Gallardo KP 560-4 directly into his brain:
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'I sure hope the quality of yellow bricks has improved!' says an angry TFOL well-versed in hot topics on internet discussion boards:
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Jane and John Minifig decide to give Lady Snow-woman realistic mammary glands - look at the way they're holding those 1x1 round white plates!
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A beautiful and innocent scene in the wonderful Christmas village... hang on, what's that I see in the bottom corner!
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OMG! For Lego box art, this is practically hardcore porn! I'm, not sure I want to know where the female fig's other hand is! You know the old man that gave the girl the present is like 'Heheheh. Score! But just because the box is blue, doesn't mean it's Tiffany inside, darlin'.'
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There's just one instruction booklet. Sadly none of the brilliant pics on the box are actually inside the back pages. Boo! I really wish Lego would be more consistent about reproducing unique box art inside the manual. As someone with limited space, who tends to flatpack or toss out boxes, I would much rather keep an archive of the lovely box art somewhere logical like the instructions rather than see 6 pages of ads for sets we've all seen a million times.
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A random instruction page, very helpfully showing the Jacki-in-the-Box build, for those who wish to build it at home :wink::
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There are 8 bags of parts, unnumbered:
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About half of the bags, debagged. You can see how great the selection is - lots of small pieces in a variety of colours, and a good mix of basic bricks and plates, with just a few nice large specialty bricks (like the Belville arch). I love stashes of small, useful parts, especially 1x1 plates. We get those in dark red, red-brown, white, light bley, green, tan and dark tan alone! (close up pic here)
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The rest of the parts. Ye shall never want for green plates again!
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Pieces of interest include dark red curved bricks, black windows, lots of dark tan tiles, the round-ended white Technic pieces used as turbine tips in the 4999 Vestas set, yellow light sabres, trans-clear globes for the lamp, and the yellow Belville snowflake (unique to this set). My two personal faves are the bley double-sided inverse slope (so cute! :wub: I have an irrational love of that mould from its use in the Adventurers Egyptian sets for Anubis heads), and after the non-printed abomination in the 7637 Farm set, it's nice to see kitty return with eyes and whiskers!
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We also have 4 classic pine trees, 2 of the the larger black 3 high windows, 2 purple light saber blades, 1 Belville arch, and the rope which can hold attachable clips:
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All in all, a great selection of parts in useful colours, with nothing really out of place and some unique pieces. :thumbup:

3. Minifigs!

The figs are a mixed bag. There are a lot of unprinted torsos and the same old heads, but some nice surprises as well, such as getting three female figs and three different colours of short leg (tan, purple, and navy blue). The saving grace is really the new 'O' is for 'Orgasm' face as seen in these two carollers. Also note the lady caroller has a lined cape (made by simply putting 2 capes on back to back):
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We get 2 more generic civilians, but at least the Toymaker has the double-printed Farm torso:
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And 2 skiers! You can see the little girl is a bit of a princess - her ski poles match her pants colour! :laugh: I do like that tan hairpiece, too, since I never bought the 7627 Rogue Shadow or 8401 City Minifig Collection:
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I wasn't expecting great things from the figs, but they are much better than I thought they'd be, with 1 new head and a colourful variety of pieces and accessories (eg 2 red neckerchiefs, different coloured ski poles etc). They are certainly better than the limited selection for the 10196 Carousel, at any rate :wink:, and better than most Advent calendars with their pattern of 1 chef, 1 fig from each Emergency theme, and a token female.

4. The Build I - The Great Outdoors

The first stage of the build is the outdoor seating area and snowman. It is interesting to see how the parkbench design has been tweaked - notice the 4x tap parts underneath to give it a bit more stability and an improved appearance? The white plate also holds 9 1x1 round white plates to act as snowballs! The snowman is OK, with the clip piece as a scarf an inspired design choice, but I don't know about the antennae for arms. It feels a little small compared to some of the Advent snow-beings. Still, this is a nice little vignette:
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The lamps are beautifully designed and hold together well - a brilliant and simple technique!
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The build so far! Already we have an impressive and rich wintry festive scene! You can see that the snowfight has already started!
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5. The Build II - Tree, Ladder & Presents

Next up, we build the large tree and its surrounds.

