makoy

Eurobricks Fellows
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  1. makoy

    How do you Manage Your LEGO Addiction?

    Get a wife. Have children. It will sort out your priorities.
  2. If you found this review first, I suggest you read my review about set 75216 Snoke’s Throne Room first and then after reading that, continue with the review of set 75225 Elite Praetorian Guard Battle Pack. This is my 21st RA review and the 2nd part of my back-to-back Star Wars set reviews. Overview Name: 75225 - Elite Praetorian Guard Battle Pack Theme: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Year: 2019 (1H) Pieces: 109 Minifigures: 4 Price: 12.99 GBP / 14.99 USD / 14.99 EUR Resources: Brickset and Bricklink Introduction Having reviewed 75216 Snoke’s Throne Room set, my goal is not to compare this set against it but to show how it is really meant to be a companion little set for the bigger set. I will also express my opinion about the variants of the Elite Praetorian Guards included in both sets. So, right off the bat when you think of LEGO Elite Praetorian Guards, do you think about the cheaper battle pack or the Snoke’s Throne Room set? Without knowing rocket science, I believe that majority will remember what they could afford and by extension, what they could play. Not all battle packs has great balance of affordability and mass appeal but this packs them all. Starting with the packaging artwork: the front panel artwork shows the Elite Praetorian Guards sparring. The back panel is practically the same thing presented in the front panel, just taken from a different angle. That’s how straight forward this set is. Below is one the uninteresting pictures of the box side panels. Minifigures Because the minifigures are the most important recipe in any battle pack, let’s showcase the minifigures included. First of all, the weapons are plentiful in this battle pack so every minifigures gets at least 1. A stud shooter is included for the lonesome Stormtrooper. Front view with shoulder pads, headgears and weapons armed In order from left to right, I suppose the weapon is meant to be Electro-bisento (TLG: electro-staff), Vibro-voulge (TLG: Vibro-axe) and Bilari electro-chain whip. I don’t know who supplied those alternate names to TLG but those names in parenthesis was mentioned in the official description. I don’t see how someone will confuse axe with a pole cleaver because that’s what a voulge is. Ok, you can say that a pole cleaver is a pole axe but that is really stretching it, quite literally. Front view with shoulder pads and headgears About the headgears, apart from familiar pointed Praetorian helmet, we also get the helmet with a flatter top that extends forward. Personally, this is my most favourite version of the guards because it is flashier and looks more functional to deflect blasts and lightsabers beams as long as it doesn’t hit directly. As for the First Order Stormtrooper, I will make a direct comparison between TFA vs TLA version further below so hold that thought for a moment. Back view with shoulder pads and headgears Surprise! The back of all the Elite Praetorian Guards are all identical. Front view with ridged shoulder pads only Surprisingly the red heads of the guards do not have any face print. I don’t mind it because the helmets will likely stay fitted onto the minifigures all the time so using red minifigure heads make a lot of sense. Back view with ridged shoulder pads only Nothing to see here. No head prints at all. Ridged shoulder pads, Praetorian helmet Here are the official names of each part: Ridged shoulder pad = mini armour, no. 12, element: 6231897, design no. 37614 Flat Praetorian Guard helmet = mini helmet, no. 222, element: 6251104, design no. 42866 Pointed Praetorian Guard helmet = mini helmet, no. 209, element: 6231899, design no. 38561 In my review of Snoke’s Throne Room, I showcased the Elite Praetorian Guards with skirts. The only part that makes those Elite Praetorian Guards exclusive is practically just the skirt/robe part used for the legs (aka mini skirt, no. 6, element 6231958, design no. 39139). Also, thanks to the skirt part, first introduced in set 75206, the Praetorian Guards from Snoke’s Throne Room have the same height as the Praetorian Guards from this battle pack. Unfortunately TLG is not very generous in producing the the third Praetorian helmet with a pointy tip at the bottom. I would have preferred another unique helmet instead of the inclusion of other parts, like those allocated for the training droid. FO Stormtrooper: ep. 7 vs ep. 8 version Moving on, the FO Stormtrooper in this set is the TLJ version with thinner mouth pattern. I don’t really see the point of updating the graphics but I suppose it is more movie accurate for TLJ. I don’t have a problem with the change but I do have a problem with the print quality. If you look closely at the photos below , you can see that the black middle arch has a bit of smudge or imperfection. This is very frustrating because I have 2 sets of these battle packs and both the FO Stormtroopers had this. I don’t know if this print defect is widespread but it’s definitely a let-down. The inclusion of FO Stormtrooper is odd because the set is definitely meant to be Praetorian Guards-centric. I think this is just a way to push these FO Stormtroopers out of the warehouse inventories. Perhaps asking for another variant of Praetorian Guard is just asking too much. Build The built for this set is very mundane but it doesn’t take anything away from the awesomeness of the battle pack. Since it is a sparring stage for the minifigures, it makes it easier to pit the minifigures against each other by spinning the round plate with turntables. Training Droid Bricklink lists that there are 5 “minifigures” in the set but it is clearly stated in the official LEGO set that it includes 4 LEGO minifigures and a training droid [brick-built] figure. Clearly, a training droid is not a minifigure in TLG’s book. Just saying. Anyway, I appreciate the transparent parts included to make the illusion that the figure is floating. Weapon rack I already mentioned the names of the equipped weapon earlier but there is one weapon that I forgot to equip onto the minifigure because it was attached to the weapon rack earlier. The one using the gun-metal horn parts is the brick-built version of Twin vibro-arbir blades (TLG: Twin vibro blades) in its joined form. It should have been longer by a factor of two because an arbir is a pole weapon but I guess we