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Everything posted by VBBN

  1. Great review Jim, and a fantastic-looking case! It's pricey, but it's also quite a large case - unless you have a shop nearby that can get you wholesale prices on large pieces of acrylic, I anticipate building one custom won't save too much or have quite the fit and finish this has. Is the background printed on the plexiglass? It's definitely the star of this display and truly elevates the displayability of the AT-AT (that MF case with the hyperspeed effect also looks insanely cool)
  2. VBBN

    40580 Buildable Tahu: Bionicle returns in 2023!

    It's not the Bionicle that we remember, but I have to say, this is a pretty fun-looking set that really packs in a decent amount of content into such a small size. A nicely articulated-looking figure (to be honest I was almost worried they'd be using the new, less articulated mech limb system), a detailed smaller build, plus extra accessories in the form of the throwing disk and Makuta/Mata Nui stones. I'm sitting on $50 VIP points at the moment, so I'll probably use that to cut down on the minimum purchase. GWP's have been getting stuck behind some rough paywalls lately, but this one is somewhat manageable at least. Anyway, I'll review it when I get it. Excited to have an actual Bionicle set of some form to review in 2023.
  3. VBBN

    What are you listening to?

    Living in a phonk mood today
  4. VBBN

    [MOC/MOD] - Harry Potter: Movie in a Box

    Awesome idea! The resurfaced block looks believable as some sort of in-universe case, and the microscale builds are instantly recognizable. Agreed with you, I'd love to see this same concept replicated with other themes/licenses!
  5. VBBN

    40580 Buildable Tahu: Bionicle returns in 2023!

    Definitely interested to see what becomes of this. I'm placing my bets that this will be some kind of system build, probably akin to the recent Spider-Man/Venom/Miles figures, maybe even using a printed version of those "heads" as a Hau. Either way, I doubt this is anything more than a special vintage celebration set and likely won't have much headway in any potential return of the theme, but I'll take it.
  6. VBBN

