Lord Admiral

Eurobricks Citizen
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About Lord Admiral

  1. I propose the Ameribricks skin stay up indefinitely for all U.S. IPs. Though, IMHO, "Brick of the free, site of the brave" might be a more fitting subtitle for Ameribricks. After all, it would certainly be very brave people visiting a site where they throw bricks into the air and shoot at them while constantly shouting "megabluck yeah!"
  2. TMNT 2013

    I'm waiting for Bebop and Rocksteady. And Toka and Razar. And the Rat King. There's no TMNT without the Rat King.
  3. LEGO Star Wars 2012 Pictures and Rumors

    Anyone else notice the cockpit rotates depending on the model's orientation? This is one sweet set. A bit disappointed that there are no minifigs though. TLG doesn't seem to know when it's appropriate to put minifigs. This is so close to minifig scale, but has no minifig. The capital ships, like the Correllian Corvette and the SSD are not to scale, yet they come with out-of-place minifigs. The only ones they did right were the MF and the shuttle (though you can argue that the shuttle is smaller than minifig scale). Not sure if I'll get it. Probably will during next year's May 4th promo if anything. Price increase may be across the board, I'm afraid. Inflation may finally be forcing TLG to raise prices. Haunted House would've been $120 two or three years ago. Now it's $170.
  4. REVIEW: 3188 Heartlake Vet

    Thanks for the great review! The pictures really give me a good feel for what this set is like. I think I've read enough of the reviews of this line to finally make an informed comment about the line in general. The design of these sets are decent, even if the build feels <insert that tiresome argument>. I like the pieces that go into giving detail to the individual items of the set. The furniture really is surprisingly good, especially when they're using a lot of generic parts to create this detail. It's on par with the furniture found in the modular buildings. At the same time though, the buildings themselves aren't interesting at all. I know these sets are for girls, but they really didn't have to de-emphasize the building aspect of it that much. They could've at least put some effort into the build of the structures, instead of making it feel like you're plopping down four floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall pieces onto a baseplate and calling the center of it a room. The new parts are interesting too. This particular set is notable for the numerous new animals pieces. The animals are actually closer to scale against mindolls than minifigures. And they all have the little hole at the top near their heads for attaching accessories, which is a pretty nice touch. The new variety of flower pieces I'd very much like to see in other non-Friends sets. The generic flower while sufficient, is no match for these new flowers. The new colors don't interest me as much, mostly because they're pastels. I have never really cared much for the colors in the past girl lines either. I personally like using darker, more muted colors. The new colors are supposed to be exciting, but not so much for me. But the dealbreaker is really the minidolls. The more I look at the minidolls, the more I dislike them. It's the way they are designed. They don't really seem to fit the sets or even the idea of Lego bricks very well. They feel more like a doll or figurine whose feet just so happen to attach to Lego brick studs, rather than a figure built from glorified body-shaped Lego pieces. For starters, the lack of a seat and the inability for the head or the torso to attach to (most) other bricks all make them feel like a separate toy from Lego bricks (I'm also not a fan of the heads for Chewbacca and Yoda, though the latter is still a step up from the former). I.e. you can't actually build with the minidoll pieces, and if you can, it's not much. Interchangeability also appears to be compromised, despite being able to swap hairs with other minifigures. I wonder if it's easy to put other minifigure headgear like a helmet on the minidolls. And there haven't been many minidolls thus far, but I have to wonder to what extent will one torso be able to fit onto another pair of legs. Certainly, the defined skin tones instead of the generic yellow makes it limited, but I wonder if the patterns will even match. Not to mention, the fixed wrists and the single-hinged leg make them less versatile and less articulable than a minifigure, a fairly significant reduction in playability on top of it all. As an unintended but related consequence, they're also less posable. I can understand why the minidolls are designed the way they are, in that they're more realistic figurines with curves that actually resemble a human body, but I can't understand why they didn't design the pieces it so that each minidoll component actually can be used to build something other than a minidoll (like for the torso of a mannequin or a ship's figurehead). For that matter, I'm not sure they've completely solved the problem with shoulders getting in the hair's way of turning with the head, which is one of the challenges that a female minfigure would face. While they've made it easier for the heads to turn with most hairpieces, I still see hair out of sync with the head because of the shoulders. I can't seem to figure out why they would leave this problem open even after going with a whole new figurine design. The <insert that tiresome argument> build and the presence of the minidolls really make these sets unappealing, despite the complexity of the furniture and the plethora of new parts. But since I'm not exactly the target demographic, I guess I'll let the real market decide whether the line will be successful or not.
  5. Friends "Controversy"