have to make use of what we have. All the official Star Wars weapon names I mentioned here are based from the information published in The Last Jedi Visual Dictionary. Thanks Pablo Hidalgo. Conclusion Considering to re-making the Snoke’s Throne Room fight scene? Thankfully the battle packs are here to save you. It is not a perfect set but for the price you pay, I think it gives you more than enough to warrant multiple purchases. If you need to buy a single set just to get the The Praetorian Guards, the wiser choice is definitely the battle pack because it is the cheaper one. If you want to get all the variants available for The Praetorian Guards, unfortunately, Snoke’s Throne Room still has the exclusive skirted variants. Ultimately, you need to ask yourself whether you really need the skirted variants. Ideally, getting set 75216 during clearance instead of buying the Praetorian Guards thru Bricklink should be more economical because 75216 already includes a lot of great parts to build the throne room with Snoke and 2 crimson guards. Then, adding 2 battle packs in the mix will give you 6 more to complete the 8 Elite Praetorian Guards of Snoke to recreate the ultimate battle in TLJ. A total of 3 sets are required to make this scene possible -- Review summary Playability: 9/10 - For its size, what it lacks for build, it compensates for the weaponries Design / Building Experience: 6/10 - Did I say very mundane? It serves its purpose though. Minifigures: 9/10 - If only a 3rd version of Praetorian Guard helmet is included, this will be perfect. Price / Value for money: 10/10 - I hope this will be another template set that TLG will use for future release of BPs because it offers all the goodies that should be present in all battle packs. Overall: 8.5/10 - This is an awesome battle pack with very desirable minifigures that every Star Wars fan should consider buying. Thanks for reading this back-to-back review.
  3. In the recently released Stranger Things set, 75810 - The Upside Down. I noticed a small variation in the bicycle frame that most people really didn't pay much attention. The truth is, a retooled mould has been used for part no. 4719 for quite some time now. We just didn't know TLG is slowly phasing out the old one from warehouse inventories while the "new and improved" mould for the bikes takeover new batches of products. Case in point -- XTRA 40313 has been around for more than 6 months now. I looked up some videos in Youtube and I noticed some polybags contain the older variant with smaller chainstays gap. And then, majority of the times, the newer variant is included that has more space in the chainstays. Usually in Bricklink the part will be appended with "A" and "B" next to part number to differentiate the variations, e.g. 4719a and 4719b. However, for the last 6 months I don't believe anyone has noticed this with the bike frame. Maybe someone didn't know how to report/update database and Bricklink is just oblivious to these changes. I didn't even realise until I scrutinised the part over and over. So, do you think there are more undocumented parts that are "improved" or their moulds retooled that we just don't know about?
  4. “Blink once for yes, twice for no. Can you do that for me, sweetie?” - Joyce Byers Let’s do this little warm up exercise before diving deep in this LEGO set review: Do you like fantasy board games or role playing? Do you like 80’s pop culture references peppered with homages to classic 80’s movie classics like ET, Jaws, Star Wars, Alien, The Goonies, and more? Do you like Stephen King’s novels and their adaptations? Do you like characters with depth and sensible intellect? Would you watch a show that remixes all these ingredients and provides a believable world set in an era that stirs-up nostalgia? If you blinked once all the way, then you must have watched at least 1 season of Stranger Things and contributed to its widespread popularity. It’s probably the reason why you are reading this LEGO set review as well. It’s not so strange after all that a very famous show produced by Netflix is now available as a D2C LEGO set. Do not worry if you have not watched any episodes of Stranger Things because I will not discuss any plot in the review. There are many easter-eggs in this LEGO set but it’s not enough to give away anything spoilery. I’ll mark episode-specific details in spoiler tags for the benefit of potential non-show watchers who may want to watch the show before or after buying this set. There’s a lot to unpack here so buckle your seat belts as I present my 22nd RA review, LEGO 78510 The Upside Down. Overview Name: 75810 - The Upside Down Theme: Stranger Things Year: 2019 (1H) Pieces: 2287 Minifigures: 8 Price: USD 199.99 / EUR 199.99 / GBP 179.99 Introduction This review will not be possible without the support of TLG and Eurobricks for giving me the opportunity to review this remarkable set. Right off the bat, my immediate reaction when I saw the front box panel is a mix between confusion and amazement. Is there some Photoshop trickery in the box art? How is that even possible? Is there a literal upside-down version of Byers' house underneath? It looks like standing on stilts. Is that even stable? It looks like a MOC. Is that bad or good? After going through this review, you’ll know all the answers to these questions. Front Box Panel There are 2 LEGO logos on the box corners so that if you flip the box upside down, the show name “Stranger Things” can be read at the left corner. Even the the front box is literally showing the potential buyer a version of the upside-down. It is so meta. The back box panel shows what you can do with the set. You can flip it around and re-create the famous scenes from the show. There are a total of 6 rooms in the house, including those from the upside-down which is plenty enough to play with the 8 minifigures included in the set. The side panel shows all the 8 minifigures included in the set namely Lucas Sinclair, Dustin Henderson, Michael “Mike” Wheeler, Eleven, Chief Jim Hopper, Joyce Byers, Demogorgon and William “Will” Byers. If you want to view other pictures of the box can be viewed in my Flickr Stranger Things album or you can go directly here, here and here for the other side panels. What’s inside the box? Once you open the box, you will be greeted by a lot of numbered plastic bags and a separate white box that contains some other plastic bags. I know that bigger LEGO sets are packed with smaller boxes inside to protect the outer box from