    [MOC] Toa Nuva on Mata Nui

    I love this! Excellent recreation of the Toa in stud form, with plenty of personal touches. Seeing them all set in this scenery adds a lot to the finished display, as well.
  7. 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!
  8. Set Name: The Titanic Set Number: 10294 Price: US $629.99 | €629.99 | £569.99. Pieces: 9090 Year of release: 2021 Dimensions: Height: 17.5 in. (44cm), Width: 6 in. (16cm), Length: 53 in. (135cm) 75192 Millennium Falcon. 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer. 10276 Colosseum. What do these sets have in common? They all fit into Lego’s largest possible (at least, currently) box size. They all promise a truly special building experience, a vast array of parts, and impressive finished product. And now, a fourth contender has entered the ring: 10294, The Titanic. If you’re reading this review, you are most likely at least vaguely aware of the tragic yet groundbreaking ship. It was a marvel of engineering, luxury, and size. While it’s dwarfed by modern day ships, the 882’x92’ ship was miles ahead of anything during it’s time. Of course, 882 feet long is a bit too large for a LEGO set: So instead, it has been recreated at 1:200 scale (the same scale, by the way, as the Architecture Statue of Liberty). This set promises to break a record of its own: the longest LEGO set ever sold. It’s also the second highest parts count in a set (beaten out only by the World Map). But is it a set worth buying? Let’s dive in (pun most certainly intended) and find out. This set was provided by The LEGO Group for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own and do not express those of LEGO. But as always, my main goal with these reviews is to try to showcase and to describe to you the details of the set in as much details I can so that you may form your own opinions, as everyone will have their own preferences. The Box Front As with most Lego-for-adults sets now, this set is pictured with the black backdrop and generic Lego pieces border. The ship itself dominates a large portion of the box and really stands out against the black. As mentioned above, this is one of the extra-large cube shaped boxes, and is absolutely packed to the brim with around 30 pounds of pieces. It’s quite a hefty box to lug around, and certainly feels like a product worthy of the sizable chunk of change you just spent on it. Rear The rear of the box flips the ship around, showing you that no angle of this set is missing detail. Some separate detail windows give you an indication of what else this set is hiding. Don’t worry, we will get to those in time. Sides Interior Boxes As with other sets in this scale, the interior features sub-assembly boxes. This set contains three, each box using the cool black & gold blueprint style look. Each one constitutes one-third of the ship. Instructions I don’t want to make this review too repetitive, so allow me to show you how the instructions are packaged in box one. As with some other large-scale sets, they are packaged in a cardboard sleeve to keep them pristine. Each of the three sub-assembly boxes includes an instruction booklet (though, only this one comes with the plastic flags. The other boxes include only instructions.) I'll be honest, I'm disappointed that the set doesn't come with the premium spiral-bound booklet like the UCS Star Wars sets, though I suppose they opted to prioritize the potential group building aspect. Info Pages Like other adult oriented sets, each booklet contains some images of the real Titanic ship. You will also find random fun facts about the ship (and usually based on the element you are building at that moment) spread throughout the building pages of the books. Building Pages The building pages are featured on a gray backdrop. Overall, I find the instructions are decent as far as showing you want needs to go where for the most part. I noticed one error with the piece-callouts where a plate was ignored in one step and doubled in the next, and it can often be tough to tell the difference between dark red and brown. Brick Separators It’s also worth noting that every single box contains a brick separator. That’s right, three in one set. I wondered what the purpose of this was. However, it seems to me that part of the intent here is that this set could be built as a family/friends exercise – everyone could work on their own sub-assembly box, with their own instructions and own brick separator. New or Interesting Pieces Before we head into this section, keep in mind that this set has 9090 pieces, it’s often difficult to research the parts before the sets are revealed/on Bricklink, and with the growing number of elements and LEGO sets available, I definitely may have missed some potentially interesting pieces. As always, if you see something of interest that I didn’t see, let me know in the comments. Flags The set features three flags, printed on flexible plastic. It’s worth noting that the White Star pennant, French ensign, and the Royal mail pennant are not present here. I don’t believe the French flag was flown during its maiden voyage from what I have read, and I would guess that perhaps there were licensing issues related to the pennants, which is why they were excluded. No stickers are included in this set. Naturally, this means that the few areas where the Titanic actually had its name listed are indeed printed. There’s also some printed slopes included, these will be necessary to finish the singular yellow stripe that wraps around the entire ship. 1) 2x4 bricks with three axle holes. Looks like they are new in brown. 2) Gold three-blade propellers without the axle-shaped hole in the middle. 3) Some varying dark red pieces. 4) White short pneumatic connectors and Exo-Force robot hands. 5) Black 4x4 smokestack topper (Edit: new in black for this set, thanks to Lyichir for pointing it out). Also, bright light orange lightsaber hilts, 4l lightsaber bars, and 1x1 studs with posts. 6) 22L and 47L (?) flex tubes in white The Build Section 1: Bow and Well Deck Here we go, starting in on a 9090 piece journey. We begin with the bow, which immediately throws us into some of the more complicated angles of the ship. In general, the ship is built upwards, with the sides being built with varying SNOT techniques. You can see the beginning of some of those methods here. The build continues up. The actual deck of the entire ship uses a variety of interesting techniques, combining traditional tiles with unique SNOT builds to achieve some of the small details. Here you can see some bricks with technic pins are carefully arranged to later allow surface details to be added. Lower Windows Okay, let’s cut to the chase. This set gets repetitive. Yes, there’s variations to each section in where bricks are laid down, but once you’ve built the first section or two, you’ll basically understand how many of the basic design components of the rest of the set will come together. With this in mind, I’m going to be showing you some fundamental build techniques that the set uses (but won’t show you every instance of it). The build pictured above represents some of the small round windows for the black parts of the hull is replicated with similar building techniques for numerous parts of the ship. Anchors As you can see, this set offers a valuable historical lesson: the Titanic’s anchors were made of hot dogs. Completed Bow and Well Deck We add on the forward mast, cargo hatches & cranes, as well as the anchor crane. Section 2: Bridge and Funnel We begin work on section 2; as you saw from the box, while we are building this set in 6 sections, there will be three main segments total. Between each of those sections, you will see a “slice” of the interior. Here we begin to see the interior detail, starting with the engine furnaces. Interior Rooms Here you can see we start to build more of the interior sliced rooms. This particular segment of the ship will build up the grand staircase. You can also see half of the ship’s swimming pool. Again, this is a part of the build that you’ll do a lot. Sure, not every room is the same design, but the same principle; you build up the center portion (which, you can see under the staircase pieces has holes to eventually hold a locking mechanism), put down some tiles and pieces to represent the varying rooms and whatnot, and then some small doors are used to represent walls without being too thick. On the other side, you can see the rest of the ship is built with pretty simplistic bricks to later allow the sides of the ship to snap into place. Like I mentioned earlier, you can see we get into some repetition here with more of those small window builds. We add on some 1x2 bricks with technic holes to represent larger windows. Then, we build some stacks of tiles to be slotted in sideways to represent yet another shape of window. Once again, you’ll see these techniques represented a lot throughout the ship (layering those little tiles gets pretty tedious. Then again, I was building this set at lightning speeds to get the review prepared, so I’m sure building at a more reasonable pace won’t be as bad). First Funnel Base Section Two Complete The funnel is then added to the top. The bridge can also be seen here. Hull Siding Next we move on the merging sections 1 and 2. To do this, we need to fill in the missing hull sections. If you’re like me and find laying down tiles satisfying, you’ll love the sections like these that use massive slabs of 2x6 tiles. Stands Here’s another thing that I’ll show you once, but bear in mind you’ll build four more of these later in the build. These are the stands to actually keep the ship elevated. They are well built and sturdy, though unfortunately, the brown plastic has quite a bit of color variation. Granted, it’s exaggerated under my studio lighting, but if you display your sets in brightly-lit Moducases or the like, that’s a problem that will persist. Segment 1 Complete And here we go, the first third of the ship is complete! I’m going to handle this review a little differently than traditionally. This set is a journey, distinctly split into three portions. As such, we are going to take a look at each part before we move on to final product. Size And to start, let’s look at the size. Here we have it compared to my most recent review, the T2 Camper van. I could have chosen any number of sets here, but I wanted to go with something that’s likely on display at your local Lego store right now so that you have a vague idea of what size I am using in comparison here. The rear bumper has been lined up with the rearmost portion of this segment, so you can see the length and height differential. What’s important here is that this section (which is the smallest third of the ship) is already truly large. Front View Spoiler alert: This set is big. Very big. Very long. And it absolutely does not fit in my photo studio by the end of this review. As a result, it was near impossible for me to even get a photo of the finished model from head on. But once I did, I realized that it looked no different that just looking at this front section head on, since the rear of the ship doesn’t get any wider than this, and thus isn’t visible. So, here is basically your front view of the ship. Rear Cross Section Here we can see all of the rooms and floors that have been built up. Again, a main focus here is that the grand staircase is prominently featured though the centermost portion. Section 3: Funnel and Main Cabins As we move to the next section, we start off with the coal bunkers. I particularly like how they constructed the microscale ladders and walkways down here. We continue to add floors upward. A few things to note here: first, this section and the next are quite square in design, so they don’t require the same angled constructs like the previous sections. Another thing, this slice we are building will directly meet up with the one constructed in Segment 1. While you can’t actually see the two edges of the ship once combined, you can see that this is mean to be the “other side” of the floor, as we can see the other half of the pool built here. Hull Walls You then start building up the sides of this section which utilize similar techniques as we saw in the previous segment, attached with some simple side-mounted studs. Nothing crazy complicated here, but it involved building a lot of small, repetitive construct to make those small windows. More Windows Like I said, you’re going to start noticing some repetition. You build up the walls with the small windows, add on the columns of stacked tiles, the 1x2 bricks with technic holes, etc. Outside of the slices floors on this side, this cubic build mainly just exists to support the sides and decks on top. Upper portions added We then add on the deck detailing above including some lifeboats, the grand staircase skylight, as well as the second funnel (again built with similar techniques as we saw previously.) Section 4: Funnel and Compass Okay so I skipped ahead a lot here because, well, there’s really not much to show you that hasn’t been seen already. It’s another very square structure, and in fact has quite a few less floors for the interior sliced view, since the lower section will house a portion of the ship’s engines (to be built later). Outside of that, it uses basically a lot of the same builds as the previous section. Locking Key Here we have one of the two keys that we will build. The purpose of this is simple: this is what will connect segment 1 and 2 together (you build another one later to connect segment three). It’s basically an axle that drops through the ship, connecting the “sliced” floor segments we have built previous. It also features a bit of the deck on top. Segment 2 Complete Here we have it, sections 3 and 4 combined together. I’ll be honest, this was probably my least favorite “third” of the build. As I said, it’s very squared off, which basically means it’s just a less interesting variant of what we do for the first and third segments of the ship. That’s no fault of Lego, by any means, as it’s built exactly as it needs to be. But just an observation. I should mention, that once you put these two sections together, you permanently affix them together with further plates as you can see. While you can pretty easily split the ship into it’s three main segments, it’s not really easy to split it further into it’s six individual sections that you build up, without significant disassembly. Also, by the way, the ship’s main compass is situated up on top between the two funnels. Segment 2 Size Comparison Bringing our old friend the T2 back again, we can see how this section compares. It’s not quite as long as the previous segment, but definitely significantly thicker. Cross Sections: Here’s the two cross sections in their entirety. Not much to say here that hasn’t been said already. I have to say, when it comes to micro build stuff like this, do I think it looks the best? No. Do I think it’s a cool little “party trick” to add some dimension to the set? Yes, absolutely. I wish sets like the UCS Star Destroyer had interior features like this, so I definitely appreciate the inclusion, even if it takes a bit of imagination stretching. Segments 1 and 2 together First, ignore the backwards flag; perhaps the Titanic found itself in a tornado, causing the flags to flip every which way. In any event, we now have the first two segments combined together, with the locking key dropped in. At this point, this set is now officially stretching the width limits of my photo setup, and we still have the longest segment yet still to go. So, uh, things will get dicey, needless to say. Section 5: Funnel & Engine Room As we dive into box 3, things get back to being interesting. We start off building up some of the set’s basic function: the engines/electrical plant will “power” the rear propellers of the ship. I say this very loosely. For example, you can see the construction above of the gears that are then hidden within a cylinder. This will directly be connected to the central propeller, but there isn’t really any proper activation of this function. Rather, this is a sort of feature where you know it’s there only because you built it. Exterior detailing Aaaand it’s back to the usual formula here. Section 6: Stern and Well Deck Section 6 is definitely one of the most unique, as here we have some complicated shaping and the rear propellers. As you can see, these are basically straight-shafted in such a way to where they will connect to the axles we had established in the previous section. Hull Components The hull takes on some interesting shapes here, and also must be built in such a way to wrap around the propeller constructs. Deck Here you can see some of the unique rounded deck shaping taking place. As well, you can see how these microscale benches have been constructed and snap down via some SNOT techniques. A similar technique is used elsewhere throughout the set. Steam Engines Once you finished Section 6, you then proceed to build up steam engines with working pistons. I will say it was enjoyable to build these as they are a nice contrast to the rest of the set, perhaps they should have introduced this build during segment 2 instead of the end. If you twist that small gray gear, you will cause the pistons to move up and down. In addition, once this is hooked up to sections 5 and 6, it will cause one of the two outer propellers to spin. Now, mind you, this is a totally manual process, and cannot be done when the ship is actually fully assembled, you must separate the second and third segments to gain access to this function. Segment 3 Complete At last, Segment 3 is complete as we combine sections 5 and 6 together. Segment 3 Size Here’s another quick shot with the T2 for a random size comparison. If you’ve been following along and checking out these size shots, the main point of interest here is that this is definitely the longest of the three segments. Cross Section I’ve already discussed the functionality a few photos prior, but just to call it out, here you can see the gray gears that you can turn to spin two of the three propellers. Rear Nothing much to say here – some pretty interesting techniques were used to achieve the shaping, I will say that everything is pretty sturdy overall. Nameplate The Titanic comes with a small nameplate; it’s a simple build, but looks appropriately ornate to match the luxurious styling the Titanic once had. It’s worth noting that the letters here are reuse from the Ideas Typewriter. It was definitely expected that those pieces would come back in some way, and I’d say this was an appropriate use for them. Finished Set Well, LEGO has done it. They’ve made a set that just completely ruined the boundaries of my photo setup. You will have to excuse the rough looking studio in the following photos, but taking photos of this beast truly did present a challenge like no other. Anyway, this is what you’ve come here to see, so let me just dump some photos on you. Here's a profile shot of the real ship for comparison purposes. At this point I'd like to call out the ship's one other function: a rigging tightener. One of the last steps is to add the final bits of string pieces that connect the masts, you can see the gray gear in the photo above which is where the string ends up. You then twist this a little bit to tighten up the rigging to your liking. It adds a similar level of enjoyment as the recent Fender set's guitar strings. Size Comparisons The Titanic is the second largest Lego set as far as parts (second to the World Map, which I am currently building – maybe in a few weeks I’ll give you guys an update as to how that set scales with this one). With that in mind, it’s the largest non-Art set as far as parts count, and officially the longest. So how does it compare to some random sets from my collection? Let’s take a look. So, yeah, it’s super long. It’s also quite hefty, my measurements come in around 31 pounds (14.2kg) though that also included some of the packaging. Here’s a bonus comparison, I apologize for having to go outside of my photo studio but there was simply no other way to take this photo: Conclusion and ratings SCORE 9 PARTS I’m never really sure how to rate this kind of category; but the way I see it, this set has a great variety of parts, both in shape, colors and size. Most parts in the set come in high quantities, meaning that if you do buy this as a parts pack, you’ll get plenty of each element to utilize. There a nice variety of newly colored or interesting/rare elements, again in good quantities. 9 VALUE FOR MONEY If you care about PPR ratios, $630 for 9090 pieces is pretty good. Though I’ve never found this to be a sensible way to determine cost, as sets like the UCS Star Destroyer and World Map show this ratio can be skewed to extremes. At the end of the day, for $630, you are getting a large, hefty set. It has a wide range of sizes and shapes of parts. It’s a dense, compact build. While not as wide, it certainly is comparative to other massive scale sets like the UCS SD and Falcon, and IMO, has more of a shelf presence than the Colosseum. Value will be up to everyone to decide for themselves. But for me, when you look at what $630 gets you in this set versus other large scale sets, in my opinion the value here is definitely there. Even when compared to other high end adult collectibles such as a Premium Format statue, I think this kind of pricing for what you get holds up. If you are willing to drop over 600 dollars on a LEGO set, I personally feel this set delivers on what you’d expect for something in that price range. 8.5 BUILDING EXPERIENCE The set has some incredible details, inventive building techniques, and overall it’s really enjoyable to go through the process of build this ship. I love that Lego didn’t cut corners here, going for fully brick-built windows over stickers, for example, was a nice change of pace. The build gets a little dry in the middle as you start to get into a rhythm of repetitive builds, the relatively less interesting square sections, etc but it picks back up by the end. Due to the set's size, it's an experience that will certainly take you some time to do. 4 FEATURES The engines and propellers add a bit of functionality here, and the ability to split into three sections is pretty cool and definitely gives it an edge over some of it’s other super-large Lego set sisters. There's also a working rigging tightener, which you'll likely get a lot of use from if you split this into it's three components pften. Outside of that, there’s not a whole lot else a ship like this really could have added in my mind. 3 PLAYABILITY Let’s be real, this is not the goal of this set. It can’t float, it’s incredibly large and cumbersome, and it’s not minifig scale. I give it a few points though because the final model is quite solid. I didn't think the two locking pins would do much, but you can very comfortably pick the completed ship up without worrying that it will fall apart. No need to split it into three parts to move it, unless you don't feel like lugging around such a hefty model. But, the low score here is made up in the next section…. 9.5 DISPLAYABILITY …because THIS is the goal of the set. It looks good from all angles; nothing is left untouched here. Another major benefit to the set is the ability to split it into it’s three segments to showcase the cross sections inside, adding further value as you have a second way to display it. It’s a massive, truly beautiful display piece that will no doubt wow anyone who sees it. It’s worth mentioning that it’s size, while certainly beneficial in giving it that wow factor, is also a detriment. You have to seriously dedicate space to showcase this, whether it’s putting it out in the open on a desk/table, or having an expensive Moducase (or similar) solution to display it, due to it’s incredible length and heft. And that factor can definitely decrease displayability a bit, but I assume if you are buying this set that you are prepared to deal with such a challenge. CONCLUSION First, let me clarify that the above rating should each be taken by themselves, as again things like playability were never the goal of this set. One category that I often consider adding above is accuracy to the real ship, but to be honest I refuse to score it in such a way. I know we have many members here who are ship or Titanic enthusiasts. I'm sure many of you will dig into some details of this ship far more than I am able, such as specific size ratios, colors, and other such things that likely take more than casual knowledge of the ship. With that said, at the end of the day this is a LEGO model that adheres to LEGO's official set building standards. I am of the opinion that there will always be a detail that could have been fine tuned more, regardless of the model. For me, I have always enjoyed the look of this ship and found it's story fascinating. I visited a Titanic museum when it was in Vegas a few years back, and seeing the history, the sheer size of a chunk of the hull, etc really peaked my interest. After building this model and seeing it on display, I must say that I am truly impressed with it. It's a massively impressive piece on display, and I think really respects the details and shaping for the most part of the original ship, at least from what I would expect from Lego versus a true scale model. I feel that it is a set that ship builders and Lego enthusiasts alike will enjoy, and I do feel that a great deal of thought and effort was put into the finished product. For that reason, I tend to rate this set pretty highly, as for my own personal preference I think it does what I want it to do. I did find myself asking, "did it need to be this big"? And it's true, even at this scale, things like the interior rooms are but a micro interpretation that we are left to use our imagination on, but it is certainly more than what could be achieved at a smaller scale. This was a landmark real-world achievement, and I think it was appropriate for the set to similarly be such a large scope. In the end, my ratings above are my own, but I am sure you will all have different insights and I look forward to hearing what everyone else thinks of this record breaking set. Thank you for reading!
