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About VBBN

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    A 'Ring' to rule them all
  • Birthday 09/08/1993

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  1. VBBN

    What did you buy today?

    Ordered my second set of Marilyn Monroe mosaics to take advantage of double VIP, can’t wait to have a full set of four!
  2. VBBN

    Review: 40426 Christmas Wreath

    Great review Panda! Excellent photos and a great write up I think I like this set more than I originally did. I've never really been much of a fan of Lego's other "functional" holiday offerings as I think the ornaments and the like are usually pretty lame and cheap looking. But this is a pretty convincing decoration, it does a great job of conveying what it is, but not hiding the fact that it's Lego. Plus, it's not exactly the worst as far as parts go. I like that it has a lot of alternate configurations, and I could definitely see Lego exploring more functional decorations like this in the future as holiday exclusives.
  3. VBBN

    What are you listening to?

    grandson is definitely one of my most influential artists, IMO his stuff only keeps getting better & midnight sky is definitely a banger
  4. VBBN


    I've been wanting to get back into MOCing lately and finally sat down for a bit yesterday and threw something together. (it's also worth noting, I know there are those canon contests going on right now and this character is a future contender, this was not designed with those in mind, this is obviously an artistic take on the character and not at all what I would assume to be canon.)
  5. VBBN

    R3-3D5 [Sparring Bot]

    Fantastic work! The unique head design here is brilliant and a really nice use of not only a skull spider in a non-conventional way, but also finally a good use for that visor piece. I think what I really like about that is it's not just a visor that goes in front of the face like the old HF set had done, but rather it's built in as a part of said face. The rest of the MOC is well done, a very unique vibe coming from this figure.
  6. VBBN

    LEGO Art - Rumours and Discussion

    Oh dear, Warhol’s is my favorite artist so the Monroe is a must buy, but to buy four of them at that price...ouch. I do wonder what the aftermarket on BrickLink will be for the exclusive frame elements? I’m hoping in time it will become cost effective to just buy extra frame elements instead of multiple sets at those prices if they do a Lichtenstein set I’ll be ruined over here
  7. VBBN