bulging and to make unpacking of contents easier. I think this is similar to that; however, I have never came across a mix of smaller box and loose plastic bags like the one pictured above. Below is what you get when you unpack everything including those inside the white carton. Noticed something about the plastic bag numberings? It goes up to number 11 which is obviously a nod to one of the Stranger Things protagonists, Eleven. I see what you did there TLG. Instruction Booklet & Stickers Sticker sheets are provided and there are 2 of them. Usually I don’t apply stickers but a lot of the stickers are important to decorate the Byers' house, so I felt the need to apply them. A closer look at the stickers Two booklets provided so you can build in tandem since two instruction booklets are provided, you can build the regular Byers' house and the Upside-Down Byers' house simultaneously with a friend. The 2 booklets split the instructions in half so it is super easy, barely an inconvenience, to build both the regular Byers' house and the Upside Down Byers' house in parallel. = The booklet is also sprinkled with trivia about the show and inspirations used in designing the model and the minifigures. Build Here is a quick preview on how each bag contributes to the build. Bags 1 to 5 are used to build the regular Byers' house. Bags 6 to 9 are used to build the upside-down version of Byers' house while the last 2 bags, 10 & 11, are used for the stands that doubles as trees. Bag #1 contents This bag contains a black bike and other interesting parts used for the 6-studs wide Chevy Blazer SUV. Bag #1 in-progress build Remember the hole in the middle of the chassis. It is the key in demystifying one of the hidden features of the set. As pictured above, this SUV build is using studs-not-on-top technique to make the angular window panes and tail slopes. It seems that a pumpkin is also detained inside the chief’s car for crimes that must never be spoken. This new pumpkin mould debuts in this set and it is expected to appear in other sets slated later this year. I decided to leave the stickers out for now. Remember to scroll down below to compare how it looks like after I applied the stickers. Bag #2 Contents Bag #2 in-progress build Bag #2 provides all the parts necessary for the foundation of the Byers' house. Even at this early build stage, there are areas that are already 3-plates high. This provides the rigidity needed to hold the house together. Bag #3 contents Bag #3 in-progress build Bag #3 decorates the house with the familiar Christmas lights on the wall. This is the part that makes the sticker application necessary and I felt this should have been a printed panel part because it is such a critical piece of the Stranger Things storyline, pun not intended. The “Shark” tile is also a sticker. This is the equivalent of the Jaws poster found in Will’s room. The exterior of the house is starting to look more interesting. Bag #4 contents Bag #4 in-progress build The furniture outside the house recreates the details seen in the actual house used in the show, including a swing and a sofa. It is not very accurate on the number of chairs seen outside the entry. Right here, I can already tell that the scale seems to be a little small for the Byers' house. The hole on the wall is part of the storyline. At first glance, The placement from the exterior seems right. However, due to the smaller scale of the house, once you look from the inside, the hole is not located where it should be. Even the position of the alphabets on the wall is wrong because it should be on the opposite side of the living room. I think this is part of the trade-off in making the house a doll-house, half-open structure. The designers are forced to move the alphabet wall at the wrong side of the living room to simplify the design which also forced them to shift the wall hole at a different room. By right, the wall hole is part of the living room, not Will’s room. An axe seems to be oddly placed near the door but it is also significant in season 1 storyline. The bear trap is a callback to 2 characters that is not included in the set, namely Nancy and Jonathan. It's not safe to set a bear trap inside the house specially if it's placed in front of the door. Despite the down-sized proportions and inaccuracies, if this isn’t a licensed theme, this will likely be part of Advanced Creator set due to its superb level of detailing and very enjoyable building experience thus far. Bag #5 contents Bag #5 in-progress build The 2x3 light brick comes with batteries, just like any typical set with a light brick. Once the protective battery seal is removed, you can just push the end of the light brick and it will light the wall. There is a special part added in front of the LED to modify the light and it looks like this: It will give the light pattern to give an impression that the lights on the wall are lighting. It’s hard to imagine anyone recreating the E.T. inspired message R-I-G-H-T-H-E-R-E using the brick light this way but at least you can imagine it. Results may vary. One of the tile with sticker is a callback to season 2 and perhaps it is intentional to put this item in one of the most obscured part of the house next to the purple wizard hat because once you place it there, you can hardly see it. Speaking of the purple wizard hat -- it is an easter egg for Will The Wise cosplay in the upcoming season 3 of Stranger Things. How do I know it is for season 3? Quite simple. If you have watched both seasons of Stranger Things, Will didn’t wear any purple wizard hat in any aired episodes at the time of this writing. Even the sketch of his Dungeons and Dragon character “Will The Wise” is using a brown wizard hat. So far, based on a pre-order of another collectible product, Funko Pop #805, we know that this has to be a season 3 material. The dark bluish gray roof is now installed with 5 pillars supporting the hanging edge covering the front porch. At this stage you can stop and admire the “completed” Byers' house because this is already the end of the regular Byers' house. The next bags are meant for the Upside Down part of the build. Bag #6 contents Starting with bag #6, the colour palette shifts to black and different shades of gray and blue. This is the start of the upside down builds.What’s not taken in the picture are the remaining 8X16 plates which are not part of bag #6 but are needed to build the flooring. A rogue teal colour managed to sneak inside this plastic bag and it