  9. Set Name: The Bone Demon Set Number: 80028 Price: US $119.99 | CAN $ | UK £ Pieces: 1375 Year of release: 2021 Hello, and welcome to the continuation of 2021 in Review! Today we will be look at The Bone Demon, part of one of the latest waves of Monkie Kid to be released. Over the course of 2021, I have had the great chance to review some truly impressive, large-scale display focused LEGO sets. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the chance to mess around with a play-focused set though, so I was really excited to dive in and check out this intriguing entry into the Monkie Kid series. I’ll begin with a disclaimer that I haven’t consumed any media surrounding this theme. I’m sure there are features, references, etc that will fly right over my head – let me know if there’s anything interesting to know when it comes to this set. As well, this set was provide by Lego for us to review, but as always the opinion in this review are my own, and my focus is always to show you the set as best I can for you to decide for yourself what features you like or dislike. Box Like most Lego action themes, the front of the box does a good job of showcasing the large amount of content packed into the box. It’s certainly bold and will easily capture attention on store shelves. Note the “Glows in the Dark” logo – if you haven’t caught on, this set has glow in the dark parts. A lot of them. 76 of them! The back of the box showcases the other main gimmick of this set. Indeed, this set is actually quite a variety of smaller builds that can be combined into one larger build. As a fan of combining Transformers and the like, this was one of the most intriguing aspects of the set for me. How well does it work? Considering we are still at the box phase of this review, I have no idea, but I am sure we’ll find out shortly. Instructions and Stickers Like many large scaled sets, the instructions and other thin goods of the set are packaged up in plastic wrap. Unfortunately though, there’s no cardboard sleeve or any other supporting material here. Mine was rolled up as a result. Not enough to damage the stickers, but enough to be an annoyance for a product that costs over $100. The set includes a medium sized sticker sheet (with clear backed stickers). I prefer clear backs, as long as you use a good set of crafting tweezers then you can apply these without much fuss and they look far better on the finished set. (It’s especially appreciated here as when applied to a glow in the dark piece, the glow can still be seen through the sticker.) It also includes a soft vinyl set of banners. These have a nice metallic sheen and feel pretty durable. The set also includes three instruction booklets. To make this review nicer to follow, we will not follow the order given in the instructions as it’s a little all over the place. But, you know, family building and whatnot. New / Interesting Parts: Here’s the parts of interest I noticed. With the endless amounts of elements released now & the fact that this set was released a few months ago), this may not be everything, but it’s definitely the highlights for me. We get 4 chains in trans light blue (exclusive to this set), as well as a smattering of different GITD pieces. Minifigures Monkie Kid Here we have Monkie Kid himself. This version includes his headphones and closed jacket. Back printing and alternate face sculpt also pictured. Overall, I do dig this figure, it has a great amount of detail and is pretty striking, though I assume if you collect the entire MK line that you’re going to end up with quite the stack of MK variations. The set includes another size of The Golden Staff that can be held by the minifigure, built out of candlestick pieces. This works pretty well, though it’s worth noting that it does cause the figure to be pretty unbalanced, so you’ll need to ensure he’s mounted to some studs if you plan to pose this. Mei Here we have Mei, who includes an alternate face sculpt and a sword; she can also be equipped with a helmet, small jetpack, and blaster as an upgraded form. She has another evolution which we will observe momentarily. Bone Spirits The Bone Spirits are built identically. Overall, they look pretty cool as far as “hooded, floating creepy guys” go. The real star of these figures is the additional GITD elements that really bring them to life. Lady Bone Demon Lady Bone demon includes the options to swap her out into two different looks. Her hair is a rubbery material, which you can clip a GITD bone into. I must say, this is a truly fantastic looking figure, I love the bone motifs printed here, and especially the molding on the rear of her hairpiece. Monkey Kid Mech Next, we will take a look at Monkie Kid’s mech. If you are familiar with the Marvel minifigure mechs, this will be pretty run of the mill. Here’s another staff, this time one that can only be held by the mech. As demonstrated above, it can also be mounted to the mech’s back. Flipping to the rear of the mech, you can see the technic pin used to mount the staff; there’s also a flexible tail mounted back here. There’s some pretty open gaps on the sides of the cockpit, though. The Mixels joints offer a decent range of poseability and stability, though it’s worth noting that the hips sometimes are a little loose and he might fall into a split. Cloud Board The cloud board manages to incorporate some nice shaping. The front disc can rotate, which is helpful for the next feature- The board can split up, with the main portion of the board used for the mech, while the wings mount to Mei’s jetpack we saw previously. (Note also that her sword can be clipped on to her gun) Bone Scuttler & Bone Spiders Moving on, we get to the smallest of the bone constructs in the set. The Bone Scuttler is a simple little build, but looks nice enough. The Bone Spiders are slightly more substantial. Each features a good range of articulation thanks to the mini balljoints and the hinged front legs. They also have a cauldron with a GITD bone, two skeleton legs and skull. Crypt Gate Okay so I’m not totally sure what this piece of architecture is, but my assumption is it’s an entranceway to the actual Bone Crypt itself. It’s alright. The head looks a bit ridiculous here, and once you remove it, the rest of the gate doesn’t actually integrate with the larger mech build. Bone Crypt The next build we will look at is the “Bone Crypt,” or as I like to call it, the obvious torso in disguise. The crypt’s main feature is this tomb-ish build, which can open to reveal the Lady Bone Demon. The entire tomb can also be removed, it’s only held on by a few studs: It looks decent enough as a hidden torso, but there really isn’t much playability to be seen here outside of the above. Bone Scorpion Now we get to the best of the smaller builds, the Bone Scorpion! The scorpion is definitely the most well-developed element of this set. The shaping, coloring, and detailing overall all looks really nice here. It’s a substantial build with some heft. The tail is mostly fixed in place, to support the weight of the combined build. The top tip of the tail can move though (and using small ball joints, can fix itself more permanently). The rear of the tail houses most of the GITD pieces for this particular build, as this will serve as the front of the combined form. Articulation is pretty good – the mouth-pinches can close and open a little, the arms have shoulder, elbow, wrist rotation, claws, as well as the tip of the tail and two small pincers up there. The frontmost of it’s legs can also move, through the rear four are static (for support purposes). Swords At some point you also build these two swords for the combined mech. They don’t really store anywhere, it would have been nice if they had found way to integrate these into the crypt or crypt gate. The Bone Demon Before we discuss the combined form, I’m going to attempt to describe the combination process as concisely as I can: -Flipping up the legs of the Bone Spiders -Removing the head from the entrance -Removing the banners from the crypt and reattaching them further back. -Folding in the ribcage and flipping the collarbones down -Removing the arms from the Scorpion, locking the upper tail segment, flipping the frontmost legs upward -Adding the Scuttler onto the Scorpion’s tail, plugging the torso onto the tail, adding the arms, plugging the Spiders to the shoulders, adding the swords, and the head. The Bone Demon is a seriously unique and cool looking set. All of the components come together in a very cohesive final look. It’s also extremely stable. While it’s lower body has some unique curvature, ultimately it’s a stable base and the weight is centered, so there’s no worries about this toppling over. The back is the definitely the roughest view of all. It’s still decently armored, though the scorpion’s face is basically, it’s, uh, tail? Articulation is alright. The arms are the best part, having hinged shoulders, elbows, rotating wrists, and articulated fingers. His body can rotate at the waist, and that’s about it. Unfortunately, the head is clipped on by a single piece, so it has no articulation (tilting it up just results in it falling back down instantly due to the weight). Complete Set SCORE 9 PARTS In my opinion, there’s a lot of good stuff to be had here. Obviously the main draw of this set from a parts perspective is the generous amount of GITD elements that you get – but you also get a good amount of function ball joint elements, some large action figure pieces, a decent selection of minifigures, and a varied yet consistent selection of parts overall. 9 VALUE FOR MONEY I had to rate this pretty high. Keep in mind, my perspective is from the point of view of USD value – I know exchange rates are not always used equally when it comes to this set’s cost in other countries, so do share your thoughts on value in the comments. But for $120, this set does sit comfortably on the “price per part” ratio at 1375 pieces, if you value sets in this manner. What truly delivers this sets value is in the amount of stuff you get. The hero minifigures feature numerous playability aspects and abilities to combine with their respective larger builds. Many of the bone-based constructs serve as either small set pieces or creatures in their own right. They also all combine, a fun feature within itself, into a mech that has a good amount of poseability and stability. Not to mention, the finished set is quite impressive in size for a $120 set in 2021, and you of course have the added experience of having the “conflict in a box,” typical of most Lego action themes. With that in mind, I believe this set truly maintain a great value for the sheer amount of stuff & playability you get for the price, especially relative to other sets in such price range. 7 BUILDING EXPERIENCE The mech is pretty standard fare, and given the amount of smaller builds in the set, you don’t really have too much in the way of innovative building techniques or complex builds, though that is to be expected from as set of this brand. With that said, the best feature of this build is that it never gets repetitive, as you are constantly changing up what you are putting together. 8.5 FEATURES Okay so for a set like this, I feel the need to clarify how I rank features vs the next section, playability. Features refers to the actual play features that a set contains. In this case, the play features include the ability to combine the elements into the final mech model, the articulation the various components feature, and any other moving parts/gears/technic function that a set includes (which, in this case, is the small removable crypt-box thing for Lady Bone Demon). With that in mind, I rated this category pretty highly, as there is a great deal of play features in this set. Glowing in the dark is also a pretty cool aspect of the set and it works very well. Ultimately, I can’t think of many technic features that would make sense here, though I was surprised that there was a lack of some kind of launcher/shooter mechanism that is so common in action and adventure sets like these, and quite popular with kids. 8 PLAYABILITY Playability, on the other hand, refers to how well a set will actually handle under play conditions. Is it durable? Is it easy to use the play features? Can it float? Things like that. I rated this set above average; the combination gimmick is relatively easy to do (and easy to remember the steps), very minimal disassembly is required. You can move all of the various points of articulation without fear of breaking the limbs off or knocking off other pieces. The set is also stable despite its odd proportions. A few detriments include the Bone Spider’s cauldrons (the bone pieces inside of those will be lost very easily as they have no true way of staying in), and pieces on the ribcage have a tendency to break off while manipulating the figure. The GITD pieces seem to pick up light pretty easily – I’d recommend using a UV light as it charges the pieces up more intensely and instantly, but my studio lighting also charged them up well. They do lose their glow relatively quickly, though. 5 DISPLAYABILITY This one will always be up to your own personal preference. As a completed, combined model the Bone Demon is a pretty cool and striking piece, and paired with the GITD features it could look quite nice on a shelf (plus it has size in its favor as well). I think it would be tough to display all of the individual components of the set though, as many of them are limited in the dynamic poses they could do, and some elements like the Bone Crypt are lackluster in appearance and quite clearly just the torso in some disguise. So, this set gets about half points for me CONCLUSION Overall, this set score about a 77.5% after I reviewed my rankings above, which of course is closer to 80 than it is 70. I think that feels right: this isn’t an absolute all-star set that will blow you away in every regard, but it’s a set that managed to pack a lot of content and playability into one package for a pretty decent playset-based price. It was a fun entrance to the Monkie Kid lineup, and I personally feel that this is enough to be a fun set in it’s own right without requiring any other sets from the theme to enjoy it.
  10. VBBN