    If TLG was serious about marketing to girls, changing the minifigure into some derivative of duplo's figures is not the answer. That just reinforces the idea that girls are not only different, but not as intelligent as the figure is more childish and doll-like. The pastels and pink isn't a problem, but making the sets build simplier and easier (as they did with Belville) is condescending in the same way. Young children don't separate "girl" from "boy" toys. Young children don't care. For the most part, the adults, and any older siblings, impose a particular worldview on young children that segregates the "boy" toys from the "girl" toys. Making a girl-specific line that is so vastly different from the other "boy" lines firstly reinforces that the other lines are for boys only, and secondly that the girl lines are inferior (by their very nature of being different and less numerous) to the boy lines. But there is a problem with making female-oriented sets the same as every other set. In particular there is a problem with the majority of the female minifigures. To put it bluntly, female minifigures are lame. Most of them have a wedge brick for legs, and cannot sit down. Their hair gets in the way of their head turning. The minifigures who don't suffer these deficiencies mainly consist of a head with lipstick on the lips popped onto a regular body. Forget the generic body, but just the fact that the baseball cap or helmet completely replaces the hair makes it very difficult for minifigures to be feminine. It means that for a female minifigure (and for a girl playing with the female minifigure), the choice is to either look like a boy and be able to do everything the male minfigures can do, or look like a girl, but be severely hampered by the female-specific minifigure parts. This limitation makes it difficult for girls to be interested in playing with female-oriented minifigure sets. The larger figure in the Friends line only solves one of these problems (they don't seem to be able to sit down still). This actually has a large bearing on set design. Now, the larger figure would have to stand up for everything (look at 3935). Or, it means if they're sitting, they won't be secured. It means they'll fall off easily, which limits playability for any vehicles that might be included in the set (and the very idea that vehicles is a boys thing is ridiculous). The larger figure also means everything else around the figure needs to be larger. This means they'll need larger pieces and larger sets to do the same things (see how big the car in 3183 is). That gives the entire theme a <insert that tiresome argument> feel (like the 4+ sets--look how great those worked out), which will turn off many of the older girls, especially those in or nearing their preteens. The only solution for this quagmire is to fix the female minifigure. Make it as versatile as the male minifigure. One thing to do is instead of using a wedge piece for the dress, use cloth (like the hula girl in series 1). Also put peg holes on the back of the cloth dress so they can sit down in a chair without having to take off or damage the dress. The next thing to do is fix the hair. Either keep the hair away from the shoulders (either above, or far apart) , or make it somehow malleable. The final thing to do is to have a female version of the helmets, caps, hats, etc. where a girl's longer hair is coming out of it or otherwise showing through. These will reinforce the femininity of the particular minifigure. Put out a female minifigure-only set in each theme, and this will help break down walls on what sets and themes are appropriate for girls, as well as what women can and cannot do (e.g. a racing set where one team is entirely female, with a female driver and female mechanics). Of course, this comes from a more open mind growing up and living in a more open society. I hear Apple is having problems with Siri (and the 4S) in certain geographical locations because the people there didn't like a female voice telling them what to do. There's nothing TLG or anyone else can really do about that, except maybe not release these female minifigure-only products to those places.
  6. LEGO ReBrick is up&running

