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About def

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  • Birthday 08/22/1975

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  1. def

    REVIEW: 75212 Kessel Run Millennium Falcon

    Thanks for the review, Whitie! I'd like to get this set, but the price just makes it impossible. Sometime around 2013, LEGO just started jacking up the prices. I bought the last Millennium Falcon, and like it a lot. I'd like to get this as well, but it is about 30% more expensive. It's a shame. LEGO is probably making more off of fewer sales, but that's not ideal.
  2. def

    REVIEW: 75828 Ecto-1 & 2

    I don't think I've commented on a review thread in two years, but I think you did a bang up job here. My deciding factor will be the local price, but I feel I'm well informed from this!
  3. def

    Review 21128 The Village

    Thanks for the info! My daughter was telling me this stuff as we built it, but the truth is, I just am not the Minecraft audience. That doesn't make me unqualified to review, but that this sort of detail is not clear from the instructions. A person shouldn't need to do homework to appreciate a product
  4. Minecraft. Doing a past Minecraft review here, I was shocked at how little interest there was in the theme. I'm 40, so no, I don't care about it the way I do Star Wars or Superheroes themes. I was also surprised at how retro the series felt, using brick-built everything, rather than use loads of specialised pieces. Overall, it was a pleasant surprise. I had a chance to review the star set of theme, will it compare favourably? Thanks to the LEGO Group for providing the set. Set#: 21128 Name: The Village Theme: Minecraft Year: 2016 Pieces: 1600 Minifigs: Steve, Alex, Villager x 2, Zombie, Zombie Villager, Iron Golem, Enderman, Pig, Baby Pig, Creeper MSP: U.S.$199.99, £169.99 , 199.99€ Brickset Bricklink The box: So, my kid loves Minecraft. She won't stop talking about it, going on a year now. Often we try to take photos, and she does the most horrible, fake smile, but when she gets a massive Minecraft box? She can't stop smiling. The box is about as big as any LEGO box that has passed through my hands. The cover is what it is, a showcase of the different parts of the Village. The size of this set pushed the limits of my 'studio,' so you're going to see some not perfectly white backgrounds. Note how fat this box is. It's probably 50% bigger than regular boxes. The back showcases both the set and the insides of the set's buildings. The booklets There is one large square-bound book for the main build, and a thinner, traditional stapled one for the alternate build. The Pieces The set has eleven medium size bags, plus some of the plates that have become the norm in contemporary LEGO. The Build BAG ONE I'm going to show the pieces, but there aren't any stand outs. As I wrote in the intro, the series is retro in feel, and uses very few modern elements, beyond the colours. There are a few translucent green 2x2 bricks. The mini-figs are spaced out through the bags, the first having a villager. From what I know of Minecraft, the villagers are kind of useless, and likewise, this mini-fig has no moving arms or legs! Try playing with that, kids! I suppose this is a store? This is not a triumph of design, though I like the leaves dangling off of the tree. The first bag also builds these mystery blocks. What are they for? We'll have to wait till later to find out. This part of the build contains two of the very few printed blocks in the set, and as apple, which is a decidedly modern element. BAG TWO The bags are, on the whole, underwhelming. I think the target age for Minecraft is about 12. For my seven-year old daughter, this was actually a really comfortable build, as an adult, I felt it was somewhat slight. The bag builds have a building, my daughter informs me it's a crafting room, where you can upgrade weapons and stuff. There is a nice Technic technique here which will be utilised in the next bag. But note it now to see how it works. Down. Up. BAG THREE Here is the star of Minecraft, Steve. Now, LEGO has made a totally accurate representation of this totally bland leading character. I suppose to my daughter, Steve is as exotic a name as Luke or Han was to me. Anyway, that's a Minecraft thing, not a LEGO thing. I like the pixelated effect on the sword! This is a very fun part. So, I thought this was neat. A wall is made, and settled on the SNOT section. From there, a roof is added, and thanks to that Technic hinge... An opening building! This is a great little technique to use on small scale buildings. After the unexciting first build, this is a lot more interesting. BAG FOUR This is another half-build. It makes the base of a house, which opens with a side-hinge. The brick-built door is fantastic. This is precisely the sort of detail which receives high praise in MOCs, but I don't think is appreciated in these sets because of the AFOL bias against Minecraft. The inside is is sparsely decorated. Here is another of the printed bricks; a crate. While the furniture is nice enough, it isn't really functional with the Minecraft mini-figs. BAG FIVE Now this is a weird piece. I would be curious to see if LEGO finds any other purpose for a piece like this. The piece is the base of the poorly-balancing Enderman. Considering the aesthetic of Minecraft, this is actually kind of creepy looking! The bag builds the roof with some beautiful tan blocks. I don't know what the wheel is for, but the bookshelf is a nice touch. The SNOT on the roof is nice as well. It's not a fantastic building, but it's nice enough. BAG SIX This was a slight build among slight builds! It has a kind of rocky greeble to it. The translucent blue water is always welcome. BAG SEVEN This is probably the star of the set, a brick built monster by the name of Iron Golem. The mossy, pixelated printed tiles are sweet! It's as thin as it can be while still being posable. The bag builds a tower to place on the previous build. Now, this seems to be a half-measure. It's a very small castle element that is