    REVIEW: 76907 Lotus Evija

    Great review! This one is decent, I think the misplacement of the yellow line really throws this one off for me, it completely changes the visual shaping of the vehicle - I know LEGO is obsessed with racing style liveries, but in this case I think it would have been much more beneficial to stick with a standard paint job for this car. In any event, great parts here and those new headlights look much nicer than previous solutions huge kudos to the designers for actually making a valiant effort at that tailight design
  11. VBBN

    REVIEW: 76908 Lamborghini Countach

    Great review Oky! These sets continue to impress and this one is no exception in terms of shaping and build quality. Strange that the real-life photo on the back of the box isn’t of a stock model, but maybe an oversight. I agree with you that the windscreen is quite an eyesore. I’m curious to see how it looks in person, but clearly white was a bad choice here and it reeeeeeally kills the final look for me. That alone drops this to (so far) the bottom of the pile for this wave, unless your other upcoming reviews reveal any other surprises.
  12. Name: 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer Theme: Star Wars UCS Year: 2019 Pieces: 4784 Price: US $699.99 – CA $849.99 – DE €699.99 – UK £649.99 – FR €699.99 – DK 5299DKK --$1099.99 AUD Resources: Lego.com | Bricklink | Brickset Hello everyone and welcome to another review! This time around, I'll be stretching the limits of what my photo setup is capable of with one of the largest Lego sets ever, the UCS Star Destroyer 2.0! Following on the heels of the monumental UCS Falcon 2.0, Lego once again gives us a massive UCS set that breaks everyone's display space and wallets alike. I think many will agree that the Falcon is a crowning achievement of Lego, it's a massive set with a parts count to back it, and an unreal level of detail. Does the Star Destroyer follow in the Falcon's footsteps? Does it improve upon it's lineage in the Lego Star Wars brand? Let's find out. And before we begin, a massive thank you to The Lego Company for sending this our way to review. While the set was provided, I all opinions are of course, my own, and I will do my best to view this from the "is this worth $700 angle." The Box Front Similar to the Falcon, we are presented with a massive square box to contain the ~13 pounds of plastic hidden inside. The front is very simple, with a nice, clean banner depicting the UCS brand and a striking photo of the Destroyer itself. Usually when I get these review copies of sets they are the European packaging, and I have not seen this set in store yet here in the US, so I am not sure what additional details or warnings may be on the US one Back The rear showcases other angles of the ship, showing the rear, the top, bridge, and small hangar underneath. Again, very little in the way of warnings or anything, just a slew of nice photos of the set. Side 1 I won't show every side of the box since they get a little repetitive, but this side shows a nice shot of the underside of the star destroyer, something I really don;'t have a great way of doing in this review. Also note the the tape on the box indicates NOT to cut on this side. We will see why shortly. Side 2 Here's the side that should be opened, which showcases a neat outlined version of the ship, a size comparison to the Tantive IV, and the included minifigures. Opening the box As I said a moment before, the tape indicated which side of the box to open- doing so presents us with another sketch style image of the ship, this is the box containing the massive manual. People who experienced the UCS falcon will be familiar with this for sure. Inner boxes Removing the instructions box reveals the four smaller boxes, in typical large-set fashion, all filled the the brim with parts. The boxes aren't numbered, rather you go by the profession of the sketchy on the boxes- the topmost part of the ship is the first box, for example. However.... that doesn't really matter. The bags inside the boxes are numbered 1-19, but at random points in the build you'll need to use some extra large plates that are in unnumbered bags in boxes 3 and 4. So during the first few step of the build, you'll need to get parts from three of the boxes. Minifigures I'll talk about the part count and whatnot later on in this review, but here's the first point of conflict with this set- the mini figures. In the past, many UCS sets including the original Star Destroyer did not come with minifigures. Now however, we are getting figures in sets like this and the UCS falcon. This presents two issues. This is a $700 set, and including cool, exclusive mini figures in the set could make it worth it to the people buying the set. But, people who are interested in the figures but not the set, are stuck behind a $700 price wall. On the flip side, if the mini figures in the set are relatively uninteresting, then the people not interested in the set aren't missing out, but people buying the set may feel ripped off. This set... falls in the middle. it certainly has less figures than the UCS falcon, and while they are new and exclusive, they aren't exactly the most exciting figures, and they are more of troop builders, "battle pack" material as many have said. So people who wish to troop build these figures are stuck behind that price wall, and people who buy the set certainly aren't getting a slew of figures unlike the Falcon. A lose-lose situation, perhaps. The figures themselves look good enough, but personally I would have enjoyed some "filler" - Stormtroopers, A Vader with red eyes, etc. Omitting a Vader figure was probably the biggest shock I had with this set honestly. The Manual Before we get to the actual set, let's take a quick moment to talk about the manual. Its massive, equally as massive as the Falcon's manual. It's spiral bound, it's almost as wide as the box when closed, and similar to many large scale sets and IDEAS sets, there are numerous pages at the start of the manual that talk about the design, lore and history of the set. One page that I found pretty fun was the one photographed above, a feature on many of the previous incarnations of Star Destroyers, starting with the original UCS set that this one replaces. Sticker Sheet Just one sticker for the set, the infographic that is standard for UCS sets. Tantive IV The small Tantive IV included in the set is pretty good, I would say "par for the course" when it comes to polybag-sized builds. The shaping is done well, and I'd say it about as nice as the old one included with the original Star Destroyer, maybe a little better in certain areas. It's a fun extra to get. The Build: Phase 1: Stand First we build a simple stand that displays the infographic and minifigures. It's.. alright. It's definitely nothing special, and honestly it's hard to see this stuff once the SD is built due to how much more the ship overhangs over the stand. But it holds the ship up perfectly well. Do note however that it's bolted in to the technic frame, you cannot simply remove the ship from the stand- the larger pieces on top of the ship can be removed and allow you access to the inside to remove the axles and take the ship off the stand, but it's not the simplest process. The Build: Phase 2: Frame Now we begin the most critical part of this set, it's frame. This is an interesting process, you can see it's essentially a T-shaped frame surrounded by a triangle. Unlike the UCS Falcon though, this frame doesn't feel very sturdy at first. The more you add on the the build, the more the frame pulls together and strengthens under the weight of the set. We will see more of this later, but here's the perk- due to the relatively unobtrusive frame, the interior of the ship is damn near hollow, and that provides plenty of opportunity for interior work if you so desire. I know I'll certainly be doing such enhancements to my own copy. Note that you also start some greeble work on the sides- it's the same thing on both sides mirrored. The Build: Phase 3: Bottom Panels https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48721109467_765b6c8e4b_c.jpg[/img Okay so here's the part of the review where I say "get ready to do this, a lot." From here on out, a god portion of the build involves a lot of gray panels, colorful pieces to hold them together, and a variety of greebles, especially roller-skate pieces, cheese slopes, and 2x1 grills. Connecting The original UCS SD utilized magnets to achieve the angled shape of the ship. But, those have not held up well over time. This time around the connections are two fold. First, there are small mixes-sized ball joints that connect the flat edge of the panels to the outermost edges of the frame. Second, you mount the bottom of the panels to technic axles, as you can see in this photo. The overall structure is definitely better than the magnets, but not without its issues. Shield Array / Docking bay Here we have some further constructs for the underside of the ship. Nice in design, though very difficult to see with the display base Lego provided. I do really love that simple TIE Fighter build. The Build: Phase 4: Rear Next we build up the rear of the ship. Gone are the days of the large gray tires; this time around we use barrels and the large cockpit halves that originated with the Falcon. I'm okay with this choice, they aren't as obtrusive as pictures made them seem. The one issue is the three "flaps" on each one- the two angled flaps on each are very loosely connected. Bottom half done Here we have the bottom panels and rear of the ship done. As I said earlier, you can see here just how hollow the inside of the ship is allowing for plenty of creative changes later on. Also, while the ship is built at an angle, the front set of panels and the rear set all line up perfectly. What does this mean? Well, on it's own, there is more give to the bottom panels than I would like, but it' easy enough to add additional support to keep all of these large panels together. The Build: Phase 5: Top Panels Next we start the top panels. There's a few differences here, especially with the nice rotating turrets you construct but there's a lot of similar techniques at play as the bottom of the ship. One interesting this is that the panels do not utilize all of the balljoint sockets along the frame unlike the bottom. Why did lego have us put them there? Why not use them for more stability? The Build: Phase 6: Bridge Next up we start on the bridge which uses some interesting techniques, though ultimately its a frame that you add a bunch of angled gray plates with greebles onto, similar to the rest of the set. Another important thing to note here is this is the final stage of pieces really locking in to the frame. Everything beyond this point is only loosely connected, to allow you to easily remove the pieces so you can carry the set by its frame. The advantage here is this allows easy access to removing it from its stand, and also for you to work on an interior if you desire. Final constructs Heres a few shots of the last thing you build. Notable things here are the greeble work and the interesting angles they used. Completed set Once you place that last piece In place, you have to just sit back and take in how massive this set truly is. And then you remember you need to find a place to display this monster, and you quickly realize the space you had planned out isn't large enough. Profile Shot I'm letting photos do most of the talking, and I'll talk in full at the end of this review. But one major improvement over the previous Star Destroyer is the proportions, from the profile shot here we can see just how well the shaping has been captured. Rear I do love the detailing back here. I think this area has the most issues with proportions, the area between the edges of the big thrusters and the outermost part of the ship should be longer, but it's not a critical issue. Top Down View Size Comparison Here's a size comp with the only other "UCS" set I have, the Tumbler. Yeah, this thing is gigantic in comparison. Random Detail Shots (Note that the array can be angled up or don on top) Conclusion $700 is a big price tag for any Lego set, It’s more than double most of the previous Star Destroyer sets, and sits only $100 below the UCS Falcon. At only 4.7k parts, it’s also significantly lighter in parts and minifigure count to that Falcon. But the parts it does come with include a variety of large plates, and it’s completed size and weight are very comparable to its slightly more expensive rival. But we have to look at this set in many other angles to truly understand it’s value I have seen countless comparisons to both the original UCS SD, as well as the more recent UCS Falcon 2.0. In truth, there are many ways that this set is a better value, and many ways that it is a worse value. In my opinion, the target audience for this set has already been carved out. In fact, I almost question the value in a review of this set being posted because, well, I think you’ll make up your mind pretty quickly on this one. If you are buying this set, then you are a huge fan of Lego Star Wars and specifically this ship. It’s not a casual set you’ll pick up for the building experience like a UCS Slave II or Sand Crawler, and it’s not the flagship set title that the Falcon has laid claim to. It’s a massive wedge with engines. It’s gray. VERY gray. The building experience is, unique and fun, but at points it can definitely feel repetitive. Other than techniques used to achieve the bizarre angles of the set and a few neat techniques in the bridge and engine, the building experience is rather straightforward. Compared to the original UCS SD, this set feels more stable, and not relying on magnets will be beneficial in the long term. It’s a more accurate shape and silhouette than that original set, and of course takes up a larger footprint, if that is your thing. If you have the original SD, do I recommend this one? While I do not have that set in hand now, I will say it has held up remarkably well design wise. While not quite as accurate as this one nor as large, it’s still a really good set, and unless you can pull a big profit in selling that one to fund this one, I have a hard time recommending making the switch. It’s bigger it’s slightly more accurate. It’s likely a little more sturdy than that old model. But has enough changes occurred since that old model? Eh, I’d say that old set is still very good and still very competitive to this one, if you already have it or somehow snipe it at a great price I would say the upgrade from the Falcon 1.0 to the 2.0 is a more worthy upgrade than the SD 1.0 to SD 2.0, for whatever that’s worth. But, if you do not have that previous set, there is a lot of fun to be had here. I’ve never built a set this large before, and everyone who has seen it completed so far has been wow’d at its massive size. If I had shelled out the $700 for this, I think the biggest value for me comes from it’s display value and that wow factor it draws in. Here’s the thing- it has some fun bits in its build, but had this set been 30% smaller, I anticipate it would still have largely the same techniques. The size does not offer much to the build, but rather the size itself is where the value comes from. There is a sense of satisfaction to this set, it feels like you own a prop of this ship used in the film almost. But it’s not without its flaws- for $700, the minifigures are questionable. The interior is hollow, and I feel this space either could have been used for an interior, or for further support to the set. Luckily, this space will allow you to mod to your hearts content. Plus, there are a LOT of studded surfaces, and to some this may make the set feel unfinished when compared to the Falcon or some of the great MOCs posted here on the boards. It’s understandable, since tiling over all of these plates would prove almost impossible given the way it was constructed, and I can only image the price if they had tried to smooth the surface out. And in real life, the gray studded surfaces look smoother than in the harsh lighting of CGI and photos. To summize, a lot of the issues that you may have with the set are either easily fixable or aren’t necessarily such a big deal. I plan to make many mods to this set, but even without them, I think the finished product is fitting of its price tag when I look at the other elements of this set beyond its part and minifigure count. If you have the previous incarnation of the set, I don’t know that it’s worth upgrading to this set, but rather taking steps to mod and update your old copy. If you are simply looking for a massive, fun Lego experience, I would personally say the Falcon is a more enriching experience and carries a more unique color scheme to boot, whereas this ship is for an even more diehard audience. But if you love Star Destroyers, love collecting massive sets, or simply want to find something that will challenge your display space, this set is the one for you. Again, a massive thank you to LEGO for providing this. I was very young back in the early 2000s and sets like the UCS SD were something I dreamt of owning. It has been a fantastic experience to build this set and it looks ridiculously awesome on display. I can’t wait to see what everyone does with this set, and what LEGO does next to further push the limits. Thanks for reading! Please be sure to leave your comments below and vote in the poll, we share this valuable feedback with LEGO and this is a great chance for your thoughts to be relayed.
  13. VBBN

