dj2005

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  1. dj2005

    Review: 79014 Dol Guldur Battle

    Thanks for the review, MB! I share similar sentiments that the other posters have: While I like the statue module very much and also Radagast's torso print (especially since it doesn't have any skin showing - making it good for other themes), the set feels uninspired and lacking.
  2. dj2005

    Review: 10243 Parisian Restaurant

    You're correct, the doors cannot fully close with the round plate on the closing side. Thanks for the information, I'll add a note about this in the review.
  3. dj2005

    Review: 10243 Parisian Restaurant

    I would have loved to include 10243 next to other modulars in the review, but this is my first modular. The window occupies the 7th and 8th studs counting from the back of 10243. I hope this helps. It is the same size as the 10223 Kingdoms Joust box ($120 USD; ~1,600 piece set) but 10243's box has about 20% more depth. Unless you two are posting about a different door, 1 x 1 round plates can be attached to both sides of the door.
  4. dj2005

    Review: 10243 Parisian Restaurant

    Thanks for all of the comments. Good catch, laka. I didn't count that set because I figured it was just a basic café where largely drinks are served and some small side dishes. Now I see the chef has a burger on the frying pan! I'll add it as a side note in my review. Thank you for the suggestion. For this review, I was using a new camera and tripod, and crafted something that somewhat resembles a photography studio ("somewhat resembles" is probably too kind) so it was a learning process. As it happens, I had better angled pictures for the face-on shots but I had to re-do them due to forgetting to include two LEGO pieces and, by then, I already changed the tripod settings. At first, I thought that as well, but TLG initially stated that the set included a turkey AND a seagull. Thanks Holodoc. As I mention earlier in this post, the review was a learning process for me in terms of using a new camera. It also largely depends on the viewer's monitor type. I use a calibrated IPS panel which tends to make things look much different than, say, the basic TN display on my old laptop. I also like to be thorough in my reviews as I figure people can easily skip the stuff they don't want to see, but I know some people want to see as much as they can. And those bag pictures were an absolute pain and still didn't come out well.
  5. Title of Set: 10243 Parisian Restaurant Theme: Creator/Expert Release Date: January 2014 Piece Count: 2469 Minifigures: 5 Price: US $159.99 - CA $189.99 - DE 149.99 € - UK 132.99 £ - DK 1299.00 DKK Further Information: Shop@Home, Brickset, Flickr Album After a long day of work, there is not much more satisfying than a delicious meal. Set 10243 Parisian Restaurant serves the function of feeding your LEGO citizens and offering quite a bit more. Author's Notes: When I came home from work one Friday night, I noticed that DHL delivered a lovely present to my house - the highly-anticipated 10243 Parisian Restaurant set (thanks TLG and EB!). As of January 2014, this will the newest set in this particular line of modular sets and it is a real treat. Lead designed by the revered Jamie Berard, it is filled with features and detail, making it an excellent set for those who are looking to start collecting the modular sets and those who already have been for years. However, does it live up to the hype and does it include the ever-elusive seagull that TLG initially advertised to be included in this set? We shall see... Box: Front: The front of the box features a main picture of the front of the restaurant, as well sub-pictures showing off the back, patio, and length and height dimensions. Quite nifty. Back: Ah, the back of the box. Always one of my favorite places when it comes to LEGO sets as it shows off all of the cool play features and some of the details. The left side is dedicated to featuring the three completed modular components with "1" being the first floor and working up from there. Taking up about half of the box's backside is the Parisian Restaurant aligned with the Town Hall (10224) and Palace Cinema (10232) sets. Finally, encompassing the top and left areas of the box are the play features and various closeups of some highly detailed sections. Side (Part List): Click here for a larger view. One side of the box is largely dedicated to displaying the part list, which is understandable and welcomed due to the set including a whopping near-2500 pieces. On the far right we can see a closeup of one of the roof's creative details to whet one's appetite. Side (Warnings): An angled view of the completed set is shown, as well as some warning text about LEGO being a choking hazard. Hmm, my idea of flavored LEGO pieces is probably not the best idea now that I think about it... Side (Minifigures): On the right side of the box there is a quaint picture of the included minifigures with appropriate surroundings. The floating painting is a tad spooky. There is also one of the box's closing latches (inner box lid has a tab that slips through it to securely keep the box closed after opening). This is a large box so I find that feature quite convenient. Side (Other Views): And here is the left side of the box, which includes the same angled picture from before and a closeup of the front of the set - namely the terrace and entrance areas. This side includes one of the box's closing latches as well. Instructions: Covers: The covers of all three instruction books all have the same cover, which uses the same picture that is seen on the front of the box. All three instructions books have landscape oriented covers and portrait oriented inner pages, unlike how some sets have both landscape and portrait oriented covers/pages that differ between books. Random Page: As to be expected, the colors of the pieces are distinct and parts that have a metallic sheen have a little shine star next to them whenever they are used in the piece call-out list. There are a decent amount of sub-builds, such as the one shown on the left page on the image above. I didn't include pictures of the part list located within the instruction booklets since the part list located on the side of the box is the same. Bags: Bags Numbered 1 and 2: There are 4 bags labeled 1 and 5 labeled 2. Bags 1 have 3 smaller bags within them and bags 2 have 4 smaller bags. What I term as smaller bags are those little unlabeled bags that are included in larger labeled bags. Bags Numbered 3 and 4: Bags 3 and 4 both add up to 4 bags, respectively. Each one contains 4 smaller bags. A total of 18 bags are included in the set, which is a fair amount. As can be seen, the labels only go up to the number 4. Loose Pieces: Not included in the bags are two loose plates: the plate on the left being 8 x 