is a filler element that you only use at the bottom fixtures. It seems that until now, TLG is trying their best to distribute as many teal elements they can possibly put in any set. Bag #6 in-progress build It’s kind of a deja vu but not really. It’s similar but different. The build not a lazy cut and paste. Because it’s a mirror copy of the regular Byers' house, the design is flipped from left to right. Therefore if you build this alone, you will not feel you are repeating the build entirely because the steps are different. Bag #7 contents Bag #7 in-progress build Bag #7 decorates the house with the ‘infested’ version of the house furniture and ornaments. While not visible in the show, the designers thought of adding the Christmas lights in the upside down version of the house. I have re-watched the show and I cannot see those Christmas lights on the wall or hanging from the ceilings. Given the creative freedom of the LEGO designers, I think it makes sense to add the Christmas lights in the upside down to mirror their existence in the normal dimension for the purpose of the LEGO set. I’m not going to split hair that this detail is inaccurate to the show. Bag #8 contents I just love the sand blue tiles because anything with sand in the colour name makes the colour more interesting. Bag #8 in-progress build The addition of trans-black 1x1 round tiles add gooey and slimy texture to the build. I also like the use of the dark blue and dark brown leaves to represent the spreading flesh-like membranes that are widespread in the upside down. The horn parts are used as tendrils that hangs out randomly like fungi. The Upside Down version of the house looks torn down and dilapidated. Bag #9 contents Bag #9 in-progress build More dark blue and dark brown leaves are added to suggest pervasive biological growth inside and outside the house. The trans-black antennae has never came out in that colour before so this is the first time we are getting an antenna part in trans-black. These add more gooeyness and creepiness to the upside down world. The black whips spiral the pillars which suggest that anyone or anything can get entangled in the upside down. Usually we see these whips are used as hanging vines only so it’s fun to point out that I have never seen whips used like this before in any official LEGO set before. It’s made of flexible material so I don’t think it’s illegal to flex and entwine it around another element. I think it’s a very creative use of the element. We are practically done with the build of Upside Down Byers' house. But of course, the set is not complete without the trees that hold the mirrored houses. They are mirrored... Bag #10 & 11 contents The bag numbers could just stop at 10 but of course it has to be 11. Now here they are unpacked -- Bag #10 & 11 in-progress build The pictures below are not taken from the scene of Inception movie and it’s not visual effects either. These are real pictures of 2 houses being attached together-- one beneath the other. The most important part in this building step is part #15460. Attaching the technic part with 3 ball joints or “Beam 1M With 3 Balls Ø5,9”, as TLG calls it, is a delicate process because you can knock off the pillars and walls if you are clumsy. As long as you hold the plates firmly together with your fingers and align the sockets properly, the flooring should withstand the pressure applied when you press down the balls into the sockets. The trees are very strong because they are essentially technic bricks covered by brown system bricks in beautiful SNOT. The left and right trees are completely identical except the sticker applied on one of the trees. It’s a poster of a missing person called Barbara Holland. If you have watched Stranger Things season 1 and 2, what eventually happened to Barb is revealed. However, we don’t know if there could ever truly be justice for Barb. #justiceforbarb Now, the full model is complete. You can now flip it from one dimension to another. It looks flimsy in some angles but the support has a spread of 7 x 10 studs on each tree top. In total, there are 18 studs touching the surface because there are three (3) 1x3 tile on each tree top. Essentially, the entire weight of the model is at the mercy of just six (6) 1x3 tiles as they are the very elements touching the surface for either dimensions. It may sound very little but due to the spread of 7 x 10 on both trees, the support is sufficient when I did several shake tests. I also did a toddler test to see if a very young builder can accidentally topple the model with a modest nudge and pull. Fortunately, in all days my kids touched and played with the set, it had never fallen down. Due to the nature of the source material and the advanced building methods, this is one of the model with age suggestion that I kind of agree. This set is really meant for builders aged 16+. Of course, if you allow very young kids to play with this kind of set, always supervise them as they may swallow small parts or elements. If there is an award for the most unnecessary sticker in the set, I think it has to go to the stickers placed at the sides of the house. The colour consistency is awful and I think the 2x3 tiles look fine even without them. Now let’s step back and return to the police car because this time I applied the stickers already. It’s almost required to apply the sticker on the white slope so that the slanted window pane can be realised at this small scale. I think this is a respectable amount of sticker needed to capture notable features of the SUV. Perhaps if there less stickers in the Speed Champions theme like this 1980 Chevrolet K5 Blazer, I will be more interested in that theme as well. Here’s a look of the 1980 Chevrolet K5 Blazer in different angles Mornings are for coffee and contemplation. Completed Build Remember the hole at the bottom of Hopper’s car? The protruding pin at the lawn is meant to hold the car in place so that it can be displayed in front of Byers' house as well. If you are concerned about the stability, don’t worry. Even if you add the minifigures and the car, they are light enough that they don’t really affect the set’s centre of gravity too much. You can display the set this way if you wish. What’s more interesting is that the pin can also hold the police car quite well even if you flip it upside down. Again the picture above is not Photoshopped. It’s not rotated 180 degrees. It’s really upside down. Below are more pictures of the entire build for your viewing