    10302 Optimus Prime Rumors

    Star Wars is a poor point of comparison because it is not a Hasbro property, it's Lucasfilms. The market may have been dominated by hasbro & their acquisition of Kenner at one time, but as SW has grown, so too have the massive number of companies that LF licenses with, Lego and even Mattel included, it is not really accurate to compare pre and post Lego SW as many other brands entered the marketplace around that time . Assuming this post has a fragment of source to back it up, sure Hasbro may have come to the conclusion that partnering with Lego was detrimental previously, but there is a reason companies invest in continual research; things change. Hasbro has been heavily diversifying lately, especially in products that may not necessarily be competitors to their own. For example, Threezero makes high quality non-transformable figures with diecast, impressive paint and articulation, and higher price tags. If these figures could transform, then there would be an issue, as these would be in competition to Hasbro's masterpiece line of figures. However, by partnering with Threezero in this capacity, they suddenly attract the consumers such as myself who prefer high end collectibles like Hot Toys, Sideshow etc, that do not necessarily want the transformation hindered toys that Hasbro produces. By comparison, brick built Transformers aren't going to cannibalize Hasbro's sales. Using the example above, the sale of a brick built Optimus prime is not likely to replace the potential sale of an assembled Optimus toy. Someone who has a TF Generations collection is not going to replace a figure with a brick built alternative that is visually completely different. Someone who enjoys buildable figures but not typical action figures, though, may enjoy the Lego figure more, gaining Hasbro a sale that they wouldn't have captured through their normal toylines. They themselves produced three different buildable series (BTR, Kreo, ConstructBots) that spanned 9 years, it is quite clear their research proved that there was untapped market potential in the buildable figures area. But Hasbro does not have the patents, the infrastructure, the engineering, and most importantly the marketing and branding (keep in mind what I am talking about here is within the buildable figures market, specifically, this is very important to distinguish.) Partnering with Lego provides a lot of advantages in these areas and if this relationship is real, it's likely that the savings Hasbro can realize from outsourcing buildable figures to Lego is worth the profits they are seeking from this market - meaning this: Would Hasbro make as much money on the sale of a Lego Optimus set as they would if they created their own in-house buildable Optimus? On the surface, the income of an in-house product goes directly to Hasbro. But how much did they have to spend on creating that product that is fundamentally different from anything else they create? How much do they have to spend to get people to search "KreO" over Lego? What about shelf space? I never saw Kreo in stores, and even Mega Construx is fighting to gain more space after many years. And while many people in the company are talented at making a figure convert from a car to a robot, it's not likely that Hasbro has the knowledgebase to engineer figures that could transform effectively, stay durable, and survive other playtesting that companies like Lego already invest heavily in within its workforce.
  14. VBBN