    That's the bit that gives a 3rd party site unaffiliated with Lego an advantage. While sites can throw these "adult" themes into its own category, hidden behind some sort of login or whatnot, Lego cannot even have such a thing. While a community site is a nice gesture, I don't think this is any effective way of being a part of the community. The "official" status that comes with a site affiliated with TLG makes the content, as well as those who submit content, different--special even. For starters, it becomes a much bigger target for fraudsters. Because of the legitimacy it brings as an official site, even if the site doesn't host any of the pictures, it brings out the people who want the legitimacy but who cannot achieve it on their own. Moderation is also difficult. Moderators on a fan site are also fans. Moderators on an official site not only have a certain legitimacy automatically attached to them, but they also lack the degree of freedom that their fan site counterparts have. It might not sound like much, but it may be the difference between say, a featuring or not featuring a "violent" diorama. And for an official site, there is also an issue with the inclusion of non-official parts. If the 3rd-party part is some other company's IP but not licensed by TLG (like a weapon from Halo or some other video game). While fan sites can do whatever they want, an official site may not be able to have MOCs with these items featured. There are other logistical problems with such a site. A lot of interests are niche interests. Adult-themed interests are one aspect of this, but there other niches like Star Wars, Fantasy/Medieval, City, etc. that a single site cannot devote itself to the way that multiple sites can. Furthermore, the inability to host its own pictures and sites makes entries easily go dead when the host drops their pictures or the account gets suspended. It's a nice gesture, but I think it'll be ultimately futile. Especially considering the wealth of fan sites already present, all of whom lack the problems than an official community site brings. It'd be better if TLG only included their own official community-facing activities on their official community site and leave the community to do what the community is already doing perfectly fine, instead of trying to jump head-first in without really knowing what they're doing or what their place is in the community.
  7. Yeah, there's really not that much cross-compatibility between the two if you look at it superficially. Lego is a building block toy, Minecraft is a (virtual) building block toy... They run in parallel if anything. Minecraft's advantage is that since it's virtual, resources are nearly unlimited. As well, one resource can be transformed into another in the Minecraft world. Lego's advantage is the sheer diversity of the building blocks (bricks, tiles, etc.), both in shape, size, and color. There is or has been a Lego brick for almost every Minecraft item. A collaboration would appear, at first blush, difficult, if not impossible. But that's only looking at it from a narrow point of view. It's looking at the Minecraft CUUSOO project as a single set. A Minecraft and Lego joint wouldn't, and couldn't comprise of just a one-off or even a few play sets. It would be a theme unto itself, that would feature both normal bricks (2x2) and plates, as well as special Minecraft colors and paints. And any set would need to have special Minecraft minifigs. Heck, just having a creeper minifig in a polybag would sell tons by itself, so maybe it could be a one-off if it was a creeper minifig. There'd be a lot of disappointed fans all around if one creeper polybag was all the CUUSOO project resulted in though. But, along the same lines, the mobs are a great place to start. While the cow and pig would be nothing special, as would be the (cave) spider, skeleton, and even zombie, there's room for sheep that can be sheered for wool blocks, endermen, zombie pigmen, jockey (which is just a skeleton sitting on a large spider), and the enderdragon. And these are things not the creeper. Then, there are the special blocks that can be produced for the Minecraft theme. They may not be completely new bricks, but they'd be distinct colors or have distinct painted patterns from the normal sets. The furnace, dispenser, wooden planks, chest, wooden fences all come to mind immediately. And there'd be new items, and moreso existing items in new colors and plastic. Granted, set ideas are a little harder. There are a limited number of things that can be done for a Minecraft set that couldn't be done already. But that's where the naturally-generated features would work. A set could be comprised of a dungeon and a monster spawner with two or three mobs. Or it could be a Nether castle. Or a piece of The End. Or a stronghold. Then again, it wouldn't be inconceivable to just have a Minecraft-themed bucket of bricks, or Minecraft-themed brick packs. The packs could even translate the Minecraft-value to real value. So a pack of iron brick would be chrome, featuring a bunch of iron blocks and a set of iron tools. Gold bricks would be a (fake) gilded version and more expensive. A pack of diamond bricks would use transparent blue plastic and maybe have some special crystalline features in the plastic that differenciate it from the plain transparent light blue. They'd get progressively more expensive (or there'd be fewer bricks in each pack). Brick pack composition could include multi-colored wool bricks made of the softer plastic; dirt, sand, stone, wood, clay, cobblestone, wood planks, etc.; brick, stone brick, and nether brick; mossy cobblestone; water, ice, and lava (all transparent); etc. Packs could also be biome-themed, with a Nether pack, The End pack, Desert pack (with cacti), etc. Because the two products exist in parallel, the crossover ideas are actually only limited by the limits of the two products. In effect, the toy (from a brand and a play perspective) is already sold. The real considerations are on the business end. The success and extent of the theme is more tied to of how far TLG wants to take the idea (how much they want to invest in new molds, paints, and plastics), and how much the market will bear. Obviously, there are a lot of Minecraft fans (enough for the project to reach 10k votes in 48 hours). It'd be interesting to see how many of these fans would put real money down for real bricks, and how much they'd be willing to spend for it.
  8. Official modulars adapted to 16wide