16 studs and the baseplate on the right having a massive 32 x 32 amount of studs, which came slightly warped in my set but it isn't overly noticeable. Minifigures: A total of 5 minifigures are included in the set, starting from left to right: Artist, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Chef, Waiter. The Artist, Boyfriend, and Girlfriend all have back printing, while the chef and waiter do not. Overall, the prints are nice looking but nothing amazing. The Boyfriend's tie has gold metallic shine to it. Printed Pieces: There are no stickers in this set. Yep, you've heard that correctly - no stickers! There are 10 printed pieces, with the restaurant's sign and menu being the most prominent. The menu's text has a gold metallic shine to it, much like the Boyfriend's tie. Very fancy. Scooter: The scooter features a flip-down/up handle bar and kickstand. It has two studs on the back to hold miscellaneous cargo. Partway Through: Step 5: The first few steps have the builder laying down the sidewalk and entrance area. One cute detail is that "CHEZ" is spelled out in tan plates, which later forms the outside dining area. Step 21 - End of Bags "1": At step 21, which happens to be the end of the bags labeled as 1, has the foundation set and some details already added. To the left we have the exterior and interior dining areas. The light blue tables and dark red lamps really add some nice pop to the earthy color tones used in those particular areas. To the right, we have the bus stop bench, the start of the stairs to the patio, and, finally, the wonderfully detailed kitchen with already prepared food. Extra Pieces - Bags "1": A useful assortment of bricks are counted as extra pieces. TLG seems to enjoy giving out extra rings whenever they can. And to the right of the ring is an extra temperature gauge. Step 33: The olive green walls are going up, as are the stairs to the second floor. A lovely wine display shelf can be spotted in the interior dining area and it helps add some extra atmosphere and mood to the set. Step 57 - End of Bags "2" and Book 1: At step 57, the bags labeled as 2 are all empty and book 1 offers no more insight. This also marks the near-completion of module 1 (the actual restaurant). I write near-completion because the terrace does not yet have its foliage! A shot of module 1 from the left. There is the hanging painting I pointed out back in the beginning of the review and a small side window that offers a glimpse of the kitchen. There are some nice details found in the back of the restaurant. Most are self-explanatory but I want to point out a few things that aren't as obvious: the green trash can and blue dumpster both include some "food" pieces. The trash can has 1 yellow and 1 orange cheese slope, while the dumpster has 2 pink cherries, 2 sausages, and 2 bones... That is going to be one happy mouse! The dumpster's lid has a locking hinge system that offers a wide degree of movement. The smaller foliage pieces are creatively attached to the larger pieces using carrot sprouts. There is a water faucet found below the foliage (which is likely why there is so much vegetation in that area). Two metallic silver grilles can also be spotted, and those represent a door mat or something similar. Moving on, a clear view of the back doorway is shown, complete with a red and white canopy. The kitchen's wall is adorned with various utensils (rolling pin, small and large knives), and one can spot the top half of the white refrigerator that contains some cheese slopes and blocks that represent bottles. I was thinking of taking a picture of the inside of the refrigerator but I have to leave some mystery to the set, right? Look at the size of that turkey! Damn growth hormones. By the way, the turkey is attached using 2 1 x 1 round plates stacked on top of each other. The bottom round plate attaches to the counter and the turkey sits on top of both. A better view of the entrance counter and the two curtains can be seen. Extra Pieces - Bags "2": Again, not a bad lot of extra pieces. Second Floor: Step 20 - Bed Up: And now we begin using those pieces in the "3" bags! By step 20 many of the furnishings are already built and added. The pull-down bed and recliner are my favorites in this section as they are not only useful but provide some extra color and flair to this room. The recliner's back reclines almost 90 degrees and the recliner swivels as it is placed on a 2 x 2 turntable. Next to it is a small coffee table and fireplace. Step 20 - Bed Down: The almighty bed is now flipped down. Be hypnotized by its blue and dark tan comforter and well-sloped pillow! Step 25 - Front Window Installation: The windows installation consists of a SNOT technique that allows the window panes to simply slide into place and then have the two studs located on the window sill lock them into place. I thought this was a cool feature of the build. I turned around the recliner to provide a back view and to demonstrate the fact that it turns. Step 34 - End of Bags "3" and Book 2: Module 2 is completed and we are left with a adorable home for a couple of the minifigures. The back of the module has two doors, one leading to a second balcony and the other leading to the restaurant's patio and module 3's entrance. Here is a top-down view that shows the placement of the furnishings and overall size. The exterior walkway is 3 studs wide. Patio - Bags "3": Bags "3" also build the small but useful patio. This is actually built prior to module 2 and is over in 10 steps. It keeps the same color theme found in the restaurant's exterior dining area, and some excellent hanging planters which add a lot to the look of the set. There is even a mini-bar/shelving area, how cute. The lamp posts swing down to about a 30 degree angle. Patio Attached to Module 1: The patio attaches much the same fashion as the actual modules do: with a select amount of studs. The first floor's staircase transitions nicely to the patio, partly in thanks to the consistent railing that encompasses both the staircase and patio. The Modules Attached: The set, as a whole, is starting to take shape. Module 2 blends well with the ground floor while maintaining its own unique touches, such as the front windows and balcony. So angular and detailed, yum. A back view to show off the flow of the patio and module 2's staircase. That mouse still hasn't moved. I think it's a bit shy. Continuing on with that line of thought, I would've liked a cat to be included with the set. One thing I found to be a bit off is that the door to the balcony does not have a black 1 x 1 round plate door handle on its exterior side. The other two doors seen here do and it makes it seem unfinished; however, since this particular door opens inward, a 1 x1 round plate cannot be attached as it will prevent the door from fully closing. That terrace hasn't received its