    LEGO Ideas Discussion

    What an absolutely abysmal round of decisions. The typewriter makes no sense, we already have the piano coming and I seriously doubt this is on most people "must buy" list. Personally I think Seinfeld is awful, but I'm more peeved that this somehow made it, but The Office was shot down what, 3 times? Home Alone makes sense as a set; I'm sure they want to try to work in ways to have "traps" be sprung and whatnot, but personally I really have no interest in a set for this film. (Not to mention this will likely be a pricey one.) I am hoping that the Planet Express ship was skipped because of the (IMO) superior set coming in the 1st 2020 review. It's disappointing that Legend of Bionicle was axed as that is about the only shot Bionicle will ever have in the Idea's lineup, but honestly with how Lego treats Bionicle I'm not surprised. Ratatouille, while not my favorite Disney property, would have been a fun build in terms of parts at least. Everything else I was very un-interested in for this round.
  8. I had to frontpage this a few days ago as soon as I saw it- the design here are fantastic. While controversial, 2006 was my favorite year for Bionicle, and I will always have a soft spot for the Piraka. These designs are fantastic, they truly add a new level of character in the design, and blend a great mix of building styles. I also love the unique teeth for each one; reminds me of my simpler Vezon I did a while back. I would absolutely love to see you tackle the remainder of the Piraka; and I dare say you've inspired me to attempt this type of project as well, though perhaps with a different set of characters. The Toa, though I'm not sure on- don''t get me wrong, the builds are fantastic. And I see you went with a re-imagined viewpoint for these figures, especially with Kongu and Nuparu, to where they look more like their Mctoran counterparts, rather than being Inika inspired. I think that's a good idea, but I'm not sure that Matoro really fits in here. Again, he's a great build, but honestly before reading through your comments, I though that was supposed to be some kind of twisted Thok or even pre-mutation Pridak. I think, perhaps, it's because he doesn't utilize his old Matoran mask, whereas his fellow two counterparts do? I do hope to see you continue this series.
  9. Yeah, honestly even a regular Baron would have been cool; it definitely wouldn't be out of the ordinary to have someone dressed as the Baron, the owner of this mansion. In fact, I feel like it would almost have made more sense than the twins they put in here One way I wanted to spookify this place was to add in a Johnny Thunder with a skeleton face... Baron caught his ultimate prize, Johnny Thunder himself Thank you! The windows were definitely a chore, and I kept panicking every time I would be searching through a pile of parts for that last window, convinced it was going to be missing. I did leave out the blurbs, sometimes in easter egg filled sets like this, I like to leave a small thing or two out of the review so that someone who has read the review and purchased the set has a little surprise left in some way. (In my case, Junkbot and the little blurbs were unexpected). Thanks for the comments everyone! As always with these reviews, I appreciate everyone sharing their thoughts and taking part in the poll. These reviews continue to be a great way to share your thoughts directly with Lego
  10. Thanks Fangy! I do agree it's tough to display, not quite as bad as the UCS Star Destroyer, but a challenge in the other direction Thank you! I believe I mentioned at one point in the review that this set has no stickers at all, everything you see is a print! Good catch on the controller pieces Thanks to you both for clarifying on that! It's interesting too that the speed of the cart also depends on how you drop it- if you use only the one crank, the cart eventually freefalls more aggressively. If you utilize the other crank which disengages the gears, the entire chain pulls down with the cart, which also slows its fall. Though that crank is more difficult to use, I have a sense that the Powered Up functions likely offer the smoothest operation of the ride. What I mean is, I feel like if you operate the ride "normally" the braking system doesn't seem to do anything, it's moreso if you use the secondary crank that the slowing effect is really noticeable.
  11. Today we take a trip into a spooky, 90's nostalgia filled house- Samuel Von Barron's Haunted House, that is! Jump to the Special Themes forum to see my review!
  12. Name: 10273 Haunted HouseTheme: Fairground Collection (Creator Expert)Year: 2020Pieces: 3231Price: £209.99 / $249.99 / 229.99€ Resources: Brickset | Lego | Bricklink Hello and welcome to the next addition to the Fairgrounds- the Haunted House! This is the next entry following the massive Roller Coaster (which I did a review of as well, by the way ), and once again Lego is looking to make a large structure to add to your city- this time, a tall, vertical tower with a tower-drop ride hidden inside. Inspired by rides the likes of the Tower Of Terror, and with a nostalgic twist in the Adventurers/Orient Expedition theming, this has certainly been an interesting addition to 2020. Is this worthy of adding to your collection? Let's find out And a big thank you to Lego for providing us with this set- as they begin to change their branding to target more of an