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About Joebot

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    Get off my lawn!

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  1. Joebot

    LEGO Elves 2018

    I don't know if this is definitive proof, but ... I was at the Lego Store in Schaumburg, Illinois over the weekend. I noticed that they had NO Elves set for sale. The last time I was there (maybe a month or two ago), the had two or three sets, all marked down about 15% off. Now, they're totally gone. I asked one of the retail clerks about the status of the Elves theme, and she sadly confirmed that the theme is discontinued. One of the downsides to being a Lego fan for as long as I have (40-ish years), is that you get bored with Lego's repetitive product cycles. Elves was the freshest, most innovative product line they've produced in probably 20 years. I bought more Elves sets than any theme in many, many years. I've very sad to see it discontinued when it felt like it still had so much life left in it, and other things and places to explore. The retail clerk did note that the theme was never a big seller for them, which likely explains why it got axed.
  2. Joebot

    LEGO Elves 2018

    Huh. Interesting. I gotta say, as someone who firmly believes that Elves is the best Lego theme in years .. these are kinda not that great. I don't like those giant animals at all, and the bat creatures are way to reminiscent of the goblins. I do like the small building, and the tower is ok, and I'm down for the new characters. The rest though?? Nope. Did the Elves designers move to a different theme or something? I'm struggling to reconcile the beautiful, creative, innovative sets from the past two years with ... this.
  3. Hey everyone, After redesigning all of the figures and dragons in my Elves village (see here!), I decided to tackle the buildings next. Here are the first three buildings I finished. First up, this is the redesigned shop from 41182 -- The Capture of Sophie Jones. IMG_3604 by jkgross, on Flickr IMG_3606 by jkgross, on Flickr IMG_3605 by jkgross, on Flickr And then the interior ... IMG_3607 by jkgross, on Flickr Second, here's the new blacksmith from 41176 -- The Secret Market Place IMG_3609 by jkgross, on Flickr IMG_3610 by jkgross, on Flickr And the interior ... IMG_3611 by jkgross, on Flickr And third, the bakery from 41074 -- Azari and the Magical Bakery. IMG_3613 by jkgross, on Flickr And the interior ... IMG_3617 by jkgross, on Flickr I would have liked to have made some of these towers taller, but I was limited by my shelf space. It's been a fun project though! I really like the Elves "style," and it's been fun to try to create some bigger, more complex structures, while still retaining that style. Thanks!
  4. Joebot

    2018 City Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    Lego seems to have solved that problem by simply not making buildings anymore. [rimshot] I too lament the death of 4-wide vehicles. I don't like 6-wide vehicles, let alone the 8-wide stuff that we see now. If you look at that new Dirt Bike Chase set for next year, I think the police truck is actually 10-wide if you include the fenders and wheels. That's just madness. I also take issue with Lego's unquestioned assumption that "more detail" is "better." I think Lego has long ago lost a lot of the style and charm that was unique to Lego Town sets. When I look at the two police trucks that koalayummies posted above ... I gotta say, I love that old set 6533. To me, that's what Lego Town looks like. It's cute and charming and approachable in a way that the current Lego City line lacks, with their huge, aggressive vehicles. I also grant you that I'm old, and nostalgia is possibly a factor in my viewpoint. Now get off my lawn!
  5. I think that's what annoyed me so much about the original dragon heads. The Elves dragon bodies are pleasantly chunky and Lego-like. Then they plop those silly heads on top, and it's kind of jarring. The Ninjago dragons originally did the same thing, but at some point in that theme, they switched over to using brick-built heads, which look great, and open up a huge range of design possibilities. Every Ninjago dragon is distinct from the others because they all have different heads. It's weird that the Elves theme went back to the single-purpose head molds. I suspect the reason was because they wanted the cutesy print, with the big eyes and the swirly tattoos. Seems like they could have used some stickered slopes to accomplish that. Lego dragons have come a long ways over the years, when you look back at the Dragon Knights castle theme, or even the Vikings theme. The Vikings dragons used mostly Bionicle parts, which gave them an odd robotic, skeletal appearance that I always associate with Bionicle. The current batch of Elves and Ninjago dragons are really impressive.
  6. I really love the Elves theme except for two things: the same five mini-dolls in every set, and those big dumb dragon heads. So I decided to swap out the mini-dolls with mini-figs, which gave me a lot more options to diversify my Elves population. And, while I was at it, I replaced the dragon heads with brick-built heads. Here's the earth dragon. I like the blunt snout on this one. I think it looks like a chameleon. IMG_3320 by jkgross, on Flickr And then here are some earth elves: IMG_3325 by jkgross, on Flickr Next up is the fire dragon. This one is patterned off the Ninjago "Green NRG Dragon (70593)" set. IMG_3327 by jkgross, on Flickr And some fire elves to go with it. There just aren't nearly enough "dark medium flesh" mini-fig heads. IMG_3329 by jkgross, on Flickr And then here's the wind dragon. This one went through a lot of iterations before I was finally happy with it. IMG_3331 by jkgross, on Flickr And of course, some wind elves. The one on the right with the snarly face is on of my favorites. IMG_3333 by jkgross, on Flickr And lastly, the big white dragon. This one is based on the Ninjago "Titanium Dragon (70748)" set. IMG_3336 by jkgross, on Flickr And some more elves figures ... IMG_3339 by jkgross, on Flickr And then, just for fun, here are some bad guys. IMG_3340 by jkgross, on Flickr I hope to tackle the water dragon and the goblin dragon next, but I need to get some pieces first. Thanks for looking! Let me know what you think!
  7. Joebot