dropped into a village. Note the base of this is different than the grass of the previous builds, so this feels like it doesn't belong in the set. I'm guessing it's a necessary environment to justify the Golem. BAG EIGHT This bag comes with a second villager, with a different torso. Not all that much to say that the picture doesn't say itself. This build is a small garden, and animal pen and a pond of sorts. A few other sets have this sort of detail. The first set I got was a farm, so this is familiar to me. Remember those mystery blocks from the first bag? Now they come into play. Those blocks are added to put this thing together. The set is really modular. The garden is simple, but well-designed. This also contains the pig, a nice brick built animal. BAG NINE Three more figs, Alex, the female protagonist; Creeper, the mascot monster; and a baby pig. Creeper and Alex are pretty much as they were in my last review, while the pig is just a slightly smaller version of what we've seen. Again, I like the pixelated quality of her weapon. The build is a desert scene, a well and a cactus. Like the Iron Golem build, this is quite disconnected to the main grassy village. BAG TEN This is the first half of the final building. Much like the first house, it opens on a hinge. The structure is different, with double doors. BAG ELEVEN Contained are the final two figures, the zombie and zombie villager. I like the villager one slightly more, just because the face is amusing. Overall, they're not special, even if they are accurate to the property. The finished house is, from the outside, very similar to the previous one, which is again, accurate to Minecraft. The inside is sparser than the first house, and less exciting. I do like the pumpkin faces though. The whole set is then assembled using the remaining blocks to attach them. Again, the finished set is bigger than my makeshift studio can handle, sorry. In the photo, perhaps it appears smaller, but it is an impressive effect overall. Some LEGO sets seem so big, but then the finished product isn't that grand, and I think this suffers the reverse. It takes up a lot of space. You can see the way the two houses fit. For some reason, the pig goes in a tree. Steve goes shopping. Alex is going to do some mining. Underman apparently carries blocks around. And a recently zombified villager sneaks around. Alternate Build One of the big features of the set is the alternative build. Pieces are broken off and remixed. The first build takes the swamp and second house. The top of the instructions show which parts not to break apart, and the other pieces to be used. The build is a fairly nice gate, with double doors. There's a nice depth to it, it's more than just a wall. I like this more than the second house (mainly for how it attaches to the main build). The back of the gate is somewhat bland. Yeah, it looks better from the front. The shape fits up perfectly against the main build: slide it in and... snap! it's fastened with the same blocks as before. The second build removes the desert and shop. And again tells you what to keep as is. The new build is what looks like a dungeon entrance. I like parts of this, but I don't know why the treasure is out in the open. It would have looked nicer in that entrance. The other side looks a little better. I enjoy the Minecraft foliage. And it snaps in perfectly as well. I understand why they put the second house in the main build, it makes the village look more like a village. That said, I like the alternative build better. on the original build, the shop and desert were the weakest designs, so it's not heartbreaking to take them apart. It's a busy village. The Final Verdict Design: 6/10 I'm going to place a lot of the weaknesses here on the basic design of the Minecraft game itself. I think the game is well designed, but there are a limited number of elements in it. So, the torches are cool, but they're the same as in the other sets. Same as the pillars. Same as the gardens. It feels like the designers are cannibalising their own design. Is there a way to innovate with a property that needs a blocky, simple aesthetic? Build: 7/10 The best build is the house, but then it's mostly repeated. The gate would be the next best. Other than a few places noted (the crafting room, the doors), most of it is similar to the other two sets I've done. It gains some points for the alternate build, but to be honest. for a set this price, like any of the modular houses, it is a big letdown. Playability: 10/10 That's the big one on here. It's modular, so you can shift it around, it can join other Minecraft sets easily, and there is a narrative built in. My daughter was acting out battles the moment I released this to her. Even my intro photo shows some of the action available. Minifigures: 8/10 The number of them is great, the variety of them is great, but these are mostly repeats from other sets. Possibly they all are. As with the design, LEGO is limited to what is in Minecraft. I'm surprised LEGO doesn't make ones using the large amount of skins in the game. Price: 3/10 Can I give it zero? 12.5 cents per piece is fair, but there are a lot of 2x4 plates and 1x1 pieces. There aren't loads of new moulds or figures in this. I really feel like you're paying for a license and the LEGO group's robust sense of inflation. There is zero chance I would buy this at the suggested price. Overall: 6/10 I wish I could give it a higher score, but I just can't. I like the brick built style, and the figures are good. But the repetition of this series is setting in. Because it's a collection of small builds assembled together, I feel like I could have bought two or three smaller sets and had a similar building experience. Half the builds were underwhelming, and even the good builds weren't great. After my many years of buying and reviewing LEGO sets, I'm of the mind that there are no bad LEGO sets, but there are ones that are a bad value. I think this is only for the true LEGO Minecraft fans... like my daughter. She'd give this a 10/10, but then again, she's not the one who pays for this stuff.
  5. def