adult audience, it's only appropriate that we take a look at it here in our AFOL community. The Box: Normally I don't go into much detail on the boxes in my reviews, since, well, you can see them in a store pretty easily. And in my case, boxes tend to end up in the recycling bin. But this time around, Lego is making a big deal out of the new packaging. You'll notice the distinct lack of Creator Expert branding, the bright background; now we have this more "collector focused" look, something that we started seeing with the newest UCS Falcon. It's...okay, though to be honest it doesn't really look any more professional to me. It looks more "fake," like some kind of rendering done to sell a MOC as a set. A clean background looks good on certain sets, but I feel for a set like this, the lack of life around the house really ruins the effect. Rear: The rear showcases some of the sets features, the "dollhouse" opening feature, as well as a blueprint of the set. Again, the focus here is very much on the set Side: The side of the box of features a nice image of the set as well, certainly with store-displays in mind. Minifigures: Here's the first round of figures. We get the "creepy twins" who run the house, and five park-goers. The two on the right are from the Hidden Side universe, and from what I ave heard, the right-most figure is also a reference to a Lego designer. And yes, Lego seems to have given us a "Karen" minifigure Rear and alternate faces: Each figure has back printing, though only three have reverse faces. Ghosts: Oh boy. The ghosts. I don't know what Lego was thinking with these ones...we have gotten two really decent ghost molds in the past, these are a step backward down the stairs- are they supposed to look more like people dressed as ghosts? Because that's what the old ones looked like already. Both feature a reversible face, with one side a smile and one a frown. Bonus Figures: Here we have the "bonus" figures included in the set- a skeleton that is used as decoration in the house, and a box of junk that can be built into a figure resembling Junkbot, a character from an old Lego game of the same name. While slightly different colors and unprinted, I LOVE having this obscure reference tossed in here. Bag 1: Graveyard: Bag 1 begins with the first walls of the structure- get used to this build here because you're going to be repeating it, a lot. We then build this little graveyard outside. The one reference of this set I wasn't too certain on was this gravestone, any idea what that is in reference to? The pumpkin, I think, would have been better served with a duller stem color, as currently it seems out of place here. Bag 2: Bag 2 begins the construction of the middle segment to the house. From here, we begin to see some of the gearing mounted, which will be used for the tower drop feature. The little rubber 1x2 units are used to prevent the cart from slamming into the ground Bag 3: Bag three continues the build of the center section- we can see here the operators desk for controlling the ride. Dropper mechanism: The next element of the functionality we build is a unit that will disengage and power to the gears. When you rotate the red piece at the top, the gray cylinder will disengage from the gear cranks. To be honest I don;'t know what the point of this is, as the ride already drops on its own? Combined Here we have the two sections of the center merged together. More will be added to the functional elements at the end of the build. Bag 4: Bag 4's focus is on the entrance to the house, which features both stairs as well as a wheelchair ramp. Finished entrance: We continue to finish of the roofing to the entrance as well as some little lamps (using the paintbrush roller handles.) Doors will be added soon. Floorplan Here's a detail I appreciate- the floorplan of this does make logical sense. The entrance opens up to the ticket booth, you can then walk in to the ride (Which is adjacent to the control unit) or wait over by where some artifacts will eventually be placed. Bag 5: Bag 5's focus is on os the rubber wheels on the inside of the ride. As far as I can tell, the only purpose to these wheels really is to "slow" the ride down, though as we will see later that sort of depends on how you operate the ride. Bag 6: Bag 6 begins the detailing around the main tower on the inside, mostly. mix of black, white, and gold detailing. Organ: Next up we build this fantastic organ. There's some wonderful SNOT techniques utilized here, and it's really one of the most intricate parts of this build. Bag 7: Bag 7 begins by continuing the wall structure above the entrance- some very familiar techniques being used here. Doors The doors are mounted to a simple gear, by turned the knob on the outside of the house, the dogs can swing open or closed. Though they do look a little wary from the inside. Bag 8: Here's where we begin to really dive into the nostalgia and the Adventurers themes- these are representative of the Heads of Anubis, found in set #5988. The walls continue And of course, we continue to the build up the structure. Note that the Organ was placed on the other side of the graveyard, Bag 9: Bag 8 continues the nostalgia with the Sphinx head from set #7412. Completed While a more modern build, this really still maintains a "classic" look. Sphinx head mounted: I do like how it integrates to the wall here. Also not the TNT to the left side. Bag 10: v Bag 10 begins