pleasure... Hello? Will? Will? Where are you? Mom! I'm right here! Parts When I did the earlier draft of this review, I underestimated the number of new colours and new moulds introduced in this set. For the sanity of normal people reading this review, I won’t go deep in each element but I will highlight some of the things that piqued my interest. Something new... You can ignore the tiles with stickers (Mind Flayer, Have You Seen Me, Rules and Shark) as the only printed tile in the picture above is the sketch of Will the Wise, the wizard character of Will in Dungeons & Dragons. How I wish those tiles with stickers are actually printed. The 2 tan elements with stickers are new colours of existing elements and it’s sad that I have to apply stickers on them. I prepared the list of items here that I believe are new parts/recolour because I could not find them existing in other sets. New part/recolour list: 2417 - Plant Leaves 6 x 5, dark blue (earth blue) 2423 - Plant Leaves 4 x 3, dark brown 2436b - Bracket 1 x 3 - 1 x 4 with round corners, medium nougat (medium dark flesh) 4719 - Bicycle Frame (bigger chainstay gap), black 6106 - Wedge, Plate 6 x 6 Cut Corner, olive 6179 - Tile, Modified 4 x 4 with Studs on Edge, dark blue (earth blue) 6881 - Tile 6 x 6, tan (sand/brick yellow) 30093 - Plant Sea Grass, black 33183 - Carrot top/twig, black 35391 - Panel 1 x 2 x 1 with Rounded Corners and 2 Sides, dark bluish gray 35391 - Panel 1 x 2 x 1 with Rounded Corners and 2 Sides, dark tan 48205 - Wedge, Plate 6 x 4 Right, dark bluish gray 48205 - Wedge, Plate 6 x 4 Right, olive green 48208 - Wedge, Plate 6 x 4 Left, dark bluish gray 48208 - Wedge, Plate 6 x 4 Left, olive green 49307 - Brick, Modified 1 x 1 x 2/3 No Studs, Curved Top, black 49311- Brick 1 x 4 x 3, tan (sand/brick yellow) 60479 - Plate 1 x 12, dark tan 60616 - Door 1 x 4 x 6 with stud handle, dark brown 63864 - Tile 1 x 3, sand blue 92438 - Plate 8 x 16, medium nougat (medium dark flesh) 92438 - Plate 8 x 16, olive green The list is actually longer than I expected. You are also not mistaken that I included the bike frame in the picture and list above. There is a slight variation in the bike frame mould included in set 75810. Simply put, the bicycle frame has a new element ID and as far as I can tell, the gap between the chainstays are bigger than the previous bike mould. The part ID stays the same as 4719 but the new mould shaved a few grams of plastic. Older variant (red) vs new variant (black) -- mind the gaps at the back wheel There are a number of new minifigure-related elements and accessories, too. For the accessory alone, my favourite has to be the waffle 1x1 printed tile. Yes, there is no brand name associated with this waffle but it has to be Eggo waffles because that’s the only waffle Eleven eats in the show. Lucas’ slingshot and Dustin’s compass is also a great accessory to have. Let’s proceed to the next section so that we can talk more about the rest of the new minifigure parts. To Mirkwood... Minifigures Let me break the bad news first. There are no side printings in all these minifigures. That's unfortunate because some of these minifigures could really use a good side printing. Now that it's out of the way, let's focus on what's good. There's a lot them. First, all the kids in this playset use the new medium legs. So, medium legs fans rejoice! There are 4 new colours of this part - tan (sand/brick yellow), bright light blue (light royal blue), white and dark green (earth green). Kids, front view Dustin, Eleven and Mike are wearing their outfit during the stroll at the train tracks on episode S01E05. Lucas on the other hand is wearing his outfit during his lone mission to find “the gate” on episode S01E06. I am glad that the design team chose the outfit of Elle with the jacket on top of the pink dress. Reason being, if you have not noticed yet, all the kids in this show wear jackets. All the face prints are excellent. I like to think that all the default faces are neutral, except Lucas because he always has this anxious or rattled look. More importantly, the most outstanding element in the minifigure design is none other than Dustin’s cap and Will’s bowl haircut. Dustin’s cap is a blue and reddish brown dual moulded hairpiece and cap combo with red paint applied on top and bottom of the visor. On the other hand, Will’s bowl haircut is just the perfect translation from screen to LEGO hairstyle. It is very spot on! Kids, back view Looking at the back, all the back prints are excellent as well. As mentioned above, Dustin’s cap is dual moulded so the border between blue and reddish brown colour is so crisp, it is very pleasing to look at. In contrast, Lucas’ camouflage bandana print wraps around the head and has duller print. It is using the same piece as the Scalawag Pirate headpiece that was first seen in CMF series 16, circa 2016. It is now in black colour with a different print. Kids, back view without hairpieces Dustin, Will and Mike has excellent secondary face print. Mike has an angry face. I think it’s really appropriate because Mike is rarely scared in the show. Will’s secondary face is the most scared of them all because he has to be. If I am trapped in the Upside Down, I know I will be, too. Dustin’s amused face with toothless mouth is cute and also important because it is accurate to the real effect of teeth and bone condition called cleidocranial dysplasia. It was briefly mentioned in the show and its depiction in minifigure also helps spread awareness about the condition. You would think that Elle will have dual face print as well but it’s unfortunate that she only has a single face print. Lucas also has a single face print but I think this is a side effect of the choices made by LEGO designers on adding the bandana. My problem is that Lucas has more hair at the back of his head and the bandana is not suppose to replace his hair. The designers should at least added some prints like how in some minifigures like Zane of NINJAGO. Apart from this small oversight, I think that all the minifigures are very well designed. Kids, front view without hairpieces Earlier in the build, there is a minifigure stand for 4 minifigures. Why just 4 minifigures, you ask? I call this the search and rescue party stand because this is meant to hold the kids who searched for Will during season 1. Yes, forget about the adults. The stand is a good addition but I don’t think it is absolutely necessary even if this set evokes the same vibe similar to Star Wars UCS