    The Convention - Sign-Ups

    My life doesn't allow for mafia these days, sadly, but I wish you all the best... And others! Try mafia, it's great!
  6. When the LEGO Minecraft series was announced, I, like many AFOLs, was baffled. I’d heard of it, but never even considered playing since it was aimed at kids, and the graphics were already blocky. But that time has passed, my daughter, now seven, talks about Minecraft daily, to the point of me coming home sounds like this: Me: I’m home! Her: Daddy, how about Minecraft? Me: STOP TALKING ABOUT MINECRAFT, AT THE VERY LEAST GREET ME WHEN I COME HOME: Her: Maybe Minecraft later? (English is her second language, so her sentences are a little broken.) So, I know Minecraft now. And last Christmas, more than LEGO, more than Inside Out toys, Minecraft was the present that made her head spin. Thanks to LEGO for providing this set for review. Set #: 21125 Name: The Jungle Tree House Theme: Minecraft Year: 2016 Pieces: 706 Minifigs: 4: Steve, Alex, Skeleton, Creeper MSP: U.S.$69.99, £74.99, 89.99 euros Peeron Brickset Bricklink So, I called her in the room, to say I had a surprise. “Daddy, it says LEGO!” “Minecraft, I love it, we’re gonna make together?” Impatient building assistance from my daughter. The box It’s a fairly large box showing the main features. The back shows the action features as well as the additional build feature. The booklets The set uses three books. The first two are for the main build, the third for the alternate build. The Pieces The set has four bags of bricks, and three plates. At this point, Lego prices fluctuate so much between the changing dollar rates and licensing fees, I have no idea if this is a good deal for the price. There appears to be slightly more to it than a similarly priced Star Wars set. The Build Bag One Bag one has the smaller pieces of the set, as well as the minifigs. Alex and Steve are the protagonists of basic Minecraft, and Steve comes with a helmet. I’m guessing Alex has a diamond pick axe. Diamond weapons and armour are a thing in Minecraft The back printing on Alex is interesting in how subtle it is. I wonder if it was worth it, relative to cost, but I’m happier with it there. The set also has Creeper and Skeleton, bad guys in Minecraft world (apologies, the Creeper is missing a piece, it was the kid who built it). The sheep I’ve seen in a Minecraft set I got the kid for Christmas, but the Ocelot is new. Not a particularly exciting build on it though. I quite like the sheep, especially the legs. Imagine that Creeper has a 3*1 green studless piece on the side. The creeper is one of the more interesting in game designs of Minecraft, with its freaky little legs. The bag has an assortment of vegetation. It also has decorations and equipment for the set: torches, a bed, a bucket, and some stuff I don’t clearly know. The bed is a fundamental item in Minecraft, that you can place pretty much anywhere in the game. Bag Two Bag two starts the base of the set. From bag one, so vegetation and a fire are placed in. One of the notable things about the Minecraft LEGO series is the use of 2*2 plates with a single stud in the center. This is used to make parts easily removable, but also as a place to put single stud objects while maintain the blocky world of Minecraft. The flowers occupy a 2*2 space, as almost everything in the set does. At this point, my daughter was getting uncontrollable. Me: Give me that! I have to take a picture! Her: But I wanna play! Me: Wait! It’s almost cruel to make a kid sit through an EB review before she can play with it. Bag Three Bag three continues the build. The set has translucent green and blue pieces. These were driving my daughter crazy, “It’s so beautiful!” She insisted on putting those on herself. The atmosphere is quite clear here, the first tree placed on the set. Bag Four Bag four finishes