foliage yet. Don't worry, it's coming! Extra Pieces - Bags "3": Nothing of much value here, but the extras are still welcomed in my spare parts bin. Module 3 - Start of Bags "4": Step 27: And we have made it to bags "4"! These bags build the third and final module - the artist's studio. Some nifty details are present in this module, including the large central window and two facades. Details like these show how much care was given to the design of this set and give the build some excitement. The chimney continues with the same design seen in module 2, utilizing those wonderful mason bricks. More window sill planters are built. Oh, and some interior furnishings can be seen, but who cares about that stuff. On that note, I want to point out how one of the empty studs on the table that holds the artist's palette is used in a similar fashion as a brush's water dish, or, at least, that is how I view it. If I am correct, I think it shows off the attention to detail that the designer put into the set. The fireplace has a industrial hinge door that swings open and close. Inside is a basic fire plume and log bricks. I especially like the mantle and flue. Module 3 - Completed: Oh my, are we done with the build already? Nope! But module 3 is completed. One of the highlights of module 3 is the curved dark blue roof. The white accents provide a lot of contrast with the blue, and act as an intermediary between the light bluish gray and dark blue. Delicious. The second section of the roof, also known as the back, contains 3 windows that act as skylights. The entrance to the studio is located at the right and continues the details we have seen before: the canopy, door mat, and lamp. The potted plant is a nice touch. This roof section flips down via two hinges. The dark bluish gray holders that you may have noticed in prior pictures act as stops. I have also opened the door to the studio to point out how barren that interior entrance way is. There is no clutter that is placed there even though I think a couple crates/boxes would've been welcomed. The clear 2 x 2 round piece (there are actually two of them, one cannot be seen in this picture) that is attached to the front roof section are, I imagine, ceiling lights. Another nice detail. Since the roof is closed at an angle, it doesn't accidentally swing open. It works quite well. A better shot of the interior entrance way can be seen, and, like I mentioned before, it is void of clutter. The easel that holds one of the paintings (the artist doesn't seem to be the best painter) can be rotated as it is attached to a 1 x 2 plate that has 1 stud. Extra Pieces - Bags "4": A few final extra pieces are leftover. Having an extra paint brush is handy so the artist can have one in hand and one in the easel. Various Closeups: Kitchen Appliances and Utilities: Here are the 3 main kitchen mini-modules: the stove/oven (I'm not sure how the chef managed to stuff the turkey in that oven), a cupboard and sink, and another cupboard and shelf. All 3 are great additions and are fun to build. Second Floor Appliances and Furniture: I pointed out a couple of these earlier in the review, but here they are again: drawers, stove/oven, microwave (or cupboard), flip-down bed, recliner, and, in the back, a lamp. Third Floor Decorations: Roof Facade: On the right I have a partially assembled segment of one of the roof's facades. The completed version can be seen on the left. It is a creative use of bricks. This particular facade design adds an organic feel to the overall set that balances well with the crisp angles found on the bottom floor. The left is how it looks partially assembled and the right showcases the final product. A total of 3 of these are built. Fully Built - Overview: Well, look at that, the terrace has foliage! The last step in book 3 is to add the two 5 x 6 leaves pieces to the terrace. Quite odd that it is done then and not in book 1. Maybe it was a last minute addition? The last module really sets off the color scheme, doesn't it? Anyway, I will let the following pictures speak for themselves. The Good Life: Ah, another relaxing day in LEGO land. And no, the waiter is not about to go on a killing spree - he just wants a quick bite of that croissant. And to answer my question in my Author's Notes section, the seagull does not appear to exist; however, using the extra pieces I'm sure something seagull-ish can be built. Perhaps a cyborg seagull (half machine, half seagull, and one-third turkey) that terrorizes the restaurant? Reviewer's Score: Playability: 9.4/10 – Having a dedicated restaurant in one's city is always a good idea, and TLG hasn't released any until set 10243 besides a few smaller cafés like set 6376. As such, this helps bring out its playability since now your LEGO city patrons have a place to fill their bellies. Still, even as a standalone set, I think the playability should be rated highly as there are plenty of appliances, furniture, details, and features to be played with. Design: 9.7/10 – The finished set is, simply put, beautiful. The white, olive green, grays, and blues flow so well with one another while still providing a varied look with plenty of contrast to attract the eye. Some areas feel overly cramped, the second floor's glass door cannot be closed without removing the third module due to no exterior-facing door knob, and I am not pleased about the lack of clutter in the artist's studio near its entrance but, overall, I cannot find much in the way of faults. Some great building techniques were incorporated in the build and it was a joy to construct, which is more than I can say about a fair share of other LEGO sets. Price: 9.6/10 – Weighing in at about 2,500 pieces for $159.99 USD is quite the good deal. I was expecting a ton of small pieces but there was a large variety of sizes found in the bags. The 32 x 32 gray baseplate and the fact that there are no stickers help as well. Total: 28.7/30 or 96% – When 10243 Parisian Restaurant is released in January 2014, drive to your local LEGO store or head on over to their online store and purchase yourself at least one as it is an excellent set to build, own, play with, and look at. The culmination of colors, attention to detail, and features are all wonderful and should complement anyone's LEGO collection.
  6. I've had good luck with eBay, and can usually find better deals there than BL. In fact, the only issue that I've had is that the LEGO box arrives somewhat squished due to poor packaging (as in, LEGO box wrapped in brown paper). I am not a reseller so that isn't a big deal to me. Then again, I haven't had any issues with BL so I use both eBay and BL depending who is the cheapest.
  7. Sounds like the seller is purchasing the sets using stolen credit cards / accounts. Assuming this is correct, and it very likely is, I rather pay more than support a thief.
  8. dj2005