model. Frankly speaking, I don’t see the point of this stand as there are plenty of space to put the minifigures on either the regular Byers' house or the Upside Down Byers' house. Besides, I detest having to apply that gigantic sticker on the stand. I’m sure many can relate. Adults and monster, front view This is the first time we are getting Winona Ryder minifigure. Her character in show, Joyce, is a hot mess in season 1 so the slight smirk or forced smile is very accurate to the character. The hairpiece used is the newer Hermione hairpiece that first appeared in 2018. She is wearing the outfit from S01E04 where we most meme of her talking to christmas light came from. It is very iconic scene from season 1 that I will be disappointed if they have chosen a different one Meanwhile, Chief Hopper is sporting the boring Hawkins police officer uniform inspired by Jaws Amity police department. It is well-known easter egg that even Hopper’s police car is copied inspired from that shark movie. With regards to the Demogorgon, the striking petal-shaped headgear mould printed with serrated set of teeth captures the otherworldly monster very well. It is using the Faun legs but in new dark tan colour and print. Wolverine claws in new dark tan colour are also attached to represent the elongated and pointy fingers of the creature. Adults and monster, back view The back printing is standard quality. Adults and monster without hairpiece/headgears, back view As for the dual face print - only Joyce has an alternate face print. This time, she has the shocked-in-disbelief or anxious look. Adults and monster without hairpiece/headgears, front view view Pikaboo, I see you! What surprised me is the existence of a face print beneath the open-petal headgear. It could have been just a head mould but instead, we get a headgear and a standard minifigure head with a face print. Thanks to the conviction of the designers, we also get a closed-petal face for the Demogorgon. Take a closer look Conclusion It is an exciting time to be an AFOL. Who would have thought that a theme out of a Netflix horror fiction show will be an actual LEGO set? The Upside Down playset is quite daring. It is an insane looking model that can be flipped to depict the 2 dimensions as seen in the show. Striking and different to say the least. If you are a fan of the show and building blocks, there are many things to like about the set: The minifigure selection is excellent. The design and building techniques are very enjoyable. It looks like a MOC which is highly inspiring if you build your own creations The mirrored world of the upside down is highly detailed. New parts and moulds are abundant. The price to parts ratio is also excellent. The list goes on. Nonetheless, there is no perfect set so what I am listing below may appear to be nitpicking but I just need to round these up so everyone knows the less desirable aspect of the set. Alterations and/or inaccuracies to the show: The wall hole should be part of the living room, not Will’s bedroom The Christmas lights on the wall are on the wrong side… but there is no other side in the build because of the doll-house half-open design The Christmas lights in the Upside Down were never there in the show but it is there in the model The phone should be on the right side next to the storage room, not Will’s room. Omissions and/or exclusions: No shed. No dog (Chester). No Jonathan Byers even if the set is the Byers' house. No Steve. No Steve! Why no Steve with a nailed bat?? The house scale is on the tiny side as well so I feel that if the parts used for the trees and minifigure stand are used on detailing the house instead, we could get a better looking interior. Sadly we cannot have the flipping feature and the very awesome interior at the same time. Compromise need to happen somehow. Additionally, we can all agree that the trees that hold and support the weight of the whole model is very awesome. However, it can never match the stability of a regular house model with a wider base. I disassembled the attachment of the 2 houses once and I just prefer the 2 houses to be detached from one another simply because they are easier to work with. There is no risk of toppling down. You can argue that the greater the risk, the greater the reward is -- Perhaps it’s true and it may not even matter if you will just enclose the playset in an acrylic case. In summary, the positives still outweighs the negatives by a large margin. Looking at the value and creative inspiration that this set brings, it’s definitely in my top 10 sets to buy in 2019. The set tries to capture 2 seasons worth of materials with a bonus season 3 easter egg so fans will appreciate all the details included in the set. It’s not perfect but it’s definitely worth checking out. I wish this is not a one-off theme. I could be dreaming. Maybe it is just one and done. Who knows? Review summary Playability: 8/10 - The set is very playable but its notable flipping feature also makes it more delicate to handle. Frankly, it looks safer and better on display. Design / Building Experience: 9/10 - I applaud the designer, Justin Ramsden, in making one of the most trippy LEGO set to date. We need brave new ideas like this to make interesting playsets. The only reason why I am not giving this a perfect score is due to the inaccuracy of the house layout and compromises that made the house smaller than what it should have been. Minifigures: 9/10 - I wanted to give this set a 10 but there is no Steve Harrington! There has to be a Steve minifigure to make this minifigure line-up perfect. Price / Value for money: 9/10 - The price to part ratio is very reasonable and it has a great collection of parts in versatile colours that are great for MOCs. Overall: 8.75/10 - Just like Jonathan Byers once said, “You shouldn't like things because people tell you you're supposed to.” However, there is a pretty good chance you’ll like this set because it is bizarrely enjoyable and different. Hello, I need to order The Upside Down, right now!
  5. @Digger of Bricks there is a paid mod for this functionality somewhere... and I don't know if it is actually compatible with the forum software. I haven't been working on forums & PHP for a long while but I know that mod exists. Can't speak for the mods and admins here for sure, but it's a double-edge sword. If you have a favourite admin or moderator, I think it's easier to just tag them to get their attention. @Jim or someone with a short username probably
  6. makoy