off the set, with some odds and ends pieces left over. It’s a nice sized structure, with almost no Technic building. The Finished Product In the tree house, we can see the bed. A waterfall has a platform that locks into place at the top, and can be used like an elevator. In front of the bed is a trap door triggered by sliding the vegetation. At the foot of the stairs is a button that causes them to collapse. Another feature is to move the top of the bedroom over the sheep’s pen. It’s a small change, but gives the set versatility. Overall, it’s a lush, detailed set. Alternate Build The third book has instructions for a separate build. To start, you need to clear out the waterfall, and everything over the upper platforms. After, you are can build this. One feature is a cactus, which is important in Minecraft. Or it was important to my daughter at least. If I recall correctly, you can get water from them, and inside this, there are translucent water blocks. As well, a wall is made with Creeper’s face, slightly hidden behind vegetation. This made my daughter happy. The Final Verdict Design: 7/10 It’s hard to rate the design of Minecraft LEGO against other modern series. Overall, the whole of it feels retro, with its simplified build. Almost no modern pieces are needed. You could have made this in 1980, minus some colours and the minifigs. That said, though there are no “wow” techniques like in the modular buildings, there is something endearing about this dense, brick-built set. Build:7/10 It’s a fun build, not too repetitious. At the same time, nothing to learn from the techniques here, except the value of mapping a build out in advance. Playability: 10/10 There is a lot of play value. Good guys and bad guys, animals, action features. My daughter was thrilled to get her hands on it. Minifigures: 10/10 I like the figures here, and Creeper is its own unique part. Four figures (plus the animals) is enough to populate a set this size. Price: 8/10 (America) 6/10 (world) While I think the American price is reasonable, the international price is not for me. You would have to be a Minecraft fan to justify it. Overall: 8/10 This is a really good set. I wish LEGO would make more sets like this in their regular lines so we didn’t have to pay a licensing fee for brick based sets. A lot of sets these days have a hollowness to them which is a turn-off. It’s economical to produce and sell, but less exciting to build and play with. Another thing I really liked, this set has more abstraction in its design; a torch? Let’s use an orange and yellow translucent instead of a fire piece. Leaves on a tree? Let’s use plates blocks instead of a custom piece. There’s a hypocrisy here, since these custom pieces were super exciting and fresh when they were new, but they aren’t as exciting and fresh now. If anything, they can easily get lost in the mountain of LEGO that so many of us EB users have. Making stuff from bricks feels fresh. This set (and the Minecraft set I gave at Christmas) really taps into what I enjoyed about LEGO to begin with as a kid. The bricks have a lot more room for reinvention than a lot of other series. LEGO sets go through trends, depending on the staff at a moment, I guess. This Minecraft style is a good thing. I would love to see some of the brick principles of these sets filter through to other series. I love the minifigs of the Superheroes lines, but am pretty burnt out on the vehicles that are omnipresent there. A bricky, Minecraft style room or street would be amazing in that series. I recommend any AFOLs out there who had no interest in the series due to the license to check this, or any Minecraft set, out. It is very pleasant. Not an overwhelming recommendation, but a solid one.
  7. I won't be able to participate, as I'm going back to Canada at the beginning of April. Good luck with the game!
  8. def