    Very cool. The fire house is particularly good. In fact, it looks better and more like what a fire house should look like (IMHO) than the official one.
  9. New Lego Architecture 21007 Rockefeller Center

    If only there was a bit more detail, like the ice skating rink and all. There's a lot more to the complex that a few buildings. There are plenty of statues, reliefs, and other works of art all over the place including inside the buildings. There is the giant Christmas tree they put up every winter. The central area is pretty much a large urban garden with plants and water fountains smack in the middle of midtown Manhattan. Below, there's a network of tunnels that run underground with shops and restaurants that open up into the ice skating rink. There's also neat stuff higher up, but most of it is off limits to the general public. The buildings themselves aren't terribly interesting (and I don't imagine you can make it much more interesting with a tiny miniature made out of Lego), though the set probably fits well beside and is to scale with the empire state building set.
  10. New LEGO Store, Queens NEW YORK!

    The Rockefeller Center store is now open. Everything's still a bit messy right now, and the prices are a little higher than usual for some sets, but it's worth a look. They have a good stock of the collectible minifigs currently (three or four boxes but there's no box so it's hard to tell), but that's probably only going to last for a day or two.
  11. LEGO Star Wars 2010 Pictures and Rumors

    Nice one! Almost believed it until I saw the date. I wonder if it's a shop, or if somebody actually did customs. I'd be even more impressed if somebody actually created these figures just for today.
  12. Review:7595 Army Men on Patrol

    Just FYI for anybody who hasn't noticed: The rifles in this set are different from the rifles in the pirates line. Unlike the pirates' rifles, which look closer to a traditional rifle, these have a grip, which makes them look like an assault rifle without a mag clip.
  13. I type Legos when I'm lazy. Which is always. I don't even capitalize the whole thing, since that'll require me to keep "shift" held down or hit caps lock before and after. That's a lot of extra work to convey very little more information! There's no point in typing a whole other word just to be pedantic. When I have to refer to them as individual piece types, I'll cut out the "Lego" and just call them bricks, rods, beams, etc. I think of it like this. Xerox is a brand, as well as a verb. Xeroxing pretty much means photocopying with a Xerox-brand photocopier (trademark laws prohobit me to write that it'd apply to all photocopiers, though most people use it as a synonym for photocopying). If I don't need to say Xerox photocopying to get my point across, then I certainly don't need to say Lego pieces. Hey, it's a good set.
  14. World Racers Summer 2010

    Finally, a racing set with minifigs again! Between this, the new castle line, and SP3, this is shaping up to be a year of the return of the 'late 80's/early 90's. And here I thought I was going to be able to save a couple of bucks for 2010.
  15. Castle Sets 2010

    While I'm disappointed there's no elves for 2010, these sets look excellent. These look like they could have been made during the late 80's, but there are plenty of modern elements to make them awesome. The pictures aren't big enough to get a really good look at the sets, but from what I can see, they look really great. Hopefully, the wizard is going to be released in NA this time.