    10302 Optimus Prime Rumors

    The idea isn’t far fetched to me. LEGO already licenses out the Transformers brand to other companies for things that they don’t produce in house. Threezero, Prime 1 Studio, etc. So it makes sense to me that they would consider licensing to LEGO since they’ve tried many previous attempts at buildable transformers (BTR, KreO, and ConstructBots) but none have stuck in the long run. plus as some people have mentioned elsewhere, LEGO already has a relationship developed with Hasbro, there is some sort of Peppa Pig stuff that’s sold at LEGO parks or something so it’s not the most unbelievable rumor IMO
  15. Hello everyone and welcome to a special review of a Lego-compatible product! Today, we will be looking at two of the hundreds of products available on www.lightailing.com, Lightailing sells a wide selection of LED lighting kits that are specifically created to work with Lego sets from a variety of different themes, sizes, etc. They were kind enough to send me some kits to review (though as always, any product I review is of my own opinion.) In particular, I wanted to take a look at two kits for some of the modular buildings series, as I believed these have quite a bit of lighting elements to take a look at given the size & complexity of these sets. The two kits in particular can be found at the below links: Light Kit For Assembly Square 10255 Light Kit For Bookshop 10270 Also, Lightailing has been generous enough to provide us with a discount code! If you use the promo code "eurobricks" at checkout, you will get an additional 20% off! Boxes As you can see, we will actually be looking at two different brands of kits in this review; BriksMax LED kit for the Bookshop, and Lightailing's own kit for Assembly square. Both sets come in a similar style box that is easy to open and can be used to store items later on. BricksMax Contents Upon opening the BricksMax kit, you can see the instructions, a user guide/warranty card, as well as a bubble wrapped package containing the various LED elements. Instructions The instructions for this kit are very clear and easy to follow. The instructions show you when pieces need to be removed, they call out specifically what elements you need for that particular step, and they use icons to help you understand the action that is taking place during that particular step (such as if you are being directed to insert the write though a Lego piece, as exemplified in this photo. Contents This kit contains 10 smaller packets, each containing a variety of elements from wires to connectors and adhesive strips. Some Lego elements are also included such as 1x6 plates and 1x1 studs that assist with the build process, these pieces are legitimate Lego brand elements. Also included are two large packages containing a replacement street lamp (more on this later) and the battery pack. Tree Lighting I won't go over every single element included in these kits as that would take far more than a simple review can show: but to show you some examples, here you can see the lighting elements needed for the tree. The LEDs are connected to wires with a connector at the end. Again, the studs were included with the kit. Lighting the tree is a simple process: you fish the wire though and open stud, and then cap it off with one of the 1x1 trans studs to hold it in place. It's very easy to do, and the results you will soon see are very bright and effective. Each wire eventually plugs into a power strip, as you can see here. The strip uses two small adhesive tiles to stick on to the back of the tree. it's worth noting that the entire system of lights for this kit are all linked together. So you can see here that the end result of this system is one single wire coming from the tree... ...which travels under the street and into another panel within the building itself. The circuit then continues from here. I am sure that my photos will only demonstrate a portion of this process, but again it's really quite clear to follow and will make sense in-hand. Room Lighting Here is an example of how the interior rooms of the building are lit up. As mentioned, the kit includes some 1x6 tiles, these are what the adhesive LED strips will be mounted to the underside of. Here you can see the completed unit mounted. Again, the circuit that started with the tree is connected though to here in one end, and the other end will go upstairs to to the next floor. Once you have wired up one side of the building, the wires are then carried over to the next side of the building. An important comment here is that once you fully wire this kit together, these two halves of the buildings will need to stay connected together, as the wiring interlocks them together at this point. Lamp Post The kit includes an entirely new lamp post that is already pre-wired. (Both kits features here do this.) Battery Pack The kit provides you with two differing options for how you can power the lights. You can light them using a USB, or you can mount a battery pack which takes three AA batteries. For my setup here, I chose to plug in the battery pack, which fits pretty snugly underneath the windowsill. Completed Bookshop Lighting The kit gives the set a wonderful glow when complete. I will show more detail in the following pictures, but something I would like to highlight is that they use different shades of light in different rooms; for example on the left you have a brighter white light in the book shop, but a warmer light in the rooms above. This adds some great realism to the set, as in real life you will often see different colors of light shown through rooms of a building. The lighting continues back here with all of the rooms being lit up. I should mention that the small crawlspace does end up being restricted, due to the tight wiring it may be tough to access this area once fully wired up. The battery box that I used for my setup is noticeable, but you could easily dress this up given the amount of studs around it with some plant life, or treat it as a generator/power box that one may find near a building. The buildings immediately feel warmer and more lifelike. You can truly see more details inside of these rooms that otherwise are hidden in darkness. You can see a few examples of the wires that run up the wall, they are quite small and not too noticeable, and again I think realistically it's not uncommon to have some wiring visible in places. Ultimately I think the kit does a good job of hiding these as best as possible (and the great thing of Lego is that you can always rebuild or find new ways to hide the wiring, if you choose.) The orange porch lights add quite some life to this little entranceway, and I love how the light shines through the clear plates above the door. Some of these details really are normally quite hard to see in the set once it's built, but with the light kit you can see them clearly, such as the nicely detailed grandfather clock here. Lightailing kit Next we will move on to the Lightailing kit. The same general idea behind what this kit does is present, but the execution of the kid does differ in some ways as you will see. Instructions The instructions are pretty similar to the Bricksmax kit, the main difference being that they don't call out which specific elements you need. This is because, as you will see below, the kit is organized in steps rather than in separated elements. Contents 8 bags of elements are included. You can see here that each step is numbered, so unlike the Bricksmax kit you will not be selecting elements from multiple bags at once. Step 1 Elements Two more differences can be observed here. First, the ceiling lights are already mounted to plates, rather than you adhering them separately. Second, this set is not built on one continuous circuit, but rather each step is it's own circuit that ends with a USB plug at the end. Step 2 Elements The Step 2 pieces show you another difference, the lights are all built directly into Lego pieces. So, rather than having a small light that fits into a stud as we saw previously, these ones are wired up from the start. Wiring up the coffee shop The wires themselves are also a bit different. Rather than being the twisted wires as seen in the Bricksmax kit, these ones are single wires, meaning they are thinner and thus easier to fish between plates. The counter to this is that there are mores overall to need to manage. Wiring the other side Okay so this set is one solid piece that does not split apart at the baseplates, so this comment in particular won't apply to this set, but in general is good to know: Unlike the Bricksmax kit, since each "building" has lights that are on their own circuits, it's feasible that you could split the buildings apart at their baseplates while retaining the lighting. Battery Box The power hookups are a little different here also. First, all of the USB ports we saw previously will connect to this unit. You can then either directly plus that in to a USB power source, or you can hook it up to the battery box, again which takes three AA batteries. The battery box features studs on one side and anti-studs on the other, so it's easy to build in to your layout or hide away with details. Wiring Complete I know this looks a little messy at first; Bear in mind that I needed to keep this all contained and easy to showcase in this review. However, if you have this building in a tabletown layout, you have plenty of wiring here that you can use to route this to an easy-to-reach and well-hidden area. After this review, I'll be spending more time to tidy up and hide away the wires, but you get the general idea of what you have to work with here. Completed Kit Similar tot he Bookshop, the finished kit for Assembly square is simply striking. In addition to what we've seen before, we have some other neat elements here such as illuminated shop signs (the coffee cup and roses), and a color-changing fountain. The fountain was a really neat surprise as I had no idea that the fountain would cycle through colors until having it in hand. You can see a video demonstrating this feature below. Additionally, the set features a few other items of note including light-up signs (the coffee cup and roses). From a rear view, we can see again that a majority of the set is lit up, the main exception being the bathroom on the upper left (which you likely wouldn't always have a light on in anyway). If I could make any improvement here, I would have enjoyed some form of string lights up on the outer patio of the apartment to add some nightlife to that area. As we head down to the cafe and this well-mannered dog, we notice some excellent exterior lighting. In comparison to the Bookshop, this set has a larger street scene, and many more exterior lights, and this lighting kit does a great job in capturing all of those pieces. The awnings on my set aren't set quite as straight as you could likely manage, though keep in mind that anytime you have wiring going between Lego bricks there will always be an unavoidable gap. The lighting not only lets you see the details of the interior and minifigures better, but also how dusty my set is! Even the skylight on top serves new purpose during darker settings. I mentioned this with the bookshop, but I do love the contrasts between light colors, for example the warm orange glow under the awnings contrasting with the bright white interior of the florist shop. Side note, but you may have noticed I've added a few smaller details into these setups, but no major changes were made to the sets overall. This dentistry sign is a detail I really forgot about, given it's placement and dark backing under normal circumstances, but it comes to life with this kit as you'd expect. Now the real question remains, who will make mini LED kits for these micro Lego builds?? Here we have both kits together. This was an important observation for me - if you are completing a modular city layout and you want to light up all of your builds, chances are you may end up with both Lightailing and BricksMax kits. How do they look together? Overall, I'd say they go very well. Both kits have equal emphasis on the kinds of details they light up, and both kits vary the lighting used to make the sets more realistic. I did notice the lamp posts on the BricksMax kit are slightly more yellow compared to Lightailing, but I consider this accidental realism (as in the real world, as lightbulbs are replaced/age, their colors may vary.) Both also have very bright lights 9and keep in mind that batteries as I used here tend to be dimmer, but I have no complaint about the brightness). Both kits absolutely enhance the experience of owning a modular building by allowing you to truly see the details inside, and turning simple things such as lamposts and 1x1 stud lights into glowing, atmosphere inducing elements. Both kits were pretty easy overall to install, with no special knowledge needed. I'd say that both kits pretty much equally place limitations on your builds (taking floors apart becomes more difficult, some tiles don't sit flush, etc.) I find these limitations to be feasible to work with, as in my opinion modular sets like these are true display pieces, and these kits serve to enhance that aspect of the sets. The one key difference between this kits is in how they are wired. The BricksMax kit is very self contained and runs on one single circuit, which as mentioned does limit the ability to split the building in half. The Lightailing kit uses numerous circuits and longer wires, which allows for more modularity and gives you more to work with when it comes to hiding the battery box (plus the battery box actually has studs/anti studs on it), though of course at first it may be a bit messier to deal with in comparison. So, each has it's ups and downs. Ultimately, I can't say that either one setup is superior to the other, this will completely depend on your preference, but I believe both are executed quite well. Last we come to the price, which is 56.99 USD for the Assembly Square kit, and 51.99 USD for the Bookshop kit. I do think these prices are fair, they give you a decent amount of stuff, it's packaged well, the final effect is truly set enchancing, and for expensive sets like these, I think it's a worthy addition to make. Plus, as mentioned above, you can use the promo code "eurobricks" at checkout and get 20% off, which makes these and even better value at those prices. Thank you for reading! Please let me know if you have any further questions on these kits.
  16. VBBN