The tree is built up of rotating green boughs over a central axle. Here's the axle section and base:
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Here are the green bough sections, which are placed on top of each other at 90 degree turns to give a more organic look:
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The completed tree is lush and leafy:
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This sturdy ladder allows minifigs to climb up and hang decorations:
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Now where have I seen this before? :laugh: The Jack-in-the-Box design which kickstarted my 21 days of different avatars (I was intending for 24 but then Mystery Castle 2 started :blush: One day I'll post them all! :laugh:):
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The teddy bear holding a flower and a gift-wrapped box:
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Electric lights to hang on the tree - and yes, they are as prone to twisting and tangling as the real thing :wink::
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A little scene with all these elements together. Again, this makes a lovely standalone small vignette:
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6. The Build III - Toy Shop

Now, to the largest part of the set - the Toy Shop itself! I avoided spoiler pics on S@H, other reviews, and in the instructions before building, so I was pleasantly surprised by the level of detail in the interior, such as the tiled floor and the chunky chimney. Here's a build shot up until the halfway mark, showing how the toys inside can be glimpsed inside through the frosty glass. Notice also the green stained glass above the door:
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From behind, the dark tan floor is very nice and really adds a level of polish to the interior:
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A close-up of the toys - a Train Tech special and a jetpack robot!
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The unique decorative detail above the windows is formed via a somewhat complicated Technic assembly to which white roof plates are later attached so that they can be at right angles to each other. To be honest, I'm not sure it entirely works :sceptic: Sure, it's clever technique, but it's a touch too clever for such a small building - it takes up valuable space where a nice attic could have been included, for example. I would have much preferred proper roof slopes and a brick build rather than this not-particularly attractive and somewhat complicated approach. If it meant losing the dark bley Technic liftarm decorative detail, fine - it looks somewhat grim in dark bley anyway. (The small tower roof uses a similar but scaled down technique.) Here is the Technic frame which the roof attaches to:
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And in position:
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Two cleverly built curved walls are designed to fit underneath the Belville arch to form a continuous wall - they are attached by clips and bricks with bars in a method also familiar to anyone who has built the 10197 Fire Brigade. I assume the designer of that set, Jamie Berard, was involved with the 10199, either as principal designer (or at least doing a design pass) - since he is a new member here at EB perhaps he can tell us :grin: :wink: I do like this clever technique a lot more than the roof design  :thumbup:
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Voila! The completed Toy Shop!
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Some alternate views:
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The interior reveals the little workshop above the ground floor where the Toymaker bangs away at his creations. The ladder providing access to the ground floor is just the kind of touch AFOLs adore:
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Here is the Toymaker's work bench and his latest creation:
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My favourite detail is the blocky stone chimney - note the top vents are rotated at a jaunty angle to the rest of the chimney :wub: This is a really authentic-looking and lovely design:
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This shows the set with the light-up brick activated - it certainly has a bright glow! It needs to be held down, but it isn't too hard to build a workaround to hold it in place - I presume it is designed this way to minimise battery usage. However for a permanent Christmas display, AFOLs might want to rig up something more permanent. Does anyone know what the standard battery life of these PF bricks is?
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7. The Complete Set

All the parts of the set can now be integrated:
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(Click here for an 1024 wide version)

The Toymaker attaches a carrot nose to the snowman:
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This woman is helping decorate the lovely tree:
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These carollers sing a tune whilst the white cat plays with the Xmas lights:
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And inside the Toy Shop, a girl picks out a teddy bear as the Toymaker smiles benevolently from above:
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I think one of the best aspects about this set is its potential for expansion and recombination. Click on the pic below to check out my 10193 Medieval Market Village/ 10199 Winter Toy Shop mash-up! I can imagine whole Christmassy villages built in such a style, with a mix of small shops and houses. I really anticipate seeing what the AFOL community comes up with in the lead-up to December 25 - I am sure there will be some impressive creations!
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Spare parts are the usual mix of extra tiles, antennae and 1x1 round plates, as well as an extra 3-long length of tubing for the Jack-in-the-Box build:
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8. Overall Rating

Minifigs - Many great parts and accessories to match - much better than I expected. 8/10.
Playability - Lots of figs and small items, and a lot of room for posabilityand customisation - 8/10
Design - Despite the claim on S@H that this fits a 10184 Town Plan layout, it doesn't really. The style of build is very different, and this feels more like a Gingerbread House than a 1950s service station or cinema :laugh: Where this set really excels is in the fabulous Christmas tree, and the small details such as the train, Jack in the box and other toys. The shop itself is quite nice, but made up of maybe a little too many colours and with some fussy techniques such as the roof plates, where simple slopes would have been better. 7.5/10.
Parts - A great parts pack for small pieces and green plates, although I think the final Toy Shop has a little too much going on, palette-wise. 8/10.
Price - Great value if you're in the UK or US - not so much if you're anywhere else. This is at least $AUD10 too expensive, perhaps more. In comparison, the 10193 Medieval Market Village is $US40 more than this set, but in Australia the price difference between the two is also $40AUD :wacko:, making the 10193 a much better proposition. We're used to getting more value from S@H Exclusives, not less. At least keeping it under $AUD would have felt a bit more comfortable. 6/10.