    The train station: Studgate

    Those transparent pieces looks fantastic..
  7. makoy

    "New and Improved" Parts

    I thought about that too. The indent is still there but there's merit into believing that it really improved the flexibility of that part of the bike. I tried to pull out the wheels once in the newer mould and it seems that it is less risky to break the back fork or chainstays. However, I have not read any accounts that someone broke a bicycle frame just by pulling out the bike wheels at the back before, have you?
  8. This is in my Flickr album along with the other pictures used in my review.
  9. @Toastie if I type continuously without selecting the username prompted in the floating list, the post editor will ignore the @ symbol and so there will be no mention or highlight as I demonstrate here. However if I type @Toastie and select your ID or touch the screen on my phone, you will get the highlighted @mention -- and this is very important because only when you get the highlight that it will notify the other party. If you don't see the highlight, it won't notify them. This is my recommendation because I encountered this issue as well. If you don't get the floating list prompt, it is possible that the website failed to load properly. If that happens the @mention function may not work. Reloading the website (F5 or CTRL+R) may help.
  10. makoy

    "New and Improved" Parts

    The ultimate inventory authority is still TLG - but they don't make it easy to extract the parts inventory for sets that's why websites like Bricklink and Rebrickable exist. You're right... the system is ripe for a major overhaul. The clam pieces have their own distinct listing in BL so we can say that the community knows the differences between these 2 types exist. From afar, I can't really tell the differences though. Same with the baby head, they are 2 distinct listings in BL so I believe it is already addressed. I think there is a fine line between obscure revision that won't change functionality and minor change that slightly update the geometry. You gave a very good example with that mysterious slope. Fortunately I didn't have to suffer the consequences made by mixing up these 2 different parts that are so similar but aren't actually the same. That would be so frustrating in MOCs. The bike and clam examples are the kind of changes that you can "ignore" for the most parts because it won't break any build just because their functionality didn't change and their geometry (how they fit with other pieces) stays the same. It's very easy for TLG to differentiate the revisions. All the parts numbers also have an element ID and I believe the inventory is distinct per element ID (part + colour) so they know exactly about the differences and they know if the revisions is distinct enough that it should not be mixed with certain sets down the product pipeline. The problem is when the mere mortals like us try to sort the parts and cannot quickly distinguish them, then fail at figuring out what's the difference. It's very problematic with the case of those mysterious slopes mentioned above and quite benign for the bicycle and clam examples. I think someone had done the stress test on the bike frame and figured out that shaving some plastic in that area will save TLG money and the quality/strength of the frame will still be relatively the same. I think that has to be the business case why they even bothered updating the mould. As for the jumper plates... I had the same frustrating experience trying to buy those different types.
  11. makoy

    "New and Improved" Parts

    I think in most cases, BL relies on the community of sellers and buyers to distinguish the differences specially if the variation impacts the build if the variants have measurement differences. The variation of the newer bike frame will certainly not impact any build but as someone who stumbled upon it, I am surprised how little information there is about these changes. This is the confusing part in BL. There are even "unidentified" version of parts when the variants are supposed to be "indistinguishable", or people just can't be bothered about the differences.
  12. makoy