    Marvel Superheroes 2021 - Rumors & Discussion

    Hey all, As Captain Nemo mentioned a few days ago, in the interest of mitigating spoilers related to Spider-Man: No Way Home, this thread will now be locked until December 20th, upon which we will kickstart the 2022 themed discussion. Thanks everyone!
  17. Great review of a pretty meh set. It's unfortunate that after so much growth with 2021's Mclaren that we take such a severe step backwards in engineering for this year's releases at this scale. As far as pullbacks go, I do think it's nice to have a launch control feature here and does increase the playability surrounding such a set, and likely is something that'd be more difficult to implement at the lower price range. With that said, I think ultimately they should have endeavored to include these functions in a creator expert car - the looks of this set are okay, but as always they suffer because of the limitations of technic shaping, yet we don't have the features to excuse such a car being build with those limitations. it's quite unfortunate to not even have the "mini" piston builds that previous sets in this scale have utilized, especially in conjunction with the pullback motors.
  18. Hello everyone, and welcome to the official kickoff of my #VBBNG3 project! For the past few years I have done some minor teases & hints at such a project, and truthfully the project has taken a lot longer to get off the ground than I expected. As a longtime fan of Bionicle, I wanted to do my part in contributing to the community with some kind of project. An important aspect to me with this project is that I wanted to do something that would have some kind of meaningful purpose or impact, no matter how big or small. As such, I decided to embrace the world of 3D printing, which I truly believe is a huge player in the future of Bionicle MOCs (and we have already seen this making an impact in the new canon contests that have been going on.) I wanted to do something that would allow me a chance to showcase the dozens of designers who have been pouring years of work into creating new tools, masks, armor etc for us all to use and enjoy. I wanted to show how these parts look in real life, in different colors, and most importantly, how they all come together to form new and interesting design potential for your figures. With that in mind, I set forth on this project. The idea behind this project is that it will be a mockup of a “Lego set inspired” series of figures, all using a majority printed pieces. This project will encompass four “Years” of sets, each year including two seasons of MOCs. Designers will all be credited along the way. In some cases, I may work with designers on commissions for custom pieces. In other cases, I have worked on my own designs and remixes, all of which will be made available on Thingiverse for you to utilize as you see fit. A story is in development, but expect this to be delayed a bit. One thing is for certain: This project will take time. Time to print pieces. Time to clean them up and make them look decent. Time to playtest them and make sure they function correctly. Time to design new pieces. Time to design the actual MOCs - all of which will be keeping a “Set viable” aspect to them. (I love a complicated MOC as the next person, but I want the pieces to shine, and to show how they would look in a standard set style environment. Plus, complicated MOCs would elongate this project longer than I would like. Such kinds of artistic builds are not the goal of this project.) I'm taking this project 1 season at a time. It's a common issue that people get burned out over long projects, and I will do my best to avoid that. Most likely I will take a break between seasons to pursue other projects, but I believe this is how I will bet manage to keep this going in the long run. Today, I begin Year 1, Season 1: Journey to the Red City. You can see from the graphic how many MOCs are planned for this particular season. They will be revealed over the course of the next few months, as most of these are currently WIPs. I will be commenting and highlighting the pieces used, where to get them, and technical details such as the filament & printing process, troubleshooting, etc. As mentioned, a story is planned to be developed in some capacity, though given my current life schedule this is delayed until a later point in time. This season will consist of 6 Matoran (M) sized sets, 6 Canister (C) sized sets, 1 Titan (T) sized set, and 2 Impulse (I) sets. I have already noted in the graphic above which characters will take up these slots. #WeAreG3 C001 Toa Tahu I debated at first if I even wanted to include the classic Toa in this project as so many people tend to base their projects off them, off that nostalgia. However, in the end, I decided to create them, for two reasons. First, one of my goals with this project is to show people that you can viably create brand new figures that are almost entirely 3D printed and to really push the limits of the system. This gave me a good, approachable starting point to showcase this idea. Second, because of this love for these characters, there’s a ton of fantastic designs out there that people have created, and I felt it would be an injustice not to showcase some of these parts. Next, the design. I know that continuing the “Inika” platform will be a point of contention. Everyone has their own idea of what they want Bionicle to be, and everyone will express their projects differently. For my project, I wanted to get into the headspace of LEGO. To think about some of the limitations they may face, and what “could have been” had G1 gone on. With that in mind, I absolutely think the building system in 2006-2009 would continue forth. It was truly a prototype of the eventual CCBS system, where a more standardized building system was created. They reused parts, but it gave us more recolors of these parts. It allowed for more variety in character builds and created a more uniform scale of characters. I kept the general idea of an Inika build in mind. By 2010+, my thought is that Lego would have been ready to once again invest in creating more limbs, armor plates, etc, and this is where I made my selections for new elements with these figures. Tahu is very much a “basic” character. He features many parts that would be “new” for this wave, and doesn’t do much as far as a unique build or special features goes. It is worth noting that I removed the launcher gimmick that sets would have. From the previous graphic, you can see set I001 is a return to the mask pack idea of the past. I will discuss this more when I reveal the concept, but to be brief I believe it would make sense to return to such a collectible, given the success of blind-bag products now. As we dive into this first MOC, let me be clear that I do not adhere myself 100% to official, established story facts from either G1 or G2. Does Tahu's appearance make sense with what we know he should look like? No, most likely not. But if you desire, you can create it in your own way. I wanted to create my own ideas and to not be limited by the past, I felt it was very important for me to enjoy this process. My main goal with Tahu was this: I wanted to create a figure that I could drop in to my 2006-2009 shelf that would visually make sense with everyone else. I wanted the bright colors of 2001 to shine in this figure. I basically said "no thank you" to 2008 and the designs/colors used, and took a total 180 to the past. It's a new Tahu, it's one that has elements you recognize but also things that are new. At the end of the day, this figure serves the sole purpose of showcasing the pieces that were used in this particular arrangement. This contains a breakdown of the parts, their creators, where you can get them, the materials used, etc. Adaptive Hau by Galva Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3922470 Adaptive Nuva Shoulder Armor by Gavla Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4199046 Adaptive Nuva Chestplate by Gavla Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4190994 Nuva Leg & Shell Armor by M06Z [Remixed by VBBN to be longer, files will be available on Thinigiverse soon] Original files: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4398403 https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4398392 Bionicle sockets/joint connectors: 5L joint by Lmk2332: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4161733 Single joint and 7L joints remixed by VBBN, will be on thingiverse soon Fists & feet: model replications by VBBN, utilizing the socket design from Lmk2332, files will be available on Thingiverse soon Toa Metru Foot by GrimUrsine: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4802948 SID_L05 by KingSidorak: https://kingsidorak.gumroad.com/l/dbuiP Materials used: Hatchbox 1.75mm PLA Black Hatchbox 1.75mm PLA Red eSun 1.75mm PLA Orange Printer: Creality Ender 3 Pro
  19. Have you tried visiting the accessory section of their website? They have a bunch of elements available to purchase individually and tailor to your set or MOC however you'd like. In my opinion part of the price is definitely in the convenience/ease of putting the elements together. I've dabbled with LEDs for other non-LEGO projects and those typically involve wire twisting, shrink wrap etc, which are cheaper on an individual level but aren't quite as user friendly as I found these kits to be. Value is always up to your own preference but that's personally where I found some of the justification myself.
  20. I am happy to present that this review is now live for viewing!
  21. VBBN

    Decal Wish List

    Not sure if it exists or not, but a decal set on my wishlist is for the Zebra Batman minifigure (based on the comic con version). Shouldn’t be too bad overall, if I ever do it myself I’ll update this post. I figure I’d have to customize a white cowl and would need to use an alternate material cape, other than that it’s pretty basic I’d think
  22. VBBN

    Marvel Superheroes 2021 - Rumors & Discussion

    That iron man buildable figure definitely interests me - I’m curious to see what else this spawns. More buildable figures in a similar scale? More Iron Man suits?Also wasn’t that rumored UCS Hulkbuster supposed to be massive, maybe this will integrate with it? I can’t say I love how it looks, but will be interested to see what the intentions are with this one. I agree with others that I would LOVE to see a Sentinel based on this platform, I would absolutely ride that wave. (also, is that a 4th gen ball socket piece that I spy? Is that new?)
  23. Great review Jim! Im not really a sports fan (and being in the US my knowledge is a bit further removed from these stadiums), but I must say I am highly disappointed seeing photos of this set. It’s that same repetitive build style of Old Trafford and the Colosseum (all three are made by the same designer and honestly it shows). It’s a decent enough finished product, but these sets feel soulless to me at this point.
  24. Thank you! Yes, that is definitely one issue I've faced with this one and I've seen some others call that out as well. For myself I will admit it doesn't bother me, I've never minded awkward proportions as Bionicle characters don't necessarily need to follow human proportioning. But with that said - I have a feeling you will much prefer the look of Gali when I reveal her as she has much narrower shoulders. However, due to the design of these shoulder pads, there are definitely some issues, as bringing the shoulders closer in like she will have causes them to collide with the edges of the chest armor when rotating the arms forward It's also worth noting that these shoulder pads do not allow much for outward arm extension, given they cover the top of the socket piece. I'll be doing a more thorough review of some of these commonly used 3D elements when the team is all assembled, but there's some initial thoughts.