    Greetings from Japan

    Welcome Japanbuilder! I'm not Japanese, but I'm a permanent resident. I've managed to build up a collection that is, frankly, way too big. I pretty much stick to new sets now, but for old sets, Yahoo Auction randomly has old sets often at a reasonable price. And of course, Bricklink! You should be able to get your sets there for a reasonable price. Not cheap though. I used to buy my big sets there, like the modular houses. For you folks visiting Japan, in my experience, Bic Camera has a much better selection than Yamada Denki, and is usually priced close to Amazon's rates. As well, the unofficial Lego Store here is Click Brick. There is one in most major prefectures: (sorry, Japanese only). As well, the first official Lego shop just opened in Roppongi Hills in Tokyo. I rarely see used Lego at shops here, but then again, I gave up on that years ago. There are collectable second hand toy shops here and there, and you'll know them by the loads of open toys in the window. The main market for that is through Yahoo Auction, the Japanese E-Bay (レゴ&x=0&y=0) Have fun in Japan!
  9. def

    Kingdoms Mafia - Conclusion

    A coin flip wouldn't have satisfied me. I would have claimed. I would have claimed vig, and assumed the doctor was smart enough to trust the claim. That's just me, I assume other players aren't dumb, and it is often my downfall. I always demand required voting as a host, even if I'm not always an ideal player. For some of this game (and the last), I was either working or drunk (unfortunately), so I missed time I could vote. Or I was on a family trip to Costco or something (believe it or not, the wife doesn't care for online mafia). In most games, I have a bunch of desk hours to goof off in mafia, but I was stuck to 20 minutes here or there in this game. I doubt we'd have had a different result if I had been more 'on' since I had no regrets of the JJP lynch, but I would have at least voted day one and day two.
  10. def

    Kingdoms Mafia - Conclusion

    ?! You 100% should have claimed. The last game was won thanks to a first day claim!
  11. def

    Kingdoms Mafia - Conclusion

    Good job scum! I have to say, MT, you fooled me! Your worry over JJP's lynch convinced me you were town!
  12. def

    Kingdoms Mafia - Day Three

    Personally, I would have. I would have come right out and say I have a ridiculous neutral role that does nothing and say that the reason to say so is so that you don't come up as a liar. Instead you lied, so I can't take your word that you are harmless, an neither should anybody else. Too dangerous. Blame yourself, not me.
  13. def

    Kingdoms Mafia - Day Three

    You can lead a horse to water...