    LEGO Elves 2018

    That's kind of where I'm at with them too. I've replaced all of the big, dopey dragon heads with brick-built heads like the Ninjago dragons, and I like them a lot better now. I would probably do something similar with these new animals. Nocturna's tower looks promising, and I'm very curious to see the final version of that. Likewise, the wind dragon set looks interesting. I don't know about that lion thing though. And the bat creature minions look too similar to the goblins in my opinion.
  8. Joebot

    LEGO Elves 2017 Discussion

    43-year-old male here, and Elves is hands-down my favorite theme at the moment. I will say though, that I eventually got tired of the same five mini-dolls over and over. I've now embarked on a somewhat pricey project of replacing all the mini-dolls with custom mini-figures. I've been buying up all kinds of fun torsos from LOTR, Ninjago, and Star Wars, and turning them into Elves figures. Some more hair / pointy ear pieces would be welcome, but between Elves and LOTR, there are enough to make a diverse community of figures. I think they look great.
  9. Joebot

    2017 City Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    Very well said, monkles. The same is true for other themes too, notably Superheroes, Star Wars, and City. It's interesting to note that the themes aimed at girls (Friends, Elves) have large, interesting builds that give the themes some context and a sense of place. The Friends jungle theme from a few years back was terrific. Presumably Lego has some market research to back up their product design decisions, but I find it ridiculous to have an Arctic theme with almost no scenery.
  10. I assume the accessories for Zodiac are meant to represent the zodiacal signs of Pisces (fish) and Cancer (crab).
  11. Joebot

    LEGO Elves 2017 Discussion

    I'm not crazy about the dragon. I prefer last year's four-legged dragons, as opposed to the Ninjago-style two-legged dragons, which look like big chickens to me. BUT ... I love the airship. What a beautiful set. The buildings look great too. The little goblin guys are cute, but the lack of articulation kinda sucks. Overall, the Elves design team continues to crush it. Honestly, in an era of endless repeats of Batmobiles, police stations, and X-wing fighters, Elves is easily the most creative theme Lego has come out with in 15 years.
  12. Joebot

    2017 City Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    Thanks for the link! Honestly, my first reaction on following the link was: "Wait ... aren't these the police sets from 2016?" I had to double-check to make sure I was looking at 2017 sets.
  13. Joebot

    2017 City Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    I think I'd argue that it's the IDEAS that are lazy, not the designs. The set designs seem interesting and modern and well-thought out, as we expect from TLG these days. It's just that the the City theme as a whole has become so repetitive and dull. Helicopters, vehicle transporters, and of course, more police. But hey, a bank! That's an honest-to-goodness BUILDING that's not a police station or a fire station. Of course, the context of the bank is a police set, but hey, I'm trying to be positive here. It's weird that TLC went something like 25 years without making a bank, and now they've made 3 or 4 in the past 5 years.
  14. Joebot

    2017 City Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    An uninspiring list, to say the least. TLG's obsession with vehicle transporters is bordering on the absurd. I predict next year, we'll see the first "Vehicle Transporter Transporter." I'm picturing an enormous semi trailer that's hauling a smaller SUV that's pulling a trailer with motorcycles on it. Almost like a Russian nesting doll of vehicle transporters.
  15. Joebot

    Lego Elves 2016

    I just picked that set up this weekend. It's easily my favorite Lego set in years. It packs in a ton of fun features and clever details, not to mention a whole lot of charm and personality. And the color scheme is great. The black, purple, and lime green really pop. The Elves product team is crushing it.