    What's your latest acquisition?

    I purchased another Kingdoms Joust set for $85 shipped. Now I think I'm finally done buying LEGO for the time being, other than a few cheap pieces.
  9. There is also another bad part about eBay: scammers. PayPal/eBay greatly favors the buyer in transactions and this can lead to scamming the individual who is selling the item(s). Requiring a signature and shipping to a verified address will help in case such an instance does occur, though.
  10. dj2005

    LEGO Castle 2013

    Great videos.
  11. dj2005

    Selling off more than a few unwanted sets.

    Sent you a PM.
  12. dj2005

    What's your latest acquisition?

    I purchased 10223 Kingdoms Joust a few days ago for 98 USD shipped. I was hoping to wait for it to hit $90 shipped (if it ever does) but I figured an extra $8 isn't worth the bother. Now I'm all out of sets to buy except for Ewok Village, and I'll be waiting until that goes on sale. That's probably a good thing as I now have five sets that I haven't even opened.
  13. YoYo.com is having a 20% off sale. The 20% off only applies to a single item and likely doesn't apply to already on sale items. Coupon code for the 20% off is 20LABORDAY (no max). If you have a referral code you can tack on another 20% off, making a 40% discount. Free shipping on orders $35+. Link to their LEGO sets: http://www.yoyo.com/buy/Brand=LEGO? All in all, not a bad sale with the total 40% off.