Final rating: A solid 8/10. A definite must-have for any AFOL's Christmas layout!

Thanks for reading! :sweet:

Edited by Rick, 24 October 2011 - 06:55 PM.
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#2 ILikePi

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 04:51 AM

Hooray, a review of the Winter Toy Shop by Svelte! :laugh:

I can't wait to read the finished product! :sweet:

And good for you WhiteFang, for making him do the review! :tongue:

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#3 Svelte

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 12:15 AM

Review now live in Trains & Town :wink: Enjoy!

#4 frogstudio

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 01:44 AM

Just finished building mine.  Waht really surprised me is how small it is!!!  Yet, its an outstanding set which I will never regret buying.

#5 Mission Commander

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 02:46 AM

This set is AMAZING! I really like cheap it is. It will also look lovely next to my ice skating rink.
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#6 ILikePi

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 07:14 AM

Wow, awesome review Svelte!

This has really convinced me to get the set for Christmas now. I already asked my mom if I could get it for Christmas later (I went to the LEGO Store today for an event), and I think that I can! :sweet:

The insight about the "R" rated content is hilarious! It's odd how the LEGO photographers would decide to actually do that. :laugh:

The tree is very well-designed, and all of those accessories are amazing! They must take up at least 100 parts by themselves!

The bench and lightpost are a great addition to the set, and I really like the huge pile of snowballs.

The toy shop looks amazing! The white parts and roof, trees, mini-wreaths, and light make it look very Christmasy. I wonder why the designers put the light brick in the upper room though - wouldn't the chimney be a better place?

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#7 AFOL12v

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 07:28 AM

It's a bit confusing. There's already a review of this set?

#8 Svelte

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 08:17 AM

View PostPanda9001100, on Oct 11 2009, 04:28 PM, said:

It's a bit confusing. There's already a review of this set?

There is. But apart from subtitling this 'NOT THE OTHER REVIEW!' there's no way to avoid the confusion, as far as I can see :laugh:

#9 jamieberard

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 10:08 AM

View PostSvelte, on Oct 9 2009, 06:32 AM, said:

Two cleverly built curved walls are designed to fit underneath the Belville arch to form a continuous wall - they are attached by clips and bricks with bars in a method also familiar to anyone who has built the 10197 Fire Brigade. I assume the designer of that set, Jamie Berard, was involved with the 10199, either as principal designer (or at least doing a design pass) - since he is a new member here at EB perhaps he can tell us :grin: :wink: I do like this clever technique a lot more than the roof design  :thumbup

Hi Svelte,

Thanks for the detailed review!  I am indeed guilty of designing this set--including that roof technique you don't like so well.  Luckily, you seem to at least enjoy the rest of the build a bit more :)

It's always a tricky balance for us to stay innovative while still delivering a logical & classic build.  Sometimes a new technique really works, while other times perhaps not so well.  Either way, I appreciate the feedback!

Cheers,

jamie

Edited by jamieberard, 11 October 2009 - 10:09 AM.


#10 Svelte

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 10:14 AM

Thanks Jamie!

I am a huge fan of your work, so thanks for stopping in and taking the time to read this review!

I really do like the set overall, and I can't wait to see what you have planned for us in 2010 :wub: :wink:

#11 Milan

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 03:20 PM

I really enjoyed reading this!
It is very well review. I like it very much!
Thanks!
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#12 prateek

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 04:51 PM

I really want this set now, to put under my Christmas Tree with all the other buildings and the train :classic: Great review BTW. I love all the small details, I'm actually surprised it has so much, as it looks like an MOC more than an actual set :thumbup:

#13 UsernameMDM

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 03:41 AM

Great review!  Going to the Lego Store tomorrow.  Can't wait to check this out in person.

:thumbup:

#14 ZeeK

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 01:02 PM

Hi there, great review of the great set.

BTW, does anyone know the exact box size? (BrickLink does't haму this info )
I'm going to ask my UK friends to bring some sets to Russia (no S@H, no LEGO Store here... grrrr!!!!), so the size REALLY matters in this case...

Thanks in advance!

#15 WhiteFang

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 03:19 PM

I must be blind and slow to notice this superb tempting review lurking over here.  :blush:

View PostSvelte, on Oct 9 2009, 11:32 AM, said:

Mr WhiteFang Esq. requested I review this set, so this one is dedicated to him! :wink:
Aww, it's so nice of you to consider and execute my request.  :wub:

Thanks!!!!