the "attic" spaces, while will be underneath the roof. Roof These get somewhat repetitive so I'll just show one- here's how the ref panels are built for the most part. Will secured, and they have two connection points for mounting to the house. Bag 11: Bag 11 continues the tower build- nothing too exciting to comment on just yet. Bag 12: Bag 12 has this nice little roof construct, again I appreciate how well this all tabs together here. Finished roof construct One thing I'll comment on with the roof segments, I do appreciate how well they all intersect one another. Bag 13: Bag 13 begins this stained glass build. which will also house the light brick assembly. Portrait build: Another feature of the set is the light-up portrait of Samuel von Barron- the effect, is that when you light up the picture, you see the cursed mummy behind him. Here we can see the mummy is a separate printed element that is mounted behind the main portrait piece. Portrait mounted Due to the light brick assembly and the "dual picture" build, this does tend to be very bulky unfortunately. Bag 14, 15, 16 Okay, I've skipped ahead a bit here. These next parts of the build focus on the main tower. Most fairground sets thus far have had elements that tend to feel...dull or repetitive. The carts on a Ferris wheel or carousel, the pillars of the roller coaster... in this set, the walls tend to get a little on the dull side. It's not modular where the textures change on each floor. The little contrasts you see above are done 20 times or more throughout this build, certainly easy enough to do with closed eyes. Chains Snd, for those of you well versed with the roller coaster, the task of putting together 150 chain links is certainly going to be a dreaded task. Though, a nice change of pace form the way construction. Chain mounted We can see here the numerous doors that have been added with the usual wall builds. The chain is then mounted, this can be a little tricky since you have to feed it through the tower and out the bottom. NOTE: the chain is very taught, at first it'll feel like you are stretching something. Unlike the roller coaster which tended to have a little leeway in the amount of links used, it is absolutely necessary to use exactly the 150 here. Otherwise, the chain is not pulling in a vertical direction. Bag 17: Bag 17 begins the main rooftop build. As you can see above, this is an extremely solid construction. Finished roof While simple, it's shape works will with he other roof components we've built so far. Bag 18: Bag 18 is the final bag, and focuses on the actual riding cart itself. The other portion of the cart is meant to represent an elevator cart Finished cart Though as we can see here, the riders themselves are inside a smaller, more secure riding car (which uses an old-school cockpit piece, commonly used during the Adventurers times). This clips in the the back of the elevator car, so removing it is easy. Good for posing minifies easily. Completed set: Let's get one thing out of the way- this set is really tall. Certainly it doesn't beat out the old Eiffel Tower set, but it does tower over my Voltron set. I also love that it opens up dollhouse style, similar to the Ghostbusters HQ set. Other Angles Thanks to its dollhouse design, it does look pretty good from most angles. Obviously the back is the weakest, though it's mostly due to the large wheels. To be honest I really have no clue what the large wheels are supposed to actually do. Set details "Welcome inside.." Organ Starting on the left side, bottom floor, we have the Organ, next to a create filled with a shovel and axe. The Anubis heads sit high above. Portrait Here we have the previously mentioned portrait of Barron himself. The "Manor Von Barron" sign acts as the button for the light brick hidden inside. Cursed Mummy The brick then illuminates the hidden Mummy image. Obelisk Here we have a sort of obelisk that resembles those seen in numerous Adventurers sets back in the day. I really appreciate how they recreated the print on the column. It's worth noting that this doesn't match any of the old ones exactly, due to color changes such as the gray top. Gem-thing I have no idea what this reference is supposed to be. The TNT block we saw earlier is hidden behind. The ride Moving to the center of the house, we see the ride itself. The figures are loaded into the cart.. The Sphinx head Of course we see another artifact here, the Sphinx head. Photo moment This window here is the moment where a camera would take photo of the riders, to be sold at obnoxious prices later. The camera is situated opposite of this under one of the roof panels, another detail that makes sense mainly when the building is closed up. Opening doors Here we have the peek-a-boo doors. Meant to be the moment that the cart gets to it's highest point, it will open these doors.. Revealing the Minifigures about to experience the drop.It does work pretty smoothly overall. Also, take note of the small Fright Knights reference up above. Skeleton thing Moving to the ticket counter, we see another reference to adventurers in the form of this skeleton thing. Seems to harken back to set #7417. Box of Junk This shelf has some other interesting oddities: And orb of Ogel, the "Golden Dingus" from set #7412, and a box containing the needed elements to build Junk bot. Rear of the Door Moving to the left, we have the back of the door we saw previously. One thing I'll