    [REVIEW] 75810 - The Upside Down

    Well, speaking of moral stance -- I seriously have no idea who approves what theme or minifigures gets produced. I have trouble accepting that March Harriet in The LEGO Batman Movie made it into CMF series whereas Moe from Simpsons didn't. From there onwards, I always have trouble understanding what is deemed "unsuitable". I hope you're right. More unusual themes could be good! Cheers! I like Steve, Nancy and Jonathan to be included as well but if you are counting only season 1, that's likely not the way the designer think about the house. There are season 2 references in the set, even season 3 -- so, considering that, the kids were around the Byers House just as much as anyone else. The set caters for both season 1 and season 2. Unfortunately, I didn't collect Hobbits and Ghostbusters. The only fleshies I have are mostly Star Wars.
  13. makoy

    [REVIEW] 75810 - The Upside Down

    Glad you like the review. What really bothered me about the bad press this set got before official release is that most people who think it doesn't fit the LEGO brand probably has not watched the show at all. The horror aspect of this show is actually very shallow. It is heavier in science fiction and period drama. The horror stuff is just the cherry on top of a rather good cake and icing.
  14. makoy

    Ideas for CMFs

    It feels weird to have a "normal" series when apparently what's more "normal" (typical?) now are licensed CMF series.
  15. makoy

    [REVIEW] 75810 - The Upside Down

    Here you go...just for you. I do hope TLG is listening. When people complained about the regional exclusive, they listened... so suggestion to have more sets like this should be heard as well. Really shooting for the moon here, but it's not bad to try. I had thought about it... but I feel like you'll have a lot of tree elements that will not be useful for the build. If you're comfortable selling the minifigures to offset the cost, then why not?
  16. makoy

    [REVIEW] 75810 - The Upside Down

    Thanks to your inputs I saved myself some time correcting referential errors earlier on. I can relate to this dilemma since I collect Star Wars. I cannot be collecting both Star Wars and HP in full capacity. However, in my case, I had to stick with what I have been collecting much longer -- Star Wars. I think it makes sense you stick with HP as well if that is what you have been collecting. Sounds logical to me! Yeah, I don't think there is a better alternative either. I think can stick with this for both season 1 and season 2 Elle and Lucas. However, looking at season 3 Elle... we need to replace her hairpiece with a more common one. I think we'll be surprised with the agility of Netflix to look at the market reaction to this product and follow through accordingly. They are basically a data analytics company behind a video streaming platform. I am hoping TLG can tag along too. In my Instagram, a lot of non-LEGO folks had shown interest as well, so I think TLG and Netflix marketing had already consulted the crystal ball. I like this kind of thinking! Btw, Stranger Things 3 will come out in July. The "teen love-triangle" subplot is totally missing in this set and I can see that as the main reason why these figures were not included. I think we'll have to wait for someone who collects modulars to make that comparison as I don't collect modulars (at the moment...)
  17. I am relieved that there is no special parts in Castle Byers... because that will totally defeat the statement by LEGO earlier that they will stop (limit?) exclusive releases. I think many customisers out there can do much better stickers for Castle Byers and using those pictures shared, one can easily make their own Castle Byers. Sweet!
  18. makoy

    [REVIEW] 75810 - The Upside Down

    I really wish also... now we need to convince Netflix and TLG that this should not be a one-off theme. I am keeping the door open for your curiosity voyage. Here the hairpiece from Roman Gladiator. And since I also have Lando, I use that to try on Lucas. They look awesome. It's a reward for those curious. Keep being curious. Welcome and to be frank, it's not my favourite show either. It's just fun to watch with a lot of inspiration from the 80s. There are a lot of things that this set got right and I already mentioned those things that it didn't -- but it's definitely worthy of your hard-earned bucks. As for the bike --- I think that TLG will continue to optimise or retool those moulds so that they can save money without sacrificing quality. We have seen that happen with several iterations of the other parts. I don't think many reviewers spotted as I also struggled to find what's the difference at first. Go watch it! The cast is adoring. The hype train is real. Always the pleasure is mine when I write this reviews. Cheers!
  19. In the instruction manual, it was mentioned that the designer (Justin Ramsden) basically re-watched the Netflix episodes. No details were given how they worked with Netflix though. I really like the this stylised promo videos. Remember, Netflix is involved here and they probably figured that 80's nostalgia is the best marketing tool for this set to get traction and attention needed.
  20. makoy

    [REVIEW] 75810 - The Upside Down

    I understand the dilemma. Consider that this is one bizarre set that may never be matched by another weirder set. I hope it does stay longer on shelf and doesn't disappear quickly. Also, how many times we are going to get a Winona Ryder minifigure. Probably this time only? Yes, I hope so. The Stranger Things fandom is still growing so I hope Netflix and TLG continue to work together.
  21. makoy

    [REVIEW] 75810 - The Upside Down

    Thanks. Either she comes in a supporting character battle pack or a girlfriend sidekick for Steve. Either way is fine as long as we get Steve also.
  22. Here's my detailed review of the set for anyone interested. EDIT: @Clone OPatra already posted few posts before but I missed reading it... so excuse this redundant post.
  23. makoy

    [REVIEW] 75810 - The Upside Down

    It is a very nice playset. I had lots of fun building it and playing with it as well. I ball joints does a great job holding the houses together. It acts like a clamp at the edges.