I can't wait to get my hands onto this set by end of this month, been a little busy recently and I didn't have the time to visit the stores. This set is really very nicely designed with lots of useful elements. By far, I think this is the best Christmas tree ever created, filled with lots of gifts placed nicely under the tree, matching together with the Toy Shop. The minifigs selection is pretty good, and I couldn't find much flaws that could actually stop myself from buying this set. Perhaps, the price might deter me to get multiples Winter Toy Shop. Other than that, great set and excellent review as usual!  :thumbup:

By the way, this review is featured in Classic-Town.net.

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#16 domboy

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 06:48 PM

View Postjamieberard, on Oct 11 2009, 06:08 AM, said:

Hi Svelte,

Thanks for the detailed review!  I am indeed guilty of designing this set--including that roof technique you don't like so well.  Luckily, you seem to at least enjoy the rest of the build a bit more :)

It's always a tricky balance for us to stay innovative while still delivering a logical & classic build.  Sometimes a new technique really works, while other times perhaps not so well.  Either way, I appreciate the feedback!

Cheers,

jamie

I for one thought the roof technique brilliant... the visual effect of the criss-crossed dark gray technic pieces beneath the wreath is very festive looking. But I guess everyone has an opinion... and the right to it...

I think this whole set is fantastic! I mean really exceptional. The build experience was a lot more challenging than I was expecting, as the set was so much more detailed than I was expecting. In other words, I had loads of fun with it!! And I love it that the Jack-in-the-box includes a classic simple smiley head!

Thanks for the review!

#17 marvinblue

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 01:20 AM

Thanks for the great review and the fantastic pictures to go with it Svelte! I don't think Aussie stores will see it for a while, so its nice to look and dream.....  :grin: I think the price could've been pegged back to an even AUD$100, but I suppose an extra $10 isn't going to hurt too much.
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#18 tiggerkiddo

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 04:28 PM

I really do like this set. I love the design of the toy shop and think the handmade Christmas tree is a really nice touch, especially with the little toys under the tree. I also love the addition of the lit brick. I was quite surprised when I saw this in the Lego Store and it was only 60 bucks (USD mind you) so I guess I will be getting this set, yay!

Thanks for the wonderful review.

#19 legotrainfan

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 09:49 PM

I find this set outstanding though I believe the roof construction under which the light brick is located isn't so stable. I also had difficulties to get the roof plates on the roof base construction... here I also mean the roof under which the light brick can be found.

Anyway, what I'd like to know is if there's a way of making the light brick shine permanently? First, I thought the hinge attached to it is there for one purpose: to press it upwards towards the roof. So as soon as the switch on button presses against the roof, there would be permanent light. But this doesn't work.  :sad: The hinge is too weak to keep the switch on button in the necessary position.

Edited by legotrainfan, 24 October 2009 - 09:50 PM.

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#20 SlyOwl

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 05:39 PM

Hey Svelte, great review! :thumbup:

Now, I bump this because I'm curious about the flame pieces in the set, having read an interesting article on Klocki

Did yours come with the new style on the left or not?
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To the barricades!
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#21 Big Cam

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 05:49 PM

What a stunning review, I really think your review makes me want this set more and more.  Plus that lighted brick is pretty cool.

The scene is just so well thought out, and your pictures are superb.

Great review on a set I cannot obtain through normal channels :hmpf_bad:

#22 BlueBard

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 06:13 PM

Allways a pleasure to read such a nice review! Useful and very illustrative  :thumbup:

#23 simonwillems

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 07:37 PM

View PostSlyOwl, on Nov 2 2009, 06:39 PM, said:

Now, I bump this because I'm curious about the flame pieces in the set, having read an interesting article on Klocki

Did yours come with the new style on the left or not?
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Now that really is breathtaking news, for my castle dragons.... :sceptic:

Luckily I have a substantial collection of 'old' flames, and seeing your MOC's, Slyowl, you must have heaps yourself. But it's a pity all the same.

On topic: nice review, it makes me want to buy the set even more! Regardless of flames.

#24 Svelte

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 08:44 PM

View PostSlyOwl, on Nov 3 2009, 02:39 AM, said:

Did yours come with the new style on the left or not?

Interesting that they've tweaked the mould after all these years.

Both my flame pieces were the newer style.

I didn't even notice! Thanks for the link.

#25 Commodore Hornbricker

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 09:27 PM

Great Review.  I think they did an outstanding job with this set.  A neat design and good color and brick selection.  Lots of minifigures and great details.  What's not to love about this one?
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