add in here is the chandelier, I do like the build of that quite bit. Opening Doors Here you can see the opening feature. Creepy Table Not really sure what this represents here- we have a skeleton with a hat that is somehow staying on, some skull candles, a cup, hidden snake, and, well I'm not certain what the red lantern is supposed to be. A vase of liquid? It's a little random, but "spooky," I suppose. Mechanism Here we will talk about the mechanism, it's a bit strange. First, there is a lever to the left, that "drives" the ride. By turning the crank, the chain will pull the cart upwards. It's important to note that you can only rotate the crank one way, it will lock up if you try to turn it the opposite direction. As the chain rises, one of the two wider gray chain segments will catch on to the ride cart and pull it upwards. Once it reaches the top, the cart falls to the bottom. Then we have the crank that's more on the center- if you are operating this ride manually, I'm not sure why you would ever need this. As discussed previously, this disengages the power to the chain, so by engaging this crank the ride will all. (But, it already falls by itself using only the crank on the left.) The only difference I can see is by using this, the ride slows down a little more on it's way down. Again, by operating this manually it's not really sensible to use, though It seems with Powered Up functions you might be able to do something more. As usual, Lego chose not to include the needed power elements here. Finally, you have the rubber wheels. Their purpose wasn't really clear to me, but other have pointed out that they help to counterbalance the wheels inside and assist with the braking feature. Here is a demonstration of said function: Here we can see how the function works using ONLY the main crank (powered) And here we can see what happens if we bring the ride to the top and then disengage the power. I will make a disclaimer here, this function wasn't really easy to show off since I do not currently have Powered Up elements, only power functions (and do not yet have a speed controller or anything.) I will update this review if I do get those components. The Haunted House is big. With a height of 26 inches, it's sure to be a highlight of your Lego city. The ride takes full advantage of this height, and works about as well as any other Fairground set released so far. Visually, the set is solidly built, with a dollhouse-style that ensure's no "open back" construction, yet still allows for easy access to the inside. There are no stickers to be found whatsoever in this set, a welcome treat for those against sticker sheets, especially with the references hidden throughout. I was born in the mid 90s, and an Adventurers set was my very first Lego build- so of course I adore the nostalgia this set is crammed full with. As I was building the set, I saw the imagine in the instructions showing the "box of junk," (mind you this was before I knew Junkbot was in this set) - and my reaction was "omg I think that's Junkbot, OH MY IT IS." No other set had given me that kind of excitement lately. The only thing I don't entirely understand about this set is, what's haunted about it? Some classic Lego artifacts are cool, and you can call them "haunted" all you want, but visually this set lacks the punch of, say, the Monster Fighters or even Hidden side sets. It's very reserved, and certainly requires more work to make it truly feel haunted, even in an amusement park sense. Plus, I feel like for being a house, there isn't really much space inside the house itself- once you open it up, it feels more like "Adventurers Museum." At a price of $250, you do get a fair number of parts for the price, even with 150 of the pieces being the small tread pieces. You also get a slathering of olive green bricks and brown windows. Though, the build in my opinions leaves a little to be desired, as it tends to get repetitive like many other fairground sets, and the Minifigures selection is rather basic- plus you get two duplicate sets of figures, which cuts down on the variety a bit. ------------------------------------- If you are a fan of the fairground theme, this set is must have- it comes in at a much more affordable price than last year's Roller Coaster, but doesn't compensate on size, and still has an interesting functional element. If you're a fan of Adventurers, this set is also a must have, the way lego respects the old sets here is fantastic, and certainly worthy of supporting. However, if you are looking for a haunted house, this set is far, far too reserved- nothing about it really screams haunted, especially compared to themes like Monster fighters, and it lacks the "flare" that a true haunted ride would have. Think, the Joker's manor for example. But of course my opinions are just that- opinions. What do you think of this set? Bonus Pic: Looks like this is a job for us!
  13. VBBN

    Car Talk

    Looks like the last time I posted photos in here was when I was in a focus- here's my current ride, 2019 JL, had it for just over a year now Perfect for Michigan all seasons hehe [ (this one was before I got a softtop for it, now I roll soft top in summer and hard top in winter)
  14. Can anyone tell which functional power elements are required for this? Would like to get a jumpstart on getting those ordered if I need anything, definitely looks to be a cool ride filled with a slew of easter eggs