Recently a friend of mine said "I have a thank you gift for you." and pulled this box out of her bag. She had seen it at a market still new in it's box, and knew that I would like it.
But what she didn't know was; this nine-year old novelty piece is a very rare item and there is even one guy on Bricklink who is asking US$99 for his 4 "Pals". Is it really worth THAT much? Or is it best to have received this free? Read on to find out.
Item Number: #6102
Theme: Apparel, Home & Outdoors: Stationery
Price: $25 - $30
Links: Bricklink Flickr
The Front of the box leaves nothing hidden really, mostly clear plastic so you see what you are getting, and the back of the box explains everything else. There is also a warning in the corner. Beware because this product contains a functional sharp edge and a point. The sharp edges could be the staples, the edge of the tape dispenser, the paper clips... or maybe the edges of the Figure are classified as sharp. And the point? Well that is obvious isn't it? It is to hold your teeny tiny stationary.
The back of the box tells you pretty much all you need to know about this product and it doubles as the instructions. It explains all the wonderful things this product has to offer.
It can stand or sit, it can connect to a LEGO base (I don't have a picture of that) But to be quite honest, I'd say that this might be the best way to stand it or leave it sitting down as it has a tendency to topple.
The side lists the 9 handy desk tools that are inside. Desk tools sounds a little more complicated to me than micro-scale staples.
Yes, it is made in China, as if you couldn't have guessed that from looking at it.
There is an invitation to collect all three desk pals. I am glad that this was the one I was given as the other two... yikes they are hideous. All of these figures seem to be a bit off to look at, the proportions are not quite to scale and the heads are.... well. I'll get to that later but I think she is the best of the bunch anyhow.
Once she has been taken out of the box, you can really see the pretty colours. The purple of her top really is quite lovely, doesn't scream LEGO at all. But as far a colour goes, I like it. Same goes for the cardboard backing in the lovely pink. I'll have to think of a use for it.
There was one paper slipped into the box, an advertisement for the 2002 range. New Bionicle and new stationary. And on the inside is quite a large blurb about collecting the whole range of stationary and how some of the range is retired and some it about to retire so hurry before it is too late. Nice to get the warning if you were interested back then. I have never seen anything like that in any sets I have purchased nowadays.
The 9 desk tools.
The backpack measuring tape is rather thin and semi flexible, it has no catch to keep it at any certain length so it snaps back inside the second you give it any slack.
Yes, we've all seen these before.
Roll of stickers and a chubby little eraser. The stickers, although quite small are cute, very similar to the ones you get in the DK sticker activity books.
Paper clips and a pencil and a pen.
The hair is perfect, just like the real version. Her face and side profile is a little thin I think? Something is wrong with the proportions, and the face print...well, it really doesn't look like "real" LEGO to me. More of a Chinese knock-off. Makes you wonder who was in charge of making sure the CDM Company Inc was keeping within the usual strict LEGO guidelines.
The torso... oh the poor poor torso. What a careless girl who dropped her fried egg on her top and left it there til it went bad. Seriously. Come on, how it that a flower? Not to boast but my three year old can draw more realistic flowers than that.
The head contains the pencil sharpener. And the hair comes off to reveal the pencil hole, and guess what! The pencil that comes with this product cannot fit in the hole. I'm not sure how hard it would be to empty the pencil shavings out of the head. Probably not very hard, but I don't think I will be using it for that anyhow.
That it the bottom of the head, the trap door for the pencil shavings. And more of the lovely face. The wonky lips make it look like she has had failed elective surgery. Poor gal, it is not always wise to mess with ones face, you could end up looking worse.
This picture shows the removable stand that didn't really need to be blue as well. It looks like she is stuck to something or melting, I think something along the lines of a giant version of the Collectible Minifigure stands would have been perfect. But this was 2002. The feet come off to house the erasers and paperclips. The stapler and tape dispenser substitute as her internal organs.
The inside of the right foot is lined with magnets to keep the paper clips nice and tidy, works exceptionally well too. The eraser is a very tight squeeze to get it in the first time, but I'm sure after you have used it a bit, it will become easier.
The inside of the torso is very similar to a LEGO fig but the pants have been hollowed out to make room for 2 of the 9 desk tools, so it is not as stable as it could be. The backpack is quite simple, it kind of clips on or rather pushes into place, not too much grip their either. Once the fig topples and it does, the backpack falls off.
The sticker roll sits inside the backpack and there is a small slot that the stickers can poke through and you just pull on it and it will unravel as you wish. Unless you are really unfussy about what stickers you want to use and are happy to take them as they come, this way of dispensing them will be rather redundant. The legs slide over the feet and they sit quite nicely.
Standing and sitting. Nothing much to comment on here.
The pencil holders... now. I'd have liked to have something else. I don't know what, but the round plastic inserts that hold the pens and pencils are less than attractive. It looks odd really, LEGO minifigures are all about making everything fit in the hands. Huge cups, huge tools, so why not make us a big FAT pencil and pen that actually clip into the hands. That, I would have loved.
Oh and you can't hold both pen and pencil in one hand either. On their own they slip and slide around but you can't even fit two together.
I was feeling a little lazy so I asked my daughter to bring me a LEGO man, any LEGO man, so we have Ron showing you the size comparison of this rather giant Figure. If you were hoping for something discreet and LEGO like to have on your desk at the office. Stick with the pencil because this really isn't the piece you are looking for.
So, over all. What do I think? Worth $99 even of it is rare and the only ones for sale in America. Sorry but, not on your life. It is cute and if you like me are obsessed with all LEGO merchandise then it is a cool item to have. I don't think that I will actually use most of the 9 desk tools, but to hold one pencil and one pen and to look a bit special, I will let her hang around.
The flaws I have pointed out, like the tendency to topple and the rather hideous face and torso print aren't enough for me to say, don't ever get it if you have the chance, it is a TLG product and just for that, I forgive it of almost everything. Shameful isn't it.
Edited by Rufus, 09 October 2011 - 12:16 PM.